Browsing articles tagged with " RI"

PTSD

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

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.

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” ™

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

BENEFIT FOR HOPE! CAMMIE ALMEIDA

May 7, 2012   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Mental Health, cammie almeida, cranston  //  No Comments

Days when she undergoes aggressive chemotherapy treatments are her most difficult, yet she continues to be a strong woman dedicated to her family and friends, and still fighting her cancer with all the strength she can muster,” friend Beth Small said.

A small group of us decided to put together a benefit for Cammie and her family.

Please click here to continue reading.  You can also click here to make a contribution.

The event is being held Sunday, June 3rd at 1pm in Cumberland RI.

You can also see the event on Facebook.

An Anxious World! Anxiety Treatment in RI

Jan 26, 2012   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, News, Self Help, Stress, Uncategorized, cranston  //  No Comments

An Anxious World

At Anchor Counseling Center we believe that s human beings, we all experience a form of anxiety at some point during our lives.  Anxiety is often thought of as worry and fear about uncertainties. It is usually depicted as a negative attribute, but it can also serve the useful purpose of alerting one of lurking danger. We may find ourselves worrying about school, work, our kids, or paying bills, and that’s all perfectly normal. When anxiety and worrying is a persistent, or common, feature causing disruption to your daily life, then it becomes a maladaptive. Excessive worrying may interfere with your relationships, your leisure activities, and can eventually lead to physical health issues.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 40 million adults in the U.S., in the span of one year, suffer from an anxiety disorder2. The average age of onset for anxiety is 11 years old; so many children are affected by anxiety disorders as well2.  Also, women are more likely do experience anxiety disorders than men2. So anxiety is not a new or unheard of phenomenon, and it is fairly common, however, some may not recognize symptoms of maladaptive anxiety because it may not look like the common perception of an anxiety-ridden individual.

In fact, anxiety disorders can take on many forms, and one person’s experience with excessive worrying can be completely different than another person’s experience. Some people have very general based anxiety of which they worry excessively about every little thing throughout the day, from work, school, paying bills, to having enough time to complete a task, or to what will happen if my car stops working. A popular perception of an anxiety disorder is of people with specific phobias. For instance, an individual’s fear-based worrying may only be provoked by exposure to specific stimuli, such as a bridge above water, or snakes. Even though the phobia is highly specific, it may be clinically significant if the individual experiences anxiety about it on a daily basis and it interrupts his/her daily tasks.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly termed OCD, is also a form of an anxiety disorder1. A person with OCD will have obsessive thoughts, which tend to cause marked anxiety or distress, and/or compulsions, which are often performed in order to reduce anxiety.  Take for example, a man who has a fear of germs contaminating his body. This man worries constantly throughout the day about contracting some disease from all the germs he believes surrounds him. In order to reduce the likelihood of him contracting this horrid disease, he washes his hands 52 times, every time he goes to the bathroom or touches an object he does not own. As a matter of fact, he also showers at least twice a day for more than 45 minutes, and if he forgets to clean any body part, he goes back and re-showers entirely.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and Acute Stress Disorder, are characterized by “anxiety from re-experiencing a traumatizing event, often accompanied by symptoms of increased arousal, and avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma”1. While PTSD can occur any time after the traumatic event, Acute Stress Disorder occurs immediately after the traumatic event, lasting for at most, four weeks. In this form of anxiety disorder, there is a distinct trigger event where the individual felt threatened.

Other forms of an anxiety disorder to mention is Panic Disorder With and Without Agoraphobia, Agoraphobia without a history of Panic Disorder, and Social Phobia.  Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia is characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks about which there is persistent concern, while a person suffering from Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia may experience both recurrent, unexpected panic attacks, and anxiety about places or situations that may not be easily escapable.  That being said, Agoraphobia, “is anxiety about or avoidance of places or situations from which escape may be difficult (or embarrassing)”1. Social Phobia is basically when a person’s “anxiety is triggered by exposure to social situations in which he/she is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possibly scrutiny by others”1.

As you can see, there are a variety of anxiety disorders; however, one thing to note is that anxiety has an altering effect on one’s perception of the world around them and an effect on one’s interpretation of the stimuli he/she is exposed to. A Common behavior associated with people who have anxiety disorders is avoidance behavior. For example, the man with a phobia of bridges above water may stop going to visit his parents because he refuses to drive or walk over any bridge above water. In fact, he may miss a work conference next week that is detrimental to his job security because it’s across a bridge over water.  Another example is people with social phobias who avoid public speaking at all costs. Even with OCD, the compulsions acts as an avoidance mechanism set to reduce ones anxiety about an obsessive thought.

Also many anxiety stricken individuals have cognitive errors set in place that alter their ability to make judgments and function in the every-day world. Most people with anxiety tend overestimate the probability of the occurrence of the worry at hand. On the other hand some people assume that an outcome will be much less manageable than it actually is, also known as catastrohpizing. A big commonality amongst those suffering anxiety is the human tendency to be intolerant of uncertainty, the fear of ambiguity, and the acceptance of change.

Most people don’t like to be surprised by negative events, and more often than not, we want to try and control (or limit) the amount and impact of those negative events. But humans cannot know, or evade every problem—sometimes we just have to go through the pain. And attempting to control or change something you have no power to control or change is physically exacerbating to the human body and psyche. Taking risks, accepting change, and understanding that uncertainty is not an abyss of pain and negativity is a part of alleviating some anxiety.  Dr. Biali (2012), as do many psychologists, argues that anxiety is not always bad—it’s a part of experiencing life and trying something new3,4. Now, excessive anxiety about things you truly can’t control becomes tiresome and is often how clients present—overly stressed. Biali (2012), suggests several healthy ways to help people reduce anxiety, including, writing one’s worries down, practice breathing exercises, do yoga or stretching and exercise to alleviate muscle tension, and to avoid stimulants (like caffeinated beverages)3. Will this rid you of your anxiety? Probably not, but it can help you manage it.

Biali (2012) and Markway (2012), both suggest that in order to address and solve issues regarding your anxiety and excessive worry, one should invoke the assistance of a professional that is trained to guide you in restructuring your current cognitive methodology, and avoidance behaviors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Psychological Diagnostic Manual, people with anxiety disorders usually benefit from methods of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and/or Exposure Therapy. Here at Anchor Counseling Center, we have therapists trained in both CBT and exposure therapy to help you reduce your anxiety and manage healthier lifestyle.

By: Aryssa Washington

Sources

1The American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

2www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/complete-index.shtml

3Biali, S. (2012). How to manage the anxiety that comes with change. Prescription for Life: Psychology Today com

4Markway, B. (2012). Can Willpower help you overcome social anxiety: willpower is not always about giving something up. Shyness Is Nice: Psychology Today.com

Change is a Process!

Jan 26, 2012   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Blog, East Bay, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, News, Self Help, Stress, cranston  //  No Comments

Many people come into therapy hoping the process will be a quick and easy fix. But at Anchor Counseling Center we realize that humans are complex beings; it’s a bit presumptuous to think that human issues can be solved by a simple resolution. In most cases the resolution to an individual’s problem is fairly simple; it’s the process to get to the desired resolution that takes time and effort. For example, if I were to just tell a client, “just change your thinking,” the problems most likely wouldn’t immediately dissipate, leaving my client worry free and on a straight-shot path to all the joys of life. To be perfectly honest, true therapy takes work, on the part of the therapist as well as the client.

Choosing to go into therapy can be scary, daunting, and quite frankly it almost seems like an invitation for more anxiety. It is human nature to not exactly enjoy change in one’s life, but that decision to try therapy is making the statement that, “I want things to change,” or “I want something to be different.” That’s the first step and it’s a big one for a lot of clients. As a side-note, as therapists, we don’t have this hidden agenda to change you into some mythical creature of all things moral or a “mini-me,” and we aren’t going to force you to change. Our desire is to help you figure out who it is that you want to be, or what it is that you want, and then give you a little push in that direction. Coming into therapy may be anxiety provoking—anything new is going to be—but in the midst of change, anxiety can be a good thing. And a bit of anxiety now, in order to alleviate your suffering, may be minor in the aftermath of the therapeutic process.  At Anchor Counseling Center, you will never be left in the wind hanging by a coat hanger off the ledge of a cliff wishing you had never made that leap into therapy. Our therapists are dedicated to helping those in the community who want something different, and who want something to change.

If you or someone you know could benefit from therapy please Contact us!

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Discovering Anxiety: Are we trapped?

Jan 25, 2012   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, News, Self Help, Stress, cranston  //  No Comments

Anxeity

From an existential standpoint, humans are often plagued with anxiety when they discover the inescapable truths about life. Often times we feel trapped by the things we can’t change or the things we must go through to end up in a different position. The questions is, are these anxious feelings the problem or is it our chosen way of being in the world that makes it a problem?

Discovery

By: Aryssa Washington

Trapped in fragile transparency, the echo of my image blemished by apathy

The single last glint, a streaking spark of a fading sun,

lain unseen.

Sneaking stillness quickens in pace roving across a vast, bleak space of time,

leaving silence in its wake

consumed by darkness.

My hands and fingers in harried tremors grasp at everything—anything

This gravity of terror, a pressured panic preying on the single seeker

Am I nothing?

An edging horizon, a lone last flickering speck,

In trepidation, a shimmering glance of recognition—

I walk alone.

Addicted? Suboxone may be the Answer. Treating the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Areas

Jan 20, 2012   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, News, Uncategorized, cranston  //  No Comments

Anchor Counseling Center is offering medication assisted treatment for Opioid dependency.  Opioid dependency is an addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin.   Opioid dependency is a very serious condition affecting millions of people across the country.  Dependency is categorized by the DSM-IV as having 3 or more of the following 6 characteristics present:

  • 1. A strong desire or sense of compulsion to take the drug;
  • 2. Difficulties in controlling drug-taking behavior in terms of its onset, termination, or levels of use;
  • 3. A physiological withdrawal state when drug use is stopped or reduced, as evidenced by: the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance; or use of the same (or a closely related) substance with the intention of relieving or avoiding withdrawal symptoms;
  • 4. Evidence of tolerance, such that increased doses of the drug are required in order to achieve effects originally produced by lower doses;
  • 5. Progressive neglect of alternative pleasures or interests because of drug use, increased amount of time necessary to obtain or take the drug or to recover from its effects;
  • 6. Persisting with drug use despite clear evidence of overtly harmful consequences, such as harm to the liver, depressive mood states or impairment of cognitive functioning

The World Health Organization recognizes opiate dependency as a brain disease and it can be treated with Suboxone.  Suboxone is medication in a pill or film form available by prescription and administered by specially trained physicians.  Suboxone, combined with counseling, is effective in treating the opiate dependency and allowing individuals to live productive lives without the cravings or negative consequences of drug addiction, and physical and emotional withdrawal from the opiates.  An outpatient Suboxone clinic allows you to maintain privacy and dignity while receiving safe and supportive treatment by a Suboxone certified physician and qualified counselors.

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