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3312 W Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, FL, 33609

813-321-8280

At Serene Mind Psychology, we help teens and young adults feel safe, confident and happy.  We are a boutique, counseling and therapy practice. We cater our services to each Tampa Bay individual.

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Your Serene Mind

Be mindful, learn and grow. 

Please remember the information on this blog intends to provide educational information only and is not to be relied upon as a source of advice. Please do not rely upon material for mental health advice, this site is intends to aid only in understanding the psychology or mental health process. While every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct and accurate, please understand that new research is made available everyday and can change at anytime rendering any of the information as provided obsolete. Please do not make any mental health decision without first consulting a licensed mental health professional.

 

Goal Motivation

Stephanie Moir

Hi Everyone! My name is Angelica, but I prefer to be called Angie.  I am a student in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program at the University of South Florida. I also work as Mrs. Stephanie’s Administrative Assistant here at Serene Mind Psychology.

In addition to my professional interest in counseling, I am a certified Success and Wellness Coach. In my work as a coach, I help my clients (who all happen to be college students) to first cultivate a vision for how they’d like to live their best lives. Most of that process involves asking them to consider their values, their priorities, and to reflect on their level of satisfaction in eight dimensions of their wellness: Physical Environment, Career, Finances, Physical Health, Friends/Family, Romance, Personal Development/Growth, and Fun/Recreation. From this vision, my clients then set goals to help facilitate balance across each of the eight areas mentioned.

While there is a certain objectivity to the goal setting process, our goals are a reflection of who we are and what we value. The art of goal setting is important to facilitating forward movement in both the coaching and counseling environments. So how can you ensure you set goals that allow you to cultivate a momentum and will carry you forward into living life on your own terms? The key is to set SMART goals! SMART goals are:

  • Specific: Specific goals are those that get down to business. What behavior or thought are you seeking to change in order to improve your satisfaction with your life or holistic wellness?
  • Measurable: Measurable goals allow you to answer the question, “what will it look like when this goal is met?” If you either can’t measure your goal progress or don’t know what to look for, how will you know when you’re ready to set your sights on a new target?

  • Attainable: Attainable goals are those that stretch you just outside of your comfort zone-- but not so far out of it that your goals are no longer within reach. This makes the difference between a goal that is a confidence boost and one that is a confidence bust!

  • Relevant: Relevant goals help us answer the question “why”—why does this goal matter? What purpose will it serve to accomplish this goal? When you know your ‘why’, you can accomplish any ‘what’!

  • Time-bound: Time-bound goals have a timestamp on them: By when will you have this goal completed? It is important to be realistic as you are setting your timeframe; again, this be a make-it or break-it for your confidence!

I learn through examples, so here is an example of one of my goals for this year:

In order to become the best coach I can be, I will read one piece of material per month that expands my knowledge and skill set as a coach. After reading each resource, I will create a 1-page summary of major takeaways and strategies I can use to integrate the resource into my practice as a coach.

Can you identify each element of the SMART framework in my goal?
 

Self Care is Not Selfish

Stephanie Moir

women self care self love therapy counseling subscription box

We never stop. As women we are always on the go, cooking, cleaning, working, doing. We forget that taking care of others, includes taking care of ourselves. Our own guilt plays a role in how much we do and how little we stop to think about us. Self care is not selfish. 

Self care is necessary. We can not expect our minds, bodies and souls to keep functioning if we do not take a moment to unplug. In a world of instant gratification in which everything is at our finger tips, it is ironic that we do not find a way to stop and just relax. Imagine if we reset and took a moment everyday to practice a self care routine? 

Having experienced my own struggle with self care after going through infertility and traumatic labor, I know from personal experience how important self care is. Going through all this immense pain, I began thinking how I could make similar, difficult experiences for women much more comforting and easier. That is how I Care Crate was born, and soon will be launching. 

Practicing self care is a way we show ourselves love, gratitude and appreciation. Lets face it, if we loved ourselves more, we would have an easier time in our roles as wives, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, students, colleagues, bosses and friends. Self care is self love and that is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself. 

 

Back to School Survival Guide for Parents

Stephanie Moir

child teen anxiety depression therapy counseling tampa psychology

It is the most wonderful time of year for parents everywhere, back to school month is here! As happy as you may feel, your child or teen may not feel exactly the same. So how do you know if your child or teen has anxieties that are typical or severe? Here are some questions to ask yourself about your child or teen, before overwhelming yourself with anxiety: 

1. Is your child or teen having nightmares, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep? 

2. Are they complaining of frequent stomach aches or an upset stomach?

3. Have they distanced themselves from you or loved ones? 

4. Are they frequently practicing obsessive behaviors to help them increase a sense of control?

5. Do they speak negatively about themselves and the world around them? 

6. Do they view the world in extremes, can everything only be right or wrong?

7. Are they making frequent illogical decisions? 

8. Are they having difficulty communicating emotions and do they avoid their emotions all together? 

9. Are they having difficulty concentrating, focusing or is their mind going blank? 

10. Have they been feeling overly worried or anxious for at least six months? 

If you feel your child or teen may have anxiety talk to them first. Discuss how they feel and ask them if they would like help, just because they want to talk to a professional does not mean something is wrong with them. Reassure them and be supportive. Talking to someone just means, I am reaching out, I want to be understood and I want to improve. Help your child and your teen by searching for a professional that would be a best fit for them. Not every therapist is alike, just as not every child, teen or family are alike. 

Your First Semester at College Survival Guide

Stephanie Moir

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As a high school senior you were on top of the food chain. You probably knew your school like the back of your hand and best of all you were comfortable. August is finally here and the fall college semester will begin soon. Some of you are heading to schools where you will be one of thousands of students, others are heading to small schools in which you will be one of hundreds. Either way it is a BIG change and college anxiety is real. 

Here are some ways to ease your mind and look forward to your first day of college: 

1. Purchase the essentials: Aside the typical dorm items, remember to purchase school supplies and your books. Show up to class prepared and ready to take notes (even if it is the first day of class). In college professors will expect you to always be prepared to learn, there is no movie day or freebie. 

2. Go explore the campus: Learn where your dorm is, the nearest dining halls and where your classes are. Learn to take the bus and time how long you take to reach your destination. This will help you plan how much time you have between classes. 

3. Get to know your professors: No, you do not have to take them to lunch, but introduce yourself during a class break and research their ratings on www.ratemyprofessor.com or a similar website  (this will make you aware of their teaching style and personality).  

4. Get to know your roommates: Spend time together, talk, go out to eat and learn what you have in common. Your roommates can be a great part of your college experience (they still are a great part of my life). You will be living with them so make the best of it and work on building a friendship. 

5. Have a schedule: Write down and plan out your day (from start to finish). This will help ease your stress and increase your timeliness. You can add lunch, time with friends, work out time, study hours and quizzes to all fit your schedule. 

6. Have fun: Take the time to join clubs and make friends. College is not just about your studies. It is a great opportunity to make social connections (future work connections are always great) and explore the things that really interest you. This will help you find your identity, which can help you choose a career that aligns with who you are. 

Prepare yourself for a year of learning, fun and exciting new ventures! College is what you make of it. Remember to take one day at a time. Patience is key to learning your way around, adapting to a new environment and surviving your first semester.  

Mental Health Matters

Stephanie Moir

"Once my loved ones accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years. Can't we, as a nation, begin to speed up that process? We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans...It's not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible."

–Bebe Moore Campbell, 2005
Co-developer of Minority Mental Health Month

I’d like to take a moment to first give kudos to the individuals and groups of individuals who have made great efforts to destigmatize mental health over the past several years. Campaigns such as ‘Time to Change’, and Takethis.org have created safe spaces for individuals and their loved ones who experience mental illnesses to vent about their experiences, and connect with others who they can relate to. These sort of campaigns have been created with the purpose of destigmatizing mental health, and it seems that they have done an excellent job of educating individuals about mental health, and fostering hope for individuals by sharing venues for getting help.   

Unfortunately, it seems that many individuals still feel a sense of shame and helplessness when it comes time to getting care for themselves or for their loved ones. Statistics vary depending on the source, but between 1/5 and ¼ of all Americans are currently living with a diagnosable mental health condition. NAMI reports that individuals who are Hispanic, Black, Asian, and American Indian, are as or more likely to have a mental illness as white individuals. But when it comes to receiving care, White Americans are most likely to receive care for their mental health. African Americans and Hispanic Americans do not tend to receive the mental health services that they need and Asian Americans were found the least likely to receive care. 

So what explains this disparity between white individuals and minorities receiving mental health treatment? According to NAMI, individuals in multicultural communities receive a poorer quality of care, experience higher levels of stigma, receive services within a culturally insensitive health care system, may experience language barriers from their clinicians, and have lower rates of health insurance.  These statistics, although discouraging, serve as a sign to mental health practitioners that we need to do more to reach clients of all ethnic backgrounds, especially individuals who fall into these underserved communities. Minority Mental Health Month was developed to improve the public’s awareness of mental health among minorities and to improve access. 

What can you do to help? Educating yourself and others about mental illnesses may be the first step. You can visit www.nami.org for additional information regarding the facts and myths associated with mental health. You can connect with other individuals and families, neighbors and people who have sought help for their mental health in the past. You may also speak with your doctor to see if therapy may be a good fit for you or a loved one.

It is not always easy to talk about mental health but by just reading this blog you are already helping others. Awareness is key and by coming together we can begin to end the stigma associated with mental illness, especially for minorities.