Getting What You Need Out Of Counseling

5 Ways A Professional Intervention Can Help Family Members Of An Addict

Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Ways A Professional Intervention Can Help Family Members Of An Addict

One way to help a loved one suffering with addiction to realize their problems and begin to seek treatment is to organize a professional intervention. A professional intervention involves friends and family members coming together, led by an interventionist, to express their concern for a person in their life suffering from addiction. The main goal of most interventions is to convince an addict that they need help fighting their addiction by helping them recognize the negative affects their addiction has on their family. However, interventions are not just for a person suffering from addiction. There are many ways that a professional intervention can help the loved ones of a person suffering from addiction.  Give Family Members Specific Knowledge About Addiction  Interventionists are highly knowledgeable about addiction treatment methods and various aspects of addiction. They can help connect family members with resources to learn more about addiction recovery and can give suggestions for treatment centers and methods that may be helpful for specific situations. They may give a short lecture or lead a discussion about addiction to help family members understand addiction and their role in recovery.  Create a Space For Friends and Family Members to Connect With One Another  Before inviting a person suffering from addiction to an intervention, an interventionist will help identify key people in that person’s life that can create a meaningful intervention. These people may include friends, family members, and coworkers. Usually, the interventionist will call these people together to connect and talk about their experiences before performing an intervention. This creates an intimate space for friends and family members to share their feelings and experiences and begin to bond and support each other.  Help Family Members Connect With More Addiction Resources  Although an intervention may end by connecting an addict with resources to help them recover from their addiction, it is also important that friends and family members receive adequate support throughout the process. Your interventionist may suggest counseling for you and will give you information about where and when support groups for friends and family of addicts meet.  Give Family Members the Opportunity to Express Themselves  Many loved ones can experience feelings of anger, helplessness, and frustration when they have someone suffering from addiction in their life. An intervention creates a safe space for loved ones to express their feelings to each other and to the person suffering from addiction. A professional interventionist can lead you through healthy forms of expression, such as utilizing “I” statements, that help bring a feeling of closure and satisfaction to your situation.  Your interventionist may also suggest that you write a letter or record a video if you have a difficult time expressing yourself in person.  Give Family Members Hope  80% of addicts who go through a professional intervention enroll in treatment within 24 hours, and an additional 10% enroll in treatment for drug addiction within a week. This is a high success rate for interventions. This can give family members hope that their message has been heard and their loved one will change their behavior and enroll in a treatment program. Even if your loved one does not immediately enroll in a treatment program, having completed an intervention can lay the foundation to encourage them to seek help at a later point. It also lays out...

read more

Counseling Can Be A Good Idea For Money-Related Stress

Posted by on December 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Counseling Can Be A Good Idea For Money-Related Stress

If you are at a point in your life where you spend a lot of time worrying about money, your bills, and your lack of retirement savings, it might be time to seek help from a professional counselor. A lot of people have anxiety because of the extreme debt they have, and these worries lead to stress, which is very bad for your health. If you are in a bad financial state, you might be at a higher risk for developing health problems, but you might be able to find some relief from this stress by getting treatment for anxiety. Stress Leads To Health Issues WebMD reports that people with high levels of money stress may suffer from ulcers, back pain, headaches, depression, heart attacks, and many other health issues. Stress, in general, is not good for your body or mental status, and a main reason for this is due to the way your body fights stress. One of the first things your body will do when you feel stressed is release cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. While cortisol is natural and helpful at times for dealing with stress, it is not good when you are stressed all the time. As your body continues to produce cortisol, it can actually have negative effects on the way you think and on the way your body functions. High levels of cortisol can prevent you from learning and can lead to weight gain and high blood pressure. High levels are also linked to depression and mental illnesses. In addition, stress can also cause your body to increase the blood sugar in your system. Exposure to elevated levels of high blood sugar can lead to diabetes. Stress is also known for causing an increase in a person’s blood pressure, which makes the person at a higher risk for heart-related diseases and problems. Another risk you take when feeling stressed about money is developing bad habits. When people feel stressed over things, they may turn to food, alcohol, or drugs. They do this simply to feel better, but the feelings of joy are only temporary. After a while, the effects of consuming too much food or alcohol can lead to health problems and more stress. For some people, stressing over money also interferes with their sleep. If you are worrying about how you will pay your next mortgage payment, it could keep you awake at night. The problem with this is that sleep is one of the most important aspects of good health. Without the proper amount of sleep, your immune system will begin to weaken, and you may be even more susceptible to illnesses. How A Counselor Can Help According to recent polls, 72% of Americans worry about money. Reports also show that money is the top stress people experience in life. As common as worrying over money might be, it is not good for your health, and it doesn’t help you gain control over your finances. No matter what your reasoning is for your worrying, you can change your situation. Sometimes just talking about the situation can provide relief, but other times medication can help. There are numerous types of medications you could try, and this could be a great way to reduce the anxiety you are feeling. Seeking help...

read more

5 Tips For Getting Your Spouse To Go To Counseling

Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When facing a difficult time in your marriage, couples counseling can be immensely beneficial. A great therapist can help the two of you navigate relationship challenges, become better at communicating with and appreciating each other, and help you to understand each other’s perspectives. Unfortunately, just because couples counseling may be a great idea doesn’t mean your spouse sees it that way. One spouse resisting counseling is actually a pretty common problem. Here are five ways to deal with it: 1. Listen to Their Reasons It’s a good idea to sit down and have an open, non-judgmental discussion with your spouse about why they are hesitant to attend counseling with you. Approach this in a gentle way and don’t let yourself react defensively to their reasons. You may be surprised to discover that their reasons for not wanting to see a counselor are things you can easily address and reassure them about. For example, perhaps they are worried that you and the counselor are going to “gang up” on them. You can then explain that you instead see counseling as a collaborative discussion between the three of you. 2. Focus on the Positive Another way to help persuade your spouse to attend counseling is to focus on the positive reasons instead of focusing on your problems or the things you’re upset about. Rather than telling your spouse you’d like to see a counselor because you’re mad at them and have a list of grievances you’d like to discuss, tell them you think counseling will help give the two of you better communication and relationship skills. By focusing on the positive aspects of counseling, you will both start to see it as a step in the right direction and perhaps even something to look forward to. 3. Make Counseling Part of a Weekly Ritual Marriage counseling shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead, it should be part of an overall effort to increase emotional intimacy and strengthen your relationship. With this in mind, talk to your spouse about making counseling part of a weekly couples ritual. Maybe you can hire a sitter, attend your counseling session together, and then have a quiet dinner at home where you relax and decompress together, discussing what you found helpful about your therapy session. 4. Ask Them to Commit to Just One Session If your spouse continues to resist counseling, ask them to commit to just one session. If they know they don’t necessarily have to commit long-term, and can back out if they go to counseling and hate it, they may feel less pressured and more open to counseling. Hopefully, once they attend their one session they will be able to see how beneficial therapy will be to your relationship and agree to attend more sessions. In fact, most people who do attend marriage counseling end up enjoying it, with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy citing a 98% satisfaction rate from clients. Even if they don’t agree to attend further therapy appointments, at least you will know that you tried, and perhaps you will both learn a few valuable things at the initial session. 5. Consider Going it Alone If your spouse remains adamantly against couples counseling, perhaps you could attend counseling on your own. While this will not involve both of...

read more

The Little Details And The Big Picture: Rekindling Emotional Closeness In Your Marriage

Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Even though divorces can happen for serious reasons, like infidelity or abuse, many divorces in America happen simply because the love and romance behind the marriage contract slowly fade away. One article lists lack of intimacy, unmet expectations, and a loss of individuality as some of the reasons why couples contemplate divorce. These problems usually come when the closeness and trust you built during the early years is not longer there. It takes some real work to bring closeness back into a marriage, but if you are both willing to put in some extra effort, you can rekindle some of the spark that seems to have disappeared over time. Here are two ways that you can help to keep emotional intimacy alive in your marriage– even when it has been years since the honeymoon.  1. Get the details. One of the reasons why people start to “grow apart” in marriage is because they become so involved in the day to day task of living life, working, and raising kids that they fail to really connect each day and know the specific details about their partner’s thoughts, feelings and struggles.  People change over time, so it is important to always reconnect each day. You can begin to feel closer to your partner again by getting past generic questions like, “How was your day?” and ask questions and share experiences that contain detail and emotion. Some of the questions you could ask include: what was the best part of your day today? what made you feel frustrated today? did you have to deal with any difficult people at work? what did you learn about in your photography class? is there anything you wanted to do today that you didn’t get around to doing? These questions show a deeper level of interest in your partner’s life. As you ask pointed questions, you will get more intimate details about their thoughts, relationships with others, and the personal struggles they are going through. You can remember these details to inform your questions the next day. For example, after your spouse confides that she really struggles to reach a special needs child in her classroom, you could follow up the next day with a question like “How did things go with Johnny today?” These questions do a variety of things: they let you into the world of your spouse, they show that you genuinely care about them and their individual trials, and they also show your spouse that their answers are worth remembering. You’ll find that as you get the real details about life, that you will begin to renew your friendship and trust in one another.  2. Keep the dreams alive. Again, mundane life can really start to take a toll on a marriage if you and your partner are both putting your relationship on the back burner for more immediate problems. However, every person has hopes and dreams for the future. These provide motivation and excitement– likely, you fell in love with your partner partially because of the vision they had for the future and the personal goals they wanted to achieve. These “dreams” often fall behind, leaving both you and your partner less enthused about living in general. You can help to solve this problem by bringing goals and dreams to the...

read more

When Your Better Half Is Blue: Couples Counseling And Depression

Posted by on April 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you got married, friends and family members were probably full of advice. Perhaps they advised you about the rough roads the two of you might have to travel further down the marriage journey, and, preoccupied with seating arrangements, cake, and flowers, you brushed their comments aside. However, you and your spouse are now traversing one of those rough roads of marriage–depression–and have spun off into a ditch. How can you tell if your spouse is depressed? How does this disorder affect a marriage? Can couples counseling help you get back on the road? Facts about depression Depression is the most common mental disorder in the world, affecting 16 million Americans and 350 million people worldwide. Women are 70% more likely to experience an episode of depression than are men, and 14% of women will become depressed after having a baby (this is called postpartum depression). Half of the people in this country who are depressed do not seek treatment for their sadness, despite the fact that depression is highly amenable to a combination of counseling and anti-depressant medication. Depression’s reach stretches further than just the person suffering its effects; taxpayers and businesses are also affected, to the tune of 80 billion dollars annually in lost productivity and the costs of treatment. How do you know if your spouse is depressed? Depression doesn’t affect everyone the same way, so you may not realize your spouse fits its clinical picture. Here are some common symptoms your spouse may display: pervasive sadness irritability or outbursts of anger change in appetite or eating habits (eating/sleeping more or less than usual) inability to make simple decisions confusion or “foggy-headed”-ness loss of interest in usual activities reckless, uncharacteristic behavior drug/alcohol use disparaging statements about self statements indicating you would be better off without him/her As you can see, your spouse may appear sad and lethargic, or angry and withdrawn. He/she may come home drunk in the middle of the night, spend a shocking amount of money, or be paralyzingly indecisive about a job opportunity. Only a counseling professional can accurately diagnose depression. How does depression affect a marriage? Depression profoundly affects the health of a marital relationship. Because the two of you are meant to go through life as a team, when one partner is crippled by this disorder the front crumbles. While the affected spouse suffers internally, the other suffers the fallout. Disagreements become commonplace, division occurs on significant life issues, and divorce can loom up ahead. You feel powerless; your spouse feels hopeless. How can couples counseling help? You might think of couples counseling as helpful for negotiating chores, resolving family/career decisions, or addressing infidelity. But it is also critical to helping you get through the rough road of depression with your marriage intact. Successful couples counseling for depression will include identifying what areas of your marriage are most affected by your spouse’s depression allowing you to express your feelings without fear of hurting your spouse’s feelings examining communication styles finding solutions to pressing conflicts restoring understanding of each other’s perspectives The success of your couples counseling experience will hinge on your spouse’s concurrent involvement in individual depression treatment. This way, as your spouse explores and resolves the reasons for his/her sadness (perhaps with additional help from antidepressant medication), the two of...

read more

Going Through A Divorce? Here’s How To Get The Support That You Need

Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Going through a divorce is never a fun experience, especially when it comes to all the legal mumbo jumbo that has to be dealt with. Hiring a qualified lawyer to represent you is the most important thing you can do to protect your personal and financial rights. In addition to working with a lawyer, implementing a few support systems into your life is a surefire way to minimize stress throughout the divorce process. Here are six effective options to consider: Mediation Services Mediation can help lower your stress levels for a variety of reasons, namely the ability to keep the kids out of the crossfire and to ensure that you are heard and understood throughout the divorce process. Mediation can also help you avoid litigation which save you money and time overall. You lawyer can support your throughout the mediation process by making sure that you know your rights and responsibilities, and coaching you through sticky negotiations as they come up. Peer Support Groups A great way to make sure that your personal emotional needs are met is to get involved with a peer support group made up of other individuals who are currently or have previously gone through divorce. These support groups provide insight, understanding, and the ability to make new friends who are in the same situation as you are. If nothing else, the right peer support group will give you an outlet for your frustrations and overwhelmed feelings. Couples Therapy Sessions Adult counseling can help you and your partner to come to terms with the changes in your life and learn how to work together in the future toward the best interests of your family overall. It’s a way to air grievances in a constructive manner so that solutions can be found and implemented. There are several types of therapy options to consider including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – challenges negative thoughts so they don’t linger. Interpersonal Therapy – works on breaking down relationship barriers. Individual Therapy – Narrows in on specific needs and creates positive coping mechanisms. Even if your soon to be ex-spouse is not interested in attending therapy sessions with you, it can be helpful to attend them on your own. Not only will it give you the tools you need to positively interact with your partner, but you may find that they’re happy to join once they see that it is working for you. Weekly Dates With Friends Having a band of friends that you can talk to when you need a little extra support is really important, as it can help you feel less lonely and give you an opportunity to problem solve with the help of someone who has your personal best interests at heart. Maintain a solid support group in your social circles by setting up a weekly lunch date, bowling event, or park walk-a-thon that everyone can get involved in. It will take your mind off of the things that aren’t so great in life as well as encourage you to smile, laugh, and create deeper connections. Involvement With A Hobby When you need some extra support while you’re alone, spending time with a hobby that you truly enjoy is a constructive option. Not only does enjoying a hobby help to make you feel good about yourself, but it helps to...

read more

Grief Counseling For Children: Three Steps To Healing

Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If a child you love has experienced a profound loss, he or she may benefit from professional grief counseling. Whether the loss is that of a family member, friend or even a pet, the grieving child may exhibit feelings of depression or aggression, or inability to concentrate at school. When a child’s grief interferes with his or her life, or the sadness is prolonged, a counselor’s goal is to help the child deal with the loss and resume a healthy and functional routine. Here are three steps to healing that may be incorporated through professional counseling services: 1. Acceptance It’s important to allow the child to accept his or her feelings of sadness regarding the loss. The counselor will help the child understand that is is acceptable to feel angry or sad. Forcing a child to suppress these feelings may prolong the grieving process, or manifest into further complications. A counselor may speak with the child’s parent or guardian, explaining how statements such as,”Be strong for Mommy” or “No more tears” may actually have a negative impact on the child. Individual, group or family sessions with a grief counselor may help the child express his or her feelings in a healthy way. Conversely, if the child does not want to talk about the loss, a counselor will respect that. 2. Creating a Positive Outlet Some children express their grief through aggression or other negative behaviors. Once those issues have been identified, the counselor may help provide a positive outlet. For instance, if the child has been bullying or hitting siblings or classmates, allow him or her to unleash the pent-up frustration in an acceptable and constructive manner. This may be as simple as taking up a sport or sparring with a punching bag at the gym. There are other ways to create a positive outlet for the grieving child. The grief counselor may help the child through creativity. This might involve: Play Acting: The counselor might allow the child to express his or her feelings by role playing. This may be done with the use of hand puppets or dolls. One puppet or doll might represent the child, while another represents the lost loved one. Writing a Letter: Some children find comfort in writing letters to the deceased individual. By doing so, the child is free to express his or her feelings and feel a sense of “connection” to the lost loved one. It may also bring about closure, especially if the child has not has not a chance to say goodbye. To do so, the child might wish to attach the letter to a balloon and release it into the heavens. Drawing: The counselor might ask the child to draw a picture of the family or another type of drawing. This may provide some insight. The counselor might look for subtle clues in the drawings that can help “flush out” the child’s feelings or fears. 3. Keeping Memories Alive Some adults are under the assumption that reminders such as framed photos or personal belongings of the deceased should be out of the child’s sight. This may not be a healthy approach, as it forces the belief that a loved one should be forgotten. Instead, the counselor might ask the child if he or she would like to make...

read more