Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.

With Agoraphobia, you fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line or being in a crowd. The anxiety is caused by the fear that there's no easy way to escape or seek help if intense anxiety develops. Most people who have agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, causing them to fear another attack and avoid the place where it occurred.

People with agoraphobia often have a hard time feeling safe in any public place, especially where crowds gather. You may feel that you need a companion, such as a relative or friend, to go with you to public places

Whether you have never flown, or are highly anxious when you fly, be aware of the fact that you are not alone. More than 15 million people have the same problem. The good news is that fear of flying is treatable. The problem is sometimes based on a predisposition genetically and/ or is socially learned or reinforced. From a cognitive and behavioral approach, you can learn to fly without anxiety.

I have developed a 10 week program specifically designed to assist you in learning the skills to enjoy flying. In my program you fly ONLY when YOU feel ready to apply the techniques you will master as you progress through the program.

Most of the problems with "fear of flying" have to do with irrational thoughts which cause anxiety. This program is designed to alter your thinking pattern, i.e. "what if thinking".

The thoughts listed below are common to the fearful flyer.

  1. What if the plane crashes?
  2. What if my children are raised without their parents?
  3. What if there is turbulence?
  4. What if terrorists take over the plane?
  5. What if I have a panic attack?
  6. What if I cannot control things?
  7. What if I feel claustrophobic?
  8. What if the pilot has a heart attack?
  9. What happens if something mechanically goes wrong with the plane?

The list goes on and on. If you or someone you know wants to learn how to really enjoy flying, give me a call at (248) 760-2571. Since Fear of Flying is classified as a Phobia, health insurance will cover this program in most cases.

I have over 25 years of experience working with individuals suffering from different forms of anxiety. We now know more about how to treat this problem then ever before. You can do it.

The "D" word arouses so many emotions and ultimately many consequences. However divorce is sometimes the only solution that allows individuals to move on their life in a more fulfilling manner.

I believe strongly that before someone considers divorce that marital counseling should be an important option for couples. Counseling does not guarantee that individuals will be able or willing to do the hard work necessary to bring about a more fulfilling and adult marriage but at least there is a good chance. If couples go directly to a divorce, they will always wonder what might have happened if they had participated in counseling.

If couples are set on a divorce, there are quite a few stresses along the way. Often counseling can assist in navigating and coping more effectively with these inevitable stresses.

Finally, there are often post divorce problems, i.e. communication, visitation issues, etc. Here again counseling can help couples really work in the interest of the child.

For more information about divorce, please visit the article I wrote on my web site. You can find it at www.drronrice.com/services/divorce-counseling.

If you know couples who are contemplating a divorce, having struggles during a divorce process, or are experiencing major problems post divorce, have them give me a call at (248) 760-2571. Helping a friend know that counseling is available for any of the reasons cited above will be something they will always appreciate.

Common symptoms can make work and daily life hard. Depression can alter your view of the world, making you feel alone. You're not alone. Major depression affects about 14 million American adults, or 6.7% of the population 18 or older in any given year. Listed below are some of the most common symptoms of depression.

Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or numb. These feelings are with you most of every day.

Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy. You might not bother with hobbies you used to love. You might not like being around friends. You may lose interest in sex.

Irritability and/or anxiety. You might be short-tempered and find it hard to relax.

Trouble making decision. Depression can make it hard to think clearly or concentrate. Making a simple choice can seem overwhelming.

Feeling guilty or worthless. These feelings are often exaggerated or inappropriate to the situation. You might feel guilty for things that aren't your fault or that you have no control over. Or you may feel intense guilt for minor mistakes.

Let me be clear. One does NOT have to have all of the symptoms above to be depressed. Everyone is different.

For more information about depression, visit my web site at www.drronrice.com.

The good news is that depression responds well to a variety of treatments. If one is depressed due to specific situations, counseling or psychotherapy is quite helpful. Sometimes people are depressed for no apparent reason. In this case, medication and counseling will often be the best treatment option.

Again, depression is always treatable. If you are having a problem with depression, give me a call at (248) 760-2571 to set up a consultation appointment. If you have friends or colleagues who you think might be depressed, have them give me a call. It would be the kindest thing you could do for a friend.

If I were to select the most significant part of the human condition, I would pick Self-esteem.

Do you believe in yourself and in your abilities? Can you handle rejection and criticism in an objective and healthy manner, or does one negative comment completely shatter your self view? Self-esteem is an integral part of personal happiness, fulfilling relationships and achievement.

The self-esteem test below is for informational purposes only. The test in quick and simple.

Print out the form before answering each question.

Answer TRUE or FALSE to each question (if you cannot answer 100% true then answer false).

DO NOT LOOK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FORM BEFORE TAKING THE TEST!

1.Other people are not better off or more fortunate than me. True/False

2. I accept myself as I am and am happy with myself. True/False

3. I enjoy socializing. True/False

4. I deserve Love and respect (must be in the correct sequence). True/False

5. I feel valued and needed. True/False

6. I don't need others to tell me I have done a good job. True/False

7. Being myself is important. True/False

8. I make friends easily. True/False

9. I can accept criticism without feeling put down. True/False

10. I admit my mistakes openly. True/False

11. I never hide my true feelings. True/False

12. I always speak up for myself and put my views across. True/False

13. I am a happy, carefree person. True/False

14. I don't worry what others think of my views. True/False

15. I don't need other's approval to feel good. True/False

16. I don't feel guilty about doing or saying what I want. True/False

TEST SCORE: Total number of TRUE answers you gave, EACH ONE POINT

15-16 Points - You have a high level of self esteem

12-14 Points - Not bad but room for you to improve

8-11 Points - Low self esteem is holding you back

Below 8 Points - Your self esteem is drastically low

If you scored high, congratulations! You will do well in life.

If you scored low, DO NOT DESPAIR. Help is available!

How you feel about yourself is totally socially learned. You did not come out of the womb having poor self esteem. Again, you learned it. Counseling is a tool to assist you in challenging the negative messages you received in the learning process and replacing these thoughts with more positive and reality based perceptions. If you have poor self esteem, give me a call at (248) 760-2571 to set up an appointment. You CAN learn to have good self esteem with some work.

Over the past 30 years, I have had the opportunity of providing marital counseling to over 500 couples. What a challenge! Having an adult, caring, respectful, and loving marriage is hard work. Those that are able to benefit from marriage counseling share some common characteristics. 1) Couples that do well in counseling tend to be above average in intelligence, 2) Couples are very dissatisfied with their marriage, and 3) Couples to succeed must have a willingness to take a non-defensive look at themselves and deal with some of the emotional pain that is part of the counseling process.

It is my experience that there are also some factors that tend to predict that marriage counseling is not likely to be helpful. This does not mean that it is impossible but rather that the probability of a successful outcome is significantly reduced. 1) Affairs, 2)Substance Abuse, and 3) Domestic Violence. However in my career I have occasionally had success if an affair is an isolated occurrence and the other conditions are not in play. Substance abuse of course tears marriages apart. Here the individual must be willing to do whatever it takes to overcome this problem. Finally, I find that although domestic violence victims often stay married, marriage counseling often results in a divorce. Individuals involved in perpetual physical abuse tend to never change.

I have been fortunate in that about 80% of the couples I have seen have learned how to have a more constructive, adult, and meaningful relationship. The others because of some of the issues raised above end up getting a divorce.

If you know couples struggling with their marriage, tell them to give me a call and set up an appointment. I will evaluate their situation and proceed accordingly.

Finally, I want to deal with the reality that for many different reasons, couples will get a divorce. In such a situation, individuals often do not know where to look to find a capable attorney to represent their best interests. I would like to take a few minutes talking about Mr. Dan Moss, a divorce attorney who I have had professional relationship with for over 17 years. Mr. Moss is certainly unique. Let me explain. Sometimes individuals come to his office and indicate that they want to hire him with respect to a divorce. After evaluating the situation, he often suggests to them to try giving marital counseling a chance. Some of these couples have been referred to me and in most cases, marital counseling has helped avoid a divorce. Mr. Moss fees strongly that marital counseling in most cases should be tried before considering a divorce. There are of course exceptions to the "rule".

For example, it is virtually impossible that Mr. Moss would refer a perpetrator of domestic violence and the victim for marital counseling.

I have had professional relationships over the years with many goo attorneys. However, I have never found a divorce attorney who is so interested in helping couples avoid divorce. He is adamant about doing whatever is necessary to do what is truly is the best interest of children. If someone you know is struggling with who to call for legal representation in a divorce, I strongly recommend that they call Mr. Dan Moss at (248) 855-5656 or visit his web site at www.dmosslaw.com

Call now for a free consultation at (248) 760-2571!

The Oakland County Friend of the Court as well as Attorneys have often referred divorced couples to me who are having major post divorce problems. One of the most common issues has to do with individuals and/or their ex-spouses behaving in ways that do not help children cope as well as they can with divorce.

I have listed below some tips to assist divorced people on how to really behave in the best interest of their child

1. Don't badmouth or criticize the other parent.

2. Don't share details of your divorce

3. Don't use your children as spies

4. Don't argue and engage in conflict in front of your child

5. Don't make your children responsible for making adult decisions

6. Don't ignore your child when they ask why there is a divorce

7. Don't withhold visitation to punish the other parent

8. Don't try to buy your child's love

If you or someone you know is struggling with post divorce issues, remember that counseling can really be quite helpful.

The following excerpt was written by the late Sydney Harris from his last book "Clearing the Ground".

I wanted to share this with you since it is so well written and captures so much that we all need to know about the human condition. I hope you will read the entire article in its entirety.

"In a question period following a lecture, on the college students in the audience asked, "What is the most important lesson you've learned in life?" I had no hesitation in replying, "How to accept ambiguity and live with it."

What I meant was learning how not to be frozen into one attitude toward events that happen to myself or to others.

Human life is many things, both wonderful and terrible. It is a mixed fabric of good and evil, happiness and horror, matters we can control to some degree and matters beyond our control.

We can do much, but not all; the task is to do as much as we can and to accept what comes after that -- to acknowledge both the efforts of free will an the ultimate decisions of fate.

Ambiguity is the very essence of human existence. Almost nobody is loved as much as he or she would like to be; nobody succeeds in every area of life, Justas nearly nobody fails in every area. We cannot change the cards we were dealt; we can only play the hand to the best.

People who cannot or will not accept ambiguity in the human condition are the most miserable and disappointed of all. They are either swimming up-stream or sinking, drowning, when they can float.

Most people today fail to recognize that happiness is a fairly recent aspiration of the human race. For most of history, survival was the goal -- coping, making do, struggling against the caprices of natural disasters and the blows of social and economic injustice.

The acceptance of ambiguity implies more than the commonplace understanding that some good things and some bad things happen to us. It means that we know the good and evil are inextricably intermixed in human affairs; that they contain, and sometimes embrace, their opposites; that success may involve failure of a different kind, and failure ma be a kind of triumph.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence," wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, "is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still function." Few temperaments ,much less minds, are able to do this."

The "D" word arouses so many emotions and ultimately many consequences. However divorce is sometimes the only solution that allows individuals to move on their life in a more fulfilling manner.

I believe strongly that before someone considers divorce that marital counseling should be an important option for couples. Counseling does not guarantee that individuals will be able or willing to do the hard work necessary to bring about a more fulfilling and adult marriage but at least there is a good chance. If couples go directly to a divorce, they will always wonder what might have happened if they had participated in counseling.

If couples are set on a divorce, there are quite a few stresses along the way. Often counseling can assist in navigating and coping more effectively with these inevitable stresses.

Finally, there are often post divorce problems, i.e. communication, visitation issues, etc. Here again counseling can help couples really work in the interest of the child.

For more information about divorce, please visit the article I wrote on my web site. You can find it at www.drronrice.com/services/divorce-counseling/.

If you know couples who are contemplating a divorce, having struggles during a divorce process, or are experiencing major problems post divorce, have them give me a call at (248) 760-2571. Helping a friend know that counseling is available for any of the reasons cited above will be something they will always appreciate.

If you are experiencing problems in your relationship you may want to consider marriage counseling as a way of helping you.  However you may wonder if your difficulties have reached such a point where counseling is appropriate, or could truly be useful to you. 

Knowing when to address relationship problems with the aid of counseling can be helpful. Marital counseling can be helpful to your relationship if it seems to be in a stuck state, that is you are experiencing the same old problems again and again repetitively and don’t know how to stop this occurring.  You may have tried all methods of changing things for the better but to no avail. An example of this type of situation could be when you and your spouse keep arguing about the same problem but can’t seem to resolve the matter.  You may find yourself saying or hearing the same words many times as-though listening to a stuck record. 

Your relationship will also be in a stuck state because things never get any better or worse, leaving you pondering how you can manage in a relationship that seems to be going no-where. A psychologist with years of experience in marriage counseling can help you to recognize negative communication patterns which have become a bad habit, and help facilitate meaningful discussions between you that can lead to progress. The characteristics listed below are often part of a marriage with problems.

1) There’s too much yelling – If your relationship contains a great deal of yelling back and forth between you and your partner this is a sign that you’ve stopped communicating effectively and may need help to begin doing so again. The chances are that neither of you really listen to each other anymore, and are both battling for air space by getting louder and louder.  The trouble is, unless you both learn to truly hear each other again things won’t get better.  Counseling can help you learn to take turns to talk and listen, while hearing each other effectively and responding to what’s been said in a positive, rather than negative manner.

2) Anger issues are involved – Anger can be destructive ina relationship if it becomes overwhelming.  When you and your partner have difficulty expressing anger in a mature manner, your marriage will suffer.  Counseling helps couples learn how to deal with anger is a more constructive way.

3) Unhappiness – All relationships go through ups and downs.  If they didn’t they wouldn’t be normal.  However an ongoing feeling of unhappiness which makes one or more partner feel depressed needs to be dealt with. Counseling can often help uncover the cause of sadness if it’s not already known, and show couples how to support each other.

4) Infidelity – Not all couples who experience infidelity issues need counseling.  Some work through their problems while others immediately separate and don’t look back.  Sitting on the fence however are couples who still love each other but need to learn how to deal with trust issues, express anger and resentment and work out where to go with their relationship next, or whether they still have a future together at all.  A counselor can act as an unbiased third party who is not judgmental.  They can facilitate discussions, help uncover whether marital problems were present before cheating entered the relationship and aid goal setting and planning as to how to deal with issues that arise.  Understanding when to seek relationship counseling, whether you are married, cohabiting, regularly seeing someone, can help encourage you to do so and enable you to take positive steps towards improvement.

If you would like more information on this topic, please visit our website at www.drronrice.com. To schedule an appointment, feel free to contact me directly at (248) 760-2571.  Also send this article to those you know who could benefit from knowing more about marital problems.

Dealing With A Stressful Life

It seems that almost everyone at some time talks about having too much stress in their life. In order to reduce stress or cope with it in a more constructive manner, it is important to know more information about stress.

Stress is the number one health problem in the U.S. Seventy-five to ninety percent of all visits to a primary care physician are for stress related problems. Stress comes from different sources. Work related stress accounts for thirty-nine percent, family or marital problemson the other hand accounts for thirty percent, and other sources including health accounts for another ten percent of stress causes. The economy follows as another cause accounting for nine percent of problems that are stress related. Four percent can be contributed to international conflicts or terrorism. The bottom line is that people are under a lot of stress.

We have an idea as to what causes stress, but what is stress and how can we cope with it? Stress is any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes tension either physically or emotionally. On the job it can be caused by poor communicadtion either between employees or management and employees. Work place stress can and often does lead to little energy. Stress is often the result of increasing demands of family life. Marital problems, parent-child relationships, and the demands of providing for ones family as a whole can be another source of stress. Financial problems are a significant source of family stress and tension. There is a high level of stress that comes with being a single parent.

Children are not exempt from stress. Puberty brings on a lot of emotional and physical changes. The ever increasing threat of school violence adds to the levels of stress that most children feel. Feeling of anxiety, of not belonging, of knowing what is the right thing to do but being under peer pressure brings on even greater stress.

We are living in stressful times. Over recent years the struggle to balance work, family and other commitments has intensified. Controlling stress is easier said than done, but there are some practical things that can be done to reduce and cope with stress.

The first thing to remember is that some stress is normal and is a modern-day fact of life. You cannot avoid it. However you can learn to reduce it or cope with it more effectively. Here are some overall suggestions when coping with stress.

1) Give your body plenty of rest each and every day. This will not only help to cope with stress but is an excellent way of increasingy our chances of staying healthy.

2) A proper diet and regular exercise is a good stress reliever. It can be something as simple as taking a brisk walk after dinner.

3) Set realistic goals in both your personal life and your business or career life. Trying to be a perfectionist leads to disappointments and that leads to greater stress.

4) Set time for yourself. We tend to have plenty of time for everyone else, but never find the time for ourselves. Remember you cannot help someone else if you are stressed out.

5) Know your limitations, both physical and emotional. We think we know our limitations, but you will be surprised just how much we can be in the dark when it comes to ourselves.

6) Do not keep it bottled up inside. When things are worrying us, talk to someone you trust such as a friend or relative. When you open up to someone and hear yourself talk about it, this can be all you need to find the solution. Keeping it in will tend to blow things out of proportion and this can lead to more stress than is necessary. If the above steps are not sufficient, get professional help. Set up an appointment to meet with a Psychologist. Psychologists deal with clients overcome by stress all the time. Counseling can put things in perspective and help individuals learn more about the causes of their particular stress and how to reduce or cope more effectively. In most cases counseling is covered by insurance programs.

If you would like more information on this topic, please visit our website at www.humanisticresources.com. To schedule an appointment, feel free to contact me directly at (248) 760-2571.