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Kathy Marshack News

How to Make Your Office Space Work When You and Your Partner Work from Home

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Find out how to meet the especially difficult challenge of setting up a functional shared work space that will allow you and your partner to succeed.Setting up a home office can be a time-consuming process. Of course, some people who work from home are content to set up their laptop at the kitchen table and call it good. But many of us who work from home want to make our workspace more professional and inspiring.

Do you work from home? Then you already know that setting up a great home office is hard enough to do when you are doing it for yourself alone. You spend time mapping out the space, purchasing the perfect office furniture, filling the walls with inspiring art, adding air-purifying plants, and finalizing the space with personal touches.

But what if you have to set up a home office for two?

This is a situation that many couples find themselves in. Whether you both start out working from home, or your situation evolves to where you both end up conducting your business at the house, it can be very difficult to set up a functional home office that will fit both parties.

What can you do to make the process easier? Here are a few ideas:

  • Define your workspace. Do you have two spare rooms that can be used as office space? Then separate your workspaces by room. If you don’t have the extra space, divide the one office into distinct areas. You many want to face your desks away from each other to minimize distractions and maintain privacy when making phone calls.

  • Evaluate your needs and preferences. Workspace needs and preferences can vary. One person may need more desk space either due to their type of work, or because they simply like to spread out. One of you may prefer to sit in a big cozy chair to work, while the other prefers a standard desk and office chair. Make your side of the room look and feel the way you want and need, and let your spouse do the same.

  • Create office hours. Sometimes it’s best for a couple to use the office alone. So set up office hours to share the space. One person gets to use it in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Perhaps the person not using the office can set up at the kitchen counter for a few hours, or whatever works for them.

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. The best thing you can do for your relationship in general, but especially when you are both sharing a workspace, is communicate openly and honestly. Discuss what you need, when you need it, and what ground rules should be followed. This also applies if you want to be able to spend time with your spouse during the day. You are, after all, working under the same roof. So why not take advantage of that? If you want to chat or go to lunch, and your spouse doesn’t have time, don’t be offended. Instead, make an appointment. Schedule time together.

  • Respect each other’s space. Treat your spouse’s workspace the way you want yours to be treated. Give them privacy while they work. Don’t try to talk to them while they’re on the phone, or write them notes while they’re working. Create boundaries and respect them.

  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt. There are going to be times when your spouse intrudes on your space, and vice versa. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt, and try to not take it too seriously, unless it becomes a habit. Just as co-workers in a traditional office can get on each other’s nerves, you will likely have moments where you rub each other the wrong way. Have a sense of humor, see the best in your spouse, and move past small annoyances.

There are many other challenges that dual-career and dual-entrepreneur couples face. It can help to work with a therapist with years of experience helping couples succeed as they build their business and their lives together. Please contact my office in Jantzen Beach to set up an appointment. If your busy schedules don’t allow for in-person therapy, please consider online therapy. Or for more advice on this lifestyle pick up a copy of my book: Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home. I recently released the second edition and you can get the paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon.

How Smartphones May Be Endangering Your Teen

Monday, December 11, 2017


Smartphones are changing the way adolescents communicate and spend their time, so parents need to know how smartphones endanger pre-teens to young adults. Smartphones are profoundly changing the way adolescents communicate and spend their time. As a parent, you hear some experts say it’s too soon to be alarmed, while others recommend restricting smartphone usage based on their understanding of childhood emotional and developmental vulnerabilities.

The conflicting information can be confusing. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve collected interesting findings from recent studies.

Cyber bullying. The 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Study (of high-school students) found that “19.6% had been bullied on school property in the previous 12 months, and 14.8% had been electronically bullied.”

Smartphone addiction. Nomophobia (NO MObile PHOne phoBIA) is a 21st-century term for the fear of not being able to use your cell phone or other smart device. (Take an online quiz to see if your child has it.) One National Center for Biotechnology Information study identifies 4 features of smartphone addiction: compulsion, functional impairment, tolerance, and withdrawal.

Wasted time. Roberts, Yaya and Manolis (2014) found that college students spent almost nine hours daily on their cell-phones. Those are hours spent that can never be recovered. Were they spent wisely? You decide.

Injuries and death. A 2010 study by the Pew Research Center said nearly one in three 16- or 17-year-olds said they have texted while driving. According to Pew, fifty-nine percent of people between the ages of 18 and 33 reported texting while driving. In midtown Manhattan, 42% of pedestrians who walked through a "Don't Walk" signal were distracted by an electronic device. A 2013 study found a tenfold increase in injuries related to pedestrians using cell phones from 2005 to 2010.

Mental health and sleep disorders. Another NCBI study indicates that depression, anxiety, and sleep quality is associated with smartphone overuse.

Behavioral and personality shifts. Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of iGen, explains how today’s super-connected teens are less happy and less prepared for adulthood. They are “different from all previous generations in how they spend their time, how they behave, and in their attitudes toward religion, sexuality, and politics. They socialize in completely new ways, reject once sacred social taboos, and want different things from their lives and careers. More than previous generations, they are obsessed with safety, focused on tolerance, and have no patience for inequality. iGen is also growing up more slowly than previous generations: eighteen-year-olds look and act like fifteen-year-olds used to.”

Psychosocial and cognitive impact. Some research links media multitasking—texting, using social media and rapidly switching among smartphone-based apps—with lower gray-matter volume in the brain’s anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This is the region involved in emotion processing and decision-making. Researchers from Korea University in Seoul, used brain imaging to study the brains of 19 teenage boys who were diagnosed with internet or smartphone addiction. Compared with non-addicted teenagers, their brains had significantly higher levels of GABA than levels of glutamate-glutamine, a neurotransmitter that energizes brain signals. GABA is a neurotransmitter that slows down the neurons. This results in poorer attention and control, so you’re more vulnerable to distractions.

Security issues. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey reports that 6% of teens 12-17 use the services to share their location. Their 2016 survey found that 28% of U.S. smartphone owners say they do not use a screen lock or other features to secure their phone. Although a majority of smartphone users say they update their phone’s apps or operating system, around four-in-ten say they only update when it’s convenient for them. And 14% say they never update their phone’s operating system, while 10% say they don’t update the apps on their phone.

You, as the parent, are in the best position to determine if your child is mature enough to properly use a smartphone. If your child is personality type A experiencing high stress levels and low mood, he or she is highly susceptible to smartphone addiction. Positive stress coping mechanisms and mood management techniques can be very beneficial for helping your child overcome this addiction. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works best for your busy schedule.

Learn more on my website: Smartphones Damage Relationships.

How to Make Your Mind, Body and Spirit Happy

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


How to Make Your Mind, Body and Spirit HappyAre you happy? Are you waiting for your family, your lover, your lifestyle to make you happy? Then you’re going to wait forever. Because truth to tell, you’re the only one who can make YOU happy. Happiness depends on achieving an inner harmony between your mind, body and spirit. But how do you do that?

Make your mind happy.

Acknowledge, not control your thoughts. Just as a crying baby needs to be heard before it can quiet itself, your thoughts need to be acknowledged before you can quiet them. If you don’t ever “hear” your thoughts, you won’t deal with the underlying issues causing them.

Challenge negative thoughts. Turn “I’m a failure” into “I don’t fail at everything. Yes, this is a setback but I can learn to do better.”

Ask yourself these questions:
  • What evidence do I have for this feeling?
  • Is my bias clouding my judgment?
  • Do others view this similarly?
  • If my best friend did this, would I tell him he’s a failure?

Strive for optimism. Optimism can be learned, if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Oftentimes journaling will help you change your perception of yourself. As you note what your struggle is, put an optimistic spin on your thoughts and write encouraging comments to yourself just as would for a friend with the same problems.

Make your body happy.

Breathe. Breathing deeply helps reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder. Controlled breathing also promotes concentration.

Move. Activity goes hand-in-hand with better health and greater happiness. A study about how physical activity affected moods found that people experienced the most happiness if they had been moving in the past 15 minutes.

Make your spirit happy.

Find your community. “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world” is a line from a song by Barbra Streisand. And not only are they the luckiest, they are the happiest too. Do you like your neighbors, your co-workers, and the people you meet during your day? If not, perhaps it’s time to find a new community.

Extend kindness to self and others. Generosity, volunteering and altruism are all linked with experiencing greater happiness and self-worth.

Declutter. Is your mind cluttered? Then your space likely will be, too. But which comes first…the clutter in your mind or in your space? What matters is that they feed off of each other, so improvement in one area will improve the other. Only keep that which makes you happy and joyful. And start in your bedroom. That should be your happy space, because if you’re sleeping well and enjoying a good sex life your overall happiness will increase.

These are just a few ways to make yourself happy. Therapy is also very helpful for uprooting long-held habits that foster unhappiness. I’d love to help you find your happiest you possible. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works best for your busy schedule.

What Does It Mean that Autistics Think in Pictures?

Monday, December 04, 2017


Autistics think visually, why this hinders good communication, and what you can do about it.Have you seen the Temple Grandin movie? She’s a high-functioning autistic who has built a life helping others understand autism. (She also specializes in understanding what spooks cattle). She’s written a book about thinking in pictures because that’s the only way she relates to the world around her. There are a number of good YouTube videos, like this one if you start at the 9 minute mark, that give you some insight into her visual thinking process.

Temple has an interesting example on how people think about church steeples. Most people think of a generalized image, but her mind flashes through images of existing churches at specific locations that she’s seen in the past. She never sees things in a generalized way, but sees very detailed examples.

Of course, we can all visualize to a degree. At least we call it that. We might see a color in our "mind's eye" when told to see red. What about a checked tablecloth? Or your first car? But we don't generally "think in pictures." We tend to use pictures, or little movies as methods of organizing data, along with words, emotions, feelings, and other types of thought.

Autistics on the other hand rely much more on pictures. This explains why they have a photographic memory or can focus on the minutest detail. As handy as thinking in pictures can be for certain tasks, it can be a disaster for interpersonal communication. Without words to go along with those pictures, we’re left wondering what they’re thinking about. Without empathy, they may ramble on about their topic of interest without realizing we can't see their picture.

For our Aspies it’s also extremely troubling that we can't see their pictures. How can they convey what they are feeling or experiencing?

If you’re a member of Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Meetup

, please join us for the free international teleconference on Thursday, December 14th, at 2:30 PM PT. Our topic is:

What does it mean that autistics think in pictures? Bring your own examples of how your Aspies think in pictures. But if it makes no sense to you yet, don't give up. We'll keep translating for you.

If you’d rather have a one-on-one session with me and you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works best for your busy schedule.

How Can You Tell if It’s Abuse or Asperger's?

Monday, November 27, 2017


As tough as it is to look at the issue of abuse, it’s important. We aren't helping our Aspies when we allow them to be abusive. Yes, they have sensory sensitivities. Yes, they lack empathy and miss important cues. Yes, they easily get confused and shut down or rage. But to allow the verbal abuse, or their self-abuse, is not OK.

The answer to the question, "Is it abuse or is it Asperger's?" is that it doesn't matter. Regardless of the source of the abuse, it has to cease immediately. That's always the first step.

The second, third and fourth steps require taking into consideration the source of the abuse and developing a treatment plan specific for the person. With Aspies it's a blend of anger management (or domestic violence treatment), and the kind of coaching that teaches them the Rules of Engagement.

For the NT, as you can imagine, the treatment involves a protection plan, plus psychotherapy to restore your confidence and teach you skills to cope with life better.

Like I said this is a tough subject but it's time to bring it up, isn't it? That’s why we’re talking about this at our next videoconference.

If you’re a member of Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Meetup, please join our videoconference on Thursday, December 7th at 9:00 A.M. The topic: Is it abuse or is it Asperger’s? We’ll discuss how to assess the situation when the diagnosis alone doesn't help. In other words, let's find practical ways to communicate and problem solve with your Aspie, even if you have to make it up!
(If this time slot if full, I’m holding another one of December 20th.)

If you’re not a member and want to join here are the qualifications: you are a NT trying to deal with life with someone on the Autism Spectrum. That’s it. If that’s you, request an invite. It’s free to join the group and it has a lot of perks, like this low-cost video conference or free international teleconferences.

If you’d like to learn more of the science behind Asperger’s Syndrome, download a free chapter from my book, Out of Mind - Out of Sight. Or click the image below.

The #MeToo Movement and Why I Decided Never to Be Silenced

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Victims of sexually assault and harassment often suffer in silence, and since it’s the silence that kills one’s spirit, it’s time to speak up and fight backFor too long, women and men have suffered in silence as victims of sexual assault and harassment. As the recent stories about celebrities, such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. unfold, women and men are finally admitting “Me Too”.

Many people feel it began on October 15, 2017, when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted:

Me too.
Suggested by a friend: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

But the #MeToo movement didn't start this year. It started more than 10 years ago with activist Tarana Burke. However, the celebrity connection has caused a flood of women pouring out their stories of hurt, fear, and isolation on Twitter and Facebook.

We are victims no longer! We are telling our stories and enacting change.

For example, on November 15th, a bipartisan group of Senators and Congressional members introduce the 'METOO Congress Act' aimed at reforming how Congress handles sexual harassment.

I’m ready to tell my story now too.

Amid the flurry of these news stories, I was listening to an OPB newscast and heard a familiar name, Jim Jacks. He’d been forced to resign in 2011 for “inappropriate behavior” toward a young female staffer (verified this week by the Washington State Democratic House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan). Hearing his name made my stomach lurch.

No, I wasn’t sexually assaulted by him, but his unfounded actions forever changed my life.

In 2004, Jacks was part of a ring of three Vancouver government employees, who set out to destroy me with a defaming memo. His single untruthful memo set off a decade-plus witch hunt that cost me half a million dollars in legal fees; many emotionally frightening nights; and the loss of my children. Jim Jacks stole from me just as he stole peace of mind from his more recent victim. Not only is he guilty of defamation, he’s guilty of never giving me a chance to defend myself (just as many women suffer in silence about their sexual assaults).

It’s the silence that kills one’s spirit. As for me, I won’t be silenced anymore about Jacks or the rest of the scoundrels in Vancouver, Washington. Victims shouldn’t have to stand by watching their abusers and others cover up these injustices.

Throughout my lifetime, I’ve also encountered many males who have crossed the line into sexual harassment and they’ve left me speechless and afraid. I detail these experiences in my recent exposé in the US Observer.

My newest book, “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS: How to stop those hell-bent on destroying you,” is about people like Jim Jacks. If you’ve felt powerless in the face of abuse by someone with severe Empathy Dysfunction and are ready to take back your power, please grab a copy as soon as it’s available. To stay up-to-date on it’s release, please sign-up for my newsletter.)

If you need to talk with someone about how to standup for yourself, please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works best for your busy schedule.

Entrepreneurship - Often the Perfect Solution for Gifted Adults

Monday, November 20, 2017


Gifted adults tend to struggle with a traditional career, but the qualities that make it hard are the same qualities that can make them great entrepreneurs.Are you a gifted adult? If so, you probably already know that finding the right career path can be more difficult for you than for others. Why do gifted adults tend to have a hard time finding the right fit for their career?

One reason is that gifted adults often struggle to stick with one thing. Many times they are interested in, and good at, so many different things. This broad range of talents and interests can make choosing and sticking with a just one career tricky.

On the other hand, because they do excel at an early age, gifted persons can become over-focused on one particular area of expertise. Family, friends, and teachers notice their abilities and encourage them to pursue that field. Before they know it, they end up on a career track at an early age. This can cut off creative thinking about other opportunities that might better suit their values and personality.

So whether you’ve jumped from one career to another and can’t find the right fit, or you’ve been stuck in the same old job for years, you might be ready for something new. Life is too short to have a career that leads to dissatisfaction, discontentment and boredom.

Over the years I’ve seen that many gifted adults find entrepreneurship to be the perfect solution. You may have heard that entrepreneurship is an incredibly challenging way of life. And that is true! It requires a drive, focus, and commitment that many people either don’t have, or aren’t willing to dedicate to a business. An entrepreneur needs to think outside the box and take risks.

It takes a special kind of person to make a success of entrepreneurship.

But the good news is that the special qualities needed to create a thriving business are exactly what make gifted adults great candidates for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs have to adapt to new markets, products, and trends quickly. Entrepreneurs are doing a million things all at the same time, trying to juggle all the parts of their business. They are master problem-solvers and love finding solutions for their business challenges.

So if you are a gifted adult ask yourself: Are you a quick learner? Can you spot trends and movements? Can you complete assignments quickly and efficiently? Do you thrive on solving problems and overcoming challenges? Are new skills usually easy  for you to learn?

Does entrepreneurship sound like it might be the challenge you’re looking for? Take these steps to start your course toward entrepreneurship:
  1. Look at your circumstances objectively. Don’t blame anyone else for pushing you into a career, not pushing you hard enough, or for doubting you. Don’t blame your “giftedness” either. You have the power to change yourself and your circumstances when you make a conscious decision to do so.
  2. Identify the right business for you. Maybe you’ve had business ideas in your head since you were a child. Great! Revisit and explore those childhood dreams. But also give yourself permission to explore. Look at the many different facets of yourself and listen to your intuition. Ask yourself: “What gives me energy?” “What brings me joy?” 
  3. Make a plan. A business plan will help you gain clarity, focus, and confidence. Write down your goals, strategies, and actions. 
  4. Work out the details. Consider your target audience. Secure funding. Build a support network. Get the word out about your product or service.

After years of rejection and misunderstanding, a gifted adult has much misinformation about his or herself that may even be described as a “false self.” Through psychotherapy and education about giftedness you can reclaim your true self, find meaning in life and quite possibly create a whole new business enterprise for yourself. If this is something you’d like to explore, I can help you. Please contact my office in Jantzen Beach to set up an appointment. If it is better for you, I also offer online therapy.

Cultivate Entrepreneurship in Your Gifted Child

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Do you have a gifted child? How can you tell if your child is gifted? Observe their behavior and consider these questions:

Is your child intense?

Is he/she a perfectionist?

Have teachers or school administrators identified your child as “gifted”?

Is your child an “underachiever”?

Is he/she rebellious?

Does your child show strong leadership skills?

 
Does your child tend to prefer adults or older children over same-age playmates?

Does your child “dumb-down” in order to fit in?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, you child would probably benefit from an individual intellectual and achievement evaluation by a qualified psychologist. Why is this important? Gifted children are fundamentally different and need help to learn social, interpersonal, and self-development skills. They need specific guidance and training.

It is interesting to note, however, that some of the very traits that make it more difficult for gifted children to relate to others can actually propel them to success as entrepreneurs. For example, we praise entrepreneurs for experimenting, doing things differently, and putting ideas together in ways that are unusual. Gifted children often possess these traits. While other children their age may not appreciate their out-of-the-box thinking, it will serve them well as they venture out on their own.

Consider, too, the focus of the gifted child. While they tend to have a wide range of interests, they are also able to zero in on the things that really pique their curiosity. They ask endless questions as they seek to understand everything they can on a particular topic. When a subject has captured their imagination, they have a long attention span and can concentrate intensely. Successful entrepreneurs similarly focus on, research, and develop a particular product or service. It is this focus that gives them an edge in the business world.

So how can you help utilize their gifts and cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in your child? Consider these four ways:

1. Give your child the freedom to explore their passions and dreams.
Many entrepreneurs started their business with a dream and little else. So let your child dream. Let them set lofty goals for themselves. As they show a passion for something, try to show them how them how it could develop into a business. Internal motivation is an absolute necessity for an entrepreneur to achieve success, so encourage your children to find out what motivates them.

2. Help your child develop their unique gifts, talents, and abilities. Observe your child in different settings and take note of the activities in which they excel. Then try to link those activities to business ideas and topics. For example, if your child is really good at Monopoly, you could relate their love of the game to real-world job possibilities in finance or real estate. These conversations present ideas and open up dialogue. It also gives you a chance to gauge your child’s reactions to the idea of entrepreneurship.

3. Help your children start a business. This could be as simple as a lemonade stand, or any small venture your child is interested in. Explain the basics of what it takes to purchase supplies, how to set things up to sell, and how to price your product. Your child will not come away from it knowing all the ins and outs of running a business, but they will likely have a new understanding and enthusiasm for seeing how they can create something and make a profit.

4. Let them fail. The path to successful entrepreneurship is not a straight one. There are highs and lows, successes and failures. So let your gifted child learn what it feels like to fail. They may take failure harder than other children, as perfectionism is a strong trait in gifted children, but it is something they need to learn as early as possible. Model for them how they can stand back up, dust themselves off, and move forward. This resilience will serve them well in the future.

Parenting is hard, no matter what kind of child you are blessed with. If you could use some support and want to learn some new techniques you can use with your own, unique children, please contact my Jantzen Beach office. I also offer online therapy if that would better fit your busy schedule.

Stay Positive - Limit Your Exposure to the 24-Hour News Cycle

Monday, November 13, 2017


Counteract the effect of constant, negative news on your mood and outlook by limiting your exposure.There’s no question that there is a lot of a bad stuff happening in the world today. While it isn’t often pleasant to think about, it is good to be aware of what's going on at local, national, and international levels. To get this information, we turn to the news. We listen to reports about crime, famine, war, political unrest, injustice, and terrorism. Simply hearing reports of people suffering is often enough to move us and touch our hearts.
 
But it is possible to watch too much news. Watching perpetually negative news can affect your mood, and your mood can go on to negatively affect your thinking and behavior. It can affect how you perceive events in your own life, how your brain remembers and processes memories, and how much you worry about your own specific problems. Have you noticed an increase in stress when you watch too much news?
 
Why does modern news reporting make us feel this way? Today, reporters don’t stop at simply reporting the news. They tend to sensationalize news stories. This happens when they emphasize any potential negative outcomes of a story, no matter how low the risk of those negative outcomes might be. In fact, I’ve been on the receiving end of sensationalized reporting and it can be incredibly harmful. (I’m putting the final touch on my new book where I reveal the whole story behind my negative PR experience. If you want to stay up-to-date with the release sign-up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook.)
 
This emotional, sensational way of presenting the news is a direct result of the 24-hour news coverage cycle that exists today. Journalists and reporters no longer have a few moments or one column in a newspaper to impartially report what is happening. The advent of the television and, especially the internet has created an environment where news is reported almost immediately. Everyone has access to the same story, the same visuals. So how does a journalist stand out? They begin to evaluate the story, in an effort to make it have a personal impact on each individual viewer.
 
Unfortunately, “evaluating” the story quickly turns into “sensationalizing” the story. And that is where the problem lies. When the news runs 24 hours a day, journalists quickly fill that time with emotional reports that no longer have a direct bearing on the original, informative story.

So if you have noticed that you are having trouble staying positive, try putting a limit on your news consumption. Don’t just leave the news on all night or check it every five minutes on your smartphone. Watch enough news to know what’s going on and stay informed, but once it moves past the main story and becomes more negative, turn it off.
 
What can you do instead? Here are some ideas:

  • Get out and exercise. I’ve shared the link between exercise and mental health many times. If you want to stay positive and push out negativity, moderate exercise is a great way to do it.

  • Educate yourself. Watch an educational program, download a language-learning app, or practice a new skill.

  • Spend time with family and friends. How long has it been since you had a really in-depth conversation with a loved one? When we make these connections and have real conversations, they refresh us and help us stay positive.

  • Read a book. Reading is a great stress-reliever, helping your efforts to stay positive. Just make sure to choose reading material that is uplifting, rather than depressing.

No matter how you choose to fill your time, the important thing is to not allow negative news broadcasts exacerbate your own stress and anxiety. If you have taken the above steps, and you still struggle with negative thoughts, there could be a deeper problem. Please contact my office in Jantzen Beach to schedule an appointment. I can help you pinpoint where your negativity is coming from, and guide you to enjoying a more optimistic outlook. If you live out of the area, I also offer online therapy.

How to Find a Good Online Therapist

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


If you choose to pursue online therapy, there are specific steps you must take to ensure you work with a licensed therapist who can truly help you reach your goals.So you want to begin therapy. This is a worthwhile investment in yourself. As you examine different therapy options, you may conclude that online therapy is best for you. Maybe it is challenging to find someone in your area who can effectively help you, or perhaps your busy schedule makes it difficult to make it to a therapist’s office on a regular basis.
 
The wonders of technology have made it possible to find and get anything with the click of a button. Finding a therapist online has never been easier. Unfortunately, it has also never been easier for people to disguise who they really are and make claims that are unfounded or outright false. There are many so-called “therapists” online who lack the education, experience, and certifications to genuinely help you.
 
So what can you do? Make sure to follow these steps as you research online therapists:

  1. Verify their license. Did you know that the terms “therapist” and “psychotherapist” are not legally protected words in most states? This means anyone can claim to be a therapist and offer therapy services. A licensed therapist is trained and qualified to practice, and they are held to high standards of conduct. This is also gives you recourse if there are problems with your treatment. So make sure to check their license. A quick phone call or email to obtain the license number will do the trick. In most states you can verify the information online. And if they get defensive, that’s a big red flag!
  2. Ensure the site or app is HIPAA-compliant and secure. The beauty of therapy is that clients have a safe, private space to share their most personal stories, thoughts, and emotions. Privacy is an absolute necessity. So when looking at an online therapist, check that their website or app platform is completely secure. At minimum it should comply with HIPAA standards for patient privacy and confidentiality.
  3. Interview the therapist. Make sure you are comfortable with them and that their therapy style and personality work for you. Chat with them for a while to ensure they have the qualities you particularly need or value in a therapist. Also, take a look at what you see on your screen. Are they in a professional, private location or are they in a coffee shop? Are they dressed professionally? Is the camera adjusted where you can see them clearly or does it look like they are doing this for the first time?
  4. Ask questions. You are a paying customer. You have the right to understand the therapy offered and to clarify information that will influence your experience. Ask any and all questions you need to make an informed and comfortable decision.
  5. Trust your instincts. If, after following the above steps, you still don’t feel comfortable with them, trust your gut and move on! To get the most out of your therapy you have to feel completely comfortable and safe. Do what it takes to find that safe space with an online therapist.

I offer online therapy and have found many clients love the convenience of meeting with me from the comfort of their own home. In order to protect your confidentiality, I utilize HIPAA-compliant software. I also always conduct sessions in the privacy of my office. Note that online therapy is only available if you live in Oregon, Washington, or abroad. For patients in any other state, I offer remote education services. And please feel free to ask any questions!


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