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Living with Mistakes

And learning from them  Written by Jared Porter There’s no mistake about it: My daughter is quite the artist. She lives for art. During the early days of the pandemic, it became a wonderful outlet for her. Her style and technique flourished. She learned to make it her own. Like her dad, she’s also a perfectionist. I saw it clear as day a couple of years back. She was working on a drawing and she made — that’s right —…

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One Step at a Time: Navigating Life’s Twists and Turns

Written By Jared Porter “I love that thing!” my daughter said, pointing. That “thing” was a small, hedge-lined, grass field stretching out before her under a brilliant blue sky. Birds were singing. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful summer day. We’d been here before: the picturesque Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville. One of my favorite parts of the Scarritt Bennett Center is the labyrinth, a circular formation outlined by bricks pressed into the ground near the International Peace…

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Grief & Remembrance

Written by Joshua F. Medeiros, MS Benjamin Franklin once quipped that, “in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” While many Americans spend an entire season worrying about taxes, there are precious few days where we collectively reflect on death. In this post, I would like to begin by giving a very brief history of Memorial Day and then transition into a discussion on grief and the grieving process, of which, days of remembrance like today can play…

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Matrescence: The Transition to Motherhood

Reflections of a New Mother Written by Hannah Feliciano, LMFT I became a new mom last year, and while this past year has been the most incredibly rewarding, it has also been one of the most difficult and draining years as well.  The transition to motherhood is one that is celebrated for its beauty and awe, but many times it is also a transition fraught with anxiety, depression and even sometimes anger and disappointment.  The transition to motherhood is something…

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Three Questions with Monét Shell

What drew you to the field of counseling? I wanted to be able to better serve the people I worked with. At that time, I worked in Human Resources and interacted with several hundred people per week. I chose Psychology as my minor as I pursued an undergraduate degree. After my first semester, I knew that learning how and why people interact the way that we do was more than an add-on. I needed to receive all of the knowledge…

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Grief, Loss, and the Holidays

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btoKl9iu_gw Insight Counseling Centers presents a therapist round-table discussion on grief, loss, and the holidays. Speakers: Carol Smith, LMFT, Dr. Dwight Hughes, LMFT, Jordan Malone, Meadow Alsobrook, LPC-MHSP(Temp) Grief Resources Therapist-Recommended Books A Decembered Grief: Living with loss while others are celebrating (1999 & 2011) by Harold Ivan Smith Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after Loss Shatters Your World (Neeld, E. H., 2003) The Empty Chair: Handling grief on holidays and special occasions (2001) by Susan J Zonnebelt-Smeenge & Robert C. DeVries…

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George Bailey & Me

I think about my old friend George Bailey from time to time. You probably remember him. Tall guy, born and raised in Bedford Falls, spitting image of Jimmy Stewart. Beautiful family. I grew up with George. We’ve spent many an hour together over the years, typically at the holidays. In fact, that's really the only time I’ve seen him—but what he represents is something that stays with me all year long. I know, I know. "It's A Wonderful Life" is…

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Finding Gratitude in 2020

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of hearing and using the term “unprecedented times.” But really, how else can we describe 2020 using language appropriate for polite company? I recall this time last year when we were about to say “goodbye” to 2019. Businesses were gearing up with their “2020 Vision” themes, and many people were approaching the new decade with optimism. And then came March, which came in like a lion, but didn’t go out like…

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Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love

For me, the time between early November through the end of December holds special place in my heart and mind -- a season of reflection filled with hope for our best life. In addition to hope there are three other components of living a healthy life: they are peace, joy, and love.And while the holiday season this year will be a different than in years past, we are learning to be flexible and adapt our activities to remain healthy, safe…

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How Gratitude Improves Mental Health

Gratitude is all about the expression of appreciation. We appreciate people, things, and experiences that we come across in our lives; and, as it turns out, this expression of gratitude can benefit us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Several studies over time have shown the benefits that come along with openly practicing gratitude. People who are grateful are happier, sleep better, and even live longer. We don’t practice gratitude because we live happy lives; we live happy lives because we practice…

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Recovering from Trauma

It's likely that trauma has touched all of our lives, whether through our own experiences or the experiences of people we know. Over 70% of adults in the United States have experienced trauma at some point in their lives. Trauma can be caused by a range of experiences, whether they are single incidents or experiences that happen over a period of time. Some examples of situations that can cause trauma are natural disasters, losing one’s job, experiencing infidelity in a…

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Owning Your Feelings

Start by identifying your feelings. It can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you’re feeling them. Most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with, but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations. Fast Facts The English language has over 3,000 words for emotions.People who are good at being specific about identifying and labeling their emotions are less likely to binge drink, be…

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Leaning into Your Strengths & Resources

When life gets difficult, where do you find peace and hope? What sustains you? Is there anybody who truly understands your situation? All of us have strengths and resources we use to get through hard times, to feel good, and to flourish. Taking time to identify and remember these resources will benefit your mental health! Leaning into your strengths Your strengths are your internal resources, and they are always with you. Leaning into your strengths is just a matter of…

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The Keys to a Healthy Relationship

What does it take to have a healthy relationship? We asked our experienced couples’ therapists and discovered some key areas of focus to grow our relationship skills. In healthy romantic partnerships, both parties feel safe to be vulnerable with each other because their intimate relational needs are known and nourished, versus shut down or cut off.  Essentially, partners are respected and assured they can count on the other. Most people think of romance as sending flowers or preparing a fancy…

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What helps us through Depression?

“…This incredibly isolating experience called ‘depression’—and it’s isolating to a greater extent than I imagined survivable—ultimately reconnects you with the human community in a deeper, wider, and richer way.” -Author, Parker Palmer, on making meaning after depression. Depression is common, but the experience of depression doesn’t feel common. In depression, you feel lonely, isolated, overwhelmed, and afraid. This state of being is exhausting. The everyday tasks of maintaining your life become unbearably painful. Vitality is lost and you feel like…

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“People want to be remembered.”

Written by Pam Brown, ACC, CFRE Last week I visited with a long-time supporter of Insight Counseling Centers. Her support goes all the way back to our agency’s founding more than 30 years ago. Insight recently received a shipment of coffee mugs and I wanted her to have one. I put together an arrangement of flowers and greenery from my garden so that the mug could serve as a cute little vase. When I arrived at the appointed time, her…

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Something All New Clinicians Need

Written by Krystal LaCoy, MMFT My time as a master’s intern at Insight Counseling Centers was a phenomenal experience. The first thing that stood out to me was the professional community that the other counselors, supervisors, and staff created. The second thing that stood out is the development opportunities provided by Insight. The group and individual supervision that I received was instrumental in my development as a counselor. I was given the space to explore who I am as a…

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Coping with Change and Transition

Written by Barbara Tamkin, MMFT Robert Frost once said, “The best way out is always through.” This is so true about life’s transitions. The only way to grow in life’s transitions is to move through them. Transitions and change are facts of life. When life closes a door, change is inevitable. This can be a good thing. Transitions force us to make a move or a decision. They force us to flex muscles we may never have known we had…

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Ask a Therapist: Depression

Millions of individuals in the U.S. each year suffer from depression, making it one of the most prevalent mental health concerns. It’s likely that you know and love someone who is affected by it. Maybe you have experienced firsthand some of the symptoms, when handling daily activities becomes a struggle, affecting every aspect of your life. Depression robs individuals of joy and fulfillment. Insight Counseling Centers helps clients recognize and utilize effective tools to work through depression. Brooke Lamb, MMFT,…

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How is your year going so far?

January gives us time and space to pause, reflect on where we’ve been, and look forward to where we want to go. Even though the term "New Year's Resolutions" has fallen out of favor with many, as the popularity of choosing a "Word of the Year" shows, the concept of setting intentions at the beginning of the new year remains important to many. Certain times, like New Year's Day and birthdays, offer us an opportunity to reorganize our lives. Sarah…

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Guardians’ Guide to Teen Substance Use Prevention

Written by Jeremy Sublett, LPC-MHSP This month, let’s take a few minutes to review Substance Abuse and Prevention together:   Substance Abuse Points to Consider Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive use despite the negative and harmful consequences. Brain changes occur over time with drug use. The challenge brought to an addicted person’s self-control interferes with their ability to resist the urge to take drugs. This is also why relapse occurs. Drugs affect the brain’s reward system…

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Suicide Prevention Starts with a Conversation

Suicide is a word we hear about through the news, friends, or pop-culture, but a majority of us feel it won’t affect our lives. We feel distant from this subject, not recognizing the devastating and vast effect it has nationally and here in our own state. According to the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, suicide was the 9th leading cause of death for all age groups in Tennessee in 2013, claiming approximately 950 lives per year. This number, however, does not…

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Speaking of Therapy

Written by Pam Brown, Executive Director Media misrepresentation and what we can do about it Since joining Insight Counseling Centers in January, I've become more attuned to the ways in which therapy and therapists are portrayed in the media. Here are two examples I recently noticed. 1. A couple was meeting with their therapist for marriage counseling. The actor playing the therapist approached the part as a loopy, clueless character whose suggestions elicited eye rolls from the husband and wife.…

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Survivors of Suicide: Moving Through Grief

Written by John Ray, MA It is estimated that over 40,000 deaths by suicide occur in the United States every year. Suicide leaves in its wake a host of family, friends, and others affected by tremendous and sudden loss. How can these survivors of tragedy move forward with their lives? First must come the understanding that one will never "get over" such a loss. Rather, the aim is to "get through" it, accepting that life as you have known it…

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Interactive Mood Walls in Williamson & Rutherford Counties

“Vulnerability begets vulnerability, so when you open up and you have that conversation with somebody it validates those emotions in somebody else. What we've seen in this campaign is that people start talking, and it's good and it's healthy and it's fun! It's encouraging, and you know that someone else out there in your own community is feeling the same things that you're feeling.” Insight’s Director of Development & Marketing, Taylor Cochran, was live on Facebook with Williamson Source today,…

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100 Days of Insight

Executive Director 100 Day Report I recently observed my 100th day with Insight Counseling Centers. Since January 3rd, I have been meeting with agency stakeholders including staff, board members, former board members, and people who were involved in the agency’s founding 32 years ago. I quickly assessed that Insight is blessed with counselors who provide exquisite, spiritually integrated psychotherapy; a “lean and mean” administrative staff of three who approach their development, marketing, communications, and finance responsibilities with extreme dedication; an…

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Six Core Principles of a Healthy Couple

Accept each other: When we fall in love, we usually gravitate toward someone who is like us in some ways but different in others. At first this attraction seems ideal, but within about 6-18 months of the relationship the differences will initiate conflict. It is important to normalize these differences and to accept each other, warts and all. Be vulnerable: Assuming the relationship is safe, sharing tender, vulnerable emotions beneath anger and strife can help soften interchanges and keep the…

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Immigration and Trauma

Claudia Avila-Lopez, Licensed Master Social Worker, coordinates Insight Counseling Centers’ services in Spanish. Most of the clients in her caseload have immigrated to the U.S. from Spanish-speaking countries. “I try to keep spots open for clients who do not speak English and are in crisis situations,” she says. Claudia describes the trauma she sees from these clients’ experiences in their countries of origin – childhood abuse, gang-related violence, war, and even torture. Unfortunately, these problems don’t disappear once they’ve crossed…

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In Memory of Dan Marshall

Today we are remembering Dan Marshall, LMFT. Dan began with us as a practicum student at Trevecca Nazarene University, and after graduating, coordinated our Franklin office. He was a gentle and kind man, committed to serving in whatever ministry was before him. We are honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him. He blessed not only the lives of his clients, but our lives as well. Daniel Lynn Marshall, age 63 of Columbia, TN went…

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The Holiday Mood

Written by Brooke Lamb The middle of November through the beginning of January is probably the time of year with which the most Americans have a powerful love-hate relationship. For some, the holidays are a time of joy, reuniting with loved ones, excitement over presents and delicious meals, and a sense of hope for the new year to come. But for others, Thanksgiving and Christmas bring with them reminders of the person missing at the table, difficult family conflicts usually…

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Divine Difference

Written by Sarah Grove “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ― Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems   “All things counter, original, spare, strange;   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:                                     Praise him.” ― Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty   What would it be like to live in a world where…

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The Healing Trust Awards $35,000 in Support of Insight’s Mission

Insight Counseling Centers received a $35,000 grant from The Healing Trust! The Healing Trust supports Insight's mission of restoring lives to wholeness and our commitment to providing quality, compassionate care to all who come to us for help. We're so grateful to The Healing Trust for this grant, which will support 350 sessions of pastoral psychotherapy for clients only able to pay $30 or less per session according to an income-based scale. Insight was one of 26 life-changing non-profit organizations…

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Celebrating a Caring Community

Written by Karen Potratz This work starts in the quietness of a safe office and with a good connection. Working with people who are asking for help and confessing their vulnerability is an honor and a privilege. Specifically, many referrals come from family and friends. One such call came from a young lady in a desperate state, concerned that her body was responding to overwhelming stress. She was concerned for her health and her safety. She suffered from anxiety and…

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On Knowing Better

Written by Karissa Curtis "Theodore! You know better!" the two-year-old's parents warn. But their words have no effect on their rambunctious toddler. My nephew knows he will get in trouble for banging his toys against the wall, but he continues to do it anyway. "You know better." I say it to my toddler nephew, but I hear the words being said to me. How often do I do things against my better judgment? How often do I knowingly sin? Well, I'm human, so my…

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Counselors evaluate findings of mood wall projects

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Late last month, nine "mood walls" showed up all over Nashville, each one with 1,000 buttons naming 21 different emotions. MORE An idea by Insight Counseling Centers, the project was an offer to Nashvillians to take one and literally wear their emotion. Counselors wanted to see what they could tell by which buttons were taken. They said all of them being taken is telling them something too. "We live in a culture that mostly values strength…

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Nashville ‘Mood Walls’ Help People Wear Their Emotions

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Insight Counseling Centers has placed nine “Mood Walls” around Nashville as part of a month-long mental health campaign called The Nashville Mood. Each wall has 1,000 buttons with 21 different emotions. “So the idea is, pedestrians walking by take a button off the wall that describes how they’re feeling and literally wear their emotions … to generate conversation around mental health,” said Taylor Cochran, development director of Insight Counseling Centers. “And just to have an open…

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Wear Your Mood in May to Spark Conversation

If you wander by Art and Invention Gallery (1106 Woodland) in May, you might notice a new, large, wall installation. And unlike most (OK any) other displays you’ll see at the Gallery, you’re encouraged to run off with parts of this one. Folks from Nashville’s Insight Counseling Centers are creating “mood walls” in nine different local neighborhoods, including ours, made up of 1,000 pins printed with different emotions. If you’d like, you can snag a pin that suits you, and…

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Mood Walls Encourage Nashvillians to Wear How They Feel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Several interactive mood walls have been set up across Nashville that offer buttons of emotions for anyone to take and wear. Whether you are hurt, grumpy, frustrated or excited, the idea is to wear the button and start a conversation. “It’s a very diverse group of emotions, both positive and negative,” Taylor Cochran with Insight Counseling Centers told News 2. Everybody feels, and he wants people to share their emotions. “The idea is to get people…

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Counseling Unconditionally

Tennessee's New Counseling Law & Jesus Originally written and posted by Executive Director Chris O'Rear at his blog, Just Thinkin' Out Loud. As has been reported in so many places this week, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a Bill that willprotect psychotherapists from legal repercussions if they refuse service to any person based on their own strongly held principles. This bill was supposedly necessary because some Counseling professional organizations have re-written their codes of ethics to say that a…

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Nashville Displays Emotion with Mood Walls

Nashvillians are displaying their emotions, literally, after passing by interactive mood walls. Buttons describing 21 emotions from numb to frustrated to hopeful stick into the walls for people to take and wear in honor of May's Mental Health Awareness Month. Insight Counseling Centers is installing the nine walls, which were created by the Canadian organization Partners for Mental Health, in various Nashville neighborhoods. "I remember telling my therapist, 'I wish everyone didn’t feel like they had to hide what’s really…

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2015 Annual Report

From the Executive Director, Chris O'Rear While affirming our core values and our historic identity, 2015 was marked by many changes. We finalized and revealed our new name, Insight Counseling Centers, and started the rebranding process. Our logo is in the style of a Mobius strip, a circle that turns from inside to outside seamlessly as you trace the outline, symbolizing our historic work of restoring lives to wholeness – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As we help explore the internal…

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