Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, and Vicarious Trauma

In the simplest terms: burnout occurs when the stress we experience exceeds our capacity to cope with that stress. While some individuals may be able to thrive- at least in the short term- under high stress, eventually chronic stress without relief begins to take a toll on even the most resilient individuals. Everyone has a…

Intrusive Thought Flow Chart

Intrusive Thought Flowchart – Illustrated Mental Health Resource

It’s not always this simple, but *sometimes* it is: shifts in how we respond to intrusive thoughts from PTSD or anxiety can shape our internal response and the strength of future intrusive thoughts. Sometimes just shifting from “OMG NO! The intrusive thought is here! 😱 Run away! 🏃‍♀️🏃🏻” to “Oh, hello. 👋You are back, huh?…

Ways to boost mood and mental health (even during a pandemic)

8 Ways to Boost Mood and Mental Health (Even in A Global Crisis)

  This originally eight-part doodle on ways to manage mental-health highlights several research-backed adjunctive therapies for low mood and depressive symptoms. Before I had the opportunity to publish the eight-part comic, COVID-19 pandemic ushered many of us into intense social distancing practices. In reviewing the original comic, I decided to edit it down to the…

How to Journal Therapy Appointments – Journal Template

Writing long-hand about my own experience in therapy helps me continue to develop self-awareness and integrate my emotional/sensory experience with my thinking-brain. Recently I’ve been thinking about how I could help others access the benefits of journalling about therapy if they aren’t the sort of person who enjoys long-format journalling. This article features tips on…

How We Tend to Cope with Anxiety Falls on a Spectrum

Everyone has a different “default” way of coping with anxiety- and many of us will experience a shift from one extreme to the other at least once during our lifetime. While our culture praises the “brave” approach and shames the avoidant, both approaches are equally harmful ways of avoiding the discomfort of being present to…

Parenting Children with Anxiety

  When kids are anxious, it’s human nature to want to soothe them. For kids with significant anxiety, however, we may need to monitor ourselves for over-accommodating behaviors.   It’s natural that parents with anxious kids want to soothe them. Watching someone we love struggle can be overwhelming- especially when, at first, it seems so…

How to Choose a Therapist – Illustrated

When you’re new to therapy and aren’t really sure what therapy is supposed to feel like, it can be really confusing to try and figure out if a first session or initial consult went well. Asking questions about experience, training, specialities, and method can be helpful, but research indicates that these things matter less than…

Creating a Crisis Plan

The best time to do good crisis work is when you (or your client, or your family member, etc) aren’t currently in crisis. Take some time out during the good times to intentionally plan, create support networks, brainstorm, and build skills so when crisis comes, you don’t have to figure it out from scratch. A…

How to Respond to Self Harm – A Resource for Parents, Teachers, and Friends

  Research shows that 15-20% of teens self harm.  In the past- and still today- self harm has had a reputation of being an “attention-seeking behavior,” but brain science is now showing that for many teens, self-harm is an early warning sign of physical changes occurring in the brain. Kids and teens who self harm…

How to Start Therapy (when you’re Anxious about Starting Therapy)

First, know that we therapists get it. Starting therapy is hard for everyone and if you have specific therapy-related anxieties it’s super hard. If meeting new people is hard for you, it’s normal to feel extra anxiety about meeting someone who you’ll- hopefully- feel safe confiding secrets in. Some of my suggestions for working with…