Friday, January 22, 2016

Great article on the differences between Reunification Therapy and Supervised Visitation

At the Carlsbad Counseling Center we have many departments and services. We offer counseling to individuals, couples, families and children, we also have our psycho-education department that offers many court required classes in parenting and other areas and our mediation department allows people to work out agreements privately related to both marital and custody issues as well as working with those in the business community. The areas that have the most cross over and confusion are Reunification Therapy (introducing or reintroducing a parent and child in a safe therapeutic environment) and Professional Supervised Visitation (having a trained professional monitor to ensure and create a safe environment for the non custodial parent and child to have a visit.) .
Many courts continue to request Therapeutic Supervised Visitation. Unfortunately the courts have not caught up with the changes and guidelines for visitation. Many psychotherapists are trained visitation monitors, we bring our clinical skills, experience and training to the role of monitor, this allows a greater awareness of issues that may arise in the visit, mental illness, drug and alcohol behavior, personality dynamics and an understanding of intervening when appropriate. Visitation is NEVER therapy. In the state of California the guidelines are clear.
The distinction between Reunification Therapy and Supervised Visitation is blurry but the professionals that you are working with, must not only understand the difference but be appropriately trained in the legal, ethical and clinical differences and requirements.
The Carlsbad Counseling Center provides all of the above services, but they are different services and having the client understand the court request and at times getting clarity at the start of the process is very helpful.
Here is a great article that explains the difference. Please note the term Therapeutic Visitation is no longer valid but the information in this article is so helpful, I did want to  share it.
The difference between Reunification Therapy and Therapeutic Supervised Visitation.

Please contact the center if you have questions or are interested in any of our services.
phone: 760-434-9694 or email us.

Kendall Wagner, MFT
Clinical Director

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

NAMI Article about Ca. laws to keep Care Givers in the loop...

I work with several clients that have caregivers. Some due to mental health issues and others due to physical illness' or both. As a caregiver for my own parents in their final days, I was fortunate to have physicians that understood the family's role in their patients care and included me in the process and sought out my input. 
Many are not so lucky. In psychotherapy, we do honor confidentiality, yet it is important that the family is updated when issues of competence or changes in direction of treatment goals are made. 
NAMI (National Alliance on Mentally Ill) has worked to educate and legislate requiring hospitals to keep the primary caregiver in the loop. 

For many entering into psychotherapy or counseling, total confidentiality is required and always presumed. This is allowing in specific situations with the clients knowledge crucial information to be passed on to those that will ultimately be in charge of carrying out the Dr.'s orders.

Article on keeping caregivers in the loop as required by law.

If you are struggling with providing care to a loved one or if you yourself are struggling with emotional issues or family situations, please feel free to give the Carlsbad Counseling Center a call. We can help direct you to the best resources for your specific situation at no charge. We also provide individual and family counseling on a sliding scale. 
Kendall Wagner,MFT
(clinical director #31553)
1 760 434-9694
email us at:

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Physical Health and the emotional/social struggle to stay positive.

Over the last few years, the link between chronic illness and depression has received a lot of focus. Chronic and or extended illness can bring on a host of unexpected issues.
Loss of friends and social support
Many people are supportive at first, but they go on with their own lives or out of not knowing what to say start to avoid or exclude you.
Isolation (both needed for health and also not having the energy to go out)
This is not only due to loss of friends, but the effort it takes to go out, the medical issues that may arise when not in your own home with your supplies, fear of getting a virus from others and feeling like the costs outweighs the benefits.
Accepting new limits and loss of old physical activities
Even after the worst of an illness has passed or a new normal has been established, it is hard to mentally look at what you can do. On the outside others may expect you to be back to your old self. Physical illness takes it's toll and recovery does not always mean returning to your old activities. There is a season of grief and mourning that must be respected. Along with that , you must see and explore what you can do. New activities, social outings and other ways to challenge yourself.

Having a strong support network and positive mental attitude is key.. But that key can be hard to keep in sight.
1. Make sure you join a chronic pain or illness group. This can be done online and helps with the feelings of isolation, you can rally support and glean tips from others that are on your same path.
2. Make use of your psychotherapist or other mental health support, address depression, anxiety and isolation head on.. having a strong mental awareness and working on a positive outlook is a key to your physical healing and success.
3. See the long picture in positive terms, the negative issues as obstacles  that will be overcome.
4. Take advantage of modern technology,the  Internet can provide you with online live counseling, Facetime or Skyping with friends, join support groups and researching anything you are interested in.. (not just your illness).
5. Accepting your body with it's issues, allows you to focus on other parts of your life.

This is a very brief overview of tips to deal with chronic illness and having a positive mental outlook.
Carlsbad Counseling Center provides in person, online* and phone therapy* for those struggling with issues related to health, depression and other issues.
Carlsbad Counseling Center    ph: 1 760 434-9694
email: Kendall Wagner, MFT 

Carlsbad Counseling Center has been providing compassionate care since 1994.

*phone and online counseling is available to those living in the state of California by Kendall Wagner,MFT.