Category Archives: Mental Health

Dr. Hatem Hamed Suboxone Treatment in Metairie

I have been doing consulting work with Dr. Hatem Hamed in Metairie, LA as part of a team that treats opiate addiction by using Suboxone. There has been a lot of debate about the effectiveness of Suboxone as a treatment, yet I have found that it can be a very effective intervention to help someone suffering from opiate addiction to stabilize, and eventually wean down off the Suboxone. As part of the team, I do the initial Substance Abuse Evaluation, followed by monthly counseling sessions. The focus is to not only to treat the individual with a medical intervention, but also provide the emotional, psychological and spiritual support to move into a more stable and productive lifestyle. The clinic is called Advanced Medical Management. Each opiate addict that enters treatment, stabilizes and weans off of Suboxone is one more person moving into a productive, positive member of our community. For more information, you can call Advanced Medical Management at 504-837-5244.

Map of Location

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Counseling in Baton Rouge

Counseling in Baton Rouge

We are accepting new patients for mental health counseling in the Baton Rouge area. We are conveniently located by Corporate Blvd and Jefferson Ave near Whole Foods, on Lobdell Ave. In our Individual Counseling, we often assist people work through issues of depression, anxiety, anger problems, relationship difficulties and other problems. We also specialize in Marriage Counseling, assisting couples work through communication difficulties, infidelity, growing apart and general stress management.

Whether you live in Baton Rouge, or the surrounding area such as Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Central, Plaquamine or Gonzales, we are happy to assist you in your counseling needs. Feel free to contact us today for more information at 225-290-7252 or ds@ihaveavoice.com.

Dean Sunseri, LPC has been a Professional Counselor for over 25 years, specializing in individual counseling, marriage counseling, substance abuse counseling and sports performance counseling.

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Baton Rouge Flood 2016

Thoughts on the Baton Rouge Flood 2016

We have served the people of Baton Rouge and the surrounding area for many years, and know so many people that have been impacted by the devastating flood of the last few days. Naturally, my first concern was the welfare of my family and property, and we dodged a bullet, surrounded by water, yet it did not damage any of our property. Quickly, my thoughts and prayers turned towards those friends and clients who were directly impacted by the flood.  First, I want to say, I am so sorry for your loss. It seems like a triage, first concerned about life, next home, next possessions, next business impact on down the line. The fact is everyone is effected in some way, yet some more than others. Whatever loss you experienced, I want you to know that you will get through.

I have noticed that there are two ways to get through tragedy and loss. One is by yourself, denying the truth of your heart, isolated from both other people and God. The result is bitterness, anger, chronic resentment and chronic anxiety. The other way is leaning heavily on the Lord, and having an honest voice with those around you who love you. Honestly working out your heart with loved ones, and laying out your emotions on the altar before God is so important. The result of this second way is healing, peace, strength and connection. May you embrace this second way!

Ultimately, it is not what you experience, but how you handle what you experience that makes all the differenc. Whatever impact the Baton Rouge Flood of 2016 has had on you, I say to you, I am sorry for your loss. I also say, have a voice with loved ones, and work out your bigger questions with the Lord. May his Peace, the atmosphere of Heaven, be released over you now! Amen

Dean Sunseri is a Licensed Professional Counselor who serves the people of Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans.

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Teenage Mental Health & Substance Abuse

A recent study came out that described some facts and trends for teenagers the last 6 years regarding mental health and substance abuse.  Here are some of the findings.

Five areas where things got better for teenagers from 2008 to 2014:

1. Drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Teen drug and alcohol dependence or abuse dropped from 8% to 5 %, according to information from National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This is the number of teenagers with serious addiction issues disrupting their lives, not the number who reported using. If these numbers seem low, it’s because they are using the strict standard of addition/dependence.

By way of comparison, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that in 2104 13.8% of underage respondents had engaged in binge drinking, which is defined as “drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the last 30 days.” And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in the year 2013 1 in 5 high school seniors reported engaging in “binge drinking” at least once in the past two weeks.

2. Child and teen deaths. Child and teen deaths per 100,000 dropped from 29 to 24. The most deadly states were Louisiana and Mississippi. The safest were Connecticut and Rhode Island. Accidents, homicide and suicide combined made up 73% of teen deaths aged 15 to 19.

The good news is that homicides and accidents are down dramatically. The bad news is that suicide is up, especially for teenage girls aged 15-19. Three times as many boys commit suicide as girls, but from 1999 to 2014 female teen suicides jumped 56%, according to CDC data compiled by the Population Reference Bureau.

3. Teen births. Teen births per 1,000 dropped from 40 to 24, falling impressively among all demographic groups. African-American teen births fell nearly in half, from 60 to 35. Hispanic teens saw a similar drop, while Caucasians dropped from 26 to 17. Asian teen births dropped from 14 to 8. The lowest teen birth rates were in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the highest was in Arkansas.

Those concerned that low teen birth rates means more abortions can exhale. Teen abortion rates have fallen steadily and by 2010, the most recent year available, had reached the lowest rates since abortion became legal. In 1990, the teen abortion rate was 40.3 per 1,000 women, and in 2010 it had fallen to 16.3 per 1,000 woman, according to National Center of Health Statistics data.

Pew Research Center reports a number of possible causes for the decline, which was sharpest among the minority groups. In addition to better education and contraception, of note is the fact that teens are reporting lower levels of sexual activity. The percentage of teen girls reporting they had ever had sex fell from 51% in 1988 to 44% in 2013.

4. Health insurance. Children without health insurance dropped from 10% to 6%. Some of the worst-performing states overall did well on this measure. Surprisingly, these included states some states that performed poorly on most other measures. Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, for example, rejected the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare but still got their uninsured percentage below the national average, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data. (Arkansas just expanded Medicaid in April, after this data was collected.)

Dean Sunseri is a Licensed Professional Counseling servicing the Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans area.

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General Questions about our Counseling Services

What type of counseling do you offer?

We offer individual counseling, marriage counseling, family counseling, substance abuse counseling and evaluations.

Where are your locations?

We have offices in Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans.

Do you have counseling after standard business hours?

In general, our services are available during the standard business day, yet we do have some after hours appointments available.

Do you take insurance?

We do not take insurance. Our clients pay our hourly fees by cash, check or credit card. The rate depends on which counselor that you see.

How long are your sessions?

Typically, the first session is an hour and a half, and follow up sessions are usually an hour.

How long is the process?

This depends on the depth of the problem, yet most client come to between 4-10 sessions, and sometimes move to a maintenance phase after the initial sessions.

We are happy to serve you, and feel free to contact us to schedule a counseling appointment.

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Counseling Office in Gonzales, LA

Counseling Office in Gonzales, LA

We have an office in Gonzales, LA where we offer Individual Counseling, Marriage Counseling and Family Counseling. Our office in conveniently located off of Hwy 30 on S. Hodgeson Rd., only a few minutes from I-10. This location is easily accessible to Gonzales, St. Amant, Prairieville, Sorrento, Donaldsonville, French Settlement and Galvez. If you live in the Gonzales area, need individual or marriage counseling, and you don’t want to travel into Baton Rouge, feel free to give us a call to see how we can help you.  You can call us today at 225-290-7255.

For more information about our Gonzales office location, please click here.

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Counseling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

As time goes on, the Veterans who served for our country continue to readjust to civilian life, and some of them begin to deal with the aftereffects of trauma. This is the case also for adults who may have experienced trauma in childhood or adulthood, and over time the aftereffects begin to surface. Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatable? The good news is the answer is absolutely yes.

What are some of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD symptoms are generally divided into four sub groups: intrusive memories, avoidance of people or situation, negative changes in thinking and mood, or quick changes in emotional reactions.

Intrusive memories

Some symptoms of intrusive memories may be:
· Recurrent, unwanted or disturbing memories of the traumatic event
· Reliving the traumatic incident as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
· Upsetting dreams about the traumatic experience
· Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the experience

Avoidance of People or Situations

Symptoms of avoidance may be:
· Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic memory
· Avoiding activities. places or people that remind you of the traumatic experience

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may be:
· Negative feelings about other people or yourself
· Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
· Feeling numb emotionally
· Lack of interest in activities you usually enjoyed
· Hopelessness about your future
· Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic incident
· Difficulty maintaining relationships

Quick Changes in emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may be:
· Irritable, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
· Always on guard for danger
· Overwhelming shame or guilt
· Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
· Difficult concentrating
· Trouble falling asleep
· Startled or frightened easily

If you identify with many of these symptoms, you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Counseling can help you resolve this debilitating condition.

Dean Sunseri is a mental health counselor in Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans.

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How Does Counseling Work?

Sometimes a crisis or a problem comes up in you life, and you need to get help from a Counselor, yet you have no idea how it works. If you never have been to a professional counselor, it is normal for you to have some nervousness or anxiety about the process, so i want to help you understand the process. We have been providing Individual Counseling, Marriage Counseling and Family Counseling for over 25 years, and we now serve Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans. What is the process?

  1. First you call, and we discuss in general what is the problem that you are having, and we figure out if we can assist you with that particular problem.  For example, we have expertise in Substance Abuse, so we would easily help someone with this issue. If the problem was something outside our area of expertise, we would refer you to someone who could help you.
  2. We schedule an appointment, and in that first appointment, which is typically 90 minutes, we would get a clear idea about what the problem is. We would explain the method that we use to help you, and come up with a plan.  We may say, “I would like for you to attend 6 sessions to address A, B, and C, and reassess at that point if we have completed the work.”
  3. The follow up sessions are typically 60 minutes.  We usually give you tasks to work on between sessions such as reading assignments or behaviors to work on.
  4. After we complete the plan, we reassess if further counseling is needed.

Counseling is meant to be a temporary service, and you must understand that you are investing in your own well being. Investing in yourself, your own health, is a very wise investment.

If you live in the Baton Rouge area, Gonzales or New Orleans and you need individual counseling, marriage counseling or family counseling, we would welcome the opportunity to assist you.

Dean Sunseri, LPC & Associates are Professional Counselors in Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans, and we can be reached at 225-290-7252 or www.IHaveAVoice.com.

 

 

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Adolescent Counseling Baton Rouge: Keys to Building a Relationship with your Teenager

Adolescent Counseling Baton Rouge: Keys to Building a Good Relationship with your Teenager

Here are some keys to improving your relationship with your teenager.

1. Find a common interest, and spend time doing activities related to that common interest. For example, If you both like Theatre, go to some Plays together.

2. Become a better listener. Often times, parents talk at or talk to their adolescent child instead of talking with the child. Spend just as much time asking questions and listening, as you do correcting and teaching.

3. Take an interest in their friendships, and develop relationships with their parent’s friends. Today, we have a breakdown in community, and the old saying, “it takes a community to raise a child,” does not apply like it use too. Stay connected to the people that are involved with your child so that you can have a closer monitoring of their behavior.

4. Discuss with them the topics that are most important to them. It may be dating, sports, cloths, music, style or whatever else may be their interest. Take an interest in their interests.

5. Monitor their online activity closely. Adult sites, anonymous relationships, inappropriate websites are so easily accessible, therefore, it must be closely monitored to keep them from Internet trouble.

It is normal for your adolescent to pull away to create identity, yet extreme isolation and withdrawal is not normal. Keep awake to your teenager, so they may stay connected to you.

Dean Sunseri is a Licensed Professional Counselor with offices in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Gonzales. He provides adolescent counseling and family counseling.

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Our Book: A Roadmap to the Soul

Our Book: A Roadmap to the Soul

Many years ago, my wife and I wrote a book together called A Roadmap to the Soul. I just finished my Masters in Mental Health Counseling and my wife had been working as an Addiction Counselor for many years. I was amazed at the extraordinary success that she had with her clients, and I began to ask her how she approached working with her clients. The obvious asset that she had was that she knew how to love them, yet she seemed to have a gift is disarming the client, and helping them understand, with compassion, the addiction that they were suffering with.

After much questioning, I realized that she saw three different aspects in each person. There is the True Self, the Wounded Part and the Defensive Reaction to the wounds. It was so simple, yet had so much depth to it. It is a framework that made it so easy for someone suffering with an addiction to understand what was happening on the inside. We soon discovered that it was easy for young and old to apply this simple concept as a spring board to understand and work through a variety of problems.

Out of our collaboration birthed the book, A Roadmap to the Soul. We so appreciate that God gave us this simple concept to help so many people over the years, and we know that He is not finished.

If you are interest in a copy, please visit here.

Dean Sunseri is a Licensed Professional Counselor with offices in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. HollyKem Sunseri is a Wife, Mother and Ordained Minister.

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