Setting realistic and manageable goals in the New Year

Setting realistic and manageable goals in the New Year

"While the new year can be exciting; it can also be a challenging time..."

Setting realistic and manageable goals in the New Year!

For many of us a new year represents a chance to turn the page from the previous year and an opportunity to create positive changes in our lives. While the new year can be exciting; it can also be a challenging time due to the increased pressure we place on ourselves, resulting in an unsuccessful resolution. The American Psychological Association reports that many of us experience an increase in anxiety and feelings of frustration as early as the month of February. When we are ready to make a change there are things that we can do to increase our success rate! The American Psychological Association and Psychology Today recommend the following:

Start small and set realistic expectations

A new year’s resolution may feel overwhelming because we are looking at the end goal rather than the small steps, we can take to achieve the goal. Ask yourself: Is your goal realistic? Is there a specific plan you can create to achieve your goals? Will you be able to accomplish this goal within a certain period of time? Will this goal benefit you long- term?

Give yourself grace

Many of us struggle with perfectionism and using the phrase “I should have ____.” We are all human and while creating more manageable steps for achieving our goals is helpful it is only half the battle. We all miss the mark sometimes and have things happen in life that do not go to plan. In these moments it is important to meet yourself with grace and compassion. If you are kind to yourself, it will be easier to pick yourself up from the misstep and avoid falling completely.

Connect with your support system

During periods of change it is important to remain connected with a support system and surround yourself with those who are capable of providing encouragement and support. You may find support through your family, friends, or groups in your community. Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers are also helpful resources for assisting you in your goals for the new year!

In the season, consider what it is you might be able to offer yourself. If you want to add to your support system, The Refuge Center is an available resource for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 615-591-5262.

Resources:

American Psychological Association. (2019, November 10). Making your New Year’s resolution stick. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from https://www.apa.org/topics/behavioral-health/new-year-resolutions

American Psychological Association. (2010). Making lifestyle changes that last. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from https://www.apa.org/topics/behavioral-health/healthy-lifestyle-changes 

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Michaelia Savage

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Holiday Boundaries

Holiday Boundaries

"While the holiday season brings about beautiful themes of selflessness and generosity, it can be a challenge to know your limits..."

As friends and family join in tying fresh pine trees on cars, hanging sparkling ornaments, and planning parties, the holiday season signifies for many a time of connection. We hope the gifts beneath the tree convey how deeply we cherish those in our lives. The Christmas season is a reminder to embrace the spirit of generosity, whether that is with our time, with our finances, or with our love. However, in evaluating all that we have to offer this holiday season, it is easy to question whether we have the mental, emotional, or financial resources to fulfill those expectations.

While the holiday season brings about beautiful themes of selflessness and generosity, it can be a challenge to know your limits and maintain the boundaries related to what is necessary and uniquely appropriate for you during this time. So what does it look like to begin to draw those lines? Here are some ideas for reflection:

1. Consider being more intentional about which gatherings you attend. While you may feel a natural desire to RSVP “yes” to every event and invitation, scaling back on commitments may offer you the space you need to care for yourself.

2. Define financial boundaries that feel right to you. How much money do you feel comfortable spending this holiday season? Perhaps that means deciding to not exchange gifts as a family this year or shifting the expectations you have of what those gifts should look like.

3. Allow yourself the freedom to step away from spaces that do not serve you. Perhaps that means not participating in activities that make you uncomfortable or choosing to disengage from certain conversations.

In the season of giving, consider what it is you might be able to offer yourself. If boundaries are a challenge for you, you may need some additional support in this area. The Refuge Center is an available resource for you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 615-591-5262.

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, India Lacerda

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Job Posting: Contract Therapist

Job Posting: Contract Therapist

Job Description

Position/Title:  Contract Therapist

Organization:  The Refuge Center for Counseling

Category:  Independent Contractor

Location:  Franklin Office

Reports to:  Director of the Contract Program

Purpose of the Position:  Therapists for the Contract program will provide excellent services to individuals based on the mission of the Refuge Center for Counseling.

Specific Duties

  • Maintain weekly caseload of Individual and family clients.
  • Turn in monthly stats by the end of each month.
  • Attend regular meetings with Director of the Contract Program.
  • Support policies and procedures of The Refuge Center for Counseling.
  • Demonstrate administrative and ethical excellence in notes, files, reports, EMR, etc.

Critical Qualities

  • A passion for the Refuge Center’s mission, vision, and culture to offer high quality, professional counseling services to everyone, no matter their income level.
  • Understanding of the importance of mental health, therapy, counseling, and the confidential nature of our work.
  • Ability to be flexible and prioritize responsibilities in a fast-paced, changing work environment.
  • Ability to be self-directed and show initiative.
  • Maintain ethical documentation.
  • Maintain all requirements for state licensure during time of employment.

Skills, Education, Experience

  • Minimum of a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work or related field.
  • Current licensure in the state of Tennessee OR necessary Individual Licensure Supervision.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Participation in continuing education opportunities as required by State License and The Refuge Center.

Compensation

  • Based on level of experience and training.

Additional

  • Up to $100 for liability insurance annually (pro-rated)
  • Up to $100 for CEUs annually (pro-rated)

Those interested in applying may send their cover letter and resume to Elizabeth Edwards at elizabeth.edwards@therefugecenter.org

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Developing the Habit of Gratitude

Developing the Habit of Gratitude

"What if you make this season a time to practice the habit of gratitude?"

As we make our way through the holiday season, there are so many little emotional triggers—for better or for worse—that surround us. The smells…the colors…the change of weather…the music…these are all constant reminders that evoke different feelings, depending on what this season has been like for you in the past. Maybe your family has always been close and this is a sacred time to reunite and celebrate. Or perhaps this season is a prompt for pain and loss—a throbbing reminder of what’s missing.

Regardless of where you’re coming from, we can use these little seasonal sensory triggers to move us toward a healthier way of being. What if you make this season a time to practice the habit of gratitude? You don’t have to wait for gratitude to sneak up on you in those seemingly increasingly rare moments. Instead, you can let the changing leaves, or the smell of a pumpkin spice latte, or the ring of some silver bells remind you to practice gratitude.

            Scientifically speaking, gratitude can:

  • Improve your mood
  • Make you more optimistic
  • Improve the social connections
  • Improve physical health 

How do you practice gratitude, and not just wait on it for when it decides to show up? You can habit stack it. This means you pick a part of your day and intentionally stack a moment of gratitude next to it. For instance:

  • Morning coffee PLUS write down one thing you’re grateful for
  • Start your car PLUS speak or pray one thing your grateful for
  • Brush your teeth PLUS text a friend a note of gratitude

No matter where you are coming from this season, you have a chance to choose gratitude and practice it. Take advantage of those little holiday triggers and turn them into thankfulness, even if for the sake of your own health.

Still, when it comes to holiday heft from past pain and trauma, you may need some deeper work.  Know that The Refuge Center is here to support you, so do not hesitate to reach out for an appointment with us at 615-591-5262 as you practice gratitude this holiday season.

 

References:

The mental health benefits of gratitude. Nationwide Children’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/05/gratitude. 

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Cory Bishop

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Job Posting: Contract Therapist – Child & Teen Team

Job Posting: Contract Therapist – Child & Teen Team

Join our incredible team!

Job Description

Position/Title:  Contract Therapist – Child and Teen Program
Organization:  The Refuge Center for Counseling
Category:  Independent Contractor
Location:  Franklin Office
Reports to:  Director of Child and Teen Programs

Purpose of the Position:  Contract Therapists in the Child and Teen program will provide excellent services to individuals based on the mission of the Refuge Center for Counseling.

Specific Duties

  • Maintain weekly caseload of Individual and family clients.
  • Turn in monthly stats by the end of each month.
  • Attend regular meetings with Director of Child and Teen Programs.
  • Support policies and procedures of The Refuge Center for Counseling.
  • Demonstrate administrative and ethical excellence in notes, files, reports, EMR, etc.

Critical Qualities

  • A passion for the Refuge Center’s mission, vision, and culture to offer high quality, professional counseling services to everyone, no matter their income level.
  • Understanding of the importance of mental health, therapy, counseling, and the confidential nature of our work.
  • Ability to be flexible and prioritize responsibilities in a fast-paced, changing work environment.
  • Ability to be self-directed and show initiative.
  • Maintain ethical documentation.
  • Maintain all requirements for state licensure during time of employment.

Skills, Education, Experience

  • Minimum of a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work or related field.
  • Current licensure in the state of Tennessee OR necessary Individual Licensure Supervision
  • Previous experience working with child and adolescent clients.
  • Training in modalities specific to working with children and adolescents.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Participation in continuing education opportunities as required by State License and The Refuge Center.

Those interested in applying may send their cover letter and resume to Caitlin Coile at caitlin.coile@therefugecenter.org

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