Category Archives: Adult Counseling

Cultivating An Attitude Of Gratitude | Adult Counseling In Metro Detroit, MI

become grateful

Gratitude is a positive personality trait that some people have naturally.  It has been shown to be one of the personality traits the people that are the most content with their lives have.  The good news for those people that do not have it naturally is that it can be learned. Listed below are some helpful and effective ways to become more grateful.

Keep A Gratitude Journal

Increasing our propensity for gratitude is one of the easiest things to do to change our level of happiness.  One way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal.  Keeping a gratitude journal consists of writing down nightly the three to five things that you were grateful for that day. It is best if the things are unique to that day and were unexpected.  There are several reasons that this is helpful.  Knowing that you are going to have to write down positive things that happened to you helps you to focus on the positive.  It will help you enjoy small things that happen in your day that make you smile because you will try to keep it in your memory to write it down later.  Then at the end of the day when you remember it later you will enjoy those same good feelings.  If you hear your favorite song on the radio, or run into an old friend, that memory will cause the chemicals in your brain to change and creates a positive mood.

Do Not Define A “Bad Day” By One Negative Experience

Often people who are unhappy see their day as being all bad or all good.  This is called Black and White Thinking.  So if one bad thing happens in the day, the day is bad.  Since most days are mixed with good and bad, for these people most of their days appear to be bad.  A change in perspective by noticing and acknowledging the good things that happen during the day help these people see that good things are happening too.  The change in focus leads to a change in perception.

Acknowledge The Positive Amidst The Negative

What if there are some difficult things that are happening in your life, like a job loss or a cancer diagnosis?  How do you focus on the positive things that are going on and can they help you?

Recognizing the positive things can definitely help you.  We often move, learn and grow in times of difficulty.  A job loss leads to a new job or career opportunity that you wouldn’t have had if you weren’t unemployed.  A cancer diagnosis taught you to have better balance in your life, make time for the important things, not to sweat the small stuff, increased your faith, helped you to understand how many friends you had and how much you are loved.  In difficult times there are things to be thankful for and acknowledging those things will help you get through the hard times.  Acknowledging the opportunity to grow and learn can also help you get through those times of difficulty.

Practicing gratitude in good times helps you to continue to be grateful during difficult times.  The ritual of doing a gratitude journal everyday no matter how the day has turned out helps you stay focused on the positive.

Why Isn’t My Therapy Working? Counseling Centers In Michigan

why isnt therapy working

Do you feel like you aren’t getting enough out of your therapy program? There are several reasons why this may happen, and some of them are beyond your control. At our counseling centers in Michigan, we strive to ensure that every patient experiences a positive change as a result of their therapy, regardless of their reasons for visiting us. Here are some answers as to why your therapy may not be working and what you can do to improve your progress.

Therapy Only Works If You Want It To

Take a moment to think about how dedicated you actually are to your therapy program. Are you following the advice of your therapist, or are you just going through the motions? In order for therapy to work, you have to be 100% committed to the progress. For example, if you’re asked to write in a journal, you have to physically write down your thoughts – not just store them in your mind. This may seem silly and excessive, but it is a vital part of the process.

Some patients will refuse to follow their therapist’s advice as a way to subconsciously sabotage their success. In other words, they do not feel worthy of change or they do not desire change, so they prevent themselves from taking full advantage of therapy. Consider how much effort you have put into your recovery and see if that is the source of your frustration.

Results Don’t Happen Overnight

Think about how long it took you to get where you are. Years of addiction, abuse, self-deprivation, or living in a toxic relationship led to your current condition. You cannot reverse those effects overnight. On average, it takes at least one month to recover from every year of negative experience. If you were in an abusive relationship for 6 years, it may take 6 months or more to change your negative thought patterns and restore your self-confidence.

When you begin therapy, ask your therapist how long you should expect to start seeing results. This varies drastically from one patient to the next, but it will give you realistic expectations for your recovery program. Follow your therapy plan with patience and diligence, and your results will occur in due time.

You May Have Been Misdiagnosed

We don’t like to jump to the conclusion that a patient has been misdiagnosed, but it is a possibility. This is especially true if you never went through a formal psychological evaluation, which would have given the most accurate diagnosis for your symptoms. If you have been misdiagnosed, you may be in the wrong type of therapy program. Talk to your counselor about this possibility, and consider getting a psychological test to identify the underlying concern.

Ask Your Therapist For Suggestions

Your therapist has direct insight into your success or lack thereof. If anyone can pinpoint why your therapy isn’t working, it’s your counselor. Ask your therapist if there is anything you can do to improve your recovery, like joining a support group or reading books that supplement your therapy sessions. If you do not believe the current treatment plan is working, ask when the best time would be to try another option. Should you wait for a little while or make the switch right away?

At Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we have counselors and therapists in a wide variety of specialties. We will match you with the best professional for your unique needs so you can get the most effective help possible right from the start. Contact the counseling center nearest to you to learn more.

How To Set Achievable New Year’s Resolutions – Michigan Counseling Centers

New Year Resolutions

January 1: the day all your New Year’s resolutions go into effect. You wake up early, head to the gym, brush your teeth, eat healthy food, and come home for a great night of sleep. Fast forward a week later and you’re back to your fast food, late night routine. Approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them. The trick is setting the right resolutions so you’re more likely to make positive changes in your life.

Here are some tips for setting realistic and achievable New Year’s resolutions, courtesy of our Michigan counseling centers.

Quantify Each Resolution (Be Specific)

Generic resolutions lead to generic results. If you quantify your resolutions (assign measurable numbers to them), you are more likely to achieve your goals. For instance, instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” say “I want to lose 5 pounds a month and 50 pounds by the end of the year.” Then you can structure a plan to reach those numbers.

Create Short Term Milestones For Long Term Resolutions

If you only look at the big picture, you may feel overwhelmed with how to achieve it. It’s important to set “mini goals” for yourself that add up to your big goals. The statement above about losing weight is a prime example. Five pounds a month translates to roughly one pound a week, so you can weigh yourself once a week to see if you are on track. If you maintain each of those weekly goals, you will automatically achieve your long-term resolution.

Note that having these miniature goals also gives you a chance for miniature accomplishments. If you can see progress happening, you will feel motivated to keep it up. If you choose to save $100 a week, you will quickly see your savings account build up. Every deposit will make your account grow, and you will feel proud each and every week. This is the start of true success.

Focus On Lifestyle Improvements, Not Just The Numbers

While it is important to set measurable goals, it’s even more important to make positive lifestyle changes. In other words, you need to develop habits that will help your life as a whole. Perhaps instead of setting a weight loss goal, you can set a dietary or exercise goal: “I will only eat out once a week.” “I will go to the gym three times a week for 45 minutes a day.” There are still numbers involved, but the changes themselves are geared toward your life as a whole.

Encourage Yourself – Be Critical With Kindness

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your flaws and trying to improve them. However, you should not let criticism get in the way of your success. Keep a positive attitude and take pride in your accomplishments. If you make a mistake, that’s OK. Hold yourself accountable, assess what went wrong, and find a way to prevent a similar mistake in the future.

The road to the “new you” is not a straight line. It may not even fit on the map from time to time. With consistent motivation and realistic expectations though, you can see positive transformations in the new year.

Why We Use Client-Guided Therapy At Our Michigan Counseling Centers

client guided therapy

Here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we believe in the power of client-guided therapy. The client sets the pace for counseling, therapy and treatment with the guidance of a mental health specialist. Rather than being told what to do and how to do it, we believe in helping our patients set their own goals. Let’s take a look at the benefits of client-guided therapy so you can determine if it is right for you.

You’re More Likely To Take Action When You’re In Control

Think back to when you were five years old and your parents tried to tell you to clean your room. Rather than saying, “Sure!” you probably said, “Five more minutes!” That five minutes wasn’t just so you could enjoy playing a little longer. It was because you wanted to be in control. You wanted to clean your room on your time, not when your parents asked you to.

Adults have this same mentality, even if it is completely subconscious. At work, you’re much more likely to complete a task if you come up with the idea in the first place. If your boss tells you what to do, you may roll your eyes or sigh before charging ahead.

Client-guided therapy taps into this mindset. If you’re the one setting goals for your progress, you are more likely to follow through with them. Use the power of your own motivation to improve your life and accelerate your progress.

You Still Have Support From Your Counselor

Client-guided therapy is not independent therapy. You still have a counselor by your side to help you set your goals. For instance, if you come to our Michigan counseling center for eating disorder treatment, your counselor will help you set measurable goals for recovery: eat XX more food per day, throw up XX fewer times per week, only look in the mirror XX times, etc.

If the goals you propose aren’t ideal, your counselor will suggest a better option for you. This will happen if your goals are too enthusiastic or insufficient for progress. If you set goals that are too high, you will feel discouraged when you do not reach them. If they are too low, you may not see much progress at all. Your counselor will be there every step of the way to establish a healthy balance.

You Will Naturally Want To Do Better

Humans are competitive. It’s part of our survival instincts. If you set goals for yourself, you will feel inclined to exceed them. If someone else sets your counseling goals, you may only complete the minimum requirements to fulfill them. We want you to propel through your therapy program so you can enjoy a better quality of life. Having you take the reigns is the best way to do that.

To learn more about client-guided therapy and what it can do for you, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan.

Is Your Relationship Picker Broken? Michigan Adult Counseling

relationship picker

Do you feel like you always end up with the wrong type of person? Just when you think you’ve found the perfect guy or girl, something happens to make you question your judgment abilities. There are several reasons why your “relationship picker” may not be acting in your favor, and most of them are not your fault. Let’s figure out why your relationship picker is broken and what you can do to fix it.

Your Parents Had Bad Relationship Pickers

As much as we all fight not to be exactly like our parents, most of us follow in their footsteps. If your mom or dad (or both) had a hard time finding a good relationship, you may unintentionally do the same. Even when you think you are choosing the complete opposite of someone your parents would choose, you find yourself hurt and heartbroken.

You cannot change your past, but you can change your current perspective. See if you can find patterns in your parents’ relationship selections that mimic yours. Did your mom choose project men who needed to be cared for? Did your dad choose women much younger than him? Did your parents stay in a toxic relationship longer than they should have? If you can find a connection between those experiences and your recent relationships, you will know what to watch out for early on.

You Were Deeply Hurt By Someone In The Past

All it takes is one bad relationship to throw off your relationship picker completely. You were abused, cheated on, neglected, lied to, etc. This also applies to personal relationships, like the one you have with your parents. If your father abandoned you as a child, you may have a hard time trusting men in your life. If you were sexually abused by a female neighbor, you may see relationships in a different light.

Working with a counselor can help you overcome these past traumas. We offer several adult counseling programs in Michigan designed for people just like you. Find the root cause of your current struggles and learn how to move forward to a better place in life. Your past doesn’t have to control your future.

You’re Holding On To A Past Relationship

Do you have unfinished business from a past relationship? Feel like you’re never going to find someone like you had before? Once again, you cannot let the past hold you back from your future. There could be an amazing relationship waiting for you that’s even better than what you had before. If your significant other was emotionally abusive, you may have been told that you are not good enough for anyone else and no one will ever love you. That is NOT the truth, and you will discover that with counseling and therapy.

One of the core goals in our adult counseling programs is to reverse negative thought patterns. These lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, addiction and much more. Your mind is keeping you from happiness because it’s still latching on to something from your past. Your counselor will work with you to make sure this doesn’t happen.

You Don’t Know Your True Worth

Sometimes people choose to be in bad relationships because they do not think they’re worthy of a good one. If they’re lucky enough to find a good relationship in spite of this, they often sabotage it before things go too far. We are here to tell you that you are worthy of love, and there is tremendous potential to find it. First, you must learn to love yourself.

Contact our adult counseling center in Michigan to schedule an appointment with one of our specialized counselors and therapists. We will match you with the best professional for your needs, and we will work to get your relationship picker back on track.

Journaling Your Way Through Counseling: MI Adult Counseling

journaling therapy

A great way to maximize the benefits of adult counseling sessions is to use a journal for therapy. This acts as a supplemental exercise to your counseling sessions, and it can improve the impact of your therapy as a whole. Here are some benefits of journal therapy, along with tips to help you in the journaling process.

Different Types Of Journaling

Journaling is not an exact science. There is no right or wrong way to approach it. You can choose to write anything you like in your journal, but sometimes it’s easier to have a general theme for your entries. For example, you could journal about…

  • Important events of the day
  • Descriptions for your experiences before, during, and after panic attacks
  • Moments of depression, sorrow, grief, or anxiety
  • The most important lessons you learned during your last counseling session
  • Dreams or memories that evoke strong feelings
  • Steps you took to improve your quality of life (only smoked XXX cigarettes today, did not go on social media today, etc.)
  • Conversations you had with other people about your situation

If you have an idea about what you need to write about, you may have an easier time putting your thoughts on paper. This will also help you utilize your journal during your counseling sessions because you will know what kind of information is inside. Even if the journal is not completely uniform, you will benefit from having general guidelines to follow.

A Journal Doesn’t Have To Be A Diary

Oftentimes people use the terms journal and diary interchangeably, but a journal does not have to be a diary. You can write in your journal as if you are writing to a person, or you could choose to write like an author scripting a first-person narrative. Some people enjoy writing a “Dear Diary” entry at the end of the day, while others prefer a more reflective approach. You can test out different writing methods to see what works best for you.

The Therapeutic Benefits Of Journaling

The biggest advantage of writing thoughts down in a journal is that you’re forced to analyze your feelings, experiences and emotions. Rather than just going through the motions of your therapy, you can put your new skills to the test. For example, if you are in depression therapy, your counselor may be working with you to reverse negative thought patterns. As you write down your thoughts in a journal, you can assess each of them in detail. This form of self-evaluation is extremely effective for nearly all forms of adult counseling.

Journaling is also great for reflecting on progress you’ve made with therapy. You can look back on old journal entries as reminders of where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. If you have a major turning point as you’re journaling, that will be noted in your own words. Consider this as a time capsule that you can go back through time and time again.

Using Your Journal In Your Counseling Sessions

You can use your journal during your counseling sessions. In fact, your therapist will most likely encourage this. If you have a question, thought or experience that you want to discuss in an upcoming appointment, put a bookmark on that page for easy reference. Then all you have to do is open your journal when you want to talk to your counselor.

If you are using your journal to write about your therapy sessions, you could start each new appointment with a reflection of the last one – similar to how a secretary would read the minutes of a previous business meeting at the start of a new one. This will remind you of what you were working on over the week, and then you can talk about the actions you took accordingly.

Journaling Is Not A Direct Substitute For Therapy

There are countless benefits to journaling, but that does not mean it should be used instead of therapy. You can learn a lot about yourself as you reflect on your thoughts and experiences, but you should still talk to a counselor or therapist. Your counselor is there to not only listen to your reflections but also to recommend steps you can take toward a positive future. You won’t get that kind of feedback from journaling alone.

Talk to a counselor at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to see if journaling is a good fit for your therapy. You might be surprised by just how much it helps speed up your progress.

Choosing The Right Michigan Counselor For Your Needs

michigan counselor

The success of a counseling program relies heavily on the relationship between a therapist and his or her patient. Here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we have specialists in nearly every area of mental health and behavioral development. We carefully match each patient with the counselor best suited for his or her needs to ensure a high success rate from the start. In this guide, we will go over how to choose the right Michigan counselor for your needs so you can overcome difficult obstacles in your life.

Figure Out What Issues You Are Dealing With

In order to get the right care for your needs, you must understand what those needs actually are. This may not be something you can assess on your own. It may take some psychological evaluation from one of the professionals at our Michigan counseling centers to determine what conditions you are dealing with at this time. For instance, you may feel like you have anxiety or unexplained depression, when in reality you suffer from bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Our professionals can help you answer these questions and more so you can get the specialized care you deserve.

Work With Someone You Feel Comfortable Talking To

Your counselor or therapist should be someone you feel comfortable sharing your life story with. This is one of the keys to having a positive experience in therapy – being able to speak openly in a confidential, judgment-free environment. All of the counselors and therapists at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers care about their patients deeply. Our safe and secure offices in Metro Detroit provide a calm, soothing place where you can talk openly about your feelings and experiences. Together, you and your counselor will figure out what the root cause of your struggles are and what you can do to make your life better moving forward.

Be Honest About Your Feelings

If you do not feel that you are getting the help you need from your current counselor or therapist, be honest with yourself about that. Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers has more than 30 specialists working at multiple locations. If you would like to try working with someone else, we will listen to your concerns and match you with another person who will be able to help you. Your success is our top priority, and we will do whatever it takes to help you achieve your goals.

Consider Faith-Based Counseling

If you are a Christian, you may consider working with a Christian counselor to overcome your struggles. We offer Christian counseling programs that use the Holy Bible as a guideline for how to live a happy and productive life. You will still get the benefits of traditional counseling with the added bonus of building your faith in God. This service is completely optional, but it could provide the extra help you need to fight addiction, overcome anxiety, boost your self-esteem, and more.

How To Persuade Someone To Get Counseling: Part 3

Intervention

Continued from Part 2 

What To Say To Convince Someone To See A Counselor

What works for your loved one may not work for someone else, so you will need to adjust your approach to fit your situation specifically. Here are some tips for what to say during your conversation:

  • Speak from your heart. Do not be afraid to share your concern with the person, as long as you let them know that you truly care about their well-being.
  • Use the word “I” instead of “you.” In other words, explain that you are worried about the person, not that the person has something wrong. “I am concerned about…” sounds a lot better than “You need to…”
  • If possible, ask for this as a gift to you or someone the other person cares about. “Going to counseling is the best gift you could give your mother for her birthday.” This will work for some people – not everyone. You will have to use your judgment to determine if your loved one will respond well.
  • Stay calm. You may not get a positive reaction from this process, but you should still use a calm, concerned tone even if the person lashes out in defense.
  • Offer to come along or to get counseling for yourself. If your loved one feels like he or she has a support system, you may have an easier time getting him or her to see a therapist.

What Not To Say To Convince Someone To See A Counselor

There are some tactics and statements that will almost always lead to a negative result. Avoid all of the following situations when you confront someone about seeing a counselor or therapist:

  • Do not use derogatory, accusatory, or condescending terms like “crazy,” “weird,” “abnormal,” or “creepy.”
  • Do not get angry or defensive. You have to expect the person to be upset when you first talk to him. Do your best to control your temper, even if that means taking a verbal bashing for a moment. This will pass when the emotions simmer down.
  • Do not leave the person alone. They need support at this tough time. Let them know you’ll be there every step of the way.

A More Aggressive Approach (When Necessary)

If your loved one is facing a mental or emotional issue that puts himself or someone else at harm, you may need to take more drastic measures to get him to a counselor. For instance, if the person has an anger management issue and is physically abusing you or another family member, you may need to get the authorities involved with the confrontation. Contact local law enforcement about the situation to find out what your rights are as a bystander and what they will be able to do to help you.

Whatever the outcome of the confrontation is, make sure you stand by the person’s side so he knows that he has support. With the right commitment and devotion on your end, your friend or family member can finally get the help he needs.

How To Persuade Someone To Get Counseling: Part 2

therapy and counseling

Continued from Part 1 

Choose The Right Time And Place For Your Approach

Telling someone to get counseling can easily come across as an offensive statement, even if you have good intensions. Thus it is important for you to choose the right time and place for your conversation. If you bring the subject up at an inappropriate time, your friend may turn against you or ignore the suggestion entirely. Simply put, you could be setting yourself up for failure.

The Time

The “right” time to approach someone about speaking to a counselor will vary from person to person. You should choose a moment when you can speak to the person, uninterrupted, for a long stretch of time. For example, if you are trying to speak to your spouse about marriage counseling, you may wait until after the children have gone to bed, or early in the morning before they wake up.

You should also keep in mind the circumstances leading up to your discussion. You do not want to bring up a topic like this shortly after a fight because it will come across in a spiteful way. You may want to avoid a day when the person is feeling particularly depressed, angry, anxious, etc. The wrong time could make an honest approach seem like an attack.

The Place

This is a private matter, so the conversation needs to take place in a private, comfortable location. In most cases, this will either be at your home or at your friend or family member’s home. You may also consider discussing the matter at your place of worship, if the person you’re confronting has a strong belief system.

Keep in mind that this is about making the other person comfortable, not you. Think about his or her needs when approaching this conversation so you end up with the best results.

Set Yourself Up For Success – How To Start The Conversation

Begin your discussion by telling your loved one you need to have an important conversation with them. This will ensure that the person is paying attention to you when you speak, so you don’t have to repeat yourself and your statements are clearly understood. A simple “We need to talk” may not be enough. “I need to discuss something really important with you” would be more effective.

Let your loved one know that you care for them and the struggles they’re going through. Enter the discussion from a place of empathy. Say something similar to “I know life isn’t easy for you right now. I truly care about what you’re going through, and I want to find a way to help.”

Continue to Part 3

How To Persuade Someone To Get Counseling: Part 1

See a counselor

If you have a friend or family member who needs professional counseling and therapy, it may be difficult to convince the person to seek the help they need. A large portion of the patients we work with at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers are referred to us by schools, doctors, or other people concerned about their loved ones. When you see someone important in your life struggling to get through the day, it’s natural to want to help them. You just need to know the right way to approach the situation.

In this guide, we will go over how to convince someone to see a counselor so you can help your loved one get to a happier stage in life.

Find A Counseling Center Ahead Of Time

It helps to be fully prepared before confronting your loved one about getting counseling or therapy. The best place to start is to locate a counseling center near you that your friend will be comfortable in. You may refer to our guide titled Which Therapist Is Right For Me? for detailed tips on choosing a counselor or counseling center to attend, but the main goal is to locate a specialist with extensive experience in the type of therapy your friend needs.

For example, if you want to help your friend get over drug addiction, you will need to find a counseling center with substance abuse counselors and therapists. If you are a parent looking for bullying therapy for your child, you would need to seek out a center that offers child counseling and therapy. Make sure the center is well trusted in your community, and make sure you are fully aware of the charges that may come with the counseling session. As long as you have an exact idea of what your friend can expect from the experience, you can prepare your approach.

Schedule An Appointment With A Counselor

Once you have found a trustworthy counseling center for your loved one, consider scheduling an appointment for yourself. This will give you a chance to speak to a professional about how to approach your loved one, or how you can help that person get through this troubling time. You will not be able to set up an appointment for your friend, but you can reassure him or her that the counseling center is worth visiting because you already have a relationship with them.

Continue to Part 2