Why you should get Premarital Counseling

Premarital Counseling

 

You finally worked up the nerves to ask the love of your life to counseling and the next phase of your lives together is quickly approaching. Now that she said “yes!” it is time to get premarital counseling.

 

Premarital counseling will help you two to get ready for your new life together. Topics that are normally brought up include:

 

  • Children
  • Debt that one or both of you have acquired
  • How to handle conflict
  • What both of you expects in the marriage
  • And much more

 

You probably think that you know all about the topics listed, but the truth is there should be a professional to mediate these discussions. Premarital counseling is crucial so that the both of you can learn how to respond properly to anything discussed that might surprise you.

 

Contact us at Morgan Hill Counseling to set up you first premarital counseling session. We will guide you two through your premarital counseling topics.

 

Call today at (408) 469-4995. 

Reducing Anxiety

Anxiety is one of those unnecessary but common struggles in life. In most cases it is something that can be reduces with the right advice and lots of practice. Here are three tips to help you on your journey to overcome anxiety.

 

1. Try not to think about events too far ahead

You might think that I am saying to avoid planning, but I am not. I am an advocate for making plans. Make a 2 or 5 year plan if you can because it is a smart thing to do. What you don’t want to do is to plan and then stress about everything little thing that does not go according to plan.

 

I say avoid planning too far ahead to reduce the chances of you stressing about those little moments. Don’t take this advice and abuse it. What I mean by that is, makes sure you know deadlines for important things that you want to do and plan accordingly. Learn how to plan and yet be spontaneous at the same time.

Call us at (408) 469-4995

 

 

2. Make time for fun activities

Go hiking, running, rock climbing or walking. No matter what it is make sure you’re having fun. The fun can be as simple as baking cookies. The point is to do something that will help you not think about whatever it is that causes the anxiety.

 

The only problem with having fun is going back to reality afterwards. That does not have to be the case. Learn how to maintain that mindset that you have while enjoying your fun activity. Don’t forget that you have the power to not stress about life’s happenings.

 

3. Realize the difference between worrying and anxiety attacks

It is completely normal to worry it is one of the ways that the human body reacts to certain situations, but anxiety attacks start when we stay in the state of worry. Learn how to limit the amount of time that you worry.

 

The fact is that you will worry about something, but you don’t have to dwell on it forever. Learn to worry for a moment and then do something about it (if it is in your power to do so). If you can’t do anything to change whatever you’re worrying about then it is best to just let it go.

 

Counseling is available

When all else fails there are counselors that can help you! Contact a Morgan Hill counselor to help you through many situations, even anxiety. Don’t hesitate to set an appointment if you don’t see a change in behavior.

What are the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress?

After a traumatic event, some people will experience symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.

Post Traumatic Stress is not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The later occurs when the an individual has persistent and significant symptoms of post traumatic stress for a minimum of 1 month. The symptoms of post traumatic stress can be characterized into 3 distinct areas:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Flashbacks. A flashback is more than a memory. Someone experiencing a flashback feels as though he or she is “re-living” a traumatic event. This often includes emotional and physical experiences such as crying, increased heart rate (tachycardia), and/or sweating
  • Bad dreams or night terrors
  • Persistent disturbing or frightening thoughts
  • “Re-experiencing symptoms” may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. Often, one suffering from “re-experiencing symptoms” will find that there are specific triggers–such as sounds, smells, or places–that contribute to, or exacerbate, the symptoms.

This leads to the second distinct area of post-traumatic symptoms:

2. Avoidance symptoms:

  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb, or disassociating emotionally from one’s surroundings
  • Experiencing strong feelings of guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Having trouble recalling or remembering the traumatic event
  • Turning to alcohol or drugs to help eleviate / reduce unpleasant memories or re-experiencing symptoms
  • Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident a person who generally drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Being “jumpy” or easily startled
  • Feeling hyper-aware of one’s surroundings
  • Choosing to be located in the back corner of a room, so as to be able to view all areas
  • Checking behind yourself frequently
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling emotionally on edge, stressed out, frustrated, or angry

Instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event, hyper-arousal symptoms are generally persistent and constant. Hyper-arousal can make a person feel continuously stressed out, frustrated or angry. These persistant symptoms may make it difficult for one to complete daily tasks, such as going to work, sleeping, eating, or concentrating. In addition, over time such symptoms often can harm one’s interpersonal relationships.

Note: it’s natural and normal for one to experience some of the above symptoms after experiencing a dangerous or traumatic event. Often, post-traumatic symptoms will dissipate and even disappear completely over a matter of days or weeks.

Imago Therapy (Couples)

Have you gone for couple’s therapy only to leave your first session feeling angrier with your mate than ever?

In the movies you often see Marriage counseling provided by an “expert” who hears each partner, decides what they should each do, and offers their advice. The trouble is that most of us have developed very good defenses against accepting advice, especially if it looks like maybe we are in the wrong, and are being told to do things right. That’s why those movie scenes are often comic, and when we watch part of the humor is recognizing that it won’t work.

Imago couples therapy takes a radically different approach. We don’t work to “fix” you, we invite you to join with us in working on the relationship as a whole. In Imago, nobody is right or wrong. The challenge is to learn how to talk together about things which really matter, in a way that feels safe, supportive and positive.

That puts you in the driver’s seat! You and your partner learn to work on the relationship yourselves, and you become the experts on your own relationship by learning to find out what is really going on for your partner, and understanding how things in the present have a deep emotional connection to their past. From Trust Imago To Restore Your Connection

Imago therapists provide a safe place for couples who want to re-vitalize their relationship. This becomes clear in the first session; in fact, couples are generally very impressed with the Imago process so much so that they refer their friends.

Imago theory and therapy, developed by Harville Hendrix, focuses on committed relationships. The principal intervention in Imago work is the Imago Dialogue, which builds on Nonviolent Communication techniques developed by internationally known Marshall Rosenberg. The Imago Dialogue helps people move from disconnection to connection, from stress to safety, from animosity to passion and “From conflict to hope:”

At some point in their relationship, couples often find themselves struggling with anger and shock, despair and sadness. Some are newlyweds, and can’t understand how they have plummeted from the heights of love and glory into a swamp of hopelessness and conflict. Others have been married for many years, and though they have been slogging along – in calm or storm – their days of wine and roses are a dim memory. Even if life at home is relatively peaceful, couples lament that they have “nothing in common anymore.” And so they lead a disappointed or angry co-existence, each with their own friends and interests, in a marriage of convenience, or an arrangement they endure “for the sake of the children.”

Shattered dreams, whatever form they take, are painful. But there is hope. In fact, the pain and conflict of committed relationships arise not out of lack of love for our partners, but from a misunderstanding of what love relationships are about. Your conflict can be the very fuel for the fulfillment you seek. An Introduction To Imago.

Imago work is also for individuals not currently in a relationship, who “are tired of making the same mistakes over and over again and want to learn the secret to finding and keeping lasting love. … Often we are tempted to think the problem is ‘finding the right person.’ But this … is all about ‘becoming the right person.’” Imago also helps parents with children; one of my instructors, Dr. Francine Beauvior, wrote the book, Raising Cooperative and Self-Confident Children, which is available on Amazon. Please feel free to call me to learn more about this exciting, effective and meaningful process.

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Therapy Services at Morgan Hill

I find it useful to draw on different therapy models and teachings to best tailor my work with you to fit your needs. In the near future I plan to offer equine facilitated psychotherapy to clients who benefit from this type of intervention.

When working with two or more people, my approach as a therapist and facilitator is that there is no right person and no wrong person in either conflicts of need or conflicts of value. When we slow things down and use listening skills to track, validate and express empathy for the other, a shift of understanding occurs, which can trigger growth and healing.

In our work I will help you build a conscious, mindful relationship. I am on the path towards Certification as an Imago Therapist and meet regularly with Dr. Bruce Crapuchettes and Dr. Francine Beauvoir of the Pasadena Institute for Relationships who instructed me and critique my work.

MY PURPOSE: to provide you with a safe space to work on your goals, in a manner that serves your best interests as you define them. I work to facilitate you to find your way; I will never offer advice or tell you what I think is best for you, but rather will support and encourage you to find what is alive in you. I will help you find your voice. Regardless of your situation and problem, I believe there is always a way to make positive change.

MY METHOD: I provide 60 and 90 minute sessions to individuals, and a minimum of 90 minute sessions to couples. I work on a sliding scale, and will discuss fees with you prior to our first session. (Please see my fees page). As an elder with a background rich in experience, I work well with people of diverse ages, backgrounds and cultures. I offer afternoon and evening appointments. I believe in a family systems approach and draw on Cognitive Behavioral interventions as well as Narrative theory and interventions.

For individuals, I provide help, encouragement and support with many issues, including but not limited to:

  • Trauma and abuse issues, PTSD
  • Depression, Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem
  • Making goals and striving to achieve them
  • Communication Skills to Improve Your Relationships
  • Grief

For those whose relationships trouble them (couples, families, parents/children, and individuals), I provide interventions that help facilitate positive change in dealing with

  • Relationship issues between spouses/partners, conflict between parents and children.
  • Parenting issues.
  • Dysfunctional family dynamics
  • Challenging Life Transitions including Career Changes, Trauma

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Yo vivo en Morgan Hill. ¿Necesito asesoramiento o terapia?

South San Jose Counseling

¿Necesito asesoramiento? Yo vivo en Morgan Hill – el clima es muy bueno, la ciudad es una maravilla – todo en la vida va bien. ¿Cuáles son los signos que puedan necesitar ver a un consejero de Morgan Hill?

¿Alguna vez se detuvo y pensó: “¿Tengo que ver a un consejero?” Hay un millones de personas que tienen la creencia de que sólo se necesita ver a un consejero o terapeuta durante una crisis de la vida: una muerte en la familia, la mala suerte -up con un ser querido, un cambio de vida importante, la pérdida del empleo, y la lista podría continuar. Y a pesar de asesoramiento y terapia ayuda enormemente en esas situaciones, el asesoramiento y la terapia puede beneficiar en cualquier situación.

Estas son algunas de las cuestiones que debe considerar si usted está pensando en el asesoramiento en Morgan Hill:

¿Se siente atrapado?
¿Te sientes como si estuvieras en un bache y parece que no puede salir?
¿No disfrutar de la vida como solía hacerlo?
¿Está comiendo bien?
¿Estás durmiendo? ¿Usted consigue una buena noche de descanso?
¿Está constantemente preocupado? La lucha con la ansiedad? Luchando con su peso?
¿Tiene problemas que surgen cuando se está estresado? ¿Usted lucha con ira?

Incluso más:
¿Está cambiando de carrera y necesitan alguna orientación?
¿Está usted en una gran transición?
¿Es la vida en una posición todavía?

Si usted está en un bache, o están en una relación insatisfactoria, el asesoramiento en Morgan Hill te ofrece un lugar seguro para expresarse. Lamentablemente, muchas personas buscan el asesoramiento como un último recurso. Ellos piensan que la búsqueda de un consejero es un signo de debilidad o de darse por vencido.

Pero, en realidad, en busca de un consejero en Morgan Hill es una de las cosas más fuertes que usted puede hacer. Buscando un consejero se está moviendo rápidamente hacia un objetivo – el objetivo de un mejor usted. Buscando un consejero significa que no se dan por vencidos en la vida – usted está buscando lo mejor.

Lo que es más fuerte que la que?

¿Y si la vida no se está cayendo a pedazos? ¿Puedo seguir beneficiándose de ver a un consejero?

Usted no tiene que estar en el extremo de la cuerda a buscar asesoría de Morgan Hill. Incluso si usted está subiendo con éxito, un consejero puede ver cosas que nunca podía ver. Piénsalo de esta manera: Usted puede ser fuerte, pero su punto débil es la que usted no puede ver – y todos tenemos un lado que no podemos ver (tratado de mirar a su espalda últimamente?). Aquí es donde un consejero en Morgan Hill usted puede ayudar a empujar más allá.

Interesado en programar una cita para asesoramiento o terapia en Morgan Hill? O tal vez sólo algunas preguntas? Nos encantaría saber de usted.

Llámenos al 408-469-4995. El hotel está convenientemente situado en Morgan Hill, CA (cerca de 12 millas al sur de San José).

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Controlling your Anger and Temper: Morgan Hill QA

Do you struggle with anger and temper issues in Morgan Hill?

Anger is a Powerful Emotion.

  • Anger ranges from being frustrated to severe fury. It can last from a few seconds to a lifetime.
  • One is never “wrong” to feel anger. What we do in our anger determines whether or not we are wrong.
  • Anger is best understood as a state of readiness. It is a natural response to a real or perceived injustice inspiring a powerful alertness that allows us to defend ourselves or others.

Anger Always Finds an Expression

Repression—to deny anger’s presence. This is unhealthy because even though it may not be observable, it is still present—turned inward.

Suppression—with suppression, one redirects anger-driven energy into healthy or unhealthy behavior.

Expression—healthy expression involves gentle assertiveness; unhealthy expression involves aggressiveness that hurts others.

Action Steps and Tips to Overcoming Anger

1. See It

  • List known triggers and sources of anger
  • Until you can control the anger, avoid triggers as much as possible
  • Identify angry feelings while they are still minor.
  • Be aware of physical changes—these are warning signs (e.g., Rising heart rate, tensed muscles, dilated pupils, clenched fists, flared nostrils, bulged veins)

2. Delay It

  • Take a “time out” from the situation (20 minute minimum)
  • Perform light exercise until the intensity of anger is manageable.
  • “Write, don’t fight;” This exercise is personal and writings should be kept private, not sent.
  • Talk with a trusted friend who is unrelated to the anger-provoking situation: Don’t just vent—ask for constructive advice.

3. Control It

  • Respond, don’t react.
  • Confront to restore, not to destroy.
  • Empathize (yelling is a failure to empathize).
  • Learn how to self-calm. Calming will help you let some of your angry feelings subside before expressing anger in a healthy way.
  • Talk to a counseling professional, find an accountability partner, or join an anger management group

Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way—that is not easy.

Looking For Morgan Hill Anger Counseling? Let’s talk today.

Call us at (408) 469-4995. We are available to talk with you today. If you call and reach our voice message system, don’t be discouraged! We still want to talk with you, we are just seeing clients. Leave your name and phone number and we will call you back that day.

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Overcoming Loneliness and Isolation in Morgan Hill

While everyone can benefit from some amount of alone time, a healthy and fulfilling life needs close interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, people today feel more isolated that ever. The average family unit is severely fractured, the divorce rate is at almost 50%, and more people live alone today than ever before in American history.

In many counseling practices, more than half of the clients who solicit therapy—no matter what their presenting problem (depression, addiction, anxiety, sexual issues)—are also presenting a severe lack of interpersonal relationships. In direct response to their loneliness, many feel cynical and depressed; they lack confidence, feel rejected, feel alienated, and feel inadequate to build meaningful relationships.

Why are the majority of clients—many who are young, attractive, intelligent, even well-to-do—profoundly disconnected from others?

Let’s begin by looking at why persons today are so isolated.

Our society is Primed for Isolation

It is easy, even in vogue, to blame society for our problems. And while I am going to go ahead and say that society is a major part of the loneliness problem, I would also like to remind everyone (including myself) that society is not some tyrannous robotic that operates our lives. Our society is each one of us. We are the society we blame.

So how is our society (meaning all of us) affecting the number of relationship-starved people in Morgan Hill? Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert points out that people today have to answer three major life-questions that their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents didn’t answer. Those questions are: 1) Where to live, 2) What to do, and, 3) Who to do it with.[i]

Less than a century ago most people were born, raised, lived, and died in one community. They did the job their parents did. They would build friendships in grade school and at church, and then keep those friends for the duration of their lives. They wed early, and had several children in their early 20s. Making new friends and families was not an issue. They lived and died surrounded by their kids and kin.

However, today it is the norm to leave one’s family and friends behind as we pursue our educational and vocational goals. First we leave for college, where we usually build new friendships. However, those don’t last either, because when undergrad ends we move again—a series of times in our 20s and 30s. Each time we travel alone, leaving old relationships behind (physically). We need to reconnect and establish new relationships at every juncture. All the while, we are more focused on our education or career than we are personal relationships, so the task of making friends is always at the bottom of the to-do-list. And nothing at the bottom of the to-do-list ever gets done.

The result: Many of us have no close friends, we are unmarried, and we live lives that feel (to our unfortunate surprise) empty and bleak.

Community is a Dirty Word

Community and Family are becoming foreign (even dirty) words. We place a low value on “community” because we don’t really understand what community is anymore. Many of us, when we think about community, envision a small town with cantankerous old couples walking down the street, sheriffs with big hats, corner stores that close at 6pm (and all day Sunday), and one-dimensional suburban nuclear families. This image of community has little that interests us, and even less to offer. It makes us feel all the more disconnected. Thankfully it is a lie.

Strategy One: Redefine Community.

Community is what you want it to be. Community means joining a kickball team. Community means being surrounded by friends who love you, who you respect, and who you want to share your life with. For many of us, an acceptable community looks more like “dorm life” than a Norman Rockwell painting. Community is having three friends who show up at your place at 8 in the morning, with coffee. Community is having those same friends knock on your door as 5pm on a Thursday to pull you away from the computer.

Strategy 2: Kill Your TV (It is mocking you)

Kill your TV. Move into a house with six close friends. You will miss two seasons of your favorite show and not even notice.

I am willing to bet that more than the lavish lifestyle, the beach, the adventure, or the interesting job, what draws us to the television is the close relationships between the characters. The TV mocks us, because we miss this truth all the time.  All we really want is to live in a big old house with six close friends.

Strategy 3: Things are the red herring.

The creator of the video game “The Sims” was once interviewed, and questioned about the materialism about the game. The items are a “Red Herring,” he explained. The way to win the game—to have a happy sim—is has nothing to do with the items. A happy sim has strong relationships with the other characters in the game.[ii]

The same mistake players of the Sims make we make in our real lives. We work 50-plus hour a week to buy things we think we want, or to live in lavish spaces we can hardly afford. All the while we would be happier sitting on milk crates with a group of close friends. A house full of nice things but without friends is vain.

Here is the secret to personal success: People, not stuff. Community.

Step 4: Explore people, not places

The idea of the lonely traveler seems romantic. But when you are that traveler, you don’t care so much about the museums after a few days. You watch people on the street. Friends laughing, and lovers holding hands. Soon you are on your cell phone, making oversees calls to connect to the people you thought you didn’t need.

Here is the secret to personal success: People, not places.

Strategy 5: Pay the Price

Every choice we make costs a price. The choice to build a support system is no different. It takes an investment of time and resources. You are going to need to put some margin into your schedule if you are going to be successful in building relationship. You might need to work as hard for relationships as you do at your career. Warning: this could slow your business, career, and even your money making potential. It can also increase your life satisfaction exponentially.So consider—what are relationships worth? How much money would it take for you to live a life of solitude.

Strategy 6: More confidence, more skills

This strategy could be a book.

One reason persons remain in solitude is that they have been alone for so long they begin to think that others will not understand them, others will reject them, or they think they are not able to build and maintain close relationships.

When it comes to building relationships— other people might feel as disconnected and worried as they do. If they say they are not “a person who can just go up to someone and talk to them,” Remember that there is no such thing as talent[iii] and that practice and experience is the only way to become “a person who can just go up to someone and talk to them.”

Strategy 7: Make sure they are in the inner circle

1)You must interact with the person outside of the venue in which you met them. For example, if you meet someone at the gym/coffee shop/a friend’s house, the person cannot be considered part of your inner circle unless you arrange to meet the person somewhere else.

2)You must have spent time with the person for the sole purpose of spending time together. Having friends who you play basketball with does not count as having “inner circle” friends—the focus is on having a good game of basketball, not on building relationship. “Have you gotten together with the person to just ‘hang out?’ Have you gone to get coffee or a meal with this person? Have you gotten together just to ‘Catch up?’”

3)You must meet with this person one-on-one, and be willing to share both the joys and hardships of life with the person. Does the person go to you with his/her triumphs and problems? Do you do go to him/her with your triumphs and problems? Do you trust the person to keep a confidence? Does he/she trust you to keep confidence?

The Isolation Epidemic is real. It is treatable, but only with significant lifestyle changes. For many, the cure is not easy, but it is always worthwhile.

Put more effort into interpersonal connections than you do anything else in your life. This is a radical idea, but it is an idea that can change your life for the better.


 

[i] See Gilbert, D. (2006). Stumbling on Happiness

 

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4 Ways to Boost Happiness in Morgan Hill this Year

Besides visiting Uvas Canyon County Park, taking a hike at Henry Coe, or having a nice glass of wine at Guglielmo Winery, what are some things that you can do everyday to increase happiness in your life in Morgan Hill? Although we’d love too, we can’t drink a glass of wine at Guglielmo everyday, or visit Andy’s Orchard.

Here are a few tips that can help you increase happiness everyday – Monday through Sunday. These are simples ideas that can help your overall well-being be happier.

1. Do something nice for someone new each day.

If you have roommates, do something nice for them. Make them dinner, clean up their disorganized mess. If you don’t have anyone around you, maybe offer to buy the gasoline for the person behind you in line at the Chevron Station in Morgan Hill. You will be amazed at how far a little niceness can go – for both you and them.

2. Record what went right. 

At the end of the day, it is easy to get down on yourself. But think hard – write down five to seven things that went well during the day. If you can’t think of anything, maybe 1. the fact that you are still breathing, 2. you can get a good nights sleep, and 3. you have hope for tomorrow is a good starting point.

3. Make a point to tell the people you are around that you are grateful for them. 

Take time to take a friend out to lunch and encourage them. There is so much negativity in the world, but if you could stop, and just tell someone how grateful you are, you have no idea the encouragement this could mean.

4. Set a Goal for this year

Do something adventurous this year. Let your imagination roar. You can do anything you want.

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I live in Morgan Hill. Do I need counseling or therapy?

Do I need counseling? I live in Morgan Hill – the weather is great, the town is lovely – everything in life is going okay. What are the signs that I may need to see a Morgan Hill Counselor?

Have you ever stopped and thought, “Do I need to see a counselor?” There a millions of people that have the belief that you only need to see a counselor or therapist during a life crisis: a death in the family, a bad break-up with a loved one, a serious life change, a job loss, and the list could continue. And although counseling and therapy helps tremendously in those situations, counseling and therapy can benefit in any situation.

Here are some issues you should consider if you are thinking about counseling in Morgan Hill:

Do you feel stuck?
Do you feel like you are in a rut and can’t seem to get out?
Do you not enjoy life as you used to?
Are you eating well?
Are you sleeping? Do you get a good nights rest?
Are you constantly worrying? Struggling with anxiety? Struggling with your weight?
Do you have issues that come up when you are stressed? Do you struggle with anger?

Even More:
Are you changing careers and need some guidance?
Are you in a big transition?
Is life at a stand still?

Whether you are in a rut, or are in an unfulfilling relationship, counseling at Morgan Hill gives you a safe place to express yourself. Sadly, many people seek counseling as a last resort. They think seeking a counselor is a sign of weakness or giving up.

But in reality, seeking a counselor in Morgan Hill is one of the strongest things that you can do. Seeking a counselor is quickly moving towards a goal – a goal to a better you. Seeking a counselor means you are not giving up on life – you are seeking the best.

What is stronger that that?

What if life isn’t falling apart? Can I still benefit from seeing a counselor?

You don’t have to be at the end of your rope to seek counseling at Morgan Hill. Even if you are climbing successfully, a counselor can see things that you could never see. Think of it this way: You may be strong, but your weakest side is the one you cannot see – and we all have a side we cannot see (tried staring at your back lately?). This is where a counselor at Morgan Hill can help push you further.

Interested in scheduling an appointment for counseling or therapy in Morgan Hill? Or maybe you just have some questions for us? We’d love to hear from you.

Call us at 408-469-4995. We are conveniently located in Morgan Hill, CA (about 12 miles south of San Jose).

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