Blog - Laura Giles, LCSW
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Laura Giles, LCSW

Richmond area referrals

FAQ: Richmond Area Referrals

People often ask me for Richmond area referrals. Here is a list of helping professionals you can try. If someone is not on the list, it doesn't mean that I don't recommend them. It could be that I am unfamiliar with them and their work. Keep in mind that the most important aspect of a counseling relationship is the relationship. Credentials and training are important, but if you don't vibe with the person, it's best to look elsewhere. If you are looking for a specialty that isn't listed, I am unaware of a trusted professional who works in that area. Acupuncturists Tae Pyung Acupuncture (Charlottesville) 434.977.9876 John Kang - specializes in fertility and emotional issues Other Medical Raouf Gharbo, DO, FAAPMR, FAANEM - specializes in trauma Richmond Natural Medicine - naturopaths and breathwork InHealth RVA - functional medicine Dr....

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Adverse childhood experiences

What’s My Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Score?

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score is based upon the answers to ten questions focused around childhood experiences. The assessment shows a relationship between traumatic childhood events and physical, social and emotional problems later in adulthood. This includes heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer, many autoimmune conditions, depression, violence, obesity, being a victim of domestic violence, as well as suicide. Additionally there are social risks such as higher rates of addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, multiple sexual partners, lack of health insurance, unemployment, less than a high school diploma, and lower income levels. A score of 4 or higher indicates a serious risk. While you can't change your past, you can take steps now to heal and to prevent another generation from enduring the same type of challenges that you had. Take the ACE Test Answer yes...

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How Resilient Are You?

The man asked an Arab sheik what kind of car he drives, and he replied, "A Mercedes." He then asked what kind of car his son drives, he said, "A Land Rover." When he asked what type of car his grandson would drive, he said, "A camel. Soft times create soft people. Hard times create strong people." If you have ever struggled with a cashier who can't make change, a customer service agent who can't answer your question, or a supervisor who can't write with correct grammar and punctuation, you can see the results of soft times and abundance on our society. Maybe you are even one of the people who have become soft as a result of having too much given to you. Maybe you're not very resilient. How does this happen? Well, we...

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be easy going

10 Strategies People Who Are Easy To Live With Embrace

Being easy to live with opens up so many opportunities in your life. It makes you happier, the people around you happier, opens up possibilities for job opportunities and relationships. There are so many other benefits as well. Let's take a look at the qualities you need to be easy to live with. Keep Things Light We all know someone who takes things way too seriously, right? They have to look perfect, be prepared for everything, be on time, be well liked, have everything in order, etc. While all that is well and good, when you allow yourself and others wiggle room to breathe, you won't carry a lot of stress in your body. Since humans co-regulate (meaning we feel each other's feelings), your relaxed body creates an atmosphere of ease that...

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Are There “Nice Narcissists?”

What's a Narcissist? Does a nice narcissist exist? If you've read enough of my articles or listened to my podcast, you know that I am a stickler for definitions. Narcissism has become a generic term for any type of abusive relationship, so let me start with definitions so that we can be on the same page. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a cluster B personality disorder that involved a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. "Cluster B" symptoms include behaviors that are dramatic and exaggerated, emotional and intense, erratic and unpredictable. (Cluster A behaviors are eccentric, distrustful, and detached. Cluster C behaviors are anxious and fearful). While few people actually meet the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder (only 1 in 200 people have NPD), lots of...

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Escape the Loneliness Epidemic with Platonic Intimacy

The Surgeon General's Advisory on Loneliness is an eye opening look at the impact of social isolation. Loneliness impacts physical health, mental health, economic productivity, and happiness. Since over 50% of American reported feeling lonely before the pandemic, it's an issue that we cannot afford to downplay or ignore anymore. A Look at the Impact of Loneliness living alone increases our risk of mortality by 29% loneliness increases the risk of heart disease by 29% social isolation increases the risk of stroke by 31% people with fewer social connections have higher rates of diabetes, heart attack, and kidney disease isolation increases the risk of dementia by 50% children with positive relationships do better academically lonely adults are more likely to experience depression murder and auto theft reduce dramatically in connected communities Clearly we are healthier and happier when we...

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overwhelming stress

7 Tips for Coping When You’re Overwhelmed

There's "coping" and then there is "overwhelm." Coping skills may not work for crisis situations. You may need something with a little more power. For those situations, here are 7 tips for coping when you're overwhelmed. You don't have to do them all. Just pick the one or two that work best for you and use them as your "go to" strategies. Radical Acceptance A lot of overwhelming stress comes from wanting things to be different. If we are stuck on what we think things are supposed to be, it can inhibit us from dealing with what is. If we are going to make effective changes (later), we have to start with how and where things are. Simply doing that is sometimes enough to reduce stress. To practice radical acceptance, accept the idea...

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hero's journey

Becoming the Hero of Your Own Life

Every one of us is called upon to become the hero of our own life. Joseph Campbell, an American writer and professor, distilled the typical outline of how this plays out in story and in real life. We call that path "The Hero's Journey." It's a fabulous template for people to figure out where they are and where they are going. Let's take a look at the cycle. Ordinary World We all start out in the ordinary world. Everything is normal, routine, and usually comfortable. There usually isn't anything to complain about, but there may be a feeling that something is missing. We're living in an "ignorance is bliss" state, or an unawakened state. Things are as they are "supposed to be," which generally means that we're living up to someone else's...

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healing the shame of abuse

Healing the Shame of Abuse

When it comes to healing the shame of abuse, the biggest hurdle is breaking through the idea that the abuse is somehow our fault. The experiencer seems to feel that they should have, and could have, prevented it. If they hadn't done this, or had done that, it wouldn't have happened. So, the abuse must be their fault. In this article, I will give you lots of ways to think about abuse in a different way. I hope that this will help you to begin healing the shame of abuse. Know That It's Not Your Fault The first thing to know is that the abuse is not your fault. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. A naked woman lying in the street is not an invitation to rape. Leaving your keys in...

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Mental Illness Isn’t a Personal Issue. It’s a Social One.

It's funny. When someone becomes anxious or depressed, we want them to go to a counselor to sort themselves out. It's their problem. Only mental illness isn't a personal issue. It's a social one. In some cases, this means that the person who is labeled "mentally ill" is having a completely rational response to an irrational situation. For example, let's say a child has to tip toe around in the morning to get a shower and breakfast because he knows that waking dad up could mean getting screamed at or hit. When that same child beats someone else up at school or sprays graffiti on a bridge, it could be his way of acting out his anger, crying for help, or trying to have some control over his life. If...

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narcissistic pre-stalk

Beware of Narcissistic Pre-Stalking

If you are, or have been, in a relationship with a narcissist, you may have experienced stalking after the breakup. Lots of people know about this. But did you know that there is also narcissistic pre-stalking? Yep. What's Narcissistic Pre-Stalking? It's common for someone with narcissistic personality disorder or traits to pick out an intended victim and study them for months or even years before they ever make contact. If their target is a complete stranger, the easiest way to do this is through social media. They may secretly stalk public Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram channels to learn about personal details like what type of work that their target does, what they do for fun, and what are their political and religious leanings. They may begin to build this fantasy image of their...

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counseling doesn't help

What To Do When Counseling Doesn’t Help

Are you a long time counseling client who hasn't really changed your life a whole lot? Maybe you still go because you don't know what else to do. In this article, I'll review some ideas about what to do when counseling doesn't help. See a Holistic Medical Professional Some physical issues manifest as emotional or behavioral ones. For example, some symptoms of thyroid dysfunction are fatigue, weight gain, depression, menstrual issues, and memory issues. Some symptoms of Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) are nausea (particularly in the morning), vomiting, abdominal pain which could be confused with anxiety. Head trauma can look like mental illness. I wouldn't assume that emotional symptoms have emotional causes or that physical symptoms have physical causes. We are holistic beings. What's a "holistic medical professional?" An acupuncturist, functional medicine...

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