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Scott Anstadt at ProvenTherapy

Veteran Professional Scott Anstadt Opens Online Therapy Clinic

Scott is a fully licensed Clinical Social Worker with over thirty years of direct practice experience in a wide range of counseling settings. Understanding the high potential and effectiveness of online therapy, he joins the team of ProvenTherapists.
Scott

Press Release: FORT MYERS, Fla.June 13, 2017 — Scott has taught graduate students full time for over 10 years in clinical and community intervention skills. He offers some unique opportunities for subscribers through the flexible use of social media and internet based communications during the counseling process,

Areas of expertise address mood  and sleep disorders and how a balanced lifestyle of purpose and personal fulfillment can reduce stress and its harmful effects. During counseling, Scott uses a number of evidenced based methods to help reduce self defeating patterns of communication and interaction.  In turn, the clients build a practical and balanced lifestyle drawing from an inner sense of knowing about their inherent worth as unique individuals. To help integrate new and positive pathways of thinking about oneself in relation to those closest, people draw upon some of the latest findings on nuerology and cognition and make them practical and understandable. This relates to transitions and life changes of all kinds including family changes and adjustment to aging.

Scott’s style in working at https://www.proventherapy.com is compassionate, sensitive, and he is a good listener. Key skills that are used often include step by step communication enhancement and the development of a peaceful and mindful state through active relaxation methods and meditation.
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Veterinarian Turns Family Therapist to Practice at Online Portal

Janette Strokappe

 

Veterinarian Turns Family Therapist to Practice at Online Portal

Jan was a small animal veterinarian until illness ended this career. After recovering she went back to school and became a marital and family therapist and registered psychologist. Now she opens her online clinic at ProvenTherapy.com.

Janette Strokappe – Online Counselor and Therapist

PRESS RELEASE: AlbertaApril 8, 2016PRLog — She did not see this as much of a jump as she realized she liked talking to people as much as she liked the animals. Because of her many years of making a diagnosis on an animal that couldn’t talk to her, Jan is very intuitive, which has been very helpful in her work with clients. Her first job was with Alberta Health Services where she spent six years working with children and adolescents and their families. She then became the clinical head of the crisis team. Jan then worked with a non-profit Christian counselling ministry where she worked with individuals, couples and families.

Jan finds that online therapy is a way to bring service to a wider group who prefer not to go to a therapist’s office. She works hard to build the same rapport with the client that she creates in person. Jan works collaboratively with the client to have them realize that they have many strengths and resources that have always been present but may have been unused for a while.  Jan also believes that no one is hopeless.

Her particular interest is trauma arising from the family of origin. Jan believes that trauma is held in the body and interferes with life moving forward smoothly and causing problems with relationships and work. Jan teaches relaxation and coping skills before any trauma work is done.

She uses mainly cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behaviour therapy, which she hopes to practice through the premier online counseling portal https://www.proventherapy.com. What Jan’s goal for the client is for the client to realize that the critical voice in their head comes from a difficult childhood and has no place in adulthood. Jan works collaboratively with the client to address the anxiety and depression which usually arise in such situations. This baggage from childhood can affect parenting and often goes with the client as baggage in the marriage.

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Caroline Opens Online Counseling Clinic at ProvenTherapy

Caroline Artley, LCSW-C is among the newest faces on Proventherapy.com, a site that provides a virtual office for individuals to meet professional clinicians to work out their problems.
Caroline ArtleyPress Release: WHITE MARSH, Md. – Feb. 2, 2016 – PRLog — Caroline attended a Christian college to learn how to help people from a faith perspective, then she moved on to public graduate school for in-depth, rigorous instruction on diagnostic formulation and clinical intervention.  She credits her undergraduate work with helping her to appreciate the intrinsic value of all people.

Caroline has worked with individuals aged 3-101, as well as the parents, siblings, adult children, and other caregivers involved.  As a Therapist in the public mental health system for almost 10 years, she has treated a wide variety of issues ranging from mild anxiety and low self-esteem, to severe depression, unresolved trauma, grief/loss, and personality disorders. Additionally, as a Medical Social Worker for four years, she has counseled adult children of medically fragile patients through maintaining healthy family relationships and pre-grief.  Working in such dynamic fields, she has been exposed to diversity of populations with multifaceted needs.  Such exposure reminds her there can be many layers to one problem, requiring a lot of hard work and partnering with the client to achieve his/her goals. So, she opens up her virtual clinic at https://www.proventherapy.com to extend that healing touch through highly secured live and email channels.

Sessions with Caroline employ cognitive-behavioral, narrative, solution-focused, and family systems theories.  But that is not all.  She believes the relationship forged between the client and clinician is of paramount importance in the therapeutic process.  She believes every person is different, every problem is different, and so the pathway to recovery must adapt to meet the person where they are.

“I incorporate pauses in our sessions from time to time, to check in with how the client feels about his/her progress.  My clients’ problems often did not arise overnight, and they will not likely resolve so quickly either. At times this can feel discouraging to clients who simply want to feel better and move on with their lives.  I like to continually ‘leave the door open’ for clients to be honest about the process of therapy.”

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Spirituality in Psychology

Tracie Timme

 

Spirituality in Psychology

An academic paper by

Tracie L. Timme – Online Counselor and Therapist

This paper is about exploring the use of spirituality in the practice of psychology and how it could potentially strengthen their bond with their patients.  There could be a better understanding of issues and treatment if spirituality were apart of therapeutic practices.

Psychology got its start in ancient times from philosophy.  Psychology remained part of philosophy until nineteenth century (Leahey, 2004).  Here we have the beginning of the mind-body problem.  To some the mind was our essence and the body a mere vessel.  When the physical body died, the soul moved on to an afterlife (Leahey, 2004).  The soul (mind) has the spiritual world knowledge, whereas the body has the physical world knowledge (Leahey, 2004).

spirituality-in-psychologyEverybody but atheists, have a faith that they follow.  It has been addressed that psychologist show gain education and knowledge as to the role that religion and spirituality plays on personal factors (Shafranske, 2010).  There was an introduction of value in different consciousness in therapeutic practices.  It is very important for the therapist to integrate the patients’ spirituality in the course of interventions (Shafranske, 2010).  It is also important to take into consideration the personal and professional influences of inspiration from the therapists’ point of view.  This can greatly impact how the therapist entices the patient to open up, and help the therapist to relate better to the patient (Shafranske, 2010).  “This leads to an associated point: Given the lack of attention given to the religious and spiritual dimension in most psychology training, how prepared are clinicians to be mindful of the potential impacts their religious and spiritual commitments have on their professional practice, to appropriately and ethically integrate spirituality in psychological treatment, or respond to emergent transcendent experiences” (Shafranske, 2010, pp. 125)?  This seems to mean that therapists should have the understanding to be able to mindfully talk about spirituality in their practice and treatment plans for their patients.

Spirituality is hard to define, but it has been explained a few ways.  One is that spirituality can be called one’s highest or ultimate values or reality, and the relationship one has with those realities or values (Braud, 2009).  A second way is the belonging or link to the transcendental ground of being.  Another is how people relate to God, other humans, or Earth.  Some refer to it as how committed one is to practicing a particular faith.  However, it is important to distinguish between healthy practices and beliefs and ones that are unhealthy to well-being (Braud, 2009).  Yet another general term by Lindholm and Astin is involving the process inside when you look for personal authenticity, wholeness, and genuineness; transcending one’s center, having a deeper sense of connecting to self and others from having relationships and community, having meaning, direction, and purpose in life, being open enough to the possibility of a relationship with a higher being that is above human existence and knowing, and having a value for the sacred (Braud, 2009).  There are other definitions of spirituality for femininity and other cultures.  But they were not included in the ones above.

There is a relatively new field of psychology called transpersonal psychology.  In addition to conventional ways, transpersonal psychologists use heuristic research, intuitive inquiry, organic inquiry, and integral inquiry.  These are depicted in these psychologists by a higher level of integration and inclusiveness in the whole person, more variety of benefits and functions in a session, sources of inspiration, more ways of knowing, topics and questions researched, different ways of gathering, using, and explaining information, including epistemology and ontology, and ethical thoughts and values that are relevant  (Braud, 2009).  This gives a broader perspective of all aspects of the issues at hand.

When we think in terms of helping people with their psychological issues, it just makes sense to include everything you possibly can to understand what the patient is going through and how they see thing possibly running their course.  Because a lot of people do follow some sort of faith, it is important for the therapist to know as much as possible about their patient’s spirituality, in order to help them the best way possible and include every aspect of that person as a whole.  Having this knowledge will provide the best treatment plan for that specific patient.

REFERENCES

Braud, W. (2009). Dragons, spheres, and flashlights: appropriate research approaches for studying workplace spirituality. Journal Of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 6(1), 59-75.

Leahey, T. H. (2004).  A history of psychology: Main currents in psychological thought (6th ed.).  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Shafranske, E. P. (2010). Advancing “the boldest model yet”: A commentary on psychology, religion, and spirituality. Psychology Of Religion And Spirituality, 2(2), 124-125.

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Tracie Timme is a Privileged ProvenTherapist. See her Profile for counseling support.

Women and addiction

Tracie Timme

 

Women and addiction

An academic paper by

Tracie L. Timme – Online Counselor and Therapist

 

This paper will look at women and addiction.  Women have differences in treatment from men, so this paper will examine the differences between the etiology of addiction in men and women.  Because men and women differ on many things, we will also look at the specific needs of women in treatment.  This paper will discuss both the good and bad aspects of using single and co-ed gender groups in treatment.  In addition, this paper will also see the co-occurring issues women face when they are in treatment.

Men and women differ in their makeup.  When men and women drink the same amount of alcohol, even when the body weight is calculated for, women have a higher blood alcohol level (Frances, Miller, & Mack, 2005).  Men have more body water and less body fat than do women.  Men also have more alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which is an enzyme in the gastric mucosa.  This enzyme increases the metabolism of alcohol in the stomach, therefore allowing less to pass into the bloodstream (Frances et al., 2005).  Women have a faster metabolism when it comes to alcohol, less of a tolerance for it, and their blood alcohol concentrations have great variability.  These factors lead to more unpredictable reactions to alcohol that are more intense.  A lot of the differences come from the differences in our blood.  Women have menstrual cycles; therefore the plasma levels vary depending on the time of the month.  When it comes down to the environment vs. genetics thoughts, it appears that women are more susceptible to environmental factors and men are more likely to have genetic factors influencing them (Frances et al., 2005).

addictionThere are few same-gender programs, but the few that there are have programs to meet the specific needs that women have, such as those that have dependent children.  There is also a growing concern for older women who have not had addiction problems in the past; those who have lost many people they love, have declining health, and have access to prescription drugs, may fall into addiction.  Women who are retiring may be lost and confused now that they do not feel they have meaning in their life (Matheson, 2008).

One concern that has been reported by women when in a treatment program that is co-ed is that they are afraid of being a target and being harassed sexually by the male staff members and the males in the group; this is a concern because there is still such a bad stigma attached to females with addictive disorders and who are in treatment (Matheson, 2008).

Women face many problems other than their addiction when they seek treatment.  In the past, when women had a problem with addiction, their families tried to keep them secluded and out of the treatment setting.  Many families figured that in isolation, the woman’s problem would just go away (Wechsberg, Luseno, and Ellerson, 2008).  Very often when a woman did finally get to attend a treatment program, she already had poor mental and physical health.  Not to mention the fact that the women had to still care for their families and could not leave home.  Many have issues with transportation and child care.  According to Najavits, Rosier, Nolan, and Freeman, 2007, women have more health problems related to substance use disorders (SUD), they are, higher rates of death, co-occurring mental health disorders, more stigma and social isolation, and get addicted quicker.  Depression often occurs with substance use and women, clinicians need to determine with is the primary problem, and which the secondary is.  The question to be answered is whether depression lead to abuse or abuse lead to depression.  Often if the abuse lead to the depression, depressive symptoms diminish when substance use decreases (Frances et al., 2005).  Women more often seek medical help for things such as anxiety, depression, infertility, sleeplessness, peptic ulcers, and hypertension.  When a woman complains of these things, the clinician should delve deeper into whether or not the woman has an alcohol or drug problem (Frances et al., 2005).

It seems women benefit more from a same-gender treatment center setting.  Women can feel safer and receive care that is specifically tailored to meet their needs.  They can be with others who understand exactly what they are going through.  Same sex clinicians would also benefit women with addiction problems, they can feel more comfortable talking with another women, this way they do not fear the judgment and thoughts of a man who they may feel sees them as promiscuous, asking for it, a slut, or a monster (Wechsberg et al., 2008).

There seems to be a great need for more funding and services for just women with addictions.  They have many more needs as do their male counter parts.  For the most part men with addictions do not need to seek care for children to attend a treatment program.  Since males are generally the bread winners, they often have benefits to help them cover cost for treatments.  Less fortunate women most often do not get the medical help they need because they do not have access to it.  We, for the best interest of this world, need to recognize the need for treatment programs that specialize in the problems that women face when they have an addiction and need treatment.

References

Frances, R. J., Miller, S. I., & Mack, A. H. (Eds). (2005). Clinical textbook of addictive disorders (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Matheson, J. L. (2008). Women’s Issues With Substance Use, Misuse, and Addictions: One Perspective. Substance Use & Misuse, 43(8/9), 1274-1276.

Najavits, L. M., Rosier, M., Nolan, A., & Freeman, M. C. (2007). A New Gender-Based Model for Women’s Recovery From Substance Abuse: Results of a Pilot Outcome Study. American Journal Of Drug & Alcohol Abuse, 33(1), 5-11.

Wechsberg, W. M., Luseno, W., & Ellerson, R. (2008). Reaching Women Substance Abusers in Diverse Settings: Stigma and Access to Treatment 30 Years Later. Substance Use & Misuse, 43(8/9), 1277-1279.

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Stress-related inflammation may increase risk for depression

Preexisting differences in the sensitivity of a key part of each individual’s immune system to stress confer a greater risk of developing stress-related depression or anxiety, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published October 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

depressionInflammation is the immune system’s response to infection or disease, and has long been linked to stress. Previous studies have found depression and anxiety to be associated with elevated blood levels of inflammatory molecules and white blood cells after a confirmed diagnosis, but it has been unclear whether greater inflammation was present prior to the onset of disease or whether it is functionally related to depression symptomology.

Specifically, the new study measured the cytokine IL-6 in non-aggressive mice prior to and after repeated social stress invoked by an aggressive mouse. They found that IL-6 levels were higher in mice that were more susceptible to stress than in “stress-resilient” mice. They also found the levels of leukocytes (white blood cells that release IL-6) were higher in stress susceptible mice before stress exposure. The researchers then validated the increased levels of IL-6 in two separate groups of human patients diagnosed with treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder.

The Mount Sinai study results revolve around the peripheral immune system, a set of biological structures and processes in the lymph nodes and other tissues that protect against disease. Inflammation is a culprit of many disease conditions when it happens in the wrong context or goes too far. Under normal conditions when the immune system perceives a threat (e.g. invading virus), inflammatory proteins called interleukins are released by white blood cells as an adaptive mechanism to limit injury or infection. However, in some instances, the immune system may become hyper responsive to an “insult,” leading to chronic dysregulation of inflammatory processes that ultimately cause disease.

“Our data suggests that pre-existing individual differences in the peripheral immune system predict and promote stress susceptibility,” says lead author Georgia Hodes, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher in Neuroscience. “Additionally, we found that when mice were given bone marrow transplants of stem cells that produce leukocytes lacking IL-6 or when injected with antibodies that block IL-6 prior to stress exposure, the development of social avoidance was reduced compared with their respective control groups, demonstrating that the emotional response to stress can be generated or blocked in the periphery.”

Evidence in the current study is the first to suggest that Interleukin 6 response prior to social stress exposure can predict individual differences in vulnerability to a subsequent social stressor.

The research team, led by Scott Russo, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, exposed mice to two social stress models that are translational to social stressors experienced by humans. They measured blood levels of cytokines in non-aggressive mice before and after repeated social defeat stress invoked by exposure to an aggressive mouse for 10 minutes daily for 10 days or after 10 days of witnessing defeat of another mouse, a purely emotional stressor. The researchers classified the non-aggressive mice as susceptible based on a preference to spend more time near an empty cage rather than near a new mouse on a subsequent social interaction test, whereas resilient mice showed the opposite pattern. Interleukin-6 was the only cytokine significantly elevated in susceptible mice compared with unstressed and resilient mice.

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How Inactivity Changes the Brain

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Exercise and brain developmentA number of studies have shown that exercise can remodel the brain by prompting the creation of new brain cells and inducing other changes. Now it appears that inactivity, too, can remodel the brain, according to a notable new report.

The study, which was conducted in rats but likely has implications for people too, the researchers say, found that being sedentary changes the shape of certain neurons in ways that significantly affect not just the brain but the heart as well. The findings may help to explain, in part, why a sedentary lifestyle is so bad for us.

Until about 20 years ago, most scientists believed that the brain’s structure was fixed by adulthood, that you couldn’t create new brain cells, alter the shape of those that existed or in any other way change your mind physically after adolescence.

But in the years since, neurological studies have established that the brain retains plasticity, or the capacity to be reshaped, throughout our lifetimes. Exercise appears to be particularly adept at remodeling the brain, studies showed.

But little has been known about whether inactivity likewise alters the structure of the brain and, if so, what the consequences might be.

So for a study recently published in The Journal of Comparative Neurology, scientists at Wayne State University School of Medicine and other institutions gathered a dozen rats. They settled half of them in cages with running wheels and let the animals run at will. Rats like running, and these animals were soon covering about three miles a day on their wheels.

The other rats were housed in cages without wheels and remained sedentary.

After almost three months of resting or running, the animals were injected with a special dye that colors certain neurons in the brain. In this case, the scientists wanted to mark neurons in the animals’ rostral ventrolateral medulla, an obscure portion of the brain that controls breathing and other unconscious activities central to our existence.

The rostral ventrolateral medulla commands the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which among other things controls blood pressure on a minute-by-minute basis by altering blood-vessel constriction. Although most of the science related to the rostral ventrolateral medulla has been completed using animals, imaging studies in people suggest that we have the same brain region and it functions similarly.

A well-regulated sympathetic nervous system correctly directs blood vessels to widen or contract as needed and blood to flow, so that you can, say, scurry away from a predator or rise from your office chair without fainting. But an overly responsive sympathetic nervous system is problematic, said Patrick Mueller, an associate professor of physiology at Wayne State University who oversaw the new study. Recent science shows that “overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system contributes to cardiovascular disease,” he said, by stimulating blood vessels to constrict too much, too little or too often, leading to high blood pressure and cardiovascular damage.

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How the Architecture of the Brain Shapes Its Functioning

brainThe structure of the human brain is complex, reminiscent of a circuit diagram with countless connections. But what role does this architecture play in the functioning of the brain? To answer this question, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, in cooperation with colleagues at the Free University of Berlin and University Hospital Freiburg, have for the first time analyzed 1.6 billion connections within the brain simultaneously. They found the highest agreement between structure and information flow in the “default mode network,” which is responsible for inward-focused thinking such as daydreaming.

Everybody’s been there: You’re sitting at your desk, staring out the window, your thoughts wandering. Instead of getting on with what you’re supposed to be doing, you start mentally planning your next holiday or find yourself lost in a thought or a memory. It’s only later that you realize what has happened: Your brain has simply “changed channels” — and switched to autopilot.

For some time now, experts have been interested in the competition among different networks of the brain, which are able to suppress one another’s activity. If one of these approximately 20 networks is active, the others remain more or less silent. So if you’re thinking about your next holiday, it is almost impossible to follow the content of a text at the same time.

To find out how the anatomical structure of the brain impacts its functional networks, a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, in cooperation with colleagues at the Free University of Berlin and the University Hospital Freiburg, have analyzed the connections between a total of 40,000 tiny areas of the brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, they examined a total of 1.6 billion possible anatomical connections between these different regions in 19 participants aged between 21 and 31 years. The research team compared these connections with the brain signals actually generated by the nerve cells.

Their results showed the highest agreement between brain structure and brain function in areas forming part of the “default mode network,” which is associated with daydreaming, imagination, and self-referential thought. “In comparison to other networks, the default mode network uses the most direct anatomical connections. We think that neuronal activity is automatically directed to level off at this network whenever there are no external influences on the brain,” says Andreas Horn, lead author of the study and researcher in the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

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“Release Yourself from Grief and Addiction,” Jeffrey is a ProvenTherapist!

Jeffrey Perkins is a licensed Counselor in child abuse recognition, licensed in Special Education and also the publisher of “Breaking Down Communication Barriers of Children with Autism.” He is a new member of the approved ProvenTherapists team.

Jeffrey Perkins

PRLog (Press Release) – Oct. 25, 2013 – SUFFOLK, Va. — Jeffrey has been practicing mental and behavioral health, intensive in-home, grief and addiction counseling to children, adolescents and adults alike throughout his career. He has counseled middle and high school teenagers for over 20 years as well as providing educating families on parenting skills which has vastly improved their relationships with their children. Jeffrey has taught as a licensed special education teacher for over 20 years and has provided grief and addiction counseling for approximately 10 years.

Jeffrey’s Expert Service

Jeffrey is a team oriented counselor with a great deal of compassion. He realizes that it takes a team effort (counselor as well as the individual or families being served) in order to make counseling or therapy excel and reach those individuals as it should. He is very empathetic to the client and makes a point to “place himself in their shoes” in order to get the full effect of what the client is facing and the journey that he or she has traveled along the way. Jeffrey strongly believes that listening is the first and most important element in dealing with a person’s grief or addiction and that it lays the foundation for the counseling structure that is being built between the therapist and the client. Jeffrey states “Many barriers can be eliminated simply by listening and building trust with your client.” He believes that social media and the services being provided by https://www.proventherapy.com serve as a springboard to those who are in need of counseling and simply don’t know of any other options available to them.

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Indian Pastoral Counselor Dr. Joseph Joins the Team

Dr. Joseph GeorgeDr. Joseph George, clinically trained pastoral counselor with 20 years of professional counseling experience, joins the ProvenTherapists team for providing online counseling services.

Press Release: Aug. 15, 2013 – BANGALORE, India — Joseph George, from Bangalore, India, is a clinically trained professional counselor who has over 20 years of professional experience of helping people in distress who come with various needs, challenges, and concerns that disturb their mental and emotional wellbeing and functioning.  His therapeutic approach not only focus on the current issue which disturb the persons but also their wholistic mental and emotional health. He believes that a professional counselor needs to two professional directions: therapeutic intervention with a focus to help in distress and crisis; and preventive approaches to help the persons and communities to remain healthy. He has the experience of providing counseling services in the following modes: face-to-face, telephone, ecounseling, and counseling through live chat and text chat.

Dr. George obtained his advanced level clinical training and the Doctoral Degree from the Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, (1995-2002), with specialization in psychology, religion, and psychotherapeutic practice. His academic orientation to Psychoanalytic practice, Object Relations theory, Self-Psychology, He comes with training and experience in working with religious (multi-faith) and non-religious clients. His services include therapy for mental and emotional development;relationship issues; premarital training sessions, post-marital counseling, marriage and family; parenting; sexual health; religious and spiritual concerns; addiction behaviors; education and career development; work-life management; mental and emotional disorders; depression; suicidal ideation and related behaviors,  and enhancing quality of life in contemporary context.

He recognizes and promotes the idea of online counseling services for a number of reasons. Many in the contemporary context acknowledge the need for professional help for a fulfilling personal, family, social, and professional life but unable to find adequate support system due to various reasons. Online counseling services (https://www.proventherapy.com) is available 24/7 at the privacy of one’s home and reduce the travel time to an office set up. The non-judgmental approach, respect, and confidentiality are key elements in online therapeutic practice.

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