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November is National Diabetes Month – making it the perfect time to set the record straight about CARBS.

Carb-phobia came in like a wrecking ball replacing the previous diet monster fat-phobia. No wonder this is confusing, modern science can drive you crazy with conflicting messages.

Did you know someone in the world dies from complications associated with diabetes every 10 seconds?  Diabetes is one of the top ten leading causes of U.S. deaths. One out of ten health care dollars is attributed to diabetes. We need to take this seriously. Diabetes is a condition where the body either does not produce, or cannot properly use, insulin.

For thousands of years, grains have been healthfully eaten by much of the world’s populations, including diabetics. Getting healthy is never about deprivation; the secret is not in elimination but quality and moderation.  Traditional whole grains and quality carbs contribute to a good night’s sleep, create a balanced feeling in the body, reduce inflammation, satisfy hunger, improve digestion & promote smooth bowel movements, improve mental clarity & cognitive functioning, support metabolism, and help regulate blood sugar levels. Yes, you heard me, eating high quality carbohydrates in moderation actually helps regulate blood sugar levels.  American eating habits tend to include over-indulging in large portions of highly refined sugar carbs. But, this doesn’t make all carbs bad.

Here are some things you can do to help manage or heal your diabetes:

Limit the amount and frequency of consuming sugary treats (such as cakes, candies and soda).
Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, whole grains; these foods are rich in fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels (such as  beans, lentils, carrots, cabbage, parsnip, sweet potato, squash, popcorn, leafy greens, whole grain breads, barley, quinoa, oats, polenta, and wild rice).
Drink primarily water.
Do something active everyday.
Eat fermented foods to help support and rebuild gut health.
Chew your food well, digestion begins in the mouth.
Reduce stress.

Do you want to learn more about the best foods to nourish the body if you have diabetes? Schedule an appointment with one of our dietitians who can help you learn to love and respect your body with real food.

 

Chaundra Evans, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S is a certified eating disorder registered dietitian and recognized by the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals as an expert dietitian who can supervise other dietitians pursuing the credential. Additionally, Chaundra is certified in adult weight management and a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Baratric Surgery. 



If you are in a helping profession (like a therapist, nurse, teacher, etc.) or have ever cared for someone during an illness or another difficult period, you know how difficult can be to bolster others when you are running on empty. That is why it is so, so important not to let yourself get to that point.

I usually counsel my clients to try to operate at 80% capacity for most of their life so that if there is a crisis or something that will take up energy, you have the reserves to deal with it. But it seems like a lot of people operate at 100% capacity all the time. That is ALL we have to give, and it is obvious why giving everything all the time would lead to burnout. If you want to keep helping others, you have to help yourself.

How do you know if you are burned out? Well, if you are experiencing compassion fatigue, you may notice:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability
  • Physical illness (e.g., hypertension, high blood sugar, excess body fat, abnormal cholesterol levels, cardiovascular events, musculoskeletal disorders)
  • Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep, or decline in quality of sleep
  • Low motivation to go to work or get things done at home
  • Increased alcohol, caffeine, or technology use
  • Avoidance
  • A decline in pro-health behaviors such as healthy meals, hydration, and going to the doctor
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or passions we usually enjoy

For caregivers, when these symptoms start cropping up and there is not another clear-cut reason, we need to think of burnout.  Sometimes, the caregiver needs to handle something in their own life differently. Sometimes, we can stave it off with self-care activities. But most of the time, what needs to change is our mindset. We cannot help everyone all of the time. We cannot work harder than the person we are trying to help. And if the help we are giving is not working, we need to try something else.

This is usually the part of the discussion where we talk about different kinds of self-care. I do not want to undermine the importance of self-care, but it is more than a pedicure or mindfulness meditation or time management. We all know the things that we should be doing to manifest the healthiest versions of ourselves. And we all know that we have a duty to take care of ourselves in order to continue to effectively help others. But frequently, the way to do it is not self-care, it is to let go of the idea that everything is within our control.

As a therapist, I know that we only have a few choices in any given situation, which I use the acronym SCAM to describe – we can Solve the problem, Change the parameters of the problem, Accept the situation as it is, or stay Miserable.  When something is beyond out control, we really only have the A or M options. Do we want to accept it or be miserable? I know which one I would pick in any given situation. The “cure” is the idea of Radical Acceptance – that we cannot change the things that have happened in the past, and really have no choice but to accept them or be miserable. Fighting that will only make you suffer more.

But to accept is to admit we do not have control.

Therapists who are the most effective know that you cannot help everyone all of the time. Sometimes, our personality or style are not a good fit for someone. There is nothing wrong with that – sometimes, you cannot solve the problem. Maybe they need a different therapist, or they need to change something they are unwilling to change. Maybe we, as caregivers, need to accept our limitations. Because we certainly do not want to be miserable.

We all need to admit that we do not have control over others’ choices.

Once we wrap our heads around that, our batteries will be easier to recharge, and we will be able to function more effectively, even in crisis situations.

To recharge those batteries, we still need to engage in self-care, not just critical thinking. To make that happen, you need to find the things that engage and stimulate you as well as those that relax and calm you, because every good self-care routine will have elements of both. And eating well, exercising, sleeping, and taking care of your physical body will always be important. Some of my must have self-care activities are walking in my neighborhood with my dogs, doing various creative activities like craft projects, art  & writing, using all five of my senses in meditation & soothing exercises, having social time every week with family or friends, keeping TV and social media to reasonable levels,  and making sure that my home remains as clutter free as is reasonable & possible.

Whatever recharges and soothes you is what you want to do – as long as it is healthy. Abusing any of the things that soothe us in the right amounts can depress or over-stimulate you if you are doing too much of them. Answering some of the following questions might help.

  • What kind of spiritual activities are helpful for me?
  • How much sleep do I need every night to function well the next day?
  • How much alone time do I need? Down time?
  • How many and what type of social engagements are reasonable in a week?
  • How much and what kind of exercise makes me feel positive and energized?
  • How much screen time shifts my attitude to the negative?
  • Is social media helping bring me up or is it bringing me lower?
  • What about my home/office/car/room makes me happy? What about that space annoys or drains me?
  • How often and how much do I need to eat to maintain energy and feel satisfied?
  • How do I work on gratitude and acceptance every day?
  • What boundaries do I need to set (with work, relationships, family, friends) to feel more energy?
  • What do I really enjoy doing?

Answering those questions – and following through on making the answers your reality – will help you stay alert to burnout and remedy the situation more quickly when things start to get out of those bounds.

Caregivers tend to avoid asking for help when they need it but are much better at advocating for others. Sometimes we need to talk through these issues with someone to clarify what changes can or need to be made – family, friends, or someone impartial like a therapist can all be helpful. If you have trouble answering these questions or want to talk through the answers, please reach out.

 

Kendra Wilson, MSW, LCSW, CEDS-S, DBT-C is a licensed clinical social worker and the Clinical Director for Chrysalis Center’s Intensive Outpatient Program. 


Sarah Snyder
16/Oct/2019

Breast cancer affects one in eight women, and the diagnosis is often life-altering for both patients and their loved ones. In 2012 at the age of 31, I too sat across from my doctor and heard the words I would never forget “you have breast cancer”.  The word “Cancer” carries so much weight in itself that it was hard for me in that moment to see beyond it. But when I could finally process what was happening, I realized I had a choice; I could either curl up in a ball and fall fast in to depression or I could pull myself together and make cancer wish it never knew me.  I chose to pull myself together and fight and that is exactly what I did with my loving family and friends supporting me every step of the way. I can’t tell you that it was always easy, I had many bumps in the road but after countless doctor appointments and eleven surgeries I am here today and cancer free.

Whether you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or know someone who has, know that there are countless who have been in this situation. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are words of encouragement, wisdom, and hope from some celebrities who’ve beaten breast cancer.

 

“Having had cancer, one important thing to know is you’re still the same person at the end, you are the same person during it. You’re stripped down to near zero. But it seems that most people come out at the other end feeling more like themselves than ever before.” –Kylie Minogue

 “I made my decision because I love life and I know I’m blessed…My scars? I barely see them. I feel whole; I really do. Because every day, I get to say, “There’s no cancer.” I’m healthy, and that’s beautiful.”  – Wanda Sykes on having a mastectomy

 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So, the only thing to really be afraid of is if you don’t get your mammograms.” – Cynthia Nixon

 “When you get diagnosed with cancer, there’s such a sense of loneliness, but we need to know as people going through this is that you’re not alone”. – Christina Applegate

 “The cancer served a real purpose, making me a little bit more conscious of time.” – Gloria Steinem

  “I’ve changed my lifestyle….I have taken what I consider poisonous things out of my life. Out of my food, out of my work, out of my social circle, out of everything. Because I want a clean, cancer-free life. And I believe I can have that.” – Melissa Etheridge

“I think encouragement always goes a long way…It is so scary … but having the positive support of loved ones is invaluable.”– Sheryl Crow

“I feel stronger and more vital than ever. I’ve always thought of myself as a warrior. When you actually have a battle, it’s better than when you don’t know who to fight.” – Carly Simon

“Cancer survivors are blessed with two lives. There is your life before cancer, and your life after. I am here to tell you your second life is going to be so much better than the first.” – Hoda Kotb

 “Yes, I am living with cancer. But don’t go ‘woe is me.’ I don’t want it. Don’t need it. I’m still in the game. I don’t want to say ‘survivor.’ I want to thrive.” – Robin Roberts

Sarah Snyder is the Practice Manager at Chrysalis Center and oversees the administrative and front office functions of our organization. 


Emily Lockamy
15/Oct/2019

The parental loss of a child is devastating and widely considered the most tragic type of loss. But less commonly talked about is the loss of a baby, during or after pregnancy – an incredibly painful experience that can often lead to complicated grief. Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day – a day to honor the lives of those lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and during infancy.

About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and stillbirth occurs in about 1 in 100 pregnancies. Each year in the United States., about 2,500 infants die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (known as SIDS), and in 2017, the rate of infant mortality was 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.

 

Many factors complicate the grief process for these heartbreaking losses, including:

  • The sudden, unexpected nature of the death, leaving little or no time to mentally prepare
  • The absence of a definite cause in some cases, which often leads to guilt
  • The involvement of the legal system in cases of sudden infant death, which can add significant stress and trauma
  • The impact on siblings (older siblings who resented the arrival of the new baby tend to feel guilt and remorse)
  • Intense strain on a marriage or relationship, often involving tension, communication breakdowns, and anger
  • Fear of having (or trying to have) another child
  • Denial
  • Feeling that the loss is socially-negated (common with miscarriages; a woman may have not announced her pregnancy yet, and she may feel shame and isolation in a society that prioritizes motherhood)
  • Self-blame or blaming the other parent/one’s partner
  • Loss of expectations, hopes, and dreams for the child’s future – “the family grieves as much for what they might have had as for what they’ve lost” (Worden, 2009).

While each situation is different and everyone grieves differently, it’s so important for parents who suffer pregnancy or infant loss to have a space in which to share about their grief, where they can feel heard, held, validated, and supported. Individual grief counseling can be a good place to start, and joining a support group for parents with similar losses can be immensely helpful.

Additionally, finding ways to memorialize one’s child can be therapeutic and healing. This may include:

  • Naming your baby
  • Having a memorial and/or funeral service
  • Lighting a candle or planting a tree in their honor
  • Writing a poem or letter to your baby
  • Establishing rituals to pay remembrance to your baby during holidays and special occasions, such as putting an ornament on the tree each year for them
  • Creating a collection of items related to them, such as pictures, footprints, a lock of hair, sonograms, cards received from friends

What bereaved parents need others to know is that while their babies’ lives were short, they mattered, and they always will. Mothers who suffer miscarriages are mothers. Babies gone too soon have made a forever impact on those who love them and carry out their legacy. Today, let us hold their memories and their parents in our hearts and thoughts.

Resources:

http://nationalshare.org/

http://unspokengrief.com/

Local: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thehopeproject910/?fref=nf

Source:

Worden, J. William. Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy: a Handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner. Springer Publishing Company, LLC, 2018.

Emily Lockamy, MA, LPC is a licensed professional counselor at Chrysalis Center who specializes in grief counseling. 



If you are worried about someone and think they may be suicidal, the most important thing is to take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It is a cry for help, and we want more people to talk about it when they are feeling that way. We can all help reduce the stigmas surrounding mental health and getting help, and talking through it is the first step.

There are several other warning signs we need to pay attention to:

 

  • hopelessness – they may see nothing to look forward to
  • seeking out means of killing themselves
  • talking or writing a lot about death or dying
  • abrupt mood swings
  • extreme personality changes
  • big changes in the way someone eats, sleeps, or takes care of themselves
  • self-loathing or self-hatred
  • making a will, giving away prized possessions, etc.
  • saying goodbye
  • withdrawing from their social support network
  • self-destructive behavior
  • a sudden change to being extremely calm and happy after a period of depression

There are several other complicating factors:

  • depression
  • recent loss or stressful live event
  • previous attempts
  • family history – of suicide attempts, depression, or trauma
  • substance use
  • social isolation and loneliness

If you are worried about yourself or someone you love, speak up – anyone who talks about it needs help, the sooner the better, so don’t wait. It can be very difficult, but the best thing to do is ask if you have any concerns at all. You will NOT make someone suicidal or give them ideas by asking about it. The first step is to talk about it.

Remind them they are not alone, that you care about them, and that their life is important to you. Listening and being there, taking them seriously, can help more than you realize. If you are concerned about them, they will hear that in your voice and see it in your manner and that will make a positive impact.

The next step is to respond to the crisis. Do not promise that you will keep it to yourself, try to fix them, blame yourself, judge them, or argue with them. Just be yourself and express your concern. There are resources links on this page that you can access, but it is important to get them help as soon as possible. Help them make a plan for how they will address the crisis they are in and make the changes that they want to make to improve their mental health.

The third step is to offer your help and support – not only in that moment, but for the foreseeable future. When they commit to getting better, they will need your ongoing assistance. You are part of their support, and you are encouraged to follow up with them to see if they went to the therapist appointment you made together, talked to their family, or made other changes. They will need support for the long haul, and you care about them.

This is just a very brief overview. Suicidal feelings can be very complex and take time to work through. It is always a good idea to get more information and education about the issues that plague you and your loved ones.

For more information and links about suicide prevention and what to do:

https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2019/10/10/default-calendar/world-mental-health-day-2019-focus-on-suicide-prevention

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention.htm

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Kendra Wilson, MSW, LCSW, CEDS-S, DBT-C is a licensed clinical social worker certified as an eating disorder specialist and a DBT specialist. Kendra is the Clinical Director of our Intensive Outpatient Program for eating disorders. 


chrysalis
01/Oct/2019

We’re back to introduce you to another clinician on the team! This week – our newest dietitian, Lizzie Briasco. Lizzie will see clients out of our office and facilitate IOP groups and meals. We’re excited to have her on our team. Find out a little more about Lizzie through this interview and call our office today (910) 790-5000 to schedule your first appointment with her.

Why did you decide to become a dietitian?

I wanted to become a dietitian to teach people how to be empowered by food, not scared of it. As a former competitive athlete, I saw first-hand how proper nutrition positively impacts performance – and how easy it could be for food and exercise to become an unhealthy obsession. I want to help people of all backgrounds and activity levels define and then develop healthy and sustainable relationships with food, movement, and their bodies.

I’ve never seen a dietitian before. What should I expect during my appointments with you?

Contrary to popular belief, dietitians are not the food police! I am interested in your eating patterns, how they are currently impacting you and other areas of your life, and potential changes that will help you reach your goals. I’m here to provide nutrition education, tools, and resources, and then we will work together to implement them into a plan that works for you. While I am an expert in nutrition, I am not necessarily an expert of your body or your lived experiences. I can, however, help you develop those skills!

I know how to eat healthy and there is a lot of information to find online. What will be different with seeing a registered dietitian?

There is indeed a lot of information online, but it is not necessarily accurate. Registered dietitians, especially those with additional training and certifications, have the practical experience and research skills required to decipher actual science from “bro science” propagated by the media or your local juice bar guru. We understand the science of nutrition and how to translate it into daily habits. Seeing a dietitian provides a non-judgmental space to ask questions and explore concerns about all things food-related, and we can provide encouragement and accountability that may be lacking elsewhere.

What book are you reading or podcast are you listening to?

Currently, I’m reading “The Adonis Complex” to learn more about body image issues in boys and men (it’s not really talked about but it’s definitely a thing!). I’m not a huge fan of listening to podcasts because it’s hard for me to pay attention when I can’t see who’s talking, but I do like playing the “Food Heaven” or “Food Psych” podcasts when I’m doing things around the house. Learning never stops!

Fun fact about you…

I almost didn’t become a dietitian! After I completed my undergraduate degree in nutrition, I took a non-traditional path and worked in the Northwoods of Minnesota for a year as a server/bartender at a family resort lodge. I didn’t take an internship or clinician-esque job right away because I disagreed with the many weight-centered approaches and weight-stigmatizing attitudes taught in traditional nutrition education…then I found the dietetic internship through the University of Minnesota -The Emily Program, discovered a whole new approach to nutrition that emphasized compassion and mindfulness instead of shame and deprivation, and the rest is history!


chrysalis
07/Sep/2019

This blog is written by Kelly Broadwater, LPA, LPC, CEDS-S, a psychologist and Clemson alumnae…

Dabo Swinney, head coach of the National Champion Clemson Tiger football team may not know it, but he is an expert in Positive Psychology. I would venture to say that his motivational tactics are responsible for much of the success of the Clemson football program, a program that has played for three–and won two– National Championships in the past four years. He is the inspiration behind the team that achieved a perfect 15-0 season last year, culminating in the underrated Tigers (predicted to lose by 6 points) trouncing the Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16 in the title game.

So what exactly is positive psychology? Defined, it is “the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organizations to thrive”.

The field of positive psychology is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. Sounds exactly like the philosophy that fuels the Tiger football team, who although adored by their fervent fans historically have lacked respect from commentators and the college football community at large. Despite that, thrive they have! Ever the underdogs, they prove time and time again that they have the biggest heart of any team in the nation. After the awe-inspiring win over Alabama for the 2018 National Championship, Coach Swinney had this to say, “When you get a young group of people that believe, are passionate, they love each other, they sacrifice, they’re committed to a single purpose, you better look out. Great things can happen and that’s what you saw tonight.”

Credit: Robert G. Jerus www.eiq-2.com

Positive psychology researches concepts such as grit and resilience. More and more, researchers are proving that inborn talent doesn’t necessarily determine success. Instead, grit, a relatively new concept in psychology, is becoming the key factor in achievement. Positive psychology defines grit as “passion and perseverance in working toward significant long-term goals”. In 2000, Swinney was let go from his coaching position at Alabama when the entire staff was fired, and briefly went into real estate. He was hired at Clemson the following year and by 2009, was an unlikely choice for the head coach position (he’d never even been a coordinator). Unranked nationally by the end of his second season, Swinney’s Tigers started to climb each year to earn the #2 spot in the country by 2015 and to play for Clemson’s first national championship since 1981 the following year. His long-term goals, established when he took over as coach in ’09, were realized thanks to his passion and perseverance.

 

What researchers are discovering, and what Dabo Swinney already knew, is that what we accomplish often depends more on our passion, resilience, and commitment to our goals, rather than our innate talents. Take Hunter Renfrow as an example. Once mistaken for a water boy, this 5’10 walk on ended up earning a scholarship and making the heroic last second game winning reception during the 2016 National Championship; he is now an NFL player.

So how does one develop grit even if you’re not a Clemson football player? Positive psychology experts recommend the following:

  • Develop a passion. A big component of grit is perseverance. Few people are willing to work tirelessly on something in which they’re completely uninterested. Research has shown that people have much greater work satisfaction and job performance when they do
    something that fits with their personal interests. However, it’s unlikely that people try something and immediately know that it’s what they want to do for the rest of their life. An Interest has to be developed and deepened before it becomes a passion.
  • Practice Deliberately. Practice doesn’t always lead to mastery. What is it that sets apart those who achieve extraordinary levels of mastery in their fields? They don’t just practice; they practice deliberately. Here’s how to do it:
  1. Set a stretch goal (a goal that exceeds your current level of skill)
  2. Practice with full concentration and effort
  3. Look for immediate and informative feedback
  4. Repeat with reflection and refinement
  • Focus on Purpose. At the heart of purpose is the idea that what you do matters, not just to yourself but to others. Purpose has a pro-social focus. In any activity, there are bound to be setbacks and moments of boredom, doubt, anxiety, and disappointment. We’re more likely to push through the hard times if our efforts give us meaning and contribute to something larger than ourselves.

Researchers have found a correlation between grit and purpose. Grittier individuals were more motivated to seek meaning in their lives, and the contribution of their efforts to the lives of others revealed a powerful source of motivation. One way of focusing on your purpose is to seek out the pro-social benefits of whatever it is that you do. Doing so is linked to greater satisfaction at work and in life.

 

Swinney is known for giving impassioned speeches during post-game interviews, and coming up with catch phrases on the fly that turn into mantras- “Bring your Own Guts” and “All In” being a few that come to mind.

During the 2018 National Championship parade and celebration in Clemson after the Tigers returned home from California, Swinney said the following: “Why not little ole Clemson? Somebody’s going to be 15-0 one days, so why not Clemson?…I challenged these guys with this quote, ‘So what you can vividly imagine and ardently believe and enthusiastically act upon, will inevitably come to be. The 2018 team is the best ever… It’s not that we won- it’s how we won.’”

 

Challenge yourself to take a page from Swinney’s playbook, focus on what you can “vividly imagine, ardently believe, and enthusiastically act upon”. You may surprise yourself and others, the same way “little ole Clemson” has.

 

Kelly Broadwater, executive director of Chrysalis, is a second generation Clemson Alumni and die hard Tiger fan. She has been known to use sports analogies in her work with clients and believes Positive Psychology concepts create “wins” in and out of the therapy office.



I‘m back today on the blog after learning more about Kelly Lehman, who just joined our staff last month. Kelly is a Licensed Professional Counselor who treats children, adolescents, and adults. Her areas of special interest include eating disorders, addictive behaviors, military issues (including deployments, readjustments/reintegration, and PTSD), anxiety, OCD, and marriage/couples counseling. Additionally, Kelly works well with patients who are experiencing chronic pain or have experienced medical trauma. To schedule your first appointment with Kelly Lehman, call our office at (910) 790-9500 or email administration@chrysaliscenter-nc.com. 

~ Alexis Hunter, Director of Professional Relations

Why did you decide to become a therapist?

I decided to become a therapist because I know personally how life can throw challenges at you. None of us are exempt from experiencing trials in life, and when they do occur, there is tremendous value in having a support system outside of family and friends. I have always enjoyed creating genuine, authentic relationships with people, and being able to encourage and help others is something I feel compelled to do. I feel incredibly honored to be able to serve in the role of therapist, and I take the responsibility that comes with it very seriously.

I’ve never been to therapy. What should I expect during therapy appointments with you?

I want to create a therapeutic environment that feels relaxed and natural. I am a very down to earth person, and I appreciate ‘realness.’ I provide an honest, accepting atmosphere where my clients can feel safe being who they are genuinely. I also want them to know that they will get honesty from me. I know how imperfect I am, so I make every effort not to judge another person for past life events, current circumstances, future aspirations, or emotional/behavioral struggles. While I have education and experience that can be of value to my clients, I know that I am not omniscient. I rely on my clients to share their own expertise into who they are. I value the therapeutic relationship and like to have a partnership with my clients. As a therapist, I am not a dictator, rather a facilitator. My clients should expect our sessions to be an accepting environment where they can receive education, guidance, and support. Ultimately, change is in their hands. My job is simply to encourage and facilitate that change.

What is different about talking to a therapist than talking to a good friend?

Friends and family are an amazing resource and provide a tremendous support to someone in need. A therapist can also provide this, although the relationship is a bit different from that of a friend. A therapist is likely to be more objective and can provide feedback that is not emotionally rooted. It is very easy for friends or family to become overwhelmed or frustrated by client circumstances; therefore, they may respond out of their own emotion. Their ability to remain neutral may become cloudy. They also may not have the communication skills or understanding of mental health issues to effectively support the individual in a manner that encourages personal growth. Additionally, many clients may find it comforting to share personal issues with a ‘stranger,’ so they can be completely honest without fear of retaliation, hurt feelings, judgment, or awkwardness.

What book are you reading, or podcast are you listening to right now?

I just finished reading It’s Not Supposed to be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst.

Fun Fact:

If you stepped through my front door, you would immediately realize that I am a huge animal lover. At this time, I have cats and dogs, but if I can one day convince my husband, I would love to include a pygmy goat and alpaca to my pack.

 



Today’s edition introduces you to Ed Cochard. He is currently accepting new clients and sees adolescents 14+, adults, couples, and families at our office. He is in network with BCBS, Medcost, Aetna, and Tricare. 

Ed is a licensed psychological associate who has served in clinical and administrative roles while providing individual, family, couples, and group counseling in inpatient psychiatric, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and office settings. He has experience treating both mental health and substance abuse issues with a broad range of clients from adolescents to older adults. His areas of clinical focus include treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, anger management, eating disorders, behavioral disorders, and substance use disorders. Ed utilizes a blend of cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, reality therapy, and motivational interviewing in his treatment approach.

Why did you decide to become a therapist?

 I’ve always been the guy that people have turned to for support-even as a kid.  Helping people has always been natural to me and something I have enjoyed doing.  It was a natural progression for me to turn it into meaningful career.

I’ve never been to therapy. What should I expect during therapy appointments with you?  

Validation, honesty and unconditional support are central to my approach.  Everyone wants to be heard and understood-especially in times of struggle.  I also believe everyone appreciates caring honesty and a direct approach.  This helps with building a therapeutic relationship based upon trust.  My clients learn that I care and that they can trust what I say-and that I will also provide little nudges towards progress and success.  Sessions with me will also always be filled with humor, and when appropriate and necessary, laughter.  

What is different about talking to a therapist than talking to a good friend?

Support from a good friend is vital to one’s well-being and growth, and talking to a good friend(s) is always encouraged.  Adding a therapist to your social support network is helpful in order to gain someone with more of a clinical perspective with your concerns.  A therapist tends to have experience and training in a great many areas and can provide support, guidance and assistance that is not available through other social supports.

Fun Fact:

I am a huge sports fan!  I grew up outside of Philadelphia so my office is adorned with paraphernalia from Philly teams.  I am also a great lover of the beach. I spend a lot of time on the beach just soaking in the atmosphere.

 

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Ed, call our office at (910) 790-9500 or email administration@chrysaliscenter-nc.com.



Alexis Hunter is the Director of Professional Relations at Chrysalis Center. She serves in a hybrid role of overseeing all aspects of Human Resources and Marketing.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be introducing you to some of our clinical staff. I want you to get to know our team so that when you make the first step in scheduling with a therapist, you may have an idea of who to see. Thinking of making that first step? Call our office today at (910) 790-9500 or email administration@chrysaliscenter-nc.com.

Emily Lockamy is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in grief and loss, mood disorders, and eating disorders.

Why did you decide to become a therapist?

I have always been so interested in people’s inner landscapes and relational dynamics. It’s what led me to study theater in college, where I was introduced to the field of drama therapy. Learning about how the creative arts can be used as a vehicle for healing inspired my desire to become a counselor. It’s remarkable to me how resilient humans are, and how impactful therapy can be at helping individuals unlock their potential. I feel so fortunate to be able to use my background and training to help people overcome struggles and improve the quality of their lives.

I’ve never been to therapy. What should I expect during therapy appointments with you?

You can expect to be met with warmth, acceptance, and understanding. You can expect to learn a lot about yourself and your worldview. And, you can expect to gain new ways of thinking, relating, and coping that can promote more effective functioning, more meaningful connections, and a greater sense of fulfillment.

As a person-centered counselor, I consider clients to be the “experts” on their lives. Each session I listen attentively and with empathy to their experience. I ask questions and provide insights aimed at helping my clients move through grief, identify inner conflicts, process difficult events, challenge maladaptive patterns, manage and alleviate symptoms, clarify their values, cultivate self-compassion, and develop new perceptions that better serve them. I offer coping skills, resources, and homework as needed.

I feel honored to hold space for my clients’ pain and support them in enacting positive change. I reassure new clients that there’s a reason I have a box of tissues next to the couch – it’s more than okay to cry and “fall apart” in counseling. It’s also okay to laugh (and there’s more of that in therapy than you might imagine!). In fact, allowing the experience of vulnerability by accepting and expressing emotions without judgment is an integral part of freeing oneself from suffering and distress.

What is different about talking to a therapist than talking to a good friend?

Therapy can often be mistaken for a space in which people “just talk” or “vent” about their problems, as they would with a good friend. But there are major differences between working with a counselor and talking to a good friend (something that’s healthy and important in its own right!). A counselor can offer a more objective perspective using evidence-based practices tailored to an individual’s support needs and strengths, and informed by years of education and training in counseling psychology theory and research. This means that each remark or response from a qualified counselor (whether it’s a question, reflection, or moment of silence) is intentional and grounded in a therapeutic intervention or approach that is shown to facilitate healthier coping and to guide people towards personal growth.

In addition, the therapeutic alliance is not reciprocal in the same way a friendship is. The hour you spend with a counselor is all about you, so there’s no need to feel like you’re over-sharing or “burdening” someone with your concerns. Therapy’s also not “effortless” (the way some friendships can feel). It’s a process that takes work, patience, practice, and commitment. And like most pursuits in life, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get back.

What book are you reading, or podcast are you listening to right now?

In addition to reading clinical literature that keeps me engaged and up to date in my field, I love reading literary fiction and am always in the midst of a novel. I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and am about to start Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao. My three favorite novels that I’ve read this year are: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee. To me, reading adds so much depth and richness to life and I love sharing book recommendations with clients who also enjoy reading and use it as a coping mechanism.

Fun Fact about Emily…

Emily is a proud mom to two little boys and spends most of her time outside of work at the park, playground, and soccer field.


About Us

At Chrysalis, we believe that a supportive, healing environment is essential in order for change and growth to occur. We seek to offer such an environment to clients and help them create that in their lives and relationships. Read More

Hours

Mon: 8AM – 6PM
Tue: 8AM – 6PM
Wed: 8AM – 6PM
Thu: 8AM – 6PM
Fri: 8AM – 4PM
Sat: CLOSED
Sun: CLOSED

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