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Gainesville Community Counseling Center https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com Welcome to the New You Tue, 17 Jan 2023 15:02:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cropped-gcccc-32x32.png Gainesville Community Counseling Center https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com 32 32 194239073 The Benefits of Mindful Play https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2023/01/17/the-benefits-of-mindful-play/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-benefits-of-mindful-play https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2023/01/17/the-benefits-of-mindful-play/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2023 15:02:08 +0000 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=1843 We all know the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” But what if we took that one step further and said, “All work and no play makes Jack a stressed out, anxious wreck of a human being?” That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the point still stands—play is important. And not just for kids, either. Adults need playtime, too. In fact, adults need playtime even more than kids do! Why? Because as we get older, we tend to forget how to play. We get so wrapped up in our jobs and our mortgages and our car payments that we forget how to relax and have fun. But it’s important to remember that play is a crucial part of being human. Play helps us relax, reduces stress, and boosts our moods. Not to mention, it’s just plain old fun!

 

If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t have time to play! I’ve got too much going on,” then you’re exactly the person who needs to make time for play. It may seem counterintuitive, but setting aside some time for mindless fun can actually help you be more productive when you’re working. That’s because play can help reduce stress, increase creativity, and improve your problem-solving skills. So set aside some time each day—even if it’s just 15 minutes—to do something that you enjoy without worrying about whether or not it’s productive. Read a book just for fun. Take your dog for a leisurely walk around the block. Play a game of catch with your kids in the backyard. Just make sure that you’re present in the moment and enjoying yourself. That’s what mindful play is all about.

 

Mindful play is crucial for both children and adults alike. It helps reduce stress, increase creativity, boost moods, and improve overall mental health. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, take some time to engage in some mindless fun. You might just find that it makes you more productive in the long run!

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Grief Comes in Waves https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2023/01/11/grief-comes-in-waves/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=grief-comes-in-waves https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2023/01/11/grief-comes-in-waves/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2023 14:36:21 +0000 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=1841                                                                                   Grief Comes in Waves
By Dexter Rogers
Grief is a natural reaction to loss and can manifest in many forms. Some say it occurs in stages, with grief coming in waves at different levels of intensity. The some of the common early responses may be shock or numbness, which helps to protect the individual from the immediate pain of grief. There also may be patterns of denial and isolation, as well as feelings of guilt, anger, and depression. Eventually, grief can lead to acceptance and resolution. There is no timeline or one-size-fits-all approach to grief, as the individual’s experience will be unique. There may be times when grief is stronger than others and may feel overwhelming and other times when these intense feelings are hardly noticeable. Over time the waves become less intense as the feelings are addressed. It’s important to reach out for help if you need it and give yourself time to work through your grief in whatever way feels right for you. While grief can be difficult, it is also a necessary part of healing after loss. Seeking support from friends, family, and mental health professionals can help you cope with grief in a healthy way. If grief still seems too overwhelming to manage on your own, there is no shame in seeking professional help. Grief is also not only related to death as some may think. People may go through periods of extreme grief after the loss of a relationship or after a life transition for example. With understanding and support, grief can be managed and eventually resolved. Remember that grief doesn’t have to be endured alone. Connecting with others who are going through similar experiences can help you find resolution and acceptance of the loss. You don’t have to go through this process on your own.
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The Impact of Trauma on Relationships https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/26/the-impact-of-trauma-on-relationships/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-impact-of-trauma-on-relationships https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/26/the-impact-of-trauma-on-relationships/#respond Wed, 26 Oct 2022 14:14:38 +0000 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=1807

The Impact of Trauma on Relationships

Trauma can have a profound and lasting impact on our lives, affecting our relationships with others in a variety of ways. Whether it's the death of a loved one, witnessing a violent act, or experiencing something that threatens our safety, trauma can leave us feeling scared, alone, and helpless. In some cases, it can even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

While it's natural to want to protect ourselves from further harm after experiencing trauma, doing so can often have the opposite effect, causing us to isolate ourselves from the very people who could help us heal. If you're struggling to cope with the aftermath of a traumatic event, it's important to seek professional help. Counselors and therapists can provide the support you need to work through your feelings and start rebuilding your life.

How Trauma Can Affect Relationships

The impact of trauma can cause both short-term and long-term changes in our behavior. In the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event, we may find ourselves feeling numb or disconnected from those around us. We may also have trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating. These are all normal reactions to trauma. However, if these symptoms last for more than a few weeks, they could be indicative of PTSD.

PTSD can cause a variety of problems in our personal and professional lives. For instance, we may find ourselves pulled away from our loved ones, unable or unwilling to open up about what happened. We may also start avoiding people or places that remind us of the trauma. In severe cases, we may even develop an unhealthy dependence on alcohol or drugs as a way to self-medicate.

Fortunately, there are treatments available for PTSD that can help us heal and rebuild our lives. With the right help, we can learn to manage our symptoms and develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the pain. We can also begin to repair the damage that has been done to our relationships.

If you're struggling to cope with the aftermath of a traumatic event, know that you're not alone. Many people struggle with the effects of trauma long after the event has ended. However, there is help available. Counselors and therapists can provide the support you need to work through your feelings and start rebuilding your life. With their help, you can begin to heal the wounds of trauma and build healthier relationships with those around you.

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5 Ways to Relieve Stress Before Election Day https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/25/5-ways-to-relieve-stress-before-election-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-ways-to-relieve-stress-before-election-day https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/25/5-ways-to-relieve-stress-before-election-day/#respond Tue, 25 Oct 2022 23:16:19 +0000 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=1804

5 Ways to Relieve Stress Before Election Day

It's no secret that this election season has been a stressful one. With all the negative campaigning, mudslinging, and general anxiety-inducing news coverage, it's no wonder so many people are feeling on edge. If you're struggling to keep your cool as election day approaches, here are five ways to relieve stress and help you get through it.

1. Get out and vote. The best way to relieve stress is to take action and exercise your right to vote. Getting involved in the political process is a great way to feel empowered and make your voice heard. If you don't already know where your polling place is, you can find out here. Make a plan to vote early if you can, or set aside some time on election day so you can avoid the crowds. And don't forget to bring your ID!

2. Spend time with loved ones. This election season has been tough on everyone, so spending time with loved ones is a great way to de-stress. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent to, Lean on your family and friends for support. They'll be more than happy to help you get through this tough time.

3. Take a break from the news. If all the news coverage is just too much for you, take a break! Step away from social media, turn off the TV, and take some time for yourself. Relax and do something you enjoy. You can always catch up on what's happening later when you're feeling more up to it.

4. Get active. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, so go for a run, hit the gym, or take a yoga class. You'll work up a sweat and feel better afterwards. Trust me, it's worth it!

5. Volunteer. One of the best ways to combat stress is by helping others. Find a local campaign or organization working on causes you care about and see how you can help out. Not only will you be making a difference, but you'll also meet likeminded people who are going through the same thing as you. And that's always nice during tough times like these.

No matter who you're voting for or what your views are, we can all agree that this election has been pretty stressful. If you're finding yourself struggling to keep calm before election day, try out one of these five stress-relieving tips! From getting out and voting to taking a break from the news, there's sure to be something that works for you. So take a deep breath and remember that everything will be alright in the end—we just have to make it through this week first!

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The Cycle of Domestic Violence: How Power and Control Keep Victims Trapped https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/25/the-cycle-of-domestic-violence-how-power-and-control-keep-victims-trapped/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-cycle-of-domestic-violence-how-power-and-control-keep-victims-trapped https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/25/the-cycle-of-domestic-violence-how-power-and-control-keep-victims-trapped/#respond Tue, 25 Oct 2022 15:44:20 +0000 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=1801

The Cycle of Domestic Violence: How Power and Control Keep Victims Trapped

Domestic violence is a tragic epidemic that affects millions of people around the world. Though it can happen to anyone, domestic violence is most often perpetrated by men against women. In this blog post, we'll be taking a closer look at the cycle of domestic violence and how it keeps victims trapped in a cycle of fear and abuse.

The Cycle of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence doesn't happen overnight; it happens in a gradual process that can be hard for victims to see until it's too late. This process is known as the "cycle of domestic violence." The cycle has three phases: the tension-building phase, the explosive phase, and the honeymoon phase.

The tension-building phase is when the abuser starts to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. They may take their frustration out on the victim through put-downs, verbal abuse, or controlling behavior. The victim starts to walk on eggshells in an effort to avoid setting off the abuser.

The explosive phase is when the abuser finally snaps and explodes in a violent outburst. This could involve physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse. The victim lives in constant fear during this phase, wondering when the next explosion will happen.

Finally, there's the honeymoon phase. In this phase, the abuser may express remorse for their actions and promise to change. They may buy gifts for the victim or try to make up for their previous behavior in other ways. The victim feels relief during this phase and believes that things will finally get better. However, the honeymoon phase is only temporary; eventually, the tension will start to build again and the cycle will begin anew.

If you're currently in a relationship where you feel like you're walking on eggshells or living in fear of your partner's next outburst, it's important to reach out for help. Remember, you are not alone—millions of people are affected by domestic violence every year. There are many resources available to help you escape an abusive situation and get your life back on track. Don't hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.

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Domestic Violence: The Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/25/domestic-violence-the-warning-signs-of-an-abusive-relationship/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=domestic-violence-the-warning-signs-of-an-abusive-relationship https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/25/domestic-violence-the-warning-signs-of-an-abusive-relationship/#respond Tue, 25 Oct 2022 15:38:39 +0000 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=1797

Domestic Violence: The Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects millions of people every year. If you are in a relationship with someone who is exhibiting any of the following warning signs, it is important to seek help from a trusted friend or family member, or from a domestic violence hotline.

1. Jealousy and Possessiveness: Does your partner get angry when you talk to other people, or when you go out without them? Do they demand to know where you are at all times? Do they try to control who you talk to and what you do? These are all warning signs of jealousy and possessiveness, which can quickly turn into controlling behavior.

2. Isolation: Does your partner try to keep you away from your friends and family? Do they make it difficult for you to go to work or school? Do they insist on knowing your every move? This type of behavior is known as isolation, and it is often one of the first steps an abuser will take in order to gain control over their victim.

3. Verbal abuse: Has your partner ever called you names, put you down, or made you feel like you were less than them in any way? This type of verbal abuse is designed to make you feel bad about yourself so that your partner can have more power and control over you.

4. Physical Abuse: Has your partner ever pushed, shoved, hit, or otherwise physically harmed you in any way? Physical abuse is one of the most obvious signs of domestic violence, but it is important to remember that physical abuse does not always leave visible bruises or scars. If your partner has ever harmed you in any way, it is important to seek help immediately.

5. Financial abuse: Does your partner control all the money in the household? Do they give you an allowance and track how you spend it? Do they prevent you from working or going to school? Financial abuse is a common form of domestic violence, and it can be very difficult to escape from if you don’t have any money of your own.

If you are in a relationship with someone who is exhibiting any of these warning signs, it is important to seek help from a trusted friend or family member, or from a domestic violence hotline. Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are people who can and will help you if you are in an abusive situation.

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The Unique Challenge of Finding Mental Health Assistance as a Hispanic/Latino in America https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/06/the-unique-challenge-of-finding-mental-health-assistance-as-a-hispanic-latino-in-america/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-unique-challenge-of-finding-mental-health-assistance-as-a-hispanic-latino-in-america https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2022/10/06/the-unique-challenge-of-finding-mental-health-assistance-as-a-hispanic-latino-in-america/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2022 19:27:44 +0000 https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=1771 It’s no secret that Hispanics/Latinos in America face a unique set of challenges when it comes to mental health. A combination of cultural barriers, language barriers, and a lack of access to resources can make finding the help you need feel like an insurmountable task. But it doesn’t have to be. There is hope. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the unique challenges Hispanics face when it comes to mental health and offer some tips on how to find the help you need.

Cultural Barriers
Let’s start with cultural barriers. For many Hispanics/Latinos, there is a stigma surrounding mental health and seek assistance. This stigma is often perpetuated by cultural beliefs and values that place emphasis on family, personal strength, and stoicism. As a result, many Hispanics/Latinos suffer in silence rather than reach out for help. Additionally, a lack of understanding about mental illness can make it difficult to even identify when someone is struggling.

Language Barriers
Another challenge Hispanics/Latinos face is language barriers. This can be especially difficult if you don’t speak English fluently or are not comfortable discussing sensitive subjects in English. Thankfully, there are many bilingual mental health resources available that can help bridge the language gap.

Lack of Access to Resources
Finally, another challenge Hispanics/Latinos may face when it comes to mental health is a lack of access to resources. This can be due to a number of factors such as poverty, immigration status, geographic location, etc. Thankfully, there are many organizations and government agencies that offer free or low-cost mental health services specifically for Hispanics/Latinos.

Conclusion:
If you’re Hispanic/Latino and struggling with mental health, know that you are not alone. Many others face similar challenges. But there is hope. Seek out culturally-sensitive mental healthcare providers, look for bilingual resources, and take advantage of free or low-cost services specifically designed for Hispanics/Latinos. You deserve to live a happy, healthy life— don’t give up until you find the help you need.

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Addicted to Love https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2018/02/02/addicted-to-love/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=addicted-to-love https://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/2018/02/02/addicted-to-love/#respond Fri, 02 Feb 2018 19:13:00 +0000 http://gainesvillecounselingcenter.com/?p=668 Singer Robert Palmer released a a song in 1986 which was entitled “Addicted to Love”.  As a 16 year old, this song was regularly on my top 10 list (as it as for most of the country).  If we had cell phones back then (yes, I know … these were ancient times), I’m sure the song would have been on the playlist of every teen in the country.  “Addicted to Love” hits home a challenge that many people face:

Your lights are on, but you’re not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes
You can’t sleep, you can’t eat
There’s no doubt, you’re in deep
Your throat is tight, you can’t breathe
Another kiss is all you need
Ohh oohh

Almost all of us can remember feeling totally enthralled with someone special.  But what happens when we “can’t live without them”?  What happens when our entire life become focused on being with “someone”?  “Jennifer” was a 24 year old female with a history of being in one relationship after another, with very little time between relationships.  She described herself as being very uncomfortable being alone and feeling inadequate/empty if she wasn’t in a relationship.  When she was in a relationship, each one followed a similar pattern.  It began with an initial “high”, followed by a period of fun/excitement, then a period of “neediness”, followed by a period of arguments and then break up.  She indicated she was exhausted from bouncing from relationship to relationship.  She was in tears as she said, “I just want to be loved!”  She told me she felt as if she were addicted to love.

“Jennifer”, like so many others, was “looking for love in all the wrong places” (sorry — I’m on a music kick).  In part, her “addiction to love”,  was more related to her wounded heart.  A wound which began long before this intelligent and talented 24 year old showed up in my office.  It’s a wound which we traced back to her early experiences in life.  What she came to discover was the power that our early forms of attachment have upon our later lives.

What is “attachment”?  It is the bond we feel in emotional relationships.  John Bowlby developed “attachment theory” by studying the interactions between infants and parents, and identified multiple styles of attachment.  He also suggested that attachment behaviors were present “from cradle to grave”, a concept confirmed by later researchers.  “Jennifer’s” addiction to love was part of her pattern of attachment which stemmed from her childhood and guided her adult attachment patterns.  She came to understand that her persistent pattern of “relationship hopping” was directly related to her childhood feelings of never being good enough, never feeling loved/accepted by her parents, and feeling rejected time and time again from the people who should have provided her with safety and comfort.  As she came to learn, that “wounded heart” and her “addiction” could be healed through learning to love herself (think RuPaul — “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?”).

You may know someone like “Jennifer”, or you may be just like “Jennifer”.  If either is true, consider doing the following as a way of beginning to heal your wounded heart:

  1. Step back and take a look at your relationship patterns.  Be honest with yourself – as painful as that may be.
  2. Commit to a period of being in relationship with yourself.
  3. Learn ways to fill your wounded heart with your own love rather than hoping someone else will fill it for you.
  4. Consider how life might be different if you took responsibility for your own happiness.
  5. Learn to appreciate moments of loneliness and to fill it with self-soothing activities.
  6. Connect with a therapist who is familiar with and works with attachment theory.

 

 

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