Counseling & Awareness

April is Counseling Awareness Month and this year, The American Counseling Association (ACA) is focused on highlighting ways in which professional counselors can help with a variety of everyday issues.  Some of the issues professional counselors can help with are: learning ways to manage stress, anger management, grief, trauma, anxiety and depression, improving family conflict and marital problems by learning effective and positive communication strategies, making healthier lifestyle changes involving career decisions, addictions, parenting, and finding balance between work and life.

Asking for help can be nerve wracking and daunting; however it is the first step to making change in your life. Do you desire to improve your life? Be happier? Worry less? Stop a bad habit?  Communicate better with others? Let go of past hurts? If you answered yes, then maybe counseling is right for you! “But how do I find the right counselor?” 

Well, think of if similar to finding the right hairstylist. No one wants to go to a stylist that is never available, does a sloppy job or is too pricey. So, when looking for a counselor, you want to find one that will meet most of what you are looking for. For example, some things to consider when searching for a counselor are: 

  • Do I want a male or female therapist?
  • Do they take insurance or have a sliding scale?
  • Do they work with children?
  • Do they have any specialties?
  • What types of issues do they work with?
  • Do they have a website?
  • Do they have hours that are convenient to my schedule?
  • What type of counseling approach do they use?
  • Is the counseling practice conveniently located?

Once you have done your research, it’s now time to make the call. Yes, admitting that you need help can be scary and vulnerable; however, it will be one of the best decisions you can make for yourself and/or family. Counselors are trained in a variety of counseling techniques and theories. Most have a minimum of a Master’s degree and are licensed or a registered intern. You can check out Psychology Today to search for counselors in your area; or check out for a list of counselors that may meet your needs.  Now is the time to make the change you have always wanted to make! Now is the time to get back to being happier! Now is the time to live a better balanced life! Now is the time to call a counselor! We can help! Call today to schedule an appointment with one our qualified professional counselors. For more information call 941-391-1067 or visit our website at

Communication is the Key to Building Healthy Relationships

Communication is a fundamental component of all relationships.  Regardless of the type of relationship, parent-child, platonic, romantic or business, communication is essential to letting others know what you want and need.  In the technology era, communication is instantaneous, we can send a text message, email, tweet, call, skype, facetime, Facebook, etc. Although these modes of communication let others know what we want and need, sometimes content and context can be misunderstood, which in turn creates a barrier to effective communication.    Effective communication is defined by: 

1)    Communication that is honest and open

2)    Communication in which the needs are met for both sender and receiver

3)    Communication  which is respectful in nature

4)    Communication in which there is the absence of arguing and fighting

Basic communication involves a sender and a receiver. There are two forms of communication, which are verbal and non-verbal.  In verbal communication, a message is sent verbally, the receiver interprets the message and then responds to the sender. In non-verbal communication, the sender sends a message through his or her body language (i.e. eyes, hand gestures, body posture/position, and noises).  In addition to the two forms of communication, there are four communication styles.

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