Living With Anxiety: 15 Examples of What It Might Look Like

By Lauren Presutti How do you know if you have anxiety? Sometimes, it’s easy to identify that we are feeling anxious. Anxiety often feels like nervousness, fear, worry, uneasiness, insecurity, or even panic. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless, or have a rapid heartbeat. Some anxiety can be a normal reaction to something […]

Is Your Life Too Busy? Important Questions to Ask Yourself

By Lauren Presutti Many people feel pressured to keep busy. Parents of kids and teens often run from school pickups to sports practice to music lessons to family dinnertime to homework, bedtime, and repeat the next day. Working professionals are often praised for hustling harder with a jam-packed schedule. Some people also feel pressured to […]

Important Self-Care Strategies for the LGBTQIA+ Community

By Lauren Presutti We all struggle at times. Life is complicated, messy, and unpredictable. No one is immune to challenges and we have to be mindful of the unique experiences of each individual person. We also want to be mindful of the unique struggles of minority groups. Holding a minority identity can feel very isolating […]

Stress vs. Anxiety: Knowing the Difference Can Help You Cope

By Lauren Presutti Stress and anxiety share a lot of similarities, especially in terms of their symptomology. People who feel uneasy, nervous, overwhelmed, drained, agitated, tense, or generally upset may use the terms “stressed” or “anxious” interchangeably. Physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, sweating, difficulty sleeping, or jitteriness can also exist with […]

How Can Therapy Help Someone With Substance Use or Addiction?

By Lauren Presutti People struggling with substance use or addiction sometimes think the only way to recover is to detox in a rehab facility or to completely abstain from substances altogether. Stories about how others have recovered, family pressures, or social influences can make you feel like everyone else is telling you what to do. […]

7 Harmful Myths About Depression

By Lauren Presutti Depression is a treatable condition, but unfortunately it is widely misunderstood. Myths and stereotypes about depression leave people wondering if their experiences are valid, which is damaging to your mental health because ALL depression is valid. Being educated and understanding the misconceptions can be helpful for taking control over your mental health […]

Translation Errors: When Someone Doesn’t Speak Your Emotional Language

By Lauren Presutti I’m a therapist who works with many young adults. It’s common for me to see millennials who express, “my parents don’t validate me.” Working to deeply understand the dynamics between themselves and their baby-boomer parents has forced me to reflect on generational differences and the profound distinctions between intent vs. impact. I […]

15 Important Reminders for Everyone Recovering from Trauma

By Lauren Presutti Healing from trauma of any kind takes enormous effort. Some people only think about trauma in terms of car accidents, time in the military, abusive experiences, or other major life impacts, but the truth is that trauma is ANY experience that leaves you feeling emotionally affected in some negative way. This means […]

Overcoming Social Anxiety is Possible with the Right Skills and Support

By Lauren Presutti We all get nervous around new people from time to time, but does the fear of social judgment keep you from making new friends? Do you struggle to put yourself in social environments because there may be someone you don’t know? Is it hard to be out in the community because of […]

How to Make Healthy Decisions to Maintain Control in Your Life

By Lauren Presutti Life is full of choices. Whether we like it or not, we all have to spend time and energy figuring out how to navigate things like our education, employment, relationships, housing, budgeting, family, parenting, hobbies, travel, and more. Simultaneously, we are constantly forming our values, beliefs, and opinions that may vary drastically […]

A Simple Reminder for ALL Relationships This Mother’s Day

By Lauren Presutti   To Those on Mother’s Day:   To the mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers   To the children celebrating with their mothers To the mothers celebrating with their children To the mothers and children who cannot be together   To the children who have lost their mothers To the mothers who have lost their […]

Why Spring is the Best Season for Happiness

By Lauren Presutti Say goodbye to winter coats and hello to short sleeves… spring has arrived! It’s never quite official in Michigan until the temperatures appear consistently warmer, but it seems we are now at that point where we trust Mother Nature to keep the sunshine around for hopefully more days than not. We are […]

How to Gently Tell Someone They Should Go to Therapy

By Lauren Presutti There is nothing worse than seeing a friend or loved one struggling with their mental health and not knowing how to help. It feels like your hands are tied. You want to just wave a magic wand and “fix” their struggles, but you can’t. Mental health is highly complicated and there are […]

What Is Workplace Burnout and How Can We Maintain Mental Wellness at Work?

By Lauren Presutti Have you ever had a stressful day and you came home feeling drained, but after a good night of sleep, you wake up the next day and feel refreshed? With a little self-care, you were able to recover from your stress relatively quickly. On the other hand, burnout is a chronic state […]

Do You Love Yourself? Here’s How To Reflect On This Tough Question

By Lauren Presutti We spend a lot of our time focused on relationships. From music lyrics, movies, television, books, magazines, gossip, and more, we are flooded with stories about dating, finding love, breaking up, engagements, marriages, soulmates, relationship advice, and countless other romance-oriented ideas. And with social media, sometimes it seems like everyone else has […]

Not Feeling So Merry? Here’s How to Cope with Holiday Stress

By Lauren Presutti It’s okay if you’re not feeling so merry this time of year. Many of us struggle with our mental health around the holiday season. Even though we are “supposed to be” enjoying the season of giving, sometimes the best thing we can do is give ourselves a break. Be gentle with yourself […]

Here’s Why Being Highly Sensitive Might Be Your Greatest Strength

By Lauren Presutti Through online blogs and in the academic literature, you may have come across the label “highly sensitive person.” Individual qualities can vary a great deal depending on a person’s environment, mood, or emotions, so sometimes I struggle with the binary implications of this term. Can we really say that people are simply […]

30 Ideas For Fall-Themed Self-Care Activities

By Lauren Presutti It’s time for warm drinks, cozy sweaters, abundance of blankets, crisp air, and rustling leaves. For many people, the fall season is a strange combination of comfort and discomfort. We enjoy embracing the fall colors, snuggling close to a fireplace, reflecting on summer, and maybe enjoying a pumpkin spice coffee. But as […]

How Do You Know If You Have a Good Therapist? 20 Questions to Ask Yourself

By Lauren Presutti Therapy is where you should feel completely safe to be your authentic self. You should be able to shut out the rest of the world and just focus on YOU – your happiness, frustrations, challenges, dreams, desires, fears, ideas, thoughts, feelings, and whatever comes to mind. Therapy is the one space in […]

The Importance of Sleep and its Impact on Mental Health

By Lauren Presutti Diet, exercise, and sleep are basic needs that have surprisingly huge impacts on your mental health. We all navigate the world differently and our perceptions of mental health and wellness may vary drastically, but nonetheless we all have to attend to our basic needs regardless of our differences. In my work with […]

The Power of Movement: Using Exercise to Improve Your Mental Health

By Lauren Presutti Maintaining positive mental health requires adopting different coping strategies, discovering the ones that work well for you and throwing out the ones that don’t. We all have unique lifestyles, preferences, and characteristics – everyone’s mental health journey will be different – but nonetheless, we all have basic needs of diet, exercise, and […]

Healthy Eating Habits to Improve Your Mental Health

By Lauren Presutti Taking care of our mental health can involve a myriad of different strategies and finding the specific ones that work well for us is critical. With so many options for fostering wellness – from talk therapy, recreation therapy, support groups, time spent in nature, a focus on journaling, medication, a plan for […]

Create Time for Self-Care to Be the Best Version of Yourself

By Lauren Presutti In this day and age, many of us find ourselves overwhelmed with pandemic updates, political divides, heartbreaking news coverage, and economic changes. Feeling stressed and mentally drained has almost become a “new normal” for many people struggling to navigate social and systemic challenges on a daily basis. With mental health concerns rising […]

It’s Time to Stop Verbally Abusing Your Body

By Lauren Presutti Somehow, (no thanks to the media and unrealistic standards of beauty), we’ve ended up as a society obsessed with the shape, size, weight, curvature, shade, and smoothness of our bodies. Too thin, too big, too muscular, too scrawny, too tall, too short – it is sickening how much criticism pours from media […]

10 Key Things Everyone Should Know About Therapy

By Lauren Presutti Are you thinking about therapy? That’s great! It means you’re focused on your wellness and interested in living your best, most empowered life. At River Oaks Psychology, we want to normalize therapy so that it is accessible and convenient for everyone. With our telehealth services, getting help is easy and secure. If […]

Learning to Trust Yourself Matters More Than You Think

By Lauren Presutti Trust is a concept we often only think about in relation to other people. You probably understand the importance of trusting others in committed relationships. You may have had to learn how to rebuild trust with someone who previously broke your trust. Or you may have experienced a time when you had […]

Winter Blues or Seasonal Depression? How to Know the Difference and How to Cope

By Lauren Presutti Surviving winter means dealing with snow, cold temperatures, dreary skies, and greater isolation. Many people struggle with winter boredom, missing their regular spring/summer/fall outdoor activities, such as bike riding or running. Some people struggle with anxiety on icy roads, strong winds, wearing multiple layers, or the situational events in the winter season, […]

Healthy Tips and Strategies for Achieving New Year’s Resolutions

By Lauren Presutti Are you ready to work on your New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself is, what are your natural strengths that may be useful in goal attainment? Maybe you excel at list-making, organization, communicating with others, resourcefulness, finding balance between work and play, journaling, […]

How to Survive the Holidays and Keep Yourself Grounded

By Lauren Presutti The holiday season brings a lot of excitement with gift shopping, preparing family recipes, enjoying bright lights and decorations, and spreading love among each other in numerous ways. But for some people, the holidays can also bring feelings of grief, overwhelm, anxiety, or general feelings of chaos that make us feel overwhelmed […]

What Are Panic Attacks and How Can We Cope With Them?

By Lauren Presutti Let’s talk about panic attacks. Have you ever felt like your heart is pounding so fast that it’s hard to breathe? Or maybe you quickly felt dizzy or lighthearted as your anxiety suddenly skyrocketed. Maybe you even felt like you were dying in the moment. Your body likely began sweating as adrenaline […]

What to Expect From a First Therapy Appointment

By Lauren Presutti If you scheduled a first therapy appointment, congratulations! This means you are committed to your wellness and are taking steps to improve your quality of life, heal from emotional pain, strengthen your relationships, develop better coping skills, and feel more empowered. Therapy is the one space in your life where the focus […]

How to Set Boundaries for Better Mental Health and Self-Care

By Lauren Presutti Do you ever find yourself consumed by the needs of other people? Do you ever sacrifice your own needs to show up for someone else? Or have you ever felt socially drained or overextended when you are supposed to be enjoying time with people? It’s important to remember our reasons for engaging […]

Is Therapy Justified? And What Can I Get Out of It?

By Lauren Presutti Sometimes it’s hard to determine if therapy is right for you. Movies like Girl, Interrupted (1999) and TV shows like Shameless (2011) portray individual or family problems that leave some people thinking, “my problems are like that, I don’t need therapy.” Some feel as though they have to be experiencing a certain […]

What Does Self-Care Actually Mean?

By Lauren Presutti Your laundry basket is overflowing, you don’t have a clue what’s for dinner, your kids are fighting over the remote, and you’re wondering how to get grape juice stains out of carpet. Then your phone lights up and you see a new article posted on self-care with pictures of bubble baths, candles, […]

21 Reasons Why We Love Telehealth – And Why You Will, Too

By Lauren Presutti We love telehealth and we think you will, too. Of course, online counseling may not be everybody’s first choice and that’s okay! We want every person to make their own decision regarding the type of mental health treatment they pursue. After all, accessing therapy is a personalized choice and we support all […]