Newest additions to the Pinnacle Counseling Staff

TorieHeadShot  KalliHeadShot
Pinnacle Counseling would like to formally welcome the newest additions to our staff, Torie Sullivan, a Mental Health and Relationship Counselor, and Kalli Hendren, Administrative Assistant.

We are thrilled to have them join our team! They are featured on the main page of our website (http://pinnaclecounselingnwa.com/pinnacle-counseling) and more about them is located under the “Our Counselors” tab. We look forward to sharing the talents of these incredible women with our clients.

Communication Breakdown: Opportunity to Not Listen

Any party involved in a conversation has the opportunity to not listen. Sometimes, it’s obvious when your partner is not listening. Individuals engaged in the following behaviors are not actively listening: reading the paper, browsing the Internet, texting, channel surfing, wearing headphones, playing video games. Sometimes people pretend to listen. Just because a loved one is pretending to listen does not mean that you also have to pretend that he or she is listening.

You may be the most effective communicator on the planet — a Gandhi-level communicator, a Martin Luther King Junior-level communicator — but if you are talking to a post, you are talking to a post. If the person you are talking to is not listening you are mostly talking to yourself.

Save your breath. Ask for you partner’s full attention. When you have it you’ll know. Then proceed.

 

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Steps to a Depression-free Mind

Can you imagine living in a society that was virtually free of depression? Certain societies such as the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea and the American Amish populations both essentially have zero depression rates. Depression has become a byproduct of our modernized, industrialized, and urbanized lives. While we have become accustomed to a highly technologically evolved society with the gadgets, gizmos, and comforts we love, we are also seemingly on a never-ending treadmill of overworking, under-sleeping, and hyper-stressing in order to live the “American Dream”.

By incorporating several simple lifestyle changes into your everyday living can help you minimize the effects of stress and depression. Common variables practiced by the Kaluli and Amish people include: eating an omega-3 rich diet, getting ample sleep every night, regular daily exercise, getting plenty of natural sunlight, being involved in some type of social activity with social connections, and practicing meaningful tasks all help these populations divert attention from your own negative thought processes that can lead to depression.

Communication Breakdown: Opportunity to Not Understand

When we communicate verbally, we are using symbols to convey meaning. If I tell someone that my car is red, there is a high probability that (if they are listening) they will understand what I am trying to communicate. Because he or she probably has a very clear understanding of what the word red and car represent. People don’t argue often about whether something is red or not. Or whether it is raining or not. These type of concrete statements rarely the source of confusion or disagreement.

Emotions, on the other hand, can be slippery. Here is a small example using a common emotion: fear.

I am afraid of big, barking dogs.

Simple statement. The meaning should be clear. A deeper examination of two test cases, however, demonstrates that when emotions are the content of the message communication is rarely black and white (or red). The same statement communicated by two different people can have radically different meanings.

Person A: I am afraid of big, barking dogs. Person A is does not like loud noises in general. Neither does he like dogs. He thinks they are filthy creatures who track mud everywhere they go. Barking dogs are a combination of two things this person doesn’t like. Loud noises make him nervous and bigger dogs bark louder.

Person B: I am afraid of big, barking dogs. Person B was attacked by a neighbor’s dog as a child. He had to go to the hospital to treat the injuries and still has scars on his arms. He vividly remembers being told that the dog was friendly, all bark and no bite. He feels tightness in his chest when he is close to larger dogs.

Same statement. Completely different meanings. It is the responsibility of both the speaker and the listener to ensure emotional statements are understood.

 

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Did You Know…

Did you know…that there are more than one type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? In fact, ADHD can be predominately hyper-active impulsive, predominantly inattentive, or a combination of both. Often times, when we think of individuals with ADHD, we assume they will be hyperactive, jumping from one activity to the next. Although this behavior is common for individuals with predominately hyper-active impulsive ADHD, others with predominantly inattentive ADHD may behave quite differently.

Predominantly inattentive ADHD manifests itself in an inability to sustain attention, excessive daydreaming, and making careless mistakes. This type of ADHD is typically underdiagnosed, and appears in girls more than boys. Little boys who talk excessively, constantly fidget, and often run or climb inappropriately, are more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis. Little girls who daydream frequently and get distracted easily tend to go under the radar.

ADHD can be very debilitating for a child who receives no assistance. If unidentified and untreated, it can have drastic effects on a child’s academic and interpersonal endeavors. Because predominantly inattentive ADHD is harder to spot, many women go their whole lives without ever being diagnosed. Untreated ADHD in women typically causes anxiety and depression, as well as difficulty in school and the workplace.

If you suspect that you or your child suffer from any type of ADHD, do not hesitate to consult a medical or mental health professional about getting assessed. Play therapy and behavioral therapy can go a long way in making family, school, and work life a more manageable and pleasant experience for individuals with ADHD. At Pinnacle Counseling, we have trained professionals who can administer the assessments you need in order to receive treatment. To learn more about how we could help you, please see additional information on our website about our counselors and the services they provide.

Communication Breakdown: Opportunity to withhold the Truth

Both parties involved in a communication have the opportunity to share a particular version of the truth. Whether or not this version of the truth is 100% honest depends on the individual and the particular communication in question. Most people have experience sharing tailored versions of the truth in certain  situations. For example, the parent who flushes a toddler’s goldfish down the toilet: You see, Dorothy is swimming to the ocean to be with her friends! Some would call this type of communication a lie. Others recognize it as an attempt by a parent the explain a difficult situation in a way that a small child can understand.

Sometimes we don’t understand the truth ourselves, particularly where our own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors are concerned. Drug addicts and alcoholics, for example, are often unable to understand the truth about their own drinking or drug use.

Good communicators understand that the people with whom they are speaking, even when speaking truthfully, are sharing the truth as they understand it. Those who do not, may be headed for a communication breakdown.

 

 

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