InMind Psychotherapy and Coaching

I’d like to introduce you to my new practice, InMind Psychotherapy and Coaching. With offices throughout the metro Atlanta area and accomplished psychotherapists covering a wide range of specialties, InMind puts wellness within reach.

InMind Psychotherapy and Coaching is here to serve you, with four locations in the Greater Atlanta area. We serve Buckhead, Grant Park, Villa Rica and Conyers. InMind Psychotherapy and Coaching InMind has developed a comprehensive team of the finest and most well-trained clinicians to deliver services to all demographics, across a wide range of modalities. At InMind, we believe in the wellness model of mental and physical health. We believe that your body and mind intuitively seek health, and naturally know what you need. We believe that in gently supporting this natural instinct, that we can help you find the answers that you seek.

At InMind, we have made it our priority to collaborate with clinicians who are dedicated to the same principles that we endeavor to assist you in applying.

We believe that self care is mandatory for a life that is vital. Our clinicians hold each other accountable for taking care of themselves. We nurture and support each other as a community. This means that you will be working with a clinician who is well rested, who practices what they recommend, who has good work/life balance and who knows how to set boundaries.

We believe that working on our on journey is essential if we are going to ask you to do the same. Our clinicians each engage in activities that assist them in personal growth. Some do this through clinical supervision, some through working with a therapist or a coach of their own, and some have a personalized plan that assists them in achieving the progress that they desire. This creates an exciting dynamic among our practice of sharing and learning from each other.

We believe that good, solid expertise is critical for your psychotherapist to bring to the table. We stress quality training in areas that are mandated under our licensure, such as professional ethics, but also in areas that increase our ability to practice within our areas of competency. We believe that our training helps us stand our in our field. We bring a multi-faceted, multi-competency, multi-modality approach that is new to our field.

We have an underlying belief that mindfulness is critical to good mental and physical health. Mindfulness is a core concept in our practice. We all have some form of mindfulness practice, and we stress the value of being present to our clients. Current research is showing that mindfulness is one of the pillars of health. We will assist you in learning how to integrate and apply it in your daily life.

 

www.inmindcollaborative.com

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My Recent Interview With Decodinghim.com On Empowering Women

Interview with Carolyn Tucker

 1. Carolyn, sometimes women enter into a relationship with the expectation of finding happiness from the relationship and their partner. They are genuinely not happy and satisfied with their individual life and have this mindset- “If only I find the right partner, my life will be so much more better and I will be happy.” How important is it for women to be have a happy, fulfilling lives regardless of whether they are in a relationship or not?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if happiness only required plugging in a partner? Unfortunately, we cannot look to externals to provide happiness for us, and frequently we miss out on life while we are waiting for that partner to come along and provide for our happiness. As John Lennon said in his song Beautiful Boy, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

Women who spend all of their time waiting to become happy are not putting their best foot forward towards getting what they want. According to the Law of Attraction, in order to attract a vital, exciting, fulfilling relationship, you need to be living a vibrant, exciting and fulfilling life. There is nothing more attractive to a man than a woman who is bursting with love for her life. On the flip side, no man is longing to be in a relationship with a woman who has no interests and who waits for him to make her happy. It is a lot of responsibility to be accountable for the happiness of another.

A woman who is willing to go out and seize the day, to grab life by the horns and to drink from it fully until that right partner comes along will find that the time passes much quicker, her friendships, work and hobbies are more gratifying and that she attracts fun and exciting opportunities to herself whether she has a partner or not.

2. Sometimes women are very successful professionally but feel the exact opposite when it comes to their personal life especially relationships. In other words, they have an entirely different vibe in their careers where they are appreciated, respected, considered smart and successful, but somehow cannot seem to translate that vibe into their personal relationships. Why does this happen and what can women do to overcome this problem?

Every day I see women who are smart and competent in their careers, who admit to feeling unappreciated and disrespected in their relationships. I believe this has several contributing factors. Often in our society women are raised to feel that they are not complete without a man, and that they must compromise themselves to have a successful relationship. Many women feel guilty being successful and compensate by accepting treatment and behavior that would otherwise be considered unacceptable, or by making themselves “smaller” at home.

In my practice I address this by helping women step into their power in relationships as well as their careers. I do this by helping them learn to value their contributions and to own their gifts and abilities without fear of rejection or repercussion. This does not mean creating women who are aggressive, abrasive or masculine in their energy, however. This means truly looking at the feminine archetypes of the maiden, the mother and the crone and grasping a full appreciation of the ages and stages of a woman’s life and the power and gifts that come with each. I encourage my clients to find role models of women living in their power to associate with and to develop a support network of strong, encouraging women to assist them on their journeys.

Stepping into their power can be a very exciting process for a woman and can be invigorating to their relationships if done in a manner that is gentle and respectful of the relationship. Many women report an increase in their partner’s interest in them physically when they begin the journey of infusing their lives with this energy.

3. Can you elaborate on what you mean by stepping into power in relationships and how can women go about doing it in a manner that doesn’t come across hostile, aggressive and defensive?

Certainly! I believe that women do not realize the power they have, and that this is the cause of many of the problems of creating the life and relationships they want. By stepping into their power, I mean acknowledging their feminine, creative potential, and having a respect and reverence for it. When a woman is able to take herself seriously, speak her truth without apologizing, to express herself authentically without making herself small and to expect to be treated by all people as equal by virtue of her status as feminine, intelligent and competent then she has stepped into her power.

What many women fail to recognize is that they can be both soft and powerful at the same time. The men that I work with want a woman who knows her worth. The very act of acknowledging her worth increases her “stock value” in her man’s eyes. This is true in the workplace and in the bedroom. Men express a desire for their women to feel confident in their bodies whether they are perfect or not. The mere act of self- confidence is an aphrodisiac. When women realize and embrace this then they will realize their power in their relationships.

4. Can you explain the difference between masculine and feminine energy? How can women know that they are projecting more masculine energy and what are some ways they can transform it to feminine energy?

We all have a combination of masculine and feminine energies, and the key is making sure that we are in balance and harmony in the expression of them. Masculine energy is linear, goal oriented and mental focused. It is about “doing” and “accomplishing”. Feminine energy is more centered on creativity, nurturing, concern with feelings and emotions and intuition. Many times growing up, feminine energy is pushed to the back burner in school, with focus on concrete concepts, goals and performance. A little girl may be made to feel that she is “difficult” or “demanding” when she expresses her feelings, especially if the feelings are about her needs not being met. This dynamic is present from playground to boardroom.

Many women learn to sublimate their feelings and needs, and to express themselves in more concrete, masculine terms. In doing so, they also learn to suppress one of their most valuable assets, their intuition. Intuition for a woman is a built in GPS system that is designed to help her navigate relationships of all kinds. When she loses touch with that ability, she loses knowledge of how she comes across to people, and may not even realize that she is displaying more of a masculine energy.

Displaying feminine energy does not mean that a woman needs to “dumb herself down,” it is simply plugging into a different kind of intelligence. Feminine energy is the slow and steady, designed to be receptive, instinctual and empathetic. Our society has traditionally not valued this kind of intelligence, though there is currently a swing back in the direction of respect for these traits.

If a woman is too heavily weighted towards her feminine energy she may have trouble setting boundaries and standing up for herself. She may have trouble initiating a project and completing it. If she is too heavily weighted towards her masculine energy she may not feel comfortable discussing emotions, being receptive (either emotionally or physically in intercourse). Achieving balance is in order.

I try to assist my women clients in slowing down if they are living too much in their masculine energy. I encourage them to stop looking at the goal and to start looking at the process. Sometimes finding a creative expression such as journaling, creating some kind of artwork or even yoga or meditation can help them get in tune with their creativity, their bodies and their emotions.

5. Some women repeatedly attract the wrong men in their relationships. Can you explain why this happens and what women can do to overcome this problem?

I frequently have women clients who report that they attract the wrong men. I believe that is because they hold thoughts and beliefs that keep them repeating the same patterns in their lives. These beliefs could stem from childhood messages or from past relationships. These women benefit from therapy that examines the thoughts and beliefs and looks at the patterns repeated in their lives. Once these women gain insight and are able to reframe and reprocess these thoughts they find that they attract and are attracted to men and relationships that are healthier.

6. Some of our women subscribers have expressed that they have this deep inner fear that they would be single and miserable all their life. In the process they feel that they settle for someone who they truly believe is not a good choice for them but still pursue the relationship because they are afraid of being alone. Can you talk about how women can overcome this problem?

I see many women who would rather settle than deal with the ambiguity of not knowing if a good relationship is going to come along. The fear of being alone is greater than the desire for a relationship in which they thrive. I think that helping these women learn to address the anxiety of being alone is the best way to address this issue. Creating a life that is full and rewarding helps lessen the anxiety of not having a relationship. It has the added benefit of creating a life that is attractive and that draws people into her orbit. I find that a woman who is living a life that includes self-care, a strong pro-social network, and who is growing and learning is less apt to settle for anything in life.

7. While every relationship has its challenges and share of conflicts, at what point is it better for women to leave the relationship than work on it?

What a great question! I think it is easy to give advice for a woman to leave a relationship that has challenges and conflict, and very difficult for a woman to do it. Once a woman has given of herself and invested emotionally in a relationship, it is difficult to walk away. I think that knowing when to place appropriate boundaries regarding how much conflict or challenge is healthy is important. A trusted friend or therapist who can view the relationship without his or her own agenda is helpful in getting feedback on when to walk away.

Frequently outsiders are quick to say it’s time to call it quits when they do not have a deep understanding of the investment in the relationship. I also think that there is an element of knowing when one has reached the end of the journey that comes into play. I think that healthy women know instinctively when they are “done.” It almost seems that until a woman reaches that point it is very difficult to call it quits without regrets or revisiting the relationship over and over. Again, a trusted friend or therapist can help a woman obtain perspective on what the relationship is costing her and help her weigh the “cost to benefit” ratio of whether she is getting the appropriate emotional return on the relationship or not. If she is paying for being in the relationship by losing self-esteem then it is time to revisit the situation.

8. Can you provide some practical strategies that can help women who have a tendency to constantly compare themselves with others with regards to height, weight and physical appearance? They may feel they are not beautiful enough or slim enough or worthy enough as they make these comparisons with their friends, peers and family members.

Women who constantly compare themselves with others usually suffer from poor self-esteem. I advise using positive affirmations to address the negative thoughts they believe about themselves. Positive affirmations can actually change how our brains work. Affirmations like “I am unique and beautiful in my own way” repeated many times throughout the day can change that negative self talk. I recommend my clients set alarms on their cell phones that will remind them to repeat certain affirmations throughout the day. Making lists of things they love about themselves is another way to begin to change the need to compare.

In the beginning some women find it hard to find even one thing that they value in themselves. I find that the more these women institute a good regime of self care the more they learn to find things they value in themselves. The mere time spent lovingly lavishing lotion on the body can help a woman come to love each body part. Affirmations of “I love my legs, they are strong and beautiful and carry me through the journey of life.” Self-care encourages self love.

Learning to sit with the anxiety of not “being enough” can allow a woman precious moments to gather inner resources and to remember the positive things about herself. Getting grounded and centered by using deep breathing and paying attention to bodily sensations can help. “I feel the floor under my feet. I feel the cool air in the room. I hear the drum beat in the music.” Getting grounded and then going over the list of her own positive attributes in her mind can help a woman get off the hamster wheel of rumination and comparing.

9. Another question we get asked is about taking control of the relationship. I think there is a misconception that being demanding or nagging or controlling are the ways to show you have the power and upper hand in the relationship. Can you explain in detail what being in control of the relationship means and what are some ways women can regain control in relationships where they feel they don’t have control?

Control is such an illusion. We women fool ourselves into thinking if we nag enough we will be able to control out partner. Exactly the opposite is true. From a behaviorist perspective it takes ten positive strokes to make up for one nag or criticism. Therefore, if we are not giving ten times more positive strokes we are demotivating our partner, and may be having exactly the opposite effect of what we wish for. Encouragement and praise, and catching our partner doing “right” can go far in helping our partner be the best they can be and also encourage connection and closeness in the relationship.

Women can have control of one thing only in a relationship, themselves. This is immensely powerful if they choose to remember it. Control of one’s own reactions and responses can affect the reaction and response of the partner. It can also serve to help the woman manage her own anxiety. Believing that we can control a situation or a person is a big responsibility and can be anxiety producing in itself. Being realistic about one’s own sphere of influence is a valuable tool in knowing what one can control.

10. Experts say that the best relationship you can have in your relationship with yourself. Sometimes in this fast paced mechanical world, it is easy to place everyone’s interests above ours and women are especially likely to do this. How can women consciously and continuously nourish themselves irrespective of whether they are single or in a relationship?

A friend shared an idea with me recently that has changed my life and the lives of many of my clients. She said to me one day, “I am going to treat myself like I would a man I was in love with.” So simple. So profound. I began to toy with the idea of what would happen if we turned that tender, loving energy that we would give a lover, inward, on ourselves.

What if we began to notice the little things that bring ourselves joy, and to do them as a gift to our lover-self? What if we made time to do the things that nurture our spirit as an act of pouring love on ourselves? How about speaking those little words of affirmation and support in an intimate whisper when we need to hear them most? Or looking deep into our own eyes and forgiving ourselves for not being perfect, embracing the broken pieces, just like we would the “other” in a relationship? Even the way we relate to our own bodies could change if we learned to accept and embrace them lovingly.

I began sharing this philosophy with my clients and they reported back with tears of fragile hope that poured down their faces when they looked themselves tenderly in the mirror and said, “I love you.” One client stated that he realized that he would never use the kind of talk or tone with a lover that he used with himself on a daily basis, and he began to change that negative internal dialogue. Another reported that her relationship was improving because she was displaying better boundaries with her spouse, spurred by her newly cultivated loving relationship with herself. Yet another reported that during his daily meditation time he focused that loving energy inward, and that it was a sacred experience for him to sit daily in the presence of that unconditional love.

About Carolyn Tucker

Carolyn is a National Board Certified psychotherapist, certified life coach and energy healer, is a graduate of Argosy University, and a former Harvard research assistant. She specializes in divorce issues, trauma and anxiety. Carolyn works with a broad spectrum of clients. Among her areas of expertise are relationship issues, pre and post divorce issues and custody communication, trauma, anxiety, and gay and lesbian relationship issues.

She uses a unique blend of mind/body interventions, coaching, energy medicine and extensive traditional therapy modalities. She is distance counseling certified and offers Skype, email and chat counseling and coaching for your ease and convenience.

Carolyn is a person-centered therapist. Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client.

With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing. Carolyn is known for her warmth and nurturing support as well as her extensive training.

To know more about Carolyn Tucker, visit her website, www.carolyntuckertherapist.com or call her at 770-789-0847.

5 Reasons Why it is Better To Make a New Year’s Bucket List Than New Year’s Resolutions

Let’s face it, New Year’s Resolutions are a cruel taskmaster. They are just an opportunity to put ourselves on the line one more time and then to guilt ourselves for not following through. I propose that it is better and more effective to make a bucket list at new year’s rather than a list of resolutions. Living our lives as though this year may be our last has many advantages:
1. It is more fun. Electing to “spend one full week with my toes in the sand on a sunny beach somewhere that I have never been” feels a lot more fun than “I will keep my papers organized for my taxes.” Having the added incentive of a reward like a trip to a sunny beach may actually CAUSE you to keep your papers organized so that you are assured of the tax refund that will fund the trip.
2. A bucket list helps you focus on TRUE goals. By really looking at your life as if this year will be your last you are able to clarify what your true goals are, the goals that are lined up with what you believe your soul’s purpose to be. “I intend to spend time daily this year looking deeply into my children’s eyes and sharing authentically from my heart” may not jive as a good resolution but may resonate with your truth when you put it on your bucket list.
3. It feels much more motivating. Example: “I will lose 25 pounds this year” feels like a ball and chain around the leg, doesn’t it? Visions of carrots and celery stretching out before you for 365 days smacks of deprivation and loss. “I will give myself the opportunity to experience life 25 pounds lighter” feels like a gift you are giving yourself. You can practically feel the pounds melting away as your body and mind slip into alignment with this thought.
4. You are more apt to actually follow through on your bucket list than you are on a resolution. When you see your life defined in blocks of 365 days that you will never have the opportunity to live again, you are more inclined to follow through with every exciting possibility. Seeing life as fleeting and temporary gives us a wonderful sense of joyful urgency to grab all of the joy we can while we have time.
5. It keeps you from self sabotage to have a bucket list instead of resolutions. Year after year I hear people beat themselves up about their resolutions and how they failed to keep them. It is a self defeating prophesy for some people to set a goal that is too high, fail to meet the goal and then allow it to reinforce that they are “losers” in their own minds. Our thoughts about ourselves have a direct effect on our moods, our self esteem and our actions. Choosing to give ourselves incentives rather than directives is one way to help minimize the “inner critic” and lessen his effect on ourselves.

Sit down this new year’s and make your bucket list. Really look at it as if this year may be your last. Imagine what it would be like if, at the end of your life, you looked back and felt that you had done everything you truly wanted to do. Imagine the legacy you could leave behind to your family, setting the example of allowing each day to count, making each day vital towards accomplishing all the special and magical things you could dream of in your life.bucket

Loving Pain

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Mother Teresa

Many situations in life cause pain. Scorching , excruciating, soul-searing pain. It can come out of nowhere, your lover leaves, you lose your baby, cancer. All destined to turn your world on its ear and to leave you with deep, abiding pain. Alice Cooper described it as feeling like “the man with no skin.” Sleep is evasive, being awake is intolerable, and it feels there is no escape. The only thing that is for sure is that it feels like it will never end.

The more we struggle against this psychic pain, the more difficult it is on us. Like having our wrists bound with barbed wire, the struggle drives the barbs deeper and deeper. The saying goes “what we resist, persists.” There is relief to be had from the pain, but the remedy sounds too radical to be real, too dangerous to risk trying. Believe it or not, love is the cure, because only love heals pain.

There is a point, when you have fought all you can fight, resisted with all your might, and finally have come to the end of your strength, where something amazing can occur. You see, at the end of you lies a miracle, where only the brave dare to tread. It is a place so terrifying, so beautiful, so radical, that I hesitate to direct you there, lest you fear I have lost my mind.

When you’re finished being pissed off, finished fighting, finished trying to create a different outcome by manipulating the world like a Rubik’s Cube, a phenomenon occurs that feels much like what J.M. Barrie describes in his book Peter Pan.  “When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”    When you let go of attachment to “what should have been”, and you roll over in acceptance, you will find that your ego shatters into a million tiny little pieces, and that an ocean of bright, beautiful love comes from your soul, radiating out in a tsunami so violent that it threatens to flood the world. Then you can love your pain.

Yes, I am suggesting loving cancer, and loving loss and loving grief. You see, as terrible as they are, they are your tutors that bring you to this beautiful land of love. They are the signposts on the path to a love so satisfying that it feels like you have transcended this world and have been transported to the next.  This journey is not for the feint of heart, but if you want to weep with joy at the beauty of a sunset, or be brought to your knees by the sound of a bird singing, this is the path for you. It’s only a simple shift. Just roll over from the fighting, the anger, the fear, and decide to love.

By giving up, you save yourself. As Antoine St. Exupery  said, “A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.” The journey is not pleasant, few would choose to begin, knowing the cost on the road, but the destination is surely splendid.

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How to Parent in a Crazy, Scary, Mixed Up World

Receiving the news about the Connecticut school shooting this week was bone chilling and heartbreaking. Parents everywhere ran to hug their own children while feeling grief and pain for the parents of the school children, myself included. The world does not feel like a safe place when we cannot even expect that our elementary school aged children to be safe receiving an education.

It is overwhelming to add another fear to the anxious mix that parenting brings. How can you focus on doing work during the day when your mind reverberates with news stories of small children brutally murdered? Especially when your own children are in a classroom very similar to the one these dear babies were in.  It can feel like the world is closing in on you, and like there are threats everywhere if you allow your thoughts to have their way.

In order to regulate your emotions, I urge you to notice when your thoughts wander towards “rehearsing” a stressful scenario in your mind. When you play the movie of all the horrible things that could possibly happen in your mind, it affects your body as well. The anxious thoughts trigger a hormonal cascade that can serve to put you on “high alert”, inducing a state of hypervigilence that can be very uncomfortable, not to mention bad for your body. Being in this state is like idling a car on high for long periods of time. It depletes your adrenal glands and leaves you exhausted. Thought stopping is a technique that can be helpful with this. Every time you notice an anxious thought, use it as a signal to name three things you are grateful for, immediately converting that energy of anxiety, to a higher vibrational energy of appreciation. Learning to stop these thoughts is a discipline, but it is worth the effort.

Practicing mindfulness is beneficial, especially during times of uncertainty. Focusing on the moment, being really present with your children, is the path to mindfulness. If you find you are feeling anxious, really focus on their faces, as if you were seeing them for the first time. Look deeply into their eyes, and notice how beautiful they are, looking at their eyelashes one by one. Really tune in to their voices and notice the cadence and intonation. Pay attention to how your body feels in their presence. Breathe.

Your children feed on your energy, so at stressful and tragic times like this, it is important for you to take care of yourself emotionally so you do not inadvertently give off any messages that your children are not safe that may cause them to fear. It is the temptation to ignore the children while watching the news and to have conversations in front of them that may be anxiety producing . Making sure that your children are not exposed to a constant influx of traumatic images coming into your home via the television or radio  or conversations about the news stories is one way you can protect them. Having other adults to discuss your feelings with about the tragedy outside of your children’s presence can go a long way towards helping you maintain emotional regulation in the presence of your children and protecting them from adopting your anxiety and pain vicariously.

Reassure your children that they are loved and that you would do anything to keep them safe. They need to hear these words in uncertain times. They may also need to understand and grieve, just like you. Playing a game where you start by asking them to draw pictures of ordinary things and life events, eventually allowing them eventually draw pictures of what they have heard or seen can help them process their feelings.

Watch your children for signs of trauma, such as manic activity followed by periods of sitting and staring into space. If you notice nightmares or unrealistic or unfounded fears, talk to your child, if they do not subside, then seek a qualified mental health professional to assist your child in processing the trauma.

Talk to your children about what happened, reframing the events to help them see that there is still good amidst the evil. I love the precious words of Fred Rogers, who touched on the topic of tragic events in the news in his book “The Mister Rogers Parenting Book,” the last book he worked on before he died in 2003. In fact, his own mother’s words helped him make some sense of tragic events.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,'” he wrote. “To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

I would like to leave you with some more wisdom from Mr. Rogers:

Even if we wanted to, it would be impossible to give our children all the reasons for such things as war, terrorists, abuse, murders, major fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes. If they ask questions, our best answer may be to ask them, “What do you think happened?” If the answer is “I don’t know,” then the simplest reply might be something like, “I’m sad about the news, and I’m worried. But I love you, and I’m here to care for you.”

 

If we don’t let children know it’s okay to feel sad and scared, they may think something is wrong with them when they do feel that way. They certainly don’t need to hear all the details of what’s making us sad or scared, but if we can help them accept their own feelings as natural and normal, their feelings will be much more manageable for them.

 

Angry feelings are part of being human, especially when we feel powerless. One of the most important messages we can give our children is, “It’s okay to be angry, but it’s not okay to hurt ourselves or others.” Besides giving children the right to their anger, we can help them find constructive things to do with their feelings. This way, we’ll be giving them useful tools that will serve them all their life, and help them to become the worlds’ future peacemakers — the world’s future “helpers.”

Carolyn Tucker is a psychotherapist in Atlanta, Buckhead and Conyers who specializes in anxiety and divorce issues. For more information call 770-789-0847 or see www.carolyntuckertherapist.com.school shootingth