Therapy Austin

Shift Happens

Helping you find balance in the flow!

None of us at Therapy Austin blog for a living, but every once in a while we like to compose an offering that serves to inform, uplift, remind or resource you. Enjoy!

Self Help

May 24th, 2021

From Languishing to Flourishing

A few weeks ago, the New York Times published an article about the feeling of “blah” people are experiencing during the pandemic, which they attributed to languishing. A few days later, a sister article discussed moving from languishing to flourishing and offered coping skills.

While many things can contribute to a feeling of languishing (some of them are systemic and not a matter of individual responsibility to overcome) the ...

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April 22nd, 2021

More to Diversity than Meets the Eye

April is #DiversityAwarenessMonth, but more than awareness, we believe it’s important to talk about true diversity, which offers support, equity, and if necessary, repair. Just bringing in folks from different backgrounds, and doing nothing else to change the systems that created homogeneity in the first place, is at best, cosmetic, and at worst, harmful.

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March 10th, 2021

Whether You're a Royal or a Regular Jo/Joe

You Deserve to Be Seen, Be Heard, and Get Help!

During #WomensHistoryMonth, it feels important to talk about a woman who has been in the news prominently over the last week. Meghan Markle has spoken publicly about her need for support, and her suicidality. No matter who you are, these are deeply personal and difficult issues to navigate. We hope that hearing Meghan speak about her troubles encourages other folks to share their struggles and to seek help.

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Love & Relationships

February 14th, 2021

"The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships"

Krista Tippett's Interview with Alain de Botton

Valentine’s Day in a pandemic has even more potential to be fraught with challenges than usual. Some of you may be struggling to find ways to make new romantic connections during this time, and some may be feeling the frayed nerves of TOO. MUCH. CONNECTION. ALL. THE. TIME. Still others may be put off by the holiday—or by the idea of love—altogether. No matter what camp you’re in ...

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Anxiety & Stress

November 5th, 2020

Need some stress relief?

In this strange time as we await the results to the U.S. presidential election, it's more important than ever to take care of yourselves! Need ideas of what could be helpful?

If you are longing for a wider sense of community, The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion is hosting free "United in Self-Compassion" group meditations. You can sign up here. Humans aren't built to go through stress alone. Be sure ...

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July 13th, 2020

Mindfulness Mondays: Victorious Breath

Join Therapy Austin therapist, Cartelia, for a breathing exercise to help increase mindfulness and ground yourself to start your week.

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Resource Rec

June 22nd, 2020

Left-Brain Buddha's "Mindful Summer Bucket List"

The summer of 2020 is proving to be very different than usual. With vacations hit or miss, pool parties on hold, and heat waves still abounding, it's a good time to step back and tune in with yourself with some self-compassion. Check out this "Mindful Summer Bucket List" from the blog Left-Brain Buddha. Here's a sampling of the ideas:

  • Eat an entire meal in silence — pay attention to ...

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June 12th, 2020

Our Promise to Our Community

As the pain and rage from centuries of racist-driven violence gushes out of every corner of our county, our hearts are breaking. It’s not enough to say “We stand with you,” to our counselors and clients who suffer aggression and oppression stemming from racist minds, privileged bias, and structural discrimination.

We want to be real. 

We want to be open. 

We want to create safety for our counselors and provide that ...

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June 2nd, 2020

Mindfulness Monday: 5 Senses Game

Welcome to our Mindfulness Monday series where we learn tips for grounding and mindfulness from Therapy Austin therapists.

Join our counselor Molly Mayberry, LCSW, practice the 5 Senses Game. This grounding exercise is a great way to regulate yourself and bring yourself back into the present when you feel out of control.

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May 1st, 2020

Ted-Ed Mental Health Awareness Video Playlist

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! TED-Ed offers videos on all sorts of scientific ideas, including some engaging and enlightening ones on mental health, which are helpfully cataloged into a mental health awareness playlist. Check out this brief video that explains how some traumas lead to the ongoing physical and emotional symptoms that we call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you're into psychoed, you might end up deep diving into the ...

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Anxiety & Stress

March 22nd, 2020

Soothing Your Mind During a Pandemic

World, we are going through a really rough time right now. There are so many things to worry about, and so many great, big unknowns. It's at times like this that we have a keen sense of something that is actually always true—there is very little that we are in control of! This graphic from The Counseling Teacher Brandy and Carrie Stephens Art reminds us that it's okay to ...

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Love & Relationships

February 14th, 2020

Podcasts and Audiobooks for Livin' & Lovin' in 2020

February always seems to arrive with chocolate-coated advice on how to have more steamy romances. Are you looking for something deeper that will bring insights into your relationships, past, present, and future? The staff of Therapy Austin has some recommendations! Check out these tried-and-true podcasts and audiobooks handpicked by our counselors to help you learn about healthy relationships, attachment styles, and connection.

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January 8th, 2020

"...But, Have You Considered Therapy?"

Today’s resource comes from our own Melanie Dyer. She hosts a podcast in which she interviews people and mental health professionals about their experiences in therapy, or their experience as a therapist. It's called ...But, Have You Considered Therapy? Mel shared, "The entire point of the podcast is to make going to therapy less scary by normalizing it, talking about it, and helping people learn about different kinds of therapy ...

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Self Help

December 10th, 2019

Science-Based Sleep Tools

From Psychology Today

Psychology Today article The New Science of Sleep offers helpful tips on getting into a sleep routine and normalizes some of the common sleep issues that people experience in our busy, modern, and often dysregulating society. This article on sleep hygiene provides helpful psycho-education purposes and can be used to cultivate healthy sleep practices that in turn help regulate mood.

This Resource Rec was brought to you by Emily Bray, ...

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November 12th, 2019

Trans Wellness Local Resource Guide

The Trans Resource Guide for Austin and Central Texas was published by Transgender Wellness, a program of OutYouth, in October. We wanted to share it because it includes recommendations for mental health, medical, social and legal services from people in the trans community who have received these services and people who are knowledgeable about culturally-competent providers. Please use it and share it with others who might benefit from these ...

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Self Help

October 2nd, 2019

What Does it Mean to Love Yourself?

We hear the phrase “self care” thrown around a lot. Often in our culture, it’s mentioned in conjunction with numbing out behaviors like drinking or binge-watching Netflix, or with the beauty industry activities such as face masks, mani/pedis, and bubble baths. There’s a time and place for activities like this, and they can certainly bring about relaxation and stress relief. Yet sometimes they come with a cost—a Netflix ...

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Love & Relationships

July 22nd, 2019

Polyvagal Theory and Intimate Relationships

In this video from, Dr. Stephen Porges discusses how polyvagal theory is involved in forming romantic relationships. (If you haven’t heard of polyvagal theory yet, start here.) The formation of safe, healthy, successful romantic relationships works a little like a combination lock that takes a specific order of code to unlock it. The first step of the code is the activation of the social ...

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Anxiety & Stress

June 7th, 2019

Viva Las Vagus Nerve!

A Polyvagal Primer

Have you ever heard of the vagus nerve? Maybe or maybe not, but no matter: If you have a breath and a heartbeat, this nerve is doing some heavy lifting for you every day.

The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve. Its name means “wandering” in Latin, and it takes a long, meandering journey throughout the body. It starts in the medulla oblongata—the low brain—just behind the earlobes, ...

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Self Help

April 30th, 2019

It Doesn't Take Long to Shift Thought Patterns Toward Happiness

Happiness researcher Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential, contends that making small changes in our daily routines can transform our thought patterns, yielding greater life satisfaction and meaning. It only takes 21 days—three weeks of daily practice—for a new activity to become habit, Achor shares in an interview on the 10% Happier podcast. He identifies five evidence-based daily activities that can quickly increase gratitude, meaning, ...

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March 5th, 2019

High Functioning Autism (AKA Asperger's) Part 2

Helpful Resources

In Part One of the High Functioning Autism (aka Asperger’s) blog series, we explored the unique strengths and common traits of the Asperger’s brain setup.

In this post, we will continue to celebrate neurodiversity (which is the idea that we all have neurological differences in how we think and learn) by sharing some of my favorite books on Asperger’s.

An important key to success for many people with Asperger’s is ...

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February 4th, 2019

High Functioning Autism (AKA Asperger's) Part 1

A Brain Setup With Many Strengths

We know that everyone is different, and science shows us that everyone’s brains are different too—in how they process information and how they function in work, school and relationships.

The What is Asperger’s? Information Sheet below is intended to celebrate some of the differences—especially the unique strengths and abilities—commonly found in people with High Functioning Autism (also known as Asperger’s).


It can be helpful to think of High Functioning Autism, ...

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Anxiety & Stress

November 20th, 2018

Surviving The Holidays

'Tis the season for hustle and bustle, friends and family, presents and treats—and for loneliness, family conflict, budget crunch, and social anxiety. Do you ever struggle with how to handle the "most wonderful time of the year"?

First, know that you are not alone. Difficult family dynamics, grief and loss, and memories of past stressful events come up for many people at this time of year, and may be ...

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Self Help

November 10th, 2018

Gratitude in a Season of Darkness and Light

Daylight Savings is done, the sky grows dark, and yet it is also a season of celebrating light and giving thanks. In India and Nepal, November 7 marks the beginning of Hindu celebration of Diwali, the joyful festival of lights, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness. In Thailand, Yi Ping, a celebration of the full moon, will take place November 22, with the launch of thousands sky ...

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Counselor Highlight

April 27th, 2018

Counselor Spotlight: Sarah Akunebu

Welcome to the Counselor Spotlight series, where clinicians at Therapy Austin share what inspires them, how they take care of themselves, and what influenced them to work in this field. First up we have the brave Sarah Akunebu. Enjoy!

For Sarah Akunebu, showing up as a professional counselor is important, but she also places great emphasis on being her most authentic self while doing healing work.  She laughed,  “I’m ...

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December 15th, 2017

The Gift of Receiving

“I want to learn how to be the best receiver that I can ever be. Because I think graceful receiving is one of the most wonderful gifts we can give anybody. If we receive what somebody gives us in a graceful way, we’ve given that person a wonderful gift. ” — Fred Rogers

When was the last time you really received something? And I mean that in the truest sense ...

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Self Help

October 3rd, 2017

Keeping a Pillow Book

Is there any form of writing more overlooked and disposable than the list? Perhaps cereal box copy or graffiti. Fleetingly relevant, the list is written to be scrapped. Yet, astonishingly, the lists of one Japanese noblewoman have endured for a thousand years. While serving as a lady-in-waiting, Sei Shōnagon famously compiled a loose collection of musings and narratives in list form known as The Pillow Book.

We associate lists ...

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Grief & Loss

September 14th, 2017

Living with Loss: The Value of Grief

I wondered if this was a helpful time to write a blog about loss, being at the tail end of our sunny Texas summer and months away from the holidays. However, I quickly remembered the heart of the message I want to convey in this piece; that being human is an inherently vulnerable experience, and loss is an inevitable part of being alive, no matter the season.

The ability ...

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August 30th, 2017

Look for the Helpers

We know many of you have friends or family impacted by Hurricane Harvey. It can be frightening and overwhelming to see the news about the destruction happening across the Texas coast. In scary times like these, it can be helpful to do what Mr. Rogers suggested and look for the helpers. Wherever there are disasters, there are also good-hearted people who do their very best to provide aid. ...

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July 5th, 2017

Changed for Good

A Love Letter to My Clients

Dear Clients,

Don't worry, neither of us is the good witch or wicked witch. We contain both sides--just like Glinda and Elphaba.

I know, I know, I know. Just the title of this post sounds a little too mushy to keep reading. But this is the FEELINGS business, people! And so I’d like to discuss one of the feelings that comes up often in the therapist-client relationship – L.O.V.E.

One of ...

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Change & Growth

June 5th, 2017

Trust Your Process

In Praise of Slow Growth

One of my favorite movie scenes is from Good Will Hunting. After only a few months of therapy, Will, the main character, has a major breakthrough in his therapist’s office. Then, he weeps into his therapist’s arms, he walks out the door a changed man, and changes his life.

It’s such a moving scene. We’ve been rooting for his character, and it’s touching to see him transform and live ...

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Anxiety & Stress

March 31st, 2017

The Sensation-Emotion Highway in Highly Sensitive Persons

Maybe you remember hearing it on the playground. “Stop being a baby.” Or after crying at work. “You need to learn how to not be so sensitive.” Undoubtedly, you’ve seen the debates in opinion columns. “Was everyone this sensitive before the internet?” 

There is no shortage of cultural messaging that equates sensitivity with weakness. But it turns out, all humans are sensitive in that we all experience the world ...

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Love & Relationships

February 10th, 2017

There's No I or You in Team


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and although many brush off the holiday as a Hallmark holiday, there are also those with high expectations for this special day. The expectation might be that your partner remembers something you subtly or not so subtly hinted at six months ago or it might be that you ...

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December 12th, 2016

A Light in the Dark

Finding Gratitude in Difficult Times

Don’t worry.

This isn’t a post on positive thinking, or how to find the silver lining in your heartbreak or crisis or tragedy.

I’m not saying that silver linings are nonexistent, but it’s certainly the last thing we want or need to hear when we are suffering.

This is a post on remembering the goodness life offers us, because you are inherently good and deserving of life’s goodness, no matter how ...

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Anxiety & Stress

November 17th, 2016

Family Boundaries at the Holidays

How’s everybody feeling about Thanksgiving? Are you ready for some family bonding, planning to spend it with friends who make up your “chosen family,” or anticipating some time for solitude? Even without an election, the holiday season can bring up feelings of anxiousness, anger, fear and grief. This year as our country faces some major upheaval, I personally have been worried about the conflicts that might arise at ...

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August 16th, 2016

Anger, and the Monsters Under our Bed

Anger gets a bad rap, and I don’t quite understand why. We’ve all heard that anger really only hurts us in the end, and that the first person to get angry loses the argument, and that we have two wolves inside us and we can’t feed the angry one.

Yeah, yeah. Sure. Those things are all probably true on some level. 

But, humans have had anger as an emotion for ...

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May 18th, 2016

On Fighting Sensitive Stigmas

When I was in grad school, we had to attend 10 therapy sessions of our own, because the best way to learn is to experience it for yourself. I remember very adamantly telling my counselor that I was in therapy because it was required for school, not because “anything is wrong.” And, because she was a great counselor, she gently called me out.

“It seems like it’s important to ...

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Self Help

January 27th, 2016

The Elusive Pack of 100 Colored Pencils

Why Do We Love Adult Coloring Books?

Coloring books are just about everywhere right now. If you didn't get one as a gift over the holidays, you've definitely seen them in Target or Barnes and Noble. Adult coloring books are so popular that they were partly responsible for a spike in printed media in 2015 in the US.

So what's the deal? Why are our grown-up friends and family members (not to mention our therapists!) curling ...

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October 19th, 2015

The Beauty of Introversion

I’m standing in line at Strange Brew in South Austin last week, reading the board and trying to choose a sandwich to go with my latte. I’m looking forward to settling down for a few hours of research and catching up on paperwork. Before I’m ready, the barista calls me, never standing still as he flits between the register and the myriad other jobs he’s doing behind the ...

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October 19th, 2015

Extroverts are Awesome

Born on the east-coast, transplanted to west-coast and now a “native” (hey, over 15 years, it counts!) Austinite, I had an interesting experience outside a subway station in Washington DC, several years ago. Loving the public transit option, I was caught off guard as I saw a mass of people heading towards me as they exited the Metro. My first thought was, “Now, how am I going to ...

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Change & Growth

September 4th, 2015

On Bean Clams and Existentialism

The beach is one of those go-to relaxing images for many of us. I don't know if I've ever seen a white-noise machine that didn't come with the sound of waves, or a laptop that was sold without a stock image of the beach as a screen-saver option.

I sat on the shore of Atlantic Beach, Florida last week and thought to myself that it's no wonder we use ...

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