Online Therapy

woman having video call

Photo by Ivan Samkov 

Telemedicine/ Online Therapy for Calif. Residents:   All online communications will go through a third party secure website to meet HIPPA and security requirements. I offer Online a la carte or on Retainer. It can be canceled by you or me at any time and I reserve the right to not accept a client for online or continuing online work if it doesn’t seem advisable as online therapy is not for everyone. There are no contracts, minimum terms or upfront fees but payment must be received prior to the commencement of any session so that valuable session time is not wasted. I do not offer Couples Counseling online as I have not found it as effective as in-office. Certain informational documents and an Informed Consent Form (just like in-office therapy) must be completed and returned before the start of any sessions. The below fees do not apply to Legal Cases, which require significant extra work and documentation. It also does not apply to existing in-office clients.

  • Phone: 45-minutes $100. per session, or 30 minutes $75.
  • Video: 45-minute $150. per session
  • Email or text: $75. per week for unlimited messages from you, or $230 per month if paid in full in advance. Please note that I will use up to 50 minutes per week reading and responding to your messages. I generally respond 2 to 4 times per week and take most Saturdays and Sundays off.
  • Retainer, Full Service TeleHealth Plan:  $350 per month for unlimited messaging (email or text) and up to 3 per month 45-minute phone or video sessions. Subject to openings and times available. Payment must be received monthly in advance. This service is for previous patients and clients or by special agreement on a case-by-case basis for others.

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

Stay safe,
Sharon

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.comweb: www.valentinotherapy.com
e: hello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.comweb: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist & Valentino Therapy
Instagram: Ask This Therapist & Sharon,Valentino.MFT, & sobercoachandfamilysupport
Facebook: Valentino Therapy, Parenting With Help, and Ask This Therapist
Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist

 

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COVID ANXIETY vs. PEACEFULNESS

woman holding a poster with anxiety

Photo by cottonbro

COVID ANXIETY vs. PEACEFULNESS

Many people, if not most, are experiencing a lot of anxiety during this very unusual time.
Many are depressed as well. While you can have both anxiety and depression concurrently they come from different directions.
Depression generally comes from looking backwards into the past.
Anxiety nearly always comes from worrying about the future which is not here.
Peace and happiness lie in living in the present.

The PAST is past. The FUTURE has not arrived. Only the PRESENT is here now.
When you live in the present with gratitude everything changes almost instantly.
This is not to say if you have continual worries or past trauma that you shouldn’t work on them with a good therapist.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the Gold Standard for dealing rather quickly with those negative thoughts (worry/anxiety) that circle around in our heads in a negative loop that we are often unaware of – though sometimes we realize we are doing it.
Sometimes we know we are worrying to excess.
Other times we aren’t aware of how pervasive it is.

Thoughts cause emotions that cause feelings that cause actions/words that often don’t serve us well.  A lot of research proves this is the exact sequence in which it happens though most folks think they have an emotion and then they think about it.
You don’t have to let depression and anxiety make this unusual time even worse.

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

Stay safe,
Sharon

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.comweb: www.valentinotherapy.com
e: hello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.comweb: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist & Valentino Therapy
Instagram: Ask This Therapist & Sharon,Valentino.MFT, & sobercoachandfamilysupport
Facebook: Valentino Therapy, Parenting With Help, and Ask This Therapist
Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist
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Seven Tips For Working From Home During the Coronavirus

woman in gray tank top sitting on bed

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Seven Tips For Working From Home During the Coronavirus

Here are ways to make working from home a little bit more manageable, whatever your circumstances may be right now during the coronavirus pandemic. Below are seven tips for those who have had to make the transition to working from home during quarantine.

           1.Create a workspace

Having a designated workspace helps you focus and be productive. If you do not already have an at-home office, be sure to work at a desk, table or create a specific place you can always work from at home during quarantine. Moving around to various areas is shown to not be as productive.

          2.Stick to your schedule

If your work hours are not set for you, be sure to set your own schedule/work hours. Stay well-rested and not throw off your sleep cycle. Just because you are at home more often does not mean throwing away structure and a schedule or it will affect your health, sleep and happiness.

           3. Get dressed

As tempting as it is to stay in your lounge clothes, this could harm your productivity and motivation. Get ready for the day as if you were leaving for work as usual. This will boost your mental health and make you more productive. You don’t have to super dress up but make an effort so you feel better about yourself and present well if you go out or do Zoom meetings.

          4. Get outside (while social distancing)

If you have the opportunity to step outside for fresh air or go for a walk daily, do it. Going outside can help with stress relief, concentration, and overall mental health after being cooped up inside.

          5. Lunch break

Prepare healthy food that you like in advance so that you can have your lunch break as you usually would at work. This will help you stick to your schedule and keep you feeling good throughout the day.

          6. Set boundaries

Because you will be working from home it’s crucial to set boundaries with friends and family during your work hours. Make sure whoever is at home with you knows when you are working so that you can be distracting free and create a work-like environment. Therefore you can be as attentive as you would be at a normal job. Be creative. Set up a tent outside and make it into a really cool office to work in, or something else equally fun and creative.

          7. Do something fun

Now that you won’t be commuting to work for a bit you have some free time you can use to do something fun. Take advantage of not having a long commute and make it YOUR time. Use this extra time to prepare a proper breakfast, finally start that new hobby, listen to a podcast, practice self-care, or whatever else has been on your to-do list.

Stay safe,
Sharon

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.comweb: www.valentinotherapy.com
e: hello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.comweb: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist & Valentino Therapy
Instagram: Ask This Therapist & Sharon,Valentino.MFT, & sobercoachandfamilysupport
Facebook: Valentino Therapy, Parenting With Help, and Ask This Therapist
Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist
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Dealing With Staying Home – A Better Happier You Is Possible

person writing on notebook

Photo by Julia M Cameron

Dealing With Staying Home – A Better Happier You Is Possible

Whether we are ill and confined to home for a while or in the midst of a pandemic, certain things matter. I saw this quote today and wonder if it grabs your attention as it did mine?

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” -Goethe.

After all this is over the only thing that will matter is how we treated one another.
And how we treat ourselves is critical and equally important.

Once things normalize, will we have complained each day or will we be able to say that we accomplished something? Will we be able to say that we lost weight, gained muscle tone, learned a language, picked up a new skill, took one of the many few online courses available right now, got closer to friends by checking on them, or read a couple of good books? What can we do to make ourselves proud when we emerge from this isolation?

A large network of friends, often called a social support network, has long been a proven key to good mental health. And we all need it more now than ever. When we take the slightest chance to be thoughtful by telling someone we know that we’d like to know that they are OK, or mention something they did or talent of theirs or thing that they do which makes them special or stand out – or any excuse at all you make yourself a better, kinder, softer, more loving person which only attracts more love and kindness right back at you and into your life, which is often called Karmic mirroring.

A wealth of research shows that when we “commit acts of kindness” for others, our brains release oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine – a powerful feel-good cocktail that boosts mood and counteracts the effect of cortisol which is the stress hormone.

Helping others has also been proven to be one of the very fastest and surest ways of increasing self-esteem. Since self-esteem can go up and down a bit throughout our lifetimes, it is smart to keep it high, healthy, and self-refilling all the time.

This pandemic gives us a chance to help ourselves by helping others.
Who do you need to contact today, to check in with, to say hello to?

We are lucky to have so many free resources available right now. Most libraries have free current movies, audio, and Kindle books, and also Mango with multiple language courses. Yale University is offering has its famous, most popular course in history, “The Science of Well-Being”, often called their Happiness course. It’s free, no tests, no reading. Other Universities, including Stanford University, are offering courses also. Also, there are a lot of virtual museum tours online that are stunning.

I’m sure you know of the many physical and mental benefits of meditation. I hope you will try out during this unusual downtime a couple of the MANY different styles since even if you’ve tried before even if you couldn’t empty your mind and be calm, please know that you don’t need to.

There’s a very famous Buddhist monk, actor, playwright and much more (you can check him out on Wikipedia), Peter Coyote, who has filmed two Dharma talks over the past two weeks that are excellent. He simply shares about meditation, doesn’t tell you what to do or lead you in one. I think you might find it very interesting. It’s free on YouTube: SFZendog if you want to check it out. He’s been asked to do these every week but I don’t know his decision about that.

Stay safe,

Sharon

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.comweb: www.valentinotherapy.com
e: hello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.comweb: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist & Valentino Therapy
Instagram: Ask This Therapist & Sharon,Valentino.MFT, & sobercoachandfamilysupport
Facebook: Valentino Therapy, Parenting With Help, and Ask This Therapist
Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist
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What are the benefits of Online Therapy and Coaching?

woman having a video call

Photo by Edward Jenner

What are the benefits of Online Therapy and Coaching? I’ve heard about it but don’t know how it works.

Benefits of Online Therapy and Coaching
Online health is changing the way mental health services are delivered. Research has consistently proven its effectiveness in treating a wide range of mental health disorders with a variety of populations.

Online therapy and/or coaching offers a number of advantages that traditional, in-person therapy delivery may not. And, these advantages can benefit both the client and the clinician. There’s great flexibility in booking and you can choose between IM, telephone or video. The licensed clinician uses a required HIPPA site for privacy protection so you aren’t using Facetime or Zoon, etc. Your privacy is important.

Easy Access
Lack of easy access may be due to a client’s geographical distance, a lack of appropriate providers in a particular region or even a client’s inability to leave the home for many reasons.
With relative ease, a client and clinician can connect electronically

Flexibility
Not everyone who wants therapy or coaching can fit appointments into a 9-5 schedule. Job responsibilities, families, drive time to and from appointments and other time constraints can sometimes limit when someone is available. 

Clients and clinicians want flexibility to schedule appointments on a schedule that fits both their needs. Online services allow a clinician to set a realistic, flexible schedule that increases their availability.1  

Convenience
Online, whether IM, telephone or video, counseling is convenient and we all like convenience. Clients can access help when they want to, how they want to and they can access help from wherever they are. Traveling or being home with a sick child used to mean a cancelled appointment but now clients can arrange to see their therapist no matter what is going on. With the internet being available almost anywhere now, being able to access help when and where you want it has never been easier. And, the growing population of tech savvy clients demands it. 

Comfort
For some clients, fear of seeking mental health help and the associated stigma is real. They may fear others finding out they’re seeking help.2 Other clients may have issues with leaving their home or feeling safe in an office setting. Being able to engage in therapy in the comfort of their home or other secure space can eliminate these barriers and make some people feel more relaxed and receptive. 

Engaging online is comfortable for many people. People are increasingly turning to the internet for their emotional and psychological needs so the idea of seeking help online has become more mainstream. Surveys have found that almost 80% of Americans use the internet to see mental health information of some kind.

Cost Reduction
Online therapy and coaching can reduce costs. A client may not have time to drive to their therapist’s office on lunch hour, have an appointment and get back on time. But, they might be able to have a tele-session with you on a break.

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.comweb: www.valentinotherapy.com
e: hello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.comweb: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist & Valentino Therapy
Instagram: Ask This Therapist & Sharon,Valentino.MFT, & sobercoachandfamilysupport
Facebook: Valentino Therapy, Parenting With Help, and Ask This Therapist
Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist

 

Resources

1. Langarizadeh, M., Tabatabaei, M. S., Tavakol, K., Naghipour, M., Rostami, A., & Moghbeli, F. (2017). Telemental health care, an effective alternative to conventional mental care: a systematic review. Acta informatica medica: AIM: journal of the Society for Medical Informatics of Bosnia & Herzegovina: casopis Drustva za medicinsku informatiku BiH25(4), 240-246.

2. Saeed, S. A., Diamond, J., & Bloch, R. M. (2011). Use of telepsychiatry to improve care for people with mental illness in rural North Carolina. North Caroline Medical Journal72(3), 219-222.

3. Elkin N. How America searches: Health and wellness. Opinion Research Corporation: iCrossing; 2008. pp. 1–17.

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Effective Actions Against Depression

blue medicine pills on heart shape

Photo by Anna Shvets 

Effective Actions Against Depression

What can I do to fight depression if I don’t want to take meds?

Answer: Always follow your doctor’s orders, but I think these tips can help you….

Effective Actions Against Depression;
Many factors affect depression and many factors can help to improve it.

There is often not one, simple answer to be found but rather a serious of mostly small steps that make a big difference or change and then give you the energy and desire to add a few more to continue your upward progress if you are so inclined.

Depression appears to possibly be an issue now, so I would urge you to cut back on white carbs and sugar and certainly alcohol, which is a depressant itself.

If you can, try to get 10-20 minutes of natural vitamin (sunlight) every day on as much of your body as is appropriate. Vitamin D pills are poorly absorbed so most Dr’s will advise you to try to get the natural, free kind. Of course, you do not stay out long enough to burn or create cause for concern for melanoma – everything in moderation.

One big push in both energy and mood can be had by doing just 10 minutes of exercise each morning and also each evening. It could be a walk, stretching, yoga, wall pushups or something much more vigorous if you prefer. Just avoid the evening 60 minutes just before bed.

Doing these small bits of exercise can do wonders for energy and improved thinking.
Most people doing this report that they feel more like squeezing in a bit more exercise each day here and there as well.
Of course, if you are someone who enjoys going to the gym, being around people and has the time to go … even better.
But exercise does not have to be a big scheduled event if you always do your 10 minutes plus 10 minutes later.

Many people also benefit from going on YouTube and selecting some free videos about motivation, beating depression, how to get moving, etc. Most are short and with the thousands available, it isn’t hard to find something that you will like, find help and get you in a better mood.

My Fitness Pal is a free application that tracks just about as much as you want it to and many doctors recommend using it.

The most important feature is that you just type in what you eat, either when you do it, or make a note and add it at the end of the day. It takes a very few minutes to do this.
The program then tracks every imaginable nutrient, calorie, etc.

What’s important here is that you need about 8 glasses of pure, freshwater daily and I’m guessing you are probably in the range of needing about 50-60 grams of protein each day, depending on size and sex and age.
You really need those two (water and protein) for your brain to be able to function, let alone act optimally.

I’d advise you to use this program for just a week or two (or longer if you love it) and find out the vital information about several critical nutrients and whether you are getting enough or not.

It might make a big difference in your health, your mood and your ability to work or study, concentrate and retain material.

Up to you….

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.comweb: www.valentinotherapy.com
e: hello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.comweb: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist & Valentino Therapy
Instagram: Ask This Therapist & Sharon,Valentino.MFT, & sobercoachandfamilysupport
Facebook: Valentino Therapy, Parenting With Help, and Ask This Therapist
Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist

 

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Peace

afterglow avian backlit birds

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Hi,

Like many I was thinking about 2019 and hopeful for 2020 to be a year of peace for you and our country.

End of 2019 Reflections:
– How have I grown this year?
– What good things have happened to me this year?
– Do I have anything I need to clean up from last year?
– What is my intention for 2020?
– What no longer serves me?
– What will I let go of?
– A year from now you will wish you had started what  ___ today?
– How can therapy best support you this new year?

Warmly,
Sharon

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.comweb: www.valentinotherapy.com
e: hello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.comweb: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist & Valentino Therapy
Instagram: Ask This Therapist & Sharon,Valentino.MFT, & sobercoachandfamilysupport
Facebook: Valentino Therapy, Parenting With Help, and Ask This Therapist
Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist
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