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Depression Archives – Foundations Counseling

7 Things You Feel when Losing a Loved One

By | Grief, Grief Counseling | No Comments

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.

Tips On Overcoming Depression

By | Depression | No Comments

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.

Tips On Dealing With Depression

By | Depression | No Comments

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.

How Can Therapists Help With Depression?

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Depression is a serious condition that is currently affecting many people. It causes people to feel sad and empty, and it can also alter their thinking patterns as well as their health. Depression’s symptoms can vary; the most common ones are anxiety, anger, and sadness. As someone experiences these common symptoms, it makes it difficult for them to live normally and it may even lead people to consider suicide.

What Causes Depression?

Depression can be caused by changes in a person’s brain. Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters that provide our brain with feelings of happiness and pleasure. People suffering with depression can alter these neurotransmitters which will negate these feelings, and enable the person to feel sadness more often instead.

Depression may also be caused by current situations they may be in, such as having debt they can’t think of ways to pay, a recent divorce, a loss of a loved one, or being bullied. These situations can be stressful and traumatic which can trigger depression.

Depression is often diagnosed more in woman than in men. These statistics may be skewed, however, because men are less likely to seek treatment. Men with depression are often shown anger rather than sadness. Although anger is dominant in men, some studies have found that men that are depressed with sadness are more likely to attempt suicide. However, depression in women can lead to more suicide attempts. They may experience a form of depression like premenstrual dysphoria. This is where they may experience depression before their period, and during their period, the symptoms may only get worse.

How Can Therapists Help?

There are many helpful therapies one with depression can take. Depending on the counselor they seek help from, each have their own ways to help with depression. The most common therapies counselors will often advise those with depression to take are talk therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.

Talk therapy allows a person to give the therapist all their thoughts and basically allow them to let out all their thoughts. The therapist will then work with that person toward a solution to the cause of their depression. Cognitive behavior therapy helps a person recognize thoughts that lead to their negative emotions. The therapist will then see which thoughts may be the cause of their depression and try to change them.

Other forms of therapy are dialectical behavior therapy and Interpersonal therapy. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another form of cognitive behavior therapy where the therapist recognizes what the person is feeling and tells them that what they are feeling is understandable. They will then try to alter those negative habits or disruptive behavior. Interpersonal therapy focuses on what is currently happening and attempts to help the person change. Therapists will often try to teach skills that may help lessen their symptoms.

There are many more therapies used to treat depression. Therapists that treat depression are all experts in diagnosing what a specific person needs to help cure their symptoms. This is why if you think you have a friend or relative that may be experiencing symptoms of depression, then you should encourage them to seek aid immediately.

Signs of Depression and How Counselors Can Help

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We all can feel sad and lonely at times; it’s very normal to feel these things. However, when these feelings become too overwhelming, then it may lead to depression. Depression is pretty common nowadays and has affected many people in different ways. Even celebrities have experiences with depression which basically means that even if you are wealthy, you still have chances of getting depressed. If left untreated, the symptoms can get worse and may interfere with your daily activities. In some cases, a person dealing with depression for too long can start thinking of suicide.

5 Most Common Signs Of Depression

  1. The most common symptom of depression is when one feels helpless or even worthless. They are surrounded by negative thoughts that make them feel that they can’t do anything right and that they are a burden to their family or work.
  2. Loss of interest in daily activities or not being able to perform well is another symptom that they might be depressed. It’s pretty common for those suffering from depression to lose their interest, because they are constantly thinking of the negative thoughts that are contributing to their depression.
  3. Most men that are suffering from depression can be easily angered or irritated, and can sometimes lead to reckless behavior. A simple joke or act can trigger their anger and may lead to them becoming violent enough to inflict physical injuries.
  4. Another common symptom is when a person experiences loss of appetite or has sudden weight changes. They are too overwhelmed by the negative thoughts or feelings that they are keeping in, which also lead to them neglecting their own personal needs.
  5. As they neglect their own personal needs, they will also no longer be sociable or will always prefer to be alone. They will rather sit in a corner and think than have friends come over or go to social events.

How Can Counselors Help With Depression?

Talk therapy is one of the most common forms of therapies used by counselors. It helps those with depression to cope with their feelings or problems that are contributing to their symptoms. Talk therapy allows you to talk about your problems and find solutions that can help you deal with the problem. Some therapists even ask you to write down everything you’ve done throughout the day, including your mood.

However, most therapies prefer to approach you directly and focus on your current thoughts. It’s ok to think about the past only to figure out why you are depressed. But, when dealing with the current situation, the therapist can help you find ways to deal with your situation now and how you can for the future.

If you have a friend or relative that is currently showing any of these signs, then don’t hesitate to seek expert help. It’s always good to be a step ahead and be able to treat depression before it builds up and becomes worse. If you have a friend or relative that is currently showing any of these signs, then don’t hesitate to seek expert help. It’s always good to be a step ahead and be able to treat depression before it builds up and becomes worse.

What to Expect in Grief Counseling (And Is It Right for You?)

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After losing a loved one, therapy can help you process your emotions. Read on to learn what to expect in grief counseling and whether it’s right for you.

Grief counseling is a specialized type of therapy that aims at helping people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Sessions focus on assisting people with working through their sadness, dealing with lingering guilt, and learning the coping mechanisms that can help them move forward with their lives.

Keep reading to learn what to expect in grief counseling and whether it’s right for you.

How Long is the Process?

While grief counseling doesn’t follow the same timeline in every person, it’s not a usually a permanent therapy. Grief counseling is recommended for anyone who has lost a loved one. Young or old, this form of therapy works for anyone working through loss–whether that’s a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend.

Grief counseling is also called bereavement counseling, but the latter term refers to loss through death only. Grief can involve the loss of a person through a breakup or divorce or some other situation.

Learning About Grief

Part of counseling is learning about the grief process and what to expect as you cope with a major loss. During therapy, people are taught the normal grieving process, including familiar feelings and thoughts.

Patients learn how to distinguish what normal grieving looks like, as compared to other mental health conditions normal grieving and other conditions, such as depression, that can develop from grieving.

Many therapists go through the five stages of grief, which are there to help you identify the various forms your grief will take as you cope with the loss.

Normal feelings associated with grieving include fear, anxiety, disbelief, anger, and sadness. Additionally, some people feel physical pain during this period of grief.

What You Can Expect to Do in Grief Counseling

Whether you choose group therapy, individual, or both, here are some of the things you can expect to cover in grief therapy.

1. Work on Expressing Feelings

In grief counseling, people learn to express what they are feeling, no matter what that looks like. Sometimes, this step is difficult for those who have trouble expressing emotions, but learning to talk about grief is an important part of the process.

In therapy sessions, patients may be asked to talk to the deceased, as though they were sitting right there. Or, they may be asked to write letters that express thoughts and feelings left unsaid.

Other ways to get in touch with feelings include looking at photos or visiting a gravesite, or and remembering the lost loved one or object or visiting the grave of a loved one who has died.

2. Becoming Open to New Relationships

This part of the counseling process is there to help people move forward with their lives. This element of counseling helps people view their relationship to the deceased through a different lens.

While the memories of a loved one last a lifetime, talking to someone can help people learn to how to incorporate the past with the changes that come in the future. Part of bereavement counseling serves to help the patient keep their hearts open to new relationships–romantic or otherwise.

3. Find a New Identity

During the duration of therapy, the patient must also work through their identity. People view themselves through the relationships they have. A woman may identify as a wife, but when her husband passes away, that identity changes.

Or a person who has lost both of their parents may feel that they are no longer someone’s son or daughter. In any case–part of the grieving process is understanding how these losses can affect our identity.

Patients may find new purpose in focusing their energy on other existing relationships–strengthening friendships after losing a spouse. Other may find doing volunteer work to helps fill a need to care for others.

When it’s Not Just Grief

Grief is not a mental disorder. Though it looks like depression, the pain is usually temporary, and something everyone goes through at one point or another.

When someone you care about dies, you can expect to feel sad, angry, confused, but if these feeling do not go away, you may need some extra support.

It’s not as if we go through all these stages and then come out the other side all shiny and new and ready to get back on with life. Loss stays under the surface of our lives and continues to permeate long after it first happened. Sometimes all it takes is a specific date, a place, or a song, for all of that grief to come surging back.

Symptoms of depression include insomnia, sadness, changes in appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. If you think you may be depressed, ask your grief counselor for a referral.

Grieving? Call Foundations Counseling Today

Ultimately, grief counseling serves as a way to help patients transition from a dark period marked by loss, to a new, productive path forward. And, arguably the best way to honor someone you love, is to live your best life, rather than continuing the bereavement process.

Of course, getting better takes work, and in many cases, a major time investment. In therapy, patients will uncover the deep emotions they are experiencing during the process. From there, they’ll learn to cope with those emotions and live a normal life.

There is no need to grieve the loss of a loved one alone. If you need help getting through this difficult time, contact us today.

 

Am I depressed

Depression vs Sadness: How to Tell the Difference

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While it may seem that everyone throws around “The D Word” from time to time, specific depressive disorders affect less than 10% of Americans.

However, the combination of anxiety, trauma, and illnesses that can contribute to depression make depression much more common.

If symptoms are mild, you may want to understand whether you’re simply feeling sad or experiencing depression.

While you might think of sadness as temporary and depression as persistent, it can be hard to differentiate the two in the moment.

Your experience could feel like it may pass, but you could be experiencing the early feelings of a mild depressive bout. Alternately, you could be in the throes of one of the worst dark clouds you’ve experienced which you might not realize is connected to an event in your life.

If you’re wondering whether you’re feeling sad or experiencing clinical symptoms of depression, you’re not alone. Ask yourself these 5 questions to shed a little light on your feelings.

1. If You’re Feeling Sad, Are Your Favorite Things Enjoyable?

Everyone has a handful of things that really make life worth living. Whether it’s traveling abroad, spending the day at your favorite bookshop, or just that chai latte you like, there are things that can take us out of any funk.

If you’re feeling sad, these are the things that can shake us out of our feelings or reassure us that we’ll move beyond the hurdle in front of us. Our brain might resist the good feelings, but in the end, positivity will prevail.

In the experience of depression, there’s an inability to enjoy the things that once were pleasurable.

This reaction is called an “anhedonic” reaction, as in the inverse of the hedonism we feel when on a beach with the perfect drink in hand. Depression inhibits those feelings of pleasure that could cut through the fog of our sad feelings.

When you can’t seem to enjoy the things that “should” make you happy, you could be feeling depressed.

2. Are Your Emotions Tied To One Specific Thing?

During moments of feeling sad, it’s hard to tell where that sadness comes from. You could wake up in the morning, stare at the clock knowing it’s time to get up, and just not be able to do it.

What makes this a symptom of sadness as opposed to depression is its connection to something specific.

If you’ve experienced a major change in your life, like a breakup, job loss, death of a loved one, or even a move to a new city, you could be experiencing sadness.

While this disconnection from something that you once identified closely with can feel traumatic, it may pass. In moments of sadness, we can usually say “I guess it started when…”

This is a tricky concept, however.

If we have deep trauma tied to loss that can trigger depression, that event might have just reopened that issue for you. Your depression may have started off in the way sadness does, but if it opens you up to a deeper negativity, that sadness may have paved the way for depression.

If you’ve had issues with depression in the past, you need to be especially aware when traumatic events happen or appear to be on the horizon. If you know that a loved one is going to pass soon and have dealt with depression due to loss, contact a trusted therapist in advance.

While depression can hit for “no reason at all”, the conditions of a sad event can make it easier for depression to take over your life.

3. Are You Sleeping And Eating Normally?

When you’re unhappy, it can be hard to follow your normal rules. Sometimes a little exercise and fresh air can help make things better and get you back on track.

If being more active doesn’t tire you out for a good night’s sleep and build up a little hunger, you might be experiencing depression. One of the major features of depression is insomnia and the inability to fix it with standard tactics.

For some people, food might seem “pointless” in the haze of sadness that comes with depression. You might feel like it’s not worthwhile to be healthy or in some cases to eat at all.

If you can’t seem to resolve your appetite or sleep schedule, contact a counselor who can help you find tactics to help combat your brain’s attempts to undermine you.

4. Does Your Mood Fluctuate?

When you’re feeling sad, it might seem like your mood fades in and out, like background music that takes over a movie scene. When there’s space for you to let go of your sadness and enjoy things, you’re likely not experiencing severe depression.

For people who experience even the most moderate symptoms of depression, it’s less like background music and more like a refrigerator hum.

Even in the quietest of times, it’s still there. And if you focus on it, it can be deeply upsetting or frustrating.

With the most severe forms of depression, any task can seem punishingly difficult. You can get upset talking to the person you’re ordering coffee from, irritated with the people on the train, and everyone at work can seem unbearable.

When the common denominator between unrelated people and events is your frustration, sadness, anxiety, or anger, talk to someone about dealing with depression.

5. Are You Self-Sabotaging?

While everyone has moments where they definitely screwed up or their performance at school or work stinks, they are often few and far between.

If these mistakes or missteps arise when you’re feeling sad, you can usually bet that you can avoid those mistakes the second time around.

During a bout of depression, your thoughts can become habitual or cyclical. You might feel like you failed, and you failed because you’re incapable, and you will never get any better. You might punish yourself with your negative thoughts.

If you blame yourself for things that are out of your control or you’re relentlessly critical of yourself, you may be experiencing depression. If you have a firm belief that it’s some critical flaw that you’re hardwired with that is keeping you from success, talk to someone about dealing with depression.

In all likelihood, your talent and skills have gotten you this far, but now depression has taken the wheel. Before it steers you into a ditch, set yourself up for success by contacting a counselor to help with depression.

There’s Nothing Abnormal About Feeling Sad or Experiencing Depression

There are millions of people who are feeling sad and millions more also experiencing depression. Thankfully there are many trained experts who know how to help us get back on track.

If you’ve thought about self-harm or violence, speak to a professional as soon as possible. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) 24/7. The Crisis Text Line is a way to get help anonymously through text.

There is always someone there to listen to you no matter what you’re going through. Cut through the fog and seek help today.

Meet Foundation Counseling’s New Therapist in McKinney, Texas

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Therapist specializing in Trauma in McKinney Texas

Foundations Counseling in McKinney, is excited to welcome Denise Martinez. Schedule an appointment with our new therapist to address issues like trauma, depression, anxiety or relationships issues. Denise is a Licensed Professional Counselor and feels passionate about helping individuals who may be having difficulty with life stressors or are living with a mental illness. She has experience working with those that have suffered from trauma, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. She believes it is important to see people for who they are, not what they are diagnosed with. She will provide a non-judgmental, caring environment and is the hope that people are looking for.

As a United States Veteran, Denise prides herself on her work ethic and team building approach. She mostly practices Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). With her guidance, you can work together to heal wounds, recover and become a stronger version of yourself.

Are you struggling with Depression, Anxiety, Trauma or Relationships Issues?

Foundations Counseling in  McKinney offers a variety of counseling resources for adolescents, young adults, adults, couples who are wrestling with a variety of mental health issues. Foundations Counseling provides in-patient counseling for people wrestling with anxiety, trauma, relationship issues and depression. Our goal is to provide a judgement free environment where real healing can begin.

Finding real balance in our life and seeking true mental health can take a lot of courage.  Our clinicians are highly experienced in helping clients explore the deeper issues that often get in the way of real healing. The therapists of Foundations Counseling in McKinney also equip their clients with the skills and techniques necessary to better manage stress and anxiety allowing them to be mindful and present in their daily life.

Conveniently location at Eldorado and Ridge Road in McKinney, Foundations Counseling is a great location for individuals seeking counseling in Plano, Frisco, Allen and Prosper.