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
Maybe you have asked yourself this question while yelling at your teenager, struggling with the family budget, or watching your spouse work too much. Let’s explore some answers that might help you understand the benefits of sitting your family down together under the guidance of a licensed therapist.
- It gives everyone an equal voice. I am trained to observe and detect what isn’t necessarily said out loud. I can help a child find words to express their needs, which is much harder for children than adults.
- It’s a safe place. A rule is established at the beginning of therapy that no one can be punished outside of session for what they say IN session. All members must agree to this rule.
- Everyone learns to communicate. I teach skills, such as using “I feel” instead of “you should” and to avoid the use of “never” or “always” when talking to loved ones. Defenses are lowered and love can flow more freely.
- It helps you see things from their point of view. I can help each member of the family articulate desires and feelings, then teach you how to reflect that back in a calm way.
- You learn to focus on the positive. I use exercises that are especially designed to bring good memories and positive thoughts about each family member to the forefront, increasing your bond with each other.
- Agreements can be forged. I have expertise in mediating family contracts, such as Teen Rights to the Car Keys, Work Hours for Dad, and Adult Child Living at Home. This teaches children how the real world functions, with responsibilities, rewards, and consequences.
- Secrets can be aired and resolved. Children know so much more about what’s going on behind the scenes than parents allow themselves to realize. Unhealthy secrets can be discussed and resolved, and questions answered.
- Mutual respect can be taught. Families often use sarcasm or abrasive “teasing,” which can scar a child. I can help you see where you might be unintentionally inflicting hurt.
- You have a safe place to be real. The pressure to put on a happy family face to the world can be exhausting. My office is a place where we can observe how families protect some members and blame others, and resolve that pattern.
- Responsibilities can be balanced. Often Mom is the primary caretaker, taking on chores that rightly belong to the rest of the family. I can help you work through a reasonable and fair plan to share the load.
If this sounds like what your family needs, let’s get started! Call me today for an appointment.
“Mommy, hello please? Hello please?” the little girl repeated plaintively as she tugged on her mother’s skirt as mom obliviously tapped on her cell phone.
The invention of our hand held devices is a very mixed blessing! On the one hand, we have the virtual world and relationships at our fingertips. Somebody can Like you on Facebook!! The adrenaline hit that brings is addictive and draws us in.
On the other hand, the real world and the relationships in front of us pass us by.
The idea of Be Here Now seems so elementary, but look around you. Is anyone in your line of vision enjoying the present moment-the coffee in their hand, the smile on the face of the clerk, the breeze that ruffles their hair? Or are they absorbed in the otherness of their phone?
As we constantly look to “the next thing,” we miss relating to what IS. As a therapist, I am constantly challenged to wake people up out of cyber-life and into the challenge and joys of this moment. I have to remind them, that sitting there with me, we are safe. We are fed. We are warm.
But maybe your present moment isn’t so great. Maybe escaping into your phone seems irresistible in the face of that divorce, that mean boss, or that medical diagnosis.
Using avoidance only compounds the current problem. The decisions, the insight needed to make changes are lost when problems are avoided by escaping into cyber world.
If this describes you, call me. I can help you face what you’re escaping with that phone. Finding solutions or at least facing the pain of the issues is the way to experience the life in front of you with freedom and peace. Don’t waste a minute of your existence!
“Living in the moment, living my life
Easy and breezy, peace in my mind-
Peace in my heart, peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home.”
(Song, Living in the Moment by Jason Mraz)
“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