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Goal setting plays an important role in moving ourselves forward in life.   At the beginning of a New Year, many people choose to make New Year’s resolutions with the intent to improve some part of their life.   I have made many over the years, many of which I had given up by the third week of January.   Also, there have been years in which I have sworn off the resolutions to avoid the feelings of lack of discipline and failure.

This year, after taking the first three weeks of January to consider what I wanted to create in my life, I narrowed down a list of several areas of my life that could use some help. Consistently, they all lead back to one simple basic habit. This simple, but often elusive, habit is crucial for developing and maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit.   It’s the basic practice of getting adequate sleep.  Seven to eight hours of sleep a night for an adult is considered to be healthy sleep.

Sleep affects the mind, body and spirit in numerous ways.  Most everyone has short-lived bouts of insomnia, which is generally nothing to be concerned about.  The bigger concern is chronic sleep loss which include sleeping issues several nights a week or less than six hours of sleep on a consistent basis.  Chronic sleep loss can contribute to health problems in areas such as learning and memory, metabolism and weight, anxiety and depression, blood pressure and hormone levels, and the immune system.

Sleep allows the body to do a lot of repair work both restoratively in the body through muscle growth, tissue repair, and growth hormone as well as cognitively in the brain with neural plasticity.   Sleep is a key to keeping your body and mind fit and healthy.

If you have difficulty sleeping, neurofeedback training may help you.   Recently, I worked with a client who had sleep problems for over five years.  After trying many sleep solutions including several prescription sleep medications and not having results, the client gave neurofeedback a try.  Now, he is sleeping through the night for at least eight hours on a consistent basis.

Getting adequate sleep can have life changing effect for health and well being.  Contact Pamela Key at Counseling Associates for Well-Being at (706) 425-8900 or Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com for information on how neurofeedback training can help you.

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I am not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions. I find them to be similar to diets in the way they create a setup of unrealistically harsh expectations for one’s self that are bound to fail. However, there is one resolution I would suggest and celebrate for anyone to make, and this resolution improves outlook and mood, health, relationships and all other aspects of life. This resolution would be a commitment in the year 2014 to improve one’s relationship with self. The relationship we have with ourselves is the longest and most important as it forms the basis for how we see the world and make choices for our behavior.

How does one improve that relationship? One way we improve it is by becoming aware of and improving our self-talk.  Many of us have developed a strong inner drill sergeant that seeks to motivate us to “be better” and “do better”.  I would argue that we get a lot further with compassion for self and treating ourselves as we would a dear friend.  Compassion for self does not mean denial or dishonesty, but looking at situations in our lives with the understanding we are human and deserve unconditional emotional support first and foremost.  With compassion and honesty with self, we are more likely to make choices such as better self-care or reaching out for help when it is needed-and we all need help as human beings.

I would suggest mindfully starting with this intention each day.  Take a few quiet minutes to meditate on the intention to be compassionate toward one’s self on a daily basis.  This alone could create quite a lasting change this year.  Contact me at suzanne@ca4wellbeing.com if you would like to work on a new approach to making changes and dealing with challenges. Happy New Year!

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Are you or do you know someone who is struggling with attention and focus in the classroom or in life in general?  Is medication the only treatment that you are aware of being offered to help?  If so, check out Neurofeedback as an effective ADHD treatment.

Neurofeedback is a safe, non-invasive alternative option for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  It teaches the brain to stay attentive and focused through self-regulation.  It retrains the inefficient neural pathways into efficient neural pathways that more easily attend and focus to tasks.  Neurofeedback has now been accepted by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Level 1 “Best Support” intervention for ADHD.  Compelling published research supports its effectiveness.

The efficacy of neurofeedback has been documented in over fifty peer-reviewed, published journal articles.  These research studies show that the effectiveness of neurofeedback is equal to or greater than any other therapeutic intervention for ADHD.  In addition, the positive effects of NFB are maintained, and in some cases, even increase once the treatment ends.  In contrast, the benefits of stimulant medication stop as soon as the medication is discontinued, and over 50% of the individuals taking a stimulant medication are reported to have one or more significant adverse side effects (e.g., poor appetite, irritability, stunted growth, and sleep problems).  It is no surprise that individuals and parents of children with ADHD are fearful of using stimulant medications on a long-term basis and often seek a non-drug alternative.

For more information about neurofeedback and how it may help with attention/focus issues; please contact Pamela Key, Neurofeedback Practitioner at Counseling Associates for Well-Being.  (706) 425-8600 or pamela@ca4wellbeing.com

Counseling Associates for Well-Being is excited to be hosting a professional training CEU workshop at our office on January 24th, 2014 in our Athens office.
The Family Divorce/ Self Care Series from Transitions Resource.
Check here for more information:
http://www.transitionsresource.org/divorce-seminars-and-workshops

TransitionsResource.org & Carey Wellness

Present the Athens Family Divorce and Self-Care Workshop Series

Friday, January 24, 2014

7 CEU Core Credit Hours Approved LPCA GA and NASW GA Chapter, GAMFT related

Registration Fee: $125 per person-Registration limited to 12 Attendees first come/first serve

Location: Counseling Associates for Well-Being, 1 Huntington Rd, Suite 703, Athens GA 30606

Hosts: Claire Nichols Zimmerman, LCSW, CIRT and Suzanne McLean, LCSW, CIRT

Training Schedule and Titles:

10:00-11:00 a.m.-Divorce Prep Tools and Resources to Minimize Costly Pitfalls (1 CEU)

11:00-12 noon lunch (lunch will be provided by our generous hosts: Claire Zimmerman/Suzanne McLean

12 noon-2:00 p.m.-Recognizing Abusive Tactics in Divorcing Couples/How to Minimize (2 CEU’s)

2:00-2:15 p.m.-Break

2:15-3:15 p.m.-Intro to Divorce Support Group Program (1 CEU)

3:15-3:30 p.m.-Break

3:30-6:30 p.m.-Self Care-Intro to Meditation + 2 Thirty minute Guided Sessions (2 CEU’s)

Registration pre-payment required (limited to 12 attendees) email KelleyLinn11@gmail.com to register.

Space is limited. Offering 7 CEU core credits for LPC’s and LCSW’s. Please join us!!

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I am excited to announce that I have completed my 200 hour training as a Certified Hatha Yoga instructor. I am passionate about combining yoga skills and techniques (no mat or flexibility required) with traditional talk therapy to enhance healing from grief, trauma, anxiety, and depression. In addition to the scientifically verified benefits for anxiety and depression, yoga and mindfulness also increase our ability to be present in relationships and in our daily lives, increasing our quality of life. Call me at 706-425-8900 or email me at Suzanne@ca4wellbeing.com to schedule an individual or group session today.

This amazing new technology has proven effective for treatment of anxiety, depression, ADHD, fibromyalgia, migraines and a host of other disorders.  How does this happen?

We start with completing a brainmap that consists of applying EEG sensors to the head and measuring the brainwave frequencies.  It is there where we find the inefficiencies in the brain such as the brain operating too fast where anxiety is often present or the brain operating too slow which is common with depression.  The brain map will provide a guide to show what brainwave frequencies need to be trained up or down to normalize the brainwave activity.

Once the brainmap is obtained, brainwave training will begin.  This is a form of operant conditioning—-establishing a new, more efficient and effective neural pathway.  This is done with the client listening to music or watching a video.  When the brainwave moves into the desired new zone, an auditory or visual reward is given.  The brain “likes” these rewards and the new pathway is encouraged to stay in this new pattern.  Repeated training conditions the neural pathway to become the new norm.  Once this happens, symptoms of disorders begin to be reduced and eventually can become significantly reduced or eliminated.

For more information, contact our Neurofeedback Practitioner, Pamela Key for complimentary consult.  Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or (706) 425-8900 Ext. 702

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Adding yoga as a complement to therapy for depression, anxiety, grief, and trauma can prove more powerful than talk therapy alone.  “Ancient yogic practices are now evidence-based strategies for mood management”, writes Amy Weintraub, author of “Yoga Skills for Therapists”. One does not have to be flexible or able and willing to get on a mat and practice the physical poses called “asana”.  Powerful breathing practices called “pranayama” as well as guided meditation and other skills are adequate for gaining the benefits of calming the nervous system and elevating or calming the mood.

I have observed these benefits as a professional, but I also know the research rings true for me personally.  Yoga was instrumental in my own healing after suddenly losing a spouse 11 years ago. Over a decade later, yoga remains an integral part of my self-care. Currently, I am completing a 200 hour yoga teacher training to continue bringing these powerful practices to my clients.  I am especially excited to announce my “Healing From Loss through Mind/Body Awareness” therapy group. This group will utilize yoga skills as well as group processing to heal from painful losses. I have specialized for many years in helping those who are grieving (in groups and individually) and am thrilled to offer this special opportunity.  Please contact me at 706-425-8900 or email me at Suzanne@ca4wellbeing to learn more.

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