Q + a featuring: Mental Success

Francesca Mirizio. Marriage + Family Therapist, BHP

Francesca Mirizio. Marriage + Family Therapist, BHP

Meet Francesca Mirizio. Our go-to gal for all thing Mental Success. Before we jump into all the amazing questions you posed, Francesca is going to give us all the deets on what lead her toward the journey of mental health.

Around the time I was finishing my undergraduate degree, I started to feel this sense of panic and unsureness of the path I had chosen. I took a gap year to apply for a Master's program, and during that time I had applied for a Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, telling myself if I get in then this is what I am going to do.


Fast forward 7 years. I am so thankful I got in! I have experienced my own struggles with Mental Health and I've watched close family and friends struggle as well. All of this made my drive that much stronger.


I currently work with a wide range of clientele from littles, to young adults, as well as couples work. I'm always eager to learn and understand how and why we have each gotten to a certain place in our lives - how can I best assist clients get through this.
In working in this field I often tell clients that I am also working with a therapist ,because I believe everyone needs a coach or support system. It helps to normalize the work that we do and shows that vulnerability in ourselves for every client.


Currently I am working at Lifeline Professional Counseling at the Chandler and Scottsdale locations, if you would like to email me to chat or ask any questions, my confidential email is francesca@lifelinepcs.com You can also contact our office number at 480.641.1165.”

Alright, let’s dive into this Q + A!

Q:

What is the best way to relieve stress or anxiety in the moment?

A:

A go to that I often share with my clients is to focus on the breathe. Work towards being mindful of your inhales and exhales, and even counting your breathes! Also, when it comes to stress or anxiety it can be helpful to work towards grounding yourself, checking on what is exactly happening to you in the moment. Is it justifiable to feel overwhelmed or can I rationalize these emotions and thoughts!?

Q:

What are some strategies to rid yourself of limiting beliefs?

A:

Great Question! I always try to incorporate two skills, Radical Acceptance or the Wise Mind! Both are skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy - Radical acceptance is about accepting experiences, beliefs, and perceptions, often without judging or believing that things should be different than the way that they are.

Wise Mind refers to a balance between the reasonable and emotional mind, they are able to recognize and respect their feelings while responding to them in a rational manner.

Q:

What are some best practices to create deeper levels or focus and intention?

A:

Definitely DBT Therapy! It's focus is for more mindfulness and awareness - this helps with focus but also guiding you towards awareness of what is most valuable to you and your own life.

Q:

How can I be mentally successful if it feels like I am tricking myself into it? I want it to feel organic and not fake and forced

A:

Who care's how you get there... Our mental health is Always a work in progress, you may feel secure and strong one day, and then have an emotional set back the next, no one is counting or judging. Everyone's mental health journey is uniquely theirs. If you are being mindful and aware of your thoughts, decisions and emotions, you are trying and that is enough.

Q:

In a world of highlight reels, how do you not let the “grass is greener” vibes bring you down?

A:

By trying to remind myself of my own perceptions and how this is my own reality - I can't compare myself to anyone else, that only brings me down, and if I do I work to check in with why I am doing that! This career humbly reminds me that not everything is as it seems to be.

Q:

How do you control immediate emotional reactions to avoid unnecessary conflict?

A:

This is a constant battle! Short answer, I ask myself what would the potential outcome be if I did that?? How will this interaction affect me or someone else if I choose to let me emotions get the better of me??

Q:

How do you say no to plans, dates, events, etc without the guilt of letting someone down?

A:

Honesty! Being vulnerable with others can be difficult and uncomfortable... But people in your life will appreciate that honest communication when things change and you have to say no.

If you don't feel comfortable to give a response, then validate to yourself as many times as you need to as to why this was the right decision for you!

Q:

How do you stop self sabotaging in either personal or professional life?

A:

Good Question - First challenge why you are doing this?

Do you sub consciously not want the relationship to work so you are picking fights?

Do you resent your work policies so you are intentionally not completing things on time...

Also, think about the potential outcome of these actions, what is the negative consequence that is going to come from this.

Q:

For those of us that are not yoga doers, what is an alternative to being mindful?

A:

Mindfulness can be practiced in so many ways! I try to guide clients to first begin incorporating it into daily routines, getting ready in the morning, drinking your coffee, to mindful eating habits. Start super small and turn off all distractions to better help you to be present while doing these things.

Q:

What are some good tactics to be a good partner for your significant other?

A:

Actively Listening!! We tend to engage when something is interesting to us, and lose interest when we aren't. Being in a relationship means being present for both conversations.

That, and I always suggest doing the 5 Love Languages Test! Find out how you both give and receive Love to deepen your connection.

The Gottman workbook "The Seven principles to making Marriage Work" is a Lifesaver for couples struggling in a relationship.

Q:

Sometimes they whole “do less” mentality is easier said than done, what are some concrete steps to actually feel okay doing so?

A:

Baby Steps. It can be overwhelming to make space and take less on or even adding more self-care to your to-do list.

Gently letting go of obligations and focusing more on yourself is the only way - Gently and mindfully exposing yourself to this change can make it much easier rather than drastically withdrawing from current expectations.

Q:

Is it ever possible to truly feel mentally comfortable and strong in our own bodies?

A:

OF COURSE! Feeling good about yourself means accepting yourself. It doesn't mean that you are comparing yourself or judging yourself to a high standard or expectations of society.

Radical Acceptance can help you get that self acceptance and love that you need to feel your best.

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Ellyse Bollinger