Phone: +1 (209) 262-4387

Hours: Mon-Sat: 9 am to 7 pm

26 Feb 2020
Trauma Therapy
Childhood Trauma

 

Childhood trauma occurs more than you may think. More than two thirds of children reported at least 1 traumatic event by age 16. Potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years) such as experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect; witnessing violence in the home; and having a family member attempt or die by suicide. Also included are aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding such as growing up in a household with substance misuse, mental health problems, or instability due to parental separation or incarceration of a parent, sibling or other member of the household. Traumatic events in childhood can be emotionally painful or distressing and can have effects that persist for years. Factors such as the nature, frequency and seriousness of the traumatic event, prior history of trauma, and available family and community support can shape a child’s response to trauma.

Facts About Adult and Childhood Trauma

More than 25% of American youth experience a serious traumatic event by their 16th birthday, and many children suffer multiple and repeated traumas. Common sources of trauma include child abuse and neglect; serious accidental injury; disasters and terrorism; experiencing or witnessing violence in neighborhoods, schools and homes; and treatment for life-threatening illness (medical trauma).

Signs of traumatic stress include fear, anger, withdrawal, trouble concentrating, digestive problems, and nightmares. Behavior disorders and “acting-out” can also be symptoms of trauma. Academic failure, lower drop-out rates, higher rates of absenteeism, expulsion and suspension are associated with students’ exposure to community violence.

A child’s distress may not be obvious or visible. Traumatic stress can interfere with children’s ability to concentrate and learn. Exposure in infancy and early childhood can seriously delay development of their brains and bodies. It can change how children view the world and their own futures, and it can change their behavior, interests and relationships with family, friends and teachers. It can lead to school refusal, absenteeism, educational failure, acting out, school expulsion and suspension. They may try to avoid people and places that are traumatic reminders. They may seem numb because they are trying to avoid feeling their own feelings.

Treatment from a mental health professional who has training and experience working with traumatized individuals can reduce child and adult traumatic stress and minimize physical, emotional, and social problems. Numerous randomized controlled trials have established the benefits of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for children as well for participating caregivers. These positive effects have been found in diverse populations and in children from preschool through adolescence. Studies also suggest that clients and their caregivers may continue to improve after TF-CBT has ended.

Symptoms of Childhood Trauma

 

Children and adolescents who have been traumatized can develop an intense fear regarding any reminders of the traumatic event. This fear may encourage the child to avoid any traumatic reminders and may not want to talk about what occurred. The child may become more isolated, not express his or her feelings or thoughts, and feel emotional numbing and tension.

 

Exhibiting one or several of these symptoms or behaviors places the child at risk of having problems at school, of isolating themselves from others, of having conflicts or lack of communication with parents and peers. These symptoms or behaviors, if left untreated, may impede the child’s normal course of development.

 

This stressful state can cause the child to develop symptoms such as:

  • Inability or unwillingness to recall trauma details
  • Difficulty stopping thoughts about the trauma
  • Emotional and physical numbing
  • Recalling physical sensations that occurred during trauma
  • Difficulty staying still or fidgeting
  • Sleeping routine is disturbed
  • Rapid changes in mood

 

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self esteem
  • Inability to trust others
  • Drug use
  • Desire to hurt oneself or others

 

 

A large and growing body of research indicates that toxic stress during childhood can harm the most basic levels of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Changes to the brain from toxic stress can affect such things as attention, impulsive behavior, decision-making, learning, emotion, and response to stress. Children growing up under these conditions often struggle to learn and complete schooling. They are at increased risk of becoming involved in crime and violence, using alcohol or drugs, and engaging in early sexual activity, unprotected sex and suicide attempts. They are susceptible to disease, illness, and mental health challenges over their lifetime. Children growing up with toxic stress may have difficulty forming healthy and stable relationships. They may also have unstable work histories as adults and struggle with finances, family, jobs, and depression throughout life—the effects of which can be passed on to their own children.

 

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an effective evidenced-based treatment for trauma. TF-CBT can help parents recognize and respond appropriately to their child’s trauma responses, while setting appropriate behavioral limits and rebuild trust and safety.

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.

 

   +1 (209) 262-4387     Call Now

Adult Trauma

Life is full of stressful changes. Some stressful experiences can be good, such as the birth of a child, some bad, such as financial difficulties. In our everyday language we use the word trauma for many types of stressful experiences. However, traumatic experiences are unique because they specifically threaten us with serious physical injury or death. Common examples include car accidents, rape, assaults, war, fires or natural disasters. Often, traumas caused by people (e.g., violent crime) have additional psychological challenges as compared to natural disasters (e.g., floods or earthquakes). Individuals who witness such dangerous situations or their immediate aftermath may also experience traumatic reactions.

 

Trauma reactions commonly last for several weeks or months before people start to feel normal again. The majority of individuals report that they feel better within the first three months. On-going exposure to a threatening experience may produce more prolonged stress because of the continual reminders that the threat of danger is not over.

 

Life-threatening situations will produce a variety of intense and unusual stress reactions in our emotions, thoughts and actions. The most common symptoms of trauma fall into three broad areas: re-experiencing, avoidance and hyperarousal. Other emotions such as guilt, anger, and depression can also commonly occur following a trauma.

 

Re-experiencing: repetitive, vivid, and intrusive thoughts, images, memories, and sensations about the trauma and its consequences are hallmark symptoms and can create tremendous anxiety. Traumatic images or thoughts may intrude during the day as “flashbacks” or during sleep as nightmares. Other typical thoughts may include: believing you are in danger; believing that you should foresee and control these dangers; believing that you should have somehow been able to do more to stop the event from happening, and that your personality and future are permanently damaged.

 

Hyperarousal: difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, being hypervigilant, a general inability to unwind and becoming easily startled are common physical symptoms of anxiety that may occur following a trauma. Panic attacks, racing heart and appetite disturbances are also common.

 

Avoidance: not wanting to be around reminders of the trauma. This may include avoiding some of the people, places and things that remind you of the event or were present at the time, but it can also include avoiding certain conversations, thoughts and feelings. Emotional numbing and a diminished ability to experience pleasure are typical. Some people may forget important aspects of the trauma, report being unable to have loving feelings toward others and may have less interest in carrying on with their daily lives. People may withdraw socially, begin to feel alienated and mistrustful of others and report an increase in conflicts with others. Avoidance can also take the form of strange, almost dream-like, experiences called depersonalization and derealization. You might feel unreal or disconnected from your surroundings, nearby people or your own body. Alcohol and/or other substances are another method often used to avoid traumatic feelings and memories through “self-medicating.”

 

When symptoms are severe enough during the first month to impair social or occupational functioning, Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) may be diagnosed. If these more immediate and disruptive patterns last beyond one month, the syndrome is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Approximately half of those who have post-traumatic symptoms will recover within 3 months. The likelihood that you will continue to experience these symptoms beyond three months depends upon a variety of factors. For example, direct exposure to the traumatic event, the seriousness of the threat to life, amount of times trauma was experienced, a history of past trauma, psychological difficulties prior to trauma are all factors that may increase the likelihood that your symptoms will not go away on their own with time.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy are evidenced-based treatments for trauma. These treatments generally aim to help people see themselves and their worlds more adaptively by modifying the distorted or unhelpful ways of thinking that have been linked to problems in emotion. The therapist helps the client view the trauma and their reactions to it in ways that are more helpful and balanced. Therapy also helps to create new relaxation behaviors and encourage a sense of empowerment, self-worth, and strength.

 

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.
Bergen Filgas

MS, LMFT

Rachael Cresci

DBH, LCSW

Valerie Lamke

MS, LMFT

Samantha Moreno

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Michael Lospinoso

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Brandon Castro

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Mae Grimme

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Eric Garcia

MA, Registered Associate PCC

About us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California Office -1
Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California - General 7

Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • LGBTQ+ Gender Issues
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is accepting new clients in all three (3) of our Central Valley locations in Modesto, Merced, and Turlock California.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We can see clients as young as 2 years old. A session is a once a week appointment lasting 50 minutes.

Yes. Our staff can get you in touch with the transportation coordinator from your Health Plan to arrange necessary transportation to-and-from the therapy office.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.

 

We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy.

About Us

DEDICATED THERAPISTS

We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.

Teletherapy

Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is provided by your Health Plan. If you have problems with getting to your appointments, we are able to help arrange a ride.

Latest News

Teen Depression Is Different

The symptom profile for teenagers is different than that of adults. Parents sometimes do not recognize the symptoms because depression in teenagers is not what most people think of as signs of depression. As a result, many teens unnecessarily suffer in silence.

Read More
Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance is the acceptance of life, on life’s terms. While pain is part of life, radical acceptance allows us to keep that pain from becoming suffering. It is about accepting the facts of reality, no matter how painful, without avoidance, overthinking, or dangerous behaviors. When a person does not accept the realities of life

Read More
Benefits Of Gratitude Journaling

Modern psychologists suggest that our overall personality is relatively fixed and stable throughout life. But the brain possesses the remarkable capacity to reorganize pathways and create new connections. This is called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity.   Modern research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and can alter existing ones in

Read More
tmc_a_free_consultation

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Offices Located Throughout The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

Request More Information

16 May 2017
Anxiety Issues
Anxiety Issues

 

We all face times in our lives when we get anxious and stressed. We may experience anxiety before having to do a classroom presentation, attending a job interview, or going in for a surgery. For people with an anxiety disorder the fear and worry may be more intense and cause avoidance of normal activities and impair the quality of relationships. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

Facts You Should Know About Anxiety

Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness because they involve excessive fear or anxiety, and typically cause reactions out of proportion to the circumstances. Anxiety disorders can interfere with job performance, school work, and relationships.

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) often experience apprehension or a sense of impending doom, excessive worry and even panic. But there are also a myriad of physical symptoms they may experience such as, restlessness, sweating not brought on by heat, heart palpitations, chronic fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.

Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and will affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives.

Anxiety disorders can be caused by a number of factors, including trauma, stress buildup or stress due to an illness, withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, or family history of mental health issues.

Anxiety disorders most often start when people are teenagers. Anyone can get one, but they are more common among women and girls. They are also more common in people who were neglected/abused as children, or who are neglected/abused as adults.

 

Anxiety disorders can range anywhere from mild to severe and this is why it can sometimes be hard for some individuals to determine whether or not they may have an anxiety disorder themselves, especially if they have been living with feelings of anxiety for a long time.

What Type of Symptoms Accompany Anxiety Disorders?

Excessive Worrying

 

We usually know how much we should be worrying about a situation based on how serious it is. A person will be less worried about changing a job assignment than losing a job. Those who have an anxiety disorder, however, will typically worry excessively about almost any given situation and may experience an excessive physiological arousal which can stop you in your tracks. If you are dealing with an anxiety disorder, you are most likely worried about most things extensively on a regular basis and will avoid situations that are considered normal activities of daily life.

 

Feeling Agitated and Irritated

 

Hormones that are released during a stress event can have a negative impact over time if they are constantly being released, often resulting in increased agitation and irritability towards others. Feeling overall agitated and showing signs of unjustifiable agitation could be another sign of an anxiety disorder.

 

Restlessness

 

Feeling restless or on edge for the majority of your day during most of the week is one of the major signs that you may have an anxiety disorder. This can be both physical restlessness such as fidgeting and feeling nervous and can also be a mental restlessness such as having your mind jump from one thing to another. In addition, this restlessness can also cause problems for those who are trying to fall asleep as they may have trouble falling or staying asleep due to their constant feelings of nervousness and fear.

 

Strong Irrational Fears That Impact the Individual’s Ability to Function Properly in Society

 

Fear caused by an anxiety disorder may be specific and affect one part of life more than others. For example, there are those with anxiety disorders who have an intense fear of being out in public spaces while there are others who may have trouble being left alone in the house. Having an irrational fear that leaves you unable to do certain things is a sign that there may be an underlying anxiety disorder that needs to be assessed and treated.

 

Tension and Fatigue

 

If you are feeling tired and tense constantly because of the nervousness and fear you are feeling, this may be a major sign that you are coping with your own anxiety disorder. Being in a constant state of worry can lead to chronic muscle tension and can wear you down physically.

 

Dealing With Certain Physical Symptoms on a Regular Basis

 

If you have ever been really worried about something in your life, you know how anxiety can feel. For those who have an anxiety disorder, these physical symptoms are often amplified and are experienced regularly rather than during stressful times. Some of the physical symptoms include an increased heart rate or heart palpitations, hyperventilation, excessive sweating, trembling or shaking, an inability to properly concentrate, stomach pains or other stomach issues, and panic attacks in some individuals. Panic attacks on occasion may not necessarily be indicative of an anxiety disorder but experiencing many of these physical symptoms or panic attacks regularly could be another good indication that you are dealing with an anxiety disorder.

 

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.

 

   +1 (209) 262-4387     Call Now

The Five Major Types Of Anxiety Disorders Are:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.

 

Panic Disorder

 

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

 

Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

 

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.

 

Researchers are finding that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Although the risk factors for each type of anxiety disorder can vary, some general risk factors for all types of anxiety disorders include:

 

  • Temperamental traits of shyness or behavioral inhibition in childhood
  • Exposure to stressful and negative life or environmental events in early childhood or adulthood
  • A history of anxiety or other mental illnesses in biological relatives
  • Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid problems or heart arrhythmias, or caffeine or other substances/medications, can produce or aggravate anxiety symptoms.

 

Stress Vs Anxiety

 

It can be hard to distinguish between chronic stress and anxiety as they have similar symptoms and wear us down mentally and physically. If you are lacking the nervousness or fear that often comes from anxiety, you are most likely dealing with chronic stress and will need to receive treatment and help for that. If left unchecked, chronic stress can lead to disease, anxiety and other mental health problems.

 

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.
Mae Grimme

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Sasha Jackson

MSW, LCSW

Valerie Lamke

MS, LMFT

Brandon Castro

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Eric Garcia

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Bergen Filgas

MS, LMFT

Samantha Moreno

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Michael Lospinoso

MA, Registered Associate PCC

About us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California Office -1
Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California - General 7

Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • LGBTQ+ Gender Issues
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is accepting new clients in all three (3) of our Central Valley locations in Modesto, Merced, and Turlock California.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We can see clients as young as 2 years old. A session is a once a week appointment lasting 50 minutes.

Yes. Our staff can get you in touch with the transportation coordinator from your Health Plan to arrange necessary transportation to-and-from the therapy office.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.

 

We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy.

About Us

DEDICATED THERAPISTS

We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.

Teletherapy

Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is provided by your Health Plan. If you have problems with getting to your appointments, we are able to help arrange a ride.

Latest News

Teen Depression Is Different

The symptom profile for teenagers is different than that of adults. Parents sometimes do not recognize the symptoms because depression in teenagers is not what most people think of as signs of depression. As a result, many teens unnecessarily suffer in silence.

Read More
Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance is the acceptance of life, on life’s terms. While pain is part of life, radical acceptance allows us to keep that pain from becoming suffering. It is about accepting the facts of reality, no matter how painful, without avoidance, overthinking, or dangerous behaviors. When a person does not accept the realities of life

Read More
Benefits Of Gratitude Journaling

Modern psychologists suggest that our overall personality is relatively fixed and stable throughout life. But the brain possesses the remarkable capacity to reorganize pathways and create new connections. This is called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity.   Modern research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and can alter existing ones in

Read More
tmc_a_free_consultation

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Offices Located Throughout The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

Request More Information

15 May 2017
Child Disruptive Mood and Behavior
Types of Child Disruptive Mood and Behavior

 

Tantrums

 

Temper tantrums are violent emotional outbursts, usually in response to frustration. Frustration, tiredness, and hunger are the most common causes. Children may scream, cry, thrash, roll on the floor, throw things, and stomp their feet during a tantrum. Temper tantrums range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and holding the breath. They’re equally common in boys and girls and usually happen between the ages of 1 to 3.

 

Some kids may have tantrums often, and others have them rarely. Tantrums are a normal part of child development. They’re how young children show that they’re upset or frustrated. But tantrums that are either more intense than what may be considered normal or are occurring too frequently and causing a disruption for the family may be a sign that professional help is needed.

 

 

Negative Attention-seeking

 

Children seek out the attention of their parents. They might try a positive behavior to get attention or if a parent does not notice and praise the positive behavior, the child might try a negative approach next. If a child is repeating negative behaviors to get noticed it may be a behavior pattern that you as a parent have been reinforcing. This can become a negative tug-of-war with the child, resulting in punishments, cursing, criticisms, angry tone, and a general unhappiness with the child. This pattern can repeat and can come to dominate the relationship which eventually takes a toll on the emotional bond. It can also lead to an increase of non-compliance by the child to the parent’s everyday commands.

 

Some Facts on Child Disruptive Mood and Behavior

A relatively new disorder, DMDD describes kids who may be chronically irritable and who have frequent explosive, severe temper outbursts that seem out of proportion with the situation. Some of these children may have previously been diagnosed with bipolar, but they do not experience the episodic mania or hypomania characteristics.

Children with DMDD are at elevated risk for anxiety and depression as adults and “unlike pediatric bipolar disorder, DMDD is thought to occur more often in boys than girls.” Symptoms of DMDD usually start before the age of 10, however a diagnosis is not usually given to children under the age of 6 or teens over 18.

Children with DMDD can be characterized by frequent and severe temper outbursts (verbal or behavioral) i.e. three or more times per week that are inconsistent with the situation. Aside from the pattern of outbursts, the key to the disorder is the child’s mood in between these tantrums i.e being consistently irritable or angry for most of the day while at home, with peers and at school. The child must have symptoms steadily for 12 or more months to be diagnosed.

Having a family member with a psychiatric condition may increase risk for DMDD. Male children are more likely to present with DMDD. Also, children with DMDD are more likely to experience family conflict, social difficulties, school suspensions, and live in settings of economic stress.

Other Types of Child Disruptive Mood and Behavior

Irritability

 

Many children are irritable, upset, or moody from time to time. Occasional temper tantrums are also a normal part of growing up. However, when children are usually irritable or angry or when temper tantrums are frequent, intense, and ongoing, it may be signs of a mood disorder such as DMDD. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is a childhood condition of extreme irritability, anger, and frequent, intense temper outbursts. DMDD symptoms go beyond a being a “moody” child—children with DMDD experience severe impairment that requires clinical attention.

 

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a mental disorder in children and adolescents characterized by a persistently irritable or angry mood and frequent temper outbursts that are disproportionate to the situation and significantly more severe than the typical reaction of same-aged peers.

 

DMDD symptoms typically begin before the age of 10, but the diagnosis is not given to children under 6 or adolescents over 18. A child with DMDD experiences:

 

  • Irritable or angry mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Severe temper outbursts (verbal or behavioral) at an average of three or more times per week that are out of keeping with the situation and the child’s developmental level
  • Trouble functioning due to irritability in more than one place (e.g., home, school, with peers)

 

Some of the symptoms associated with DMDD are also present in other child psychiatric disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. Some children with DMDD also have a second disorder, such as problems with attention or anxiety. It is important to get a comprehensive evaluation by a trained and qualified mental health professional.

 

If you think your child has DMDD, it is important to seek treatment. DMDD can impair a child’s quality of life and school performance and disrupt relationships with his or her family and peers. Children with DMDD may find it hard to participate in activities or make friends. Having DMDD also increases the risk of developing depression or anxiety disorders in adulthood.
While researchers are still determining which treatments work best, two major types of treatment are currently used to treat DMDD symptoms:

 

  • Medication
  • Psychological treatments
    • Psychotherapy
    • Parent training
    • Computer based training

 

Psychological treatments should be considered first, with medication added later if necessary, or psychological treatments can be provided along with medication from the beginning.

 

Defiance

 

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a childhood disorder that is defined by a pattern of hostile, disobedient, and defiant behaviors directed at adults or other authority figures. ODD is also characterized by children displaying angry and irritable moods, as well as argumentative and vindictive behaviors.

 

Angry and irritable mood:

  • Often and easily loses temper
  • Is frequently touchy and easily annoyed by others
  • Is often angry and resentful

 

Argumentative and defiant behavior:

  • Often argues with adults or people in authority
  • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
  • Often deliberately annoys or upsets people
  • Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

 

Vindictiveness:

  • Is often spiteful or vindictive
  • Has shown spiteful or vindictive behavior at least twice in the past six months

 

Left untreated, children and teens who struggle with Oppositional Defiant Disorder may develop additional conduct disorders, may be at increased risk for developing antisocial personality disorder, and are also at risk for depression, substance abuse, and a host of additional unhealthy behaviors.

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.

 

   +1 (209) 262-4387     Call Now

Your child isn’t likely to see his or her behavior as a problem. Instead, he or she will probably complain about unreasonable demands or blame others for problems. If your child shows signs that may indicate ODD or other disruptive behavior, or you’re concerned about your ability to parent a challenging child, seek help from a Mental Health Provider with expertise in disruptive behavior problems.

 

Evidenced-Based Therapy

 

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an effective evidenced-based therapy for parents and children as young as age 2 years old to address correcting a negative attention-seeking relationship.

  • Positive changes in child disruptive behavior problems
  • Increases in parents’ use of positive parenting skills
  • Decreases in parents’ use of negative parenting behaviors
  • Decreases in child noncompliance
  • Improvement in school behavior
  • Reductions in maternal depression
  • Improvements in parent-child attachment
  • Continued maintenance of behavior for 3-6 years

 

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.
Michael Lospinoso

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Sasha Jackson

MSW, LCSW

Mae Grimme

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Brandon Castro

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Bergen Filgas

MS, LMFT

Samantha Moreno

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Eric Garcia

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Valerie Lamke

MS, LMFT

About us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California Office -1
Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California - General 7

Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • LGBTQ+ Gender Issues
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is accepting new clients in all three (3) of our Central Valley locations in Modesto, Merced, and Turlock California.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We can see clients as young as 2 years old. A session is a once a week appointment lasting 50 minutes.

Yes. Our staff can get you in touch with the transportation coordinator from your Health Plan to arrange necessary transportation to-and-from the therapy office.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.

 

We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy.

About Us

DEDICATED THERAPISTS

We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.

Teletherapy

Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is provided by your Health Plan. If you have problems with getting to your appointments, we are able to help arrange a ride.

Latest News

Teen Depression Is Different

The symptom profile for teenagers is different than that of adults. Parents sometimes do not recognize the symptoms because depression in teenagers is not what most people think of as signs of depression. As a result, many teens unnecessarily suffer in silence.

Read More
Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance is the acceptance of life, on life’s terms. While pain is part of life, radical acceptance allows us to keep that pain from becoming suffering. It is about accepting the facts of reality, no matter how painful, without avoidance, overthinking, or dangerous behaviors. When a person does not accept the realities of life

Read More
Benefits Of Gratitude Journaling

Modern psychologists suggest that our overall personality is relatively fixed and stable throughout life. But the brain possesses the remarkable capacity to reorganize pathways and create new connections. This is called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity.   Modern research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and can alter existing ones in

Read More
tmc_a_free_consultation

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Offices Located Throughout The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

Request More Information

15 May 2017
Depression Treatment

Clinical depression is more than just feeling sad

It’s a serious mental health condition that affects more than 17 million adults in the US each year. This is one of the most common mental health issues facing us today. Women are more prone to be affected by depression than men, and depression among adolescents is on the rise. Recent research has shown that people in the LGBT community are up to 4 times more likely to experience depression than their heterosexual counterparts.

If left untreated, depression can be devastating for those who have it and for their families. Some will only experience one depressive episode in a lifetime, but for most, depressive symptoms will relapse. Without treatment, episodes may last a few months to several years which can lead to an inability to have healthy relationships and productive work lives.

Facts You Should Know About Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 16.2 million U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2016. This represents 6.7 percent of the U.S. adult population. Depression is most common in ages 18 to 25 (10.9 percent) and in individuals belonging to two or more races (10.5 percent).

Sometimes people become depressed for what seems like a “good” reason—maybe they lost their job or a close friend passed away—but with clinical depression, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a reason for how you feel. The chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood control may be out of balance causing you to feel bad even though everything in your life is going well.

The causes of depression aren’t completely understood, but it is believed that the best explanation for it is that it is probably caused by a combination of factors, such as an underlying genetic tendency towards the condition and certain environmental factors that can act as triggers.

Depression is a real illness that researchers believe is caused mainly by imbalances in certain chemicals within your brain called neurotransmitters. Some experts are even starting to frame depression as a systemic disease. There are several very effective treatment options available for depression, including medications and psychotherapy. In addition, there are new treatments being developed all the time that are proving to be effective in cases where other treatments have failed.

Recognizing Depression

Depression can present different symptoms, depending on the person. But for most people, depression is feeling sad and not being able to snap out of it and having it last for weeks. People also often report feeling unmotivated, fatigued, irritable and having a lack of interest in things that they used to find enjoyable. Many people experiencing depression report changes in sleep patterns and eating behaviors. For some people, it can include having negative intrusive thoughts about self-worth and even thoughts of suicide.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences. In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.

 

In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.

 

There is no one cause for depression, as it depends on a unique combination of an individual’s genetic makeup and environmental conditions.

There are many potential factors involved:

 

Biological Differences – People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.

Brain Chemistry – Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neural circuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.

Hormones – Changes in the body’s balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can result with pregnancy and during the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum) and from thyroid problems, menopause or a number of other conditions.

Inherited Traits – Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives also have this condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.

LGBT Issues – Stigmatization, discrimination, family rejection are factors that can contribute to an increase in depression and suicidal thoughts.

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.

 

   +1 (209) 262-4387     Call Now

Depression Treatment Is Available

Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.

 

It is usually advisable to get a general check-up by your medical doctor to rule out any health issues, like thyroid problems, that may be contributing to a depressive episode. For some people, medication may be prescribed by their physician or by a psychiatrist. The most frequently recommended form of treatment is medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, research suggests these treatments may normalize brain changes associated with depression.

 

Psychotherapy or “talk therapy,” is sometimes used alone for treatment of mild depression; for moderate to severe depression, psychotherapy is often used in along with antidepressant medications. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) have been found to be effective in treating depression. CBT is a form of therapy focused on the present and problem solving. CBT helps a person to recognize distorted thinking and then change behaviors and thinking. DBT has components of mindfulness and validation of a person’s strengths during treatment. Skills are learned during sessions and rehearsed during the week to strengthen the new behaviors.

 

When treating teens and children forms of integrated CBT and DBT Play Therapy can be most effective. Through non-verbal expression, many of the areas of therapy can be addressed in a way that is more developmentally appropriate and effective for younger people. The use of play and art is often a means to communicate feelings and issues. The parent is still considered the support person for the child and is also engaged in the therapy process, to assist in supporting and reinforcing the objectives of therapy at home.
Depending on the severity of the depression, treatment can take a few weeks or much longer. In many cases, significant improvement can be made in 10 to 20 sessions.

 

There are a number of things people can do to help reduce the symptoms of depression. For many people, regular exercise helps create positive feelings and improve mood. Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol can also help reduce symptoms of depression. Engaging in a positive self-care routine is very important and can include engaging in sports, hobbies, art, being out in nature and having a pet.

 

A Real Illness With Real Treatment Available

Depression is a real illness and help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the majority of people with depression will overcome it. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression it may be time to seek professional care.

 

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

 

If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.

 

Also consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:

  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Call your doctor or mental health professional.
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.
Eric Garcia

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Bergen Filgas

MS, LMFT

Samantha Moreno

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Sasha Jackson

MSW, LCSW

Mae Grimme

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Michael Lospinoso

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Brandon Castro

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Rachael Cresci

DBH, LCSW

About us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California Office -1
Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California - General 7

Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • LGBTQ+ Gender Issues
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is accepting new clients in all three (3) of our Central Valley locations in Modesto, Merced, and Turlock California.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We can see clients as young as 2 years old. A session is a once a week appointment lasting 50 minutes.

Yes. Our staff can get you in touch with the transportation coordinator from your Health Plan to arrange necessary transportation to-and-from the therapy office.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.

 

We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy.

About Us

DEDICATED THERAPISTS

We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.

Teletherapy

Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is provided by your Health Plan. If you have problems with getting to your appointments, we are able to help arrange a ride.

Latest News

Teen Depression Is Different

The symptom profile for teenagers is different than that of adults. Parents sometimes do not recognize the symptoms because depression in teenagers is not what most people think of as signs of depression. As a result, many teens unnecessarily suffer in silence.

Read More
Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance is the acceptance of life, on life’s terms. While pain is part of life, radical acceptance allows us to keep that pain from becoming suffering. It is about accepting the facts of reality, no matter how painful, without avoidance, overthinking, or dangerous behaviors. When a person does not accept the realities of life

Read More
Benefits Of Gratitude Journaling

Modern psychologists suggest that our overall personality is relatively fixed and stable throughout life. But the brain possesses the remarkable capacity to reorganize pathways and create new connections. This is called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity.   Modern research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and can alter existing ones in

Read More
tmc_a_free_consultation

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Offices Located Throughout The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

Request More Information

15 May 2017
Play Therapy
Play Therapy

Play Therapy is much more than fun and games. Play Therapy is a counseling approach used to help children ages 3 to 12 explore their lives and freely express bottled-up thoughts and emotions through play. Therapeutic play normally takes place in a safe, comfortable playroom encouraging free expression and allowing the therapist to observe the child’s choices, decisions, and play style. The goal is to help children learn to express themselves in healthier ways, become more emotionally balanced, and develop new and more positive ways to interact with others.

According to the professional organization Play Therapy International, up to 71 percent of children referred to play therapy may experience positive change.

 

 

Play Therapy responds to the unique developmental needs of young children, who often express themselves better through play activities than through verbal communication. The therapist uses play and other creative activities to communicate with the child and observe how the child uses these activities to express thoughts and feelings that are not expressed in words. There are two approaches to play therapy, nondirective and directive:

 

  • Nondirective Play Therapy is based on the principle that children can resolve their own issues given the right conditions and the freedom to play with limited instruction and supervision.
  • Directive Play Therapy has specific goals in mind each session. Using a carefully developed Treatment Plan that focuses on target behaviors and issues. The therapist can introduce new skills and adaptive behaviors to rehearse during sessions. Play therapists use both approaches, depending on the circumstances.

 

Nondirective play therapists are trained to trust that children are capable of directing their own process rather than the therapist imposing their own ideas of what the child needs to do in therapy to work through any challenges they may be facing. This requires the therapist to enter the emotional world of the child rather than expecting the child to understand the therapist’s world, which is beyond their capabilities.

 

Facts You Should Know About Play Therapy

Children do not always have the language skills to convey what they are feeling in words. In play therapy, the therapist provides children with a more adaptive method of express themselves – the language of play. Play therapists are specially trained to understand, interpret, and respond to children’s play communications.

The brain is plastic and is molded by our experiences. The brain is most plastic during childhood and the teenage years. A child’s brain can rewire itself through the new positive experiences learned in the therapy playroom. By keeping a consistent safe relationship and environment contained in the playroom, play therapists strengthen these new neural pathways in the brain. The child gets to experience the feeling of safety and connection and gains a sense of inner security.

Depending on the child and the situation, the therapist will either guide the child toward certain methods of play or let them choose for themselves. There are any number of ways the therapist can use play therapy to get to know the child and help them cope with their problems. For example, the therapist might offer the child a dollhouse and some dolls, asking them to act out some problems they have at home. Or they might encourage the child to use hand puppets to recreate something they found stressful or frightening.

Play therapy will differ depending on the therapist and the particular needs of the child. To begin, the therapist may want to observe the child at play. They may also want to conduct separate interviews with the child, parents, or teachers. Play therapists pay close attention to how a child handles being separated from the parent, how they play alone, and how they react when the parent returns. Much can be revealed in how a child interacts with different types of toys and how their behavior changes from session to session. They may use play to act out fears and anxieties, as a soothing mechanism, or to heal and problem-solve.

Play Therapy is based on the theory that play is a child’s language, the toys in the playroom consider the words a child uses to express their inner experiences and how they perceive and experience the world. The toys in the playroom are then used by the child to speak to the therapist and communicate their inner thoughts and feelings. Within a therapy session, and over the course of sessions, themes emerge in the child’s play, giving the therapist insight into the child’s experiences, thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of their world.

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.

 

   +1 (209) 262-4387     Call Now

Dimensions Of Play Therapy

Play Therapy is an effective technique for helping children who need to be treated for behavioral problems. It’s also good for those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Depression. It’s often used for children who have been the victims of abuse too. They’re able to express themselves through play when not able to verbally express various emotions. The type of play is aimed towards developing certain skills as well as allowing a form of expression. Listed are some dimensions of play therapy:

Creative Play For Expressing Emotions

Drawing and painting allow the child to express sometimes difficult and embarrassing feelings that are hard to verbalize. The use of drawing or painting may be part of a free-style technique or the therapist might ask the child to draw a specific image or feeling, which is a way for the therapist to direct the play to reach a clinical objective.

Developing Social Skills

Children live in a social world and yet can really struggle getting along with peers and family members. The therapist can utilize play that reinforces social skills such as building empathy, reading social cues and setting boundaries. Sessions are designed to be age appropriate, fun and non-threatening. The therapist can introduce dolls, puppets or other toys that represent people or other children to replicate social situations during role play.

Building Self Esteem

The use of labeled praise during a session can reinforce self-esteem for a child, coming from both the therapist and the parent. This can be done with drawing or other activities that generate a sense of independence and self-accomplishment.

Improved Communication

The therapist will have a variety of exercises to encourage the growth of an emotional vocabulary for the child. Role play, story-telling and imaginary play are ways for a child to create a narrative that describes the pain they may have been holding on to and need to release in order to move forward and heal.

Dealing With Grief From A Loss

Grief and loss are very difficult emotions, especially for young children who are not emotionally mature to make sense of a trauma. Therapists can use different techniques to help young kids process pain. Sometimes clay is used to allow the child to express difficult emotions. They can direct the child to smooth the clay, punch it to release their anger or express frustration by stretching and ripping it.

Some of the potential benefits to a child from engaging in play therapy are:

  • Taking More Responsibility For Certain Behaviors
  • Developing Coping Strategies And Creative Problem-solving Skills
  • Increasing Self-respect
  • Gaining Empathy And Respect For Others
  • Reducing The Symptoms Of anxiety
  • Learning To Fully Experience And Express Feelings
  • Building Stronger Social Skills
  • Enhancing Family Relationships

 

Parental Distress

Normal parenting includes concerns about growth and development, child behavioral and social issues, emotional well-being of the child, and financial responsibilities. These concerns alone can result in parental distress. Additional stressors for parents of a child with mental health problems, however, increase parental distress significantly. Challenges experienced by caregivers of children with mental health problems have been associated with parental distress and feelings of being stretched beyond their limits.

Parents caring for children with mental health problems are extremely challenged in getting both their child’s and their own needs met.

  • Parents with emotionally challenged children will report their lives being dominated by their child’s intense emotions and problematic behaviors.
  • Parents searching for direction, guidance, and practical advice can feel overwhelmed and confused.
  • Parents of dysregulated children often report anger, sadness, and guilt, which can result in abuse.
  • These parents also report being blamed for their child’s behaviors by family members, school staff, and even by mental health professionals, lowering their self-esteem and confidence.

 

Play therapy can also benefit a parent of a distressed child. The parent or caregiver will receive support from the therapist while working on the symptoms of the child. By participating in the development of new and more effective patterns of behavior, the parent can reduce friction in their life too. The parent starts encouraging and validating self-expression and emotional effectiveness in their child and can become the agent of change, as much or more than the therapist. The bond of parent and child can normalize and grow into a much happier and healthier relationship.

 

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.
Samantha Moreno

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Brandon Castro

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Valerie Lamke

MS, LMFT

Mae Grimme

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Sasha Jackson

MSW, LCSW

Eric Garcia

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Rachael Cresci

DBH, LCSW

Bergen Filgas

MS, LMFT

About us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California Office -1
Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California - General 7

Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • LGBTQ+ Gender Issues
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is accepting new clients in all three (3) of our Central Valley locations in Modesto, Merced, and Turlock California.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We can see clients as young as 2 years old. A session is a once a week appointment lasting 50 minutes.

Yes. Our staff can get you in touch with the transportation coordinator from your Health Plan to arrange necessary transportation to-and-from the therapy office.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.

 

We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy.

About Us

DEDICATED THERAPISTS

We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.

Teletherapy

Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is provided by your Health Plan. If you have problems with getting to your appointments, we are able to help arrange a ride.

Latest News

Teen Depression Is Different

The symptom profile for teenagers is different than that of adults. Parents sometimes do not recognize the symptoms because depression in teenagers is not what most people think of as signs of depression. As a result, many teens unnecessarily suffer in silence.

Read More
Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance is the acceptance of life, on life’s terms. While pain is part of life, radical acceptance allows us to keep that pain from becoming suffering. It is about accepting the facts of reality, no matter how painful, without avoidance, overthinking, or dangerous behaviors. When a person does not accept the realities of life

Read More
Benefits Of Gratitude Journaling

Modern psychologists suggest that our overall personality is relatively fixed and stable throughout life. But the brain possesses the remarkable capacity to reorganize pathways and create new connections. This is called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity.   Modern research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and can alter existing ones in

Read More
tmc_a_free_consultation

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Offices Located Throughout The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

Request More Information

15 May 2017
LGBTQ+ Mental Health
LGBTQ+ Mental Health

This office supports and advocates for the equal treatment of people in our LGBTQ community. We strive to be transparent and accepting towards all clients, not imposing a binary view of gender onto any client, and not attempting to change an individual’s identity. We provide mental health services that support and validate each client on their journey to living their best life.

Gender Dysphoria

Transgender is defined as identifying with a different gender than one’s sex assigned at birth. Gender nonconformity is expressing oneself in ways that are not consistent with the societal norms for one’s sex assigned at birth. Youth who identify as transgender and/or gender nonconforming (TGNC) might also meet criteria for gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a Clinical term to describe the distress present in the context of incongruence between sex assigned at birth and gender identity. While these terms are related, they are not interchangeable. Many, but not all, TGNC people experience gender dysphoria, and not all people who experience gender dysphoria identify as TGNC.

Children and adolescents with gender dysphoria have a higher prevalence of co-occurring mental health diagnoses, including social anxiety disorder, than those without gender dysphoria.

Facts About LGBTQ+ and Mental Health

Early intervention, comprehensive treatment and family support are key to helping LGBTQ people live well with a mental health condition. But many people in this community struggle in silence—and face worse health outcomes as a result. LGBT adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition.

LGBTQ people with mental health conditions may also find themselves fighting a double stigma. Many will experience prejudice based on their sexual and/or gender identity as well as the stigma associated with mental illness. Confronting these challenges and mental health symptoms with an LGBTQ-inclusive therapist can lead to better outcomes, and even recovery.

There is no single explanation for why some people are transgender. The diversity of transgender expression and experiences argues against any simple or unitary explanation. Many experts believe that biological factors such as genetic influences and prenatal hormone levels, early experiences, and experiences later in adolescence or adulthood may all contribute to the development of transgender identities.

Parents may be concerned about a child who appears to be gender-nonconforming for a variety of reasons. Some children express a great deal of distress about their assigned sex at birth or the gender roles they are expected to follow. Some children experience difficult social interactions with peers and adults because of their gender expression. Parents may become concerned when what they believed to be a “phase” does not pass.

 

Parents of gender-nonconforming children may need to work with schools and other institutions to address their children’s particular needs and ensure their children’s safety. It is helpful to consult with mental health and medical professionals familiar with gender issues in children to decide how to best address these concerns.

Coming Out

Coming out as transgender to friends and family can range from difficult or terrifying to exciting and liberating. Everyone will have their own unique experience. There’s no one right way to come out. Coming out as transgender may mean that you tell people about your preferred pronouns. It may also mean that you ask people to call you by a new name and to think of you by the gender identity that you’re comfortable with.

 

Coming out as trans is a very personal decision and different for everyone. Some people choose to come out before they medically or socially transition, and some choose to come out during or even after the process. You may choose to come out to different people at different times, or to not come out to some people at all. Only you can decide what’s right for you.

 

Coming out at school or work may create another kind of stress. There may be a fear of changing established relationships, being misunderstood, subject to harassment, or even fear of losing a job. But there are benefits of being your authentic self, creating more understanding with co-workers and customers, and being a role model for others. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to disclose being transgender or to live openly. You don’t have to be out at all times or in all places.  You have the right and the responsibility to decide how, where, when and even whether to share your identity with others, based on what’s right for you.

Transitioning

Transgender people have several options with transitioning. Some may transition socially, legally, and medically, some may transition only socially, and some may not do any of these.

Legal transitioning may include:

  • Changing your legal documents to reflect your chosen name, gender identity, and pronoun used

 

Social transitioning may include:

  • coming out to your friends and family as transgender
  • asking people to use pronouns that match your gender identity
  • going by a different name
  • dressing/grooming in ways that match your gender identity

 

Not all transgender people transition. For those who do, not all transition in the same way. Some may transition socially and not medically. Some may transition medically by doing one or only a few of the procedures listed above. Some may take hormones and decide not to have any surgeries, or just choose one kind of surgery and none of the others.

 

There are many reasons for the differences in how people transition. These medical procedures can be very expensive, which means that not everyone can afford them. Some transgender people may have health insurance that covers transition-related procedures, and some may not. It is a personal decision and not all trans people want all of the available medical procedures.

For trans men and some non-binary people medical transition may include any of the following:

  • hormone therapy (to create masculine characteristics such as a deeper voice, facial hair growth, muscle growth, redistribution of body fat away from hips and breasts, not getting a period, etc.)
  • male chest reconstruction, or “top surgery” (removal of breasts and breast tissue)
  • hysterectomy (removal of internal female reproductive organs such as the ovaries and uterus)
  • phalloplasty (construction of a penis using skin from other parts of your body)
  • metoidioplasty (surgery that causes your clitoris to work more like a penis, along with hormone treatment to make your clitoris grow larger)

 

For trans women and some non-binary people medical transition may include any of the following:

  • hormone therapy (to create feminine characteristics such as less body hair, breasts, redistribution of body fat toward hips and breasts, etc.)
  • breast augmentation (implants)
  • orchiectomy (removal of testes)
  • laser hair removal (to remove hair from your face or other parts of your body)
  • tracheal shave (making your Adam’s apple smaller)
  • facial feminization surgery (create smaller, more feminine facial features)
  • penile inversion vaginoplasty (creation of a vagina by inverting penile skin)

 

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.

 

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Minority Stress

Transgender and/or gender nonconforming (TGNC) people have higher prevalence rates of mental illnesses than the general population, including anxiety and depression. Many researchers have hypothesized that this increased burden of mental illness stems from minority stress, which refers to the distress that may come from being a member of a marginalized or oppressed group. For TGNC individuals, minority stress is experienced systemically through the potential for violence toward TGNC people, high rates of homelessness, underemployment, and poor medical care for these individuals. The majority of TGNC youth report social exclusion, parental rejection, and high levels of discrimination, bullying, and violence. These stressors have also been found to greatly impact sexual minority populations with cisgender gender identity and gender nonconforming gender expression.

 

Treatment

 

There is research that focuses on the psychological effects of stigma that cause mental health problems for Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) clients and how treatment can modify these effects. These effects include psychological processes that are both specific to SGM, and universal issues in mental health that are higher in SGM people:

 

Specific Treatment

 

  • Internalized Homophobia
  • Rejection Sensitivity
  • Sexual Identity Concealment

 

Universal Treatment

 

  • Social Isolation
  • Emotion Dysregulation
  • Behavioral Unassertiveness

 

Because these issues experienced by many SGM clients are cognitive, emotional, and behavioral, they lend themselves to being addressed through existing cognitive–behavioral, emotion-focused, and other evidence-based approaches. Our staff has on-going training within our scope of practice to provide the best mental health treatment options for SGM clients.

 

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.
Bergen Filgas

MS, LMFT

Mae Grimme

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Michael Lospinoso

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Valerie Lamke

MS, LMFT

Rachael Cresci

DBH, LCSW

Eric Garcia

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Samantha Moreno

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Brandon Castro

MA, Registered Associate PCC

About us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California Office -1
Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California - General 7

Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • LGBTQ+ Gender Issues
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is accepting new clients in all three (3) of our Central Valley locations in Modesto, Merced, and Turlock California.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We can see clients as young as 2 years old. A session is a once a week appointment lasting 50 minutes.

Yes. Our staff can get you in touch with the transportation coordinator from your Health Plan to arrange necessary transportation to-and-from the therapy office.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.

 

We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy.

About Us

DEDICATED THERAPISTS

We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.

Teletherapy

Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is provided by your Health Plan. If you have problems with getting to your appointments, we are able to help arrange a ride.

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Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Offices Located Throughout The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

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