I’m Moving!

Big announcement! I am moving!

After 13 years on Briggs Street in Old Town Erie, I am moving to a new location. As of June 1, 2019 I will be moving my practice to:

671 Mitchell Way

Suite 109.

I am sad to be leaving The Gateway Building, and the community of Old Town Erie businesses I have enjoyed watching grow and thrive over the last decade plus. However, I am excited to move into a newer building with plenty of parking and a spacious waiting room!

All of my contact information will remain the same:

303-828-3080

stephaniesmithpsyd@gmail.com

Can’t wait to see you in my new space!

Options for Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

In my last post I wrote about how to determine if you (or someone else) is using alcohol in a problematic way. In this post, I would like to talk about options for treatment. Because there are a lot.

We all know about AA, and 30 day residential programs, but there are so many more options available as well. In a recent article over at Health eCareers, I outline several of the most common treatment options, including: detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient and medically-assisted treatment. I also talk about individual psychotherapy, which is often an important part of a treatment plan:



For more information, check out the entire article at:
https://www.healthecareers.com/article/career/help-for-patients-struggling-with-alcohol-addiction

In my practice, I often work with folks struggling with addiction. If you would like to talk more about how individual psychotherapy can help with sobriety, please give me a call at 303-828-3080.

Do you have a problem with alcohol?

I hear a lot of people in my practice ask themselves whether they have a problem with alcohol. Questions like:

Do I drink too much?

Could I stop if I wanted to?

Could I stand it if I had to stop drinking forever?

Has my drinking changed significantly over the past year or so?

It’s difficult to ask these questions, and ever tougher to answer them honestly. So how do you really know if you (or someone close to you) has a problem with alcohol that needs to be address?

I recently wrote an article over at Health eCareers outlining how to determine if your alcohol use is problematic. Check it out:

https://www.healthecareers.com/article/career/how-to-determine-if-you-or-anyone-has-a-substance-abuse-problem


Some points to consider, from the DSM-V:


Making Sense of Mental Health Care

Why is it so hard to find quality mental health care? There are a lot of reasons: stigma, affordability, provider shortage, just to name a few potential reasons.

A simpler challenge to solve, however, is to simply make sense of all the different types of mental health care providers out there. There are so many different acronyms – how is anyone supposed to make sense of it all?

I recently wrote an article over at Health eCareers explaining the differences in mental health providers – from psychiatrists and psychologists (yes, there is a difference between the two) to social workers and addiction counselors. Check it out:

Photo Credit: Health eCareers

And in case you’re wondering, this one happens to be my favorite:

https://www.healthecareers.com/article/career/making-sense-of-acronyms-in-mental-healthcare


How To Use The Best Of Psychology In Your Next Job Interview

Photo credit: Canary Pete

Looking for a new job? That process can be exhausting! And overwhelming. And exciting. And exhausting again. So much has changed about the job search process in recent years: on-line job boards and resumes, computerized personality assessments, LinkedIn!

But one thing that hasn’t changed much are good face-to-face interview skills. I recently wrote an article over at Health eCareers about how to use psychological science in your job interviews.

Here’s a tip:

Want to read the full article with more tips about how to ace your interview? Check out the whole thing over at Health eCareers.

Managing Your Emotions When Coming Back From Maternity Leave

Photo credit: Health eCareers

Did you know that 47% of the American workforce is women? And up to 90% of women become mothers at some point in their lives? That all adds up to lots of folks taking maternity (or paternity!) leave at some point in the professional lives.

But it’s not always easy to manage the emotions around going back to work when maternity leave is over. Just like with every other aspect of becoming a parent – the struggles we might have are not always the ones we expect.

I recently wrote and article over at

about how to deal with the varied, and often-changing emotions when coming back from maternity leave. Here’s one tip:




To read the entire article, check out Health eCareers

Thoughts About Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

Have you been reading the Colorado Sun? If you live in Colorado, I suggest you check it out. Here’s a a bit about them from their site:

“The Colorado Sun is a journalist-owned, ad-free news outlet based in Denver but which strives to cover all of Colorado so that our state — our community — can better understand itself.”

Recently, the folks over there published a story about a “conversion therapy” bill that had been introduced to the Colorado Legislature. I thought the reporting was great, but they missed a mental health professional’s perspective on why Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) are not only unhelpful, but also damaging. So I wrote a letter to the editor. Here it is:

Dear Editor:

I am writing to add some information to the article Colorado lawmakers for a fifth — and likely final — time will weigh whether to ban gay “conversion therapy”

While I appreciate the balanced approach you attempted to take in explaining the history and effects of “conversion therapy,” I think you missed an important voice: licensed mental health professionals who have long been opposed to the practice.

Sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE, also commonly known as “conversion therapy”) operate under the assumption that there is something wrong, bad, abnormal or disordered about identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the gold standard in mental health diagnoses) stopped identifying homosexuality as a mental health disorder in 1973. Since 1973, all mainstream health and mental health organizations (American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, etc) have come to understand that lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning adolescents are simply a part of the normal spectrum of human sexual expression.

But not only does every health and mental health organization oppose SOCE, I, as a clinical psychologist have seen first hand the harm lack of support, understanding and evidence-based mental health treatment can do to a young person struggling to understand who they are. Shame, guilt, low mood, anxiety, self doubt, trouble concentrating – these are all potential outcomes for a young person who is told they aren’t “normal,” “healthy,” or worthy of respect and acceptance exactly as they are. Sadly, this is exactly the message SOCE sends.

Adolescents who identify with a same sex orientation or are questioning their sexual identity can face enormous challenges – during a time in life when things are already pretty hard. In addition to trying to figure out everyday things associated with adolescence: What classes to take, how to get homework done, what to do after high school, who to hang out with – they can also be met with lack of support (at best), discrimination, prejudice and violence (at worst) by family, friends, and community members. We know youth who identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual have higher rates of substance abuse, emotional distress and suicide attempts. We also know that some of the reason for this is because of the lack of support and genuine acceptance these kids find in homes, schools and society as a whole. We, as adults and caregivers, need to do all we can to guarantee that these kids will have access to safe places to express themselves and receive appropriate, effective mental health care that will be accepting of all pieces and parts of the wide range of human sexual expression.

Respectfully,

Stephanie S. Smith, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist

Promoting Health Body Image

https://www.produceforkids.com/episode-19-promoting-positive-body-image-with-kids/

I was recently interviewed for the awesome Healthy Family Project podcast by Produce for Kids. If you haven’t checked out the podcast yet, you should! It’s full of interesting, helpful episodes.

I love being interviewed for podcasts. Maybe it’s that I like to talk a lot, but they feel much more useful than short, tip-filled articles. Especially when the topic is as nuanced as body image. I also love that you can listen while doing something else like taking a walk or driving to work. Here are some other episodes of Healthy Family Project that I’ve been a part of:

https://www.produceforkids.com/episode-8-anxiety-around-back-to-school/
https://www.produceforkids.com/episode-3-managing-screen-time/