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COUNSELING & THERAPY SPECIALTIES

  1. PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS FOR IMMIGRATION

    Given the many language, religious and cultural differences that exist in today’s society, it’s often an enormous challenge simply ‘getting by’ when traveling to a foreign country. Whether relocating by choice or necessity, those same difficulties are often exacerbated, creating a whole new dimension of stress and mental strain.

    Without genuine understanding, proper help, support and guidance, those stresses have the potential to manifest themselves in the form of uncharacteristic and erratic behaviors.  

    As a result, our services are designed to produce thorough and professional diagnostic evaluations based on clinical interviews and the administration of empirically based psychological tests, including but not limited to;

    • Psychological consequences of family separation
    • Psychological assessment of past persecution and/or fear of future persecution
    • Psychological effects of spousal/partner abuse and violence
    • Understanding cultural influences with regard to beliefs, behavior, and decision making

    In support of the above efforts, WOODLANDS COUNSELING CENTER also specializes in;

    • Providing expert witness testimony in Federal Immigration Courts
    • Performing cultural competency assessments
    • Providing translation services- including Spanish, and more.
  2. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

    Close relationships are sometimes called interpersonal relationships.

    The closest relationships are most often found with family and a small circle of best friends. Interpersonal relationships require the most effort to nurture and maintain. These are also the relationships that give you the most joy and satisfaction. An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on inference, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences.

    The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendship, marriage, relations with associates, work, clubs, neighborhoods, and places of worship. They may be regulated by law, custom, or mutual agreement, and are the basis of social groups and society as a whole. A relationship is normally viewed as a connection between individuals, such as a romantic or intimate relationship, or a parent–child relationship. Individuals can also have relationships with groups of people, such as the relation between a pastor and his congregation, an uncle and a family, or a mayor and a town. Finally, groups or even nations may have relations with each other. When in a healthy relationship, happiness is shown and the relationship is now a priority.

    Interpersonal relationships are dynamic systems that change continuously during their existence. Like living organisms, relationships have a beginning, a lifespan, and an end. They grow and improve gradually, as people get to know each other and become closer emotionally, or they gradually deteriorate as people drift apart, move on with their lives, and form new relationships with others.

  3. BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS

    All kids misbehave some times. And some may have temporary behavior problems due to stress. For example, the birth of a sibling, a divorce, or a death in the family may cause a child to act out. Behavior disorders are more serious. They involve a pattern of hostile, aggressive, or disruptive behaviors for more than 6 months. The behavior is also not appropriate for the child’s age.

    Warning signs can include

    • Harming or threatening themselves, other people or pets
    • Damaging or destroying property
    • Lying or stealing
    • Not doing well in school, skipping school
    • Early smoking, drinking or drug use
    • Early sexual activity
    • Frequent tantrums and arguments
    • Consistent hostility towards authority figures

    If you see signs of a problem, ask for help. Poor choices can become habits. Kids who have behavior problems are at higher risk for school failure, mental health problems, and even suicide. Classes or family therapy may help parents learn to set and enforce limits. Talk therapy and behavior therapy for your child can also help.

  4. SELF ESTEEM AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

    What is Self- Esteem?

    Self esteem usually refers to how we view and think about ourselves and the value that we place on ourselves as a person. Having the human capacity to judge and place value to something is where we might run into problems with self- esteem.Low Self Esteem

    What is Low Self- Esteem?

    Have you ever been dissatisfied or unhappy with yourself on the whole? Do you ever think that you are weak, stupid, not good enough, flawed in some way, inferior to other people, useless, worthless, unattractive, ugly, unlovable, a loser, or a failure? Everyone uses these words on themselves at times, usually when they experience a challenging or stressful situation. However, if you often think of yourself in these terms, then you might have a problem with low self- esteem.

    Impact of Low Self- Esteem

    Low self-esteem can have an affect on various aspects of a person. A person with low self- esteem probably says a lot of negative things about themselves. They might criticise themselves, their actions, and abilities or joke about themselves in a negative way. They might put themselves down, doubt themselves or blame themselves when things go wrong. Often, they might not recognise their positive qualities or brush away compliments they are given. They may focus on mistakes they have made or things that they could have done better. People with low self- esteem might expect that things won’t turn out well for them. They might often feel sad, depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, frustrated and angry. They might have difficulty speaking up for themselves and their needs, avoid challenges and opportunities. Low self- esteem can also have an impact on a person’s performance at work or at school.

  5. PROBLEMS WITH EDUCATION AND SCHOOL

    There may be times when serious conflicts arise and you will need to meet with a teacher, a guidance counselor or principal to discuss them. Check out these ideas before you go to that meeting.

    Acknowledge your child’s feelings. “If you get repeated complaints that make sense, you do need to validate your child’s feelings and then take some action,” “Unfortunately this may interfere with the trust you want to exist between parent and teacher, but in these extreme cases, your child needs to know that you take her feelings seriously.”

    Consider the teacher’s point of view. While it’s important to acknowledge your child’s description of an event, you should also keep an open mind and listen to what the school has to say before making a judgment, particularly when serious complaints and discipline issues arise. “The story you may hear from your child may not be the whole gospel truth,” notes Lawrence Cohen, Ph.D., author of Playful Parenting. “It’s usually a complex situation that requires a perspective from the teacher. But don’t dismiss your child’s complaint either.”

    Evaluate teachers fairly. There will be some teachers you may love and your child may dislike, there may be others your child may love, but you may not. “There are ways to work out a positive relationship with your child’s teacher, even if you have issues about the teacher,” “Keep in mind that your child may feel very differently than you do, both positively and negatively. And your job is to advocate for your child and remember that you are not the one in the classroom, he is.”

    Meet with the administration. If a respectful meeting with the teacher does not produce solutions for your concerns, then you need to go to a guidance counselor or principal and say, “my child is having a difficult time,” and explain why. Approach this meeting with specific information, and offer to brainstorm what can be done to help. Describe specific incidents in a factual way. “You cannot expect immediate action, but it’s important to give the feedback, and to ask the school system to address these issues with the teacher and find a solution that works for your child,”

  6. PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE

    Physical abuse is often the most easily recognized form of abuse. Physical abuse can be any kind of hitting, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, choking, throwing, beating, and other actions that cause physical injury, leave marks, or cause pain.

    Sexual abuse is any type of sexual contact between an adult and anyone younger than 18; between a significantly older child and a younger child; or if one person overpowers another, regardless of age. If a family member sexually abuses another family member, this is called incest.

    Emotional abuse can be the most difficult to identify because there are usually no outward signs of the abuse. Emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when parents constantly criticize, threaten, or dismiss kids or teens until their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause damage just as physical abuse does.

    Neglect is difficult to identify and define. Neglect occurs when a child or teen doesn’t have adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or supervision. Emotional neglect happens when a parent doesn’t provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to a child. This doesn’t mean that a parent doesn’t give a kid something he or she wants, like a new computer or a cell phone, but refers to more basic needs like food, shelter, and love.

    Family violence can affect anyone. It can happen in any kind of family. Sometimes parents abuse each other, which can be hard for a child to witness. Some parents abuse their kids by using physical or verbal cruelty as a way of discipline.

    Abuse doesn’t just happen in families, of course. Bullying is a form of abusive behavior. Bullying someone through intimidation, threats, or humiliation can be just as abusive as beating someone up. People who bully others may have been abused themselves. This is also true of people who abuse someone they’re dating. But being abused is no excuse for abusing someone else.

    Abuse can also take the form of hate crimes directed at people just because of their race, religion, abilities, gender, or sexual orientation.

  7. ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

    Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health concerns in our society. They are often experienced as a complex set of emotional and functional challenges.

    The science of mind-body medicine helps us understand the ongoing connection between the mind and body and see how anxiety and depression may be triggered by a variety of factors. These can include nutritional, psychological, physical, emotional, environmental, social, and spiritual factors, as well as genetic tendencies or brain disease. While we often hear about a biochemical cause, meaning that certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters are out of balance, it is not clear if the level of neurotransmitters is the actual cause of anxiety and depression, or simply a symptom that a person is anxious or depressed.

    Anxiety and depression are not the same, but they often occur together. It is not uncommon for people with depression to experience anxiety and people with anxiety to become depressed. There is also overlap in some of the treatments, so it is beneficial to learn about both conditions.

  8. ANGER MANAGEMENT

    You might think that venting your anger is healthy, that the people around you are too sensitive, that your anger is justified, or that you need to show your fury to get respect. But the truth is that anger is much more likely to damage your relationships, impair your judgment, get in the way of success, and have a negative impact on the way people see you.

    Out-of-control anger hurts your physical health. Constantly operating at high levels of stress and tension is bad for your health. Chronic anger makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, a weakened immune system, insomnia, and high blood pressure.

    Out-of-control anger hurts your mental health. Chronic anger consumes huge amounts of mental energy and clouds your thinking, making it harder to concentrate, see the bigger picture, and enjoy life. It can also lead to stress, depression, and other mental health problems.

    Out-of-control anger hurts your career. Constructive criticism, creative differences, and heated debate can be healthy. But lashing out only alienates your colleagues, supervisors, or clients and erodes their respect. What’s more, a bad reputation can follow you wherever you go, making it harder and harder to get ahead.

    Out-of-control anger hurts your relationships with others. It causes lasting scars in the people you love most and gets in the way of your friendships and work relationships. Chronic, intense anger makes it hard for others to trust you, speak honestly, or feel comfortable—they never know what is going to set you off or what you will do. Explosive anger is especially damaging to children.

  9. GRIEF AND MOURNING

    When a person loses someone important to them, they go through a normal process called grieving. Grieving is natural and should be expected. Over time, it can help the person accept and understand their loss.

    Bereavement is what a person goes through when someone close to them dies. It’s the state of having suffered a loss.

    Mourning is the outward expression of loss and grief. Mourning includes rituals and other actions that are specific to each person’s culture, personality, and religion. Bereavement and mourning are both part of the grieving process.

    Grieving involves many different emotions, actions, and expressions, all of which help the person come to terms with the loss of a loved one. But keep in mind, grief doesn’t look the same for everyone. Every loss is different.

  10. CULTURAL CHANGE AND ADAPTATION PROBLEMS

    Culture shock is a very real experience for many people who move to another country. Anyone who has lived or studied or even traveled extensively in another country has tasted and lived through culture shock. At the time it may feel more like homesickness, but what most people who haven’t undergone any kind of pre-adaptation program don’t know is that there are several stages one goes through when adjusting to a new language and culture.

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