Category Archives: Blog

Signs That a Loved One May Have a Substance Abuse Problem or Addiction

Written by Lisa E. Rogers, MA, LPC, LMFT

Substance addiction plagues many people. Not everyone who engages in substance abuse inherently has an addiction, but the practice of substance abuse can lead to addiction. The reality of being addicted comes as a shock for most sufferers and the people in their lives. 

Many emotions come with the reality that you or a loved one suffer from substance addiction. Most people have difficulty determining whether or not there is a problem.

Addiction involves many factors beyond just being a drug user. Not all situations require a drug treatment program. Rehabilitation programs and support groups are the most common forms of treatment. 

If you or your loved one portray any of the signs listed, it could mean you or your loved one are experiencing or are on the path to a drug or alcohol problem. 

1. Loss of Interest/Apathy/Complacency

This characteristic isn’t pervasive, however it is noticeable. If someone who is typically active in certain activities, hobbies, talents, skills, or general interests suddenly stops, this could be a warning sign that something is wrong.

This issue may not mean these activities are no longer necessary to them. The problem lies in their focus on their substance abuse problem, snuffing out time spent on other things. 

They may also feel apathetic toward issues that used to concern them. Their concern for their loved ones can taint. 

2. Physical Signs

These are noticeable signs, and there are many of them. Some of these signs include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Itching
  • Injection marks
  • Puffy face
  • Unusual skin color

If any of these signs become routine, there may be a problem. Sufferers may try to hide these symptoms. If they have become complacent, they may no longer care about hiding the signs. 

3. Appearance 

Regular drug abuse can change someone’s physical appearance. An addict may lose or gain a great deal of weight. Eating habits and times may drastically change. 

>If apathy has set in, a person who used to care about their appearance may suddenly no longer care. Someone may also change the clothes they wear. If you or someone you know notices any of these signs, there may be a problem. 

4. Discovering Drug Paraphernalia 

Several drugs require a tool for their use. Some of these items include:

  • Pipes
  • High Heat or Torch-style lighters or lighters with colored residue on them
  • Bongs
  • Burned spoons
  • Razor blades
  • Cutting surfaces (mirrors or glass)
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Cut straws or rolled up bills

Some other items are not paraphernalia but could be signs. Eye clearing wash or eye drops. This product is used for bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils. Many people own this product that does not have a drug problem. Constant use of these products in itself is not a guaranteed sign, but in conjunction with other items or behaviors listed may be. 

5. Mood Swings

Many things can cause mood swings, and many people experience them regularly. Life changes can cause these, such as changing schools or going through a divorce. 

But, if you or a loved one portrays significant changes without apparent cause, it could be a sign of a problem. For instance, if you or someone you know is typically very calm much of the time but suddenly becomes hyper and anxious, something may be going on. 

Someone who is typically very happy could suddenly become depressed. 

Erratic mood swings from one part of the spectrum to another is another sign of drug abuse or possible mental health issue. 

6. Reclusive Behavior

Substance abuse is often very isolating, so the sufferer withdraws from those around them. Some of the signs of withdrawal include:

  • >Becoming very private about their life
  • Spending a lot of their time in their room
  • Locking the door to their room when they leave
  • Seeming closed off when questioned

If someone shows any of these symptoms, they may be hiding a sincere problem. 

7. Changes in Routine

If someone suddenly changes their behavior, there is likely a problem. These changes could stem from behavior connected to substance abuse. Some of these changes include:

  • Not going to work
  • Cutting class
  • Withdrawing from home life
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Increase in medical conditions, which can cause the prescription of addictive drugs

8. Behavior Changes

Behavior changes can be some of the most apparent signs of addiction. Erratic behaviors specifically are noticeable. They are potentially dangerous, sometimes causing violent actions. People often become violent when going through substance withdrawal, and others are the cause of drug abuse. 

This issue becomes complicated when you combine substance abuse with a co-occurring mental health disorder. Someone who is typically depressed might have those feelings amplified with drug abuse.

Additional red flag behaviors include

  • Suddenly being overly sensitive
  • Defensiveness and aggression
  • Becoming verbally or physically abusive 

9. Sleep Changes

Sleeping habits may become erratic. Some of these changes include:

  • Sleeping too much
  • Sleeping very little
  • Oversleeping
  • Change of sleep schedule
  • Sleeping odd hours 

Any or a combination of the signs could be cause for concern.

Let Us Help

Addiction counseling offers a safe, confidential environment that offers the support you need to face the problems you have today.

For adults dealing with substance abuse/addiction, I also offer group therapy as well as support for family members, adolescents and for children dealing with addiction /substance abuse within the family system.

Get the help you need from a trained counselor today.

At Lisa Rogers Counseling, I offer evenings, weekend appointments via Telemental Health (Online Counseling-Virtual/Video Conference and Phone Sessions).

Key image for Lisa Rogers Counseling

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

New York City Locations

208 E 51st St #264
New York, NY 10022
(Mail ok)*

245 5th Ave 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10016 
(Do not send mail to this address)*

18 E 41st St, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(No mail)*

115 Broadway #1800
New York, NY 10006
(Do not send mail to this address)*

Other Locations Served

1302 Waugh Dr #111
Houston, TX 77019

188 Shopping Plaza Rd #240
Rutland, VT 05701

Teletherapy Locations

New York – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #001034
California – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #LMFT43013
Texas – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #201088
Texas – Licensed Professional Counselor #19332
Illinois – Licensed Professional Counselor #178.000647
Vermont – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #100.0130890
New Jersey – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #NJDCATEMP-000577
Florida- Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #MT3903

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

What is Child Play Therapy

Written by Lisa E. Rogers, MA, LPC, LMFT

We’ve all seen our children play. They play with dolls, trucks, cars, and crafts. It can be fun to watch or even join in on their play. Many of us think that play is just play, but it is so much more than that.

The way your child plays provides insight into how they interact with others, with their world, and even themselves.

While you may not see these interactions, Child Play Therapists are specially trained to work with children through play. They analyze and relate the play to how your child interacts with others, themselves, and the world.

What types of play do therapists use?

There are multiple types of play a Child Play Therapist uses to allow a child a free and open way of communicating. Once your therapist understands the issues your child is facing, they design specific types of play, play areas, toys, and other items to cue specific play.

The types of play your therapist employs will depend on the child. Most commonly, they use:

  • Nondirective Play Therapy: The therapist observes a child at play without giving any cues or ideas on how the child plays.
  • Puppets, dolls, and playhouses: This encourages pretend play. During pretend play, the child will create a situation or a stressful moment. The therapist can watch and gain insight into what the child may be experiencing emotionally.
  • Directive Play Therapy: The therapist will direct the child to reenact a specific situation, conversation, or other communication types between the child and an outside source (parent/sibling/friend).
  • Drawings: In this play, the therapist will ask a child to interpret drawings to observe emotional responses.
  • Drawing/Painting: This allows the therapist to observe the emotional expression of the child.

These are just a few of the types of play a therapist will use during therapy. Each session is designed specifically for your child based on issues you have indicated and what the therapist has observed in previous sessions.

How does Play Therapy work?

Children are generally referred to play therapy to resolve problems when they’ve exhausted their problem-solving skills. When your child finds that those skills do not resolve the issue, they may begin to act out, misbehave, and have school problems. Play therapy helps children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems.

This allows your child to change the way they think about, feel, and resolve these issues. Play therapy helps to discover alternate ways of resolving problems. With guidance from the therapist, it can be rehearsed and mastered to create lifelong healthy coping strategies.

The benefits of play therapy include:

  • Becoming responsible for behaviors and learning successful strategies
  • Developing new solutions to problems
  • Learning respect and acceptance of others
  • Cultivating empathy and understanding for others
  • Learning social skills and relational skills with friends and family

What can play therapy help with?

There are many issues that play therapy can help your child. A child therapist who specializes in play therapy can identify problems and find creative ways to resolve them.

Some of these issues are:

  • Chronic illness
  • Death in the family
  • Aggressive or angry behavior
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Eating and toilet issues
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Once identified, your therapist uses play to allow your child to express their feelings and direct them to alternative ways of dealing with problems. You may also be included in these sessions. Participating can provide you insight as to what your child is experiencing so you can learn how to communicate with each other better.

Your therapist will decide when and how you may be involved. They will generally stay in regular contact with you to let you know how therapy progresses and help with working through issues with your child.

How do I find a Child Play Therapist?

Child Play therapy is a specialized subset of therapy. It is essential to make sure the therapist you choose has had training and experience in this type of treatment.

Lisa Rogers of Lisa Rogers Counseling has been practicing psychology since 1993. She is an Associate Member of Sandplay Therapists of America and has undergone training for additional types of play therapy. Lisa does in-person as well as telehealth therapy to fit you and your family’s schedule. Let us help your child and your family with a tailored therapy program to resolve issues and create healthier coping mechanisms for your child. Give me a call today.

Key image for Lisa Rogers Counseling

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

New York City Locations

208 E 51st St #264
New York, NY 10022
(Mail ok)*

245 5th Ave 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10016 
(Do not send mail to this address)*

18 E 41st St, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(No mail)*

115 Broadway #1800
New York, NY 10006
(Do not send mail to this address)*

Other Locations Served

1302 Waugh Dr #111
Houston, TX 77019

188 Shopping Plaza Rd #240
Rutland, VT 05701

Teletherapy Locations

New York – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #001034
California – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #LMFT43013
Texas – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #201088
Texas – Licensed Professional Counselor #19332
Illinois – Licensed Professional Counselor #178.000647
Vermont – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #100.0130890
New Jersey – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #NJDCATEMP-000577
Florida- Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #MT3903

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Why Teletherapy Could Outlast Social Distancing Required of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Written by Lisa E. Rogers, MA, LPC, LMFT

It took a pandemic for teletherapy to become the standard, and now it may be here to stay.

If we have learned anything this year, it’s that there are things you can do from the comfort of your own home that you’d never taken advantage of before. Ordering delivery through Uber, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates has increased exponentially. Online grocery/household items can now be delivered to your door — hassle-free.

Many jobs transitioned to work-from-home status, and some companies have permanently gone remote. Schools have swapped in-person learning for hybrid or virtual learning. Doctors are offering appointments and consultations online as a temporary replacement for in-office visits.

But are these things actually temporary?

As more and more people turn to virtual appointments and teletherapy for their personal needs, doctors are finding that this may become a mainstay for their businesses. Aside from the convenience of providing services to patients at home in light of social distancing, therapists can provide these same services in real-time instead of having a patient wait for an appointment a week, month, or more out.

The pandemic brought about the widespread use of telecommunications for therapy — whether it was needed before the pandemic or as a result. In looking ahead, that practice may be here to stay, and here’s why.

Online Therapy Is More Affordable Overall

Other than the actual session costs, teletherapy provides other financial benefits as well. You don’t have to pay for transportation — gas, transit, etc. — to get to your appointment. You don’t have to find a sitter if you have kids.

Many people, especially younger generations, use the web for their personal and shopping needs and typically do so for discounted rates. You’re saving money by staying home, and who doesn’t love doing both?!

Teletherapy Allows for More Flexibility

Sure, 2020 has slowed everything down, seeing as most people spent much of it at home due to the pandemic. But has it really slowed us down that much? Working from home, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, shopping, and more still cram schedules for the average person. So why should therapy take up more time?

The average time for a therapy session (including transportation to and from) can be over two hours. That’s two hours of time that you could spend more wisely. Teletherapy, backed by some of the top therapists in the country, can cut that time in half or more and allow therapists to fit more patients into their schedules.

Studies show that online therapy is up to 7.8 times faster than face-to-face treatment. Efficient and straightforward is appealing when going through your day. Teletherapy allows for a session to occur on your schedule when it is convenient for you.

You can spend the session outside, on a couch, or in the privacy of your hotel room if you are traveling. There’s no excuse for avoiding therapy because you simply “don’t have the time.”

Teletherapy Provides a Comfortable, Personal Environment

Social distancing in using the web is a bonus factor to the anonymity of doing things digitally. Teletherapy fits into the fast-growing digital landscape in the same way. Sure, therapists occasionally offer home visits, but teletherapy ensures that you are in your element and in a comfortable environment for you.

You’re in your own space. There is no waiting room or therapy couch. The session is completely private. When you get to choose your environment for anything, you generally choose a place that is comfortable and quiet for you. Teletherapy allows for that protection.

Sessions Can Occur in Real-Time

While it may be hard to hand a patient a tissue if they begin crying during a session, there are other benefits to teletherapy in real-time. Say you begin having a panic attack before the session or on a whim, and you can’t get to your therapist in person to handle the situation and ease your tensions.

With teletherapy, you can speak to your therapist while it is happening. Some of these instances may occur on your way to an in-person appointment or at other times, leaving you to recall by memory for your actual session.

Take this example from the New York Times:

The 10-year-old girl was afraid that her American Girl dolls — buried in the bedroom closet — would come alive and attack her. As the girl pointed her iPad at the scary closet door in a remote therapy session, her therapist, Daniela Owen, was able to coach her in real-time to conquer the fear of the dolls.

Something like this wouldn’t be as effective in the office, as the patient wasn’t in the environment that triggered her fears.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the world into a spiral. It caused so many professionals to reevaluate how they do business and, in turn, how their consumers/clients continue their regular activities.

Many businesses didn’t have any choice but to begin conducting everything virtually. Teletherapy was necessary as a means of safety and social distancing as the pandemic began. When this is all over, virtual businesses will still exist. Improving community health by providing more accessibility and better care is what professionals thrive on.

With adult, adolescent, and child therapy, Lisa Rogers Counseling offers in-person sessions based in New York City while also providing virtual therapy sessions in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and Vermont. If you are searching for affordable and effective therapy from home, contact Lisa Rogers Counseling services today!

Key image for Lisa Rogers Counseling

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

New York City Locations

208 E 51st St #264
New York, NY 10022
(Mail ok)*

245 5th Ave 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10016 
(Do not send mail to this address)*

18 E 41st St, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(No mail)*

115 Broadway #1800
New York, NY 10006
(Do not send mail to this address)*

Other Locations Served

1302 Waugh Dr #111
Houston, TX 77019

188 Shopping Plaza Rd #240
Rutland, VT 05701

Teletherapy Locations

New York – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #001034
California – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #LMFT43013
Texas – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #201088
Texas – Licensed Professional Counselor #19332
Illinois – Licensed Professional Counselor #178.000647
Vermont – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #100.0130890
New Jersey – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #NJDCATEMP-000577
Florida- Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #MT3903

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy

Written by Lisa E. Rogers, MA, LPC, LMFT

Every family is unique — nuclear families, single-parent families, blended families, and so much more. No matter what type of family you have, some challenges require outside help. Family therapy provides a safe space for family members to talk candidly about their feelings, thoughts, opinions, and struggles. Therapy allows each family member to express their thoughts. 

With the assistance and leadership of a family therapist, families can understand each other in a way they may not have thought of before. Parents and children learn:

  • why each family member acts the way they do
  • how they best communicate
  • how they can have an open, honest discussion without fear of reproach

Let us show you some of the many benefits you can achieve with family therapy.

4 Benefits of Family Therapy

Benefit #1: Expert Help When You Need It

A family therapist has training and experience in situations that you may be encountering for the first time. They have the skills and knowledge you need to help your family communicate with each other. With a therapist’s help, you can resolve a conflict, deal with a transitional period such as a divorce or death in the family, and strengthen family bonds. 

By creating a safe space and offering guidance, the therapist provides specific suggestions to allow each individual to learn to communicate with family members better. 

In addition to resolving conflicts between family members, each individual will learn about their strengths and weaknesses. With this knowledge, family members will become better at communicating feelings, reducing stress, and preventing future conflicts.

Benefit #2: Resolve Family Conflict

Conflict between family members is a normal part of family life. Siblings fight with each other, spouses have arguments, and anyone with close contact with the family can create stress. 

There are many types of conflicts a family therapist is trained to help with. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Child behavioral issues
  • Death of a family member or close friend
  • Depression and anxiety in individual members of the family
  • Marital conflicts
  • Conflicts between a child and a family member
  • Substance abuse
  • LGBTQ issues

These are just a few common issues that families face. A family therapist is trained in multiple types of conflicts, issues, and problems between family members and the family as a whole.

Benefit #3: Proven Methods

When you first begin family therapy, your therapist will take an assessment of your family dynamic. They may use a questionnaire to go through your family history and your reasons for seeking therapy. 

Others prefer to discuss the reasons you’re seeking therapy and let the conversation flow from there. Your therapist wants to get a full and clear picture of the family dynamic and any issues each person has within the family unit. 

Sometimes, your therapist might suggest additional therapy services for family members. These additional services could include individual therapy for family members. For couples, they may suggest relationship and marriage counseling. When these methods are combined, they can help facilitate deeper relationships within families.

Benefit #4: Customized Therapy Programs

Once you’ve done the initial consultation, your therapist will create a therapy program for your family. A therapist uses multiple techniques to help a family during therapy. Some techniques are:

  • Cognitive Therapy: Helping individuals understand how they think about things can affect the way they feel emotionally.
  • Play Therapy: This is for children under the age of 13. During play therapy, the therapist observes and gains insight into a child’s problems. This therapy helps the child to explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma.
  • Crisis Mitigation: The therapist guides clients through a family crisis and transitional periods such as divorce or a death in the family.
  • Behavior Issues: Evaluate and replace dysfunctional behaviors by providing healthy alternatives.

These techniques encourage healthy behaviors in family members to resolve conflict or stress. By guiding a family with these techniques (and others), they can create better communication between family members. The individuals also gain valuable insight into themselves and gain confidence in communicating with others. 

How to Prepare for Family Therapy

Now that you know how helpful family therapy can be, there are some steps you can take to prepare your family.

Everyone may not be excited to attend family therapy sessions. You can provide support and guidance before you start to help ease worries, objections, and questions about it. 

Children especially may be resistant to the idea, worrying that something is wrong or that they will be judged. The best way to help them understand is by having a candid conversation and letting them know what they can expect. 

  • Discuss why you feel that therapy will help them individually as well as the family. 
  • Focus on working to find solutions and build strength for the family. 
  • Learn to be positive and supportive.

Engage the entire family by working together to identify issues and stressors individuals are feeling. Write these down and take them with you when meeting with the therapist. This list will help them to understand where everyone in the family is feeling stress and tension. Your list can also be the beginning of recognizing issues you weren’t aware of.
If age appropriate, encourage family members to think of issues they want to address and how they will approach them. Your therapist will help you communicate so the other person doesn’t get angry or defensive. 

Find the Right Therapist for Your Family

Finding the right therapist for your family is important. You want to make sure they are trained in the issues you’re facing. I have been practicing marriage and family, helping families, individuals, couples, adolescents, and children face their challenges and heal from traumas. Lisa tailors specific treatments based on the needs and challenges of her patients and offers both in-person and telehealth appointments, providing the flexibility to work within each family’s schedule. Don’t be afraid to take the first step. Reach out to me at Lisa Rogers Counseling to schedule an initial appointment today, and start your journey.

Key image for Lisa Rogers Counseling

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

Contact

Lisa E. Rogers M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

Phone: 646-599-3865

New York City Locations

208 E 51st St #264
New York, NY 10022
(Mail ok)*

245 5th Ave 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10016 
(Do not send mail to this address)*

18 E 41st St, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(No mail)*

115 Broadway #1800
New York, NY 10006
(Do not send mail to this address)*

Other Locations Served

1302 Waugh Dr #111
Houston, TX 77019

188 Shopping Plaza Rd #240
Rutland, VT 05701

Teletherapy Locations

New York – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #001034
California – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #LMFT43013
Texas – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #201088
Texas – Licensed Professional Counselor #19332
Illinois – Licensed Professional Counselor #178.000647
Vermont – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #100.0130890
New Jersey – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #NJDCATEMP-000577
Florida- Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #MT3903

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Email: Lisa@LisaRogersCounseling.com
Appointments made by phone only. Please do not email confidential information
Flexible appointment times available:Evenings and Saturdays available.
Virtual and Phone Sessions Available
(HIPAA Compliant)***
In case of an emergency please contact your local Hospital, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Tips for Coping With Emotional Trauma During COVID-19

Written by Lisa E. Rogers, MA, LPC, LMFT

This post content was originally written for the American Academy of Ophthamologists and can be viewed here.

Nothing captures the zeitgeist of America like a great comeback story. And as we struggle to recover and reopen amid the tumult of COVID-19, a strong dose of comeback is exactly what we need.

One of the greatest comebacks in sports history unfolded last year on a Sunday afternoon in Augusta, Ga. On April 14, 2019, after enduring a series of back surgeries and personal scandals, Tiger Woods claimed his 15th Masters title. “I had serious doubts,” Woods said. “I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit. Couldn’t lay down. I really couldn’t do much of anything.” Capturing the title “meant so much to me and my family,” he said. “To have everyone here, it’s something I’ll never, ever forget.”

We, too, are playing an important tournament as we plot the safest way to return to business during an ongoing pandemic. The Academy’s member pulse surveys revealed that 63% of U.S. members in private practice have furloughed or laid off staff due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, screenings for anxiety and depression have risen by 70% during COVID-19, according to research by Mental Health America. The return to business as usual will be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Our prize for persevering through this crisis will not be a green jacket, as in the PGA, but rather regular paychecks and a clean bill of health as we resume work that we once took for granted. If we unleash our spirits of healing and innovation, as Woods did, we may come roaring back with an epic win for ourselves, our practices and our communities.

Comebacks Begin at Rock Bottom

“When my house burned down, I gained an unobstructed view of the moon.” – Mitzuta Masahide

The Japanese word for “crisis” includes the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” Indeed, in every disaster, seeds of opportunity and possibility are buried beneath the ashes. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.

The stark contrast between crisis and opportunity — or gratitude for personal health and grief for lives lost — can give rise to complicated emotional responses. Depression may develop or intensify, inspiring feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness. Additionally, people who have endured traumatic experiences may develop survivor’s guilt, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Survivor’s guilt can cause someone to regret their actions during a crisis, feel guilty about living while so many others have died or ruminate over ways that they could have intervened to save lives.

Emotional responses such as survivor’s guilt can disrupt life in major ways, making it difficult to focus on work. This can manifest both physically and mentally, causing:

  • headaches, stomach aches and nausea;
  • nightmares or difficulty sleeping;
  • flashbacks to the traumatic event;
  • emotional numbness or feelings of anger, confusion, disconnection, fear, helplessness, irritability or lack of motivation;
  • social isolation;
  • substance abuse;
  • thoughts of suicide;
  • recurring concerns about the meaning of life; or a shift toward viewing the world as a dangerous, unsafe and unjust place.

During these turbulent times, it’s important to monitor yourself and others for warning signs such as:

  • suicidal ideations;
  • homicidal ideations;
  • violent thoughts or aggressive behavior; or
  • panic (beyond appropriate anxiety expressed toward threats or uncertainties).

These warning signs should never be ignored. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or others, seek professional help right away. Contact a doctor or therapist who specializes in trauma, a local hospital or the National Suicide Line at 800-273-8255.

1. Recognize that intense emotional reactions are normal.

Medical professionals cannot save all patients. It’s important to accept feelings that surface during these unprecedented times and allow time to process these emotions. Focus more energy on recalling the good experiences than on perseverating over the negative ones.

2. Accept that our current knowledge of COVID-19 is limited.

It’s helpful to concede that COVID-19 is a new virus, and that experts have limited experience managing pandemics of this scope. It’s only natural that the medical community and individual professionals are learning on a day-by-day basis how best to help patients navigate the mental and physical implications of COVID-19. Give yourself a break.

3. Take note of lessons learned.

Record your insights, learn from your mistakes and take note of strategies that work well when relating to yourself and others. Don’t make yourself learn these lessons twice.

4. Be mindful of how COVID-19 interferes with cultural and religious traditions.

Social distancing and medical procedures compromise cultural and religious traditions, which may exacerbate grief.

5. Stay connected.

Share emotions openly and honestly with a trusted network of family, friends, colleagues, clergy or neighbors.

6. Boost resilience through a healthy lifestyle.

Certain lifestyle chances can increase your resilience and help you rise above the emotional response to trauma. Make an effort to go to bed on time, eat a balanced diet and avoid alcohol and drugs. Find ways to incorporate physical exercise, mindfulness techniques and relaxation into your daily routine. Journaling, listening to music and creating art can be especially therapeutic. Limit your consumption of news and social media, and go out of your way to help others when opportunities arise.

7. Prepare now for future pandemics.

Knowledge is power. Empower yourself by learning how to get ahead of future pandemics.

8. Know when you need professional help.

Everyone handles grief and trauma differently. If these tips aren’t helping, reach out to a doctor or therapist who can tailor treatment to your individual needs.

Achieving a Successful Comeback from COVID-19


“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.” – Dali Lama

What about the seeds of possibility that lay buried beneath the ashes? Though the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on health and the economy, it also presents opportunities to eliminate practices that no longer work and innovate new solutions for the future.

Emphasize Wellness


Coming back from COVID-19 will require a transparent and supportive approach that balances mental health support with forward movement. Some team members may be ready to jump back into work immediately while others will benefit from counseling, resources or wellness referrals. Establish a protocol for linking employees to physical and mental health services.

Remember, too, that leadership can take a toll.

Schedule in extra time to prepare before meetings and allow time after the meetings to process and check in with yourself on everything that transpired. Reach out to colleagues and peers for support. Prioritize self-care so that you’ll have the endurance to lead others.

Explore the value of mental health apps, such as:

  • PTSD Coach
  • Head Space
  • Insight Timer
  • Calm
  • COVID Coach
  • 10% Happier

Communication is Key

Communication from leadership should take a transparent, supportive and nonjudgmental tone. It’s important to emphasize that employees are not in this alone; rather, they are part of a team that will work together to rise above the situation. Cultural awareness is essential, especially considering how culture shapes our responses to grief and trauma.

Here’s an example of a supportive statement from leadership:

Like many businesses, we have experienced a severe impact from COVID-19. Protecting our unique and revered brand, as well as the wellbeing of our highly valued employees, is a challenge that we [OWNERS] fully dedicate ourselves to. We have been in business for [NUMBER OF YEARS], and you don’t come this far without learning how to persevere through tough times. Our commitment to each other will help us overcome the current COVID-19 challenges through collaboration and innovation.

Plan for Contingencies


Unlike natural disasters, which are localized, COVID-19 has a global reach and its impact is pervasive and unpredictable. Businesses must develop plans for a variety of contingencies. Share these plans with the team and provide space for all employees to offer input and discuss concerns about returning to work.

As we move forward as a global community, may our practices continue to support and learn from each other.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Lisa Rogers Counseling

Accepting New Patients:

  • Adult
  • Adolescent
  • Children
  • Individual, Group, Family and Couples therapy

Teletherapy (Video/Phone) appointments now available:

Contact for Appointment

This post content was originally written for the American Academy of Ophthamologists and can be viewed here.

Nothing captures the zeitgeist of America like a great comeback story. And as we struggle to recover and reopen amid the tumult of COVID-19, a strong dose of comeback is exactly what we need.

One of the greatest comebacks in sports history unfolded last year on a Sunday afternoon in Augusta, Ga. On April 14, 2019, after enduring a series of back surgeries and personal scandals, Tiger Woods claimed his 15th Masters title. “I had serious doubts,” Woods said. “I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit. Couldn’t lay down. I really couldn’t do much of anything.” Capturing the title “meant so much to me and my family,” he said. “To have everyone here, it’s something I’ll never, ever forget.”

We, too, are playing an important tournament as we plot the safest way to return to business during an ongoing pandemic. The Academy’s member pulse surveys revealed that 63% of U.S. members in private practice have furloughed or laid off staff due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, screenings for anxiety and depression have risen by 70% during COVID-19, according to research by Mental Health America. The return to business as usual will be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Our prize for persevering through this crisis will not be a green jacket, as in the PGA, but rather regular paychecks and a clean bill of health as we resume work that we once took for granted. If we unleash our spirits of healing and innovation, as Woods did, we may come roaring back with an epic win for ourselves, our practices and our communities.

Comebacks Begin at Rock Bottom

“When my house burned down, I gained an unobstructed view of the moon.” – Mitzuta Masahide

The Japanese word for “crisis” includes the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” Indeed, in every disaster, seeds of opportunity and possibility are buried beneath the ashes. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.

The stark contrast between crisis and opportunity — or gratitude for personal health and grief for lives lost — can give rise to complicated emotional responses. Depression may develop or intensify, inspiring feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness. Additionally, people who have endured traumatic experiences may develop survivor’s guilt, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Survivor’s guilt can cause someone to regret their actions during a crisis, feel guilty about living while so many others have died or ruminate over ways that they could have intervened to save lives.

Emotional responses such as survivor’s guilt can disrupt life in major ways, making it difficult to focus on work. This can manifest both physically and mentally, causing:

  • headaches, stomach aches and nausea;
  • nightmares or difficulty sleeping;
  • flashbacks to the traumatic event;
  • emotional numbness or feelings of anger, confusion, disconnection, fear, helplessness, irritability or lack of motivation;
  • social isolation;
  • substance abuse;
  • thoughts of suicide;
  • recurring concerns about the meaning of life; or a shift toward viewing the world as a dangerous, unsafe and unjust place.

During these turbulent times, it’s important to monitor yourself and others for warning signs such as:

  • suicidal ideations;
  • homicidal ideations;
  • violent thoughts or aggressive behavior; or
  • panic (beyond appropriate anxiety expressed toward threats or uncertainties).

These warning signs should never be ignored. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or others, seek professional help right away. Contact a doctor or therapist who specializes in trauma, a local hospital or the National Suicide Line at 800-273-8255.

1. Recognize that intense emotional reactions are normal.

Medical professionals cannot save all patients. It’s important to accept feelings that surface during these unprecedented times and allow time to process these emotions. Focus more energy on recalling the good experiences than on perseverating over the negative ones.

2. Accept that our current knowledge of COVID-19 is limited.

It’s helpful to concede that COVID-19 is a new virus, and that experts have limited experience managing pandemics of this scope. It’s only natural that the medical community and individual professionals are learning on a day-by-day basis how best to help patients navigate the mental and physical implications of COVID-19. Give yourself a break.

3. Take note of lessons learned.

Record your insights, learn from your mistakes and take note of strategies that work well when relating to yourself and others. Don’t make yourself learn these lessons twice.

4. Be mindful of how COVID-19 interferes with cultural and religious traditions.

Social distancing and medical procedures compromise cultural and religious traditions, which may exacerbate grief.

5. Stay connected.

Share emotions openly and honestly with a trusted network of family, friends, colleagues, clergy or neighbors.

6. Boost resilience through a healthy lifestyle.

Certain lifestyle chances can increase your resilience and help you rise above the emotional response to trauma. Make an effort to go to bed on time, eat a balanced diet and avoid alcohol and drugs. Find ways to incorporate physical exercise, mindfulness techniques and relaxation into your daily routine. Journaling, listening to music and creating art can be especially therapeutic. Limit your consumption of news and social media, and go out of your way to help others when opportunities arise.

7. Prepare now for future pandemics.

Knowledge is power. Empower yourself by learning how to get ahead of future pandemics.

8. Know when you need professional help.

Everyone handles grief and trauma differently. If these tips aren’t helping, reach out to a doctor or therapist who can tailor treatment to your individual needs.

Achieving a Successful Comeback from COVID-19


“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.” – Dali Lama

What about the seeds of possibility that lay buried beneath the ashes? Though the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on health and the economy, it also presents opportunities to eliminate practices that no longer work and innovate new solutions for the future.

Emphasize Wellness


Coming back from COVID-19 will require a transparent and supportive approach that balances mental health support with forward movement. Some team members may be ready to jump back into work immediately while others will benefit from counseling, resources or wellness referrals. Establish a protocol for linking employees to physical and mental health services.

Remember, too, that leadership can take a toll.

Schedule in extra time to prepare before meetings and allow time after the meetings to process and check in with yourself on everything that transpired. Reach out to colleagues and peers for support. Prioritize self-care so that you’ll have the endurance to lead others.

Explore the value of mental health apps, such as:

  • PTSD Coach
  • Head Space
  • Insight Timer
  • Calm
  • COVID Coach
  • 10% Happier

Communication is Key

Communication from leadership should take a transparent, supportive and nonjudgmental tone. It’s important to emphasize that employees are not in this alone; rather, they are part of a team that will work together to rise above the situation. Cultural awareness is essential, especially considering how culture shapes our responses to grief and trauma.

Here’s an example of a supportive statement from leadership:

Like many businesses, we have experienced a severe impact from COVID-19. Protecting our unique and revered brand, as well as the wellbeing of our highly valued employees, is a challenge that we [OWNERS] fully dedicate ourselves to. We have been in business for [NUMBER OF YEARS], and you don’t come this far without learning how to persevere through tough times. Our commitment to each other will help us overcome the current COVID-19 challenges through collaboration and innovation.

Plan for Contingencies


Unlike natural disasters, which are localized, COVID-19 has a global reach and its impact is pervasive and unpredictable. Businesses must develop plans for a variety of contingencies. Share these plans with the team and provide space for all employees to offer input and discuss concerns about returning to work.

As we move forward as a global community, may our practices continue to support and learn from each other.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Lisa Rogers Counseling

Accepting New Patients:

  • Adult
  • Adolescent
  • Children
  • Individual, Group, Family and Couples therapy

Teletherapy (Video/Phone) appointments now available:

Call Lisa for Appointment

How to cope with and manage stress during this pandemic

Written by Lisa E. Rogers, MA, LPC, LMFT

This article was originally written for American Academy of Opthamology and can be viewed here.

Let’s keep this simple; there has been a seismic shift of biblical proportions on the psyche of all of humankind. The aftershocks being felt around the world are affecting every area of our civilization: physical, emotional, spiritual and financial.

The best and brightest of Hollywood could not have crafted this existential crisis. Kris and Kylie Jenner announce they will make hand sanitizer, Tiffany& Co. is advertising stay-at-home quarantine coloring books instead of quality diamonds, Zoom stock is higher than oil stock, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada repurpose their factories to make masks and hospital gowns (PPE), and the Queen of England is celebrating her 94th birthday not with her usual gun salute and parade, but she is taking calls on Zoom.

Meanwhile, our health care system has been devastated.

As a therapist and the wife of an ophthalmologist, I am reaching out to the Academy community to offer some tips on ways to cope with and manage stress during this pandemic.

It’s normal to have feelings of guilt, such as, “I’m not doing enough” or “I’m failing at managing my patients and family.” By focusing on the process, not the outcome, and by taking good care of yourself, you can quiet these voices of guilt and shame.

Reducing stress is the best way you can deal with this crisis and will help boost your immunity and mental health.

Exercise:

If you had an exercise program before the pandemic, try to maintain your routine with virtual classes. Check with your gym trainers who may be offering classes.

Nutrition:

Be mindful but realistic about nutrition; try to eat a variety of unprocessed fresh foods. But the occasional craving for a good burger or pizza should be indulged without beating yourself up about it.

Sleep:

Try to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern and be mindful of any sudden changes.

Health care:

Maintain continuity with current medical and mental health conditions. Watch for worsening symptoms, both physical and mental, such as withdrawal, guilt, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or the increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. These symptoms need to be addressed with your health care providers.

Socializing:

Stay connected. Seek support from family, friends, mentors, clergy and colleagues who are working in similar circumstances.

State of mind:

Try to offset stress by mindfulness, music, exercise and yoga.

  • Remain hopeful, celebrate success, find things to be grateful for.
  • Draw on your spirituality, those who inspire you or your personal beliefs and values.
  • Consider the current situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
  • Utilize positive coping behaviors that have worked well in the past.
  • Integrate comedy and laughter as part of your daily living experience to balance out the fears that come from the uncertainty that is all-consuming.
  • Incorporate nature by walking outside and getting sunlight and fresh air or walking outside at night and looking at the stars for 10 or so minutes on a daily basis.

Children:

Teens and children will react in part on what they see from the adults around them. If you react confidently and calmly, they will be more prepared and better equipped to cope.

  • Talk openly and honestly with your children or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak, answer and share facts about COVID-19 in an age-appropriate way to help them process the information.
  • Reassure your child or teen that you always are going to prioritize their safety.
  • Have a family meeting about how you are protecting yourself at work from exposure to COVID-19 and how you are taking measures to protect everyone.
  • Let teens and children know that it is OK to feel angry, frustrated and scared about your exposure to the virus, and then their potential exposure as a result.
  • Be aware of the messages your children are getting through the internet, social media and the news. At times, news coverage may become frightening and confusing for them.
  • Use this moment to create new family patterns to replace old habits that have not served the family unit well.
  • Model good behavior for your family: Exercise, take breaks from the news, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and encourage virtual connections with friends and family members outside of the home, which can help lower distress and feelings of social isolation.

These tools alone aren’t going to fix everything. If your anxiety and moods are out of balance, you need to reach out for professional help from a doctor or therapist.

Above all, remember we are in a time of heightened fear and uncertainty as we are being forced to live out our lives in unnatural circumstances. The need to have compassion for ourselves and others has never been more valuable. The collective trauma of this pandemic with the archetypal image of the cell structure of COVID-19 has imprinted itself on our psyches.

As Gandhi once said, “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” Lighting the way, medicine is progressing at an exponential pace; and as a civilization, we are coming out of this plague stronger and healthier as we realize that our survival in the end will depend on our ability to work together.

Lisa Rogers Counseling

Accepting New Patients:

  • Adult
  • Adolescent
  • Children
  • Individual, Group, Family and Couples therapy

Teletherapy (Video/Phone) appointments now available:

Contact for Appointment

Written by Lisa E. Rogers, MA, LPC, LMFT

This article was originally written for American Academy of Opthamology and can be viewed here.

Let’s keep this simple; there has been a seismic shift of biblical proportions on the psyche of all of humankind. The aftershocks being felt around the world are affecting every area of our civilization: physical, emotional, spiritual and financial.

The best and brightest of Hollywood could not have crafted this existential crisis. Kris and Kylie Jenner announce they will make hand sanitizer, Tiffany& Co. is advertising stay-at-home quarantine coloring books instead of quality diamonds, Zoom stock is higher than oil stock, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada repurpose their factories to make masks and hospital gowns (PPE), and the Queen of England is celebrating her 94th birthday not with her usual gun salute and parade, but she is taking calls on Zoom.

Meanwhile, our health care system has been devastated.

As a therapist and the wife of an ophthalmologist, I am reaching out to the Academy community to offer some tips on ways to cope with and manage stress during this pandemic.

It’s normal to have feelings of guilt, such as, “I’m not doing enough” or “I’m failing at managing my patients and family.” By focusing on the process, not the outcome, and by taking good care of yourself, you can quiet these voices of guilt and shame.

Reducing stress is the best way you can deal with this crisis and will help boost your immunity and mental health.

Exercise:

If you had an exercise program before the pandemic, try to maintain your routine with virtual classes. Check with your gym trainers who may be offering classes.

Nutrition:

Be mindful but realistic about nutrition; try to eat a variety of unprocessed fresh foods. But the occasional craving for a good burger or pizza should be indulged without beating yourself up about it.

Sleep:

Try to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern and be mindful of any sudden changes.

Health care:

Maintain continuity with current medical and mental health conditions. Watch for worsening symptoms, both physical and mental, such as withdrawal, guilt, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or the increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. These symptoms need to be addressed with your health care providers.

Socializing:

Stay connected. Seek support from family, friends, mentors, clergy and colleagues who are working in similar circumstances.

State of mind:

Try to offset stress by mindfulness, music, exercise and yoga.

  • Remain hopeful, celebrate success, find things to be grateful for.
  • Draw on your spirituality, those who inspire you or your personal beliefs and values.
  • Consider the current situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
  • Utilize positive coping behaviors that have worked well in the past.
  • Integrate comedy and laughter as part of your daily living experience to balance out the fears that come from the uncertainty that is all-consuming.
  • Incorporate nature by walking outside and getting sunlight and fresh air or walking outside at night and looking at the stars for 10 or so minutes on a daily basis.

Children:

Teens and children will react in part on what they see from the adults around them. If you react confidently and calmly, they will be more prepared and better equipped to cope.

  • Talk openly and honestly with your children or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak, answer and share facts about COVID-19 in an age-appropriate way to help them process the information.
  • Reassure your child or teen that you always are going to prioritize their safety.
  • Have a family meeting about how you are protecting yourself at work from exposure to COVID-19 and how you are taking measures to protect everyone.
  • Let teens and children know that it is OK to feel angry, frustrated and scared about your exposure to the virus, and then their potential exposure as a result.
  • Be aware of the messages your children are getting through the internet, social media and the news. At times, news coverage may become frightening and confusing for them.
  • Use this moment to create new family patterns to replace old habits that have not served the family unit well.
  • Model good behavior for your family: Exercise, take breaks from the news, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and encourage virtual connections with friends and family members outside of the home, which can help lower distress and feelings of social isolation.

These tools alone aren’t going to fix everything. If your anxiety and moods are out of balance, you need to reach out for professional help from a doctor or therapist.

Above all, remember we are in a time of heightened fear and uncertainty as we are being forced to live out our lives in unnatural circumstances. The need to have compassion for ourselves and others has never been more valuable. The collective trauma of this pandemic with the archetypal image of the cell structure of COVID-19 has imprinted itself on our psyches.

As Gandhi once said, “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” Lighting the way, medicine is progressing at an exponential pace; and as a civilization, we are coming out of this plague stronger and healthier as we realize that our survival in the end will depend on our ability to work together.

Lisa Rogers Counseling

Accepting New Patients:

  • Adult
  • Adolescent
  • Children
  • Individual, Group, Family and Couples therapy

Teletherapy (Video/Phone) appointments now available:

Call Lisa for Appointment