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Tag Archives: Star Point Counseling

Sending & receiving ~ good vibes

Believe it or not there’s a science behind “good vibes” and ways to draw them into your life. The law of attraction states, in simple terms, that the energy you put into the universe will dictate the world around you. So, in theory, if you simply think positive thoughts and send positive vibes out into the universe, your life will be better.

Think about it, how many times have you stubbed your toe getting out of bed, or spilled your coffee in the morning and had your whole day go downhill from there? It’s the law of attraction. As you stub your toe or spill your coffee, you’re sending negative energy out into the universe. After that, the universe will respond to your negative energy with more negativity.

When you have a brighter outlook on life and your future, it only makes sense that a bright future will follow.  So, be confident in what you want to ask the universe to give you; make sure you want it with your whole heart and soul. Then, visualize what you want as if it’s already yours, and imagine sending a mental picture of it out into the universe. Be confident, keep a positive state of mind and imagine that you already have it. The stronger your faith, the quicker your reward will come to you. In addition, don’t forget to be grateful; thank the universe for all of the wonderful things you’ve received in your life this far. This will increase your positive state of mind and send more good vibes out into the universe.


Couples Counseling

Communication skills are a great skill in any relationship. Assertive Communication is the best way to communicate versus aggressive, passive aggressive or passive  communication

Fully listen to your spouse before formulating your thoughts, you can even repeat back to them “so I think I am hearing you say……….. is this correct”. Then formulate your thoughts and then speak. A lot of times we will start formulating our thoughts before the other person is done talking and then we do not full understand what they are saying.

. When talking to your spouse speak in a non emotional calm voice and tell your spouse how you feel. Do not tell them what they are doing wrong, in your mind, blaming them in a loud or aggressive voice.

If you feel you will benefit from couples counseling in the Tampa Bay area please visit our web site  or call us at 813-260-8892.

Depression vs. Sadness

Depression and sadness are often viewed as the same thing.  Part of the confusion is that the most recognizable symptom of depression is sadness. Sadness is a very painful emotion and although at times it can be very excruciating, it is a normal response to difficult life events. When we think of sadness as the same as depression we minimize the illness. We often don’t realize that depression creates many other debilitating symptoms. Sadness is a small part of depression, and many individuals with depression may not even experience sadness. Instead, they may experience loss of appetite, sleeplessness or hypersomnia, lack of energy, isolation, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, diminished interest in or enjoyment of activities, and poor concentration or indecisiveness. Depression is diagnosed after an individual has had multiple symptoms for at least 2 weeks. The major difference between depression and sadness is that depression is a serious mental illness. If you or someone you may know is struggling with depression seek help immediately, do not wait until it gets worse. Depression is a treatable and temporary condition, you can get well and feel happy again.

Call us for more information on how we can help! (813)244-1251

Letting Go of Past Hurts.


We all get hurt at least once in our lifetime, you can’t possibly be an adult or teen alive today who hasn’t gone through some kind of painful and hurtful experience in the past.I understand that it hurts, but would you rather get back to living life or continue to dwell on something that cannot be changed? People who hold on to these past hurts often relive the pain over and over in their minds.  The only way to move on and to accept new happiness into your life is to make room for it by getting rid of the pain and hurt. 

Five ways to let go of past hurts: 

  1. Make the decision to let it go. Like the popular song from the Disney movieFrozen says, “Let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door.” You have to make a conscious decision to let it go and slam the door behind you. You have the choice to stop reliving the past and playing every detail out in your mind. 
  2. Express your pain, and responsibility. Express the pain that you feel, whether it is directly to the person who may have caused the pain, venting to a friend, or writing it down in a journal. Get it all out of your system at once. 
  3. Stop playing the victim and blaming others. Even though you may not mainly be responsible for the hurt, there may be something you could have done differently, or maybe you let it get to you way more than you should have. Take responsibility for your own happiness, and not put your happiness into the hands of someone else. 
  4. Focus on the present. Once you have let go its time to stop living in the past and start living for today. Once you start focusing on the here and now, there is no room left for you to think about the past. If the past begins to creep into your mind acknowledge it only for a moment and then bring yourself back to the present moment. 
  5. Forgive. We may not be able to forget a person’s behaviors but everybody deserves forgiveness. Forgiveness is a way of letting something go. It’s also a way of empathizing with the other person, and trying to see things from their point of view even though you may not agree with what they did. And forgiving yourself can be an important part, as sometimes we may end up blaming ourselves for the situation or hurt. 

Nobody’s life should be defined by their pain. It is not healthy, it adds to our stress, it hurts our ability to focus, study and work, and it impacts other relationships we have. Do something different today and welcome happiness and joy back into your life. 

If you are struggling with letting go and moving on from a past hurt check out our website to find out how we can help you. Whether you are unable to move on from a minor break-up, infidelity, or the loss of a loved one, we are here to help you learn to let go and begin living a happier life.

Moving On After Infidelity.


No one gets married expecting to get divorced later down the road. An definitely no one expects to have their marriage destroyed by an affair. So how do you begin to move on after this has happened to you? Your husband or even family and friends may try to pressure you into trying to work on your marriage and get past this bump in the road, but only you know if it is actually doable. For many, the broken trust and damaged bond is irreparable. Moving on from your marriage will be far from easy, but if it is the path you choose to take then it will be worth the painful journey. There are many ways to make the process and healthy and productive as possible.

  1. Accept that the marriage is over: Stop emotionally investing in the past. The more you hold onto the past, the more you will recreate it in your present moment and in the future.
  2. Allow yourself to feel: Be aware of your thoughts, bodily sensations, and reactions. You cannot heal if you don’t recognize consciously, and it will not go away if you keep shoving it to the side.
  3. Know that feeling afraid is normal: Learn to face and overcome your fears by taking a close look at your anxiety over the marriage ending and ask yourself if it is truly valid.
  4. Learn what nurtures you: You have the power to create a future of your own making, be proactive and take responsibility of your own happiness.
  5. Express yourself authentically: By being real with people, you will find yourself connecting to others in a way you never had before, which speeds up the recovery process. If you feel betrayed by your spouse’s infidelity, express that honestly and constructively.
  6. Forgive: Realize that forgiveness is mainly for your benefit not any one else’s.
  7. Trust the process: Keep going. Every step, no matter how small, is moving you forward.
  8. Set long-term goals for yourself: This is a real indicator that you really are prepared to let go of the past and move on. Set plans for your future, and create some exciting plans for yourself.

If you are struggling with moving on from your marriage after infidelity, call us today so we can help you begin your journey of moving on from infidelity. (813)244-1251

Visit our website to learn more about how we can help!

Overcome Negative Thinking.


Negative thoughts can drain you of energy, and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to these negative thoughts the stronger they become. Once these negative thoughts occur it is hard to stop them and shift your focus to more positive thinking. But if you want to stop yourself from going down a painful and unnecessary path then learning how to overcome this hurdle will benefit you greatly in the long run.

Here are some tips you can try to begin your journey to positive thinking:

  • Surround yourself with positive people- when you are stuck in a negative spiral, talking to people who will put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thoughts will help you.
  • Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive- for example instead of thinking “tomorrow is going to be such a tiring, and hectic day at work,” think, “tomorrow I will have some challenges to face at work, but I will overcome them and feel accomplished at the end of the day.”
  • Don’t play victim. You created your life, take responsibility- you are never stuck in a situation, there is always room for growth and change.
  • Help someone- take the focus off of yourself and do something nice for someone, it will take your mind off of things and make you feel good about yourself.
  • Practice self-affirmation- this is the latest psychological cure-all. It involves thinking about your positive traits and beliefs and has been found to increase social confidence and self control.

If you are struggling with ridding yourself of negative thoughts, counseling can be a great way to get help. The therapists at Star Point Counseling can work with you and teach you tips and exercises on changing your negative thoughts into positive ones.

Call today to make an appointment and begin building a more positive and happier you! (813)244-1251

Myths about Therapy.

woman-on-therapist-couch (1)

Unfortunately, therapy still remains a shrouded subject, and many myths persist.These misunderstandings can prevent people from seeking help and getting better, and gives something valuable a bad name.

These are 7 myths that just won’t go away.

Myth #1: Everyone can benefit from therapy: This is false, only those who are motivated to change will truly benefit from therapy. It is important to be ready, willing, and open to therapy.

Myth #2: Therapy is like talking to a friend: Although it is important to have friends as support, therapists are trained to understand these matters and are able to offer more than just good advise.

Myth #3: Therapy isn’t working unless your in pain: This is not entirely true. Therapists may address painful subjects, but therapy is more about understanding yourself and others, and learning how to cope with different situations.

Myth #4: Therapy entails brainwashing: Some people believe that therapists push their ideas and agendas on their clients. However, a good clinician helps you re-discover or regain your voice, not lose it.

Myth #5 Therapists never take sides: At times, a therapist might have to take a side, either to keep a couple moving along, to challenge a client, or because of a particular issue at hand. Sometimes taking sides leads to more progress.

Myth #6 Change takes place during therapy: False, change actually takes place before and after your sessions. The goal of therapy is to apply the changes to your life, which is the hardest part.

Myth #7 Seeing a therapist means your damaged, weak, or crazy: There is nothing crazy about working on specific problems or trying to overcome intrusive symptoms. Therapy gives you the opportunity to utilize all the tools at your disposal to maximize your satisfaction and effectiveness in life.

Call us to find out how we can help you with any difficult situation you may be dealing with (813)244-1251 

Dealing with Troubled Teens.


It is completely normal for your teenager to want to be independent, but not to act out in dangerous extremes. If they are creating self-destructive behavior DO NOT wait to intervene. The longer you let it go, the more perilous the situation becomes.

Here is some advice for parents with troubled teens:

-Identify the cause: If your teen is making drastic behavioral changes, there’s a reason. It’s a cause-and-effect situation. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change. It may be a recent event, or it may be something deep-rooted.

-Look back: Negative events that happened at ages 2, 3 or 4 help to shape children’s personalities. By the time these toddlers become teenagers, they’ve been living with the resulting pain for most of their lives. As teenagers, they are able to act on these feelings with more lasting — and harmful — consequences.

-Listen and talk: Teenagers today have more opportunities to make bad decisions than they did in years past. This is all the more reason that you must be a positive, reliable person in your child’s life. Listen to him or her and resist the urge to judge or advise; sometimes just being heard helps. Even though they’re often reluctant to admit it, they seek approval, love, and a “soft place to fall” in their parents. If they don’t feel valued, loved and understood at home, they’ll turn elsewhere to get the acceptance they so deeply need.

-Act like a parent: …especially if your teenager is already going down the wrong path. A warm relationship is ideal, but sometimes you must do things your child won’t understand. Remember: you’re a parent, not a pal. Your responsibility is to ensure the well-being and safety of your child. Intervening in a dangerous situation (like ones involving drugs, abuse or truancy) might make your child dislike you, but it will also save his or her life.

If you are having a hard time dealing with your troubled teen, seek help from a Licensed Mental Heath Counselor.

For more information on how we can help visit our website!

Call us today to set up an appointment! (813) 244-1251


Owner Profile: Sam DiFranco


Sam DiFranco is co-founder and business director at Affordable Counseling Center of Brandon. Sam’s mission was to provide quality mental health services to individuals, couples, and families at a reasonable price. With the help of co-founder and clinical director Clarissa Crystal-Belle, Sam has been able to employ several registered mental health counselor interns, interns, and two licensced mental health counselors at affordable counseling. And the list keeps growing!

Sam and Clarissa are also co-owners of Star Point Counseling Center with two locations in Tampa and in Brandon Florida.

For more information on the staff and services at Affordable Counseling Center, check out our website at
and for additional information about Star Point Counseling visit

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