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Corpus Christi, TX Holistic & Wellness Counseling Services

About Cathy Armstrong, RN, MS, LPC-S

Cathy Armstrong Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisoris a counselor, registered nurse, and ordained minister. She has both secular and non-secular degrees in nursing, psychology, counseling, and religious studies. Cathy has been applying the principles of the mind body connection and psychoneuroimmunolgy for over 30 years. She was a pioneer in teaching natural childbirth using hypnosis and the power of the mind.  As a RN, Cathy  leaned to be an energy worker, mediation teacher, Reiki Master, and NLP Practitioner. She has studied Ayurvedic Wellness Coaching, Reflexology, Chakra Balancing,  Aromatherapy, Herbal Medicine, and Color Therapy, and Spiritual Counseling.

Cathy has supported patients and families though death and other tragedies.  She is most know for her work providing care to  patients  with infertility, cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Cathy Armstrong is a Fellow with the National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, is a Certified Integrative Mental Health Medicine Provider, and a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association. Cathy is a LPC Intern Supervisor and offers CEU Training to Mental Health Professionals.

What happens when you contact us ?

Generally, all of phone calls go directly to our confidential and private voice mailbox because we are often in session. Please leave us a message and Cathy will return your phone within 48 hours.

During your initial session, you will meet with Cathy Armstrong, Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor  you will be guided  through our Informed Consent paperwork, which describes your rights as a client (Hippa) and our legal and ethical responsibilities as counselors, your responsibilities as a client(s) and our Demographic Intake paperwork, which primarily confirms your contact and insurance information. At any time during this process, you are welcome to ask questions you may have and discuss which treatment or program will best meet your needs (Psychotherapy, Individual, Couples, Group, Classes, Family, NLP, Catholic/Christian, Spiritual, Faith Based Counseling (based on you personal choice of faith/religious practice), Hypnosis, or Life Coaching). Following the paperwork, you will have a brief opportunity to begin discussing what has brought you to counseling and what your hopes, goals, and desired outcomes that we will be working on throughout the counseling/coaching/hypnotherapy process.

Background information and a mental health and physical health history will be included. Bring your medications if you are on any prescribed medications. This will be your initial counseling session. Should you wish to continue seeing Cathy or one of her interns, together you will set an appointment time for your next session.

Why Come to Counseling

People often come to counseling because they want something in their lives to change, be better, or be different. You may want to address a specific problem, make a decision, or gain a better clarity, balance, or understanding of your live or yourself. The counselor’s role is to work together with you, your partner, child, or family to understand your world and your life situation by listening carefully and non-judgmentally.

Interactive feedback is often given and you are shown a variety of choices you might want to try to make your world a happier and more stress free way of living. Counselors look for patterns in your feelings, thoughts, actions, beliefs, and behaviors, ask questions to stimulate thinking, and co-facilitate the formulation of strategies to enhance your life.

Counseling involves the development of a relationship between a you and a trained mental health professional that focuses on the your concerns, obstacles, challenges, and difficulties. It is a process in which you have the opportunity to improve your understanding of yourself, including your patterns of thoughts, actions, behaviors, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and the way in which these may be problematic in your live. Counseling also provides you with opportunities to examine how to tap into existing and inner resources or develop new resources to enhance your life and your relationships. Counseling is a collaborative effort  creating a partnership that involves you as an individual, a couple, or a family and your counselor working together to identify goals and areas of opportunity for personal or professional growth and enrichment.

As a counselors at Armstrong Counseling,Consultation, and Training we provide an atmosphere where you feel accepted and supported, and welcome to try new ways of interacting, being, feeling, and believing with the hope of enjoying your life more fully.

Can counseling help me?

Counseling is beneficial whenever you feel that you could benefit from outside support in some way. Counseling is effective method to help people experience greater feelings of clarity, inner peace, balance, joy, well-being and self-confidence, increased self-understanding, and relief from previously troubling symptoms and patters in their personal lives and relationships. Counseling can be a very effective way of dealing with a variety of problems.

Counseling can help you gain clarity and create balance, purpose, and direction in your life. Counseling is not limited to times of emotional pain, heartache, difficulty or stress, it can also be a very valuable tool for personal growth and development. It can help you to feel better about yourself, stop self sabotage ,understand your own thoughts, feelings, and responses better, identify your core beliefs, and to work towards greater self-fulfillment and mastery. 

What are the goals of counseling?

The goals of the counseling session are driven by your needs, wants,and desired outcomes. It is our practice at Armstrong Counseling, to allow the you to lead and direct your therapist or life coach to support areas that you would like support. In this way, counseling is intended to help you work through one or more issues that are holding you back in your life. Collaboratively, we support you to find a way of being that will allow you to live your life in a more fulfilling and stress free way. Your problem may be very specific, or it may involve a set of behaviors on your part that are causing you inner conflict, stress, and pain. as we help you create more joy, balance, and inner peace. We do use a Holistic Mind, Body, Spirit  Model and request that your look at creating a plan that addresses The Whole You. 

Counseling also aims to help you understand, respect, love, and accept yourself “as you are”. The main objective of counseling is to bring about an awareness or mindfulness of the impact of your behavior in order to create a voluntary change in you that is more productive. The overall goal of counseling at Armstrong Counseling, Consultation and Training Center is to help you have a life which you can enjoy, experience, and appreciate more fully.

Counseling can help you become the sort of person you want to be by identifying your strengths and the areas that your are weak in that you are capable of changing and improving. It can help you to more deeply enjoy your important relationships as you learn to set healthy boundaries, love yourself fully and completely, and identify areas of self-defeat, and self-sabotage.

What can I expect at a session?

A session is 30 minutes to 90 minutes in length. Your counselor/life coach/hypnotherapist will start by asking what is bringing you into the office and then she/he will listen carefully and non-judgmentally, clarify your experiences and situation until you both feel that your counselor fully understands it. Then, she/he will look for patterns in your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors , and ask questions when needed about how this is impacting your life and what you have tried to do in the past that either worked or failed in making an attempt to address the issues of concern. Then together, you will co-facilitate the creation of strategies for solving problems. It will go at your pace, based on how much information and/or feelings you are comfortable to share.

It is important to understand that a counselor will not proceed with anything unless you are comfortable to continue, you may stop the counseling session at any time unless this is the limits of confidentiality as defined below within the confidentiality section.

Confidentiality

Anything you talk about in a counseling session is kept in strict confidence unless you give written permission to share this information outside of the Armstrong Counseling Office. We even need permission to disclose information to your insurance company and your physician. There are a few exceptions:

1. If you tell your counselor that you are going to harm yourself or someone else, your counselor is required by law to do anything that he or she can to reasonably prevent this from happening.
2. Your counselor is required by law to report any suspected or potential child/elder abuse and/or neglect to CPS, APS, or in some instances to the Police.
3. If a vulnerable adult is abused or neglected a report may be filed with the appropriate governmental agency.
4. A subpoena by a court of law requiring disclosure from the counselor and/or counseling records signed by a judge.
5. Your counselor will also consult with a clinical supervisor, or clinical colleagues or even an attorney from time to time regarding your case; however, client names are never used and identifying information is changed to protect client identity.

* email and texting cannot be guaranteed as completely confidential We do not respond to texts or emails unless it is regarding appointment scheduling.

Any time our office is contacted by an attorney or subpoena your responsibility in paying fees outside the therapeutic service agreement change. You will be charged a retainer fee of $2,000.00 that is non refundable and an hourly rate of $350.00 an hour.

Your Responsibilities

  • Your main responsibilities in counseling are to be committed to your desired outcome.
  • Show commitment, attend your scheduled session, speak as openly and honestly as you can, and attempt to complete any “homework” your counselor gives you.
  • Most counseling will suggest you to try a new approach(es) to dealing with issues and the process is enhanced and personal goals are achieved more quickly if you are willing to experiment and try different things.
  • Then come back to your next session ready to discuss how those new approach(es) may or may not have worked for you, your relationship, your child, or your family.
  • It is Your responsibility to provide a 48 hour notice of cancellation. 
  • Payment is due at the start of each session.

We do not offer forensic counseling and we do not testify in Court.  We will ask you for a $500.00  minimal retainer fee and our cost for court appearances from 1 minute to the noon break and $1000.00 for anything that includes morning time away form the office to a return to court after lunch for 1 minute until dismissal. Fees as charged on a daily basis.

When we see children we only see children where both parents if alive and still have rights as parents to their children attend therapy or be a part of the treatment team via hipaa protected web cam or telephone,

Ultimately our goal is that you leave feeling like you have grown, learned and benefited from the counseling. 
experience.

Failure to cancel within a timely manner will lead to termination,  a fee of $80, and discontinuation of services in some cases.

Pre-Marital Services, Marriage Counseling/Couples/Relationship Repair/CoachingMarriage and Divorce Lane

Marriage counseling is very similar to couples therapy but there can be some issues more specific to marriage counseling.  For some couples, their first role models of how a relationship works goes back to what they witnessed with their parents and back to their family of origin.Parents and caregivers  are our first role models and many times couples find themselves unconsciously recreating the same behaviors they witnessed in their childhoods. Sometimes these unhealthy behaviors are toxic and not as strongly brought out until after the couple marries.

Compounded with work, in law issues, continuing education, issues of money management, time management, division of the roles and chores in relation to children can be very stressful to a married couple. For some people it was less stressful to be in a committed dating relationship that being in an official marriage. Issues of parenting style, religious affiliation upbringing, and lack of time being together as a couple can create intense stress.

The institution of marriage can create unique problems, even when the couple has a strong desire to remain married. Issues can arise with trust, jealousy, substance abuse, gas lighting, and infidelity which adds more stress to the marriage.

With same sex couples, new issues can arise that never occurred when dating or living together.

Prenatal, Childbirth, Postpartum Counseling, Classes, and More

Cathy Armstrong is a pioneer in the field of holistic childbirth classes, pregnancy counseling, and infertility work. Cathy has years of experience as a labor room nurse,  teaching breastfeeding classes , and working as a prenatal & birth educator.

Cathy has taught advanced labor doula training using relaxation, meditation, yoga, hypnosis, birth art, and EFT. Cathy offers professional development and CEU Training and Workshops on Birth Trauma, Postpartum Depression, Holistic and Expressive Counseling for Infertility, Pregnancy, and Birth to LPC Interns and LPC's seeing Continuing Education Units.

Becoming a parent is an exciting time for some couples and can be challenging time for others. Not everyone experiences the glow of pregnancy with all the fairy tale hopes and dreams of how pregnancy"should and would be." Cathy is here to support you from preconception through postpartum and beyond.

Pregnancy is a major transition in the woman’s life and yet, and can be even referred to as a rite of passage. 

"The birth of a baby is the birth of family. Women become mothers, husbands become fathers, daughters become sisters and sons become brothers. One birth ripples through generations, creating subtle shifts and rearrangements in the family web. The first year following the birth of a child is a time of great, and often underestimated, adjustment."  
__________
Gayle Peterson, An Easier ChildbirthWoman and man with child on shoulders in field

Pregnancy and Birth Counseling Includes: Initial Intake Session-We will explore your history and how you current  and past emotional psychological, and mental health impact your pregnancy and upcoming birth experience. You will work though any unfinished issues of your past including past pregnancies, relationship with your own mother, childhood trauma, fears of birth, and anxiety issues regarding your relationship with your partner, stress during your pregnancy, and fears of becoming a new parent.

This is a special time of transformation and change for many women, and because of it being a 9 month journey, it is many times overlooked as a turning point in the life of a woman or a couple. 

Whether you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant now, or just had a baby, becoming a new mother and parent is not always what "it is cracked up to be " for some women!

 Planning a family, carrying a new little life inside of you as you... deal with relationship problems, school, work, in laws, plus complicated by the fear of childbirth, or financial concerns might not create the magical and wonderful time of what pregnancy and motherhood was suppose to be. Family of four smiling

In reality, it can be much lonelier than any of us ever dreamed up. Expectations not being met, and not feeling that "glow of pregnancy" can create issues of stress, anxiety and depression. Sometimes even anger, self-doubt, and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Not what  you expected.

Many times after the baby is born, we feel isolated with an  newborn that requires our constant attention and lack of sleep. There is no time for us, and we have no time to do the things that once made us laugh and brought pleasure to our lives.

Some of us do suffer from postpartum depression and some of us are in shock and disbelief about how drastically our lives have changed. Some of us want out of our relationships, want to runaway and just hide. Life feel overwhelming.

Please know that many people struggle during times of pregnancy and postpartum. Many women deal with the fears of childbirth whether it is an induced labor, cesarean birth, or a planned non medicated natural birth. The childbearing year is an important time that can affect you, your relationship, and your child for a long time. 

Are You At Risk for Prenatal or Postpartum Depression?

Red Flags: Certain factors may increase a woman's chance of experiencing depression during and after pregnancy:

  • Do you have a personal history of depression or another mental health illness?
  • Do you have a family history of depression or mental health problems?
  • Do you have a good social support system in place from your friends and family?
  • Are you anxious, angry , or worried about the pregnancy?
  •  Are you a teen mom trying to finish school?
  • Did you have complications with a previous pregnancy or birth?
  • Are you having work related stress or financial problems?
  • Are you having relationship issues? Do you feel put down or abused?
  • Are you have job security  or financial problems?
  • Are you under stress from work, school, family, friends or other major life events or changes?
  • Do you have a history of substance abuse, infertility, abortion, miscarriage or the loss of an infant?

Women that are depressed during pregnancy have a higher chance of becoming depressed after the baby is born. We offer screenings to pregnancy and postpartum women experiencing anxiety and depression. We take private pay clients and are taking new clients on the following insurance plans: Aetna, United, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal, Driscoll Star, and Traditional Medicaid.

Red Flags: Signs of  Prenatal or Postpartum Depression?

  • Eating too much or too little,
  • Poor appetite,
  • Failure to gain adequate weight
  •  Excessive weight gain,
  • Sleeping problems
  • Sleeping too little or too much, restless sleep, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep, waking up too early.
  •  Feelings of helpless or hopelessness
  •  Feeling everything is all your fault,
  • Having thought of suicide, self harm
  •  Disappearing, withdrawing from other, isolating yourself,
  • Missing prenatal visits,
  • Not following medical instructions,
  • Using harmful substances, like tobacco, alcohol. or illegal drugs.
  • Thoughts of hurting your baby or others

Please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital if you are feeling suicidal and/or wanting to harm/take the life your baby or others!!!! Help is available.

What can happen if depression is not treated?

Untreated depression can hurt you and your baby. Some women with depression have a hard time caring for themselves during pregnancy. 

Depression during pregnancy can raise the risk of:

  • Problems during pregnancy or delivery
  • Having a low-birth-weight baby
  • Premature birth

Untreated postpartum depression can affect your ability to parent. You may:

  • Lack energy
  • Have trouble focusing
  • Feel moody
  • Not be able to meet your child's needs

    Your doctor can ask you questions to test for depression. Your doctor can also refer you to a mental health professional who specializes in treating depression.

    Some women don't tell anyone about their symptoms. They feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about feeling depressed when they are supposed to be happy. They worry they will be viewed as unfit parents.

    Any woman may become depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby. It doesn't mean you are a bad or "not together" mom. You and your baby don't have to suffer. There is help.

    Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Rest as much as you can. Sleep when the baby is sleeping.
  • Don't try to do too much or try to be perfect.
  • Ask your partner, family, and friends for help.
  • Make time to go out, visit friends, or spend time alone with your partner.
  • Discuss your feelings with your partner, family, and friends.
  • Talk with other mothers so you can learn from their experiences.
  • Join a support group. Ask your doctor about groups in your area.
  • Don't make any major life changes during pregnancy or right after giving birth. Major changes can cause unneeded stress. Sometimes big changes can't be avoided. When that happens, try to arrange support and help in your new situation ahead of time.

Call Us: (361) 688-8200

How is depression treated?

The two common types of treatment for depression are:

  • Talk therapy/psychotherapy/counseling. This involves talking to a licensed professional counselor, therapist, psychologist, or social worker to learn to change how depression makes you think, feel, and act.
  • Medicine. Your doctor can prescribe an antidepressant medicine. These medicines can help relieve symptoms of depression.These treatment methods can be used alone or together. If you are depressed, your depression can affect your baby. Getting treatment is important for you and your baby. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking medicine to treat depression when you are pregnant or breastfeeding your baby.

    Women who are depressed during pregnancy have a greater risk of depression after giving birth. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for depression during and after pregnancy, regardless of a woman's risk factors for depression.

    What is the difference between "baby blues," postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis?

    Many women have the baby blues in the days after childbirth. If you have the baby blues, you may:

  • Have mood swings
  • Feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed
  • Have crying spells
  • Lose your  appetite
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • The baby blues most often go away within a few days or a week. The symptoms are not severe and do not need treatment.

    The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and are more severe. Postpartum depression can begin anytime within the first year after childbirth. If you have postpartum depression, you may have any of the symptoms of depression listed above. Symptoms may also include:

  • Thoughts of hurting the baby
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Not having any interest in the baby
  • Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor.

    Postpartum psychosis is rare. It occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 births. It usually begins in the first 2 weeks after childbirth. Women who have bipolar disorder or another mental health problem called schizoaffective disorder have a higher risk for postpartum psychosis. Symptoms may include:

  • Seeing things that aren't there
  • Feeling confused
  • Having rapid mood swings
  • Trying to hurt yourself or your baby
  • What should I do if I have symptoms of depression during or after pregnancy?

    Call your doctor if:

  • Your baby blues don't go away after 2 weeks
  • Symptoms of depression get more and more intense
  • Symptoms of depression begin any time after delivery, even many months later
  • It is hard for you to perform tasks at work or at home
  • You cannot care for yourself or your baby
  • You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Your doctor can ask you questions to test for depression. Your doctor can also refer you to a mental health professional who specializes in treating depression.

    Some women don't tell anyone about their symptoms. They feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about feeling depressed when they are supposed to be happy. They worry they will be viewed as unfit parents.

    Any woman may become depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby. It doesn't mean you are a bad or "not together" mom. You and your baby don't have to suffer. There is help.

    Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Rest as much as you can. Sleep when the baby is sleeping.
  • Don't try to do too much or try to be perfect.
  • Ask your partner, family, and friends for help.
  • Make time to go out, visit friends, or spend time alone with your partner.
  • Discuss your feelings with your partner, family, and friends.
  • Talk with other mothers so you can learn from their experiences.
  • Join a support group. Ask your doctor about groups in your area.
  • Don't make any major life changes during pregnancy or right after giving birth. Major changes can cause unneeded stress. Sometimes big changes can't be avoided. When that happens, try to arrange support and help in your new situation ahead of time.

 

 While some women do not struggle emotionally during pregnancy, research shows that emotional support during this time of major transition is highly beneficial for maternal adjustment after the baby is born and can create lasting damaging effects in the psyche and in the relationship if needs are ignored.

Part of you personalized pregnancy counseling experience will include free Holistic Tranquil Birth childbirth education classes.

These classes will be exploring your inner prenatal world. By looking inside at the inner landscapes of your mind, you will be able to make any needed changes to shift your perception form the negative to the positive regarding your birthing and postpartum experiences. 

Your rite of passage to being a mother can have a  significant difference in how you integrate your new roles during pregnancy and motherhood with your approach to childbirth, and how you mother baby bonding and adjusting after the baby comes. 

Birth is an important even in the life of a woman and it is common for women to repeat their birth stories years and years after their children are grown and have children of their own.

Expressive and creative therapies are combined with guided imagery, relaxation, meditation, affirmation, and self-hypnosis. Journal writing , creative writing, and yoga breath work are incorporated in therapy.

“The artist’s relative lack of adaptation turns out to his advantage; it enables him to follow his own yearnings far from the beaten path, and to discover what it is that would meet the unconscious needs of his age……art represents a process of self-regulation in the life of nations and epochs” –Jung (CW 15, 131). 

Disclaimer

Individual therapy is  scheduled on an individual basis as needed and prescribed in the treatment plan, weekly, twice a week, monthly, or whatever the specific need of the client is. Individual therapy is a one-to-one meeting with a mental health therapist for the purpose of reducing the stress and emotional pain of inner conflict with internal suffering due to  an addiction, anxiety disorder , depression, mood disorder, conduct or behavior, problem feelings creating intense emotions, painful or self-sabotaging beliefs, relationship stress,  or dealing with past experiences. Ongoing psychotherapy is also a common and useful means of self-growth and self-actualization but require a psychiatric mental health diagnosis to use insurance. Life coaching is available for those not meeting the criteria for having a mental health problem and are seeking services of personal growth, personal or professional empowerment or success and those searching for spiritual growth and enlightenment of the soul.

Fees and Insurance

The majority of my practice is Self-Pay and working with individuals and couples that are not in need of psychotherapy requiring a psychiatric mental health diagnosis. Most of the clients we see are in need of Life Coaching, Relationship Coaching, or Career Coaching. Many people we see are wanting to set goals and more interested in creating balance, health, peace of mind, needing anger management, or wanting to learn how to enhance the quality of their lives. Self pay, Life Coaching provides your information to be more confidential and not open to exploration by insurance providers. I am able to see clients that are self pay in more efficient ways of treatment including: Family Counseling ( not covered by most commercial insurance), Couples Counseling and Life Coaching ( not covered by most insurance plans), Relationship Issues (not covered by most insurance plans), providing Parental Consultation Sessions between Sessions, Hypnotherapy, NLP,  Spiritual Soul Searching Journey Work, and Pet Therapy as needed.

When we use the Life Coaching model, rather than the models set forth by most insurance plans,I am able to meet with parents to obtain an initial intake session without the child having to be present for the visit. I am also able to allow parents to attend the child/teens session as most insurance plans do not allow for the parent to be present or pay for family counseling, only covering individual sessions. (Most insurance plans do not allow for professional counselors to practice this way due to strict reimbursement requirements).

Self pay rates are based on the specific service offered. Please call to discuss rates. You will be advised of rates before being seen for therapy. Most fees range from $65.00 to $150.00 per session.