Posts Tagged ‘counseling’

South Denver Psychotherapy: The Importance of Sleep, Diet, and Exercise: Part 1: Exercise.

There are those who have had a certain proclivity towards anxiety or depression from a very young age, and is something they must work with in their day to day—no matter how “good” things in their life may seem. In other cases, the effect of depression or anxiety can be more acute or situational.

Whatever the case may be—there are things one can do to mitigate the severity of the symptoms that may accompany these physiological imbalances. Of the many things one can do, sleep, diet and exercise are incredibly important in the balancing of mood.

This particular blog is part 1 of a 3-part series, and will focus on exercise.

The Benefits of Exercise

The movement and circulation alone will improve your mental state, and depending on how much exercise you can commit to each day/week, the aerobic effects as well as the endorphins will elevate your mood on a regular basis. Ideally, at least 3-4 times per week will make this type of routine most effective and balancing.

Frequency and Intensity

Exercise does not have to mean becoming an ultra-marathoner or creating an exercise routine that turns your daily schedule upside down—it can be something as simple as a 1-3 mile walk, a 30-minute jog, a 45-minute hike if you have nice hikes nearby, or a bike ride for 20-30 minutes (though if you can do more, great!) Ideally, while starting a new exercise routine can be a challenge at first, it should be something you can/will enjoy—if not at first, then, eventually.

Setting Realistic Goals

Regardless of how much you wind up exercising, start with a goal that is do-able, so you will be sure to stick with it. And of course, it needs to fit in with your other obligations like work etc—so, find a way to fit this into your daily routine. If you find yourself saying “but I don’t have time”, you may be surprised—often taking the break to exercise will make you more productive and less stressed in the other things that you have to do that day, thus it can be a time saver in the end. Or, if it means waking up a bit earlier to fit your exercise in—you may find that while it can be challenging to wake up earlier than usual, that inevitably your day will be better, and you will be glad you did, feeling more awake, alert and calm.

Balance is important

While exercising every day can have great benefit, be sure to always give yourself at least one rest day per week, if not two. Ideally, exercise should be an enhancement to your day to day, and not something to create more stress for you.

Also, tune in with your body and make sure you are not overdoing it. There is a fine line between pushing past your comfort zone and pushing yourself too hard. All the while, be gentle with yourself even if pushing yourself in a new routine.

As we have already mentioned in this mental health care blog, exercise is just one of many ways to work with balancing your mental health. There is no one action of self-care that will “solve” all of your problems—you can perfect your diet, increase your daily exercise, and be getting plenty of sleep—and still struggle immensely.

It may be that counseling is a support that may be needed in addition to these other elements of improved body health. And, if this is the case—South Denver Psychotherapy is here to support you. South Denver Psychotherapy offers counseling for women, counseling for men, relationship communication issues, teen counseling services, and more. Call South Denver Psychotherapy today to schedule an appointment, or check out our website for more information.

The Gift of Rest.

Modern society is familiar with depression.

Many of us have experienced it at different times in our lives, while others have struggled with it their entire lives. From those who feel depressed from time to time, to those who suffer from clinical depression—depression is abound in our society.

Something that is perhaps lesser known and often not validated by society at large: adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is a group of symptoms that result when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Adrenal fatigue stems most commonly from intense and prolonged levels of stress, as well as accompanying other longer-term illnesses.

As the name suggests, the biggest symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep. You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings.

In the more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day.

The other thing about adrenal fatigue is that it may mimic the symptoms of depression, and may even be caused by depression. Alternatively, adrenal fatigue may make a person feel depressed.

Regardless of cause, adrenal fatigue is no fun.

Although it affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome, which make it even more of a challenge for the sufferer than it already is.

Adrenal fatigue is likely more rampant than we as a society may realize, as nowadays, everything and everyone is moving so fast. There is more and more pressure to go, go, go and pressure to achieve. With advances in modern technology, people are trying to be everywhere at once, communicate with as many people as possible, and there is little time or space for downtime, solitude, and rest.

And, the culture of our society is not to rest, but instead, to do whatever it takes to “keep up”, and rather than taking time to rest and recover, we make our stress and fatigue even worse. If you weren’t depressed to start with, you may start to move in that direction as you find your energy dropping even more over time. Rest is a very important and necessary thing that we tend not to give ourselves on a regular basis, or—ever.

Of all of the psychological mood disorders, depression is the most commonly talked about, well-known—and while not always well understood by those who haven’t experienced it first hand—depression is somewhat accepted in the fabric of our culture. Adrenal fatigue not so much.

It is hopeful that over time we as a culture can come to validate and recognize this modern day syndrome so that people can get the help that they need to recover and take care of themselves.

Whether you are experiencing depression, adrenal fatigue, or a combination of the two, contact South Denver Psychology today to find out how we can help you. We offer depression counseling for men, counseling services for women, and offer overall supportive psychotherapy for Colorado residents in Denver and surrounding area.

South Denver Psychology has counselors that you can trust who can help you get the support you need.

Do I Really Need a Therapist?

Do I Really Need a Therapist?

“I have handled my tough stuff before, why would I need a therapist now?”  You or someone you know has probably said this before.  It is true; sometimes you already have the tools to take on the challenges that life throws your way.  However, if you are feeling in over your head, having the courage to seek professional help for your emotional wellbeing is both a great way to grow and an effective way to heal.

Therapists: Your Guide and Your Toolkit for Emotional Wellbeing

As a culture that glorifies do-it-yourselfers, it can be hard to ask for and see the value of therapy. However, just like you take your car in for regular tune-ups, pay a preparer to fill out your taxes, hire a guide to take you scuba diving, or go to the emergency room when you need stitches, it makes sense to seek a therapist to help you deal with the tough issues you’re facing.  A mental health professional has been specially trained to help you navigate the murky waters of life’s big changes, transitions, relationships, and challenges, as well as helping you heal from more clinical mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, or anger, among others.

Your therapist, counselor, psychotherapist, and any other mental health professional you turn to has had many years of training.  This training teaches them a wide variety of strategies, techniques, and therapies, and how to apply and implement them to fit each person’s needs.  This kind of work doesn’t just help you address life’s current struggles; it also gives you insight into how to handle future challenges, shows you how to reach towards your goals more effectively, and allows you to establish better awareness of the world and yourself.

But I have Hobbies and Friends to Talk to….

Fantastic! Pets, hobbies, staying active, a strong support network, and positive relationships are a great way to help sustain your mental health.  These can relieve stress, reduce depression, and give you people and places to bounce your thoughts off of, while fulfilling your emotional needs.

Yet, no matter how fantastic your friends and hobbies are, they will not replace the work you can do with a counselor.  Because, unlike your friend, your counselor only has one motivation – your wellbeing. There is no pre-conceived idea of what you “should” do and anything you decide has no impact on the relationship. A professional is going to ask the hard questions, closely and carefully listen to you, and help you achieve better self-awareness.

While a friend who both challenges and listens to you is a rare thing and powerful thing, this is part of the job description for every counselor.  You can expect to get the help and advice you need in every session.

So now, think of therapy as a statement that proclaims, “I am taking care of myself and I am challenging myself to be happier, healthier, and more productive.”  This approach will help you approach therapy in a better frame of mind.

The Top 5 Books for Improving Your Marriage

The Christmas lights are packed up, and the paper hearts have been taken down; now we are all waiting for spring.  Whether things have been rocky at home, or you and your significant other are doing your best, here at South Denver Psychotherapy, we have a few books to help keep you, and your marriage, warm, cozy, and well-informed until bright, warm days arrive again.


 5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey


 This book is a heavy weight in the self-help world, and it continues to be a staple for people from all walks of life. It may seem like an unlikely read for improving your relationships, but think about it -those who are successful and happy usually excel at navigating healthy relationships.


While some people say there are places where Covey drags, a read through of the chapter on Understanding (habit 5)  is a good way to learn the basics of communicating with those you love. It could even inspire you to read the rest of the book.


4. How Can I Forgive You? by Janis Abrahms Spring


How Can I Forgive You is a follow-up to Spring’s cornerstone work, After the Affair. Both are great reads and can be found on the shelves of a wide variety of therapists, psychologists, and counselors. As the title suggests, How Can I Forgive You? focuses on forgiveness in relationships.  It deals with how to forgive after a traumatic event, how to earn forgiveness, and the healthy steps you should take if forgiveness is not an option.


3. The Relationship Cure by John Gottman


John Gottman is here to teach you that it isn’t what you say, but how you say it, that matters. He explains this key principle in 5 steps sure to improve your relationships through better emotional connectedness. As he is one of the leading experts in relationships, his book, The Relationship Cure, is sure to help you grow and improve your friendships, family ties, and, of course, your marriage.


2.  The New Rules of Marriage by Terrence Real


Terrance Real dives into the trenches and tackles the everyday struggles couples face in today’s world. He is known for his work helping both sexes understand that conflict is normal and to communicate better. He promotes fighting fair, remembering passion, and establishing boundaries. This book is a great tool for any 21st century marriage and a perfect reference for two strong, capable partners.  


1.       The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman


This is one of the classics! Learn which way you and your spouse show and best receive love, through acts, gifts, physical contact, or quality time. Once you learn which category you and your spouse fall under, you will be able to communicate better and find a balance so that both parties feel loved.


This book often shows up dog-eared and well-loved as it circulates among friends. It’s a great gift for couples, new and old alike.


We love helping you and your spouse thrive in a healthy and happy partnership, but as many of us know, marriage is hard work and constantly grows and change.  South Denver Psychotherapy is here to help you grow along the way. Don’t forget to do a little reading while you are at it.


Review of book “The Seven Levels of Intimacy” by Mathew Kelly

I recommend this book for those trying to get greater satisfaction out of their relationships, be they friends, family, or your partner in life. Though this book is aimed at primary relationships, I find it helpful in all relationships.

We all have other people in our lives and times without a primary relationship. The knowledge imparted in this book can help give direction and motivation to maintaining those other relationships even when your preoccupied. The book helps give direction to deepening casual friendships and the reality of the limits of others without giving them up.

Of course, this book is very helpful and inspiring to that illusive goal of deep intimacy and yet it is more. It can motivate one to learn about our own needs, to ask for what we need and become curious of our loved ones needs.

The book is organized as ever deepening levels of intimacy with the 7th level something to strive for even in small snippets of reality. I have observed couples that would meet a very high levels of intimacy in some areas while others subjects are taboo or so conflictual, they stay on the surface. That being said, all levels described have their value. We each provide for each other in various capacities. Even within a relationship, the intimacy level can vary from day to day.

Read this book, have it be your guiding light and not a source of comparison to what one “should” be doing and take it slow. Real intimacy can take a lifetime. Pam