Welcome to my website!
Come work with me and together we create a plan to help you feel more empowered in all areas of your life! I see a variety of people with generalized anxiety, panic attacks, birth fears, new parent fears, and fears of not being good enough, not lovable, worthless and other intrusive and negative talk that works like a magnet attracting more negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs leading to depression.
My name is Cathy Armstrong and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor with a Mindfulness based private practice, focusing on the Whole Person. I have over 40 years of combined mental health experience as a RN, and Professional Counselor. My professional focus is on helping others create change in their lives, identifying emotional blocks that unknowingly create chaos, self-sabotage, self-doubt, and unhappiness. Free yourself from anxiety and depression and move beyond the past issues of hurt and disappointment, family of origin problems, childhood trauma, complex trauma, and relationship pain. Learn to love yourself, be compassionate with yourself and others. Learn skills to regulate your moods, feelings, and be less impulsive using neuroscience and mindfulness behavior therapy. Stop the "monkey chatter, " create inner peace, balanced living, and a healthy lifestyle with mind, body, spirit counseling.
Treatment for Anxiety, Take Back Control of Your Life
Together we will start with where you are at, where you want to go, and what you need to push forward as you let got layers of hurt, feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and negative self talk that you say to yourself. Are you aware that the negative self-talk to your self, the gossip to your family and friends about others actually reinforces and affirms that negative beliefs you say about yourself. Get on that High Flying Disk of Life and Off the Roller Coaster of highs and lows letting others "steal your thunder and define you are and you you are NOT! Call me and let's work together. We will explore how your life in general is working for or against you. Nutrition, healthy eating to build a strong immune system and putting the right nutrients in your body to increase your "feel good hormones, " verses the culprits that we eat and drink that create inflammation in our bodies and fail to regulate our moods and emotions. We explore your strengths and limitations, negative self-talk and work on creating a whole approach to your healing and wellness. We look at what you want to keep and enhance-FERTILIZE and what you want to let go-Flush. I have found for me the process of letting go and stepping aside from my own inner critic and saboteur has created a more peaceful, healthier, more joyous life. Allow the possibilities, change your mind about how you think and get a new point of view for success and change.
Are your feeling overwhelmed, anxious, worried, and fearful? Anxiety treatments can be helpful to reclaim your life! Call me at (361) 688-8200 TODAY!
- Do you feel like you can't get certain thoughts in your head to stop?
- Do you wake up with with a feeling of dread and don't know why?
- Do you fear that you worry and obsess on things more than most people?
- Do you constantly worry about your children, whether they are doing well and questioning yourself about whether you are doing enough to help them?
- Do you procrastinate, lose motivation, have trouble following through?
- Do you worry about failing to provide important information when preparing a paper for school or a document for work ?
- Do you pick your skin, pull your eyelashes or eyebrows? Do you pick at your cuticles or chin hair?
- Is it difficult for you to stop worrying once you start?
- Do you have a hard time relaxing or concentrating?
- Do you try to stay busy and distract yourself as a way to stop worrying?
- Do people ask you why you worry too much?
- Do you have trouble falling asleep and cannot turn of the thoughts in your head?
- Do you feel tired all the time, have headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches, or unexplained pains.
- Do you experience irritability and mood swings?
- Do you have any others issues or concerns that sometimes accompany anxiety such as ADD/ADHD, depression, addictions, or depression?
Using the Power of Suggestion, Mindfulness, CBT, Affirmations, Guided Meditations & Stress Management with a Jungian Twist. Explore the Laws of Attraction and the Laws of Distraction.
Research continues to validate the mind body connections :the fight, flight or freeze responses to fear, the impact of our words, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, actions, reactions and behaviors. For example, If I tell my adult child that the date they picked to come visit me is not convenient for me, he may get mad and never talk to me again. If I fail this test I will never get into graduate school. If I say no, she might never want to be my friend again. What if you could decrease your anxiety, improve your communications skills, have more clarity about what is truly is that you want and build the confidence that you are worth creating the life you love by changing your self-talk ? Hypnosis and Mindfulness CBT are some of the many tools I offer to help. Below is a list of by Robert Burns (1989) describing negative thinking patters. See if any of these apply to you and then make a decision about changing the way you think.
All or nothing thinking. Seeing things as black or white categories. For example, you are on a diet and you splurged and ate chips and dip. You tell you self that you blew your diet and eat the rest of the chips in the bag. Black and white thinking can create feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and create an all or nothing attitude in a relationship and can create damage and heartache. Example, If you don't do this my way, I am out of here.
Overgeneralization. You see a single negative comment, or a negative event such as being discounted or feeling used by a friend and you a never ending pattern of rejection by using the words, never or always when you think about it. These words can not only make you feel unworthy and unlovable, they can destroy communication with those you love.
Mental Filter. You pick out a single detail and dwell on it over and over, just cannot let it go. Your version of reality dark and negative. For example, you were asked to give a local presentation and afterwards you were given many positive remarks about your presentation, but one person gave your negative feedback. You discount all the positive comments, and dwell on the negative remark made by one person.
Discounting the Positive. Rejecting positive experiences and insisting that they do not count. In a relationship, it could be dwelling on the one incident where you did not feel validated and are unable to move beyond that, unable to remind yourself of all the other good memories and when you felt loved and supported by your partner.
Jumping to Conclusions. You take someone else's inventory and assume you know what they are thinking or assume that you have the ability to predict the future and you know how it will play out. This can happen two ways, mind reading and crystal ball reading. Magnification. You blow things out of proportion about yourself or about your relationship. You exaggerate the importance of your problems and minimize the importance of your own good qualities or the good qualities of your relationship, friend, or your partner.
Emotional reasoning. You assume that your negative feelings are the way things really are. " I feel so guilty that I must be a bad person." I feel so helpless and hopeless, so I must be helpless and hopeless."
Should Statements. You tell yourself that things should be the way you hope or else life is terrible. If things do not go the way I want, this relationship is horrible. Using words like should, must, ort to, and have to be, create create feelings of guilt and frustration.
Labeling. This is an extreme form of all or nothing, black and white thinking. Instead of saying, " I made a mistake," you tell yourself that your are a mistake, and emotionally beat yourself up. Labeling can lead to anger, hostility and feelings of hopelessness. Be careful that you are not using labeling when you are not feeling heard or validated by a friend or partner this will lead to negative feelings and possible resentments.
Personalization and Blame. This is where you put all the responsibility on yourself for an event that is not entirely under your control. For example, your child misbehaves at daycare and the director call us. You blame yourself for being a bad parent or your blame others for the problems. "It is the teachers fault for not supervising better, it is the other child that started it." You disregard ways that you could be contributing to the problem.
Therapy and hypnosis are excellent tools in addressing and changing negative thinking which will help you create a happier life for yourself and those you care about.
Types of Depressive Disorders I treat:
- Adjustment Disorders
- Low Level Ongoing Depression
- Postpartum Depression
- Birth Trauma
- Grief and Loss
- Relationship Breakup
- Narcissism Recovery
- Core Wounding
- Inner Child Healing
If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or taking your life Call 911 immediately!
- Get the help your deserve.
- Do you often feel sad, alone, or empty?
- Do you frequently feel tired, lack energy, or feel unmotivated?
- Have you had feelings of sadness or depression that lasted more than a couple of days?
- Do you have feelings of be unworthy, not good enough, like everything is your fault?
- Do you carry shame or guilt?
- Do you overeat or have a loss of appetite?
- Are you irritable, restless, and easily annoyed? Have you lost interest in things that once brought you joy and pleasure, including sex?
- Do you have ongoing headaches, digestive upsets, aches, pains, and muscle cramps that do not ease up with treatment?
- Do you have thoughts of self harm or suicide?
All of these issues are treatable and life does not have to be so hard. Reach out to a mental health care provider and explore how you can begin to feel better and find more pleasure and enjoyment in everyday life! You are Worth It and You Do Matter! learn to feel less stressed, less panicky, less overwhelmed. Please call 911 or go to your nearest psychiatric hospital if you are having thoughts of self-harm, harm to another person, or thoughts of suicide.
We all can worry from time to time and experience fear and even anxiety. If your fears and worries occur so frequently that they interfere with work , family, fun, and joy, call a mental health care provider and find someone to help you discuss these concerns. Help is available to help get your life back on track, gain clarity, improve your self-worth, heal, gain hope and create a life you love.
Depression or Anxiety After The Baby Comes
Counseling for Birth Trauma and Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety
Giving birth and becoming a new mother is a rite of passage. It can be an empowering experience or one of sadness, anger, disappointment, regret and can cause damage to the emotional health of the mother, her relationship and bonding experience.
For more information Call: (361) 688-8200.
"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 Childbirth
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.
Pregnancy and Birth Counseling for FEARS, Adjustments, Transitions 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.
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 can feel overwhelming leaving you feeling lost, alone, helpless and hopeless. It is NOT YOUR FAULT. Help is available! Tel: (361) 688-8200 today! You are worth it!
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: Humana PPO, Aetna PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal, and Self Pay Options are available. Ask us about our 8 week intensives. These programs work fast to get to the root cause and meet 3 times a week. This program is not covered by most insurance plans. After the 8 week intensives you are welcome to follow up with me as needed or see your own therapist.
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:
- CALL 911 immediately of you have:
- 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.
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. Learn the art of meditation, mindfulness, self-hypnosis, and deep relaxation.
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 patterns in their personal lives and relationships. Counseling can be a very effective way of dealing with a variety of problems. Life's challenges, big and small are harder to manage when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Your thoughts might be more toxic than you think. One negative thought can become a magnet for similar negative thoughts. Thoughts can trigger more and more negative thoughts that can create a downward spiral leading to feeling of helplessness, despair, and hopelessness. Learn how changing the way to talk to yourself can lead to panic and depression. Let me help you create a more balanced live having more inner peace.
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.
Call me at: (361) 688-8200 5934 S. Staples, Suite 206, Corpus Christi, Texas 78413