I Love Being A Counselor

Being a school counselor, it is mandatory to attend seminars and workshops for continuing education, and one of those that I attended was the 2018 Online Counselors Workshop. Psychologists Specialists of Maine initiated the workshop. The workshop was very engaging, and I never felt bored during the whole event. It got me thinking, though.…

Volunteering As A Counselor


It seems that the desire to help others is something that’s innate to the human soul. “Smile and the world smiles with you,” as they say. When we’ve experienced good fortune, we want to share it with the rest of the world. Too often, though, these good intentions get lost in an untrusting world simply because we don’t know where to start. For someone who thinks of helping others only in terms of giving away money, for instance, there are few truly good options.

If a person is willing to donate his time and effort instead, a whole galaxy of choices opens up. One is called voluntourism and is enormously expensive and ethically questionable. Another is to make a commitment of time and energy (without spending a cent), learning about the different types of counseling that exist, and offering assistance to those in need as a volunteer counselor.


Who Might Want to Become a Volunteer Counselor?

Many people who suffered from mental health issues in the past feel a duty or inclination to help others currently in the same position. In fact, a high degree of empathy is a trait often found among those who have recovered from illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders.

A number of others have a desire to improve the world we live in and realize that their life experiences – as parents, prison inmates, soldiers, trauma survivors, or whatever else – make them more qualified than most to provide help to people in a particular situation. Some retired psychologists and therapists no longer desire to work formally, but still enjoy applying their skills for the benefit of others. Psychology students at all levels, as well as those interested in entering the counseling profession, also frequently use volunteer work as a way to gain experience and references.

Whatever a person’s background, experience, and education, numerous organizations are eager for more volunteer counselors. Where needed, training is usually provided free of charge, and volunteers can count on the support network an existing system provides, including drawing on the experience of veteran counselors. The only real requirements are the willingness to help others, a non-judgmental attitude, some time to spare and the necessary emotional resilience.


What Does the Work Involve?

The actual nature of volunteer counseling depends heavily on the organization involved. Some charities devote their work exclusively to certain groups, such as abused children, victims of crime or the elderly. Others may operate help lines open to anyone experiencing a difficult day, week or year, while certain online discussion boards and chat rooms allow anyone to pose a question or post a reply.

In some cases, volunteers will be required to commit to working a certain number of hours per week or per month. This is simply to ensure that the cost of the training they receive is spent effectively, and to make it easier for the counseling organization to plan their staffing requirements. In the case of pastoral (faith-based) counseling, certain religious criteria might also have to be met.

In some cases, a volunteer will be required to physically travel to a call center or other location to work or for mandatory training, which may comprise several dozen hours. Other groups offer one on one, face to face counseling, in which case a basic background check is usually required for all volunteer counselors. Due to the difficulty of checking identities and credentials online, some websites allow virtually anyone to register as a volunteer, although abusive or unprofessional behavior will not be allowed and may result in real-world consequences.

Volunteering Online

A large proportion of people suffering from mental illness or facing difficult challenges have no one to talk to. This may be because they are isolated from their family for some reason, ashamed to speak to someone they know, unable to afford a professional therapist’s fees or for any of a dozen other reasons.

While unable to offer the same level of care as a psychologist with a master’s degree, a person who spends an hour or so per week answering questions on a website devoted to providing those suffering from depression, relationship issues or general mental strain can do a world of good to people they will never meet. Chances are, whatever life experience or formal counseling training you possess, someone, somewhere in the world is in need of help you can provide. The pay is poor, but the rewards are great.…

Digital Therapy: Improving Medical And Mental Health Solutions

Understanding Digital Therapy

 Technically, digital therapy is a virtual method of treating medical and mental health issues of individuals with varying problems. Some of these people turn to digital therapy because they are hesitant to talk to a therapist or psychiatrist face to face. Ironically, some people have been going to traditional therapy but decided to switch to digital therapy because they found it to be equally therapeutic and effective than going to their usual therapist.

What does digital therapy really encompass and how does it work for our best? Let us learn about it through some stories about people (whom we will name differently) who have experienced and have been successfully treated through digital therapy.


Nicole the Actress

 Having bounced from one traditional therapist to another, Nicole just switched to digital counseling a few weeks ago. She had been used to visiting her shrinks as much as she could, which was once a month – or once in two months – because as an actress she has a hectic schedule and she also travels. According to clinical psychologist Nina Barlevy, PsyD, “online care is not for every patient or practitioner. Clients with more serious mental illnesses or addictions likely need more treatment than digital therapy can provide. And some clinicians may find certain telehealth modalities difficult.”

When asked about the efficacy of traditional therapy for her, she said, “I loved my therapists. They knew when to let me talk it out, and they knew when to let me cry it out. They actually helped me make sense of my insomnia, depression, and anger issues. But Denise and I had to part because I often flew to London for a few months. Rose was next but that time I had two projects which were overlapping and I just couldn’t squeeze her into my schedule.”

She was desperately looking for another therapy clinic while she was in Hollywood when she came across an online community that aims to help people understand the whys and hows of mental health conditions. It also contained some content about the surge of digital counseling in most parts of the world. She thought, “This might work for me. There’s no harm in trying.”

There really isn’t. You can remain anonymous if you want, and all you need to join is a security code that sets you apart from the other ‘patients’ that login for their own therapies. “This kind of effort takes a fair amount of commitment and understanding of the online world.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. explains.


Liz the Diabetic

 Her heart would race whenever she’s on her way to her physician to have her evaluation. Her appointments usually distracted her naps and she didn’t want to go out because she was a little overweight and she was easily irritated and usually elusive.

When someone introduced her to an app for diabetic care, she finally felt that she would be able to conform to doctor’s orders. The app contained relevant information about diabetes – its causes and symptoms and preventive measures to slow down the disease process. It also provided medical advice about nutrition, insulin dosage, and other data that would help a person understand his or her disease better.

She attests that the results from her current tests showed a reduction in her blood sugar levels. She was following the meal plans that were posted on the app and after a few weeks, her results were fantastic. She had also tried online cognitive behavioral therapy and said that it was really effective.



 We may think that face-to-face therapy is more preferable, but studies suggest that about 57% of individuals treated online were symptom-free after a 30-day trial, and 42% were cured of traditional therapy.

Liz says, “Looking a therapist in the eye across an unfamiliar consulting room when you have something personal to say can be difficult and intimidating. Learning how to take care of myself and preventing my diabetes from aggravating through digital therapy has been one of the best things that happened in my life.”










Healing Minds


Healing Benefits of Counseling


There are a number of things in life that can have an effect on the state of your emotional wellbeing and mental health. These disruptions to your emotional wellbeing can give rise to feelings such as sadness, stress, and anxiety.

Finding ways to deal with these emotions is the first step to healing and improving the state of your mental health. There are many individuals or families that have discovered the healing value of therapy and the importance of finding ways to deal with the emotions that cause the distress. “Therapy can remind you how to take care of yourself and develop a plan so you know your sources of support,” says Carmen Gehrke, LMHC.



Who Needs Counseling?


According to Brittany N. Murphy, PHD, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH, “Counseling is an empowering process in which people take responsibility for and control over their lives.” There are a number of reasons that an individual or family can seek out therapy or counseling. There are also a number of different types of counseling that one can choose from. Reasons to seek out counseling or therapy can include:


  • Major life events such as grief, divorce, illness, etc
  • Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, etc
  • Anger management
  • Family issues such as divorce, foster care, adoption, and more
  • Addiction
  • Life Changing Illness such as HIV, AIDS, etc
  • Grief and loss
  • Personality traits such as low self-esteem
  • Family counseling to deal with the effects of a loved one with mental disorder or life-changing illness



Types of Counseling


There are a number of different types of counselors and therapists, each with their own approach as to how they would aid the individual in dealing with the problem for which they seek out counseling.  The types of therapy and counselors can include:


  • Marriage Counselor
  • Child and Family Counseling.
  • Career and Guidance Counseling.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Mental health Therapists, counselors and group therapy
  • Substance Abuse Therapy or Group Counseling such as AA.
  • Educational Counseling
  • Social Workers


Counseling For the Unemployed, Homeless and Transients

Chris Oneth LMFT  says “Through simple and direct counsel and coaching you may discover great potentials that can move your job and career to a positive place you never thought possible.” Therefore, finding support or seeking out therapy can be difficult when you are faced with challenges such as unemployment or homelessness. However, it is not impossible. A person who wants to seek out support or therapy can:


  • Speak to a social worker and ask about free community projects
  • Speak to shelter coordinators
  • Chat with your local healthcare workers
  • Find instant support & online therapy if you have access to technology
  • Speak to your local ministries



Disease Management



Disease Management is another reason that one can seek out therapy or counseling. Managing health through counseling, group therapy, and one-on-one therapy aims to assist an individual in coping and learning to live with diseases such as HIV and AIDS.

The purpose of counseling is to provide the person with information and prepare them for the personal, medical and social implications of being diagnosed with a disease surrounded by stigmas such as HIV or AIDS. Being diagnosed with a disease such as HIV can be traumatic, and counseling or therapy will guide you in learning to manage and live with the outcome.


Behavioral Health Services Homeless 

This form of counseling and health service provides people who are homeless with support. Support can include counseling for substance abuse, addiction, and mental health. This is achieved through a number of outreach programs and crisis management teams. There are a number of these outreach programs available and also something that communities can come together to support.


Counseling to Prevent Homelessness

There are also a number of prevention programs that offer counseling and support that includes intervention, budget counseling, and assistance in accessing community and government resources in their communities.

“Because Everyone Deserves a Home-The Way Home”  is one such group that offers support, counseling, and guidance for prevention and rehabilitation for homelessness.…

Importance Of Short Commute To Work When You Are In A Relationship

Have you always wondered how two-career people get to make their relationship work?

They do not need complex equations for that, frankly speaking. These people merely take into consideration one facet that many couples tend to overlook: the distance between their house and their workplace.



Two reasons might fuel this scenario: 1) you already bought or inherited a home far from your new job, or 2) the cost of living near the office is almost beyond your pay grade. For sure, it is fathomable if you cannot move due to either cause. It cannot be wise indeed to bite more than what you can chew, right?

Despite that, in case you have the financial means to relocate and shorten your travel time to work, you should grab the closest residential unit to your workplace. It will not only be for the sake of your productivity, after all – your relationship will benefit from it too.



It Gives You Plenty Of Free Hours To Spend With Your Partner

For starters, imagine needing to commute to the office for two to three hours, depending on how suffocating the traffic jam may be. If work starts at seven in the morning, you have to leave your home around four or five o’clock. Once your eight-hour shift ends, you might get stuck on the road with thousands of cars for several hours. By the time you pull up to the driveway, it is possible that you barely have the energy to gather your stuff, change your clothes, and set the alarm clock before you zonk out.

It is highly significant for you to understand that this circumstance is only appropriate for bachelors and bachelorettes. In case you live with your significant other, though, he or she may feel neglected if that becomes your daily routine. It may not take long before your partner stops putting up with your schedule and asks for their freedom.

Now, assuming your office is five minutes away or just next door, your better half will not complain about your lack of time for him or her. You can spend hours together and even sleep in occasionally since your work site is near. That is a plus point for your relationship, of course.


The Short Trip May Lessen Your Stress

A lengthy commute to work can short-circuit your fuse as well, primarily if you are not used to the situation. You may already be moody as you enter the building, but then your irritation might explode once you or your colleagues mess up with your tasks. Worse, the high level of stress that comes with those negative emotions might stick with you even when you reach the house, thus enabling you to pick fights with your partner.

Is that a great way to maintain a relationship? Not in this lifetime, no. So to avoid losing your sanity – and your significant other – you must shorten your travel time.


Going Back And Forth For Work Is Not Worth The Effort

Assuming your boss offers to raise your salary by 20 percent, but he or she requires you to go to a location that is at least an hour away from home, will you accept the job?

As tempting as it appears, you should respectfully decline the proposition. Apart from not having much quality time for your better half, you will also lose a lot economic-wise. Based on a study from the University of Zurich, you need to receive no less than 40 percent of your current pay to make the long commute worth the effort. Otherwise, look for a job near your home.



Hopefully, it already makes sense to you why some people choose to move pretty close to their workplaces, as well as why you should consider it too.



Indications That Your Marriage Is Hurting Your Career


The industrial and family dynamics have changed so much that a wife no longer has to be a simple home-keeper. You can pursue your dreams of being employed by a company that offers incredible benefits and still be a hands-on parent to your children. In fact, some corporations set up a daycare center within the building for moms who do not have anyone to babysit their kid at home. Therefore, nothing should ideally be able to stop you from having a successful career, right?

Quite unfortunately, there may still be one obstacle: your marriage.

How come?



  1. Your Spouse Does Not Support Your Career Decisions

Considering you waited until your child entered the elementary school before you decided to seek a full-time job, it is possible that your better half may not take the thought of you being away from home every day comfortably. For sure, he may not discourage you at first to send your application, but that does not entail that he approves of it. Once you indeed get the position you’re vying for, the husband might dismiss any subject related to your new work and let you down emotionally most of the time.

The truth of the matter is that you do not deserve that kind of treatment. Since you are no longer “just a mom” now you need to be able to rely on your spouse in every way probable. Otherwise, you might think of quitting your job to appease your man or to avoid further disagreements at home.


  1. Your Partner Is Lazy

Your career also takes a hit if you are married to someone who does not want to help you look after your kids and the house. One may argue that they have a higher position in their company than you; that’s why they cannot be at home often. That fact cannot guarantee that they have a busier schedule compared to yours.

What happens if you cannot depend on your husband to take care of some of your household chores is that you have no choice but to leave work early or not finish your projects within the deadline. Will that hurt your career? Of course! Even the most understanding boss will complain, especially when you are ineffective because you tied the knot to Mr. Lazybones. In the end, that person may ask you to hand in your resignation letter as you perhaps cannot manage your home situation instantly.



  1. You Do Not Want To Get A Divorce

In case you know that your marriage is no longer working yet you still do not wish to file for divorce for the sake of your children, you are not only hurting yourself but also your career.

Imagine, you opted out of the possibility of having a peaceful home and chose to stay under the same roof with a man who may not even care for you. Hence, your brain may always be full of worries, and you may not have enough space left in there to think about your office responsibilities.

Once anyone in the workplace gets a hint that your relationship decreased your competency substantially, it may result in demotion or, worse, termination.


It is okay to fight for your marriage and set aside your career if that will make you happy. Many married ladies took that path, and their life turned out well. Despite that, you should also take note of the women in history that rose through the ranks since their spouse supported them wholeheartedly.

If you want to be like the latter, you then need to ensure that your husband is on board with your decision to go after your dream job. Or else, your marriage will inevitably hurt your career.…

Things To Do If Your Career Compromises Your Marriage



Loving your career is not a heinous crime. You ideally worked hard to attain the position you currently hold. You do not ask for help from others; instead, you are the go-to person whenever your colleagues need advice on something. Perhaps you can also no longer count the number of sleepless nights you spent in the office, finishing your tasks and ensuring that even your strict bosses will not be able to find any loophole in it.

Despite that, your career does not hold a candle to the importance of having a successful marriage. After all, that job will disappear once you become too old to work, but your spouse can stay by your side for as long as you both shall live.

So below are the things you can do if your career compromises your union.


  1. Assess Your Expectations To Each Other

One of the reasons why working couples fight is that they cannot meet each other’s expectations. Being two consenting adults, it is likely that you previously talked about it even before either of you started your respective jobs. However, you should take into account that people’s priorities can change. Your spouse may merely not have the time to inform you about any alteration in his or her goals immediately; thus, you will undoubtedly clash with one another.

A quick fix to this matter is to check in with your better half regularly. Open the topic over dinner or when you are in the bedroom in a non-formal manner. Encourage your partner to tell you their expectations of you, and vice versa. Such a conversation will enlighten you about the boundaries you should never see for the sake of your marriage.



  1. Deal With Your Workaholic Tendencies

When you enjoy the job that you have, your boss probably does not need to ask you to work overtime on a project. In fact, you might do it more often than you should, to the point that your significant other has to fetch you from the office directly to remind you of the hour.

Remember that this kind of circumstance is only acceptable occasionally. If it turns into a habit, your spouse may get tired of the situation and ask if you are doing it to avoid being with him or her.

The best thing you can do, therefore, is to curb your workaholic tendencies. Being passionate about your job is all right. What isn’t okay is your decision to prioritize it over quality time with your family. The latter, in reality, is what pushes neglected spouses to look for another man or woman who will cherish them the way you should.


  1. Remain Flexible

Another benefit of not overdoing your work is that you will have the energy to take care of your entire family after office hours. It is vital, especially when you have kids who still require your guidance and affection to grow well. Your marriage may stay strong as well since you can help out at home and get cozy with your husband or wife often.



Balancing your relationship and career may not be as easy as pie, but it surely is possible. You only need a significant dose of love, sensitivity, and diligence in your system, and neither aspect of your life will ever suffer.


How To Deal With An Unfaithful Spouse



When you married your long-time boyfriend or girlfriend, were you only picturing out the beautiful life – and babies – that you could create together?

It will not be a sin to say ‘yes’ to the question, you know. No one can tease you or call you out for being optimistic. You may even have names for your future children already, and that is okay.

However, a problem that comes with wedding bliss is its inability to prepare you for the infidelity that might rock your relationship anytime. The threat is always there, primarily when your spouse meets many people due to their job. It is only practical, for that reason, to think of how you will deal with an unfaithful partner beforehand.



The proper steps go like this:

  1. Decide

What will you do after finding out that your better half cheated on you?

There are two options on hand. One of them is to save the marriage, of course. The other choice is to end it.

A typical husband or wife will select the former, hoping that the spouse will change, and their patience will pay off. A more decisive person, however, may opt for the latter, thinking that their partner will be able to cheat again as he or she has already done it once.

It may help you come up with a decision if you take a look at your history as a couple. In case it is the partner’s first slip-up, there may still be hope for your marriage. Considering it is not the lone time they did that, then the second option may be the best one right now.


  1. Focus

You may have plenty of negative emotions at this point, yet you should not let your anger and disappointment eat your consciousness. Whether you want to make or break the relationship, it matters to understand what pushed your spouse to commit infidelity. The truth behind that will merely surface once you calm yourself and ask the necessary questions.


  1. Assess

After getting information from your significant other, are you still sure about your decision from step #1?

You can change it; it’s cool. Your initial choice is more of a personal preference than anything. If you pick a different pronouncement after listening to your spouse, it must mean that you heard valuable details which you didn’t know about back then.

Assuming you stick to your previous decision, you need to ascertain that you are doing it because your hunch wasn’t off the mark. It will be childish to do it out of pride because your marriage is at risk.


  1. Heal

You should remember that it is unhealthy to bring up your partner’s infidelity every single time you talk. You will always separate with a heavy heart if you act that way. The others around you may become uncomfortable too.

What most marriage experts suggest is to look for guidance from a counselor. Couples counseling, after all, works for folks who may or may not want to stay together. It lets you deal with buried issues in front of a professional without snapping at each other. He or she can also interpret the explanations of your spouse that used to not be crystal clear in your head. Thus, the healing process can finally begin.



To Sum Things Up

A cheating fiasco may only happen once, but its impact on your marriage can last for a while. It will hurt you badly; you may even spend nights crying yourself to sleep. However, it is vital to deal with the unfaithfulness step by step to avoid making rash decisions.

Good luck!


Everything You Should Know About Becoming A Phlebotomist

As absurd as it might sound to you, many individuals with trypanophobia – fear of needles – tend to feel the need to call their therapist before or after getting phlebotomy. This medical practice, after all, involves the insertion of a needle in a vein to either draw or transfer blood to the patient. It takes place when you need to prick the finger for a blood sugar test, get an IV drip, or have your blood tested to understand your physical condition. Hence, the process is quite inevitable if you want to look after your health.

The thing is, phlebotomy is a procedure that all nurses and nursing assistants should be able to do anytime without their heavy hands traumatizing the patients from coming back. In truth, a lot of healthcare institutions are put up with the objective of helping more people gain critical certifications that will allow them to find long-term work in the medical industry. Like in the IT field, there is no scarcity in the number of individuals needed by hospitals, private or not, to fill such a position that can provide exceptional services to the patients.

Among all the healthcare courses you can train for, being a certified phlebotomist should be your top priority.

What Should I Need To Know Before Enrolling To A Phlebotomy Training Program?

The first thing to understand about this essential nursing skill is that practically every hospital requires its medical staff to obtain a phlebotomy certification. From the emergency rooms to the intensive-care units, after all, the patients likely need to get their blood tested to determine their health status. If the nurse cannot do that well, there is a high chance that the individual may get hurt or lose more blood than necessary.

Furthermore, since even a nursing assistant can become a phlebotomy technician, a lot of schools merely want to know that you passed your GED or that you already have a high school diploma before letting you enroll. A college degree is not one of the requirements.

Some of the certifications available in the United States come from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). You may apply for any or all of them, but only after finishing the course.

What Kind Of Subjects Will I Have To Focus On?

Whether you prefer to enroll in a Southern California phlebotomy training program or a similar institution in a different state, these are typical subjects that you will find:

Laboratory Safety

Because you will be working with a delicate sample that is potentially infected by a virus or disease, you need to make sure that you know all the proper laboratory safety rules. For instance, identify how to use any equipment before, during, and after the testing process; learn the proper way of cleaning up and disinfecting any area where a spill has taken place. That will not only protect you from acquiring an infection but your colleagues as well.

Cell And Blood Structure

The cells and blood of a healthy individual will look different from that of someone who is suffering from tuberculosis, cancer, and other illnesses. Knowing their unique points can increase your skills.

Process Of Drawing Blood

As mentioned above, understand that some people already have a problem with having their veins pricked to have their blood taken. That is the fact that instructors emphasize during the training since you need specific skills to be able to perform the procedure on folks of all ages more efficiently. What is worse for patients than having their vein punctured once is needing to experience it again for a second or third time merely because the medical personnel cannot stick in the needle correctly.


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an optional subject that a few institutions provide. While you do not have to take this course, it is also vital to know how to perform CPR. After all, you cannot determine when an emergency will happen nearby, and you may have the chance to save a life by responding to the situation fast.

Other subjects will surely be included in your training, especially if you choose any program that will span from a few weeks to half a year to over 12 months.

Final Thoughts

The road towards your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician is genuinely not as long as the path that registered nurses or doctors need to take. Despite that, placing a needle into the patient’s vein is a delicate matter that you ought to learn and get certified for. Find out what institution near you provides this training program now.

Good luck!…

How To Act Like A Therapist For A Depressed Friend

Friends are usually the safe haven of a lot of people. It is good that we know that it is of human nature that people tend to associate themselves and form groups or circles with people they trust and respect. This set-up is good nowadays because of the issues regarding mental health, the stigma of traditional counseling and the security or privacy fears on counselor online.…