5 Benefits of Therapy

Talk therapy is a safe space for open and honest dialogue between you and your therapist. While the overall goal is to identify and talk about issues causing your distress, therapy goes a bit deeper than that.

For a long time now, therapy has been a consistent guiding light for me. Therapy helped me transition from a life that felt overwhelming and unbearable to one that I enjoy living and thrive in – one where I know that I can overcome my anxiety even on my hardest days.

In working with your therapist to identify stressors in your life and understand their impact, you will also learn strategies and skills to manage your symptoms and move forward. If you’re on the fence about it or aren’t sure exactly why to go or what to say in therapy, I highly recommend giving it a try – or a few.

No matter what, we all could use an unbiased, non-judgmental, and knowledgeable person to talk to at times. So, if you ever feel lost on where to turn to, set up an appointment with a therapist. In doing this, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and the following five benefits of therapy will give you a clearer idea of what I mean.

Therapy helps with anxiety

Therapy is a highly valuable tool that helps treat patients with a wide range of issues and mental health conditions like depression, trauma, and OCD. And if I have not mentioned it straightforwardly enough yet, therapy is also a tool for dealing with the day-to-day challenges we all face as humans – something that anyone can benefit from.

That said, I want to touch on the most common mental health condition out there: anxiety. People who struggle with anxiety do not just experience moderate or high stress in understandable circumstances. Instead, people with anxiety feel unstable, irritable, or uneasy most of the time and for reasons they cannot always explain. This continuous state of fear can cause difficulty managing your emotions as anxiety begins to dictate your behaviors.

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The first way therapy helps people manage their anxiety is by identifying the factors and underlying causes contributing to it. From there, they come to understand their emotions better and reach a place of acceptance before developing techniques to ease anxiety and effectively deal with it.

Therapy can improve your relationships

By this, I do not mean that therapy is a great resource for dealing with social anxiety or recovering from a tough breakup, although it is. But while some therapists specialize in family, relationship, and marriage counselling, any form of therapy can improve your relationships in general.

As you likely already know but may not always apply, better communication is key to better relationships. For this reason, therapists focus on opening the lines of communication between two or more people.

However, even if it is just you attending therapy, your therapist can help you see other perspectives and find balance in the way you communicate with people you care for. For instance, you might have a hard time opening up and being assertive to get what you need from someone; or, it could be the other way around, and you don’t realize the impact your assertiveness has on someone else’s feelings.

While therapists help people cultivate more positive and long-lasting relationships, they can also help you learn how to manage relationships with people you don’t want to keep around. Even accepting that it is okay to let go of relationships that aren’t serving you is a pretty big first step that you can accomplish in therapy.

By learning more skills to gain perspective and communicate, therapy can help you navigate all your current relationships to find greater fulfillment.

Therapy can make you happier

I realize that this a broad statement because, let’s face it, happiness is an ambiguous word. Not only can happiness emotions range from contentment to immense joy, but the things that make us happy vary for all of us, too.

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No matter how you slice it, I think we can all agree that greater levels of self- acceptance and self-compassion make us happier. When you accept who you are, you will be more prone to take care of yourself and engage in healthy behaviors rather than succumb to negative self-talk. And the things you discuss with your therapist will help you find more self- awareness and understanding, which is always the first step before self-acceptance.

In other words, therapy is a great first step to a happier life. It is an opportunity to release your past, talk about your present, and foster more compassion for yourself moving forward.

Therapy can make you more productive

Have you ever noticed how you get more tasks accomplished or focus better when you are in a good mood?

We’ve established that therapy can make you feel happier, and the same chemicals, like serotonin, that your brain receives when you’re happy also signal you to learn more, work harder, and apply yourself.

My intention is not to say that you have to work harder to be happy or that what you are doing now is not good enough. Although, I won’t deny the fact that higher productivity is great for many reasons.

The more you strive for goals and succeed, the more accomplished, capable, and confident you will feel. Not to mention productivity gives your life a sense of direction. All of this can add up to a greater level of happiness, so if you think about it, happiness and productivity make up a positive and perpetual cycle.

Both happiness and productivity combined can help you advance in life, whether professionally or personally, and therapy is a way to identify your mental roadblocks so you can find effective solutions to overcome them. As you can see, therapy is not about directly helping people develop better wellbeing, but a tool that enables you to improve any areas of your life that contribute to your wellbeing.

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Therapy teaches healthy, lifelong coping skills

Last but certainly not least are the healthy coping skills you acquire from therapy. Coping is necessary to respond to all life’s challenges and problems. Sometimes all coping will feel like it is helping you to do is persevere. But if you continue to cope with consistency and efficacy using the tools you learn in therapy, you will ultimately move through and move on.

When your healthy coping mechanisms become habitual and take precedence over your unhealthy ones, you will feel more in control over your life. Keep in mind that nurturing skills and habits and achieving progress takes time, and so does therapy. It is normal if it takes a while to reap any of these benefits of therapy, which is one more reason not to wait any longer to try it.

Writing by Paul Marlow

“Paul Marlow is a mental health advocate who writes mental health help content to inspire others to find daily actions to get better. You can see more at his site for Never Alone

Create Your Morning Routine For Mental Health Happiness To Start The Day

Does this sound familiar?

You have a busy workday tomorrow and are planning out how the day will go. Where is the first place you take away attention from?

Does it look something like this…

Wake-up
Order coffee from the Starbucks app Run out the door

In a total of seven minutes, you have broken your brain into a dead sprint after being in a coma for eight hours.

This doesn’t sound relaxing, does it? I promise you, if it doesn’t sound relaxing to you, your brain and mental health also don’t vibe with this morning routine.

Allowing yourself to wake up 45-60 minutes before you need to leave the house will give your brain the time to function fully by the time you step out the door. Positively helping anxiety, depression, stress or any other mental health struggles you might be struggling with.

Here are 10 tips to creating your morning routine

1. Alarm

Buying a stand-alone alarm clock will allow you to put your phone to charge in another room at night, or at least more than an arm’s length away. Wake up 60 minutes before you need to leave your place of living.

2. Don’t look at your phone

Leaving your phone on the charger until your whole routine is complete is one of the main goals for your morning routine. It may only be 15 minutes or last a full 60 minutes, but the idea is not

to allow the stress of social media, emails or anything else to spike your angst or derail your focus.

3. Make Your Bed

Starting each morning off with an easy win like making your bed will give you positive re- enforcement the first 3 minutes of being awake. It should take no longer than 30 seconds to make your bed, so why not give it a try?

4. Cold Shower

There are a few ways to add a cold shower to your routine.

  • The entire shower is streaming cold water (you are part of the 1% club)
  • In your last 30 seconds of a hot shower, you throw the tap too cold and ride it out till the

    end.
    There are multiple benefits to adding this to your routine, ranging from a for sure wakeup to mental and physiological benefits.

    5. Drink Hot Lemon Water

    Drinking hot lemon water as the first thing you digest in the day helps regulate natural bowel movements. Our gut’s health status can correlate with our mental health happiness.

    Make sure you put the lemon juice in a short glass of water and shoot it, or add it to a large glass of medium to hot water. The acidity of the lemon in concentrated doses will harm the enamel around your teeth.

    6. Meditate

    Being a newbie, the act of meditating can be overwhelming. You will spend a lot of time wondering if you are doing it right and thinking about not trying to think.

    For the first year of meditating during my morning routine, I would sit in the quiet of the morning with my eyes closed (sometimes open) and allow myself to take in the sounds around me while focusing on the moment.

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Take this addition to your morning routine with a bit of humility. If you can sit still for a few minutes without having the desire to check your phone, I call that a win.

7. Coffee or tea
You have made it 60% of the way; that’s a big win!

This is when you can add in the comfort area of what a morning routine meant to you in the past… make a strong cup of coffee. Go through the process slowly and methodically. The act can be very pleasing and a form of meditation.

8. Journal

Now that you have your cup of coffee ready bring out your dedicated morning journal. Buy yourself a journal you enjoy the look and feel of, and this will be dedicated to writing only in the mornings. A few tips to what to write about if you get stuck are…

  • Positive things that happened the day before
  • Negative things that I can change that happened the day before
  • What is on my schedule today
  • A particular emotional event that occurred the day before

    9. Breathing

    It’s best if I let Whim Hoff describe this. All I will say is that this has been a welcomed new addition of 10 minutes of my morning routine during the pandemic. Breath in deep, exhale even deeper and don’t rush yourself through the breathing routine.

    10. Affirmations

    The morning solitude has come to an end. To break the silence, say a few gratitudes out loud. Affirmations are a great way to re-enforce positive thoughts and visions in your life. A few examples of what affirmations can be…

  • I will not stress over things I cannot control.
  • I lovingly do everything I can to assist my body in maintaining health.
  • My life is full of amazing opportunities that are ready for me to step into.
  • I’m free to create the life I desire.
  • I have been given endless talents which I will begin to utilize today.

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Take these ten steps and craft your routine, perhaps moving some of them around or adding some other additions that speak to you.

There is no wrong way to do a morning routine. As long as you are allowing your brain to adapt to its functioning form slowly, then you are winning.

*I have created a free 10 step email course helping you craft yours and work through the tough areas in starting your morning routine

Writing by Paul Marlow

“Paul Marlow is a mental health advocate who writes mental health help content to inspire others to find daily actions to get better. You can see more at his site for Never Alone

Privacy Counts

The 5 most important things you must know about privacy before Camming

With so much innovation in the tech industry it’s hardly surprising that many companies are now offering you the chance to stream from any device and location. When all you need is Wi-Fi, there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping you broadcasting your cam life from anywhere, or is there?

The Law

Although the law in the UK (specifically England) states that it is not illegal to be naked in a public place, you can be prosecuted for causing another individual, alarm, or distress. Depending upon the place or circumstances, this could be termed as indecent exposure if harassment has also occurred. If it can be proved that you intentionally acted to cause upset and shock, this can become an offence.

Obviously, being naked doesn’t include acts of a sexual nature in a public place. The laws relating to this, in England and Wales, were changed in 2003. Whilst sexual activity in a public toilet is still an offence, sex in other public places is not. That is, unless it is witnessed or there is a reasonable chance at least 2 members of the public may see what’s happening.

Logos and Signs

This is an area where you are most likely to get caught out and whilst it may not involve a prison sentence, the inadvertent marketing of big brands, could land you in big trouble. The majority of large companies do not wish to see their brands associated with adult material in any way shape and form.

They have huge amounts of money at their disposal to sue and ensure convictions of anyone caught flouting these rules. If you are making money out of the broadcast, and get caught, not realising, or noticing branding in the background (or foreground) is not a defence in terms of the law. So, unless you have permission from the brand you must be extremely careful of what appears in your broadcast.

Easy enough when you are in the confines of your own space or studio but much more difficult to monitor when you are on the move, in a public place.

Location

If you decide to broadcast on your mobile device, somewhere other than the comforts of your room or studio, you should always check any local bye laws. Individual areas, such as towns, counties, or regions, may have laws specific to them.

Indeed, some properties, or areas have complete bans on photography or filming of any description and broadcasting via your cam, most likely falls into this category. You should make checks before you start broadcasting and where possible (and necessary) obtain permission beforehand. Though to be honest, you are unlikely to receive it for camming!

Background

It’s quite difficult to keep a track of everything going on in the background while you are camming as it’s normally live to air. You must however bear in mind it is your responsibility to ensure you are working within the bounds of the law. You may think it’s cool to start a cam session in front of a famous landmark (even with your clothes on) but it’s not! You need to remember that any live broadcast tells anyone watching exactly where you are, at that very moment. Any kind of privacy you may have built up for your adult profile will have been blown wide open.

For example, let’s imagine you are on a bus and you decide to have a quick cam session with one of your dedicated fans (who by the way is more than likely on his, or her smart phone). Just as the session starts the driver announces the next stop and immediately your exact location is given away.

Making a short video while you are on the bus, to post to your social media or fans site is fine but ALWAYS check the content before you post and preferably wait until you get home to do it.

Looking at your content on a big screen is always advisable and try not to focus on yourself, check out everything else in the shot. Just because you can’t see it on your smart phone, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

People

With the advent of facial recognition software, it’s even more important these days to ensure there are no random people in the background (or foreground for that matter). Identities can be located very quickly even with just a partial shot of a face. Most sites will insist that anyone in the shot is verified by them before appearing. Just because you are in a public place doesn’t mean the rules no longer apply.

If somebody comes into shot, you are going to have to either edit it or redo it, which is going to prove difficult if you are on live cam. You need to make absolutely sure that you are fully aware of what images you are broadcasting, at all times.

 

Above all, be CAREFUL, be SAFE and ALWAYS be AWARE.

Love Carla x

How to Overcome Cyberbullying as a Webcam Model by Penelope Banks

It doesn’t matter how good you are as a webcam model, some people just can’t help themselves. Some people are just mean. And we’ve all experienced it a time or two. So today I wanted to share a few things that have helped me and that you can do to overcome cyberbullying as a webcam model.

 

How to Overcome Cyberbullying

Take a Deep Breath

The first thing that I recommend doing when someone is attempting to cyberbully you, is to take a deep breath. Instead of reacting, just take a nice big deep breath. I can’t tell you the number of people who have called me names, told me I’m ugly and I shouldn’t be a webcam model, or flat out tell me that I’m disgusting.

And comments like those can often be discouraging at times. But what you have to realize is that a lot of the time, these people are dealing with their own problems. They are usually unhappy with themselves and are projecting this onto you. So as much as you want to, try your very best not to take it personally and just take a deep breath.

 

Don’t Fight Back

When someone is attempting to bully you, don’t fight back. Don’t give them the satisfaction and the power to control your emotions. Especially while you’re working.

If someone comments on one of your posts or comes into your chat room with any kind of negativity, don’t let yourself get sucked into it. Don’t give any attention to it. You’re better than that. You know who you are and what your goals are and that’s all that matters.

 

Block Them

One of the great things about camming sites is that you can easily block someone if they are bullying your or harassing you. Which is what I always do. The first time someone says something even slightly negative in my room, I block them. And then I move on.

Unfortunately there are times when bullying can turn into harassment and blocking someone just doesn’t work. If this is the case, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are protected. You can use GEO blocking to block countries and you can work directly with a cyber specialist to help protect your privacy.

Talk to Someone

If you’re struggling to overcome cyberbullying, you can always reach out and talk to someone who is there to listen. Pineapple Support offers free or low-cost therapy to those working in the adult industry who are in need of emotional support.

 

Written by Penelope Banks

Penelope Banks is a webcam model, blogger, and model recruiter.

Twitter: @Akapbanks

5 Things You Must Know To Help Keep Your Private Life Private!

For anyone working in the adult industry, you may have already thought about the importance of ensuring your private life is kept private. It’s so easy to create profiles on social media and then forget that most of the time you aren’t only posting your life events to your friends and family.

One of the easiest ways to make absolutely sure, that you make the most out of your professional social media, without ruining your private life, is to have separate profiles for each. Your private profile should only be accessible to your friends and family and have no associations with your work life in the adult world.

1. Understanding Your Privacy Settings
In some cases you may feel it’s too late to consider operating a separate account for your social media profiles, or perhaps feel it is impossible. If this really is the case, then do make absolutely sure that you understand how to operate the privacy settings on each of your accounts. Privacy settings generally allow you to make choices as to who sees your pictures, posts and profile. On Facebook for example, you have the option of only allowing your friends, or your friends and their friends, or anyone (known as public).
If you can’t find the information you want about the privacy settings, then it’s a good idea to check out forums as you’ll probably find the answer you need there, sometimes with useful links to the right part of the site.

2. Think About Your Main Picture Content
Whilst you may love the picture someone took of you on your family holiday, it’s not really the best idea to use it on your professional social media pages, or indeed any work associated websites. There are numerous picture recognition software packages about now which can be used to trawl sites to find picture matches. That holiday pic you thought was so good, you would use it on your adult related website, will suddenly become linked to your family holiday snaps an banter on Insta!
It doesn’t mean you can only use professional photos, it simply means decide which you’re going to use it for and stick to it.

3. What About Background Pictorial Content?
Always check the background of any pics you use for your adult related work as it’s really easy to slip up and give away key locations, or even more personal information, such as a car registration for example. You should make sure you do not include and famous landmarks, or brands as many companies could be willing to sue you for bringing their brand into disrepute and it’s extremely unlikely you would ever win such a battle.

4. Always Think First Before Pressing Enter
A huge percentage of inappropriate posts happen because the person posting does not stop to think about the consequences of their actions.
NEVER post things in anger, whilst drunk (or under the influence), or as a direct response to something you do not agree with. NEVER make rude responses to anyone online, no matter how strongly you feel.

5. Always make sure you use some virus protection on your devices (Laptop, Phone, Desk Top PC).
They not only check for viruses but also for Trojans and other sneaky things which could invade your device and your life.

NEVER click on any link without checking first with the sender (even if you know the sender). You never know if their account has already been compromised. Call them up first and ask them if they sent you something before trusting it.

It’s ALWAYS better to be SAFE rather than SORRY!

Stay Safe
Love All
Carla Sez x

How to maintain a healthy outlook in the industry when difficult clients get you down

Given that our work is centered in our sexual selves, it often feels easier to just ignore bad feelings and hope they go away. But few of us truly have the ability to shake off negative encounters like they never happened. Instead, hurt and insult fester, poisoning our self-esteem, rattling our minds while shutting our bodies down.  – Lola Devina

 

A tweet popped up recently that asked, how do you maintain a healthy outlook when you work day-in and day-out with entitled, toxic, and/or abusive customers. This is such a big and important question. To answer it, I looked to two of my all-time favorite go-to goddesses: Lola Devina and Brené Brown.

 

Sex worker and author, Lola Devina, gives clued-in heartfelt advice about how to cope with the emotional toll of sex work. Brené Brown’s anti-shame work is changing the way our culture thinks about shame and compassion. The following advice is chosen from their work and the work of others.

 

Separating the bad that is thrown at us from the outside world from our own unhelpful beliefs

 

  1. Ask, What is the story that I am telling myself?

 

When something happens that triggers strong emotions, we often immediately create a story to make sense of what happened. These stories are often one-sided worst-case scenarios, and they seldom contain the full truth.  Brené Brown.

 

Brené calls these stories the Stormy First Draft. “SFD is our brain’s way of making sense of something when we don’t have full information. We are a meaning-making species. In the absence of data, we make up stories because having complete information is a self-protective survival skill. But these stories often magnify our fears and anxieties.”

 

Example: A guy on Twitter tweeted some horrible things about me.

 

The story I am telling myself is: He is an asshole. Why is he being so mean? I don’t even know him. ..I must have done something wrong.. at least, I could have handled it better. If only I was (wittier, more professional, better, ______ ), then trolls like him wouldn’t target me.

 

  1. Reality check your story. Often, we fill in information gaps with details that are biased by our fears. Reality checking helps us to separate what they did from what we believe.

 

Reality check: All I know about Twitter guy is that he was being abusive. What I don’t know is if he is an asshole or that I could have done anything differently to stop his abuse.

 

Assumptions about the abusive Twitter guy, our abilities, or our self-worth create an emotional hook that can easily spiral downward. Anger, resentment, and self-criticism can send us into a black hole or exhaust us while we suppress the emotional pain.

 

 

*Helpful extra: Listen to Lola on Anger, Brenè on Stories and Brenè on Shame.

 

 

Getting to know your own emotional hooks

 

  1. Ask, how did the situation make me think about myself?

 

When something bad happens at work, it is natural to feel deflated for a while. But feelings that fester can signal that our own negative self-beliefs have been triggered. What beliefs did this encounter, situation, or bad day bring to the surface for you?

 

The story that I am telling myself: If only I were  …. It would be easier.

What it makes me think about myself: I am not good enough.

 

 

*Helpful extras: read the Science behind Inner critics and Steps to defuse inner critics.

 

 

  1. Use a reality-checking app to unhook from harmful self-beliefs

 

Upsetting self-beliefs are often based on a morsel of truth and a whole lot more of exaggerations, anxious predictions, and/or oversimplification. Use the free app Moodtools Thought Record Diary for Android or Apple.

 

 

  1. Unhook from stigma and shame

Davina explains in her book, Thriving in Sex Work,

..clients show up with all their baggage, expecting us to deal. They want to be turned on; they want to get off. They crave beauty, kink, variety, danger, and role-play.

Often, clients are ashamed of their bodies, their desires, their infidelities and/or their patronage.

Like black holes in reverse, clients bend badness and blame away from themselves. I call it “outsourcing shame.” […] Clients also wrestle with guilt. Many clients are married or partnered or come from religious backgrounds, taking a little taste of something they don’t want anyone to know about. Nobody wants to feel bad while paying to feel good, so they shunt their ick onto us..

Davina offers relief,

It is not nice to be on the receiving end of bad behavior, especially as a reward for doing our jobs so well. In the immediate aftermath of getting slimed by a client, you may well be furious: Listen to Lola on Anger. If you’re feeling ashamed, deflated, or gross: Listen to the shame exercise.

 

*Helpful extras: Read How to break the shame cycle.

 

 

Leaning on your emotional resources

 

  1. Self-care

Davina’s website offers advice from her book. Many of the important subjects, many chapters are free to read or to listen to. Here is an excerpt from, When a client makes you feel like crap.

First: Take care of your body. When we’re humiliated, that hurt has to move through our bodies somatically. Very few of us learn this as children. Instead, we’re taught to rely on our intellect to process bad emotions. But our minds can’t move what’s stored in our muscles and joints and voice boxes and bones. So, as soon as you can:

  • Get right in the shower.Wash the day away.
  • Eat moderately and mindfully, but only if you’re hungry.Don’t starve yourself as punishment or stuff yourself in an attempt to dull the pain.
  • Unless the gym is your happiest place on earth, don’t force yourself through your regular routine.That’s like piling on extra homework when you’re already failing class. You’ll either spend that time zoning out, or counting the seconds until your workout is over—neither is good. The best self-care is to be fully present, addressing your feelings directly.
  • Scream into a pillow, kick a punching bag, take a long walk or bike ride. Play loud music, dance like you don’t care, sing at the top of your lungs. Move hard and fast and long enough so that you’re breathing hard. Wear yourself out with it.
  • While moving, say what you’re feeling out loud: “Scared, scared, scared, scared.” “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.” “Pissed, pissed, pissed, pissed.” This lets you fully feel your emotions in your body, throat, and mind, allowing that energy to move through you.
  • Call a buddy, if you can—get yourself some sympathy, by all means.  For some perspective, it can help to ask the question: Am I going to still be mad about this a year from now?

 

  1. Compassion

Compassion means feeling concerned for someone’s suffering and wanting to help. The feeling itself creates mood changing brain chemicals.

Extend compassion to Twitter guy. Yep, that guy.

Davina says,

I know—it’s not fair. Why do we have to be the ones to turn the other cheek when we’re depleted and aggravated and insulted? But as the Buddha said, “You will not be punished for your anger, but by your anger.” When we fight fire with fire, the whole world turns to ash. Instead, we fight fire with water.

To extend compassion, Davina suggests,

Maybe they were in the middle of a shit day far worse than anything you can imagine. Maybe they just lost their job or their grandmother or their dog—send them a blast of unconditional love. That handsy fan with no manners? See them for what they are, someone lost in their neediness, stunted by desire for what feels just out of reach.

Muster what compassion you can manage—people with happy lives don’t act like [that]. Picture your tormentor’s face in front of you, and breathe into a simple prayer of forgiveness and acceptance.

Compassion doesn’t mean that you excuse or put up with bad behavior. Take whatever steps you need to protect yourself. Compassion enables you to let go of anger and resentment that so often leads to burn out, so that you can refocus on caring for yourself.

Extend compassion to yourself, even to your inner critics.

Our inner critics are really just bullies inside us. What is most often true about bullies is that they show anger because they are themselves scared. This is true in the outside world, and this is true in our heads.

Extending compassion to our inner critic doesn’t mean agreeing with it or allowing it to govern us. It means that we listen, understand and gently translate its destructive input into something more constructive.

 

*Helpful extra: Read for steps on How to defuse your inner critics.

 

  1. Practice Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance means that we don’t try to change anything, rather we accept ourselves exactly how we are in this moment. Perhaps the hardest part of this exercise is accepting that so much of clients’ behavior is outside of your control. You may not be able to control what is thrown at you but you can influence how you react to it.

Radical Acceptance is Reminding Yourself Every Day, You Are Fabulous. You Are Loved. You Are Doing Your Best.

Acceptance is not a one-time occurrence. We choose acceptance this moment and then we choose acceptance when we start to struggle and then we choose it again. Radical acceptance is often much harder in practice than it sounds, but it is your best bet at stopping the negative spiral and building resilience in the industry.

 

*Helpful extra: Read How to handle cam loneliness

 

  1. Supportive relationships

Tapping into a supportive relationship, even with just a short phone call, triggers the cuddle hormone, oxytocin, in our brains. It can change our mood in minutes.

Hug someone or cuddle a fur-baby. A 20-second full-body hug or cuddling a pet triggers positive feelings. Even cuddling a favorite stuffed animal can create a sense of well-being.

Get a cam buddy. Davina recommends buddying up with a colleague. Agree to call each other for emotional support or distraction when you are having an off day.

One dear friend of mine is the best at this — whenever I’m in crisis, she doesn’t try to be a mind reader. She simply asks, ‘What do you need from me right now?’ A reality check? Reassurance? Advice? A shoulder to cry on? Active, loving listening? The best way to get the help you crave is to tell people what you need. Don’t assume they know, don’t make them guess.

Be someone’s super awesome support. Or reach out whenever you are feeling low. As well as psychotherapy and coaching, Pineapple Support offers emotional support in the form of 24-hour peer-to-peer chat. You can volunteer any hours that are convenient for you and be an awesome support to your peers.

Connect with your peers and tap into that network of super awesome Pineapple Support just for you. Remember, if you feel overwhelmed or just need to connect with someone, Pineapple Support is here for you. Contact us at PineappleSupport.com.

The Benefits of Group Therapy

Have you ever wondered what group therapy is, or what the point of group treatment would be for you? Depending on the issue, joining a group can be a helpful choice for making positive life changes.
Group therapy is a form of therapy where a small, selected group of people meet with a therapist, usually weekly. The purpose of group therapy is to help each person with emotional growth and problem solving. Sometimes a person can do both individual and group therapy, while others may only do a group.
According to Dr. Irvin Yalom in his book The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy identified 11 curative factors that are the “primary agents of change” in group therapy:

1. Installation of Hope: People come to a group to improve their lives. Each person in the group is at a different place in their emotional growth and can offer hope and inspiration to others by showing what they have learned and overcome.

2. Universality: Many who begin group therapy may feel isolated and alone. Being part of a group can help people feel understood and have a sense of belonging. Especially if you are apart of a small niche population such as sex work.

3. Information Giving: A big part of many therapy groups is increasing knowledge of a common problem. This helps members help themselves and others with the same or similar problems.

4. Altruism: The ability to help others in the group is a source of self esteem and increases self worth, especially in those that do not think they have anything to offer others.

5. Corrective recapitulation of the primary family: Some people in group therapy may have stress or conflict in their family. The group can become a form of a family that can offer support and acceptance.

6. Improved Social Skills: Social learning, or the development of social skills, is something that occurs in therapy groups. Members offer feedback to each other about their behavior in ways that can improve relationships both in and outside of group.

7. Imitative Behavior: The therapist models appropriate prosocial behaviors such as active listening, non-judgemental feedback, and support. Over the course of the group the members can pick up on these behaviors and integrate them into their own behaviors. This can lead to improved social skills and self esteem.

8. Interpersonal Learning: Being a group can be an opportunity for members to work on their ability to relate to others and improve relationships.

9. Group cohesiveness: Wanting to belong to a group a main motivation for human behavior. Group therapy can help people feel accepted and valued. This is an important healing factor if members have felt isolated.

10. Catharsis: The release of conscious or unconscious feelings gives members a great sense of relief. Yalom states that it is a type of emotional learning, as opposed to intellectual understanding, that can lead to immediate and long lasting change.

11. Existential Factors: Groups can explore and process issues such as death, isolation, and meaninglessness and help them accept difficult realities.

Joining a group of strangers can seem intimidating at first, however, joining a group can provide benefits that individual therapy alone may not, such as providing a support network. Other group members can help formulate solutions and hold each member accountable for change. Also talking with and listening to others can help put problems in perspective. Others may share similar struggles and give each member the experience that they are not alone. Diverse feedback is another benefit of participating in a group. Each members’ personality and background can help examine problems in different ways. Members can learn many different strategies for tackling issues.

By Nicki Line LMHC, LAPC, CST

The list of Pineapple Support support groups can be found by clicking here

Protect Your Pineapples – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Whatever size fruit you have in your basket – Remember to perform a self-exam once a month.

October is breast cancer awareness month, that doesn’t just mean turning half your wardrobe pink, changing your company logo (oh the irony) and proudly pinning a pink ribbon to every outfit.

Breast cancer awareness is about remembering to give yourself a self-exam once a month, it means supporting women affected by it and it means being grateful for your own health.

Each year 1.4 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer, which includes 1 in every 8 women in the USA. But early detection can make a huge difference to beating breast cancer and we think that’s something worth raising awareness about!

So whether your mammaries are like melons or your chesticles are more like cherries we would like to help you get to know your breasts and detect if there is a possible problem.

To show your support and raise awareness we would like to ask you to join our competition. After your self-exam, take a photograph of yourself , covering your credentials with your choice of fruit and post in on social media. Remembering to tag @PineappleYSW #ProtectYourPineapples and link back to this blog to ensure as many women as possible join us and protect their pineapples.

Breast cancer is not always detectable by a lump or hard mass, sometimes the symptoms are visual.

Some changes in your breasts are perfectly normal, but if you are worried, it is always best to visit your doctor.

What is it that you are feeling for?

When feeling for a lump, check from your armpit, to your collarbone, down to the bottom of your rib cage. A cancerous lump feels different from a normal breast lump, it often feels hard and immovable and can be any shape or size.

Getting to know your breasts is really important and the best time to give yourself a self-exam is just after your period when things are most normal.

Remember, when breast cancer is found early, survival rates are incredibly high.

Be proactive in caring for our health, self-exam once a month, eat well, exercise regularly and help raise awareness #ProtectYourPineapples

Safety First

Unless you are one of the very few people in the adult industry to be known by your real name, ensuring the safety of your identity is a crucial part of your life. Trusting relative strangers can result in horrendous consequences for not just yourself but also your family!

It has been announced recently that ‘Revenge Porn’ has risen considerably during the first part of this year, with the number of cases already higher than the whole of last year. One government funded helpline has seen an increase of more than 22% from last year and a recent report by Refuge has found that 1 in 7 women have received threats that intimate photos will be shared without their consent.

This year, no doubt due to the coronavirus and the consequent lockdowns has also seen a rise in domestic abuse and whilst it is not only women that are suffering, they are in the majority.

So how do you maintain your job in the adult world and ensure you stay safe now and in the future?

Starting off as you mean to go on is an absolutely crucial part of starting out in the adult industry. Always expecting the worst, utilizing every piece of security available and ensuring you always think first is the best advice you can receive and utilize.

For some though, it’s too late to act as the division between your public and private life has already become compromised. For those people, it seems that their whole world has crashed around them. This is especially pertinent for those working in the adult industry as it still causes upset to family and friends and the level of contempt is disturbingly high.

This can produce an enormous amount of distress to the person concerned and being ostracised for simply earning a living in the adult industry, can be the trigger for depression, melancholy and for some, alarmingly, suicidal thoughts ensue.

Not having any confidential routes to relay and discuss your concerns has been a huge issue for all adult workers, whether or not they work in sex or glamour. This is one of the main reasons that Leya Tanit set up Pineapple Support. Anyone in the adult industry can access their services for support, advice and counselling if required.

They have already provided help and support to lots of people and rely on donations to carry out this amazing work. If you have any interest in helping Pineapple Support, whether it’s with a much needed donation or if you are able to provide time, support or any kind of help, however small, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

https://pineapplesupport.org/

Carla Sez will back soon with more guidance on how to keep your work life safe and your private life secure and protected.

For now, think before you post!

Love All

Carla Sez x

Should you share your Life on Social Media?

Reaching out and providing support at anytime is important but even more so now.

Working from home has never felt so isolating and for most of us, admitting we are lonely and perhaps need help is one of the last things on our mind. For some unknown reason, that feeling of self-worth gets all screwed up in our head and finds its way out somewhat bitter and twisted. Sometimes we believe that everyone else should know how we are feeling, even though they don’t actually live inside our head!

Social media has a big part to play in todays world as we assume that once we have pressed ‘Enter’, all of our friends and all of the friends of those friends will see our post and come rushing to the rescue. The truth is that very few people actually see your latest ‘out-pouring’, and those that do find it hard to accept and respond to such an open form of counselling.

It is also increasingly difficult as you get older to accept help, we seem to revert back to those teenage years where we believed that nobody understood us and everyone was in fact out to make our lives difficult. Being independent is fine (up to a point) but at some time in our lives we all need a little bit of help, or a shoulder to cry on.

Knowing who you can trust and speak to about such personal matters is the first key to being able to cope with any kind of pressure. You shouldn’t wait until you need the help either. Find out who your real friends are by really thinking about your relationship with them.

You may share all the positive things in your life with a group of people or one person in particular and all the negative issues with another. You may even be the type of person who doesn’t ever share anything about their private life with friends ever.

Whichever group you belong to and especially if you are on your own, you do need support from time to time.

Pineapple Support have made it their mission to provide free support and therapy for all persons working in the online adult industry. It doesn’t matter about your gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, social status or age. They provide support 24/7 and their team of sex-worker friendly therapists offer face to face, or online therapy to anyone who needs it.

Their ever-growing team are always looking for ways to raise extra funds so that they can provide even more help for professional coaching, therapy and counselling for those who require help and support.

Do what you can to help this amazing cause.

Love to you ALL

Carla Sez x