A Frame of Mind and Covid 19

Alright, customers, clients, and friends- due to the Covid 19 outbreak A Frame of Mind wanted to keep everyone updated on what our plans are during this time while kids are off and everyone is avoiding illness…

If we had access to a cell phone number or email, we sent you a link to join our portal. With that, you will then have access to our HIPPA approved video-conferencing.

Even though A Frame of Mind plans to stay open, we wanted an option to make everyone feel comfortable and still be able to get counseling even if they (or we) are sick or stuck at home.

In order to use this feature, it will be scheduled during your regular scheduled appointment. You MUST let us know that you will not be coming in as soon as possible and that you would like to video in.

At the time of your scheduled appt. you will log in to your portal and click the video icon. As soon as both of us are online, the session will start.

If you are a cash-only client, you will need to update your email (or text number) in the portal (or send it to us and we’ll update it) if we don’t have it, and we will invoice you well before your session. You will then pay the invoice and then follow the instructions above. The invoice must be paid before the session begins.

If you didn’t get the link to the portal and would like to get on our portal (or you are new to us and would like to make an appt.) you may go to www.aframeofmindbodyandspirit.com and go to the schedule an appt. link. From there, click log in, and it will take you to the portal to start your account. You may have to hit my name (provider Christina Cooper) to get to where it will let you start an account.

To remind everyone the best way to stay healthy is to not panic, wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, don’t share beverages or swap spit in any sense, take your vitamins and practice self-care.

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All the cool kids are doing it

“All the cool kids are doing it.”

This was a saying I remember hearing a lot about in the 80’s/90’s. I tried to use it on my mom numerous times to no avail. My mom was relentless. It sounded something like this…

“Mom, can we have a boy/girl sleepover? The  boys can sleep in my brother’s room.”

“NO!”

I whine. “But Mom, EVERYBODY has boy/girl sleepovers. You just want me to be a dork! You HATE me!”

“No, but I’m no fool either. Now if you don’t quit now, you will NOT be having a sleepover!”

(I sigh, roll my eyes and stomp off to my room- making sure she hears my door shut).

“Cool kids” or “everybody” often lead us to things that weren’t necessarily good for us.

We came from a generation where ‘no means no’ with no explanation needed and ‘because I said so’ was good enough.

Things have changed.

My daughter came home from a friend’s house. I asked her why she came home early. It sounded like this…

“Mom, I need you to come get me.”

“You okay.”

“No, just come.”

“I’m on my way.”

She gets in the car.

“What’s going on?” I ask.

“They were vaping.”

“Oh…” I looked at her confused. My friends smoked, did drugs, drank, I didn’t always leave, I just didn’t participate if I was uncomfortable. If it was too bad, I left.

“Mom, I HATE being around vaping! It’s disgusting. It smells disgusting…”

“I thought it doesn’t smell?”

“Mom, I can smell that crap a mile away. It makes my breathing hurt, just when they do it. I can’t imagine doing it myself!”

“Wow. So you decided to leave?”

“Yeah.”

“Will your friends be upset at you for leaving so soon?”

“I don’t care what they think. Mom, I don’t like it so I’m not going to be around it. That’s my choice.”

“Nice! I’m really proud of you. Thank you for being so strong!”

Another circumstance looked like this…

My son comes home from school with a strange look on his face.

“What’s up?” I ask.

“Mom most my friends don’t believe in God.”

“Okay, so how does that work for you?”

“I pray louder when I eat.”

“Huh?”

“They always ask me what I’m doing so I tell them I pray.”

“You’re not ashamed to pray in front of them?”

“No, just because they don’t believe in God doesn’t mean that I have to be stupid too!”

“Nice. That makes good logical sense. I think you are very brave!”

“I’m mad at them.”

“Why?”

“They’re going to the devil.”

“Whoa. Don’t assume that. People can change. How about you pray for them too?”

“Yeah.”

The irony, is it’s not just my kids. I talk to a LOT of kids. They are warriors for their beliefs. Often, I hear people talking about this generation in a negative way, like they’re soft. They may not be as rough and tumble as we used to be, but they are standing up for themselves when they are brave. That is amazing!

How does this tie to mental health?

Back in the day, we swept our feelings under the rug. Boys didn’t cry, girls weren’t taken seriously. People would turn a blind eye to trauma. Like this generation, things have changed.

The cool kids, well they’re seeking help when they need it.

Therapy isn’t just for insanity, or extremely mentally ill as some people may think.

People come to therapy for a variety of reasons and not just for depression.

They come to therapy for:

Financial advice

Talking about how to make friends

Dating advice

How to achieve goals

How to tell their family they want a change

How to propose to the person they love

For someone to listen to anything they have to say, without being judged

My point, EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD could benefit from therapy.

So, this time I agree. All the cool kids are doing it. Especially the ones who want a positive future.

It’s time. The New Year has come. Make your appointment today.

Holiday Grief

Image result for free cats and dogs pictures

Today, I would like to discuss a thought on grief.

It seems everyone realizes that grief is about the experience of loss, however, this loss isn’t always the same.

Grief doesn’t have to mean death. It could be someone grieves their loss of home, youth, marriage, or life as they once remembered (think empty nesters).

On the flip side, and what I kind of want to focus on today, is when grief does mean the loss of a life, but in this case not a human life.

As the holidays approach, I would like to remind everyone that the loss of an animal is also a great cause for grief. I think we need to be more mindful of people going through these types of losses.

I hear people (and I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past) kind of snicker when someone is grieving a pet. They may think to themselves that it’s not like they experienced a “real loss- it’s not like they’re human”. The truth is, they have.

Some people only have their pets as companions. Some people may not have been able to have children and so their pets are their children. Sometimes pets are the only family members they have. Others, the pet is their best friend. Perhaps the pet was their children’s best friend and so it’s another member of the family. Not everyone feels that way and that’s okay. What’s not okay is not acknowledging the person’s grief who did lose a furry friend.

Think about the commercials for a moment. I see just as many people getting puppies on Christmas type of commercials as I do engagement ring commercials. That’s how prevalent animals are to our lives. Cats or dogs are often a child’s first friend.

I guess my point is to encourage everyone this holiday season to remember their friend’s who’ve lost pets. They are struggling just as much as people who’ve lost people or relationships and sometimes that can be overlooked. Remind them that it’s okay to feel their grief without shame.

Christmas Magic

Green Christmas Tree With String Lights

I was feeling a little nostalgic yesterday. I was thinking about Christmas as a kid and how magical it was.

My parents were “extra”. They went all out for Christmas. I never had a bad Christmas. As kids, we were NEVER spoiled, except at Christmas time. My parents were so clever that I think I believed in Santa until I was a teenager.

In my mind wandering, I kind of started to think about how nice it was to have so much magic in our home. The excitement, the anticipation, the true knowledge that this one time of year was going to be a spectacular event. From sleigh prints outside to Rudolf’s nose lit in the house, Santa was something else.

I know I was fortunate to have magnificent Christmas’ as a kid. In some sense, I try to do the same for my kids. However, the truly magnificent part is the knowledge that Christmas doesn’t have to be exciting for just a child. Just because Santa kind of goes away, doesn’t mean Christmas isn’t magical.

In some ways, Christmas is even more exciting. You get to be that magic that people feel. And the cool thing is, it doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas. You can bring the joy, surprises, and warmth that so many don’t feel. Even better, it doesn’t have to cost a dime. It comes from a place so much deeper than that. It comes from your heart.

So, like the Grinch’s heart grew three times bigger that one magical year, mine will too. Who would have thought? The magic of Christmas time not on Christmas. What a concept! I hope that you will join me and offer your loving kindness as a little Christmas magic throughout the year.

A Frame of Mind

So, I’ve been asked a few times how my first day went. More than that, I’ve been asked, “What EXACTLY is your business?” The truth is, I’m not really sure how to explain it. It’s unique. So, I’ll try my best…

First, my first day went well. It was interesting to see the reactions of everyone who came. Most of what I heard was, “Oh my goodness, the only place I have been able to find these is on Amazon…” This is true. I am trying to stock therapeutic items in a place where you can learn about them, ask questions about them, see them face-to-face and eliminate the guessing game of having them shipped.

So, what is ‘A Frame of Mind’? The best way to describe it is we are addressing mental health by encompassing every aspect we can. I think the only thing we don’t address is medications, however, we do carry some supplements. So, basically it looks like this…

People can make an appointment for therapy. I’m fully licensed and trained in multiple areas to do therapy. I currently accept Blue Cross and I also accept Medicaid. I will be accepting more soon as I am just opening.

I offer cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, family therapy, and also I am doing a trial on virtual reality therapy to address trauma, anxiety, and phobias (yes, you actually get to wear a headset and practice talking, addressing fears, etc.). The virtual reality therapy is NOT covered by insurance at this time. I use it to supplement therapy, or as a cash only therapy in itself.

Next, I offer group therapy. This will be conducted after normal office hours because I can’t have people roaming the store while we’re doing group.

A store? Yes, it’s small, quaint, but full of items that enhance therapy, help with mindfulness and self-soothe, including sensory items, advertise mental health and removing the stigma, and incorporate family togetherness.

What else? We also offer a place for people to relax, drink coffee, shoot the breeze, listen to music, beat on the drum, or even paint canvas or river stones.

In addition to what is described above, ‘A Frame of Mind’ offers a therapy incentive program. Some of the items we sell in the store have a ‘green dot’ sticker on them. Every person that has been to therapy 10 times is able to get a ‘green dot’ item from the store for free. Why? I do this because I believe that achieving your mental health goal is worth celebrating!

We don’t have a lot of space, but in the space we have, we do a lot of things. We are adding a few more therapeutic type activities as time goes on, but for now I think this is the most accurate description of who we are and what we do- with more to come.

‘A Frame of Mind’ is working hard to help people accomplish their life worth living and we approach mental health non-judgmentally as we celebrate everyone’s success.

 Any questions, please feel free to stop by, say hello, message us, or give us a call. (231) 340-2263.

Thank you everyone for supporting us!! (Nan, thanks so much for the flowers!)

The Invisible Illness

The Invisible Illness

            You’re sitting at a restaurant and you see a family with a child. This child has breathing tubes in and out of his mouth and strange sounds emulating from some type of machine. When mom goes to feed him and the child kicks or screams you say to whoever you’re sitting with, “poor thing”. An hour later as you go to exit the restaurant, you paid no attention to the tantrums of this young child, because you felt bad for everything this child had to go through. You walk up to the mother and give her a pat on the back and say something to the extent of, “you have such a wonderful family” or “you are such a good mother” or something like that to give her a piece of encouragement. You leave the restaurant feeling good about yourself and the world in which you reside.

            A week goes by and you find yourself at the grocery store. You are killing time and just decided to pick up a few things to add to tomorrow’s dinner. Immediately you feel the jolt of a cart hitting your leg. The pain isn’t immense but you definitely feel it. You are slightly irritated as you turn around to a mother with a red face. Her hair is in total disarray and she seems to be fumbling her groceries around as she tries to bargain with her child to stop ramming into things with the cart. You notice the child pays no attention to what the mother is saying, and the mom quietly mutters an apology to you as she quickly slams her items into the cart and appears more than ready to leave the store. You mutter to yourself, “that kid needs a good swift kick in the butt” or “if I had that child…” You leave the store disgusted with society and ready to condemn all young mothers who have no idea how to raise their kids. You are proud of how well you did as a parent and you are quite certain you could educate at least half the world on how to be a great mother.

            Here is my question to you; “If you had that child, what?” I would like a response to that. Honestly. I would like a response. The problem is, if you had that child you would be going through the same exact problems this mother is going through, or you would be a child abuser. I guess the choice is yours. See, society tends to judge parenting on what they see, not what they don’t see. The mother at the grocery store could be ten times the mother you or the lady at the restaurant was because she can tolerate her child’s illness, though she gets absolutely no credit at all. Children who have invisible illnesses get picked on, judged at school by teachers and students, get discriminated against by society, get told constantly how “bad” they are, and the parents of these children have it no better. They are constantly condemned for not measuring up to parental expectations. They are constantly told how to raise their kids and are often called, “bad mothers” by others.

            These mothers hurt. Not only do they hurt due to the way society treats them or their ill child, but they also hurt because nobody recognizes the pain they and their child experience. They are constantly put down, scolded, or pushed away from society. These mothers try to shop during off hours, they don’t go out to eat for fear their child will cause a problem that offends patrons, they constantly endure ridicule, and quite frankly they don’t deserve it. Invisible illnesses such as Autism, separation anxiety disorder, selective mutism, childhood depression, oppositional defiant disorder, Asperger’s, mental retardation, etc, are not easily recognized by appearance. These children look “normal” (I DESPISE that word!) so people expect them to act as such.

            My point is to not fall victim to being a complete and total idiot. If you go to the store and you get hit in the leg with a shopping cart, and mom looks extremely overwhelmed, smile at her and tell her she’s doing a good job. Chances are- she really is. She’s loving a child that society rejects. She’s loving a child with an invisible illness, and that can be just as difficult, if not more, than loving a child with a visible one. And the next time you say you would spank that kid, think of a child full of breathing tubes- would you hit him for being frustrated about his illness? Nope. Now try again. 

My therapist thinks I’m awesome tee-shirt

My therapist thinks I’m awesome shirt

This tee-shirt is for sale in all sizes S-XXL. Please add $2.00 for XXXL and XXXXL. The shirt is made in white, but if you would like gray, pink, or blue please let me know in a message in paypal. As always shipping is free!

$20.00

My therapist thinks I’m awesome tee shirt

Therapist thinks I’m awesome shirt!

This tee-shirt is available in sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL. Please add an additional $2.00 for XXXL and XXXXL. This shirt is in white, but can be made in light blue, pink, or gray. Please specify in paypal message if changing the color. As always, shipping is free. 🙂

$20.00

Addiction Statement Tee-Shirt

Tee Shirt

This tee-shirt is perfect for those who has/ or know someone who has suffered with addiction and want to make a statement! Available in S, M, L, XL, XXL The color of the shirt automatically comes in white. Please leave a message on paypal with your size if you would like grey, pink, or light blue instead. Shipping is free.

$20.00