Watch this video with Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes to learn a bit more about Addiction.
Note: If you are feeling suicidal or your depression is severe, contact a health professional immediately or dial 911 to be taken to your nearest emergency room. Online videos are not a substitute for the assessment and advice of a licensed healthcare professional.
Watch this video with Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes to learn a bit more about Addiction.
Counseling can be very intimidating for people, so in the next few paragraphs we will take a look at what happens in the therapy room.
Okay, so first, there may be a couch, but that is usually to provide seating for multiple people (i.e. your spouse or family) if they come for a group session. Most therapists these days do not expect you to lie down, nor talk about your mother. Counseling in the 21st century usually involves one of two broad approaches. The Rogerian approach is what most people think of when they envision counseling. The thought is that if people are provided with a safe, nonjudgmental environment in which to explore their feelings, they will be able to identify and resolve their own issues. This process takes more or less time depending on how long it takes to create that safety and how directive your therapist is.
The second approach is cognitive behavioral or CBT. CBT is focused on 1) What is going well and not so well in the present, 2) What does the resolution to the problem look like, and 3) What steps need to be taken to get there. While people’s past is important, because it has shaped who they are and how they view the world, the focus is on identifying (and maybe changing) how the past is impacting the person in the present. CBT deals in facts, evidence and rational thought. Many of the things we tell ourselves we must, should or can never do are good life lessons that have morphed into something irrational. To top it off, most people are depleting the energy needed for dealing with stress by not sleeping well, eating poorly and not exercising. In most cases, the first steps are the most basic. People need to start taking care of themselves and making one or two small changes in their attitude.
For example, Tom comes to counseling because he is totally stressed out and feels like he cannot do anything right. Tom’s therapist might ask him what it is he hopes would be different if he were doing *everything* right. She might point out that he seems to be holding himself to an unreasonably high standard, and would he hold his son to that same standard? What would happen if his son failed to meet that standard? Would it impact their relationship? She might also ask him to identify one or two things that he feels he must be good at, and focus on doing those things right. (Once that happens he loses the argument that he cannot do *anything* right). She will probably also ask him to start trying to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and walking his dog for 20 minutes each night after dinner.
Okay, so you get the idea, Rogerian tends to be more conversational and free flowing, CBT is much more directive, active and problem focused. So why use one over the other? Different people process things in different ways. I am a therapist’s worst nightmare, because I need both. When I am struggling with something, I want my feelings acknowledged, then I can go about the business of problem solving. My husband, on the other hand, just wants to get down to business. He figures the sooner the problem is solved, the sooner he will feel better. Meanwhile, my best friend is one of those people who needs to talk about her feelings and use a therapist (or me) as a sounding board.
But is that all there is? No, after all the talking comes the case notes. You know, the secret stuff doctors write in people’s medical record that they do not think they are supposed to see. Let me be the first to tell you that you have every right to see those. I usually spend the last 10 minutes of the session writing them together with my patient. Why? Because it serves as a good summation of what we talked about, and then there is no mystery. My job is to help people learn why they may be feeling or reacting in a certain way, provide them the tools to better understand themselves and help them fix negative reactions/behaviors. It is not magic. Just like a mechanic can hear an engine hum and tell you volumes, so can a therapist hear what you are saying. I could learn to be a mechanic, but I don’t really want to. You could learn to be a therapist, but let’s start with listening to yourself first.
Gainesville-NOVA Counseling now has counselors in Manassas, Tyson’s Corner and Fairfax who strive to make mental health and substance abuse counseling convenient, effective, and even anonymous. We understand your busy lifestyle may make it hard to go to a counseling appointment each week, or you may be afraid that your career will be jeopardized if anyone finds out that you are seeking counseling services. DUI, DWI, Substance Abuse and Mental Health assessments can usually be done within 24 hours, and you can be enrolled in outpatient or intensive outpatient services that same day.
Our outpatient services are available six days a week, including Saturdays and evenings by appointment. We address addiction, anxiety, anger, adult and child ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, grief, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), stress, and Trauma/PTSD. Our clinical director, Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes also specializes in working with persons in law enforcement and the military. We use a solution focused, cognitive-behavioral approach to help you set goals, develop a plan and begin working toward a happier life.
- Assessment: $150
- Individual Counseling Appointments (In the office or via video conferencing): $85/50 minute session
- Intensive Outpatient Services $250 per week during phase 1 and $150 per week during phases 2 and 3. IOP Groups meet on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30pm-8pm. If you cannot attend in person, you have the option of attending via video conferencing with Skype.
- Written reports for court or probation officers: $30/per page
- Court Testimony for sentence mitigation: $1000 per half day, includes preparation time.
- Expert witness services: $1850 nonrefundable retainer.
Our individual, group and intensive outpatient etherapy/online counseling uses a secure, encrypted video stream to provide face-to-face services for addiction, anxiety, depression or PTSD within the comfort of your own home. All you need is a computer with a webcam (it does not have to be an expensive one), and DSL or better internet connection. Logging in is easy. You go to a page on the internet and login using whatever screen name you choose and a password that will be emailed to you when you sign up for the program. Dr. Snipes and her staff look forward to the opportunity to help you!
At Gainesville-NOVA Counseling, our counselors use motivational interviewing and cognitive therapy to help people start to rapidly experience improvements. We believe that each person’s thoughts, actions and physical health are all inter-related. If you are sick, you are probably not interested in nurturing your friendships or trying to deal with you anxiety or depression. People need to be physically healthy (more or less) to have the energy to nurture relationships, do pleasurable things and cope with the stresses of daily life. Once you are rested, nourished and reasonably healthy, then you will be much more motivated to focus on the rest. We encourage people to see their doctor to make sure that their anxiety or depression does not have a physical foundation such as hypo or hyper thyroid, polycystic ovarian syndrome or diabetes. Our counselors will work with you to identify what you want to change…that is, what needs to be different for you to be happy? From there, we will help you identify steps you might take.
Our counselors typically do not spend a lot of time focusing on the past. (Although in some cases that may be appropriate). Instead, we look at how the past has made you who you are and influences you today—for better or worse. Then we help you turn those tragedies into triumphs. During the first session, you will develop a service plan. This will serve as the road map for future sessions. Your initial course of treatment will last between 6 and 10 weeks. At that point, you will reassess your progress and decide whether continued services are necessary.