If You’re Afraid That Alcohol Counseling Will Require You to Stop Drinking, Read This

alcohol counselingMany people struggle with substance or alcohol abuse, and many are looking for help, but not all drinkers are the same. Not everyone who drinks has a problem.

 

So why do so many treatment programs and mental health professionals often only recommend abstinence as a solution?

 

Since not all drinkers are the same we need to have individualized solutions for everyone needing help.

Minding Your Emotions: How to Recognize and Deal with Your Feelings (Part 3)

minding our emotionsGetting to know and understanding ourselves, our stories, and our feelings is such an important part of personal growth. Learning to live with difficult feelings instead of self-medicating, numbing ourselves, or in some other way avoiding vulnerability is the stuff of life. Doing this hard work of being aware of and owning our “stuff” is key to living with meaning and fulfillment.

 

In part 1 of this series, I shared a personal experience to illustrate how important learning to deal with our most painful feelings is important. In part 2, I talked about why some people have trouble identifying and describing what they feel. In this post, I’d like to share with you some strategies for how you can learn to get to know yourself and your feelings a little better.

How to Talk to Your Partner about Going to Therapy

how to talk to your partner about going to therapyWhen I get a call from a couple needing help, the spouse or partner on the phone usually says that the relationship is in some kind of crisis. Couples can sometimes struggle for months, even years, before something happens that at last causes the relationship’s ground to give way.

 

When this finally happens and partners talk about going to therapy for the first time, it may not go anywhere. In fact, things sometimes get worse. Fights get louder and longer. One partner might storm off or leave and not come back for the first time. Words are exchanged that can’t be taken back. Each partner feels like there’s nowhere else the relationship can go. Neither can see a way of working it out. They’re both at the end of their ropes. The relationship is crying out for help.

How to Change Beliefs to Form Better Habits (Part 2)

change beliefs

I believe I don’t like pineapple. That belief isn’t going to change.

Changing our habits can be challenging, and in part 1, we saw why. Whether it’s starting a new habit or ditching an old one, any changes we try make will quickly send us to a meet-n’-greet with the beliefs that are tied up with that habit.

 

Maybe you have trouble regularly checking your finances because we believe you’re not with money and there’s a lot of fear there for you. Maybe you’re afraid to start something new because you believe that you’ll fail. Maybe it’s been really tough to kick your pornography habit because you feel like you’re not good enough no matter what you do, and at least pornography makes you forget that for a while.

How to Change Beliefs to Form Better Habits (Part 1)

how to change beliefsAbout every month or so, I pick up a new business book from the local public library and dive in. I enjoy reading business books as I’ve found that it helps me with the business side of running a practice so that I can be my best for my clients. Recently, I picked up Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt, a book about how to set and achieve goals in your life.

 

It caught my eye because I’ve been wanting to find time to cultivate new habits. With our family’s sometimes crazy schedule, I was having trouble making the changes I wanted to make. Every time I try to create a new habit, I stopped after a week or so.

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 3 of 2)

This is part 3 in a series of posts originally intended to be a two-part pageturner. You can check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

 

counselor with depressed manIt’s the middle of January, which is the most common month that people seek out counseling. Of course, many factors go into choosing a therapist—location, specialty, a perception that he or she can help with your concerns, fees and insurance, and so on.

 

It’s also been my guess in this series that you also are wondering how in the world to pick an effective counselor. There are online reviews but only sometimes, and therapist websites can only give us clues about a counselor’s competence.

 

It’s been my goal to help you pick a good counselor, one that you can know with a little more clarity if the help you’re getting is worth your time and investment. Ultimately, I do feel that there’s a ineffable quality of “fit” between a counselor and a client that makes therapy work, and that’s hard to write about.

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 2 of 2)

woman in therapyIn case you missed it, in my last post I summarized some findings from the American Psychological Association about the characteristics of an effective counselor. You can check out the APA’s own write-up of the research here. According to the APA, an effective counselor has 14 key qualities that contribute to successful treatment. This time of year, when a lot of people are looking for counseling, these are great things to keep in mind when looking for help.

 

Of course, counseling seems simple on the face of it, but there’s actually a lot going on in your counselor’s mind in session, not to mention the ton of stuff going on in the relationship between you and your counselor. All that to say, great outcomes are the product of a host of variables in counseling, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that these therapist qualities make successful treatment more likely. 

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 1 of 2)

Looking for a therapist in the New Year? You’re not alone. In fact, January tends to be the most popular month of the year for seeking counseling. Why? It’s hard to say, really, but there are probably several reasons:

  1. The holidays are over. With New Year’s, it’s time for a change.
  2. Being with family around the holidays can encourage people to want better relationships and emotional wellbeing.
  3. There’s a good stretch of time before summer, so people usually are going to be able to go to therapy for some time before traveling again.

 

counselor with clientWhatever the reason, if you’re looking for counseling right now, it’s a perfect time to think about the qualities you want in your counselor. More specifically, you probably want to know more about those characteristics of a good counselor, and what a good counselor does. 

4 Tips for Safe Drinking

Happy holidays, everyone! Drinking around the holidays can be enjoyable, but if you’ve had some problems with alcohol in the past (like me), this time of year can be challenging. If you’re thinking about making some changes to how you drink or just want to drink more intentionally, here are four tips for safe drinking to keep mind. Well, okay, they’re not so much “tips” on their own as aspects of drinking to consider when planning to drink.