Forward Counseling & Consultation clinicians specialize in a wide range of mental health concerns, evidence-based treatment modalities with each individual clinician bringing the unique perspective of specialized trauma-informed practice with a focus on management, wellness and recovery. We specialize in working with trauma related concerns and/or disorders with a focus on complex trauma and dissociation and co-occurring mental health concerns including substance use. All clinicians specialize and focus in are anxiety and related disorders, mood disorders, psychosis and/or psychotic disorders. Our team works closely together to maintain best practice, up-to-date evidence based practice while sharing expertise in areas of co-occurring mental health concerns.
Anxiety and related disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. The are ranked amount the most common mental health concerns among the general population. However, people with anxiety frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations which interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control and often include avoidance of places, situation and/or people to prevent these feelings.
The most common types of mood disorders are major depression, dysthymia (dysthymic disorder), bipolar disorder, mood disorder due to a general medical condition, and substance-induced mood disorder. If you are experiencing low periods and shifts in mood that affect your relationships, ability to function and stop you for being your authentic self we will work with you to better understand this experience while working on reducing symptoms and management of symptoms while focusing on finding pleasure in your day-to-day activities.
Depression also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It can cause severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. These periods can be low grade, moderate and severe with short, long and/or fluctuating.
Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration. These shifts can make it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, irritable, or energized behavior to very “down,” sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods.
Psychosis and psychotic experience
Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness. It can be triggered by a mental illness, a physical injury or medical illness, substance abuse, or extreme stress, postpartum experience and/or trauma. Psychosis is a term to describe when a person interprets or perceives reality in a different way to those around them. They can experience seeing and hearing things that others are not able to hear and/or see while not being able to distinguish experiences from reality of others and their perceived experience. There are about 100,000 new cases of psychosis each year in the U.S. with 3 main symptoms of a psychotic experience:
- Disorganized thinking and speech
Schizophrenia affects how a person things, feels, and behaves and often perceive reality in a different way to those around them. People with schizophrenia are usually diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 30, after the first episode psychosis. Schizophrenia symptoms can differ from person to person, but they generally fall into three main categories: psychotic (hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, movement disorder), negative (loss of motivation, interest or enjoyment in activities, withdrawal, difficulty showing emotion) and cognitive (problems in attention concentration and memory).
Bereavement, Grief & Mourning
Bereavement is the experience of losing someone important to us and often characterized by the process of grief which is the range of emotions we go through as we work through the loss. One can also experience grief from the end of a relationships, loss of job, moving to a new location and/or decline in physical or mental health of someone we love or from our own experience. We can experience different aspects of grief when looking at bereavement, grief and mourning specifically around collective trauma, complicated grief, sudden loss and disenfranchised grief. It is important to look at all aspects of bereavement, grief and mourning, specifically around hidden grief or sorrow that is often minimized or not understood by others or unvalidated by social norms.
Trauma and stress related concerns
When a person is exposed to a traumatic or stressful event, how they experience it greatly influences the long-lasting adverse effects of carrying the weight of the traumatic event(s). Trauma involves exposure to a deeply distressing experience, such as death, serious injury, or violence. This can occur either through directly experiencing the traumatic event or witnessing it happen to others. Traumatic experiences can have a lasting impact on a person’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. Several types of trauma disorders can develop as experience as a result of distressing experience. Some of the most common trauma disorders include:
- Acute stress disorder
- Adjustment disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD)
- Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
Many people experience dissociation (dissociate) during their life. If you dissociate you may feel disconnected from yourself and the world around you. When assessing for dissociation we need to look at the spectrum of dissociation, the level of distress and the individuals unique experience. When dissociation involves problems with memory, identity, emotion, perception, behavior and sense of self we look at what treatment options best fit the individual. Dissociative symptoms can potentially disrupt every area of mental functioning. Examples of dissociative symptoms include the experience of detachment or feeling as if one is outside one’s body, and loss of memory or amnesia. Dissociative disorders are frequently associated with previous experience of trauma(s). There are three types of dissociative disorders:
- Dissociative identity disorder
- Dissociative amnesia
- Depersonalization/derealization disorder
Substance Use & co-occurring mental health
A substance use disorder (SUD) is a mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to a person’s inability to control their use of substances such as legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications. We specialize is working with individuals with substance use concerns ranging from problematic behaviors and concern to moderate and severe symptoms and concerns. With years of experience and awareness of cooccurrence between Substance Use and Mental Health Forward Counseling focuses on assessing and treating the whole person by assessing and/or treatment of co-occurring concerns for higher success rate with overall recovery.