The Counselor’s Cafe

  • PLAY THERAPY WITH ADOLESCENTS

    Connecting with adolescents and building a therapeutic alliance can be daunting for even a seasoned therapist. How can trust be established and a relationship built when an adolescent is reluctant to engage with a therapist? Play therapy is the answer! Play gives us an entry into the world of adolescents and enables us to connect with them in a fun and engaging way.Continue Reading

  • DO CUSTODY EVALUATIONS BENEFIT THE CHILDREN, PROTECT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH, AND HELP THE FAMILY MOVE FORWARD?

    While research regarding the benefits of custody evaluation is limited, we do know that the conflict and instability are harmful to a child’s wellbeing. Typically, custody evaluations are used when a solution can’t be reached and the child’s best interest is to have the best decision made as quickly as possible.Continue Reading

  • GUEST BLOG: MEDIATION & DIVORCE

    The greatest predictor of maladjustment, behavior issues, depression and anxiety in children is the level of conflict between their parents they are exposed to.

    Many times the conflict children experience between their parents is during and after a divorce. In our current society divorce is often a long, drawn out, expensive, stressful experience for both the parents and the children. How you choose to parent your children though this crisis will never wear off.Continue Reading

  • BE A VOICE

    In the United States, slavery is not a matter of the past but continues in the modern day and is all around us. While most of us know and acknowledge that sex trafficking exists in other countries, many remain unaware that women, men, and children are being sold for sex in our nation, in our state, and yes, in our city. In my work with women rescued from sex slavery I mentored and counseled women rescued from other countries, other states, and our very own state. Women are trafficked throughout and sold for sex or labor all over our state from cities of lower SES to higher income cities such as Hoover and Mountain Brook. I’d like to take this time to bring awareness by sharing the facts, helping you learn the signs that someone is being trafficked, and advocate for the millions of adults and children who’ve been enslaved by this heinous crime. Please note that these numbers could actually be much higher, as many victims are never identified. Continue Reading

  • GUEST BLOG: DOES MY PRESCHOOLER NEED PLAY THERAPY?

    Do you ever wonder if the behaviors you see in your preschooler are normal or a cause for concern? Do you sometimes question your parenting strategies and wonder if there’s a better way to respond to your child?

    As three to five year olds become more independent their behaviors can be challenging to most parents. Children who are experiencing difficulty adjusting to the birth of a sibling, a family move or starting preschool may be feeling anxious, confused or fearful. Bedtime battles, potty training, and temper tantrums can prevent you from feeling positive about your ability to parent your preschooler effectively. Sometimes parents are able to resolve difficulties on their own. Sometimes consulting with a play therapist can put a parent at ease.Continue Reading

  • UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY PART 2

    While you are waiting to see the therapist, there are some things you can do to slow down and sometimes stop the sensations at the onset. It is logical if you know what adrenaline and cortisol do to the body. Adrenaline causes the heart to beat faster, so taking a walk helps to use up the chemical. If you are sitting at your desk at work and cannot move at that moment, remember to add some fitness into your afternoon or evening. At the onset of symptoms, begin drinking water. Cortisol causes a thickening of the blood, and thick blood is hard to pump, so drinking a tall glass of water will help increase blood flow. A few swallows is not enough. It will need to be 8 oz or better. Secondly take a deep breath and hold it till the count of 10 seconds. Blow out slowly. Continue Reading

  • UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY PART 1

    We live in a culture of speed and instant fixes. Anyone or anything that gets in our way is considered a problem in our thinking. We do not tolerate discomfort and if pain or distress occurs, surely a professional will take care of the issue. Even though our bodies are the same as our ancient ancestors, the stressors are quite different. The ancient humans faced ravenous beasts and starvation, and modern man in America is plagued with financial woes and relationship discord. Although the problems are different, the internal alarm system referred to as anxiety is wired the same as in the early history of mankind. In the search for managing stress and anxiety, a brief study of the reasons for the symptoms (or loudness of the alarm) should help improve the unpleasant physiological responses.Continue Reading

  • HOW PLAY THERAPY CAN HELP CHILDREN RECOVER FROM TRAUMA

    Research is ongoing, but many studies have shown that play therapy helps increase engagement, process trauma in safe space, and reduce manipulative cognitions. Primarily, Release Play Therapy and Structured Play Therapy have been used in the treatment of trauma victims.Continue Reading

  • THERAPY & PTSD

    According to the National Center for PTSD, as many as 7-8% of people in the United States will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. This number jumps to 11-20% when looking at veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and/or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). With numbers this large, we felt it was important to discuss how therapy can help individuals suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).Continue Reading

  • THAT KIND OF MORNING

    Good morning! Well, truthfully it has not been a good morning. It’s been a mom morning. You know the kind where there doesn’t seem to be enough coffee in the house. Oh wait, and the ‘out of creamer’ kind of morning. The kind of morning where not one child is dressed appropriately for school. The kind of morning where, of course, no one followed through with that rule in our house of having decent clothes laid out the night before. The kind of morning where you say Jesus’ name more than once, and you aren’t sure if it was in the heart of desperation or anger (Yes, honey, I promise I repented!!). We are honest in this right? So in this kind of morning, my heart yearns for mom companionship. The non-judgemental mom friends. Not the ones who have gotten up at 4 am to cook breakfast for the entire family, those kind of friends are the ones I need on other days. But today, I just need to reach out to those of you who struggle like me on certain mornings. And yes, even you high achievers have these mornings if you are honest! I feel as though it is time for honesty as parents. So here is where I’m at and where I want to go. I want to go through the adventure of seriously turning chaos into order by thinking long term about this parenting thing and I want to stop beating myself up for expecting my kids to be kids, yet hold them accountable.

    From the counseling standpoint, I encourage parents that children need to know expectations and boundaries, and these need to be verbalized repeatedly. They need to know that they are protected, yet allowed to roam freely within those walls of protection. Children are amazing at solving their own problems, if we encourage this. Continue Reading

Get in Touch

Jacksonville
1215 Jackson's Way, SW
Jacksonville, AL 36265
(Across from Jacksonville High School)
(256) 239-5662
 | Phone
(256) 217-4162 | Fax
» Get Directions


Boaz
605 A Medical Center Pkwy
Boaz, Al 35957
(256) 239-5662 | Phone
(256) 217-4162 | Fax
» Get Directions