Episode 15:  Alyssa Rieckelman

 
 
 

Today, we’re talking about mental and emotional health. Alyssa Rieckelman is a licensed mental health counselor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling. Over the last 7 years, she worked in non-profit focusing on community mental health and those with persistent mental illness. Recently, she moved to Naples FL and works independently, focusing on individuals who experience trauma, depression, anxiety, and couples’ therapy.

  • How do you know you want to seek out a therapist?

    • If you constantly ask yourself “why”

      • Why is this happening?

      • Why is my relationship this way?

      • Etc.

    • If you start to hear patterns in your thoughts

  • When do you know you have depression and need to seek help vs. just a bad week?

    • According to the DSM: if this happens persistently every day for two weeks

  • Trauma depressive symptoms vs. non-trauma depression

    • Reaction to trauma is different- recommend therapist as soon as possible vs waiting 2 weeks 

    • Loss and grief are different emotions than depression

  • Walk us through the process of going to a therapist

    • Every therapist is different with different approaches 

    • Don’t worry about saying the right thing

      • Any well-trained therapist knows the right questions

    • Consistently, studies show that development of therapeutic relationship is 60% of someone’s ability to get better

  • Trauma can be difficult to re-live in therapy

    • Soda bottle analogy

      • Picture people as a bottle of soda

      • Carbonation is our thoughts and feelings

      • Trauma= bottle gets knocked off the table

      • You don’t want to open the bottle because you don’t want everything to spew up and make a mess

      • Therapy: helps clients start to loosen the cap slowly and not be afraid of these emotions

    • Going into therapy, therapist should explain what to expect

  • 40% of therapy are “modalities”- what are examples of these?

    • Talk therapy

    • Cognitive behavior therapy- more goal-oriented

  • Anxiety- what can you do besides breathing?

    • There’s a lot! (And breathing is helpful!)

    • I’ve been using a burn journal frequently with my patients

      • Write a stream of consciousness when you start to feel anxious followed by ripping it up and burning it

  • Are we (especially as women) being selfish for self-care?

    • Importance to “put your mask on before helping others”

    • Take a step back, am I emptying my cup when I’m doing this?

      • You can’t pour from an empty cup

      • If you are empty, you must fill up before you can help

        • It’s not selfish if you’re not hurting anyone

    • Would you want your kids to feel like you do currently?

      • If the answer is “no”, it’s time to get some help or fill your cup 

  • What are some strategies for self-care?

    • Is it serving you or filling your cup? OR are you just distracting yourself?

    • Shy away from “good” and “bad”

      • Better: is it helpful or unhelpful? Is it serving your or is it not serving you?

  • How do we go about finding a therapist?

    • Start by looking at yourself- what do you want to be different?

      • If I could wave a magic wand to solve all your problems, what is the first thing you would notice in the morning that signifies your life is different?

    • Psychology Today is a great place to start (www.psychologytoday.com

  • Is there a difference in seeing a therapist on the phone vs. in person?

    • Ultimately, any therapy is better than no therapy

      • It is most important to get access to help

    • In person is always better if you can do it, especially for the first time

  • Let’s talk about couples therapy- when do you seek that out?

    • Having it at the very beginning would be helpful, but most people don’t think about prevention

      • Advocate!

    • So important for couples to have tools to encourage communication

      • Think “coaching” vs “counseling”

      • 5 Love Languages (The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman)

        • Understand our partner’s love language and try to speak more frequently

        • Also see when your partner is trying to speak your love language

  • As I age, I have to work harder to be more motivated. Is this normal? Why?

    • As we age, we become more aware of the future and of diminishing returns

    • Our bodies change

    • Our responsibilities change- they typically become less time and emotionally consuming

    • Aspect of meaning with retirement—finding a new purpose

  • Stuck in emptiness, how do you get out of that slump?

    • Movement Precedes Motivation

    • Opposite action: what your brain tells you to do, do the opposite

    • Social connection: being in space with someone

  • Where can we find you?

  • Takeaway today: Movement Precedes Motivation

    • Start with what you will do, not what you want to do