When I read this quote by Alice Walker, the author of the Pulitzer prize winning novel “The Color Purple,” I feel both called out and called to action. It is the reminder I need to be more intentional with my time and choices and to remember that the things I do today will make a difference in my tomorrow, both good and not so good.
Maybe this quote brings up similar thoughts for you. Maybe for you, like it is for me, the business of summer has gotten in the way and the days are speeding past. Or maybe you have the desire to do some “constructing,” but you don’t know where to start.
“Looking closely at the present you are constructing” could look like doing some therapeutic work in between sessions, outside the therapy office. Bibliotherapy (the use of reading material for help in solving personal problems), trying out a mental health app on your phone, taking an online course, trying out guided meditation and mindfulness, listening to a new podcast, intentionally pouring into a relationship with a partner, child, parent, friend, or God……these are all examples of the therapeutic work I’m suggesting, and I’ve put together a short list of recommended resources to get you started.
My suggestion….read or listen to something that sparks your interest, mull it over while on a walk, talk about it with a friend, journal about it, and bring it up in your next counseling session. My guess is that taking in some new ideas or different perspectives might give you something to think about and potentially some tools to apply to your life and that intentional focus and action will move you closer to “the future you are dreaming.”
Mental Health App
This app is free and allows you to listen in on therapy sessions between a licensed therapist and a client that match up with issues you are dealing with. Sessions are short 15-20 minutes and some teach specific skills.
Guided Meditation and Mindfulness Apps
Happiness Online Course
The Science of Well Being (There are adult and teen versions.)
This is a FREE course available on the platform Coursera taught by the Yale professor Laurie Santos. Wildly popular with Yale students, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change.
“The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin
“Happier" with Gretchen Rubin
“Ten Percent Happier" with Dan Harris
“The Happiness Lab” with Dr. Laurie Santos
“Good Inside” by Dr. Becky Kennedy
“The Emotional Lives of Teenagers” by Dr. Lisa Damour
“Are my Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach” by Sissy Goff, Dabvid Thomas, and Melissa Trevathan
“Good Inside” with Dr. Becky Kennedy
“Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting” with Dr. Lisa Damour
“Raising Boys and Girls” with therapists Sissy Goff and Dave Thomas
Courage, Vulnerability, Shame & Empathy
ALL THINGS Brene Brown.
Dr. Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she studies courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She has written numerous books, hosted an amazing podcast "Unlocking Us," been a part of a Netflix documentary “The Call to Courage,” and an HBO special called “Atlas of the Heart,” and so much more. Spend some time on her website; read or watch something she has done. It will be time well spent!
“We Can Do Hard Things” with Glennon Doyle
Episode titled “How to fix our loneliness" with Dr.Marisa G Franco
Episode titled “The secret of making and keeping friends" with Dr. Marisa G Franco
Couples Therapy podcast
“Where Should We Begin" with Esther Perel
“The Hilarious World of Depression”
Podcasts that cover multiple topics
Look through the episodes and pick one that is talking about a topic you connect with
“Kelly Corrigan Wonders”
“The Hardcore Self-Help Podcast with Duff the Psych"
Licensed Resident in Counseling