Browsing articles in "Blog"

PTSD

“You cannot experience traumatic symptoms in a relaxed body.”  Mike Dubi, Ed.D., LMHC (12/10/15)

We are Hiring! Come Join Anchor Counseling Center or Anchor Memory Clinic

Dec 10, 2015   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Anchor Counseling Center, Behavioral Health in RI, Blog, Counseling, Psychiatry, Psychiatry in RI, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

http://www.anchorcounselingcenter.com/about/employment-opportunites/

End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Rhode Island

End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Rhode Island

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental illness or some sort of neurological disorder at some point in their lives. This places mental disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide affecting more than 450 million people. However, mental illness is still the highest untreated disease. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 40-50% of individuals with bipolar or schizophrenia go untreated each year, and the number of those suffering from anxiety and depression is greater. Many ask why so many individuals will not seek treatment, and the simple answer is because of Stigma.

Stigma is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. Those struggling with mental health illnesses feel fear of disclosing their condition to a complete stranger thinking they may be judged or mistreated. They feel shame or embarrassment that they can’t handle their problems on their own. And others don’t believe they need any help at all.

The populations most affected by stigma include young people such as teens and adolescents, men, minorities, military personnel, and those who work in the medical/health field. These people are found to be in the most need of mental health services but most likely will not pursue them.

Many “A” list celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Catherine Zeta Jones, Mel Gibson, Robin Williams, Demi Lovato, and Chris Brown have all been diagnosed with Mental Health conditions and have openly discussed such topics with the public. Lady Gaga goes as far as singing about being “Born this way” as she suffers from depression. We recently just laid Robin Williams to rest after his battle with depression.

It is not uncommon for many of us to be experiencing symptoms of a mental health issue. However, it is common that many of us will not get help due to stigmatized reasons. No illness should go untreated because of stigma. Here at Anchor Counseling Center, our mission is to provide superior, family-oriented, mental health services through dependability, integrity, and social responsibility across Southern New England through education to understand that mental illness should be regarded the way physical illness is – as something to be diagnosed and treated without judgment or stigma of any kind.

We at Anchor Counseling Center want to help you, no Stigma attached. If you or a loved one is in need of mental health treatment, please call our office at 401-475-9979 to schedule an appointment.

You can also find us on our website at www.AnchorCounselingCenter.com

Written by Sarah Porier

References:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

http://www.who.int/mental_health/en/

http://www.anchorcounselingcenter.com

What is DBT? How does it work? Can it help me?

What is DBT?  How does it work?  Can it help me?

The Queen of DBT

At Anchor Counseling Center, Inc. in RI we offer individuals Dialectical Behavior Therapy or better known as DBT.  Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Founded by Dr. Marsha Linehan in the late 1970’s, is a modification of Cognitive Behavior Therapy that focuses its main goals on teaching clients how to cope with stress, regulate emotions and improve relationships with others and their inner self. DBT can be used to treat a number of mental health conditions including those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, those who have suicidal thoughts and feelings, and those who exhibit self-destructive behavior such as eating disorders and substance abuse. DBT works on the foundations of radical acceptance of the self and validation of client’s capabilities and behavioral functioning.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy works in four stages: Emotional Regulation, Mindfulness, Interpersonal effectiveness and Distress tolerance.

Stage one: Emotional Regulation- seeks to regulate client’s emotions by teaching them techniques and giving them tools to regain control of their behaviors. This stage will help the client develop healthy coping skills to dealing with their emotions. The main goal of this stage is to help clients stop self-harmful behaviors or behaviors that interfere with their logical thought process.

Stage Two: Mindfulness -seeks to help the client focus on experiencing their emotions. This stage teaches clients to completely experience all of their emotions without the feeling of losing control.

Stage Three: Interpersonal Effectiveness- seeks to help clients deal with everyday life, its stressors and accepting them for what they are. This stage expands on working to have more successful relationships, careers and social lives by really understanding the self and accepting the inner you.

Stage Four: Distress Tolerance-seeks to reintegrate and connect the client to their everyday world. This is the stage clients will use what have learned in stages 1-3 and put them to use to help deal with relationships, careers and social life. This stage encourages the client to engage and takes steps into making their life more meaningful to challenge what they have learned.

We at Anchor Counseling Center want to help you, If you feel that you or a loved one would benefit from this type of therapy, a number of Clinicians at Anchor Counseling Center offer this treatment please call our office at 401-475-9979 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can visit our website:  AnchorCounselingCenter.com

Article written by Sarah Porier.

Anxiety: We have Choices. Just Breath

In May 2013 I graduated from my dream college with my undergraduate degree. Those short years flashed before my eyes. I loved school so much I spent my entire senior year pretending I wasn’t graduating. Quickly enough, though, I was walking across the stage and had received my diploma. I found myself thinking “now what?” Suddenly, the anxiety I had been trying to repress all of senior year was forcing itself to the surface. I had just spent fifteen years of my life in school. More specifically, I had spent fifteen years of my life in the most predictable cycle I could have ever been in. School, homework, summer break, and back to school. Was I really expected to simply not do that anymore? To move on and into a world I had never truly experienced before? Impossible.

Sure, I was very uncomfortable with anxious feelings of fear and the need to run away during my first semester in college but with the help and support of my family and friends I made it through and decided that college was really great. Best of all, I decided I was good at it. Unfortunately, I was only able to enjoy a small amount of my college life before I was submitting applications for graduation and realizing that this endless cycle did, in fact, have an end. And there it was. My anxiety was back and stronger than ever. It felt stronger than even I could ever be. I became very short fused with friends and family, unhappy, and afraid of everything. A friend had mentioned the name of a local therapist to me and I decided that maybe I should give counseling a shot. I could not let this disorder run the rest of my life.

Hours before my first appointment with the counselor my anxiety was incredibly high. How can I talk about these private issues to a perfect stranger, especially a stranger who will probably make me feel like a weird outcast? Needless to say, I kept the appointment and although I still felt a little uncomfortable the counselor made sure I did not feel weird or different. I learned that this overwhelming fear is normal and it is something I can overcome with time. In later appointments I learned where the anxiety was seeping into other areas of my life. For example, I had an incredible fear of a particular stretch of the subway in my city. I was certain that at this individual point the train was sure to fall off the tracks and into the harbor beneath it causing the death of all of its passengers. Apparently, not everyone has this feeling when they are crossing over the harbor. Together with my counselor we uncovered the core fear I had developed with my anxiety. I was terrified of the unknown. I didn’t know what life after college would bring me. Furthermore, I would sit in horror waiting for that part of the subway to come when I needed to hold my breath and hope that we made it over the harbor safely. Now we just needed to find a solution to this problem.

The transition was very difficult and still is a work in progress. I made sure to keep using that subway and not find ways of avoiding it. I was hyper aware of my surroundings on this subway car which, I rapidly learned, made the ride seem worse than it actually was. Every small bump seemed like we were rushing over a huge mountain that was knocking us off kilter. Occupying my mind with a book, a conversation, or even something as artless as my Facebook newsfeed took my attention away from the ride and it turned out to not be as treacherous as I had once thought. I unclenched my fists, breathed methodically, and calmed my body. I had to let go of the need to be in control. Whatever is going to happen on that train is going to happen whether I worry about it or not. I might as well enjoy the ride. A few rides like this and I found myself looking out the subway car window at the very spot I was once petrified would cause my death. The city looked beautiful and I had been missing it all this time.

Perhaps this seems like a superfluous issue when compared to having anxiety at college graduation. All I needed to do was use the same techniques I used on the subway and apply it to every day worries. The most helpful skill I have been using is breathing. Deep, slow breaths make all the difference. It clams my heart rate which gives me a chance to think logically about the situation. Exercise, too, has helped a great amount. I can work any negative energy out of my body at the start of my day before it becomes too much to handle. Exercise has provided me a great release. Of course, talking out my concerns with my counselor is incredibly helpful but he cannot follow me everywhere. I needed to learn how to conquer this on my own, when I don’t have others talking me out of a downward spiral into anxiety. I needed to realize that I can only control a very small portion of what happens to me. College graduation was going to happen no matter what. Now it is up to me to decide what is next.

It is now March 2014 and if I have learned anything it is that life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it. I am choosing to react in positive ways that make me happy and make me feel like my life is fulfilled. Choosing to see to a therapist was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. I learned that I am important and the only thing I have control over is my attitude. I refuse to let anxiety get the best of me. I still enjoy some structure in my days and while anxiety still makes some appearances in my life, it does not last long and I can manage it on my own. I wake up in the morning without the heavy burden of anxiety waiting for me. I will continue to make the efforts to remove anxiety from my life completely.

Author Anonymous

If you feel you or someone you love could benefit from help please contact us now or call us at 401.475.9979

You can also visit our website!

Yet Another Diet? There’s Another Option: Intuitive Eating. Erin Schmitz, MA, CAGS, LMHC

Yet Another Diet?  There is Another Option: Intuitive Eating!

Erin Schmitz, MA, CAGS, LMHC

Anchor Counseling Center, Inc.

“Refuse to Sink”™

Counseling in RI

Diets Don't Work

At Anchor Counseling Center we know it’s spring, and summer is on its way!  What’s going on on TV and in other advertisements?  Ads for fad diets and gym memberships!  Are you thinking it’s time to get your eating and exercise “under control”?  Chastising yourself for being “bad” this winter?  Planning a new diet or counting calories?  Starting Monday of course!

Have you done all of this before, only to regain the weight when you stop “controlling yourself?” And you end up eating even more than you wanted or needed?  Have you regained even more weight than you originally lost?

Research shows that dieting does not work in the long term.  Most dieters regain the lost weight, plus more.  Researchers conducted the most comprehensive and rigorous analysis of diet studies, analyzing 31 long-term studies.   These were some of their conclusions:

We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more”

“Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain”

“We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all.”

“one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started”

See the full article for more info: Dieting does not work, researchers report

We are born with natural, innate hunger and fullness signals.  We eat when we are hungry; we stop when we are full.  Have you ever seen a toddler eat?  They may leave half a sandwich and a bite of cookie on their plate, and run back to playing.  They have had enough and felt full.  They are using food for fuel, not for emotional reasons.   We learn to override these natural signals when we are forced to “clean our plates.”  We override our body’s signals further when it is craving a satisfying meal with fat and protein, and we feed it lettuce with low fat dressing because we only have 300 calories left for the day.  Often, after we eat the lettuce we end up looking for something else, because the lettuce did not fulfill our craving.  We may find the chips or other snack and end up eating more than we would have if we just had what we wanted in the first place!  When we plan a diet for Monday, we go into a poverty consciousness and experience “last supper” eating – eating all you can before the diet starts!

If you have been struggling with these issues there is another way.  A way to reconnect with your body’s natural hunger signals, eat whenever you are hungry, eat whatever you are craving, and stop eating when you feel comfortably satisfied.  It takes practice to help you reconnect with this innate wisdom that your body was born with, but it can allow you to banish the diet mentality forever and return to a natural weight for your body!  No more labeling foods “good” or “bad,” beating yourself up after a diet “failure,” or living your days according to a number on the scale.  Learn how to assess your body’s needs and your emotional needs.  Feed your body’s needs with food, and feed your emotional needs with new ways of coping.

Intuitive Eating is a holistic approach to food, weight, eating, and body image. It is not a diet. It is a process which helps individuals whose eating behavior has become disordered learn to feel, trust, and honor their internal huger signals; to use healthy coping skills in response to feelings; and to reject the diet mentality and escape the cycle of restriction and overeating. Dieting disconnects us from our natural wisdom, including our hunger and fullness signals, and it often creates a cycle of restriction and then eventual overeating, leading us to feel like a failure. You are not a failure – the diet is. Dieting often leads to binge eating, greater obsession with food, and weight gain. Intuitive Eating can help you to regain pleasure and joy in the experience of eating any and all foods, while honoring and respecting your body, and ultimately arriving at a natural and healthy weight for you.  

If you are interested in more information, please feel free to send me an email or simply click on Please tell me more.

If you would like to set up a first time appointment please contact me! One click will bring you to Anchor Counseling Center and just send us a quick email.  We will respond within 24 hours.

You can also call us @ 401. 475.9979

Stay tuned for more blog entries on the principles of Intuitive Eating!  Y

Erin Schmitz, MA, CAGS, LMHC

Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor

Anchor Counseling Center, Inc

“Refuse to Sink” ™

Common Mistakes in Co-Parenting

Common Mistakes of Co-parenting

As the divorce rates continue to trend upwards in America, many parents are finding themselves with a new challenge to face.  At Anchor Counseling we recognize this trend.  Once a marriage has officially dissolved, many people would like to close the proverbial door on that chapter of their lives.  However, when children are involved, the ex-spouses are forever linked in that very special way.  Through my work with counseling co-parents, I have discovered some common road blocks many couples stumble over preventing them from successful co-parenting their children.

One of the hardest aspects most co-parents will face is trying to move past the residual emotions left behind from the dissolved relationship.  The separation process tends to leave a trail of resentment, pain, and mistrust for different reasons; yet, in order for successful co-parenting to occur, these emotions have be left out of the process.  This is certainly easier said than done, which is why parents are encouraged to find their own appropriate outlet for these emotions (talking to a family member or friend, exercise, yoga, relaxation techniques, reading, and any other healthy stress-relieving activity).  Although using the phone to vent to a trusted support can be helpful, make sure you are aware of your surroundings. Children are often extremely curious about the details regarding these situations, and they can be quite adept at eavesdropping on phone conversations.   Make sure to double-check for “little ears” and find a remote location before expressing your frustrations regarding your ex-partner.

When you are speaking to your child (or if he/she is in earshot), please refrain from saying anything negative regarding the other parent.  I typically encourage co-parents to keep it either positive or neutral when discussing the other parent with the child, and if this is too difficult, I revert back to the old saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  Children can be quite impressionable, and negative comments about the other parent can be full of impact and confusing.   Most children have a difficult time dealing with a fundamental shift in their family’s dynamics, and any added confusion is not helpful.  As best as you possibly can, you want to encourage the child to have a positive relationship with the other parent.  Although the other parent may have been a poor spouse, he/she might have some positive aspects to their parenting from which your child could benefit.   As children grow, they will discover which parent(s) are there for them, which parent(s) they can trust, and which parent(s) truly love them.  If you do your part, they will come to respect you for it when they get older.  If the other parent does not do their part, the child will recognize this as they mature – you don’t need to point it out to them every step along the way.

Often times throughout co-parenting, the child will need to transition from one parent’s care to the other’s care.  These transition times can be impressionable for the child, and they provide another opportunity to successfully co-parent.  In order for these interactions to be positive, both parents need to demonstrate a level of respect for the other person.  For the sake of the child, each parent should interact in a positive and cooperative way during these transitions.  A child can be quite in tune to a parent’s affect and body language, so each parent should be aware of how he/she is presenting during these transition times.  Each parent needs to demonstrate respect in what they say, as well as how they act.  If one parent is going to be late for the transition meeting, he/she should alert the other party to inform them of this development, therefore demonstrating respect for the other parent’s time and schedule.  Role modeling a healthy and respectful relationship with the other parent can be tremendously influential to the child’s development and happiness.

Co-parenting with an ex-partner can seem overwhelming, unbearable, and downright impossible at times.  However, when co-parenting is done correctly (through respect, healthy communication, and positive transitions), this process can become a little easier.  If you find yourself in this situation, please remember to keep the best interest of this child first and foremost.  When this perspective is taken, the co-parenting process can be successful.  Remember, you can only control yourself.  If you focus your efforts on becoming the best co-parent that you can be, hopefully the other parent will follow suit.

We at Anchor Counseling want to help you.  Please visit our website by clicking here.

If you would like any additional information on my own professional ideas or modalities of treatment please click here.

You can also reach us at 401.475.9979

Trevor Yingling, LMHC

Assistant Clinical Director

Anchor Counseling Center

You can follow us on Facebook by clicking here.

You can follow us on Twitter by clicking here.

Or on Pinterest!

Treating Opioid Dependence with Suboxone in Rhode Island

Opioid Dependence and Suboxone

By Kate Logan LMHC, LCDP

What are opioids and what are the characteristics of opioid dependence?

Opioids are drugs that are either derived from, or chemically related to opiates or opium. They include, but are not limited to, vicodin, morphine, codeine and heroin. Many of these drugs are commonly used painkillers, and people often become addicted as a side effect of long term pain management treatment.

Common Characteristics of opioid dependence include:

  1. Tolerance to the Opioids—this happens when you require more of the drug to get the same effect, or getting less effect from the same amount of the drug
  2. Withdrawal Symptoms are present when opioids are not used. These symptoms generally occur about 6-12 hours after the last use of the drug, and the most common symptoms are sweating, muscle pains/aches/cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, “goosebumps”, dilated pupils and insomnia.
  3. Taking larger amounts of opiods than planned or for longer periods of time than planned
  4. Persistent desire for the drug, or inability to quit using
  5. Spending a lot of time and effort to obtain, use, or recover from use
  6. Giving up or significantly reducing social activities or obligations
  7. Continued use regardless of the negative consequences

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication used for treatment of opioid dependence. It is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that blocks opioids from attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain. This medication reduces withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings. Naloxone is typically used to treat opioid overdose, by knocking other opioids off the receptors and therefore preventing the negative effects of the drug. The naloxone is present in Suboxone to deter people from injecting the drug. If it is injected, the naloxone can cause serious withdrawal symptoms.

By using the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, suboxone works to suppress opioid withdrawal symptoms as well as reduces opioid cravings.

What will my treatment be like?

Here at Anchor Counseling Center, we work hard to provide you with the correct amount and type of support to make your treatment successful. We provide you with a psychiatrist to handle your suboxone treatment, as well as a counselor to provide support and education for you and your family. Working together, they will develop a treatment plan perfectly suited to meet your needs. Typically, you will be seen weekly by a therapist and anywhere from 1-4 times monthly by the psychiatrist. There is no time limit to treatment, and the length of time that you are on suboxone is a decision only you and your psychiatrist can make together.

If you want to take the first step in receiving treatment for opioid addiction, call the office at 401-475-9979. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and get you on your way to health and recovery!

References:

Suboxone Sublingual Film. Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. September 14, 2012. www.suboxone.com

Clinical Guidelines for the use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 40. Rockville, MD. 2004

Anchor Counseling Center: 4 Tips to a Happy and Healthy Relationship

Tips for a Happy and Healthy Relationship


Each week couples come into our office seeking help for problems in their relationship. Some couples have been married for several years and feel that they have lost a connection with their spouse. Others have only been together a couple of years but feel that they are no longer happy together. Whichever category you fall into, it is important to seek some kind of counseling as soon as you start to feel unhappy. According to John Gottman, a relationship expert, the average couple waits six years before seeking therapy for problems in their relationship.

Here are some tips for a healthy and happy relationship:

Trust: According to Gottman, trust is the most vital ingredient to a successful relationship. Many factors go into building trust and it is something that couples need to nurture every day.

Good communication: It is important to listen to what your spouse has to say and consider their feelings when making decisions. One way to make sure everyone feels that their opinion is heard it to take turns talking and not allow interruptions until the other person is done speaking.

Make time for each other: Often couples report that they are not spending time together like they used to. This can be due to busy schedules or having children. Some couples feel that finances hold them back from doing things together. All couples, no matter what their situation, can take half an hour each day to go for a walk or cook together.

Parenting: Being on the same page in terms of parenting is crucial. Not agreeing on rules and consequences at home can lead to children acting out which can make for an unhappy household.

If you feel that this applies to your relationship, please call us at Anchor Counseling Center today to schedule an appointment with one of our therapist.  You can visit our website by clicking here.  If you would like to call us our number is 401.475.9979

Tania Weld, LMFT

Anchor Counseling Center

Do we need Stress in our lives? 6 Steps to decrease.

Sep 17, 2012   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Blog, East Bay, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Mental Health, Stress, Uncategorized, cranston  //  No Comments

Do you really need stress in our lives?

I know many of you may be thinking “Well of course not, who needs stress?” but believe it or not we do need some level of stress in our lives in order to function.  There is such a concept as good stress (eustress) as well as bad stress (distress).  I think most of us are more familiar with distress but eustress actually helps us thrive in our daily lives.

Eustress (good stress) can be events such as starting a new job, getting married, having a baby, etc.  To most of us, we may think these are great moments in our lives and of course while they are great moments, it also involves some level of stress.

So now let’s switch over to distress.  It’s something everyone has encountered and coped with differently.  If we are able to see challenges in our lives as manageable, it will lead us to handling stressful situations effectively.

I would like to offer some self-care techniques that can help us cope with stress more effectively.  These are strategies that when implemented on a consistent basis will help improve our mood, overall well-being, and perspective in general.  Please check out the bulleted list below to learn more about these strategies and see if you are already applying them in your daily lives.

v Take time to relax. Seriously this is important.  Try to take mini breaks throughout your day.  Examples include going outside for a brief walk, stretching, taking deep breaths.

v Get enough sleep. We underestimate how much sleep we really need in order to function.  A healthy range for adults is anywhere between 6-8 hours every night.  If you can get more then you’re in good shape.

v Practice positive self-talk. This will help us to view stressors as manageable rather than impossible.  Examples include:  “I will get through this”, “Things will get better”, etc.

v Exercise. Believe it or not adding physical activity to your day will help release energy in a positive way and provide you with a more balanced outlook on life especially stress.

v Make a to-do-list. Getting organized by making a checklist at the beginning of your day of reasonable items you can accomplish will alleviate stress.

v  Enlist social/family support. Talk to friends and/or family members on a regular basis.  It is vitally important that we connect with others and share our feelings.  It is okay to ask for help.

Can you think of a time in which you were faced with what you thought was an impossible thing to overcome?  Think about how you handled and could you have handled it differently.  If so, would it have made a difference on how you felt following the outcome of that event in your life?

Pages:1234567»

Let us call you

Download Our App

Our Latest Tweets

“Like” us on Facebook

E-Therapy Payment