Welcome to The Counseling Palette
How exciting that your healing journey has brought you here. I want to help you heal faster so you can find or continue your life's purpose. I specialize in helping people who have tried counseling in the past and not gotten better.
In addition to counseling, I offer a variety of free self-help materials, via the website and blog. I know not everyone can afford therapy, or the time off work to participate in it.
I also know some people aren't ready to start therapy, or may get just as much out of learning on their own. Along with free resources, there are also some affordable materials for purchase, which help fund the expense of continuing to provide free support and education through this site.
I have a limited number of telehealth (Zoom or by phone) therapy spots for those within Missouri where I'm licensed to practice. I accept clients who are a good match for my skills and training, as availability allows. Please note that I'm not on any insurance networks, and work only with self-pay.
For those who can't afford self-pay services, I hope you'll make use of the free information and tips through the blog.
I try to respond to everyone who contacts me, although keep in mind that I might be in sessions throughout the day, sometimes get quite a few messages at once, and am not available for crisis or emergency support.
Please make use of resources on this site, and I wish you the best on your healing and wellness journey.
-Jennie, Counselor/Owner, The Counseling Palette
Counseling and Teletherapy
in Columbia, Mo.
Jennie provides telehealth counseling (via phone and/or video chat) for mental health for those in Columbia, Mo., and throughout Missouri. She works mainly with issues of high anxiety, trauma and post-traumatic stress, or PTSD. (FYI, PTSD can affect anyone who’s had a trauma, not just Veterans.)
Jennie uses the most proven therapy techniques, combining mindfulness, acceptance of feelings, and challenging of negative self-thoughts. Through allowing feelings and healing thoughts, you can decrease and even eliminate daily symptoms like high anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive memories, disturbing dreams, sleep issues and flashbacks.
Trauma therapy and other types of focused therapies can often help people get better faster. To learn more, you can contact Jennie or keep reading to find what you need. You can also find quick relief techniques for anxiety symptoms while you continue to address underlying causes.
PTSD, which stands for post-traumatic stress disorder, is a complication that some people get after experiencing a trauma. It is considered an anxiety disorder, and is basically getting "stuck" in the aftermath of a trauma. Immediately after a traumatic event, it's normal to have PTSD-like symptoms.
Some symptoms people often report in PTSD and trauma counseling are:
Feeling on high alert
Having flashbacks and bad memories
Disturbing dreams and nightmares
Nearly constant high anxiety and/or panic attacks
Depression symptoms, like feeling shame or guilt and blaming yourself
In most cases, these symptoms get better on their own within several weeks. Right after a trauma, our nervous system is confused and preparing for more danger. It takes a few weeks to adjust back to normal.
For some people, though, these symptoms persist even after a few weeks. This is often diagnosed as PTSD. This is a very miserable thing to go through, and can be very frightening and confusing. It can make it nearly impossible to work at times, difficult to get along with family, and hard to just leave the house sometimes.
Fortunately, there are really good, targeted trauma therapy treatments now that can help you get better within around 6 to 16 weeks! Even if you've suffered for years, Jennie can often help you heal and get back to a normal life, or even experience one for the first time. Keep reading to learn about the types of treatments Jennie offers for PTSD.
Types of Trauma Counseling for PTSD
There are a few types of therapy that are considered the standard for PTSD and related issues. Here’s an overview of three types of trauma therapy, all within the family of CBT.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
This therapy is under the branch of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) treatments. CPT could be thought of as what you might do in traditional CBT therapy over a year or two, but targeted within two to three months.
Rather than simply flowing with the events of each week, which is what many therapies do, the client and counselor make a list of the most disturbing thoughts and beliefs that relate to the past trauma. They then go about challenging the most damaging thoughts, called “stuck points.”
Through beginning to break down thoughts that relate to shame, guilt and trust, the PTSD symptoms begin to weaken. Over several weeks of doing this, our pattern of thinking, especially around the trauma, begins to change, and we feel better. Symptoms like flashbacks and anxiety no longer have a place to take hold.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
This therapy, like it sounds, is much like CPT. However, it was created specifically for children, adolescents, and young adults. It includes the same core piece as CPT, which involves breaking down the negative beliefs about yourself and the world. I typically use this treatment when requested by young (or older) adults.
However, it also includes more general education about managing emotions, and includes a trauma narrative, which allows someone to gradually work through struggles caused by their trauma
Prolonged Exposure (PE)
This therapy is similar at its core as the previous therapies described. However, it involves more directly telling the story of the trauma, repeatedly. Through this quick exposure, clients become desensitized to the trauma and are able to more easily process what happened.
While I have had clients who sing the praises of PE and I still offer it sometimes if it's asked for, I have found in recent years that this therapy has a high dropout rate compared to the other more gradual therapies, which work just as quickly. So I generally recommend CBT, TF-CBT, or some variation of these.
One element my clients and I do borrow form PE is called in-vivo exposure, which involves gradually facing everyday fears that are interfering with living a full and meaningful life. This part of the therapy is more gradual and gentler, and many clients choose to try it and love the quick benefits it offers.
Supplemental Treatments for PTSD
While these therapies work for most people, everyone is unique and may need a modified type of treatment. That’s why Jennie also offers methods including the following:
Expressive Therapy (Similar to Art Therapy)
Sand Tray Therapy
Body and Movement Mindfulness through Interplay
If you want to move forward or learn more, call, e-mail, text or message Jennie anytime.
Everyone feels anxious at times. This is normal before a special occasion, at particularly difficult times in your life (like a divorce or death of a loved one) or when you're trying something new, like public speaking. Sometimes anxiety can become more severe, causing problems in everyday life, even bringing anxiety attacks, sometimes called panic attacks. If the anxiety becomes very high or extreme, or occurs so frequently that it interrupts your life, it could be caused by a past trauma, anxiety disorder or other condition. Fortunately, most conditions that lead to high anxiety are very treatable. Jennie can typically help you figure out the cause of your anxiety and can help you learn ways to decrease, manage and heal it.
CBT for Anxiety
Jennie most often offers CBT for anxiety issues. This involves understanding the causes of anxiety and treating the root of what’s going on. If it turns out to be relating to trauma, she might recommend one of the PTSD treatments mentioned above. Otherwise, you might be dealing with situational anxiety, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). CBT treatment takes a look at the thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and helps clients begin to examine if their thoughts are always accurate. Anxiety counseling often involves the following elements:
Mindfulness or grounding techniques to calm down the nervous system
Looking at the triggers and causes of the anxiety
Challenging the thoughts that are leading to the anxious response
Addressing the underlying fears and thoughts causing the anxiety symptoms
Reprogramming the body’s response to the anxiety trigger through specific homework
Most clients with specific anxiety issues begin to find relief within several weeks. Jennie helps you address the root cause rather than just the everyday symptoms. You can learn more about anxiety counseling here.
Telehealth Therapy and COVID-19
As concerns arise about the coronavirus, we are offering both phone and video sessions as needed and requested. These can cover traditional topics Jennie typically treats, as well as corona-specific issues such as anxiety and acute stress. Simply mention telehealth when you set up the appointment. Jennie writes more here about dealing with the coronavirus. Also check with the City of Columbia for the latest instructions relating to COVID-19.