Individual Counseling

Personal therapy is a time to meet one-on-one with your therapist for support,
guidance and tools to help you better manage your life.

 

Conquer Depression

Depression can feel daunting and overwhelming. Talk through your problems, learn some skills and gain hope that you can conquer depression.

 

Marital Counseling

Couples meet together with their therapist to learn how to better listen, understand and
communicate with their partner.

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Coping with Grief, Loss, and Anxiety During the Holidays

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For anyone dealing with an illness, grief, loss, and subsequent anxiety it causes or the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be a time of sadness, pain, anger, or dread. It can be difficult to cope, especially when you see the sights and sounds of holiday happiness all around you.

The ebb and flow of grief can become overwhelming with waves of memories, particularly during Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Grief can also magnify the stress and anxiety that is often already a part of the holidays.

How can you begin to fill the emptiness you feel when it seems that everyone else is overflowing with joy? There are a few strategies that you can employ to help you get through this time.

Offer Yourself Some Grace 

One of the best things you can do is give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Try not to fall prey to the belief that you have to feel a certain way or do certain things in order to make the holiday “normal.” If you feel sad, allow the tears to come; if you feel angry, allow yourself to vent some steam.

Be Kind to Yourself 

It’s important that you get the rest and nourishment you need and try not to take on more than you can handle. If you need to be alone, then honor that. If you crave the company and affection of others, seek it out. Do whatever feels right to you during this difficult time.

Ask For and Accept Help 

The holiday season is no time to feign strength and independence when you’re grieving a death. You will need the help and support of others to get through, so don’t feel as if you are a burden. People generally receive satisfaction and even joy from helping those they care about.

After a death, people often desire to help but simply don’t know how. If you need someone to help you prepare meals, shop, or decorate, this is the time to speak up and make your needs known. Quite often, they will be delighted to feel like they are helping you in some way.

The same holds true for your emotional needs. Friends and family members might feel uncomfortable talking about your grief. They might think that you don’t want to talk about it and don’t want to be reminded of your pain.

The American Psychological Association (APA) notes that not talking about someone’s death lead to isolation and discourage those who are there to support you. Again, you will have to tell your loved ones the best way that they can help you. If you want to talk about what you’re going through, or you just need a shoulder to cry on, let them know.

Find Support

Sharing your feelings is often the best way to get through them and finding people you can talk to will help. Friendsand relativescan be a great support during times of grief. However, they might be coping with their own feelings or so immersed in the holidays that they cannot offer the support you need.

Another good option is to look for a licensed therapist for individual or group therapies. Support group members often make friends that end up being a source of comfort and care for many years to come.

A loss, whether it be a parent, sibling, child, or friend is a very personal matter. Your loss seems like the worst possible thing that could have happened to youand it can be exponential during the holiday season.

When you lose a significant person from your life, whatever the relationship, it hurts and nothing takes away from your right to feel the loss and grieve the absence of that person from your life.

Make a Difference

Many people like to help others in large or small ways during the holiday season. We may drop our change in a charity basket, purchase a gift for a needy child, or donate to a favorite organization. This can help us feel like we are contributing to the greater good.

Likewise, helping improve the lives of others can help take the focus off your loss.Many studies demonstratethat volunteering can be beneficial to our mental health, particularly as we ageand also during the holidays.

Consider volunteering at a nursing home, hospital, hospice, children’s shelter, or soup kitchen. You can also find a way to help another family member or friend who may need it. Any of these things can prove cathartic and help in the healing process.

Don’t Make Comparisons

It’s easy to see other people or families enjoying holiday festivities and compare their experience to what you feel during this difficult time. This may make you feel worse or that you’re lacking in some fashion.

Keep in mind that the holidays are stressful for most people and they are rarely the “magical” gatherings depicted in greeting cards, movies, or on television. Try to embrace what you have rather than compare it to what you think others have.

A Word From Foundations Counseling

As difficult as it seems, you will survive the holidays in one piece. Because of your grief, this holiday might prove to be a very difficult experience. However, you will get through it and come out on the other side stronger than before. You don’t necessarily have to enjoy the holidays or even go through the motions of pretending to enjoy the festivities.

That said, it’s also fine to have a good time in spite of your grief. If happiness slips through your window of grief, allow it to happen and enjoy it. You won’t be doing your loved one an injustice by feeling joyous. The best gift you can give anyone you love is that of being true to yourself and living your life to the fullest, even as you adjust to the loss and remember your loved one.

If you may be experiencing symptoms caused by grief and loss during the holiday season or for more information about the positive effects of counseling for grief and loss, please contact Foundations Counseling today.

Managing Typical Stressors During the Holiday Season

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Welcome to the holiday season and holiday stress! This is the time of year when the whirlwind of gift-giving holidays, marketing blitzes, holiday parties, and activities galore begins right after Halloween, builds to Thanksgiving and continues gaining momentum through the end of the year.

While this season is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, it’s also the harbinger of holiday stress for many. In fact, according to most health data surveys, more than 80% of us find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful.

Doing Too Much

“All things should be done in moderation”, as the saying goes. The problem with the holiday season is that we often experience too much of a good thing. While stress itself is necessary for our survival and zest for life (some may call this a positive type of stress) too much stress definitely has a negative impact on us, both mental and physical. Too many activities, even if they are fun activities, can culminate in too much holiday stress and leave us feeling frazzled, rather than fulfilled.

Eating, Drinking, and Spending Too Much

An overabundance of parties and gift-giving occasions lead many people to eat, drink and be merry, often to excess. The temptation to overindulge in spending, rich desserts or alcohol can cause many people the lasting stress of dealing with consequences (debt, weight gain, memories of embarrassing behavior) that can linger long after the season is over. Also, in these more difficult financial times, finding affordable gifts can be stressful in itself, and carrying holiday debt is a tradition that too many people unwittingly bring on themselves, and the stress that comes with it can last for months.

Too Much Togetherness

The holidays are a time when extended families tend to gather. While this can be a wonderful thing, even the most close-knit families can overdose on togetherness, making it hard for family members to maintain a healthy balance between bonding and alone time. Many families also have roles that each member falls into that have more to do with who individuals used to be rather than who they are today, which can sometimes bring more dread than love to these gatherings.

Not Enough Togetherness

For those who don’t have these family issues, loneliness can be just as much of a problem. As the world seems to be gathering with family, those who rely more on friends for support can feel deserted and alone.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

An often-unrecognized problem that comes with the holiday season is actually a by-product of the seasons changing from fall to winter. As daylight diminishes and the weather causes many of us to spend more time indoors, many people are affected to some degree by a type of depression known as the “seasonal affect disorder.” It’s a subtle but very real condition that can cast a pall over the whole season and be a source of stress and unhappiness during a time that people expect to feel just the opposite.

Minimizing Holiday Stress

The great thing about holiday stress is that it’s predictable. Unlike many other types of negative stress that we encounter in life, we know when holiday stress will begin and end, and we can make plans to reduce the amount of stress we experience and the negative impact it has on us.

Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

The following are some tips you can try to help reduce holiday stress before it begins so that it remains at a positive level, rather than an overwhelming one.

1. Set Your Priorities

Before you get overwhelmed by too many activities, it’s important to decide what traditions offer the most positive impact and eliminate superfluous activities. For example, if you usually become overwhelmed by a flurry of baking, caroling, shopping, sending cards, visiting relatives and other activities that leave you exhausted by January, you may want to examine your priorities, pick a few favorite activities and really enjoy them, while skipping the rest.

2. Scale It Down

If you can’t fathom the idea of skipping out on sending cards, baking, seeing people, and doing all of the stuff that usually runs you ragged, you may do better including all of these activities in your schedule, but on a smaller scale.

Send cards, for example, but only to those with whom you maintain regular communication. Or, don’t include a personal note or letter in each one. Find a way to simplify. The same goes for the baking—will anyone be enraged if you buy baked goods from the bakery instead? If you find ways to cut corners or tone down the activities that are important to you and your family, you may enjoy them much more.

3. Be Smart With Holiday Eating

During the holidays, we may want to look and feel great (especially if we’re around people we don’t see often—we know that this is how we’ll be remembered), but there is so much temptation in the form of delicious food and decadent desserts, and a break from our regular routines—plus the addition of emotional stress—can all add up to overeating, emotional eating, and other forms of unhealthy eating. This year, plan ahead by being aware of your triggers, do what you can to have some healthy food at hand for each meal, be aware of your intake, and practice mindful eating.

4. Change Your Expectations for Togetherness

With family and friends, it’s important to be aware of your limitations. Think back to previous years and try to pinpoint how much togetherness you and your family can take before feeling negative stress. Can you limit the number of parties you attend or throw or the time you spend at each? Can you limit your time with family to a smaller timeframe that will still feel special and joyous, without draining you?

Also, when many of us are dealing with so-called difficult relatives, it’s okay to set limits on what you are and are not willing to do, including forgoing your visits or limiting them to every other year.

For those who may experience loneliness during the holiday season, consider inviting a group of friends to your home. If virtually everyone you know is with family during the holidays, you might consider volunteering to help those less fortunate than yourself. Many people report these experiences to be extremely fulfilling, and your focus will be on what you have rather than what you lack.

5. Set a Schedule

Putting your plans on paper can show you, in black and white, how realistic they are. If you find a time management planner and fill in the hours with your scheduled activities, being realistic and including driving time and downtime, you will be able to see if you’re trying to pack in too much.

Start with your highest priorities, so you will be able to eliminate the less important activities. Be sure to schedule in some time to take a nature walk each day if at all possible, as exercise and exposure to daylight can drastically reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of “SAD.” If climate or other factors prohibit this, try to find some time to sit by a window and look out; several minutes of exposure to natural light, even if through a windowpane, can help.

6. Breathe

This sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget to take deep breaths and really give our bodies the oxygen we need. It’s great if you can take ten minutes by yourself to do a breathing meditation but merely stopping to take a few deep, cleansing breaths can reduce your level of negative stress in a matter of minutes, too. If you visualize that you are breathing in serenity and breathing out stress, you will find the positive effects of this exercise to be even more pronounced.

For more information about Managing Typical Stressors During the Holiday Season, or to speak with someone at Foundations Counseling, please schedule an appointment with one of our licensed counselors today.

Top Benefits of the EMDR Therapy Process

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy technique used to treat anxiety, PTSD, and more. This technique is known as EMDR therapy.

In 1987 psychologist Francine Shapiro developed a new type of psychotherapy known as EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR therapy has become a more common treatment in recent years as a treatment option for people suffering from anxiety, panic, PTSD, or trauma 

According to the EMDR Research Foundation, “EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy includes a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from several different treatment approaches.

To date, EMDR has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.

What is EMDR?

EMDR therapy is a phased, focused approach to treating traumatic and other symptoms by reconnecting the client in a safe and measured way to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma, and allowing the natural healing powers of the brain to move toward adaptive resolution.

It is based on the idea that symptoms occur when trauma and other negative or challenging experiences overwhelm the brain’s natural ability to heal, and that the healing process can be facilitated and completed through bilateral stimulation while the client is re-experiencing the trauma in the context of the safe environment of the therapist’s office (dual awareness).

EMDR works to disarm belief systems, also known as cognitions, and changes the negative cognition through a series of lateral eye movements, tapping or sound, while the client is asked to create the picture of pain and danger (trauma) that most disturbs them.

Typically, it identifies and addresses traumatic experiences that have overwhelmed the brain’s natural coping capacity, and, as a result, have created traumatic symptoms, such as flashbacks or anxiety, or harmful coping strategies, such as isolating behavior and self-medication with alcohol or drugs.

How Does EMDR Work?

Through EMDR, individuals safely reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive to their lives. There are varying phases of treatment and in the initial phase, the individual focuses on a disruptive memory and identifies the negative cognition they hold about themselves associated with that memory. (for example, in dealing with abuse, the person may believe, “I deserved it”) the individual then formulates a positive cognition that they would like to have (“I am a worthwhile and good person” or “I am in control of my life.”).

All the sensations and emotions that go along the memory are identified. The individual then reviews the memory while focusing on an external stimulus that creates bilateral stimulation.

Normally, this is done by watching the therapist move two fingers. After each set of bilateral movements, the individual is asked what they focused on during the stimulation. This process continues until the memory is no longer disturbing to the individual. The individual is processing the trauma. The selected positive belief is then installed, via bilateral stimulation, to replace the negative belief.

It is theorized that EMDR works because the “bilateral stimulation” bypasses the area of the brain that processes the memories that have become stuck due to the trauma. Once memories are stuck it prevents the brain from proper processing and storage of the memory.

During EMDR, individuals process the memory safely which leads to a peaceful resolution. This can result in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing event and the negative beliefs they once held about the original traumatic event.

Who Uses EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy has been endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. In addition, it is used by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense.

According to the EMDR Research Foundation there are now over 30 gold standard studies documenting the effectiveness of EMDR therapy over the past 30 years with problems such as rape and sexual abuse, combat trauma, childhood trauma and neglect, life threatening accidents, and symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

Licensed therapists believe that this type of therapy has the ability to heal people who are suffering from all types of trauma. This approach shifts the way we process the presence of the physical, emotional and psychological effects related specifically to a traumatic event. The pain and sense of danger carried within the self after a traumatic event grips the soul with such purchase that it leads into a sense of being in emotional quicksand.

Does EMDR Therapy Work?

According to the EMDR Institute, Inc., some of the studies on this type of therapy show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.

Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions.

What is also different about this type of therapeutic intervention is that the therapist does not conversationally converse with the client while going through the process.

After an EMDR session, clients can experience more vivid dreams, may sleep differently, might feel more sensitive to interactions with others or to external stimuli.

Pairing EMDR Therapy with Other Therapeutic Techniques

EMDR Therapy is not the only form of therapy appropriate for people dealing with anxiety, PTSD, panic, and/or trauma, and just because someone is undergoing EMDR therapy does not mean that that person cannot undergo another form of therapy at the same time. Speak with your therapist about combinations of therapy or therapeutic techniques that might prove most effective.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most common form of therapy. If you are interested in pairing EMDR with other therapeutic techniques, we encourage you to discuss this with one of our therapists during an introductory meeting.

For more information about EMDR Therapy at Foundations Counseling, please schedule an appointment with one of our licensed counselors today.

10 Warning Signs Your Child is Suffering from Mental Illness

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Nearly 1 in 5 children has an emotional or behavioral disorder.

Most parents have an instantaneous desire to protect their children. We tend to our children’s needs if an unexplained rash appears, we see the doctor. If a fever spikes, we see the doctor. If a bone seems injured, we see the doctor.

Visible wounds are relatively easy to recognize. It’s different when a child begins having problems at school or with friends, or if he or she becomes uncooperative and has inexplicable outbursts. Such occurrences often leave parents feeling confused and unsure about what to do.

Nearly one in five children is affected with an emotional or behavioral disorder. You may recognize that something is not right, but what it is or what to do remains a mystery. Further, nearly 5 million American children and adolescents suffer from a serious mental illness (one that significantly interferes with their day-to-day life).

Warning Signs and Parent Radar

A teacher, relative, or friend may tell you it’s “a stage,” but you feel that the “stage” has lasted too long, the behavior is too disruptive, or failing grades don’t improve no matter what you or the school tries.

The following warning signs may indicate a problem needing specialized attention, typically by working with a professionally licensed counselor. What you are looking for indicates that your child may be experiencing one or more of these symptoms. The symptoms are also atypical for his or her developmental stage and not related to a move, divorce, or other stressful event:

  1. Your child is having more difficulty at school.
  2. Your child is attempting to injure him/herself.
  3. Your child is avoiding friends and family.
  4. Your child is experiencing frequent mood swings.
  5. Your child is experiencing intense emotions such as angry outbursts or extreme fear.
  6. Your child is lacking energy, motivation, and the ability to concentrate.
  7. Your child is having difficulty sleeping, or is having a lot of nightmares.
  8. Your child has a lot of physical complaints.
  9. Your child is obsessed with his or her weight, shape, or appearance.
  10. Your child is eating significantly more or less than usual.

By listening to your “parent radar,” you can voice your concerns and begin the journey of finding and fighting for the help your child may need.

LPCs Can Guide You and Your Child

Few are better able to guide parents through the agonizing uncertainty and turmoil of a child with a mental health problem than licensed professional counselors (LPCs). When raising children, all of whom may have serious mental health or behavioral challenges such as bipolar disorder, ADHD, ADD, autism, anorexia, and depression, integrating advice and therapies with child psychologists will help tremendously. Being able to find the right therapist to navigate the clinical jargon and mental health system is equally as important.

Even once you have a diagnosis, it is critical to listen to your parent radar. For example, the mother of a 12-year-old diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and a moderate developmental disability, will not necessarily have the ability to say what she really needs to. Until that communication happens, your child can help you with that part, but a parent must continue to trust your gut and be that voice in her struggle.

 

When to Seek Professional Help

Meeting with a trained professional doesn’t mean your child is crazy, nor does it mean you’re an incompetent parent. Sometimes, for one reason or another, kids just need a little extra support or a different type of discipline to perform at their best. Early intervention is often the key to successful treatment.

If you’re questioning whether your child may need help, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. If there are no serious problems, talking to a child behavior specialist may put your mind at ease. If problems are detected, a child behavior specialist can address the problem before it gets worse.

How a Professional Can Help

A child behavior expert can rule out any mental health issues that may be behind the behavior problems, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If your child has ADHD, a professional can discuss treatment options and discipline strategies that are effective for ADHD.

At other times, depression can contribute to behavioral issues. For example, a depressed teenager is likely to be irritable and may refuse to get up in the morning for school or may want to spend the majority of his time in his room.

Anxiety disorders can also lead to behavior problems. An anxious tween may become argumentative or non-compliant if he’s worried about something. A complete evaluation will help rule out any mental health conditions and treating these underlying conditions may lead to great improvements in behavior.

A professional counselor will make recommendations. For example, a child who has been traumatized by a serious event may benefit from individual counseling. Or, a child who is struggling to adjust to a new blended family situation may benefit from individual or family therapy.

At other times, a licensed professional counselor and expert in their field may want to work with you without your child present. Providing support and training to parents can lead to the fastest results when it comes to many behavior problems.

Navigating the “Storm”

Should you find yourself and your child on the emotional roller coaster of a mental-health challenge, you will, as every professional counselor suggests, need help and hope. You must take care of yourself and stay strong for your child, and also know when to befriend others who have faced similar challenges so you don’t feel isolated and alone.

Foundations Counseling compassionately explains how to develop essential coping skills to support your child while also taking care of the rest of your family when dealing with these common challenges.

For more information about your child’s mental and behavioral challenges, or for an evaluation, please contact Foundations Counseling today.

Do You Know Someone Suffering from Bipolar Disorder?

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Whether we are aware of it or not, we all may know someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that can cause dramatic changes in mood and energy levels. Symptoms can affect daily life severely with major ups-and-downs. Importantly, spotting the signs of bipolar disorder can help a person to get the proper treatment, as real dangers do exist.

A person who has Bipolar disorder will encounter a range in mood from feelings of elation and high energy to intense depression. There can also be disruption in sleep and thinking patterns and other behavioral symptoms.

The extremes of mood are known as manic episodes and depressive episodes. Hypomania has symptoms of a manic episode that are less severe.

Typically, in most cases, people suffering from Bipolar disorder do not experience symptoms usually until the age of 25 on average. Symptoms can appear during the teenage years, and less commonly, during childhood.

The Signs and Symptoms?

Bipolar disorder is a condition with mood swings that can range from euphoria to depression.However, for a diagnosis of “bipolar I” disorder, a person only needs to have one manic episode.

What is Mania?

When someone has mania, they do not just feel very happy. They feel euphoric.

A person with mania may:

  • Possess a lot of energy
  • Feel able to do and achieve anything
  • Find sleeping to be difficult
  • Spend money excessively and impulsively
  • Use rapid speech that jumps between topics and ideas
  • Feel agitated, jumpy, or even slightly “wired”
  • Engage in risky and impulsive behaviors
  • Use unwise consumption of alcohol and other substances
  • Believe that they are more important than others or have important connections
  • Show anger or aggression if others challenge their views or behavior

Severe mania can involve psychosis, with hallucinations or delusions. Hallucinations can cause a person to see, hear, or feel things that are not there.People may have delusions and distorted thinking that cause them to believe that certain things are true when they are not.

A person in a manic state may not realize that their behavior is unusual, but others may notice a change in behavior. Some may see the person’s outlook as sociable and fun-loving, while others may find it unusual or bizarre.

The individual may not realize that they are acting inappropriately or be aware of the potential consequences of their behavior.

They may need help in getting help and staying safe, which is where family and friends should step in to seek professional therapists.

What is Hypomania?

Not everyone will have a severe manic episode. Less severe mania is known as hypomania. Symptoms are similar to those of mania, but the behaviors are less extreme, people can often function well in their daily life, and it typically only lasts 3-4 days.

If a person does not address the signs of hypomania, it can progress into a more severe form of the condition at a later time.

Bipolar Depression Symptoms

Signs of a depressive episode are the same as the symptoms of a major depressive episode.These may include:

  • eeling down or sad
  • >having very little energy
  • having trouble sleeping or sleeping a lot more than usual
  • thinking of death or suicide
  • forgetting things or feeling distracted
  • feeling tired on a constant basis
  • losing enjoyment in daily activities
  • lack of emotion or joy in facial expressions

In severe cases, a person may experience psychosis or a catatonic depression, in which they are unable to move, talk, or take any action. Although rare, bipolar disorder could occur in young children and teenagers.

What are the Causes?

Doctors do not know exactly what causes bipolar disorder. In general, there are theories that may be triggers, as follows:

  1. Genetic factors: A person with bipolar disorder may have a parent with the condition. However, having a parent or even a twin with bipolar disorder does not mean a person will have it.
  1. Stress: Someone who has a genetic predisposition may experience their first episode of depression or mania during or after a time of severe stress, for example, the loss of a job or a loved one.

When to See a Therapist?

People with symptoms of Bipolar should seek professional help as soon as possible and as a precaution, at the very least. It is always a good idea to speak with a therapist when there is concern about severe mood swings that seem to come and go or make it difficult to work.

The best person to start with may be a primary care physician or family doctor. They will likely refer someone with these symptoms to a therapist, or a specialist who cares for people with mental health disorders.

Someone who notices these symptoms in a friend or loved one can also speak with atherapist about their concerns.

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or believe that you may be suffering from bipolar disorder, please pick up the phone today and call our team at Foundations Counseling.

7 Things You Feel when Losing a Loved One

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One reason that we often find grief and loss to be such a difficult challenge is that we have never learned what to expect. The following will help you understand some crucial truths about grief and loss when losing a loved one.

Importantly, how to work through the process to find healing is just as vital. The following 7 feelings are what you will most likely experience after a tremendous loss.

#1 Grief is Normal

Feeling grief after losing a loved one is not a disease. It is the normal, human response to a significant loss. People may encourage you to “be strong” or “not to cry.” But how sad it would be if someone we cared about died and we didn’t cry or we carried on as if nothing had happened?

When you lose someone special from your life, you are going to go through challenging times – this is to be expected. Our devastating loss is saying that we miss the person and that we’re struggling to adjust to a life without that special relationship.

Admittedly, saying that grief is normal still does not minimize how difficult the feelings are. It may be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. However, you are not crazy, or weak, or poorly managing things.

You are experiencing grief and after a significant loss that is and actually should be a normal response.

#2 Your Own Grief

A loss, whether it be a parent, sibling, child, or friend is a very personal matter. Your loss seems like the worst possible thing that could have happened to you. Sometimes people ask if it is more difficult to lose a spouse than to lose a child.

Others question if it is worse to lose someone after a long lingering illness or if they die suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack or in an accident. While these circumstances make each loss different, they are not important at the moment it happens.

The worst kind of loss is your own.

When you lose a significant person from your life, whatever the relationship, it hurts and nothing takes away from your right to feel the loss and grieve the absence of that person from your life.

#3 Dealing with Loss Is a Process

Grieving is painful. A loss is one of the most difficult human experiences. There is no easy way around it. We may try to avoid the pain. We may attempt to get over it as quickly as possible.

But most often, it simply does not work that way.

Helen Keller said, “The only way to get to the other side is to go through the door”. You need to try and find the courage to go through this experience of grief. Learning this is a major key to recovery and considering a therapist immediately afterward is always a good idea.

#4 Grief is Tied to the Relationship

Every relationship holds a special and unique significance to us. To fully interpret our grief and loss “response,” we need to understand what the relationship brought to our life.

We may grieve the loss of a parent differently from the loss of a friend. Each person made a significant, yet different, contribution to our lives. What we have lost is not the same and so we grieve differently. This too is normal.

Two individuals, both experiencing the loss of a spouse, may grieve quite differently because of the differing circumstances (the duration, level of happiness, and age) of the relationship.

#5 Grief and Loss is Hard Work

A response is painful and the process requires more energy to work through than most people expect. Whether we know it or not, the loss will take a toll both physically and emotionally.

This is why we often feel so fatigued after a loss or why we may feel very apathetic towards people and even joyful events. The problem is often compounded by people’s expectations of us to be strong or pull ourselves together or to get on with life.

The expression, “it is time to move forward” is not the same for everyone and is probably well-intentioned but not realistic.

#6 Overall Duration

How long will grief usually last? The simple answer is,“it is finished when it is finished”.

The first few months may be particularly intense. The first year is difficult—it will be a year of “firsts” without that person in your life. During the first Christmas or Hanukkah, the first birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, “a year ago today day” and many other times that remind us of our loss.

All of these special days are now difficult days and we need to anticipate them, know our responses are normal and be compassionate with ourselves.

#7 Grief Comes & Goes

Grief or a loss does not go away suddenly or within a predictable amount of time like the flu or a broken bone. Our healing process is different from a sickness model. Sometimes, at first, we do not feel the pain of grief because we are in shock and numb.

Often the pain is more intense some months after the event. Even then, grief is not unlike a roller coaster. One day we feel pretty good, and the next we find ourselves in the depths of despair.

Just when we think we are getting over it, we may experience another devastating setback. This can be discouraging to those who do not know what is happening. Most have not learned that grief comes and goes and takes much longer than most people expect.

We need to realize that this is the way grief works itself out and trust that the process, difficult as it is, is helping us work towards reconciliation. With counseling, a therapist can help with the highs and lows as well as coping, in general.

Summary

Society has unrealistic expectations about mourning and often responds inappropriately. Most people do not understand what is normal in grief and loss experiences.

Our jobs, friends, and oftentimes, even our family members will expect us to get over it quickly and express these expectations in a way that seems less than sensitive. Many people mistakenly believe that grief is so personal we want to keep it to ourselves. Keeping all of the emotion inside without talking about it is also unhealthy and could provoke an even longer healing process.

Grieving people need to talk. Not everyone will be willing or even able to respond to you. In fairness, not everyone can. Accept that, and try to find a support group or a counselor who can help.

Grief is about coping with the loss of a relationship and often in a helping relationship, relief can be found.

If you are experiencing symptoms caused by grief and loss or for more information about the positive effects of counseling for grief and loss, please contact Foundations Counseling today.

Parents Coping with PTSD after a Child’s Illness or Surgery

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Parents may find coping with PTSD after a child’s serious illness which can cast a very long shadow across a family, often for years after the crisis has passed. Unknowingly, parents may begin to cry seemingly without any reason and only because any medical setting, with doctors and nurses and medical sights and smells, brought back intense emotions of their child’s illness or major surgery.

Parents can be haunted by a child’s illness or injury. At the time, they are faced with the terrifying truth that a child is in danger or in pain. When the normal stress responses of the parents play out in extreme cases — and when they continue well beyond the child’s illness — additional harm can come to the family. The emotional trauma of the experience, the parental equivalent of coming through the wars, can echo for years.

The experience of having a child diagnosed with an illness or injury that is potentially life-threatening or debilitating is highly distressing for parents. Parents of a child with a serious childhood illness or injury (SCII) must contend with the possibilities of their child’s death or lasting impairment, in the context of negotiating a path through complex diagnostic and treatment processes is an experience that can overwhelm even the most resilient parents.

Despite initial or recurrent periods of extreme distress, most parents of a child with a SCII are able to cope and adjust well over time but should still seek out counseling. However, some experience persistently elevated or escalating distress impacting on their functioning within the family unit, with adverse effects on themselves, their sick child and other family members.

Little is known about the factors that determine which parents show spontaneous recovery in their psychological wellbeing and whether there are differences in recovery trajectories according to the type of illness or age of the child. For the latter, it is imperative that parents seek out counseling for a variety of factors.

For example, parents of hospitalized children have been found to experience trauma symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of ASD. In a study of families of children admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), 32% of parents met criteria for ASD while their child was an inpatient.

Higher rates of ASD have been reported with a finding of over 63% of mothers and 60% of fathers of children newly diagnosed with cancer met criteria for ASD. Slightly lower rates of 51% of mothers and 40% of fathers were found in another study of parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer.

When dealing with major surgery, parents will suffer dozens of ups and downs prior to their child’s surgery and afterward. Typically, PTSD is only one of the byproducts of surviving your child’s medical ordeal.

Before approaching an employer, it is recommended to ease the workload as much as possible. By prioritizing exactly what accommodations you need to be productive on the job and keep living with your ill child on an even keel, you should begin speaking to a professional counselor as early as possible. There are so many questions to be answered.

Do you want to reduce the number of hours your work each week? Is it possible for you to work from home temporarily or longer-term? Do you need a leave of absence? Are you prepared to deal with the news throughout the entire process whether it be a shorter timeframe or longer terms? Flexible time generally will top the list of the accommodation wish list but it also depends on the severity of your child. A leave is usually a subsequent request and may be needed at the point you have received the initial diagnosis from your doctor, after hospitalization, or the ongoing treatment’s your child will need.

Consulting an expert therapist is the best possible solution to be prepared in advance or when coping with PTSD after your child’s major illness or surgery. A psychiatric rehabilitation and support program suggest that before requesting leave, parents should consult with a professional early on.

Research has found that at least 1 in 6 parents will suffer from PTSD after a child’s recovery. They may have intrusive and distressing memories and dreams, or continue to avoid people or places that evoke the circumstances of the injury or illness or struggle with mood problems, including depression. If untreated, this can damage both the parent’s emotional and physical recovery.

Cognitive restructuring techniques will help parents reinterpret and pay attention to the positive and not catastrophize, developing a trauma narrative of their experience, instead. It is imperative that parents who are struggling get referred to mental health professionals where therapists have experience with traumatic stress.

All parents want our children to be safe. Once you’ve been through this, you know that your child will never be 100 percent safe, and it’s can be extremely hard to stop thinking about it.

There are solutions. Seek them out today not only for yourself but for your family, and for your children.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Kids With Autism

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Finding the right treatment for your child with autism can be a difficult task. There are many treatments that can be used to treat children with autism; you should determine what therapy best fits your child’s needs. However, there is one therapy that is said to be able to treat different types of disorders. This therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and it has been proven to help treat many disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and is also proven to be effective for those with autism.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychological treatment that helps improve a person’s functionality and quality of life. CBT helps children with autism become aware of negative behaviors, and helps them respond to these in a more positive way. Therapists have found this treatment effective for all ages and for different disorders. However, for children with autism, they have developed a different approach because CBT requires a strong thinking ability.

The approach is to use CBT but in a repetitive way in order for the child to fully understand what the therapist is teaching. Visual aid is also introduced to help the child gain a perspective view on what the topic is about. Instead of simply approaching the child verbally, the therapist may use different strategies such us showing the child what interests them to gain their attention. The main advantage of this treatment is that children with autism can learn that they are not the only ones struggling with the disorder. Through a bond of friendship with others, they will be able to help each other overcome it.

What to expect in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies

The first session is focused on assessing the child with autism. This includes finding out what he or she is having difficulty with and what type of approach will get the child’s attention. Based on the therapist’s assessment, he or she will then create goals that will be helpful in treating the child with autism.

Subsequent sessions will focus on achieving those goals. The CBT approach often allows the child to practice their problem-solving skills, breaching the communication gaps, and simply conversing with the child once they have established a bond.

The final sessions will often begin once the child continues to achieve the goals set by the therapist. The number of sessions will gradually decrease until the child can be confident of learning on his or her own. A successful treatment will help your child rely on themselves and allow them to make decisions while showing less undesirable behavior.

Types Of Behavioral Therapy For Kids With Autism

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Autism is a disorder that affects the social behavior and communication development of a person. Children will often show signs of autism by the age of three. Early intervention and getting aid from a professional therapist can help your child adapt to their environment with ease. The most effective treatments for children with autism are behavioral therapies. There are many different behavioral therapies and each has its own strengths when helping children with autism.

Types Of Behavioral Therapy

1. Applied Behavioral Analysis

Applied behavioral analysis or ABA is a commonly used therapy in most children with autism. The therapy is used to help the child reach positive goals set by the therapist, and also help the child distinguish negative behavioral traits. A therapist will work with the child in one-on-one sessions. The therapist will then observe the child and try to create goals for the child to accomplish. The child will then be rewarded for every desirable behavior that the child does while ignoring the undesirable ones.

2. Sensory Integration or Occupational Therapy

This therapy focuses on the child’s sensitivities or what the child may find overwhelming. In most children with autism, there are different factors that may overwhelm them and cause them to have tantrums. Therapists will try to address these factors which are loud noises, bright lights, and other things that may be overwhelming for the child. Though the child will be exposed to things that overwhelm them, they won’t be forced to their limits. Successful therapies often have good results where the child may be able to adapt, control their movements and emotions.

3. Relationship Development Intervention

This therapy focuses on the social behaviors of children with autism. Parents are also involved in this therapy, as they will need to attend intensive workshops to help them carry out the therapy. The therapist will only be there to assess the situation or create goals for the parents and analyze the results. Parents will be tasked to record videos of them at home and how they are interacting with their child. Depending on the results, the therapist will give advice or strategies to help the parent and the child.

4. Communication Intervention

This therapy focuses on what children with autism lack the most, communication. Children with autism who don’t have proper communication skills will often show a lot of undesirable behavior out of their frustration and misunderstandings about situations. Therapists will help by teaching communication skills using devices that may help the child express their needs. This will work with the child and may show improvement in their social interaction skills.

Treatments For Your Child With Autism

There are many other behavioral treatments you can ask for your child. All treatments are effective in different children and finding the right treatment for your child can be time-consuming. However, once you’ve found the proper treatment that has good results, your child will have a more positive lifestyle. When choosing a therapist for the treatment, you should always make sure that you are comfortable with them. If you are comfortable allowing them to work with your child, then your child may also feel the same way.

Effective Therapies For Kids With Autism

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Kids will most likely show signs of autism by the time they reach the age of three or four. The symptoms will vary from mild to severe depending on the child. Most children with this disorder will have difficulty interacting with others and may have problems using non-verbal communication such as making eye contact and using facial expressions. In children with autism who are able to speak, they may have a high pitch tone, unbalanced speed, and rhythm. When you see your child having these symptoms, you should help them get the proper aid they need as soon as possible. There are many counselors or therapists who provide quality therapy for kids with autism. Here are some of the most effective therapies.

The Best Therapies To Treat Kids With Autism

1. Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists study human growth patterns and development. This is through learning the basic skills needed for a person to interact with their environment through their daily activities. Therapists will first observe how the child with autism does tasks for their age. They will ask parents to record their child for a day to see how he or she interacts in their current environment. Once the therapists have gathered all the necessary information they need, they will then create a program for your child.

2. Applied Behavioral Analysis

There are many types of behavioral therapy and the best one that works well for kids with autism is applied behavioral analysis (ABA). This therapy is focused on helping children achieve their goals and be able to distinguish right from wrong. A therapist will work with a child with autism for more than 40 hours a week in a one-on-one setting. The therapist will first observe the child and then plan goals. The therapist will then reward the child for each goal he or she achieves while ignoring negative actions. This will, in turn, help the child gain skills that will help them cope with their environment at home and in school.

3. Play therapy

Play therapy is used for children suffering from trauma, anxiety, and mental illness. This is because playing allows a child to release their feelings and develop a healthy behavior. However, the methods used to treat these illnesses are not the same methods used for children with autism. A good play therapist will sit on the floor with your child and set toys that your child finds interesting. The therapist will then choose another toy that is similar to the chosen toy, and try to block how the child is playing with his or her chosen toy. If the child responds, then there is a relationship that has begun. Over time, the therapist will help the child develop skills such as taking turns, building their imaginative skills, and other thinking skills to help the child cope with groups or other children.

Why early treatment is better for you child

Many parents that have detected autism in their child tend to neglect the fact that they should treat the disorder early. Parents think that they should just allow their kids to run around and play. However, most kids with autism lack the skills to play appropriately, and they often just perform repetitive acts that don’t seem to have an effect on them.

This is one of the reasons why parents should seek the aid of a therapist. Allowing a professional therapist to intervene with their acts and help correct them can stop problematic behavior patterns that can develop as the child ages. It’s also beneficial for the child to receive treatment early because it helps them adapt to groups or develop their social interaction skills effectively. This also helps prepare your child for school, allowing them to be more comfortable in making friends or simply interacting with different people.

The Importance of Couples Therapy For Long Lasting Relationships

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What is Couples Therapy?

Couples will eventually face a couple’s therapy session once they do realize that their relationship isn’t working out as they want it to be. The problem may at times build up the longer it doesn’t get resolved, and in the end, it will lead to the couple breaking up. Even healthy couples at times get into problems that seem like they can’t resolve on their own. In this case, couples may turn to couple therapies which will have a counselor to help them resolve the issue.

What Is Couples Counseling?

Couples counseling happens with a professional counselor or therapist with the sole purpose of providing couples with advice. The counselor may resolve their problems or issues that may be causing distress in their relationship. Most people think that couples counseling can benefit people that are in romantic relationships, but on the contrary, it also helps family relationships, work relationships, and even friendships.

A relationship therapist can help couples with decision making such as where they should live, when they should get married, or if they should have a baby or not. Couples come to relationship counseling in order to understand each other better and build their relationship further that will have long-term effects.

The primary reason why couples go to couples counseling is to improve their communication with each other. Being able to communicate well can enhance your understanding of what are your partner’s wants and needs. It also helps restore intimacy and bring back love in the relationship. Another reason why couples seek the aid of a couple’s counselors is to ask for help in knowing how the couple is committed in the relationship.

Principles Of Effective Couples Therapy

A working couple’s therapy session will be able to change your point of view in your relationship. Through the series of sessions, the therapist should be able to show the couple an objective point of view. This means that the couple will be able to see that they don’t have to keep blaming each other, but instead, understand how they got to that point in the first place.

An effective therapist will be able to help the couple change the way they behave with their partner. Basically, therapists should create an environment with the couple where none of the two can get hurt physically and psychologically.

Couples tend to avoid showing their true feelings to their partner. This will eventually build up and keep pushing them further apart. A good therapist will be able to decrease that emotional avoidance and allow the couple to express their feelings without fear. Having a relationship therapist will definitely help couples increase their relationship bonds and reduce any negativity that ordinary couples may face.

How To Deal With Anxiety Disorder

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There are many things that can put us into a state of anxiety such as possible break-ups, work stress, home life, even horror movies can trigger this state. However, it is common that the source of our anxiety is something that we can’t change. We all know that threats aren’t the only things that can give us an anxiety disorder, but also a possible upcoming crisis. Everything can become a potential crisis if you think about it too much and eliminate possible outcomes.

What Does Anxiety Do To You?

Anxiety will definitely take its toll on your body. Some of the symptoms that you may feel are trouble sleeping, eating, and concentrating. You may also get headaches and an upset stomach. Panic attacks are also symptoms of anxiety; this is the feeling where your heart is pounding at a rapid rate making you feel lightheaded. A panic attack can actually feel like a heart attack. Anxiety may also feel like depression if it gets too overwhelming. That feeling may start interfering with your daily activities and may make you want to be alone.

When anxiety gets too overwhelming, most people may not make effective choices. They tend to avoid things rather than face them and they often procrastinate because they can’t concentrate well. In this case, people suffering from the disorder may need to seek professional help for anxiety treatment.

How Can You Cope With Anxiety?

Coping with anxiety will take a lot of effort and mental readiness to maintain your focus. Set aside real risky problems that may be difficult to decide on, and focus on simpler problems with low risks. Try removing from your imagination all the negative possibilities of handling the situation and just face it. Challenge your negative thoughts rather than being paralyzed by anxiety. Always keep in mind that it will be better that you have done something than nothing at all. This will help you move forward and address the next problems at hand.

You may not notice this but when you are anxious, you may have shallow breathing or you are possibly holding your breath. Learning to relax is part of your fight against depression and anxiety and enables you to achieve that focus. Take deep breaths and then think of the solution to your problem. In most cases, the type of anxiety that you will be facing will vary on the situation that happened to you. The more shocking or surprising the situation is, the more difficult it will be for you to get past it.

Some doctors may provide you with anxiety medications, but don’t think that this will get rid of your anxiety. These medications are just there to support you and keep it under control. Fully removing your anxiety disorder will always be done by you. Anxiety counselors will also be able to help your fight because they are capable of giving you tools on how you can face your problems.

What Is Couples Counseling and How To Find Professional Counselors

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Couples counseling is a very effective way to strengthen your relationship bonds with your partner. The main issue that most couples have is that they are losing connection with their partner. Different problems and conflicts can build up to this issue, which may cause the couple to separate if not fixed.  Most couples often seek help after a few years of conflict in their relationship. Unfortunately, this only leads to a lower success rate once they seek counseling.

How Can Counselors Help Improve Your Relationship?

Couples seek professional counselors because they have a lot of experience and can give you a lot of advice in your current relationship issue. They can also give you problem-solving solutions that can help in maintaining a positive relationship.

The average length of counseling can take up to 12 sessions. However, this is different for every couple. A major contributor to the length of your counseling session is the length of your conflict with your partner. As mentioned earlier, couples that seek counseling after years of conflict can be harder to mend than couples dealing with it for only a few months. The type of conflict can also be a factor as no two conflicts can be treated the same way.

Couples can always tell that the counseling sessions are effective if one is learning something about the other partner. The way you interact with your partner may feel easier than it used to be. It can also be that you are feeling closer even if you are distant from each other. There may be fewer arguments in your relationship that don’t lead to a long-lasting conflict.

Finding The Right Counselor

Finding the right counselor can be a daunting task, but it’s worth all the effort. Most couples will try to seek information from hospitals or friends that have gone through counseling, while others will do research, and find different counselors in McKinney Texas based on referrals.

If you are planning to do your own research, then the best way is to look through the counselor’s social media accounts and find their reviews. Reviewers will often take their time to write a positive review about a counselor if their relationship issue was solved. The higher the rating of the counselor, the better it is for you to seek their help.

If the information you’ve gathered is still insufficient for you, then ask friends or family for referrals. They will be able to tell you what their experience was like and you can try to relate that to your current situation. It’s always important to invest all the time you can in order to effectively treat your relationship issues. This ensures that you are committed to maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner.

Tips On Overcoming Depression

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Depression rates have been steadily increasing over the past decade. It’s also said that 1 in 5 people may suffer from depression at one point in their lives. Depression can be very difficult, in part because there is no guaranteed cure that works for everyone. However, there are some things you can do to help you in overcoming depression.

3 Helpful Tips To Overcome Depression

1. Focus on what you’re usually doing right.

It may be hard for you to do right now because negative thoughts constantly alter positive results in your brain. However, you’re still trying, and this shows that you still have that chance to overcome it. At the end of your day, try listing down things you’ve done right. This may be difficult because of your current state of mind, but try listing just two or three things, even if they are small. This list will serve as a guide to help lift up your mood that you are not totally doing everything negatively or wrong.

2. Resist your urge to think of what happened in the past.

Being depressed lets you create images or scenes that constantly play over and over again. This habit forces you to give in to your depression and may be a threat to you emotionally. Loathing yourself or thinking of what you think you did wrong will not help you get past your depression. You should try to create new positive memories that may help you remove the negative ones from your current thoughts. Think of that new memory and how it made you feel at that time instead of the past that will constantly damage your emotion.

3. Let your social connections enter your life again.

Depression will more likely take you away from your friends and family, and will likely set you in a place where you are alone. It will then be present in your mind that being alone makes you feel better, but in reality, it doesn’t. We all need to have friends and family to talk to and lean on in times when we are sad. Having a person enter your comfort zone allows you to fight depression.

How Can Depression Counseling Help You

Since depression makes you want to be alone all the time and not want to go outside, it may be difficult for you to overcome it on your own. If you really want to help yourself get rid of your depression, then you should try seeking depression counseling. Depression counselors are someone that you can talk to about your problems. They can analyze your situation and provide you with accurate advice on how you can try to overcome those problems. They can give you specific tools to help lift your depression. They may even provide you with another point of view where the problem you are thinking of isn’t really a problem at all.

Benefits Of Sandplay Therapy

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Sandplay therapy is a nonverbal therapeutic intervention that can be used for children, including children diagnosed with autism. Instead of trying to talk to the child, the therapist will make use of a sandbox where the child can find toys to create something that the child wants. This is a great way for the therapist to see the child’s inner thoughts or feelings. This can be another form of talk therapy while utilizing the sandbox figures as alternate communication tools.

The Benefits of Sandplay Therapy for Kids with Autism

Sandplay therapy allows the child with autism to express their feelings. It can give the therapist an idea of a trauma that the child may have or what kind of things the child finds interesting. It allows the child to show the therapist their creative side and what makes them happy. Introducing different items to the child can be a way of introducing different characters to the child’s setting. This will in turn have a significant effect when it comes to the child’s social skills.

When a child’s hands and mind wander to their happy place, they are often prone to communication. This gives the therapist an opening to interact with the child while he or she is playing. Establishing communication is always the first objective a therapist is looking for in sandplay therapy. It allows the therapist to know if the child is responding and making progress.

Sandplay therapy uses little to no words which makes it easier for the child to have his or her own personal space. This allows the child to create what bothers him or her most and make use of the sand tray as their boundaries. The therapist will be there to evaluate everything the child is building and thinking of new things to introduce to the child in order to improve their feeling toward their imagination.

Choosing a Sandplay Therapist

Some play therapists have taken additional trainings in sandplay therapy. Look for licensed therapists that have experience in sandplay therapy if you think that this therapy will benefit your child. In addition, you should also look for a therapist that has the appropriate tools and education background about the benefits and key elements of this therapy.

Doing your own research on qualified therapists in your area is another great way to find a therapist. Nowadays, therapists have their own website and usually have testimonials from previous clients on their work. Use this information to get an idea on how well the therapist might interact with your child. When finally choosing your therapist, you should make sure that you are comfortable leaving your child in their care.

Importance Of Early Intervention For Better Autism Therapy

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Autism is not a rare disorder, and it affects many people all over the world. There is no known cause or cure for the disorder; however, there are studies that prove that early intervention can make a difference to a child’s development. Early intervention for children with autism can give the child with autism higher intelligence, improved social skills, and allows the child to become independent in the future.

Why Is Early Intervention Important?

Autism can be found in a child at the age of two to three years old. From the perspective of neuroscience, early intervention gives a better opportunity for the child’s developing brain to change. It also helps the child stop behavioral tantrums that may often occur when the child is disturbed by something or someone. The habit of having tantrums can be avoided through early intervention, but as you continue to delay their treatment, they may be difficult to change their habits that may be found in children with autism.

Children at an early age often learn new things much quicker by observing and imitating others. It’s natural for a child to imitate other’s actions in order to engage with them in healthy play. However, children with autism tend to be more focused on objects and activities that will only interest them. They will not likely imitate others and interact because of the lack of interest.

Placing a child with autism in a group of kids to play will not help the child with autism. For children with autism, playing needs to be broken down in order for them to fully comprehend what it means to play. Social skills are also a factor, as most children with autism tend to be shy about interacting with strangers.

What To Expect When Sending Your Child To Therapy

Children with autism learn best through small repeated steps and consistently practicing on those steps every session. For example, if a therapist teaches your child how to share their toy, it may take around four to five sessions depending on the child’s progress. Even complex skills such as conversing and interacting with someone may need to have more steps to allow the child to learn the skill.

Don’t expect too much on each session; let your child take it slow. Your child’s interest should always be taken into account and getting that can be a difficult task even for an experienced therapist. Picking the right program should be discussed by you and the therapist. Giving the therapist as much detail on what interests your child can have a better chance of choosing a the right therapy for your child. Progress will always be present so long as the child is introduced to the therapy as early as possible.

What Is Couples Counseling And How To Find Professional Counselors

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Couples counseling is a very effective way to strengthen your relationship bonds with your partner. The main issue that most couples have is that they are losing connection with their partner. Different problems and conflicts can build up to this issue, which may cause the couple to separate if not fixed.  Most couples often seek help after a few years of conflict in their relationship. Unfortunately, this only leads to a lower success rate once they seek counseling.

How Can Counselors Help Improve Your Relationship?

Couples seek professional counselors because they have a lot of experience and can give you a lot of advice in your current relationship issue. They can also give you problem-solving solutions that can help in maintaining a positive relationship.

The average length of counseling can take up to 12 sessions. However, this is different for every couple. A major contributor to the length of your counseling session is the length of your conflict with your partner. As mentioned earlier, couples that seek counseling after years of conflict can be harder to mend than couples dealing with it for only a few months. The type of conflict can also be a factor as no two conflicts can be treated the same way.

Couples can always tell that the counseling sessions are effective if one is learning something about the other partner. The way you interact with your partner may feel easier than it used to be. It can also be that you are feeling closer even if you are distant from each other. There may be fewer arguments in your relationship that don’t lead to a long lasting conflict.

Finding The Right Counselor

Finding the right counselor can be a daunting task, but it’s worth all the effort. Most couples will try to seek information from hospitals or friends that have gone through counseling, while others will do research, and find different counselors in McKinney Texas based on referrals.

If you are planning to do your own research, then the best way is to look through the counselor’s social media accounts and find their reviews. Reviewers will often take their time to write a positive review about a counselor if their relationship issue was solved. The higher the rating of the counselor, the better it is for you to seek their help.

If the information you’ve gathered is still insufficient for you, then ask friends or family for referrals. They will be able to tell you what their experience was like and you can try to relate that to your current situation. It’s always important to invest all the time you can in order to effectively treat your relationship issues. This ensures that you are committed to maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner.

What Is Play Therapy and Counseling For Autism?

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Parents are always looking after their child’s well being and seek to protect them at all costs. Most parents are also looking forward to providing the best therapy for their child with autism. However, not all parents know why play therapy is an important part of autism therapy. By definition, play therapy is a systematic approach where a trained therapist uses their play therapy skills to help children with autism achieve optimal growth.  The goal is to help kids with autism show their feelings through toys and play, rather than using physical or emotional outbursts.

How Does Play Therapy Work For Autism?

Professional therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children with autism express their feelings through the use of toys. It allows them to express their feelings and emotions that they often keep inside them. These emotions that the child keeps may hinder him or her from learning and being able to make friends in school.

Play therapy is also used by therapists to allow children with autism to confront their problems or experiences that may be affecting them mentally. Within the session, therapists will then try to identify what is troubling the child and try to introduce healthy solutions that may change their feeling toward a situation. Through play therapy, therapists may also help the child find adaptive solutions that can help them when they suddenly come across the feeling or scenario that may be bothering them. As a result, children with autism tend to be able to develop coping skills and learn how they can relate with their peers in school.

Importance Of Getting Proper Child Counseling Help

Children with autism deal with a lot of problems that may interfere with the way they think and act daily. Meeting new people, learning new skills and the environment in school can have different effects on them. If you don’t prepare your child to face these scenarios, then they may have tantrums that can be harder to deal with.

Through proper counseling, children with autism can get ideas of what they will likely face in school or when meeting new people. Counselors are equipped with useful treatments that are focused on helping your child gain insights on these scenarios and prepare them for it. It can also help your child overcome their fears and discomforts that trouble them from interacting with others. Most counselors also use play therapy as an initial intervention to help children with autism. This is because play therapy is a simple method that can provide them with a clear understanding on what the child feels. They can then use their results and introduce new things that may help your child deal with complex problems.

Useful Tips For Couples

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Many people starting romantic relationships think that it will be easy. However, most couples without a proper plan or guide in maintaining a healthy relationship often break up at some point. This is also because they haven’t fully understood each other yet, and have rushed themselves into a romantic relationship. If you are thinking of going to the next level with the person you are currently in love with, then here are some tips you can use to maintain a healthy relationship.

4 Tips Couples Should Do in Their Relationship

1. Think about what your partner really likes

Make sure you think about what life will likely be with your future partner. How do you think your relationship will go after a year? The best way for you to figure this out is to learn more about your partner. Identify the significant differences of your partner when it comes to money, family, household chores, basically their daily lifestyle. Discuss these with your partner and collaborate together. Recognize what your partner responds well to (such as compliments or acts of service) and try to increase these behaviors.

2. Things to do to help your maintain your relationship

Find out things about your partner that pleases you and always compliment your partner. Learn to surprise your partner from time to time. This allows your partner to know how thoughtful you are and let him or her feel your affection. However, if your partner didn’t appreciate your effort, then you should at least try to show some disappointment. Don’t always accept or ignore your own negative feelings.

3. Identify situations first before acting with your emotions

We can’t always have a perfect partner.  There will always be some flaws that may trigger your anger. However, if you do encounter such a scenario, you should identify how the problem occurred or what is the situation. Don’t use anger to solve problems, think before you act and you will eventually come to a more positive resolution.

4. Listen to your partner and provide support

Many couples always use their partner as a reliever when something has bothered them in their day. Releasing things that frustrates them in their mind is a great way to foster togetherness. Be patient and offer your listening ear, then provide support to your partner that can comfort him or her. Doing this will strengthen your relationship and help eliminate secrets from being kept.

How Couples Counseling Helps

Couples counseling isn’t only for troubled couples that are often arguing. Seeking a couples counselor’s aid is also an effective way to maintain your healthy relationship. This is because couples counseling can help you identify your partner’s wants and needs, and know what else you may be lacking in your relationship.

Professional couples counselors can always provide you with the necessary tools and advice you can use to help you maintain your relationship. It will not only strengthen your current relationship bond, but it will also help you prepare for your future.

Tips On Dealing With Depression

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Depression is becoming a serious and alarming condition that affects many people. It drains your energy, hope, and will to do something you like. This makes it difficult for you to take the necessary steps to help yourself feel better. Depression is not something that you can easily get rid of when you begin to realize your symptoms. Recovering from depression takes time and the choices you make every day will impact the way you recover from it.

How To Deal With Depression

The key to dealing with depression is to start with small things that lighten up your mood and continue on from there. The first steps to deal with depression are often the hardest but may get easier as you continue to fight it. In most cases, you may feel like you don’t need anyone to help you in your recovery. On the contrary, you will need support from your friends or family. Reaching out for help is difficult as you feel better when isolating yourself from them. However, they play an essential role in your recovery because it is harder for you to maintain your own goals and motivate yourself to fight your depression alone.

Doing things that you normally would love doing will also help you in your recovery. Although you can’t force yourself to enjoy your favorite activities easily when you are depressed, you should still try to do them even if you don’t feel like it. Doing things that used to make you feel good and help you relax may help you remember how comforting it was for you.

Try going outside your home and walk or exercise. Even if getting out of your bed can seem to be a difficult task for you, you should still try to move. Exercise is a great depression fighter and is one of the most important tools to help you recover. Getting sunlight also helps you boost your serotonin levels that can improve your mood. Try exposing yourself to sunlight at least 15 to 20 minutes daily; it will help with your mood and prepare you for your next task you have in line.

How Depression Counseling Helps

Depression counselors are mental health counselors who are experts in depression.  Those who suffer from depression for a long period of time may not be able to recover from it alone. This is where depression counselors can come in and help them alleviate their symptoms to make them feel better. They have plenty of treatments that can help a person with depression recover. Most depression counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat their patients. This therapy is designed to help the person suffering from depression see a different side of him or her.

Depression is always easier to be treated when they are referred to depression counselors early. The longer you continue to fight depression on your own, the harder it may be for you to recover. If you feel like there are no results on your own way of dealing with your depression, then you should definitely seek a depression counselor’s aid.

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