Hey everybody, happy Wednesday! And like I’ve mentioned yesterday, today will be my last video of the week because it is Thanksgiving weekend in the States and so I will be taking Thursday and Friday off. But I’ll get back on Monday and on Tuesday I’ll be on Tumblr so ask your questions there. Now before I forget, I tweeted out yesterday the code for free shipping on my website. If you ordered two items or more, they’ve offered free shipping, and I believe it begins today or tomorrow. And, so, I think it was actually yesterday that’s why I tweeted it out then but I can’t remember so it’s all in that tweet. If it’s available now, it will say it and it has the little promo code that you need to use and I think it’s ‘xmas2’ or something like that. So check out my Twitter feed, get the promo code if you want to buy two or more items, you get shipping for free which can really save you the extra I think it’s 10 dollars or something crazy. I forget how much I paid for all that stuff I just got but it’ll really help save you some buckeroos around the holidays. Now, another thing (I have some notes over here cause I keep forgetting to mention these things) I’m also going to be co-hosting a group, an anxiety group, in Westwood and it’s going to be coming up. It’s in the Los Angeles area, obviously Westwood is near UCLA, for those of you who aren’t familiar. It’ll be starting in January and it’ll be running on Monday night. So if any of you are interested in joining, now like I said, it’s an anxiety group, and most of our participants are going to be teenagers. We have a bunch of people around the age of 12 to 14 and some 16- to 18-year-olds. So if you are in that range and you’re in the LA area and you’re interested, shoot me an email at [email protected] and let me know cause I still have a few spots left. I just want to make sure everybody who wants it knows about it and knows that it’s available. We’ll be starting the Monday of Martin Luther King Jr Day. I think it’s the 19th of January or 16th of January. Something like that. Anyway, if you’re interested, let me know. Now I have three questions today, and I’ve already been on the website at katimorton.com and YouTube so I’ve answered many of your questions and commented on many of your comments already. But I have three more and I have a journal topic from Jill so let’s get going. The first question says “Hey Kati, I’ve come so far in my recovery from self harm and suicidal ideations, but within the last week I have slipped back into hearing the negative self harm and suicidal ideation voices in my head. It’s debilitating, it’s distracting and I don’t have any time to miss work now that I have a real job. I don’t want to fall back into the darkness that I was in last year, so what’s your advice?” Now, this happens to all of us. First I want you all to know that struggling and kind of peaking and waning and feeling like I’m doing great in my recovery then all of a sudden the urges come back, is very normal. It can be many different reasons why it’s happening. It can be the holidays, it can be the weather outside, it could be stressful situations around family or friends or money or any number of things that can make us just more stressed, not sleeping as well. It kind of brings our not just immune system, but kind of our emotional immune system down and makes it harder for us to stop those urges from coming up and the thoughts from coming back. And so, when this happens, what do we do? Now I deal with this a lot with my clients and the thing I always say is, What’s in your toolbox? What worked before? Let’s grab it. Let’s pull it out. Let’s get it together. Let’s start using our tools because the thing that happens most often is when we’re really doing well, we don’t really do anything to keep up our wellness. We’re not taking care of our mind and our body. We kind of let things slip because things are okay and we don’t think about it all the time so therefore we’re not thinking of how to take care of ourselves like we were and remembering to journal like we were and remembering to reach out and vent about things that are going on like we used to. So I would encourage you to remember what worked before and put it back into play. But to make sure that we’re doing it regularly, keeping up our healthy mind and healthy body is something we have to do every day. I know that’s really annoying and it sounds like a lot of work but we’re investing in ourselves. We’re investing in bettering ourselves and helping ourselves get through some of the shitty, hard times. That would be my number one word of advice. The second thing that I would offer in the same kind of vein as that is reaching out for extra support – joining a group, getting back in therapy, calling your therapist, anything like that to make sure you have extra support. Even talking to your friends and making sure you have plans to get together with them. Maybe it’s the isolation that’s making it worse. We need to make sure we have all the support that we can possibly get and that we’re going to use our tools. Okay? And if any of you have tools and tips and tricks that have helped you get out of this, can you let us know down below? Because the more we share, the more we all benefit, right? Okay, now the second question that I have is “Hey Kati. You mentioned in this video that one of the clients gave you a gift. What kind of things are appropriate to give your therapist and at what times? Thanks.” Now I wanted to talk about this because the holidays are coming up and I’ve heard from many of you that you’d like to give cards or gifts and you don’t know what’s appropriate to give a therapist. Honestly, as long as it is a small, thoughtful gift, I think it’s fine. Usually clients give me gifts after they come back from vacation and they’re like, “Oh I saw this cute little thing and I thought about you”. I’ll put it and keep it in my office so that they know I liked it and it’s part of our therapy and they’ll see it every time. It can kind of be a good transitional object which are stuff people see when they’re moving through stuff. It can be something that’s always there. Cards are great. Just anything that’s not worth a lot. Don’t try giving your therapist a huge gift that’s really expensive like a $200 cashmere sweater or something like that cause we can’t accept that. Ethically, it puts us in a bizarre situation but anything that’s just thoughtful maybe something you made – you could bring desserts, you could bring any kind of card or anything you made is great. And that’s what I actually received. It was something that my client had worked on and made. And so I thought it was really cool and so obviously I’ll accept it! It was great. So that gives you an idea. Something that isn’t worth a ton but it means a lot emotionally for you, that’s what I would go with. You can give them around the holidays, you can give them around different anniversaries in your treatment, pretty much any time you want to. But like I said, just remember that we’re not supposed to be receiving gifts all the time as therapists. That’s not really what we do, so just make sure it means something to you. You can do it when you feel like it, okay? Question number three. “Hey Kati! How do you decide which topics are most important to bring up during your therapy appointment when life just seems so overwhelming? I’ve made lists, but sometimes we don’t even get through half the list and by my next appointment I’ve got new things to talk about when we haven’t even touched the stuff from the last time. I hope this makes sense. How do I decide what is the most pressing issue? Thanks for all that you do.” Now this got a lot of chatter on the website and a lot of people were like, “Me too, I struggle with this.” “Me too, omg I don’t know either!” Now, when I first read this, my little radar went up. I was like, this person needs therapy more frequently! And that’s the basis, the foundation of what I would tell a client of mine. I would try to find another way to work them into my schedule so that I see them twice a week. Hoping that that’s a possibility for you, that’s what I would try to do because when therapy sessions feel so far apart and there’s so much that goes on in between, there’s never enough time in a session to talk about it all. We want to make sure we get more time in therapy if possible. I know it’s not always a perfect world. We can’t always get that when we need it but please please please try to. If you can book double sessions, do that. If you can book twice a week, do that. Get it to a point where you feel like it’s manageable each time you see them. That’s what therapy should feel like. Otherwise, you’re not really getting your needs met. Okay? Now the second thing. The list is a great idea. But I would focus more on… I would journal, like I always say. I know it’s annoying but I promise it works. I would start journaling every night about what’s going on. And before you go to therapy, I would read through your journal. It helps you see what has been going on and what you have talked about the most. Because you’ll see in your journal if there’s a vein of discussion that you keep bringing up. Like “And, that test is coming up. It’s really stressing me out.” or “And that stupid boy has been really bugging me.” or “That breakup I was going through…” or “I’m really struggling with my self harm urges.” Whatever it is, you’ll see the vein of it running through every one of your journal entries. Journaling really helps us keep a pulse on what’s going on in our lives and emotionally how we’re doing. And then right before session, we can read through it to kind of see what’s going on and that will help us decide what the most pressing issue is. Now the third and final option that I would give is… I do this with some of my clients if let’s say I don’t have them in my schedule to see them twice a week or they can’t afford to see me twice a week. I will offer up the ability for them to email me, knowing very well I will not answer. I don’t respond to emails from my clients unless it’s a pressing issue. But it gives them an outlet, so they can talk about things and that reminds me so I bring up the biggest issue that I feel is happening. It can help us go from there and help us to continue to move forward. It gives them an outlet in between sessions where they can actually express what’s going on and what they’re struggling with. So, I hope that one of those options worked for you and there’s something you’re able to implement into your own treatment. If anybody else has any tips and tricks, let us know, okay? Now, journal topic. Thanks Jill! She sent this a while ago but I always re-search and I look through all of them. Like I said, I read everything and so I came across this today and she said that she came across this idea on her Facebook newsfeed. “When faced with a difficult decision or situation, ask yourself, what would my favourite book or TV or movie character do? If you have a favourite one… I’m a fan of Carrie from Sex in the City. I really like Sex in the City. I grew up watching it. Or I also like Kate Beckett from Castle. She kicks ass. You can pick a character, any character that you really like, that you feel would be a good character to potentially take action as. Because, then she says, “I answered this question from my favourite book character and it actually gave me insight into my situation and how I handle it versus a healthier way to handle it. So I’m taking my book character’s advice and looking at all the good in my life and trying to love me for me.” Give it a try! And I think that’s really cool. It really helps us, like she said, it helps you look at something from a different perspective and sometimes that’s all we need to help make the right and more healthy decision for us. I love you all and I want you all to know whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I want to let you know that I’m really thankful for each one of you, for our community. I wouldn’t be able to do what I love – making these videos and interacting with each of you if you weren’t there, if there were no community, there’d be no reason for me to put out videos. And so, all of your letters, all of your comments, all of your feedback, are what feeds me and keeps me going. And I’m thankful for you, each and every day. I love you all, I’ll see you on Monday. Have a wonderful long weekend. Bye!