Thursday, October 9, 2008

Financial crisis and psychotherapy

In recent publications such as The Sacramento Bee and The Wall Street Journal, along with news programs, the financial crisis has been paired with personal distress. It's no secret that if you are worried about money your emotional well-being can suffer, relationships can begin to fray, and other problems (health, school, work) can begin to spiral under the pressure. Several of these stories have noted that the ironic thing is that while a lot of people NEED therapy right now that it is difficult to AFFORD it.
In response to this, I encourage people to take advantage of programs such as their employer sponsored Health Savings Account (HSA) that would allow them to set aside pre-tax dollars to use for medical expenses which usually include counseling. I also offer a few sliding scale appointment slots, one pro-bono slot, along with a student discount, and I do accept credit cards.
Emotional distress can cause and exacerbate health problems, cause missed work, and also force people back into unhealthy coping skills such as eating and shopping that can cost a lot of money and cause even more distress. Therapy is indeed an investment but usually one in yourself that pays huge dividends. If all else fails I am happy to provide referrals to wonderful organizations that provide low-cost therapy. Right now nobody should be going without needed support during such difficult times.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Walk and Talk Therapy Available

I recently read this article on WebMD:

In nutshell, it is about the benefits of walking during talk therapy. Benefits include all of the obvious benefits of exercise, plus a reduced sense of pressure that the typical face-to-face stance of a typical therapy session can bring up. Sometimes physical movement can help clients move forward on stuck issues, and bilateral stimulation (ie-walking) can also be calming.

Of course, there are issues to address. What if we run into somebody that you or I know? What if you become emotional during a walking session, or you don't feel safe expressing emotions during a session because we are walking? These are all issues to address and plan out beforehand.

If you are my current client you KNOW that I highly recommend exercise barring physical issues that might keep you from exercising. I believe exercise is helpful for depression, anxiety, even trauma issues. Walking during a session can possibly help challenge stuck dynamics.

If you are a current client and would like to try this, let me know! If you are a new client who is interested, also feel free to bring this up during our intake session. We can discuss the pros and cons and in all likelihood try a walking session. Plan on bringing your walking shoes and sunscreen!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

PREPARE for a marriage...Premarital counseling

I am pleased to be offering couples services using the PREPARE/ENRICH set of inventories. In addition to my training and experience as a marriage & family therapist, I have received additional training to use the PREPARE/ENRICH program. PREPARE/ENRICH is a research based curriculum and set of inventories that is used for couples as a premarital counseling guide, and also for married couples to improve and enhance their relationship.
PREPARE/ENRICH starts out with the couple taking an inventory that covers issues such as personality traits, family of origin map, communication style, and beliefs and expectations about significant issues for couples such as finances and children. I use the results of these inventories to help couples learn to communicate more effectively, resolve conflict proactively, and focus on goals as a couple. There are usually 4-6 structured sessions where together we focus on preparing a couple for marriage.
Many couples spend more time planning the wedding or commitment ceremony itself than they do preparing for their future as a married couple. Marriage is hard work…it takes a lot of effort and skills that just aren’t typically taught in a classroom. I encourage all couples that are considering making a lifetime commitment to consider a program of preparation such as PREPARE/ENRICH in order to maximize the potential of their relationship.
See also

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sierra Style Articles

A HUGE thank-you to Sierra Style for asking me to participate in some recent articles. One about New Year's Resolutions:

Another on Seasonal Affective Disorder:

And another on dating as a senior after losing a spouse:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Self-care for counselors

Sometimes the old adage of "the cobbler's children has no shoes" is incredibly obvious in the counseling profession. How often have I talked with colleagues about their feelings of stress and when I ask them, "What are you doing to take care of yourself?" they look at me blankly. These therapists are REALLY GREAT at helping their clients get better-but not always so good at taking care of themselves. Self-care is important-for me AND for my clients. Self-care can include:
-regular exercise
-good nutrition
-staying away from caffeine
-playing with your family pets
-getting a massage
-going to therapy
Yes, I said it. Counselors can go to psychotherapy, too! I offer a sliding fee for ALL college students that qualify, and I really encourage graduate students and MFT Interns/ASWs to contact me if they are interested in getting counseling. I used to supervise volunteer peer counselors and I noticed one thing-clients seemed to do a lot better when the therapist was taking good care of themself. Not only am I committed to providing THE BEST care possible for my clients, but I encourage other professionals and pre-licensed professionals to also model good self-care-whatever that might mean for YOU!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


As of the end of this month (February 2008), I will be moving to my own office in Roseville. I have loved subletting from Alicia, but my practice has grown so much it has been difficult to accomodate all of my clients. I will begin seeing my clients at my new office March 1.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sierra Style-"Resolve to Unresolve"

I had the honor of contributing to "Sierrastyle's" ( Folsom ElDorado Hills Style January 2008 edition. I collaborated with Jenn Thornton on an article called "Resolve To Unresolve." Jenn's idea was for us to come together and write a piece about simplifying life and being true to yourself. It is on newsstands now.

Be well,


Friday, January 4, 2008

Dos and Don’ts When Dealing With Chronic Pain or Health Problems

Do keep up-to-date on the latest treatment options, medications, nutritional and complementary therapies and side effects. Medical journals such as are a good resource. YOU are your own best expert on your body and your wellness.

Don’t spend more than a half hour to an hour per week on this research as it can make you feel worse. As difficult as it is, work to keep thoughts about your pain or health from ruling your waking moments.

Do continue to participate in life as much as possible and plan activities that you enjoy.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to limit your activities. Listen to your body in order to avoid flare-ups.

Do make lists that you can turn to when you are not feeling well. Examples might be: “Five People I Can Call That Will Let Me Vent,” “Ten Simple Things That Ease My Pain,” “Three Movies That Make Me Laugh.” You get the picture. When you are in pain or feel ill it is tough to remember what will make you feel better. Make these lists and use them.

Don’t fall for some of the “snake oil” salesmen that promise a quick fix for your ills. If it seems too good, it probably is. Invest your resources wisely.

Do experiment with simple ways to feel better that might include exercise, meditation, EMDR, acupuncture, talk therapy, massage, nutrition, or laughter.

Don’t expect loved ones to always be able to be a good support system. Often they are dealing with their own emotions about your illness. While loved ones can be there for you and support you, keep in mind that they may be dealing with their own reactions if you feel frustrated or disappointed with them.

Do reach out for help as needed. There are many free or low-cost support groups, online message boards, and professional therapists that can help you work on dealing with the emotional impact of what you are going through. Don’t struggle alone.