Why Counseling?

Why Counseling?

by Kate Knott, MS, APC, NCC

I was recently experiencing pain in my lower back and hip area due to strenuous exercise. It was preventing me from being able to workout at all, which is my chosen form of stress relief and self-care. I noticed that the lack of ability made me frustrated and unable to sleep – a lovely combination. I am blessed to work part time at an addiction out-patient facility, The Summit Wellness Group, where we utilize a holistic approach to healing.

As part of our programming we have a chiropractor in once a week to adjust all the clients (and staff!). I hobbled in to see him and gingerly crawled on the table. I will admit I was hesitant as I thought it might make the situation worse. I was afraid of more pain, I distrusted the thought of relief.

As he proceeded with his work, he said to me these words,

“Where there is motion, there is the absence of pain”.

Within minutes of specific and precise movements I was astounded. The pain was gone and I could move. I thanked him and went back to my work with our clients, his words still in my head.

“Where there is motion, there is the absence of pain”. How true. How appropriate to all types of therapy and most especially within the field of mental health. When we are challenged and plagued by depression, anxiety and trauma we are “stuck”. We feel as though there is no movement and we fear hope in forward movement. We doubt that it can be better.

We fear the unknown and stay in the cruel cycle of pain.

What I am certain of is this:

Having a safe and supportive counselor is a true blessing and benefit. Choosing a counselor is of the utmost importance and it is your right to be able to do so. I am blessed to be in the position to assist my clients as they take the brave step to share time with me.

What I provide is a safe and non-judgemental environment wherein we can create movement. A release of pain and a realization that hope and health is indeed possible. It just is. The hardest part is finding the courage to make that first call and in trusting that I will be willing to join you as you find that you are worthy and that you are capable.

A trusted and trained counselor can help you identify why and how you feel stuck. When I work with my clients this is our first step. We then work together to utilize specific methods of therapeutic assistance that will put you on the right path towards mental and overall health.

The knowledge of different approaches combines an understanding of how our brains develop and interpret our growth, experiences, emotions and thoughts. The best approach will always be grounded in this knowledge and then applied in a safe and supported environment.

Where there is movement, there is the absence of pain.

 

 

 

Kate Knott, MS, APC, NCC We can work together to identify what you are struggling with and how to effect change in your life. I believe this because I have seen it happen. I went back to school later in life because I knew that I was passionate about helping others and I wanted to do so. I respect you and your experiences. I respect your story and your right to feel better! I believe in my knowledge and training within the profession of counseling and know it can be helpful.
Learn more about Kate and how she can help you, Here

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"Typical" Child Development

"Typical" Child Development

by Madison Longchamp, MS, APC

Child development is complex and can be difficult for parents to navigate. Often parents find themselves basing what is “typical” on their child’s siblings, their neighbor’s kids, or a quick google search. Understanding what is typical at your child’s age and what may warrant seeking some extra help can make all the difference. Development continually builds upon itself. If your child gets stuck, they may fall further behind.

To understand development, we must remember that it is cyclical not linear.

Children go through periods of complete mayhem during which parents wonder where their sweet child has gone and if they’re ever coming back and periods during which parents see tremendous growth and are often so relieved that they made it through a rough patch. Then this cycle repeats.

The reasons behind this cycle can be many, but overall, as children grow they are constantly having to figure out entirely new abilities. Their bodies get larger and they must re-learn how to use them or their brains become more aware and they have to re-learn how to understand the world around them. Thinking about it this way, we can see how challenging development could be and why children might have some difficulty adjusting to new growth at first. The goal of understanding your child and where they are developmentally is to not overreact to things that are normal and healthy for their development and to notice when your child might need a little extra help.

Let me outline a few typical behaviors that may surprise you.

Age 6:

Some behaviors at age 6 can be concerning for parents but are actually quite normal and children usually develop out of them by age 7. Bed wetting or accidents at this age are very common. Children age 6 often begin lying. This can be very stressful for adults but is not anything to be overly concerned about unless the behavior persists beyond what is developmentally appropriate. Children typically begin exhibiting more defiant behaviors at this age. They are beginning to seek more independence and struggle to find a better way to do this at first.

Age 9:

Children at age 9 typically begin exhibiting greater anxiety about school performance and have more frequent worries in general. Self-criticism and avoidance of situations in which they think they may fail begin surfacing. Children at this age are becoming much more aware of their peers, expectations, and social structures. When figuring this out at first, it’s not unusual for children to feel some anxiety and self-doubt.

Age 11:

Children age 11 often exhibit unpredictable mood swings and more social problems as they seek to find belonging within their social groups and find activities that make them feel confident and competent. Children at this age have a much higher sensitivity to feeling embarrassed in front of peers or in public when being corrected. They also tend to argue with adults more often. They’re brains are developing and have a much greater capacity for logical thinking and they are trying to figure out how that fits with authority figures.

When to Seek Help

Some general rules of thumb about when to seek help are if your child’s behavior or abilities seem significantly different from their peers, you feel like you need some parenting support about what’s going on with your child, or you feel you and your child’s relationship is strained or disconnected. Some other reasons you may want to seek support are your child has experienced a traumatic event or a significant transition, any of these challenges are prolonged or you think your child may be having difficulty dealing with them, your child seems socially discouraged, they seem overwhelmed, or anything is interfering with their daily functioning.

Fortunately, your child can be successful in overcoming all of these developmental challenges and development also comes with moments of growth will make you and your child feel so proud.

Join me for a webinar>>>>>>where I will talk more about development, what’s typical and what’s not, and give some tips about how to respond when your child’s behavior is stressful, but normal and what you can do when you think your child might need a little support.

Madison Longchamp, MS, APC I am a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor. I received my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from The University of Alabama and my Master’s of Science degree in Psychology and Clinical Counseling from Brenau University. I have research experience in child development and education and experience providing and interpreting psychological and cognitive assessments.

Learn more about Madison and how she can help your child here!

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Right to Our Words

Right to Our Words

by Jennifer Hama, LPC, CPCS
The easiest yet hardest words to say.

I was playing with my two year old and noticed her repeat the same two words over and over. I realized that most parents, including myself, frequently get annoyed with these two words but once the annoyed feeling left I realized why it annoyed me so much. These are two words that I don’t use enough.

In fact, I actively avoid using them. I have also been denied the ability to use these words both by society and individual people. That needs to stop and we need to use these words more often.

What are these wise words spoken so easily by the smallest of humans: help and no.

These are one syllable words that are easier to pronounce than Worcestershire, yet we hardly say them. Why is that? Here are some thoughts:

 

Help:

Often we have internalized the belief that asking for help means something about who a person is, ie asking for help means that somehow “I’m weak, not good enough,” etc. This is called a shame based belief because it characterizes the problem as something about who you are instead of a skill or a weakness.

There are two consequences of not asking for help: first is that it reinforces the shame based belief. Second: it limits growth potential. By pushing through and continuing to ask for help even when afraid, means that the old limiting shame based beliefs have to change and growth as a person can continue.

No:

Many people believe that when we say no to others it’s “mean,” “blocks your blessings,” or makes you “ungrateful.” When we believe these, we fear saying no. Difficulty saying no often leads to an overfilled plate, an unbalanced life, and resentment.

We have limited time and energy and if we are not actively choosing (ie saying no) the things/events/people/behaviors in our lives, those things will drain our time and energy and we will have nothing left for the things we want to spend our time and energy on. This is called Parkinson’s Law. Be choosy in what you say yes to because you are saying no to something else.

You have the right and responsibility to ask for help and to say no.

Not only is saying no or asking for help a right you have. It is a responsibility. If you choose not to exercise your right, you end up being resentful in your life and harming the relationships that you value. I realize I sound like negative Nancy and Debbie downer had a child, but it is imperative that we begin to create a healthy environment not only for ourselves but for our loved ones and these simple (but hard) words can make a huge impact.

 

Jennifer Hama, LPC, CPCS I have a core belief that a sense of humor is essential to living a fulfilling life. And I like to recognize mine. Regularly. I hate laundry and psychobabble, but I love uncensored real talk. It’s necessary for you to know this. Also, I have a white board that I go everywhere with. While it’s entertaining to watch me roll it around the office while trying not to trip, it’s also a powerful therapy tool, helping you visualize your struggles and brainstorm solutions. I don’t do “therapy speak, ” I shoot straight, and believe in giving you practical tools to help you change your life.oes here

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Who will you walk with?

Who will you walk with?

by Nyambura Kihato, M.Ed, MA, LPC, CCTP

I once heard Oprah talk about how she deals with being a successful Black business woman in a white man’s world. She said she often walks into a meeting to find she is not just the only woman, she is the sole person of color. Some of the people she meets can be intimidating or even outright hostile.

In times like these, she calls to mind all the strong black women who came before her, like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Maya Angelou. She reflects on the hardships they encountered and how they impacted the world in such powerful ways while remaining true to themselves.

Oprah describes how she invites these powerful women to walk into the boardroom with with her, to sit next to her at the table, to help her respond to the environment and the people with authenticity, empathy, and conviction, and to remind her to be true to herself. This helps her find her own power, especially in unfriendly environments.

Courage to be you

Who gives you strength and courage to show up and be yourself? Who do you walk with into that work meeting where you are giving an important presentation? Who sits at the negotiating table with you as you ask for that raise you know you deserve?

Your ancestors? Your grandmother? A teacher or mentor? What messages are they sharing with you as you engage with others? How does it feel to know that they have overcome insurmountable odds and are here to help you do the same, to support you, to be your guide and witness during the interaction?

Some of my favorite people to walk into such situations with are Oprah, Wangari Maathai, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou. To me, these incredible people represent the essence of humanity, creativity, authenticity, and courage. As I reflect on who they are, I remember who I am. I feel their power and empathy surge through me; it infuses me with the courage to show up authentically and deal with whatever the moment brings.

 

 

Nyambura Kihato, M.Ed, MA, LPC, CCTP I earned my Bachelor of Education in German Language and Literature from Kenyatta University in Kenya. I studied German further at the Goethe-Institut Nairobi, and in Luebeck, Germany. I went to graduate school at the University of Hull, UK, where I obtained a Master of Education in Counseling and Child Development and Learning. I taught for several years in Kenya before coming to the United States to study at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, graduating with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Georgia, trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and am a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). I currently serve on the board of the Jung Society of Atlanta and am training to become a Jungian analyst.

Learn more about Nyambura and how she can help you today, here!

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Confessions of an Introvert

Confessions of an Introvert

by Nyambura Kihato, M.Ed, MA, LPC, CCTP

Recently I was in a restaurant with some friends and I mentioned that I’m an introvert. They were very surprised and attempted to disagree with me: “But you’re so friendly!” they argued, “and not at all shy!” As evidence, they pointed out that I was the only one in the group who had engaged our server and started a conversation with her while she was taking our orders.

This is a common misconception about introverts – that we are shy, antisocial, and unfriendly.

These erroneous ideas have tainted the definition of “introversion” from the way it was originally proposed by psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung himself was an introvert, and describedintroversion and extraversion as orientations of energy, i.e. whether a person is energized more by acting in the outer world, or by reflecting in their inner world. In his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (who else but an introvert would have such a title for their book?),

Jung describes how he wandered off alone to spend time in quiet spaces, where he immersed himself in his inner world of ideas, theories, and fantasies.

Where do you draw your energy from?

Introverts tend to focus on their inner world and need to withdraw to recharge their batteries, while extraverts feel more alive in the external world of people and activities; they draw their energy from the outside world, like solar panels.

If you like reflecting on ideas, tend to think a lot before acting, and hate interruptions while working, you could be an introvert. If you prefer to act in the outer world, enjoy stimulating environments like big, lively parties or busy, active workplaces, or if you welcome interruptions as just the perfect diversion to take a break from your work, you may be an extravert.

In reality though, each of us occupies a position along this continuum, with ambiverts falling somewhere in the middle.

Also, these states are not static; we are constantly moving up and down this continuum depending on the situation.

I’m a classic introvert. Respect my quiet time, and please turn off the radio until I’m done working (I don’t even own a TV). Those friends I ate out with? I was happy to hang out with them and catch up, but it was so satisfying to decline their offer to join them at a club and head straight home afterwards, where I curled up in bed with a book for the night.

Nyambura Kihato, M.Ed, MA, LPC, CCTP I earned my Bachelor of Education in German Language and Literature from Kenyatta University in Kenya. I studied German further at the Goethe-Institut Nairobi, and in Luebeck, Germany. I went to graduate school at the University of Hull, UK, where I obtained a Master of Education in Counseling and Child Development and Learning. I taught for several years in Kenya before coming to the United States to study at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, graduating with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Georgia, trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and am a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). I currently serve on the board of the Jung Society of Atlanta and am training to become a Jungian analyst.

Learn more about Nyambura and how she can help you today, here!

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When Success Doesn’t Feel Successful

When Success Doesn’t Feel Successful

by Jennifer Hama, LPC, CPCS

Perfectionism is often an idealized problem in our society, yet those who struggle with it know something others don’t:

You never feel successful.

. Your resume and CV are full of amazing accomplishments yet you don’t feel successful. The resume doesn’t reflect the disappointment of what you thought you would feel once you had this title or made that amount of money. The reality is perfectionism works against us.

You work hard to get away from your past, but you never truly leave it behind because it’s the driving force of your motivation. The more you try to be perfect, the worse you feel.

Perfectionism is like a drug

You have to achieve more and more to get that high, chasing the dragon; but it never ends with satisfaction. The harder you work the more worthless you feel successfully, when perfectionism is behind it. It’s not that you’re not working hard, it’s that your spinning your wheels in the wrong direction. It’s like going 100mph on a treadmill and getting mad at yourself for not going there.

How do I stop?

1) Aim for 88%
2) set a timer
3) talk it out to a therapist
Jennifer Hama, LPC, CPCS I have a core belief that a sense of humor is essential to living a fulfilling life. And I like to recognize mine. Regularly. I hate laundry and psychobabble, but I love uncensored real talk. It’s necessary for you to know this. Also, I have a white board that I go everywhere with. While it’s entertaining to watch me roll it around the office while trying not to trip, it’s also a powerful therapy tool, helping you visualize your struggles and brainstorm solutions. I don’t do “therapy speak, ” I shoot straight, and believe in giving you practical tools to help you change your life.oes here

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We Are Here to Help You.

Your drought in life may be the most severe it’s ever been right now. You may be facing the most difficult challenges you’ve ever encountered. Whatever has brought you to Petrichor, know that there is someone here to help you.

You are not alone. Let us bring the rain. Your drought is finally ending.

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