Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Online 12-Step Sexual Addiction Meetings

The following are links to online 12-step meetings for sex addicts.  These meetings are especially helpful to individuals who are fearful of being recognized (despite the anonymity of the groups), who have driving/transportation limitations, medical issues, family/parenting challenges, and/or social anxiety.   To be clear, I strongly recommend/prefer that my sexually addicted clients attend "live" meetings.  But, when barriers are present, these online meetings are especially helpful


Saturday, September 17, 2011

I've Been Diagnosed with Bipolar - What's Next?

Link to Article

I've Been Diagnosed with Bipolar - What's Next?
Catherine Ness, MA, LCPC
Clinical Care Consultants
Arlington Heights, IL

A diagnosis of bipolar can seem overwhelming. You probably have many questions ranging from the prognosis to the disorder, to the medication your psychiatrist prescribed to how you ended up getting this diagnosis.

Bipolar disorder, like many disorders, is heavily based on genetics. It is likely that someone in your family has this diagnosis or demonstrates behaviors that are indicative of this diagnosis. There is nothing you did to give yourself this disorder; however, there is much you can do to manage this disorder.

Knowing about this disorder increases successful treatment outcomes. There are also various types of bipolar disorder with varying degrees of severity.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar I Disorder
Many people who are diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder describe feelings of depression most of the time. Symptoms of clinical depression include feelings of hopelessness, lack of motivation, over or under sleeping and eating, crying spells, fatigue, irritability, inability to concentrate and negative thoughts about oneself which can include a desire to harm oneself.

What differentiates depression from bipolar is that persons diagnosed with bipolar have periods of time, lasting from days to months, where there is an observable change in behavior and thoughts. These unexpected changes in mood and energy level are referred to as a manic episode. For some people this change in behavior feels like complete euphoria; you feel like you can accomplish anything and you have endless energy. For others this manic state is less pleasurable and simply includes racing thoughts, inability to sit still, severe irritability, impulsive behaviors and in more severe cases psychotic episodes.

To be diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder only requires the experience of a single manic episode. Depression is not a prerequisite for this diagnosis, but is more often than not prevalent.

Bipolar II Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder involves shifts in mood from depression to hypomania. Hypomania is a term to describe manic episodes that last for four or less days. If symptoms persist longer than this it is considered a full manic episode and meets criteria for bipolar I.
Hypomania is characterized by a distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least 4 days, that is clearly different from the person's usual mood. Mania, on the other hand, includes symptoms of psychotic or impaired thinking, grandiosity, poor judgment and impaired day to day functioning

Rapid Cycling Bipolar
A term used to describe the rate at which mood swings occur is rapid cycling, which involves more frequent ups and downs; a significant change in mood occurring over a month, week or even in a day. It is not uncommon for people to have mood swings based on something good or bad happening throughout the day. Persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder, however, have extreme mood changes that meet clinical criteria for depression and mania. These individuals also have trouble finding a “moderate mood,” in other words, feeling neither depressed nor overly excited/happy for an extended period of time.

Cyclothymic Disorder
Cyclothymic disorder describes more moderate mood swings from hypomania to a more mild form of depression. Persons diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder usually notice more frequent mood swings than those diagnosed with bipolar I and II. With this disorder, there is a higher level of functioning (less impairment).

Treatment Options
The reason it is important to identify if someone has had even one single manic episode is most significant in finding an effective medication. An anti-depressant may be appropriate for a diagnosis of depression, but if someone has had a manic episode in the past, an anti-depressant may actually trigger a manic episode. In these cases, a mood-stabilizer tends to be a more effective option.

There are many different types of mood stabilizers available and, unfortunately, there is no way to know which medication will work most effectively for an individual. Therefore, it is important that you see a psychiatrist who will work with you to determine the effectiveness of the medication. Also, it is important to have a dialogue with a counselor about progress or possible need to change medication.
Psychotherapy or counseling for Bipolar Disorder is very similar to the treatment of depression. When I work with individuals who are experiencing depression, I try to understand how this profound sadness is affecting their lives. I connect with each client so that I can better understand their specific concerns. In addition, I help clients identify triggers for their depression or manic episodes so that they can feel more in control of their lives and no longer a victim of their emotions. I utilize cognitive behavioral techniques (CBT) to help manage the negative, anxious, and fearful thoughts that are common with Bipolar Disorder. CBT is an ideal therapy approach to help with negative thinking, feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. I instill a hope that, even with this disorder, life can be manageable and happiness and success can be obtained.

Catherine Ness, MA, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
(847) 749-0514 ext.15

Going National!

I am happy to announce that PESI has hired me to give my training Emotional Manipulators and Codependents: Understanding the Attraction.  These three day "training tours" will occur in February and March of 2012.  The first tour will be in the Philadelphia PA area and second in the Seattle WA area. 

The description of the training is as follows:
Emotional Manipulators and Codependents are perpetually and inevitably drawn to each other.  The attraction dynamic is so strong that both partners pursue each other despite therapeutic interventions, multiple failed relationships and painful consequences.  This seminar investigates the relationship dynamic that irresistibly draws emotional manipulators (Borderline, Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders) and Codependents together. 

Using a unique, fresh and innovative approach, Mr. Rosenberg will explain the fundamentals of this attraction dynamic.  He will describe the nature of these binding relationships, which are often immune to personal or professional assistance.  He will introduce his “Continuum of Self” model, which ties together the complex web of underlying psychological forces that inescapably draws the Emotional Manipulators and Codependent into enduring and mutually inescapable relationship.  The training will explore why these two personality types exist in an intense, fluid and self-correcting system that creates an enduring magnetic attraction.

This program familiarizes mental health care professionals with the destructive nature of this relationship type.  Participants will learn what drives Emotional Manipulators and Codependents’ relationships.  Most importantly, professionals will learn how to help the Codependent victims recognize their own propensity to be attracted to Emotional Manipulators while teaching them how to help minimize their victimization.  With an understanding of this “magnetic" relationship force, psychotherapeutic efforts can be more focused and effective.  At the end of the day, attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of the Emotional Manipulation, Codependency and the relationship dynamic between the two, as well as with methods to assist Codependents in disengaging from Emotional Manipulators.
Registration Details are forthcoming

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chicago Area Networking Event
October 14, 2011

Most mental health practitioners understand that networking and marketing is vital to the development and maintenance of a clinical practice. There are so many of us who are unintentionally disconnected from the greater mental health community. The demands of our personal lives, families and jobs can keep us far away from each other.

Think about it: how many times has someone mentioned another therapist's name and you had no clue who they were? CCC aims to change that for many Chicago and Chicago Suburban psychotherapists.

Our livelihoods rest on our ability to bring in new clients, receive referrals and develop strategies to create revenue-generating services. Because the Chicago metro area lacks a networking group for psychotherapists, Clinical Care Consultants is initiating such a program.

The event/meeting will occur every 2 months. The 2 hour meeting will be the perfect place for Chicago and Chicago Suburban area therapists to meet, get to know each other and network. A continental breakfast will be served. The typical meeting will consist of greeting and socializing, introductions, scheduled presentations from members, trainings about marketing and networking and more networking. Guest speakers will be invited.

The events will be led by Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, Clinical Care Consultants' owner and psychotherapist, and the CCC therapists: Dick Levon, ATR, LCSW; and Catherine Ness, M.A., LCPC.

The July 29th Clinical Care Consultants' Networking Event was a resounding success. A total of 23 practitioners participated. There was a great deal of positive energy and enthusiasm for this event. The feedback from the participants was positive across the board. To further the networking mandate of the group, we are collecting contact and referral information of participants. Barbara Wahler has volunteered to work on this project. Each participant will have access to the information of the group he/she attended.

The next networking event is scheduled for October 15, 2011 at Indian Trails Public Library in Wheeling IL. It will take place at 10am and last two hours. The library is located at 355 Schoenbeck Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090. The library's phone number is (847) 459-4100. There will be a $10 fee. Please RSVP by calling Nancy Cole a call at (847) 749-0514 ext 10 or email her at Ncoleccc@gmail.com Serving Chicago's North & NW Suburbs Arlington Heights, Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Inverness, Kildeer, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Mt. Prospect, Palatine, Prospect Heights & Wheeling