Checking In With Yourself

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

GEDC0984We spend a lot of time checking in with our clients to determine what they need and how best we can assist.  However, sometimes it’s harder to remember to check in with yourself.  It is crucial to our well-being that we pay attention to our own needs.

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Setting Boundaries In The Helping Profession: Part 2

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.513916752_lne6I recently posted part 1 of this topic as I decided to share some information I presented to a small group.  As we continue the discussion, we explore enabling and the benefits of setting boundaries.

Am I an Enabler?

Ask yourself a few questions:

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Setting Boundaries In The Helping Profession: Part 1

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.513916752_lne6In the helping profession, we come across many people whose lives may be unmanageable and need help with getting their life back on track.  We spend countless hours doing case management and therapy and if we are not careful, we can eventually burn out.  Self care is important, and with that comes boundary setting.

I shared some of this information with a small group recently, and decided to share it here.  When we think about boundaries, we should also encourage the discussion of enabling behavior. Here are a few things to think about.

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Give It Time: Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.419748855_eq1sHaving patience can be a real challenge at times.  Whether it’s patience with changes in life, with things that we expect or even with things that we are about to do.  Patience is required with people, places, things and situations.  Most importantly, patience is required in a loving relationship with ourselves.

There is sometimes the tendency to rush ourselves, to rush progress and to rush healing.  However, the time it takes for this progress and healing to take place, we can learn a lot about ourselves.  We can use this time to observe the changes we are going through and how we handle the various situations.

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Spring Growth

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.574449088_2l66One of my favorite times of the year is Spring, simply because of all the new growth and fresh greens around.  It’s a lovely time to be outside and observe everything coming back to life and color after a period of winter.

During this time, I encourage clients to truly reflect on what the change in this season can represent for them, in their life change.  I often encourage them to reflect on areas of their lives that they have grown and made positive changes.

Spring is a great time to explore ways to feel renewed, rejuvenated and refreshed.  Here are a few suggestions for encouraging this transition:

* Journal

* Try something new (new class, new type of food, sightseeing etc.)

* Set daily intentions

* Read positive affirmations

* Reach out to healthy people who can support and encourage you

* Daily reflection

* Explore a healthier diet (more vegetables, drink more water, eat more grains, eliminate alcohol and/or other drugs)

*Believe in yourself

What changes are you planning to make this spring?

Photo credit to DoorDecorMore on Etsy


The Roots Of Shame

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.424191647_36qrWhenever I meet someone and they strongly and positively impact my life, I consider it a blessing and an honor.  In saying that, I considered it to be a great blessing getting to know F. Remy Diedrerich, the author of the book Healing The Hurts Of Your Past and the lead pastor at Cedarbrook Church.

In his book, he identified three roots of shame and I wanted to share this information with you.  I have seen how important it is to be able to talk and process events surrounding shame with clients.  For some, it strongly influenced their addiction and lack of self worth.

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Checklist For Life: Letting Go, Releasing The Grip

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.414052229_5yhvI have always believed that in order for one to be a good leader, being a good follower is important.  I try to encourage clients to seek out their personal strengths and in doing so, find a mentor for the healthy behaviors they would like to either adopt or increase.  Learning from others can be a very powerful tool, if used in a healthy way.

I enjoy reading quotes and tips from the Checklist For Life books as I believe they provide wisdom and helpful strategies, some I use myself and with clients.  I found the topic of “Releasing Your Grip” to be very helpful in learning healthy leadership skills.

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Seeking Safety: Grounding

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

appleWhen working with clients who have been exposed to some form of trauma and also struggling with an addiction, it is very important to have material in group or individual setting that the client can relate to. I found a great resource through a recent training, and wanted to share some of the material on grounding. In her workbook Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual For PTSD and Substance Abuse,   Lisa M Najavits describes grounding as “a set of simple strategies to detach from emotional pain.”  She outlines three ways to practice grounding which I will give a little information on.  I encourage you to explore this resource and utilize the materials appropriately with your clients.  Information about training for the Seeking Safety program is available on the website.

* Mental Grounding

With this style, attention is paid to the environment and use of the senses is helpful (example, what do you see? what can you touch? what do you smell?).  A safety statement is one aspect of this style of grounding.  The client states their name and repeats that they are in the present and safe at this time.  The client is encouraged to bring themselves to focus on the present moment.

* Physical Grounding

Another play on the senses here as the client can touch various objects and describe them in detail.  Movement is encouraged (slow waling, jumping up and down) and a focus is placed on the breath.  Clients can also eat something (like a fruit, vegetable etc) and describe in detail what they eat.  The client can be encouraged to also take a small object with them at all times to turn to at the moment of an overwhelming emotion.

* Soothing Grounding

Saying and thinking kind things can be very helpful in this type of grounding.  The client is encouraged to think about people and words that are meaningful in a positive way and encouraged to think of a safe place.  Clients can think about things that they look forward to or what a safe treat would be.

Have you ever utilized grounding techniques before in session or in your personal life?  What was the experience like?

Apple image available from Shutterstock.



Searching For Balance: A Mind-Body Connection

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.164654285I have been reading Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Dr. Rick Hanson and he shares some very interesting and important points that I want to pass on to you.

* When you change your brain, you change your life.

* Only humans worry about the future, regret the past, and blame ourselves for the present.  We get frustrated when we can’t have what we want, and disappointed when what we like ends.

* To make any problem better, you need to understand its causes.

* Compassion for yourself helps reduce your suffering.

* Find refuge in whatever is a sanctuary and refueling station for you.  Potential refuges include people, activities, places, and tangible things like reason, a sense of your innermost being, or truth.

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New Year Wishes

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC

il_570xN.511826807_jrraI want to take time out to wish you all a very happy and successful 2014.  I hope that the new year brings with it all the healthy things you desire for your life.  Take this time to reflect on the past year and set goals and intentions for the new year ahead.  What a great time to create new experiences!  I also wanted to say thank you for reading and supporting this blog in the past year.

I have been thinking a lot about having a mantra for 2014, and I have decided to return to a meaningful mantra I identified with a few years ago.  It is one word that is simple but has within it, many meanings in my life.  It is simply: Breathe.

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Recent Comments
  • Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC: Thanks for sharing that Laurie!
  • Laurie: I am in favor of setting healthy boundaries. I also opt to be a caring and nurturing person whenever possible...
  • Vixs66: I agree with all of these, it would also help if those who are “carrying” around shame...
  • Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC: Thank you for sharing! Grounding can be so helpful and a great way to maintain a...
  • goingtothedogs: I have used grounding in sessions. Focus on my breathing, then focus on my physical sensations and...
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