Counseling & Therapy April 2020 Newsletter
Apr 27, 2020
Hello and welcome to FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy’s Monthly Newsletter!
In each issue will address a different topic surrounding mental health, highlight a treatment perspective from the field, as well as showcase a few of our own clinicians. Our hope is that the newsletter helps to raise awareness, begins conversations around tough topics, and instills hope.
As a result of COVID-19 all FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy sessions are being done using tele-health video calls. To set-up an appointment please call 651-439-4840 or visit FamilyMeans.org
April is Stress Awareness Month
On an average day, each of us wear many hats. From work to home life, it is hard to juggle responsibilities to maintain a healthy balance. Now, in the midst of COVID-19, our lives have dramatically changed without much notice. We are facing even more challenges and it is harder to try and find balance while at home. These are uncharted times for all of us and are rightfully stressful and anxiety provoking. What can you do, while at home, to ease stress and anxiety as we continue to live through the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Recognize that everyone experiences stress and anxiety. Some amounts of both are actually good for us. The problem comes when we have too much, or experience stress and anxiety for an extended period of time.
- Ask yourself; what is causing your stress? What can you do to decrease or manage this stress? Are the things you are stressed about in your control or not?
- Reach out for help. Call a family member or friend, or seek support from one of our clinicians. Clinicians with specialty focus on grief, trauma, and stress are a wonderful tool during this pandemic where stress and anxiety are at the highest for many people, especially those with traumatic experiences in their past
- Practice self-care. Focusing on what is good for your mental and physical health can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat healthy. Utilize our “Guide to Thrive”, a daily mindfulness practice to help support your mental health.
In this unprecedented time, give yourself permission to feel what you feel, when you feel it. We all are going to have moments that feel stressful, anxiety provoking, and joyful – it is okay to have these ups and downs. Be kind to yourself and reach out if you feel you need more support. Our clinicians are ready to help you get through this!
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or TFCBT, is a cognitive behavioral model that addresses past traumatic experiences for youth. This treatment has been shown to be the most effective way to treat childhood trauma. The structure of this model is also great for families because it has a defined beginning, middle, and end, so the family can see that there will be a set progression and end to treatment.
TFCBT is an attachment-based model; focusing on the relationship between the youth and a caregiver. Research has shown that a child needs at least one supportive adult in their lives in order to build their sense of resilience. TFCBT clinicians provide education related to trauma to both the youth and caregiver to build understanding and awareness. Throughout the model the clinician works with the caregiver to implement parenting skills that work best for a traumatized child. The clinician will then work with the youth to build skills such as relaxation, emotional regulation, and thought identification and processing. All while increasing skills, the clinicians are providing trauma-focused specific work related to the individual youth’s trauma. Once the youth has built upon their skills, they process their traumatic experiences along with feelings and thoughts associated with it. Finally, the clinician works with the youth and caregiver to build future safety skills.
The training in order to become a TFCBT clinician is a rigorous one. Clinicians go through an initial 10 hours of online prep-training prior to 40 hours of instruction with a nationally-certified trainer. They then participate in twice a month consultation calls with their national trainer for a year. Clinicians must also participate in TFCBT specific supervision at their organization throughout the training process. Once all of the training requirements are completed they are considered a TFCBT clinician who can then become nationally-certified.
FamilyMeans is honored to have a small group of clinicians who are dedicating their time to this process. This month we are highlighting two of them here.
Clinician Spotlight: TFCBT Focused Therapists - Anne Gettle & Brynn Stember
Anne Gettle, LICSW
Anne believes when it comes to truly managing stress, a clinician can help by working with clients to explore underlying reasons for stress (the way your family or origin handled difficult times, being overcommitted, unhealthy attachments to people, places, or things) while also facilitating identification and utilization of effective self-care techniques. Anne feels this is where TFCBT comes in. She really loves the work with children and adolescents because its focus is on building healthy, effective coping tools right off the bat, so that stress can be reduced and trauma can be explored and processed more effectively.
Anne’s focus in therapy is to provide a welcoming space where every person, regardless of what brings them to counseling, feels safe unpacking their "stuff" throughout the therapeutic process. Anne utilizes a grounding, trauma-informed approach, emphasizing internal family systems, strengths-based interaction, and unconditional positive regard. Anne works with both children and adults, helping with anxiety and depression, personality disorders, trauma, school stress, and life adjustments. Annie is always LGBTQIA+ friendly, all are welcome and can expect loving support here.
Brynn Stember, LICSW
Brynn believes in the “handling stress” module in TFCBT that teaches kids as young as 3 and up to age 18 how to manage stress and cope with difficult feelings. While the purpose is to prepare them for processing their trauma experience and have coping strategies to do so, learning to handle stress and tough emotions also benefits clients in their daily life to cope and manage stress more effectively. Managing stress is a lifelong skill for kids, teens, and adults and for people with all backgrounds and experiences. Brynn states “I am privileged to be able to work with a variety of ages and support people on their journey of decreasing and managing stress in their life, healing from trauma, and addressing other mental health concerns that affect the quality of their life.”
Brynn's hope as a therapist is to build relationships and work collaboratively with individuals and families to address their specific goals. Approaches used in her practice include family systems, cognitive behavioral therapy, psycho-dynamic, and strengths-based therapy. Brynn aims to bring an accepting and inviting presence into each session, with encouragement for the obstacles that life brings to all of us in different ways. Brynn works with children, teens, and adults. Specialties include anxiety, grief and loss, and relationship stress. Brynn is trained in TFCBT and uses this model with children and teens ages 3-18 years old to help them process and heal from past trauma.
Content created by FamilyMeans Staff
Blog cover photo from https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/hidden-symptoms-of-stress.html