"Why You Shouldn't Be Ashamed of Going to Therapy" by Jenika Rufer
"The Power of Vulnerability" by Brene Brown
Help for Mental Illnesses (nimh.nih.gov)
Lucas Mitzel provides therapy for children, adolescents, and adults, ages 5 - 30. He believes building relationships with clients is the most important piece of successful therapy. He loves what he does, because it allows him to walk next to people he would never have met had he chosen a different profession, as they work to make amazing life changes. He has the honor of meeting people at their worst, all while watching them grow into the people they’ve always wanted to be.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Welcome to Mind Your Mind, a podcast presented by Dakota Family Services, an outpatient behavioral health clinic, located in Minot, Bismarck, and Fargo, North Dakota. In this podcast, I will talk with our experts about understanding and nurturing our mental health and wellness. I'm your host, Tim Unsinn. Join me each episode as we explore the intricacies of our minds, decrease the stigma of mental illness, learn practical tips for managing our mental health and well-being, and recognize when it's time to ask for help. Join me now to Mind Your Mind.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Welcome to this episode of Mind Your Mind. Our guest is Lucas Mitzel. Lucas is a therapist on the Fargo campus and provides outpatient therapy for children, adolescents, and young adults. Lucas, great to have you on Mind Your Mind. Our topic is how to get the most out of your therapy session. Before we get to today's topic, I would like you to share with us why you do what you do.
Well, the reason I do what I do is I want to help people get to the best version of themselves they can be. Whether that be helping them have a productive therapy session, but just helping them achieve their goals and walking them through that.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Well, that's great. Well, today's topic is how to get the most out of our therapy session. What does a productive therapy session look like and is it different for everyone?
Yeah, you know, that's a difficult question to narrow down because it's very subjective to the person. Overall, I mean, the simple answer is if you felt like it was productive, then it was productive. However, if you're coming with an open mind, you're willing to share what's going on, you're open to feedback and learning, you're gonna have a productive session. Therapy should look like two people talking openly and comfortably with one another about anything that might come to your mind. Many people have noted that it feels like they're talking to a longtime friend when they're in therapy. It's just, it's important that when you are in therapy, that you're just open about things and honest. And if you're doing that, you're gonna have a productive session.
Host Tim Unsinn:
And I'm guessing as you think about a therapy session or as you make an appointment, you schedule an appointment, there's gotta be some preparation ahead of that. So what do I need to do to prepare before going to therapy?
Yeah, there's not a ton to prepare for when it comes to therapy. The biggest thing that you are going to want to do is make sure that you just have something that you want to discuss. Some people come with notebooks to take notes in. Most come empty handed. I've had some clients bring in documents for me to read from previous providers, but this really isn't necessary unless you feel like it is. The biggest thing, like I said, just come with what you want to talk about. Sometimes your therapist will have a plan as to what you guys might be talking about, but you'll probably be discussing that the session beforehand. But that will be a conversation that you and your therapist are having. So you're on board with that too. It's a plan that you guys come up [with] together because this is your therapy. We, we work for you, so we wanna make sure that you are getting the most out of it. And so the only thing that we ask for you is just you come with, like I said before, an open mind and you just come with something that you want to work on.
Host Tim Unsinn:
It does sound like a conversation with no wrong answers is what it kind of sounds like to me. So now I've gone to the session, I'm headed out the door. What does a productive session feel like?
When you've had a really productive session, you're gonna have a mixture of feelings. I feel like when you leave my office, there should be a feeling of accomplishment that we've gone somewhere. You're gonna feel fatigued too. I mean, doing therapy, although you're just sitting there and you're chatting with somebody, it's hard work. And depending on what you're talking about, you might feel really tired afterwards and need to go take a nap. Sometimes you might leave therapy really pumped up and ready to go, just super motivated to go do whatever it is that you want to do. But you should never, ever leave feeling defeated, or like you are worse than when you came. You might feel, like I said, you might feel tired or drained, but you should leave feeling hopeful. If you don't feel like that, or that you're making movement in therapy, you need to have a conversation with your therapist. Because like I said, we work for you, and if you don't feel like there's any movement or improvement, we need to know this. There might be a disconnect or a miscommunication happening. You should always leave therapy feeling better or like there was just some sort of movement in some sort of direction.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Our guest on Mind Your Mind is Lucas Mizel. And Lucas, one question, this is probably like opening a can of worms, but you know, we talked about the therapy session and all those things. How do we know or when should we know we may need to talk with someone?
Yeah, if you are experiencing distress in any way, if you are uncomfortable, if you have experienced any sort of trauma, or just things aren't going well, it could, it can be anything. There's nothing that's off limits in therapy. Or if you came to me and said, I want to talk about this, I'd be like, yeah, that's not for therapy. I've never had that problem. And so if you're just feeling like things just aren't going well and you want to just work on something with that or make things better, come to therapy, let's talk about it, let's see what we can do. It could be as simple as I wanna work out more and I struggle with motivation to do that. It could be as big as a really traumatic event happened to me and I I can't sleep anymore or I can't, whatever. So be a range of reasons, but ultimately I would say give it a shot. See what happens. And the biggest thing is therapy shop. We are all humans and so we don't always fit with everybody. And so if you visit with me and you're like, eh, maybe we don't connect as well, go find somebody else because there is somebody out there for you. And it's okay to therapy shop.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Alright. What about the pros and cons? I know moving to a new community, often as a family we will ask about doctors, chiropractors, dentists, things like that. Is that good, bad, asking friends around us? Who would you recommend?
Yeah, that's how you typically will get referred to somebody as either through your doctor or through a friend. If you know somebody who's going to therapy and they really like their therapist, that's where I would start. You need to find people who like them and that's typically a good sign that they're good, you know? So yes, that's exactly, it's just like with anything else, any other sort of provider.
Host Tim Unsinn:
All right. Super. Lucas Mitzel is a therapist on the Fargo campus, provides outpatient therapy for children, adolescents, and young adults. Thank you so much for your time on Mind Your Mind. Last question before we wrap up and that is, what do you do personally to mind your mind?
I try my best to make sure that I'm doing hobbies that I enjoy on a regular basis. It's really important to make sure that you do things that you find fun, that make you smile, that make you feel good. And I actively try to schedule those into my day because it's, life is busy, it sometimes can slip and it's just, it's very important for your mental health.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Thank you Lucas. Thank you for sharing your time and talent with us.
Yes. Thank you so much.
Host Tim Unsinn:
Thank you for joining us for Mind Your Mind, a podcast presented by Dakota Family Services. For more information, links to additional resources, contact information, and much more, go to dakotafamilyservices.org.
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Stress does not discriminate, and it comes in many shapes and forms. In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Dr. Megan Spencer talks about ways to identify and listen to the stress in our bodies. Learn relaxation techniques for managing stress over time, self-care routines that decrease negative stress, and things you can do to bring calm into your life.;
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In today's episode of "Mind Your Mind," Vanessa Lien, Nurse Practitioner, talks about the many changes occurring in the teen brain. The teenage brain is highly susceptible to stress, but it is also very resilient. Learn coping strategies you can teach your teen to protect their brains and help them cope with stress and emotional struggles.;
Going back to school after summer vacation can be a stressful time for both kids and parents. The transition from the unstructured summer to a more regimented routine can lead to stress and anxiety. Worries about fitting in, bullying, homework, getting to school on time, and dealing with peer pressure are all additional stressors that may weigh on children when it's time to go back to school. In this episode of “Mind Your Mind,” Tim Unsinn speaks with Therapist Falan Johnson. Falan helps us understand why back to school anxiety is common, provides strategies for managing the added stress, and shares resources parents can use to prepare their children for the new school year.;
The grief of losing a friend or loved one to suicide is complicated and can be especially difficult. In addition to the grief, sadness, and loneliness of any loss, people might experience guilt, confusion, rejection, anger, and shame. The stigma of suicide complicates it even more, often preventing survivors talking about their loss or getting the help they need. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Tim Unsinn visits with Dakota Family Services' therapist, Christy Wilkie. Christy helps listeners understand the complicated nature of suicide grief and how to move through it with compassion and self-acceptance.;
You will be shocked at the seemingly safe places predators can connect with your children online. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Lucas Mitzel, a therapist at Dakota Family Services, talks about the things you need to know to keep your children safe. Learn the many websites and platforms used to target children, how to monitor their internet usage, and how to talk to your children about the dangers.;
Pregnancy and the birth of a child can be a joyous and exciting time, but some women struggle with their mental health as they transition to motherhood. Depression, anxiety, and other pregnancy-related mental health conditions may surface during or after pregnancy. In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Tim Unsinn speaks with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Megan Spencer. Dr. Spencer helps us understand the common symptoms and causes of postpartum depression, as well as what to do if you think you may be experiencing it.;
Did you know that in addition to calming and focusing our minds, meditation can improve our physical health? In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Host Tim Unsinn visits with Dr. Wayne Martinsen, Psychiatrist, Dakota Family Services, about the surprising health benefits of meditation. A regular meditation practice can increase longevity, reduce the risk of dementia, reduce inflammation, and play a significant role in the treatment of high blood pressure and immune disorders. Learn about the many forms of meditation and how you can start your own meditation practice today.;
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While we hear a lot about autism in the news, many of us still have misconceptions about its causes and symptoms. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, therapist Falan Johnson dispels some of these misconceptions and explains the three levels of autism. Johnson then focuses on the least understood level—high functioning autism. Learn how to identify symptoms of high functioning autism in your child, the importance of early intervention, and ways you can support them.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, therapist April Morris talks about boundaries. April will define boundaries, explain their importance, and help you set boundaries that match your values and strengthen your relationships. Learn how healthy boundaries can improve your mental and physical health, and how you can say “no” respectfully.;
Going through infertility tests and treatments can be an extremely difficult and lonely time for couples. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Lucas Mitzel talks about his own experience. He also shares tips for couples struggling with infertility, and for friends and family members who want to be supportive but don’t know what to say or do.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, Host Tim Unsinn talks to Therapist Falan Johnson about panic attacks. What do they feel like? What causes them? How can you prevent or manage them? Listen now to learn more and discover techniques that might work for you or your loved one.;
Are you concerned about your child's mental health but aren't sure what to do? Join Host Tim Unsinn and his guest, Therapist Jesse Lamm, as they discuss ways you can support your child through a difficult time.;
Are the stresses of college (constant worry, fitting in, lack of sleep, etc.) affecting your ability to function? Join Host Tim Unsinn and his guest, April Morris, LCSW, as they discuss ways to manage or eliminate the stressors that are impacting your well-being.;
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In today's world, we are constantly bombarded by messages about who we should be, how we should look, what we should do or wear, and more. With the increased accessibility and prevalence of social media, kids and adolescents are hearing and seeing these messages at younger and younger ages. How do we help ourselves and our teens combat these messages and find our true selves? In this episode of "Mind Your Mind," Therapist Jenika Rufer helps us wade through the unimportant things to find what we truly value so we can become our best selves.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and Dakota Family Services therapist Christy Wilkie talk about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and its effectiveness in battling unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. Utilizing cognitive restructuring, CBT helps change inaccurate and damaging self-perceptions and perceptions of others, leading to healthier day-to-day thought patterns. Christy also touches on multiple CBT exercises to try at home, as well as some of her own tactics for promoting helpful thoughts.;
Are your worries and fears about the future getting in the way of daily life? If so, you may be one of the many people who suffer from anxiety. In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Christy Wilkie and Lucas Mitzel talk about the many types of anxiety and what they can look like in both children and adults. They also touch on ways to combat anxiety attacks, including using grounding techniques, mindfulness, muscle relaxation, and more.;
In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and psychiatrist Dr. Wayne Martinson discuss autism and signs of it in children, touching on the different levels of the autism spectrum and where people fall. Learn about how autism often affects children's social skills, communication, and behavior, as well as its connections to other disorders and how to handle it.;
Many people find themselves dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety in their daily lives. However, there are plenty of simple strategies to help regulate these emotions. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn talks with therapist Sandy Richter about various coping exercises to help you regulate and calm yourself, including breathing and movement exercises for both children and adults.;
Medication can affect people in many different ways. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and psychiatric nurse practitioner Amanda Daggett talk about genetic testing and its use in discerning how different individuals might react to various medications. Tim and Amanda also touch on some of the facts and myths surrounding genetic testing, including what testing can and can’t indicate and where the science is currently at.;
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems people face. However, there are many ways to manage and understand it. On this episode of Mind Your Mind, host Tim Unsinn and therapist Lucas Mitzel discuss what causes anxiety and how it can affect people’s day-to-day lives, as well as the difference between anxiety and fear and how to combat chronic anxiety with grounding techniques.;
In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Megan Spencer and Psychiatrist Wayne Martinsen discuss how loneliness and social isolation are increasing in our country, as well as what that means for individuals’ health in the long term. They also give advice on how to get yourself or your loved ones more connected with others, including how to connect both in-person and online.;
Does it seem like your child is “stuck” in therapy, or engaging in dangerous behaviors like self-harm and suicidality? In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Hannah Baczynski and therapist April Morris discuss Dialectical Behavior Therapy and its effectiveness in treating patients who have found traditional therapy unsuccessful. Learn about the 4 core skills of DBT and what makes DBT unique from other forms of therapeutic treatment.;
When our children are struggling with their mental health, it can be hard knowing how to help them. However, in addition to therapy, medication can be a viable and effective option for improving your child’s mental health. In this episode of Mind Your Mind, our host Tim Unsinn talks with psychiatric mental health nurse Amanda Daggett about how to know if your child needs medication, what the process is for a prescription, and how to tell if their medication is right for them.;
Did you know that depression occurs in about 15% of children? In this episode of Mind Your Mind, our host Tim Unsinn talks with Psychiatrist Dr. Wayne Martinsen about depression in kids and adolescents, including signs of depression to look out for and how to know when to reach out to a care provider. They also touch on how to know whether your child’s sadness is caused by depression or other external factors and what you can do to try and prevent depression in your child.;
It can be difficult knowing how to recognize and treat depression in children and adolescents. In this special community chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Megan Spencer and Therapist April Morris discuss signs of depression to look out for, including both behavioral and physical signs that your child may be depressed. They also touch on the influence of environment, physical illnesses or diagnoses, and genetics on children’s mental health.;
While often perceived as only relating to those who’ve experienced warfare, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone. In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, Psychologist Dr. Hannah Baczynski and therapist Lucas Mitzel explain what trauma is, how it affects each person differently, and when to seek treatment for trauma-related symptoms. They also discuss different treatment options for PTSD, touching on the pros and cons of each.;
Though autism is one of the most commonly discussed mental health diagnoses in the community, it is often one of the most misunderstood. In this special Community Chat episode of Mind Your Mind, therapists Lucas Mitzel and Falan Johnson discuss what autism is, how it appears in children and adolescents, and how it may look different between individuals. They also touch on how autism can show up differently in boys than in girls and offer intervention tips for parents and caregivers.;