Five Things to Tell Yourself to Relieve Feelings of Social Anxiety

Posted by & filed under Ask Dr Andre, Therapy in Metairie.

How can I overcome Social Anxiety?

Whether we are obligated to go to office parties, or we choose to attend New Year celebrations, we are often faced with situations in which we need to be “social.” For those who struggle to feel comfortable in those situations, here is a list of five phrases that either help to ground the user in the present or reminds the user of their own power.

 

  1. I’m going to this event to have fun. Fun is healthy! –Sometimes we give ourselves a hard time about having fun. Like we’ve somehow not earned it or deserve it. When we feel this way, we are dooming ourselves to a more anxious time.
  2. What other people think is none of my business. – If we can let go of the anxiety that comes with worrying about what others think, we may just have enough time to keep thinking about #1 up there.
  3. No one deserves my criticism without earning it. – It would be hypocritical to force ourselves to not be critical of others at times, but did they actually EARN the criticism? That is, would you want to be judged as harshly as you might be judging another?
  4. Every day is a chance for me to make the decision that I’m confident. – It makes no sense that we may believe an “old dog” can’t learn new tricks. We most definitely can. And in that vein, we can decide that we are going to do all we can to emote confidence today. Done.
  5. No one is perfect, and the world would be a really boring place if they were. – If we never lose, we never know the joy of winning. Acceptance of oneself is the best gift.

 

So, the next time you are looking in the mirror and thinking “ugh,” or the next time you are invited somewhere and tempted to go to the old “I can’t this time” excuse, try talking a little to yourself and see what happens!

 

If you are having difficulty with this and you don’t think you can handle it on your own, help is available. Call 985-624-2942 to make an appointment with one of our qualified therapists at either our Mandeville or Metairie locations! – Micah P. Hatchett, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC

 

Why am I so Anxious?

Posted by & filed under Stress, Therapy in Metairie, Therapy in New Orleans.

Feelings of anxiety are normal.

People who are not normally anxious may be experiencing some changes in their lives that can contribute to anxiety. A move, a job change, concern for the future, a change in family obligations, or a change of family members are all examples of normal life changes that can evoke feelings of anxiety and distress.

If you are experiencing any (but not limited to) the following symptoms, perhaps it is time to assess whether anxiety is beginning to play a bigger role in your life than you realize.

Examples of how anxiety is beginning to wear out its welcome in you can look like:

  • Crying and depressive symptoms
  • Physical pain/symptoms (headaches, racing heart, upset stomach, tics)
  • Inability to complete tasks and concentrate

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is especially helpful when a person encounters excessive anxiety. This type of therapy enables the client to collaborate with the therapist about what
thoughts and dysfunctional methods of thinking contribute to feelings of anxiety. These reasons can be anything from long-standing family of origin issues, trauma, or can be related to contextual situations the person is currently experiencing. For more information about anxiety-related disorders, visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. If you would like to begin therapy for excessive anxiety, call us at our Northshore (Mandeville) or Southshore (Metairie) locations to make an appointment.

Micah P. Hatchett, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC
Clinical Director, Northshore & Southshore Counseling & Wellness

How is couples counseling for same-sex couples different from opposite-sex couples counseling?

Posted by & filed under Couples Therapy, Marriage Counseling Metairie, La, Relationships, Therapy in Metairie.

For the most part it’s not. Same-sex couples deal with many of the same issues in couples therapy that opposite-sex couples do. Most couples come across the common issues of sex, finances, household duties, and family. The need to learn better communication skills, learn the art of conflict resolution and compromise, recognize and break dysfunctional patterns, and find ways to reconnect or stay connected are all common things dealt with in couples counseling for all couples.

Good communication is a two way street and the ultimate goal should be to better understand your partner.

That said, there are some issues that are unique to same-sex couples. Being a member of the LGBTQ community poses its own unique set of challenges that are bound to leak over into your relationships. As a same-sex couple, you may be faced with a lack of acceptance by family or friends, and on a larger scale, a lack of acceptance by society in general. Issues may arise in trying to navigate through the decision to come out to family and friends. Couples deal with feelings of anger, hurt, and frustration over not being allotted many of the same privileges that straight couples are granted. The desire to become a parent also presents its own unique set of obstacles for same-sex couples who wish to fulfill that desire.

  • Keys to a better same-sex relationship
    • learn better communication skills
    • learn conflict resolution
    • recognize dysfunctional patterns
    • reconnect in new ways

Even the happiest and healthiest of couples run across difficult times. All of these things, and many others, can be addressed in couples therapy so that you can gain the coping skills and strategies needed to deal with any common or unique issues that arise and pose a challenge to your relationship. When going through a difficult time in your relationship, one of the most effective ways to start the mending process is implementing basic healthy communication skills. The key to good communication is to really listen to what your partner is expressing to you and then attempt to understand their perspective. Often times we are so concerned with trying to get our point across, that we forget to take the time to hear what our partner is trying to communicate to us. Good communication is a two way street and the ultimate goal should be to better understand your partner. If you are both working to understand each other, real work can be done to better your relationship.

Priscilla Hurd, LPC, NCC

Ready to get to work? Call us! 985-624-2942

Northshore & Southshore Counseling and Wellness offering Counseling and Therapy in Mandeville and Metairie

Posted by & filed under Addiction Counseling Metairie, Bipolar, family, Group Therapy, Marriage Counseling Metairie, La, Relationships, Therapy in Metairie, Therapy in New Orleans.

Northshore & Southshore Counseling and Wellness has a second location in Metairie to provide individual, family and group therapy for New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner and the surrounding areas. Our office on Metairie Road is easy to reach from Uptown, Downtown, or Metairie.

Appointments are available for new clients as well as for the convenience of existing clients from our Mandeville location who work or are frequently in the Metro New Orleans area.

If you are a resident of the Greater New Orleans area seeking counseling for marriage, family, relationships, addiction, bipolor disorder, collaborative divorce, medication management, assessment for ADHD, ADD or PTSD, schedule an appointment by calling or contacting our therapy office today.

Northshore and Southshore Counseling & Wellness, Metairie Location:

433 Metairie Road
Suite 309
Metairie, LA 70005
(504) 717-4043
(map)

Dr. Andre, Why do I have a quick temper?

Posted by & filed under Anger Management, Ask Dr Andre, Therapy in Metairie.

Why do i get mad so quickly?

A quick temper is often a result of being parented by one or both parents who had a quick temper.

In order to be more level in one’s response there would have to have been models of that behavior in your early environment. If both of your parents were able to handle their anger in a healthy way and you still find your self with a quick temper then there is probably some kind of trauma that caused the temper. If something happened in your life that was a great injustice or extremely frightening and you didn’t have help to handle it, then anything that reminds you of the incident could trigger an anger response. It might seem irrational to you but there is always an underlying cause that can be tracked down.

Does group therapy help anger management? Groups are very helpful. First you get to meet other people who are dealing with the same problem and it helps the feeling of being alone with the problem and you have people who understand what you are going through and who you can talk about your issues with. Hearing a lot of different people talk about their anger helps you to understand more about your own anger and having a lot of people giving how they deal with their anger gives you different things to try in your own life.

-Submitted by Counselor Chris DesJardins, M.Ed., CI

Contact us today in Metairie or Mandeville for help with anger management therapy.

Do I have a Dissociative Disorder?

Posted by & filed under Anger Management, Ask Dr Andre, Therapy in Metairie.

Dissociative Disorders are those psychological disorders characterized by a person’s tendency to dissociate, or “check out” mentally.  Of course, we all dissociate in small ways, such as when read something and then don’t remember what we just read, or when we drive somewhere without remembering getting there.  While this level of dissociation is normal, the frequency and intensity of dissociation is much higher in that group of disorders.  Conditions such as Multiple Personality Disorder, now called Dissociative Identity Disorder, are real.  The ability of the brain to dissociate is a coping mechanism, a way of blocking out or sectioning off certain information to attend to other information.  When someone has a dissociative disorder, they have a need to block out such an overwhelming amount of information that dissociation is their primary coping skill in life.  People who have undergone severe trauma have a higher likelihood of dissociative disorders.

…characterized by a person’s tendency to “check out” mentally

In everyday life, a common place to see problematic dissociation (although not at the level of being a disorder) is in rage and domestic violence.  Sometimes people become so angry that they are physiologically and/or psychologically overwhelmed, and the mind dissociates.  This creates a situation where the angry person “blacks out” or does not remember what occurred.  In another example, people experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety might say or do something they don’t remember.

…a common place to see problematic dissociation is in rage and domestic violence.

Therapy can be effective when dissociation is problematic, such as in the anger example, and when there is an actual dissociative disorder.  In therapy, we help clients learn to handle the stress or anger (or other trigger) without actually blocking information from consciousness.

We are located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942. Call us for information on how to deal with dissociative disorders.

Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Dr Andre, What is Collaborative Divorce?

Posted by & filed under Ask Dr Andre, family, Relationships, Therapy in Metairie.

Collaborative Divorce is a team-based process with the purpose of providing a non-litigious and efficient process for couples who are divorcing.  It is structured very differently than what most people think of in a traditional divorce process.  There are 6 team members trained in the process: two attorneys, two therapists who serve as coaches, a therapist who serves as a child specialist, and a financial planner.  These professionals are trained to guide each person in the couple through to a “win-win” resolution of all matters related to the divorce while avoiding any court involvement.

..a non-litigious and efficient process for couples who are divorcing

The couple is assisted in working out their own custody arrangements and financial outcomes within the legal constraints in Louisiana.  This allows them to keep control over their outcomes, as opposed to a judge making such decisions.  Additionally, the process allows the matter to remain private, which is often important to business people who don’t want their financials to become part of public record and available to others such a business competition.  Another benefit is that, because each person has a supported voice in the process, the agreements reached are ones that both people can live with for the long-term, which greatly decreases the likelihood of revisiting custody or other matters well after the divorce is final.

…a “win-win” resolution of all matters related to the divorce while avoiding any court involvement.  

Some people have questions about the cost of this process as compared to traditional divorces.  While there are more professionals involved in a Collaborative Divorce, this does not mean the cost is higher.  Less time is required of the attorneys, who typically have the highest fees.  Attorneys also are not spending time sitting in courts waiting for your case to be heard, which can be a large expense.  The coaches and financial professional spend the majority of the time with the couple in order to work prepare them for productively moving through the important decisions and minimizing attorney time.  Therefore, time is not lost in conflict, disagreements, or court time.  The team can flex the use of the professionals to the specific needs of the couple, thereby streamlining costs.

Clients of the Collaborative Divorce process experience an effective and productive working environment in which all parties are assisted to remain neutral and both people’s concerns are addressed.  This process helps take the “drama” out of divorce.

Want to know more about what is collaborative divorce? Call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

 

-Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Dr Andre: Do I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Posted by & filed under Ask Dr Andre, Therapy in Metairie.

Doctor, Do I suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)? 

Often we throw around the term “OCD” as a way to describe someone who tends to be meticulous, controlling, or otherwise particular about wanting things a certain way. While most of us can recognize that we likely do not really suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, how do we know if there is a chance that we actually do?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is diagnosed based on two major benchmarks.

The first is the presence of an obsessive thought. This is not a passing worry, but a thought that does not go away after some period of time or once a problem is solved. An obsessive thought that occurs with this disorder is often irrational (for example, that a catastrophe is going to happen), and does not go away until the second benchmark of this disorder is performed, the compulsive act. A compulsion is the urge to complete an act in order to get rid of the obsessive thought. For example, often people who are diagnosed with this disorder may believe that unless they wash their hands repeatedly throughout the day, they will contract a deadly disease. Some people must check things, like doors or light-switches in order to alleviate thoughts that someone will get into their unlocked house or their house will burn down from a light being left on.

The second major component to this disorder is that those thoughts or acts are intrusive in the sufferer’s life. That is, the person cannot skip the compulsive act to alleviate the thought, or else that thought or fear intrudes on the person’s ability to proceed with daily functioning.

Is there a possibility you are suffering from this disorder? The good news is that there is help that really works. On the Northshore (Mandeville) and Southshore (Metairie) Counseling and Wellness, we offer a comprehensive approach to working with people who may be trying to deal with these symptoms. There are two components to the treatment of this disorder: counseling and medication therapy. Our trained therapists utilize cognitive-behavioral techniques, focusing on helping the client gain control over the thoughts that become so intrusive. Looking at all the various stressors and components of that client’s life is often part of this approach too. Processing ways to cope with stress, ways to gain and utilize support systems, and helping the client feel more empowered over this disorder are just a few additional ways that therapy can be beneficial. We can also offer assistance in helping the client determine the best course to take when making decisions about medication as well.

Call our office for an appointment to help you manage living with OCD. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942 For more information about OCD, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s OCD information.

Submitted by: Micah P. Hatchett, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC

Why should I choose a Counselor Intern?

Posted by & filed under Therapy in Metairie.

Since our clients are so important to us, at Northshore and Southshore Counseling and Wellness, we work hard to come up with ideas and alternatives in order to serve all populations of people. To that end, we employ Counselor Interns (CI) at our practice. CIs have a master’s degree, are National Certified Counselors, and are working on earning their Licensed Professional Counselor status. They are required to have at least one hour of supervision for every 20 hours of practice, and they are in constant contact with our already licensed professionals in the practice. The atmosphere in our office is collaborative, and we all work together for the benefit of our clients. So, why choose to see a Counselor Intern?

Using an Intern Counselor is effectively TWO counselors for less than the price of one!

As previously stated, our interns are required to have supervision with their registered supervisor (our Clinical Director, Dr. Micah Hatchett) for every 20 client hours they earn. Therefore, a client gets the benefit of working with not only a CI, but receives input about your case from an additional counselor as well (2 for the price of 1!). Another advantage to choosing a CI is their lack of experience. That’s right, lack of experience. A counselor intern is going to be open and exposed to a variety of techniques and theories that may work for any given case.  Since they are “fresh” out of school, they are educated on the most current research regarding counseling and human behavior. Last, our CIs are able to see clients on a sliding scale that fits virtually any income level.

Their hours are extremely flexible, and they are great counselors! If you would like to discuss cost for counseling please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

Submitted by Micah P. Hatchett, Ph.D., LPC

How do I communicate with my TEENAGER!?!!??

Posted by & filed under Ask Dr Andre, family, Therapy in Metairie.

Why does my teen feel the need to argue with me?

Your teen DOES NOT feel the need to argue with you.  Your teen DOES feel the need to be heard, understood, and accepted.  When your teen feels they are not being heard they will argue, yell, and act out because they are frustrated and feeling alone.

How do I make my teen feel understood?

By listening to them!!  When an argument begins parents are so frustrated with being disrespected they close their ears to their teen; much like their teen does when they’re frustrated with not being understood.  By repeating what your teen wants in a clear, calm manner you show them you are taking in what they are saying to you.

How is telling them what they want to hear helping them?

Letting your teen know you hear them is not the same as letting them have their way.  Once you’ve calmly showed them you are listening to them, it is your turn to explain your opinion.  You can still tell your teen no and let them know you understand where they are coming from.

What’s the best way to talk to my teen?

Stay calm!!  You set the tone of the conversation with your child, if they try to escalate the conversation to an argument it is up to you to stay calm and keep the discussion from turning into a screaming match.

What are other important things to remember when talking to my teen?

Don’t judge.  Don’t tell your teen “You don’t understand”.  Do create a safe, open space for expression.  Do show your child how to keep calm by doing so yourself.  Always remember that you are a parent, not a friend; it’s ok for your teen to be angry with you for not giving them their way, just continue to show them you are listening to them and taking in everything they are saying.   If you would like to involve a counselor in your conversations to better help you communicate with your teenager, please call our office for an appointment.

We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942 -Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

 

-Contributed by Michelle Haeur, M.Ed., NCC, Counselor Intern