Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Is Couples Therapy Helpful?

Is Couples Therapy Helpful? I get this question a lot. Many of my clients feel their relationship is beyond repair. They wonder if therapy can help repair the damage. This question can be answered in two parts.


Couples therapy can be helpful if:
  1. The couple is open to therapy
  2. The couple  mutually wants to save their marriage
  3. The couple is willing to change if need be


Couples therapy is not helpful if:
  1. The couple is not open to therapy
  2. The couple does not mutually want to save their marriage
  3. The couple is unwilling to change if need be
To put things into perspective here are some statistics about the impact couples therapy can have.
  •  98% of people surveyed said they received good or excellent couples therapy
  •  97% of those surveyed said they got the help they needed
  • 93% of those surveyed said they got the tools they needed after working with a couples therapist
On the other hand...
  •  25% of people surveyed reported their marriage was worse 2 years after couples therapy
  • 38% of people surveyed reported their marriage ended in divorce 4 years after couples therapy
Now let's put this in perspective.
Couples therapy is helpful whether the marriage last or ends in divorce. And here's why...
  • Couples therapy helps identify the root causes of friction in the marriage
  • Couples therapy gives a safe place to talk truthfully
  • Couples therapy gives the necessary tools to make the marriage work
  • Couples therapy shines a light on any incompatibility in the relationship
The last bullet point is extremely vital when asking the question, is couples therapy helpful.
People assume if they go to therapy and the marriage ends in divorce, then couples therapy was not helpful. But look at it this way. Couples therapy gives you the insight and the courage to know when to let go. Then you can begin to find the happiness that you have been lacking. Even if the marriage ends in divorce, if there are children from the union, couples and family therapy can help the children with the transition. This can help the divorce from becoming a bitter battle of hurt.

Is Couples Therapy Helpful?

I would have to say yes. Couples therapy can open up the lines of communication that were once closed. They can help a couple remember why they fell in love in the fist place. It can also help couples heal from any wounds or misdeeds that has happened before or during the marriage. It can also help the couples amicably part ways if they decide.
If you are in need of couples therapy, contact New Vision Counseling Center to set up an appointment.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Treatment For Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Last year actor Reid Ewing, Dylan on ABC’s hit show Modern Family, opened up about his mental health issues. He also shared how his treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder restored his health, changing his outlook on his body image.

In an article he wrote to the Huffington Post he explained how his mental illness begin. He talked about how his mental health issues started when he was a young child. His insecurities resulted in the destructive behavior of cutting. He even admitted to fantasizing about getting into a car accident just to have plastic surgery.

Eventually Ewing was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This disorder causes the person affected to become obsessed with the way they look.

Because of his obsession Ewing underwent multiple surgeries trying to become the perfect image of himself. He had loving and supportive parents but he couldn’t get a handle on his body image obsession or his depression. He began to have suicidal thoughts and hit rock bottom.

Only after seeking treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder was Ewing able to restore his health.

Are you struggling with Body Dysmorphic Disorder? If you are, there is treatment available. You do not have to struggle alone. Having a mental health issue is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

In fact 13 to 20 percent of children living in the U.S. experience a mental health disorder in any given year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is that there is treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Treatment For Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Helps you become aware of how negative thoughts, emotional reactions and behaviors cause problems over time.
    • Challenges negative thoughts about your body image. Teaches a more flexible and realistic way of thinking.
    • Helps you discover alternative ways to handle urges that cause you to constantly look in the mirror or seek reassurance

  • Medication Therapy
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    • Other medications        

If you are struggling with Body Dysmorphic Disorder you do not have to struggle alone. Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder is available if you are ready to receive it.

Contact New Vision Counseling Center to schedule an appointment.

Monday, May 23, 2016

What Are The Most Common Mental Disorders Affecting Young Adults?

I am glad that this month is Mental Health month. I am glad that mental health is finally getting the exposure it so desperately needs. The mental health industry has now been able to determine what are the most common mental disorders affecting young adults.

Because of an increase in mass murders involving young adults, the mental health industry’s major focus has recently shifted to mental disorders in young adults. Often times we can attribute someone’s behavior based on things that happened in their youth. Or behaviors in their youth could indicate they have a mental disorder. The best way to address mental illness is early detection. Because mental health was not seen as an important or relevant factor we have missed opportunities to help those that needed our help. Moving forward I hope we can turn this around.

What Are The Most Common Mental Disorders Affecting Young Adults

In Uk’s The Guardian, they wrote an article about the lack of urgency in treating young adults with mental disorders. It seems that doctors there fear 1 in 10 child that seeks help for mental disorders could be harmed while waiting for specialist treatment.

This means that young adults that ask for help will have to wait for an undetermined amount of time before receiving treatment. This is something we need to do better worldwide. It makes no sense to diagnose a child and then stall their access to treatment.

Common mental disorders plaguing young adults are:

  1. Depression (The most common)
  2. Anxiety
  3. Eating Disorder
  4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Click here to read more in depth explanation about these disorders.

Teenagers go through so much that it is overwhelming to them. They don’t know how to express their feelings. They depend on the adults in their life to help them get through it.

How You Can Help

You can help your teenagers by getting them treatment as soon as possible. At New Vision Counseling Center,  we specialize in these disorders and would be honored to assist you . As the parent it is important to pay close attention to your child’s behavior. Look for any signs of extreme personality changes. This can sometimes indicate your child is experiencing one of these common mental disorders.

Is your child experiencing one of these mental disorders?

Contact New Vision Counseling Center to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Do I need A Counselor Or Psychiatrist

Many people ask me, "Do I Need A Counselor Or Psychiatrist?". This question is very common. When you realize that you need help, it is often confusing trying to decide which professional can best help you. So let me try to break it down for you so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is A Psychiatrist?

According to, psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.
Some common problems psychiatrists deal with are panic attacks, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing "voices." Or they may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.

What Is A Counselor?

According to, professional counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. Counselors work with clients on strategies to overcome obstacles and personal challenges that they are facing.

Which profession is better for your needs?

  • If you have an issue that could benefit from medication, then you should see a psychiatrist.
    Psychiatrists have the ability to write prescriptions. In the case of someone with bipolar disorder, for example, the drug Lithium can help to balance out the different extreme responses caused by bipolar disorder.
  • If you are stressed about work or your home life, then you should see a counselor.
    A counselor can help identify your stress triggers. Once your triggers have been identified the counselor can help you come up with ways to combat your stress so it doesn't get out of hand.

Where The Two Professions Meet

If you are on medication prescribed by your psychiatrist for depression, you may also need counseling to determine the root cause of your depression. The medication helps to restore chemical balance while the counseling helps to restore emotional balance.
Whatever your reasons for therapy, it could involve the treatment from both practitioners. Sometimes just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a team of professionals to help you live a productive life.
Considering counseling?
Contact New Vision Counseling Center to schedule an appointment.
If during our session it is determined that you could also benefit from a psychiatric care, we have colleagues to whom we can refer you. The most important thing to remember is that if you need help, seek it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

What Causes Suicidal Thoughts In Teenagers?

What causes suicidal thoughts in teenagers that ultimately leads to suicide?
Surviving parents and friends often asks this question. They wonder if there was something they could have done. If there were signs of suicidal behavior. 

This was the case for the mom of 17 year old Brittany Corcoran.
Brittany had every reason to live. She had loving parents. She was a beautiful young woman. She had an active social life. She was a star hockey goalie for her high school. She was a mentor to others. On the outside she seemed "normal". On the inside she was dealing with a mental illness, depression. Her mom, aware of her condition, kept constant watch over her. She made sure Brittany took her anti-depressant medication. She showered her with love and attention. However, despite her rigorous efforts, Brittany still committed suicide. Brittany committed suicide a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday.
Unfortunately, Brittany's case isn't unique or uncommon.

In fact a new national study has found that 1 in 25 teens have attempted suicide.
Click here to read Brittany's story...

So we are left wondering what causes suicidal thoughts in teenagers that ultimately leads to suicide?
Huffington Post, had a round table discussion on this topic in 2013. They talked to people who have been directly affected by teenage suicide. These people shared their personal stories and thoughts about what causes suicidal thoughts in teenagers.
What Causes Suicidal Thoughts In Teenagers

The most common answers:
  1. Depression and Mental Illness
  2. Abuse
  3. Peer Bullying
  4. Social Media
  5. Substance Abuse
It is important to remember that teenagers are more susceptible to feelings of helplessness and many times they do not know how to ask for help.  It's this feeling of isolation that causes suicidal thoughts in teenagers.

Is your teenager struggling with suicidal thoughts? Contact New Vision Counseling Center, LLC to schedule your confidential appointment. Our team of therapists are able to help.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Signs of Teenage Suicidal Behavior

Signs of teenage suicidal behavior can be hard to spot. Often time it is confused with regular adolescent behavior.
The difference between the two is that teenagers' suicidal behavior is more extreme.

I want to you think for a moment...
Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I could make all my troubles, hurts, and pains go away?”

If you have, chances are so has your teenager. It's this line of thinking that could sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts.
There is so much pressure for a teenager to be "normal" or "perfect".

1.      They have to be a model child for their parents.

2.      They have to be a perfect friend to their peers.

3.      They have to be a good student for their teachers.

All of these things and more are overwhelming and stressful.
In fact suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 - 24 year olds according to

As a parent myself, it is scary for me to think that my child could go to such a dark place.
What scares me even more is not being able to bring them back from the brink of despair.
To fight such a battle, we as parents, must first know the signs of our teenagers suicidal behavior.

Common signs of teenage suicidal behavior:
Signs Of Teenage Suicidal Behavior

· Making suicidal statements

· Being preoccupied with death in conversation, writing, or drawing

· Giving away belongings

· Withdrawing from friends and family

· Having aggressive or hostile behavior

· Neglecting personal appearance

· Running away from home

· Risk-taking behavior, such as reckless driving or being sexually promiscuous

· A change in personality (such as from upbeat to quiet)

Some of these signs could be a cry for attention and may never progress to suicidal thoughts.
Any cry for attention should be met with swift intervention.

If you think your teenager's behaviors are signs of suicidal thoughts, please seek help for them.  If they are an immediate danger, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.  Once they are stable, contact us to schedule a confidential appointment with one of the many therapists at New Vision Counseling Center, LLC.


Monday, April 11, 2016

How To Deal With Troubled Teens

Think back to when you were a teenager.
Would your parents or society have placed you in the troubled teen category? 

What were some of your experiences? Do you remember the emotions you felt, the stress you felt to be popular, or smart, or pretty?
Surprisingly enough, sometimes these emotions follow us into adulthood. But one hopes that as we age and become wiser we know how to deal with these emotions in a mature and healthy fashion.

As a teenager the brain doesn’t quite yet understand the concept that “this too shall pass”. This could lead to some behaviors that would cause them to be labeled as troubled teens.
Click here to learn more about the inner workings of a teenager’s brain. 

If you are a parent with a troubled teen, don’t despair, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Although parenting a troubled teen will take extra effort on your part, there are things you can do to make the situation easier.

 Tips To Parenting A Troubled Teen

 ·         Identify The Cause

         If your troubled teen has recently made a drastic personality change or a shift in their circle of friends, sit down with them and talk about it. There may be something going on of which you are unaware. As busy adults it is very easy to neglect the needs of our teens. Therefore, we must remember that raising healthy teenagers should be our number one focus and remain vigilant.
I remember I had a friend in high school who started drinking a lot. Unbeknownst to her mother, the father was sexually molesting her and this is what caused her drinking. Her mother was so consumed with her own life, she never took the time to identify the root cause of my friend’s behavior.

Don’t let something like this happen to you.

·         Establish Rules And Consequences
          If your troubled teen is doing things like skipping school, staying out past curfew, or shoplifting etc., then establish some ground rules and consequences to their actions. For example, if they are skipping school, don’t allow them any television or social media interaction.

 Social media is such a big part of teenagers’ lives now but you shouldn’t allow them to be consumed by it. If you do, removing them from social media as a consequence may cause some frightening responses. In fact, there was a news story of a young man, who was an “A” student and one would not consider troubled, killing his parents because they took away his Ipod.

I don’t share this story with you to scare you but I am using it as a cautionary tale in order to make you aware and warn you of the possible outcomes of letting your child become overly dependent on social media and technology.

 ·         Seek Professional Help

I specialize in counseling troubled teens and families. Sometimes my teenage clients will open up to me even when their parents have exhausted all attempts at communication. This is because they find it easier to speak to someone who is not directly involved in the situation. This allows me to find the causes of their negative behavior and relay them to the parents. Afterwards I assist the parents in coming up with a plan of action to help get their troubled teen back on track.
There are so many outside forces that can cause your once happy go lucky teen to become troubled. But whatever you do, do not give up on them and do not stop trying to get through to them. They may not know it but they desperately want you to be “all up in their business”. Your persistence shows them that you love them and love and acceptance is what they are really after.