We work hard to nurture and cultivate our relationships with others. We do our best to care for our loved ones feelings. We acknowledge them when they need attention, we encourage them when they are feeling inadequate, we forgive them when they have made a mistake and we hold them when they need to cry. However, we are often unable to make those accommodations for ourselves. Your relationship with you takes work.

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Often it is not our emotions that are holding us back from better mental health, rather it’s our relationship with our emotions and how they affect our behavior that tends to be the culprit. Emotions are natural, normal and a healthy part of being human. They serve a purpose to teach us, protect us and to heal us. It’s when we begin to regard our emotions in a negative way that causes us pain.

This pain often manifests its self as negative thoughts that cause such symptoms as self doubt, self criticism, anxiety, depression, helplessness, shame and guilt and these thoughts in turn affect our behavior. This sort of “conditioning” of our emotions can happen in many ways including trauma, abusive or neglectful relationships, critical parenting and partnerships, or simply existing in a society with little tolerance for the basic elements that make us human – our emotions.

How can therapy help me?

As a therapist, I see it as my role to provide a safe port in the storm of life and ultimately guide people to find that safe port within themselves. Providing a safe space, free from judgment and criticism, is vital to building a healing relationship and creates an environment for people to open up to the changes they want to make.  Helping others learn how to rebuild their relationship with themselves is the foundation to addressing the change in their life they are seeking.

Using a blend of mindfulness based cognitive therapy and psychoeducation helps people connect their mind, body and spirit in a way that teaches them emotional flexibility. This approach increases people’s awareness of what is causing their pain and how their body and mind reacts to that pain and then in partnership with a therapist, work together to change the way they experience that pain. Doing this grants the tools needed to facilitate positive change in day to day interactions and how you experience the world around you.

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Imagine what happens when you put pressure on something ridged…it breaks, even the strongest steel has its breaking point. Now imagine the most flexible, malleable element you can think of, rubber? water? air? What happens when those elements are under pressure? They are better designed to mange that pressure without breaking, they are able to change their form to better accommodate and acclimate to the environment around them. That is what emotional flexibility provides us. It enables us to better acclimate to the weather of life, be it sunny or stormy, the one constant is change. So, just as we do for our loved ones, we must learn to be flexible and kind when caring for ourselves as well.

Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland, Fenton and New Hudson, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.