Chag Purim Sameach!

Communicating with others about your experiences is important for you, and for others to hear!

Sometimes expressing experience in music is a good way to keep personal and group history alive:

And sometimes, sharing special foods is the best communication tradition: (recipe at link)

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(Header image via: https://twitter.com/NYPDQueensSouth)

 

 

 

 

Happy Spring Equinox!

In the Northern Hemisphere, we are now at the balance between length of day and night. After today, the days will be longer than the nights.

People with seasonal depression are likely to find their mood lightening. Many people will feel renewed enthusiasm and motivation for everyday activities and for future plans. Some people may have more difficulty with insomnia, though, so it’s a good time to review your sleep hygiene!

Tonight is also a full moon!

 

 

Targeted Violence in New Zealand Shatters the Peace for All

 

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We are saddened and outraged to hear of the deaths of 49 Muslim worshippers at the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We extend our condolences to the Muslim community in New Zealand and also our Muslim neighbors locally.

A reminder to all that it is important to avoid sharing harmful imagery and materials that primarily publicize terrorist acts and terrorists. This includes the video livestreamed by the shooter, but also stills from the video. One reason is to avoid giving terrorists the publicity they crave, which can also encourage terrorist acts by others.

Another reason is to minimize traumatizing people by making exposure to images of actual violence and killings practically unavoidable as they go about their everyday lives. Traumatic material can severely affect not only those in the specific target group of the violence, but many others as well.

As the above Twitter user has pointed out, instead of giving terrorists free publicity, find ways to help, locally and internationally. Some ideas from others include: showing support and solidarity online or in person, contacting local Muslim organizations to offer help, or donating to specific victim aid.

For Muslims anywhere,

Be mindful of neighbors and coworkers who may be very affected by these events and check in with them if you can.

Be safe, and help others feel safe, too. ❤

Happy International Women’s Day!

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Happy International Women’s Day to ALL women ❤❤❤

Healing, Not Fixing, PTSD

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often best approached as a chronic condition that may have “flare-ups.” This is true of many other mental illnesses and mental injuries as well.

It can certainly be the case that someone experiences some symptoms of PTSD one time and never again in their life, but for most of us, what it means is that we are vulnerable to experiencing symptoms again during periods of stress (or in the case of activating events).

We are experiencing healing, which means we are able to improve certain things with support and as we learn to attend to ourselves, but we don’t know how much everything will heal nor how long it may take. This is different than “fixing,” which is when we remove a “broken” part and replace it, and then everything is as though nothing ever happened. You are an organism, not a bicycle.

This does not mean “I have PTSD, so now everything is hopeless forever,” it means that we need to learn how to manage our environments, life situations, and our selves in order to reduce the severity of symptoms and the likelihood of recurrence, rather than to assume “I haven’t had any symptoms in a year, this must mean it’s okay to stop attending to myself!”

It means not subjecting ourselves to unreasonable stressors and life-sucking situations, personally and in our work. It means taking our physical and emotional discomfort seriously instead of blowing it off until it blows up. It means not listening to internalized minimizing messages that say “suck it up” when distressed. It means learning to re-parent ourselves where necessary.

It means treating ourselves with support, care, and dignity, and developing boundaries to ensure that others do, too. It means practicing self-care as a habit, not only when unduly stressed. It means recognizing symptoms as symptoms, rather than as some kind of weakness that deserves self-punishment.

It means learning what events, people, and circumstances make your symptoms worse, and modifying those as best you can. It means learning what activities, people, and circumstances help you feel better, and including those more. It means taking yourself to the doctor or the therapist when you need to go. Sounds simple, but it’s not always easy!

Basically, it means learning to take care of ourselves “as though” our well-being actually mattered instead of as an afterthought. Let me repeat: treat yourself like your well-being matters, because it does. ❤

 

“Treating yourself with kindness is a life skill. It doesn’t matter whether you are ”good at” this skill It only matters that you keep going💛” — Jeffrey Marsh

 

 

Welcoming John G. Smith, Ph.D., D.Min.!

REV. JOHN G. SMITH, PH.D.

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Rev. Dr. John G. Smith (he/him) is a seasoned cross-cultural Pastoral Counselor who is extensively trained in Theology and in Sexology, with multiple advanced degrees from institutions in Jamaica, Indiana, and Florida. He works with individuals, couples, and families,  for a broad array of issues from grief and loss, relationships, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction, to conflict resolution.

 

Rev. Dr. John G. Smith (he/him) is a seasoned cross-cultural Pastoral Counselor who is extensively trained in Theology and in Sexology. He holds multiple advanced degrees from institutions including the University of the West Indies in  Jamaica, the Graduate Theological Seminary in Indiana, and the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists in Florida.

Reverend John works with individuals, couples, and families, for a broad array of issues from grief and loss, relationships, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction, to conflict resolution for groups.

He brings kindness and acceptance as well as a passion for supporting and working with people in urban settings.

To make an appointment with Rev. John, please call or email us!

About Us

 

 

Immigrant Families Managing Depression, Anxiety

Because of the many layers of stresses and even traumas associated with immigration, immigrants and their families may face high levels of mental distress. This includes things such as traumatic events that were severe enough to make them leave their home country in the first place, as well as the great difficulties in adjusting to a new and sometimes hostile environment.

In some cases, cultural conflict and cultural differences may make dealing with mental health issues even more difficult.  But some members of immigrant groups are working to alleviate this and support mental health of fellow members, such as  Ryan Tanep, in this piece by Malaka Gharibh:

 

It’s the 6th Annual Bi Health Month!

Countering Bi Erasure, it’s the 6th annual Bi Health Awareness Month:

 

 

 

 

(Lancaster rainbow stickers can be purchased from Madcap & Co.)