By Carolina Pena, M.S., LPC-Intern, LCDC
Supervised by Melinda Porter, MA, LPC-S

Often times, people do not get into a relationship with the tools to manage the future challenges or life stressors; and most couples struggle to maintain their relationship with their partner at some point in their relationship So, when is the right time to seek help, how do you decide to start seeing a counselor? Most married couples try to solve their problems on their own, and many will succeed. However, the cause or causes of an issue or stress in the relationship may not be obvious to either partner. Other times, if the causes are obvious, they are just nervous or afraid to bring these problems up. It could also happen that bringing them up in the wrong way end up causing even more conflicts, frustrations and withdraw. Truth is, that most couples wait too long before seeking help, but research shows it is best served if couples seek help sooner rather than later.

The most common reasons couples seek the help of a couple counselor is because they feel they are growing apart from their partner or are experiencing disagreements in the relationship. But of course, there are many other reasons causing problems in a relationship, including having children, experiencing a traumatic event, or being busy with other things, including work. In fact, some people start to feel this way even without any obvious relationship changes because the people within the relationship are changing and growing. This is a natural and healthy part of long-term relationships, but it can also seem scary. Instead of feeling scary, it should feel exciting, and a couple or marriage counselor can help you and your partner to navigate this space and the emotions that can come with it.
No matter why you want to seek marriage counseling, it is important to seek counseling before either member of the relationship feels the marriage cannot be saved. Many couples wait an average of 6 years to seek counseling after problems arise, increasing the chance that counseling will be less effective. In some unfortunate cases, this can lead the couple to blame the counselor for not being able to save the relationship. This would be like contracting a disease but ignoring it for several years and blaming your doctor when they could not treat the condition


Therefore, seeking help from a couple or marriage counselor can be greatly beneficial – to both of you as individuals and to the relationship. A couple counselor can teach couples new ways of relating to with each partner, as well as giving tools to strengthen their relationship and provide an unbiased space for new and open communication to occur.

Sources: Debra Smouse. Jon Jaehnig. Rawpixel

Addiction – Don’t Give In MCP Counseling Can Help!

Addiction – Don’t Give In MCP Counseling Can Help!

Addiction – Don’t Give In MCP Counseling Can Help!

Millions of people around the world confront addiction, and only a few find their way out. The prime reason behind it is the fact that dealing with addiction is extremely hard. The hard situations or just-for-fun thing that started it all can make things even harder if you don’t deal with addiction right away. Any type of addiction can make your life miserable. However, if you are ready to quit your addiction and looking for a supportive counseling team, MCP Counseling has got your back. They can help you in any of the following addictions and others.


The most famous substance addiction around us is tobacco consumption. The USA alone contains over 50 million tobacco addicts. Surprised, right? If you are unfortunately addicted to Tobacco and are trying to quit, MCP can help straighten yourself up. They have a thorough check and tracking system that helps them make their counseling effective.


Troubling almost every household in the world, gaming has become an extremely common problem of the present era. With the tech boom and easy access, not just kids even thousands of adults have got addicted to this psychological trap. Getting away is not easy but it is possible. MCP Counseling provides therapy for kids as well as adults to cast them out of this encaptivating magic.


You may think of alcohol as the drink from the heavens but it has captured many to the extent of addiction. One out of eight Americans is an alcoholic, so don’t worry if you are one of them. MCP Counseling aids you in moving toward a better life with some very simple steps (we will discuss them later in the content).

How MCP Counseling Can Help?

They take some general yet thorough steps that reflect their successful record in the past. These steps include:


Recognize addiction

Practice life skills

Find a healthy support system

Handle depression or anxiety

Teens, adults, couples, families can schedule an appoint today by calling (469) 701-2333



Riding out the economic storm

Riding out the economic storm

Robert J. Walsh and Norman C. Dasenbrook

: It appears that the economy is not going to pull out of this downturn anytime in the near future. What impact will a poor economy have on professional counselors in private practice?

A: Just like trying to predict the stock market, no one knows for certain what will happen. There is no crystal ball to determine when things are going to improve, and it could get worse before it gets better. However, professional counselors in private practice may not feel the impact as much as other professionals. Our personal practices have seen little or no significant downturn in the past 12 months.

The December issue of Psychotherapy Finances reported that of 74 respondents to a questionnaire about the effect of the economy, 43 percent indicated that “their income was trending lower.” However, 62 percent indicated that they were seeing the same number of clients or more. There was little or no increase in self-pay clients. That is one of the reasons we have long advocated in this column to partner with insurance and managed care companies to increase your payer mix.

So, it would appear that the majority of professional counselors in private practice are indeed riding the storm out rather than heading for the exits. While now may be the time to closely investigate office expenses, it may also be the time to increase marketing. (This is similar to the advice you sometimes hear about investing in the stock market: When stocks are down, it may represent a prime buying opportunity!)

Possible ideas for expanding your marketing efforts include giving speeches and workshops, creating a newsletter, getting or updating a website, forming a Listserv, networking with colleagues, sending letters and brochures to referral sources, hiring a part-time office manager, reviewing all print material, joining division and state professional organizations, joining web-based counseling referral sites, personally visiting present and prospective referral sources, applying for paneling to additional insurance and managed health care companies, getting on the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (through AETNA) or forming a support group. Sometimes we need to head toward the roar.


Q: You previously listed Impact Publishers as a place to get prepared presentations and seminar materials. However, when I go to the website, it seems that they exclusively publish books. In addition, you listed American Guidance Services. The information I have found on them is for addressing school problems with children. Can you provide any more direction in finding the materials you referenced?

A: One of the best ways to build your practice, get your name into the community and market your counseling specialty is to use public speaking. A great way to start is by presenting seminars or workshops. Counselors can develop presentations fitted to their particular niche. These presentations can be of almost any length, from one-hour seminars provided to community groups to classes for schools, churches or even doctors offices that run for several weeks.

There are also many excellent prepared programs such as the six-week S.T.E.P. (Systematic Training in Effective Parenting) or T.I.M.E. (Training in Marriage Enrichment) programs. Following is a list of seminars, books and programs that can be helpful in building your practice. Because you can offer these seminars or programs for free or very little cost, they are also a service to your community. We’ve found that many attendees will want to follow up with private counseling, so have your appointment book at the ready to schedule them. “The 8-Step Method for Starting or Expanding a Private Practice” is available on the “Private Practice Pointers” section of the American Counseling Association website at counseling.org (see “Starting a Private Practice”) and in The Complete Guide to Private Practice for Licensed Mental Health Professionals (counseling-privatepractice.com/).

  • The Parent’s Handbook (impactpublishers.com/books/tph.html)
  • Training in Marriage Enrichment Kit (cmtipress.com/time.htm)
  • Calming the Family Storm (impactpublishers.com/books/Calming_the_Family_Storm.html)
  • Parent Group Handbook for Calming the Family Storm (impactpublishers.com/books/Parent_Group_Handbook-CFS.html)
  • Anger Management Video Program (impactpublishers.com/books/Anger_Management_DVD.html)
  • Loving Choices Workbook (impactpublishers.com/books/lcw.html)
  • “Rebuilding” Divorce Seminars (rebuilding.org/rebuilding-locations.htm)
  • A Manual for Assertiveness Training (impactpublishers.com/books/mat.html)
  • Master Your Panic and Take Back Your Life (impactpublishers.com/books/myp3.html)
  • Sex, Drugs, Gambling and Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions (impactpublishers.com/books/sdgc2.html)
  • The Stress Owner’s Manual (impactpublishers.com/books/som2.html)
  • Cool Cats, Calm Kids: Relaxation and Stress Management for Young People (impactpublishers.com/books/cc.html)
  • Materials from the William Glasser Institute (wglasser.com/index.php?option=com_jbook&Itemid=90&catid=28)
  • John Gray (Mars and Venus) materials (marsvenus.com/xcart/product.php?productid=155)

Find the important new ACA bulletin “Transfer Plan — Counselor Incapacitation or Termination of Practice” in the “Private Practice Pointers” section of the ACA website.

We will be presenting “Advanced Private Practice Toolbox: Nuts and Bolts Ideas for Increasing Referrals, Working With Managed Care and Other Tools” at the ACA Annual Conference & Exposition, cosponsored by the North Carolina Counseling Association, on March 20. We will also be presenting a 60-minute Education Session titled “Considering Starting a Private Practice? For Licensed Counselors in Agencies, Schools and Counselor Educators.”

We will once again be in the exhibit hall at the Walsh and Dasenbrook Consulting booth with copies of our book, The Complete Guide to Private Practice for Licensed Mental Health Professionals.

For the first time at the ACA Conference, we will be offering free practice consultations. Contact Rebecca Daniel-Burke of ACA at RDanielBurke@counseling.org for more information. Stop by and say hi!

A valuable new resource is now available: The Professional Counselor’s Desk Reference (Springer Publishing), edited by Irmo Marini and Mark Stebnicki. The book features chapters by 95 leading experts in professional counseling, including many ACA leaders and members. Be sure to check out Chapters 5 and 8, coauthored by yours truly.

ACA members can e-mail their questions to Robert J. Walsh and Norman C. Dasenbrook at walshgasp@aol.com and access a series of “Private Practice Pointers” on the ACA website at counseling.org.