The Benefits of Telemental Health

This season has found many of us utilizing the virtual world in order to maintain the rhythms of normalcy as much as possible. From company meetings to church services, this pathway has proven to be quite beneficial, providing a lifeline for the economy and connection.  But we may also find ourselves disconnected from services that we may truly need, like mental health care. 

As much as we are all working to maintain a sense of normalcy, we may also be experiencing thoughts that increase feelings that are making maintaining normalcy difficult to achieve. The growing number of job losses and the number of us finding ourselves struggling to meet basic needs are making it clear that mental health services are needed now more than ever. It may seem that seeking those services is not a viable option at this time. At Aubrey Counseling, we want you to know getting the services you need IS a viable option through the virtual pathway and telemental health.  Telemental health affords benefits that are available to you now, all from the safety and comfort of your own home. 

Choosing telemental health services offers:

  • Choices: Participating in telemental health allows clients more choices in who you would like to work with.
  • Time / Cost Savings: Clients not only have more options of providers you can choose, you can do so without worry of travel time, cost, and waiting which makes scheduling more convenient. 
  • Consistency: Telemental health fits into a busy schedule with ease. This helps ensure less cancellations and more consistency, which makes telemental health services just as effective as in person therapy.
  • Psychological comfort: One of the greatest barriers to seeking help is the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses. Telemental health allows individuals to receive needed services in the privacy of their own home.

At Aubrey Counseling, we are proud to offer this telemental health services. Please feel free to contact us for more information. We would love to know how we can hold virtual space for you. 

The Rings of Your Story

I love trees, especially in the hot TX summers. Mature, strong trees provide shade to cool off, strong limbs for fun & imagination, & a strong trunk for a great resting place. While much of nature takes advantage of what is seen, there is a story in that tree that we can’t see.  If you were to cut down a tree & look straight down on the stump, you would find one ring surrounding another & another & another. It is in these rings where the story of the tree is found.

Studying Tree Rings

Dendrochronolgists study tree rings with specific & scientific techniques for a number of reasons to understand:

  • The past of the tree
  • How the tree’s current environment is affecting the tree
  • The future environment in order to develop positive change

These scientists get to know the tree. How old is it? What trauma has it experienced? What is going on around this tree now that is playing a part in its growth & it’s life? What can the future of this tree look like? However, dendrochronology is more complicated than just counting rings. Dendrochronologists know how to spot things such as false rings, which actually have a different cellular makeup than true rings & fool the novice into thinking the tree is older than it actually is. They can see if a tree experienced a dry season or a rainy season, as well as any scarring from trauma like fire or lightning. All of these things reveal the story of the tree.

What Would Your Rings Show?

Humans have rings as well. You can’t cut us in half and see them, but they are there & they tell our story. Each year, we have 365 days to make a full circle before we move on to the next year. And within those 365 days, marks are made. False rings may reveal a time when we tried to be someone we weren’t made to be. Some rings may bear witness to a dry season while others may reveal a season of abundance. Still others may reveal the scars of trauma and pain that we try to forget.

I drew my rings one time, one circle for each year. I saw a visual representation of my story thus far: the good, the bad, & the ugly. When I finished & considered this piece of art before me, I saw things I continued to carry that made me weak, as well as how some experiences were necessary to become who I am. It also prompted me to take steps to move towards positive change.

Need some help dealing with your rings? Amy is holding space for you both online in office. Contact her today at 214-980-2079 or amy@aubreycounseling.com

Amy Glover, LPC Intern Supervised by Sharon Beam LPCS

Compassion, a COVID-19 Common Grace

It is a strange time in our world. We are having real life experiences that, up until now, we’ve only seen in movies and TV. Our interactions are as limited as the Charmin, jobs as unstable as The Tiger King, and the news as unpredictable as the TX weather. In the words of the great Bob Dylan, “the times, they are – a – changin’”. 

With these unprecedented changes, it’s almost certain we have all been experiencing the ups and downs of emotions and the ping ponging of our thoughts. But as humans, we have been created with magnificent complexities, abilities, and adaptations that allow us to adjust to crisis situations. Sometimes we cope really well and sometimes not so well. The spectrum of the way this experience is affecting is great.  But have all been given what I call common graces that we can both experience and extend. One of those common graces is that of compassion and is something we have the capability to experience and extend no matter how we are being affected by the uncontrollable. 

Here are some ways for you to experience this common grace: 

Practice acts of kindness. Some examples may include:

  • Hand write a letter of encouragement to a friend / family member.
  • Put together a quarantine survival pack (i.e., bag of microwave popcorn, chocolate, inspirational bible verse or message in a ziploc bag) and put them in your neighbors mailboxes.
  • Make a care package for those who care for you; mail carrier, delivery driver, grocery worker. You can include a face mask and small bottle of hand sanitizer with a thank you note. 

Give laugher.  Invite others into a space to just laugh. Play charades, tell jokes, talk about your most embarrassing moments. 

Practice presence.  Turn off the TV and social media and be present with the person in front of you. Our world of busyness and technology was creating social distancing gaps long before COVID-19. Give the gift of presence to help close it.

Make it a goal this week to practice compassion in one way or another. You may just discover it can make getting through these days a little easier. 

Compassionately,

Amy

Are you in a space where you need compassion? Has the experience of COVID-19 been a heavy burden for you? Amy is ready to hold space for you. For more information, contact Amy at amy@aubreycounseling.com.