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Author: Heather Edwards

Heather Edwards Mental Health Counseling / Articles posted by Heather Edwards
Empathy Cape

Empathy: Your Greatest Superpower That You Rarely Use

Grab Your Cape. Let's heal the world. In a world where scrolling through memes and cat videos consumes more time than meaningful conversations, it’s easy to overlook a superpower that we all possess. No, it's not flying or invisibility—though that would be cool. I'm talking about empathy. Empathy is like Wi-Fi for the soul: it connects us to the inner networks of other people's experiences and emotions. When working properly, it can create understanding, compassion, and, dare I say, world peace. Yet, much like Wi-Fi, it can sometimes be frustratingly unreliable. Picture this: You're at a party. You don't know many people, and you're nervously clutching your drink like it’s a life preserver. Suddenly, someone approaches and strikes up a conversation. Instead of the usual small talk, they...

EMDR Therapy

EMDR: The Self Doubt Slayer

Imagine standing at the edge of a vast ocean, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face and the gentle breeze whispering words of encouragement. This is where your journey towards improved self-confidence begins—a journey guided by the transformative power of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. 1. Unlocking the Treasure Within: Picture yourself as a treasure hunter, with your therapist as your trusted guide. Together, you embark on an epic quest to unearth the hidden gems of your inner strength and resilience. Navigate the depths of your subconscious. Discover the treasure of self-confidence that's been buried beneath layers of doubt and fear. 2. Riding the EMDR Waves of Transformation: Just as a surfer rides the waves with grace and determination, you navigate the waves...

New Year's Resolution

Resolutions for the New Year – 5 steps to success

New Year’s Day has come, and gone! As Mid-January looms, are you feeling restless, or resolute?2023 was akin to the “rebound boyfriend” year, after the worldwide break-up with COVID-19. And just like rebound dating, you threw yourself into the fray to make up for lost time. While it was exhilarating, it was also exhausting. So, pause. Take a deep breath. Begin the new year by looking back. Try these 5 simple steps to shoot for the stars in 2024. Pause. Take a breath. Begin by looking back.  1. Learn from the past 2023 encapsulates important lessons learned and hard victories won. Evaluate your relationships, self care, commitment to work, nutrition and exercise, your earnings and spendings, and anything else important to you. What was successful? Where did you fail? Are there outcomes you want more of? Is...


EMDR Therapy: Pandemic trauma

Anger, fear, and powerlessness quietly pervade the consciousness of people around the world. Stress and burn-out, grief, loss and resentment abound. And what started as a temporary crisis has become a chronic problem with no end in sight. EMDR Therapy can clear the trauma of this crisis. For the past 2 years, the goal-post of safety and calm was jockeyed around. Just when a moment of respite was achieved, a tidal wave of existential threat emerged. So, how have you made it this far? You are resilient.  Leverage your resilience. Wake up the parts of you that provide nurturing, protection, wisdom, and peace toward yourself. Strengthen your inner resources. EMDR therapy is not only a form of exposure therapy, but it’s a strength-based resilience building process. Change your...


The Normalcy Paradox: Is it too soon?

One year ago, after more than a month in lockdown, you yearned for a return to normalcy. However, weighing that desire against the real threat of death, you opted for safety and stayed home, many alone and in fear. Today, 128 million people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States, and 282 million are partially vaccinated. Mask mandates and social distancing requirements are loosening. For many, it’s a ticket to freedom. For others, to roam freely seems a scary and potentially deadly proposition.  So, the normalcy paradox emerges. You want it and you fear it. You are having mixed feelings like excitement and reluctance, curiosity and hesitation. In my virtual therapy room, I’m hearing concerns like the following: I’ve changed and my body has...


CBT: Spring Clean Your Mindset

Spring has sprung! Just as Mother Nature ditches the dreary dormant season of winter, CBT can shift your mindset from doom to bloom. Think of it as a spring cleaning for your brain. So, grab the mental Swiffer and dust out the cobwebs. Spray the virtual Windex to clear the fog. It's time to blossom. It’s easy to fall into the habit of negative thinking.  The shorter, darker, colder days of winter have a real effect on mood and energy.  Over time, it can affect your attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors.  You might begin to automatically assume worst case scenario's.  That fearful belief provokes an anxious feeling that further validates the fear that something will go wrong.  It’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.  It’s  partially rooted...


Anxiety and Lockdown

Anxiety is on the rise. As we approach another lockdown, you anticipate uncomfortable feelings.  You notice parts of yourself vying for attention - the ones that feel fear, loneliness, and shame. The anxiety of unfinished business from the past, beckons your acknowledgment and soothing.  Without the external distractions of work, shopping, and appointments, you are forced to sit with your internal world. There are many ways to distract yourself from this discomfort. You can go for a walk, watch a movie, call a friend, dance in your bedroom, or take a class online. It's a temporary "fix" but, will all this “doing” result in healing? What if this is the time to stop doing? What if all this doing has kept you stuck in unproductive being? And what if...


EMDR Therapy: Rewrite your story

EMDR Therapy opens windows in the mind. Imagine rewriting your story. One where YOU decide who you are, how you can be, and how life's challenges affect you.  Take a moment to notice how you view yourself in the world. Complete the statement, ”I am_____”. Is your belief negative, such as, “I am unworthy.”, “I am powerless.”, or  ”I am unsafe.”? If so, that core belief may be tied to earlier unprocessed memories.  What if you could believe something else? What would you rather believe about yourself? I am strong, safe, capable, worthy, lovable, smart…  People decide to start EMDR therapy because of anxiety, depression, or pervasive negative beliefs. Francine Shapiro, the originator and developer of EMDR therapy stated that often these experiences are the result of unprocessed memories. When...


Butterflies: Proof of change for good

Change doesn’t happen comfortably.  Just when the caterpillar's world was ending, it became a butterfly. The extenuating circumstances you are in right now are also a new beginning. Uncertainty. Isolation. Fear. Instability. Change. Transformation. Transcendence. Each has an affect on mental health, for better or worse. Each is an opportunity for greater compassion. Your everyday life looks distinctly different than it did a few months ago. Whether you’ve been on lockdown, protesting with Black Lives Matter, or struggling to keep a roof over your head or business - this is a time of unprecedented and profound change.  You’re experiencing change in how you socialize, work, educate, love, heal, and relate to the world.  It’s unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and uncertain. Traumas are triggered. Self preservation is awakened. The status quo is upended. Emotions are...