Resilience Helps Trauma Recovery

spinsight Counseling, General Psychology, Individual Therapy, LGBTQ
the image of a purple flower pushing through the concrete is an example of resilience. This is representative of the resilience that people demonstrate when recovering from trauma

The Surprising Science Behind Resilience and Trauma:

Resilience has surprising scientific powers.

As a former news reporter, we were always taught "if it bleeds, it leads". Click or swipe anywhere online and you'll see that adage still holds true. But I think there is a growing population that loves a good comeback story even more. The down and out family recovers from losing everything to gaining fame and fortune. The high school athlete suffers a catastrophic injury only to heal, persevere through therapy and win the gold. The stories and movies are endless.

The best comeback stories are when people show their true grit and resilience to overcome their obstacle, pain or trauma. There's actually scientific proof to show why resilience is a key to recovering from trauma. Having and demonstrating resilience is so powerful and could become a key treatment to recovering from all kinds of trauma and stress.

Understanding the Science of Resilience

Resilience, in psychological terms, refers to the ability to bounce back from adversity and adapt positively to life's challenges. Studies have shown that being exposed to these types of stories can enhance your well-being. This includes being able to increase self awareness, self control, openness with others, and better decision-making while also being associated with decreasing anxiety.

Dr. Steven Southwick, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University, explains in his book "Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges", that resilience is not a fixed trait but rather a dynamic process. The brain, he says, possesses neuroplasticity—the ability to reorganize itself in response to trauma. Therefore, it acts as a buffer against the negative effects of stress and trauma, aiding in the rewiring of neural pathways for a healthier mental state.

Other neurobiologists have found that certain neural pathways associated with resilience can be strengthened through various practices, such as mindfulness, social support, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT); which is why these three specialities are offered here at The Life Change Group.

Why Resilience is so Important

Psychologist Angela Duckworth, known for her research on grit and perseverance, offers another powerful perspective. She notes that success is often not just about talent but about sustained effort over time. Duckworth's insights underscore the importance of tenacity and resilience in the face of obstacles, reminding us that setbacks are not the end but rather opportunities for growth and healing.

In the words of Winston Churchill, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." Let these words resonate in your heart as a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit.

Embrace resilience as your companion on the journey to recovery, and remember, you have the power to write your own headline.

For More Information

To find out more about how to deal with trauma or anxiety, please check out our Specialties page.

Empowering Our LBGTQ Friends

spinsight Counseling, General Psychology, Individual Therapy, LGBTQ
How to become a better ally to the LGTBQ+ community

Empowering our LGBTQ Friends

How can we be a better ally?

Empowering our LGBTQ friends is a key first step to becoming a better ally. As a leading psychologist committed to promoting mental health and well-being, I am often asked about the best ways to reach out and support the LGBTQ community. In this blog post we’ll explore practical and psychological approaches to foster inclusivity and establish a safe space.

How can we be more inclusive?

Creating a more inclusive environment involves a conscious effort to embrace diversity and promote understanding. This requires having an open instead of a closed mindset, and one key step is educating oneself about LGBTQ issues, terminology, and experiences. Acknowledging and respecting individuals’ preferred pronouns is also a fundamental aspect of inclusivity. This is a foundational to empower our LGBTQ friends and a simple way to recognizing and affirm identities.

At an even higher level, practicing active listening and open communication are essential tools for building bridges. In a recent Forbes article (subscription may be required) focusing on allyship, the author noted, ““the onus [for listening] should not be on the affected community to tell me what to do to help, but for me as an ally to discover by listening, understanding and, most importantly, empathizing, how I can help.” It’s crucial to create spaces where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences without fear of judgment. By actively seeking to understand the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community, we can contribute to a more empathetic and supportive environment.

Promoting inclusivity also involves advocating for equal rights and challenging discriminatory practices. Being an ally involves not only supporting LGBTQ individuals personally but also using one’s voice to address systemic issues and push for positive change.

How can we raise awareness for the LGBTQ community?

Raising awareness for the LGBTQ community is a multifaceted endeavor that involves education, visibility, and fostering empathy. We all play a crucial role in learning, sharing and disseminating accurate information about sexual orientation, gender identity, and the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

Educational initiatives can take various forms, such as workshops, seminars, and informational campaigns. By engaging with diverse communities, we can all dispel myths and misconceptions, promoting a more informed and understanding society.

Media representation is a powerful tool for raising awareness and ensuring accurate and positive portrayals of LGBTQ individuals that contribute to the normalization of diverse identities. By highlighting the richness and diversity within the LGBTQ community, we can challenge stereotypes and promote a more inclusive narrative.

How do we make LGBTQ individuals feel welcome?

Creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ individuals involves intentional actions and a commitment to inclusivity. Allies can contribute by displaying inclusive signage, such as pride flags or LGBTQ affirming materials, in their offices. This signals to clients that their identities are recognized and respected.

Using inclusive language is another crucial aspect of creating a welcoming space. We can all adapt our communication styles to be affirming and supportive, avoiding assumptions about clients’ gender identities or sexual orientations. Training staff to be aware of and sensitive to LGBTQ issues is essential for fostering a culture of acceptance.

Additionally, all allies can cultivate a welcoming atmosphere by actively seeking feedback from LGBTQ clients. This can help identify areas for improvement and ensure that the practice is responsive to the unique needs of diverse individuals.

How do we create a safe environment for LGBTQ individuals?

Establishing a safe environment for LGBTQ individuals requires a commitment to creating spaces free from discrimination, judgment, and bias. Allies can start by implementing nondiscrimination policies that explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity. This sets a clear standard for inclusivity within the practice.
It’s also important to remember that confidentiality is paramount in creating a safe therapeutic space. As a psychologist, I assure all of my clients that their identities and experiences will be treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality. This is especially crucial for LGBTQ individuals, who may face additional challenges related to stigma and discrimination.

Ongoing education and training are vital for maintaining a safe environment. Staying informed about the latest research on LGBTQ mental health, cultural competence, and affirming therapeutic practices ensures that professionals are equipped to provide the highest quality care.

Our Role as Allies in Empowering our LGBTQ friends

Ultimately, we all have our part to play in empowering our LGBTQ friends by fostering inclusivity, raising awareness, creating welcoming environments, and establishing safe spaces. By integrating these principles into both professional practices and personal interactions, we can contribute to a more equitable and supportive society for everyone.

We All Want Stress Relief

Stress is Everywhere and We All Want Relief

Stress relief is one of the most discussed topics at psychology offices around the country. We all have stress and are looking for more and better ways to deal with it. A recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) showed that nearly all major age groups report having more stress in 2023 compared to four years ago (pre-pandemic).

Life’s demands can be overwhelming, leaving us stressed and fatigued. It’s crucial to understand how stress affects us and adopt effective techniques recommended by psychologists to manage it.

Physical Stress Reliefs

You can start with these four physical ways to reduce stress:

  1. Get Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is a potent stress buster and often one of the easiest to initiate. Physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. Engaging in activities like walking, jogging, or yoga not only helps clear the mind but also promotes overall well-being. The key is making exercise consistent and regular. We all don’t have to become gym rats and do this everyday. Everyone’s level and intensity of exercise will be different, but the important aspect is that consistency.
  2. Eat Healthy, Regular Meals, and Stay Hydrated: Nutrition plays a vital role in managing stress and most Americans do not eat the right amount of healthy foods. According to a 2019 JAMA study, “42% of the American diet is still coming from low-quality carbs, and about 12% is coming from saturated fat.”  Most dieticians recommend a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, as they can contribute to stress. Staying hydrated is equally important. The Mayo Clinic says that adults lose eight to 12 cups of water through breathing, perspiring, and going to the bathroom. In general, men need at least 12 cups of fluid daily, while women require a minimum of nine cups. Drinking water is very important.
  3. Make Sleep a Priority: Adequate sleep is essential for mental and physical health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that we establish a consistent sleep routine, aiming for 7-9 hours per night. Quality sleep rejuvenates the body, enhances mood, and improves resilience to stress. In fact, the opposite is true too. A Northwestern University professor found that “sleep loss induces a potent antidepressant effect and rewires the brain. This is an important reminder of how our casual activities, such as a sleepless night, can fundamentally alter the brain in as little as a few hours.”
  4. Try a Relaxing Activity: Engaging in relaxing activities like reading, listening to music, or practicing mindfulness can calm the mind and reduce stress. Experiment with different activities to discover what works best for you.

Mental Stress Reliefs

After you've tackled those, try these next four steps to reduce stress and de-clutter your mind and re-focus your positive thoughts:

  1. Set Goals and Priorities: Setting realistic goals and priorities helps manage stress by providing a sense of direction and accomplishment. Break down tasks into manageable steps and celebrate achievements along the way.
  2. Practice Gratitude: Cultivating gratitude can shift focus from stressors to positive aspects of life. Regularly reflecting on and expressing gratitude for the good things can improve overall mental well-being.
  3. Focus on Positivity: Positive thinking can counteract stress. Instead of dwelling on challenges, focus on solutions and positive outcomes. Surround yourself with positive influences and practice self-compassion.
  4. Stay Connected: Maintaining social connections is crucial for emotional well-being. Share your thoughts and feelings with trusted friends or family members. Social support provides a safety net during challenging times.

Other Stress Management Techniques

While taking these eight steps will help to reduce stress in most people, there are also a few key stress management techniques and ways you can reduce stress that you can start today:

  • Mindfulness practices
  • Time management
  • Deep breathing
  • Spending time in nature
  • Engaging in laughter

Making Your Own Plan

Incorporating these stress relief techniques and self-care practices into your daily routine can significantly enhance your ability to manage stress and lead a more balanced and fulfilling life. Remember that it’s essential to find what works best for you and make self-care a priority in your journey toward well-being.

Managing and Thriving with ADHD

how to thrive with ADHD, advice from The Life Change Group

How to Thrive with ADHD


According to Forbes Magazine, nearly 9 million adults in the U.S. have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

  • Nearly 60% of U.S. children with ADHD also have at least one other mental, emotional or behavioral condition—such as anxiety or depression
  • The average age for an ADHD diagnosis is 7 years old, and it is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls
  • ADHD is more commonly diagnosed in Black, non-Hispanic children (12%) than white children (10%), Hispanic children (8%) and non-Hispanic children (3%)
  • An estimated 77% of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD receive treatment, while the remaining 23% receive no treatment
  • An estimated 35% to 78% of children diagnosed with ADHD maintain symptoms as an adult

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at any age poses many unique challenges, but with the right blend of strategies and habits, people can not only manage their symptoms but also thrive in all aspects of life. Effective management begins with understanding the condition. For more details, read our ADHD overview.

Adopting tailored strategies such as structured routines, time management techniques, and organizational tools can significantly enhance daily functioning. In this article, we'll explore 8 key strategies for managing symptoms and uncovering the path to success.

Coping and Thriving:

  • Coping mechanisms are essential for individuals with ADHD. Implementing stress-reducing activities, mindfulness practices, and seeking support from friends, family, or support groups can contribute to a more balanced lifestyle. 
  • Thriving involves embracing one's strengths and focusing on personal growth. Positive affirmations, setting realistic goals, and celebrating achievements, no matter how small, can foster a sense of accomplishment and well-being.

Symptom Relief:

  • Explore various methods for symptom relief, including medication, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. A holistic approach can provide a more comprehensive solution for managing symptoms.

Self-Help Tips :

  • Empowerment comes from within. Discover self-help tips tailored to your specific needs, incorporating techniques like visualization, goal setting, and creating a supportive environment.
  • Lifestyle adjustments play a crucial role in ADHD management. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. These changes can positively impact focus, attention, and overall well-being.


  • Enhance productivity by identifying peak times of focus, breaking tasks into manageable steps, and utilizing tools such as planners or productivity apps. Small adjustments can lead to significant improvements.
  • Explore different focus techniques, including the Pomodoro technique, mindful breathing, and sensory grounding exercises. Experiment with these methods to discover what works best for your unique needs.
  • Consider holistic approaches to treatment, incorporating alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, or neurofeedback. These complementary methods can complement traditional approaches for a more comprehensive treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

Managing ADHD symptoms and thriving is a journey that requires self-awareness, tailored strategies, and a supportive community. By adopting a holistic approach that encompasses lifestyle adjustments, coping mechanisms, and a positive mindset, individuals can unlock their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. Remember, success with ADHD is not just about managing symptoms but also about embracing individual strengths and celebrating the journey toward personal growth and achievement.