Metairie, LA, New Orleans area counselors, therapists and healers

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

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

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)

Am I Bipolar?

Dr Andre, How do I know if I am Bipolar?

 

Do you experience days without sleep yet you don’t feel tired? Do you experience days, weeks, months of depression and irritability so severe that it affects your ability to relate to others? If so, you may need to be evaluated for Bipolar Disorder.

As more people become informed about mental illness, Bipolar Disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness) seems to be gaining more visibility. Bipolar Disorder is characterized by a number of symptoms, primarily severe highs (mania) and lows (depression) in mood, energy, and a severe deficit in judgment.

It is important to understand that Bipolar Disorder is not like “regular” ups and downs everyone goes through due to various stressors in life. This disorder causes major problems in a person’s ability to function in relationships as well as on the job. They can exercise poor judgment in dangerous situations, and when the illness is exacerbated, can potentially become psychotic or suicidal. When depressed, people will often exhibit a severely depressed mood, in stark contrast to their manic phases.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, don’t hesitate to call a mental health professional right away for assessment. With the right help, this is usually a very manageable illness that responds well to treatment. For more information about this disorder, see the National Institutes of Mental Health website at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/what-is-bipolar-disorder.shtml.

If you would like an assessment of your mental health 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

Does overeating escalate to eating addiction?

Dr Andre,  How do I know if overeating has escalated into an eating addiction?

 

Many addictions of any sort are ways to distance pain or ignore and disregard feelings that we may fear. Also , many people do not have the skills or knowledge to work through these often overwhelming feelings. We could help use to use your feelings as guideposts to lead you to healthier, more beneficial and productive choices for yourself. A plan (with your goals) could be made to include figuring out what you may be really “hungry” for, and learning behavioral choices that support confidence, strength and the ability to freely choose.

Also nutritionally, foods that increase hunger could be discussed, as well as a comprehensive health plan to help you feel in control of your eating. Journaling  or at least becoming aware of what you are feeling emotionally before you eat is a good place to start. If you would like more specific information on how you can overcome eating addiction, 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

Couple’s Communication 101

Dr Andre, Why can’t I communicate with my partner?

 

“We just can’t seem to communicate!” I hear this often in sessions with couples. Here are a few pointers that I always offer my clients who struggle with communication.

First of all, we need to understand the differences in the way men and women communicate. Men are generally far more concrete and linear in their thoughts and statements, whereas women are more abstract and detailed. For men, YES and NO are perfectly acceptable answers. Women, however, are more likely to respond with more information. For example, when a lady asks a man if she looks OK in a particular dress, a man believes he has answered her question when he responds with “yes” or “no”. Another female is more likely to respond to the same question with, “Well, I like the color of the dress, but…”

A gifted communicator knows how to listen.

Another communication challenge happens when a man asks a woman what is wrong and she answers “nothing”. He usually believes her! This does not mean he doesn’t care about her. Men are just not good mind readers. Ladies, they depend on you to tell them what you want or need. But, remember, we all get the best results when we speak in the “I” rather than “you”. Starting a statement with “you” tends to put the other person on the defensive because it has an accusatory tone. And, let’s not forget tone and timing are very important.

A gifted communicator knows how to listen. Men, by nature, are problem solvers. Women vent their feelings and problems to men who in turn have the urge to fix the problem. Great news, guys!  You don’t have to fix it – just listen. Listen without judgment. She just needs to get it off her chest.

Great news, guys!  You don’t have to fix it – just listen.

Finally, have you ever heard of QTIPS? It’s the acronym for Quit Taking It Personally, Silly. We all need to remember that not all problems are about us; so, let’s not assume he or she is angry at or disappointed with us. Your partner’s attitude or expression may be the result of something that happened at work or with someone else. Just ask, “You look upset. Is this about me?” When you respond with openness, your partner will feel safer to share with you. However, if the problem is about you, remember tone and timing. We can say almost anything when we say it with kindness and respect.

…remember tone and timing.

For more in-depth help with relationship and communication challenges, our therapists at Northshore Counseling and Wellness and always happy to help you be your best self. 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 Janis Caserta, LPC, LAC

 

 

How long does therapy take?

Dr. Andre, How long will therapy take?

How long therapy takes depends on the issues, what the client wants to
accomplish,and how engaged the client is in the therapy.  For this reason,
it is important to clearly identify the client’s goals at the start of
therapy and give the client a rough idea of what methods or techniques will
be used to get to those goals.  This helps clients get a better idea of
what the time span would be.

Some examples for length of therapy are:

Couples counseling, if the couple want to change some patterns in their
relationship this would average from three to six months to clarify the
goals and work through how to make the desired changes.  It takes practice
and support to change patterns that have been in place for a while.

Transitions such as making a career change or committing to a relationship
can often be worked through in three to ten sessions.  The person needs
help weighing their options and usually knows on a deeper level their own
answers but needs help getting to those answers.

Issues such as depression or anxiety can often be alleviated in 5 to 10
sessions if they are a matter of the person being in denial about changes
that needs to be made in their life.  Sometimes in working on these issues
other problems such as early abuse will surface and this can require more
long term work.

Physical or sexual abuse  or serious family dysfunction especially at a
young age can require a year or two of therapy.  The imprints made on a
young mind are much deeper and interfere with normal development, so
children or adults who have experienced this as a child can expect to be
involved in long term therapy.  However, this time frame which would have
been 5 – 10 years in the past has been greatly sped up with the new
therapies that help to open up neural pathways and release the energy
charge held in the body from the traumas.

These are therapies such as EMDR, AIT, EFT and Energy Psychology.

How do I get my point across without sounding angry?

How do I get my point across without sounding angry?

 The best way to get another person to really hear what we are trying to say consists of two main actions.  

  1. Never try to get an important point across when either of you is angry, but especially when the other person is angry.  If you are angry, the person is going to be defensive because of your anger, and not really focus on what you are saying.  If they do hear what you are saying, they are likely to just dismiss it out of defensiveness.  If the other person is angry, they are too overwhelmed by their own cortisol levels (our stress hormone) for their brain to be able to receive any input anyway.  So the best course of action is to wait to discuss it until both of you are calmed down and able to remain calm when talking about it.
  2. When you do discuss your point, use what we call “I language.”  Talk about your feelings, your goals, and what is or is not working for you.  Talk about yourself, aka “I.”  So instead of saying, “Why do you always take the kids’ side?  You know that pisses me off”, you would say “When i hear you say that I am too harsh of a parent, I assume you are taking the kids’ side instead of finding a way to work with me on this.  Is this right?  I get really frustrated because it is important to me that we are united in our parenting.  I worry that we won’t be good at standing together in situations like this.”  Obviously, the second response is much easier the other person to hear and respond to.  It makes him/her much less defensive because you are not putting him/her on the hot seat.  Instead you are just explaining your concerns and inviting them to talk with you about it.

Try saying “I feel this way about…” instead of “Why do YOU always….”

Contributed by  Michelle Haeur

How can we make our marriage they way it used to be?

How can we stop fighting all the time, and get our marriage back how it used to be? All we have now is a lot of built up resentments.

Dr Andre,

How can we stop fighting all the time, and get our marriage back how it used to be? All we have now is a lot of built up resentments.Healthy communication is very important to developing and maintaining a good relationship.  Each person in the couple needs to learn the practice the skills of good communication.  Each person’s goals and needs in the relationship have to be validated in the relationship.  This doesn’t always mean needs to get met, but they are respected as important to each person.  Successful relationships are based on a win-win approach and allowing give and take to work together.  Resentments build after a person feels their needs have not been respected for a while.  Resentments are signs that the relationship is in true danger.  However, when two people make real effort to discuss and then release resentments, choosing instead to focus on meeting the desires of the other moving forward, resentments can be resolved.

In general, where there is a commitment, willingness for the marriage to thrive, honesty and trust, most couples can benefit from new ways to problem-solve, communicate, and develop healthier coping skills to replace old habitual responses.

Contributed by Jan Doty, North Shore Counseling & Wellness

…choosing instead to focus on meeting the desires of the other moving forward, resentments can be resolved.

Overcoming Depression

Of all mental health problems, depression is the most common, so much so that it has been referred to as the “common cold” of mental disorders. As common as it is, depression can have a devastating effect on individuals and their families, as well as having a major impact on society.  It is estimated that about 5 percent of the population are clinically depressed but it is estimated that as many as one person in three may experience an episode of depression during the course of their lifetime.

Of all mental health problems, depression is the most common 

Depressed mood is usually the central feature although a number of other symptoms are common in depression.  These include a loss of enjoyment, interest and energy; disturbed appetite, sleep and libido; agitation or slowing of movement; poor concentration and mental slowing; negative thinking and hopelessness; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; and thoughts of death or suicide. Depressive disorders are categorized in terms of severity and duration of symptoms, and the psychological causes of depression are far from straightforward.  Stress that will trigger depression in one individual may have barely any impact on another.

The biological aspects regarding depression can range from physical illnesses to genetic predispositions, as well as a strong genetic component associated with the more severe mood disorders. Theories also exist concerning the involvement the neurotransmitters of the brain itself, so it is therefore imperative to consult with a physician.  It is the role of the mental health professional to identify and restructure maladaptive behavior patterns.  By client’s identifying and alleviating negative beliefs and perceptions they can develop new abilities to increase self-efficacy when faced with difficult life situations.

Contributed by Kristen UnKauf, PhD

If you would like more specific information regarding your happiness and healthy relationships, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942