Risa Bos, MA, LMHC, and our newest counselor!
I am so fortunate and honored to be joining the professional line-up of skilled counselors at Life Skills Resource Group! I feel it is my life’s purpose to help people find joy and balance, and move beyond emotional pain that has robbed them of the happiness they deserve. I am dedicated to helping people in our community and I take immense pride in being a native of Orlando. I attended William R. Boone High School, Valencia College and Rollins College, studying psychology and mental health counseling at Rollins. I have cultivated a positive approach to therapy that focuses less on the problem, and more on your strengths and how we can work together to maximize those assets. I believe that we all have within us the ability to be happy, and that happiness is a choice. We make that choice by deciding to focus on deliberate, positive things rather than feeling defeated and stuck in our wounds.
I have been in recovery from alcoholism for 8 years, and I can bear witness to the freedom and distinct joy that comes from conquering your addiction. I understand the compulsion to use substances, despite sometimes catastrophic consequences, in an attempt to self-medicate emotional issues. I have worked with countless addicts and alcoholics, and have helped them wrestle free from their own addictions and reclaim their lives. Life is beautiful, and experiencing life sober and free from the clouds of addiction is within your reach! I have 6 years experience working with addictions, anxiety, depression, trauma and a myriad of other mental health issues, often which are underlying the symptom of addiction. I specialize in EMDR and Clinical Hypnosis, which techniques are especially effective for treating these conditions. I received my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the prestigious Rollins College, and I am licensed by the Florida Department of Health as a mental health counselor.
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Have you ever felt like the world was just spinning too fast? You had too many things to do and not enough hours to do them? You’re running just to keep up? I have had that kind of week: busy at school, busy at work, requests for my time from my boyfriend, friends, and family… not to mention the laundry, the dishes, the need to clean the house (which are all being ignored). Oh, and there’s a birthday party and a wedding to go to this weekend – did I remember to get gifts? Of course I haven’t exercised all week – how could I possibly have made time for that?
So here it is, Friday afternoon, and I’m left with this question: How will it all get done?!
Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed too. What does that look like for you? Do you shut down and get even less done? Do you have to throw a fit, get the emotion out, and then you can get something done? Do you just live day-to-day with a constant level of stress that means one little thing will cause you to break down in tears or yelling at someone who just asked if you knew what time it was? What does it feel like for you? Do you worry that everything will fall apart if you don’t vaccuum the floor, get an A on that paper? Do you worry that the friends won’t like you anymore if you can’t go to their party? Here comes the anxiety!
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avoid caregiver burnout
“Sometimes the one who has been there for everyone else needs someone to be there for them.”
Are you a caregiver for someone who has a mental or physical illness or disability?
There are many types of caregivers: parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, teachers, nurses, counselors, etc. So often, people who are in caregiver roles devote all of their time, attention and resources to the person or people in their care. If they’re not mindful of their own needs and limitations (which we all have), caregivers can become so depleted that their ability to give adequate care becomes compromised. I know this sounds like common sense, but if you don’t learn to practice self-care, eventually you won’t be able to take care of anyone, least of all yourself. It is all too common for caregivers to suffer fatigue and burn out.
According to WebMD, “Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able — either physically or financially. Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression.”
Have you noticed that lately you’re feeling irritable? Is your level of emotional and physical exhaustion at an all-time high? Do you find yourself withdrawing from the people who do their best to support you and understand what you’re going through? Have you lost interest in things that used to matter to you? Have you been getting sick a lot lately? Do you feel like you just can’t take it anymore? If these questions have elicited a resounding “Yes!” then you may be suffering from burnout!
With the holiday season upon us, you may be feeling even more isolated than usual. Either you don’t have the option of travelling to be with friends and relatives, or maybe you simply aren’t getting those kinds of invitations anymore. Sometimes just making it through the day is such a victory that holiday parties and dinner with friends can seem like ridiculous self indulgences. Caregivers can slip into a “zone” of focusing so much on the survival and well-being of others, that over time they forget about their own needs like belonging, connecting, feeling competent, learning, having fun, or just being an individual.
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As many of us are living an “austere” lifestyle right now- financially, emotionally, and spiritually; it can be hard to remember when times were good. You may have lost sight of what it was like to not feel worried, afraid, stressed, confused, lonely and/or lost. You may suspect that nobody wants to hear you talk about your problems anymore (because they likely have problems of their own), and you could be right.
Well, you may feel like you’re handling the situation pretty well overall. You’ve managed to keep yourself, your family, your business or your career somewhat intact. You’ve given up a lot of things that you used to consider “must haves,” like weekly haircuts or going out to dinner. Friends no longer invite you out for lunch, because they know you can’t afford it, and they don’t want to make you feel bad for having to decline. You’re down in the dumps, but you find that if you really try, you can snap yourself out of it. Besides, you don’t have the time or energy to give in to feeling sorry for yourself. You’re afraid that if you really think about it, or lean into it, you might just lose it completely and have a “nervous breakdown.”
So, what do you do? You think that if you can just keep moving, you will make it to the other side of this. You walk around feeling numb from the neck up and like you’re made out of lead from the neck down. You’re proud of yourself for your sheer stamina and power of will. For some reason, people keep saying to you, “I don’t know how you do it. I could never…” Don’t they understand that you don’t have a choice? You wish you could go to the beach for the weekend or to Las Vegas for a conference, like your friends do. You wish you could just relax. Heck, you wish you could just have one coherent thought; one moment of clarity and peace.
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Thinking about group therapy? Maybe your therapist has suggested that you would be a good candidate for group therapy. Perhaps you’ve been in a support group in the past and have some idea of how groups work. Or, does your understanding of group therapy come solely from seeing movies like 28 Days with Sandra Bullock, or Fight Club with Brad Pitt?
You should know that there are a lot of very good reasons to consider group therapy. The following list, developed through extensive research by Dr. Irvin Yalom, famed Existential Therapist and author of The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, describes the therapeutic factors involved in the group therapy experience (don’t be surprised; there’s a bunch of them).
• Universality-recognition of shared experiences in a group dispels sense of isolation, validates experiences, and raises self esteem
• Altruism-members can help each other and feel good about it
• Installation of Hope-members can be inspired and encouraged by each other
• Imparting Information-factual information about treatment or other services is regularly shared
• Corrective Recapitulation of the Primary Family Experience-members can learn how to avoid repeating unhelpful behaviors (still lingering from childhood) in present relationships
• Development of Socializing Techniques-group offers a safe and supportive environment for members to improve their social skills
• Imitative Behavior-members can develop new skills from observing behaviors modeled by therapist as well as other members
• Cohesiveness-most important-members feel a sense of belonging, acceptance, and validation; this is where personal development takes place
• Existential factors-learning to take responsibility for one’s life, decisions, and actions
• Catharsis-release from emotional distress through the free and uninhibited expression of emotion to a supportive audience
• Interpersonal Learning-members achieve a greater sense of self-awareness through interaction with other group members who give feedback on behavior and impact on others.
• Self-understanding-similar to interpersonal learning, but refers to greater insight into the origins of one’s problems and the motivations behind one’s behavior
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- Because even though it’s over, I can’t stop thinking about him/her.
- Because I can’t take this much anxiety for one. more. day.
- Because no one really listens to me.
- Because our marriage is in trouble, and we can’t fix our problems by ourselves.
- Because I can’t do anything right.
- Because I keep dating the “wrong” person and getting my heart broken.
- Because everyone keeps telling me I should, and maybe they’re right.
- Because I keep sabotaging myself, just when things get good.
- Because nothing I’ve tried so far has worked.
- Because he/she asked for a divorce.
- Because the divorce is really starting to affect the kids.
- Because I am afraid that my child/teen is out of control.
- Because I’m tired of feeling alone.
- Because my family is sick of my complaining.
- Because if I don’t, I’m afraid of what I might do.
- Because there’s something I need to get off my chest, something I don’t dare tell anyone else.
- Because the last therapist I saw didn’t “get” me.
- Because I’m so afraid.
- Because I feel empty.
- Because I just want to be happy.
- Because he/she died and left me here.
- Because I drink too much when things get tough.
- Because I can’t ever forgive him/her for what he/she did.
- Because I just need to hear someone say, “I’m here for you, and I care.” And mean it.
Call us to set up an appointment, if you see yourself on this list. Our Mental Health Counselors and Life Coaches at Life Skills Resource Group in Orlando are here for you. We offer free phone consultations and flexible scheduling in a convenient location. 407-355-7378
You have mostly likely heard the acronym OCD before but do you know what it stands for? OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. We all have obsessions such as worrying bad things will happen and compulsions such as knocking on wood. The O and the C of OCD are a natural part of our lives. It is when these obsessions and compulsions begin to run our lives that it becomes a disorder.
According to Aureen Pinto Wagner, one of the leading OCD experts for children, “obsessions are thoughts or worries that pop into your mind and won’t go away, even when there’s no reason to be worried”. Some common obsessions are worries about germs, getting sick, doing something wrong, hurting others, thinking things have to be just right, and saving things you do not need. Wagner states “compulsions are the rituals you do over and over again to make the obsession go away”. Some examples of rituals are washing, cleaning, apologizing repeatedly, arranging, checking, and starting things over again.
Dealing with OCD can make you feel confused, scared, angry, embarrassed, sad, and hopeless. The good news is that there are effective forms of treatment. According to the International OCD Foundation, one of the most effective forms of therapy is a cognitive behavioral therapy called Exposure-Response Prevention, or “ERP”. The IOCDF states:
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As a counselor at Life Skills Resource Group I am continually looking for new tools to use in my practice. A colleague brought EFT to my attention and I have been using it in my practice ever since. You may be asking yourself “what is EFT”. That is exactly what I did the first time I heard about it. EFT is Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is an emotional, needle free version of acupuncture and is described on www.eftuniverse.com as “a powerful new method based on the discovery that emotional trauma contributes greatly to disease. Scientific studies have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, the body can often rebalance itself, and accelerate healing.”
I am a believer in EFT because I have seen it work with my clients when nothing else would and have used it myself. EFT was originally introduced to me while I was studying for my licensure exam to become a licensed mental health counselor in Florida. I was studying a lot, asking colleagues for tips, and feeling nervous about passing the test. As the days got closer, my anxiety about the test started to increase. About 3 days before the test my colleague went through a few rounds of EFT with me. By the time we were done, my anxiety was completely gone, and I knew I was prepared and ready for the test. For the next three days I was able to relax without worry about the test. I walked into the testing center knowing I was not only prepared but that I would pass, and I did. Having this personal experience led me to take the trainings so that I could teach EFT to my clients.
The most amazing part about EFT is that it is a tool that your counselor can teach you. When you are feeling anxious, sad, stressed, or any negative emotions you will be able to use EFT to reduce these negative emotions on your own taking control of your emotional health and wellbeing. EFT often works when nothing else will. If you are interested in learning more about EFT, a tool that you can use in your daily life, please contact one of the EFT practitioners in my office.
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Kim Murphy, MS, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
“We avoid the things that we’re afraid of because we think there will be dire consequences if we confront them. But the truly dire consequences in our lives come from avoiding things that we need to learn about or discover.”
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“Will I pass my test?”
“Is there a monster under my bed?”
“If you leave, will you ever come back?”
“What if I get lost?”
“What if someone takes me?”
“Is the door locked?”
“Please don’t leave me.”
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