Lisa Curtis, LCSW, CASAC, HWC
Support to Treat Anxiety, Overwhelm, PTSD & Substance Abuse ~ Serving New York Since 1989, Maine & Florida by Telehealth
I'm Lisa ~ welcome
Ready for Change
You’ve accomplished a lot over a short time or a lot over a long time. You’re respected in your industry and you know how to “get the job done.” In order to “get the job done”, however, there’s been some real costs to you and your overall well-being. And those payments are coming due.
Most Common Complaints my clients report to me when they start therapy:
- Something is “off”
- Things are harder than they used to be
- “Not a big deal” mentality isn’t working anymore
- Shorter tempers
- Get set off more easily
- Feel like they’re a ticking time bomb
- Stress used to be easier to handle
- Could it be PTSD? C-PTSD?
High Achievers and Top Performers Don’t Want Therapy
They don’t want it, but they know they need it.
High achievers and accomplished people end up using therapy in a very logical way. They know something is off, they figure out that what they’re doing isn’t working and then they seek expert advice. They do a few internet searches about burnout, stress, ptsd symptoms, and all the experts are in agreement. The experts say therapy and some lifestyle changes are going to create the most significant positive difference. Next, these high achievers and accomplished people call me.
When Nothing Else Has “Worked”
Buying another gym membership.
Signing up for professional development.
Downloading another meditation app.
And the list goes on ad infinitum!
Get off the hamster wheel!
I want to point out one thing about all these attempts you’ve made. It’s actually a really important quality.
You keep going. You keep going even when you’re not sure where you’re headed or if it will actually work.
All of those attempts at taking care of yourself bring you relief too! It’s temporary though. It’s time for lasting effects and lasting changes.
That’s why you’re here. With therapy, we’ll dig into the places YOU need dug into. Not the places an app says you need to start.
"Life can be hard & feeling alone Makes it even harder; Having a therapist who truly hears you can be life Changing."
When You Don’t “Got This”
The immediacy effect is important to note here. The immediacy effect is the concept that we would rather have emotional relief or a reward now, than sit in the discomfort of waiting for a better, more fulfilling reward or experience later.
Friends, family and colleagues can fill this need for relief quickly, without a second thought. You’ll tell them about how you’re stressed and they’ll say, “You’re ok!” “Shake it off, you got this.”
The state of your life doesn’t have space for dealing with emotions any other way. There’s no room for when you don’t “got this.”
It becomes clear, pretty quickly, that you need to keep going, even if there’s a tiny tear in the fabric of your emotional well-being.
When that’s the go-to move, ‘keep going no matter what’, and you don’t give yourself the real space and attention to deal with things, those self-talk strategies lead to more tiny tears.
Tiny tears in your emotional well being include:
- Financial stress
- High stress environments
- Vicarious trauma
- Life long avoidance
- Traumatic events
Don’t get me wrong, on their own, these tears can certainly heal themselves. With the right support, attention and time, outside intervention isn’t always needed. Later feels like the perfect time to deal with it.
In the meantime, you push the thoughts and feelings aside, get a workout in, have a drink, and maybe watch some TV. What happens when later never comes? What about when later shows up and you don’t know what to do?
When Drinking is More Trouble Than It’s Worth
Drinking is a social, fun and acceptable way to relax and de-stress.
Lately, you’ve been taking a closer look at ‘why’ they drink. I’m not a fan of ‘why’ questions so let’s re-frame that. As an adult, you don’t need a reason, and you certainly don’t need to explain yourself to anyone. So what’s going on that you are questioning it? I might have a good idea.
If you’re questioning your drinking, it’s likely one or both of the following:
- It’s not giving you what you want anymore (calm, feeling good after the fact.)
- You realize you don’t know what you really want, but this sure isn’t it.
Maybe drinking has really helped in the past. I don’t know many people who DON’T have a “drinking made me feel better” story. What happens when that story changes though?
Is your drinking:
- Making you feel worse than when you started
- Happening more than you intend
- Getting in the way of relationships
- Causing avoidable and preventable problems
When clients come to me they often don’t see their drinking as “too much of a problem.” Therapy can be really tough work though and coping strategies like drinking, which may not have looked like an issue in the past, might now be something more.
It might come up for you that some of your coping skills don’t have the reach and depth they used to. Maybe this next phase of your life is going to require some new approaches.
Is it time to put some new skills and ways of being into your repertoire?
Therapy for First Responders
As a First Responder, you live in a culture of necessity. You need to be seen as capable and ready to handle whatever gets dropped in your lap. I wouldn’t say you’re reluctant to seek therapy, exactly. For some of you however, it goes against what you believe about yourself. While you love being useful and helpful to others, you’re not used to accepting that kind of support.
Together we can take a look at how I can provide the guidance and support you’re coming up short on.
Therapy is tough work. But you’re tough too.