Category Archives: Adult Counseling

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

Finding The Right Therapist For You

Therapist

“I need to see a therapist.” This simple phrase carries a heavier weight than most people realize. There are a number of different counselors and therapists to choose from, regardless of where you live or what type of help you need. By selecting the right professional to help you through your journey, you will enjoy a pleasant, effective, and life-changing experience in therapy.

In the information below, we will help you answer the question, “Which therapist is right for me?” 

Qualities Of A Good Therapist

A “good” therapist may not necessarily be the “right” therapist for your needs. Nevertheless, it is important for look for respectable qualities in your therapist no matter what your situation is. Here are some surefire signs of a qualified therapist:

  • High Level Of Education (Usually A Master’s Degree Or Doctorate In Psychology, Psychiatry, Or Similar)
  • Long-Term Experience In The Field
  • Strong Recommendations From Local Doctors, Schools, Churches, And Businesses
  • Caring Personality (Someone You Connect With)
  • Local And State Licenses

Assess the credentials of your therapist like you would a doctor, lawyer, plumber, accountant – any service provider you trust with an aspect of your life. This will help you avoid a bad experience with an unqualified therapist.

How To Choose The Right Therapist For Your Needs

Once you have a set of therapists you can trust, you will need to determine which professional is best suited for your individual needs. If you need alcoholism treatment, seek help from someone who works with alcohol and substance abuse victims regularly. At Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers, we meticulously match each patient with a counselor or therapist who specializes in the treatment they need.

Types Of Therapists And Counselors

No matter what you are going through in life, there are counselors and therapists available to help you cope with, recover from, and overcome your struggles. Find a professional who specializes in your specific needs, and you will get the best treatment possible.

If Your First Therapist Does Not Work Out…

There are times when the first therapist you get paired with will not necessarily be the right therapist for you. If you do not feel like you have a good connection with your therapist or counselor, speak to your counseling center about working with someone else. Make sure explain what you have a problem with so the center can match you with a better fit from the start. Do not be afraid to say “I would prefer speaking to a woman” or “I would like a counselor closer to my age” if it would lead to a better experience for you overall.

Once you find the right therapist for your needs, you will be able to enjoy a better quality of life.

Want To Be Happy? Break These 5 Bad Habits

Breaking Bad Habits

Do you remember what it was like to be happy? Perhaps it’s a distant memory for you by now. Happiness is a feeling we often take for granted until it seems too late to get it back. Believe it or not, you can regain your happiness again just by adjusting some bad habits you don’t realize you have right now. Here are five bad habits you have to break if you want to be happy.

1 – Trying To Please Everyone

You’re not perfect. No one is and no one expects you to be. If you focus all of your energy on trying to be perfect, you’re going to miss out on the happiness that’s already around you. Do what brings you joy, not what you think everyone expects from you.

2 – Gossiping With Other People

Gossiping is essentially a process where you send out negative thoughts and emotions into the world. Those will inevitably come back to you, whether you realize it or not. The same people that you talk to behind other people’s backs will undoubtedly talk about you behind yours. Spare yourself the heartache and stay away from gossip.

3 – Feeling Insecure About Yourself

Insecurities can be deep seeded, spawning from traumatic situations all the way back to your childhood. We don’t expect you to just get over your long-term insecurities, but it would be wise to work on them. Start highlighting your positive traits instead of focusing on the negatives, or do something to change what you do not like about yourself (lose weight, get a tan, get a new haircut, etc.). When you feel confident about yourself, you naturally feel happier.

4 – Trying To Buy Happiness

Money can’t buy you happiness. “Stuff” does not equate to happiness. Think about all of the celebrity suicide you hear about on the news. They have money. They have “stuff.” What they don’t have is happiness. Rather than trying to buy your joy, you need to figure out what is holding you back from being happy. Work on that and save your money for something you truly need.

5 – Living In The Past

If you spend all of your time in the present dwelling on events from the past, you’re going to see life flash before your eyes. Work on leaving the past behind you and focus on the positive changes you can make for the future. Those are going to be the key to your happiness.

How Can Impulse Control Disorder Be Treated By Counseling

Impulse Control Disorder

A child is known to grab whatever catches its fancy. However, an adult learns how to resist and not give in to the desire. Such conditioning is, however, absent in certain people known to suffer from impulse control disorder. Behavioral therapists and counselors can help these individuals cope with the problem by helping them to think logically and in a positive way along with assisting them to learn control and build new habits.

Who Can Benefit From Counseling

There is no surefire shot for treating impulse control disorder. Counseling as well as certain behavior modifying programs can, however, reduce some of the issues especially when the affected individual is a teenager whose brain and reasoning techniques have not developed adequately. Substance abuse patients are greatly benefitted by such programs too as they learn new habits to overcome the undisciplined lifestyle that had led them to become addicts in the first place. That is not all though. Patients who had suffered from stroke and other ailments of the brain are often left with judgment impairment and counseling can make them see reason thus returning them to a normal life eventually.

Techniques

The most effective type of counseling here is to condition the patient and modify his/her behavior slowly over time. There a number of techniques employed for helping the individual learn the rules for a number of given situations. The common technique of reward and practice is often used here along with imparting the knowledge about why the patient has to utilize the controls and curb his/her impulses.

The main focus of behavioral therapy is to improve the present behavior of the affected individual. The counselor emphasizes on the following while treating individuals who suffer from impulse control disorders.

  • Building and strengthening the accepted social skills.
  • Discussing and helping by providing tips on problem solving.
  • Learning to look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on instant gratification.
  • Learning to curb impulse through self discipline and self control.

This therapy has been effective in getting rid of addictions, certain phobias and eating disorders.

Types

The different types of impulse control disorder that respond to counseling and behavior modification therapy include:-

  • Dermatillomania- self damage of skin
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder- impulse acts of anger or aggresion.
  • Kleptomania – act of stealing articles of no apparent value.
  • Onychophagia – biting the nails repeatedly without control.
  • Pathological Gambling – Continuing to gamble without any thought and ultimately suffering a monetary crisis and loss of property.
  • Pyromania- An uncontrollable urge to set fire without thinking of the consequences.
  • Trichotillomania – Pulling out the hair as it gives the feeling of being in control.

Give Yourself Deadlines For A Chance To Succeed

Succeed With Deadlines

There are few more satisfactory feelings than realizing we have successfully accomplished one of the goals we have envisioned in our minds. However, procrastination so frequently interferes in the way and prevents us from accomplishing the simple day-to-day chores or long-term goals we set for ourselves. The question is what are the options and choices we have to deal with this recurring problem.

If we come to think of it, going beyond the limits of self is crucial to thrive in your personal and professional life. The motivation to win and constant hunger for success typically stimulate us to push the boundaries and accomplish more than we thought we could. Deadlines are definitely one of the most important ingredients that kindle creative thinking and prompt us to ‘think outside the box’. Though painfully overused, this phrase still holds true. To think outside the box, we must set ourselves against stringent targets and deadlines.

There is the popular perception that creativity and inspiration can be realized best when free from the limitations of time and schedule. But, it necessarily does not work that way. Ingenuity needs motivation and an absence of motivation can lead to laziness and a stagnant life.

Deadlines Help You Conquer Your Current Limitations

Have you ever witnessed an individual with one leg competing in snow skiing or running marathons? Their impressive capabilities are nothing short of a miracle as they have mastered their boundary and disadvantage of a missing leg to challenge them and grow. Conquering the disability became the powerful motivation factor for them. They were inspire and encouraged to take the challenge head on and get out of their own ‘box’ of limitations.

Most of us work under some kind of deadlines. They compel and encourage us to prioritize each of our responsibilities, limit procrastination, and ultimately help us achieve the goals in our life. However, more often than not, we have a complete lack of deadlines and goals in our personal lives. The trick is in imposing a deadline on yourself and following it through until you succeed in achieving the end objectives.

Start by writing down your goals and a ‘realistic’ deadline which is feasible to achieve within the set timeline and does not allow you indulge in procrastination. Then start working towards fulfilling the task and making your dreams come true!

If you are having problems setting goals and finding motivation in your life, our counseling services can help you find your inner focus, relieve debilitating depression and jump start your life in a new positive direction.