Orlando Counseling Services
Our therapists each possess specialties that span the mental health realm. Qualities they share include openness and compassion. They are down-to-earth and easy to talk to. Therapists will not discuss your case among themselves without your permission. We will help you choose the best therapy for your needs.
Rebuilding Families & Changing Lives through Compassionate Counseling.
Domestic Violence / Abusive Relationships
Often times, people think if there is no physical violence from their partner, their relationship isn’t abusive or “not that bad.” Abuse can include emotional, financial, coercion and threats, intimidation, sexual or isolation.
New to dating and intimate relationships, teens often aren’t sure what appropriate or acceptable dating behaviors are, so they don’t share their concerns with anyone. Additionally, people who have experienced physically abusive relationships in the past tend to minimize other types of abuse in their current situation.
Abuse is abuse. Whether it is physical, emotional or any of the other types, it is still an unhealthy and potentially dangerous relationship. Domestic violence can occur in any relationship regardless of socio-economic status, gender, race or age.
Substance Abuse / Addiction
An addiction is something an individual has given up control over and allows to interfere in his/her daily life. Addiction can be to anything: food, drugs, gambling, sex, video games etc.
When dealing with substance abuse / addiction there are three stages:
- Use – The person has some use. It can be experimental (especially in teens or college students) or may be occasional, meaning there is not a regular pattern of use.
- Abuse – The person uses on a regular basis and often times more than he/she intended. Consequences of this behavior are more likely to occur at this stage (i.e., DUI, health concerns, interference in relationships or work). However, the person is still in control over the amount/continuing use during each episode of using.
- Addiction – In this stage, the person is still in control over whether or not he/she chooses to use the substance but once the substance is taken, he/she will most likely not stop until one or more of the following events occur:
- There is no more left
- He/she is too tired to continue (goes to sleep, passes out)
- The opportunity is over (i.e., spouse comes home, party is over, bar is closing, has to get up early for work, etc.)
Addiction is a family disease. It affects all members of the family, not just the one who is using. If you or someone in your family is dealing with addiction, there is hope.
A general sense of uneasiness, “what if” worries and even physical sensations (like a racing heart, shortness of breath or clamminess) are common symptoms of general anxiety and panic attacks. While often there is a specific cause of the anxiety, it can just as likely come out of the blue, for no specific reason at all.
Panic attacks differ from generalized anxiety in that they come on suddenly as an intense fear, discomfort or sense of impending doom.
Social anxiety is a fear of being with other people or in social situations. The fear of being judged or criticized, being embarrassed, looking foolish or not knowing what to say constitute the cornerstones of social anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), neurofeedback and medications are useful ways to deal effectively with anxiety issues.
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes movements and sounds that the person can’t control. These involuntary movements, called tics, can be simple (i.e., eye blink) or complex (i.e., shoulder shrug with an arm jerk). The onset of Tourette’s occurs prior to age 18, with tics becoming more noticeable usually between ages seven and nine.
Often these individuals experience social, academic or occupational difficulties due to the challenges they experience with the tics as well as associated disorders including ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, learning disabilities and anxiety. Treatment focuses on helping individuals deal with the difficulties that result from the disorder as well as assessing treatments that may decrease the tics, such as neurofeedback and CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics). The Tourette Association of America was established in the 1970s and continues to offer research, educational materials and local chapter support.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Sometimes children come into our office who are picky eaters, can’t handle “kinks in the plan,” hate tags in their clothes or complain that their clothes are uncomfortable, cover their ears to loud noises while their own voices may be too loud, or complain that their hand hurts when they write. Parents may describe the personality of their child as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, going into rages in seconds over what appears to be nothing.
Although these children can appear to be misbehaving, these actions can also be symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder. Sensory Processing Disorder occurs when the individual doesn’t register sensory input correctly, and when that occurs, the child or adult, feels “out of sync”. When a child exhibits an array of seemingly “behavioral” symptoms, it’s our job to determine the cause. We help families to develop parenting strategies that work effectively while addressing the sensory processing disorder through occupational therapy.
ADD / ADHD
ADD / ADHD is a disorder where individuals struggle with attention, focus and sometimes hyperactivity and impulsivity. Both kids and adults can struggle with symptoms of ADD / ADHD. Developing effective coping skills and strategies to treat the symptoms of the disorder can significantly help to reduce its negative impact.
One of the most damaging effects of having ADD / ADHD is to the individual’s self-esteem. Going through school can be very challenging. They often feel “stupid” and often are called “lazy” or “unmotivated” and told they are “not living up to their potential”. The fact is that individuals with ADD / ADHD are actually quite intelligent and can succeed.
As the disorder has become increasingly common over the years, parents are often fearful of misdiagnosis. It is essential for a child to have a thorough assessment that rules out other issues that can be causing these difficulties.
Receiving the right treatment is key to success. Neurofeedback can help significantly reduce symptoms. Psychotherapy can help to develop coping skills to address difficulties and assist the family and individual to understand the symptoms and negative impacts of the disorder. As they begin to understand that it is not their fault that they have these difficulties and begin to develop ways to manage the symptoms, self-esteem increases, confidence soars and they feel empowered to succeed. Many resources are available to families to help navigate ADD / ADHD, including ADDitude and CHADD.
Self-injury is a (dangerous) coping skill people use to deal with guilt, abuse, disappointment, self-loathing, trauma or any other emotional pain they are unable to express more effectively.
People who injure themselves are rarely “just looking for attention.” More often, it is done privately, secretively and often goes on a long time before it is found out.
It is important for a self-injuring person to develop new, healthy and effective ways of dealing with the causes of their injurious behaviors. The self-injurious behaviors can become obsessions, making it more difficult to stop. It is important that this is dealt with as early as possible.
Couples often come to therapy after years of dealing with the same issues: “We argue about everything and nothing ever changes!” What’s most frequently missing is effective communication. During couple’s therapy we work to teach the couple how to listen and how to respond—not just react.
Respect, honesty, trust, communication and love are all needed for a relationship to be a healthy one. Take away any of one of them, no matter which one, and the relationship won’t be healthy. In couple’s therapy we work to create a relationship in which all of those positive attributes are present.