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Author: jodispencer

codependency, trauma, narcissistic abuse

What is a narcissist?

Narcissistic abuse seems to be on the rise, and anyone who’s suffered through it can tell you it’s pretty miserable. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, is the resource psychology professionals use for diagnosing and defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as significant impairments in personality functioning. Individuals struggling with personality disorders often…
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depression

Depression: 5 ways you’re making it worse

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental disorders, affecting approximately 16 million adults in the United States. you’re playing the victim Too often I see depressed clients who feel that they’re the target of everyone’s anger, hatred, loathing, and blame.  They’re internalizing all of the bad, and participating in a behavior known as “learned…
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trauma

What is trauma?

What is trauma? Trauma is a word used by behavioral health professionals to refer to a disturbing or distressing event in a patient or client’s past.  It can be something that happened when you were a kid, or something that happened yesterday. Some counselors may even distinguish between “little” trauma and “big” trauma.  Little trauma…
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anxiety

Anxiety – What is it? What can I do about it?

Anxiety can rear it’s ugly head in many different symptoms, locations, and triggers.  Sometimes it can hit for no apparent reason, out of the blue while you’re buying groceries.  Other times you may know what’s caused the sudden onset.  Oftentimes it’s like a simmering pot, waiting to boil over the edges but only seldom boiling…
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depression

How do I know if I’m depressed?

What is depression? The term “depression” gets thrown around quite a bit.  You’ll often hear people say they’re depressed about failing a test or get depressed every time they hear a certain song, perhaps.  The words “depression” and “sad” are not interchangeable, as far as clinical psychology goes. Everyone gets sad from time to time…
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What is EMDR?

After years of doing my own therapy work, I was blown away at the effectiveness of EMDR techniques and have since attended certification courses and begun using it with my own clients. What is EMDR? EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing and is especially effective in treating trauma.  Trauma can rear it’s head in…
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My favorite books for therapy

All therapists seem to have their favorite resources for recommending to clients or supporting their knowledge base. Here are a few of mine! Melody Beattie does an awesome job of explaining codependency in lay terms with case examples and self-evaluation.  There’s even an accompanying workbook! The Emotionally Absent Mother was a game changer for me…
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