Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Common Myths Associated with Mental Health and Therapy by Tytannie Harris, LCSW

If I had a dollar for every time a client came to see me and asked if they were “crazy” I would be rich. I always tell my clients you’re “brave” not crazy and I’m proud of you for taking the first step in addressing your mental health. There’s nothing wrong with having a “mental health checkup.” Whether it’s a divorce, death of a loved one, stress at work or parenting challenges, sometimes life happens. It is a common belief that mental illness is caused by personal weakness when in fact, like most major illnesses, it is not the fault of the person with the mental conditions. Biological and environmental factors are usually at the root of the issue and needing therapy is not a personal failure. There are a few common myths associated with psychotherapy.

Myth #1 – I can’t afford therapy

The truth is, you can’t afford not to. There are a variety of ways in which therapy can be affordable. Think about what you spend on clothes, going out or dinner a few times a week. Saving just a little of your leisure money can be used for therapy. From free services in community health agencies or hourly rates in private practice, most therapists offer a sliding fee scale as well. The truth is no matter what the cost is, there is a price to having peace of mind and feeling better about yourself or your life.

Myth #2 - Therapy is for people with serious mental problems

You don’t have to be diagnosed with a serious mental illness to seek therapy. In fact, you don’t have to be stressed out or even depressed to seek help. Research has shown that most people wait until life becomes “unbearable” before they seek help. Unfortunately, this only intensifies the problem and prolongs solutions and gaining skills that can assist you in resolving your challenges. No matter what the reason is, there is no need to feel ashamed in wanting to feel better and be your best self.

Myth# 3 - I can talk to my friends and family to get mental health support

Having family and friends that you can talk to is great because they can provide love, comfort, and support. However, nothing compares to having a licensed trained professional who can help you figure things out. Therapists are trained for years on how to assess, diagnose and treat relational, behavioral, and psychological problems. In addition, it is the responsibility of the therapist to provide solutions, direction, and positive outcomes. Lastly, therapy is completely confidential and therapists are bound by laws and ethics (with some exceptions) that prevent them from sharing your thoughts, feelings, or issues with anyone else. In a therapy session, it’s all about you and your well-being.

Tytannie Harris is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Life Coach. She is the owner of TMH Behavioral Services, P.C., a group private practice located in Hyde Park. Find out more about Tytannie at 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Get Re-Inspired in Five Simple Steps by Aaja Corinne Magee

As an entrepreneur, a fresh supply of motivation and inspiration is essential to producing game-changing results in the marketplace. Yet, sometimes the unthinkable occurs. After consistently going strong and climbing higher over a period of time, suddenly, we hit a plateau and lack the motivation and inspiration to move beyond that place. Have you ever been there?

I have. It happens to the best of us, even the most successful people. Of course, we'd love for every season to be an "on" season, but there is a purpose for our off-seasons as well. That's the time where most of our personal development takes place, and we get prepared for the next level.

But staying motivated and inspired is important no matter what season you're in. Fresh motivation and inspiration keeps us forward-looking and helps us to resist complacency. Not to mention, consistency in branding yourself and carrying out your day-to-day activities is so much easier as well. If you’ve fallen into a funk or simply want to prevent reaching that place, try these five, simple steps below to give yourself a much-needed boost.

Revisit Your Why 

Everything that you do should reveal purpose at its core. The work that you do isn’t about you. You’re blazing a trail for someone else to follow, so you have to keep pushing.

Commit to Something

Sometimes moving forward has nothing to do with a lack of knowledge, but rather the fact that you haven’t made a concrete decision about what you are going to focus your energy and attention on next. This is essential because when you're able to see light at the end of the tunnel, you're attracted to it. Make a decision.

Set Realistic Goals 

If you've been comparing your journey to someone else's, be set free! Apples and oranges have no basis of comparison. Everyone has a different set of life circumstances. Your goals must be aligned with your track record and output. The major key is to consistently outdo yourself.

Develop Your Vision 

You can't go where you can't see. As you make steps toward achieving your goals, the picture of you at your next level will become clearer and clearer. Continuously cultivate your vision, so you'll always have something to aim for.

Find Some Accountability 

This is crucial. Everyone needs someone around them to tell them when they are slacking and push them to do better. In order to stay motivated and inspired, you have to surround yourself with other ambitious individuals, near and far, that are diligently working toward their goals as well. You are the company that you keep!
Cheers to moving forward.

Aaja Corinne Magee is a Chicago-based, Brand Strategist & Speaker, helping leaders and experts to maximize their impact through personal brand development. For more savvy advice and resources, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and sign up for her newsletter at
Twitter: @AajaCorinne

Friday, May 4, 2018

How to Pitch Yourself to the Media by Pam Perry

You want to get on major television shows or featured in magazines but how do you cut through the clutter? How do you find the right media contacts? How do you attract media attention over and over again?

Here are three tips to help you get the PR you desire:

1. Connect with people. Yes, journalists, producers, and editors are just people. They are people that want to do a good job for their media outlets. So, make them a hero. Offer help even when you don’t want something. It’s good old-fashioned networking. One way to make yourself stand out is to provide useful tips and information when you aren’t trying to push for coverage. Give them some “scoop” or new trending information about your industry or introduce them to someone you know might be useful for their beat or show. Be a resource. People don’t like people who only call them when they need something. Also, most media are on Twitter. Try retweeting their stories; this helps their numbers. Remember, their bosses are watching the responses they’re getting from their stories or segments. Help them out!

2. Be a good storyteller. Don’t just pitch stuff so you can be “famous.” Be a person that has stories that will connect with their audience. Be as visual as possible with your words. Be funny; be interesting and practical. Hire a media coach or join something like Toast Masters or the Black Speakers Network if you need help getting your public speaking skills upgraded. Those who tell the best stories, win. Hands down.

3. Write short pitches. When you find a reporter or producer you’d like to pitch (I suggest reading the publication or listening/watching their shows first) and address them by their name. Tell them in bullet points why you think your story would interest their audience. Don’t write too much in an email. Make it a: 30 seconds read and offer to send additional information if they’re interested. They’ll appreciate your brevity and will reach out if it’s something they can use. If not, don’t take it personally. Follow up in 48 hours to see if they’ve read it and try CALLING and leaving the same pitch but only in a voice mail. If they don’t respond, again, don’t take it personally. Keep it moving.

The key to pitching any media is about fit and following. If you match the right media with your message and the timing is right. You have a hit. Next time, I’ll talk about what to give the media in a press kit. About Pam Perry: An award-winning PR Coach who can help you build your platform, package your expertise, pitch you to media, put you on stages, produce your podcast and promote you so you can get PAID! 

Visit Twitter: @pamperry