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Battling Insomnia: A Short Guide to Getting Better Sleep

Battling Insomnia: A Short Guide to Getting Better Sleep

We all can easily say that at one point in our lives we had trouble getting an appropriate amount of sleep throughout the week. This is due to us waking up multiple times throughout the night and having difficulty falling back to sleep for a long period of time. We wake up feeling exhausted, cranky,
Who’s Responsible for Success in Therapy?

Who’s Responsible for Success in Therapy?

Everyone carries assumptions about what they will get out of coming to therapy. Some clients are having such a hard time in their life that just signing up for that first session, getting out of the house, driving to the office and plopping down on the coach feels like an achievement in itself. And a
What does it mean to do therapy from the top-down or from the bottom-up?

What does it mean to do therapy from the top-down or from the bottom-up?

When a person goes into therapy they are generally looking to feel better, or have an outlet. As a therapist I am always assessing my clients, “Do they need a higher level of care”, “Am I the best fit for the client”, “What approach is going to work for my clients”. These are just a
Fight, Flight, and Freeze

Fight, Flight, and Freeze

Most of us have heard of fight, flight, or freeze. These are common responses that humans, and animals have when faced with various situations. Thinking about trauma, and how that impacts us we think about one more term “Fawn”. This term is coined by Pete Walker, a therapist in California. What is Fight, Flight, and
Empathy is Vital to a Relationship

Empathy is Vital to a Relationship

Part of the human condition is a desire to be understood.  We want the foremost people in our lives to understand what our daily existence is like.  The fear of abandonment is less prevalent when someone notices whether we are joyful, fearful, sad or if we are disappointed, discouraged or hopeless. Therapists are trained to
Emotional Regulation How to Tame the Chaos in Yourself

Emotional Regulation How to Tame the Chaos in Yourself

“I can’t control my emotions”, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me!” These are two common phrases that many people have said before. I have seen many children, teens and adults who are unable to display emotional regulation. What is emotional regulation? Emotional regulation is the ability to have control over your emotions. This doesn’t
Why Being a Bit Selfish is Not a Bad Thing

Why Being a Bit Selfish is Not a Bad Thing

Think about a time you were going to go out and hangout with friends. You are getting ready, getting dressed, throw some make up on, and so on, but as you are doing this, you just are feeling “meh” at the moment. You had a long week at work, maybe had a rough day, and
Gender vs Sexual Orientation

Gender vs Sexual Orientation

Gender and sexual orientation are frequently talked about together. Heck, they’re even in the same acronym! Both are used to describe our identity as humans, and to describe how we navigate the world. Clearly there’s a difference, though, right? Otherwise, there wouldn’t be different words to describe each experience. So what is the difference? Simply
THE JOURNEY TO EMOTIONAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY

THE JOURNEY TO EMOTIONAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY

THE JOURNEY TO EMOTIONAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY by Edward L. Oriole L.C.P.C. C.A.D.C. N.C.C. Much of what I have learned about developing emotional self-sufficiency comes from therapist and Ph.D. David Richo. He posits that good mental health comes with a durable sense of emotional self-sufficiency. How I define emotional self-sufficiency for clients An ability to maintain oneself
What Keeps You Going?

What Keeps You Going?

I think we can all agree that depression is draining. A common thought to getting out of the pit of depression is – where do I even start? When a person is struggling with depression things that were once important and things that once made them happy gives them no joy. It’s hard to see
30 days of Crushing Anxiety!

30 days of Crushing Anxiety!

Do you avoid certain activities because you are anxious about them? 30 days of Crushing Anxiety was an experiment I created for myself when I was feeling stuck in anxious thoughts and stuck in a less then wonderful lifestyle. Here’s what I did. Commit The first step was committing to making a change for myself
What Are Mature Copying Mechanisms?

What Are Mature Copying Mechanisms?

Before I began practicing in the field of psychology, my experience with coping mechanisms was limited.  Academia had taught me that they are: “an unconscious way of reducing anxiety by distorting perceptions of reality.”  While everyone uses coping mechanisms on occasion.  However, if used too often the perception of reality can become sharply distorted.  The
Suicide

Suicide

How to talk about suicide During my work as a crisis counselor in a community session, a common question that would come up a lot is how to talk about suicide to a person who may be experiencing suicidal ideation or might be planning an attempt. I noticed that the topic of suicide can be
Honoring the Process of Change

Honoring the Process of Change

Change is hard, let me just be honest. Change takes time, energy, devotion, and a lot of compassion towards yourself. As a therapist a common denominator that I see in a person being hindered from their change is having all or nothing thinking, black or white, right or wrong mentality. Life is filled with moments
WHY ARE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS PART 2

WHY ARE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS PART 2

Once again I begin with the premise that: Healthy Boundaries equal Healthy Relationships. If you have not already, please read part 1 of this blog by clicking here. We will now discuss why healthy boundaries are essential for successful relationships. Here are examples of each kind of boundary, Rigid, Porous and Healthy.  Rigid boundary Firstly,
Two reasons why people end therapy before they should

Two reasons why people end therapy before they should

Starting therapy can be difficult. For people who do choose to go to therapy and commit to working with a counselor every week, it can be helpful. However, there are people who choose to stop weekly sessions before expected. Here are two of the many reasons why some people choose to end therapy before they
How do you Process Information?

How do you Process Information?

Did you know that there are different styles of processing information? I’m not talking about the manner in which we communicate our thoughts, rather the way we integrate new information and turn it into thoughts that we can share with others if we choose. So, what are these styles and how do you know which
Foundations to Understanding EMDR Part 2

Foundations to Understanding EMDR Part 2

Why EMDR? Talk therapy is great, and has been proven to help many people.  However, when we experience any type of trauma, or have a negative belief that is deeply engraved – those traumas and beliefs are stored in the right brain, and we talk in the left brain.  EMDR makes it possible for a
WHY ARE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES ESSENTIAL TO HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

WHY ARE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES ESSENTIAL TO HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

We here at the Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center have one premise in place: That premise is that Healthy Boundaries equal Healthy Relationships.  How does one know if one holds true to Healthy Boundaries?  Examine what Healthy Boundaries are:  They are guidelines, rules and limits that are reasonable, safe and permissible.  You, as an autonomous individual,
External vs Internal Motivation in Sustaining Recovery

External vs Internal Motivation in Sustaining Recovery

The human capacity to search for happiness seems endless. My experience, within the counseling field, demonstrates that this endless search is often external. To seek happiness, fulfillment or peace through unrealistic dreams, addictions or even other people, is a fool’s errand. The “missing ingredient” in one’s life can not be external. The answer to the
Foundations to Understanding EMDR

Foundations to Understanding EMDR

There are three things I need you to understand prior to explaining EMDR in depth. I want to explain neuroplasticity, how memories are stored, and lastly explaining core beliefs. Donald Hebb, a neuropsychologist said “Neurons that fire together wire together”.  This means the more that our brains think in one pathway the more our brains
How to Choose the Right Therapist, Counselor or Coach for Your Relationship

How to Choose the Right Therapist, Counselor or Coach for Your Relationship

Dr. Ray & Jean discuss what are the questions you should ask a provider when choosing the right person to provide relationship guidance. On their podcast, Couples Synergy: Real Couples-Real Stories, Dr. Ray & Jean give you all the necessary information to make the best choice for you and your marriage when choosing a therapist,
Some Thoughts on the Science on Relationships

Some Thoughts on the Science on Relationships

“Follow your dream, but take your brain along with you.” That short nugget of wisdom was by Alfred Adler written in the 1920s. I believe that what Adler meant was that we should seek to investigate the scientific underpinnings within the field of relationships. A recent issue of Counseling Today provides several research findings that

Some Thoughts on the Science of Relationships

“Follow your dream but take your brain along with you.” That short nugget of wisdom was by Alfred Adler written in the 1920s. I believe that what Adler meant was that we should seek to investigate the scientific underpinnings within the field of relationships. A recent issue of Counseling Today provides several research findings that
How Do We Combat Depression and Anxiety?

How Do We Combat Depression and Anxiety?

Depression and anxiety can happen in all of us. Throughout my time as a therapist, I have learned and developed tools that I provide my clients to help them combat depression and anxiety. One of my most used tools would be the five step plan! The steps are as followed: 1) Do a fun activity
What causes Depression and Anxiety?

What causes Depression and Anxiety?

As a therapist, the most common issue in the mental health field that I have come across amongst my clients were depression and anxiety. Depression/Anxiety can be caused by one of four factors: 1) Biochemical Factors Our body and brain are filled with hormones that cause us to feel many different things. I am sure
Binge-Drinking and the Danger to Adolescents

Binge-Drinking and the Danger to Adolescents

Due to the long term effects of alcohol abuse, binge drinking has become a major public health issue. What is binge drinking? Social, medical and emotional health media categorize “binge- drinking” as a pejorative term. It includes individuals who engage in heavy, episodic consumption of alcohol. This is largely intended to become intoxicated in a
The Basics of Gender

The Basics of Gender

Here’s a radical statement: there are as many forms of gender expression as there are people. You might be wondering what gender expression is. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, then you’ve come to the right post. Today I’m breaking down the basics of gender expression. You can find a list definitions for the terms
2 reasons why people differ in identifying as anxious or not

2 reasons why people differ in identifying as anxious or not

Do you have anxiety? Are you an anxious person? People answer this differently and would add their own detailed reasons why they either are anxious or are not. One reason why our answers differ are because we all have had different experiences. Another reason is because we define anxiety differently. Think about this… Would you
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Addiction in all of its forms is a disease of isolation, secrecy and dissociation. When an individual organizes their world in those terms the result is a significant dysfunction. In my practice, the initial goal is to establish a therapeutic alliance between myself and the client. The next stage includes the identification of the illogical
Worrying is similar to junk emails

Worrying is similar to junk emails

I am going through my email right now and I feel a little overwhelmed. It seems like everyday there is another chunk of emails  in my inbox and they all add up when I let a week go by without deleting them. More than half of these emails will not be opened because they are
Triarchal Theory of Love

Triarchal Theory of Love

I’m a logical person, a person who thinks things through, and then over-thinks them, and then thinks about them some more, and some more still – and yet I don’t know that I can define love. What if love isn’t what all the romantic films have made us believe it is? What if it is
Insecure Attachment & Addiction

Insecure Attachment & Addiction

My work with addictions often discovers that the origin of the addictive behavior lies in an insecure attachment, during childhood, to the primary caregiver. In treatment, after the withdrawal stabilizes, myself and the addict examine the relationship with the primary caregiver during childhood. When successful the connection between the insecure attachment and the addiction are
Awareness, Treatment, and the Danger of Online Pornography on the Brain

Awareness, Treatment, and the Danger of Online Pornography on the Brain

Addiction to online pornography is currently NOT in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). This opens the debate on whether or not it is a harmful addiction. However, it is in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). I disagree that online pornography is both harmless and not a real addiction.

Do you compare yourself to others all the time?

Hello there! First, listen to the audio clip to hear the spoken word called “Comparables”. Do you compare yourself to other people all of the time? If so, it must be exhausting! It is natural to compare yourself to people around you and sometimes it can help you improve yourself. However, always comparing yourself to
OCD

OCD

O – C – D. You might of heard of it on tv shows or in movies. OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The character in the show or movie might be super organized or very detailed oriented. You might also know people around you who might say, “Oh that’s just my OCD”. People might
Do you have excessive worry?

Do you have excessive worry?

Now I know we all get nervous, especially when there is a new situation we are facing. However, there is a difference between those who can handle their nerves and those who have high anxiety. Meaning, they get nervous about something new and just cannot seem to let it go. This impacts how they sleep,
Music is great for coping with anxiety

Music is great for coping with anxiety

“Sing…. Sing a song….” When you are anxious, it can be tough to belt out a song. It is difficult to sing a favorite tune because the stress on your mind is tangled up with negative thoughts. One helpful way to cope with anxiety is by listening to music. The melody of a song is
“I’m pulling my hair out!”: Trichotillomania and how to address it

“I’m pulling my hair out!”: Trichotillomania and how to address it

You have heard stressed out and overwhelmed people exclaim that they are pulling their hair out. This expression is meant to tell others that we are feeling so overwhelmed or angry that we would do such an act. However, there are circumstances in life that cause certain individuals to actually pull their hair out. Trichotillomania
Why Avoiding Situations Causes More Anxiety and How to Break the Cycle

Why Avoiding Situations Causes More Anxiety and How to Break the Cycle

Avoiding the situations that make you nervous will only make you comfortable for a short period of time. The more times you avoid a situation, the more anxious you become the next time you face it. Why is this? Your anxiety heightens because you have virtually no practice with the situation. You lack practice because

A Little Bit is Better Than Nothing

Something I’ve been hearing about in recent sessions is people’s lack of motivation. Clients talk about goals that are important to them, but also express frustration with themselves for not having yet done whatever it is that they’re wanting to do. A good example of this is exercise. There seems to be this idea that

How to Accomplish Difficult Things in Four Steps

 Evaluate your motivation: Why do you want to do the thing? Use that “why” as a motivator to continue working on the thing. Maybe write it on a post-it and put that post-it on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself why doing the thing is worth it.    Make a plan: How will you

Doing Things Poorly

We’ve all heard the expression that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. I disagree. I believe that if something is worth doing, and you can’t do it right, it’s worth doing it anyway you can. Sometimes when we’re feeling down or struggling with low motivation, doing a thing right seems overwhelming. Or
Crisis or Opportunity? Reframing the COVID Crisis

Crisis or Opportunity? Reframing the COVID Crisis

Edward Oriole, providing counseling in arlington heights il talks about COVID crisis & how it can be an opportunity  

digital and physical interaction while staying at home

Staying at home offers it’s own unique set of challenges. If you are still working from home, your family is now all sharing the house together during your work hours. social interaction through social media is a ever increasing trend in our society, but I think staying at home offers a unique option to spend
FREE ONLINE RELAPSE PREVENTION GROUPS

FREE ONLINE RELAPSE PREVENTION GROUPS

Between the mental consideration of relapse and the actual relapse lies the area where relapse can be avoided and recovery continue. That is the area that the group will address.
Practice Gratitude to Decrease Anxiety

Practice Gratitude to Decrease Anxiety

In this time of elevated anxiety, your mind might be overwhelmed with negative thoughts which lead to negative outcomes and then pile into mountains of problems that need solving. Your thoughts and problems are valid, yet your anxiety might be impacting your sleep, appetite, and how you approach others. It is important to step back
Free C19 Virtual Support Group on Tuesdays and Fridays

Free C19 Virtual Support Group on Tuesdays and Fridays

With everything happening in the world around us, we don’t have to look very far to be worried about something. This Free Virtual Support Group is led by counselors at the Lighthouse and designed to address any anxiety, worries or fears people may have because of COVID-19 and the impact it has had. We have
30 Days of Meditation for Healing from COVID-19

30 Days of Meditation for Healing from COVID-19

Join Dr Ray & Jean in 30 days of meditation for healing from this COVID-19 pandemic and all the chaos it has caused our world. This post will be updated each day with the most recent meditation:

Self-Care During Quarantine

Many people are transitioning to working from home. Schools are closed. Libraries are closed. Restaurants no longer offer eat-in dining. Everyone is cooped up at home. I wrote a blog about things to do with your kids while at home last week. Now I’d like to address another topic I care deeply about: self-care. The

Sheltering in Place: A Challenge and an Opportunity

A recurring theme in my recent sessions has been the challenge of adjusting to changes brought about by the recent social distancing and quarantine caused by COVID-19. People who are used to working outside of the home are adjusting to working at home. Children are adjusting to learning from home and they are missing their

Routines in times of quarantine and beyond

As more of our society currently is quarantined inside of their homes, it can be easy to not stick to a routine. The human mind recognizes and adapts quickly to patterns that are seen in daily activity. I propose that now more than ever, families need to stick to routines. Let’s start with the basics:
Coronavirus Virtual Support Group

Coronavirus Virtual Support Group

C19 Virtual Support Group Everyone is worried and needs support at this difficult time. We have created a virtual support group to talk out any fears you may have and join in unity to give support to one another. $10 Friday, March 20, 2020, at 5-6pm Click Here to Register

18 Activities For Quarantined Families

Because of the coronavirus, families are facing unexpected long periods of intense family togetherness. Schools are closed. Many parents are working from home or not able to work at all. And it’s nothing like a planned family vacation, because this time you don’t have the distractions of amusement parks, restaurants or museums to visit. It’s