Posts in Uncategorized

New Administration for Licensed Social Workers

Sunset commission report came out after Texas Professional Examiners Boards were investigated. Read the report and decide for yourself – should regulation of these boards no longer be administered by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS)? The suggestions made by the Sunset Advisory Commission are very good, and anyone who is licensed under one of these professional titles in Texas knows that change needed to happen. One just has to wonder if the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) will be able to do precisely what the commission recommends.

As a Social Work Supervisor, I interact with the Board (whichever one it will be) on a regular basis, not just at license renewal time. The past two years have seen an increased delay in processing of supervision plans and new licensure paperwork for LMSW’s, LPC Interns and LMFT Associates, or anyone in the process of becoming licensed as a social worker, or changing the status of a social work license. While it does seem odd, compared to many other states, that we won’t be regulated by the department of health, there is little room to argue that nothing needed fixing.

Some have noted that it seems inappropriate for non mental health professionals to be administering licenses and regulating the work of those who are educated and trained in mental health and wellbeing. Even under DSHS, the people approving supervision plans for social workers were not professional social workers. They were guided by the Board of Social Work Examiners, some of whom are professional Social Workers. That part will likely stay the same, there are just a different non professional SW’s and PC’s and MFT’s doing the administering.

Let’s hope TDLR can deliver on their promise. Their first step is to catch up on a lot of backlog of work from all three boards. If you are operating under one of these professional licenses in Texas, might as well start to get familiar with TDLR. Change is coming!

How to keep your spirits up this winter

In the wake of Austin’s first bitter freeze many residents are feeling unusually sleepy. A lot of us are already ready for spring and the return of Barton Springs pool. But since winter is here to stay, we’ve decided to share tips on how to stay warm and avoid the winter blues.

Get vitamin D

Human’s make vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin. Unfortunately this means in the winter when the sun is weak and we are bundled up, our bodies make less of it. An easy remedy is to drink vitamin d enriched milk or eat foods with vitamin d such as fatty tuna and salmon. This is a great reason to reserve a table at Uchi this weekend!

Talk to a therapist

Talking your feelings out with a therapist can be a great release. This way you will be able to have a compassionate sounding board for your feelings. If you would like to learn more about our compassionate, accessible counseling visit our website here: http://www.sococounseling.com/.

What is Holistic counseling exactly?

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Holistic therapy in Austin

Holistic therapies are approaches to healing that strive for balance of the emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual. Holistic methods recognize interconnectedness of all working elements. For example, you may find you’re less prone to stress-related illnesses as you work through emotional issues.
Holistic therapy is also characterized by the use of right-brain-based strategies especially those that emphasize the interpersonal, therapeutic relationship aspect of the work. Examples comprise in mind-body psychotherapy, body psychotherapy and mindfulness psychotherapies.

SoCo Counseling

Whatever help you may be looking for, SoCo Counseling can guide you in the right direction.

Help For Your Relationship

Wouldn’t relationships be easier if there were just a list of rules to go by, and everyone knew the rules? When it comes to our closest relationships I’ve got GOOD NEWS! Below you’ll find a list of just those rules. Share these with your partner and challenge yourself to stick to them. Mastering these guidelines has helped many SoCo clients get their relationship on the right track:

Rules of Effective Arguing
When couples start to argue it is easy to forget that from the start both people have a common goal – to come to some resolution on an issue. While the goal is the same, the focus of the argument is the disagreement about how to come to that resolution. In order for the common goal to be reached, it is important that each person hears the other side of the argument. Here are some things you can do that will help ensure that your message will be heard. Making sure you hear your partner’s message is up to you.
  • Remember that you have a common goal.
  • To allow your partner to hear what you’re saying, use “I” statements, and practice active listening skills.
  • Avoid bringing up the past; discuss your current needs and the present situation.
  • Make suggestions for resolution, and be willing to be flexible to find a win-win arrangement.
  • Don’t make threats (to leave your partner, to get drunk, to cheat, to move out, etc.).
  • Cursing, voice raising and name-calling are out of the question!
  • Avoid absolutes, like “always” and “never,” or other inflammatory words, like “whatever.”
  • Postpone an argument if it comes up in the presence of friends, family, guests, children.
  • Carefully choose a mutually agreeable time and place to discuss sensitive issues.
  • Don’t bring in third parties, e.g. “your mom even agrees with me…” “my friends say…”.
  • Stick to one topic; it’s almost impossible to agree on a moving target.
  • Never, never discuss important issues while under the influence of drugs, including alcohol.
  • Never bring up potentially emotionally loaded topics or ask serious questions via text message.
  • If an argument gets heated, call a time-out to cool down and think clearly. Once you are calm again, finish the discussion.
  • Don’t insist on continuing to argue if your partner has called a time-out – allow yourselves some time, whether 5 minutes or 24 hours.
  • Before going to bed or being separated for an extended period, if you haven’t resolved an issue, at least agree to disagree for the time being.

Communication is one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship. If either you or your partner is having trouble following one or more of the guidelines above, talk about it! If you feel you can’t talk to your partner, consider talking to a professional counselor. Our close human relationships are too rare and valuable to be left untended.  –Mary B. Mattis, LCSW, LCDC