Understanding Race-Based Stress

One focus area at Sunstone is unpacking racial trauma, or race-based stress, which is the mental and physiological symptoms that individuals experience after an exposure to distressing or life-threatening experiences, by people, programs, policies, processes, and systems impacted by systemic racism.

How to Support Yourself When Coming Out

By: Jami Hill-Smith, MS, NCC Living an authentic and fully expressed life is one of the best ways to feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled. If you are contemplating coming out to the people in your life, know that you’re making a courageous and healthy choice for yourself. But, coming out is sometimes scary. How will… Read more »

3 Rituals to Help your Family Reconnect and Reset

By Cassie Keim, Graduate Counseling Intern Family rituals are simple, fun ways to help your family to slow down and develop moments of connection and belonging. Shown to help provide stability during times of transition, family rituals not only create simple opportunities to connect, but also provide children and teens with opportunities to develop a… Read more »

5 Tips on How to Manage Food Fears on Thanksgiving

By: Callie Dyer, Resident in Counseling The holidays are a time for connection and celebration, but if you struggle with an eating disorder, they are also a time of anxiety. Many hurdles can arise throughout the holiday season – such as comments from others on eating and appearance, inconsistent timing of meals, unfamiliar food choices,… Read more »

How to Navigate Difficult Conversations in 2020 and Beyond

by Amy Clay, LPC and MJ Harford, MA To state the obvious, 2020 has been a stressful year. Between the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, political strife, and social unrest, we’ve all been operating at higher-than-usual levels of stress and anxiety. Add in a historically divisive presidential election and the holidays just around the corner and we’ve… Read more »

Men – It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Men can ask for help too

By: Dan McDonald, Resident in Counseling What’s the clog in your life right now, and what are you doing to fix it?  Last week, my bathroom sink just wouldn’t drain. Here’s what I did instead of calling a plumber: Used Drano (didn’t work) Researched which drain clearing tools to buy  Used those drain clearing tools… Read more »

Why It’s Important to Talk About Suicide

By: Laken Thomas, Graduate Counseling Intern Suicide and suicidal thoughts are difficult topics to discuss. What’s the difference between the two? Suicidal thoughts are any thoughts you have about wanting to end your life. Suicide is the action made to end your life. These thoughts and actions don’t happen overnight; rather they are the result… Read more »

Labor Day Brings New Beginnings

By Amy Clay, LPC, co-owner of Sunstone Counseling* Humans have long used seasonal changes to mark life’s transitions and often view them as a time to start fresh. In fact, the “fresh start effect” is a recognized phenomenon that suggests that people are more likely to focus on important goals following “temporal landmarks,” such as… Read more »

How Using Your Pronouns Helps Create a Safe Space for Others

By: Jami Hill-Smith, Resident in Counseling “Hi, my name is Jami and I use she/her/hers pronouns.”  Not going to lie — it was incredibly awkward the first time I said this out loud. Honestly, as a cisgender (a person whose sense of personal identity and gender correspond with their birth sex) female, it felt unnecessary… Read more »

Am I Hungry, Stressed, or Bored?

By Callie Dyer, MA, Resident in Counseling at Sunstone Counseling We’ve all heard someone mention their fear of gaining the “COVID-19” and have seen the many memes about snacking more during social distancing. While these messages aren’t helpful for anyone since we have bigger concerns (i.e. a global pandemic) than putting on a few extra… Read more »

Managing Social Media During COVID-19

By: Sara Boothe, MA Social media is the thing keeping us connected and informed during quarantine, now more than ever. Although, it is also normal to feel drained, anxious, scared, and a multitude of other negative feelings after being on social media for a good part of your day. How are you dealing with that… Read more »

Defining Amidst Darkness

BY: Natalie Jensen, MSW As we are walking through the beginning of 2020, we find ourselves in the unknown. Literally, we are living in the ambiguous world of global pandemic meets human experience. We know first hand that there are numerous options for thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions (or inaction). Many of us are finding it incredibly… Read more »