IDENTITY

What is identity? 

According to Psychology Today, identity encompasses the memories, experiences, relationships, and values that create one’s sense of self. Over time, this perception of self creates an answer to the question, “Who am I?” as new aspects of identity are developed through experiences.

Identity includes both external and internal characteristics of oneself. External characteristics are those which a person has no control over, such as height, socioeconomic class, and race. If you are struggling with identifying with your race, ethnicity, or finding your cultural identity, click here to read more.  Internal qualities include more abstract concepts like opinions, values, religious beliefs, and morals. These qualities serve as a guiding compass for how one lives and makes choices.

Identity can also be influenced by relationships with people in your life, such as your parents or your peers. If you’re struggling with your identity in relation to your family, such as differences in religion or beliefs, click here to read more about family and identity.

Am I struggling with my identity?

If you feel overly concerned about the impression you have on others, or feel that who you are at the core is not being expressed, you may be struggling with your identity. If you feel that you are struggling with your gender identity or sexuality, click here to read more about LGBTQ+ identities.

Do you enjoy your work life? Your career? Do you feel that it fits you? If not, you may be struggling with a discrepancy between your identity and your career or finances. Click here to read more about this.

Why is knowing my identity important?

Identity is related to mental health and psychological well-being. Authenticity is a concept that describes knowing yourself and acting in accordance with who you believe you are, and is correlated with self- esteem, coping ability, and vitality. Therefore, not feeling like your true identity is being expressed can be destructive to your mental health.

What causes an identity crisis?

Life stressors and big life transitions can cause you to question your sense of self. Life stressors include events such as getting married or divorced, moving, experiencing a traumatic eventlosing a loved one, losing or getting a job, and discovering new health issues.

According to Erik Erikson, a renowned Psychologist, there are seven areas of conflict that you can examine to find a solution to your identity crisis: Time perspective, self-certainty, role experimentation, anticipation of achievement, sexual identity, leadership polarization, and ideological convictions. Click here to read more about these different conflict areas.

What should I do if I’m struggling with my identity?

It is completely normal to question who you are. As human beings we are constantly growing and changing and adapting, so it’s okay if you aren’t sure about yourself on occasion. However, if your absence of a sense of identity is affecting your functioning and you feel you are constantly thinking about it, seek help. A negative view of yourself can lead to depression or suicidal thoughts. If you experience suicidal thoughts, you should seek help immediately. Click here to schedule an appointment with a clinician at CARE if you are feeling depressed or having suicidal thoughts.

Looking inward and exploring within yourself can help you discover your identity. If you feel like you aren’t sure how or where to start, schedule a visit with a therapist at CARE. Additionally, searching for joy in your life can help you understand what you value. Finally, find support. Seek help from your family and friends, or a health professional.

We’re Here to help

Our wellness experts will be happy to take care of you. You can CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment now or call (612)223-8898.

Meet Clinicians

We’re united by our commitment to providing effective, relevant, and innovative mental health support at all stages of your journey. Click Here to find out more about who we are, where we come from, and how we live out CARE’s mission every day.

The professionals at CARE are actively collecting and creating resources to help with what you need. We’re Here for You.

Different types of Trauma: Collective, Historical, Generational

Understanding different types of trauma can help healthcare providers take into consideration a more holistic approach to healing as part of trauma-informed-care. Let’s look at three different types of traumas: collective, historical, and generational.

Healing from Collective, Historical, and Inter-generational Traumas

Seeking out the voices from individuals who research, work with, and live in marginalized, and underserved communities helps provide a model for healing from trauma that is more representative to needs of those who are impacted by collective, historical, and/or inter-generational trauma.

What Makes Families Resilient?

Hardship does not just impact individuals, but also families. Have you ever wondered what-makes-families-resilient? Family Resiliency is defined as the family’s ability to “withstand and rebound from disruptive life challenges, strengthened and more resourceful” (Walsh, 2011, p 149). Dr. Walsh is an expert of family resiliency.

Why is it so Hard to Trust Others?

“I-don’t-trust-people”. When I hear this statement in therapy, oftentimes there are ruptures in relationships. Maybe you have been let down multiple times, feeling emotional or physical abandonment. Maybe no one has been there to show up consistently to support you when you needed them most so now you depend on yourself (and trust no one).

Why is it so Hard to Trust Myself?

There are many factors that can impact difficulty trusting-yourself. Being true to yourself in the choices that you make can be hard, especially when there is fear of judgement and the need for others’ approval. You may fear things like disappointing others, making the wrong choice, or regretting your decision later.

5 Ways to Practice Mental Health Resilience

Adversity is inevitable. The need to be loved is a part of the-human-condition, but there are also negative aspects of being human such pain and suffering. Seasons change, and so do people and their environments. Physical changes, developmental changes, transitions, and new phases of life.

But What About Me?

There is a lot of information and research pertaining to mothers on pregnancy, birth/ delivery, and postpartum depression. There is also some helpful information available for fathers, who can experience symptoms of postpartum depression. But what about ME?What if I fall outside the heterosexual partnered relationship? Yes, this information applies to you too!

Creating a Calming Corner

While calming corners can be used an alternative behavioral management strategy for children who are having difficulties with self-regulation, both children and adults can benefit from spending time in a calming corner when feeling one of more of the following:

Celebrating the Holidays and Giving Thanks with Friends

While the holiday season is often known for its cultural significance of tradition with family and creating fun memories, it can also be a painful reminder of trauma, grief/ loss, and overall family dysfunction. Even if you consider yourself to be lucky to have grown up in an “intact” family or “loving” household, celebrating with family can be stressful.

Childhood Mental Health

Childhood mental health concerns have been on the rise over the last 10 years but significantly increased since 2020. Stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequality have only exacerbated underlying mental health concerns in our youngest patients.

What is Your Apology Language?

Dr. Gray Chapman, author of the  5 Love Languages now has a tool to help you discover your Apology Language. Just like we have a preferred way of giving and receiving love, it makes sense that that we also have a preferred way of repairing ruptures in relationships through apology.

Saying Sorry

While these are gestures to help you and/or the person you hurt feel better, it does not directly acknowledge the offense.

Couples, Families and Conflict Resolution : 7 Steps to effectively work through relational conflict

Relational problems associated with family upbringing or one’s primary support group are common stressors that come up in therapy, especially for those seeking strategies and support around conflict-resolution.

Different Kinds of Relationships

As humans, we are wired for connection. As infants, we relied on our caregiver(s) to provide safety, stability, and love. Through attachment, children and adults develop trust and learn to regulate emotions. As children, we learned to socialize through interactions with siblings and other children.

How to Have Difficult Conversations: A Lesson from Non-Violent Communication

Can you think of a recent conversation in which you felt judged, bullied, blamed, or criticized by your partner? Do you find yourself becoming defensive within communication or reacting in anger during difficult conversations, only to feel more disconnected and dissatisfied in your relationship(s)?

When to Let Go: Releasing the Past from the Present

The past is an important part of who we are. Our early upbringing, childhood memories, school experiences, first sexual encounters, relationships, and key decisions that shape our present self. Do you ever feel as if there are aspects of your past that are holding you back to being fully present?

Clinician Perspective: What Makes CARE Counseling Different

As someone who has previously worked in a corporate business setting, the non-profit world, and a community mental health clinic, I have been exposed to a variety of work cultures. I have seen how the work culture directly impacts mental health, for better and for worse.

How to Talk About Recovery (If YOU Want)

There is incredible power in sharing one’s story. There are various characters that are part of story. The settings and plot change. There is a beginning, middle, and end as well as elements of conflict and resolution.

How to Be Present

In a world full of distraction, being fully present is not always easy. Our mind can become stuck in the past. I should of…I could have…Perhaps your mind goes back to a particularly difficult experience and the painful emotions that are associated with that time in your life.

Gratitude Practice: What It Is and Why It Works

Journaling, reflective-thinking, letter-writing, and gratitude visits are some of the strategies that are utilized within developing a gratitude practice. Simply naming three things that you are grateful for is not enough.

Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journaling is a great practice that can be utilized as part of developing a daily gratitude practice.

Level of Care Options: Finding the Right Level of CARE

At CARE Counseling, we are an outpatient clinic that exclusively provides outpatient services. We love to do therapy and do it well.

Individual Advocacy & Case Management

Individual advocacy encompasses speaking up and advocating for the mental health needs of those who are vulnerable. Individual advocates can be family members, friends, or professional supports.

Becoming an Advocate for Personal Wellness

Prevention is even better than the “cure when it comes to treatment for medical and mental health. One of the best ways of improving-health is with early intervention and treatment. Why is this so essential?