What therapist want you to know

There are a few things I need to mention:

  1. LMHP is used to refer to all mental health professionals who are licensed by their state to provide mental health counseling, therapy, or treatment.
  2. I do not include coaching or motivational speakers here who are not licensed to provide mental health treatment.
  3. I am assuming that the LMHP has three years of fully licensed experience and is in good standing.
  4. Psychiatrists are not included here, as they have a medical degree and their training is different.

 

Top 10 Things to Help You Navigate Mental Health Treatment

 

  1. There is little that an LMHP has not heard before. Please don’t be afraid to share your story with us. A crisis is so isolating, it can make you feel like you are the only one suffering. Fortunately, emotional pain is a universal language and an LMHP is fluent in the language and will help you translate and process it.
  2. Withholding parts of your story limits our ability to help. We do understand that it may take a few sessions for trust to form, but we can only work with what you give us. We don’t actually try to figure you out; it’s a partnership.
  3. LMHP’s have been taught processes for: communication, empathy, listening, problem-solving, decision making, emotional control and stress reduction. Just like a plumber who finds a leak, the LMHP applies the tools that they have according to experience. Not to say your therapist is not brilliant, but they are using a set theory developed by long-gone famous folks that has been tested and replicated.
  4. We are not judging you. You have already done that for too long. LMHP’s are there to to give you the support needed to move forward throughout your sessions.
  5. Therapists are not always in work mode. If you see us out in public, don’t worry. Your information is still private and we will never “out you.” However, if you approach us and ask about something we talked about in session, or you have a question for someone you know, this is probably not the time or place to have this type of discussion. Just remember, if we are not working, we are living life just like you.
  6. The most important things for good therapy outcomes are (a) your willingness to participate (b) you feeling like the therapist understands you. If you are not on the same page after 2- 3 sessions you should find someone else.
  7. If you don’t like something we say or the way the session is going, tell us so we can adjust. Therapy is not always emotionally pleasant, but you have a lot of options. If you went to a restaurant and the food was too salty, I hope you would ask for something else.
  8. Each therapist is an individual so when you say, “Yeah I went to therapy and didn’t work.” We are kinda bummed that someone made our job harder by giving you doubts. You also make a pretty big generalization that all therapy is the same. Not true.
  9. We may not seem as effected at the end of the hour as you. Most of the time, you do the heavy lifting, we focus on the technique and process. We still feel it, just not in the same way you do.
  10. Anyone who claims one profession (Psychology, Social Work or Counseling) is better than the other, has not done this work long enough to see they all fit. No one LMHP is better than another; it is a matter of client preference, clinician specialty and need specialty. Again, it is important to be licensed and certified. This lets you know the LMHP has met the minimum requirements to do the work. Then look for all the specialty work they have done.

 

Original Blog September 15, 2019 on Real Counseling: Licensed Mental Health Professionals Want to Know. Check out more of my Vlogs/Blogs on my Real Counseling Inc website.

Mark Tovar is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor in the State of Texas and has worked in many areas of mental health: schools; treatment centers; judicial systems; colleges and universities; and with leaders and executives in our community. His passion is to help people lead more productive and fulfilling lives. He wants to empower you to improve your relationships, accomplish your goals, and still have time for you! Call (210) 588-0863 or email mark@realcounselinginc.com  to set up a FREE 15-minute consultation. Visit Mark Tovar’s Profile.

Why forgive?

Motivation Monday – Forgiveness is for you!

Original Blog October 2, 2019 on Real Counseling: Why Forgive?. Check out more of my Vlogs/Blogs on my Real Counseling Inc website.

Mark Tovar is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor in the State of Texas and has worked in many areas of mental health: schools; treatment centers; judicial systems; colleges and universities; and with leaders and executives in our community. His passion is to help people lead more productive and fulfilling lives. He wants to empower you to improve your relationships, accomplish your goals, and still have time for you! Call (210) 588-0863 or email mark@realcounselinginc.com  to set up a FREE 15-minute consultation. Visit Mark Tovar’s Profile.

Leadership Style Hobbs vs Locke

There remains a pantheon of material on leadership styles. It is easy to get lost in concepts and believe that we are mastering a high level of leadership without going far into our emotional motivations and worldview, whereby leaders end up on a spectrum of Philosophy and Psychology within leadership. I purpose every leader should take inventory of how one’s philosophy affects the way one leads. To help further explain, I have enlisted two theories rooted in philosophy and psychology to parse out subtle distinctions of leadership.

Thomas Hobbs (1588) An English philosopher known for his work with ethics and the human condition. His contributions of thought to philosophy includes the belief that humans seek self-interest to the point of political or social unrest. He believed humans are motivated by self-preservation. It is noted that he was born in a time of war and the conflicts that he saw undoubtedly contributed to his stance. We must acknowledge the influence previous battles have had on us. Studying a theory of leadership alone does not relieve us from the events that shape us, deep introspection and a willingness to confront our assumptions allow us this acknowledgment.

The Hawthorne Effect (1920) This experiment showed employees productivity increased if they were aware that they were being observed. This formed the opinion that observation was initially a positive attribute in a work environment, however, later studies revealed that observation of employees can lead to decreased morale and production depending on the interpretation for the observation by the employee.

Let’s examine how we might process this information based on our leadership philosophy of Hobbsian/Hawthornian view of human nature. Initially, these statements below may seem exaggerated but remember, our basic motivating behaviors are not obvious, but rather covert. Notice how the points preserve the self-interest of the leader:

  • People left unsupervised have a natural inclination to skirt their duties, leading to a decrease in productivity.
  • Motivation must remain extrinsically provided for progress to be present.
  • I am a leader because I am the best for the position and others in power have ordained it; It must be true (Devine Right). My correction and guidance only benefit the employee leading to the overall improvement.
  • Anyone who is not able to perform as instructed has a work ethic deficit.

In the next example, you can clearly see the contrast of leadership in Lockean/Adlerian perspective compared to Hobbs.

John Locke (1632) A contrasting view is that of John Locke best known for his ubiquitous claim that man has the right to “Life, Liberty, and Property.” Obviously, he has a more liberal philosophy than Hobbs. Locke warned of coercion in systems of power and the right to resist if deemed against the interest of the people. Locke is considered one of the liberal fathers of the Enlightenment period.

Alfred Adler (1870) An Austrian psychiatrist and psychologist whose thoughts on social rights, and motivation correlates with Locke’s philosophical views. Most current leadership theory contains the philosophy that is listed within the positive motivation along the lines of Locke and Adler.

  • People attempt to progress to perfection as a natural human process.
  • Inferiority is a motivator to uphold what Adler called a “social interest” to work together for a common good. Think of a companies mission, vision, and values.
  • Someone who feels inferior may overcompensate with actions of superiority to overshadow their feelings of being inadequate.
  • An inability to perform as society expects is the result of a societal disconnection and could be rectified with stronger social support, increasing self-esteem and restructuring of goals.

It is unlikely that you are solidly on one side of the spectrum. However, when there is a difficulty within our leadership atmosphere (i.e a struggle with resources, communication, unsavory inter-office politics or fatigue) we are less likely to be good leaders, and by default exhibit self-preservation as our first defense. In the end, it is a battle between what kind of leader we think we are versus the leader that others see under stress. Our workforce is consistently within the 50% disengaged category. This shows us that leaders say they are providing positive leadership but, remain unaware of their philosophical and psychological views that translate into their actions.

Original Blog September 23, 2019 on Real Counseling: Leadership Style-Hobbs or Locke?. Check out more of my Vlogs/Blogs on my Real Counseling Inc website.

Mark Tovar is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor in the State of Texas and has worked in many areas of mental health: schools; treatment centers; judicial systems; colleges and universities; and with leaders and executives in our community. His passion is to help people lead more productive and fulfilling lives. He wants to empower you to improve your relationships, accomplish your goals, and still have time for you! Call (210) 588-0863 or email mark@realcounselinginc.com  to set up a FREE 15-minute consultation. Visit Mark Tovar’s Profile.

Does your family (know how to) talk to each other?

When was the last time your family sat together and talked and played a game?

Do you find yourself wishing your family could connect more? Does everyone spend evenings alone with their own electronic devices? Do you feel like you hardly know your partner, children, parents, siblings? I just heard about Describe cards , a card game designed to help stimulate conversation. Personal conversation. The kind where you walk away feeling like you know people better.

I really wish I had known about these when I was working in an agency, running counseling and therapy groups with as many as 20+ people or as few as two. The Discover cards include activities to get people to describe one another’s attributes, what they like about them, what they want to know better about them, and what individuals think of themselves. They include ice breakers, which I REALLY wish I had when I was running groups, as anyone who runs groups knows, this can be the most challenging element of group work.

I haven’t tried them yet myself, as I just learned about them this morning, but if you’re wishing your family, friends, or partner would talk more, you would like to know them better, or you’re just looking for a way to get people away from their screens and talking to each other, maybe give this a try. If you do, let me know how it goes!

Original Blog October 1, 2019 on Counseling For Resilience: Does your family (know how to) talk to each other?. Check out more of my Blogs on my website.

Lina Lewis-Arévalo MA, LPC, LCADC, NCC and is a Board-Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. She encourages her clients to think of therapy as part of a journey of Wellbeing, which includes attention to sleep, nutrition, self-expression, connectedness, and bodywork. She is passionate about putting people at ease and helping them to reclaim their Best Selves. Whether your issues stem from early life trauma, ineffective communication skills, poor coping, low self-esteem, etc., she can help you recover that essential you and find joy in your life again. Call (609) 414-7978 or email LinaTherapistLPC@itherapymail.com to set up a session. Visit Lina Lewis-Arévalo’s Profile.

Stress may not be bad for your health – it depends on how you interpret it

Kelly McGonigal, in her 2019 TED Talk Kelly McGonigal: Can We Reframe The Way We Think About Stress, reveals that stress may not be as harmful as we have been led to believe. In her talk, McGonigal references a Harvard study that showed that re-framing our interpretation of our stress response as our body preparing us for action actually prevented any harmful health impact from stress. She further described how dopamine, released during the body’s stress response, encourages us to seek support, further mitigating any harmful impact of stress on our bodies. Choosing to view stress as helpful preparation, rather than Anxiety, gives us the ability to make the most of stressful situations by seeing ourselves as Courageous and strengthening our social support networks.

Next time you’re feeling stressed, take a moment to think about this amazing body, and take comfort.

Original Blog October 1, 2019 on Counseling For Resilience: Stress may not be bad for your health – it depends on how you interpret it. Check out more of my Blogs on my website.

Lina Lewis-Arévalo MA, LPC, LCADC, NCC and is a Board-Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. She encourages her clients to think of therapy as part of a journey of Wellbeing, which includes attention to sleep, nutrition, self-expression, connectedness, and bodywork. She is passionate about putting people at ease and helping them to reclaim their Best Selves. Whether your issues stem from early life trauma, ineffective communication skills, poor coping, low self-esteem, etc., she can help you recover that essential you and find joy in your life again. Call (609) 414-7978 or email LinaTherapistLPC@itherapymail.com to set up a session. Visit Lina Lewis-Arévalo’s Profile.

Negativity and Gratitude

It’s easy for me to get very negative.

I’m not sure whether this is a remnant of a difficult early life, a personality flaw, or just poor coping skills, but I really dislike when I get that way. When I notice myself finding things to complain about all over the place, I reach out for help. The other day, I called my daughter and she reminded me to practice Gratitude. By the next day, I had a completely different attitude and found Joy everywhere I turned. There is a lot of research to support the idea of having a formal practice of Gratitude. And I do mean Practice. Whether it means keeping a Gratitude Jar or a Journal, or daily recording Three Good Things, taking five minutes at the end of the day to recall things that went well really impacts mental health and resilience.

If you find yourself, as I sometimes do, falling into a pattern of negativity, try adding a practice of Gratitude in your life. And let me know how it goes!

Original Blog September 28, 2019 on Counseling For Resilience: Negativity and Gratitude. Check out more of my Blogs on my website.

Lina Lewis-Arévalo MA, LPC, LCADC, NCC and is a Board-Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. She encourages her clients to think of therapy as part of a journey of Wellbeing, which includes attention to sleep, nutrition, self-expression, connectedness, and bodywork. She is passionate about putting people at ease and helping them to reclaim their Best Selves. Whether your issues stem from early life trauma, ineffective communication skills, poor coping, low self-esteem, etc., she can help you recover that essential you and find joy in your life again. Call (609) 414-7978 or email LinaTherapistLPC@itherapymail.com to set up a session. Visit Lina Lewis-Arévalo’s Profile.

Why online? What’s that about?

“I’m too busy!”
“I can’t find anyone in my area.”
“I’m a caregiver.”
“I can’t leave my kids…patient…parents alone.”
“I don’t get home until late.”
“I’ve got to take the kids to sports practice.”
“I can’t leave the house because of my social anxiety…mobility issues…chronic illness.”

There are a host of issues getting in the way of your going to a therapist’s office. What if you didn’t have to?

With the advent of confidential, HIPAA-compliant phone, email, and video, online therapy is a growing industry with many advantages. You can see your individual therapist from the comfort of your own home. Appointments can be made for before work, after work, even weekends. Imagine being at your child’s sports practice or music lesson, or your parent’s medical visit, and using the waiting time to visit your therapist from the privacy of your laptop or phone.

Online therapists are licensed professionals with extensive training and at least a Master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field. These professionals are required to continually educate themselves in their chosen field, and are bound to ethics regulations to protect your privacy and confidentiality. Why not give online counseling a try?

Original Blog September 28, 2019 on Counseling For Resilience: Why online? What’s that about?. Check out more of my Blogs on my website.

Lina Lewis-Arévalo MA, LPC, LCADC, NCC and is a Board-Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. She encourages her clients to think of therapy as part of a journey of Wellbeing, which includes attention to sleep, nutrition, self-expression, connectedness, and bodywork. She is passionate about putting people at ease and helping them to reclaim their Best Selves. Whether your issues stem from early life trauma, ineffective communication skills, poor coping, low self-esteem, etc., she can help you recover that essential you and find joy in your life again. Call (609) 414-7978 or email LinaTherapistLPC@itherapymail.com to set up a session. Visit Lina Lewis-Arévalo’s Profile.

Yoga, it’s not about being bendy!

Like many others, I used to think Yoga was for affluent White females with slender bodies and stretchy pants, who enjoyed bending themselves into pretzels. I didn’t understand the point, didn’t think it was for my body shape, and I felt a bit uncomfortable with the spiritual aspect of Yoga. In grad school I met a woman whose experience teaching Yoga made her want to get her Masters in Counseling. She noticed that women who had trauma in their past often had emotional releases during her classes. This made her want to become a therapist. It made me want to study Yoga.

I asked around and found a Yoga studio with strong recommendations and signed up for a Beginner Series, in which basic principles of Yoga, as well as practical considerations for beginning Yogis were introduced. After four weeks of lecture and preparation, I felt ready to undertake Basic classes, with the understanding that I was to focus on my breath and let it guide me, rather than letting my ego push me to try to keep up with more advanced students.

What freedom I found in following my own body’s journey, after a lifetime of feeling pressured to fit in; to look like the others. At the end of each Yoga class I found myself profoundly at peace with myself, and this peace naturally extended to others. I did actually become more flexible physically, but that really was the smallest part of what I gained.

Numerous studies show benefits of Yoga for helping to heal from anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and trauma/PTSD. I now recommend that ALL my clients look into Yoga, or other Mindfulness practices such as Tai chi and Qigong. Using such body/mind practices are valuable adjuncts to psychotherapy.

Original Blog September 2, 2019 on Counseling For Resilience: Yoga, it’s not about being bendy!.

Check out more of my Blogs on my website.

Lina Lewis-Arévalo MA, LPC, LCADC, NCC and is a Board-Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. She encourages her clients to think of therapy as part of a journey of Wellbeing, which includes attention to sleep, nutrition, self-expression, connectedness, and bodywork. She is passionate about putting people at ease and helping them to reclaim their Best Selves. Whether your issues stem from early life trauma, ineffective communication skills, poor coping, low self-esteem, etc., she can help you recover that essential you and find joy in your life again. Call (609) 414-7978 or email LinaTherapistLPC@itherapymail.com to set up a session. Visit Lina Lewis-Arévalo’s Profile.

How I came to love DBT

When I was a graduate student intern in an intensive outpatient program for adults with significant mental health challenges, I was assigned to teach Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills to an evening therapy group. I found the teaching manual baffling and the worksheets and handouts complicated. With the emphasis on borderline personality disorder, I could not understand the relevance to other clients who did not struggle with this affliction. We were teaching the skills on an 8-week rotation, so every two months, the skills were repeated. This was meant to ensure that clients received the full set of skills before they left the program for regular outpatient therapy. For me, it meant many exposures to these principles and little by little, understanding grew.

While Marsha Linehan developed DBT specifically for reducing self-harm behaviors and suicide attempts in clients with borderline personality disorder (see: Linehan (1993) Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder), over time the skills, as well as the Biosocial Theory that underpins them, has been shown to be beneficial for treatment of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and trauma, amongst others.

As I worked to understand DBT skills and theory so I could teach them, I began to see changes in my own life. I became less irritable, more patient, more forgiving (of myself, as well as others), and more resilient to the vicissitudes of life.

DBT is not the only theory that informs my psychotherapy practice, and it has its flaws and detractors, but the biosocial theory and specific skills taught are eminently practical for lowering anxiety, building resilience, and improving interpersonal effectiveness.

Original Blog September 1, 2019 on Counseling For Resilience: How I came to love DBT.

Check out more of my Blogs on my website.

Lina Lewis-Arévalo MA, LPC, LCADC, NCC and is a Board-Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. She encourages her clients to think of therapy as part of a journey of Wellbeing, which includes attention to sleep, nutrition, self-expression, connectedness, and bodywork. She is passionate about putting people at ease and helping them to reclaim their Best Selves. Whether your issues stem from early life trauma, ineffective communication skills, poor coping, low self-esteem, etc., she can help you recover that essential you and find joy in your life again. Call (609) 414-7978 or email LinaTherapistLPC@itherapymail.com to set up a session. Visit Lina Lewis-Arévalo’s Profile.

12 Ways To Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

Here are some simple, effective things you can start doing to protect children…

The phrase “child sexual abuse” makes most people feel concerned, especially parents and caregivers. Many have questioned if they should change their lifestyles so they don’t have to hire a babysitter or bring their little ones to daycare centers. It could make some parents hypervigilant and fear everyone. On the other hand, most people believe the falsehood that child molestation is perpetrated mostly by strangers. Below are ways to address these concerns and help prevent child sexual abuse (CSA):
  1. Know the facts. About 90% of the time, children and youth are molested by someone they know. Only 10% to 14% of child victims are harmed by strangers.1 Stranger Danger is a myth! It’s understandable why people would believe in stranger danger. It feels better to think that child sexual abuse only happens “out there” and not within their circles, but believing in this myth causes people to ignore their gut instincts. Which leads us to the next point.

  2. Listen to your gut responses. When something doesn’t feel right to you, listen to your instincts even if you can’t analyze what’s wrong and even if you don’t have the support of other people. If you have that gut response to anyone including a person whom you know and trust, heed your intuition and find ways to protect your child from that person. Many offenders are someone’s parent, grandparent, older sibling, aunt, uncle, coach, teacher, neighbor, babysitter, family friend, and even those in the political and religious fields. To be clear, the majority of the people in these categories and relationships are good people but it only takes one offender to abuse many children. Pedophiles know that the best way to gain access to a child is to first gain the trust of parents and caregivers. Once it’s gained, parents think it’s safe to leave their children with the perceived trustworthy individual.2

  3. Teach children that their bodies belong to them, and not just any adult can help them with certain activities. This is especially important for young children. Sit down and help them identify the few people who are allowed to help them with bathing, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and other activities that involve contact or exposure to their private parts. Explain “private parts” as “those parts that are covered by a bathing suit”. Doctors and nurses provide physical examinations only when a parent is present.

  4. Teach your children it’s okay to say “No” to adults. Most children are socialized to respect adults, but being respectful doesn’t mean compliance with everything adults want to do. Offenders use their power and authority as grown-ups to trick, command, threaten,or manipulate children to do what they want. When children are told to comply with everything, it makes them more vulnerable to sexual abuse.

  5. Don’t make children hug or kiss every adult they meet. Most of the time, parents and caregivers do this as part of teaching manners to their children, or because they don’t want other adults to feel hurt or think poorly of them as parents if their children can’t perform social gestures. But again, children’s bodies belong to them and they should have a choice as to who can make contact. Adults consider this as a given with regards to their own bodies, and children have a greater need for it because they’re so vulnerable. Tell children it’s okay to give high-fives, handshakes, or just wave if that’s what they feel comfortable doing. By letting them choose how to greet people instead of making them give hugs and kisses, you’re also teaching them that they should listen to their internal responses to people and situations. Speaking of children’s gut responses…

  6. Teach them about the “Uh-oh Feeling.”Children are taught to look left and right before crossing the street but if they get an “uh-oh feeling” or butterflies in the tummy, they’re supposed to listen to it and not cross the street anyway. It’s the same thing with keeping them safe from predators. Even before sexual touching starts, children could feel that something is off. If this should happen, they should say “No!” and run to tell a trusted adult. If we help children cultivate and listen to their gut responses, it will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

  7. Help children learn the difference between Good and Bad Secrets. An easy way to explain this is that good secrets make people feel happy and good, and bad secrets make people feel confused, angry, and/or sad. Teach them when it’s okay to be part of a good secret. For example, staying quiet about Dad’s surprise birthday party is a good secret. An example of a bad one is when an adult tells a child that it’s their special secret to play doctor and touch/see/take photos of each other’s private parts. If the latter should happen, children should be instructed to tell someone in their Safe Circle. Speaking of which…

  8. Help children create a Safe Circle. Draw a simple line drawing. Inside the circle, work together on listing the names of trusted adults. Explain that these are people who are protective of them and would help in case someone tries to hurt them or have harmed them. Have an age-appropriate conversation about why these adults are inside the circle: What have they been doing to care for the child? How do these adults keep them safe?

  9. Teach children the difference between Good Touches, Bad Touches, and Confusing Touches. A good touch is something that makes them feel happy, safe, or good, like a hug from Mom or a high five from a friend. A bad touch is any touch that makes them feel sad, angry, or unsafe, like being pushed, hit, or touched in their private parts. A confusing touch is something that may feel good at the beginning then becomes unwanted, like a tickling session that went on too long. One example of how a touch can go from good to confusing to bad is when a child is being comforted by an adult by being hugged and stroked on the upper back, then the strokes go to the lower back and then to privates.

  10. Keep an open line of communication with your children. Have conversations about their activities without having an agenda. Listen and learn about what they’re going through and ask questions. When children and teens know that you’re a listening ear, they respond well when you ask if there is anyone or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. They will be forthcoming when they see that you listen well, and they would be unlikely to resort to indirect disclosures. One of the most indirect ways that children disclose about molestation is by saying, “Don’t make me go there! I don’t want to stay with grandpa/auntie/babysitter!”. When they make statements like this the response should be a conversation, not censure. The response of, “Don’t be difficult. We’re going.” is one that shuts down communication. Instead, ask them why and really listen.

  11. Be savvy about child sexual abuse: It’s not just about touching. It is any behavior by an adult or older child toward minors ages 0-17 for the adult/older child’s sexual satisfaction. It covers a wide range of behaviors that includes verbal sexual abuse, such as saying inappropriate statements (“hey, you look very sexy in those shorts, little girl”), questions, and comments that sexualize children. Then there’s visual sexual abuse. Some examples: taking photos and videos of children without clothes and/or in sexual poses; showing them pornographic movies and photos; offender being naked, masturbating, or having sex in front of child; going into the bathroom while child/teen is taking a shower, sexting and sending inappropriate photos by phone or online. Physical sexual abuse includes touching over clothes, under clothes, fondling, penetration with fingers or sexual parts or objects, and rape with violence. Then there’s commercial sexual exploitation of children in-person or online. A lot of people think that CSA is only the latter two, but the impact of verbal and visual sexual abuse are long term and detrimental to a child’s health and mental well being.

  12. Accept that we, as adults, always have the responsibility to keep children safe.Not a prevention tip but a much-needed reminder – one that has significant impact on a child’s healing from abuse. If, in spite of teaching them all of the above tips, the child was molested or almost molested but didn’t tell you about it or didn’t tell right away – please be aware that feelings of shame, confusion, and fear are behind this. They may have been threatened or tricked, or may be experiencing depression, numbness, or feeling that things are unreal/surreal because of the abuse. Most are afraid they would be blamed – and sometimes this happens. The following are some responses to a child’s disclosure that will only exacerbate the negative mental and emotional impact of sexual abuse:
    • Blaming the child for various reasons such as not disclosing or not disclosing right away, or not being able to say “no” and run away
    • Asking “Why did you let it happen, after everything I taught you?”
    • Not believing the child for any reason, including that the adult seems trustworthy
    • Saying that the child is only doing this to get attention

The right response is to assure them it was never their fault and the only blame and shame is on the person who harmed them. Then, as soon as possible, find support for your child and family.

Prevention is on all of us. Everyone can be an advocate for child sexual abuse prevention, and it often begins at home.

If you suspect that a child is being abused in New York, please call the 24/7 toll free statewide telephone number: 1-800-342-3720. If you believe that a child is in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local police department.

Original Blog August 1, 2019 on NinoNuevo Consulting 12 Ways To Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.

Photo credit above – Jenn Evelyn Ann

Check out more of my Blogs on my website Blog Insights.

Ireen NinoNuevo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who specializes in the treatment and prevention of child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence. Her therapeutic approach is warm and empathetic. She uses talk therapy and creative interventions to help people achieve their goals. She believes that trust is important in the counseling relationship especially when people have experienced the betrayal of trust. Call (929) 506-5062 or email Ireen@itherapymail.com to set up a session. Visit Ireen NinoNuevo’s Profile.

Imposter Syndrome 3

Are you suffering from Imposter Syndrome?

Original Blog June 27, 2019 on Michele Seeley, LPC PLLC – Online Therapy for Women: Imposter Syndrome 3.

Check out more of my Blogs on my website Michele Seeley, LPC PLLC – Online Therapy for Women.

Michele Seeley worked in private practice and as an outpatient therapist at a non-profit agency treating such issues as depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, trauma and domestic violence. She provides support and encouragement while helping you identify and explore what might be holding you back or keeping you stuck. She specialized in helping women who struggle with depression, anxiety, life transitions, past traumas and abusive relationships. Call (336) 547-6523 or email MSeeley@itherapymail.com  to set up a session. Visit Michele Seeley’s Profile.

Easy Mindfulness Exercise

Are you feeling Anxious or experiencing a Panic Attack?

Original Blog July 8, 2019 on Michele Seeley, LPC PLLC – Online Therapy for Women: Easy Mindfulness Exercise.

Check out more of my Blogs on my website Michele Seeley, LPC PLLC – Online Therapy for Women.

Michele Seeley worked in private practice and as an outpatient therapist at a non-profit agency treating such issues as depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, trauma and domestic violence. She provides support and encouragement while helping you identify and explore what might be holding you back or keeping you stuck. She specialized in helping women who struggle with depression, anxiety, life transitions, past traumas and abusive relationships. Call (336) 547-6523 or email MSeeley@itherapymail.com  to set up a session. Visit Michele Seeley’s Profile.

Depression

Do you know the difference between Depression and Sadness?

Original Blog July 23, 2019 on Michele Seeley, LPC PLLC – Online Therapy for Women: Depression.

Check out more of my Blogs on my website Michele Seeley, LPC PLLC – Online Therapy for Women.

Michele Seeley worked in private practice and as an outpatient therapist at a non-profit agency treating such issues as depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, trauma and domestic violence. She provides support and encouragement while helping you identify and explore what might be holding you back or keeping you stuck. She specialized in helping women who struggle with depression, anxiety, life transitions, past traumas and abusive relationships. Call (336) 547-6523 or email MSeeley@itherapymail.com  to set up a session. Visit Michele Seeley’s Profile.

Why I pay a Licensed Professional Counselor

Counselor, Therapist, Psychotherapist are broad terms that are used within my field interchangeably, this is not helpful. If we want YOU to come to us, we must be able to specify how we help you. I am going to explain how Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) help you figure stuff out because this is what I have done for almost two decades and counting.

All Licensed Professional Counselors are trained as generalist first, they must illustrate and perform the basic duties that allow them to see a wide scope of presenting mental health issues. LPC’s can work with a wide range of ages and concerns, and focus on getting you to function better daily. We are like a general physician of the mental health world.

When I tell people I am an LPC they say “so what kind of counseling do you do?” I tell them that I help people exercise their mental health. This is the same way that a Physical Therapist does for those who need physical functionality. An LPC can work on your immediate discontent and set a plan for long term growth. We also assess and measure progress providing positive motivation at each stage. There is a plan.

In extreme cases, you may be forever changed by an incident; let’s use the death of a loved as an example. An LPC can work with you defining a new normal, one that will lead to overall improved coping; while acknowledging that things may not be the same. Counselors can provide you with parameters to know what is a typical duration or intensity to your pain, my clients experience a sense of relief by my sharing of what is experienced by others I’ve seen with similar circumstances. In this way, you are able to gain the wisdom of lessons learned by others, in a condensed and protected setting.

Licensed Professional Counselors have extensive training. All LPC’s must complete a Bachelor degree and then a Master’s program of at least 60 hours (most Master’s programs are 35-40 hr). After a new counselor receives their degree, they must practice under a more experienced counselor for an additional 3 years. Think of this as their Residency or Apprenticeship.

There is another public misunderstanding that seems to invade the world of mental health that is that “people can just talk with friends or family members to sort things out”. It is always good to talk with other loved ones and those who support you and sometimes this is sufficient but many of us have exercise equipment at home and still find gym memberships and trainers valuable tools in reaching our goals. It is unlikely that your friends or family have had specific training in these areas as an LPC must have before being licensed:
  • Assessment of mental health symptoms
  • Training in standardized testing
  • Training in mental health diagnosis
  • Knowledge of reactions to psychological pain
  • Ability to listen critically for important areas of concern that others may miss
  • Ability to think above the emotion that may be blocking your solution
  • Ability to create comfort and a non-judgmental stance
  • A minimum of 3000 hours of previous client sessions at minimum
  • Understanding and application of psychology theories
  • Training in legal and ethical decision-making
  • Multicultural training
  • Unbiased perspective
  • Continued education required to ensure current knowledge
Keep in mind that licensure is required to practice but does not guarantee a counselor’s effectiveness. It shows a standard skill to meet the basic requirements for the profession for the state where we practice. Just like you need a drivers license to drive a car, but this does not tell me how good of a driver you are. This is why the most important thing to do is speak with a counselor to assure you are a good fit and are confident about their ability to help. If you do not find these two things keep shopping there are many counselors who are waiting to help you.

Original Post July 8, 2019 – Why I Pay a Licensed Professional Counselor

Mark Tovar is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor in the State of Texas and has worked in many areas of mental health: schools; treatment centers; judicial systems; colleges and universities; and with leaders and executives in our community. His passion is to help people lead more productive and fulfilling lives. He wants to empower you to improve your relationships, accomplish your goals, and still have time for you! Call (210) 588-0863 or email mark@realcounselinginc.com  to set up a FREE 15-minute consultation. Visit Mark Tovar’s Profile.

Welcome to CAST Wellness!

Welcome To CAST WELLNESS ONLINE!

The purpose of this video is for a quick introduction to CAST WELLNESS ONLINE and welcoming online therapy into your life.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us directly.

Original Post April 02, 2019 – Welcome to CAST Wellness!

Dr. Tslil Feinberg of Cast Wellness Online, is a licensed clinical psychologist in California providing online counseling in sleep, trauma, and anxiety-related disorders. She also specializes in training and supervision in CBT for insomnia. Her focus is providing client-centered care using treatments informed by research. She believes that therapy should be a collaborative and active process between therapist and patient. Call (619) 452-2544 or email cast@itherapymail.com  to set up a FREE 15-minute consultation. Visit Dr. Tslil Feinberg’s Profile.