CounselorBarb

Individual Counseling, Couples Counseling and Sex Therapy

Author Archive: counselorbarb

Can Spending Money Really Make You Happy?

Can spending money really make you happy? Ask any woman, and of course…well, you know the answer. Shoes, lipstick, a new outfit. It’s in our DNA. Ask any man, and…well, you know. He’ll reflexively check his wallet. But can buying things really make us happy? Well…sort of. If we are purchasing an experience rather than a material …

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Can You Go to Couples Therapy Alone?

What if you’re having marriage problems and your husband doesn’t want to go to therapy?  Can you go to couples therapy alone?  According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, yes you should! Couples therapy is very effective for relationship problems because both partners have the opportunity to understand the dysfunctional patterns and dynamics of …

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Depression- What You Need to Know Right Now

According to a recent study described in the ScienceDaily (January 2012), cognitive behavioral  and psychodynamic therapy helps those with a depressive personality just as effectively as those without. According to the article 44% of the population have depressive personality traits. This study is important because it suggests that those with a lower level of depression, but chronic, can …

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What Your Psychiatrist Doesn’t Want You to Know About Depression

According to a recent article in Psychotherapy Networker (January/February 2012) by Andrew Weil, there really isn’t any evidence that SSRIs are effective, and furthermore, doctors really don’t understand how they work.  Why is this?  The answer, as is true with many things in life, is “follow the money”.  Drug companies make huge profits everyday by prescribing these …

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Chart Your Own Course

Recently I attended a lunch where Pam Iorio, former mayor of my home city, Tampa, spoke. She said something absolutely brilliant that she should patent: “Chart your own course.” Only I hope she hasn’t yet because I want to use it in this post. So you need to know where you are going. What are …

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Differing Sexual Desires: A Radio Interview with CounselorBarb

In my first radio broadcast, I am interviewed by Drs. Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird on sexual desire, particularly differing sexual drives between partners.  I cite research, as well as provide suggestions for bridging this divide.  Listen now:

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Insurance: A possible violation of privacy

People ask me all of the time if I accept insurance. The answer is “no”. I have many reasons for this, with most of them centered around my clients’ well-being. One of the major reasons I don’t accept insurance is that I would need to code you, as my client, with a psychological disorder. This …

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Trusting Your Gut

I had an interesting experience yesterday I would like to share. Like women do every day in the U.S., I made an appointment to talk to a new hairstylist. I was considering switching, and wanted to talk with the new one before doing so. Within five minutes, I began to feel odd. Uncomfortable. Almost surreal. …

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Ignorance of Long-Term Couples

According to the November 6, 2010 issue of Science News, researchers in Switzerland have discovered that the longer people are married to each other, the more ignorant they become of their partner’s likes and dislikes.  Two psychologists studied 38 young (19 – 32 years of age) and 20 older (62 – 78 years of age) …

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Men and Arguing: Fascinating New Information

According to a recent study from the University of Southern California, men shut down emotionally when arguing with their significant other.  Any wife or long-term girlfriend will tell you they didn’t need a study to tell them this.  Or, as one of my colleagues succinctly puts it: “That’s from the DUH journal of counseling.”  But, …

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Experience: The New Way to Happiness

Sunday’s St. Petersburg Times contained a very interesting article titled “Living, not buying, is what matters.”  Did you read it?  If not, or even if you did, here is my take. The article profiled a couple who lived for their stuff.  They were in jobs they hated so they could make payments on the debt …

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Mental Health Effects of Botox

Botox may do more for you than just erase wrinkles.  According to a recent study done by psychology graduate student David Havas of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, women injected with Botox took an average of one-quarter of a second longer to read a sentence describing an angry or sad situation than they had before the …

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Do we need couples counseling?

Wondering if you should get couples counseling?  I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern, and a sex therapist.  In my work with couples, I have noted common areas in which troubled couples tend to be deficient.  This list of ten questions that I have created will help you …

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A Sex Therapist Visits The Todd Superstore

Today I took a little field trip.  As a clinically trained sexologist, this little trip should have been no problem.  Yet, I felt compelled to enlist the assistance of my supervisor, who graciously walked me through the process.  As I nervously pulled into the parking lot, I noted that I was 10 minutes early.  No …

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Genetic link to bullying harm

According to the June 19, 2010 issue of Science News, there may be a genetic link to the level of emotional damage done by bullying.  Researchers at Duke University, North Carolina, found that kids with a short version of the 5-HTT gene were more likely to be emotionally upset by bullying, often severe enough to …

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Preparing for Couples Therapy

This is a handout I prepared for couples entering therapy.  Although it is oriented toward working with me, I think it provides concise and valuable information about the couples’ therapy process: Welcome.   By asking for help with your relationship you are making a statement about how important it is to you.  Because it is …

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Recession and Divorce

According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, the recession appears to have affected the divorce rate in some interesting ways. Thirty-eight percent of analysts report a decrease in the number of divorce cases they handle, with 25% reporting an increase. Common reasons for the increase: desire to reduce the …

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Female Sexual Pain and CBT

Female Sexual Pain is a prevalent, yet commonly misunderstood and misdiagnosed group of disorders.  Let’s begin with some definitions.  Sexual pain disorders are defined in the DSM-IV TR as either dyspareunia or vaginismus.  Dyspareunia is pain associated with intercourse that is troublesome to the individual and not caused exclusively by medical conditions.  Vaginismus is an …

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Therapy more cost-effective than money for happiness

Think you can’t afford psychotherapy? A recent study done by the University of Warwick and the University of Manchester (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/therapy_32_times) shows that 4 months of psychotherapy is as effective at increasing happiness as a pay raise of 25,000 pounds ($37,500 in U.S. dollars with today’s exchange rate).  These researchers studied thousands of subjects, comparing their …

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Sex Therapy

You may wonder what exactly sex therapy is and whether or not it’s for you. Issues or questions about sex or intimacy are very common and nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.  According to the Mayo Clinic, about 1/3 of all adults have a question or concern about their sexuality. Sexual therapy (or sexual …

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