New Year, New Podcast To Listen To

New Year, New Podcast to Listen To

By Adam Maurer, LPC, LMFT

I always know when that new year begins because my gym fills with people, folks who have resolved that this year will be the year that they workout. And though I hope they reach their fitness goals, a part of me is bummed because I know my usual gym routine will be slowed way down. So, instead of getting frustrated with long waits for equipment, I decided that I could use that extended time at the gym to listen to podcasts. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of love, sex, and relationships while you wait for your machine (or in endless Austin traffic) then give these ones a listen.


Sexting History

This sex-positive podcast does a phenomenal job of mixing the perspectives of experts in different fields with the narratives of people who experienced events firsthand. The editing is wonderful, and the podcast is amazingly informative. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode “Touch Me! I’m Yours!” It explores how evangelical women in the United States created their own guide to marriage as a response to the free love movement and women’s rights movement of the 60’s and 70’s.


Where Should We Begin

Esther Perel, famed therapist, and author of “Mating in Captivity” and “The State of Affairs” has the most incredible podcast for anyone interested in relationships. She uses audio from sessions with clients to explore and explain the complexities of human connection. As a relationship expert, I can tell you that the podcast is like free therapy, find it and love it!


The Science of Sex

Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, Ph.D. is the beautiful, sex-positive mind behind The Casual Sex Project where she archives people’s’ stories about casual sex and hooking up. Her podcast explores all areas of sexuality; from kinks and fetishes to sexting, being out and sex toys. There is always great insights from this top sex researcher.


Q Marriage Mentors

Jeff Lutes, LPC is an established relationship expert from right here in Austin. He invites LGBTQ+ couples to come onto his podcast and discuss how they met; how they manage the ups and downs of loving others. Now, to be fair, I know Jeff personally and he is an amazing human; he also had my husband and me on as guests. We talked about being more than monogamous, which you can listen to our episode, “Karaoke, The Golden Girls, & Radical Authenticity.” Learn about all the ways there are to love.


These interesting podcasts are a great way to start off the new year and make the most of your time spent waiting. If you’re looking to have some changes in 2019 therapy is a great place to start! It’s a safe, encouraging environment to explore how you can achieve your goals in life. Contact us today for a counseling appointment and we can pair you up with clinical who’d be a great fit or learn more about our marriage counseling services.

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How much does counseling in austin cost

How Much Does Counseling Cost in Austin?

Counseling prices vary a lot by the market, by the provider, number of years of experience, specialization, and by service. In Austin, counseling on average tends to cost between $100 – $200 per hour and the average being around $150. If you want to know more specifics on how much does counseling cost, check out some pointers below:

  • Some therapists take insurance however, there are a number of therapists moving away from insurance due to difficulties with insurers. This includes things like slow payment, poor reimbursement rates, no increase in payment amount despite years of experience and advanced training, poor case management on the part of the insurance company, some insurers are more focused on profit than quality care, and case reviews that require informing insurance companies about specific details of your treatment.
  • Younger therapists are often cheaper than more experienced therapists. They can range from $40- $80 per hour.
  • Couples counseling often tends to cost more than individual therapy. Sometimes this is due to the fact couples can require more work and therapists can’t see as many of them. This fee can range from $125 – $400 an hour. Many therapists will encourage clients to do 90-120 minute sessions to make sure whatever issues come up to have time to skillfully be resolved.
  • Niche specialties and that have extensive training tend to cost more. They often have extensive training and experience in this area that others don’t and supply often outstrips demand.
  • The number of years of experience a therapist has tends to increase their price. The more trained and experienced a therapist is, the more quickly they can help in correctly assessing an issue and providing a solution that they are well trained in implementing.
  • Psychologists tend to cost more since they go to school for a longer period of time and they have a Ph.D.
  • Psychiatrists also sometimes do therapy as well. They tend to be the most expensive on this list of options since they have an MD and can also do medication management. They tend to range from $300-$500 an hour.

If you are curious about our counseling prices or if you are looking for affordable counseling in Austin, check out the provided links.

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What are panic attacks?

What Are Panic Attacks?

By Daniel Hochman, MD and William Schroeder, LPC

Have you ever wondered what are panic attacks and why do people have them? Panic attack symptoms can be incredibly debilitating and embarrassing, and change the way people live. If they make you avoid grocery store and roads, it makes life pretty darn hard to navigate. You may have seen someone experience one, or even suffer from it yourself.

Let’s start with the basics. A panic attack is basically a sudden and unexpected feeling of terror that’s way out of proportion to the actual situation. About one in 20 U.S. adults has one at some point in their lives, with women being twice as likely to experience them.  Here are the common signs and symptoms:

  • Internal symptoms – Usually people sense a racing heart, sometimes with chest pain. It is not infrequent that we have a client come into therapy after they have had several emergency room visits because these symptoms can feel like a heart attack (in fact, most chest pain seen in the ER is due to anxiety and not heart attacks). As far as thoughts go, people feel a sense of doom, might even feel like they’re dying and feel totally out of control. To make it even more fun, people usually feel faint, woozy, tingly in their hands, and might sense a lump in their throat.
  • External symptoms – On the outside, breaths are more rapid. You will notice the person looking quite uncomfortable, at a loss for what to do, and have a hard time making eye contact. Their skin can get sweaty and pale.

What’s the difference between anxiety and panic attacks?

As far at the timing, the major difference is that panic attacks are more intense and usually peak at around 10 minutes, and last less than an hour. Anxiety, on the other hand, can last many hours, or even years. When you ask someone to describe a panic attack, there’s usually a focus on the panic itself, with a fear of having another panic attack. And whatever fear they can describe will usually sound quite unnecessary. If you ask someone with anxiety to describe what’s going on their head, they can usually describe one or several things clearly on their mind about what’s bothering them.

The horrible positive feedback loop

With panic attacks, usually, it starts with just one small fear. Like a fear that people at the mall will be judging you. When you feel scared, your body reacts as if there’s a physical threat. And when your body reacts, it convinces your mind that there’s actually a major threat out there, which only makes the mind more scared, which only makes your body even more hyped up… and so on. What’s more, you start to notice you get scared of the mall during your drive over. And then you start to get worked up about thinking about leaving the house with your car at all. And then you get scared you’re having a heart attack or going to pass out, etc. This is the vicious positive feedback loop where now there is an entire cycle of fear, and the fear feeds itself. No longer is it the initial fear of a crowd, but it’s the drive, the road, the keys to the car, a friend’s invitation to go out, and the symptoms. They all compound. This is the idea behind how panic attacks hit so fast and hard. When I can help my patients explore their primary fear, say a fear about a crowd judging them, it helps reign in the rest. They can begin to emotionally process the underlying issue, and there’s no more fire for the rest of the feedback loop to feed.

If this article was of interest to you, also check out our blog post on why do we get nervous. If we can be of help, you might also want to read more about anxiety counseling or you can contact us to make a counseling appointment.

Daniel Hochman, MD is the founder of Self Recovery, a private online addiction recovery program. It is ideal for those in therapy or post-discharge from rehab and need ongoing programming. The program will help to continue developing prior skills and teach new ones to create a more complete approach.

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Taking Back Turkey Day

Taking Back Turkey Day!

by Adam Maurer, LMFT, LPC 

Thanksgiving is one of the most challenging holidays for some folx. Sandwiched in between two major month-long events, Halloween and Christmas, turkey day seems rather charming from afar. It’s the kickoff to the holiday season. A short twenty-four hours packed with football, parades, and pumpkin pie. The hardest part of the day for some people will be to hold their tongue while their distant relative prattles on about their political beliefs (also check out our Survival Tips for Holiday Homecomings). A small price to pay for an all you can eat turkey buffet. If you’re really fortunate then you get a four day weekend out of the celebration. So, what is there not to like? There are plenty of reasons people don’t like a conventional Thanksgiving celebration. Colonialism and sexism are often an undercurrent of the holiday. A Disneyesque retelling of what happened to Native Americans challenges some folx ability to joyfully engage in the festivities. Check out this article from the Smithsonian to better understand this concept.

Also, The holiday centers on an elaborate meal that takes a great deal of time, thought, and energy to prepare. This task might fall on the shoulders of women, women who may not particularly enjoy: fighting for a butterball at a crowded grocery store, getting up at 6:00 AM to make sure the turkey is ready for lunch, playing hostess to guests, or cleaning up after a feast. The social script for men on this holiday often allows for much more free time, to either enjoy the game or to hunt. Thanksgiving can also be particularly painful for people with strained family ties. On a day that celebrates homecomings and family relationships, many members of the LGBTQ+ community are not welcome home simply for expressing their authentic selves. So, what alternatives are there to all of this? That’s where I come in! There are so many ways to enjoy some time off together beyond the traditional celebration, so here are some new ideas to get you started on creating your own rituals.

Cooking Competition

Make your Friendsgiving the best with a cooking competition! It brings together your community while having the task of cooking a feast spread out to everyone. You can really spice it up by making your own trophy. To be honest, I tend to be ultra competitive and the idea of bringing home a coveted trophy only makes the event more spirited in my opinion. Another beautiful thing about this activity is that it allows for folks to create dishes they love and they get to share them with their community. You might just find a new favorite dish, or experience something that is truly meaningful for a guest to make.

Wine/Beer/Liquor Tasting

Another way to enjoy a day with your community is to do a tasting of your group’s favorite adult beverages. Last Thanksgiving I hosted a champagne tasting with guests, which was an absolute blast. You can rank the beverages by ballot or conversation, all so that the winning libation can emerge and be offered at future gatherings. You can even set up pairings with different courses of your meal.


Make your own putt-putt course at home. Community, competition, fun; and hot tip: if you have some restless kids let them design the course from items you already have. You can typically find some old putters at thrift stores or Amazon has one for under $25. What’s great about this activity is that it can be outdoors or indoors, depending on the weather. Here is an opportunity to make another trophy, I really love to win and take home the gold!

Camp Out

You can forgo all the turkey day hoopla and just enjoy time in nature. A few days away from it all can be relaxing before the gauntlet of holiday obligations begin in December. Also, you might just catch the last few warmish days of the year before it gets colder. What a great time to spend with your chosen family!

Thanksgiving, and any holiday really, are what we make of them. So why not choose to make holidays something that are wonderful for everyone involved? It can be time to reflect on what you want out of life, appreciate the love you have, or take a healthy risk and try something new. If the holidays are creating too much stress for you, therapy can be a wonderful place to find relief. Talking with a skilled clinician can provide a place to do the raw processing of your thoughts and feelings so that you’re better able to present them to loved ones in a way that might be easier to hear. Take care of yourself this turkey day, and every day.

If you feel that holiday stress puts a damper on your ability to enjoy this special time of year, you can contact us to make a counseling appointment. We have excellent clinicians and offer personal growth counseling for helping with stress and family and parenting counseling if you need assistance with family gatherings.

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