Ellen V. Garbuny, LSW's blog

A summer of changes

One summer morning last year, I woke up feeling better.  Feeling better implies not feeling great and that is when I realized there was some depression lurking in my life.

I took a step back and saw what was going on.  I recognized  that there were losses and situations I had no control over.  There was only one event that I chose, and the others involved people dear to me.

I terminated a lifelong toxic relationship, a gift to myself when I hit a landmark birthday.  Even though I chose this path, I grieved the loss of the good parts.  

Creative Visualization

 Creative Visualization 

One of my (and my clients') favorite tools to use when in a stressful situation is creative visualization.  Like any new habit or skill, this will require practice.  

You might feel anxiety in specific situations suck as:

  • being in a dentist's chair 
  • waiting on test results
  • getting lab work done
  • driving in bad weather
  • and many other "triggers"

Or you may feel anxious for no reason at all. 

Here are step by step directions for creative visualization.  

Yes, I speak anxiety

    A person called me recently and asked  if I worked with anxious clients and if I was familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy. She read on the Internet that CBT is the go-to method for anxiety reduction.  Here is some information to learn more about CBT.

Fractures and Worry

Ten years ago, my life changed in an instant.  I fractured 3 bones in my right ankle, which required surgery, physical therapy and a long recovery.  To this day, I see the disfigurement of my ankle and the scars from the surgery.  I check YES on medical forms now when asked if I have any implants as I have a plate with several screws on my right side and two long screws on the other side of my ankle.  I could have these removed, but they don’t bother me any longer.

Time for YOU



What do you do when you feel your life has gotten out of control?  What self care activities do you enjoy?


You  can feel low energy, depressed, lonely despite being busy.  What is that about?  My working theory is you may not have carved time for you in your  schedule.  It’s important to find the balance between care for others and care for yourself.

Can you love winter?

Old man winter has his grips on us this year.  It seems once the snow melts from the last storm, a fresh layer of snow appears.  Schools in my town have been canceled frequently the past few weeks, either due to the extreme cold temperatures or the snow which makes driving hazardous. Feeling cozy and warm at home can turn to cabin fever when the weather seems to be one endless storm after another.

Exercise is more than just fitness...it helps battle anxiety and depression!

Is exercise important to your mental health?

One of the questions I ask my clients is if they do any exercise on a regular basis.  Sometimes, clients are engaged in a disciplined  exercise  practice, but most of the time, exercise is not in their repertoire of activities.

Clients tell me a variety of reasons they don’t exercise:  I have no time to workout, I don’t like to sweat, it hurts my muscles after I workout,  everyone will look at me at the gym, it’s too hard, I don’t like to exercise. 

How do I know it's time to get counseling?

How do you decide when it is time to see a therapist?

This is a common question-and the answer is both simple and complex. Some people are more open to getting help from a complete stranger and others may not be comfortable with this.  It takes courage to contact a therapist and an important first step on your road to wellness. 

These are some things I have I heard from clients when I ask them:  why did you decide to come in for help now?

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