Counseling can be stressful before its helpful. It’s an entirely new relationship with unknowns that require disclosing inner-most thoughts and feelings to a stranger. Knowing what to talk about or ask is not always clear beyond symptoms. There’s a lot that can be said in an hour and getting the most from counseling requires a bit more than showing up and discussing a diagnosis.
In this workbook you'll find tools to empower you and stay on track throughout your therapeutic journey including how to establish safe communication and what to do when counseling is not working. Additionally, rather than signing off on whatever the counselor recommends or puts in their notes, this book helps you capture important information in your own words about what resonates with you.
You'll find sections to explore everything from your personal history to current events as well as:
- Worksheets and exercises for personal inventory and discovery
- Prompts for self-care, stress, time management, and coping
- Resources and tools for self-awareness and understanding
- Reflection exercises and evaluation tools
- Quick ways to secure important information after sessions
- Easy prompts for reflection to prepare for the next meeting
- Note sections to capture questions and concerns
- Counselor check-ins
- Tracking tools for health history, goals, and progress
- Journaling sections for thoughts, feelings, and experiences
- Quotes to challenge and motivate you
Why do you think or feel the way you do? Are you frustrated with some areas of your life? Tried online information, the trends, friend advice, maybe even counseling only to end up conflicted by the mass hype of mental health buzz?
The solutions may be closer than think and this book is designed to help you make those discoveries towards real substantive change in just one year, starting with your mind – what have you been thinking?!", more specifically “how” have you been thinking?!
You'll find a range of foundational psychological cognitive, emotive, and physical processes that tend to get lost in the hype. For example, metacognition can be a luxury we don’t afford ourselves or something we believe we’re doing by avoiding “overthinking” or using "reframe" techniques. However, being aware of and understanding the impact of what and how we think has depth and utility beyond the prepackaged CBT model. It’s about how we make sense of things on a day-to-day basis to make predictions to feel in control and safe as well as adapt and sustain through life's curveballs.
The book also provides daily opportunity to take a few minutes and reflect on your “thinking” and how it is working for you or against you through a journaling model. Metacognition doesn’t have to be complicated but it does require time and intentional attention. It’s easy to think of your thoughts as your own, but often that is not the case. Research has shown that it can take less than four seconds to adopt something into a cognitive structure and favor it even when we know nothing about it. In the same way, with chronic exposure, adaptation can kick in and force you to dismiss relevant information. The worst part of that can be how the brain tends to favor paths of least resistance resulting in a hamster wheel effect. One that bullies, controls, and undermines your resilience.
If you are looking to investigate what is happening in your mind and interested in foundational mind-remodeling, this will give you the edge you are looking for. The most common topics addressed in counseling are covered including monthly segments about stressors, strengths, boundaries, motivation, relationships, and more. There are journaling tasks and prompts provided along with toolkits for strategies to fundamentally challenge thoughts, feelings, and actions to meet your goals. These are organized to help you feel empowered and:
- Engage and reflect in deeper ad functional meaning-making of daily life experiences.
- Gain personal insight for achieving greater life satisfaction and balance.
- Make psychological research work for and with you, not compare or speak against you.
- Find authenticity in your inner voice.
- Transcend bias to experience yourself outside your family- and friend-lens; how they see you or who they need you to be.
- Access knowledge in your psyche that may be concealed by everyday stress and busy-ness.
- Remember what works and use it even during times of stress and distress.
- Be more strategic than reactive.
- Develop consistency in effort of thought and action. You’re probably already doing things “right” but need a way to capture the process, know your indicators, and how to activate change.
- Find ways to override your defaults and go-to’s.
- Think about what is helpful rather than hurtful.
At the start of a new year, it can be a coin toss whether to see it as an opportunity or dread more of the same. Believing change is possible can seem impossible. It may even be that taking the turn into a new year holds little meaning to you. Perhaps you’ve made resolutions before or have goals that are no closer now than they were five years ago. There is good news! It doesn’t have to be complicated.
In this book the author takes you on a journey through part of her inner dialogue crossing difficult and stagnant times to impact change in her life. She shares common words and sayings that made a difference for her personally and professionally.
Her underlying message is simple: never discount the power of words, especially the ones you use with yourself. If you think you’ve seen these and know what they mean, it’s time to look again. With 52 weeks in a year, whether it’s January or July, this book challenges you to try something new each week. If you’re tired of the endless “programs”, mental hype, and psychobabble, and you’re ready to do something real, then you don’t want to miss this. Why not chart a new course, one week at a time. This book can show you how.
A word of caution: this book is intended to challenge status quo and motivate change by examples of someone else's struggles and successes with internal thoughts and conversations. It's a fairly "heavy read" and may require interpersonal reflection skills and unconditional positive regard, for self and others. It may not be suitable for everyone.
"Be careful how you judge for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Although some are better at hiding it than others, it's not our job to know. It's our job to lessen burdens, to support, and encourage without discrimination. Rather than reflect insecurity and criticism, choose to be kind in your mind".