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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Parenting Angry Teens.


Are you dealing with an angry teen and don’t know how to handle it? Below are some tips that might help you get through it.

Hang in there. Parents who hang in there, who continue to express love and concern, who continue to insist on knowing where their kids are going and with whom, who include their teens in family events, and who stubbornly refuse to give up are the parents who generally manage to save their kids.

Take it seriously, but not personally. Usually teens do have things to be angry at, but it usually is something blown out of proportion. Don’t take things to heart. If there is something that you may have done wrong, then apologize. An honest apology and genuine efforts to make the family a better place to be can set the family in a new direction. It will take time.

The kid is just as scared as you are. Kids often use hostile moods as a cover up for fear. Children can get very overwhelmed with life. Instead of showing their vulnerability, they talk ad act like a big shot. 

Understand teen depression. Irritability and explosiveness are sometimes symptoms of depression.  If your teen’s mood seems unreasonable given his or her situation, it is important to get help from a counselor. 


The counselors at Star Point can help your child through the stages of change, to increase compliance with rules and laws, encourage positive peer selection, improve academic status, and overall goal directed behavior. We can also help open communication by encouraging the expression of negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that compromise your child’s sense of well being.

Visit our website for more information on our services.


Signs You May Be Headed Towards a Breakup.


You’re spending more and more time apart. Having separate interests is good, being able to have alone time with friends every once in a while is healthy for a relationship. Using these separate interests to get away from your partner is not healthy. When you are trying to find reasons not to come home, that’s when you know your relationship is struggling. 

Your beliefs have become drastically different. People change, sometimes you will find that your partner’s interests in movies or restaurants are opposite of yours. But sometimes people change to the point where their belief system is simply incompatible with yours.

You feel more like yourself when they aren’t around. There is a difference between enjoying the house to yourself for a day or two and constantly saying to yourself, “Thank god they won’t be home for the rest of the day.

Lack of communication. When your communication only involves niceties to avoid touchy subjects and arguments, you’re in trouble. 

You are rarely intimate anymore. Physical intimacy is just as important as emotional intimacy. When there’s a lack of basic physical contact, that’s a serious issue. 

Constant arguments. Every couple argues about issues here and there, but when you find yourself arguing constantly about issues that are deal breakers then it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.

Feelings of contempt towards your partner. You can’t stand anything they do. When you talk to each other, your body language may even consist of folded arms and aggressive stance. 

If you’re experiencing some of these signs in your relationship, seek the help of a licensed counselor. Counseling can help you rebuild your relationship. Even if you feel things are beyond repair, counseling can still help you have a healthier breakup. 

 Visit our website for more information on how we can help you and your partner either rebuild your relationship or find peace in going your separate ways. (813)244-1251


No One Can Push Your Buttons Without Your Permission.


We are so quick to blame others for how we feel. “She made me mad!” or “She hurt my feelings, so that’s why I hit her.” It’s true that people can be mean, unfair, and hurtful. But can someone actually make you angry, and justify your reasons for acting a certain way or are we feeling anger in response to how someone behaved? There is a difference between someone making you feel a certain way and your response to something they did. No one can make us do anything or feel any way! When we put the blame on others for our own feelings and actions, we are giving the power to others for the state of our emotional well being. Your triggers, or “buttons” are inside of you, so no one can push your buttons without your permission. Our responses to others are in our control, we choose how to react, respond, and feel in a situation. If someone is making us mad or react a certain way then we haven’t learned how to control our own buttons and effectively cope with what triggers us. 

We can help you learn how to take control of your own feelings and reactions. We will teach you tools and skills for getting that power back!

Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists! (813)244-1251

Effects of Sleep Deprivation.


Many people find that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks you have on your never ending to-do list. In order to get things done many people make the choice to cut corners of sleep, thinking that a few hours here and there won’t make a big difference. Wrong! Sleep deprivation can have effects on both your mental and physical health. 

Here are 8 ways that not getting enough sleep can negatively effect you:

  1. Lower stress threshold. When your tired, the simplest activity can make you feel overwhelmed.
  2. Impaired memory. Rapid eye movement(REM) sleep aids in the formation of memories.
  3. Trouble concentrating. Sleep deprived people have a hard time focusing on tasks and they often overestimate their performance.
  4. Decreased sociability and optimism. Lets face it, who wants to be friendly and optimistic when they’re tired? Nobody.
  5. Impaired creativity. Research shows that sleep deprivation impairs some cognitive processes like creativity.
  6. Increased blood pressure. Studies show that loss of sleep can lead to an increase blood pressure.
  7. Increase in appetite. Acute sleep loss enhances pleasure response processing in the brain underlying the drive to consume food.
  8. Increased risk of cardiac morbidity. Sleep deprivation is one of the factors that can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks. 

If you are chronically tired or if you think carving off a couple hours of sleep here and there is okay then it may be time to change your thinking about sleep. You may not be aware of what your brain and body are doing during sleep, but that time is vital to your ability to function and potentially to your life. If you find yourself with a low stress threshold or your memory,creativity, and/or appetite is impaired then you may need to seek professional help from a counselor. The therapists at Star Point Counseling Center can help you get your schedule back on track.

Don’t Shy Away From Counseling.


When the time comes that you need more than just a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear, look for a greater level of support through a therapy or counseling. Many people shy away from counseling. Sometimes people feel ashamed for needing help and sometimes people think that they should be able to solve their own problems. Perhaps you have supportive family and friends and you think that with their help you can get through it. But don’t expect your family or best friend to be the only kind of help and support you need right now. 

A therapist can help you learn how to break away from the self-damaging patterns of communicating and behaving and learn new skills. If you grew up in a troubled household, it is likely that you need to learn more constructive ways of interacting and living with the people you love–how to communicate, how to create a loving relationship, how to be a good parent, in other words, how to function more successfully. A therapist trained in these areas can help you acquire these skills. 


Visit our website for more information on the services we offer!

Getting Back Together.


Are you separated, or afraid that separation is inevitable? As difficult it is to believe right now, being apart for a while might actually be the best thing that could happen for your relationship. Time apart gives you a chance to step back and gain insight about what’s wrong between you. Removed from the old struggles that caused so much pain, you can now focus on yourself, your needs, goals, and expectations. You have breathing room to regain your emotional balance, and the space to get to know yourself and decide what you want from the relationship. This can be a very constructive period, a time of renewal in which needed changes can be made and problems resolved. Although it is painful, separation can be the first step of getting back together again–truly back together and not just physically living under the same roof again, but together emotionally and spiritually. This is an opportunity for the both of you to restore yourselves, to grow, and to see how you can come back together more deeply committed than ever. 

It is possible to rebuild a broken relationship, and make it stronger and better.

Let us help you, call us today! (813)244-1251

Compassionate Listening.

Sometimes the simplest solution is just to stop and listen to what your partner is saying and imagine how and why he or she could be feeling that way or seeing things in that light. Don’t try to defend yourself, correct others’ perceptions, or talk them out of their feelings. Just put yourself in their shoes. Try to hear how they understand, interpret, and feel about the situation, and imagine how you would feel or act if you were seeing things that way. If what your partner is saying sounds crazy or unreasonable, consider the possibility that you are missing something, and listen and ask questions to see if you can understand. Express that understanding to them and let them know how difficult it must be for them, given how they are feeling about the situation. 

When you are stuck in a relationship problem, things can seem hopeless. If communication and listening problems persist or you find yourself too discouraged to even try compassionate listening, it is a good idea to seek the help of a marriage or relationship counselor. 

Call us today to schedule an appointment so we can help you be a better listener and learn how to effectively communicate with your partner! (813)244-1251


Managing School Stress.


With the pressures from finals, GPA scores, and college admissions, school can easily become one of the most stressful things in our lives. Whether its parents and teachers pushing you to do your best, or your own drive to get the highest test scores and attend the best college in the state, stress can consume you unless you know the proper way to manage it. 

Here are 5 tips for getting through the school year with less stress: 

  1. Self-care. You have to start with the basics, take the time to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and enjoy activities that will get your mind off of the stress that comes with school. 
  2. Learn to change your thinking. You can’t get stress out unless you believe your thoughts, stress comes from stressful thinking. You have to learn to change your negative thoughts into positive ones. Instead of stressing out about finishing a project on time, think about open slots in your schedule that you can use to get it done. 
  3. Take bite sized proportions. Assignments become easier when you manage them in smaller proportions than just looking at the big picture. Instead of writing a 9 page essay in one day, do the assignment in chunks. This technique makes it feel more manageable and less anxiety-inducing. 
  4. Lower your goals. I know this may seem odd because you are always told to set your goals high, but setting smaller and lower goals helps reduce stress and boost academic success. Instead of aiming for the highest grade in the class, aim for a grade that you will feel satisfied with your performance.
  5. Stay balanced. No matter how hard you push yourself during exam weeks, no body can remain focused for such long periods of time. Give yourself short breaks to do activities you enjoy, that way you will be refreshed when you go back to studying. 

Stress can turn your best school year into your worst. School doesn’t have to be all about stressing over finals, and GPA scores. If you know how to effectively manage your stress, then you can also enjoy what great and fun things school has to offer, like making new friends and participating in sports and clubs. 

Don’t let your stress consume you, give us a call today to schedule an appointment if you are feeling stressed and need help managing your time, focusing, etc. (813)244-1251

Recognize Mental Health Problems In Your Child.


Mental health problems in children are common, real, and treatable. Without treatment there is an increased risk in behavioral problems at school, decline in grades, suicide, trouble with the criminal justice system, and more. With the help of teachers and other caregivers, parents can identify these problems early on and can determine whether or not help should be sought out for the child. 

If you recognize the following signs, then professional help may be needed: 

  • Decline in school performance
  • Poor grades in spite of strong efforts
  • Constantly worried or feeling anxious
  • Repeated refusal to go to school or to take part in normal activities
  • Hyperactivity or fidgeting
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Depression, sadness or irritability

If you suspect a problem, or just have questions and concerns contact us to see a Mental Health professional. (813)244-1251

Grief And Loss.


Mourning occurs in response to an individuals own terminal illness or the loss of a loved one or animal.Everyone grieves differently, some people wear their emotions on their sleeve while others may grieve internally and don’t even cry. There are five stages of grief, individuals spend different lengths of time on each stage of grief and loss and with different levels of intensity. The five stages should be used as a guide to understand where you are in your grieving process. Not every one goes through all five stages and they don’t go in any specific order. 

Denial and isolation

This is a temporary response that gets us through the first initial feeling of pain. We deny and block out the reality of the situation.


We sometimes resent the deceased person for leaving us and causing such great pain, we feel guilty for being angry and this causes us more anger. 


We often feel as if we need to gain control, we say to ourselves “if only we went to the doctors sooner,” or “if only I had been nicer to them.” We make a deal with a higher power in order to delay the inevitable. 


We may find ourselves worrying about the costs and plans for the burial and funeral, we find ourselves worried that we haven’t spent enough time with others who are also grieving and depend on us. We also may be more quietly depressed, this is the time that we prepare to say goodbye to our loved ones. 


Reaching this stage is a blessing, unfortunately not everyone gets to this stage. This stage gives you peace and calmness about the loss of your loved one. 


Grief and loss is a personal process, there is no right way to grieve and there is no time limit to it. Nobody can help you get through it more easily or really understand what you are going through, but having others there to support you and to comfort you can be beneficial. 

The Licensed Mental Health Therapists at Star Point Counseling Center can be there for you in your darkest hours holding the light of faith and giving you hope, renewal, and strength. Call us today! (813)244-1251

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