I am excited to announce I am expanding my counseling practice to include Telehealth Counseling sessions in Washington State.
What is Telehealth Counseling?
Telehealth allows us to meet through audio and video over the internet from your laptop or your mobile device (iOS or Android) – it’s your choice. Plus, it’s 100% HIPAA compliant and secure.
How does Telehealth Counseling work?
You’ll be sent an email link for the video appointment through doxyme.com. You can use the camera and audio on your computer or mobile device.
Why should I try Telehealth Counseling?
There are many benefits to Telehealth Counseling. It is flexible, confidential and convenient. You can talk from the comfort of your own home or other location of your choice. It means no travel time for you, you won’t have to take time off work or other priorities and you can even continue your appointments on vacations if you chose. In addition I can now see Washington State clients who live a distance away, or do not have the resources or mobility to visit my office.
What hours do you offer Telehealth Counseling?
I have hours available Monday – Fridays between 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.
What is the cost for Telehealth Counseling?
$130 per 50-minute session
Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are accepted for payment at the time of service. I do not accept insurance but can provide a Super Bill for Out-of-Network coverage.
Reduced fee services are available on a limited basis. Please ask.
How do I get started?
If you are a new client you may contact me with the link below. We can set up a time to talk by phone to answer any questions. When you make your first appointment I will send you intake forms and credit card authorization. Before our appointment you will be sent a link via email for our video appointment.
If you are a current client, ask me about scheduling Telehealth Counseling sessions for you.
Practicing Self Care in the Wake of the #MeToo Movement
#MeToo. These two words have created a tidal wave this past year. Resignations due to inappropriate sexual behavior are announced in the headlines every single day. This movement has left us all wondering who will be the next to step forward. And who will be the next to step down. For many people this movement has been validating and empowering. For many it has been overwhelming and frightening.
The prevalence of sexual abuse in our society is staggering. According to two national studies, one in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 and one in five women and one in sixteen men are sexually assaulted in college. The #MeToo Movement has helped stir a national conversation on the topic and has brought some healing to many survivors.
For a long time society has not addressed the issue of sexual harassment and assault. It was something left unspoken or seen as a private matter that was often left unacknowledged. Many survivors of harassment and assault have felt the need to remain silent and were left to deal with their feels of shame and guilt privately. Started ten years ago by Tarana Burke to address sexual assault in underserved communities of color, the #MeToo Movement has provided a platform for survivors to share their stories and know that they are not alone. It is a movement of empowerment to bring about social change. On the other hand, the hashtag can also serve as a “trigger” for many people.
Back in October, according to CBS, the #MeToo Movement had grown to 85 countries and 1.7 million tweets. With the constant media attention and countless stories flooding social media, it can be difficult to digest or escape. For individuals with a history of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), these social media and news headlines can be triggering and paralyzing. For others, it is the struggle of not knowing how to “label” what they experienced, feeling like their experience wasn’t “bad enough” to privately justify the pain and suffering they have experienced, much less share or post about it. Others still, including men, LGBTQ people, and gender non-conforming individuals who have been sexually victimized, may not have felt comfortable sharing their story even though they see themselves in the experiences of others. And for even others, knowing that a friend or loved one is suffering can cause personal suffering, too.
Whatever you’re feeling it’s certainly legitimate, and if you need support in processing what has come up, there is help. Whether you posted #MeToo or continue to hold your experience with yourself, your experience is valid – whatever the experience.
Here are some suggestions for self-care:
Listen to your instincts. It is absolutely OK to step away if you find yourself flooded and overwhelmed. Limit the time watching the news, reading the paper and time spent on the internet. Delete social media apps from your phone to reduce the temptation to key in. If you do continue to read news, seek out positive stories that are uplifting. Do whatever works to help you check out for a bit.
- Get Back to Basics
Often when we are feeling stress, we lose track of basic routines and activities that can really help. Eating healthy food each day, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and moving our bodies can do so much to improve our state of mind and help us tolerate short-term distress. Don’t underestimate the power of following routines and doing these basic self-care activities each day.
Take time to ground yourself in the present. Breathe, notice your surroundings, and affirm that right now, right here you are safe.
Practice the 5,4,3,2,1 exercise:
- What are 5 things you can see.
- What are 4 things you can feel.
- What are 3 things you can hear
- What are 2 things you can smell
- What is 1 thing you like about yourself
- Do Something You Enjoy
Try to take the focus off of stress, memories, or difficult emotions by engaging in an activity you enjoy. Make a list of activities that boost your feel-good serotonin levels. Some examples might be: hiking, sewing, singing, reading, playing with kittens, gardening, excercising, or even the benefits of helping others.
- Talk Nicely to Yourself
Positive self-talk is undervalued as a tool for coping with stress and improving our well-being. It really matters what we say to ourselves, especially when we are dealing with stressful situations. Try a trick I love that enables us to hear the fear or pain or self-criticism that may be in our heads, while adding a positive statement: say “AND…” For example, “I am so anxious. I don’t understand why, AND, I can do one thing to make myself feel a little better. I’ll text a friend.”
- Ask For Support
Reaching out and receiving support can be the beginning of feeling less alone, and less overwhelmed, no matter what you are feeling. You don’t have to disclose a lot of information, either – even just saying, “All this #MeToo stuff is really upsetting” to a friend, a family member or a counselor can be healing.
If you would like to find out if I would be a good fit for you to talk to, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a free phone consultation.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can get free, 24/7 confidential support in Port Townsend WA from a trained staff member Dove House Advocacy Services 360-385-5292, also at the National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 800-656-HOPE (4673). More resources are also available online via the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. You can also text the word HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741—it’s open 24/7, it’s confidential, and it’s free.
Our pets give us so much: they listen to our secrets, entertain us, and give us unconditional love. When we lose such an important piece of our lives, it’s often hard to get support because others may not understand why we are so upset about losing “just an animal.” But it’s not whether our loved one was a person or an animal that determines our “right” to be upset. It’s the quality of the relationship and the level of our love. So in addition to sadness, anger, guilt, and perhaps pain from previous losses, we also may feel isolated and all alone with our pain.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stage model is often applied for understanding grief reactions to pet loss:
- Denial and Isolation: refusing to accept the reality of the loss, e.g. carrying on as though a pet is not seriously ill, we may avoid talking about our pet’s illness or even not comply with important veterinary treatment to help manage symptoms; after the death of a pet some people may feel unable to part with their pet’s body for burial or cremation; sometimes people withdraw from meeting friends, family or going out.
- Anger: we may feel furious at our pet for dying, blame a family member or friend for the death or even feel hostile towards the veterinary teams that cared for our pet because they couldn’t make our pet better.
- Bargaining: this can involve making all kinds of compromises and “deals” in our heads as a perceived trade-off that we magically believe may prolong our pet’s life
- Depression: we can experience extreme sadness that prevents us from going about our daily tasks; if this is long-lasting it is a good idea to check out what is going on with your doctor, as pet bereavement can also evoke feelings of grief from other, past losses in our lives.
- Acceptance: this involves feeling more comfortable remembering good times with a pet and having thoughts of possibly investing in a relationship with a new pet or becoming involved in pet-related activities such as volunteering as a cat socialiser or dog walker at a local animal re-homing center.
If you have lost a special pet, you deserve support. There are issues unique to pet loss that do not exist with other types of losses. Facing the grief all alone can seem overwhelming. But the good news is that with the right support, you can navigate through the feelings and tasks of grieving and readjusting, and, in time, it does get better.
I provide compassionate counseling in a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental atmosphere. I help clients understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual reactions to their grief, learn to practice self-care as they mourn their loss, and honor their pet during the healing process.