21 Sep 2020

BY: admin

Virtual Counseling

Virtual Emotional Support Counseling for Seniors During Covid

Virtual Emotional Support Counseling for Seniors During Covid

Seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups impacted by COVID-19. Beyond the physical threat, there are serious emotional and mental consequences to quarantine and the pandemic that can negatively impact their health. Seniors who live in nursing homes or are unable to socialize or even leave their house to go about their normal routine.

We believe that there is no age when mental health doesn’t matter. Our virtual counseling services for seniors can provide much-needed support and company during a difficult time.

Risks to Senior Mental Health

The elderly population often experiences mental health problems due to changes in their physical health and environment. Many senior citizens who lived active lives have been confined to their nursing home facilities or homes without anyone to talk to; they are not able to receive as much exercise, mental stimulation or companionship as they were pre-COVID, which can lead to the development of depression and crippling loneliness.

Even those who have family nearby may not be able to see them face-to-face due to social distancing measures. While quarantine is in their best interest, it also places a barrier between them, their loved ones and the outside world.

Health anxiety is also a pressing concern; as many seniors 65 and older also have health conditions, they may be especially high-risk. Simple acts like taking the dog out or going to the supermarket can endanger them, which only leads to greater fear and chronic stress.

These compounded feelings can take a toll on their physical well-being, too. Poor mental health can weaken the immune system, which makes them even more susceptible to illness.

How Counseling Can Help

Virtual counseling provides mental health support at a safe distance. Seniors can connect with a licensed therapist who listens to their concerns and gives them space to process what they are going through. There is not always an answer to resolve someone’s difficult feelings; rather than striving to offer platitudes and false affirmations, we seek to provide reassurance through affirming one’s strength and resilience.

Seniors also have unique worries and needs that deserve to be treated with care and compassion. Our virtual counseling services encompass the unique challenges, anxieties and experiences of the senior population to ensure our services truly resonate with them.

Sometimes, all a senior citizen really needs is just someone to listen and talk to. We want to be there for them while also providing helpful tips they can implement to help themselves.

How You Can Help Your Loved One

Communicate as often as possible, especially if you are not able to physically see your loved one. You can offer to buy their groceries and leave them on their doorstep along with some disinfectant; drive-by greetings, social distance conversations with a mask and daily phone calls can help ease some of the loneliness seniors are facing during this time.

If you live with your senior relative or loved one, emotional support in the form of time spent together is the most valuable. Watch a television program they like, especially if it’s one from their youth that they enjoyed. Listen to their favorite music, do senior exercise videos together and share meals.

Most importantly, check in with how they’re feeling. Many seniors feel cast aside and ignored in today’s fast-paced, digital society. Counseling is just one way you can increase the emotional support in your loved one’s life, but the most valuable thing you can give them is your time and attention.

If you would like to learn more about us and our virtual emotional support counseling, please contact us today.

Caring Heart Counseling - Elementary School Anxiety and How to Set Yourself up for Success (1) 24 Aug 2020

BY: admin

Relationships / Virtual Counseling

Elementary School Anxiety and How to Set Yourself up for Success

Elementary School Anxiety and How to Set Yourself up for Success

Elementary school is one of the most exciting times of childhood; your child may be headed into Kindergarten, or they could be gearing up for another year filled with its own challenges, triumphs and memorable moments. Watching your child grow can be bittersweet, and with the coronavirus pandemic underway, sending your elementary school student back to school can be downright terrifying.

Anxiety is a normal and often healthy part of parenthood; it causes you to step back, pay closer attention and be proactive. But it can also hinder your ability to promote healthy independence and resilience in your child. To combat the anxiety and stress of another school year, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Put Safety First

Schools that are reopening for the new year will likely have safety measures in place. Your child may be required to wear a face mask during the day, which could be met with some discomfort or resistance. Talk about the importance of wearing a mask; tell your child they have an important role to play, and wearing a mask helps them protect themselves as well as their teachers and friends.

Practice wearing a mask in extended durations before school resumes, and teach your child how to properly wash their hands and apply hand sanitizer. To make the new safety measures a little less scary, get your child involved by letting them pick out a mask with a fun design.

Placing masks on their favorite stuffed animals can be a good way to introduce the concept and make it more approachable for a child.

Separation Anxiety

Parents and students can both experience anxiety when it’s time to go back to school. Combat this as early as possible by building excitement around the first day and upcoming year. Listen to your child’s worries, and offer reassurance. Rather than saying, “Don’t be worried,” tell them that it’s okay to be nervous, and everyone feels afraid of new things sometimes.

As a parent, your anxiety may be palpable to your child, which makes coping with it on your own time imperative. You don’t want to transfer any fears into your elementary schooler; therapy is one way to work through your fears, but speaking with your partner, journaling and talking with parents can help, too.

No Friends

Isolation is difficult for anyone, but children are impacted tenfold by their social engagement at school. Your child may have been placed in a new classroom this year and not be with any of their friends; you may have images of them eating alone, getting picked last for gym or recess and standing on the sidelines. This is a natural part of growing up that, although difficult, is important to your child’s growth.

Not having any friends in class might be scary at first, but it’s a chance for them to develop social skills and learn how to cope with discomfort. Read books about making new friends, roleplay with toys and assure your child they can still connect with their old friends online and outside of the classroom.

Coronavirus Closures

We are not sure how the virus will impact the new school year; it’s best to speak with your child now and let them know things may change throughout the year. Plan ahead by talking about closures, what they mean and how your child will have to learn if the school does need to shut down temporarily. Let them know that school closing doesn’t mean they can’t talk to their friends or teachers.

As a parent, the best thing you can do is try to find as much flexibility as possible. In addition to looking after your own mental health, it helps to come up with a plan for childcare and education in the event of another closure. You may never have to use it, but thinking about potential solutions now can help lower anxiety by reducing “what ifs.”

We offer both virtual and in-person counseling for parents and children that can make the transition back to school easier. Click here to get in touch with one of our therapists.

Divorce Counseling During COVID 19 - Caring Heart Counseling (1) 05 Jun 2020

BY: admin

Virtual Counseling

Divorce Counseling During COVID 19

Divorce Counseling During COVID 19

Divorce is often one of the most emotionally challenging experiences in a person’s life; coupled with the stress of Divorce is often one of the most emotionally challenging experiences in a person’s life; coupled with the stress of the coronavirus, coping with separation and the end of a marriage can be even more difficult. To end your relationship as peacefully as possible and gain the closure you need to move forward, you may consider online divorce counseling.

Why You Need Divorce Counseling
Whether your decision to separate was mutual or one-sided, the purpose of divorce counseling is to arrive at a place of mutual respect and understanding. Both partners in the relationship deserve a chance to share their experiences and leave their marriage with a sense of closure.

You can also choose to seek divorce counseling alone. While it can be helpful to have both spouses present, your decision to seek therapy is personal and can still be meaningful by yourself.

Divorce counseling can also help you honor your marriage and the love you once shared. You will be able to work through the loss, voice unspoken pain wounds and begin to heal. It is a place to cultivate acceptance and ultimately, peace.

Handling Emotions During COVID-19
Divorce during the coronavirus can also be accompanied by feelings of guilt; compared to those who are ill or grieving the loss of a loved one, you may feel like you are selfish for being so upset by your marriage ending. Divorce is hard, and the current pandemic doesn’t make it any less real or painful. In fact, it could make it even more difficult to cope with.

The time spent alone in quarantine can also increase feelings of loneliness and isolation; you may find yourself looking up your ex on social media, wanting to reach out to them or even attempting to rekindle the relationship despite your decision to separate. When you share friends and loved ones, it can be especially difficult to find the type of support you need.

Although the coronavirus has put many things into perspective, it does not mean we have to completely ignore our problems and repress our feelings. Right now, you hurt, and that is okay. Online counseling is one way you can reach out and find the connection and support you need to cope with this experience. Therapy can help you establish a new routine, close old chapters and start planning for the next stage of your life.

Please click here to learn more about our virtual counseling services. You can request an appointment with one of our therapists on this page.

26 May 2020

BY: admin

Virtual Counseling

Family Counseling During COVID-19

Family Counseling During COVID-19

The coronavirus presents challenges not only to your personal mental health but the entire family. You or a partner may have lost your job; the stress of parenting during a pandemic coupled with health anxiety and financial troubles can cause us to withdraw, become emotionally detached and even argue with our loved ones far more than usual.

Social distancing means neither children nor parents have the opportunity to spend time with their friends. Without an outside support system, life can feel intensely confining. Everyone needs a healthy dose of personal space and independence, even children. Striking this balance amid stay-at-home orders may seem impossible, but with the right help, it can be done.

Whatever troubles you may face, our online family counseling services can help you resolve problems peacefully. We help the entire family learn how to communicate better, support one another and fulfill their unique role in the household.

Parenting During the Coronavirus
Most parents are accustomed to having their children in school during the day while they work. Now, you find yourself responsible for not only your child’s well-being but also their education. Although many schools provide daily virtual instruction, it can be difficult to establish reasonable boundaries and appropriate discipline.

Therapy can help parents learn how to address troublesome behaviors without losing their temper or damaging their relationships with their children; family counseling also provides children with an opportunity to share their thoughts and express feelings they may struggle to communicate on their own. This fosters a deeper sense of trust and understanding throughout the family.

Self-Care and Relationships
For couples who are quarantined together, finding time to care for themselves and nourish their relationship can be extremely challenging. On top of work, parenting and stress, quality time as partners may fall to the backburner. However, it is important to learn how to work together so challenges bring you closer together, not further apart.

Counseling offers a space to release feelings you have been holding onto without escalating into an argument. Therapists help couples learn how to focus on solutions, not problems. By sharing responsibilities, respecting each other’s need for self-care and scheduling time to be together, you can restore balance to your family and relationship.

Transition Anxiety
Children who struggle to transition from school to being at home constantly are likely to express their frustration or worry through misbehavior. Your once mild-mannered child could suddenly become argumentative and defiant; children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorder are particularly sensitive to change, so finding ways to help them adjust and regain a sense of balance is crucial.

Through online family therapy, one of our licensed counselors can help you begin to understand change and anxiety through your children’s eyes. They can also offer tips for your own mental health so you are able to be fully present and emotionally engaged through the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Distance Learning Support
Virtual family counseling addresses everything from major changes to the family unit to everyday struggles. As parents and children face what is likely to be a prolonged period of distance education, it is important to make virtual schooling easy and fun.

Children who are resistant to learning on a computer may be more responsive to different approaches. Tailoring education to their unique learning style can reduce defiant behaviors, improve attitudes and even foster excitement toward learning new things each day.

To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, please contact us.

Caring Heart Counseling - Blog - Relationship Counseling During COVID-19 (1) 27 Apr 2020

BY: admin

Relationships / Virtual Counseling

Relationship Counseling During COVID-19

Relationship Counseling During COVID-19

Quarantine and COVID-19 pose unique challenges to couples; some may be finding it difficult to maintain personal boundaries and healthy communication as they quarantine together while others are feeling detached and disconnected due to social isolation. Relationships are not exempt from the added stress of coping with the coronavirus, but partners do not have to simply hope for the best and ignore their problems.

Relationship counseling online can bridge the distance of social isolation and connect couples with licensed therapists who can help them work through any challenges they’re experiencing.

How Relationships Are Impacted by the Coronavirus

Dating requires consistency, communication and a healthy dose of independence on both sides. Couples currently find themselves either separated by mandatory shelter-in-place orders or confined together in their living quarters with limited outside social contacts.

For even the closest couples, quarantining together can be difficult. Constantly being around one another can lead to more arguing, and the flare-up of mental health symptoms many are experiencing may put further strain on a relationship.

Some partners may feel helpless as their significant other’s anxiety and/or depression symptoms worsen. Others might not be sure how to express their desire for personal space without being offensive. There may be limited opportunity to separate and cool off before resolving arguments. Others may feel like their relationship is stagnating without the ability to go out and do things together.

On the other end of the spectrum, COVID-19 has led to social isolation that has many couples separated. Those in long-distance relationships may feel especially distraught as they have no definitive date when they can see one another again.

The stress of managing a relationship and life during the coronavirus makes online counseling and relationship therapy a beneficial tool to anyone who finds themselves struggling during this time.

What Relationship Counseling Can Do Today

No therapist has all the answers, and couples might even feel like they’re at a loss for help with physical offices closed. But online counseling for couples can be just as effective as in-person sessions. Couples can speak together or individually to a counselor about what they’re going through and work on developing solutions.

Online counseling provides the opportunity for couples to express thoughts and feelings they may not be able to articulate with their partner during regular conversation. A counselor knows how to ask questions that facilitate constructive dialogue and foster understanding.

Together, couples and individual partners can work with a counselor to learn how to support each other through COVID-19 and protect their relationship. To speak with a therapist or request an appointment, click here.

Caring Heart Counseling - Blog - Telecounseling for Teens in Denver (1) 21 Apr 2020

BY: admin

Counseling / Virtual Counseling

Telecounseling for Teens in Denver

Telecounseling for Teens in Denver

Life as a teenager is tough. As they are beginning to develop their own values and figure out their identities, teenagers face a tremendous deal of stress during the final years of childhood. Many are already making decisions that will impact their future for years to come, which naturally comes with a great deal of stress that can trigger anxiety and depression. Adolescence is also the onset period for many mental illnesses.

Adolescent counseling can provide support and guidance to teens even amidst social distancing and the coronavirus.
Common Reasons Teens Attend Counseling

Many adolescents feel like they’re being “forced” to go to therapy by their parents who “think something is wrong with me.” But therapy is not a place designed to fix anyone, because no one is broken. People all have their own unique struggles, but we believe that our experiences are just that. They do not define us no matter how much they may impact us.

Teens can benefit from counseling if they are struggling to stay motivated in school, experiencing conflict at home or going through a difficult time. Trauma, anxiety and depression are common mental health conditions that teenagers can overcome with the help of a licensed professional.

The earlier a teenager gets help for whatever they’re going through, the greater the chance of a long-lasting recovery. Far too many people stay trapped in the shadows of stigma, longing for help but too afraid to get it. Whether you are a concerned parent or a teenager yourself, there is no shame in getting help. Counseling, either in person or online, can provide the tools and support necessary to heal and grow.

Signs Your Teenager Needs Counseling

Every parent worries about their child, but how do you know when your problems warrant professional help? Generally, when an issue is beyond your scope of understanding or has begun to cause serious disruptions to your family life or teen’s ability to function, it’s a good idea to speak with a counselor.

Certain behaviors pose a significant threat to your teen’s well-being, and they may indicate underlying mental health issues. For example:

  • Substance abuse
  • Angry outbursts
  • Criminal activity
  • Avoiding friends and family/sudden change in friends
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Isolated, withdrawn attitude
  • Dramatic changes in personality and behavior
  • Talking or thinking often about death/self-harm

The later teenage years also mark the onset of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Having an honest discussion with your teenager about any concerns you have can help them feel more comfortable opening up. Sometimes, teens just need to be reminded that people do care about them and want to listen.

Ways to Help a Struggling Teenager

You might often feel like your teenager is from an entirely different universe when they speak. Parents often wonder, “Was I like that to my parents?” when they begin to struggle to have even basic conversations with their adolescents. Teenagers are not speaking in code or generally going out of their way to be distant; they might be embarrassed or ashamed of what they’re feeling or even too afraid to confront it through a conversation.

Respect Boundaries

The best thing you can do as a parent is to be fully present without being overly persistent. The harder you push, the farther your teen will pull away. Offer to do activities with them that they enjoy. Even something as simple as eating dinner together or watching a movie can have an impact on a teen’s sense of support and security.

Don’t invade their privacy without any necessary reason to do so, but keep an eye on any concerning behaviors. You may want to check their social media accounts or internet history if you worry they might be engaging with harmful content or talking to strangers.

Keep Communication Focused on the Positive

Most importantly, let your child know that you love them and want to hear what they have to say. Teenagers often worry their parents will judge them, argue with them or even hate them for voicing their true feelings. Although you may not always like what you hear, you must respond to your teenager’s emotions with empathy and understanding. Use affirming statements during conversation such as, “That sounds really hard,” and “Thank you for sharing this with me.”

If you bring up the subject of therapy, let them know that getting professional help is a good thing, not a sign of failure or weakness. Ultimately, therapy is for your teenager to receive help and provide a safe space to disclose whatever they’re going through without fear of judgment. Therapy is a resource, not a punishment. It should never be leveraged as something needed to “fix” them or correct their behavior.

Telecounseling for Teens

We offer online therapy for teens with licensed counselors in the state of Colorado. Talking to a therapist online can be a good stepping stone for many teens, and it’s the best way to get support even during the coronavirus pandemic. To learn more about our services or to request an appointment, please click here.