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Overused and Misunderstood Terms: "Addict", "Addictive Personality" & "Alcoholic"
Posted on May 8, 2016


Addiction or addictive personality are constructs that are used by many therapists/psychiatrists to label and/or group people together. The words "addict" and "alcoholic" are demeaning and provide very little value to help individuals who misuse/overuse alcohol and/or drugs. Individuals who need help already know what they are doing and have already heard from family and friends they have a problem. I believe that mental health providers need to figure out 3 things (besides developing a strong rapport) before any healing can take place.

1. What purpose is the substance serving for them? Like any habit, we would not continue with it if we're not getting something from it.

2. Did they experience healthy and effective parenting? Unhealthy or conditional love by parents creates developmental deficits that lead to low self-esteem, interpersonal problems and poor-decision making. 

3. History of trauma or chronic stress? I view unhealthy coping skills as a way an individual attempts to maintain control over themselves and their environment. They just have never learned or don't believe they a right to have good things in their life (shame/guilt).

In summary, this article is just a snapshot of helping individuals who misuse/overuse alcohol and/or drugs. However, I believe it exhibits a common sense approach of the necessary healing ingredients of non-judgment, empathy and unconditional positive regard. 


What To Expect During Your First Appointment 
Posted on Sep 1, 2015 

Deciding to begin therapy can be both exhilarating and frightening especially if you have never been in therapy before. I strive to make your experience positive and rewarding. To maximize the amount of time we have together during the first session, I will ask you to complete all of the initial paperwork online so that when you come in we can immediately begin the healing process. From the moment you schedule the appointment with me, to the time you step into my office for the first time, I will be the only one you would have interacted with. Read more here...

A Practical Way To Understand Depression
Posted on Aug 25, 2015
 

In this article, I would like to briefly describe the different ways depression can cause great impairment in our ability to function at home, work, socially, etc. In 2013, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that an “estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This represented 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults.” Read more here...

 

Depression in Men
Posted on Aug 11, 2015
 

The prevailing theory has been that women experience depression at higher rates than men. Some of the reasons behind this theory suggest that women are more emotional, endorse more traditional symptoms of depression (e.g., sadness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, etc.) and seek out treatment for depression such as psychotherapy more often than men. Recent research has concluded that gender differences are essentially eliminated when the less traditional symptoms of depression listed below are taken into consideration. Read more here... 

 

Individualized Trauma Therapy
Posted on Aug 4, 2015

The purpose of this article is to expand on a previous blog entry in which I discussed the “5 Essential Healing Components of Trauma Therapy”. That article focused on the importance of the relationship between therapist and client as well as the many important ingredients that effect real change in trauma therapy. In this article, I will discuss 3 reasons why individualized treatment in trauma therapy is critical for healing to take place. Read more here... 

Stigma and Mental Health- The Real Problem 
Posted on Jul 21, 2015 

Discrimination or the stigma toward mental health is well known and frequently talked about. Many times, we talk about a topic or idea of interest and we do not adequately define or provide specific examples of what the problem really is. I believe this is very true with the stigma toward mental health.  For example, what does “stigma” really mean, what is the actual problem and how do we take action to stop it?
Read more here...

 

5 Tips to Overcome Disappointment 
Posted on July 15, 2015

Disappointment in life is guaranteed. Disappointment can be small or big. It can range from a special dinner not turning out right to not being chosen for a big promotion at work. Too many times we are conditioned to believe that life is about winning and losing and nothing in between. My goal in writing this blog is to help you avoid frustration and find ways to be satisfied with life even when things do not turn out in your favor. Here are 5 tips to overcome disappointment.Read more here...


Advocacy in Medical and Mental Health Treatment 
Posted on Jul 2, 2015 
As a therapist, I believe in advocating for my clients in any way I can to improve their overall physical and emotional well-being. This includes collaborating with their primary care physician, psychiatrist, family, lawyer (if involved in legal problems), etc. Read more here...


Improve Emotional Well-Being Without Using the Word Exercise
Posted on Jun 9, 2015 

There is significant research and evidence that being active improves emotional and physical well-being. However, too many times the word exercise is used as the way to accomplish this. The word itself makes people cringe and very little is usually accomplished. Read more here...


3 Reasons Why Individualized Mental Health Care is Essential 
Posted on Jun 4, 2015

As Mental Health Care Awareness Month ends, I would like to discuss 3 reasons why individualized mental health care is a necessary factor in understanding each person’s mental health symptoms from their own unique perspective, rather than a label/stereotype (for example, depression, anxiety or bipolar). I will go into length in #3 below describing one misunderstood and wrongly diagnosed mental illness- Bipolar Disorder. Read more here... 
 
5 Quicks to Healthy & Effective Parenting
Posted on April 23, 2015

Today I would like to talk about how to make parenting fun but still be a positive influence in your child’s development. Many parents that I have worked with put way too much pressure on themselves. They lack confidence and are concerned that they will do something wrong that will forever harm their child. This is especially true for parents who have had unhealthy or ineffective parents themselves. Here are 5 tips to help you be an effective and satisfied parent. Read more here...

5 Essential Healing Components of Trauma Therapy
Posted on Feb 27, 2015

1. Relationship with Therapist- The relationship between therapist and client is the most important ingredient for a client to begin the healing process. I believe this occurs most effectivity through a person-centered approach (Based on the work of Carl Rogers), in an environment, that encourages personal growth based on several key factors that are necessary for a strong rapport between therapist and client:
Read more here...