Author: <span>peter</span>

Internation Overdose Awareness Day: Giving Hope For Tomorrow

International Overdose Awareness Day is an event held on August 31st each year. It is focused on raising awareness about prescription opioid overdose risk, providing information on services, and preventing drug-related harm. Drug overdose deaths in the United States rose 29.4% in 2020 to an estimated 93,331 according to the CDC. That’s up a 5% increase in 2019.

Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable and is committed to providing a platform to acknowledge the grief felt by family and friends while remembering those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose. Overdose prevention starts with improving prescribing patterns, preventing misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, and providing treatment for people who are struggling with addiction.

  • REACH OUT, if you think you or someone you know has a problem. Talk to family members, friends, or health care professionals.
  • BE SUPPORTIVE (not judgmental) if a loved one has a problem. Recognize substance use disorders are a medical condition, not a moral failing. Show support toward people in recovery. Acknowledge and encourage recovery.

Treatment can help people get their lives back before it is too late. If you and/or your loved ones are interested in therapy to help with your addiction or to help one’s family cope with the addiction of a loved one, we at Lotus Counseling Center are here to help.

Reach out today if you or someone you know is sufferings with Drug Abuse today and get help.

Friendship day: 4 friends and vista

International Friendship Day: Maintaining Healthy Relationships

International Friendship Day:

Maintaining Healthy Friendships


At Lotus Counseling Center we understand the importance and effects of  maintaining healthy relationships.

When I was asked to write about International Friendship Day, the first thing that crossed my mind was to reach out to my childhood friends and ask them what friendship meant to them. The most common response was that friends are much more than family members. We can’t choose our family, but we can indeed choose our friends. Healthy relationships are sealed with a strong, invisible bond that keeps you close to a person regardless of the physical distance. Good friends give honest advice when needed and rejoice and celebrate our achievements, as they make our emotional burdens more bearable. Being part of a group of friends increases our sense of belonging, providing us emotional support and safety, as we cope with life setbacks and painful experiences. Quality time with friends reduces stress and increases overall happiness, impacting our physical and emotional health in many ways. But as we grow older life can get in our way. Oftentimes adult responsibilities can easily take over our lives, inadvertently neglecting our social circle as a consequence. For example, what happens when we are forced to move to other places and leave old friends behind?


Although exciting, I think most of us agree that moving to a new city can be extremely stressful. Picturing oneself at a new empty space, surrounded by boxes, dealing with change of address maybe in a different language, disconnecting and reconnecting services as we comply with family and professional responsibilities can be an overwhelming and emotionally draining process. Even if we patiently assume this challenge as a natural transition, it can still be extremely disruptive, especially if we have to face all this by ourselves. Developing a healthy social network in your new city could smooth down your process, facilitating your adaptation to a new life and help in maintaining healthy friendships.


As a start you could reach out to old acquaintances or family members. They could help you connect with people in your new city that would serve as a guide to clarify doubts and give you tips about your area. It is imperative that you face this process with a flexible and open mindset, accepting spontaneous invitations whenever they are extended to you. Cultivate your hobbies by joining the community center, gym or sport league in your area. The responsible use of social media platforms is also a good idea. Just make sure you assist the group events and not just hide yourself behind the screen! Use some time off to walk around your neighborhood and talk to neighbors. Extend invitations to colleagues, coworkers, or potential new friends to grab something to eat, go to the movies, or visit a cultural event. More is not necessarily better in this case… favor quality over quantity! Just a few real good friends can go a long way. Be persistent and do not give up! It is clear that nurturing old friendships as well as making new ones takes a lot of time and effort, nevertheless this will undoubtedly be the best investment you could make for your mental health and overall happiness!


If you’re interested in therapy, what constitutes as/and maintaining healthy friendships/relationships, or have issues with building intimacy, relationship issues or require counseling for conflict resolution, we are here to help. Reach out and schedule an assessment or meet our team of clinical psychologists, clinical social workers and therapists. We look forward to hearing from you. Read more on our blog!

schizophrenia and treatment at Lotus Counseling Centers

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day : How much we stigmatize mental health

schizophrenia and treatment at Lotus Counseling Centers

Written by: Sharon Matzon, MFT-I

This year, National Schizophrenia Day falls on July 24 with the goal to shine a light on the millions of people worldwide who live with the diagnosis. Schizophrenia can often be seen as a rare and severe diagnosis, however it is estimated that 1 in 100 people will experience some degree of schizophrenia. Although it is not as common as other diagnosis, it still much more common that society perceives it to be. Even though in our society there has been a shift in how much we stigmatize mental health, schizophrenia continues to be one of the most stigmatized and misunderstood diagnosis.

Schizophrenia is a complicated medical condition that affects the normal function of the brain which effects the way the person thinks, feels and acts. Common symptoms include confused thinking, delusions, hallucinations, low motivation, and changes in language or behavior. However it is important to note that the diagnosis can present itself very different with each individual therefore getting a proper diagnosis is important for treatment.
Proper treatment can greatly improve the condition and reduce and even stop the symptoms all together. The media often portray people with schizophrenia as evil, having multiple personalities, and being tortured souls. However it is these myths that make so many not get diagnosis or early treatment. Research has shown that early detection can strongly impact the chances of recovery. Treatment usually consist of a combination of medication and community and family support. Talk therapy such as CBT can also be useful for those with the diagnosis change the way they think about their illness and how it affects them. It can help them learn to differentiate between what is real and what is not, all while helping them manage everyday life. Therapy can also be for the clients family and support system.
The love and support of family and friends plays an important role in schizophrenia recovery and therapy can help educate and support the family to better the chances of success. If you or a loved one have received a diagnosis of schizophrenia, know that it can be successfully managed with the right supports and the earlier it is detected and treated, the better the chance of recovery.
Meet our therapists and reach out, Schedule an evaluation us with Lotus Counseling Center to begin treatment or provide the help your loved one needs today.
Self-esteem Issues

Fan the Flames of your Self-Esteem!

Written By: Cristina Behrens-Soulavy, RMHC-ISelf-esteem Issues

Self-esteem has seemingly become a household word, far easier perhaps to say than to actually feel. Parents, teachers, and therapists use it almost as a universal explanation for all behaviors and emotions. But what exactly is this ubiquitous yet little understood term, and why is it so important in our day-to-day lives?

Self-Esteem is a psychological term that reflects the value a person places on themselves or on some level of their identity like their intelligence, athleticism, relationship skills or their vocational accomplishments. It is associated with their individual sense of self-worth. It can also be reflected in the person’s ability to think positively about themselves and stay connected to those optimistic beliefs even through challenging situations.

As a therapist, I rely on the use of imagery with my clients during their session. I believe that self-esteem is an ever-present flame from where each of us can draw our individual strength, heat and light. I often ask my clients to picture their self-esteem as an inner flame burning in the center of their body. A flame that allows their inner light to shine brightly. When this flame is high you feel a sense of warmth, a sense of worthiness and you feel empowered. You are confident, your relationships feel rewarding and you also attain a level of satisfaction within your life and your individual accomplishments. On the contrary, when this flame is low, you can easily feel limited, emotionless and powerless and, perhaps, diminished. This can cause a need to reevaluate your life, but it will be from an inner state of negativity. This glumness will bring about pessimistic outlooks and hopelessness. Unfortunately, this can lead to a state of isolation that can open doors to potential, emotional problems. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, substance abuse and eating disorders are just some of the few states of negativity that doors can be opened to.

In therapy we can safely explore your inner flame and stimulate it so that it burns brightly and warmly. We will work together to explore and identify the source(s) that causes your flame to flicker and decrease. We will work on recognizing the occasions that decrease that flame and allow your feelings of negativity to envelop you like a cold winter storm. In session, we will work as a team and come up with strategies and/or coping mechanisms that will help restore your inner flame and fend off the winds of self-doubt.

With time, effort and consistency you will begin to feel better about yourself and you will see an improvement in your social relations. This will, in turn, allow you to experience higher levels of self-esteem and decrease the periods of time where you feel depressed or anxious.
It would be my honor to work with you. Together, we will add fuel to your inner flame and allow it to shine brightly!

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

I have been working with survivors of Domestic Violence since early 2009. The term Domestic violence includes physical violence and often stalking by an intimate partner, however, it is a term used to convey a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors used by one person over another to gain power and control. This may include verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Although it is commonly thought of as something that occurs more often to females, there are over 25% male victims in the US alone. Although Domestic Violence (now known as intimate partner violence) implicates physical violence, anyone working with this population will most definitely come across a variety of interrelated issues that cannot be separated from the abuse itself. These issues range anywhere from addiction, codependency, trauma, self esteem, suicidality, anxiety and depression, to financial, social and other mental health matters.

There are so many overt and covert complications that come with abuse it’s almost baffling, even to a counselor who is trained and experienced.

Working through the layers, impact and devastation of domestic abuse is a gradual process that requires skill, sensitivity, and often a lot of time, because survivors do not realize the gravity of the damage or abuse until they begin unfolding the story. Many survivors may normalize the relationship, particularly if that’s all they are familiar with.They may not have resources to leave or fear leaving, and those who do leave, may be out of the relationship physically (removed) but can still be trauma bonded or experiencing flashbacks and after effects long after the partner is gone.

The biggest challenge in counselling survivors of intimate partner Violence is allowing the client to guide you into understanding what their version of abuse means as it may be so radically different from your own. It’s important that each individual have the space to speak freely and openly about sensitive topics without feeling threatened or judged. Once a strong rapport is established, only then a counselor can begin to intervene and correct distorted thoughts or make appropriate referrals.

The unique challenge this subject broaches is the priority of ensuring the client’s safety first and most of all (crisis intervention). A careful assessment of the individual’s physical safety takes priority in this case to ensure the well being of person/people involved, including any children and minors that may be residing in the household. That being said, sometimes these cases progress differently than other counseling cases in that services such as case management, housing, safety plans, and crisis intervention may be required as a preliminary service to the therapeutic process. Because each case is so unique, therapists working with intimate partner violence need to be adept in the scope of issues that may accompany this topic to recognize red flags and safety issues, and it’s imperative to have resources available to collaborate with.

During my early career, I managed a grant for domestic violence housing and worked for a non profit organization called No More Tears which provides shelter and respite for survivors. I served as an expert witness in court for individuals who faced deportation and other challenges as a result of domestic violence. I have been witness to countless stories of rape, sexual assault, human trafficking and inhumane brutality. The problem is there is no comprehensive data that fully details the different ways that individuals experience domestic violence. What I have learned is that this is a global phenomenon, and the depth and scope is so wide in nature. There are so many factors that contribute to abuse that include cultural differences, gender roles, power and control, self worth, transgenerational abuse and family history. The search for causes and solutions to end domestic violence remains a phenomenon worth fighting for.

By Lotus Counseling

I am dedicated to helping people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, shame or addiction as well as trauma and issues surrounding sex and sexuality. I also work with process disorders such as narcissistic abuse, co-dependency and recently, I have been doing a lot of work with shoplifting as these are highly underserved communities and specific treatment for these issues are rarely available or even recognized.

Internation Overdose Awareness Day: Giving Hope For Tomorrow

International Overdose Awareness Day is an event held on August 31st each year. It is focused on raising awareness about …

Friendship day: 4 friends and vista

International Friendship Day: Maintaining Healthy Relationships

International Friendship Day: Maintaining Healthy Friendships Written By: CRISTINA BEHRENS-SOULAVY, RMHC-I At Lotus Counseling …

schizophrenia and treatment at Lotus Counseling Centers

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day : How much we stigmatize mental health

Written by: Sharon Matzon, MFT-I This year, National Schizophrenia Day falls on July 24 with the goal to shine a light on …