Counseling Tips & News

Help for Coping with Grief and Loss

Coping with loss is an unfortunate part of life that sadly most people will encounter at some point. If you have lost a loved one, don’t suffer alone. Seek professional help. Losing a loved one is life changing and learning how to proceed after a loss is naturally overwhelming. There are a few things that you can do for yourself at this difficult time.

Help for Coping with Grief and Loss

First, seek counseling even if this is your first time. It is helpful to talk about your feelings with someone who understands the stages of the grieving process. Be open to the idea of therapy.

Second, keep in mind that we all grieve at a different pace and in different ways. Some people stay strong for a long time and experience immense sorrow later in the process. Others are overcome with emotion right away. No matter how you feel, be kind to yourself. Do not put pressure on your self to rush through the grieving process.

Third, establish a new normal for yourself. This will take place gradually and with the help of a counselor. You will make new routines and traditions. There will be tough times ahead.

Although you are suffering, you are not alone. Grieving is complex and can be scary at times. At other times it can seem like you will never find peace. Counseling helps to clarify the stages of grief and make them understandable and consequently more bearable.

For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact us today. We are here to help you cope with your loss.

Marital Infidelity Is A Sign of Underlining Problems

Marital infidelity is perhaps the worst thing that can happen in a marriage, with the exception of the death or serious illness of a child or either spouse. The risks of entering into an affair are significant, both on an emotional level and in other ways. The breakup of a marriage as a result of an affair can be damaging on a number of levels.

Marital Infidelity Is A Sign of Underlining Problems

According to an article in Psychology Today, most people enter into extramarital affairs because they are dissatisfied with their marriage. They are not getting enough sex or emotional support. Some are curious for new experiences, or they want revenge for something the other spouse did to them. In a way, an extramarital affair is an attempt to self-treat something that is wrong in the marriage.

However, while many marriages do survive an affair, many don’t. The act involves lying and betrayal that often are too serious to forgive. Apparently, the worst move one can make if one is feeling dissatisfied is cheating.

Apparently, the best reaction to dissatisfaction is attempting to communicate with the other spouse and see if the issues can be resolved. Often the services of a professional counselor, someone trained in helping couples to get their marriages back on track, will be of great benefit. Seeing a therapist is a signal that you are serious about salvaging your marriage and that you love and respect your spouse enough not to take the path of marital infidelity. Taking that first step can restore happiness and romance to your relationship.

For more information contact us.

The Feeling of Anxiety and What it Entails

Anxiety–a feeling of uneasiness, not so unfamiliar to today’s population. The feeling of worry and apprehension manifests itself among millions of people–for many of them, more than they would like to admit. When a person struggles with these feelings, it can often seem as if they are surrounded; alone, in a pit of anxiousness of which there is no clear way out. From this point, reaching the destination that is peace of mind is a journey; Family Restoration Counseling Services would like nothing more than to strive alongside you towards the most attainable, welcome feeling of inner peace.

The Feeling of Anxiety and What it Entails

Unsure of whether or not you’re having problems with anxiety? See if you relate to these sets of symptoms:

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Shortness of breath
  • Quickened heartbeat/discomfort in chest
  • Dizziness/nausea
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Excessive sweating

Behavioral Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Avoiding situations that one expects to experience discomfort
  • Using unhealthy behaviors to cope, including drugs, overeating, under-eating
  • Being paranoid of losing what makes one comfortable; for example, not wanting to leave the home

Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Distress
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Excessive worry
  • Irrational fear/terror
  • Panic
  • Dread
  • Tense/irritable

Cognitive Symptoms of Anxiety

  • “What if…”
  • Thoughts of going crazy/losing mind
  • Must have’s, speaking in absolutes
  • Excessively worrying of embarrassment

Psychological Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Difficulty with fluent and chronological memory
  • Anticipating catastrophic problems
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks at hand

For every person — children, adolescents, adults — there are unique responses to the feeling of anxiety. Some can help themselves through self-care; for others, therapy is often the best remedy. The road to coping and conquering anxiety is started here, by contacting the experienced and willing counselors at Family Restoration Counseling.

Addiction Recovery – How to Keep the Family and the Addict Healthy

What is an addiction?  A substance or a behavior which begins to become pleasurable and then progresses to a compulsive state. Once the substance or the behavior enters the compulsive stage several things start to happen which disrupts normal activities.  The effect of the compulsive activity begins to affect family, work, relationships, health, and self-image.  The person who begins to experience the need to continue the substance or behavior might be unaware that they are hurting others or causing problems not only for themselves but also for those who are close to them.

Addiction Recovery - How to Keep the Family and the Addict Healthy

More times than not the family becomes involved and in an effort to stabilize the addict the members begin to take on roles. These roles revolve around the substance or the behavior in an effort to maintain balance within the family. Alcohol and drug abuse will affect families in different ways and an addict is often unaware that his substance abuse or behavior impacts the flow of the family. The effect of substance abuse on the family system is complex and will escalate especially if the addict is not receiving any therapy. Addiction recovery can have a positive effect on all members of the family. When you first realize that a member of your family has become addicted you may feel overwhelmed and scared. Addiction is too big for one person to handle, but with treatment and help recovery is possible for the addict.

What does recovery mean for the addict? What is recovery?  The answer according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)is that “Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life.”  Recovery is a process based on a series of changes that support a transformation which is positive and life-altering. This change for an addict means many different things to many different addicts. Some of these reasons for change were obtained from a project titled “What is Recovery?” and are listed here:

  • learn to be honest with self
  • learn how to deal with hard situations without resorting to alcohol or drugs
  • get along with family and friends
  • don’t replace one addiction with another
  • enjoy a healthy relationship
  • improve self-esteem
  • help other people with drug and alcohol problems
  • become more spiritual
  • give back to the community
  • understand limitations and abilities

These reasons for change are a few of many but they are important for the addict since they are often the driving force behind seeking help. When the addict begins to want change and accepts responsibility for the damage they have done to themselves, their family members, and friends, then it is time to begin the recovery. As a family facing the problem of addiction, you must first decide to tell your loved one they need help and guide them towards addiction recovery. Sometimes it is those who are closest to the addict who must step in and help so when your family member is ready please have them contact us so we can help them begin their journey towards recovery.

Why Today’s Adolescents Need Therapy

Today’s teens need counselors, more than past generations. Counselors provide quality time and care in order to nurture and guide your children through some of the most transnational years of their life. Here are just a few reasons adolescents today should consider therapy.

Why Today's Adolescents Need Therapy

Time of change. Adolescents experience a lot of change. Between puberty and the process of self discovery, teens need guidance during this transitional period. Around the teen years, mood disorders start to appear such as depression and anxiety. A counselor helps walk them through this time of change and better understand themselves and their changing mind and body.

Stress. Today’s teens are more stressed than other generations. The pressures that schools and peer groups cause stress and damage teens. Our counselors help cope with stressful situations teens go through from school to social life.

Isolation. The fear of isolation is very strong among teens today. Isolation is damaging to teens. Their social skills suffer and in some cases be a leading cause of depression. Seeing a counselor allows your teen to talk with someone and address issues like isolation.

Our counselors work to provide quality care for teens to help better themselves. Not only do we work with teens, but also with the caretaker because the caretaker is the authority in a teen’s life. Therapy is a great way for teens to navigate their changing minds and bodies because it provides a safe space with an expert to guide them. If you feel your adolescent fits into any category or could use counseling, please contact us for help.

Counseling Can Help Blended Families Adjust

A blended family can be a wonderful thing. If you have just recently gotten married, for example, both you and your spouse might have brought children from previous marriages into the relationship. Even though this can be a great thing, it can require a bit of an adjustment in the beginning. Luckily, counseling can help.

Counseling Can Help Blended Families Adjust

First of all, counseling can help both children and adults determine if they are coming into the new family arrangement with any previous issues. For example, you or your spouse or one of the children could still have some lingering issues from previous divorces. Dealing with this type of thing on your own can be challenging, but counseling can help.

Counseling can also help you and the other members of your new blended family to communicate better with one another. When you are bringing various people into a new family arrangement, you can expect for the different personalities and feelings to make things difficult in some cases. Knowing how to communicate with everyone can be challenging, but this is something that a counselor can help you with in both one-on-one and family sessions. Once everyone is able to communicate more effectively, you are sure to notice a difference in how smoothly things go in the blended household.

If you are a part of a blended family, or if you are planning on getting married and if there will be a resulting blended family, counseling can be a good idea. If you contact us, we can tell you more about our counseling services and can help set up an appointment.

You can’t solve this alone! You need an addiction counselor today.

No one wakes up in the morning thinking “I’ll get addicted to drugs today.” Or “I’ll become an alcoholic this morning.” Honestly an addict does not typically see themselves as an addict. They certainly don’t see their behavior as problematic. Often times the addict does not attempt to seek help until they hit rock bottom. This is why early intervention by an addiction counselor, and outside support is so important.

You can't solve this alone! You need an addiction counselor today.

I can stop any time I want:

This is one of the lies an addict will tell you regarding the alcohol they drink, or the drugs they use. They see themselves as in control of their lives. Actually the addiction is controlling their lives. If they can stop anytime they want why don’t they stop now? It should be easy right? An addiction counselor can see through the lies. This is exactly what the person needs.

The root cause:

Typically there is a root cause behind a person’s addictive behavior. How did the person get to this point? What started it? Although there is a physical component to addiction, the psychological component is much stronger. What pain is the person trying to numb with drugs? What happened to make a person go this far? Fixing the root cause is vital to recovery.

Strong support system:

In order to recover, and stay in recovery, a strong support system is necessary. The support system must be dedicated to the person’s recovery. It is very important that those who are helping an addict recover do not enable the addict. Some will enable the person thinking they are being loving. The addiction counselor can provide an outside perspective that can avoid, and stop any enabling from happening. In turn this will help the addict recover.

Addiction is a destructive disease. However, recovery is possible! If you or a loved one struggles from addiction contact us today. Our professional counselors will help guide you through the path of recovery and long-term health.

Do you suffer from social anxiety?

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is a phobia that causes a persistent and debilitating fear of people. But social anxiety doesn’t stop there. It can be largely anticipatory, and it’s very common for those suffering from the disorder to experience severe anxiousness for weeks leading up to a social event. While anxiety before public speaking is common, the degree to which social anxiety impairs a person is to a far greater extent than that experienced by a non-sufferer.

Do you suffer from social anxiety?

In this hyper-social world, having something like social anxiety is extremely impairing. Relationships, career trajectories, recreational activities, all of these things are much more difficult for someone currently under the uncertain cloud of social phobia.

The symptoms

The primary symptom of social anxiety is an ongoing fear of social situations. The symptoms arising from this disorder can be mental or physical in nature. Mental aspects of the disorder essentially amount to persistent anxiety over a variety of social contexts, such as public speaking, group activities, dating, etc. One common myth is that after enough exposure to social situations the anxiety will remit. This is usually not the case, especially if the underlying self-esteem issues go untreated.

Social anxiety isn’t just a cluster of mental symptoms. Physical symptoms are usually present too, such as sweating and light-headedness, or nausea. Not only are these physical aspects impairing in themselves, but someone with social anxiety might develop a higher level of avoidance due to fear of the physical symptoms. Who wants to experience a racing heart right before they give a speech?

How counseling can help

Treating anxiety disorders with talk therapy has proven to be highly effective. A treatment method known as cognitive-behavioral therapy is widely used. CBT is a group of cognitive exercises that the patient can use to undo the negative and harmful associations that have been fueling the anxiety. What is the therapist’s role? A trained therapist is able to help the patient utilize these exercises for maximum benefit, and to gently steer the patient away from creeping negative or anxious thoughts. Since positive change takes time and multiple approaches, a well-trained therapist is just what the doctor ordered.

If you are suffering from social anxiety disorder, please contact us.

5 Tips to Move from Crisis to Stability in Your Relationship

Are you a couple in crisis? At Family Restoration Counseling services, we’re here to help you through difficult moments like these. It takes time, commitment, and dedication to move from crisis to stability.

5 Tips to Move from Crisis to Stability in Your Relationship

Start with these 5 tips to help you renew your love and transition through this difficult period in your life as a stronger couple:

  1. Go to couples counseling. A counselor is a professionally trained neutral party with tools and resources to help you and your partner navigate the stress and hardship of your relationship. You will work on communication, conflict, and compromise, as well as other skills you may need to strengthen. Also, attending counseling shows your partner you are dedicated to making the relationship work.
  2. Spend time together – alone. As a couple in crisis, spending alone-time together may be difficult. However, it’s necessary to carve out special date nights or outings just for the two of you. Turn off your cellphone. Lock your doors. Ignore the internet. Spending time together strengthens your relationship and will remind you what you love about your partner.
  3. Learn their love language. We all have different love languages. Get to know your partner’s love language, and use that to make him or her feel extra special. If you have different love languages, this may take research and thinking outside the box. That’s okay…it shows how much you truly care.
  4. Try something new. Trying something new is a great way to bond, laugh, and spend time together all at the same time. You’ll make new memories and practice communication and conflict management skills you are working on with your counselor.
  5. Say the words.Yes, you love each other. That’s why you’re committed to counseling and spending the time to renew your marriage bonds. Even when it’s difficult, make sure you remind your partner of your love every day.

It is key to remember that all relationships take work, and your relationship isn’t doomed to failure just because you’re going through crisis. Together, you can work through anything. Contact us today for more information on how we can help in difficult times.

Preparing for Your First Counseling Appointment

Whether you have anxiety, depression, addiction, or other issues, many people benefit from counseling. However, it can be scary to start going to counseling, even after you’ve been able to find an appropriate therapist. By preparing for your visit, you can take away some of your uncertainty to start a productive counseling relationship. Here are some specific steps that can make the process seem less daunting and mysterious.

Preparing for Your First Counseling Appointment

Fill out all of the Needed Paperwork

This isn’t an exciting task, but it’s still needed. Most offices will have new patient/client forms to fill out for insurance and assessment purposes. There are also forms that discuss cancellation policies, payment structures, and confidentiality rules. Some offices have assessments you can do ahead of time, especially for issues such as depression or anxiety. If you have hospital discharge papers or the results of recent psychological tests, these documents can also shed light on your background and what you might need most in therapy.

Think about Why You Want Therapy in the First Place

It can be helpful to make a list of what you’re feeling and what your goals are. For example, you’ll have different needs if you want to be more comfortable speaking in public than if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. If you can, create some specific goals related to your treatment to clarify what your treatment path looks like.

What Else is Happening?

Keep in mind that other forces can influence your mood and chances of success. Losing a job, a rough patch in your marriage, or economic concerns are just some of the many factors a therapist has to consider when working with you find the best treatment.

What Have You Tried Already?

Thinking about what you’ve done already helps you and your therapist avoid spending time on ideas that haven’t helped you. If you have something that’s working, you and your therapist can build on it to make it work better. This is also where you could discuss medications with your therapist, if you choose to go that route.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask about your therapist’s background, training, methods, or experience. Ask about what you might need to do between sessions or what the plan is going forward.

What to Remember

You’re in therapy for you, so don’t be afraid to speak up! If something’s not sitting right, mention it—your therapist isn’t a mind reader, so letting them know what’s going on isn’t insulting them. They’ve also seen a lot of different clients, so they’ve heard stories like yours before. Plenty of people have benefited from therapy, so you don’t have to feel embarrassed, “weak”, or “crazy” for seeing someone. After all, we all see professionals such as car mechanics, doctors, and dentists to help us with issues. Therapy isn’t any different. So breathe a little and congratulate yourself on taking the first step toward a better you.

If you are looking for counseling services we offer our counseling and therapy services at our Dallas and Mesquite offices. Call us today to set up a consultation that will help your mental health.