According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, heteronormativity is defined as “Of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality”. Essentially, I’m talking about straight culture. Now, you may be thinking something along the lines of… “But gay people are totally accepted these days”. It’s true that progress has been made. However, there’s a difference between “acceptance” and real visibility. Heteronormativity touches far more aspects of our lives than simply marriage. I think that most people, myself included, make well-intentioned, yet ignorant assumptions based on the heteronormative society we live in.
In the moments when we most need a little tenderness we quickly become our own worst enemies. Instead of recognizing and acknowledging our inherent goodness, we turn our words into weapons with messages of failure and defeat.
Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could instead treat ourselves with the same kindness and understanding we so readily show others? In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, leading researcher and storyteller Brené Brown examines what gets in the way of accepting ourselves as we are and living from a place of authenticity, gratitude, and whole-heartedness.
The healing journey is far from linear and it is also far from uniform. Every person has their own winding set of experiences, responding to emotions as they emerge and doing the best they can along the way.
Therapy can be invaluable in this work, and it can be supportive to tap into the body’s wisdom in other ways as well. In this blog post, we will explore a variety of holistic approaches that inspire full-body wellbeing.
Stemming from the practice of Chinese Medicine and developed over thousands of years, acupuncture supports balance in the mind, body and spirit. Perhaps you’re having a difficult time sleeping and are waking up at the same time every night or maybe your appetite has been off. Acupuncture could be a supportive treatment for you. Amongst other things, acupuncture can be supportive if you are experiencing anxiety or depression.
You can learn more about what to expect from an acupuncture treatment through the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Want to try it out? Mend offers affordable community acupuncture in Remington and at Quarry Lake. Additionally, Maryland Community Acupuncture in Patterson Park offers sessions for as low as $20.00.
Naturopathic medicine is built around six principles:
the healing power of nature
identify and treat the causes
first do no harm
doctor as teacher
treat the whole person
This modality of care is centuries old and practitioners are trained in physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy and hydrotherapy.
If you are wondering how to support your mental health while using your body as a starting place, naturopathic care is a potential modality to explore.
Dr. Emily Telfair, ND of HeartSpace Natural Medicine is a local resource for patients who are ready to open this door of their healing journey. In her words, she offers “support with connecting the dots between your physical symptoms and how they relate to your life experiences”.
In many ways, herbalism invites you to “stop and smell the roses” (or lavender, or raspberry, or that plant poking up between the sidewalk cracks you always thought was ‘just a weed’). The earth is bursting with plant allies if you know where to look. As you begin this journey, Zensations is the perfect first stop.
Bodywork can take many shapes: traditional massage, craniosacral therapy, and nervous system regulation (amongst others).
Are you curious about what your body has to say about what you’ve been feeling and experiencing? Ladan Nabet and Metta Integrative Wellness Center are supportive Baltimore resources when it comes to unpacking your body’s voice.
This blog is intended to serve simply as a snippet if what holistic healing may entail; there is truly no end to the healing work that can be supported by each of these modalities. As you review the modalities discussed, ask yourself…
What have been your doors to healing?
Which doors are presenting themselves to you now?
Erin Bowman is one of Space Between Counseling Services’ newest graduate interns. Upon her Graduation from the University of Baltimore’s counseling psychology Master’s program in 2020, Erin plans to seek licensure as a LCPC.
Erin is also a cyclist and enjoys exploring Baltimore’s parks by bike. When she’s not riding through the city, she can also be found reading science fiction and getting lost in bookstores.
In the winter, people are often more drawn to staying in and staying cozy--replacing late nights with a turn inwards. Beyond hygge, winter also often brings the blues. The sun is setting earlier and the air is biting cold. On a physiological level, our bodies are struggling with the lack of daylight. On an emotional level, you may not be feeling quite yourself. February has the echoes of family pressure from the holidays, along with cycles of frustration brought on by New Year’s resolutions. We find ourselves in need of balance and care.
Coupleship: 2018- Year In Review.
This series of check-in questions is designed to help you invite structure, flow, play and secure connection into 2019. After the rush of the Holiday season is almost over, but before you ring in the near year, we hope that you can create a holding space for one another. Just being together and enjoying each other is great, but once again Space Between Counseling Services has an invitation for you that will help make your relationship stronger in the year to come.
“Secure Functioning” is being in a relationship that is fully collaborative, fully mutual, + based on justice, fairness, and sensitivity.
— Dr. Stan Tatkin
Perhaps you completed the Coupleship Year in Review around this time last year. Hopefully it provided you with the opportunity to reflect on your relationship, togetherness and growth both as individuals and a couple during 2017. This year the Space Between Counseling Services team has re-invented the review. You may notice some similar questions, as well as some new ones during this year’s review.
What does it mean to be in a secure-functioning relationship? And why should it matter to me? Secure-functioning relationships allow us to be the best we are individually. It does not mean that you will lose your identity or freedom. In fact, you will have more, since trust is a guarantee you two make. Your relationship will become a place of support and love. As well as a place to call home + restore life-energy. Are you in a secure functioning relationship? IF not, good news is you two CAN BE!
Do you often find yourself procrastinating on “must do” tasks? Do you quit or vow to come back to dealings that are often left unfinished?
Has today has been “the day” for the last few months that all your affairs would be in order?
Yet, repeatedly you find yourself coming up short of those goals. Have you experienced this in your work-life, school-life, social circles, and other areas?
You have good intentions and yet your commitment to execute these plans is lacking? The term commitment is measured in more than romantic relationships. When we lack commitment while faced with a task that requires long-term dedication, it often can cause us unnecessary mental and emotional distress.
Have you ever labeled yourself as the “black sheep” or “scapegoat” of your family, your workplace, or somewhere else where you’re “supposed” to naturally belong?
In my office, so many of my clients use this phrase to describe themselves. (And, I admit, I’ve used it myself to talk about whether I felt I fit into various groups too.) There’s something I find when we look closer at how and why we use these terms, however, and it has a lot to do with shame and how we feel we’re being judged by other people.
In my office, I often ask: What if you weren’t a black sheep? What if you were a black unicorn? Or a yellow, blue, or rainbow unicorn?