Wednesday, February 18, 2015


I have felt like I have been in a whirlwind for the past week and a half.
I still wake up realizing I get to marry this guy:
(I know I post this picture too much, but its my favorite!)

And then other times I completely remember we are engaged while I am in the midst of trying to create a budget for this whole shindig called a wedding. My poor man is probably going crazy because we have two years to plan this wedding.
But here's the thing:
I have international family so letting them know information far in advance is important.
I am from Indiana so letting them coordinate and save far in advance is important.
I have always wanted to be a wedding planner and now I can do it for my own wedding and that is important to me.

So I am reaching out to all the other brides out there that have done this shindig wedding thing.
The reality for me is that I am getting married right after I graduate grad school which means my pocket will be very light. I want a wedding that is affordable, but also memorable. Having the people I care about most to celebrate with is most important to me. And I really want a mash-potato bar. Call me crazy, but it has always been a dream. And my last requirement is to have a dress along the lines of what I have been dreaming about (Ballgown type).

So those are my necessities. We have been considering having a backyard wedding, but it seems like that may be a little too much work. Anyone out there done a backyard wedding? Can you give me some pros and cons? Do you suggest an all inclusive venue instead?

I thought this wedding planning business would be easy, but its not.
So please, ladies, help me!
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Friday, February 13, 2015

To See it OR Not to See It: 50 Shades of Grey

I have been back and forth whether to write about this movie or not.
I know there are a lot of opinions running around out there and I did not want to add one more, but I feel obligated to. Let me preference by saying I have never read the book. I do not know all the details or the whole story, but I do know about S&M and the basis of this movie.

I get it: this is just a way to have entertainment in your life; it's just a movie and it will not impact you; just because you watch it doesn't mean you support it. 
What I do not get is how many people do not understand what S&M is and why they choose to let this movie educate them about it. 
From the preview, it is clear that this movie portrays S&M as a way to get closer to someone, a way to be intimate, and a way to show someone you really love them.
Unfortunately, I do not believe any of that. 

I am a psychology major and we are taught the dangers of an S&M relationship. 
It is basically a power struggle between a couple. A power struggle of domination, submission, and abuse. Some people my disagree, but I encourage you to educate yourself about this type of relationship.

What I am most concerned about is the younger generation that is being targeted by this movie. I am concerned that they will believe this is the way to be intimate with another. I am concerned it will create ideas in their mind that will lead them to harm. 

I do not have all the words to express why I am not in support of this movie, but I did find an article that helps portray my understanding of this relationship presented in this movie.

Click here to read why Dr. Meeker believes this movie is not grey, but purely black.

The only reason I would ever watch this movie is to educate myself on what my future clients may have allowed to integrate into their lives. Either way I understand the decision to see it is an individual choice, but I hope if you do choose to see it that you do your research. If it is for entertainment, just remember the other times you've seen a movie and allowed it to affect your emotions or daily life. Art inspires and evokes things with us. 50 Shades of Grey is art in book and movie form. Be aware of what is inspired or evoked within you.
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Best Day of My Life, So Far...

One of my most favorite days every year is my birthday.
February 7th is my favorite for many selfish reasons, but this year it topped every date in the world so far.

My day started off like this:
On their way to give me a great gift!

These are both the same video's but from different angles!

As you can see here I was very emotional and very surprised.
I thought this was my biggest gift for the day and I was so excited to spend my birthday with my best friends. All week I kept saying how I wish they could come out to Seattle and celebrate with me and little did I know they were already planning on it.

While a surprise visit from my Bestie's along with my Mom in town is a great gift, this next video shows my best gift ever.

I am over the moon for our engagement and for our future together.
I never knew I would meet Brad when I moved to Seattle let alone on OkCupid!
He is so good to me and I am so lucky to be his future wife!

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

A New App: MailTime

Thanks to boostinsider I am discovering new apps every single day.
The newest one I love is called MailTime!
It is a new way to send emails, read emails, and stay organized in life.

What I love about MailTime is that it is just like texting and makes emailing so much easier.
I get tired of having to be so formal in emails when rarely anyone else is formal with me.
It is becoming more normal to respond like a text message and put the formalities aside.
MailTime allows you to do just that. 
Your emails appear in a bubble chat form which allows you to apply to the email like it came in a text message form and then hit send.

 (This is how an email I sent appears)

It also allows you to make reminders or to-do lists.
I have an iPhone and it connected to my notes app in my phone reminding that I made a note about something which is super helpful when you are forgetful like me. 

I also love how it puts the email picture of who you are emailing with or their initials.
I have found this so helpful when searching for a specific email.
So many times when I use my GMail app I cannot find the email because they are look the same.
MailTime has made it easier to find the email by color coding, using pictures, and initials.

The app only allows you to use 140 characters as well.
While this could be seen as a negative, I see it as a positive.
So many times we type out a super long email to get a single point across.
MailTime limits you and helps you get down to the nitty-gritty and get your point across in less words. I get tons of emails every single day and often have trouble figuring out what to say. Now I am more straight to the point in my emails and get work done faster.
The app is only available for apple phones at the moment, but I am sure it will be available for all devices soon since it is so easy to use!

Being involved in the texting generation I encourage all my friends to get this.
It is simple to use, easy to learn, and an overall time improvement in my life!

Still not convinced you should try it?
Watch below and let the creators convince you instead!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Warnings Directed at Women

I have to admit that I am a pretty paranoid person.
Part of it is because of all the scary movies I have watched over the years, part of it is because of the news stories, and the other part is because of the warnings constantly being posted on Facebook.

In High School, I used to be scared to walk to my car that was 5 feet away in the dark.
Here is what my typical routine looked like just to go home from work. 
Walk out of work and check behind me to make sure no one is following.
Hold keys between knuckles and pretend to jab like wolverine if anyone pops out.
As I approach my car, look under it to make sure someone is 
not waiting to slice my ankles open.
Check back seat before getting in car to make sure no one is hiding.
Open door, jump into car, and lock it.
Get out of the parking lot a.s.a.p.

That was real life and is sometimes still real life for me.
I have gotten better, but I am still scared.
I am also angry about being scared.
It's frustrating that I have to be ready to run, kick, scream, fight, etc. just because I am a female. It's frustrating that I feel like I have to take my hair out of a ponytail at night because its an easy way for a predator to pull me off my feet. It's frustrating that I have to rely on a man to feel safe.

But the most frustrating part is that each year women are being predated in new ways.
Today I read about how attackers are recording baby sounds and playing them outside your door at night to lure you out of your house and then attack you.
The lows that predators will go to just to hurt you is frustrating.
But then there is the psychological side of me that is intrigued by the nature of these people.
What makes them come to this point?
What happened in their story that caused them to want to attack others?
What was/is home life like?

What I wish for most is that women would not have to be scared to walk to their cars at night.
I wish that the majority of women learned self defense because they had an interest in it and not because they are scared of being attacked. I wish women could walk around like men.

But I also know that my wishes will only come true if I start to understand the other, the predator. By digging deeper into their darkness I can discover the darkness that pushed them into theirs. I can discover their humanness and their realness. It is not the best solution, but it is a step I want to take and encourage others to take. I am not saying you should sympathize with the predator, but I am asking that you remember they were born with a clean slate just like you. We all have dark stories and we all have great stories. Remembering that so many things impact us, shape us, and control us helps us to see that we all are trying to survive in a world that can be harsh, dark, and scary. Some of us choose a better path and some of us do not. 

What are your thoughts on this issue?
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Part 4 Attachment Styles: Disorganized

This is Samantha and she has one of the most 
difficult attachment styles to work through--disorganized.

            Samantha grew up in a divorced home. When she was in her early teens, her father left the family and her mother raised her sister and her. Samantha was never sure why her father left and continues to question why today although she has some idea that it may have been for all the fighting her parents engaged in. During the divorce, Samantha had to deal with her mother being the talk of the town. She had decided to take on the more sexual style attire of her time and shocked the town they lived in.
            Not only was Samantha left to take care of herself as her mother went out on date after date, she also became a support system for her younger sister who continued to have nightmares from their parents fighting when she was younger. Because of the lack of parenting in her life, Samantha primarily relied on herself. She had a strong friend group, but never let them in on much in her life. Her friend Teeny was the only one who knew her parents were divorcing and the rest of her friends did not find out until a few years later.
            Samantha threatened her mother to move in with her father often, but never followed through because she feared him at the same time. Even though Samantha does not like to admit, she knows her parents’ divorce was probably for the best as her mother feared her husband because of his alcoholic outbursts.  She desired to be close to her father, but was also fearful of how his outbursts may affect her as well.
            Today, Samantha prefers to be alone. She has had many failed relationships because of her lack of engagement with the other and her need to hide feelings. While Samantha has a popular audience because of her best-selling books she avoids the public because of the anxiety it creates in her. To her therapist, she describes her happiest days as days where she does not leave the house, does not engage with the outside world, and types away on her new novel.
Clinical Approaches for Samantha
            After spending months attempting to dig into Samantha’s family of origin, her therapist has finally created a plan of action for Samantha. One of the main reasons Samantha committed to therapy was for the anxiety she experiences trying to leave her house each day. Over the years her anxiety has increased and this is the worst it has ever been for her. Samantha discusses how she is unsure how she gets to these places of increased anxiety, but desires to be able to enter into the world again. She is tired of being alone and would like to meet someone to share life with.
            The first step for her therapist is to explore Samantha’s relationship with her father. Her therapist believes Samantha has a disorganized attachment style that she relates to due to her relationship with her father. When Samantha shares stories about her father, she frequently discusses the fear her father invoked in her but also the desire she wanted to have him a part of their family after the divorce. Samantha’s therapist believes this desperate desire to pursue her father but also avoid him describes her disorganized attachment (White & Yellin, 2012, p. 129).
            Because of this upbringing of fear and pursuit, the therapist also believes this contributes to Samantha’s desire to avoid others. The therapist thinks that Samantha has difficulty in communicating with others effectively because of having to rely on herself only in her teen years. If Samantha had parents who pursued a secure attachment style with her, she would be able to more freely allow others to get close to her and create an intimate relationship (Costello, 2013, p. 9). Since neither of her parents provided this for her, she still does not know how to break down the very thick, strong wall she has built to protect herself.
            Samantha’s therapist would like to help Samantha learn how to trust again. Trust is an important part of creating a secure relationship. The therapist would like to educate Samantha on how to find trust in someone else and also how to show someone they can trust you as well (Levy, 2000, p. 7). Looking at Samantha’s relationship with her childhood friend, Teeny, is how the therapist plans to educate Samantha on trust. When Samantha talks about her past, she mentions how Teeny was always there for her and was the only person she felt comfortable to talk to about her parent’s divorce. By exploring their friendship, the therapist hopes this reminds Samantha that trust can exist and still exists.
            Along with exploring the friendship with Teeny, the therapist also wants to help Samantha build a trusting relationship while in session. At the moment, Samantha does not fully trust her therapist and has kept her at a distance for some time. The therapist wants to focus on implementing a collaborative dialogue with Samantha. If the therapist allows Samantha to know her, the fears she has or has had, and the desire she has to be in relationship with her, she hopes that Samantha will learn to trust her and know that she is welcome to be known in this environment (Beebe & Lachmann, 2014, p. 171).
            Starting with these areas, the therapist has hope that Samantha can relinquish the fear she has held for all these years. Once Samantha can explore and put words to the fear she had for father, the therapist believes Samantha can work on building her trust with men. Samantha wants to find someone to spend her life with, but the therapist believes the fear and lack of trust with her father is being projected onto other men in the world. The therapist wants to show Samantha that she can provide safety for herself and also find safety within the other (Levy, 2000, p. 7). In order to achieve this, Samantha has to learn to trust in herself. To trust that she is capable of leaving a relationship that makes her fearful, to trust that she is capable of being loved, and to trust the she is capable of being known by someone other than herself.
Overall Purpose
Displaying the different attachment styles is important for all therapists to engage with. Each client that enters into therapy is bringing a history that has shaped who they are today and continues to impact them daily in life. Understanding their family of origin, their relational patterns, and their view of the world can help the therapist move in a direction that will benefit their client and help create the secure relationship that is longed for. The overall purpose is transformation.
Each client hopefully has a desire to leave their sessions with practical tools or questions to help them become the person they desire to be. Teeny desires to have a successful, loving relationship with her partner, Chrissy wants to be a wonderful mother that allows her daughter to grow into a secure attachment, Samantha hopes to let go of the fear and pain of her past that she walks around with, and Roberta wants to release the anger against her father that she holds on to tightly. No matter what the client brings to the session, the goal is to transform and to find the keys to a successful life for each individual client.

This is the end of the attachment style paper I wrote. I would love to hear your questions, suggestions for sharing other papers, and your thoughts on attachment styles! 
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Part 3 Attachment Styles: Pre-occupied, Anxious, Ambivalent, Resistant

This is Roberta. She has the pre-occupied attachment style.

            Roberta grew up in a family of all men. At the age of two, her mother passed away and she was left to be raised by her father. Because of her mother’s death, Roberta has suffered from separation-anxiety and has always feared losing the ones she cares most about. In her teenage years, Roberta discovered her died had lied to her about her mother’s death to help her understand as a child and she began to be very angry with him. Since this discovery, Roberta holds the anger towards her father but has begun to wonder if it was his way of also coping with his wife’s death. Despite the anger, Roberta mentions she stayed in her home town, Shelby, Indiana, in order to be close and take care of her father along with her best friend Chrissy. Chrissy is the only person Roberta has allowed to know the darkest and deepest parts of her life. She is the only person Roberta can truly trust, but she fears the upcoming birth of Chrissy’s child will separate them and she is very anxious about this.
            Since childhood and teenage years, Roberta has been very hesitant of pursuing a romantic relationship. Roberta states that she believes this is because of losing her mother at a young age and never having the relationship talk. Any man who has pursued Roberta has mentioned she is too cautious to begin with, but then becomes overwhelming with her constant focus on providing for them. Roberta does not understand what these men mean and is left feeling confused at the end of her relationships. She believes putting her needs to the side and allowing their needs to be met is how a relationship lasts. Although she believes this, she has come to therapy to learn more about how to have a relationship that lasts and to possibly work through the resentment she holds towards her father for the lies he told.
Clinical Approach for Roberta
            Roberta’s therapist wants to begin work by focusing on the need to take care of her father. The therapist believes Roberta’s self-esteem is dependent on her attachment to her father and thinks this may be part of the problem with her relationships (Holmes, 2001, p. 10). Instead of focusing on her own needs, Roberta is willing to put her needs to the side and put others before her. While this is a hospitable quality, it is damaging the relationships in her life because of the disappointment she ends up feeling from the other when they do not meet her needs (Costello, 2013, p. 81). One way the therapist would like to work on Roberta naming her needs is conveying the needs she hears back to Roberta. When the therapist does this, she hopes it will help Robert to feel heard and seen as she believes her father did not know how to do this for Roberta (Beebe & Lachmann, 2014, p. 89). The mirroring role of the therapist will help Roberta understand she does have needs and that her needs are valuable.
            Along with working on the acknowledgement of Roberta’s needs, the therapist would also like to work on breaking Roberta’s fear of inconsistency from those whom are important to her. Roberta’s therapist believes this fear arises out of her separation-anxiety which has been present since her mother’s death. For Roberta, she believes her mother’s death no longer impacts her today; it is just a part of her life story. The therapist, on the other hand, believes her mother’s death continues to impact her today. Roberta never leaves her house without grabbing a picture of her mother and takes it with her everywhere she goes. The therapist would like Roberta to talk about the feelings and memories of her mother’s death and her need to carry her around every day.
By doing this, the therapist hopes Roberta will begin to understand the fear and anxiety that is arising from her best friend’s upcoming birth (Sable, 2012, p. 101). Chrissy has provided the secure base that Roberta desired from her father and mother and has been a place of safety for her. The goal of Roberta’s therapist is not to take this away from her, but to help her see that she can still have a secure base with Chrissy as well as others. With some education about secure attachments, the therapist believes Roberta can use her relationship with Chrissy to help build other secure relationships in her life.
Following this educational teaching about attachment styles, the therapist would like to move into more exploration of Roberta’s attachment style with her father. Roberta’s therapist believes her anxious attachment style is because of the relationship with her father. Roberta has expressed how she has been angry at her father for the lie he told when she was younger about her mother’s death and this comes up frequently in the counseling sessions. The therapist believes it will be healing for Roberta to fully express the anger and hurt she feels for the lie he told years ago. By allowing her space to communicate, the therapist believes Roberta will be able to allow her feelings to be felt and hopes to communicate that she understands her feelings.
Being a doctor herself, Roberta approaches many sessions believing in the value of therapy and ready to accept each task asked of her. While this seems genuine to an extent, the therapist believes this is just a mask for her anxiety in the sessions (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). The therapist would like to help Roberta truly desire to invest herself into the counseling relationship (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). She wants Roberta to be able to know that there will be space for rupture and repair, that she herself believes Roberta can create secure relationships, and that she is also committed to the therapeutic relationship (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). If Roberta can come to the decision to pursue therapy because she believes she truly needs it and has a desire to build secure relationships, then the therapist and she will be able to work together to improve her relationships.

Any questions? 
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