Family Counseling San Diego EMDR LENS Neurofeedback

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Family Counseling San Diego EMDR LENS Neurofeedback

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Welcome to our professional group of doctors and therapists were our seasoned clinicians integrate safe, effective, research based treatment that focuses on solutions in addition to utilizing cutting edge technology such as the Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) is a unique type of neurofeedback that nudges the brain out of maladaptive brainwave patterns it is stuck in, allowing it to restore homeostasis, to reset itself for optimal performance.  Mr. Martin and Ms. Phillips couple LENS with EMDR.  We use rapid trauma resolution therapies so we can reduce symptoms much quicker were clients under 6 months are improved so dramatically we can begin decreasing amount of sessions, often under 6 weeks. 

We keep explanation simple and request you to complete online LENS Questionnaire prior to treatment to expedite your time in the office. People whom are familiar with EEG Neurofeedback as entrainment (playing games and moving things on screen with mind).  LENS is dys-entrainment, faster, broad ranging, non-intrusive as its non-pharmaceutical, customized by your own brain. This is what we help to do. 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. LENS is at the forefront of new brain technologies. It is unique in terms of how it works, the wide range of its benefits, and the speed and effectiveness with which it works. LENS is particularly effective for anxiety, depression, ADD and traumatic brain injury.

Low Energy Neurofeedback System is now offered – LENS Neurofeedback is a low energy micro-pulse that reorganizes brain pathways. This information shows the brain how to let go of negative emotional patterns and rebuild healthy neural networks without medication. Passive treatments relieve symptoms in minutes while supporting healthy brain development for clearer thinking and renewed confidence. If on medication LENS can help decrease as side effects increases due to being over medicated. So your body no longer need the medication or the dose is too high after treatment. You can notice a positive change as quick as 2 to 4 sessions. Nothing like other treatments. When you notice changes in your mood or behavior please complete your LENS FORMS again after 48 hours when you enter your email it only will ask a short questionnaire. UC San Diego Health was the first provider in San Diego to offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for individuals with treatment-resistant depression has a great deal of wonderful research which validates what LENS is doing at a Low Energy Level.

LENS Reliable and Safe 

LENS Neurofeedback is FDA certified and meets ISNR guidelines. We have conducted over twenty thousand safe and effective treatments. Adult, adolescent, and child neurofeedback treatment is endorsed by AACAP guidelines for behavioral health. Since 1986, our patients have experienced relief from difficulties with concentration, habitual negative thoughts, foggy thinking, negative moods, memory, procrastination, irritability, migraines, and sleep. Recovery may be enhanced with mindfulness training and counseling guided by caring licensed therapists.

The Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) reads a patient’s brainwaves with EEG sensors on the head. Then a computer program simplifies the information and echoes it back through the sensors as an imperceptible electromagnetic signal. The brain uses this essential information to automatically identify and discard negative emotional patterns. It is as if the brain sees itself in a mirror and naturally reorganizes neural pathways to optimize thought patterns and moods. LENS Neurofeedback sessions are medication-free and take only a few minutes in a comfortable office setting.


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.

The LENS, or Low Energy Neurofeedback System was invented by Dr. Len Ochs and uses a very low power electromagnetic field, like the ones that surround digital watches and wires in the wall, to carry feedback to the person receiving it. The feedback travels down the same wires carrying the brain waves to the amplifier and computer. Although the feedback signal is weak, it produces a measurable change in the brainwaves without conscious effort from the individual receiving the feedback. The LENS software allows the EEG signals that are recorded at the scalp to control the feedback.

The almost undetectable feedback power uses a frequency that is different from, but correlates with, the dominant brainwave frequency. When exposed to this feedback frequency, the EEG amplitude distribution changes in power. Most of the time the brain waves reduce in power; but at times they also increase in power. In either case the result is a changed brainwave state, and much greater ability for the brain to regulate itself.

When stress or other outside factors, or biologically based mechanisms, disturb the nervous equilibrium, this type of relaxation modality can catalyze the brains own ability to rebalance, which to the stressed individual, can be experienced as a reversal effect and affect typically problematic high powered slow waves.

When used toward this end (it’s not a medical device; it’s an educational tool for somatic re-education and relaxation) the central nervous system learns to re-tone it’s own reactions to stimulation. The size of one’s neurological reaction reduce, which helps the person to be more discerning and function at a higher level.

Our personal experience with the LENS started with recovery of trauma and also facilitated a reduction in pain.  Because each person is different there is no way of knowing the exact effect the LENS will have on an individual.  But our goal is a more relaxed, less stressed, better functioning and focused individual.

START LENS FORM NOW PRIOR TO APPOINTMENT

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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 InteliHealth.com.) 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.