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When do you need counseling?

Posted: April 8, 2010 9:54 p.m.
Updated: April 9, 2010 4:55 a.m.
We all know stress is not good for us, either physically or mentally.

But how many of us feel like we can take the time away from our busy lives to talk to a trained professional about exactly what is worrying us or causing us undue anxiety in our lives?

Sometimes reaching a low point is what it takes.

This was the case for Manual, who felt like he was suffering from so many things, he had to reach out for help.

His self-esteem was nil after losing his job, the anxiety of this was causing friction in his relationship with his wife and children, and with nothing positive to focus on, he felt his chronic illness, hypertension, was only getting worse. His wife supported his decision to seek some counseling.

Counseling is not a magic cure and talking to a therapist once does not solve your problems overnight.

But counseling, even short term, can help to put problems in clearer perspective and offer step-by-step, reachable solutions.
An objective professional trained in the mental health field knows what to listen for and can bring some clarity to a stressful situation.

Counseling can be used to treat any number of issues, including stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, relationship problems, eating disorders, substance abuse, or dealing with a traumatic incident.

Samuel Dixon Family Health Center has embraced the chronic care model, in which the patient is active, engaged and assumes a leadership role.

We assess health care quality by patient behavioral/lifestyle changes and reduction of long-term morbidity. Because of this, we realize the importance of treating the whole patient, as physical health affects mental and emotional health.

We actively discover barriers to care and work with our patients to develop action plans and promote patients to the head of the health care team.

Founded more than 20 years ago, Samuel Dixon Family Health Center strives to ensure that all our friends and neighbors have access to affordable quality primary care. We make a special effort to serve the uninsured and under-insured residents of Santa Clarita Valley.

There are three Samuel Dixon Family Health Center locations in the Santa Clarita Valley: 30257 San Martinez Road, Val Verde, (661) 257-4008; 27225 Camp Plenty Road, #2, Canyon Country, (661) 424-1220; 23772 Newhall Ave. (formerly San Fernando Road), Newhall, (661) 291-1777.

Mary Ann Colf, MSW, LCSW, is the volunteer coordinator of the Brief Counseling Program for Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers Inc. She supervises two USC graduate students in social work.


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