Medication Management – Helping You Get Better Faster

Optimize Treatment Efficacy

medication-management-metairie-therapyPsychotherapy in combination with medication is the most effective treatment for the majority of children and adults with a variety of disorders.

Be Your “Normal Self” Sooner

Our in-house Medical Psychologist can provide both therapy and medication, thus optimizing treatment efficacy without you having to pay two doctors. Medication can reduce symptoms of distress more rapidly. Not only are you likely to feel more like your “normal self” sooner, but to sleep better, think more clearly, handle normal frustrations more easily, be less irritable, and make faster progress in therapy.

In-house Medical Psychologist

Our Medical Psychologist can prescribe your medications, even if you already have another therapist.

Find out more about our Medication Management services today.

Why am I so Anxious?

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

Job Interview anxiety

Dr Andre,

The more interviews I go on, the more anxious I become, and I feel less confident each time. Can you help me with this problem?

 

Stress/anxiety reducing skills, relaxation techniques, and confidence building skills are all teachable. For example, we could challenge the thoughts you are having about yourself, and your performance. We could assist you in seperating fact from fiction. as we often magnify our perceived imperfections. A more relaxed and confident approach could be developed, at a pace that is comfortabe for you, with your goals in mind.

 We could assist you in seperating fact from fiction.

If you would like more specific information regarding your job interview anxiety 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

Why do I feel everything must be perfect?

Dr Andre,

Why do I feel the need to have everything in my house, car, and area at work perfect or I just can’t function?

 

Exploration of what may be  beneath your need to control your outer environment can be looked at. A good place to start could be to help you dissect your beliefs about what perfect actually means to you. A goal of a stronger self concept along with stress relief skills could also assist you in achieving a more “perfect” state of balance within.

Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?

-Bob Marley

Bob Marley reminds us that identifying the source of our mindset is key. If you would like more specific information regarding overcoming compusion, please 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

‘Tis the Season to be… Managing holiday stress

December is the month for many things: gift giving, family reunions, parties, and a general message that this is a time where people should be happy.  However, for some people it can be a lonely time, and one when the conviviality of others reinforces a sense of isolation.   It can also be a challenging time for people who just don’t have the money to meet either their own feelings of generosity or the pressure created by the marketing of consumer products.  Despite all the idealized wishes for everyone in the family to get together and get along, there can be an underbelly of tension as some relatives rediscover why they don’t see each other that often throughout the rest of the year as well as some wishing to recapture feelings (real or fantasized) of how things were “back in the old days”.

People are used to having normal routines and the human mind craves regularity which may not mesh well with the increased obligations of the holiday season. Suggestions to cope with holiday stressors are to first realize that the stress and pressure of holidays are real, and that it will soon pass.  It’s OK to feel temporarily blue, but try not to fall into a rut.  It’s also important not to isolate yourself and to acknowledge that you may need more support during the holidays. It’s also a good idea to be moderate in daily activities, including shopping, socializing, eating, and drinking, and to continue to participate in typical activities such as reading or working out. Anticipate the season, pace yourself, and give yourself permission to put breaks in your schedule.

Kristen UnKauf, PhD

The Many benefits of Mindfulness

The term Mindfulness comes from Eastern spiritual and religious traditions like Zen Buddhism.

It refers to being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, as well as taking a non-judgmental approach to your inner experience.

Simply put, being mindful means knowing what you are doing (and thinking and feeling) in the present moment.  “Sounds simple” you say?  Think of the last conversation that you had with your child or loved one.  How many times did you check your phone or drift off thinking of what you had to accomplish next?  Or the last time you went to a party in hopes of enjoying yourself but instead were distracted by negative thoughts such as “what do they think of me” or “I’m not good enough to be here”.  This inner dialogue distracted you from enjoying your moment.

Mindfulness practice helps us know clearly what is happening, and how we are reacting to what is happening, as it is happening, so that we might choose a skillful response instead of reacting mindlessly and ruining our moments. Many people are lost in worries about the future and regrets about the past. They are caught up in their projects and their fantasies, and their minds are not connected to their bodies. If the body is not united with the mind, we are not really alive.  Many of the therapists at Northshore Counseling and Wellness incorporate mindfulness into their treatment plans.  We use this practice not only to teach general health and happiness but to heal a host of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, PTSD, eating disorders and many others.

Life is short so learn how to get back into your life and enjoy your moments with the many benefits of mindfulness.

Dana Duet-Champagne, M.Ed, NCC, LPC

What is (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment that can resolve long-standing and recent trauma.

During EMDR, the client is asked to hold in mind an image of the trauma, a negative self-cognition, negative emotions, and related physical sensations about the trauma. While doing so, the client is instructed to move his or her eyes quickly and laterally back and forth, following the therapists’ fingers or scanner, which desensitizes the troubling material and allows positive cognitions to replace the negative cognitions. Theoretically, EMDR evokes a mind-brain state that enables traumatic memories to be effectively processed and become integrated with more adaptive information. While there is no well-supported account of how eye-movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation alter clients’ experience of traumatic memories, this bilateral stimulation can reduce the vividness, emotionality, and completeness of unpleasant or traumatic memories, therefore driving improvements in how individuals experience these events. One theory is that this dual-task component of EMDR disrupts a memory image in the working memory, which then leads to the client feeling a greater distance from the associated traumatic experience. As traumatic memory is desensitized, the general functioning of the client is improved, resulting in less anxiety and depression, fewer somatic symptoms, and improved self-esteem.

While we do not yet understand in detail how any form of psychotherapy works, EMDR appears to be a viable treatment option for trauma and other disturbing events.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense Practice Guidelines highly recommend EMDR for the treatment of trauma, and is also highly endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association as well as the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Kristen UnKauf, LPC

In New Orleans, contact our Metairie therapy office here.

In Mandeville, Madisonville, Covington & Hammond, La, contact our Mandeville counseling office here.
 

Stress: Its Effects and How Therapy Can Help

There is no question about it… We all experience stress from time to time, but if stress creeps into your life too often or lasts over long periods of time, it can cause serious negative effects on both your physical and mental health.  Over time, stress can affect many crucial parts of your body, including your immune system, heart, stomach, lungs, muscles, reproductive organs, and skin.  Stress can also affect the way you think, act, and feel; causing concentration issues, fatigue, and moodiness.  It can also lead to more serious issues such as depression and anxiety.

There are many things that can lead to stress and/or worsen your stress.  Without the proper coping skills, it can be very difficult to deal with problems that may arise in your life.  Common problems that cause stress include, relationship conflict, major life changes, stress in your family, a demanding job, conflict with co-workers, unemployment, financial issues, loneliness, health problems and emotional problems.

The best way to manage your stress is to learn and use healthy coping skills.  It is important to incorporate stress-relieving techniques into your life to help relax both your mind and body.  Some of the simpler techniques include journaling, doing something you enjoy, tapping into your creativity, talking to a family member or friend, starting an exercise routine, joining a yoga class, getting a massage, or occasionally indulging in your favorite sweet treat. Something that can be slightly more difficult, but extremely helpful, is partaking in techniques that help you relax your mind by focusing on the present. One such technique is meditation, a method of relaxation that requires you to focus your mind on one thing such as your breathing, so that your mind can be free of all distraction.  Another technique is guided imagery, a method in which you listen to your therapist or a recording of someone describing a peaceful scenario in great detail to help your mind relax. These techniques are like mini vacations for your mind. Other techniques that focus on relaxing your body include deep abdominal breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. Both relieve muscle tension and can help to slow your heart rate.

The above mentioned are some of the great ways to relieve stress in your life, but if you find your level of stress or the effects stress has taken on your life to be too much for you to handle on your own, then it may be time to seek outside help.  A therapist can be a wonderful guide to help you navigate through some of the more difficult and complex stresses in your life.  A therapist can personally teach you the coping skills you need, and be the supportive shoulder you need through your difficult journey.

 

Priscilla Hurd

M.Ed., NCC, LPC-I