4 Qualities Every Counselor Must Have  

The availability of the services of a counselor has proven to be convenient and practical for several people. Because of the wisdom and treatment provided by counseling sessions, many individuals end up solving their problems and issues. This fact can be considered as good news for people like you who need someone to talk to or a professional who can help you process your thoughts.

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Take note that each counselor has a variety of skills. Therefore, you cannot expect all of them to possess the same level of comprehension and understanding of the proper techniques for counseling sessions. Because of this, it becomes more challenging to search for the best counselor who can help you with what you are going through at the moment.

Do not worry because we are going to provide you with a list of the top five qualities every counselor must possess:

Effective Communication

Look for a counselor who can communicate well to all her clients. Keep in mind that the foundation of a good relationship with the said professional is your connection with one another. Take note that opening up to another person can be difficult. A good counselor must know the proper ways on how to make things easier. Keep in mind that between the two of you, he must be the one who shall make an effort in improving the communication lines between the two of you.

“Counselors need to have a natural ability to listen and be able clearly explain their ideas and thoughts to others,” said Ashley Miller, a licensed social worker and psychotherapist.



Another thing to look for in a counselor is his ability to connect with you. It is crucial for you to feel that he understands what you are going through. Remember that an excellent counselor is someone who looks at you with respect and humility. He must learn how to protect your secrets so that you can have a stronger relationship with him. As such, make sure to observe the way you feel whenever you are face-to-face with the counselor. The way he talks and acts says a lot about his ability to connect with his clients.

“An effective counselor can identify negative thinking patterns that may be feeding feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety,” according to psychiatrist Lynn Ponton, MD.

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If there is one vital thing that you must accept at this point in your life, it is the fact that several people will always have something to say to you. What is important is the need to ignore the naysayers and show them otherwise. Because of this, it is imperative on your part to make an effort to avoid people who keep on judging you for your choices and decisions. It is the primary reason why you need to find a counselor who nicely treats you. He must accept who you are and must never make any negative comment about what you are going through. Always remind yourself that there are several counselors out there who can accept everything about their clients.



Find a counselor whom you can trust with your life. Do not go for a professional who is willing to lie to your face for the sole purpose of making you feel good. What you need is someone who will tell you what is absolutely true, without any color of dishonesty. It must be noted that a dishonest counselor will do more harm than good in your life. For this reason, you have to continue working hard to be able to afford an honest counselor who can assist you in every step of the way. If you have difficulties in accepting certain realities, do not hesitate to talk to your counselor about it.

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Searching for the right counselor can be a struggle, especially if you are doing it for the first time. The best thing that you can do is to take your time in looking for the best counselor. According to Susan Lager, LICSW, a psychotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, “therapy is an interactive process. Express your needs, ask questions, read books, and do the “homework assignments,” she said. Remember that it is better to spend a lot of time for the search than to engage someone who will only increase the stress and anxiety in your life.

Feel free to ask for recommendations or referrals from the people you know so that you can have several options. It is also suggested to book a preliminary appointment with a counselor first before deciding to retain his services for an extended period. Do not be afraid to test the waters. Eventually, all your efforts will be worth it. Be sure to use the checklist mentioned in this article.

How To Lose Weight Without Excess Skin Right Now

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Amazed by the successful weight-loss stories of family members, friends, and people you found on the internet? They merely show that it’s indeed possible to lose fats without going under the knife. What’s important is your chosen way of tackling this task.

The fast (but not highly recommended) route directs you to dietary supplements. A better path, on the other hand, leads you to spend hours in the gym. You may try either at your own risk, but having saggy skin is quite common for people who are on a weight-loss journey.

Here are a couple of techniques you can do to avoid excess skin while losing weight.

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Method #1: Take Care Of Your Skin

What You Need


Your skin feels supple and elastic to the touch, thanks to the high amount of water it holds. You must replenish the body’s water supply while or after exercising to maintain that.  “The rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces a day—so if you weigh 160 lbs, try to drink 80 ounces,” said psychotherapist Vikki Stark M.S.W., M.F.T.

Resistance Training Program

There are various workouts dedicated to resistance training that will allow you to build muscles while losing fats. Simply opt for a program that suits your equipment and schedule.

Weighing Scale (Optional)

You can reduce weight even if there are no digits to confirm it. That’s the reason why having a weighing scale isn’t a big deal. Nevertheless, it’s not an issue if you utilize the apparatus.

Sunscreen (Optional)

A lotion with high SPF value stops the UV radiation for inflicting harm to your well-being. It’s a must-have, considering you work out in the open.

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What To Do

The first technique gives significance to skin health. It is okay to exercise and control your hunger, but try to ensure that there’s enough water in the epidermis.

Step 1: Reduce Your Weight Gradually

Burning the fats can happen even if you don’t push yourself to the extreme spontaneously. You can merely aim to get rid of a couple of pounds at max each week so that your skin can adjust to the changes well. Otherwise, a rapid loss of weight can result in sagging body parts.

Step 2: Make Hydration A Priority

When you exercise, you don’t directly convert the fats into energy. You also release so much sweat through your pores, which can dehydrate the skin if you’re not careful. That’s the ultimate recipe for obesity, to be honest, so make sure to always quench your thirst with water.

Step 3: Focus On Resistance Training

Your skin can still sag even when you are hydrated in case you don’t develop muscles where the fats used to be. The latter stays in between the bones and the epidermis; that’s why there will be less stuff connecting the two. You can only prevent the sagging by following a resistance training program as you lose weight.

Step 4: Avoid Things That Decrease Skin Elasticity

Having flabby skin becomes inevitable if there are bad vices you continue to hold on to. Drinking and smoking are definitely atop that list because they cause dehydration and other serious diseases. Similarly, don’t forget to use sunblock before going outdoors since UVs can damage the collagen that makes the skin elastic.

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Method #2: Gain Muscles

What You Need

Weight Resistance Equipment

Gyms always have apparatuses for resistance training (e.g., dumbbells and barbells). You may install them at home too, considering you have no time to visit the facility. As an alternative, it’s alright to use your body weight during the exercise.

Healthy Foods

Lean towards the food choices that increase your energy and muscles. Those can be brown rice or wheat for carbohydrates and white meat for protein. Of course, adding dietary fibers from fruits and vegetables is another sound idea.

“Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources in your diet can help protect your brain, according to the latest research”, says Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.

Weighing Scale (Optional)

Measuring your weight is not a priority since a regular scale cannot differentiate muscles from fats. There are instances, after all, in which the numbers don’t change, but you notice the improvement in your figure. Nonetheless, you may weigh yourself whenever you like.

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What To Do

The second and last procedure highlights the importance of having and keeping your muscles. Muscle loss can happen, primarily when you merely perform physical tasks on rare occasions.

Step 1: Refuse To Take Shortcuts

As tempting as it can be to reduce fats without doing anything, it’s better to achieve it by working out. The length of your exercise, however, should depend on how much weight you wish to lose.

Just one advice, though? Aim low to give the muscles time to appear on the areas where the fats used to be.

Step 2: Commit To A Specific Workout

The cardio exercises are great at strengthening your endurance for weight loss. Despite that, you should supplement them with resistance training to be able to develop and improve your muscles well. You may utilize your weight or gym equipment for that.

Furthermore, to enhance your physique, you’ll need foods that promote incredible health. Protein is essential for building muscles; that’s why you can’t lose that in your diet. Non-gluten products and “good” carbs can also provide energy that will help you complete the exercises.

In A Nutshell

“People whose weight-loss efforts begin at home with dieting, and perhaps some exercise, are familiar from the very beginning of their diet with the struggles they must overcome to lose weight”, said Judith Wurtman, Ph.D. Losing weight without excess skin is not rocket science. The techniques mentioned above may not be too diverse from what your fitness instructor can tell you, frankly speaking. When you avoid over-exercising, dehydration, bad eating habits, and other vices, sagging skin may be the least of your problems.

Three Favorite Books That Help Improve Mental Wellness


As a reading enthusiast, I know how much reading helps people in a lot of ways. But I just realized not so long ago that reading about how to increase my mental strength could be powerful. “Brainy pursuits make the brain more efficient by changing its structure to continue functioning properly in spite of age-related neuropathologies,” according to professor of neuropsychology Robert S. Wilson, PhD. The wonder it has done for me has encouraged me to share some of my favorites that I first got from social media. I just started buying one book, and when I finished, I decided to buy more and more!

So here’s a list of the top three books that have moved me mentally and emotionally, which I hope will do the same for you.

  1. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert. This book just got me going with my love for writing and for life in general. Gilbert successfully delivered the purpose for the book, which is to encourage one to be creative in all things he does. It pushes one to get out of his comfort zone and learn new activities that would improve creativity and therefore enhance mental wellness. Gilbert, once again, is a winner in this one, aside from her very successful Eat, Pray, Love.


Highlight: Part of being creative in life is to bravely face that which you are scared of.


  1. Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way – John Parkin. Focusing mainly on the phrase ‘fuck it,’ Parkin teaches us to let go of the things that do not help us become better people. We are taught not to overthink and look for meaning for almost everything we go through. We can take control of our lives better when we know which ones to prioritize and which ones we set aside. I realized after reading this one that sometimes we imprison ourselves and we end up feeling anxious and depressed. We have a choice to kick these barriers down and just say, “F**ck it!”


Highlight: We’ve been so used to tackling every problem head-on, no matter how big or small. For                  once, let’s decide to be fearless and say f**ck it, and then let’s see what happens.

  1. The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin. This is a classic but its release triggered the release of a hundred more books about happiness. I love Rubin’s take on what to do every day, which you will understand when you get to read it yourself because Rubin writes this book in a monthly diary style. The Happiness Project is one of the early books I finished that motivated me to be more practical and realistic about my goals in life.


Highlight: If you’re planning a family trip, doing preparations and contemplating about the trip                      makes 60% of your happiness. The 40% you get when you’ve started the trip.

My Final Thoughts



According to Maria Eugenia Panero, PhD, a research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, “Reading helps us to take the perspective of different characters we normally wouldn’t interact with, and to give us a sense of their psychological experiences and how they interact with other people and situations.”

My fascination with reading different kinds of manuscripts – being sports, music, art or life related – has in one way or another led me to seek for lessons that I could learn from and share with others, just as I am doing now with you. “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book, you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.” And I leave you with one of the most important takeaways that have helped me improve my positivity and zest for life. This one is from ‘The Secret’ written by Rhonda Byrne.

“There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change.”


How Can Moms Stay Fit?

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A lot of moms are finding it hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping up with the kids and staying on top of household chores consume a lot of time and energy. At the end of the day, there is nothing more comforting than a sumptuous dinner spread and a good night’s sleep. Where can you fit the desire to work out in that jam-packed schedule? Worry not. Here are some tips on how you can maintain that healthy lifestyle – without needing to go to the gym. Continue reading “How Can Moms Stay Fit?”

How To Live Life To The Fullest

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“Live life to the fullest” is such a cliché. Does anyone really know how to live life to the fullest? What does it take to finally say you’re living life to the fullest? It is human nature to want more, so when do we say it is the fullest? Ultimately, as Juliana Breines, Ph.D, social and health psychologist noted, “only you know the answer to what you truly want. So, figure that out and then make moves accordingly (and keep your overall happiness in mind.”

Continue reading “How To Live Life To The Fullest”

5 Ways To Detoxify From Social Media

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Gone are the days when all we have was the newspaper and the library. The world seemed wonderfully big, and everything we find out about different people and places seemed extraordinary. “Because social media has become such an integrated component of human interaction, it is important for clinicians interacting with young adults to recognize the balance to be struck in encouraging potential positive use, while redirecting from problematic use,” said  Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D.

Today, the internet, particularly the social media, has made our world peculiarly small. If we try to pause and ponder about the things we know about almost everything in this world, social media icons are hovering above our heads.

Have you ever wondered how your day be like without browsing your phones and laptops? You might be amazed how much change it will make. You can improve your life and promote wellness in your overall wellbeing by doing a social media detox.

5 Ways to Detoxify from Social Media

  1. Turn off all your gadgets: phone, computer, TV, or any device where you could access social media. Not everything we see on social media is true. Sometimes, there are news and videos out there that are just made to confuse and distract. In fact, Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. said that “Social media sites can be breeding grounds for dishonesty.”

Notice how sometimes you could be upset about something that happened on the other side of the world that even though you are happy, you’ll suddenly be gloomy and paranoid.

  1. Clean your room, or if you’re feeling more energetic, you can clean the entire house. We spend a great deal of time on social media that we ignore how untidy our surrounding is. We forget important household chores that are truly stressful when piled up.

So go ahead and do the laundry, wash the dishes, or unclutter your desk to make your surrounding pleasant to the eyes.

  1. Create something remarkable out of your time. Great things in this world didn’t just happen. They were made by someone who invested his time and effort. You can’t do that while on your phone.

Clear your mind of the things that don’t involve you, and start using it for more productive things or your passion like art, cooking, music, or anything that will contribute to your wellness physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.

  1. Go somewhere awe-inspiring. Unwind and reflect on your life. This will be a time for you to remember your proprieties and assess yourself if you’re actually on the right path towards your goal.

Go somewhere you’ve never been or a place you always wanted to visit. They are breath-taking in person. You will realize the feeling you’re missing when you’re just looking at them on your screen.

  1. Catch up with someone you miss, or you always wanted to see but never had personally. People nowadays are too comfortable communicating with their phones and computers.

Although the internet has quite a lot of advantages especially when it comes to our careers and businesses, our relationship with the people we care about like our family and friends should not be left on the hands of technology.

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Most of our emotional distress and heavy-heartedness comes from the awful things we see on social media. It is human nature to empathize that’s why we feel despair when we watch or read something tragic that happened to someone else, and this could be unhealthy for us. According to Kristen Fuller, M.D., clinical writer, “It is no secret that the social media frenzy has become out of control and studies are now showing that social media use can lead to depression, low self-esteem, body image issues, anxiety, social isolation, and the list goes on.”

We may not realize it, but the social media has taken over our lives, and if it changes your life for the worse, maybe it’s time to do a social media detox. Start caring about yourself and others around you by promoting personal touch to everything. After all, your physical self is your original social medium.

Start The Day Healthy: Eat Your Go, Grow, And Glow

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According to studies, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It restores the energy needed by the body to function well in the next hours of the day. After a long night’s sleep, our body needs refueling. Our energy will tell how our body will do all the activities ahead. If we eat a tasty and healthy breakfast, our body will have more strength, and the more strength we have, the more productive we can be. “There is a lot of truth to the old saying, “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, sup like a pauper.”,” said licensed clinical psychologist Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.

Our days are filled with a lot of things to do, a lot of responsibilities and obligations that need our full energy and attention. A substantial breakfast will help us be more attentive and focus on our activities and goals for the day.

Our body needs three food groups for it to go, grow and glow.

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Go foods make the body go because they are energy-s with the potatoes, rice, and other grains. It’s a good thing. Carbohydrates tend to make people feel calm and mellow,” said Judith J. Wurtman Ph.D.


Grow foods make the body grow as it helps our bones and muscles develop. It makes us stronger and bigger. They are rich in protein which can be found in dairy products such as cheese, egg, milk, and yogurt. They can also be found in meat, chicken, and fish.


Glow foods make the body glow as they are full of vitamins and minerals. They provide proper nourishment for the body to reach its optimum health. Glow foods strengthen our immune system, helping us fight infections. They are usually found in fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables help us achieve glowing skin, hair and eyes. “Experiment with different grains, fruits, and vegetables,” suggests Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP.

What a Healthy Breakfast Looks Like

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A healthy breakfast should comprise the three basic food groups: go, grow, and glow.

  • You could try the combination of egg sandwich for both go and grow, add some slices of apple for glow, and then a glass of milk for additional grow food.
  • You could also try meat and rice for both grow and go, then fresh orange juice for glow.
  • For those who are figure-conscious, you could try the combination of oatmeal for go, yogurt for grow and fruit juice for glow.

We owe it to our body to keep it healthy, and one way we can pay it back is. Our body needs it to be nourished and prepared to face the day. It has a lot on its plate, so it literally should have a lot of nutrients on the plate during breakfast.

The Ultimate Guide To Staying Healthy During The Holidays

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Christmas and New Year invoke mixed feelings to so many people. Yes, they are heartwarming occasions in which you can see your family members and friends of old again. But if you think of the savory and sweet dishes that are staple holiday meals, being “healthy” goes out of the window.

Especially when you come from a huge family, you can’t decline the stuff the elders are offering and seem rude. You may taste everything and then follow the tips below in between.

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  1. Concentrate on special dishes.
  2. Encourage physical games.

It’s a holiday habit for some families to play with board games near the fireplace or on the dining table. Whereas that can be a source of entertainment while waiting for the next eating time, you’ll still be sitting. Thus, you won’t be able to sweat off the calories from the previous lunch or breakfast.

The suitable idea is to come up with activities like dancing, snowball fights, etc. that will necessitate you to move. Cutting and decorating a real Christmas tree is also enjoyable so, you may include that to your list.

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  1. Eat until you’re satisfied.

Since the occasion calls for a large feast, many holidaymakers tend to consume more foods that they can digest. You don’t want to spoil any of the dishes, we get that, but don’t ever overstuff yourself. “If there’s a buffet, it’s about taking one plate and that being it, rather than going up again,” says Dr Jessamy Hibberd, Chartered Clinical Psychologist. Your family won’t berate you for opening the pots and pans again after a couple of hours, so stop eating once you feel full.

  1. Go easy on the alcohol.

with you, you can’t simply refuse them because of the calories in the beverage. What you can do, however, is limit your alcohol intake to a glass or two. “A new large prospective study confirms prior research that suggests modest levels of alcohol consumption can improve cognitive processes,” said Rick Nauert PhD. You can continue hanging around them anyway with just a bottle of sparkling water in your hand.

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  1. Throw in healthy snacks.
  1. Sleep in.

“Focus on getting restorative, quality sleep. It is hard to feel upbeat or be productive when you are sleep deprived,” Melissa Welby M.D. Snoozing for at least eight hours is a leisure you can just do when you’re on holiday. It is also the only time your elders will stop giving you foods past breakfast, lunch or dinner is when you’re asleep. So, to offer your digestive system some rest, try to sleep longer than you regularly do.

A Book Worth Reading: Your 365 Journal

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With over 7.5 billion current world population, one of the things we have in common is we all have 365 days to live in a year. In those 365 days, for sure we will all eat, sleep, laugh, cry, smile or frown. These are all human necessities and human nature. But what are we supposed to do with the 365 days that were given to us? With all the things we take care of, do we still have the time to think about the things that should really matter?

Writing a journal may be old school, but it is one of the things that will never be outdated because we never run out of days unless our time is really up. So go ahead and put into words all that happens in your 365 days.

What to Write In a 365 Journal

Little Things

We often think that every day is just like any other day, except for our birthdays and other special holidays. We often don’t get that much excitement with ordinary days, but when you write a journal, you will notice little things that actually set your day apart from the rest, like when you first learned that pulling off your post-it starting from the sticky side could actually prevent it from curling up, which had been an eyesore for you all this time. Small things like this make the other 364 days of your year better.

Write about the small little details that happened to you during the day. You might be surprised how those little details changed your life already because any other day could be a start of something great. Make sure you never miss writing about it.

Inspirational Quotes

Write about anything that inspired you. You could think or search for an inspirational quote that would apply in that certain situation. If you write about something, chances are you won’t forget about it, so writing about something positive will keep you motivated.

Your Plans

Write about your plans for the next day, next week or next month, or you can even write about your goal for the whole year. It’s up to you, really. The main objective of this is to help you stick to your plan. You can also write about the things you need to do to achieve your goals.

Benefits of Writing a 365 Journal

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It Relieves Stress

Writing a journal can actually relieve us of stress as it makes us express our thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are sometimes overwhelming. Some of us may not have someone to share these, and writing is a tool for us to divert some of our everyday frustrations. “Some research even suggests that journaling can increase your physical health,” said  F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W.

It Helps us Get to Know Ourselves Better

Most of us are too comfortable with ourselves that in the end, we realize we don’t have that much idea of who we really are. Writing a journal will help us get to know ourselves better by reminding us of what matters to us, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what our plans and goals are. According to Steven Stosny, Ph.D., “Journaling can have a positive effect on your behavior and well being if it makes you step back and evaluate your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.”

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It Inspires and Motivates

Everything we write in our 365 journals will inspire and motivate us. “So, before you have to concentrate on anything, spend eight to 10 minutes writing out your worries. When you do, your worry is less likely to get in your way, and you will likely complete tasks more easily, with your worries out of your brain and on the task at hand instead,” said psychiatrist Srini Pillay, MD. If we read about each day that passed, it will make us realize that our days are either good or bad, and it is mostly up to us how we want our day to turn out. Good things that happened will inspire us to make better choices, and the plans and goals we wrote will motivate us to keep on moving forward to make them happen.

We all have 365 days a year and to actually have something to remind us of every day that passed could help us live each day with more energy, excitement, enthusiasm, and gratitude. Who knows how good it could turn out that it can inspire other people too. Your 365 journal could actually be a book, a book about a certain miss who made life better in 365 days.