At the start of every year, we are bombarded with information about what resolutions we need to make, how to change, how to be better, or how to be something other than ourselves. What a horrible way to begin a new year—feeling as if you already aren’t good enough.
As is becoming our standard operating procedure, Hartstein Psychological Services will be closed for the week between Christmas and the New Year. We recognize the need to practice what we preach and know that self-care is one of the important things on which we need to focus.
One of the main assumptions in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is that we are all doing the best we can, AND also, we need to do better and try harder. This is acceptance and change. There is almost always questioning about this from clients, and rightfully so.
I often find in my personal life and with clients that identifying a problem is easy. Almost too easy! We are all constantly faced with challenges that can range on a level of significance and impact. Despite where these challenges fall on that spectrum, how we respond to them remains the same.
This is one of my favorite times of the year, with Thanksgiving just around the corner—the changing of seasons, festive foods, and togetherness with loved ones. It is a time when we are reminded to be thankful for the things our lives include, and the holiday can lift our spirits as being grateful is the essence of Thanksgiving!
Science has made some incredible impacts in being able to make this pandemic more bearable. We have come a long way since 2020 with vaccines and a greater understanding of how we can safely navigate and reengage with each other.
As a DBT therapist who leads three skills groups at Hartstein Psychological in addition to seeing individual clients, I have taught the Distress Tolerance ACCEPTS skills too many times to count throughout my career and have used them even more in my own life (they work!).
When working with clients and teaching mindfulness, I recommend them to "find magic in the mundane." It’s a phrase I use to describe being present with anything ordinary, while also noticing all the sensory experiences about the situation that make it unique.