Can You Change Your Partner?

Hey yall! So I have a question for you…….Can you change your partner (spouse, lover, girlfriend/boyfriend, fiancé)? You met your significant other on a few dates, then the two of you decided to be in a serious monogamous relationship, then you move to marriage (or engagement), and then before you know it, you can’t stand everything about that person. What I am saying is that there are traits, behaviors, and personalities about your partner that bothers you so much that its taking a negative toll on your relationship. Examples of those bad traits are, irresponsible with money, quick temper, immature behavior, messy/sloppy, unreliable, selfish, abusive, too fat, not pretty enough, etc. How were you dealing with your partner who you perceive as difficult? I came across many people (including some clients), who get into arguments with their partner regarding their behavior and at times, they try to drag them to couples counseling to see if the therapist can address (aka change) the difficult partner about the issue. But deep down, you knew these traits exist from the time you met your significant other? If you said you didn’t know then that is a lie. People often stay in the relationship in hopes that their partner will change their ways. Oh really now, the same behavior they carried for many years, you thought they are going to change just because you say so? My statement may sound harsh to many but what you read is pure honesty. Its frustrating to deal with a difficult person but what made you decide to move forward with the relationship knowing those are the traits that your partner has? Often times, people develop symptoms of anxiety and depression when they are dealing with a partner who is not the person the other wants him/her to be. Saying “I’m staying in the relationship because I love him/her…” is not enough to justify your reason for your situation last this long . You can’t put an apple pie in the oven and expect to taste like cherry when it’s done. At the end of the day it was your choice to enter the relationship, just like you have the choice to either accept the social/physical make up of your partner or just leave the relationship. You don’t have the power to change people, you have the power to change yourself. If you can’t come to terms with the situation of your partner, then perhaps your desire to want to change people and your need to be in control is a problem for you…..not your partner. Things that make you go Hmmmm.

Angry African American Couple

Do You Value Therapy?

Most of us have jobs that offers health benefits. We are very quick to find a professional provider who “Accepts” the insurance plan that they have. So let me ask you this…..are you getting your time and money’s worth from the therapist you hire????

First of all, it’s important for you to understand how insurance works. There is in network coverage and out of network coverage. In network allows you to pay a copay or a smaller deductible towards it. On the other hand, out of network you would have to pay a higher office fee which will be subtracted to your deductible, which the insurance will reimburse at a certain amount once you reach your deductible. I tell client’s that I’m a out of network provider with United Health Insurance. There is no such thing as a provider accept or not accept insurance because out of network coverage is still part of your insurance.

Now, suppose you insist that you want to find a therapist who is in network with your insurance. Were you able to find one who can help you? Is that therapist specialized or trained to help address concerns that you have in your life? Is he/she located within the area of your preference? Were you able to find a therapist in network who is taking new clients and have flexible office hours? If you answer no to some or all these questions, then what is your next step? Yeah yeah, there are clinics, asking for possible sliding scale, etc but are you getting quality therapy service with that? Out of network coverage  allows the individuals to choose who ever they want including the therapists who came recommended.

At the end of the day, you have the ability to budget your money to make this work for you. Prioritizing your needs versus wants is another eye opener when it comes to using therapy. Hell yeah I said the P word, Prioritizing! Buying expensive makeup at Macy’s or dining out at restaurants with wine give you instant pleasure, but does that address the inner issues that you been struggling for months/years? Things can make you go hmmmm.

Woman lying on therapists couch looking happy as therapist is wr

Men Need Support Too!

I’m sure that most of you were aware of Anthony Bourdain recent suicide. It’s unclear what were the factors that led to his suicide however the issue with mental health is common for men. For years, there were headline stories about male employees shooting at their jobs, inflicting violence towards their family or partner, or experience a break down to a point they take their own lives.

So I have two questions for the men out there….What are your issues? and How are you handling it your issues? I’m saying this because there are a lot of men who have different concerns in their personal but it’s not being address. But why aren’t these issues address? The biggest problem in this is that many men (especially men of color) don’t believe counseling will help or needed. It’s often look at that this is something for women to use.

What if I told you in my private practice, I had seen a few men. The kind of counseling they need is not the same as women seeking counseling and that is OK! The needs for men are different for women. I actually had male clients who participated in couples counseling too.

I’m sure some of the guys who is reading this article (glad that I still kept your interest) are thinking, “yeah sure Wendy, what the hell is counseling is going to do for me”. Counseling can give you direct and clear feedback in the changes you want to make in your life. Perhaps you have issues with failed relationships, or maybe you have issues from your childhood that affecting your life as a grown man, or you may have issues with your job that is affecting your health and family.

At the end of the day, your problems will not go away on its own. Speaking to a counselor is a good way to receive feedback from an unbiased source. You can include counseling as part of your self care regimen the same way you include your trips to the gym, the barber, the message therapist, etc. Fellas need support too!

Young Man Talking With Psychologist About His Problems


To Quit Or Not To Quit

Hey yall! We are in the second half of the summer season. I hope you were able to take your vacations before heading back to the 9 to 5 scene aka JOB! Speaking of job, have you evaluate your position with your job? Are you happy at your job? Are you miserable? Are there issues with your job that has not been resolved? Have you thought about leaving your job and work some where else? Hmmm something to think about…….

Job dissatisfaction can happen to everyone and every work place. It doesn’t matter if you work for a large corporate company or a small mom & pop business. Understand the issues that is making you miserable at your job (i.e. low salary, hostile work environment, burn out, no room for advancement, long commute, level of difficulty, work overload, etc). It’s important to recognize how your job affects your mood, physical health, interaction with family/friends, job performance.

There is nothing wrong with leaving a job that does not benefit you. The biggest question is…Are You Ready To Move On? If you have a fear of starting over or the thought that you are stuck at your job, then you may benefit from a therapist who can help with that belief that you carry on your shoulder. In the mean time try some of these tips before leaving the chicken coop.

  1. Consult with your boss, manager, HR regarding your concerns and look for resolution.
  2. If your issue is legal such as sexual harassment, not receiving paycheck, discrimination, consult with a labor attorney.
  3. Inquire with the company regarding job openings or transfers that are available if money, physical difficulty or commuting is an issue.
  4.  Check to see if company offers tuition or education benefits which can help you with further education and make you more profitable.

If any of these tips do not work for you then this is the time to update your resume, network, and search for a new job. Just make sure you have everything plan and all your ducks in the row before making the transition from one job to another. Don’t forget you spend at least 8 hrs of the day at your job……you deserve to be content.

quit your job, article text in newspaper


Moving Pass A Bad Experience!

Hello everyone, sorry for a long hiatus with so many changes going on in my life. I’m back with another blog article that you may find interesting and helpful!

Back in October 2016, I wrote an article about trauma and how it can negatively affect people in their daily lives. Many people had asked me how trauma aka bad memories are address in a counseling session. Therapists use different interventions such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy which results vary from client to client. In my practice I use Eye Movement Desensitizing Reprocessing (EMDR) which helps as well.

EMDR is a powerful tool that helps client’s process the bad experience so they can experience less triggers from that memory later. These triggers can leave a person feeling angry, anxious, sad which can affect their relationships or work performance. Examples of bad experiences are rape, loss of a loved one, work place harassment, history of child abuse, domestic violence, natural disasters, work place violence, abandonment, etc. People who experience bad events, often have negative beliefs about themselves and would use certain statements like “I’m powerless”, “It’s my fault”, “I’m worthless” which leaves a bad mark on their self esteem. The EMDR helps address those negative thoughts so that bad mark is temporary!

The benefits of EMDR is that it can help you on the road to positive thinking, and it can reduce your office visits because you start to feel better and empowered. EMDR allows you to leave your bad memory to the past and you continue to move into the future. Therapists will give you tools for you to use at home when you feel stress. During the office visit, your therapist will help guide you in making sure you process your thoughts and express your feelings. The only catch is that your therapist MUST be trained and have the certificate of completion in order to use EMDR.

I am a trained EMDR therapist in my Merrick office. Clients pay for my service with their health insurance that I’m I network in as well as out of network insurances. The only thing you need to bring to the session are two things……….. 1. Yourself  and 2. Your Readiness and Motivation To Change. Please contact me for questions about this topic.



Unsure About Counseling???

I will set the scene for you…… You have been struggling on the same issue(s) for months, maybe years? Your personal issues has affected your relationships with friends, partner, or family. Your job performance has decline as well. You notice the stress has taking a toll on your health (increase headaches, increase blood pressure, losing hair, stomach ulcers, etc). Your attitude has change from content (or happy) to miserable or bitter. A few people in your life (best friend, mom, boss, etc) had kindly suggested to you to speak to a therapist about your personal issues. Did you speak to the therapist yet? Why not?

What is wrong with seeing a therapist? What is your concern about seeing a therapist? In order to sought out your issues, you need to understand the purpose of having a therapist:

  1. Therapists can help you build insight to understand your situation.
  2. Therapists can help guide you in making decisions to resolve your problem.
  3. Therapists are trained to handle complex, sensitive issues that your friends/family are unable to do such as trauma.
  4. Therapists can provide unbiased feedback sense they do not know you.
Many people believe that seeing a therapist means that they are “crazy”. Therapy is nothing about being crazy. Your life will be very chaotic and will continue to go into a downward spiral if you do not handle your issues. There are people who have a fear of being told the truth from their therapist especially if it’s an issue that the person has control of. While it may feel uncomfortable to hear the truth from a therapist, it’s also the first step to build insight of the situation. After that, your experience will go easier and your issue will be a thing from a past!
stressed woman

Taking Control Of Your Health

Hey everyone! It’s a new year, new you, and new resolutions! I know many of you are working towards your new year resolutions for 2018. After a while it all becomes a cliche…..”lose weight” or “save money” or “quit smoking” or “finding love”. There is nothing wrong with making new goals for the new year but what are YOU doing to stay healthy??? Hmmmm
I work with many adult clients with chronic health issues (diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, celiac disease, etc). Maintaining the symptoms of these types of conditions can be stressful at any time. However, there could be other things about your health that you may be ignoring. Annual health screenings can include but not limited to cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, Pap Smear, sexually transmitted disease, vision exam, etc. Understand that regular medical screenings can detect other health issues early and can be use as a treatment measure as well.
Recently I had a colonoscopy done without sedation. I have a family history of colon polyps and because of my age, I think it would be appropriate to get screened. To be honest with you, I was happy to get this procedure while I was awake because I can see how my body functions, and it helps me become more involve in my health. Needless to say, I left the doctor’s office with confidence!
So what are you waiting for? You have insurance, you can request time off from work so you can make your medical appointments. More doctors are making themselves available in late evenings and weekends. At the end of the day, you have the control to maintain your health. Many people who I spoke to cringe when they heard my story about the recent colonoscopy. My response to them “I rather have a gastro-intestinal doctor shove a camera tube up my butt for 30 minutes rather sitting in an oncologist office discussing chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery”. Something to think about!

Dealing With Loss & The Holidays

Hey y’all! It’s that time of the year where we get into the holiday festivities (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years). While this is a fun time for friends and family, it can be sad for those who are suffering the loss of a loved one.

During the holidays, the persons who are grieving, often experience loneliness, sadness, or anxiety. With out proper coping skills, a grieving person can be in a risk of suicide, high risk behaviors, or substance abuse. Check out some of these tips in getting through rough times during the holidays.

  1. Seek counseling- You may have some unresolved issues about your loved one. This maybe the first holiday that you are spending without that special person. There maybe a painful memory surrounding how your love one passed away and you want to process that. Seeing a therapist can help you express your feelings and receive feedback.
  1. Stay busy- Engage in different activities such as volunteering, meeting with friends for lunch, take a day trip, try a new hobby, RSVP to some upcoming events that you were invited to. When my father died in 2014, my friend invited me to her dinner party in Maryland for Thanksgiving while my co worker invited me to her family home for Christmas and I had a GREAT time!
  1. Attend A Support Group- You can receive support from others who are going through the same thing that you are going through. Local churches, hospitals, hospice facilities have free or low cost Bereavement support groups in the community.
  1. Start A Ritual- Having a ritual in honor of your love one. Some people attend memorial gatherings in the community while some pray at their place of worship on the anniversary of their death. I knew people who get a tattoo. Ever since I was a child, my dad always make every holiday special. When I visit his grave site, I always plant flowers and a small decoration that go with the holiday at that time. I guess you can say that is my way of celebrating a holidays with him.
  1. Speak To Your Doctor- If your grieving is interfering with sleep, concentration at work/school, appetite, or physical function, then you might want to consult with a doctor for medication. Medications for depression and anxiety can be short term during the beginning stages of grief. Your doctor may suggest you to see a therapist for additional emotional support.
As you practice these coping techniques, your grieving will be easier. Understand this is not about forgetting your loved one. You will always remember the good times you have. Give yourself time to adjust and find peace!
Heart shaped sympathy flowers or funeral flowers near a tree white roses

Self Worth…Do You Have It?

Ok, so you are at that moment when took a few minutes to think about the things that happened in your past and you can’t help but wonder why you have the same unpleasant patterns. What I mean by patterns is that the same thing is occurring in your life multiple times. These patterns can be intimate relationships, friendships, issues at work, health, etc. 

Let’s look at relationships for an example. Do you tend to date the same type of man/woman who give you the same shit to a point where the relationship had to end? This is very common for people who were victims of domestic violence. Or perhaps you are that friend who allow your friends to walk all over you, aka take advantage of you constantly. Are you tired of these negative patterns? Are you ready to make that change to break that cycle?

First thing to do is understand how and why these patterns occur. Next is to understanding why you allow these patterns occur. For example, If you ex partner was controlling, cheater, does not have ambition, then why are you currently dating a new person with the same traits as the previous partner? There are many reasons why these patterns continue. 

Once you understand the root of your issue, now it’s time to work on your Self Worth. How much do you love yourself, and respect yourself to protect you from potential harm coming at you.  If your co worker tries to get one over you at your job, are you going to point that out to that person? If you meet a potential date and you noticed that he/she is still married and living with the spouse, are you going to move on and say NEXT? Realizing how much you are worth will prevent you from falling the same negative patterns. The first person to love and value you is You!

confident woman.jpg


Back To Work After Illness

So you spent a few months recovering from recent surgery, medical illness, or an accident at home. You had used your family medical leave time, and/or short term disability. After, multiple follow up appointments, your doctor says you are ready to return to work. My question to you is….Do You Feel Ready To Go Back To Work? 

Some people feel excited to return to work because work equals income and it can help get your life back to a regular routine. However, some people may have concerns about returning. Here are  some common concerns that people often discuss in my office:

1. Will I be able to perform my regular work duties.
2. I have to deal with nosey co workers about my medical condition.
3. I have issues about my job before my disability, not sure if I want to return and deal with it again.
4. I hope my job understands that I have medical appointments to follow.

Returning to work is a major transition for many people. For those who have concerns about returning, there are some steps that should be taken in order to make a smooth transition. Here are a few steps:

1. Communicate with your doctor- Your doctor should know what your daily job duties and your work hours. Your doctor can let explain what you may have to limit for safety reasons. Ask for a note or letter for special orders. For example, one of my clients have to bring a note to HR informing that they have to wear sneakers to work till further notice.

2. Keep your life private- You are not obligated to spill your business to nosey co workers. Just politely say “I rather not discuss that, I’m just happy to return” and change the subject.

3. Communicate with your HR- You might want to do part time hours instead of full time. Perhaps you need to adjust your job description or your schedule. A few years ago, one of my co workers at my hospice job, step down from supervisor to a direct line nurse after her cancer recovery. She felt great making that change afterwards. If you believe that your job is showing signs of discrimination due to your medical condition, then it’s time to seek consultation from a labor attorney.

4. Evaluate Your Job Overall- Ok, so you may have some bitter blood with co workers, supervisors, or the company in general. You may realize that the environment is not conducive to your transition. This is the time to think about how you can make it better for you at your job or consider a plan to find a new place of employment. Seeking counseling can help with traumatic events at your job such as accidents, violence, etc.


It takes time and patience to recover from medical or mental conditions. These steps will help you see where you stand when it comes to your job. So what are you waiting for, get back to work and make some money!

meeting disable employee.jpg