Chronic Illness Counseling https://chronicillnesscounseling.com with Kendall Hagensen Thu, 05 Dec 2019 23:59:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 3 Things to remember when newly diagnosed with a medical illness https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/3-things-to-remember-when-diagnosed-with-a-medical-illness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-things-to-remember-when-diagnosed-with-a-medical-illness https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/3-things-to-remember-when-diagnosed-with-a-medical-illness/#respond Thu, 05 Dec 2019 23:59:46 +0000 https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/?p=2008 Kendall Hagensen, LMHC, R-DMT shares 3 important things to remember if you’ve recently been diagnosed with a medical illness, or if you are experiencing a reoccurrence of illness after a…

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Kendall Hagensen, LMHC, R-DMT shares 3 important things to remember if you’ve recently been diagnosed with a medical illness, or if you are experiencing a reoccurrence of illness after a period of remission.

Kendall Hagensen is a Somatic or Body-Oriented Therapist and trained in EMDR, which means that she uses our innate mind-body connection as a tool in counseling. If you are interested in seeking counseling for a newly diagnosed medical illness, she would love to chat with you. If you’re nervous about therapy in general, or her approach sounds a bit different – give it a try, it might help you during this time.

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3 Tips for Traveling with Chronic Illness https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/3-tips-for-traveling-with-chronic-illness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-tips-for-traveling-with-chronic-illness https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/3-tips-for-traveling-with-chronic-illness/#respond Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:34:34 +0000 https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/?p=2003 With Summer upon us, many of us are ready to get out of town! For those of us with Chronic Illnesses, traveling can be a bit trickier. We shouldn’t have…

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With Summer upon us, many of us are ready to get out of town! For those of us with Chronic Illnesses, traveling can be a bit trickier. We shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun (even though our definition of “fun” might look different than yours)! Here are a few things to keep in mind that might make traveling a bit less stressful:

1. Plan ahead.

And, I mean waaaaayyyyyyyyyy ahead. If you have a chronic illness, you know how much your body and mind rely on routines. Traveling takes you out of your routine (on purpose).

Write down all the things that keep you functioning on a daily basis, from medications to stretching, and make a plan for how to bring these into your vacation. List every item you’d like to (and need to) bring with you and start pulling a few things out each day in small increments – pretty soon, you’re all packed with time to relax before you leave!

2. Speak up.

And, listen to your body. Depending on the point you are at with your illness, you may or may not know your physical limits of traveling, but you do know how you feel.

If you start to realize that you’ve overdone it, or know that while a 15 mile hike sounds fun (does it, really?), a 5 mile walk would be just as enjoyable and less taxing – say so! Many chronic illnesses are invisible, so it’s important to remind our travel partners that even though we look “fine,” we might feel extremely “not fine” on the inside.

3. Include recovery time.

It is important to include recovery time (this looks different for everyone) each day of your trip, but also after you return home. If your body takes a few (or several) days to get back to baseline after a vacation, let yourself have as much of that time as possible.

Don’t schedule anything “big” for right after you return, and look for ways to ease back into your job (of course, not possible for everyone) and daily responsibilities. Included in this recovery time would be asking for help. Before, during AND after a trip can be a time where we might need some extra support from family, friends, and healthcare providers!

Reach out for support

When you live with Chronic Illness, Anxiety, Depression, and other emotional or physical symptoms can be exacerbated by everything that goes into traveling. If need help navigating and reducing these symptoms, please reach out for support!

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Can EMDR really help with Chronic Pain and Illness? https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/can-emdr-help-chronic-pain-illness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-emdr-help-chronic-pain-illness https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/can-emdr-help-chronic-pain-illness/#respond Fri, 05 Apr 2019 14:53:32 +0000 https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/?p=522 Are your considering EMDR Therapy? You may be asking yourself one of the following questions: Can my illness get better by treating it emotionally? How can Somatic Mental Health Counseling…

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Are your considering EMDR Therapy?

You may be asking yourself one of the following questions:

  • Can my illness get better by treating it emotionally?
  • How can Somatic Mental Health Counseling help me?
  • Does EMDR really help with Chronic Pain and Illness?

You are not alone in asking these questions. Hopefully, I can help briefly explain the importance of these therapies and how they help with chronic pain and illness.

The Mind-Body Connection and EMDR

As we know, the mind and body are completely connected and interrelated. 

A few common emotional symptoms of chronic pain and illness:

  • Anxiety, fear, or negative feelings about experiences with doctors, or lack of support from family or friends.
  • Difficulty managing uncertainty about the future
  • Anger about all of it
  • Depression
  • Impact of illness on relationships
  • PTSD
  • Stress from coping with daily pain

EMDR and Somatic Counseling works to heal the mind-body connection. This work will help your body better face a challenge or cope with pain.

EMDR and Somatic Counseling

Counseling is not going to take away all of your physical pain or cure your illness. 

It helps you realize your strength, practice tools to not let anxiety and depression make your physical pain worse, learn more about your body so that YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR EMOTIONS. 

Sometimes people with chronic illness have experienced trauma in their past or in the present related to their diagnosis or otherwise. 

EMDR is effective at releasing the disturbance of those experiences and memories. 

Email me, Kendall or call 360-904-9432 to schedule an appointment. 

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5 Meditations to Try when you Get an MRI https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/5-meditations-to-try-when-you-get-an-mri/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-meditations-to-try-when-you-get-an-mri https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/5-meditations-to-try-when-you-get-an-mri/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2019 13:28:59 +0000 https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/?p=514 If you live with Chronic Illness, you’ve experienced your fair share of medical testing! The truth about MRIs is that while they provide undeniably important information, they are loud, cold,…

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If you live with Chronic Illness, you’ve experienced your fair share of medical testing! The truth about MRIs is that while they provide undeniably important information, they are loud, cold, very small tubes that you’re expected to lay inside for hours without moving a muscle.

Whether you enjoy the MRI experience, are claustrophobic and dread every moment, or are just looking for something to do while you’re in there, here are 5 meditations to try when you get an MRI:

1. Breath

Just breathe – sounds simple, right? For some it’s no big deal, for others the experience of getting an MRI is extremely anxiety provoking. Either way, a breath-focused Meditation can be helpful. Breathe in and out through your nose, and just focus on that. If you notice yourself thinking about other things, or getting uncomfortable midway through the test, acknowledge the thoughts and fears, and then just come back to your breathe. And, again. And, again.

2. Choreography

Have a choreographic mind? Try imagining yourself or others moving to the rhythm of the sound coming from the MRI machine. Are you on stage by yourself? With a group? Are you watching from the audience? Notice how the movements change as the MRI machine shifts to a new section of your body with a click, click, click.

3. Visual Art

More of a visual artist? Let colors and brushstrokes come to mind as you feel the vibration and sound change throughout the MRI process. Notice what types of shapes you’re drawn to, the speed of your strokes, and how the mediums change throughout the process.

4. Gratitude

Gratitude – specifically for your body’s abilities. There are many reasons one might find themselves needing an MRI, but in the moment it can be easy to focus on all the negative aspects of the situation. What about using the time to breathe and think about all the things about your body and it’s abilities that you’re grateful for?

5. Mantra

Think about an intention you want to set for the time of the MRI test, that specific day, or this entire year. Something you want more of in your life, something you want to feel, or how you want to heal. It can even be the gratitude of your body’s abilities. Then, create a phrase. For example, “I am grateful for this test, it will help me be my best.” Or, “I send love to myself, I send love to others.” Or, I acknowledge the pain and welcome positivity.” Breathe normally and repeat your Mantra to yourself again, and again…and, again.

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Living with Chronic Illness often means not having control over what’s happening in your body, and having to go through experiences you’d rather not. What YOU CAN CONTROL is how you approach and react to experiences. If you’re looking for a different way to approach your next MRI, give one of these meditations a try!

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The First Step to Becoming A Creative Person https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/the-first-step-to-becoming-a-creative-person/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-first-step-to-becoming-a-creative-person https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/the-first-step-to-becoming-a-creative-person/#respond Sat, 12 Jan 2019 21:39:32 +0000 https://chronicillnesscounseling.com/?p=411 As a Somatic Psychotherapist and Dance/Movement Therapist, I am a fan of using the arts therapeutically both personally and professionally, and have a particular interest in exploring what it really…

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As a Somatic Psychotherapist and Dance/Movement Therapist, I am a fan of using the arts therapeutically both personally and professionally, and have a particular interest in exploring what it really means to be “creative.”

One of the most beneficial practices I have ever experienced is called a Creative Habit, based on the book by Dancer and Choreographer, Twyla Tharp.

As Twyla explains…

In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative… Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits… Thereʼs a paradox in the notion that creativity should be a habit. We think of creativity as a way of keeping everything fresh and new, while habit implies routine and repetition. That paradox intrigues me because it occupies the place where creativity and skill rub up against each other. It takes skill to bring something youʼve imagined into the world: to use words to create believable lives, to select the colors and textures of paint to represent a haystack at sunset, to combine ingredients to make a flavorful dish. No one is born with that skill. It is developed through exercise, through repetition, through a blend of learning and reflection thatʼs both painstaking and rewarding. And it takes time.” – pg. 9

What is a Creative Habit?

It something…

1) You do on purpose

2) In an intentional environment

3) With beginning and ending rituals

How do I start?

Choose…

1) Overall time commitment (I recommend 1 month)

2) Weekly time commitment (I recommend at least 2 hours per week total)

3) Daily time commitment (I recommend spending at least 5 minutes each day/time you choose)

4) Time of day

5) Environment

6) Beginning and ending rituals

7) Your habit!

Once you choose your habit, stay with it for the full overall time commitment AND Keep a journal of your experience (at least one entry per week).

Determining your Creative Habit

In order to identify what your creative habit will be, explore your Creative Autobiography!

  1. Answer the questions below
  2. Based on your answers, think about what activity might suite you best

An example of a Creative Habit could be something like…

-I choose to try it for 1 month

-I decide that I will spend 5 minutes per day, Monday through Friday

-I know that if I don’t practice this in the morning, it won’t happen

-I know that if I don’t practice this before the kids get up, then I won’t have a peaceful environment to practice in

-I choose to light a candle to begin, and blow out the candle to end

-I want to include sitting meditation and writing as parts of my habit, so I decide that on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I will sit in meditation, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I will practice free writing for the 5 minutes.

The important thing to remember is that whatever you choose to practice, it should be something that feels good and creative to YOU, so if that means designing an excel spreadsheet, then follow that intuition.

If you’d like to discuss this process more or borrow a copy of Twyla’s book, feel free to reach out to me at Kendall@VancouverWellnessStudio.com.

In gratitude,
Kendall

Answer these Questions:

Creative Autobiography

1. What is the first creative moment you remember?

2. Was anyone there to witness or appreciate it?

3. What is the best idea you’ve ever had?

4. What made it great in your mind?

5. What is the dumbest idea?

6. What made it stupid?

7. Can you connect the dots that led you to this idea?

8. What is your creative ambition?

9. What are the obstacles to this ambition?

10. What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?

11. How do you begin your day?

12. What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

13. Describe your first successful creative act.

14. Describe your second successful creative act.

15. Compare them.

16. What are your attitudes toward: money, power, praise, rivals, work, play?

17. Which artists do you admire most?

18. Why are they your role models?

19. What do you and your role models have in common?

20. Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?

21. Who is your muse?

22. Define muse.

23. When confronted with superior intelligence or talent, how do you respond?

24. When faced with stupidity, hostility, intransigence, laziness, or indifference in others, how do you respond?

25. When faced with impending success or the threat of failure, how do you respond?

26. When you work, do you love the process or the result?

27. At what moments do you feel your reach exceeds your grasp?

28. What is your ideal creative activity?

29. What is your greatest fear?

30. What is the likelihood of either of the answers to the previous two questions happening?

31. Which of your answers would you most like to change?

32. What is your idea of mastery?

33. What is your greatest dream?

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