DiscoverCounselor Toolbox Podcast
Counselor Toolbox Podcast
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Counselor Toolbox Podcast

Author: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes

Subscribed: 9,381Played: 711,141


Counselors, coaches and sober companions help hundreds of thousands of people affected by Addictions and Mental Health issues each year. Learn about the current research and practical counseling tools to improve your skills and provide the best possible services. Counselor Toolbox targets counselors, coaches and companions, but can also provide useful counseling self-help tools for persons struggling with these issues and their loved ones. AllCEUs is an approved counseling continuing education provider for addiction and mental health counselors in most states. Counseling CEUs are available for each episode.
474 Episodes



Summary - Acetylcholine is not often talked about but is a necessary excitatory neurotransmitter - Acetylcholine interacts with gonadal hormones, thyroid hormones and several neurotransmitters - Acetylcholine is important for energy, memory, attention, regulation of muscle contraction and much more. - Choline is necessary to make acetylcholine - Tyrosine is necessary to make acetylcholine - Too much acetylcholine contributes to anxiety and irritability, too little contributes to anhedonia
Video games, online gambling, online shopping and pornography all have the potential to become problematic Social media also has an addictive quality that can cause withdrawal and exacerbate mood disorders and/or addictions What Makes a Video Game Addictive High Score Beating the Game No Ending to the Game – i.e. Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) Role Playing Novelty/Discovery A good portion of World of Warcraft is spent exploring imaginary worlds, and Minecraft is spent designing new worlds Relationships Acceptance A place to anonymously try out different personas Like other addictions, internet addiction can have physical, social, financial and emotional consequences In our digital age, it is highly unlikely that people can completely unplug. Similar to other behavioral addictions like eating and sex, it is necessary to identify the motivations behind the internet use Additionally, by its very rewarding nature, internet addiction will cause neurochemical imbalances which can lead to depression and apathy.
Based in Part on Brief Therapy with Eating Disorders by Barbara McFarland, and the Overcoming Disordered Eating Protocol by the Centre for Clinical Intervention - Shifting paradigms to one of resourcefulness vs. sickness - Identifying key interviewing questions to develop a strengths-based alliance
Objectives - Core Mindfulness - Walking the Middle Path - Distress Tolerance - Emotion Regulation - Interpersonal Effectiveness - Mindfulness Exercises - DBT Games and Activities Core Mindfulness - Three States of Mind - Reasonable: School Brain, scientist, robot - Emotional: What your heart says - Wise: The logical choice that makes you as happy as possible - Example: Animal rescue - Example: Extracurricular activities
Objectives - BREIFLY review the findings from the research identifying the connection between the brain and the gut - Differentiate gut health from proper nutrition - Identify signs and consequences of poor gut health - Explore the bidirectional relationship between the brain and the gut (second brain) - Identify promising alternative approaches to treating mood (and other) disorders. Overview - Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world according to the World Health Organization. The effectiveness of the available antidepressant therapies is limited. - Data from the literature suggest that some subtypes of depression may be associated with chronic low grade inflammation. - The uncovering of the role of intestinal microbiota in the development of the immune system and its bidirectional communication with the brain have led to growing interest on reciprocal interactions between inflammation, microbiota and depression. - The intestinal microbiota: A new player in depression? Encephale. 2018 Feb;44(1):67-74
Objectives - Explore the unique needs of loved ones and caregivers of people with cancer Diagnosis - 650,000+ people die of cancer EACH year - When someone is diagnosed, the patient and loved ones grieve - Even if the cancer is “cured” or goes into remission there may be lasting disabilities and/or losses - Loss of security (health anxiety in the patient and SOs) - Loss of function or changes in appearance - Cognitive impairment (“chemo-brain”) impacts attention, working memory, executive function, and processing speed - Unmet needs of caregivers and patients were associated with increased physical symptoms, anxiety, and reduced QoL - Not everyone experiences grief in the same way - Families need to be educated about the grief bill of rights
Biopsychosocial Aspects of HPA-Axis Dysfunction Objectives - Define and explain the HPA-Axis - Identify the impact of trauma on the HPA Axis - Identify the impact of chronic stress/cumulative trauma on the HPA-Axis - Identify symptoms of HPA-Axis dysfunction - Identify interventions useful for this population Based on
Summary - Additional modules will focus on topics including… - Accommodations for the clinician to prevent exasperation and burnout. - FASD in the criminal justice system - Case management and Unmet needs for caregivers
Summary -Mental health is a biopsychosocial issue -A healthy body, positive emotional experiences, effective thinking strategies, positive environments and healthy interpersonal relationships are essential -A weakness in any of these areas can contribute to extended distress and HPA-Axis dysregulation which can lead to mental health or addiction relapse.
Summary ~ Neurotransmitters and hormones exist in a very delicate balance. ~ Changing one often results in a cascade of other changes ~ Mood and cognitive symptoms may be caused by problems with a variety of different neurotransmitters or hormones ~ Aging naturally reduces certain hormones and consequently neurotransmitters ~ Differential diagnoses requires exploring the possibility of a deficit in a neurotransmitter or hormone due to ~ Insufficient raw materials to make it ~ Deficiency in other chemicals that trigger its release ~ Excess of chemicals that degrade it or trigger reuptake ~ Problems in neuronal signaling within the system. ~ The human body is extremely complex ~ Symptoms of mood and cognitive disorders can be caused by a variety of problems in physiological systems ~ Cognitions and emotions can trigger the HPA-Axis and alter the functioning of internal systems and set off a cascade. ~ Effective treatment of mood and cognitive disorders requires addressing all physiological as well as psychological issues contributing to neurochemical imbalance.
Summary - Helping your body to balance hormones and neurotransmitters requires - Good nutrition and good health behaviors(exercise, sleep, breathing) to reduce physical stress and inflammation - Addressing cognitive and emotional stress
Summary ~ More than 60% of people have experienced ACEs ~ It is believed the rate of exposure to ACEs has increased significantly during COVID ~ Not everyone who experiences ACEs will develop traumatic injury ~ Injuries related to ACE trauma include: ~ Borderline and antisocial personality disorder ~ Mood disorders ~ PTSD ~ Addictions ~ Autoimmune issues including IBS, Chron’s, Diabetes ~ Heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, liver disease ~ Increased difficulty in interpersonal relationships due to above issues ~ Increased risk to become a perpetrator of ACEs #traumainformedcare #adversechildhoodexpoeriences #aces #mentalhealth
Mindfulness And SelfCare

Mindfulness And SelfCare


Mindfulness and Self Care to Prevent Burnout Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, PhD, LPC-MHSP Counselor Toolbox Podcast CEUs available at: Objectives – Identify signs and causes of burnout – Explore techniques for burnout prevention Signs of Burnout – Physical and emotional exhaustion – Insomnia – Impaired concentration or memory – Physical symptoms (heart palpitations, HBP) – […]
Explore PACER strategies to help children develop tools to stay healthy and happy Motivation ~ 5 Dimensions ~ Physical: Energy, comfort, health ~ Affective: Happy ~ Cognitive: Why is it something you would want to do? ~ Environmental: Prompts/Triggers; star charts; token economies ~ Relational: How will it make [caregiver] happy ~ Other ~ Seek […]
PACER Strategies for Mental Health ~ Relational ~ Social support to prevent distress and aid in coping and prevention of cognitive decline (which means supports need to be mentally and physically healthy too) ~ Significant others ~ Support groups ~ Spiritual leaders ~ Self esteem ~ Communication skills to ask for what is needed and maintain boundaries ~ Respite care for caregivers
Immunity and Mental Health
Summary - HIV impacts the person Physically, Affectively, Cognitively, Environmentally and Relationally - Behavioral health professionals can aid in screening for comorbid/confounding conditions and making referrals as appropriate - Behavioral health professionals can - Enhance and maintain motivation for treatment compliance - Assist in processing powerful emotions related to the diagnosis and associated issues - Introduce cognitive behavioral tools and strategies to help the person cope - Educate the individual, SOs and community about HIV transmission and treatment (reduce stigma and improve health behaviors)
Summary ~ Diabetes impacts people multidimensionally (PACER) ~ Counselors, social workers and case managers can assist through ~ Screening ~ Health education ~ Goal setting and planning ~ Motivational enhancement and maintenance ~ Addressing grief and anxiety issues associated with having a chronic illness
Summary - Employment provides a variety of benefits to the person in recovery - Self-Esteem - Structure - Financial independence - Social Support - A safe(er) place to practice new skills - ONet provides an online resource to identify career skills and abilities and jobs that fit the person - The first 6 months of employment often require significant support from a coach/sponsor/therapist - Maintaining Motivation - Identifying family of origin issues
Summary ~ Family approaches recognize the reciprocal impact of every individual and every relationship on the functioning of the whole system ~ Family systems resist change in favor of homeostasis ~ It is important to assess ~ The health and wellbeing of all members of the family ~ The PACER needs of each individual and their readiness for change for every treatment goal. ~ Develop a unified vision of what health and happiness look like and each person’s tasks in helping the family move toward that goal.
Comments (15)

Peter S

Very helpful free content!

Aug 3rd

Iris Huertas

this episode is cutting in and out. :(

Apr 21st

Donna Smith

I am addictive addiction and I find these podcasts really useful

Dec 8th

Jason Rohman

Thank you for the many relapse prevention tools I can share with my clients! How do I access the charts used for group and individual sessions mentioned in the podcast?

Jun 28th

Alyssa Guardiana

new to this... :) lets try

May 1st

Mail U

Simple, yet thought-provoking...

Apr 4th


Very good podcast

Mar 11th

Cassie Marie Jones

Your podcast is very helpful, both professionally and personally. Thank you so much for your continued efforts. You are awesome.

Dec 9th

Ian Robertson

This episode is so spot on. Thank you so much for providing such valuable insights.

Nov 22nd

Jacob Bacinski

great information. concise presentation. SO good.

Aug 30th

Kristine Hughes

As a Recreation Therapist, I could not love the content of this podcast more than I do.

Jul 25th

Jacob Bacinski

SUCH good information. Make sure you keep notepad handy.

Jun 18th

Kate Kluna

love go as well

May 28th

Werner van der Westhuizen

Awesome podcast. My go-to resource.

Apr 30th

Ashley MaclinMcclintock

I love your podcasts! They are SO helpful as a first year full-time MSW student!❤

Mar 5th
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