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Recent questions in Personal Growth

Naj Alikhan

/ Life tested and state licensed therapist / LMFT
It’s an incredibly common practice to set goals or New Years resolutions that we don’t follow through on. The biggest reason is that we are trying to build a brand new habit without two important things: structure and incentive. If you have these, you are a lot more likely to succeed. Structure means making a plan that starts with very small goals. What’s 1% of the goal? Start there today. If your goal is to start going to the gym, for instance, don’t start there. 1% might mean exercise at home. Once you do that much easier task, build on that momentum with a gym membership. Every day do a little more till you get where you want to be. Incentives make it a lot easier to motivate ourselves. In fact, economists say that incentives are the only thing that drives people. So find a reward system that works for you. What do you get when you reach this goal? Daily, weekly, monthly. Structure and incentives are essential to reaching goals!

Helen Granskog

/ Certified Wellness Coach and Author
Some great areas to consider setting goals in are: your relationships, your spirituality, exercise, nutrition, hobbies/interests, career, community, parenting and personal development. Setting goals in these areas will help you to maintain balance as an individual and help you become the best version of yourself. If resolutions and goal setting is new to you, this list may seem overwhelming. To avoid overwhelm pick 3 to 5 areas, instead of all, to set goals in.

Dr. Debra LMFT (MT2416)

/ The Relationship Expert / LMFT
Your "why" is "your why." I wondering "how are you okay with pain and discomfort that you must be experiencing when you find yourself in a situation or a relationship that harms you in some way. I'm wondering when are you going to realize that you have some control when you are making these "interesting" choices. You have at least two choices going forward: You may continue to consciously or unconsciously put yourself in situations of harm, OR you may slow yourself down consider that you are about to make the SAME kind of poor choice AND in that moment CHOOSE a more helpful alternative. Give your new response some time to become a habit and before you know it, this question will NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Lauren Roberts Stidger, MS, LPC

/ Licensed Professional Counselor / LPC
Self-confidence is usually a personality trait that is learned, practiced, and maintained. You can learn to improve your confidence through cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), which helps individuals acknowledge or change their cognitions and behaviors. When we work to change our negative cognitions surrounding how we see ourselves, we can start to change our self-confidence as well.

Dr. Debra LMFT (MT2416)

/ The Relationship Expert / LMFT
Well, for those of you that are not empty-nesters yet. START NOW finding something else that you are passionate about to get into. You may keep supporting your children and spouse, but gradually wean them all off or your 100%+ overinvolvement. This way you will have taught your children to fly without your, your spouse to support your flight, and yourself to simply fly solo if you have to. Simply response: START LOOKING FOR HER NOW!

Dr. Debra LMFT (MT2416)

/ The Relationship Expert / LMFT
Trust is a choice. Even if you were coming to see one of us in person, it will take a certain amount of personal trust. I had to say that. Now, on our website, you will see a range of professionals. Each of us has our own set of credentials. Many of us have advanced degrees, and most of us we have been trained, certified, and/or licensed by professional boards. Our certifying organizations have ETHICAL STANDARDS that we have each sworn to adhere to. BUT even without these boards of certification, many of us are naturally helpers or healers. We were born to do this work. SO, THE LAST thing we want to do is HARM another human being (living thing for that matter). My invitation then is that you understand that our goal is to "do no harm." NOT THAT WE ARE INCAPABLE of wrongdoing, but our INTENTION IS to HELP. The only way you can begin to TRUST one of us is to shop around the ChatOwl website. Read the profiles, study the photos you see--you can actually see who we are by looking at our pictures. Then schedule a 1-time session to see if the fit is there. Then, TRUST YOURSELF to choose the therapist that will best meet your specific needs.

Dr. Debra LMFT (MT2416)

/ The Relationship Expert / LMFT
Well, there are a number of reasons that you MIGHT seek therapy on the internet. I'll list them below. I'll start with personal reasons then I'll share some professional reasons why. Then you think about what makes sense to you and make your decision. Personal Reasons: 1) You may to too shy (or embarrassed ) to share with a professional face-to-face. 2) You can see a therapist using only audio, so she/he won't see you. Say if you are sensitive about your appearance--swollen jaw or something. Or, you have some other physical disability that makes leaving your home too much trouble. 3) You don't or can't drive or don't have transportation. 4 ) It's convenient and private--if you don't want anyone to know--no one will see you going or coming. 5) If you want to see your therapist and be seen by her or him then you can use your video capabilities. So you have choices based on your personal needs. I'm sure there are more, so these are just to get you thinking. Professional Reasons 1) Transparency: profiles of ACTUAL professionals (not models!) are listed with REAL FACTS about each one. So you can read about the therapists or coaches yourself and see their credentials to make a firsthand decision about who they are and what each one stands for. 2) Cost: Like most things online, it's cost effective. But don't get it twisted--it's not cheap advice! 3). Training: ChatOwl counselors are well trained, degreed, licensed and/or certified in specific areas of expertise. 4) Real Testimonies: The testimonies that you see on our site are FIRST-PERSON COMMENTS from our clients. Again, we want you to know the quality of our work. 5) Money-back guarantee: What else is there to say except: "You have nothing to lose, except the problem you bring to your fabulous online counseling session :).

Dr. Debra LMFT (MT2416)

/ The Relationship Expert / LMFT
Wonderful question!!! If you broke down the word "therapy" you will find the word "heal". So essentially, to get therapy (of any kind) is to seek healing. The kind of therapy that you're seeking on the ChatOwl site is essentially "talk therapy" or healing through talking. We have therapists from several different training or philosophical perspectives on our platform. BUT, the one thing we all have in common is that we want to help our clients "heal" mental and/or emotional pains. What's in a Name? You should also know that while we use different words to describe our specific professional training such as Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, Mental Health Counselor, or Psychiatrist we will all (most often) answer to the single name "psychotherapist." By the way, the first part of the word "psycho" means "soul" and the second part, "therapy" mean "to heal." The parts together literally means "to heal the soul." Beautiful," isn't it? Second Part of Your Question: When to seek help? You know you need to seek a psychotherapist when you have tried EVERYTHING else--talking to your closest friends, parents, siblings and/or grandparents; watching talk shows; and consulting with your priest, rabbi, or preacher; reading books on related topics; watching videos and listening to audio programming AND nothing has worked. So, shop around and you'll see different therapists with different titles. Read the profiles, Study the photos then listen to yourself when you find the professional that seems to speak to your specific need for healing. That's the one! Be well.

Heather Dempsey

/ Holistic Life Coach
I find that when an individual is centered in who they are, what they believe, their morals, values, standards and why, it enables them to feel much more confident and secure in their boundaries and self respect which in turn makes it comfortable to assert themselves. Helping a young adult (or any individual at any age) discover who they are, what their values are, help them realize what matters most and with that information they will have a stronger desire to move toward things that are in alignment and further from things that are not. I have a short online course on the topic of values called True Happiness. I've been offering it for free this week and I'm happy to send you an invite if you would like to check it out.

Rachel Pepin

/ Branding Advisor
Getting out and doing something even when you don't feel like it: Can be going for a walk, putting on your favorite tunes, grabbing a hot beverage, taking a class, slowing down, calling a friend.. often by helping out someone else.
To see more, click for the full list of questions.