Counseling Space is a mental wellness practice that improves the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. They provide mental health counseling, personal coaching, advocacy, and consulting.
Written by Counseling Space Clinician, Evelyn Crespo, LCSW-R
Ever had the dreaded feeling of getting on the NYC subway?
You think, "It won’t be that bad this time, I’ll just get on the train and act like I'm okay. Like the overcrowdness doesn’t bother me, the threat of someone or me getting hurt doesn’t scare me, or that I won’t have a panic attack and lose my job because the train is late again. I’ll just pretend I don’t have those emotions or thoughts and get on the subway and hope for the best." But that’s not what happens - you get anxious, maybe you get off the train and decide to wait for the next one and end up leaving the station and going home, or you get into an argument with someone, or you witness something scary.
If you don’t have coping skills to manage these emotions they won’t get better, they may even get worse causing you to avoid the subway and take overpriced cabs or just miss living the life you want.
I was working with a client who would say the subway brought out the worst in him. He always felt people were looking at him and he would get all in his head, all the negative beliefs he had would take over and he would get restless, his heartbeat would rise, he would often get off the train at this point and never reach his destination. He lost many job opportunities because of it. One day when he was on the train and started to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and self-conscious he put on some calming music, drank some water, and used one of the crisis mode skills. Next session he happily reported making it to his destination on time and feeling empowered that the anxiety did not take control over him. He reported that this transformed his life. He felt he could take the train anywhere because he had this skill, this ability to tune out the negative voices in his head and focus on his goal. He was ecstatic and it was contagious; I was so happy for him.
The number of clients I’ve worked with that report that the mindfulness or other coping skills that I’ve taught them has helped reduce their stress is at least 80%. The research shows how daily mindfulness practice increases brain functioning and improvement. See this link for more: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.
I have my own mindfulness practice and notice the difference when I’m on my game and reaching goals. As I stated earlier, this client’s life changed, which is why I do what I do — I want to help people feel better and reach their life goals. His life is more his own now than prior to having these skills.
In the almost 14 years I have been a practicing NY psychotherapist, I have seen how this changes people’s ability to ride the NYC subway and break down the barriers preventing them from reaching their goals. For as much as we dislike the NYC subway most of us find ourselves taking it wherever we are going and if we want to get to OUR destination we need all the skills we can learn.
Anxiety is real and can take over your life but we don’t have to let it!
Click here and learn more about how we can work together to decrease your anxiety and learn to cope with proven and effective anxiety reducing coping skills that will get you on the train to wherever you choose your destination to be.
Limited sleep. Hours of stress. Weeks of feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing. As a new father, people will tell you to expect these things. You will be told to keep a look out for postpartum depression in your partner, however, rarely do they tell you that you might have to look out for it yourself.
The wave of depression, low mood, social isolation and loss of interest in pleasurable activities can overcome you suddenly and without much notice. The reality is that postpartum depression, or “daddy blues”, is real and should be taken seriously. Some of the more common symptoms used for diagnosing the daddy blues is derived from Major Depression.
These can include:
Too much sleep
Weight loss or weight gain
Feelings of hopelessness
Inability to concentrate
An aspect of postpartum depression in fathers is that the likelihood of experiencing depression like symptoms increases when your partner is suffering from postpartum depression as well. It is of much importance that you monitor for signs pertaining to postpartum depression in yourself if your partner is experiencing significant symptoms.
Depression and the Child
Postpartum depression in fathers can manifest in the parent/child relationship negatively. Often fathers will checkout from the family, become distant, irritable, and short tempered. Extreme cases may lead to chronic substance use or suicidal ideation. Extensive studies have shown that negative interactions with your child increase the likelihood of behavioral issues as the child ages.
What can you do?
The first step is to admit you’re suffering from postpartum depression. Fathers may have a natural reaction to close up and “tough-it out”, but this is counterproductive and often leads to bigger symptoms. Postpartum depression is not something you can work through with beer, sports or a gym session. To be an effective and good father, you have to own your stuff and take care of yourself. The most effective way to do this is to engage in talk therapy.
Many fathers have discovered the wonders of talk therapy. Having the opportunity to talk to someone in a safe space can give you the tools to counteract the depression and give you a new perspective. You can use this space to create goals, share successes or vent frustrations. Just like you go to the gym, the bar or the barbershop, talk therapy can be a highly effective self-care activity for new fathers. Having a child is a period of great excitement for many fathers. You typically start out by wanting to be the best dad and partner possible. Having the “daddy blues” does not make you a bad father. A father’s active role in their mental health before it becomes out of hand can make you an extraordinary father. You owe it to yourself to lay a solid foundation for the healthy and successful development of your relationship with your child and that child’s well-being.
If you are a father who is ready to take step and receive support for your mental health and be present in your journey of fatherhood, please click here for a free brief phone consultation.
Can you believe that we are approaching a new year? As I reflect back, it has been adventurous, which was my theme word for 2018. One major decision that I had to do was to let go apart of my business which can allow me to expand Counseling Space and offer additional services. It was adventurous for me to reduce my hours and shift my position to commit more time as a CEO. I realized that I can no longer be a full time clinician and CEO. This combination was leading to burnout! Once I made this shift, new developments were presented to grow Counseling Space.
As you take the time to reflect and plan to have abundance in your life, don’t forget to let go and shift areas in your life that can no longer nourish you. This is a process that we help our clients with and we encourage them not to feel guilty but acknowledge this journey as a self-care movement. If you are ready to give yourself permission to let go and live, all you have to do is simply reach out to us.
We want to take this moment to express our gratitude for your ongoing support. You helped us raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to save lives!
This is what Counseling Space is all about. It is our goal to be part of the movement to end mental health stigma and we are proud to have you in our network.
It is our wish that you have a peaceful and healthy holiday season.
For the past three months, I’ve been planning the Write To Heal event that was held on October 23rd and it was a success. I must admit, I was nervous planning the first paid event. Will people show up? Did I schedule the event too soon? Should I cancel Write To Heal? Then, I ultimately decided not to give up and keep pushing. I believed in the event that allowed me to promote a fellow social worker and entrepreneur share her mental health journey. Once I decided to move forward, I said to myself “just focus on this event” and I did just that. Focus, a supportive network, and teamwork were the key factors for making this event successful. I want to thank you for your support, input, feedback, and sharing your great energy during the event.
A take away, from the guest Minaa, was, What does your name mean to you? This was truly a reflective question that allows us to explore our identity, voice, and values.
If you attended, I would love to hear your feedback and highlights. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, what other events would you like Counseling Space to host for 2019?
Last weekend, I was invited to a silent retreat and decided to go after hearing so many positive experiences from others. I must admit for a NYC lady who is surrounded by ongoing distractions, and who talks and listens for a living, this was a huge deal for me. Several days before leaving, my friend cancelled on me, and I immediately said, I’m not going to this retreat alone and share a room with strangers! But then, I paused and just said YES! Why? Well, I suddenly remembered that my theme word for 2018 is “ADVENTUROUS” and I knew that going alone, spending the weekend in the mountains with strangers was definitely an adventure for me. I decided to make a brief video to share my experience with you.
Weekend Retreat - YouTube
I learned how to improve my meditation skills.
Happiness is a conscious effort to be apart of your lifestyle and not only when we are sad.
“Did I go above and beyond” is the question we must ask for every goal we want to accomplish.
I am truly grateful for having my friend for inviting me to a place where I was able to replenish my soul. The lessons that I learned will allow me to better serve people like you and my community. I believe that I had to experience my time alone.
Have you ever experienced an opportunity that is out of your comfort zone but you know in your heart that you need to say finally say YES? I often have to remind myself that stepping out of my comfort zone allows me to grow and sustain my happiness. Happiness is so much lighter than sadness. When my clients tell me that they feel emotionally lighter after their session with me, it just gives me so much momentum!
I hope you will be proactive and take on an action that will allow you to share the same feeling. I am hosting another event that’s taking me out of my comfort-zone called Write To Heal. We will be discussing ways writing can help heal our traumas. Hope to see you there.
In NYC, summer is officially over and I broke my promise with summer. I promised myself to decrease my workload this summer but I didn’t. Trust me, it is challenging for me to take a break out of Counseling Space and CEO Motions because I simply don’t see it as work. To grow a business, your energy is absorbed and therefore, we have to stop and simply regain our energy. But the question is, how can this be done?
Relaxing and going home on time from the office, or just taking a break.
Decreasing your workload. For me, that means decreasing my sessions and hiring another mental health provider. It also means hiring support staff to alleviate the administrative burden.
Delegate-I plan to hire staff and only have a small caseload of clients. Also, I will ask for help without the guilt feeling lingering.
Assessing outside resources that you are not utilizing. Where can you use outside resources to decrease your workload?
Time Management. Having time blocks for certain tasks or even scheduling time specifically for self-care.
I’m sure you are taking on too many tasks. You believe that if I don’t do it, it won’t get done, you feel guilty for maybe being a burden, or the common excuse that you won’t admit, which is that you just want to have control. These are challenges that are so common during my sessions with clients. You are carrying weight that others can carry for you and this will broaden the space for ongoing abundance. To be honest, the severe consequences that you can face are burn-out, chronic stress, and mental health challenges.
It’s time to prioritize you and your wellness.
You can check out some of the wellness activities that my wellness boutique, CEO Motions is hosting:
What if my colleagues find out that I am not good at my job?, What if I really do not deserve my job in the first place? What if I don’t have what it takes to run a business and I am just acting the part? These are only some of the thoughts that can seep into a person’s head when they are suffering from impostor syndrome.
Imposter Syndrome: collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.
Impostor Syndrome can damage an individual’s mental health, self-esteem, and work performance. This syndrome can affect men and women but has been found to be more common in women. Research has found that impostor syndrome affects individuals from numerous professions such as in business, managers, the medical field, and students.
However, there is hope for anyone who suffers from imposter syndrome. It has been shown through research that therapy can help individuals suffering from impostor syndrome.
Therapy can help you change the narrative of your negative beliefs of yourself
Therapy will help you explore the root of imposter syndrome and examining insecurities
My favorite tool I use as a therapist is to guide my clients while journaling their accomplishments in a meaningful way. Our “Write To Heal” event will cover written expression to help combat mental barriers.
There is no shame in asking for help if you are suffering from imposter syndrome. Also, you are not alone. Famous individuals like actress, Lupita Nyong'o, Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, and Facebook COO, Sherry Sandberg, have all felt as though they were imposters in their fields.
Can you imagine if they decided to allow the imposter syndrome stop their destiny? There are so many people who are battling these insecurities, feel trapped and simply stick with what they know. By ignoring the harmful effects of imposter syndrome, you are saying no to your gifts and possibly being selfish because there is someone out there who can learn from you, needs your help, or is seeking motivation. Therefore, today is the day that your imposter syndrome will no longer have a voice.
Learn how to combat Imposter Syndrome at an event I’m hosting “Writing To Heal.” Get tickets here.