How to Get the Most Out of Therapy So You Can Stop Going

Let’s face it, therapy can be time-consuming, emotionally draining, and not to mention expensive. Most people do not enter therapy wanting to attend weekly sessions for the rest of their lives. Oftentimes, you go to counseling in order to alleviate some kind of pain you are experiencing. You want that pain gone as quickly as...

EMDR Counseling: What is it?

When you think of the word therapy what comes to mind? For most of us, we imagine what we have seen on television, the room with all the books on the shelves, laying or sitting on a couch, and the therapist asking many questions. What if I told you there was a new way to approach...

How Long Does Therapy Take to Make Me Feel Better?

It depends! It is quite common for people to feel better after attending a few sessions of therapy. This can be attributed to a bit of a placebo effect. You start attending therapy, you become hopeful of things getting better, you have a therapist you like, and you are able to share with them some...

What Happens in Your First Therapy Session?

It can feel a bit intimidating or scary to start therapy for the first time. You may be wondering, “Will they judge me? Will they be able to help me? Is this a waste of time? Am I going to have to lay on a couch and reveal all my dark secrets?” All of these...

Are These ADHD or PTSD Symptoms?

It is not uncommon for folks to present to therapy thinking they have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), when in fact they are actually dealing with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These two diagnoses are very different, however they can have some overlapping symptoms. Common symptoms of ADHD include forgetfulness, difficulty sustaining attention, poor concentration, fidgety...

The Importance of Mental Exercises – Gratitude Journaling

As we look forward to Thanksgiving, this is a good opportunity for us to look at and acknowledge the things we have to be grateful for. This is especially important right now as we all work through difficult times amidst a pandemic. It can be hard to see the positive things in life and can...

Couples Therapy Exercises Are Important: Here’s Why

For some people there can be a stigma or misunderstanding around couples therapy or couples therapy exercises. Some may think they are a failure for seeking outside help for their relationship. Others may think that their relationship must be headed for divorce because their partner has suggested couples counseling. The truth is, when someone is...

Military Counseling Can Help You Overcome Challenges

If you are a service member or a spouse or dependent of a service member you already know many of the challenges that go into keeping a healthy and intact family during military service. Adjusting to deployments, workups, trainings, 24-hour duty shifts, all of this can take a huge toll on the family in different...

Liz Smith

Dr. Liz Smith is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has been providing therapy to clients for six years. She has experience with providing therapy for a range of presenting concerns, including anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr. Smith also spent three years working with military veterans and their families at the VA. She has particular expertise in treating severe mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders....

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Finding Help with Depression Counseling: Suicide Awareness Month

September is suicide awareness month. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, any age, class, or gender. Typically, suicidal thoughts are impacted by mental health issues including depression. If you know someone struggling with depression and are uncertain whether they may be having thoughts of harming themselves, don’t hesitate to ask them. A common myth is that...

Counseling Exercises Part II: Parenting with Empathy

I wanted to follow up last month’s blog post with one about empathy and its impact on children and their development. In our last blog, we talked about how empathy is the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, to put yourself in their shoes, and went over some couples counseling exercises to practice...

Counseling Exercises Part I: Where Did the Empathy Go?

Have we become so busy and consumed by our own troubles and worries that we no longer have room or capacity for empathy? One of the very traits that distinguishes us from other creatures is our ability to have empathy. Put simply, empathy is the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, to “put...

Anxiety or Trauma Triggers

Anxiety is a very common experience for people and can be quite unnerving at times. Typically, the more we expose ourselves to these situations the easier they tend to get. Whereas the more we avoid these things that bring us anxiety the larger the anxiety can get. Although avoidance can feel good in the short...

Couples Check-Ins

This month we focus on how you can connect more with your husband, wife, spouse or significant other with one simple weekly task. It’s called the couples check-in. When you think about it, anyone who has worked a job has likely had to attend weekly meetings, huddles, or get togethers with co-workers. This time is...

Active Listening

Active listening is a method of listening and replying that improves understanding.  It can be one of the first steps we take to reduce tension in a situation and where we can begin to find solutions to problems.  Active listening is when we do not only hear the words someone is saying, but we process...

Addiction and Substance Abuse

Addiction can involve the use of many different types of substances, including alcohol, opioids, nicotine, marijuana and even addictive behaviors such as gambling.  Studies have shown that addictive behaviors share certain neurological features such as reward and reinforcement. Alcohol abuse occurs when an individual drinks in a situation, manner, frequency or amount where that individual...

Improve your Relationship with your Partner

Relationships are not easy, and maintaining one takes work from each person involved.  There are ways to enhance the bond between a couple and it takes commitment, mutual respect and effort.  Every relationship is different, and no relationship is perfect.  However, you can use some strategies to keep your relationship healthy and positive. When communicating...

Summer Anxiety

Although summer tends to be seen as a season of joy and happiness, it can surprisingly contribute to increased anxiety.  Warm weather can contribute to health issues including lack of sleep and dehydration.  These can contiribute to the body feeling more stressed and thus more anxious.  Your mental well-being can be negatively impacted during the...

Nature and Mental Health

Research has shown that nature can impact our mental health and well-being.  Our environment can increase or decrease our stress levels, which then impacts our physical and mental health.  Environmental stressors can make us feel anxious, depressed, helpless and more.  These can manifest physically into higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, weaker immune system and...

Managing Anxiety

There are many reasons that can make us anxious, and usually the root cause of it is something we cannot change.  Coping with anxiety means changing what you can and accepting the rest.   Normal anxiety comes from our ancestors being put in situations where a fight or flight response would arise, such as staying safe...