Christian counselor Murrieta

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?

You have always felt like you're different from other people. You get overwhelmed easily, you feel other people's emotions strongly, certain fabrics feel like sandpaper when they touch your skin, and you tend to get anxious a lot. You don't fit in in the world, your family thinks you're too sensitive, and your friends certainly don't get you. You were called "Weird" when you were growing up, but you've always hated that. You don't enjoy going to the club, other loud places, or being among a large crowd. You also tend to spend a great deal of time on your own. There's something about time alone that soothes you and makes you feel rejuvenated.

Maybe you're simply just unique.

You were created with certain unique gifts that set you apart from the people around you. Maybe that's why you never fit into a box. But let's face it, a part of you always wanted to be understood. A part of you wished others would understand you. But maybe you were never meant to fit in, maybe boxes weren't made for people like you.

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is someone who processes stimuli a lot stronger than others. The term was actually coined by a researcher called Dr Elaine Aron. So you might hear a lot sharper than others, notice little nuances in the environment that others ignore, feel sensations stronger (hence the itchy fabric issue) and even feel emotions more strongly than others. You feelings might get hurt more easily. A HSP is often very empathetic. They might cry more when they watch a sad movie, or they might be completely horrified and might not be able to watch violent movies or play graphic video games. They often see the hurt and the pain that other people try to hide. Because they're so empathetic, others tend to gravitate towards them and pour out their hearts to them. But the problem with this is, a HSP often feels the need to help everyone- leaving her with no energy left for her own emotional needs. If you're curious to see if you're a HSP, take the test here.

Here are some traits of HSPs:

1) People think you're sensitive or shy.

2) You are bothered by loud noises and bright lights.

3) You get frazzled when there's too much going on in your life.

4) You enjoy structure.

5) You avoid violent movies and games.

6) You love spending time all by yourself.

7) You tend to soak up other people's emotions.

So if you take the HSP test and find out that you're a HSP, congrats!! You are one of the chosen few. Only 15% to 20% of people are HSP. This is why others find it difficult to understand you-it's because you're a rarity. So take off the stigma of being weird and different. You are indeed unique- not weird. I love helping HSP women learn how to care for themselves, learn how to maneuver their way in this loud world so that they can how harness their innate gifts and create meaningful relationships. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation call, so I can help you move from emotionally exhausted woman to a master boundary setter. I also provide online counseling for women throughout CA.

Faith and anxiety

You go to church every single week. You pray every day and you have a strong faith that God can take away whatever pain you've been carrying. You consider yourself to be a good Christian. But you ask yourself, "If I'm a good Christian, why do I still have anxiety? Why does worry seem to follow me wherever I go?"

Well, as a Christian therapist, I understand that sometimes although we are following God and doing all the right things to feed our souls, anxiety still creeps in. We still worry about our future, we worry about our friends, we worry about our families and we worry about ourselves. We wonder if our prayers will get answered, if our sickness will be healed, if our kids will grow up right and if our spouses will stay forever faithful. You might still have old wounds from the way you were raised or you might have hurts from things that have happened to you in the past. No one ever said that a Christian will not have worries-you definitely will.

As a therapist in Murrieta who understands this, I give my Christian clients the space to include prayer and scriptures into the work that we do. I understand that faith cannot be separated from the heart of a Christian. I also understand that Christians are also humans who have real hurts and real troubles. Counseling and faith can work hand in hand. God can use counseling to heal past hurts while you continue to pray. We can work together to help you to use your faith as a balm to soothe your anxiety.

So can a Christian go to therapy? Absolutely. Look at it this way- if your arm was broken, would you still go to a doctor to get it fixed? Yup. But would you also pray after the doctor has treated your arm? Absolutely. I believe God can use counselors and therapists to heal broken hearts, the same way he can use doctors to heal broken bodies. 

When last have you used your faith to soothe your anxiety? If you'd like to reach out to me for a free 15 minute phone consultation so we can talk about how we can merge faith and counseling together in order to reduce the worrisome thoughts in your head, click here to email me or call me at 951-905-3181. You don't have to put your Christian faith aside when you go to therapy or counseling.

How to pick a therapist in the Murrieta area

Your life has been difficult for a while. You're struggling with anxiety and you're considering therapy. You do a quick search online and you realize there are over 20 therapists in Murrieta alone. How on earth are you supposed to find the right one? Well here are some of my suggestions:

Does the therapist take your insurance? When people call me on the phone, one of the first things they ask me is if I take their insurance. Most people want to go this route because it's the most cost effective way for them. If you choose to use your insurance, just know that insurance expects the therapist to diagnose you. This diagnosis is permanent and will remain on your record. FYI. However, in some cases, if you don't meet criteria for any mental health disorder, then the session won't be covered by your insurance. Always ask your therapist what your diagnosis is. It's a great way to empower yourself. Note that because a therapist accepts your insurance doesn't mean they will be the best fit for you.

Also be aware that your insurance dictates how many sessions you get to have, the length of your sessions and what types of session you have. For example, some insurance companies don't cover couples counseling, some don't cover group counseling and others will limit you to 3 sessions. Call your insurance company to get all the details before making a decision. 

 Is the therapist male or female? Some people specifically want a male therapist, while others want a female and some don't have any preference. Figure out who you are more comfortable with and go that route. There's no advantage with either, just do what makes you feel comfortable.

How much do counseling sessions cost? If you are going the insurance route, ask your insurance company what your benefits are, figure out how many sessions you are approved for and also know if you'll have a copay or you have to meet a certain deductible. That way you can budget for the sessions. Note that it's also possible to work with a therapist who is not contracted with your insurance company. In this case, the therapist will give you a receipt called a super bill, which you will present to your insurance company for reimbursement. So don't fret if the therapist you want to work with isn't on the list of in network providers. Typically this works for PPO insurance companies, while HMO companies want you to see a therapist who is contracted with their network.

If you are not going the insurance route, also ask the therapist how much each session will cost so you're not taken unaware and you can budget accordingly. Either way, you'll have some planning to do.

Where is the therapist located? Do you want a therapist who's close to your home or close to your work? How far away from your home do you want to drive? Some people will drive an hour to see a therapist they deeply connect with, and others must have someone within a 10 mile radius. Think about that. Ultimately, the most important thing is having a therapist whom you deeply connect with.

Imagine driving 10 minutes to see a therapist whom you can't stand? Sounds awful doesn't it?

Can the therapist see you online if you have to be out of town? If you are a busy person who does not always have the time to drive over for weekly appointments or if you go out of town regularly, you might also want to consider a therapist who can see you remotely. I personally use a software called Vsee. It's similar to Skype, except it's more secure. Note that in California, I can only see my clients if they are physically located in California. So if you're traveling out of state, I can't see you.

How long will therapy take? Successful therapy takes anywhere from weeks to months. Have this conversation with your therapist so you can mentally prepare yourself and commit to the care you deserve. It's a lot better to be prepared than to unsuccessfully drop out of therapy.

What is the therapist's personality like? We all know which type of person we connect with the most. This is why it's important to have the free consultation that many therapists offer. Figure out if you like their voice, if they sound friendly enough, if you want someone older, younger, more experienced, etc. Do they remind you of someone from your past? Once you have your first session, if you don't feel like they are a good fit or you really don't like their personality, just tell them.  I promise my feelings will not be hurt. Remember. Not every therapist will be the perfect fit for you.

So, if you'd like to have a free 15 minute phone consultation call with me so we can figure out how to get you on board the counseling train, ou can call me on 951-905-3181.