“Wa nasolbad akong problema.”
You might feel disappointed after your first counseling session because it didn’t match your expectations. While expecting counselors to do the work for you is normal, holding on to that expectation may hamper your growth. To avoid this, it’s important to understand both the counselor’s and your role in your progress. Here’s what to expect during counseling sessions.
1. Counseling is a collaborative effort.
It’s not your counselor’s job to solve your problems. Counseling is a joint effort of you and the counselor. While you acknowledge your feelings and admit your struggles, their job is to:
- help you identify beliefs, behavior patterns, and thoughts involved in your mental health concerns
- assist you in understanding yourself
- determine the steps needed to improve your perspective and lifestyle
- create individualized treatment plans based on your circumstances and needs
2. You may be asked to revisit situations that can trigger you.
The therapist or counselor will ask you to revisit situations that may be relevant to your mental health concern— and this may be triggering for you. You may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or angry— and it’s okay. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings, sit with them, and openly talk about them during counseling to help the counselor better understand your circumstance.
3. You will learn things throughout the process, which can be uncomfortable for you.
Seeking professional help means busting faulty beliefs and shifting perspectives that are causing you problems. It’s normal to expect validation from a counselor but to grow, you have to learn and unlearn things. This process may be unsettling and frightening, but it’s best to focus on the fulfilment of self-improvement and look forward to the results. Remember that the first step to solving the problem is acknowledging that there’s a problem.
4. There are different counselors.
Qualified mental health professionals can handle counseling sessions and other mental health services. Likewise, not all counselors are psychologists. They can be a:
- licensed clinical social worker
- guidance counselor
- marriage and family therapist
- a licensed clinical professional counselor
- psychiatric nurse practitioner
- mental health counselor
If they are trained, licensed, and experienced, they are qualified to handle mental health consultations and counseling sessions.
If you have difficulty coping with your mental health problems, it is a good idea to seek a mental health professional. Our psychologists and psychiatrists here at Gestalt Wellness Institute psychological clinic are available from 9 am-11 pm, Mondays to Saturdays. We provide specialized and quality multidisciplinary mental health services as a collaborative, efficient, and sustainable mental health institution committed to self-discovery and expansion.Learn More
They say Valentine’s day is when people should fall in love and couples should be “happy.” This idea promotes social comparisons and thus adds pressure to anyone who feels alone. If you’re one of them, here are four ways to feel great and avoid social comparisons on Valentine’s Day.
1. Stop pressuring yourself to find a date.
Take time to know yourself and what you want. You may feel isolated on Valentine’s Day because you thought you needed to find someone, or you’ll risk missing the boat. If that’s the case, remember that:
- Some couples feel confused because they rushed into a relationship without fully knowing themselves and each other.
- When people only date for the record of having a “significant other,” they often end up losing their individuality in a relationship.
2. Don’t believe in social media.
What couples post on social media are only the highlights; it’s never the whole story. In fact, studies show that couples who post nice pictures are more prone to constant arguments than those who don’t.
People tend to cover up their deep-seated insecurities and relationship flaws through extravagant efforts or oversharing on social media. So, the happy pictures you see won’t guarantee anything. Comparing yourself with anyone might only lower your self-esteem and won’t do any good.
3. Practice gratitude.
Being grateful doesn’t mean ignoring your sadness. It means zooming into and celebrating what you have despite everything you don’t have. You can start by:
- Listening to your emotions
- Enjoying alone time
- Making yourself a priority
- Congratulating yourself even for your smallest achievements
- Keeping a gratitude journal
4. Treat Yourself.
You don’t have to spend Valentine’s Day with someone. You can make it a day to:
- Take your day off
- Create a list of things you would like to do that day
- Eat your favorite food
- Watch your favorite movies
- Engage in hobbies you never had the time to
Being comfortable with your imperfect relationship or being happy alone aren’t one-time acts. They require healing, self-awareness, and reframing of one’s thoughts.
If you have difficulty coping, it is a good idea to seek a therapist. Our psychologists and psychiatrists here at Gestalt Wellness Institute are available from 9 am-11 pm, Mondays to Saturdays. We provide specialized and quality multidisciplinary services as a collaborative, efficient, and sustainable mental health institution committed to self-discovery and expansion.Learn More
This is what we often hear when opening up about our emotional struggles. What hurts most is it comes from those we love— such as our family or relatives.
As we spend time with them, we may do ourselves a favor and recreate a home that nurtures rather than destroys our well-being. Here’s how we can open to our loved ones about our mental health.
1. Plan what to talk about.
Planning about what, where, and how you’ll address your struggles helps you overcome the triggers surrounding the topic. You may list the following points to not miss anything during the conversation:
- How you truly feel and why
- What your family member/s have to do with those feelings/experiences
- How can you work on those issues
It’s best to do it casually during an intimate gathering or family dinner. You may also have a private, one-on-one conversation with the family member you’d like to speak with.
2. Address objections
Stigma exists because of lack of awareness. Addressing these objections can help your family understand your mental health concerns better:
|“Wala mani saunang panahon.”
|“Naa ni sauna, pero mas na educate and na aware lang ang mga tao karon.” (Mental illnesses have always existed. It’s just that people are more educated and aware now.)
|“Tapulan lang jod ka/sila.”
|“Na overwhelm sila and nahurot na ilang energy pagtry ug survive. Mao gamay nalang ilang energy pag trabaho.” (They’re overwhelmed or have exhausted their energy trying to survive; thus, have less energy to work.)
|“Huna-huna rana nimo/nila.”
|“Tinuod ang mental illness ug maka affect pd ni sa akong physical health ug relationships.”
–Mental health can affect physical health and relationships.
When talking about your mental health, you should understand your family’s mentality. This helps you communicate your issues more effectively. Empathizing makes you realize that:
- Boomers might be unsupportive because they are unaware of the importance of mental well-being.
- They might be unresponsive to your emotional needs because they didn’t have them and weren’t able to fulfill their own needs as well.
- They might’ve treated you unfairly because they have also been neglected by their parents during childhood, which most likely affected their adult behavior.
- They might belittle your mental health issues because they’re more concerned about making money, surviving, or providing your physical needs.
Their lack of awareness and own struggles won’t excuse their behavior. However, empathizing helps you get your point straight and make yourself clear to them.
4. Be vulnerable.
Instead of avoiding awkward conversations about how you feel, face them. You can show your family that being emotional and sensitive is okay. You can initiate vulnerability by saying:
- “I’m battling with my insecurities and it hurt me when you said I’m not enough.”
- “I’m feeling very down lately but I hesitate to express because every time I do, you say I’m OA.”
- “I know I had my own issues. I’m trying to heal but it won’t help if you constantly bring up the past.”
While vulnerability is difficult, it can be powerful. It fosters intimacy in families because it tells how much you entrust your thoughts and emotions to them.
Raising awareness and breaking the stigma attached to mental health can start in our families, but it still is a challenge.
Our families might feel close to us, but this doesn’t guarantee that they are familiar with our struggles or ready to support our healing. Let’s give them time to slowly process the information or perhaps get a mental health professional to help them with the difficult conversations.
Our psychologists and psychiatrists here are Gestalt Wellness Institute are available from 9 am-11 pm Mondays to Saturdays. We provide specialized and quality multidisciplinary services as a collaborative, efficient, and sustainable mental health institution committed to self-discovery and expansion.
Call us: (032) 345 4610Learn More
There is no health when there is no mental health.
The fifth iCare Mental Health Expo was held at the Ayala Malls Central Bloc, Cebu IT Park, on November 8, 2022, from 10 AM to 8 PM, with the theme; Making Mental Health and Well-being for All a Global Priority.
Ms. Scarlett Jade Mapa hosted the program, and it started with the opening remarks of Gestalt Wellness Institute’s resident psychologist Ms. Rennyvone Ledesma. Miss Ledesma welcomed the participants and introduced them to the aspirations of iCare and its connotation; C for connect, A for awareness, R for respond, and E for embrace.
1.) The iCare Mental Health Talk Show
Professional guest speakers, Mr. Philipp Chen Tan, a psychologist; Dr. Joseph James Lim, a psychiatrist; and Ms. Luzlin Pagaran Elcullada, a guidance counselor, talked about listening and showing care for others without compromising one’s mental health. They also discussed how to address mental health concerns in the community, classrooms, and barangay. They emphasized that for mental health to become a global priority and dissolve the stigma, authorities, advocates, and experts should make it more accessible to the public with the help of sufficient funds.
2.) Open Forum
After the Mental Health Talk Show was the open forum, wherein participants were given the time to ask the guest speakers relevant questions. Questions like, “How do you relate to something you haven’t experienced?” to which Mr. Lim responded, “You do not have to experience to understand.”, and “You can ask more.”
Asking questions shows care, but when you feel like it is out of your expertise, ask for help from the professionals. Although self-care is mainly about knowing your boundaries and learning when to say no, it differs from person to person. It’s okay to be there for someone but not at the expense of your mental health. Thus, another way to show care for someone else is to refer them to professionals.
3.) Trivia Time.
Mr. Kirk Patrick Castro, the founder of iCARE Mental Health Expo and the Director of Gestalt Wellness Institute Inc., discussed the importance of giving care. Mr. Castro emphasized, “The most important person you have to satisfy in life is yourself.” And that, “If you know how to take care of yourself, then you know how to take care of others.”
He also discussed mental illnesses’ “warning signs” and how important awareness is. Unmanaged stress often results in anxiety, which is a gateway to depression. “Define boundaries. Recognize triggers of anxiety and know how to calm yourself,” he added.
4.) Games and activities
To create a supportive community, Mr. Abrea Segundo Jr. organized games, challenges, and activities for the participants. The participants come from different universities; thus, the activities were designed for them to introduce each other and build connections. This is considered a step toward building a community that is caring and supportive of each other.
The participants were also given the time to inquire and talk to the exhibitors to know what the organization is all about. There were a total of six booths; the Gestalt Wellness Institute, Family and Recovery Management, Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya, PsychHelp Assessments and Psychological Center Co. – Cebu, Visayan Youth Matters, and 180 Degrees Inc.
5. Fellowship with Sugbuanon artists
Lastly, there was the fellowship with local Sugbuanon artists, which falls under the aspirations of iCARE; to give and build care. Inviting local artists to the expo shows support and care for growing artists. To a certain extent, the artists get to perform on stage and share their passion.
Pursuing iCare Mental Health Expo every year is a step towards building and sustaining a supportive community for everyone’s mental health. Hats off to mental health professionals and advocates who dedicated time and effort into this purpose. It costs nothing to be kind; but it can save lives.Learn More
Mental Health isn’t talked about enough.
This is why iCare was created.
iCare Mental Health Expo was founded in 2018 by Kirk Patrick Castro and Rennyvonne Fae Ledesma of the Gestalt Wellness Institute to inform the public and allow them to participate in spreading mental health awareness. This yearly event is also a way to commemorate World Mental Health Day on October 10th.
The first iCare Mental Health Expo in Cebu brought together several mental health advocates, service providers, companies, and organizations. It was held at Parkmall on the first day, and the second day, at Plaza Sugbo.
The Wellbeing Cluster PH was also invited as one of the conveners for the first iCARE Mental Health Expo. Wellbeing Cluster PH is a multi-sectoral organization platform that includes government agencies (DSWD, DOH, OCD) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Region 7 through the cooperation of Central Visayas Network of NGOs, private sectors, academic institutions, and volunteers who cater to the humanitarian sector’s wellbeing needs.
The goal of the iCARE Mental Health Expo is to fill the gap between communities and mental health services by making them more accessible. We also hope to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health by educating people about this important aspect of their lives.
We raise awareness through ongoing community-based psychosocial support surveys, conferences, information dissemination (online and offline), and capacity-building.
This November, join us again in extending our hands to everyone to be more responsive and supportive of those in need.
iCare Mental Health Expo 5; Thrive! will be held at the Ayala Malls Central Bloc, Cebu IT Park on November 8, 2022, from 10 AM to 8 PM. Exciting activities include:
- iCARE Mental Health Talk Show
- Mental Health Exhibit
- Trivia Games
- Introduction to the Principles of MHPSS
- Experiential Activities in Creating Supportive Community
- Showcase of Talents
Register for FREE: https://tinyurl.com/iCAREMH-5
The first 300 registrants can get FREE food at the event.
Once again, participating in this initiative is a great way to help broaden our perspective on mental illness by expelling myths, educating the public, and showing support for those affected by mental health conditions. Keep in mind that your disorders do not define you. Never suffer in silence because you are not fighting these battles alone.
“iCare was brought about by my desire to provide accessible information on mental health, where experts talk about the importance of wellbeing and mental health outside the conference halls and classrooms, and into public places where people who needs it most can listen. It is a message that beyond our suffering there are people who are willing to help people uncover their potentials to live a life worth living.” — Kirk Patrick Castro, Chief Executive Director of Gestalt Wellness Institute.