Category Archives: Blog

Cultivating An Attitude Of Gratitude | Adult Counseling In Metro Detroit, MI

become grateful

Gratitude is a positive personality trait that some people have naturally.  It has been shown to be one of the personality traits the people that are the most content with their lives have.  The good news for those people that do not have it naturally is that it can be learned. Listed below are some helpful and effective ways to become more grateful.

Keep A Gratitude Journal

Increasing our propensity for gratitude is one of the easiest things to do to change our level of happiness.  One way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal.  Keeping a gratitude journal consists of writing down nightly the three to five things that you were grateful for that day. It is best if the things are unique to that day and were unexpected.  There are several reasons that this is helpful.  Knowing that you are going to have to write down positive things that happened to you helps you to focus on the positive.  It will help you enjoy small things that happen in your day that make you smile because you will try to keep it in your memory to write it down later.  Then at the end of the day when you remember it later you will enjoy those same good feelings.  If you hear your favorite song on the radio, or run into an old friend, that memory will cause the chemicals in your brain to change and creates a positive mood.

Do Not Define A “Bad Day” By One Negative Experience

Often people who are unhappy see their day as being all bad or all good.  This is called Black and White Thinking.  So if one bad thing happens in the day, the day is bad.  Since most days are mixed with good and bad, for these people most of their days appear to be bad.  A change in perspective by noticing and acknowledging the good things that happen during the day help these people see that good things are happening too.  The change in focus leads to a change in perception.

Acknowledge The Positive Amidst The Negative

What if there are some difficult things that are happening in your life, like a job loss or a cancer diagnosis?  How do you focus on the positive things that are going on and can they help you?

Recognizing the positive things can definitely help you.  We often move, learn and grow in times of difficulty.  A job loss leads to a new job or career opportunity that you wouldn’t have had if you weren’t unemployed.  A cancer diagnosis taught you to have better balance in your life, make time for the important things, not to sweat the small stuff, increased your faith, helped you to understand how many friends you had and how much you are loved.  In difficult times there are things to be thankful for and acknowledging those things will help you get through the hard times.  Acknowledging the opportunity to grow and learn can also help you get through those times of difficulty.

Practicing gratitude in good times helps you to continue to be grateful during difficult times.  The ritual of doing a gratitude journal everyday no matter how the day has turned out helps you stay focused on the positive.

How Parents Can Prevent Teen Suicide | Suicide Prevention Michigan

teen suicide

Suicide is the second most common cause of death among teenagers and young adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nearly 18% of teenagers have seriously considered taking their own lives, and 8.6% have attempted to at least once. In an era of physical bullying and cyber bullying, parents constantly worry about the safety of their child’s mental health. If you are a parent concerned about teen suicide, the tips below explain how to talk to your child about depression and suicide.

Make Communication A Habit

Your teenager may not always want to talk to you, especially when something is wrong. That doesn’t mean you should stop talking altogether though. The goal is to create a habit of communication, meaning that your child feels so comfortable talking to you that it’s just part of the routine. The conversations don’t have to be extensive – a quick review of what went on during the day and what the plans are for the week. Do this every night at dinner or in the mornings while you get ready for work/school. Show your teen that the line of communication is always open, and he or she will be more likely to use it in a time of need.

Expose Your Strength And Vulnerability

It’s amazing how effective leading by example is. Your teen may fight every day to not be like you, but in the end, your example will rub off. Use this as an opportunity to teach your child how to process different types of emotions. If you need to grieve, grieve with your child. If you feel stressed and depressed, talk to your child about that in a healthy manner. Do not vent to your child, but rather let them know that it’s OK to feel helpless at times.

Follow-up these moments of vulnerability with moments of strength. Show your child how you plan to overcome a negative situation. This is where the real learning begins. It’s natural to feel sad, but you cannot let that sadness control your life. If you personally need help with depression, work with a depression counselor to get through your current obstacles. Talk to your child about the progress you are making in counseling so he or she knows that there is strength in getting help. When your child sees consistent examples of how to handle tough situations and emotions, he or she will be better equipped to fight teen depression.

Talk About Uncharacteristic Behaviors In A Supportive Way

Has your teen been acting a little “off” lately? The excessive moodiness and emotional outbursts may be a sign of something much bigger below the surface. You do not have to condone this behavior, but you should not immediately disregard it. Consider the root cause of the behavior adjustments, and talk to your child about them in a positive, supportive manner. Perhaps your teen’s best friend moved out of state, or maybe there was a recent death in the family. These situations are tough for a teenager to get through, but he or she will progress easier with your support.

Listen – Truly Listen

All your teen wants to know is that his or her emotions are valid. If your child decides to open up about an important issue, truly listen to what is going on. Put your phone away, turn the TV off, and provide your full, undivided attention. Breaking up with a two-week boyfriend may not seem like an issue to you, but to your teenage daughter, that could feel like the biggest tragedy she’s ever faced. If it matters to your child, it should matter to you. Discuss ways to overcome this situation together, and your teen will know you are on his or her side.

For more information about preventing teen suicide, contact our depression counselors in Michigan. You may also reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time. They have free resources to help teens and adults alike. Help is always available.

Why It’s OK To Go To Bed Angry | Michigan Couples Counseling

go bed angry

From an early age, most of us are taught not to go to bed angry. Every problem has to be resolved before bed, or it will mysteriously get ten times worse by morning. While there is merit to timely conflict resolution, sometimes it’s better to go to bed angry. Here are some couples counseling tips to help you decide when.

A Problem Now May Not Be A Problem Tomorrow

There is a strong chance that you will wake up in the morning not even thinking about the previous night’s discussion. A small conflict that is not worth fighting over will be forgotten after a night of rest. If you are still upset in the morning, then you know you feel strongly about the issue. You can re-start the discussion with a fresh perspective and clear frame of mind, which will ultimately provide a better resolution.

This piggy-backs on the idea of “leave it to Sunday.” In that setup, a couple will make note of any arguments they had during the week and discuss them all on Sunday (or another designated day). Some of the arguments from earlier in the week may seem silly or pointless by Sunday. Those can be pushed aside. This does not work for all couples counseling scenarios, but it does work for some.

Going To Bed Can Stop The Argument’s Progression

Most big arguments are compilations of miniature arguments. They build up until neither participant remembers the original source of the conflict. Have you ever felt caught in a circular argument? Everything you say makes the situation worse, and everything you hear only hurts more. If you agree to pause for the night, you can prevent this escalation from occurring. As long as you both approach the re-discussion with an open mind, you should come to a resolution.

There Isn’t Always A Resolution

Believe it or not, you don’t have to have “closure” in every argument. There are times when you simply agree to disagree. You should not do this throughout your marriage, but you should learn when a topic is worth fighting over. Prioritize your frustration. Is this a make or break moment? Will you even remember this argument next week? If you can let go of frivolous emotions, you can focus on the important elements of your relationship.

This Is An Argument Best Resolved In Couples Counseling

Your partner isn’t listening to you, and you can’t understand his or her perspective. That sounds like an argument best resolved in couples counseling. If you already have a couples counselor, write down the topic at hand and discuss both sides during your next argument. Your counselor will provide an unbiased view, and he or she will help you come to a resolution.

If you are not in couples counseling at this time, there is no better time to start. Our couples counseling programs in Michigan are designed for every stage of your relationship, from premarital counseling to divorce prevention and more. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to schedule an appointment with a specialist, and we will help you strengthen your relationship for the future.

Avoid These 5 Mistakes During Depression Treatment | MI Depression Therapy

depression treatment

You’ve decided to start depression therapy. Great! This is the first step in a wonderful journey, and we want to make sure you make the most of it. Here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we have seen a number of patients get frustrated about their progress based on easy-to-avoid mistakes. Keep these scenarios in mind as you move through depression treatment and you can experience great changes to come.

Wanting A Pill To “Fix” You

Medication can help some symptoms of depression, but you shouldn’t rely on it as a be all/end all cure. You still need to commit to self-improvement, whether that means journaling your thoughts, rebuilding your social group, or tackling the cause of your depression. Your therapist will give you tips and techniques to use to improve your symptoms. If you want the best results from your treatment program, you need to put those into action.

Putting Life On Pause Until You Feel Better

Life cannot stop because you are depressed – no matter how much you want it to or how overwhelming each day may feel. Tackle each day as a set of miniature days: morning, lunch, afternoon, dinner, quiet time, bed. Even if you’re just going through the motions, your body will get used to a “normal” routine. This will make you feel more productive and naturally boost your confidence about your depression treatment. In time, you will find that each task gets easier to accomplish.

Basing Your Progress On Your Sleeping Habits

Difficulty sleeping is a common depression symptom, and a lack of sleep only makes depression worse. Unfortunately, sleep is one of the last areas where people experience an improvement. As you gain control of your depression, you will start sleeping better. You cannot wait for the sleep to come to start conquering your depression, and you cannot blame slow progress solely on a lack of sleep. Your depression therapist will help you work on other elements of your depression so you can start resting better at night.

Focusing On Problems, Not Solutions

There is a solution for every problem, even if it is not an ideal one. A great way to ease your depression symptoms is to come up with solutions for daily frustrations. For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your bedroom, tackle one section of it a day. You don’t have to clean the whole room. Spend 15 minutes working on one corner. Work on another corner the next day, and your room will be clean by the end of the week. If you implement organizational strategies while you clean, your room will stay clean for much longer.

Thinking Treatment Stops After Your Therapy Session

Depression treatment doesn’t end at the end of your therapy session. The work you do at home will be far more effective at easing your depression. Think of your therapist as a guide pointing you in the right direction. He or she will explain exactly what you need to do to see improvement, but you have to take the steps. If you commit to your treatment wholeheartedly, you can get to a better place in life. Our counselors are here to assist you through every milestone.

Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan to learn more about our depression treatment programs.

Why Isn’t My Therapy Working? Counseling Centers In Michigan

why isnt therapy working

Do you feel like you aren’t getting enough out of your therapy program? There are several reasons why this may happen, and some of them are beyond your control. At our counseling centers in Michigan, we strive to ensure that every patient experiences a positive change as a result of their therapy, regardless of their reasons for visiting us. Here are some answers as to why your therapy may not be working and what you can do to improve your progress.

Therapy Only Works If You Want It To

Take a moment to think about how dedicated you actually are to your therapy program. Are you following the advice of your therapist, or are you just going through the motions? In order for therapy to work, you have to be 100% committed to the progress. For example, if you’re asked to write in a journal, you have to physically write down your thoughts – not just store them in your mind. This may seem silly and excessive, but it is a vital part of the process.

Some patients will refuse to follow their therapist’s advice as a way to subconsciously sabotage their success. In other words, they do not feel worthy of change or they do not desire change, so they prevent themselves from taking full advantage of therapy. Consider how much effort you have put into your recovery and see if that is the source of your frustration.

Results Don’t Happen Overnight

Think about how long it took you to get where you are. Years of addiction, abuse, self-deprivation, or living in a toxic relationship led to your current condition. You cannot reverse those effects overnight. On average, it takes at least one month to recover from every year of negative experience. If you were in an abusive relationship for 6 years, it may take 6 months or more to change your negative thought patterns and restore your self-confidence.

When you begin therapy, ask your therapist how long you should expect to start seeing results. This varies drastically from one patient to the next, but it will give you realistic expectations for your recovery program. Follow your therapy plan with patience and diligence, and your results will occur in due time.

You May Have Been Misdiagnosed

We don’t like to jump to the conclusion that a patient has been misdiagnosed, but it is a possibility. This is especially true if you never went through a formal psychological evaluation, which would have given the most accurate diagnosis for your symptoms. If you have been misdiagnosed, you may be in the wrong type of therapy program. Talk to your counselor about this possibility, and consider getting a psychological test to identify the underlying concern.

Ask Your Therapist For Suggestions

Your therapist has direct insight into your success or lack thereof. If anyone can pinpoint why your therapy isn’t working, it’s your counselor. Ask your therapist if there is anything you can do to improve your recovery, like joining a support group or reading books that supplement your therapy sessions. If you do not believe the current treatment plan is working, ask when the best time would be to try another option. Should you wait for a little while or make the switch right away?

At Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we have counselors and therapists in a wide variety of specialties. We will match you with the best professional for your unique needs so you can get the most effective help possible right from the start. Contact the counseling center nearest to you to learn more.

5 New Year’s Resolutions For Eating Disorder Recovery In Michigan

eating disorder recovery

Eating disorders affect at least 30 million Americans each year, not including the family members and friends who see the impact of the disorder. Whether you’ve already begun eating disorder treatment or you plan to start in the new year, there are steps you can take to improve your health right away. Listed below are five New Year’s resolutions to propel your eating disorder recovery in 2018.

Start Today, Not Tomorrow

This applies to any resolution you set for yourself. Do not limit your fresh start to a specific day or time. That will create a cycle of excuses that will ultimately prevent you from making any progress. If it’s already mid-January and you still haven’t started, no worries. Start NOW. The only way you can truly move forward is if you take your first step.

Set Measurable Goals For Yourself

We like to help our clients quantify their eating disorder treatment goals. Instead of a vague statement like “I want to improve my anorexia,” we ask that they create a measurable goal to achieve: “I want to eat one extra meal a day.” Those measurements will force you to hold yourself accountable, and they will help you see when you’ve made progress. Once you reach a goal, you can set a new one that leads to your long-term goal. Your eating disorder therapist will help you every step of the way.

Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

New Year’s resolutions often focus on flaws, but they should also tap into the positive side of life. This year, make it your goal to acknowledge your accomplishments and celebrate small achievements. Rather than looking at where you want to be, look at how far you’ve come. This will boost your self esteem and give you the confidence to reach your next goals.

Improve Your Lifestyle, Not Your Weight

People with eating disorders typically focus on their weight. That is what sparks the eating disorder in the first place – the desire to be a different size or shape. When you set your New Year’s resolutions, think about lifestyle improvements for your eating disorder recovery. You may ignore scales and mirrors altogether for the first few months so you can devote your full attention to forming healthy habits. Consider your life as a whole, not just your physical form.

Build Your Support System

Having a strong support system will do wonders for your eating disorder recovery. Consider which friends and family members you can count on to during this journey, and distance yourself from toxic people who fuel your eating disorder. For example, if you have a friend who constantly puts you down for your appearance, that person will not help your eating disorder treatment. Turn to your counselor and people who want to support you and use their strength to ignite your own.

For more information about eating disorder recovery in Michigan, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers.

How To Set Achievable New Year’s Resolutions – Michigan Counseling Centers

New Year Resolutions

January 1: the day all your New Year’s resolutions go into effect. You wake up early, head to the gym, brush your teeth, eat healthy food, and come home for a great night of sleep. Fast forward a week later and you’re back to your fast food, late night routine. Approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them. The trick is setting the right resolutions so you’re more likely to make positive changes in your life.

Here are some tips for setting realistic and achievable New Year’s resolutions, courtesy of our Michigan counseling centers.

Quantify Each Resolution (Be Specific)

Generic resolutions lead to generic results. If you quantify your resolutions (assign measurable numbers to them), you are more likely to achieve your goals. For instance, instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” say “I want to lose 5 pounds a month and 50 pounds by the end of the year.” Then you can structure a plan to reach those numbers.

Create Short Term Milestones For Long Term Resolutions

If you only look at the big picture, you may feel overwhelmed with how to achieve it. It’s important to set “mini goals” for yourself that add up to your big goals. The statement above about losing weight is a prime example. Five pounds a month translates to roughly one pound a week, so you can weigh yourself once a week to see if you are on track. If you maintain each of those weekly goals, you will automatically achieve your long-term resolution.

Note that having these miniature goals also gives you a chance for miniature accomplishments. If you can see progress happening, you will feel motivated to keep it up. If you choose to save $100 a week, you will quickly see your savings account build up. Every deposit will make your account grow, and you will feel proud each and every week. This is the start of true success.

Focus On Lifestyle Improvements, Not Just The Numbers

While it is important to set measurable goals, it’s even more important to make positive lifestyle changes. In other words, you need to develop habits that will help your life as a whole. Perhaps instead of setting a weight loss goal, you can set a dietary or exercise goal: “I will only eat out once a week.” “I will go to the gym three times a week for 45 minutes a day.” There are still numbers involved, but the changes themselves are geared toward your life as a whole.

Encourage Yourself – Be Critical With Kindness

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your flaws and trying to improve them. However, you should not let criticism get in the way of your success. Keep a positive attitude and take pride in your accomplishments. If you make a mistake, that’s OK. Hold yourself accountable, assess what went wrong, and find a way to prevent a similar mistake in the future.

The road to the “new you” is not a straight line. It may not even fit on the map from time to time. With consistent motivation and realistic expectations though, you can see positive transformations in the new year.

Dealing With Sexual Harassment At Work (Part 2) | Depression Treatment Michigan

Sexual harassment at work

In Part 1 of our guide, we discussed the steps to take after experiencing sexual harassment at work. In this section, we will focus on the emotional side effects of sexual harassment, such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and more. Learn how to overcome these obstacles with the help of depression treatment so you can continue your career success.

Report The Sexual Harassment To Your Employer

If you have not done so already, report the sexual harassment to your employer. This may result in the other employee’s termination or relocation. If so, that is one less trigger for you to face each day. If you do not report the event, you will constantly be reminded of what happened, or you may be subject to more sexual harassment in the future.

Talk To A Counselor About The Experience

Sexual harassment can affect your ability to think, concentrate and perform at work. The sooner you talk to someone about the experience, the faster you will overcome those feelings. Your workplace may provide sexual harassment recovery services, or you may need to seek them out on your own. At Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we have several depression counselors on staff who specialize in sexual harassment. We will match you with the best counselor for needs so you can get effective treatment.

Take Personal Days As Needed

You may not be able to jump back into work right away. This will depend on how significant the sexual harassment was. Once you talk to your employer about the incident, you can discuss taking a few days off work. This will give you time to process your emotions, talk to a professional, and find some form of closure.

Know What To Expect

Sexual harassment can be a traumatic experience. You may find yourself in a sea of emotions, including:

  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-blame or self-doubt
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Stress
  • Sudden shifts in emotions (crying without any noticeable cause)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty eating
  • Social isolation
  • Uncharacteristic behaviors

You can work through all of these emotions and feelings during your depression treatment. Your counselor will help you understand why you are feeling this way, and you can learn effective techniques to overcome each emotion. More importantly, you can rebuild your self-esteem so you can approach your work with confidence.

Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers today to schedule an appointment with a depression counselor in Michigan.

 

Dealing With Sexual Harassment At Work (Part 1) | Depression Treatment Michigan

sexual harassment

Did you know that up to 70% of women and 45% of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work? This is an unfortunate situation that can have drastic negative consequences, but the fact is that it happens. If you are exposed to sexual harassment in the future, the tips below will help you get through the experience and the depression that comes with it. Here are some solutions for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace.

Types Of Sexual Harassment

Some people don’t “deal with” sexual harassment because they simply do not know they are being harassed. There are several forms of sexual harassment, and they aren’t always as blatant as touching a person inappropriately. Sexual harassment may include:

  • Degrading comments in relation to a person’s gender (“you can’t do that because you’re a woman”/”come on, be a man about this!”)
  • Excessive flirtation, especially after the recipient has told the flirter to stop
  • Sexual invitations
  • Asking a person for sex in exchange for a task or other reward (“I’ll give you the report if you do this for me…”)
  • Forceful touching, grabbing, or pressing up against someone
  • Using the denial of sex as a form of punishment (turn down someone’s sexual advances and receive a negative performance evaluation shortly afterward)
  • Making inappropriate comments about a person’s appearance
  • Spreading false rumors in the workplace or on social media about a person’s sexual activities

It’s important to note that sexual harassment can happen to both men and women, even though women are the most recognized victims. A woman can be just as persuasive, persistent and inconsiderate as a man can be, and the effects of those actions can be just as damaging. Sexual harassment can also happen between members of the same sex, regardless of each person’s sexual orientation.

What To Do When You Experience Sexual Harassment At Work

If you experience sexual harassment at work, you need to end it as quickly as possible. However, there is a right and wrong way to go about this. Follow these steps:

  1. Deny the person’s advances. In order for conduct to truly be considered “harassment,” you must make it clear that the actions are not welcome. Acknowledge the person’s advances with a firm “No, I am not interested” and avoid all forms of flirtation to follow. You do not want to give off the impression that you are reciprocating the feelings.
  2. Write down a clear account of the events as soon as they happen. This will act as documentation when you present the issue to your employer, and it will ensure that you include every detail. If you want an accurate timestamp of the events, you could send yourself a text or email.
  3. Make a report to your employer. Every workplace has its own protocol for how to handle sexual harassment. You may need to report it to your manager, the business owner, or the human resources department. If the harasser works in one of those positions, you will need to make a report to someone above his or her ranking.
  4. Keep track of your performance records. Once you accuse the person of harassment, they may seek vengeance. This should not scare you from making a report! Keep copies of your performance records and other work-related documents to use as proof if your work comes into question.
  5. Talk to potential witnesses. If you know of anyone who witnessed the sexual harassment, talk to them about what happened and see if they will testify on your behalf. You may also look for people who have been victims of the same harasser as they could become character witnesses in your case (either a formal trial or a complaint within the company).
  6. Talk to a depression counselor about your experience. You may not realize how much the sexual harassment impacts your life until you start talking to someone about it. Speak with a depression counselor about the incident and learn effective ways to work through your emotions. The specialists at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers would be happy to assist you.

Continue to Part 2 of this guide to learn how to handle the emotional side effects of sexual harassment.

Reduce Family Fights During The Holidays | Family Counseling In MI

family fights

The holidays are a time of joy and laughter, but they can also be a source of stress and tension among family members. Some folks may naturally not get along with one another, and others may lash out due to the pressure of the get together. To preserve the happiness of the holidays, use these tips for reducing family fights.

Divide The Responsibilities

Putting together a holiday meal is a lot of work and financial expense, especially if you have a big family. Rather than leaving that up to one person, divide the responsibilities among several family members. Of course, these need to be people who can be trusted with the responsibilities. Otherwise there will be stress from not having enough to drink, eat, serve food with, etc.

An easy way to split responsibilities among family members is to have the hosting family provide the main course (turkey, ham, etc.) and then have everyone else bring side dishes, drinks and desserts. Establish which people will be bringing each food group so you do not end up with eight side dishes and only one dessert. If anyone wants to provide extra food beyond their requested dishes, they can do so on their own volition.

Avoid High-Stress Topics

If there is a certain topic that tends to create arguments year after year, try to eliminate that from the evening. Example: Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Joe have completely different political views. If everyone agrees to keep politics out of holiday conversations, you’re less likely to have an argument develop. If the topic still comes up during the night, try to distract from it with a new subject as quickly as possible.

Create A Fun-Filled Itinerary

It’s hard to argue when everyone is having fun. Plan some games to play as a family that will keep everyone laughing and entertained. There are tons of ideas online for easy games you don’t need any special tools for. You could agree to play Dirty Santa (White Elephant) instead of buying individual gifts for everyone. This will save you money and give you an actual game to play together.

Focus On The Positives

Something will most likely go wrong at some point in the night. That doesn’t mean the holiday event is a complete failure. Focus on the positive elements of the evening. Compliment family members who are normally treated poorly during the holidays. Thank everyone who helps with the preparations, even if they only help in a small way. Your positive attitude will spread to those around you, and you can cherish special moments with family and friends.