COVID-19: Offering video sessions through Skype and Zoom and phone sessions for those who prefer. Office still open for in person as well.
Discomfort prompts us to seek change. This feeling may come from an old problem or from old pain that seems to follow you through the years of your life. It may also come from a new problem that has caught you by surprise or left you feeling stuck. Maybe you just feel drawn toward your potential to improve the quality of your life in some way. You deserve to feel satisfied with your counselor. A competent counselor will be able to listen to your feedback and tailor the course of counseling to meet your needs.
Includes assessment of marriage goals, communication styles, and ways that couples manage conflict. Counseling is used to trouble-shoot the patterns of thinking and behavior that are causing conflict, and then to put into place new patterns of interacting that will lead to lasting marital satisfaction.
Includes learning how to use anger, as a tool, to help us understand our needs and values in our relationships with others. This awareness is then used to build new ways of thinking and behaving in response to anger in order to seek a better outcome.
Includes ways of managing severe emotional states through safety planning, finding relief through relaxation and stress management techniques, and exploration and resolution of problems causing or related to depression and anxiety.
Includes creating an individualized plan for quitting or decreasing use of drugs or alcohol based on client's past history of use and abuse, current life stressors or problems that may be contributing to the abuse. Individualized plans are centered around client strengths, goals, and motivation for change.
Therapeutic counseling to help you seek change and improve your life:
Addresses the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms that follow traumatic events. Some of the events that can cause PTS include: being the victim or a witness of a violent crime, experiencing a threat to one's life, witnessing a death or lethal accident, participating in military combat.
Includes consulting with employees and managers regarding conflict in the workplace, coaching and supervision for cultivating success, grief and trauma following crisis and tragedy in the workplace, and disability and mental illness issues affecting employees and employers.
Includes education, explanation, and coaching on how to integrate into one's daily life various alternative means for achieving total health and management of stress, such as yoga, meditation, reiki, diet, natural medicine, & exercise practices.
How do I know if I need counseling?
It is said that comfort is the enemy of change. The impetus for considering counseling usually involves being uncomfortable with some aspect of your life. The discomfort is actually a very healthy thing as long as you don't ignore it. Consider the twinge of pain you might get from a thorn piercing your skin; it directs your attention to it, causing you to pull it out and prevent infection. Discomfort prompts us to seek change. This feeling may come from an old problem or from old pain that seems to follow you through the years of your life. It may also come from a new problem that has caught you by surprise or left you feeling stuck. Even in the absence of a big problem, you may feel drawn to your potential to improve the quality of your life in some way. The decision to work with a counselor is a very personal one. You may have other ways you can help yourself- through your own will power to do things differently, through gaining new ideas by your own reading and discovery, or through talking with a trusted friend or family member. There may be some private issues that you do not choose to share with the people you know, and a counselor is required by law to maintain confidentiality. Although you may be considering counseling at the suggestion of someone you know, you are the one who will be doing the work, so it will work best if you have identified something that you want for yourself. If there is a positive change that you are seeking in your life, then counseling can help you find the missing pieces that will help you make progress.
How long can I expect to be in counseling?
When working with an effective counselor, a little work goes a long way. Tangible, visible change can happen relatively quickly for most people. In fact, research shows that most of the change in therapy happens within the first 6 sessions. If change doesn't happen by that point, it is unlikely that change will happen through counseling, at that time, and with that therapist. Some choose to go longer if they are still experiencing benefits from the counseling or when they have other areas of change to explore.
What if I feel counseling is not helping me?
You are investing time, energy, and money in your counseling; therefore, you deserve to feel satisfied with what you are getting in return. A good counselor will seek your feedback about how the counseling is going. Feel free to share your concerns if you feel the counselor does not understand you or things are not improving in your life. Research shows that the notion of "you have to feel worse before you start feeling better" is not true for most counseling clients. A competent counselor will be able to listen to your feedback and change the course of counseling to meet your needs. If it just doesn't work with that counselor, seek a referral to another counselor or talk with your counselor about other options outside of counseling that may help you, such as support groups or other community resources.
What are the differences between counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists? - I am not sure of the right place to get help.
These are all people within the "helping professions". The term "therapist" can be used by anyone in these professions, so the term by itself does not provide much information about their specific education or specialty.
Counselor : a therapist who has a master's degree and professional license to provide counseling. They may have a master's degree of counseling, psychology, marriage and family therapy, or social work. Counselors help with a variety of issues, such as depression, anxiety, relationship or family problems, and substance abuse. Some pastors or ministers also provide counseling, and they can be very helpful, but they are not licensed and do not usually have higher education in any of the fields listed above.
Psychologist : a therapist with a doctoral degree in psychology. A psychologist has training in counseling and in research. Psychologists provide counseling and diagnostic testing. They often use the title of "Doctor", but are not medical doctors and are not able to prescribe medication in Texas or in most other states.
Psychiatrist : a medical doctor who specializes in mental health and the chemistry of the brain. They are interested in how the physical brain and human body interact with thought, behavior, and emotions. Most psychiatrists do not provide much counseling or "talk therapy". Their primary activity is assessing the need for medication and prescribing the correct medication their patient.
How much does counseling cost? Do you take insurance? The rate for a 50 minute counseling session is $125.00. I offer a sliding scale rate of $75.00 for clients who can demonstrate an annual income under 35K. I do accept many insurance plans and am in network with several employee assistance programs. Please contact your insurance provider to find out about any copays or deductibles that would apply for you. I accept the following forms of payment: cash, checks, all major credit and debit cards.
The S.A.P. licensure that I hold is regulated by the Department of Transportation and is part of a process to protect those working in safety-sensitive positions and to protect the public that they serve. Employees that work for such positions (example: city bus drivers; drivers for a private trucking company) who fail a drug screening are then required to complete an assessment by a certified S.A.P. in order to be referred to an appropriate level of treatment before returning to work. The law requires that companies employing drivers in these safety sensitive positions comply with the proper procedure in referring these employees for assessment and treatment before return to work.
I use an outcome-based approach by seeking the client's feedback about whether or not their life is improving in key areas. When the client reports progress, we know we are on track. If no progress is being made, we then decide on a new approach to take. I have the experience of treating hundreds of couples and thousands of individuals in the past decade. My clients have a higher than average rates of success- about 75% report progress and improvement in their lives, while the industry average is around 50%. I am Bilingual: English/Spanish. I am the author of a recently published book entitled "Staying on Top and Keeping the Sand Out of Your Pants: A Surfer's Guide to the Good Life"
I earned my bachelor's degree in psychology at Trinity University and my master's degree in social work at the University of Texas.
I hold an advanced licensure in social work, and my work experience includes community organizing, individual counseling, and management consulting.
Having received advanced training in Critical Incident Stress Management, I have responded to over 100 workplace traumas throughout the United States and Canada. I have been a licensed therapist since 1999.
Topics of ethics, cultural diversity, and parenting.
"I was in a dark place, emotionally fragile. I had lost self confidence and I didn't believe that I deserved happiness. Working with Seth, I have become more resilient, more open social opportunities, and I have been able to break some long-established negative patterns. I discovered that I am stronger than I thought. I gained confidence to make positive changes: in my relationship, in my work life, in myself. In our work together Seth has been genuine, insightful, non-judgmental. Exactly what I needed."Client
"Seth has served a significant purpose in my development through the use of meaningful dialogue that pushes me to dig deep and do the do the deeply healing work of introspection and self-reflection. Seth carefully and with great intention creates a safe space for brave work. It is without hesitation that I can acknowledge I am a healthier, more whole, and more at peace because of my sessions with Seth. I am better today than I was yesterday and I look forward to continuing to become even better."Client
"Thank you isn’t enough for your true way of caring and listening."Client
"You are truly a very caring and genuine person. You are an asset to your profession. I thank you so much, and I look forward to our talks in the future."Client
"You are helping me develop some coping skills! You are great. Thank you to infinity and beyond."Client
Positive and Productive Coworker/Employer Relations
Using Anger to Build Self-Awareness and Better Communication
Managing Suicidal Ideation, Depression, and Anxiety
Relationship Counseling for Couples in Conflict
Challenges Facing Gay and Lesbian Individuals and Couples
Turning Grief into Growth
Emotional Freedom Technique
Alternative Approaches to Health
Overcoming Substance Abuse/Addiction
Healing from Post-Traumatic Stress
DOT SAP Services
Owner: New Leaf Counseling, Inc.; provide individual and couples counseling; substance abuse assessment as a certified S.A.P. provider; critical incident stress debriefing services for corporations; continuing education training for other licensed professionals 08/2004-present
Counselor/Clinical Coach: Resources For Living; provided counseling and information and referral over the telephone to employees; consultation to management to minimize the impact of workplace violence and help managers respond to crisis in the lives of employees; critical incident stress debriefing services in the workplace for corporate clients; created and reviewed company policy related to clinical practices; provided training and development for counselors; supervision and quality assurance by reviewing counselor sessions and documentation of clinical work; conducted annual clinical reviews of counseling staff 5/99-11/2007
Graduate Intern: Texas Youth Commission, Treatment/Case Management; participated in training related to correctional therapy program; observed therapy groups; interviewed administrative staff about agency operations; assisted in the legislative review process for bills related to agency operations; conducted research project to investigate the process of selecting youth for specialized treatment; translated student workbook exercises for correctional therapy into Spanish 1/99-5/99
Graduate Intern: Center for Successful Fathering, Inc.; planned and implemented focus groups for an agency research effort; coordinated the filming of a video for the National Fatherhood Forum; wrote grant applications to fund agency research 8/98-1/99
Team Leader: Communities in Schools, Inc./City of Austin Summer Success Program; administered work readiness and reading curriculum to at-risk teenagers; provided individual counseling to students; supervised field trips and group projects 7/98-9/98
Graduate Intern: Childcare Management Services, City of Austin; provided direct counseling and referral services for families in crisis; presented Positive Guidance workshop for parents and for agency staff 9/97-5/98
Psychology Assistant: TXMHMR, San Antonio State School; wrote and supervised the implementation of behavior management programs for agency clients; prepared statistical reports of outcome data for psychology department to present to agency and state authorities; collected data and wrote feedback reports for the evaluation of the Active Treatment Program 10/96-8/97