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Monthly Archives: November 2022


Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy at Star Point Counseling Center Tampa, FL and Brandon, FL.

There are a number of reasons a couple might seek professional help for their relationship. Marriage counseling and couples therapy can be very effective, especially when started sooner rather than later. Some people are at a higher risk for divorce due to factors such as marrying at an early age, having divorced parents, or being in a lower income bracket. Marriage Counseling at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa, FL and Brandon, FL can be highly effective.



Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. is available for dealing with issues that arise between couples who are either dating, married, or engaged to be married. Being a successful couple means taking into consideration our partner’s needs and desires while at the same time not forgetting about our own individual needs. Couples often lose sight of what it means to be a couple and get lost in a constant battle with each other. Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl therapeutic services are offered to help couples break down unhealthy couple patterns of interacting and work on developing positive relationships.

  • Blended Families
  • Mother-Daughter Relationship Issues
  • Intimacy
  • Helping Couples See Through the Other’s Eyes to See Both Sides



Troubled tweens & teens

It can be challenging dealing with a child who is defiant at school, home or other places. However, you are not alone. There are places that can aid your child with this problem such as Star Point Counseling center located in Brandon, Fl & Tampa, Fl. We provide tools, skills, and strategies to help your child improve his or her self esteem and self concept, relationships, and to increase their level of functioning at home and at school. 

For Troubled Teens, Tough Love Is Rarely The Answer | Think

Involving the entire family in therapy for a troubled teenager can help deal with issues between family members, show the family how to relate to and support the teen, help each family member learn to change unhealthy reactions to each other and help everyone learn effective communication skills.

Therapy can help identify other underlying issues such as depression, anxiety or stress your teen may be facing on a daily. At Star Point counseling center, your child’s voice should be heard and we have open communication that will encourage expression of negative thoughts or feelings.



Life is hard. Even positive life events and transitions can still be stressful and bring apprehension or unease. During difficult life events it is easy to feel “stuck” or unable to break down personal brick walls. Sometimes past coping skills stop working, pain from old hurts or broken relationships becomes too much to ignore, or shame clouds your thoughts and daily life. Whether you are experiencing an overwhelming personal crisis or you are looking for some tools to make minor adjustments to your relationships or career, we are here to help.

The therapists at the Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. offer a non-judgmental, faith-sensitive and validating environment where you will be respected and heard. We will work with you to create an individualized change strategy to move towards goals you identify. Working with a therapist at Affordable Counseling Center in Brandon Fl. & Tampa Fl. can give the freedom to say things that have been previously unsaid, raise your awareness of potential blind spots, and help you identify steps to break unhealthy patterns. Our goal is not for you to merely function within your current situation, but to help you form skills and plans to move beyond your goals. Therapists at Affordable Counseling Center in Brandon Fl. &Tampa Fl. will help you with anxiety counseling, depression counseling, stress counseling, trauma counseling and social skills counseling.


Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl 

Rejection can be defined as the act of pushing someone or something away. One may experience rejection from one’s family of origin, a friend, or a romantic partner, and the resulting emotions can often be painful.

Rejection can be experienced on a large scale or in small ways in everyday life. While rejection is typically a part of life, some types of rejection may be more difficult to cope with than others. A therapist at Affordable Counseling in Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl may be able to help an individual work through and cope with rejection and the distress that can result.

Rejection can occur in a variety of circumstances. Typically, rejection describes an instance of a person or entity pushing something or someone away or out. Rejection can also result from life events not involving relationships, such as being turned down for a desired position at work or receiving a rejection letter from a college. While any rejection can be painful, some instances of rejection may be more impactful than others. Because most humans desire social contact, and many people crave acceptance from society, being rejected can incite negative feelings and emotions.

While rejection can hurt, it’s never healthy to take the pain of rejection out on another person through emotional abuse or physical violence. 

A compassionate therapist at Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl can help individuals who feel rejected learn to deal with perceived or real rejection and build social skills that may help them connect more easily with others.



You’ve drifted so far apart… There haven’t been any fun adventures or nights out in so long. The affection and laughs once shared seem more like a dream now than a memory. At Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa, FL and Brandon, FL we offer marriage counseling.  It may  relieve the stress and monotony of long work days, never ending chores, and children’s needs coming first. Have you become more like roommates or business partners? Realizing where your marriage is at is deeply painful and downright terrifying. Try marriage counseling at Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa, FL and Brandon, FL.


Skin Picking and/or Hair Pulling Disorder

If you have a skin picking and/or hair pulling disorder, you tend to pluck, pull and pick at your nails, hair and skin. These behaviors can cause severe pain, if practiced excessively. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recently added skin picking and/or hair pulling disorders to the proposed future revision of the manual.

These disorders may not be very well known, but studies suggest that they have been affecting people for centuries. Treatment generally consists of a combination of medication and therapy.

Skin Picking Disorder

Chronic skin picking (CSP) is a condition that is poorly understood, but can easily cause a global epidemic. If you suffer from this disorder, you persistently scratch, touch, pick at, rub or dig into your dermis (skin), mostly in order to remove or clean minor imperfections or irregularities that you perceive as abnormal. This constant irritation to the skin can result in discoloration and even scarring. Chronic skin picking can eventually lead to severe skin damage and/or visible disfigurement. This condition can occur as a symptom of a different condition or disorder or it can present independently.


Hair Pulling Disorder Treatment

Hair pulling disorder can leave you with bald patches that can be hard to cover up.

Different dermatological disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder, substance abuse disorders, autoimmune inflammatory diseases, obsessive compulsive disorder, psychosis and developmental disorders such as autism can give rise to symptoms that include skin picking. Therefore, one of the most essential steps prior to the creation of an effective treatment plan is determining whether chronic skin picking is occurring independently, or as a symptom of another underlying cause or condition.

Chronic skin picking disorder is classified under body focused repetitive behaviors. These behaviors can result in serious damage or harm to your overall health and appearance.

Common body focused repetitive behaviors include trichotillomania, a condition that causes chronic pulling of your hair until it breaks off, excessive nail biting and habitual biting of your inner cheeks.

Studies have shown that chronic skin picking is a common condition that can occur when you are extremely afraid, bored, anxious and/or even excited. If you have this condition, you may even derive some pleasure or relief from picking your skin. In addition, you may spend hours and picking at your skin. This persistent behavior can interfere with your personal and occupational life and damage your relationships.

Compulsive Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania)

Trichotillomania is a condition that causes you to persistently pull your hair out you’re your scalp, eyebrows, beard, eyelashes, public areas, legs, underarms and various other parts of your body. This repeated hair pulling can eventually result in prominent and visible bald patches that appear unsightly. If you have a mild case of compulsive hair pulling it can be effectively treated by focusing on stopping the behavior, but if you suffer from severe compulsive hair pulling, you may not be able to focus on anything other than pulling your hair.


A number of treatment options are available for treating these conditions. A combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacological therapies (medications) have shown some success.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Therapists who treat skin and/or hair picking disorders with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are called habit reversal training therapists. These therapists help you recognize the times of the day and the emotions you feel while indulging in these behaviors. They also help you understand underlying factors that promote these behaviors. This type of therapy helps you learn how to effectively control these types of repetitive behaviors. Lastly habit reversal training therapists you strategies that can help you relax when you are afraid, stressed, upset and/or anxious.
  • Pharmacological Therapy – There have been a number of medicines that have helped relieve the severity of the symptoms of these disorders. Most of the medications that help with these conditions are categorized underselective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors.


Finding Mental Health Help 101


Are you looking for mental health help with counseling but don’t know where to start? It can feel daunting and overwhelming. Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding the right care for you.

Insurance or Self-Pay? In-person or Online?

First, figure out a couple of things. Do you want to use insurance or are you willing to self-pay? Think also about whether you are looking to find your mental health help in in-person sessions or online therapy. Some clinicians provide both in-person and online counseling, while others only provide online counseling, and still others only provide in-person therapy. As a side note, with teletherapy, you have a wider pool of therapists to choose from, because you are no longer confined to just those near you. You can now choose any therapist in your state, as long as they are licensed to practice in that state. For example, my practice is based in San Antonio, TX, but with teletherapy, I can see any client in the whole state of Texas. The format of therapy and your preferred method of payment will inform your search so it’s helpful to have an idea at the outset.

GoodTherapy | find a therapist

Will Your Insurance Cover Your Therapy?

If you want to go the insurance route, go to your insurance’s website and search for an in-network provider. Look for the “behavioral health” section of an insurance’s website and search through a directory of providers. This is probably the most straightforward way to search for a provider that accepts your insurance. The downside to this way of searching is that the directory is simply a list of names, credentials, and addresses. The directory does not provide any information that gives you a sense of what each person is like as a clinician – which is often important for many before they are willing to pick up the phone. From this list, you have to do your own googling to find out more about them.

What Do All of the Credentials Mean?

Right about now in the process, you might be confused with all the different credentials: MD, PhD, LMFT, LPC, LMSW…which one do I want? Here is a quick breakdown.

  • MD’s in this case are Psychiatrists, who are physicians who specialize in mental or behavioral illnesses. They can prescribe medication, provide psychiatric tests, and some offer psychotherapy.
  • PhD’s are Psychologists, who focus on one area of psychology, including educational, child, clinical, or counseling. They offer mental health and psychological testing, and most offer psychotherapy.
  • Master’s-level clinicians, which include Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), and Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), are clinicians who focus on providing psychotherapy.

Unless you are specifically looking for someone who can prescribe medication, in which case you need a Psychiatrist, you don’t need to be too bogged down by which type of credential the clinician has, as much as making sure you feel comfortable with the clinician’s approach and style. For example, some clinicians have an interactive and engaging style, while others have a more reserved style. Whether there is a match between your therapist’s style and what you’re looking for is something that you will most likely be able to only tell once you’ve spoken to them a little – and that brings us to the next step.

GoodTherapy | Mental Health

Ask for a Phone Consultation

Then, once you have narrowed down your search to a few clinicians, it’s time to reach out to them. You will need to reach out to find out if they are even accepting new clients. If they are, most offer a brief phone consultation before meeting to connect and get to know one another a little bit. These phone consultations typically are offered free of charge. They will want to know a little bit of what you want to work on, and this is a chance for you to see if you feel comfortable talking to them.

Get Ready for Your First Session

Finally, once you find the clinician who meets your criteria and is available, get ready for your first session. Think about what you want to get out of the session – and go in with an open mind. Some people know right away if a therapist is going to be a fit for them, while others need a few sessions to feel them out. Either way, this is your therapy, your life – do what feels right for YOU.

And there you have it. I hope you find the right therapist for you. With the right clinician, therapy can be a deeply rewarding journey with long-term benefits.


Personality Disorder

What is a personality disorder?

Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions that are characterized by inflexible and atypical patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. These inner experiences and behaviors often differ from the expectations of the culture in which someone lives.

If you have a personality disorder, you may have a difficult time relating to others and dealing with everyday problems in the ways that are expected by your cultural group. You may not be fully aware of this discrepancy between your thoughts and behaviors and those accepted by society.

You may have a view of the world that’s quite different than that of others. As a result, you could find it difficult to participate in social, educational, and family activities.

These behaviors and attitudes often cause problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, and work or school settings. They may also make people you feel isolated, which can contribute to depression and anxiety.

Personality disorders are treatable, however. Often a combination of talk therapy and medication can go a long way in helping you live with one of these conditions.

What cause personality disorder?

The cause of personality disorders isn’t known. However, it’s believed that they may be triggered by genetic and environmental influences, most prominently childhood trauma.

Personality disorders tend to emerge in the teenage years or early adulthood. The symptoms vary depending on the specific type of personality disorder. For all of them, treatment typically includes talk therapy and medication.

What are the different types of personality disorder?

There are numerous types of personality disorders. They’re grouped into three clusters based on similar characteristics and symptoms. Some people may have signs and symptoms of multiple personality disorders.

Cluster A: Suspicious

  • Paranoid personality disorder. People with paranoid personality disorder may be distrustful of others and suspicious of their motives.
  • Schizoid personality disorder. People with schizoid personality disorder can display little interest in forming personal relationships or partaking in social interactions. They can have trouble interpreting social cues, causing them to seem emotionally distant.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder. People with schizotypal personality disorder often believe that they can influence other people or events with their thoughts. They may misinterpret behaviors, leading to inappropriate emotional responses. They may also avoid having intimate relationships.

Cluster B: Emotional and impulsive

  • Antisocial personality disorder. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to manipulate or treat others without expressing remorse for their actions. They may engage in dishonest behavior like lying and stealing, and they may be prone to heavy alcohol and drug use.
  • Borderline personality disorder. People with borderline personality disorder often feel empty and abandoned, regardless of family or community support. They may have difficulty dealing with stressful events and have episodes of paranoia. They also tend to engage in risky and impulsive behavior, such as binge drinking and gambling.
  • Histrionic personality disorder. People with histrionic personality disorder frequently try to gain more attention by being dramatic or provocative. They may be easily influenced by other people and are sensitive to criticism or disapproval.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder. People with narcissistic personality disorder often believe that they’re more important than others. They tend to exaggerate their achievements and may brag about their attractiveness or success. Other symptoms include a deep need for admiration but lack empathy for other people.

Cluster C: Anxious

  • Avoidant personality disorder. People with avoidant personality disorder often experience feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, or unattractiveness. They may dwell on criticism from others and avoid participating in new activities or making new friends.
  • Dependent personality disorder. People with dependent personality disorder depend on other people to meet their emotional and physical needs. They usually avoid being alone and regularly need reassurance when making decisions. They may also be more likely to tolerate physical and verbal abuse.
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. People with obsessive compulsive personality disorder have an overwhelming need for order. They strongly adhere to rules and regulations, and they feel extremely uncomfortable when perfection isn’t achieved. They may even neglect personal relationships to focus on making a project perfect.

How is a personality disorder diagnosed?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), is a reference that doctors and mental health professionals use to help diagnose mental health conditions. Each personality disorder has criteria that must be met for a diagnosis.

A primary care doctor or mental health professional will ask you questions based on these criteria to determine the type of personality disorder. In order for a diagnosis to be made, the behaviors and feelings must be consistent across many life circumstances.

They should also cause significant distress and impairment in at least two of the following areas:

  • the way you perceive or interpret yourself and other people
  • the way you act when dealing with other people
  • the appropriateness of your emotional responses
  • how well you can control your impulses

In some cases, your primary care doctor or mental health professional may perform blood tests to determine whether a medical problem is causing your symptoms. In some cases, they may order a screening test for alcohol or drugs if they think substances are causing your symptoms.

How to help someone with a personality disorder

If you think someone may have symptoms of a personality disorder, or if they tell you that they think they do, encourage them to talk with a mental health professional. While voicing your concerns may cause tension, emphasize that your first priority is their well-being.

Call 911 or local emergency services if you ever feel that the other person intends to cause harm to themselves or others.

You can also provide your loved one with a list of crisis resources for when they need immediate support. Below are some hotlines and text lines that they can reach 24/7.

What is the outlook for someone with A personality disorder?

The most important aspect of treating a personality disorder is determining the condition in the first place. When you recognize that you have a mental health condition, it will be easier for you to seek and stick with treatment.

Once you find a treatment that works for you, you should see an improvement in your symptoms.

You may have to try a few different types of treatment to find what works best. That’s OK. What matters is that you find a good fit.


What are the best jobs for people with bipolar disorder?

There is no one-size-fits-all job for anyone. This is also true for people with bipolar disorder.

Instead, people with the condition should look for work that suits them as an individual. Here are some things to consider when deciding what kind of job is right for you:

What’s the work environment like?

Will this job support your lifestyle and help you grow as an individual, or will it be too challenging in terms of stress and erratic hours?

For many people with bipolar disorder, a quiet and relaxed workspace can help them to maintain regular schedules which can improve overall functioning.

What’s the schedule like?

Part-time work with an adaptable schedule can be helpful for people with bipolar disorder. It can also be helpful to work during the day.

Overnight and night shifts, or jobs that require you to be on call at night, may not be a good idea because sleep is very important. Maintaining a normal sleep/wake pattern can be beneficial with bipolar disorder.

What will your co-workers be like?

Seek a job where your co-workers have values in line with your own, and who also embrace work-life balance, as this is important to your overall health and well-being.

Having supportive co-workers is also helpful for feeling understood and coping during stressful situations, so seek out those that will support you.

Is the job creative?

Many people with bipolar disorder do best when they have a job where they can be creative.  It can be helpful to find a job where you can be creative at work or a job that gives you enough free time for creative projects.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should dig a bit deeper to try to better understand yourself so you find a job you’d enjoy.

Think about your:

  • interests
  • strengths and abilities
  • skills
  • personality traits
  • values
  • physical health
  • limits, triggers, and barriers

Once you narrow down your job choices, do some more in-depth career research.

  • working duties
  • required skills
  • required education or training
  • required license or certificate
  • usual work hours
  • work conditions (physical demands, environment, and stress level)
  • salary and benefits
  • opportunities to advance
  • employment outlook

If you can’t find a job that suits you, perhaps you may want to consider starting your own business. You can create your own job that allows for more creativity and flexibility than you may find if you work for someone else.

However, running your business has its own set of challenges. Depending on what you feel you need, you may prefer a regular structured schedule if you’re living with bipolar disorder.


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