Molly Hartigan Counseling
  Counseling for Growth and Change

Molly Hartigan Counseling

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Thank you for visiting my blog page. Please check this page regularly to read my posts that might just inspire you or provide you with insights on certain issues that you are currently dealing with.


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You don’t have to deal with all your problems alone. Help is always available. To learn more about how I can provide assistance to you, feel free to contact me.

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Recommended Reading

Posted on November 10, 2018 at 7:55 PM

Below are some of my favorite books and blogs. Please feel free to share yours by getting in touch with me!

Tiny Buddha:

https://tinybuddha.com/books-and-things/

One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, on depression and on getting in touch with your authentic self:

http://letyourlifespeak.com/

You can take days or years to read this book. This is also a wonderful book to revisit:

https://shop.chopra.com/the-seven-spiritual-laws-of-success-pocket-size-softcover.html

Probably my favorite book on tapping into the creative process:

https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/books/big-magic/

Great, unflinching book about resilience:

https://www.amazon.com/This-How-Surviving-What-Think/dp/1250032105

Anything by David Sedaris--literally anything

Don't Feed the Monkey Mind is a good book on anxiety, meant to be accessible to non-clinicians:

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Feed-Monkey-Mind-Anxiety/dp/1626255067

November Events

Posted on November 3, 2018 at 7:15 PM

Trans Day of Rememebrance

November 20th will mark the nineteenth anniversary of Transgender Day of Rememberance's founding. TDOR, began by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, began as a way to honor Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. It has become an annual observance to remember those who have died as a result of transpobic violence, to strengthen community, raise awareness and promote education.For more information visit:

https://www.glaad.org/tdor

Transgender Spectrum Conference 2018

Get informed, get engaged, make connections! UMSL is hosting the 2018 Transgender Spectrum Conference November 9-10.This year's event will focus on advocacy and inclusion, as reflected in its slogan: "Nothing About Us Without Us." For more nformation, visit:

https://www.umsl.edu/transgenderspectrum/index.html

Pride St. Charles

Dana Goldberg Live! on November 9th at the Sheldon. Should be a fun night with proceeds benefiting Pride St. Charles:

https://www.pridestcharles.org/events-programs

Check out some or all!

Support Groups and Resources

Posted on October 3, 2018 at 9:20 PM

Whether you're looking for a support group or want to see what resources are available in St. Louis for the LGBTQIA+ community, Children's Hospital has comprised this super useful handout. While it's not comprehensive, it is a great place to start. Have a look!

https://www.stlouischildrens.org/sites/default/files/health_resources/familyresource/files/LGBT%20Resources%20and%20Support%20Groups_0.pdf

October Events and Calendars

Posted on October 1, 2018 at 7:25 PM

The weather is changing, summer is becoming fall, and there are lots of happenings going on both locally and nationally.

The Pride Center in STL is a designated SAFE Place and condom distribution center, and also a great resource for the LBTQIA+ community. Check out their calendar of events for this month:

https://pridestl.org/community/events#calendar

Looking for something to do "west of the bridge?" Pride St. Charles hosts monthly meetings that might be up your alley:

https://www.pridestcharles.org/events-programs

Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) also hosts support groups and events in the St. Louis area:

https://www.stlmetrotrans.com/calendar/current-events/

Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, getting informed, and talking with others is something we can all do year round. Take a look at the national HIV/AIDS awareness days posted by HIV.gov:

https://www.hiv.gov/events/awareness-days

October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day. Whether you decide to plan an event, download a social media kit, or post an awareness poster, HIV.gov is a great place to start.

If you're a trivia buff, or if you just want to take in a game, check out St. Louis Effort For AIDS' Third Annual Trivia Night:

http://stlefa.org/node/669

Lots of good stuff! Please email me of other cool happenings you want to share!


Self Compassion Week Challenge

Posted on September 17, 2018 at 8:10 PM

What would it be like to treat yourself with the same respect as you would an honored guest? If you could invite anyone whom you admired and respected into your home, how would you treat them? Sometimes, we reserve the worst messages for ourselves, but it doesn't have to be that way. This week, try and commit to treating yourself with dignity, respect, and patience. See how it feels. It might feel awkward at first, but with practice it will get easier.

Dr. Kristin Neff is a leading researcher in the field of self compassion. Looking through her website, notice if you connect with any of the exercises. Give one (or two, or three) a try this week and notice how it feels to practice. You are as important as any honored guest.

http://www.self-compassion.com/

Messages We Tell Ourselves

Posted on September 16, 2018 at 12:20 AM

What messages are you holding onto? Which ones would youlike to let go of? Maybe they are messages from your past, from friends, family, or teachers. They might be ones you have grown up with, heard in movies or songs, or read in books. The messages we tell ourselves are important. They can affect our self esteem, and influence how we see ourselves and others. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the gift of new messages--re-written to help you move forward.

For example, this client has done the hard work of identifying negative messages and re-writing them to make them positive and authentic:

"You have a mental illness. You do this for attention/manipulation" became "I have lots of strengths that have been built up by overcoming my challenges with my mental illness. I am a survivor."

"You are confused" bacame "I was or a while. Finding yourself is a process though, for anyone, not only people of the transgender community."

"You don't want people to see you that way, do you?" became "I want to be authentic. I want people to see me for who I am. I am me. I am enough."

"Let's face it, you are not a man, you are a girl" became "My parts don't define who I am. I am a man. I am ME."

This process can be challenging, but it is worth it. In this client's words: "I am worth the work."

You are, too.

Walk for Awareness

Posted on August 22, 2018 at 8:45 PM

Whether you walk to honor a loved one, raise awareness or find community, participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of The Darkness Community Walk is a great opportunity to join with others to help reduce the annual suicide rate. Check out details for this year's walk in September:

https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=5227

There are many ways to help: walking, donating, spreading the word. No matter which you choose, you will be making a positive difference.

Back to School 2018

Posted on August 20, 2018 at 9:30 PM

August marks the return to school for many kids. For those who are are questioning their gender identity or identify as gender variant, their return to school might be accompanied by anxious feelings. How will the school support them? Will friends be accepting? Who might be safe to talk with about how they are feeling?

Transparent (a national trans advocacy organization with St. Louis roots) has compiled resources to help navigate these questions, open dialogues, and support kids, caregivers, and schools. Click on the link below to check out their resource guide:

https://transparentusa.org/resources/educational-materials/


Makeovers on a Mission

Posted on August 13, 2018 at 9:10 PM

Whether you are beginning your gender journey, are in the process of transitioning, or just want some ideas to freshen up your look and improve your confidence, Sephora (makeup and skin care boutique) now offers a class specifically tailored to the LGBTQIA+ community taught by trans sensitive instructors. Enrollment is now open at the Sephora in the St. Louis Galleria and the West County Mall.

More info below:

https://www.sephora.com/store-locations-events?tab=classes

https://sephora.wistia.com/medias/kn8nu4td72

Enjoy!


Celebrating Pride Through The Year

Posted on June 28, 2017 at 6:20 PM

June is one of my favorite months—for many reasons, one of which is that June is national Pride month. This is a month to celebrate the progress of LGBTQ rights, to come together as a community, and to think about the future. Whether you identify as a member or an ally of the LGBTQ community, June is an opportune time to start thinking about advocacy and awareness. Below are some ideas for each month to keep the spirit of Pride going all year long:


July

Listen. Try to be aware of your own assumptions about gender and sexuality. Ask those whom you meet about their preferred pronouns rather than using ones you assume are appropriate.

August

Speak up. Let others know the importance of supporting LGBTQ rights, gender neutral facilities, and equality-focused legislation.

September

Challenge homophobia. If you hear someone making jokes, speaking despairingly, or engaging in stereotypes related to those who identify as LGBTQ, consider making your own voice heard. Expressing your view that you’re not on board with homophobia isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to friends and family. However, it can be done respectfully.

October

Vote with your wallet. Try to support businesses that support LGBTQ rights or have LGBTQ friendly policies. If you have favorite retailers, you can find information about their diversity policies by visiting their websites or contacting their corporate headquarters.

November

Remember. Each November 20th is an opportunity to remember those in the transgender community who have been lost to hate related violence. It is also a chance to reflect on ways to make your community safer for those who identify as transgender. Plan or attend a Day of Remembrance event.

December

Practice inclusivity. Regardless of how you identify, you can show your support for those who identify as transgender, nonbinary, or are questioning by letting others know your preferred pronouns. One option is to add this to the signature line in your email.

January

Reach out. Contact your congressperson and let them know where you stand on LGBTQ issues.

February

Get involved. Consider volunteering your time or donating resources to those organizations who advocate for LGBTQ issues. The Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) are great places to start.

March

Speak out. Consider writing a blog or submitting an opinion piece about LGBQ issues.

April

Go to the movies. Plan to attend and spread the word about QFest in St. Louis. If you can’t attend, plan your own film festival!

May

Get educated. Keep up with news on the state and national levels by visiting the National Center for Transgender Equality’s website.

June

Celebrate and remember. Time to look back, take stock, and plan ahead.




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