All posts tagged: Psychology

Three Basic Psychological Needs and How to Meet Them: Part 1

Scientists, philosophers, and psychologists alike agree that human beings’ experience is some combination of genetic traits and environmental influences. (Sorry, folks, I am not about to settle the nature vs. nurture debate for you… But, if you want to impress your friends at your next get-together, throw out the word “epigenetics,” nod, and give them your most knowing look.) Philosophical narratives aside, science has spoken to the immeasurable impact our environments have on our behavior. Think of it this way: from the moment you were conceived, your environment (which, at the time was your mother’s womb) was already impacting your development. Did your mother use substances while pregnant with you? Was she under a lot of stress? Then you were born. Did you have older siblings, younger siblings, or were you an only child? How frequently and in what way did your parents discipline you? Were you easily able to make friends in school? As you got older, were you allowed to make your own decisions? How did your family respond when you made mistakes? …

Ice Cream and the Zodiac: How to Read Articles Like a Researcher

As a researcher myself, I tend to be skeptical of online/media voices that cite surprising statistical findings. Despite even the best intentions, sometimes people who lack training in research methods and statistics can accidentally misrepresent findings. One misleading headline later, the general public is terrified that everything in their fridge will give them cancer. Talk about lost in translation. How we read and interpret what we find online can really change the way we lives our lives. It can impact what foods we choose to put in our bodies, ways we try to support our physical/mental health, etc. So, it’s immensely important for us to discern whether the facts are being misrepresented. To illustrate my point, I’ll use a study which found that elevated ice cream sales were linked to higher incidences of homicide. Let’s pretend this article caught the attention of an eager journalist who then published the following: “Ice-Cold Killers: Dessert Consumption Causes Homicidal Rampage!” This definitely puts a different spin on the “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” …

Series Introduction: Relationships

My husband and I met in 2012 through college athletics. He was cute and really fast, I was a basket case, so voilà, we naturally started dating. Throughout our 5 year dating relationship and now almost 2 years of marriage, we have learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and relationships as a whole. Humble brag: I married the most genuinely kind person on the planet. In return, he got a wife that makes really good banana bread, so I’d say it’s a fair trade. In all seriousness, there have been times where our relationship has been really easy, but also times where we’ve had to work at it. I’d love to share what we’ve done to make the good times great and the hard times better. In this series of posts on intimate relationships, I’ll focus on skills we’ve learned, tricks we’ve tried, what has worked (and what hasn’t), and great advice we’ve been given to help our relationship flourish.

Series Introduction: Mental Health

Our thoughts and emotions are powerful. They dictate how we see the world and how we act on it. Having unhelpful ways of thinking, along with some deep and unaddressed hurts is so, sonormal. And yet, these are really hard to talk about. It’s all too easy to slap a smile over our struggles and pretend they aren’t there. We put that painful stuff in a dusty box in the farthest corners of our closet, and keep the new, shiny shoes up front. And that’s okay for a little while. The problem is, the longer we wait to really look at what we’ve put in that closet, the heavier our box becomes. So, let’s do some spring cleaning: let’s look at what we’ve put away and see if it’s something we really want to carry with us into our next chapter. If not, let’s work day by day to slowly set it down.

Stuck Like Gum: What to Do with Anxious Thoughts

First of all, why do people think it’s okay to stick gum in random public places? I will step in gum, realize I stepped in gum, and then silently resign myself to have that gum be part of me forever. Maybe that’s a little melodramatic, but brace yourselves because I’m about to make it worse with a cheesy transition: The problem with gum is that it’s sticky, and unfortunately, the same can be said of life. (Did you cringe? I cringed.) Sometimes people or situations hurt us in ways that get stuck in the grooves of our mind. It leaves a sticky little scar that won’t seem to really heal. What’s something that’s gotten stuck for you? Something that you feel should have been long forgotten, but still pops up to rear its ugly head? Maybe it’s something that was painful in a way you didn’t understand, or something that struck a chord very close to some big insecurities. For me, one of those somethings is my relationship with a former boss of mine. They …

So nice to see you,

and I’m so glad you stopped by! I’m Elly: a Christian, wife, and overly-invested dog mom who loves sunshine, coffee shops, working out, and time with family. I am currently working towards my Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and I love sharing what I’ve learned with others. Although I definitely don’t have all the answers, my research and counseling practice these last few years have led me to notice what keeps us from feeling happy, energized, and fulfilled. I decided to create a space dedicated to exploring some of these issues (and some of what I’ve found helpful). So, take a break from the mindless scrolling, take a breath, and take a moment to invest in your own well-being. Disclaimer: Online resources are not a substitute for therapy. What is shared on this page is my own experience and descriptions of others’ research findings. What is written is not endorsed by or reflective of my program of study. Should you hope to find a therapist near you, you may visit PsychologyToday.com. Additionally, the national suicide prevention …