Category Archives: Resource

Love does not Hurt: Recognizing the Signs of Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence is an issue that is both prevalent and is a concern of personal and community safety. IPV is also known as Domestic Violence. Let us discuss some statistics, risk factors and community resources that are available. It is quite possible the many of us know someone who has been affected by IPV at some point in his/her life.

According to the CDC, “Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. The term ‘intimate partner violence’ describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.”

Statistics (provided by CDC.gov and PADV.org)
• “ONE IN THREE teens report knowing a peer who has experienced punching, slapping, kicking, choking or other violence by a partner.
• INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE occurs in same sex relationships at the same rates it occurs in heterosexual relationships.
• ONE IN FOUR women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
• About 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of IPV-related impact.
• Over 43 million women and 38 million men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”

The main tenets of an abusive/violent relationship is centered around the abuser/offender exerting control in efforts to maintain power over the other. Examples of IPV include: Physical violence (e.g. hitting, kicking, shoving, etc.); Sexual violence (coercion or attempt at forced partner participation within a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual without partner giving or being capable of consent); Stalking (e.g. “a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.”); & Psychological aggression (e.g. emotional abuse can be verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm or exert control over another).

According to Partnership Against Domestic Violence, a few of the warning signs of DV are phrased in the following questions to ask yourself with regard to your partner. Does your partner…
–make you afraid of them?
–make fun of you in front of your family or friends?
–put down your accomplishments or goals?
–use force or threats to make you do what he/she wants?
–treat you roughly – grab, push, shove or hit you?
–constantly call or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?
–blame you for how he/she feels or acts?
–call you bad and hurtful names?
–try to control what you do, who you see and when?

HELP IS AVAILABLE!
If you are in immediate danger or in need of emergency assistance, dial 911.

Partnership Against Domestic Violence Crisis Lines (404) 873-1766 V/TTY

The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) provides education of the public and advocacy for those impacted by IPV/DV. Georgia’s state-wide domestic violence hotline is 1-800-33-HAVEN (42836).

National Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)

Love is Respect (https://www.loveisrespect.org/)

You should always seek help from a professional: therapist, counselor, doctor, etc. and/or community resource. Other resources for other specialized groups such as those with disabilities, men, teens, and more can be found at community resources such as CDC and PADV. In addition, you may learn how to organize a safety plan and speak to someone during a crisis or planned exit from an abusive relationship. Remember you are not alone, please seek professional help. The offenders often isolate their partners to ensure control. Don’t attempt to go at this alone. Reaching out to others can be the hardest thing, but most necessary if you are to get out of a violent relationship.

This article is to serve as a brief educational tool on a serious matter. Information therein should not be used to diagnose, treat or serve as medical advice. Always seek out community and professional resources to address your individual needs and circumstances. We at 1Alliance CPS are here to help as well. Thank you.

Resources:
www.padv.org
www.theduluthmodel.org/
www.cdc.gov
loveisrespect.org

What’s Your Word for the New Year?

During the end of a year and upon the precipice of another to come, people often reflect on what was and what their hopes and fears are for what will come. This can often be a crucial time of stress for some as they reflect on what did not happen or what went wrong. I would offer the reframe that this could be an opportunity for refreshment and a restart. Taken in retrospective review, one can have a realistic perspective of where one is and make goals to propel self into the future that is ultimately desired. But how does one combat fear in order to organize oneself for such an embarking adventure?

1) Define “better”. Everyone could possibly conceive what better is. In Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), this is the “miracle question,” the idea of envisioning oneself with the problem(s) solved? Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg are the therapists who are credited with the name and practice of SFT. “Suppose tonight, while you slept, a miracle occurred. When you awake tomorrow, what would be some of the things you would notice that would tell you life had suddenly gotten better?”

What would you be doing, feeling, thinking? How different would your life be? These are some of the questions that come to mind as I work with my clients. Answer those questions for yourself, right now. Get a sheet of paper and begin to write it down.

2) Goal-Setting is taking what is imagined as “better” and creating goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive, or otherwise known as S.M.A.R.T. This acronym was commonly associated with “Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept.” The first known use of the term occurs in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. Since then, Professor Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) has advised of a greater expansion of the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.

Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).”
The progress should be monitored and re-evaluated in order to assure compliance with ultimate goal(s) and to update due to circumstances that can influence one’s process while creating space for additional feedback. Some authors have expanded it to include extra focus areas, that is “SMARTER, for example, includes Evaluated and Reviewed” for this reason.

3) For those who would like a more visual and artistic view of “better,” one could try use of Vision boards or setting a “Word” for the year. Vision board include pictures, words/phrases, and images to visualize the “better” in one’s mind on paper, poster board, etc. In setting a “Word” or words for the year, consider the values you’d like to embody for the next year. This sets a goal in mind for how to orchestrate your focus, attention, and puts into practice what behaviors, activities one chooses based on if it falls within the set goals/values of the year.

For example, consider the word: CONFIDENT. If one chose this word for the year, how might this impact how the person attacked their fears of success, healthy relationships, career aspirations, leisure and play. According to Acceptance and Commitment Therapist Russ Harris what we choose as our values are: “your heart’s deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being. Values are not about what you want to get or achieve; they are about how you want to behave or act on an ongoing basis.”

So consider this as you embark on the New Year. You can choose to focus on what you lost, what is broken, missing, and incomplete. OR You can choose to embrace the opportunity to persevere in spite of the losses. This requires a mindset shift from problems being non-existent in order to have a positive and engaging life. Some things are impossibilities. What you can do is choose to press through, not get over, but live through it. Whatever your “it” is, if it is too heavy for you alone, seek out help and resources in your community, family, and friends. There is no weakness in seeking help; there is only wisdom in that decision.
• Do not isolate. Let your friends and family in.
• Seek professional resources (therapist, crisis line, psychiatrist, primary doctor, for example).
• Exercise and eat healthy foods. Treat your body well.
• Find an activity that inspires you again (painting, journaling, sports, music, etc.)

Who knows? This could be your start to a better year! We at 1Alliance CPS wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

Resources:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-therapy/201001/cool-intervention-10-the-miracle-question
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
thehappinesstrap.com

Practicing Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Gratitude does not come easy and often is not the mind’s default way especially in times of crisis and change. Periods of transition can be hard because with change can come uncertainty of outcome. Fear of what’s to come can leave people anxious, stressed and zeroed into or tunnel vision about the identified problem(s). Often times, holidays can be triggering for points of increased depression, anxiety and loneliness, especially during a pandemic where recommendations are to be socially distant which feel/seem counter to our innate human need for connection but necessary for community-wide health for all. Here are some small, but significant ways to keep a positive undertone to your life during the holiday season in the midst of a pandemic.

1) Stay connected with friends, family and loved-ones. Even as you are socially distancing during the holidays, there may be ways to stay in touch with those you love. Examples: virtual meet-ups, Facetime calls, drive-thru visits, etc.

2) Beware of idle time. Idle minds are the breeding grounds for wandering thoughts that can increase negative feelings and thoughts. Identify and implement coping activities of interests in order to occupy your time and give your mind productive focus: journaling, talking to a friend, listening to music, art, exercise, games, volunteering, etc.

3) Make a gratitude list or keep a gratitude journal. Bringing your focus and awareness to positive things in your life, such as your character assets, emotional and physical resources, and any other supports will foster a more positive outlook and highlight your strengths even in dismal situations.

4) Identify your personal values. Do you value self-development, fitness, authenticity, connection, adventure, forgiveness, for example? Make sure that your values are tangibly represented in various aspects of your life (e.g. career, personal health, relationships, etc). According to Acceptance Commitment Therapy, those that live their lives in accordance with their values tend to be more satisfied with their lives. Find productive ways to engage your body, mind, emotions, and spirit that is affirmative and encouraging.

5) If you are having difficulty with this holiday season, please reach out for further support. Speak to a counselor, your doctor, and/or loved-ones. Don’t isolate and keep silent. If you are in crisis, remember there are services available during the holidays and 24/7 that allow for anonymity and promote safety. See below:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255    https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Georgia Crisis and Access Line: 1-800-715-4225 https://behavioralhealthlink.com/services/crisis-contact-center/

Other Resources:
Mental Health America of Georgia: https://www.mhageorgia.org/getting-help/

National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://namiga.org/

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Treatment Locator: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-treatment

From our practice to you, Happy Thanksgiving! Have a safe holiday.

World Mental Health Day—October 10, 2020

This day was first observed as an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy in 1992. This day is to highlight issues of social stigma as a result of those struggling with mental health conditions and reduce the societal determinants as the catalysts for such conditions. This particular year, our world has seen unprecedented amounts of violence against people of color, discrimination, poverty and income disparities, issues of immigration, lack of access to healthcare, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic to name a few. This has brought a sense of unrest in the United States and the world.  The World Federation for Mental Health is a global mental health organization that has members in over 150 countries.  In some countries there is a full week to observe. This day is also supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an agency with the initiative to address issues of international public health.   Each year, the World Federation for Mental Health selects a theme to focus on. This year’s theme is “Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access,” with a focus on the basic human right for quality and accessible health care for everyone.

Their recent “Call to Action” enlisted the following calls:
“1. Recognize and respond to racism in all its forms as a threat
to health and well-being across the lifespan.
2. Stimulate and accelerate efforts to achieve the SDG targets
3. Invest in social and behavioral interventions.
4. Ensure access to quality and affordable mental health care
and primary care.”

For more information on how to be apart of the solution, check out the World Federation for Mental Health website: https://wfmh.global/

“You can also join a virtual March for Mental Health on [October 9-10, 2020 as] the World Federation for Mental Health will join partners around the world to March for Mental Health. A 24-hour Facebook live-stream will feature rallying content from expert voices, lived experience and influencers.”

We are looking for professionals at our Alpharetta location

We are looking for professionals that have a Georgia LPC or LCSW license to work in our Alpharetta location. Fluent Portuguese is a big plus, but not mandatory.

If you are looking for a job that provides:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Digital process – Minimal paperwork
  • Mobile – Access phone and information from work, home and anywhere with internet service.
  • Great Location
  • No need to deal with billing and insurance panel bureacracy

1 AllianceCPS may be a good match for you.

Apply now at: https://www.1alliancecps.com/apps/jobs/therapist.php

ALCOHOL: HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

April is “Alcohol Awareness Month.”

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), some warning signs of alcohol abuse include: 

  • Drinking alone when angry or sad
  • Being late to work due to drinking
  • Forgetting what you did while drinking
  • Often having a hangover after drinking

If you suspect that you might have a drinking problem, or you know someone who abuses alcohol, check to see if your resources for treatment such as SAMHSA’s treatment facility locator at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/, employee assistance program (EAP) provided by your employer, and feel free to contact us.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HealthStart

New Secure Messaging System

1 Alliance CPS is proud to introduce our new Secure Messaging System.

You can send a secure message directly to your therapist via our website under the Contact Us – Messaging.

This is part of our constant effort to be available to you and easily accessed. We continue to improve our website to fit your needs. Please keep in mind this is a  Beta version and feel free to provide us with any feedback.

Thank you for choosing 1 Alliance CPS!