Balancing your needs, values, and personality when seeking mental health help.

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As a mental health professional, I know that it can be very difficult to reach out for help and sometimes even harder finding the right type of help from the right person. Some of the difficulties in finding help have to do with complications in understanding who does what in the broader world of mental health but other difficulties exist that deal more with finding the “right fit” in a counselor or therapist. …

Stop telling yourself otherwise

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The message we often receive from others (and ourselves), either explicitly or implicitly, is that we should or should not be feeling a certain emotion. If we are feeling sad, we blame ourselves for not feeling more sad for those “who have it worse off than us.” If we are feeling anxious, “it is just all in our head” and we need to “stop freaking out over nothing.” If we are feeling anger, we are “just over reacting to something and just need to calm down.”

We are never allowed to feel and our emotions and…

Who you are is not what you have done

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Who you are is comprised of innumerable moments, passions, values, books read, conversations had, relationships maintained — platonic, romantic, and everything in between — and so much more.

Who You Are Is Not What You Have Done

It is easy to believe and apply the truth that we are not our failures, but we need to be reminded that we are not our successes either. Achievements are great and ought to be celebrated. That diploma, hang it up on the wall! That kickball trophy, display it proudly on the mantle! Your art, let the world see it!

The reminder is not that we shouldn’t take pride in our successes…

It is up to me to chose which it will be

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An Introductory Personal Note

I originally started installing more writing and reading apps on my phone because I was tired of clickbait, ads cluttering an article, and popups hiding their “close” button and having me inevitably wind up on an affiliate site with more cookies on my computer leading to more ads about crap I don’t need. I wanted to spend the (rare) free time I had doing things that would be fulfilling not infuriating.

I would go on, but I am hoping you get the point because I am assuming many people have had the same experiences. Initially, I only had the intention…

The real measure of progress is how far you have come, not how far you have left to go

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How we measure our personal progress will have immediate impacts on our productivity, mental well-being, and our overall drive to be successful. If we measure progress in the wrong way(s), we can quickly become discouraged and disheartened about the areas in which we are trying to succeed. However, when we measure progress correctly we are able to build our self-confidence along the way and not just when we “arrive” to our intended destination.

Understanding progress in a mentally healthy way will allow us to achieve our goals more quickly and more frequently without burning out along the way.

Progress When Measured Against the Future

In a…

What different people do in the broader world of mental health.

Photo taken by author. This is my actual counseling office.

This article grew out of many conversations I have had while working at an inpatient psychiatric hospital and I figured more people probably had questions about what different professionals do in the mental health field.

Under each heading, I have included a brief summary of services to quickly understand who does what and how they can help. Following this, there is a more detailed outline of some of the differences between each profession. Most of these have to deal with differences in licenses and titles and has little to do with actual function. …

Sometimes I am Kondo-ing, Sometimes I am stuffing things in drawers.

I wanted to start this by saying that “today is laundry day” but in reality, laundry day is spread across multiple days.

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  • Day 1: putting clothes in the washer.
  • Day 2: remembering that I started laundry and then forgot to dry the clothes and having to run the wash again because things smelled a little too musty.
  • Day 3: Repeating days 1 and 2 until I finally remember to put the clothing in the dryer.
  • Days 4–7: essentially using the dryer as my dresser. …

Tips for becoming a more compelling communicator

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Communication is key.

Being able to communicate clearly is one of the most important skills for people to learn and maintain. Honing your skills as a writer can vastly increase your ability to communicate with others because it forces you to slow down, process what you are thinking, put it on a page/screen, and examine how the words and arguments flow. This is a luxury when we consider how much we communicate “on the spot” when we are speaking with others or when we hastily type an email or a text message.

Using writing as a tool to practice your…

Sometimes it helps me empathize; Sometimes I just feel like a hypocrite

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“Professional? Masters degrees [plural]? Starting a Ph.D.? Clinical Mental Health Counselor? What the hell do you know? Do you really think you can help people? What do you have to offer?”

These questions are brought to you by “Impostor Syndrome” — the sometimes crippling thought that you are not good enough, smart enough, experienced enough, or just enough at all. While Impostor Syndrome may not be an official diagnosis in any manual or catalog, it impacts many people across many disciplines. Myself included.

The Past

The short version is that I was a moody teenager whose moodiness become overwhelming, developed into actual…

Why Your Writing Always Matters

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The Power of Words

The ability to communicate in written form is unique to humanity and it is one of the cornerstones of modern society. The written word has played a part in abolishing slavery, nations all over the world declaring independence from tyranny and oppression, and setting the standard for human rights for all people. The written word has also been use to express love, sorrow, anger, pain, grief, and so on.

While the bar is set high for what words can do, the written word in particular, this does not mean that all of our goals with…

Alex R. Wendel

Reading and writing about our common human experiences. Look how great my dog looks dressed in flannel.

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