Thursday, September 22, 2016

Coping with Worry

Tossing and turning at night, thinking nonstop through the ins and outs of various concerns and their potential outcomes, and not being able to get much control over those thoughts is a common complaint I hear in therapy sessions. Worry is normal and has a purpose, but it becomes a problem when it interferes with sleep or our ability to focus on other activities. Sometimes we know we need to put something out of our minds, but we just can’t do it.
Most of my clients really want to get to the bottom of things. They want to know why the particular problems in their lives are occurring and why these issues affect them so deeply. This takes time and the insight and healing we obtain along the way are critical to making significant change. I don’t believe there are many effective ways to short cut this process. However, sometimes we need something we can do right now to help us feel a little better.
Research suggests that most of what we worry about doesn’t actually happen and when it does, most of the time we handle it better than we thought we would.
Reminding ourselves of this can be comforting. Sometimes we’re so worried about something happening that we don’t stop to think that maybe we can actually handle what we fear, even if going through it will be painful.
Worry is often a way that we avoid coping with potentially undesirable outcomes or feelings. But in order to move on, sometimes we need to feel the feelings and face the circumstances we’d rather not deal with.
It can be helpful to let ourselves go to those potential outcomes in our minds and to create a solution or plan to handle what we dread, or if nothing can be done, attempt to make some peace with the outcome. Imagining ourselves coping and managing the problem if the worst does happen can be empowering. And it’s important to let ourselves feel the feelings and be more gentle with ourselves for having them rather than trying to avoid them.
Mindfulness can be a useful exercise for coping with the feelings rather than resisting them. Mindfulness is not emptying your mind as many people think. It’s actually a heightening of awareness of your five senses and internal sensations. You take a moment to stop and breathe, to notice and name the sensations on your skin (touch) or in your body, the sounds around you, the smells, the things you see. When a thought comes into your mind, you note it, “Hmmm. I see that I’m worrying about whether my boss is disappointed with the project I submitted yesterday.” Don’t judge the thought or yourself for worrying about it. Imagine looking at a ticker tape with the worry thought passing by and then note the various senses again. This can be a grounding exercise. It’s hard to be entirely wrapped up in the worry when you allow other things to exist in the same space with it (your sense of touch, smell, taste, sight, sound). In this way, you become more of an observer and can achieve a bit of objectivity as well as process the emotions you are feeling. You can do it on your own, but here is a link to a mindfulness exercise if you’d like a little help: https://www.livingwell.org.au/mindfulness-exercises-3/2-mindfulness-of-the-external-world-2/
Sometimes we need a break from the distressing thoughts and feelings. It can be helpful to schedule a later time when we will come back to the thoughts. Knowing that we’ve scheduled time tomorrow morning or later the same day to further process the thoughts can help us get some rest from the ruminating.
Coping with worry and all that is connected to it can be more complicated for some of us and we may need more than just a few tips to get through it. It can really help to have a trusted friend to talk to. Psychotherapy can also be tremendously  beneficial for processing complicated emotions and thoughts. This is especially true if you are experiencing depression or anxiety. Being human means we will go through hard times. Worry won’t change this. Coming to terms with pain, loss, and embarrassment is an important process we all must face. I hope some of you will find these tools helpful on your journey!

Melissa

Melissa King, LMHC : Psychotherapist
141 E. 35th St., New York, NY
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

Monday Night Women's Group


Group therapy is a great opportunity to explore concerns and grow with the support of the therapist and feedback from the women participating with you. The group is made up of ladies like you who are interested in self-growth, connection, and feeling better. You can learn about yourself in the context of relationships through group therapy in a way that is more difficult to learn in individual therapy because the group creates a microcosm of our life outside of the group and allows us to get some insight into the way we relate, connect, and express ourselves with others.

If you're curious about group therapy, schedule a complimentary appointment with me so we can talk more about it and see if it makes sense for you to try out.  

More Details Below

What: Women's Therapy Group
When: Mondays
Time: 7:10-8:40 pm
Where: E. 35th and Lexington
Cost: $50 per session or $150 for 4-sessions. First session is free.
More Info
Click Here 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Love Forces Us to Grow and Upcoming Events

I know this blog has been quiet for awhile, but things over here have been alive and busy! 

Earlier this year I hosted a workshop on shame at Metropolitan Community Church, which is a deeply spiritual LGBTQ faith community. Many of us struggle with shame, but it is of particular difficulty for those of Christian faith who identify as LGBTQ. Even when affirmed in an amazing Christian home like MCCNY, many face challenges healing from the rejection experienced and beliefs taught at their former churches and in their families. I have a big heart for this demographic.

I followed that workshop this spring with an 8-week Self-Identified Men's Therapy Group at MCCNY. It was powerful and the men gained so much from sharing their stories, supporting each other, and laughing together. We read the book Blue Boy by Rakesh Satyal, which is about a young boy discovering his own gender, cultural, spiritual, sexual, and racial identities. In our final session, Mr. Satyal (who is deep, thoughtful, and hilarious) attended to answer questions, sign books, and share cake with us. We all had a fun but also deeply meaningful time together.


I continue to provide individual, couples, and group therapy at my office in Midtown. I'm also looking for office space on the Upper West Side for Wednesday evenings. If you are interested in therapy and this is a more convenient location for you, give me a call 917-689-6530 or send me a note.

Below I've posted a great article from the NY Times on Why You Will Marry The Wrong Person (and why this is okay). We're also seeking new participants for my Monday Night Women's Group. And there are a few other items that may be of interest.

Hope you are having a great summer!

Melissa

Melissa King, LMHC : Psychotherapist
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

Understanding Relationship Dynamics: Women's Therapy Group - Seeking New Members

My women's therapy group continues to meet on Monday nights and we are looking for new ladies to join us. If you are interested in having a better understanding of your interpersonal relationships, this may be a great fit for you.

If you're curious about group therapy, schedule a complimentary appointment with me so we can talk more about it and see if it makes sense for you to try out. 

More Details Below

When: Mondays
Time: 7:10-8:40 pm
Where: E. 35th and Lexington
Cost: $50 per session or $150 for 4-sessions. First session is free.
 
This therapy group is for women who desire to connect with other women through insightful and inspiring discussion around issues that specifically affect members' personal lives here in the city. There will be opportunities to discuss career, personal goals, self-image, family dynamics, romantic relationships, emotional and mental health, and spirituality. This group is a great opportunity for internal exploration and personal growth. The first session is free and requires no commitment. After the first session, if you decide to join, the group requires a minimum 4-session commitment.



The group is great for women who are interested in

   •    improving self-acceptance and self-respect

   •    working towards life/relationship/health/career goals with the support of other women

   •    learning new habits that lead to better communication & improved intimacy w/others

   •    enhancing emotional and mental wellness 


The group is made up of women in their late 20s, 30s, and 40s. 



About Group Therapy

Groups offer a unique opportunity to learn about ourselves and our relationships, especially for those who need healing from current or past relationships or relational patterns (r
omantic, familial, social). Personal healing and insight often takes place more quickly as life experiences are shared and reflected among the members. As a therapist, I am very active in facilitating a thought provoking experience within the group, allowing space for self-exploration, relationship building, and opportunities to gain clarity and insight into social experiences within the group that represent aspects of life outside the group.

When?

Group meets weekly on Monday evenings from 7:10-8:40 pm.
 

Where?
 

141 E. 35th St. between Lexington and 3rd

How Many Participants?

To facilitate intimate discussion and personal growth, the group is limited to 8 participants. 

Cost?

The first session is free as an opportunity to try out the group. If you decide to join, the group is $50 per session or $150 for 4-sessions, with a minimum 4-session commitment.

How Do I Sign Up or Learn More?

I meet with each individual interested in the group to make sure the group will be a good fit. I also make a priority of ensuring that members are well-matched and likely to benefit from each others' contributions in the group.

There is no charge for this one-on-one meeting and no obligation to commit to the group. It is an opportunity to meet me and explore whether the group is a good fit for your personal needs.

Contact Info

Please call or email to schedule an appointment or ask for more information melissa@myheartdances.com or 917-689-6530.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Melissa

Single Women's Relationship Workshop


This July, I'm facilitating a workshop for single women on dating and relationships for Forefront Church and the WeWork member network (WeWork is a co-working space for individuals and groups).

July 6
7-9pm

Finding a partner who excites you, who you feel chemistry with, who shares your faith and values, who feels a mutual attraction to you, and is available for a relationship with you, can feel like an impossible challenge. This workshop and group discussion will center around finding a partner by throwing out the dating rule books, aligning yourself with your needs and values, and increasing feelings of self-acceptance so that you can improve your chances of finding a good match. We'll also talk about common challenges that many relationships and marriages face and how you can be prepared. And since there are no guarantees for finding a partner, we'll also discuss strategies to address the loss felt around the experience of singleness. RSVP Required.

Group for Women with Herpes: Ages 40+

This therapy group is an offshoot of the original group I created many years ago for women in their 20s and 30s. Over the years, a number of women 40+ have contacted me for support. Some are newly diagnosed while others have had herpes for a long time but never fully dealt with it. Some recently ended a long-term relationship which has raised questions about what it means to talk about herpes with a new partner. Others wonder how herpes is affecting the way that they date, the choices they're making, and how they feel about themselves.

I've created this new group for women 40+ to provide a space for women in similar stages of life to talk with others who share their experiences. A woman in her 20s is often thinking very differently about life, experiences, and relationships than a woman in her 40s or older.

The group discussions are intimate and held in a comfortable, private space. The women get to know each other and, in my experience, look forward to seeing each other each session. It's a positive, vibrant atmosphere that is a great fit for women who want to grow and move forward.


This new group begins June 19th. You may also sign up anytime after this date.


When: Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month
What time: 5-6:30pm
Cost: $150 for 4 sessions There is no charge for your first visit. It's just an opportunity for you to see if you like it and if you connect with the other women. 

What will we talk about?

I have over 12 years of experience leading women's groups and coaching women who are looking for support in achieving personal goals, improving self-esteem and body image, and increasing opportunities for more satisfying relationships (dating/family/friendships). In the group for women with herpes, we talk about many of the above topics that are familiar to most women, but we also discuss

  • Relationships
  • Telling a new partner
  • The difference between HSV 1 and HSV 2
  • Accurate testing (many women are still not receiving the best tests and are misinformed about their diagnosis) 
  • Managing symptoms 
  • Transmission and how to protect future partners 
  • Most importantly, you will get to hear the stories of other women who are like you.

The group is limited to 8 women and is held in Midtown Manhattan.

How Do I Find Out More?

Please email or call if you have an interest in the group or would simply like more information: melissa@myheartdances.com or 917-689-6530. You will have an opportunity to meet and talk with me in person, as well, before making a final decision about joining the group.



Other Related Articles

Herpes Support for women in their 20's and 30s? 

Learning About the 'H' Word. No. Not Hemorrhoids. 

How I Came to Work with Women with Herpes


Melissa King LMHC : Psychotherapist
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

Why You Will Marry The Wrong Person

Speaking of dating and relationships. If you are seeking a long-term partner or in a relationship, an excellent article came out in the NY Times last month that I highly recommend: Why You Will Marry The Wrong Person.

My own training in couples therapy taught me that we ALL marry the wrong person. The task is to learn how the particular challenges we face in our relationships refine us, challenge us to grow, and help us to really learn how to love another person.

This doesn't mean that we should just marry anyone. I do believe it's important to seek someone who you enjoy being around, who shares important values, who puts equal effort into the relationship, and who is committed to working through problems.

Melissa

Melissa King, LMHC : Psychotherapist
myheartdances.com 
917-689-6530

Prior to offering psychotherapy, Melissa spent over 10 years working as a wellness coach for women focusing on health, weight loss, self-esteem, and achieving personal goals. As a psychotherapist, she has gained experience working with individuals, couples, and groups around a range of issues including Intimacy, Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Insecurity in Social Situations, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Assault, Sex Addiction, Alcohol and other Substance Use Concerns, Sexual Health, Coping with a Herpes Diagnosis, HIV, and concerns related to Sexual Orientation. Melissa King is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.

Other posts you might like:


Neediness and Needing Others


Facing Problem After Problem: Thoughts on Coping

The Difficulty in "Following Your Heart"

My Body... Finally.

14 Days Closer to Love

What Our Painful Stories Say About Us

One Small Question About My Big Butt

Cliché Dating Advice? Here's My Response

My Journey with Bulimia

Things People Said that Changed My Life

Sign-up to receive these posts via e-mail: Simply Flaw-thentic

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Neediness and Needing Others

by Derriel Street Photography bit.ly/1LjFK1H
A common concern among heterosexual women I work with who desire to find a long-term partner, is a fear of being needy. These women are usually bright, independent, and socially competent but are frustrated with dating because experiences with potential partners often seem to go nowhere.

Neediness is a trait society tends to associate with women, and many single women quickly absorb the idea that men fear and despise this trait. Women who have not experienced healthy attachment with early male figures are especially likely to buy into the notion that they must be ultra independent and “low maintenance” to attract and keep a man. In an attempt to display these characteristics, these women reject their own longing to be important, to be a priority in someone’s life, and for their normal and healthy emotional needs to be met and cared about by a partner.

Attracting Unavailable Men


The problem is that this woman seems to attract men who want exactly that from her--to not be needed. She starts to feel like a magnet for men who are emotionally unavailable and uninterested in a committed relationship or in making her a real priority. She often feels frustrated when the man doesn’t plan ahead for dates, allows too much time to go by between texts or phone calls, and sometimes doesn’t follow through with what he says he’ll do. However, when the two do spend time together, there is often a lot of fun and chemistry, and this leads to her feeling confused and hurt when he doesn’t become more attentive and pursue her further. In fact, when she starts to let some of her needs show, he runs.

Certainly, some people expect a partner to fulfill parts of themselves another individual just can’t fill, and it’s important that this is addressed. But most of the women I work with express needs that are normal and healthy. Unfortunately, these very healthy needs likely weren’t positively mirrored or attended to sufficiently when growing up. Even if the woman had a great childhood and a great family, there may have been missing pieces that left her emotional needs partially unmet. So, there’s actually a mysterious familiarity and excitement she feels with potential partners who will ultimately turn out to repeat this same pattern (leaving her needs unmet). Ironically, she may find herself feeling uncomfortable and repelled by men who are capable of being close and who would like to meet her emotional needs.


The Good News

The good news is that women can explore this dynamic in their lives and shift their attraction toward men who are a better match. It takes a lot of hard work and it doesn’t happen overnight, but I’ve seen women do it.  

One thing I work on with a client who has this experience is to help her learn about her needs and to begin to understand them as healthy. It’s also important to build confidence in expressing herself and her needs to others and believing that her expectations in relationships are reasonable. This often requires being vulnerable in new ways, including facing rejection from the unavailable men she hopes will love her. This new vulnerability and confidence can help prepare her for real intimacy with a great guy who shows up and with whom she is attracted. 


We Need Connection

It is okay to need and desire companionship and a committed romantic partner. I don’t mean that someone can’t have a fulfilling single life. There are many singles who are happier than their married counterparts. But we do need community. We need connection. Men desire connection too. The ones who do and who are looking for and are able to participate fully in a relationship may not be drawn to you if you’re pretending you’re the “cool girl” who doesn’t need anyone. Many men who want a relationship also want to be needed.

If you think your needs truly are overwhelming to others and unreasonable, this can also be explored in therapy and brought into greater balance as you increase your ability to care for yourself.

If this sounds like you, find a great therapist or support group that can offer you support in understanding these dynamics so that you can begin to move forward. 

Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist
Individual, Couples, and Group Psychotherapy in NYC
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

As a therapist, I am passionate about supporting clients  and empowering individuals who desire to better understand their relationship and dating patterns. I especially love to help those who have experienced shame, stigma, and issues related to sex and sexual health (i.e. a herpes diagnosis). I also care deeply about working with individuals who are wrestling with questions around faith and spirituality. I am a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. I hold an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. John's University.

Other posts you might like:

Facing Problem After Problem: Thoughts on Coping

The Difficulty in "Following Your Heart"

PMS and Winter Blues: An Alternative View for Women

My Body... Finally.

14 Days Closer to Love

What Our Painful Stories Say About Us

One Small Question About My Big Butt

Cliché Dating Advice? Here's My Response

Things People Said that Changed My Life

Sign-up to receive these posts via e-mail: Simply Flaw-thentic

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Current Therapy Groups

About Group Therapy

Groups offer a unique opportunity to learn about ourselves and our relationships, especially for those who need healing from current or past relationships or relational patterns (romantic, familial, social). Personal healing and insight often takes place more quickly as life experiences are shared and reflected among the members. As a therapist, I am very active in facilitating a thought provoking experience within the group, allowing space for self-exploration, relationship building, and opportunities to gain clarity and insight into social experiences within the group that represent aspects of life outside the group.

If you are interested in any of these groups, please contact me for more information. There is no charge to schedule an appointment with me to explore your interest in a group and no obligation to join.

The following groups are accepting new participants.



This group is for women who desire to connect with other women through insightful and inspiring discussion around issues that specifically affect members' personal lives here in the city. There will be opportunities to discuss career, personal goals, self-image, family dynamics, romantic relationships, health, and spirituality. This group is a great opportunity for internal exploration and personal growth. The first session is free and requires no commitment. After the first session, if you decide to join, the group requires a minimum 4-session commitment. $50 per session. Click here for more info.


Women Diagnosed with Herpes

Herpes is much more common than most people think, but the stigma lives on and can really affect how someone feels about themselves and their future dating prospects. Being a part of a group of other great women can really help with becoming well-informed and feeling like yourself again. In this group, we talk a lot about relationships, dating, and body image, along with learning facts about herpes and what this information means for you. There are 2 groups, one for women in their 20s and 30s and the other for women in their 40s. The first session is free and requires no commitment. After the first session, if you decide to join, the group requires a minimum 4-session commitment. $150 every for 4 sessions. Click here for more info.


To refer someone or inquire about either of these groups, please contact me at 917-689-6530 or melissa@myheartdances.com. Visit myheartdances.com for more info.

There is no charge to schedule an appointment with me to explore your interest in a group and no obligation to join.

Melissa

Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist
Individual, Couples, and Group Psychotherapy in NYC
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

As a therapist, I am passionate about supporting clients  and empowering individuals who desire to better understand their relationship and dating patterns. I especially love to help those who have experienced shame, stigma, and issues related to sex and sexual health (i.e. a herpes diagnosis). I also care deeply about working with individuals who are wrestling with questions around faith and spirituality. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor. I hold an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. John's University.

Other posts you might like:

Facing Problem After Problem: Thoughts on Coping

The Difficulty in "Following Your Heart"

PMS and Winter Blues: An Alternative View for Women

My Body... Finally.

14 Days Closer to Love

What Our Painful Stories Say About Us

One Small Question About My Big Butt

Cliché Dating Advice? Here's My Response

Things People Said that Changed My Life

Sign-up to receive these posts via e-mail: Simply Flaw-thentic

Monday, February 8, 2016

Group for Women with Herpes

Hello Ladies,

I know that being diagnosed with herpes can be surprising and difficult. You might find it hard to imagine life feeling normal again or another person accepting you with this. By now you might already know how common herpes is. The CDC reports that 1 in 6 people have herpes type 2. That's a lot of people, and that number doesn't even include the many people who have type 1 genital herpes. So, the number of people with genital herpes higher than 1 in 6.

Despite how common it is, we don't talk about it much in our society (outside of comedy). This contributes to misinformation that keeps stigma alive for the many people who are dealing with a diagnosis.

But there is good news. Many women just like you are able to feel good about themselves again, find acceptance from others, and place herpes exactly where it should be---just one small part of the many characteristics that make up you.

Check out my video below to find out more about the group.


The group discussions are intimate and held in a comfortable, private space. The women get to know each other and look forward to seeing each other each session. It's a positive atmosphere that is a great fit for women who want to grow and move forward.

When: Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month
What time: 5-6:30pm
Cost: $150 for 4 sessions There is no charge for your first visit. It's just an opportunity for you to see if you like it and if you connect with the other women.

**The above group is for women in their 20s and 30s. A new group for women 40+ is starting soon. Please contact me for details.

What will we talk about?

The group is facilitated by me. I hold a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling and am a certified holistic health coach. I have over 10 years of experience leading women's groups and coaching women who are looking for support in achieving personal goals, improving self-esteem and body image, and increasing opportunities for more satisfying relationships (dating/family/friendships). In the group for women with herpes, we talk about many of the above topics that are familiar to most women, but we also discuss

  • The difference between HSV 1 and HSV 2
  • Accurate testing (many women are still not receiving the best tests, as a result, they are misinformed about their diagnosis) 
  • Managing symptoms 
  • Transmission and how to protect future partners 
  • How to tell a new partner 
  • Most importantly, you will get to hear the stories of other women who are like you.

The group is limited to 8 women and is held in Midtown Manhattan.

How Do I Find Out More?

Please email or call if you have an interest in the group or would simply like more information: melissa@myheartdances.com or 917-689-6530. You will have an opportunity to meet and talk with me in person, as well, before making a final decision about joining the group.

Older related herpes posts:

Learning About the 'H' Word. No. Not Hemorrhoids. 

How I Came to Work with Women with Herpes


Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

Prior to offering psychotherapy, Melissa spent over 10 years working as a wellness coach for women focusing on health, weight loss, self-esteem, and achieving personal goals. In addition to working in the private practice of Charles Mayer, Psy.D., Melissa recently spent 18-months with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at the NYC Department of Health, where she provided counseling to individuals with a range of concerns, including Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Insecurity in Social Situations, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Assault, Sex Addiction, Alcohol and other Substance Use Concerns, Sexual Health, Coping with a Herpes Diagnosis, HIV, and concerns related to Sexual Orientation. Melissa King holds an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. John's University. She is a National Certified Counselor and a New York State permit holder in mental health counseling.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Free Relationship Patterns Workshop on Monday Night



A lot of us are interested in better understanding our dating patterns and why our relationships tend to work out the way they do.

On Monday, January 18th at 7pm, I'm hosting a workshop and discussion where we can gather, converse, and gain insight into personal dating & relationship patterns.

This is a free workshop/discussion where women can meet each other and discuss an area of common interest. It will be a light and conversational night while also offering inspiration, empowerment, and an opportunity for personal growth!

You will also get an opportunity to meet me and learn more about the 6-week group that is starting in February.

PLEASE RSVP for exact location: melissa@myheartdances.com 

Please come out! I look forward to meeting you!


Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

Prior to offering psychotherapy, Melissa spent over 10 years working as a wellness coach for women focusing on health, weight loss, self-esteem, and achieving personal goals. In addition to working in the private practice of Charles Mayer, Psy.D., Melissa recently spent 18-months with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at the NYC Department of Health, where she provided counseling to individuals with a range of concerns, including Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Insecurity in Social Situations, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Assault, Sex Addiction, Alcohol and other Substance Use Concerns, Sexual Health, Coping with a Herpes Diagnosis, HIV, and concerns related to Sexual Orientation. Melissa King holds an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. John's University. She is a National Certified Counselor and a New York State permit holder in mental health counseling.

Other posts you might like:

Facing Problem After Problem: Thoughts on Coping

The Difficulty in "Following Your Heart"

PMS and Winter Blues: An Alternative View for Women

My Body... Finally.

14 Days Closer to Love

What Our Painful Stories Say About Us

One Small Question About My Big Butt

Cliché Dating Advice? Here's My Response

My Journey with Bulimia

Things People Said that Changed My Life

Sign-up to receive these posts via e-mail: Simply Flaw-thentic

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Exploring Dating Relationship Patterns: Women's Therapy Group

This group is designed to explore and understand your dating and relationship patterns. The group experience will also facilitate healing and movement toward healthier partners and experiences. Additionally, there will be opportunities for feedback from myself and others in the group.

This group is ideal for individuals in their 20's, 30s, and 40's who desire to meet a long-term partner and to increase opportunities for a relationship to succeed.

I meet with each individual interested in the group to make sure the group will be a good fit. I also prioritize making sure members are well-matched and likely to benefit from each others' contribution in the group.

To inquire about the group or individual therapy, please contact me at 917-689-6530 or melissa@myheartdances.com  


About Group Therapy

Groups offer a unique opportunity to learn about ourselves and our relationships, especially for those who need healing from current or past relationships or relational patterns (r
omantic, familial, social). Personal healing and insight often takes place more quickly as life experiences are shared and reflected among the members. As a therapist, I am very active in facilitating a thought provoking experience within the group, allowing space for self-exploration, relationship building, and opportunities to gain clarity and insight into social experiences within the group that represent aspects of life outside the group.

When?

Group will meet weekly. Meetings are 90 minutes. Date and time will be determined prior to first session based on the scheduling needs of participants.
 

Where?
 

141 E. 35th St. between Lexington and 3rd

How Many Participants?

To facilitate intimate discussion and personal growth, the group will be limited to 8 participants. 

Cost?

The first session is free as an opportunity to try out the group. If you decide to join, the group is $150 every 4 sessions, with a minimum 4-session commitment.

How Do I Sign Up or Learn More?

I meet with each individual interested in the group to make sure the group will be a good fit. I also make a priority of ensuring that members are well-matched and likely to benefit from each others' contributions in the group.

There is no charge for this one-on-one meeting and no obligation to commit to the group. It is an opportunity to meet me and explore whether the group is a good fit for your personal needs.

Contact Info

Please call or email to schedule an appointment or ask for more information melissa@myheartdances.com or 917-689-6530.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Melissa

Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist

myheartdances.com 
917-689-6530

Prior to offering psychotherapy, Melissa spent over 10 years working as a wellness coach for women focusing on health, weight loss, self-esteem, and achieving personal goals. As a psychotherapist, she has gained experience working with individuals, couples, and groups around a range of issues including Intimacy, Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Insecurity in Social Situations, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Assault, Sex Addiction, Alcohol and other Substance Use Concerns, Sexual Health, Coping with a Herpes Diagnosis, HIV, and concerns related to Sexual Orientation. Melissa King is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.

Other posts you might like:

Facing Problem After Problem: Thoughts on Coping

The Difficulty in "Following Your Heart"

PMS and Winter Blues: An Alternative View for Women

My Body... Finally.

14 Days Closer to Love

What Our Painful Stories Say About Us

One Small Question About My Big Butt

Cliché Dating Advice? Here's My Response

My Journey with Bulimia

Things People Said that Changed My Life

Sign-up to receive these posts via e-mail: Simply Flaw-thentic

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Healing & Affirming Therapy Group for Gay/Bi Men of Christian Faith


This is a gay/bi affirming group for men who come from a Christian faith background to explore and heal around experiences of rejection within the church due to having a homosexual orientation and to experience a safe and positive space to explore sexual development, desire, singleness, dating, and relationships.

This group is ideal for men who desire to find a new way to embrace their Christian faith while also having an opportunity to discuss and gain empowerment around healthy sexual development, dating, and relationships in an affirming space.

If you think this group might be a good fit for your needs or you are simply interested in learning more about this group, please contact me at melissa@myheartdances.com or 917-689-6530

About Group Therapy

Groups offer a unique opportunity to learn about ourselves and our relationships, especially for those who need healing from current or past relationships or relational patterns (romantic, familial, social). Personal healing and insight often takes place more quickly as life experiences are shared and reflected among the members. As a therapist, I am very active in facilitating a thought provoking experience within the group, allowing space for self-exploration, relationship building, and opportunities to gain clarity and insight into social experiences within the group that represent aspects of life outside the group.

When?

Group will meet weekly for 6 weeks with the option of continuing for 6 additional weeks. Meetings are 90 minutes. Date and time will be determined prior to first session based on the scheduling needs of participants. I am interviewing participants in January and the group is expected to begin in February.

Where?

141 E. 35th St., between Lexington and 3rd 

How Many Participants?

To facilitate intimate discussion and personal growth, the group will be limited to 8 participants.

Cost?

Group is $45 per session or $250 when paying for the entire 6 weeks prior to the first meeting.

How Do I Sign Up or Learn More?

I meet with each individual interested in the group to make sure the group will be a good fit. I also make a priority of ensuring that members are well-matched and likely to benefit from each others' contributions in the group.

I will be meeting with interested individuals throughout the month of January. Please call or email to schedule an appointment or ask for more information melissa@myheartdances.com or 917-689-6530. There is no charge for this one-on-one meeting and no obligation to commit to the group. It is an opportunity to meet me and explore whether the group is a good fit for your personal needs.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Melissa

A Bit About Me: Melissa King is a psychotherapist who deeply values creating space for clients struggling with Christian faith to explore faith authentically at their own pace, to understand themselves and the value of their questions and experiences, and to come to their own decisions about how to define and cultivate their relationship with faith, possibly in a redefined way. Melissa has a special interest in working with clients who have experienced stigma and shame, particularly related to sex and sexuality. Melissa also enjoys working with clients who desire to find a partner or want to better understand their relationship patterns.

Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

Prior to offering psychotherapy, Melissa spent over 10 years working as a wellness coach for women focusing on health, weight loss, self-esteem, and achieving personal goals. In addition to working in the private practice of Charles Mayer, Psy.D., Melissa recently spent 18-months with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at the NYC Department of Health, where she provided counseling to individuals with a range of concerns, including Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Insecurity in Social Situations, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Assault, Sex Addiction, Alcohol and other Substance Use Concerns, Sexual Health, Coping with a Herpes Diagnosis, HIV, and concerns related to Sexual Orientation. Melissa King holds an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. John's University. She is a National Certified Counselor and a New York State permit holder in mental health counseling.

Other posts you might like:

Facing Problem After Problem: Thoughts on Coping

The Difficulty in "Following Your Heart"

PMS and Winter Blues: An Alternative View for Women

My Body... Finally.

14 Days Closer to Love

What Our Painful Stories Say About Us

One Small Question About My Big Butt

Cliché Dating Advice? Here's My Response

My Journey with Bulimia

Things People Said that Changed My Life

Sign-up to receive these posts via e-mail: Simply Flaw-thentic

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Faith In Question: When You No Longer Feel Certain About Your Spiritual Faith

Spiritual faith is an important if not foundational part of many people’s lives. It can also be a source of internal conflict and sadness, especially if you come from a tradition that doesn’t allow much space for questioning or difference--and you happen to be questioning or different. While this can happen in any spiritual tradition, my personal experience has largely been with the struggle of individuals who come from a conservative, evangelical Christian background. This is an area of special interest for me, and I’m quite aware of and sensitive to the loneliness and alienation that Christians can experience if they go through a period of questioning faith or questioning the way in which their communities interpret how faith should be lived out. This experience of loneliness and alienation is also often true for those who have been silenced, hurt, or rejected by their church communities because of difference, such as having an LGBT identity.

It can be a really difficult and scary experience to question in a way that is not welcomed or shared by your faith community. The church often serves as a space for deep connection, valued relationships, identity, belonging, safety, and spiritual fulfillment. The loss that comes with having to decide between being authentic or keeping quiet and “going along” is distressing. Individuals who go through this often struggle to find others who they can safely talk with about their experiences and thoughts on faith. Friends who don’t come from the same faith background may not be able to understand or value the deep meanings and attachments that still feel important. Your sense of identity might even feel threatened, and you may wonder what it will mean for you if you don’t continue in your faith exactly as you were taught.

Avoiding the questions or pretending you’re someone you’re not usually doesn’t work that well, especially if your faith is meaningful to you. And I’ve come to believe that honesty with yourself is the only way through this difficult path, and for many, this makes the way for a deepening of faith.

I really value offering a safe space where faith can be explored and integrated into your therapy goals at your own pace and in a way that allows you to both embrace your faith and your questions. Questioning is a vulnerable experience and finding a place to talk and fully explore the questions can be really helpful and healing.

Some books that many on this journey have found beneficial are

A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren
Femmevangelical by Jennifer Crumpton
Torn by Justin Lee (for LGBT from a conservative Christian background)

Melissa

Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist
myheartdances.com
917-689-6530

Prior to offering psychotherapy, Melissa spent over 10 years working as a wellness coach for women focusing on health, weight loss, self-esteem, and achieving personal goals. In addition to working in the private practice of Charles Mayer, Psy.D., Melissa recently spent 18-months with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at the NYC Department of Health, where she provided counseling to individuals with a range of concerns, including Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Insecurity in Social Situations, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Assault, Sex Addiction, Alcohol and other Substance Use Concerns, Sexual Health, Coping with a Herpes Diagnosis, HIV, and concerns related to Sexual Orientation. Melissa King holds an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. John's University. She is a National Certified Counselor and a New York State permit holder in mental health counseling.

Other posts you might like:

Facing Problem After Problem: Thoughts on Coping

The Difficulty in "Following Your Heart"

PMS and Winter Blues: An Alternative View for Women

My Body... Finally.

14 Days Closer to Love

What Our Painful Stories Say About Us

One Small Question About My Big Butt

Cliché Dating Advice? Here's My Response

My Journey with Bulimia

Things People Said that Changed My Life

Sign-up to receive these posts via e-mail: Simply Flaw-thentic

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Facing Problem after Problem? Thoughts on Coping.

The cold, gray winter is quickly approaching and this seasonal change tends to correspond with periodic or persistent low mood for many. Problems and worries can really feel heavier. It might be hard to believe, but this experience can have value. It can become a time of wrestling with our humanity, connecting to what’s meaningful in our lives, and increasing our awareness and sensitivity to the reality of struggle for others.

As you move through adulthood, you might begin to feel like life is rarely free of problems, and this can be disillusioning. Most of us are taught that if we work hard and do all the right things, life will work out well for us, and we won’t suffer the problems that others face. So when you continue to have struggle after struggle, you might start to feel like something is wrong with you, that you really screwed up or made the wrong decision somewhere along the line, that maybe you should've listened to (fill in the blank), or maybe the world or God just has it in for you.

Image by Robert Weis via Wikipedia Commons http://bit.ly/1MUtQRG

The good news is that it really is not just you. Life is hard--for most of us. We might have brief reprieves from carrying around a problem that has to be tackled, but some problems will stick around or come back, and while we may solve others, we’re likely to find a new one lurking not too far away.

But if you just keep focusing on problem after problem, thinking life will be okay once you've crossed this final hurdle, you may soon find yourself exhausted and lose hope for a good future. What can be more helpful is to step back for a second and work on coming to a place of acceptance--that this is part of being human--and focus on growing your ability to cope with the problem of facing problems. The challenge is less about the individual issues and more about learning to come to terms with being a human who must deal with problems, some quite painful, throughout life.

I know it can be very difficult when facing your particular challenges, to look around you and perceive that others seem to have it so much easier, to be more successful, or to have the resources to handle their problems easier. Often this is just our perception. A friend once said to me, "People’s outsides often look better than their insides." This is so true. But it’s also true that, while no life will be free of painful problems, some lives face greater and/or more frequent challenges than others. And this can certainly add feelings of grief to our own personal experience and questions about our lot in life.

There are ways of finding more peace and increasing your coping skills. Below is a list of some tools people use to begin this journey:
    1. Faith and Spirituality
    2. Meditation Practices
    3. Actively seeking community and authentic relationships
    4. Group Therapy--a great way to work on problems, connect with others, and better understand your own relationship dynamics (I'll be posting new groups for 2016 soon).
    5. Psychotherapy
    6. Reading others’ stories: Memoirs, biographies
    7. Changing your thoughts about what you’re going through.
    8. Practicing self-compassion
    9. Including meaningful activities, when possible, even while coping with the problems. Actively practice making sure your life goes on.

    A few books some of my clients are raving about that have been helpful:
    I always welcome your thoughts, reactions, and ponderings about topics written on this blog. Just leave a comment or send me a private message.

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    Individual and couples therapy are available at my office in Midtown, Manhattan. Call or send an email to set up a free phone consultation. 

    Melissa

    Melissa King, M.S.Ed. : Psychotherapist
    myheartdances.com
    917-689-6530

    Prior to offering psychotherapy, Melissa spent over 10 years working as a wellness coach for women focusing on health, weight loss, self-esteem, and achieving personal goals. In addition to working in the private practice of Charles Mayer, Psy.D., Melissa recently spent 18-months with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at the NYC Department of Health, where she provided counseling to individuals with a range of concerns, including Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Insecurity in Social Situations, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Assault, Sex Addiction, Alcohol and other Substance Use Concerns, Sexual Health, Coping with a Herpes Diagnosis, HIV, and concerns related to Sexual Orientation. Melissa King holds an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. John's University. She is a National Certified Counselor and a New York State permit holder in mental health counseling.