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What do you do if, as a therapist, you’re called to testify in court? On this episode of the Mastering Counseling podcast, we explore just that. Our expert guest joining Megan is Nicol Stolar-Peterson. Nicole is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of California. She also owns and operates Therapist Court Prep, which focuses on helping therapists all over the country interface effectively with the court system.

Throughout her career, Nicol has worn many hats, including therapist, child custody evaluator, former Child Protective Services investigator and forensic interviewer, consultant, coach, and expert witness. She has also been featured on the popular podcast Selling the Couch and offered expert insight for CNN.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
  • What some common situations that lead therapists to interact with the court system are.
  • How to develop a strong court policy for your practice.
  • Which common pitfalls therapists often experience in court.
  • Effective strategies for navigating the court system competently and professionally.
  • And a great deal more!
Featured on the Show:
  • Connect with Nicol and Therapist Court Prep: Facebook | Twitter
  • Connect with the Show: Facebook | Twitter
  • Listen and Subscribe on: Spotify | iTunes | Player.fm (Android)
  • Counseling Spotlight: Therapist Court Prep

    Founded by Nicol Stolar-Peterson and located in Murrieta, CA, Therapist Court Prep helps therapists prepare for court testimony, as well as effectively complete court documents. It can be overwhelming and nerve racking for a therapist when they receive a subpoena to appear in court… but Nicol and her team work to help therapists be prepared.

    Therapist Court Prep offers a number of services, chief among them is one on one consultation with Nicol. However, they also offer Mock Courtroom Trials for larger groups to help people learn the in’s and out’s of what to expect in the courtroom. Additionally, live trainings are available for those interested.

    A Snapshot of Therapist Court Prep:

    • Location: 29970 Technology Drive, Suite 118Murrieta, California
    • Contact Number: (951) 595-6864
    • Testimonial: “Because of Nicol, I have peace of mind regarding my court policy. During our consult (to address my concerns about a request for records) Nicol addressed the steps I needed to take and also gave suggestions in the event I needed to actually appear in court. Nicol did this in a matter-of-fact, clear and supportive way that addressed my fears, lowered my stress and anxiety, and gave me concrete steps for moving forward. I am deeply thankful for her expertise in helping me navigate this complex area.” – Dr. Lourdes Viado
    Best of the Counseling and Mental Health Web: American Music Therapy Association

    Each episode we award a site or organization as the “Best of the Counseling and Mental Health Web”… as selected by Mastering Counseling Podcast listeners! Whether you’re a current mental health professional, or a student studying to become one, there are so many great resources out there discussing counseling and mental health. Some of these resources could even help your clients and be worth recommending to them.

    As a reminder, if you ever have a suggestion for a resource or organization we should recommend, drop us a line via email, Faceook, or Twitter!

    This week we’re happy to recognize American Music Therapy Association or AMTA for their fantastic work in general, and especially their online resources.

    Online you can learn so much about what music therapy is all about… but AMTA’s site covers the essentials the best. Including, what it is, who music therapists are, and what the AMTA is all about. You can even explore the AMTA archives and learn about their strategic plans for advancing their causes and growing their organization.

    In addition to that, there’s a wealth of information on music therapy research (efficacy and so much more), an online bookstore, and of course a list of all their events.

    When it comes to discovering music therapy, you’d be hard pressed to find a better web resource. Huge congrats to them on their selection!

    If you’re interested in finding out more you can visit them by connecting online.

    Don’t miss an episode – subscribe to Mastering Counseling!

    The post A Therapist’s Day in Court with Nicol Stolar-Peterson, LCSW: Ep. 08 appeared first on MastersInCounseling.org.

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It’s time for a brand new episode of the Mastering Counseling podcast! This show is all about couples therapy. Joining Megan to discuss her approach to couples therapy is April Eldemire, LMFT. April runs the web site and practice Couples Thrive, based in the Fort Lauderdale area. She specializes in working with couples, specifically around the transition to parenthood.

April completed her undergraduate degree at Florida State University and her graduate training at Nova Southeastern University. She is also a guest blogger and regular contributor for The Gottman Institute as well as a Bringing Baby Home Educator.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
  • What sets couples therapy apart from individual therapy.
  • The basics of how to use the Gottman method and EFT in couples therapy.
  • Additional training options for working with couples on the transition to parenthood.
  • Common issues that arise when working with couples on the transition to parenthood.
  • And a great deal more!
Featured on the Show:
  • Connect with April: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter
  • Connect with the Show: Facebook | Twitter
  • Listen and Subscribe on: Spotify | iTunes | Player.fm (Android)
  • Counseling Spotlight: Couples Thrive

    Couples thrive was founded in May of 2012 by April Eldemire, LMFT in Fort Lauderdale, and has a dedicated mission of “Making Relationships Last.” April and Couples Thrive accomplish this through therapy, tools, tips and online resources, and even workshops. The specific workshop run by April is a 2-day one called “Bringing Baby Home.” It’s designed to help couples successfully transition into live as new parents.

    In April’s own words, “Romantic relationships deserve to be satisfying, loving and fulfilling. I help couples, expecting and new parents achieve thriving relationships where they can get excited about ending the day, curled up next to their sweetie, feeling truly wanted, needed and cared for- even after a hectic day of work, crying babies and dirty laundry. After all, isn’t that what we all desire?”

    Couples Thrive at a Glance:

    Best of the Counseling and Mental Health Web: Postpartum Progress

    Each episode we award a site or organization as the “Best of the Counseling and Mental Health Web”… as selected by Mastering Counseling Podcast listeners! Whether you’re a current mental health professional, or a student studying to become one, there are so many great resources out there discussing counseling and mental health. Some of these resources could even help your clients and be worth recommending to them.

    As a reminder, if you ever have a suggestion for a resource or organization we should recommend, drop us a line via email, Faceook, or Twitter!

    This week we’re happy to recognize Postpartum Progress. This week, we’re happy to recognize a site that tackles an issue that affects millions of women around the world – postpartum depression.

    The site is called Postpartum Progress, and it offers a wealth of totally free resources for mothers.

    It was created by Katherine Stone specifically to offer “warm, positive, in-depth information, support and hope for all pregnant and new moms who experience postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth, including postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, depression or anxiety during pregnancy, post-adoption depression, postpartum PTSD, bipolar, peripartum onset/postpartum bipolar, depression after miscarriage or perinatal loss and postpartum psychosis.”

    Some of the resources available on site include downloadable PDFs in multiple languages of a “New Mom Mental Health Checklist” , links for mothers interested in joining supportive communities on social media, a specialized “warrior moms” Spotify playlist, and so much more. The of course have many different articles and blog posts offering facts, unique insight, and advice for moms working through postpartum challenges.

    If you’re interested in finding out more you can visit them by connecting online.

    Don’t miss an episode – subscribe to Mastering Counseling!

    The post Helping Couples Thrive with April Eldemire, LMFT: Ep. 07 appeared first on MastersInCounseling.org.

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Get ready for another episode of the Mastering Counseling podcast! Practicing psychotherapy is a rewarding career chooice, but it doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. Navigating those challenges, and maintaining success for a lengthy amount of time is something all therapists strive for. We’re fortunate to have a guest this week, Dr. Gerald Stein, who has lived it.

Dr. Gerald Stein worked as a licensed clinical psychologist in Chicagoland for nearly 30 years in various treatment and consultation settings across the mental health field before retiring from private practice in 2011. He chatted with Megan about his thoughts and insight for having a long career in the field, and about psychotherapy in general.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
  • Dr. Stein’s advice for sustaining a long and fulfilling career in the field of psychotherapy.
  • The rewards and challenges of serving as an expert witness.
  • The ins and outs of conducting psychological consultations.
  • Factors to consider when deciding when to retire from the field.
  • And a great deal more!
Featured on the Show:
  • Connect with Dr. Gerald Stein: Website
  • Connect with the Show: Facebook | Twitter
  • Listen and Subscribe on: Spotify | iTunes | Player.fm (Android)
  • Counseling Spotlight: Dr. Gerald Stein

    Dr. Gerald Stein completed his clinical training at Northwestern University before starting work as a clinician in private practice in Chicago. Over the years, he has served as Chief Psychologist at Forest Hospital, conducted psychological consultations for several major sports teams, completed over 2,500 psychological assessments, and served as an expert witness in an important court case involving the Illinois Department of Mental Health.

    Though currently retired, he still maintains an active blog that offers readers invaluable insights into the world of psychology and therapy.

    Some of his top posts include:

    • Signs of Insecurity: Behavior That Reveals a Lack of Confidence
    • In Which Part of Life Do You Live: Past, Present, or Future?
    • Beautiful and Smart, But Unlucky in Love: The Reasons Why
    • And more!

    In Dr. Stein’s own words: “In addition to psychology, you’ll also find me musing on baseball, classical music, love, friendship, how we live, and how best to live. I’ll tell a few stories and draw a few conclusions. I hope that some tales will touch you and others help you to look at yourself and the world anew. Thanks for reading (and thinking) along with me! Your comments are most welcome.”

    His blog is truly a fascinating read for anyone interested in psychotherapy!

    Best of the Counseling and Mental Health Web: 7 Cups

    Each episode we award a site or organization as the “Best of the Counseling and Mental Health Web”… as selected by Mastering Counseling Podcast listeners! Whether you’re a current mental health professional, or a student studying to become one, there are so many great resources out there discussing counseling and mental health. Some of these resources could even help your clients and be worth recommending to them.

    As a reminder, if you ever have a suggestion for a resource or organization we should recommend, drop us a line via email, Faceook, or Twitter!

    This week we’re happy to recognize 7 Cups. 7 Cups is an on-demand emotional health and well-being service. Their bridging technology anonymously & securely connects real people to real listeners in one-on-one chat.

    People connect with listeners on 7 Cups for all kinds of reasons, from big existential thoughts to small, day-to-day things that we all experience. Unlike talking to family or friends, a 7 Cups listener doesn’t judge or try to solve problems and say what to do. “[Their] listeners just listen. They understand. They give you the space you need to help you clear your head.”

    Topics that 7 Cups users ask or talk about include ADHD, Depression, Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Breakups, Family Stress, and so much more. They even have a running count of the number of people they’ve helped… which now stands at more than 25 million.

    They have a variety of resources to help with mental health including forums, exercises (like the breathing exercise on their member home page), tools to help visitors find and connect with therapists, and a whole lot more. They even have an app.

    Of course, you can even sign up to become a listener at 7 Cups if you’re interested in helping others… so if you’d like to learn more be sure to connect with them online.

    Don’t miss an episode – subscribe to Mastering Counseling!

    The post Career Longevity in Psychotherapy with Dr. Gerald Stein: Ep. 06 appeared first on MastersInCounseling.org.

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In this post, I finish comparing my answers from 7 years ago with my current answers.

Giving Therapy to Friends

7 years ago:
I also have to be careful not to enter therapy mode with my friends, or even people I have just met. I’ve caught myself several times doing this out of habit. It can be hard to separate the professional self from the personal self, but we must. Otherwise our friendships will take on that therapy-like one-way thing, and that won’t be good for us. In fact, I found that once I started doing counseling the needs in my personal relationships shifted. I found that I was in much more need of someone who would listen; I was much more sensitive and apt to feel slighted when friends failed to do this. And they did. Kind of often. As a result, I’ve had to carefully consider who to keep in my life. So, the work has changed the dynamics of my personal relationships.

Now:
I’ve realized I cannot completely separate my persona as therapist from my persona as friend. Although I’m careful not to do therapy with friends, I do sometimes offer advice and suggestions. I think there is more grey area here than I used to.

Handling Difficult Clients

7 years ago:
On the best days, counseling is like sitting down for tea with your best friend, only you can’t talk about yourself. On the worst days, it’s like facing the bully in the school yard, only you can’t speak up for yourself. At least not in the way you really want to. In a sense, becoming a counselor means giving up part of the human side of you – the side of you that has needs and wants to relate to other humans on a personal level. We can’t get our personal needs met while we are in relationship with our clients. Know that, be prepared, and get ready for the most fulfilling career you could ever hope for.

Now:
After several more years of experience under my belt, I get satisfaction from almost all of my clients. One reason is that I have gotten much better at dealing with “the bully in the school yard.” I have learned to look for the hurt underneath the anger, and I can usually find it. I’ve also learned to be more proactive and stricter about establishing and maintaining a respectful atmosphere in the office; I simply do not allow clients to yell or speak disrespectfully to either their partners or myself.

Summary

If I were to sum it up, in general I see more shades of grey. The more I learn and experience, the less I can make definitive statements about counseling.

Yours in the Joy of Knowledge,

Dr. Barb LoFrisco

The post What It’s Like To Be A Mental Health Counselor: Update, Part III appeared first on MastersInCounseling.org.

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