The Advantages of Online Therapy

The Advantages of Online Therapy

Healthy Living

While you might be aware that some psychologists perform psychotherapy sessions online, you might not be aware of the advantages that this mode provides.

Practical Advantages

  • The client can participate in the session from any location that allows for privacy and an Internet connection. When Internet connectivity is not good, the session can occur via a phone call.
  • Therapy is accessible to those who reside far from a good-fit therapist.
  • A person who has difficulty leaving home due to a disability or due to a lack of transportation can participate.
  • Avoiding a drive to and from a professional office means avoiding stressful and dangerous traffic conditions.
  • A client might not have to take leave from work in order to attend an appointment.
  • The contagion of a head cold would not prevent the therapy session from occurring.
  • Clients who have children are not limited by the availability of babysitters. A marriage therapy couple might be able to leave their school-aged children in the next room for an hour in the evening in order to engage in marriage therapy.
  • Clients who frequently travel are able to keep their therapy sessions.
  • In marriage therapy or family therapy, if one family member is away, the session may be held with multi-user videoconferencing.

Therapeutic Advantages.

  • A client who is uncomfortable disclosing personal matters might find it easier to disclose when the therapist is not sitting in the same room.
  • A client might feel more relaxed at home, making it easier to engage in therapy.

The Session Format. In my practice, at the appointment time, the client and I each connect to the meeting through the user-friendly website of a company that is a major provider of videoconferencing services. That company’s videoconferencing service is certified as HIPAA-compliant, which means that the transmissions meet high standards for security. For about an hour, we engage in discussion of the client’s concerns and issues. Typically, the session ends with a plan for the client to take certain actions before the next session, which will typically be one or two weeks afterwards.  My approach tends to be solution-oriented with an emphasis on skill development.

To explore the opportunities to participate in online therapy in our faith-based practice, please visit our website at www.crosswalknow.com, call our office at 334-744-3694, or email us at office@crosswalknow.com.

-Dr. Thomas Maple

Dr. Maple is an Alabama-licensed psychologist and the founder of Crosswalk Psychological Services, LLC.  His clinical background includes work in private practice and in university clinics. Born and raised in the Birmingham area, he now resides in Auburn with his wife and his two daughters.

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City Scene: University of Montevallo’s Counseling Program & Community Grief Support

City Scene: University of Montevallo’s Counseling Program & Community Grief Support

Tools to Minister to those Grieving Loss to Suicide

“Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. Each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide. For every suicide death, twenty-five persons attempt suicide.” – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Want to learn more about how to help those grieving loss to suicide? The University of Montevallo’s Counseling Program and Community Grief Support are co-sponsoring a continuing education workshop on “Suicide & Grief” on Thursday, March 23, at Riverchase United Methodist Church in Hoover. The objectives of the workshop include:

  • A review of relevant grief models and styles of coping and mourning
  • Becoming acquainted with basic information about bereavement survivorship and care
  • A review of the history of attitudes about suicide over the last 2,500 years
  • Learning about the recent views of suicide from the point of view of multiple world religions
  • A deeper understanding of the distinctions between suicide as compared to other losses
  • Receiving an ethics update, plus resources and prevention tools to activate appropriate referrals and intervention when suicide warnings appear.

The workshop is designed primarily for those in the caring professions such as Licensed Professional Counselors, Associate Licensed Counselors, Licensed Social Workers, Nurses, Clergy, and Funeral Home staff.  Continuing education credits will be provided for the counselors, social workers, and nurses, for the cost of $100 which will include breakfast and a boxed lunch. Clergy and funeral home staff are invited for the cost of $25 to cover meals. Students with ID’s will be admitted for a charge of $50.

The speakers at the workshop will include Judith A. Harrington, Ph.D., LPC, and LMFT and a professor at the University of Montevallo. Harrington has been very involved in suicide prevention after facilitating a suicide bereavement group for fourteen years. She has implemented grants for Alabama’s suicide prevention initiatives, and serves on the Alabama Suicide Prevention Resources Coalition (ASPARC). She has provided numerous trainings at the local, state, and national levels and served for five years on the Standards, Training and Practices committee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Also speaking on the topic of grief and suicide, will be Community Grief Support Clinical Director Steve Sweatt, LPC/LMFT. He is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 35 years of experience. He directs CGS programs and services, counsels clients and supervises contract counselors and volunteers. Sweatt’s expertise encompasses grief counseling for individuals, couples and families, as well as crisis intervention. He trained in bereavement counseling with Dr. Alan Wolfelt at the Center for Loss and Transition in Fort Collins, CO. He is an ordained Baptist minister and served as a hospital chaplain for more than 17 years. He earned Master’s degrees from the University of Montevallo and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

A continental breakfast and check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the workshop will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15pm. For more information or to register, contact the CGS office at 205-870-8667. †

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Healthy Living

Presented by: Henderson & Walton Women’s Center P.C.

The Journey to a Better Body

At Henderson and Walton Women’s Center, P.C., we think of our patients as family. So when one of our family members does something extraordinary, we can’t help but brag. We hope Sheree Reeves journey of overcoming her struggle with her weight inspires you as much as it does us to choose a healthy lifestyle.

 

Healthy Living Henderon Walton Sheree Reeves before and after_weight loss

Through her determination and forgiving herself every time she sidetracked, Henderson Walton patient, Sheree Reeves, lost over 110 lbs.

We all have a breaking point. The point where circumstances collide to give us the realization that what we are doing is not working. For a lot of women like Sheree Reeves, who struggle with their weight, the realization deals with making healthy choices. Reeves, 40, married with two children, came face to face with her breaking point two years ago, when her mother fell ill. Watching what her mother was going through opened Sheree’s eyes to the fact that her lifestyle didn’t just need to change, but had to change. Not only did she need to start making healthy choices for herself, but also needed to make them for her family. Sheree’s children did not have weight issues, but with the family history of heart disease and diabetes, she knew that looking healthy does not mean that you are. Sheree took action.

Nutrition. Sheree had used several weight loss programs before, but none of them worked for her. So Sheree did what most people do, looked at the internet. In her case it was the app store. There Sheree found her best sidekick/tool for her weight loss journey, the MyFitnessPal app. With it, she could plug in her calorie intake, set goals, track her steps, and find restaurants. Her favorite part of MyFitnessPal is the bar code tool. All you have to do is go to the store, scan the bar code using the app, and it will give the health information needed for you to continue your healthy choices. Sheree’s daily routine is to have three light meals, and throughout the day snack on healthier foods. Her meals consist of high protein such as salmon, tuna, and grilled chicken. Her snacks include apples and peanut butter, fiber bars, and pretzels. Her favorite snack is sunflower seeds. Not only are they delicious, but she can control the amount she eats by snacking on the ones with the shells. It takes her a longer time to eat them, because she has to take each out of the shell.

Exercise. Sheree admitted that going to the gym to exercise was not in her plan, she does however work exercise into her daily routine. She says all she knew was that she had to keep moving. She thought of different ways to move. For example on her break she would take the stairs to the third floor instead of using the break room on the first floor, where she was located.

Forgive & Move On. “Life is going to get in the way, but don’t let that stop you from making healthy choices. It’s about preservation and perseverance. You will have a bad day. Maybe you decide to stuff yourself with a heavy calorie burger. It’s okay,” Sheree says, “just don’t let your bad day turn into a bad week. Forgive yourself for the choices you’ve made, move on to the next day, and make the right choice for yourself. Find out what works for you!” Sheree reminds readers, that everyone is different, so their diet will be as well. Lastly, Sheree emphasizes that you are never done. Maintaining a healthy life is going to be a constant challenge throughout your entire life but it’s worth it. Sheree says now when she takes trips with her family to places like Disney World, she’s not constantly worrying about if she’s not going to fit in the seat or slow her family down. She’s more active now. She’s not weighed down by the worries of what people think of her. She’s not going to be afraid of going swimming in her bathing suit. Her choice of being and staying healthy for her and her family has changed her life in the happiest of ways.

The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are advocates of educating women regarding healthy lifestyle choices and we applaud our patients, like Sheree Reeves, who are examples of it!†

Henderson Walton MD GROUP PIC

The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are accepting new patients in their Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman, Gadsden, Jasper and Tuscaloosa locations. Call 1-800-264-1075 to make your appointment. Visit www.hwwc.net to learn more about the practice, physicians, and services offered and why they have been voted BEST PRACTICE for the 4th consecutive time!

 

 

 

 

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Best Books

Roots and Sky

Best Books Roots and Sky_Purifoy May 16I am not an outdoors kind of person. After being outside for fifteen minutes, I’m usually done. I don’t hunt or fish or hike mountains. And I certainly don’t plant gardens. That’s why this month’s book selection is somewhat ironic. In Roots and Sky (Revell Publishing, $13.99), author Christie Purifoy chronicles a year at Maplehurst, an old Victorian farmhouse in Pennsylvania. She writes about Christmas snows and summer squash, of starry nights and Advent scriptures, of soil and seeds and the kingdom of heaven. I may not love the outdoors, but I love beautiful writing, and Roots and Sky is a true work of artistry.

Rather than write a paragraph extolling the wonders of Roots and Sky, I have decided to simply share a few sentences with you.

Best Books Roots and Sky Author Image Christie Purifoy“This spring day rings with joy…Filled to the brim with joy, I know that the kingdom of heaven is in our midst. I know that the earth, once lost to sin and death and darkness, is returned to us. And to God, its rightful King…Not fully perhaps. Night still cast its shadow. Yet that shadow is shrinking steadily. One day it will disappear altogether, and this Easter joy will be everything. Then we will know what we have only glimpsed, what we have only tasted here and there. We will know we have come home.”

My soul doesn’t sing when I see a sunset or hear rolling thunder. Nature doesn’t usually inspire me to proclaim the greatness of God. Like Mary at the Annunciation, my heart is most prone to magnify the Lord when I encounter marvelous words. Perhaps that’s why when I read passages like the above quote from Roots and Sky, I want to whisper, “Magnificat anima mea Dominum” to the world.

My soul doth magnify the Lord, indeed.


– Darrel Holcombe, Owner 

Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts

Colonial Promenade, Alabaster

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Parenting Points

The Spring in Your Soul

Right now we are witnessing a miraculous transformation. We see it every year when the seasons transition from winter to spring. Everything that has been bare and brown bursts with life and color. Places that were cold and hard soften, allowing new life to take root and grow. In short, we see death give way to life.

For this reason, spring is a great example of what God does in our hearts, cultivating life. The Father replaces our stony, cold hearts, with a heart warm and soft. We are exposed to the full bright life giving light of the Son, Jesus Christ. We are nourished by the fellowship we enjoy with Christ and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Holy Spirit waters the dry, parched, and cracked places in our souls creating rivers of living water to overflow from our hearts. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bring forth life and growth where there was once only death.

Use the natural phenomenon and processes we see like Spring to help teach your children the unseen truths of God and our hearts. Here are a four ideas to help you get started:

  1. As you go on walks and see birds and other animals, point out how it is God who provides their food and shelter, and that God does the same for us.(Matthew 6:25-34).
  2. As you see trees grow new leaves and flowers bud and bloom, use these examples of new life to illustrate how we need new life to grow in our hearts and only God can plant and cause that new life to happen.
  3. Have your children help pull weeds around flowers, teaching them the difference between the good plants and the weeds. Use the weeds to illustrate how we need to have sin pulled out of our hearts.
  4. Read the following Scripture with your children and discuss what God does for us: Ezekiel 36:26, John 1:9-13, John 7:37-39

Parenting Points Head Shot Drew Phillips_Byline picCov Classical Schools and Daycare-Drew Phillips, Chaplain 

Covenant Classical Schools & Daycare

To learn more about Covenant Classical Schools visit www.ccslion.com 

 

 

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Healthy Living

The Heart of the Matter- The Signs & Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women & Ways to Reduce Your Risk

Every minute in the United States, someone’s wife, mother, daughter or sister dies from heart disease, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). woman doctor heart healthMore than one in three women is living with CVD, including nearly half of all African-American women and 34 percent of white women. Although heart disease death rates among men have steadily declined over the last 25 years, rates among women have fallen at a slower rate. One challenge is that the heart disease symptoms in women can be different from symptoms in men. Fortunately, women can take steps to understand their unique symptoms of heart disease and to begin to reduce their risk of heart disease.

Symptoms. The most common heart attack symptom in women is some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But it’s not always severe or even the most prominent symptom, particularly in women. Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain such as neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort; shortness of breath; nausea or vomiting; sweating; lightheadedness or dizziness. The symptoms are often more subtle than the obvious crushing chest pain often associated with heart attacks. This may be because women tend to have blockages not only in their main arteries, but also in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Risk Factors: Although the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — affect women and men, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. For example metabolic syndrome has a greater impact on women than on men, mental stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than men’s, smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than in men, and low levels of estrogen after menopause increase the risk of heart attack. Women under the age of 65 who have a family history of heart disease should pay particularly close attention to the heart disease risk factors. The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease, but women of all ages should be concerned about it.

Prevention: Take steps to prevent heart disease by practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week, maintain a healthy weight, quit or don’t start smoking, and eat a diet that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.

The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are advocates of educating women regarding their risks for cardiovascular disease and knowing their family history. If you are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease, talk to your physician and make the appropriate lifestyle changes to ensure that you will be on the road to a healthy life.

Henderson Walton MD GROUP PIC

 

  • The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are accepting new patients in their Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman, Gadsden, Jasper and Tuscaloosa locations. Call 1-800-264-1075 to make your appointment. Visit hwwc.net to learn more about the practice, physicians, services offered and why they have been voted BEST PRACTICE for the 4th consecutive time!

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Parenting Points

4 Tips to Leading Your Child toward Good Decision Making

Good decision making is not a skill with which we are born. We can look back at examples from our past when we made very poor decisions that were not properly thought out and the unfortunate consequences that accompanied those decisions. There are two very real reasons for the lack of prudence children and teens show in their decision making. One reason is biological and the other is spiritual.

Biologically, the part of our brain used to reason and weigh outcomes, the prefrontal cortex, does not fully develop until we reach our mid 20’s. Research indicates it is one of the last regions of our brain to fully develop. On the other hand, the part of our brain that controls our response to pleasure is fully developed by age 13.

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So when we see our children and teens making decisions that seem totally void of thought or reason, there are actual biological reasons this may occur. The main reason prudence is a struggle for all of us is our sin nature. Sin infects all that we do. We don’t automatically choose to define what is right and wrong based on God’s definitions of right and wrong, but based on what is best for “me.” Sin takes our focus and attention away from God, the source of all things good, and turns it on ourselves.

As parents, we need the love of Christ to combat both the biological and the spiritual roadblocks to prudence. We need to show Christ’s love and grace as our children learn prudence and we need His love in our own hearts to lead them into the realm of good decision making. Here are four keys to help develop godly prudence in your children.

  1. Demonstrate prudence for your children.
  2. Affirm your children when they make good decisions.
  3. When they make poor decisions, help your children think through other options they had and see how the consequences could have been different.
  4. Above all, train your children to seek what is right in the character and nature of Christ as He is revealed in Scripture.

Parenting Points Head Shot Drew Phillips_Byline pic

-Drew Phillips, Chaplain 

Covenant Classical Schools & Daycare

To learn more about Covenant Classical Schools visit www.ccslion.com

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Encouraging Word

The Ultimate Planner

The word PLAN is defined as design; procedure; or purpose. We know God is very organized and orderly. We see from creation He is detailed. He has a master plan. Genesis 1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth. God also has individual plans for His people. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare (to bless you) and not for calamity (harm) to give you a future and a hope.”

God’s plan began by giving us life. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Following our physical birth, God desires that we experience spiritual birth. John 3:3 says, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’“ II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” A part of the new spiritual life is both a fullness (to be complete) of life (John 10:10); and eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). To experience the spiritual life we need to respond to God’s call to salvation; call to sanctification (process of spiritual growth); and call to Christian service.

Be encouraged, God has a plan for you. However, you must receive and follow His plan. His plans are to bless you and give you hope, a future and a fullness of life.

Tony Cooper

Tony Cooper 

In his 26th Year of Service as Exe. Dir.,

Jimmie Hale Mission

www.jimmiehalemission.com

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Mission Makers

GriefShare Offers Hopegrief-share-logo

If you’ve lost a spouse, parent, child, or family member, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never before faced.

For almost 25 years, GriefShare has been providing a friendly, caring group of people to walk alongside those who are grieving. GriefShare is a Christ centered ministry and a product of The Church Initiative, Inc. in Wake Forest, N.C. It is one of the most widely acclaimed and highly successful grief recovery programs of its kind and has support groups in our area, including Hoover and Trussville. Trained facilitators, who have experienced this kind of grief themselves, guide participants and provide tools and resources necessary to move forward. Pete Jackson is a local GriefShare leader and facilitator who lost his wife of 34 years due to a sudden and massive hemorrhagic stroke and went through the program himself. “Although all of us at some time or another will face this difficult situation, we are never fully prepared. Losing my wife was similar to a 9/11 experience. Something you never get over completely, changing your life from that point forward, but you learn to live with,” says Jackson adding, “You simply adjust to what we call ‘the new normal’. That’s what GriefShare can do for those suffering from such a loss and it will be done in a safe, secure, loving and confidential environment with a group of others that have experienced similar loses.” Jackson is the group facilitator for GriefShare meetings at Faith Presbyterian Church on Valleydale Road. See Support Groups on page 28 for more details about this GriefShare group and others in the Birmingham area.

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