Pat Keaton, MA, LPC
I want to share information about a program that I was involved in while I was employed at the Dallas Police Department. It started almost by accident because victims/survivors of sexual assaults called wanting the status of their case from 20 to 30 years ago.
Many television crime shows started showing how cases were being solved with DNA. Sometime before 2000, the FBI was using DNA as a crime-solving tool and so were police departments for homicide cases but was rarely used in Sexual Assaults.
Sometime in 2004, Sexual assault survivors called the Dallas Police Department asking about their old cases. The women said they were assaulted, had reported to the police, went to the hospital for a sexual assault exam, then heard once from a detective but never heard the outcome of the investigation. These cases were not solved and they said they felt like their case had been closed.
I was the Victim Services Coordinator in the Crimes Against Persons Division at the Dallas Police Department. I was an advocate for "complainants'' as they are labeled on police...more
When being tired and stressed we sometimes forget it is important to take care of ourselves. This is more than exercise, eating well, and being hydrated. Are we burning both ends of the candles? Are we having enough downtime? Are we constantly going at a fast pace? Are you in a high-energy environment most of the day? These are some questions to ask yourself if you are starting to feel less joy, or that you are not fully rested.
Sometimes you can ignore your own mental health by being distracted by being concerned for others. Sometimes these individuals call themselves fixers, or problem solvers. They want to solve a problem as soon as possible. This can be a distraction from your own needs. Sometimes it is best to slow down, and think about what is best for you and realizing that this is not selfish.
There are also a lot of myths out there. For example, "no decision is a bad decision". Sometimes you just do not have all the information you need at the moment to make a decision yet. It is okay to ask for more time than just to make a hasty decision. Another myth,...more
The holidays are here! Year after year the holidays almost seem like a finish line to an annual race—the last six weeks of the year are filled with celebrations, gatherings, decorations, special food, and gifts.
In addition to the fun, food, and games there comes something else--Holiday stress. And this year the Holiday stress may be bigger because of changes brought on by COVID-19 and by all of the other things that are happening uniquely in 2020
What can we do to manage this stress?
Good news! The answers from previous years will work this year, too. We can choose to use some everyday wellness practices to help us. For instance, we can look at our choices of eating. While the holiday snacks and meals are wonderful, we may feel better if we balance them with regular healthy eating. That will help to manage stress. Sometimes our sleep gets off during all of the changes of the holiday schedule. By paying attention to the quality and amount of sleep, we can enjoy the energy we need to celebrate and be present for ourselves and for our loved ones. That...more
Michelle Inauen LPC, MFT, & CHMC
This year 2020 has brought us many surprises; the weather, the pandemic, and politics. Congratulations! All of you have made it. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. Not only did we survive, but we're also learning a lot about change. To those of you that chose to get support for your mental health throughout the year realized that sometimes you just cannot go it alone. Give yourself a second pat on the back for asking for help.
The big question is how do we keep our heads up through all this muck? The answer is gratitude. With ever-changing obstacles, gratitude is the key to keeping a healthy mindset. Gratitude has many benefits. Gratitude helps with lifting up your mood. Gratitude also helps you focus on the big picture instead of focusing on the many details of things. This will also help propel you forward when feeling stuck.
A funny thought about 2020, it is a bonus for down the road. You can tell others you lived through this history and can say stories to others about what your experience was like. If you are struggling with this year and the...more
To say that we live in uncertain times is something of an understatement. The recent news and events surrounding the outbreak of the new coronavirus has left many of us feeling destabilized, pensive, and yes, even anxious. But rather than succumbing to these anxious emotions, you can help to manage these feelings and make decisions that will keep you safe and comfortable. As licensed online counselors in Texas, we’re used to working with clients virtually, even when we aren’t being encouraged to practice social distancing. While you’re waiting for a session with Texas Online Counseling PLLC, here are some ways you can help manage your feelings of anxiety.
Take a Step Back
With the amount of news coverage the coronavirus is getting, it’s no surprise that many feel overwhelmed by the whole experience. It’s easy to find yourself pouring through endless new...more
Almost everyone has some notable places, people, or situations where they find themselves discomforted. Life experiences, a lack of understanding, and terrifying anecdotal evidence provided by friends and family members can all influence the feelings we have about finding ourselves in a place that causes a little bit of anxiety and worry.
However, discomfort and dread are different, as are fear and true phobia. Specific phobias are irrational fears that feel uncontrollable and are tied to specific people, places, animals, situations or objects.
For those who are living with a phobia, life can become complicated quickly. For example, for those with a fear of heights, getting promoted from the already worrisome third floor of a business to a corner office on the 6th floor might result in an awkward and embarrassing conversation at best, or possibly a refusal of the promotion. Even discussing why the new space is problematic might in itself induce fear, anxiety, and physical symptoms of stress and panic.
For these kinds of reasons, people who struggle with phobias...more
Do you or does someone you know struggle with unexpected, rapid onset anxiety and panic? Does the fear of the next episode cause anxiety, worry, and a inhibition to be in unfamiliar settings? If so, this could be a sign of a condition called panic disorder.
Panic disorder is very real, and it’s very scary. Without warning, or sometimes with a terrible sense of dread that ramps up towards an attack, people who have a panic disorder are overcome by emotional and physical responses to a high level of anxiety that seemingly comes out of nowhere and feels like it can be triggered by almost anything.
For those who live with panic disorder, seeking help can feel hard to do. These people have often started to feel that they possess no control over their anxiety, and these panic attacks (also called anxiety attacks) can actually cause them to feel so out of control that they feel embarrassed about it.
What they need to know is that they are not alone, help is available, and treatment for panic disorders can be highly effective. At Texas Online Counseling PLLC,...more
When you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety, finding effective help can be hard. Despite the fact that there are many trained, compassionate professionals available to help all throughout Texas, distance, time constraints, embarrassment, and a multitude of other factors can play into someone refusing to give counseling a chance before they have actually sought out help.
Sometimes, the fear of sharing such personal and alarming feelings and thoughts with a stranger in such a personal setting can also be intimidating. And in yet other situations, a move by a counselor or a patient to a new community has threatened to undo much of the good work that was taking place, and finding a new therapist can feel inadequate.
In all of these situations, an online counseling service may be a good option. At Texas Online Counseling PLLC, we offer the services of licensed anxiety counselors to help provide guidance, help, and someone to talk to about your worry, anxiety attacks, and...more
Type A personalities are usually thought of as a positive thing. These personality types are all about appearance, especially to the outside world. Many times these individuals want to look like everything is outstanding in every aspect of their lives. Out of the mental health field, type A personalities can be a positive thing for employers.
However, type A personalities are not a diagnosis, it is a form of anxiety. These individuals are sometimes identified as over-achievers, competitive, high-strung, win oriented. These individuals will do extra work, extra hours, to make sure they are getting positive feedback. It can be disheartening for them if not chosen for a promotion or opportunity they were seeking. If this behavior becomes out of balance, type A personalities can become miserable. These individuals can be over-organized. They want to be a step ahead of everyone. It is also called “hurried sickness.” These individuals feel a sense of urgency for everything. It is hard to relax...more
When one thinks of trauma and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) the image of a combat soldier often comes to mind. The truth is, anyone can experience a traumatic event and not everyone will have the same response to it. Not everyone that is exposed to trauma will experience symptoms at a diagnostic level for PTSD. In fact, it is natural to experience flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, avoidance, and other psychological and physical symptoms, with varying degrees, after a traumatic event. Trauma affects several areas of our lives such as trust, intimacy, power and control, safety and esteem. It's when the above symptoms do not resolve that PTSD is diagnosed. To some, the effects of trauma seem overwhelming and unyielding at times.
The upside is there are several treatment options available that have been proven effective. The most important thing to consider when choosing a treatment is...more
Michelle Inauen M.A.,LPC & LMFT Associate
As our interactions online increase every day, so too does the need for qualified online counseling services and providers. Recently, one of our counselors, Michelle Inauen, was invited to speak about her work and experiences as a distance counselor by Raymond Barrett, the CEO of the Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC.
Here you’ll find an overview of the interview, as well as more information about Texas Online Counseling PLLC and Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC.
An Interview with a Distance Counselor in Texas
As a completely online practice, Michelle decided to pursue online counseling as a result of genuine interest, as well as a unique set of circumstances. Michelle’s husband was transferred to a position in Utah. Her licensure didn’t transfer to Utah, but undeterred by this issue, Michelle decided to offer online counseling services so she could...more
Michelle Inauen M.A.,LPC & LMFT Associate
Do you know someone that is irritable? Maybe it is you that can become grumpy. All of this is okay. Sometimes getting to the root of your anger can quell the flame. As a counselor and working with Clients wanting Anger-management, many times anger tends to be the first layer that is uncovered. Some of you may have heard that Anger is a secondary emotion. What that means is that this feeling is the result of another emotion that is unresolved. An example would be you got denied a promotion but your supervisor never gave you a clear explanation. You continue to go to work and you feel unappreciated, disappointed and do not know if you have a future at this company. You feel you need to be at your best behavior at work because you continue to need to earn money. Your result is that you’re irritable at home or outside of work because the consequences are not as severe, so you think… You continue on with your days, weeks go by, you thought you have moved on but you're left with this irritability and you do not know why. You’re still disappointed about not getting the promotion but...more
The holidays can be a difficult time for many people. Often client’s express dread for the upcoming holidays and some even mention getting headaches a couple weeks before the season starts. Many dread the holidays for different reasons but this could change with support and a willingness to change a couple of things. If you’re an adult you have more freedom to make decisions. The first question I always ask as a therapist is what do you want? It doesn’t matter what other’s think what matters is what is best for you. If you truly do not want to participate in an activity, than say so in a nice assertive manner. You might be surprised that you will get a kinder response than you think. If not, than that is their issue, not yours. Clients often also express feeling obligated to spend money they do not have or do not want to. A recommendation I have before each holiday season is to set a budget and stick to it. You may even get as detailed as to how much per person. If someone surprises you with a gift you were not expecting you are not obligated to return a gift. All that is needed...more