A BETTER YOU Counseling Services, LLC
What is Therapy all about anyway?
*There is a reason I picked the name 'A Better You Counseling Services'. I believe that we are all searching to be a better person, including me. I believe I will always be working on myself. The days of laying back on the couch while the therapist asks "how does that make you feel?" are pretty much over (at least in my office anyway). I believe in building real relationships with the people that I work with. To me, therapy is utilizing a neutral person to vent to and get feedback, guidance and direction from. Therapy is about recognizing the good in us and also to recognize those bits that might need some tweaking and "bettering". Sometimes we all need a little help with this. I feel like my job is essentially to put myself out of business. The better my clients get, the less often I see them.
Are you asking yourself, do I need therapy?
*Chances are that if you are reading this, you likely have or are currently asking yourself this question. I am including some self quiz's below that might help you answer this question. Maybe the reason you are considering therapy is not included. Either I haven't gotten to adding that quiz or I reached a point where I realized there is no possible way I can cover everything. :)  Therapy is not just for those that feel completely broken or hopeless. I am a much bigger fan of being proactive rather than reactive. If you have any questions about whether therapy is right for you, give me a call or write me an email.
Am I Codependent? (relationship problems):
  1. Do you have a hard time saying no to others, even when you are very busy, financially broke, or completely exhausted?
  2. Are you always sacrificing your own needs for everyone else?
  3. Do you feel more worthy as a human being because you have taken on a helping role?
  4. If you stopped helping your friends, would you feel guilty or worthless?
  5. Would you know how to be in a friendship that doesn’t revolve around you being the “helper”?
  6. If your friends eventually didn’t need your help, would you still be friends with them? Or would you look around for someone else to help?
  7. Do you feel resentful when others are not grateful enough to you for your efforts at rescuing them or fixing their lives?
  8. Do you sometimes feel like more of a social worker than a friend in your relationships?
  9. Do you feel uncomfortable receiving help from other people? Is the role of helping others a much more natural role for you to play in your relationships?
  10. Does it seem as if many of your friends have particularly chaotic lives, with one crisis after another?
  11. Did you grow up in a family that had a lot of emotional chaos or addiction problems?
  12. Are many of your friends addicts, or do they have serious emotional and social problems?
  13. As you were growing up, did you think it was up to you to keep the family functioning?
  14. As an adult, is it important for you to be thought of as the “dependable one”?

If you answered “yes” to a lot of these questions, you may indeed have a problem with co-dependency. This does not mean that you are a flawed person. It means that you are spending a lot of energy on other people and very little on yourself. If it seems that a lot of your friendships are based on co-dependent rescuing behaviors, rather than on mutual liking and respect between equals, you may wish to step back and rethink your role in relationships.If you suspect that your helping behavior is a form of co-dependency, a good therapist or counselor can help you gain perspective on your actions and learn a more balanced way of relating to others.

**Info taken from addictionrecoverybasics.com**
Am I in an abusive relationship?
  1. Do you feel anxious or nervous when you are around your partner?
  2. Do you watch what you are doing in order to avoid making your partner angry or upset?
  3. Do you feel obligated or coerced into having sex with your partner?
  4. Are you afraid of voicing a different opinion than your partner?
  5. Does your partner criticize you or embarrass you in front of others?
  6. Does your partner always check up on what you have been doing, and not believe your answers?
  7. Is your partner very jealous and does he accuse you of having affairs?
  8. Does your partner tell you that he will stop beating you when you start behaving yourself?
  9. Have you stopped seeing your friends or family because of your partner's behavior?
  10. Does your partner's behavior make you feel as if you are wrong?
  11. Does your partner threaten to harm you?
  12. Do you try to please your partner rather than yourself in order to avoid being hurt?
  13. Does your partner keep you from going out or doing things that you want to do?
  14. Do you always feel that nothing you do is ever good enough for your partner?
  15. Does your partner say that if you try to leave him, you will never see your children again?
  16. Does your partner say that if you try to leave, he will kill himself or you?
  17. Is there always an excuse for your partner's behavior? ("The alcohol or drugs made me do it? My job is too stressful? If dinner was on time I wouldn't have hit you! I was just joking!")
  18. Do you lie to your family, friends and doctor about your bruises, cuts and scratches?
In addition to those questions, consider the following two checklists. The first list includes signs of emotional abuse. You are probably the victim of emotional abuse if your partner:
  • Repeatedly gives you destructive criticism, verbal threats and browbeating.
  • Always claims to be right.
  • Excludes you from making decisions and claims to be the head of the household.
  • Abuses your trust by lying, hiding important information and papers, cheating or being inappropriately jealous.
  • Minimizes or denies abusive behavior.
  • Constantly shows disrespect, puts you down or embarrasses you in front of others.
  • Harasses you by following you or checking up on you.
  • Prevents you from seeing your relatives or friends or insists on going everywhere with you.
  • Monitors your phone calls.
The next list includes signs of physical abuse. You are a victim of physical abuse if your partner:
  • Intimidates you through angry or threatening gestures.
  • Destroys your belongings or household items.
  • Coerces you to have sex or perform sexual acts against your will.
  • Kicks, bites, stabs, pushes, burns or chokes you.
  • Uses weapons to threaten or harm you or others you love.
If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, or experience these forms of emotional and physical abuse in your relationship, you should seek help. Abuse is not acceptable behavior and is not something you should just learn to live with.

Don't be a victim that keeps this a silent disease. Seek help from relatives, friends, law enforcement or community resources. With their help, you may be able to stop the abuse or, if necessary, leave the relationship. Realize that once the abuse has started, it will nearly always get worse.

**info from psychcentral.com***

Am I Abusing Substances?

Check "Yes" or "No" to the following items:

YES     NO

____   ____   1.  During the previous 12 month period, I have used substances continually or recurrently, resulting in a failure to meet important obligations at work, school or home, such as repeated absences, being late, having to be counseled due to poor performance, neglect of work or family/household responsibilities.

____   ____   2.  During the previous 12 month period, I have used substances continually or recurrently in situations in which it is physically hazardous, such as driving an automobile or operating a machine while under the influence.

____   ____   3.  During the previous 12 month period, I have experienced persistent or recurrent substance-related legal problems, such as DWI, public intoxication or disorderly conduct.

____   ____   4.  During the previous 12 month period, I have continued to use a substance despite persistent  or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or increased by the effects of the substance, such as arguments with spouse/significant other about consequences of intoxication or physical fights.

____   ____   5.  During the previous 12 month period, my tolerance for a substance has increased to the point where I need more of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect, or I notice diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.

____   ____   6.  During the previous 12 month period, I have experienced withdrawal from the substance or have taken the same or closely related substance in order to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, flu-like symptoms, headache, increased heart rate or elevated blood pressure.

____   ____   7.  During the previous 12 month period, I have often used the substance in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.

____   ____   8.  During the previous 12 month period, I have experienced a persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control my use of a substance.

____   ____   9.  During the previous 12 month period, I have spent a great deal of time in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance or recovering from the effects of the substance use, such as visiting multiple doctors, driving long distances, or using the substance too much for too long.

____   ____  10.  During the previous 12 month period, important family, social, occupational, or recreational activities have been reduced or given up because of my substance use.

____   ____  11.  During the previous 12 month period, I have continued use of the substance despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused 
or exacerbated by the substance use, such as drinking despite recognition that an ulcer or depression was made worse by alcohol consumption.

PLEASE REVIEW YOUR RESPONSES TO ITEMS #1 through #4:  If you responded "Yes" to any one of items #1 throught #4, you may very possibly have a substance abuse problem.

PLEASE REVIEW YOUR RESPONSES TO ITEMS # 5 through #11:  If you responded "Yes" to any three (3) of items #5 through #11, you may very well possibly have a substance dependence problem.

Adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association
Signs and Symptoms include:
*Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
*Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
*Irritability, restlessness
*Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
*Fatigue and decreased energy
*Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
*Insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
*Overeating, or appetite loss
*Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
*Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

(information from National Institute of Mental Health)