An Introduction to Trauma and EMDR: an Interview with Courtney Kirkpatrick, MS, NCC, LPC

I get a lot of questions about trauma; what it is and isn’t and how to treat it. I wanted to share with you my conversation with my friend and colleague Courtney Kirkpatrick. I ask Courtney about trauma, its effects on people, and why it is important to get help. Then she explains what she uses to help people sometimes: EMDR. We talk about the training she had to go through to become certified in this kind of treatment. We also briefly talk about a few different methods. If you have trauma that is impeding your functioning, please seek out a trained counselor to help you through this. There are several methods, so find a counselor and method you are comfortable with, as it is hard work. Please enjoy this interview, and of course, let me know if you have questions. Courtney is the owner and counselor of Kirkpatrick Counseling and Consulting in Pittsburgh, PA.

Preparing for College, part 2: An Interview with Assistant Professor Dr. Heidi Henry

Welcome to the second installation of Preparing for College. In this interview we meet Dr. Heidi Henry who is currently teaching at Cal U in PA as well as a couple of other schools. We talk about how to succeed in college, all the tips and tricks, if you should wait, where you should go and even if you should go to college. She gives us advice for kids and parents as well as what I think is the biggest key to life for this age group! Enjoy!

Preparing for College: an Interview with Psychological Counselor/Adjunct Professor Justyn D. Smith, MS, LPC

You guys! It was so good to sit and talk with my friend and colleague, Justyn. He is at a large public, research university in Houston, Texas. We talk about what he is seeing in the counseling office and in the classroom. We explore what the kids are struggling with and his best advice for incoming freshmen and the parents! Please enjoy and let me know if you have more questions!

How is Well Counseling “Reopening?”

Even though we are considered essential and were able to be open this whole time, we moved to almost completely online over the last several months. But many of you have asked if/when we are reopening to in person sessions, so I wanted to address this quickly! 1. we are staggering sessions to give more time in between so we can clean. 2. we are wiping down anything that is touched by the client or myself and spraying down the soft surfaces. 3. this eliminates the waiting room because there is space between sessions, so social distancing is taken care of. 4. the couch and the chair are 6 feet apart to facilitate distancing in the room. 5. you are welcome to wear a mask if you want to, but are not require to since we are doing the above steps. 6. no more self-serve coffee/tea. I can get you a drink if you would like, after washing my hands of course. 7. we can still do video if this makes you more comfortable. This is always an option, no matter what. 8. Be reassured that when I went to Texas recently, I did wear my mask in public at all times except at one restaurant where there was social distancing and the staff wore masks. I absolutely wore it on the plane and in the airports. Everyone’s safety is my upmost concern. I just want to be transparent about what to expect when you come back in for a session! Please let me know if you have any other questions and I can’t wait to see you soon 🙂 SHOW LESS

Renegotiating the Contract: How to Communicate Around Parenting Adjustments During Covid19

If you are like us, I am at home with kids and trying to make sure they get their work done while still working from home, and my husband still has to leave every day to go to work (essential worker). We found ourselves butting heads when it came to discipling the kids sometimes because I have had to change how we did certain things at home, yet I forgot to communicate that with him! So in this video, we talk about how to “renegotiate the contract” and communicate about change that have been made or may have to be made so that everyone is on the same page. This is also a technique that is used when a deployed parent comes home from being on orders, or when a parent has to travel a lot for their work. It is important to do throughout the marriage and can be done regarding any topic, not just parenting and discipline. If you or anyone you know needs help, please reach out. We are here for you. http://www.well-counseling.com

Choose Joy!

I got a new shirt that says “We Choose Joy” and I am so excited about it! And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Today, especially, I had to choose joy. Today was hard. It was the first day back after a long weekend around Easter. It was also a reminder that we didn’t get to have our Spring Break when we got to go out of town. Both kids were crying within 10 minutes of starting school today. But I still chose JOY! I also talk about a book (which is probably out of publication) called Happiness is a Choice by Dr. Frank Minirth and Dr. Paul Meier. It is really about joy, but the point is that it is a choice. It is about our perspective. What is your perspective? How can you find joy today?

Guided Progressive Muscle Relaxation

In this video, I walk you through a relaxation technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation. It is a process where you tighten and flex your muscle and then relax it. This works because most of the time, we do not realize that our muscles are tight and not relaxed. It also incorporates breathing. This exercise can help you relax and regroup. I personally use this technique if I am having a hard time falling asleep. In this clip, we do a sample of just hands and arms and face, but you can use these techniques for each muscle group. I usually start at my toes and work my way up to the top of my head and then repeat if I need to do so. I hope this helps you as much as it helps me! Be Well.

Guided Deep Breathing Exercise

This is a somewhat brief script to help you take some deep breaths to aid you in relaxing, getting enough oxygen to your brain and slowing down your mind and body. This is an adapted script from SAMHSA Anger Management workbook. I like it because it helps you just remember to breathe in and out, slowly. Did you know that we often are not getting enough oxygen to our body because we are breathing very shallow, almost panic like! It is very important to take full breaths for several reasons. Also, make sure you are breathing out fully. I hope this guided breathing helps you slow down and breathe fully. Use it when you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, or even if you just need to regroup. Feel free to use this recording to help you until you can do it on your own. Happy Breathing!

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