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Wellness Counseling Approach

Posted on Mar 29, 2017 by Erin Risius, MA, LPC








As a professional in the health and wellness industry for 20+ years now, the comment I often hear the most from those I meet is: “I know what to do, but I’m just not consistently doing it.”  During times of stress, rational thought can easily get replaced with an urge to disconnect or numb out through a ‘false fix’ with food, alcohol, TV, shopping, -basically anything that will self-soothe from what feels stressful in the moment. Anyone who has struggled with the inner conflict between ‘I should’ and ‘I want’ in those most vulnerable moments knows that choosing the healthiest option in the loneliness, anger, frustration, sadness, stress, or even the ingrained habit of the moment is much easier said than done.  Unfortunately, people try to rely on willpower to white-knuckle through those times, but that strategy has a breaking point. Just like a muscle, willpower fatigues, especially when faced with a comfortable habit or reliable (no matter how dysfunctional) coping mechanism that has been a tried and true ‘go-to’ for many years.

 

The good news is that there are sound strategies for learning how to shift out of survival mode with behaviors and to make choices in the moment that have a healthier impact both short and long term. My role at H3 is to shine a light on these strategies and to provide additional support for guests who want guidance on how to bridge that gap between insight and action with self-care. It’s more than just "eat less and move more." If it were that simple then people wouldn’t get off track. Learning the "how-to’ is very important, such as finding the appropriate frequency, type(s), intensity, and duration of exercise that both honors and gently challenges the body you have today, and learning to eat nutritionally balanced and satisfying meals on a regular basis. However, the ‘how to’ only gets one so far on the journey toward optimal well-being.  What is just as important is to better understand what is motivating our choices as this awareness will help illuminate the personal strategies needed for learning how to shift from auto-pilot reactions to a more mindful response to what one really needs for self-care in the moment on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level.  

 

With that in mind, my classes at H3 are focused on healthy psychology as it relates to eating behavior, self-compassion, body image, weight stigma, lapse prevention, and overall stress management. I provide weekly classes on the psychology of motivation as well as breakout sessions aimed at providing strategies for healing one’s relationship with food, inclusive of emotional and compulsive overeating and feelings of food addiction. My individual wellness counseling approach is rooted in authenticity and positive psychology combined with providing solution-focused strategies as each person who comes to H3 has their own unique situations, experiences, needs and goals. My focus is to simply provide personalized attention and support so that guests feel more empowered and less alone on their journey toward optimal health.

  


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