Search Results for: compassion

How to Help Yourself if you’re On a Waiting List for Therapy

waiting list for therapy

One of the positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has increased mental health awareness. Limiting our activities and contact with others has led to so much talk about fear, loneliness, disconnection and mental health. These experiences have made people notice their needs and feel more comfortable seeking help.

More people now seek therapy

For some, actually getting help has been easier because they could reach out from their living rooms and receive virtual therapy. Yet for others, it has been harder because they didn’t have the privacy to address the issues they are facing.

Now we are transitioning to a new phase with COVID. As more people are getting dressed in work clothes again, going back to the office, and returning to activities and busier schedules — we are seeing even more people reach out for help.

We notice people having to manage new and increased anxiety and depression. We see more awareness around mental health, including the much-needed reduced stigma. And we see a greater number of people with an increased need for support because of COVID!

People need resources while on a waiting list for therapy

So many people are connecting after COVID — which is a beautiful thing! The tough part? Right now, there are not enough mental health providers for all those who want support. Across the country and around the world, many prospective clients are currently finding themselves on a waiting list for therapy and the care they deserve.

So, what can you do during this “wait” time? Even if therapy

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Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

Clinical Director, Brickel and Associates, LLC Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (VA, DC, CT) EMDRIA Certified and Approved Consultant VA Board Approved Supervisor Robyn Brickel MA, LMFT

Robyn Brickel, MA, LMFT is the clinical director at Brickel and Associates, LLC in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, which she established in 1999.

She founded the practice to provide a therapeutic environment where all clients can safely ask for support, notice their experiences, recognize the impact of trauma on everyday life, and find healing through the efficacy of trauma-informed therapy.  

Clients include individuals (both adolescents and adults), couples, families, and groups.

Robyn brings a strengths-based, trauma-informed, systems approach to therapy.  She works with clients struggling with everyday life challenges along with those experiencing mental health conditions including: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Addiction
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Maternal mental health conditions, including perinatal mood and anxiety disorders
  • Relationship struggles

She is deeply committed to a trauma-informed approach in clinical practice, professional education and consultation, as well as a compassionate public awareness of mental health issues.

Her blog is dedicated to challenging the stigma around mental health and mental illness, and to advance greater compassion and trauma-informed awareness for all those impacted by trauma.

Commitment to Continuing Education

As a therapist for over 25 years, Robyn integrates training and experience with many diverse treatment modalities.

Always learning, she continuously participates in training programs to stay abreast of the current theories

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Control As a Trauma Response: Knowing You Were Powerless Helps You Heal

Freedom from powerlessness

After living through abuse, neglect, or violence, it’s normal to promise yourself you will never let that happen again. That promise seems to make sense. You need to feel safe, to find some sense of control. Otherwise, the danger and powerlessness you feel are too hard to live with.

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Safety First: A Trauma-Informed Approach for Couples Who Want to End Abuse In Their Relationship

therapy for domestic violence

If you and your partner want to pursue couples therapy, that’s commendable! There is so much hope and help available in therapy. What if you’re dealing with intimate partner abuse or violence (IPV)? Therapy for domestic violence requires a trauma-informed approach.

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This is how to feel all your emotions – and not be overwhelmed – with one little word

I learned an important concept about how to feel emotions again safely – especially after trauma– over 26 years ago from my favorite graduate school professor, the late Terry Taylor Smith, LMFT:

When you use the word “but” between two statements, it negates everything you say before it, while “and” allows you to be saying (and holding) both.

“And” is a powerful word. As a concept for healing, it’s life-changing. Once you start to employ this concept in your life, the possibilities are pretty incredible. I can’t think of a better time to write about how to feel and hold emotions. When so many are feeling numb and overwhelmed, “and” is more relevant and necessary than ever.

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After lost pregnancies, Meghan Markle and Chrissy Teigen urge people to share their pain

The need to share grief to heal after pregnancy loss

You may have seen recently that model and author Chrissy Teigen bravely shared the devastating loss of her baby, Jack, in her 20th week of pregnancy. In her painful and hopeful post on Medium, she writes about the experience of having to deliver a baby who would not survive, and the healing power of sharing so much grief:

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Coping with stress doesn’t have to be unhealthy

was to cope with stress can be healthy

The continued current state of the world is bringing stress to so many.

We’re standing at a crossroads where enormous challenges have converged like never before: a pandemic, racial injustice, political upheaval and division. They show up every day, in addition to whatever challenges you’re already experiencing in your life.

Coping with stress doesn’t have to be unhealthy Read More »

The Problem with Shoulds: How Should Statements Can Hurt You and What to Do About Them

should statements

I shouldn’t feel this way.

I should know better.

I should have learned my lesson.

I should be able to handle this by now.

I shouldn’t still be upset about this breakup/death/situation.

I would like to hereby eliminate the word “should” in statements like these. I’d like to remove the word “should” from the collective vocabulary of trauma survivors. I’d like to see most everyone else eliminate shoulds for that matter! These statements serve no positive purpose, they only attempt to criticize or hurt.

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Why It’s Important to Identify as a “Trauma Survivor”

How being a trauma survivor can be empowering

My clients aren’t running around town wearing “I’m a trauma survivor” t-shirts.

Of course they aren’t. Who wants to announce that bad things happened to them? No one!

And yet, unfortunately, many live with the aftereffects of trauma every day and don’t know it.

Trauma is what happens to your nervous system after you’ve felt unsafe and scared, and powerless to escape or protect yourself.

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