COUNSELING SERVICES

Anger Management for Children, Teens & Adults


Anger is a common emotion that is experienced by all of us during certain times in our lives. Anger may also allow us to hide other emotions that make us uncomfortable such as fear, hurt, depression, etc. Some of us are able to effectively manage our anger and our reactions to it while others are consumed by their anger which creates a negative impact on their lives. Anger management counseling, whether in individual counseling or in classes, will teach you to recognize triggers to anger, thus giving you more time to think before you react to a person or a situation. You will also learn ways in which you can control these emotions, allowing for more positive outcomes and relationships.


Anxiety


Anxiety can be experienced in a variety of ways and in a number of situations. It can also be limited to specific things or people that make a person anxious. Some of the symptoms of anxiety include: racing heart, feeling overwhelmed, feelings of panic, shortness of breath, avoidance of situations and/or people that make the person feel anxious, etc. By working with one of our professional therapists, you can begin to understand the behaviors, emotions and ideas that contribute to your anxiety. You will learn coping techniques and problem solving skills that will lead to a greater sense of control and pleasure in your life.


Career Counseling & Workplace Issues


During our life there may be times when the work that is being done no longer provides satisfaction and we are faced with making a decision to change jobs or careers, re-enter the workforce after raising children, or recover from a job loss. It is during such time that unbiased professional guidance may be helpful. Our professional therapists will provide helpful self-assessments and job search skills and resources to help you make such an important decision.

In addition to personal career decisions, the workplace can, at times, be a source of stress leading to job dissatisfaction. This stress can lead to physical symptoms such as severe headaches, anxiety, panic attacks, alcohol and drug abuse, or depression due to a demanding workload or co-worker/supervisor relationship problems. It is during this time that speaking to someone who can listen and help teach skills to resolve these workplace issues is just what you need. Our professional therapists offer non-judgmental, objective guidance in managing workplace stress.



Christian Counseling


We believe the work done at Ken Olson Counseling can act as a dynamic Christian tool that clearly demonstrates the actions and words of Christ’s commandments to care for one another. Christian counseling combines professional counseling techniques and scriptural principles in a unique approach to mental health issues. This approach focuses on how to integrate one’s spiritual values and beliefs into relationships, work, and daily life.


Couples Counseling

Do you and your partner experience any of the following?

  • Frequent, repetitive arguments
  • Feeling distant from one another
  • Chronic feelings of anger, resentment, and dissatisfaction
  • Decreased interest in sexual relationship
  • Decreased affection


Our counseling staff work with couples with a variety of special interests and challenges such as, couples with children (yours, mine, ours), same-sex couples, long-distance couples, and dual career couples.

We will help you with:

  • Communication skills
  • Setting healthy boundaries for self and relationship
  • Identifying personal expectations for the relationship both present and future
  • Integrate individual goals and relationship goals
  • Rekindling affection and intimacy
  • Developing trust, reliability, and commitment to a mutually satisfying relationship


Crisis & Critical Incident Stress Management

Critical Incident Stress Management or Debriefing (CISM or CISD) is a service provided to help alleviate the psychological, physical, behavioral, and emotional effects that may occur during and after a traumatic event. The stress may be delayed for days, even weeks, after the event has occurred. A traumatic event can be defined as a major life-threatening incident, such as a bank robbery, a shooting, a death, or a natural disaster. Once informed of the traumatic incident, the CISM team is formed. This team utilizes interventions with the people directly, and sometimes indirectly, involved in the traumatic event. A group of these individuals are gathered to be “debriefed” and this helps to normalize and validate their feelings regarding the event. Members of the group are then educated on signs of overwhelming stress, coping skills and stress management, and assessed for further treatment if necessary. For further information, please contact us by phone or email.


Depression

Most of us have probably felt depressed at some time in our lives. However, when depression affects a person’s ability to function regularly in familial, occupational and social activities, problems can exist. An individual who is depressed may have symptoms, such as, sad mood, loss of pleasure in activities, withdrawal, drug use, loss of appetite or overeating, sleep disturbance, thoughts of suicide and death, feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, loss of energy, agitation, etc. Your therapist can teach you practical techniques on how to reframe negative thinking and use positive behavioral skills in combating your depression. You will gain insight into the root of your depression, helping you to understand why you feel a certain way, what your triggers are for depression, and what you can do to stay healthy.


Divorce Recovery

Experiencing emotional and physical pain as a result of loss is understandable. Divorce may be one of the most significant losses you have experienced and it is likely that you are now feeling a great deal of grief. Your heart has been broken. By working with one of our professional therapists, you can manage the grief process and come out a stronger person. You don’t have to go through this alone. Let us be there for you.


Domestic Violence Treatment & Prevention

The goal of Domestic Violence Treatment & Prevention is to modify the behavior of men and women participants, particularly those who have been, or are at risk of committing domestic violence. We work with people who have used physical, emotional, verbal, economic or sexual abuse as a means to control their partners. During the program, clients are challenged to take full responsibility for their behavior. They are taught how to recognize potentially violent situations and how to choose specific alternatives to abusive behavior. Our approach is one of “compassionate confrontation”. We believe that abusive behavior is not a problem in the relationship but a problem in the abuser. Therefore, our first goal for individuals in the program is for them to stop the violence and take full responsibility for their abusive behaviors. Our perspective on domestic abuse is that it is more than an “anger problem” – it is rooted in a fundamental imbalance of power and control in a relationship. Help can be provided through individual counseling and group.


Drug & Alcohol Counseling

Drug and alcohol abuse is a disruptive pattern of substance use that leads to impairment in daily life, including familial, social, and occupational activities. Counseling is offered for people who are court-mandated and for all others trying to cope with daily stressors without the use of drugs and alcohol. On-site drug testing is available to those who are in need of these services.


Eating Disorders & Body Image

Eating disorders are serious conditions that cause both physical and emotional damage. They involve extreme disturbances in eating behaviors – following rigid diets, gorging on food in secret, throwing up after meals, obsessively counting calories. But eating disorders are more complicated than just unhealthy dietary habits. At their core, eating disorders involve distorted, self-critical attitudes about weight, food, and body image. These negative thoughts and feelings fuel the damaging behaviors. People with eating disorders use food to deal with uncomfortable or painful emotions. Restricting food is used to feel in control. Overeating temporarily soothes sadness, anger, or loneliness. Purging is used to combat feelings of helplessness and self-loathing. Over time, people with eating disorders lose the ability to see themselves objectively and obsessions over food and weight come to dominate everything else in life. An individual suffering from an eating disorder or distorted body image may exhibit the following behaviors:


  • Preoccupation with body or weight
  • Obsession with calories, food, or nutrition
  • Constant dieting, even when thin
  • Rapid, unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Taking laxatives or diet pills
  • Compulsive exercising
  • Making excuses to get out of eatin
  • Avoiding social situations that involve food
  • Going to the bathroom right after meals
  • Eating alone, at night, or in secret
  • Hoarding high-calorie food

Changing the way you feel about your body is not easy. By working with one of our professional therapists you can explore the issues underlying the eating disorder, improve self-esteem, and learn healthy ways of responding to stress and emotional pain. Family counseling can also be effective for dealing with the impact the eating disorder has on the entire family.


Greif Recovery

The loss of a loved one, whether sudden or anticipated, can be overwhelming and can result in mild to severe symptoms of depression. Common reactions include: feeling stressed, overwhelmed, sad, angry, poor appetite, insomnia, and frequent crying spells. These reactions may lessen or stop if a person has a strong support network. If there is no support network, a person might experience a more severe form of depression which include the inability to take care of personal hygiene, physical needs, lengthy periods of isolation, and feelings and thoughts about joining he loved one. By working with one of our professional therapists, you may be helped through your grief process by the extra support, encouragement, and guidance you will receive.


High Profile Clientele

If you are a government agent, political leader, entertainer, professional athlete, or person in need of specialized privacy we understand how difficult it is to have to have a secure confidential place for you and your family. We are able to make special accommodations for security and special attention that unique schedules and circumstances require. Privacy and discretion are of the utmost importance. Of course, as is for all our clients, you can expect the utmost professionalism when it comes to confidentiality.


Marital Counseling

Ken Olson Counseling is guided by the belief that marriage is the foundation of the family. Therefore, if you want a strong, healthy family, a happy marriage is a good place to begin. But like all relationships, a harmonious marriage can sometimes be quite challenging to develop and maintain. There are a variety of issues that impact marriage. First, there are the stresses and strains of everyday life. We attempt to balance busy lives and take care of our responsibilities. Secondly, individuals bring different points of view, expectations, and beliefs into a marriage. Conflict therefore, naturally arises. Thirdly, we bring “baggage” and hurts from the past into our current relationships. When our heart has been hurt and wounded, it can influence how we interact with others. It can also hinder our ability to form satisfying and enduring intimate relationships. All of these issues have an enormous impact on marriage. Consequently, conflicts can arise that are difficult to resolve and the love between you becomes strained. That is where marriage counseling can help. With the guidance and support of one of our professional therapists, you can work through the difficulties in your marriage. Some of the benefits of marriage counseling include but are certainly not limited to:


  • Learning how to build and sustain the love between the two of you
  • Healing the wounds of the heart
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Learning how to effectively communicate with each other
  • The development of individual and couple goals
  • Gaining a greater appreciation for each other
  • Identifying your strengths and areas of potential growth
  • Developing deeper intimacy with each other

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

It is normal, on occasion, to go back and double-check that the iron is unplugged or your car is locked. But in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so excessive that they interfere with daily life. And no matter what you do, you can’t seem to shake them. OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform. Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, OCD causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge. Individuals suffering from OCD may exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
  • Fear of causing harm to yourself or others
  • Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images
  • Fear of losing or not having things you might need
  • Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up “just right”.
  • Superstitions: excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky.

By working with one of our professional therapists, you can learn to change your thoughts and behaviors. You can also learn new coping techniques and problem solving skills so that you can control your OCD symptoms.


Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. Your heart pounds and you cannot breathe. You may feel dizzy and sick to your stomach. You may even feel like you are dying or going crazy. Without treatment, panic attacks may lead to a more pervasive panic disorder. They may even cause you to withdraw from normal familial, social and occupational activities. Panic attacks can occur unexpectedly as a one-time occurrence or in repetitive episodes. Panic attack symptoms include:

  • Intense fear and/or discomfort
  • Pounding heart
  • Choking sensations
  • Fear of losing control
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal distress
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling/shaking
  • Sweating

By working with one of our professional therapists you can learn to understand the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your panic attacks. You can also learn to look at your fears in more reasonable ways and learn effective ways to cope with them.


Phobias

A phobia is a type of anxiety characterized by an excessive or unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation that is generally considered harmless. When you are exposed to the thing you are afraid of, you become overwhelmed with extreme feelings of anxiety, fear, and even panic. This experience is so unpleasant that you will go to great lengths to avoid the object or situation you fear. Common examples of specific phobias are closed-in places, heights, escalators, tunnels, highway driving, water, flying, dogs, and blood. Common phobia symptoms and sensations include:

  • Shortness of breath or smothering sensation
  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling of choking
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or stomach distress

By working with one of our professional therapists, you can learn to understand the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your phobias. You can also learn to look at your fears in more reasonable ways and learn effective ways to cope with them.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an extreme reaction to a traumatic or life-threatening event. An individual suffering from PTSD can have flashbacks/recurrent thoughts of the event, nightmares, insomnia, irritability, heightened arousal, etc. Examples of traumatic events include rape, murder, robbery, war, earthquakes, fires, etc. PTSD develops differently from person to person. If you’ve lived through a traumatic incident, your symptoms may appear within hours or days of the event, or they may take weeks, months, or even years to develop. Symptoms can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time. By working with one of our professional therapists, you can relieve symptoms of PTSD. Your therapist can help you:

  • Explore your thoughts and feelings about the trauma
  • Work through feelings of guilt, self-blame, and mistrust
  • Learn how to cope with and control intrusive memories
  • Address problems PTSD has caused in your life and relationships

In addition to offering an outlet for emotions you may have been bottling up, counseling for PTSD will also help restore your sense of control and reduce the powerful hold the memories of the trauma has on your life.


Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling is helpful for couples who are seriously dating or already engaged. As you consider this type of counseling, you may be wondering whether to take your relationship to the next level of commitment. Or if you are already engaged, you feel certain that you will take that step. If this is the stage of your relationship, premarital counseling will be very beneficial to both of you. It takes a very special bond and a great deal of love between two people to want to share a lifetime together. And while this is likely to be a time of great excitement, expectations, hopes, and dreams, it is also an excellent time to invest in your relationship. It is also an excellent time to invest in your relationship. Through premarital counseling you will learn more about your strengths as a couple, as well as your areas of potential growth. A life-long, meaningful marriage is built on a strong and enduring foundation. It has been found that the earlier effective couple relationship skills are taught, the better couples are at addressing and resolving problems before they become major problems. This, in turn, leads to a happy and enduring relationship. Premarital counseling can help you explore relationship areas such as:

  • How to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts
  • Compatibility
  • Exploration of your personal expectations for the relationship
  • Intimacy enhancement
  • Exploration of family of origin issues and how they impact your relationship
  • How to divide responsibilities and what each of your roles will be in your relationship
  • How to manage finances together
  • Sexuality
  • How to set personal and relationship goals
  • Establish healthy personal and relationship boundaries

Psychosis

Psychosis is the presence of severe distortion of thoughts and perceptions. These can include hallucinations and/or delusions which make it difficult for a person to distinguish between what is real and unreal, to think clearly, and to behave in socially acceptable ways. These obstacles can have a severe impact on one’s work, relationships, and day-to-day functioning. By working with one of our professional therapists, an individual can learn coping techniques and still lead a productive life.


Reunification

When a child needs to be and/or be evaluated for the best process to be reunited with a parent. We are experienced in providing an emotionally safe environment for those involved.


Self-Injury

Self-injurious behavior is defined as deliberate injury inflicted to one’s own body, without the intent to die. An important distinction is that it is deliberate and causes bodily/tissue damage, but is without suicidal thoughts. Self-injury is often referred to as para-suicidal behavior, self-mutilation, self-harm, and self-abuse. Self-injurious behaviors include:

  • Cutting
  • Scratching
  • Carving
  • Branding
  • Burning
  • Pulling hair
  • Picking skin
  • Hitting oneself
  • Head banging
  • Breaking bones

There can be several reasons for self-injury behavior such as, a maladaptive way of coping with intense emotions, to soothe or calm one’s emotions, to regain emotional balance, to release tension, or as self-punishment. Please be aware that certain myths exist about self-injury, for example, that self-injury is a failed suicide attempt; it is done for attention or to manipulate others; that it is not a serious problem if the wounds are “not that bad”; or that self-injury can’t be treated. Our professional therapists can help stop this behavior by teaching an individual to learn how to tolerate and reduce emotional pain. Without early identification and intervention, adolescents can develop an addictive dependence on self-injury as a coping skill. While self-injuring is not necessarily suicidal, if left untreated it may lead to suicidal behavior.


Sexual Abuse (Child & Adult Survivor)

The emotional scars of sexual abuse can be deep and long lasting. It is extremely important to understand that no matter what the adult says in defense of his or her actions, the child did not invite the sexual activity and the adult’s behavior is wrong. Sexual abuse is never the child’s fault. An individual who has been inappropriately touched or molested may have varied reactions to the event(s). These include: withdrawal, guilt, poor self-image, poor self-esteem, anger, fear, drug abuse, etc. By working with one of our professional therapists, you can begin the healing process and learn coping techniques that will help restore a sense of control and reduce the powerful hold the memories of the abuse has on your life.


Sexual Identity

Sexual identity issues involve a person who has strong and persistent cross-gender identification, and experiences discomfort with his/her sexual identity. This discomfort can lead to confusion, depression, guilt, etc. By working with one of our professional therapists, you can explore questions you may have about your sexuality in a safe, supportive and caring environment. You can also learn effective ways of dealing with others’ reactions to you as you are dealing with these issues.


Victims of Crime

If someone has been a victim of crime (rape, robbery, domestic violence etc.) it is important to have an environment where he/she feels comfortable, and most importantly, safe. Our professional counselors are available to help advise individuals on where to turn and how to receive funding for counseling – among other services – from the State of California for Victims of Crime. Counselors are available to help individuals through this difficult and trying time, and will also advocate for their well-being.