Dr. Melissa Rojas, our newest provider!
Hello, my name is Dr. Melissa Rojas and I am very excited to announce that I am a new bilingual provider at Life Skills Resource Group. I feel joy and honored to have the opportunity to be part of such an amazing group. After meeting Cindy and Amy only once, I quickly realized the authenticity and organic approach LSRG offers its clients.
I graduated with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and I am licensed to practice in the state of Florida. I remember walking out of my licensing exam and breaking into happy tears because I felt so proud. I felt overwhelmed with feelings of relief, as I had undergone many years of stress to get to where I am today.
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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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Kim C. Murphy, MS
Once upon a time in the mid-90’s, when I was taking a break from college and waiting tables at a nightclub in that same college town, a friend suggested that I give Community Theatre a try. Somehow I was able to muster the courage to go to an open audition, and I was cast in a small, small role in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: I was to play a prostitute. My theatrical debut consisted of me staggering onto the stage, intoxicated. I was to deliver two lines in a terrible “Cockney” accent, while talking off my shoe and throwing it at a “lying scoundrel.”
The scene that my character would disrupt with her antics involved Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present (I believe). Each night (shortly after the ghost began his visit with Scrooge by saying, “Rise, and walk with me…”), I would enter stage left; drunk, disheveled, loud, and unapologetic. I’d curse one fellow and proposition another. The audience would have a good laugh, and then something amazing would happen. The Ghost of Christmas Present, or the GCP, would benevolently lean over and sprinkle ‘magic dust’ on me, and I would instantly become a proper lady (unfortunately, the magic dust wasn’t powerful enough to make me a better actor, but that’s another story).
As I was an extremely minor character, I had plenty of time backstage during rehearsals to talk to the other actors in the production-most of whom were local celebrities of some sort. There was the newly minted attorney, whose office overlooked the town square; the artist in residence, who had painted murals on store fronts from one end of the town to the other; and the kindly Psychology professor, who was also a practicing Psychotherapist with an office down on Main Street. Even the director of the production was the Headmistress of the nice private school on the edge of town.
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Kim Murphy, MS, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
Why do we as human beings lie to ourselves? Fear. We fear the truth and its consequences, so we deny our feelings. This kind of behavior can sometimes have its origins in childhood experiences. If we were not given a healthy feeling of self worth and a sense of belonging; if we didn’t have a safe place to process and consider our feelings, we learned to deny the truth about what was happening around us and our feelings about it. Eventually we became able to close ourselves off from our feelings altogether. Denial is a powerful, powerful thing. As a child, you may have learned to deny your feelings as a way to insulate yourself from the painful circumstances that surrounded you. This kind of self defense may have served as a way to protect you when others didn’t. Now that you’re an adult, you may not even be aware that you’re lying to yourself when things go wrong.
You could be telling yourself a lie that prevents you from accessing the greatest joy of your life in an attempt to avoid pain or disappointment: “I’ll never be able to do it right. I just shouldn’t have kids. Look at how my parents screwed me up.” Or, you may be feeling the pain of an unacceptable situation, without having any understanding of fact that you could be the one to extricate yourself from it: “I just wish she would stop cheating on me. I know what she’s been up to. Everything would be okay, if she’d just stop seeing other people behind my back.” By learning to be more honest with ourselves, we could avoid a lot of pain and suffering.
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