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Laura Giles, LCSW

destiny

Embrace Your Destiny

Everybody’s got tragedies. Everyone has greatness – some big and some small. Not all of us survive our tragedies as we can live our lives as victims. Not everyone reaches their greatness because we can get stuck in our stories. The way around this is to embrace your destiny. What’s your destiny? It’s whatever is happening to you. What?! Isn’t your destiny supposed to be something worthwhile and grand? What if what’s happening right now is mediocrity, being a war refugee, or failed writer? Is that your destiny? Yes, your destiny is whatever is happening to you right now. The only way forward is to accept that. So let’s say that you never knew your mother. Your father is a raging alcoholic, and because of his absentee parenting, you did a lot of ineffective things...

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rape

Arousal, Orgasm, and Rape

Psst! I have a confession to make that I think everyone needs to hear. I am really embarrassed to admit that I worked as a domestic violence advocate and rape crisis counselor for a while without knowing that a rape survivor could experience arousal and orgasm. Yep! That was shamefully left out of my training. I learned it from a more seasoned colleague. I am taking the time to tell you this because I am not sure how many other professionals and survivors still don’t know this. When I have a really tough case of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to sexual assault, arousal and/or orgasm is almost always a factor. It’s usually because the victim can’t face the shame of lubricating, feeling aroused or experiencing an orgasm. It can...

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wrong diagnosis

Can’t Get Better? Maybe It’s the Wrong Diagnosis and Wrong Treatment.

I’m not a big believer in labels. I think that people live up to their labels. Most labels we give each other and ourselves aren’t very empowering, so I don’t like putting people in negative boxes. But even a stopped watch is right twice a day, and sometimes having a label is a good thing. Like when you’re diagnosing a mental illness. The wrong diagnosis leads to the wrong treatment. One of the most misdiagnosed mental illnesses is borderline personality disorder (BPD). People with BPD tend to be viewed as difficult. So, when I was an intern, I got a lot of the BPD clients because many people don’t want to work with them. Fortunately for me, I like difficult people! Give me a challenge! Because I’ve worked with BPD a long time,...

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functional wounded child

Are You a Functional Wounded Child?

What’s a functional wounded child, you say? Well, have you heard of a functional alcoholic? This is a person who is addicted to alcohol but is able to hide it by appearing to be able to do what needs to be done in life. A functional wounded child is much the same. This person may have a job, a relationship, and even be really successful. He just habitually acts from a place of woundedness. This keeps him from being as Effective, connected, or happy as he could be because his lens is clouded by pain. So, you don’t have to be disabled or struggling to be in your Wounded Child energy. You could be a functional Wounded Child. A Look at the Inner Child To put this into perspective, let’s take a...

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causes of trauma

Overlooked Causes of Trauma

Most people understand that child abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and serving in combat can lead to trauma. Unfortunately, there are many other things causes of trauma that are overlooked. Because they aren’t generally associated with trauma, people can try to live with it. Without treatment, they can cause unnecessary pain for a long time. Let’s take a look at what they are. Medical Treatment We think of doctor’s offices, dentist visits, and hospitals as places we go to for help. However, a common element with traumatic incidents is feeling a loss of control. When health care workers treat us like bodies, aren’t compassionate, don’t tell us what’s going on, take on the expert role, and we can’t do anything about it, this can result in trauma. Fear + the unknown +...

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religious trauma syndrome

What is “Religious Trauma Syndrome?”

Most therapists promote spirituality as a coping mechanism. Life is holistic. We need to connect to Spirit in order to feel whole. It helps expand our experience of life. However, even the best things can be corrupted. Religious trauma syndrome is one example. So what it is? Defining Religious Trauma Syndrome You won’t find “religious trauma syndrome” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. However, the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Sufferers may experience Confusion, difficulty with decision-making and critical thinking, dissociation, identity confusionAnxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal ideation, anger, grief, guilt, loneliness, lack of meaningSleep and eating disorders, nightmares, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, somatizationRupture of family and social network, employment issues, financial stress, problems acculturating into society, interpersonal dysfunction The symptoms occur because of guilt for...

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yearning for sovereignty

Yearning for Sovereignty

The young girl wants to spend time with her friends, choose her own clothes, and make her own career choices. She’s fighting with her parents who want her to do and be something else. A grown man doesn’t know who he is. When he was growing up, if he said he liked pink, his mom said, “You don’t want that. That’s a girl’s color.” If he said he wanted to be a waiter, his mom said, “No, you want to be a lawyer.” When he cried, his mom said, “You’re okay.” Now he’s unsure how to make a decision without consulting someone else. A worker hates going into the office because his boss nitpicks. Nothing is done right, on time, at the level of quality that his boss wants. No matter how...

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child abuse

What Does Child Abuse Look Like?

Schools closed for social distancing may take away some children’s only refuge from abuse. When a child is being abused at home, he may be too afraid to ask for help. He might not know that it’s an option. It’s up to the rest of us to look out for the children. We must keep our eyes and hearts open so that we may be of aid and comfort to the most vulnerable among us. What Does Child Abuse Look Like? Believe it or not, some people don’t know what child abuse looks like. They may have grown up with it and just thought that their behavior was “normal.” They reason that that is how some people parent.  So that there is no grey area, let’s look at some of the signs of...

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why we don't talk about our dreams

Why We Don’t Talk About Our Dreams

Dreams are a treasure trove of information! They are a free risk management tool that can make your life safer, more fun, and easier. Yet we don’t talk about our dreams – at least not outside the therapist’s office. Why? It Feels Self Indulgent Holding someone hostage while you divulge your nocturnal vision can feel selfish. It can seem like there is nothing in it for the listener. In our dream deprived/sleep deprived society, this could be so. We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about dreams nor do we value them. If this is what is stopping you, feel free to join my Facebook group. That’s all we do is talk about dreams. Your dreams will be appreciated there because they give everyone practice in learning the language of dreams. One more...

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Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

If you are looking around and seeing things in your life that you just don’t like, it’s time to take responsibility. Your vibe attracts your tribe. This means that things that resonate at the same frequency are found together. When two similar things are in proximity, the vibration of the weaker follows the vibration of the stronger so that they end up vibrating at the same rate. This means that your environment could be bringing you down or keeping you down. So, this isn’t just some New Age mumbo jumbo. It’s a fact. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to either change yourself, let some people or things go, move on, and open some space for new things to come in. Change Yourself It’s natural to change. We aren’t the same...

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