Family Counseling San Diego EMDR

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Family Counseling San Diego EMDR

Top Counseling & Mental Health in San Diego
FamilyCounselingSanDiego.Com, INC. is ranked as a top Counseling & Mental Health in San Diego CA
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Seasoned clinicians integrate safe, effective, research based treatment that focuses on solutions and utilizing cutting-edge biofeedback, CES (Cranial Electrical Stimulation) AlphaStim/CESultra and neurofeedback. At FamilyCounselingSanDiego, we integrate this new technology to expedite treatment success. We also utilize positive psychology, solution focused, dialectical, mindfulness counseling, brain nutrition, and multiple types of cutting edge treatment approaches which will be discussed with you during your intake session at which time we create your treatment plan to find a route to symptom relief as quickly as possible.

We offer Court Approved Co-Parenting Class so it can also help with your custody case and your children as you do not have to do this alone.

What we do is our passion, we see many people suffering from anxiety, addiction, depression, bipolar, personality disorders and interpersonal struggles. We can see you as a couple and also individually. Our founder Walter Pat Martin LMFT wrote “Heart and Soul Toward Intimacy Couples Guide” and utilizes a different approach then many other therapists/psychologist in San Diego area. We always create a treatment plan on your first visit to make concrete goals.

Janet Phillips LCSW and Walter Pat Martin LMFT are both certified in (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing and have additional trained in advanced Image Transformation Therapy (ImTT) which are both major breakthroughs in the treatment of trauma, OCD, depression, anxiety. Intense feelings, such as terror, pain, guilt, and shame, which are often a major obstacle to treatment, which can be released without the person having to feel them (This is revolutionary compared to traditional therapy). This prevents flooding and dissociating during treatment. In addition, ImTT also utilizes a new model of psychological dynamics called the Survival Model of Psychological Dynamics that provides an effective and efficient approach to treating mental disorders. The result is that both emotional and behavioral changes are easier, gentler, and faster. The third edition includes recent advances for working with trauma, dissociation, and OCD. Recent advances in working with feelings associated with cognitions and psycho-physiological reactions are also presented.

Welcome to our team, Ed Thompson, MA, LMFT whom is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience working with children, transition age youth, adults, couples , families, military personnel and first responders..  He has worked in schools, outpatient clinics, residential facilities, psychiatric hospitals, group and private practice in addition to being a PERT (Psychiatric Emergency Response Team) clinician throughout San Diego County.  Ed is certified in EMDR and is a member of the EMDR International Association. He specializes in working with trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, men’s issues and relational issues.

Each therapist at FamilyCounselingSanDiego has unique styles and specialized training. Such as Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), ImTT, Play Therapy, DBT, CBT, ACT, Neurofeedback, Biofeedback, CES, Exposure Therapy, Gottman Couples Treatment Approach, Refuge Recovery Addiction treatment, Certified in Employee Assistance Program Counseling, Certified in Gambling Addiction Counseling with State of California UCLA program, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and also we are court approved for co-parenting, anger management. Our specialized training helps us reduce your vivid, unwanted, repeated thoughts, panic, urges and anxiety. 

We are honored to be your guide in removing the suffering. Mr. Martin wrote book “Heart and Soul Towards Intimacy Couples Workbook.” We work as a TEAM and consult each week to improve your symptom quickly. Our initial session begins with designing a treatment plan and begin the healing journey towards a new life. It can take 6 to 20 sessions to get the level of improvement you desire through Family Counseling San Diego which offers EMDR and Bilingual Spanish. ‘

You have options of combining other treatment modality as well, our FDA approved, unique style of treatment utilizing Cranial Electrical Stimulation technology you can see results quickly. Or if you desire Biofeedback/Neurofeedback we have multiple styles that work well for many types of behavioral, learning and mental challenges. Do you suffer from stress, anxiety, phobias, ADHD, Chronic pain or other diseases? Are you worried about getting sick because you feel parts of your life are out of balance? Most people have a sense that they are out of balance, running too fast on life’s treadmill… but they don’t know how to stop it or what to do to change it. This emotion sensing hardware and software knows how you are feeling! You will slow down when you see your heart rhythms graphing on screen in front of you. You will gasp with joy when you see your heart rhythms become smoother, taller and very rhythmic because you will be in high coherence.


  • Click Here To Schedule Yourself and Create A Client Portal
  • We begin by asking you to click RED Button on Right for Intake Application and get insurance authorized for your visit.
  • If you do not know who your employer EAP insurance provider is or have the paperwork scan it or email it to us.
  • We accept Optum, Tri-Care West, TriWest VA, Healthnet, MHN, UHC/UBH/Optum, Humana, Cigna, Aetna, Military One Source and many others are accepted.

The Alive Biofeedback Hardware & Computer Software Package – With your Counselor / Coach Begin a New Journey Toward Healing 

Diagnostics, educational resources, progress tracking, and a virtual coach to teach you techniques for breathing to lower and smooth heart rate, how to interpret your body data, and to suggest a program for meeting your goals.

As you play the Alive Games and explore the Environments, the Coach stays with you throughout the entire experience, evaluating your progress, and helping you maximize the effectiveness of Alive — suggesting alternative programs and approaches as you play.

Alive Games

The most fun part of Alive. Includes Dual Drive Pro Manual, Dual Drive Pro Autopilot, and an assortment of Alive Mini Games, including:

  • Dream House— Build a dream house from the ground up, beginning in the morning and finishing by parking your car in the new garage at sundown.
  • Green Thumb — Make a gorgeous hyacinth bloom and wow you with its showy ultramarine flowers
  • Four Seasons — Propel a natural scene through all four seasons, enjoying spring showers, lush summer foliage, fall thunderstorms and the bare beauty of winter.
  • Alien Shuttle — Complete your alien mission by finding your way to the docking station in the mothership.
  • Night Flight — Enjoy navigating through a twinkling and busy cityscape.

Alive Environments

For training and development. Gorgeous visual environments to explore as you pace your breathing and smooth your heart rate include:

  • Alive Environments Breath Spiral — Move shiny particles in a 3D space as you inhale and exhale. Paced breathing creates a smoother heart and expands a disc of particles into spiraling waves.
  • Alive Environments Shape Shifter — The smoother your heart rate, the brighter a geometric shape becomes. Keep it smooth to see it morph into new forms.
  • Alive Environments Metal Pulse — Use paced breathing to turn undulating waves from orange to an intense blue.
  • Alive Environments Plasma — Use the pacer on the screen to smooth your heart rate and make undulating plasma appear. Slow the plasma by dropping your heart rate.
  • Alive Environments Tropical Ocean — Relax to make the wind blow the palm fronds and the wave sounds intensify.
  • Alive Audio Environments — Close your eyes, sink back into your chair, and breathe to smooth your heart rate. The more even your heart rate changes are, the more enveloping the music and relaxing sounds become. Choose from Rain, Stream, Waves, and Memory.

The PROTEUS™ is a revolutionary new light and sound product that combines our innovative BiColor™ stimulation technology—another MindPlace first. Developed with the serious experimenter in mind, Proteus includes a host of powerful programming capabilities.

Features include:

  • Realtime BiColor™ output. Proteus includes two independent color channels, each of which has its own brightness and pulse rate. This means that Proteus sessions can shift smoothly between up to 4,096 colors in real time, creating extraordinary visuals and mapping colors more precisely to states of consciousness. For example, lower frequencies can be set to soothing green, while higher, energizing frequencies are the appropriate red; the “peak performance” color amber lies in between.
  • Totally programmable. We’ve developed a simple yet powerful Windows 98+ hosted programming tool, available free of charge. You can download it for review by clicking here, or view the documentation here.
  • Totally upgradeable. Proteus uses advanced Flash memory for both session and operating system data. This means that you can not only download new session groups into the system, but also that the entire operating system can be upgraded. Recent upgrades have added include such advanced features as wavetable crossfading; dual binaural beats; BioConnect™ real-time biofeedback control, and more.
  • Wavetable audio. PROTEUS includes stereo audio digital to analog converters, enabling production of binaural beats and other waveforms. You can store up to four different waveforms in Proteus, and we include an audio waveform creation tool with the bundled software.
  • Enhanced AudioStrobe™ . We’ve fine-tuned our AudioStrobe decoder circuitry, providing a much crisper, more intense experience.
  • 199 program capacity. Proteus ships with expanded versions of the best programs taken from our earlier products (especially Orion and MindLab). A total of fifty programs are preloaded into Proteus when you receive it. Plus, there is plenty of space remaining for you download your own creations—about 2,000 segments altogether in two separate banks.
  • Free Proteus Editor software. Unlike other manufacturers, we don’t charge for our software—you can just download the latest version of Proteus Editor from the Proteus support site. Choose from a host of programmable features, including:
    • Single or dual binaural beats
    • Create and download your own audio wavetables
    • Synchronize the two color channels or run them at completely different frequencies
    • Control the lights and sound in real time using our ThoughtStream biofeedback system
    • Create “random” programs within constraints you choose (for example, frequencies constrained to 9-12 hz and segment lengths of 1 to 3 seconds).
    • Frequencies range from 0.2 to 50.0 hz—best in the industry
    • Plus much more.

Wild Divine Meditation Biofeedback Game : The Passage

Modern technology has brought ancient wisdom to your doorstep and into your home and body. Using this bio-feedback game will improve your heart rhythms, improve your heart coherence and give you tools to become present and mindful in life.

The patented new iOM device uses an earlobe sensor (older iOMs use three finger sensors) that track your body’s heart rate variability and skin conductance.

You get on-screen active-feedback while you engage with guided relaxation training and meditation games.

Do you suffer from stress, anxiety, phobias, ADHD, Chronic pain or other diseases? Are you worried about getting sick because you feel parts of your life are out of balance?

Most people have a sense that they are out of balance, running too fast on life’s treadmill… but they don’t know how to stop it or what to do to change it.

This emotion sensing hardware and software knows how you are feeling! You will slow down when you see your heart rhythms graphing on screen in front of you. You will gasp with joy when you see your heart rhythms become smoother, taller and very rhythmic because you will be in high coherence.

Visit a mythical world of towering palaces, sacred temples, sumptuous gardens and wise mentors where you are challenged to deepen you self-awareness with every step you take. Harness the power of your inner Magi!

After a divorce a family needs healing. 

We offer Court Approved Parenting, Co-Parenting Classes or High conflict co-parenting class helps you be successful during this transition in your life

We offer Court Approved Co-Parenting Class so it can also help with your custody case and your children.


Family Counseling San Diego Focuses on reducing conflict between parents going through divorce, separation and custody issues. We strive to add value to your lives by demonstrating how to communicate and cope with the other parent, educate on the dynamics of parenting between two homes, and strengthen your  ability to emotionally detach and think clearly. Raising children in two homes can be a very difficult experience for everyone but we are here to help you navigate this road. You deserve to find balance in your lives and peace in your hearts and your children deserve happy and engaged parents every day.

Thank you for making an investment in the lives of your children!

Lo que hacemos es nuestra pasión, nosotros vemos a muchas personas sufrir de la ansiedad, la afición, la depresión, bipolar, desórdenes(trastornos) de personalidad y luchas interpersonales. Invitan a parejas y familias enteras.

Part-Time MFT LPC LCSW Psychologist Opening

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We do not have any job openings at the moment. Please come back again later.


Please be local and ready to start ASAP. We have a lot of great office space and would like part-time people initially which could move into full time. THIS IS A 1099 Independent Contractor Position. You get 60% of gross income which is the best in town. With an increase to 65% gross when you have 12 months with the company.

employment type: part-time

Wanted An Outstanding Psychotherapist Who Enjoys doing therapy. Also, you ABSOLUTELY MUST BE LICENSED a minimum of 1 years with experience. If you are someone who is looking for an extremely comfortable, warm and very attractive environment, we have the perfect job for you. Our company is a growing, mid-size outpatient mental health clinic, with excellent pay, a wonderful support staff, and a very nice set up for the right professional person! Being on insurance panels is not necessary but a big bonus (we can get you on the insurance panels).

Only qualified applicants please!
Principals only no recruiters.

We work together to support your goals and assist you to develop your practice. Mr. Martin has developed new programs with high success and we need some fun active therapist whom are willing to learn. We need people who work with children, families, couples and individuals with PTSD, anxiety and EAP referrals. IF you have EMDR training we look for that as well as Dr. Gottman training for couples. We are court approved for anger management, co-parenting, parenting, high conflict co-parenting. You need to be a self starter and willing to get into the community to network and get your name on the map. We get 4-7 new intakes each week just with our currently marketing.

We accept Optum, Tri-Care West (active Duty Military), Blue Shield of Calf (Magellan), TriWest VA(Retire), Healthnet, MHN, UHC/UBH, Humana, Cigna, Aetna, Multiplan and many others are accepted.

Contact 858-217-5570 to setup a meeting with Ms. Flowers or Mr. Martin.

10640 Scripps Ranch Blvd suite 101,102,103, San Diego, CA 92131

Sunday-Friday 11AM to 8PM


Insurance/Cash Payments: $40.00 to $180.00 /hour (We always begin charge at $180 per session with sliding scale)

What we do is our passion, we see many people suffering from anxiety, addiction, depression, bipolar, personality disorders and interpersonal struggles.

Our unique style has led use to be certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), DBT, CBT, ACT treatments and court approved co-parenting, anger management. Which reduces vivid, unwanted, repeated thoughts, panic, urges and anxiety. We are honored to be your guide in removing the suffering. Mr. Martin wrote book “Heart and Soul Towards Intimacy Couples Workbook.” We work as a TEAM and consult each week to improve your symptom quickly. Our initial session begins with designing a treatment plan and begin the healing journey towards a new life.

CES FDA Approved Anxiety, Mood and Sleep Disorders

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CES FDA Approved Anxiety, Mood and Sleep Disorders

Treat Symptoms with Advanced Technology CESultra with 20 years of FDA approval

Designed collaboratively by world-class engineers and doctors, the CESultra Stimulator uses patented waveforms to gently stimulate the brain to produce serotonin and other neurochemicals responsible for healthy mood and sleep.

Unlike antidepressant medication that inhibits neuronal receptors from absorbing serotonin, the CESultra and Alpha-Stim Simulator enables the brain to produce serotonin naturally while improving the brain’s ability to regulate the limbic system.

Proven in multiple published studies, the device is cleared by the FDA to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia, as well as chronic pain when used on the body. Watch the video to learn how easy it is to use.

 When you ready to learn new ways to cope with stress come by Family Counseling Poway so you can unwind and stop the cycle of that negative voice in your head.

That negative self image which brings you down and prevents you from socializing. It is not easy to come to counseling and seek out someone else to help guide you back to center and assist you in finding balance in your life.

  • Are stress and anxiety putting a strain on your relationships and affecting your health?
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed, unable to enjoy spending time with your family, friends, or your children?
  • Stressed Overwhelmed Anxious?
  • Are you so worried about the future that you are feeling hopeless and depressed?

We provide counseling within a safe, supportive, caring environment, so you can face your difficulties constructively and confidently.

Let us free you to enjoy all of the good things life has to offer. If you are struggling with relationship issues, anxiety, depression, or need help healing from abuse or trauma, we can help.

Family Counseling Poway can get you back on track. CES FDA Approved Anxiety, Mood and Sleep Disorders.

Q. What research is there as to the safety and effectiveness of CES?

A. There are approximately 1,000 articles on CES therapy many of which are listed in four reviews put out by the Foreign Service Bulletin of the United States Library of Congress. This is in addition to the wealth of physiological and bio-engineering data on electrosleep and electroanesthesia in animals. As of this writing there are more than 100 research studies on CES in humans and 18 experimental animal studies. The efficacy of CES has been clinically confirmed through the use of 28 different psychometric tests. The significance of CES research for treating anxiety has also been reconfirmed through meta-analyses conducted at the University of Tulsa and at the Department of Health Policy and Management , Harvard University School of Public Health. The full body of research can be accessed at this website.

Cranio-Electro Stimulation (CES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation that applies a small pulsed electric current across a person’s head.

As Far back as the first century, the Greeks and Romans used the electric eel, a variety of the “Torpedo Fish” for electrical stimulation. First century writings record placing a live torpedo fish under the feet of a person suffering from gout to ease the pain. There are also reports of placing these fish on people’s foreheads to treat headaches.

Current interest in Cranio-Electrical Stimulation (CES) was initiated by Robinovitch, who in 1914 made the first claim for electrical treatment of insomnia. In 1958, the book Electro-Sleep reflected the first serious works on CES. This book inspired research in Europe and in Eastern Bloc countries, as well as in South America, Asia and finally the US. Because the CES equipment used was bulky, inconvenient, and unreliable, CES, like the electric eel, was abandoned in favor of drug therapies.

Improve energy level and physical well-being.

Most studies to date have shown CES as a reliable method to reduce anxiety and improve cognition in recovering alcoholics. Additional studies have shown CES to be an effective tool in reducing situational anxiety and improving IQ. We are here to help be your guide to a healthier new you. CES FDA Approved Anxiety, Mood and Sleep Disorders

Educación de Postdivorcio Conflicto alto de San Diego

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Educación de Postdivorcio Conflicto alto de San Diego

Clase abierta todos los lunes por la noche a las 7 pm

10640 Scripps Ranch Blvd., STE 101, San Diego, CA 92131

¿Acentúes y pone la ansiedad una tensión sobre sus relaciones y afecta su salud?

¿Se siente usted abrumado, incapaz de disfrutar gastando(pasando) el tiempo con su familia,

amigos, o sus niños?

¿Acentuado Abrumado Deseoso?

¿Está tan preocupado usted sobre el futuro que usted se siente desesperado y deprimido?

Proporcionamos el asesoramiento dentro de una caja fuerte, el entorno(el medio ambiente) de apoyo, humanitario, entonces usted puede afrontar sus dificultades constructivamente y con seguridad.

Déjenos liberar usted para disfrutar de toda la vida de cosas buena tiene que ofrecer. Si usted lucha con publicaciones(cuestiones) de relación, ansiedad, depresión, o necesita la ayuda que se cura del abuso o el trauma, podemos ayudar.

El Asesoramiento de Familia Poway puede recuperarle sobre la pista.

El examinar de un divorcio es resistente sobre ambos padres y sus niños. Y puede ser difícil de mantener una actitud positiva en beneficio de sus niños. Pero usted puede ayudar a reducir al mínimo el trauma y aliviar la transición por tomando un curso de co-educación. Estas clases de educación para el divorcio enfocan a padres de ayuda aprenden a terminar el conflicto y satisfactoriamente el co-padre después de que ellos se separan.

Muchos estados ahora requieren la terminación de un programa de educación paternal antes de que un divorcio o la orden judicial que concierne la custodia sean ultimados. El tribunal que ordenó(pidió) las clases de educación de divorcio por lo general sean enfocadas(concentradas) en la aseguración de los padres siguen al co-padre a sus niños cuando ellos están más juntos. Ellos enseñan la educación esencial y habilidades de comunicación de ayudar guardar(mantener) a niños del medio del conflicto del padre.

El tribunal también puede decidir ordenar(pedir) estas clases si el divorcio es considerado como el alto conflicto. Enseñan a los padres como reducir la tensión por asegurando ellos actúan recíprocamente menos el uno con el otro y más con sus niños después del divorcio. Cuando los niños son el foco de la atención de su padre, ellos con menor probabilidad se sienten descuidados o se culpan para el divorcio de sus padres.

Co-Parenting, High Conflict Parenting, Anger Classes

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Co-Parenting, High Conflict Parenting, Anger Classes current Schedule below. These are smaller groups for quality experience as most around San Diego are 12-15 we are at most 6-8

Wednesday – 7:00 PM High Conflict Co-Parenting Group / Class

Monday – 7:00 PM SPANISH High Conflict Co-Parenting Class / Group

10640 Scripps Ranch Blvd, STE 101, San Diego, CA 92131

at, Inc, 

CALL NOW to get your space as space is limited.

We offer 2 ways to pay for these 10 x – 90 minute classes.

  1. The first package is a one time payment of $400.00 that is $40 per class
  2. The second package allows you to make 2 payments of $450 which is $45 per. The first payment is due at registration and the second payment will be billed to your credit card 4 weeks later.
  3. You can pay by the class for $50 per class.


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. 

Giving you an idea of what to expect when you go to court or mediation and give you strategies to get the best results.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:

  • 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 does not push your button as much as now. Learning new ways to ID triggers when overwhelmed such that you maintain control better and decrease arguments around your child.
  • Helping you understand the courts so you aren’t in fear of what the court might or might not do. 

Military Deployment San Diego

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Military Deployment San Diego

In 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.

Teenager Angry Maybe Depression

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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

Teenager Help Cutting Addiction

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Teenage Depression Cutting San DiegoTeenager Help Cutting Addiction

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.

Self Harm = Self Love (Cutting Addiction Begins)

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.

Why 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. It also follows the addiction cycle.

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.

When to Seek Professional Help

Children, from infants to adolescents, are exposed to trauma as anything non nurturing is traumatic to a child. As the child develops and has difficulty developing interpersonal relationships depression in the form of anger and rage can develop. This is when you hear your teenager or pre-teen make statements like “I want to die.” Overall this teen or pre-teen has begun to go down the rabbit hole of negative thought patterns. This leads to cutting behavior and/or addictive behaviors toward substances. It is time to have a professional assess the situation. There is too many teens or pre-teens that are in pain with the developmental language ability to express the feelings which then turns inward. Go to a professional which can help lead your child out of the dark thoughts.