Embracing Choices
for Better Living
Information About My Qualifications
Degrees and Trainings
Special Training in working with consumers with trauma issues.
Specific training and experience in
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
LCSW License No. & State:
939 Colorado , CACII 6428
Colorado State University 2004 MSW
University of CO 2002 BA Psychology
Common Issues:
Gambling Addiction
Anxiety or Fears
Depression
Relationship Issues
Divorce
ADHD
Anger Management
Elderly Persons
Mania
Mood Disorders
Loss or GriefCommon Issues:
Gambling Addiction
Anxiety or Fears
Depression
Relationship Issues
Divorce
ADHD
Anger Management
Elderly Persons
Mania
Mood Disorders
Loss or Grief
OCD Obsessive Compusive Disorder
Substance Abuse
Trauma and PTSD
Mental Health
Dissociative DO Cutting Have you been feeling down. I you know you shou
Impulse Control Phobias
Personality Disorders
Psychosis
Thinking Disorders
Internet addiction
gaming addiction


about "it" but you really aren't convinced that you feel "that bad."
You're not "a crazy person."
Good news, you don't have to be crazy to get support!!
How do you know when it is time? Try taking this depression quiz:

http://depressionscreen.org/depression_quiz_a.html
OCD Obsessive Compusive Disorder
Substance Abuse
Trauma and PTSD
Mental Health
Impulse Control Phobias
Personality Disorders
Psychosis
Thinking Disorders
Internet addiction
gamingaddiction


about "it" but you really aren't convinced that you feel "that bad."
You're not "a crazy person."
Good news, you don't have to be crazy to get support!!
How do you know when it is time? Try taking this depression quiz:

http://depressionscreen.org/depression_quiz_a.html
Come to a safe, caring and respectful environment.  Confidentiality is guaranteed.

Convenient Treatment for the Adams County (Thornton, Westmister, Federal Heights, Arvada), Denver, and Broomfield,
Affordable treatment.  Initial diagnostic evaluation is $160.00  $100.00 per 50 minutes
​for individual sessions.
I accept Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Optum, United Health Care, .



Are  you worried that you may have a problem with alcohol?

How can you tell whether you, or someone close to you, may have a drinking problem? Answering the following four questions can help you find out. (To help remember these questions, note that the first letter of a key word in each of the four questions spells "CAGE.")
•Have you ever felt you should Cut down on your drinking?


•Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?


•Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drinking?


•Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (Eyeopener)?     

One "yes" response suggests a possible alcohol problem.
If you responded "yes" to more than one question, it is highly likely that a problem exists.

Still Not Sure? Take this more extensive Alcohol Abuse Screening 
http://alcoholism.about.com/od/problem/a/blquiz1.htm
 For more information about the way alcohol works in the body, see:        http://www.talkingalcohol.com/index.asp?pageid=68                                                                                            Are You Troubled by Someone's Drinking? Check out this site:
http://alcoholism.about.com/od/tests/a/alano_quiz.htm
Double click here to edit this text.
Common Issues:
Gambling Addiction
Anxiety or Fears
Depression
Relationship Issues
Divorce
ADHD
Anger Management
Elderly Persons
Mania
Mood Disorders
Loss or Grief
OCD Obsessive Compusive Disorder
Substance Abuse
Trauma and PTSD
Mental Health
Dissociative DO Cutting Have you been feeling down. I you know you should really do something
Impulse Control Phobias
Personality Disorders
Psychosis
Thinking Disorders
Internet addiction
gaming addiction
suicidal ideation self harm

You know you need to do something about "it" but you really aren't convinced that you feel "that bad."
You're not "a crazy person."
Good news, you don't have to be crazy to get support!!
How do you know when it is time? Try taking this depression quiz:

http://depressionscreen.org/depression_quiz_a.html
​Top 10 Most Stressful Life Events: The Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale
The Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale is often used by doctors to find this answer: Can the most stressful life events predict future illness? Two researchers in 1967 thought so. Combing through the medical records of over 5,000 patients with an eye to seeing if there was a connection between illness and the most stressful life events, Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe found that a strong correlation did exist. This correlation was so strong that they ranked stressful situations on a scale from most stressful to least stressful. These could indicate which life stressors put people at higher risk for becoming ill as a result. Read on to calculate your own stress levels, and see how these stressful situations could be affecting your health.

The most stressful life events according to the Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale
These results were published as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), more commonly known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.

Rahe tested the reliability of the stress scale again in 1970. He gave the scale to 2,500 U.S. military members (sailors) and asked them to rank their most stressful life events. He then followed the sailors for six months, tracking their visits to the dispensary, to see if there was a correlation between their reported “life stress” and their visits to the doctor. The study once again proved the reliability of the scale. There was the exact same positive correlation between reported stress and illness as found in the original examination of medical record: 0.118.

The more stressful the event, the higher likelihood of illness. This result held true cross-culturally (looking at Japan and Malaysia in addition to the United States). It’s also true among different groups in the United States (African, Hispanic, and White Americans).

Top 10 most stressful life events
So what are the top ten most stressful life events on the Holmes and Rahe scale, and how are they used to predict the likelihood of illness?

Each event is assigned a “Life Change Unit” score. These are then added together over a year and used to predict your risk of illness. For adults, the top ten most stressful life events and their “Life Change Unit” scores are as follows:

Death of a spouse (or child*): 100
Divorce: 73
Marital separation: 65
Imprisonment: 63
Death of a close family member: 63
Personal injury or illness: 53
Marriage: 50
Dismissal from work: 47
Marital reconciliation: 45
Retirement: 45
*Note: Death of a child was not originally defined in the original Holmes and Rahe scale, but due to its catastrophic effects on an individual, we have since added it to our list on Pain Doctor.

To calculate your stress levels, add up each number for an event that has happened in the past year or is expected to happen in the future. If the event is expected to occur more than once, add those additional instances into your total. According to their scale, you have an:

80% likelihood of illness for scores over 300
50% likelihood of illness for scores between 150-299
30% likelihood of illness for scores less than 150
Top 10 Most Stressful Life Events: The Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale | PainDoctor.com

Other stressful life events
Just because you’re not experiencing a catastrophic event doesn’t mean you’re not suffering from cumulative stress. The stress test also includes these further categories (note that this list did come out in 1967, so some events are outdated in 2018, particularly mortgages that are less than $20,000!).

Change in health of family member: 44
Pregnancy: 40
Sex difficulties: 39
Gain of a new family member: 39
Business readjustment: 39
Change in financial state: 38
Death of a close friend: 37
Change to a different line of work: 36
Change in number of arguments with spouse: 35
Mortgage over $20,000 (updated for 2018 = ~$150,000): 31
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan: 30
Change in responsibilities at work: 29
Son or daughter leaving home: 29
Trouble with in laws: 29
Outstanding personal achievement: 28
Spouse begins or stop work: 26
Begin or end school: 26
Change in living conditions: 25
Revisions of personal habits: 24
Trouble with boss: 23
Change in work hours or conditions: 20
Change in residence: 20
A school change: 20
Change in recreational, social, or religious activities: 19
Mortgage or loan less than $20,000 (updated for 2018 = ~$150,000): 17
Changes in sleeping habits: 16
Change in number of family get-togethers: 15
Change in eating habits: 15
Vacation: 13
Christmas approaching: 12
Minor violation of the law: 11
Again, a score of 300 or higher puts a person at risk of illness. 150-299 shows a moderate risk of illness and a score of less than 150 predicts only a slight risk of illness.

Stress scale for non-adults
The scale was modified for “non-adults” and is scored in the same way:

Death of a parent: 100
Unplanned pregnancy/abortion: 100
Getting married: 95
Divorce of parents: 90
Acquiring a visible deformity: 80
Fathering a child: 70
Jail sentence of a parent for over one year: 70
Marital separation of parents: 69
Death of a sibling: 68
Change in acceptance by peers: 67
It is interesting to note that by number ten on the adult scale, the “Life Change Unit” score drops down to 45, but on the non-adult scale it is still relatively high at 67. This may indicate that non-adults are less able to cope with stressful events and need more assistance to navigate stressful times. For a more detailed analysis of each of these, check out HealthStatus’s website.

Top 10 Most Stressful Life Events: The Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale | PainDoctor.com

7 more of the most stressful life events
Here are seven more top stressors that are definitely worth considering. This list of stressors was submitted by readers in the comments.

1. Selling a home, buying a home, or moving
While major changes in living condition (25) is already listed on the Holmes and Rahe scale, the actual act of selling a home is not. And if selling a home wasn’t stressful enough, add a time crunch to that, and watch stress levels soar. One of our readers pointed out their experience, saying:

“I really think that selling your home and moving in a two day period should be on the list! My blood pressure is off the wall, I am exhausted and fretting……and worrying……”

2. High stakes testing
These days, students in school take anywhere from ten to 30 tests a year. Some of these tests are related to regular classroom instruction, but others are classified as “high-stakes.” These can influence everything from grade placement to eligibility for special programs (e.g., gifted programs). College entrance exams and other major tests like the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) determine the course of a student’s future. And this all in the space of a few hours. With pressure like this, we agree it should be on the list!

3. Talking to someone you are interested in
Maybe you don’t remember the sweaty-palmed, nerve-wracking feeling of approaching someone that you like. One of our readers though believes this special type of anxiety deserves a place on the stress scale, saying:

“Talking to your crush for the very first time should be in the list. You come from home determined to talk and when you see him/her but when the moment of truth shows up you start sweating and become shy… Frustrating of course.”

4. Starting a new job
Changing responsibilities at work is listed as one of the most stressful life events on the Holmes and Rahe scale, but actually starting a new job is not. This can certainly be one of the top life stressors, especially if you are new to your field and unsure of what might be expected of you.

5. Becoming the victim of a crime
Noticeably absent from the original list is becoming a victim of a crime. This can include personal crimes, including any type of personal assault, or property crimes that include burglary of your home or vehicle. In the case of personal assault, the stress may be compounded by the manner in which the victim is treated. Without support and understanding, or if the victim is blamed in some way for the crime, this can exponentially increase the already-high level of stress that accompanies this type of life event.

6. Starting a business
Changes at work – losing employment, looking for a job, promotions, etc. – are covered by the stress scale, but starting a business specifically is not. This could be any type of business, from a brick and mortar shop to an online business. Along with the financial uncertainty of starting your own business comes the pressure put on the spouse and family of the new business owner. If a couple starts a business together, then double the stress and put it under the same roof.

7. Election years
We offer this stressful life event a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it is true that some election years can be more stressful than others. When there is a major shift in the political landscape, a war, or a transition from one party leading the country to another, politics can make the most even-tempered people feel stress.

How do the most stressful life events affect illness?
We often think of stress as being a largely mental state. After all, it seems like we can stress out about things we only imagine. But stress is more than just a thought in our minds. Stress is a physical response in our body to a perceived threat. Thousands of years ago, this stress kept us alive by flooding our bodies with cortisol and adrenaline in large enough amounts to escape attacking animals or tribes. In modern times, our most stressful life events are much different. Our bodies respond the same way, though, and sometimes that can lead to illness.

Richard S. Lazarus is credited with the creation of the modern definition of stress. This is the feelings we experience when “demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” Stress, whether it is a minor event like dropping a glass or a major stressful life event such as a death in the family, triggers a physical response that allows us to react quickly and decisively.

In theory, once we remove the stressor, our bodies return to a neutral state. This perfect biological system is interrupted when we experience stressful life events that then become chronic stress. A state of heightened, chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of illness, many of which can be very serious. This correlation has been verified time and again in the research.Stressful-Life-Events-Lead-to-Increased-Risk-Of-Illness-Scale

Types of illness caused by the most stressful life events
The types of illness that top stressors can cause are not particularly surprising. They include:

Chronic pain, such as lower back pain and neck pain
Obesity: While not an illness in and of itself, obesity is the root cause of many other serious and lethal conditions. Excess levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that floods our body during stress, causes fatty deposits around the midsection when stress becomes chronic.
Diabetes: Stress raises the glucose levels of those with Type 2 diabetes directly. It also seems to increase unhealthy types of eating and lowered levels of physical activity.
Depression and anxiety: Stress increases the chances of developing depression and anxiety by as much as 80%.
Gastrointestinal disorders: Contrary to popular belief, stress doesn’t cause ulcers. It can, however, make gastrointestinal issues worse. It also contribute to the development of chronic heartburn (or gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Accelerated aging: One study found that chronic stress can accelerate the pace of aging. This may be due to stress’s effect on telomeres, a structure at the end of each chromosome that protects against deterioration of that chromosome. Stress shortens telomeres, in effect offering less protection.
Alzheimer’s disease: Stress causes the brain to form lesions more readily. This can accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Other illnesses caused by the most stressful life events
Other common stress-related illnesses include high blood pressure, heart disease, severe asthma, and increasing mental illness, including schizophrenia.

It is important to recognize that there are healthy levels of stress and that stress can be caused by happy events, such as marriage and the birth of a child. The issue is not with stress itself, but with stressful life events that turn into chronic stress.

What’s the difference between chronic stress versus episodic stress?
Episodic or acute stress is protective; chronic stress is degenerative. Here’s how to recognize the difference.

Chronic stress makes it hard to unwind: People experiencing chronic stress may feel jumpy and unable to settle down. They may feel like they always need to be doing something, or they may feel always behind in their daily tasks.
Chronic stress changes mood: Chronic stress’s major calling card may just be the snappy irritability that often accompanies it. Previously patient parents may find themselves snapping at their kids. Or they may find themselves overreacting to a situation. People with chronic stress may find themselves at the mercy of wild mood swings, elated one minute and furious the next.
Chronic stress lasts well past the stressful life event: While a stressful life event may be challenging to process and let go of, stress becomes chronic when months (or years) later it seems as if the stressful event happened yesterday. It is common to have the features of chronic stress right as the stressful event is happening. These features should not last well past the event, though.
Chronic stress brings various physical changes: Physical changes wrought by chronic stress are unique to each individual. They can include weight gain or loss, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, excitability or hyperactivity, heart palpitations, and nervousness. These symptoms can vary widely and are typically constant, not acute or episodic.
It is crucial to understand that chronic stress is a condition that you can reverse. It is also important to take the time to recognize when the most stressful life events become a threat to our well-being. In that way we can take steps to reduce our stressors in life. If you suffer from chronic pain, in particular, we encourage you to talk to one of our pain doctors. They can help you treat your pain, as well as find ways to cope with stressful situations.