1) higher confidentiality standards (no insurance accepted)
2) Email support between sessions
3) Coordinate care with your medical provider, if you wish
4) Quality Assessments done periodically
5) Progress updates every 6th session
6) Handouts to reinforce what you’ve learned
8) Testing for depression and anxiety, with actual test numbers reported
9) Reduced fee/sliding scale counseling available with Intern Therapists
10) You will leave the first session with a “Prescription” of immediate, practical suggestions
“My mother is always telling me what to do, and then she wonders why I don’t call her more often,” my client sighed as she wiped away tears of frustration.
“Do you tell her that you’d prefer her not to do that?” I prodded gently.
“No! I can’t talk back to my mother,” she replied, shocked.
All of us have personal space that we must protect from invasion by others and most of us are aware that our bodies belong to us. This is why we recognize that it’s not OK to force or coerce our children into hugging or kissing people against their will. Our bodies are ours alone.
We realize we should protect our physical space from those who get closer or more physical than we’d prefer, but do you know that you have emotional space that belongs to you as well? I use the hula hoop as an illustration of this.
My feelings, my decisions, my consequences…
As an adult, it’s my right to determine my own life. Imagine a hula hoop worn by each of us. Inside that hoop are decisions such as when you sleep, what you eat, whether or not you exercise, take care of yourself, whether or not you attend worship, have hobbies, political or religious beliefs, how you raise your children-well, you get the idea.
When we start to tell people our opinions about how they choose in these areas, we are jumping their hoop and getting into the space that rightly belongs to them. When we allow others to criticize or lecture us about our choices, we allow invasion into our hula hoop as well. This causes insecurity, resentment, and the presence of control.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me…
Keeping our opinions to ourselves about the life choices of other adults is part of respecting the freedom we all have to live our lives the way we see fit. Saying a firm but friendly “hey, that’s my call about how I live my life, so let’s talk about something else” is essential to taking care of YOU.
I can help you with assertive and kind answers to keeping others out of your hula hoop. Let’s get started!
Have you ever wondered about all of the types of counseling or therapy providers out there? All of the issues in this title can be treated by several different kinds of licensed professionals. The key word to look for is “Licensed,” because it means a certain level of accountability to a governing body and a minimum Master’s level of education. Here’s an overview of some of the types of licensed therapists out there:
Master’s Level Therapists include:
Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
Licensed Clinical Counselors (LCC)
Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC)
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
These are just some of the types throughout the United States, and there are Interns in each profession as well who are licensed and supervised in practice. There are also Supervisor levels for each license, which indicates more experience and training.
Counseling or therapy (the words are used interchangeably) is also conducted by Doctoral level (PhD or PsyD) therapists called Psychologists. Psychologists are licensed to do levels of testing that a Master’s level therapist cannot.
Mental Health Providers who can legally prescribe medication are generally a Psychiatrist or a PMHNP (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner). Psychiatrists have an MD level degree, as they are medical doctors who have completed additional training in psychiatry. Most psychiatrists don’t do “talk” therapy, preferring to focus on medication and prescribing instead. The same is generally true for PMHNP providers. Of course, the medical profession itself can prescribe but they don’t do talk therapy.
The most important factor for you is how comfortable you feel with the licensed provider you have chosen. Personalities between client and therapist must mesh for the therapy to be effective. If there’s something your therapist can do differently, ask! Communication is key.
If you have any questions about any of this information, don’t hesit
By Ted Feinberg, EdD, NCSP, & Katherine C. Cowan National Association of School Psychologists
Let your children know you care. If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Reinforce the ability to cope. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence for your child. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routine.
Do not overreact. If the first few days are a little rough, try not to over react. Young children in particular may experience separation anxiety or shyness initially but teachers are trained to help them adjust. If you drop them off, try not to linger. Reassure them that you love them, will think of them during the day, and will be back.
Remain calm and positive. Acknowledge anxiety over a bad experience the previous year. Children who had a difficult time academically or socially or were teased or bullied may be more fearful or reluctant to return to school. If you have not yet done so, share your child’s concern with the school and confirm that the problem has been addressed. Reassure your child that the problem will not occur again in the new school year, and that you and the school are working together to prevent further issues.
Reinforce your child’s ability to cope. Give your child a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his or her own. But encourage your child to tell you or the teacher if the problem persists. Maintain open lines of communication with the school.
Arrange play dates. Try to arrange get-togethers with some of your child’s classmates before school starts and during the first weeks of schools to help your child re-establish positive social relationships with peers.
Plan to volunteer in the classroom. If possible, plan to volunteer in the classroom at least periodically throughout the year. Doing so helps your child understand that school and family life are linked and that you care about the learning experience. Being in the classroom is also a good way to develop a relationship with your child’s teachers and classmates, and to get firsthand exposure to the classroom environment and routine. Most teachers welcome occasional parent help, even if you cannot volunteer regularly.
Do you know that you can focus on various areas in your life to see if you are feeling better in specific ways? This is a fun, informal quiz to use for this purpose. Rate your improvement from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most improved. Leave it blank if it doesn’t apply to you. Take the results to your therapist for discussion.
__Ability to reach Life Goals
__Your work or career
__Level of happiness
__Use of your talents
__Sense of Humor
__Ability to care for others
__Ability to make friends
__Getting along with coworkers
__Taking time for you
__Treating yourself well
__Putting your needs first
__Taking care of your body
__Not getting overly tired
__Taking care of yourself when ill
__Appropriate alcohol use (or none at all)
Track your progress on a regular basis. Therapy is all about improving your life and making it the best it can be!
(Adapted from It’s My Life Now by M. Dugan)