Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples

Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VAWhat we do is our passion at Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VA we specialist with individuals and families in crisis, we see many people suffering from anxiety, addiction, depression and interpersonal struggles, our passion led us to be certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), treatment reducing vivid, unwanted, repeated thoughts, panic, urges and anxiety.  We are honored to be your guide in removing the suffering. We offer court approved co-parenting, parenting and anger management. Remember that some techniques a therapist has may not work for you if so we are not offended as we have 6 different styles of therapists to offer you, so please request a different therapist if you find the one you are working with is not fitting your style, as we all want you to feel better, whatever it takes for that to happen we work as a TEAM here. We also work with a wide range of insurances. We are honored to be your healing guide through what ever life has brought to your table. We work as a healing TEAM and consult when needed to improve your symptom quickly and welcome you to have each of your family choose a therapist as we enjoy working with entire family.

We specialize with military families, deployment challenges, adjustment issues. We also specialize with children from autism, depression, aggression and defiant. Treating individuals, couples and families, Solution focused, cognitive, dialectical behavioral therapy and FDA approved Cranial Electric Stimulation holistic treatment without medication unless all else fails.

Our unique holistic approach to wellness target symptoms for quick relief which may result in trying CES unit for 30 days or Neuro-Feedback. The patience and subtle skills of an experienced counselor/coach can help you understand things from a new perspective and provides you tools to appreciate life in a new, more functional way. Sometimes out of the box thinking is difficult for you to hear but give us try for 6 weeks and you will not be disappointed.

We specialize in trauma, military families, deployment challenges, adjustment issues. We also specialize with children from autism, depression, aggression and defiant. Treating individuals, couples and families, Solution focused, cognitive, dialectical behavioral therapy and FDA approved Cranial Electric Stimulation holistic treatment with the goal of relieving your suffering. Affordable counseling, San Diego Family Counseling. We also have Online Booking System. Schedule appointment online now.

Family Counseling San Diego REAL TIME BOOKING ONLINE

Our Areas of Focus and Experience With Adolescents Include:

  • Anxiety and Stress Management
  • Anger, Aggression, and Defiance
  • Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
  • School Difficulties
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • Physical, Sexual, and Verbal Abuse
  • Grief and Loss
  • Divorce and Separation
  • Family Conflict
  • Problems with Peers
  • Self Harming Behaviors
  • Foster Care, and Adoption

Adolescence can be a very difficult time for teenagers and their families. It is at this stage of development that issues of independence, identity, and sexuality are confronted. This is also a time of rapid growth and adjustment which can come with an increased level of turmoil. As young men and women begin to transition into adulthood they can often face issues of withdrawal, depression, aggression, and lack of self-esteem.

Adolescent psychotherapy provides teens with the space to discuss their problems outside the scope of their family system. This alone can make a powerful impact because of the adolescent’s need for independence. Working with adolescents requires an overlap between the interventions used with children and adults. We assess each adolescent to determine what interventions will be most effective for that individual.

We have found that the teens we’ve worked with respond well to our genuine interest in their lives and our therapeutic relationship can be a great resource during this developmental phase where they are establishing their independence from their families but still in need of guidance and support.

Parents also play a key role in their teen’s therapy. Even though we value our individual work with youth, we have found that the most profound changes can come from the collateral work that is done with their parents.

Our unique holistic approach to wellness target symptoms for quick relief. The patience and subtle skills of an experienced counselor/coach can help you understand things from a new perspective and provides you tools to appreciate life in a new, more functional way. 

 At least 118 clinical studies on effectiveness of CES on anxiety, addiction, depression and sleep restoring healthy brain chemistry, re-balances through bilateral square wave energy field theory. Within days you begin feeling better. We want you to get better soon. That is why there is a 60 day money back guarantee.

To be your community behavioral healthcare clinic leading the way in client care. Utilizing tools that are FDA approved to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety and sleep. We are inspired by people like John Dupuy the founder of Intergral Recovery, here is a a bio on him. John Dupuy is a native of Texas and grew up in Latin America. John is a veteran of the United States Army, where he served in Europe as a military police investigator. John has a Bachelor’s degree from Texas State University in Modern Languages (German and Spanish) and a Master of Arts degree in Transpersonal Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. John is the founder of Integral Recovery, has published various articles on the subject, and in 2013, his book Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction was published by SUNY Press, later to win the 2013 USA Best Book Award. As stated when John Dupuy describes the CES technology used in his Integral Addiction Recovery Program he states CES is designed to help re-balance the brain. At least 118 clinical studies on effectiveness of CES on anxiety, addiction, depression and sleep restoring healthy brain chemistry, re-balances through bilateral square wave energy field theory. Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VA

“Unequivocal Positive Results in Every Case with Negligible Exceptions. Approximately 95% of my private practice patients are in possession of their own personal CES device which I have found to be most effective and beneficial treatments over standard pharmaceutical treatment” according to Brain Earthman, MD, Psychiatrist, Major USAR, Medical Director Electrometrical Products International, Inc.

“Neurological Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee to the FDA on Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator (CES) Reclassification Meeting on February 10, 2012 indicated that the largest customer for AlphaStim CES is DOD. Military use of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES)” according to Dr. Stein’s Testimonial request expedited review of CES reclassification as CES is currently being utilize in Army, Navy and VA hospitals. He stated that Enormous Target Populations, many drug resistant patients, many drug addicted patients would benefit greatly if CES technology could be more widely utilized in the psychiatric community.

Utilize best practices that is result driven for example, Traditional neurofeedback which is similar to weight training, where you work specific muscle groups, in brain you are training one or more specific brain waves in a targeted area of the brain based on operant conditioning to help retrain the brain waves to optimal levels. Within this type of neurofeedback involves low-frequency sounds and involves prepackaged neurofeedback equipment for audio-visual entertainment (AVE), which has blinking lights that can cause seizures. Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VA

EEG Neuro-Feedback software and sending CD home with patient with bilateral sounds to assist in increasing symptom reduction. Brainwave Entertainment Meditation, one of the essential practices in an ongoing, lifelong mind and body change.

Family Counseling San Diego –

Welcomes Our New Therapists To the Team.

Jo Whitcomb MFT

We want to welcome, Joseph Whitcomb, MA, LMFT. He graduated from Pepperdine University in 2007 and is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist – LMFT51093. Recently he has devoted himself working with couples, relationships, PTSD and those who “rage against the dying of the light.” His area of expertise consists in helping with difficulties in relationships & social relationships. Such difficulties include finding and sustaining healthy intimacy, healing from a painful break-up or divorce, school-related problems, recovering from major loss, and growing up in difficult circumstances. He is particularly suited to helping those who have cultivated their intellects and creativity but would Family Counseling San Diegonow like to develop a greater awareness of their emotional world. He is an attachment-based, emotionally focused therapist. His approach, “I’m far from being the silent, blank therapist. I think my approach provides the richest and most depth and exploration of how we love, work, and play. I consider myself more of a process consultant and co-journeyman.” He has developed brief 12-24 session relationship programs and intensives for couples to breakthrough the upper limit barriers that block them from experiences the love and intimacy both crave. Check out Jo Whitcomb book: “Reboot Your Relationship: Restoring Love Through Real Connection in a Disconnected World”

Substance Abuse Education/Group – COURT and PROBATION APPROVED


Our group classes are typically 12 weeks long but can be adjusted to more sessions for those that need them up to 52 weeks.  All programs are open ended.  This means there is no specific start date or end date.  You may begin class anytime you wish! Every participant in class will use a client workbook.   Our model is a cognitive behavioral and psycho-educational approach to working with anger related issues and problems.  Unlike a psychotherapy group, our classes will focus on a different skill or tool each week.  Each of these tools is from our client workbook and participants will be required to either read or follow along during class.  The classes are meant to be a fun, engaging, didactic learning experience.  We will typically discuss and practice a new skill on a weekly basis and clients will be asked to practice these skills as homework assignments. 

Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenages works hard to improve your quality of life.

Skills covered in the classes include: 

1. Communication and Listening
2. Stress Management
3. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
4. How to have better judgment and impulse control
5. Forgiveness
6. Learn to Respond instead of React
7. Learning to retreat and think things over
8. Expectation management
9. Improve self-talk and optimistic thinking

Our courses are ideal for couples, individuals, business professionals, court referrals, and those seeking to improve skills in anger and stress management.  Most of us know that anger can ruin relationships.  Why wait until your anger has destroyed a meaningful relationship?  Get the help you need today and complete what the court or probation officer has requested.

Co-Parenting / Extreme Co-Parenting Group/Class approved for probation and San Diego Superior Court.

Possible Topics during sessions.

  1. Decision:          Do we remember why we originally wanted to get clean and sober?  Have we found additional reasons?  How do we make sobriety our priority?
  2. Body:                 Can we make progress in addressing concerns about our bodies and our mental health?
  3. Exposure:        Have we done the best we can to minimize our exposure?  Or are we being reckless about getting into trigger situations and neglecting our reminders?
  4. Activities:         Can we make progress in learning to do life’s activities clean and sober, and in starting up new activities that interest us?  Or are we barely functional or doing very little different from when we were drinking/using?
  5. People:             Have we worked out who are the friends and who are the opponents of our recovery, and can we make progress in improving our relationships?  Or are we spending too much time with people who are a drag on our recovery, and not enough with people who care for us as sober persons?
  6. Feelings:          Can we succeed in building more clean and sober pleasure into our lives.  Can we identify and deal with our trigger feelings, and do we feel better about our emotional lives?  Or are we treating recovery as a punishment or retreating into numbness?
  7. Lifestyle:          Can we pinpoint our major lifestyle issues and can we make progress in repairing damage that addiction did to our lifestyle?  Or have we resigned ourselves to the way things were and given up trying to solve real-life problems?
  8. History:             Have we reviewed our personal history and come to an understanding of what part of our life was us, and what part was our addiction?  Do we have a clearer sense of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.
  9. Culture:            Can we recognize the sources of support and the problems areas for our recovery within our culture, and have we begun to figure out our roles in it?
  10. Treatment:    Have we made the necessary decisions about treatment and support groups, and do we know how to get what we need from these resources.
  11. Relapse:         Do we understand the structures of relapse and do we recognize what might undermine our recovery?  Do we have a better sense of ourselves, .and do we monitor ourselves frequently for early warning signs.   Have we prepared ourselves to eject immediately in case of relapse?
  12. Plans:              How do we develop our Personal Recovery Plans for the short and long term

ANGER MANAGEMENT GROUP: The eight tools of anger management include:

  • Tool One — Dealing with stress. This tool teaches skills in effective stress management strategies to help reduce physical, mental and emotional signs of stress.
  • Tool Two — Empathy Development. Teaches skills in emotional intelligence and empathy.  Empathy is the ability to feel what another person feels.  Empathy skills reduce anger responses.
  • Tool Three — Respond instead of React. Teaches ways to deal with situations using better judgement and impulse control.  Not reacting to situations can often be a valuable tool in dealing with difficult situations or people.
  • Tool Four — Change Self-Talk. Changing self-talk can help us become more positive as well as develop more positive outcomes in our lives.  Proven techniques and methods explored
  • Tool Five — Assertive Communication.  An exploration of harmful communication styles and a detailed discussion of the effectiveness of being assertive.  Training in expressing feelings and needs.
  • Tool Six —  Adjust Those Expectations. Managing expectations can help reduce frustration.  Clients are exposed to 5 skills for managing expectations more effectively
  • Tool Seven  — Forgive, but don’t forget. This chapter explores effective ways for forgiving others while not giving up your rights as a person.
  • Tool Eight — Retreat and Think Things Over. This chapter explores the “freeze frame” technique as well as the concept of “staying in the box” to calm down.

Domestic Violence Court and Probation Approved.

The STOP Program created by Dr. David B. Wexler, Ph.D.  training model has been acclaimed internationally for outstanding integration of contemporary theory, research, and practice in the complex and quickly-changing world of DV intervention. This conference integrates the leading figures in the field and presents the information in a powerful, comprehensive, and always engaging style! The STOP Program: 40-Hour Calif. DV Treatment Provider Certification Training.  Approved by the State of Nevada Committee on Domestic Violence.


Selected workshop days may be attended separately!

This workshop provides a complete overview of the field of domestic violence, with specific training in group treatment and intervention. This program meets the state requirements for certification of treatment providers at approved agencies.

  • DAY ONE: “Behind The Scenes”
    Offers a comprehensive view of the origins of domestic violence, the typologies of male batterers, and creative strategies for reaching even the most difficult and defended men.
  • DAY TWO: “Nuts & Bolts”
    Outlines The STOP Program (3rd edition), the internationally-recognized group treatment program that integrates self-psychological treatment interventions with education about the politics of abuse and comprehensive skills training. Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VA
  • DAY THREE: “Diversity Issues”
    Overview of DV and diversity issues/Generating interventions well-matched for minority culture offenders and victims.
  • DAY FOUR: “The Big Picture” “Substance Abuse & Relationship Abuse”
    The latest research on the relationship between substance abuse and domestic violence— and what to do about it. Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VA
  • DAY FIVE: “Coordinated Community Response”
    Selected guest faculty from throughout the San Diego legal and law enforcement community.
  • DAY SIX: “Victims of Domestic Violence” 
    Provides an inside look at the experience of DV victims, including special training on male victims and kids who witness DV–and a unique prevention on the groundbreaking Adverse Childhood Experiences research.

ALL new forensic evaluations have been discontinued.

Request for a review of records or a letter of diagnosis and progress cost is $50 per page.

Contact us today at 760-498-1053

Free phone consultation anytime. Take control over your life. 

Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager


    Phone: 800-662-8887 (English); 800- 456-6386 (Spanish); 800-400-0866 (Mandarin & Cantonese); 800-556-5564 – The California Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-NO-BUTTS) is a free statewide quit smoking service operated by the University of California San Diego’s Moore’s Cancer Center. The Helpline offers self-help materials, referral to local programs, and one-on-one, telephone counseling to quit smoking. Helpline…
    Phone: (800) 586-4872 – Call the FREE Lung HelpLine to talk to a lung health expert about your lung health. If you are newly diagnosed with asthma, COPD, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis or pulmonary hypertension the Lung HelpLine can explain the disease, help you get answers about what comes next, explain what your options…
  • NAMI SAN DIEGO HELPLINE Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VA
    Phone: (619) 543-1434 – Help starts here. Staffed by peers and family members, NAMI San Diego’s Family & Peer Support Helpline offers free, safe, confidential information, referrals, support and an empathetic ear for individuals with lived mental health experience and their loved ones….
    Phone: (800) 848-9595 – Offers home study educational rehabilitation programs for both adults and youth. The adult home study program course is available in Spanish as well as English. The youth home study program is designed for youth who are already involved in shoplifting. Telephone Coaching is available to shoplifters …
  • SUPPORT SERVICES FOR SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE LOSS Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Phone: (619) 482-0297 – Provides self-help support to those who have lost a loved one, relative, or friend to suicide. Support groups are held at various locations throughout the county. Telephone-based support is also available. Educational packets and a newsletter are available online or via mail….
  • WARM LINE, MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Phone: (619) 295-1055 – Warm Line is a friendly telephone support line, answered by trained consumers which listens to concerns, offer referrals and provide understanding to the caller’s perspectives. This is a non-crisis and non-emergency phone service….Family Counseling San Diego EMDR Addiction Trauma Couples Teenager VA

Parenting, Co-Parenting, High Conflict Parenting, Anger Management Classes

Parenting, Co-Parenting, High Conflict Parenting, Anger Management Classes.

AT 4:00 PM

Every Sunday at

10650 Scripps Ranch Blvd, STE 131, San Diego, CA at

OR CALL 760-498-1053 to get your space as space is limited.

We offer 3 ways to pay for these 9 – 90 minute classes.

  1. The first package is a one time payment of $555.00.
  2. The second package allows you to make 2 payments of $280.. The first payment is due at registration and the second payment will be billed to your credit card six weeks later.
  3. The Third package allows you to pay as you to make three payments of $202.00. The first payment is due at registration and the next two payments 4 weeks apart. (This option may not be available for all classes)
    Special payment arraignments can be made per need.


We can work with your financial situation to help make it possible to keep the judge and court happy. It is your responsibility to pay on-time so we can write you letter of completion to the court. Anger Management starting July 2016. Custody Evaluation 730 Assessment is also offered.

Remember you bill

The High Conflict PARENTING CLASS Diversion Program is recognized in many jurisdictions Nationally and Mr. Walter Patrick Martin, LMFT is an expert in helping parents through this most difficult time. The High Conflict Diversion Program is designed to help change the circumstances of high conflict divorce and custody battles by:

  • Giving you an idea of what to expect when you go to court or mediation and give you strategies to get the best results.
  • Providing ways to distance yourself from the other parent and disengage from the habits that keep you stuck in the conflict.
  • Helping you understand that the other parent can only come into your life if you allow it.
  • Teaching you how to communicate with the other parent without having to ever have a conversation or argument.
  • Teaching you ways to set boundaries so the other parent.
  • Helping you understand the courts so you aren’t in fear of what the court might or might not do. Help

Chess Helps ADHD Brain

Chess Helps ADHD Brain – The Effect of Playing Chess on the Concentration of ADHD Students in the 2nd Cycle


The study examines the effect of playing chess on the concentration of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (N=14, age: 11-13). The study hypothesized that chess improves concentration period and listening language skills. The sample was chosen from two schools with inclusion, students received chess training twice per week. Pre- and post- measurements of Conner’s Teachers Rating Scale: Revised-Long version, concentration tasks, and scores of school language listening tests were the data collection tools of the study. Results showed improvement in concentration skill and period, and in listening score.


8.1 investigating the first hypothesis
In the behavior disturbance duration recording, students needed more time to exhibit unacceptable behavior at the
end of the intervention. It is justified by the students better control of reactions and more focus on task in hand as the chess game trains students to take their time choosing their best move. In the concentration tasks (Spot-Difference, and Find-Shape) students’ scores revealed a better result in finding the answer in addition to more time recorded for solving the task. As Smith(1998) claimed about gaining more patience, perseverance, concentration, and creativity jfrom chess due to the persistent changes created on the board during the game. Students learned from the game to focus their attention on the important aspects of a task to engage the suitable processing required. This is the information processing approach suggested by Demetriou(2000). Thus first hypothesis was confirmed with the presented sample.
8.2 Investigating the second hypothesis
As the concentration skill was tested through the measurement of inattention items in the CTRS:R-L, results
revealed a decrease in the total score of these items for each student (19.2%). The decrease means a better control of
behavior and reactions which is explained by the increase of attention. Focusing on a plan during a chess game and
evaluating of consequences of a move (Puddephatt, 2003) leads to gaining self-regulation for altering behavioral
flexibility (Baumeister & Vohs, 2007) justifying this improvement. Moreover, listening language scores also
showed a slight improvement (5%) in scores. During chess sessions oral instructions were provided for training their
auditory focus and concentration as they were asked to wait few minutes processing before giving out their answers.
This slight improvement justifies a better listening skills to instructions and explanations. Therefore, the second hypothesis is validated for the present sample.
9. Conclusion
Through the mentioned results, training students with ADHD on playing chess has affected their concentration
period and skill. It was shown that students take a longer duration until they started exhibiting undesirable and
unacceptable behaviors. Hence, it is important for students to learn chess as it trains them to stay longer on task,
control their actions, and maintain focus. Results also revealed an improvement in the concentration tasks and the
listening language scores at the end of the intervention. After the analysis of the results based on self-regulation,
decision-making, and attention theories, it was concluded that the hypotheses are proved in the present study according to its chosen sample of students. However, there is difficulty generalizing the results as the sample was not representative.

10. Recommendations for Further Research
Based on previously mentioned findings, it was recommended that:
– The inclusion of chess game in the school curriculum for the benefits it has on the skills and
mental abilities of the individual
– A follow-up study with a larger sample and over a longer duration of time
– More studies about the benefit of chess for students with special needs

Military Deployment San Diego

Military Deployment San Diego


Military Deployment San DiegoIn my work with military families, the issue of safety comes up a lot, particularly regarding children’s concerns for the safety of their deployed or soon-to-be-deploying service member. This concern can be especially prevalent in the wake of news of another community member’s injury or passing. While we want to ease the fears and worries of our children, not to mention our own, we also wrestle with the understanding that there is an inherent risk of safety whenever our service member is deployed. We want to make our kids feel better, and we don’t want to lie to them, but we don’t want to scare them, either.

How do I talk to my kids about safety?

***Note: These tips can also be adapted to help non-military families talk about safety. For example, families who have a parent that travels a lot and the child(ren) worry about the parent’s safety while traveling and/or the at-home family’s safety while that parent is away.

Children sometimes ask questions and state concerns about deployment and the safety of their parents. These questions may come up at any time in the deployment cycle. Here are a few tips for talking about safety:

Ask if your child has any specific questions or concerns.

Most children are exposed to some world events thru television, radio, internet, and/or friends. Children may worry about something they heard or saw, but don’t necessarily understand. Ask if/what your child may be worried about to open the door to communication. Follow-up in response with, “What do you think?” to get a better idea of what/how much they already “know.” This then gives you the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings, or false beliefs, and provide honest, age-appropriate information.

And, just by asking, you also lets your child know that it’s OK to be worried or scared, and that it’s OK to talk about it. Research shows us that children, particularly older children, often take on additional responsibilities and care-taking roles during a deployment, including trying to take care of their at-home parent. Sometimes this may prevent them from expressing their worries or fears because they do not want to add to their parents already overflowing plate. Opening the door to this conversation yourself, instead of waiting for your child to bring it up, can be a great reminder that you are still there and never too busy to talk.

Remind your child of the security that comes from the deployed parent’s skills, preparation, and training.

Just like your child practices to get better at a sport or musical instrument, his/her parents practice, too. Military parents have prepared and practiced with a team to learn how to stay safe and protect each other while they are working. Talking about these similarities with your children is a great, concrete way to help them better understand some of the ways their service member stays safe. You can also connect how the child learns new skills and works as a team in school to the training the service member receives with his/her co-workers.

Identify all the things the service member uses to stay safe.

Talk with your child about the parent’s gear and uniform. If possible, allow children to interact with and feel the heft and weight of the helmet, the pants, the boots and other items. While describing the importance of each item, explain how it helps to keep people safe. For example, “This is the helmet that protects dad’s head.” “This is the vest that protects mom’s chest and back.” “Dad’s parka protects them from the rain and snow.”
Using this hands-on approach allows them to feel and see the uniform and safety gear. This hands-on interaction can be informative and reassuring for your child.

You can also identify the different things you use as a family to stay safe at home. This may include wearing your seat belts in the car, helmets when riding bikes, using cell phones to communicate in a crowded mall or store, or the use of fire alarms to alert you to any potential fire. This may help your child relate his/her personal experiences to that of his/her service member.

Support your child’s connection to the deployed parent using available communication.

military mom with sonInteracting with or talking to the deployed parent (i.e.: sending letters or emails; talking over the phone or video chat) can also help ease a child’s worries about the service member’s physical safety. During times when the deployed parent is not available, building in rituals to include him/her in everyday life help children to feel more connected. For example, trace mom or dad’s hand and put it on the refrigerator so that your child can give their deployed parent a high-five after school each day. Or before deployment, save the the service member reading your child’s favorite book on a DVD for free via the USO’s United Through Reading Program. You can also write-up the service member’s daily schedule along with your child’s daily schedule to help your child answer the question “Where is dad/mom right now?” For example, the schedule helps show that, when he is having breakfast, dad is getting ready for bed, or that when he is having dinner, mom is just waking up.

For more ideas and information on how to talk to your kids about safety, how to stay connected (as a spouse or as a family), or the many other challenges/concerns that come with a deployment,


Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

A friend once asked me about his son, who was about to turn 20. As a teenager, the boy had a quick temper. His dad assumed that his short fuse was related to that awkward stage of life. But now, on the brink of adulthood, the young man seemed to be getting worse. He’d been less able to deal with criticism, minor upsets, jokes, or comments contrary to his point of view.

The young man’s father didn’t know if his son’s behavior was normal, or if it was a sign of depression or other problem. He also wanted to know how to talk with his son about his anger or bring him to Family Counseling San Diego for an assessment.

To understand this situation, it helps to put yourself in a 19-year-old’s shoes. Still inexperienced, there are big challenges ahead: graduating from high school, entering the work force (in a tough economy) or starting college, living away from home for the first time. These are stressful transitions for anyone.

But when a teen gets angrier as time goes by — or more rigid and defensive — it is a cause for concern. At the very least, this is not a very adaptive response to life’s challenges and it can make every day tougher than it needs to be. Whether it’s depression or just anger is probably less important than the fact that the teen is suffering and could use some help we have multiple male and female counselors to help at Family Counseling San Diego.

On the Cusp of Adulthood – Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

A 19-year-old is no longer a child, but neither is he or she a fully-fledged adult. This in-between state, which may be more apparent in wealthy countries, can extend well into the twenties. Some human development researchers have begun to call it “emerging adulthood.” In theory, it is a time of life when a person takes life’s possibilities more seriously. Emerging adults know that responsible choices matter. But they are still young enough that they aren’t ready to make lasting commitments.

People are reaching the usual adult milestones — financial independence or getting married and having children — later and later. It’s not clear if the trends are a natural part of human development or a product of the social and economic changes in our communities.

No matter what we call this stage, it presents a tricky time for parents and their children. Emerging adults must decide how much help they want or are willing to accept from their parents or anyone else. At the same time, parents must decide how much help is reasonable to give.

Taking a step back does not mean abandoning your child. By the time a child hits young adulthood, the goal is to replace direct help with encouragement about (and belief in) your child’s ability to manage these responsibilities on his own. And that can spur the process of maturing.

Understanding Anger

Teenager Angry Maybe DepressionThe origins of anger, and other feelings, vary from person to person. Anger could be a sign of depression or substance abuse (the National Institute on Drug Abuse has useful information about this, and advice about talking with a child about it.) It could be a manifestation of anxiety about “making it” in the grown-up world. It could signal some crisis, like trouble in a relationship.

It’s also possible that it’s just you. It is very common for children of any age, but especially teenagers, to be intolerant of parents’ input, whether it is constructive criticism, helpful advice, or being playful. It is even worse when your in the military moving around the country, Mr. Walter Patrick Martin, LMFT works locally with San Diego City Schools during the day one of the High Schools providing Military Family Life Counseling. He states it is an honor and enjoys every moment working with the teenagers at the school site in addition he is also a Star Behavioral Health Provider.

Make time to Talk

I advised my friend that he should calmly get this message to his son: He was taking his son’s problems seriously, and his son owed it to himself to take the problems seriously, too. I wanted my friend to remind his son in a loving way that he was becoming responsible for his own life, that he respected his son, and trusted his son’s ability to manage whatever problems came up.

Here are some different ways to start that discussion:

“You are your own person. I only get to see how you interact with me. Perhaps you are quite happy when I’m not around, but from my perspective you seem very unhappy.”
“You don’t have to talk to me about it. If you’re managing things on your own, I respect that. But if you are unhappy and you don’t want to talk to me about it, there are plenty of other people you could talk to.”
“You may not be interested in help right now, but I’ll always be willing to help you, or help you find someone other than me to help you, if and when you want it.”
Teenager Angry Maybe Depression Family San DiegoYour child may respond with anger. When you’re working hard to be helpful, and you’re met with hostility, it’s tempting to strike back. Resist that impulse. Your child may take the advice to heart and get help. But there is no guarantee he or she will report back. Or say thanks.

At least not right away. But if the growing up process takes hold, my friend might someday hear something like this from his son: “Hey, Dad. Remember a few years ago when I was being such a pain? Thanks for putting up with me.

(This article is adapted from a longer version written for Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

EMDR DeTUR Workshop

EMDR DeTUR Workshop

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Upcoming EMDR DeTUR Workshop


This EMDRIA approved workshop, “Creates Change in Minutes Rather than Months.”

DATE:      July 10, and, July 11, 2015

TIME:       8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

PLACE:   National University, 705 Palomar Airport Rd., Suite 150, CARLSBAD, CA

The workshop is limited to 50 participants.  You leave the workshop empowered to create results immediately.

DeTUR protocol (Desensitization Triggers & Urge Reprocessing) for substance abuse and dysfunctional behaviors.  This EMDRIA approved workshop No.13019-05,  provides you with the skills to take your practice to the next level.  This course meets the qualifications for 13 hours of CEU’s for MFT and LCSW as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. AJ. Popky is an EMDRIA approved consultant and instrumental in the formation of the EMDR Institute over 25 years ago.  He is a Certified Consultant in EMDR, EMDRIA, & EMDR HAP, also Certified in Ericksonian Hypnosis and an Accelerated Master Practitioner/Modeler of NLP.

EMDR can help with:

  • grief
  • complicated grief
  • surviving a violent crime
  • car accident
  • sexual assault
  • natural disaster
  • witnessing violence
  • a loved one being injured or killed
  • childhood traumas
  • insomnia or sleep disruptions
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • childhood sexual abuse
  • depression
  • mood disorders
  • PTSD
  • Relationship problems
  • infertility
  • miscarriage
  • anxiety about performance
  • reduce urge to use substances/ food addiction

This workshop is an intermediate / advanced workshop for EMDR practitioners. This workshop is  intended for Psychologist and counselors. Certificates are awarded online after the workshop. Grievances are required to be in writing and will be responded to within 10 business days. Licensed professionals should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Training requirements recommended: Completion of an EMDRIA approved Basic EMDR Training. This workshop is held in facilities which are in compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act.  Cancellation or change fee is $50.00. No refunds provided 48 hours prior to workshop. All refunds must be requested in writing.

About Dr Popky and Mr Martin EMDR Addiction Therapy

Dr. AJ Popky

Dr AJ Popky is a world wide trainer and researcher was instrumental in the formation of the EMDR Institute over 24 years ago and is Certified Consultant in EMDR, EMDRIA, EMDR HAP, Certified in Ericksonian Hypnosis and an Accelerated Master Practitioner/Modeler of NLP. He present and train therapists internationally in working with addictions and dysfunctional behaviors. He also train and consult to therapist at Military bases on PTSD, Trauma and addictions. He developed the DeTUR protocol (Desensitization Triggers & Urge Reprocessing) for substance abuse and dysfunctional behaviors, and train and present on it internationally. Dr. AJ Popky trains and consultant to military therapists internationally on how to work with the troops on issues of PTSD, addictions, and anger using EMDR psychotherapy and DeTUR.


Preparing for the First Marriage Counseling Session

Preparing for the First Marriage Counseling Session

This is not an easy task Family Counseling San Diego is here for you to rediscover what brought you both together.

There is often a negative stigma attached to seeking counseling services, especially marital counseling that requires full participation from each spouse. Unfortunately, our culture has deemed “getting help” as a weakness that must be swept under the rug, causing married couples young and old to ignore painful patterns in their marriage because the world tells us we have to have it all together.

However, marriage and relationship experts and certified counselors strive to lure hurting individuals out of their marital shells, letting them know it’s okay to seek professional counseling – in fact – it should be celebrated.

Create a list of the strengths and weaknesses within the marriage. Try to honestly evaluate some of your individual strengths and weaknesses in what you bring to the relationship as well. Then try to list what you think your partner’s strengths and weaknesses are.

Write down what your goals are for the relationship. What do you hope to accomplish in therapy? What do you hope could be different in the relationship? What would your relationship look like if your marriage were better? Try to be as specific as possible about what sorts of changes you would like to see.

Consider what needs to happen in order to reach those goals. In order, try to be as specific as possible. What would you need to gain from therapy in order to work toward those goals? Describe what feelings you hope to have if the marriage improves. How would you feel about your partner compared to how you feel now? What sorts of thoughts would you have about the marriage if it were improved? How would the two of you be behaving differently?

Determine what you are willing to do in order to improve the relationship. You cannot control what changes your partner makes and marriage therapy is not meant to “fix” one partner. Instead focus on what is within your control. Evaluate what things you could do differently that would likely benefit the marriage. Identify possible barriers to those changes. Honestly ask yourself how much effort and energy you are willing to put into making these changes. Consider whether or not you are willing to make these changes even if your partner does not appear to making changes.

HEART and SOUL INTO INTIMACY: Couples Guide: Couples Workbook LARGE PRINT

Authored by Walter Pat Martin MFT

Heart and Soul Couples Workbook

6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
30 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1508641131 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1508641137
BISAC: Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness

Couples workbook on communication which is the key to developing intimacy in our relationships. Disagreement happen, problems will arise. We feel love when we know that our feelings are heard, remembered, and honored.

Our quest for happiness often depends on finding and sustaining love. True love implies commitment. First of all, do you and your partner call yourself a couple? If not, is it appropriate to be doing this work? Each relationship teaches us and deepens our perception of love. Love has many degrees. Committed couples grow together, they desire to make their partner happier, too.

CreateSpace eStore:

Daily Dialogue is an intentional effort to talk about your relationship, rather than discussing your activities that day. The focus of this dialogue should be on your feelings about each other and your lives together.
Set aside 15 minutes per day to discuss the following:
What did you most enjoy about your relationship today?
What was dissatisfying about your relationship today?
How can you be helpful to each other?
Daily Compliments help you focus on the positive things you like about each other. Every day give your partner at least one genuine compliment. These can be general (you are fun to be with) or specific (I appreciate that you were on time for the concert).
1. Give full attention to your partner when talking. Turn off the phone, shut off the television, make eye contact.
2. Focus on the good qualities in each other and often praise each other.
3. Be assertive. Share your thoughts, feelings, and needs. A good way to be assertive without being critical is to use I rather than You statements. (e.g. I worry when you do not let me know you will be late, rather than, You are always late).
4. Avoid criticism.
5. If you must criticize, balance it with at least one positive comment. (e.g. I appreciate how you take the trash out each week. In the future can you remember to also wheel the trash can back from the end of the driveway?.)
6. Listen to understand, not to judge.
7. U se active listening. Summarize your partner ís comments before sharing your ow n reactions or feelings.
8. Avoid blaming each other and work together for a solution.
9. For problems that come up again and again, use the SMART goals to create a specific, measurable, achievable, resourced, time sensitive goal.
10. Seek counseling. If you are not able to resolve issues, seek counseling before they become more serious.

Teenager Help EMDR

Savvy-Quote-Your-desire-to-change-must-beTeenager Help EMDR

Did you know that there are website/blogs on “wants to cut yourself”. It’s important to note that self-injury is rarely life threatening. However, because of the revulsion many people feel about it, many therapist have an appropriate response. That said, it doesn’t matter how severe or minor the physical injuries are. It’s what’s going on inside that matters. Cutting, also known as self-injury or self-mutilation is the practice of manipulating a mood or emotional state by inflicting physical harm on a person’s own body. EMDR within 8 sessions a teenager will begin a new outlook on life and have a chance to change the behavior now. All the teenager needs is the desire to want to change.

What is the Payoff of Cutting?

Self-injury releases tension – both physiological and psychological – very quickly. A person who cuts can turn a state of overwhelm into a state of relative calm almost immediately. Cutting reduces panic to simply feeling bad.

It is a destructive coping skill like many others in our society – drinking, anorexia, or working too much. It does not mean the person is crazy, or that they are attempting suicide. Get EMDR started today to help gain a new outlook.  In fact, the self-injury may relieve tension to the point that the person no longer considers suicide.


cropped-cropped-cropped-Preschool-banner-960x250.pngWhy Do Kids Cut Themselves?

Cutting also gives the child a great sense of control. Some kids do it as a form of self-punishment, but this isn’t always the case. Many cutters use it to express feelings that there are no words for.

Cutting is not done, as frequently believed, to “fit in” or to garner attention. Many teens will go to great lengths to hide the effects of the behavior in an attempt to avoid adding shame to their already fragile mental state.

One common denominator in kids who cut themselves is an inability to express their feelings. They either never learned how to do it or were invalidated when they tried. They have gotten the idea, possibly from an abusive home life though not always, that certain feelings are wrong and not to be articulated. They may have not had a role model for coping with troubling situations in a healthy way.

Some kids are predisposed toward this kind of behavior and it may take very little to set it off. Serotonin may be involved in making some kids more aggressive and impulsive than others, therefore more likely to self-mutilate. EMDR brakes the addiction to cutting. Once a kid tries the behavior and realizes the immense stress relief it provides, it may seem like a good idea for the next time the child is under stress.

Traumatized youth often display behaviors associated with PTSD or begin to self medicate with drugs. They may have changes in their sleep patterns: trouble falling asleep, interrupted sleep, restlessness, nightmares, not wanting to sleep in their own beds, or bed-wetting. Children may act out their trauma in their play with their action figures, dolls, or stuffed animals. Some become irritable, and overreact to situations, while others are numb, under react and have an “I don’t care” attitude. Hyper vigilance can be observed in some children. They lose the ability to discern between normal and dangerous situations and can misinterpret social cues, making relationships difficult. This also can be problematic in school as these children are constantly scanning their environment for danger which effects their concentration and attention. Learning issues are common in abused and neglected children. Current research also indicates that chronic traumatization can affect brain functioning leading to problems in regulating emotions and behavior, difficulties in attachment, problems with self soothing, and self injury. For many children the trauma is influencing current actions and their bodies react without the mind understanding why. They can exhibit anger, aggression, defiance, impulsiveness, and resistance. Teachers, case workers, foster parents, and parents often interpret this behavior as oppositional, attention seeking, or uncooperative. Adults misguidedly respond to the behavior with behavioral consequences that do not always work, instead of resolving the trauma. The child is unable to respond logically as the emotional part of the brain is active, and the thinking rational part of the brain is not accessible.

Cartoon about therapyWhen to Seek Professional Help

Children, from infants to adolescents, who have been placed by Child Protective Services have endured serious events and need to be assessed as quickly as possible. A mental health assessment evaluating the impact of trauma in the life of a child is as important as a mandated physical examination. This needs to be a priority after the child is safe. The longer children go without psychological treatment the more entrenched the trauma and the manipulative coping behavior becomes. Untreated trauma can result in repeated disrupted placements, ongoing misinterpretations of social cues, and suspensions and detentions in school. This intensifies the trauma effects. The negative reactions and behavior will continue to escalate, and treatment becomes more difficult. It is clear that the sooner treatment occurs after a traumatic event, the quicker and easier it is for children to move on in their lives without the baggage of the past becoming more overwhelming. Early treatment of trauma, allows children to grow and develop into the healthy and productive individuals they were supposed to be, before trauma struck their lives. Let your child be free of the trauma caused by divorce or witnessing domestic violence.