Staff Additions at Counseling on Burnside
More areas of expertise have been added to our counseling staff. Corina Daughtery-Calhoun, LCSW, joins us with extensive experience counseling transition-aged youth. She is well-rounded in many therapeutic interventions that work well with people of all ages. We have another counselor joining our team at the end of the year who is experienced in both child and adolescent treatment as well as depression and anxiety. Check out the team page on our website. Joe Alexander, the owner and managing counselor, has opened up appointments for individuals and couples, in addition to spearheading a major new focus of the clinic – Group Therapy.
Kaiser Permanente Insurance Opens Gates
Kaiser Permanente is now allowing any member to self-refer for mental health services! Previously, you needed to have a referral and an authorization. Those authorizations had date restrictions and visit count limitations. That all changed on 9/1/22. Having to call Kaiser’s mental health triage department to get a referral and authorization are no longer necessary. Now, anyone with Kaiser insurance can contact us directly for mental health services, even if you were previously denied an authorization.
Thoughts on Group Therapy
Practice is a necessary element for mastery of an area, be it a musical instrument or becoming a black belt in martial arts or in personal development. This is as true in the psychological sphere as it is in the development of any other skill. Without a regular commitment of time, we do not make progress and feel somehow restless and unfulfilled. Henry David Thoreau addressed this lack with his timeless quote, now praphrased:
Most people lead lives of quiet desperation.
We all need a place and a way to practice and become masterful at whatever we want to achieve. I am impressed with the research findings for individuals who want to make a lifestyle change (for example, getting in better shape). Research shows that having a workout or walk buddy will increase compliance dramatically. Having someone to meet with, who is depending on us, gets us over the hump that is always present when making a habit change.
Having a group to be accountable to can be even more motivating. At first it may come with more anxiety—anxiety because we may have suffered our worst trauma in a group, either in our family or our peer group, often when we were younger and lacking in skills and experience. At Counseling on Burnside, we aim to reverse that process and give you the support you need to make meaningful lifestyle changes.
A well-facilitated group can make participation safer, more meaningful, and fun. Feedback from others in the group, when coupled with curiosity and self-reflection, can help us see and uncover our blind spots and develop more insight into ourselves. Practices like writing, answering questions, and reading can help further this curiosity and self-awareness. Self-awareness allows us the chance to develop compassion towards others and maybe, most importantly, with ourselves. If we believe that knowledge is power, then knowledge of self is the ultimate power, as we are always with ourselves. Contact us if you are interested in joining one of our groups!
With reflection in this time of stress and opportunity,
Joe Alexander, LCSW
photo Hannah Busing