Best Marriage Counselor Orange County

Best Marriage Counselor Orange County

6 Tips for Finding the Best Marriage Counselor Orange County

Marriage is like a dance.  In a healthy, fulfilling marriage, both partners are dancing together in coordinated, smoothly choreographed steps that create a joyful, edifying sense of contentment as they sail across the dance floor.   When a marriage is in trouble, the dance becomes awkward and uncoordinated—and toes get stepped on.  So how can a couple get their groove back?

Marriage counseling provides an objective examination of the couple’s dynamic, helping to identify areas of the relationship that are in need of a fresh approach or a good tweak.  Marriage counseling can provide constructive ways to make needed improvements in communication skills, conflict resolution techniques, financial incompatibility, intimacy issues, and more equitable management of household responsibilities.

Finding the best marriage counselor Orange County can seem a bit daunting at first glance.  With so many therapists in the area, what criteria should one use when selecting the right marriage counselor for your marital issues?  With that in mind, here are six helpful tips for locating the best marriage counselor Orange County:

  1. Couples counseling should be an area of expertise.  There are plenty of therapists who claim to “work with couples” in their practice.  This isn’t good enough.  Seek out therapists who devote at least 30% of their practice to couples counseling versus individual counseling.  Working with couples needs to be a primary focus of their professional practice.
  2. Look for a compatible fit.  Determining whether a marriage counselor is a good fit for each spouse may take some trial and error, but it is well worth the effort.  If after 2 or 3 sessions either party feels out of sync with the personality or style of the therapist it is time to trial another.  Both spouses should feel at ease with the therapist, and have a sense that their input is validated.
  3. Look for evidence-based therapy.  Most therapists have a particular therapeutic specialty or style.  The best marriage counselors Orange County utilize evidence-based approaches, those modalities that have been clinically tested and proven to be effective in the industry.  Two such approaches are Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy and the Gottman Method.
  4. Ask for referrals.  There are several sources from which to seek referrals for a marriage counselor.  While a family member or friend may be a good source for a referral, it may not be ideal if you wish to keep your marital problems to yourself.  A family physician, clergy member, or OB/Gyn can all be good sources for couples counseling referrals.
  5. Ask about their opinion on divorce.  When shopping for a marriage counselor it is important that their values are aligned with your own.  If a couple wants to avoid divorce if at all possible but a therapist has a casual viewpoint on divorce, there will be a values conflict.  A couple that values faith-based beliefs on the sanctity of marriage would be ill-served by a secular therapist with a differing worldview.
  6. Ask if the therapist sets expectations.  Marriage counseling works best when goals and expectations are identified early on.  The best marriage counselor Orange County will define treatment goals based on the issues communicated by the couple in the initial interview.  Marriage counseling is typically a fairly short-term therapy that is goal-oriented, so seek a therapist who will create a treatment plan.

Phaite Behavioral Healthcare Provides Effective Marriage Counseling Orange County

Phaite Behavioral Healthcare offers a team of masters and doctoral level therapists who help couples and families in need of improved communication and conflict resolution skills.  By improving interpersonal relating, couples strengthen the deep connection of the marital bond.  For families in crisis, marriage counseling can provide necessary tools for managing the stress while continuing to support each other.  For more information about our marriage counseling services in Orange County, California, please contact Phaite Behavioral today at (888) 259-1268.

Marriage and Family Therapist Orange County

Marriage and Family Therapist Orange County

When to See a Marriage and Family Therapist Orange County

Is it any wonder that a couple might hit a difficult patch in their marriage?  Think about it:  Two separate human beings with two unique sets of DNA, personal opinions, and life experiences begin a new life forged together as man and wife.  No matter how much love exists between the couple, there are bound to be challenges that can derail them, especially when the stresses of family and life expose their personality differences.  One spouse may be inclined to handle the demands of life one way, and the other spouse a completely different way, causing emotional dissonance and frustration in the marriage.

Most families and couples are able to work through these tough times with patience and a big dose of humility.  Sometimes the only way to keep peace is through acquiescence, although even using that strategy can lead to festering resentments that are akin to a ticking time bomb if the central issues are not properly dealt with.  The most effective approach to solving the issues that have led to marital strife, especially if there are children involved, is with the help of a marriage and family therapist Orange County.

5 Signs You Should Enlist a Marriage and Family Therapist Orange County

In some cases it isn’t crystal clear as to whether a couples or family counselor might be needed to help resolve marital differences.  But if marital differences have escalated to point that real emotional (or physical) damage is being done, it is best to see a professional therapist.  Here are some good reasons to begin marriage and family counseling:

  1. Infidelity.  If a partner has been unfaithful the damage to the marriage can be profound.  In many cases, the infidelity occurs because of a deep-seated problem in the marriage itself.  There could be an absence of physical intimacy, communication may have broken down, there may be festering resentment over perceived mistreatment, or many other signs of vulnerability in the marriage.  Regardless, when one spouse engages in infidelity it can destroy trust bonds and spell doom for the marriage without intervention from a couple’s counselor.
  2. Inequality within the marriage.  When one spouse feels they are being marginalized or patronized by the other, it sets up an uneven playing field.  This inequality between spouses can evolve when one partner stays home with the children, and is subsequently treated in a condescending manner.  Unequal roles may be culturally defined and difficult to overcome.  When one spouse loses a job, it can lead to them feeling, or being treated, as inferior.
  3. Communication breakdown.  With so many distractions impacting the daily lives of a family, it can easily lead to the breakdown of communication.  Without making a conscious effort to work on healthy ways to keep each other engaged and informed throughout the day, week, month, and so one, the never-ending distractions of parenting, school, finances, and work can evolve into a wide gulf between the spouses, and they can lose their emotional connection.
  4. Substance abuse.  When a spouse, or a child, is battling a substance use disorder or addiction it can have significant implications for the whole family.  It has long been said that drug and alcohol addiction is a family disease for good reason.  The fallout of addiction reaches to every corner of the family dynamic, threatening marriages, straining finances, destroying trust, and a whole milieu of emotional strife that a therapist can help treat.
  5. Children acting out.  Kids are very perceptive and can sense when there is tension between parents.  If this situation is ongoing, it can lead children to begin to experience stress and anxiety over the parent’s marital difficulties.  This anxiety plays out at school, on the playground, in risky behaviors, and many other ways, as a kind of call for attention and help.
  6. Family crisis.  When there has been a sudden death in the family or another traumatic event that has created intense emotional distress, family therapy can be beneficial in walking through the feelings of loss, fear, or anguish.  Children, especially, have difficulty finding their voice when facing a crisis.  Family tensions can rise during difficult events, leading to unkind behaviors that can be hurtful, so counseling can help family members communicate and heal.

Phaite Behavioral Marriage and Family Therapist Orange County

Phaite Behavioral Center is a counseling center that is staffed with masters and doctoral level clinicians who are ready to help when you seek a marriage and family therapist Orange County.  These talented therapists will help a couple navigate through a difficult chapter in their marriage, and will gain tools to help resolve future conflicts, restore intimacy, and attain a renewed commitment to their family.  For more information please contact Phaite Behavioral today at (888) 259-1268.

Psychologist in Orange County

Psychologist in Orange County

Phaite Behavioral Psychologist in Orange County

Once upon a time, seeing a therapist for help with emotional issues or difficult life events was looked down upon.  Back then, psychotherapy was somewhat stigmatized, lampooned in movies and even thought of as a sign of weakness.  In recent years, however, leaning on the skills and knowledge of a licensed therapist has become commonplace.  Having a safe space where one can unload emotions and pain, where they will not be judged, is intrinsic to psychological well-being.

Many people credit their time working with a psychologist as life changing, if not life-saving.  A good psychologist can walk you through a difficult chapter in your life, drawing out important new insights and providing you with excellent tools to help manage life going forward.  When it is time to seek out the help of a psychologist in Orange County, it is helpful to understand what all is involved in therapy.

Reasons to See a Psychologist in Orange County

Let’s face it; life is hard.  Sometimes our troubles may seem insurmountable, and we can become hopeless and despairing as a result.  Psychotherapy can help, whether you suffer from a mood disorder, a dual diagnosis (substance use disorder that coexists with a mental health disorder), trauma or major change in life, such as divorce, loss of a job, or loss of a loved one. A therapist can help you navigate these difficult challenges, offering a supportive and compassionate ear and then helpful techniques to assist you through the emotional distress.

Some of the most common reasons to work with a psychologist include:

  1. Whether a past or present event, the emotional impact of trauma can severely disrupt daily life.  A psychologist can help you manage triggers and use exposure therapy to assist you in overcoming the trauma.
  2. Mood disorders. Struggling with a chronic mood disorder such as depression or anxiety can be frustrating and exhausting, sapping all your energy and motivation.  A psychologist can use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to augment medication.
  3. Substance abuse or addiction. Very often addiction stems from emotional pain or past traumas that you are seeking to self medicate with drugs and alcohol.
  4. Family problems. Each family has their own individual dynamic involving the unique personalities and relating styles of the family members.  When dysfunction causes strife, family therapy can teach new communication skills and provide insights for making positive changes.
  5. Chronic stress can result in serious health problems, so learning how to manage stress with relaxation techniques is intrinsic to getting a grip on it.  A therapist can teach deep breathing techniques, guided imagery, and other holistic practices that promote relaxation.
  6. Change negative behavior patterns. When a repeated dysfunctional behavior pattern continues to net negative results it is time to learn ways to replace them with healthy ones.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is highly effective in helping change unhealthy behaviors.

The Therapeutic Process

Taking the step to enter therapy with a psychologist in Orange County may trigger feelings of stress and anxiety.  Not knowing what to expect in therapy, it is easy to get worked up just anticipating the process.  But the therapeutic process is simply a relationship between psychologist and client, upon which a bond of trust is built.  The conversations that ensue between client and therapist will lead to actionable change that results in a better quality of life.

The psychologist is trained to remain objective and non-judgmental throughout the therapeutic process.  They are bound by a strict confidentiality clause that ensures that the thoughts, feelings, or events you share remain private.  This enables you to open up and allow the therapist to incrementally explore these revelations and offer their professional insights and guidance to help you overcome the challenges.

Therapy can be short-term, such as CBT, which generally lasts about 3 months.  For more entrenched emotional traumas or pain, psychodynamic therapy can last a year or longer, depending on the needs of the client.  Whatever treatment modality is best suited for your specific needs, you should enter therapy with a positive attitude and a willingness to do the work to make real positive changes in your life.

Phaite Behavioral Healthcare Provides Effective Psychologists in Orange County

Phaite Behavioral is a full-service psychotherapy practice that treats adults, teens, and families suffering from emotional pain.  Located in South Orange County, Phaite Behavioral is conveniently located to serve the communities of Aliso Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Niguel, and San Juan Capistrano.  For information about how the skilled and compassionate therapists at Phaite Behavioral can make your life more joyful and productive, call us today at (888) 259-1268.

Child Psychologist

When to Enlist the Help of a Child Psychologist

Child Psychologist in South Orange County

It is often said that children are very resilient, that they often bounce back from adversities that occur in their young lives.  While this may be true for the majority of kids, some young people simply cannot wind through a disruption, struggle, or loss without professional help.  This is when it is important to seek the help of a professional child psychologist.

The child psychologist is trained to identify the sources of the behavioral or emotional upheaval that have not resolved after a period of weeks or months, and then apply various interventional strategies and therapeutic techniques to help them heal.  The need for enlisting the help of the child psychologist is indicated when the child or adolescents daily functioning is disrupted, the child has become a danger to themselves or others, or the problems interfere with normal family functioning.

Signs that a Child Psychologist is Needed

Disruptions in the life of a child or adolescent can include such events as a divorce, serious illness or death of a parent or sibling, a move, trauma, or bullying at school, for example.  Giving the young person time to cycle through the emotional impact of the event in a supportive environment usually leads to resolution.  However, when symptoms of distress do not resolve in a reasonable period of time, it is prudent to seek the support of a professional child psychologist.  These signs would include:

  • Symptoms of depression or anxiety.  When a mood disorder develops the child will exhibit symptoms of sadness and despair, fatigue, irritability, irrational fears, and mood swings.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3 million teens experience a major depressive episode in the last year.
  • Sleeping or eating habits change.  Sleep disturbances, including insomnia, night terrors, nightmares, or over sleeping are signs of emotional distress.  Also concerning is a sudden increase or decrease in appetite that persists for at least a week.
  • Self-destructive behaviors.  Self harm can take the form of cutting (purposeful cutting of their skin), substance abuse, or attempts to hurt themselves in any way is a sign of emotional distress.
  • Troubles at school.  Behavioral and emotional struggles often are acted out in the school setting.  Decline of academic performance, ditching school, fights with schoolmates, being bullied, loner behavior, etc. can all point to emotional distress.
  • Isolating behaviors.  The young person is suddenly not interested in engaging in social activities, family events and activities, or seeing friends.

How a Child Psychologist can Help

Someone trained to work with kids and teens in emotional distress has the knowledge and tools to help usher them through a difficult life event and toward healthy functioning once again.  Child psychologists often use art therapy as a tool to interpret the life situations that have triggered the disordered behaviors or mood changes.  With teens, the art of listening, and asking strategic open-ended questions, can reveal causal factors as well.  As a clear picture emerges regarding the source of the pain, the therapist can devise an appropriate treatment intervention plan.

Parents will play an important role in the therapy process as well.  Some of the sessions may include the parents, helping the psychologist to identify potentially dysfunctional communication or behavioral issues within the family.  Parents are closely consulted as therapy continues, and are seen as partners in the therapeutic process.

Phaite Behavioral Offers Effective and Compassionate Counseling for Adolescents

Phaite Behavioral Healthcare Services provides comprehensive therapeutic help for teens in need of counseling and support in South Orange County, California.  The Phaite Behavioral clinical team uses only evidence-based treatment modalities, and all clinicians are professionals of masters or doctoral level.  For more information about the compassionate care provided for adolescents in distress, please contact Phaite Behavioral today at (888) 259-1268.