“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” -Carl Jung
Recently, I have listened to and participated in many conversations about self-care. It has been comforting to have this awareness and understanding that not everything is a “one size fits all”. We all have tools and things we use to help ourselves, but it’s knowing that what works for one person may look completely different for someone else.
Two tools that work for me - and have profoundly impacted my life - are a monthly visit with my acupuncturist (post here) and a monthly chat with my therapist. These are my “self-care non-negotiables” that are constantly on rotation. Therapy, for me, is for when life is easy and for when life is hard. It is a safe place and a non-judgemental place to be compassionate with ourselves and vulnerable with our feelings - whatever those feelings may be. It’s a place where we go inward, being self-aware of our feelings and accepting who we are - the good and the not so great, and everything in between.
See below for my interview with Morgan Morris, MEd, LPCA of Welcoming Wellness about her therapy practice and how she works with individuals to achieve better health through peace of mind.
“Setting healthy boundaries in my life and relationships reminds me that I am in charge of nurturing my joy.” ~Alex Elle
SS: In this fast paced world that we live in, do you believe there is awareness and conversation around emotional health? And a willingness to talk about stress and well-being?
Welcoming Wellness: I truly believe that in this past year, the landscape of mental health has seen landmark challenges and progress. Catastrophes, both made made and natural, have triggered our anxieties and have open our eyes to self-care, self-awareness, and compassion and helped us understand that they are more important than ever. There’s still much work to be done but I do believe our culture has made true strides in the arena of having conversations about mental health. We’ve heard from real life sufferers about their experiences with mental health, celebrities who have spoken out about their struggles with anxiety and depression, even learned what we can from controversial shows like 13 Reasons Why. Social media has provided a platform for mental health experts to share useful coping skills and therapeutic techniques to help those who are struggling and most importantly; our conversations with loved ones have become more open and welcoming to true struggles that we’re suffering with. The shift in people seeing the importance of communicating with friends and loved ones has been profound, particularly in our Charleston community. I am so excited to see the progress continue around the conversations about mental health and the importance of seeking help when needed.
SS: What is your approach in working with clients to helping them become aligned with one’s mind, body and spirit?
Welcoming Wellness: At the core of my approach is a genuine, authentic,and non-judgemental foundation; I very much value and respect each individual's vulnerability and treat it with care and safety. It takes true bravery and commitment to engage in therapy and I feel absolutely honored to work with each person that sits in my office. Each individual comes with their own uniqueness in terms of values, beliefs, support system, and self-worth...in order to appropriately treat each client I tailor my approach to meet their needs. My approach incorporates all aspects of our experience on this earth - mind, body, spirit, and community. Those approaches can range from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to Commitment and Acceptance Therapy...or often times a combination of several therapeutic approaches! I believe in therapy and have seen it change lives, particularly during challenging or transitional moments in life.
SS: Let’s talk emotional boundaries! One of the most important things that I have realized in working with my own therapist is how important my energy is to me. To be fully present I have to protect that energy by building boundaries. Can you speak to how you work with clients to build boundaries, especially around comparison, negative self talk and prioritizing needs?
Welcoming Wellness: Practice them! Life is practice. Nothing worthwhile comes without it. Pleasing others, for some of us, tends to come before our own needs. Because of this we have little or no awareness around how to set or keep boundaries...If we do attempt boundaries people sometimes label us as heartless or wrong and they may demand explanations or outright ignore what we’ve stated. People with high self worth understand boundaries and they respect the people who keep them, because they keep them themselves! I always remind clients a few things to remember when setting boundaries:
1. It’s going to feel very uncomfortable and like your doing something “wrong” at first
2. Some people don’t respect boundaries because they may not know how to keep their own, do not take this personally
3. Full-filled people respect boundaries and are not hurt when others keep them
4. Struggling to keep boundaries is a manifestation of lack of self-worth
5. You are not required to give an explanation: silence is a response
SS: Therapy isn’t a quick fix, it takes practice and consistency. You have to do it over and over again until it becomes a part of who you are. Do you recommend regular and consistent visits even when things are not in crisis?
Welcoming Wellness: Absolutely! There is always room for growth and clarity; therapy can help normalize emotions even when things aren’t in crisis. Your feelings aren’t wrong, or right actually, they are just very important indicators of what’s going on below the surface so it doesn’t matter if your feelings to don’t “measure up” to a crisis… they’re still real.
SS: What does wellness mean to you and how do you use this in your practice?
Welcoming Wellness: To me, wellness means the state of being in good health and that includes emotional health. Therapy is HARD, just like physical exercise it hard, but with time you get healthier. I see therapy as a form of self care, similar to diet and exercise. Emotional wellness encompases a wide variety of components that includes us being attentive to our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Emotional wellness gives us the ability to be aware and accepting of our emotions, it allows us to cope with life’s challenges, and to keep problems in perspective.
For appointments with Morgan, in person or teletherapy, send her an email email@example.com. Also, head over to the Welcoming Wellness website to learn more about their approach.
As with anything that I share, feel free to reach out with questions or comments!