Designated Quiet Time

Designated Quiet Time

Take a minute to think of a time when your mind was calm and the concerns of the world were quiet…

Take a minute to think of a time when your mind was calm and the concerns of the world were quiet…

Isn’t it nice when we’re able to slow down and soak up the present moment? I don’t know about you, but my attempts at “quiet time” seem so easily interrupted. Any number of distractions can rush in and overtake that peaceful moment. Often times, our lives are filled with pressing responsibilities and we don’t schedule time to be still. It is healthy to make time to embrace the calm and relax our minds.

            Picking the most useful type of quiet time is up to you. Some people may like doing yoga, some may enjoy faith-based activities such as reading scripture or praying, and others might choose to soak up the sun and allow their mind to freely wonder. While there are many ways to go about it, I’d like to tell you about something called mindfulness.

            Mindfulness is a meditation where you intensely focus on what you are feeling in the moment. There is an emphasis on refraining from judgement or analysis of your experience until it is over. You may be prompted through guided imagery, attempt certain breathing methods, or use other techniques intended to relax the mind and body. There is an abundant amount of research to show the benefits of mindfulness, including significant stress relief.

            If you’re considering adding mindfulness to your routine, there are several ways to learn more or give it a try. To learn more, Google Scholar has numerous research studies available. If you want to give it a try, there are hundreds of mindfulness videos available online, including YouTube – we also have many Mindfulness Monday exercises saved to our Instagram highlights (@refugecenterforcounseling) under the tab ‘Mindfulness.’ There are also numerous apps available for all types of devices. Additionally, a mental health counselor will likely offer mindfulness and be able give you more information.

            Finding ways to reduce stress and promote tranquility are essential to our well-being. What is preventing us from adding more quiet time to our schedule? I’m confident we will appreciate the benefits if we simply give it a try!

If you need additional support, The Refuge Center is here to help! Feel free to contact us at 615-591-5262.

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Connor Anderson

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Be the Buffalo

Be the Buffalo

"While cattle disperse and try to outrun threatening weather, buffalo instinctually gather together and charge straight into an approaching storm. How can this be? Why would they do this?"

From the uniqueness of each tiny fingerprint of a newborn baby to the complex mystery of a black hole, God’s creation never ceases to amaze me. I recently learned a fascinating fact about buffalo. While cattle disperse and try to outrun threatening weather, buffalo instinctually gather together and charge straight into an approaching storm. How can this be? Why would they do this? This behavior seems to go against the innate survival instinct that all animals have, until you understand it.

Unfortunately, by trying to run away from it, cows actually end up running with the storm. This prolongs their exposure to the dangerous weather which leaves them scared, scattered and vulnerable. However, when buffalo sense an approaching storm they assemble, face the storm, and run head-first to the other side. By running directly into the impending threat, they minimize their exposure to harm.

What a magnificent display of God’s creativity and design which offers insight into surviving our own personal storms! We see two opposing behaviors that lead to drastically different outcomes. Two details immediately caught my attention.

  • First, the value found in community and assembling. We were created for relationship. Connecting with others can provide comfort, strength and security when life gets overwhelming.
  • Second, the importance of facing the storm head on. There are numerous responses to a crisis. We can exhaust ourselves trying to avoid it, we can wait it out by doing nothing, or we can acknowledge it and seek support and new skills needed to get through it.

If you are facing a difficult situation you don’t have to endure it alone. The Refuge Center is a community that wants to join you in facing your storm. We can help you find the freedom that is awaiting you on other side. You can reach us at 615-591-5262.

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Donna Thompson

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Listening to our Bodies

Listening to our Bodies

"The body is a teacher. It often knows what’s wrong before our brains catch up..."

The body is a teacher.  It often knows what’s wrong before our brains catch up.  Its aches, pains, and discomforts can tell us to eat something, change our posture, or go see a doctor to take care of our physical needs.  Our body is also finely tuned into our emotional world.

It is easy with our busy lives to feel like were going and going and going, and that there’s no time to do anything else.  When we end up in these states, it is very easy to lose touch with what’s going on inside ourselves and our body.  Because of this, we can find ourselves feeling uneasy or strange and not know why.  When this happens, our body is trying to tell us something.  It may be trying to tell us something as simple as “I’m hungry” or that “my blood sugar is low”, and the solution can be as easy as eating a small snack or a meal.

It could also be trying to tell us something important about our emotional state.  The uneasiness that we feel may be the result of an emotions hiding out of sight from our mind in our bodies.  Because of this, it can be helpful to check-in with our bodies when we are feeling uneasy or strange without knowing why.  We don’t have to stay with the sensation if it gets to be too uncomfortable, but tuning into our bodies can be a helpful tool for learning and listening to ourselves.

An easy exercise to do so is to find a comfortable position, close your eyes or rest your eyes with a soft gaze on something in the room, and then begin by taking a few deep breaths into your belly.  After a few breaths, begin scanning for sensations for the body.  Try to first locate a position in your body that feels comfortable and relaxed.  Once you have located one or many, spend some time noticing the sensation with curiosity, noticing how it feels and changes as you observe it.  After you’ve spent some time with this sensation begin looking for any other sensations in the body, becoming aware of them, noticing the way that they feel and fluctuate, and just allowing them to be in your awareness.  If the feelings ever become too intense, you can come back to your comfortable and relaxing place in the body, and return to the other sensation when your feel comfortable or just stay with the comfortable and relaxing place.  After spending a couple minutes with your body, you can open your eyes and begin looking around the room or wiggle your toes and fingers until you feel ready to continue your day with more presence in your body.

If you would like additional support checking-in with yourself, The Refuge Center is here. Call us at 615-591-5262 today.

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Matthew Maloney

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Group Counseling Opportunities

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Please click on any flyer below if you would like more information on current Groups offered.

You can also visit this link to read more. 

Job Posting: Contract Therapist – Child & Teen Program

Job Posting: Contract Therapist – Child & Teen Program

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.

Compensation

  • Based on level of experience and training

Those interested in applying may send their cover letter and resume by April 16th to Rob Fitzpatrick at rob.fitzpatrick@therefugecenter.org

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