Mind Hacks: Solution-Focused Therapy {vlog}

It’s about time. You’ve read 50 Shades of Grey and now you know about Solution-Focused Therapy – the hot new (or not so new) approach to counseling.

This vlog was created to share some of what goes on in counseling. It’s not just me sitting there and nodding, I’m actually working and using a conceptual framework to fix the problem – always. For anyone who is curious what counseling looks like, how I use SFT, or really just wants to keep watching me in front of my shower curtain (yes, the cat is out of the bag… I live in a studio apartment with terrible lighting!) yet again, then watch this video.

10 Rules for Friendship

I spent my whole life in Florida until I up and moved 3,000 miles to Seattle. I bopped around Florida for my first 25 years – Tampa, Gainesville, Orlando – all cities within 2ish hours of each other. As I moved, my friendships evolved, some ended and some got stronger, but I always had a solid network. I had one or two bffls by my side, holding down the fort, keeping me sane, and providing me with that intangible *click* you occasionally have with other humans.

It’s different now. My nearest best friend (as it should be) is Jesse. I spend a lot of my time with him and we get along famously, but I miss my network of besties. I’m working on making friends here, finding that *click* and all that, but it’s been weird because I’m all on my own for the first time. It’s made me think a fair amount about what I want and need in a friend. At 25, I don’t really have the time or the patience to wade through all the crap I dealt with from people when I was younger. My time and energy are important to me and I want to make sure I direct that energy in places that suit me.

So, I’ve been subconsciously compiling this list in my head and I figured, “Hey! I should write this down.” So, here’s the rules for finding Jen Bingaman’s Seattle bestie(s).

1. Laugh at my jokes – I’m funny enough, but I need someone who thinks I’m hilarious. It helps my ego and frankly, friendships are better when everyone is laughing.

2. Make me laugh – When I think about all the wonderful friends I made in college and beyond, the common denominator is that they are all hysterical creatures. Each and everyone puts a smile on my face.

3. Have little to no shame – This is a big one. I like dancing, being silly in public, talking to strangers, being spontaneous, and letting myself go sometimes. I want someone who will join me, without the burden of being self-conscious or shy. Ducks fly together! (I don’t know, it sounded appropriate)

4. Tell me how it is – I cannot and will not stand for a friend who doesn’t share how they feel with me because they are afraid of conflict. Tell me if I’m being a turd! I need to know so I don’t keep doing it around people who don’t love me as much as my friends do. The exception here is when I’m being funny, because I’m always funny. Always.

5. Inspire me – All of my best friends are good at things I struggle with and inspire me to be a better person. Through these people, I see the way I want to be and behave modeled for me, teaching me the intricacies of how to be happier, kinder, and wiser.

6. Adventuring – If I want to drive to Portland for the weekend, you’re coming with me. If you want to try something crazy like, I don’t know, bungee jumping… I will strongly consider doing it to make you happy.

7. Unconditionally supportive – If I am screwing up my life, don’t wag your finger at me, support me! The truth is, we all do what we want, regardless of the advice we’re given. I don’t need someone to be mad at me because I made a choice they don’t approve of, I need someone to respect my choice and still be invested in helping me through the fallout of that bad choice, should it come to that.

8. Food – I don’t need a vegan, hell I don’t even need a vegetarian. I respect whatever choices you make to eat. What I find baffling is a person who doesn’t like food! They exist and it’s just not something I can handle day-to-day. I want to get down on some grub with my bffl. Some of my best friend moments have been over a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa.

9. Trust – We tell secrets. We get vulnerable. I don’t want a bestie who is invincible and won’t let me see the chinks in her (or his!) armor. That’s not an authentic relationship to me. I want you to feel comfortable crying in front of me or with me (depending on how much wine we’ve had and how pathetic we’re both feeling). I want to feel bonded to your successes, your failures, and who you are as a person.

10. Be a fan – All in all, every friend I have I just love to pieces. They are all wonderful people, doing wonderful things with their lives. What I love most is the culture of admiration we’ve built with one another. A phone call is an opportunity to champion each other, build each other up, and sing one another’s praises. We’re not tearing each other down, we believe, no matter what odds, that each of us can do whatever we set our minds to do. It’s a culture of respect, fondness, and love. We tell each other we love each other because we do. It’s not weird, it’s honest and it makes the guts around my heart feel like they are glowing.

I’ve learned that my rules of friendship are not universal. Plenty of people can’t handle how intense I am and find my bffl beliefs to be intimidating or uncomfortable. That’s cool. We’ll just be acquaintances or buds. Now I know what I want and I need, which is always great because that’s self-awareness! The most important mind hack of them all.

*Excellent response to yesterday’s post! Keep the e-mails rolling in, ladies & gents.

*Those pups are called Wirehaired Griffons, our new pup obsession this week.