Patrick Aleknavicius, Psy.D., L.P.

Look at our great trip to the mountains! Look how happy we are around the tree! Look! Look! Look!

Most of us are familiar with the wonderful world of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest… we could go on for days. But, holidays can show the dark side of social media consumption: amplifying clients’ self-doubts, malcontent, and loneliness.

Welcome to our Holiday Blues Series, where we talk about how to support our clients through the holidays.
Today’s article focuses on Dynfunctional thought related to over-consumption of social media. We want to thank Patrick Aleknavicius , PhD, L.P. from Inner Fokus, practicing in Orange County, CA (and an avid Mentegram user) for helping us make sense of social media over-consumption.

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Patrick provides this summary of his clients’ common struggles over the Holidays.

Holidays can be tough because clients’ sense of self is challenged through family interactions and social media consumption. Clients may have constructed a reality, and visiting with family can rip them out of this narrative. This is often exacerbated because clients over-consume social media during the break. Their feeling of self-doubt and dissatisfaction with self is met with polished social-presentation of happiness from others. This creates a major dissonance between our reality and what we see others experiencing.

Our irrational beliefs get a lot of validation — all of our self-doubts and dissonances are under a magnifying glass. This all contributes to a sense of loneliness, sense of malcontent with what we have. It also drives attention away from the present – what gratitude for what we have and instead focuses on comparisons with others.

To counter this magnifying glass, Patrick works with his clients to focus on present moment, feel gratitude for what they have, and create a habit of expressing gratitude when relevant.  The Mid-day or Evening gratitude Journal helps clients think about their experience and expression of gratitude.

These mindfulness stimuli are coupled with prompts to dispute irrational beliefs, a common approach in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Filter the Mentegram Instrument Library for “Social Sadness” to find these instruments.

For clinicians not usually practicing from the CBT/REBT perspective, Patrick also recommends to provide a quick and compassionate introduction to the theory of CBT / REBT before assigning your clients instruments focusing on irrational thoughts. “Without a primer into REBT, the language in the instruments could be a bit startling to clients” added Patrick.

Mentegram is a service for counselors allowing them to send clients home with effective therapy tools on their smartphones. Our library of evidence-based tools is second to none, and our prices begin at $5 per month, that’s the price of a coffee a month! Take advantage our our free 30-day trial and support your clients through the holidays. 

For many clients , the holiday season is not the “happiest time of year.” With Mentegram we can help guide our clients away from triggers and crises towards  toward calmer, happier experiences this season. It’s time to bring the holiday cheer with Mentegram!

 

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