Our Latest Blogs

The Impact of Telehealth on Counseling Patients

woman on video call on laptop

Telehealth is an essential tool of the modern era—one boosted by Covid-19 and emerging technologies. In rural Michigan, the share of adults who used telehealth for remote monitoring or counseling rose from 10% to 17% in 2021. The rate of increase was even higher in 2020 when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services […]

Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Fact Sheet

compiled by Danielle Leblanc, MSW, Diversity Outreach Resource Specialist, Laurel House, Inc. & www.rtor.org Resources to Recover (www.rtor.org) and its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc., are committed to the advancement of racial equity and social justice, and to making mental health services available to all. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in […]

How Child Psychologists Help Children with Mental Health Problems

sad black girl

Mental health problems are more common than meets the eye, especially for children. It’s thought that about 15% of children and adolescents worldwide have a mental health disorder. Child psychologists and psychotherapists play an essential role in the treatment of mental health problems. They help children cope with stresses in their lives, assess mental health […]

How to Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy

concerned mother and teen daughter.

Teen Mental Health According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, nearly 20% of teens live with a mental health condition, 11% suffer from mood disorders, and 8% have some kind of anxiety disorder. Teens today face a completely different set of challenges from what their parents faced. The age of social media and online […]

Receiving VA Disability Benefits for Depression and Anxiety

worried man in business suit

It is always an honor to serve one’s country. However, no one really gets out of the military completely unscathed. According to the RAND research organization, there are more than nine million veterans who are currently enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. There was a time when the only […]

What is Mental Health: An Introduction to Mental Health Disorders and Their Symptoms

man walking on beach

Mental health includes a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It impacts everything we do—how we think, feel, and behave. In addition, it plays a role in how we cope with stress, relate to other people, and make certain choices. As a result, mental health is essential at every stage in life, whether childhood, adolescence, […]

Mental Health in an Unequal World

young African American woman sitting beside bed

The theme observed for this year’s World Mental Health Day (October 10, 2021) was ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World.’ The subject is apt and relevant for these times of social protest against various forms of inequality: classism, sexism, racism, discrimination based on sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability. The list is long, and the […]

How Family Mental Health Affects Child Development

mother and small child

Parenthood is not easy, and parents can often find themselves feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Children pick up on the emotional distress their caregivers may be experiencing, and like a sponge, they absorb these emotions. This can cause developmental issues if left unaddressed. Loving relationships with caring, responsible adults are essential to a child’s upbringing and […]

Deep Thoughts on the Origin, History, and Experience of Anxiety

shoes hangin off cliff over ocean

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Those words are from the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s treatise The Concept of Anxiety. His definition of anxiety makes intuitive sense. Anxiety is a mental condition you feel in your body. It can seize your gut with a nausea-inducing dizziness. Freedom comes with choice, and choice – specifically, the […]

Getting Help for Your PTSD: You Are Not Alone

black firefighter with gear.

Though PTSD is often mentioned in the same breath as the military, trauma can and does happen to anyone and comes in a nearly infinite variety of forms. Untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to many issues, some less severe like morning anxiety and others much worse, such as suicidal thoughts. No matter the […]

10 Ways Women Can Maintain Their Mental Health While in Addiction Recovery

multi-racial women on steps

Addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease. While there is no cure for addiction, it can be effectively treated. This typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Of the 20.4 million over-12s diagnosed with substance use disorder in the United States, there are some key differences between men […]

How to Adjust to a New Environment as a Person with Anxiety

diverse workplace

Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes. As with other mental states such as depression, individuals who occasionally have anxious feelings do not necessarily have to be clinically diagnosed and medicated. If the anxious feelings occur daily for an extended period, medical help is worth considering. However, if your anxiety stems from a new environment […]

Medicare Mental Health Coverage: An Ultimate Guide

open laptop

According to a report shared by the National Institute of Mental Health, around one in five U.S. adults live with mental illness. Seniors are at a higher risk for mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, particularly when their health deteriorates and they face difficulty managing numerous diseases. So if you’re having persistent feelings […]

The Art of Processing: un.packing Grief and Trauma in the Brain

young woman writing

The nature of a traumatic event is not completely generalizable and varies from person to person. What constitutes trauma for one person does not necessarily translate to trauma for another. Several factors can determine how a person experiences crisis or otherwise stressful life events. Pain tolerance is not merely an attribute of physical hurt. Emotional […]

LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources: Barriers and Disparities in LGBTQ Mental Health and Healthcare

gay couple head on shoulder

The last few decades have seen numerous signs of progress for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) community. But even as equal rights continue to expand, there are numerous issues the community faces that have historically been difficult to address. LGBTQ+ mental health disparities still exist within the healthcare world, but it’s important […]

How to Support Veterans with PTSD on Memorial Day

man with beard and baseball cap

For many civilians, Memorial Day weekend means relaxation and barbecues, family and friends, and maybe a bit of travel. However, because it is a day dedicated to our fallen men and women in uniform, Memorial Day can be challenging for some veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The condition can conjure painful memories, images, […]

The Impact of PTSD on Family Members

crying woman beside bed

What is PTSD? Ever been frightened and unable to sleep after watching a horror movie due to nightmares or feeling on edge? Ever been scared the first time you rode a roller coaster and thought to yourself that you would never ride it again? Well, these feelings and emotions are completely normal for such situations. […]

Finding Myself after Trauma and Alcoholism

I woke up nauseous, with a splitting headache again for the third morning in a row. I couldn’t blame it on being sick or anything else because only my bad decision-making was responsible for the state I was in. You see, I was a functioning alcoholic. I was in a high-stress military job where the […]

12 Step Programs for Addiction Recovery

steps in woodland park

Twelve-step programs are structured support groups for people who want to get help for addiction and various other destructive behaviors. It is the most common form of addiction support around the world and is used by millions of people. The basic premise of 12 step programs is for members to adopt and follow a set […]

The Role of Technology in Addiction and Recovery

hands on keyboard

There is no single aspect of healthcare in the modern digital world that is not impacted by technology. Like most things in life, there is a duality at play regarding the positive and negative role of technology on personal well-being. Relying on the media consumed via smartphones and tablets, people can either improve their mental […]

Common Misconceptions about Addiction and Mental Health in Young Adults

teen smoking bubbler pipe

Being a young adult isn’t easy. Late teens to early twenties mark a stage in life when many people struggle with developing a healthy sense of worth in a world that feels like it is constantly changing. On top of that, young adults have to deal with pressures from external sources such as their parents, […]

Treating Addiction and Anxiety Disorders

glass of alcoholic drink

Addiction and anxiety are serious disorders that can damage your physical and psychological wellbeing. In many cases, treatment is the only way to break the cycle. While anxiety occurs due to our body’s natural response to stress, addictions usually develop over time. About 8.1% of the total United States Population (21.7 million people) is either […]

5 Ways You Can Prioritize Your Mental Health in 2021

open sign

2020 was a challenging year not only for Americans but for almost everyone. People’s mental and emotional wellbeing took significant hits throughout the year. 2020 featured several full-blown moments which drained many people’s mental state, from a series of natural disasters to the global pandemic and multiple political and social issues. Not to mention that […]

How Long Does it Take to Overcome Depression?

man thinking

Depression is a serious mental health condition that is characterized by feelings of sadness and hopelessness. If you’re going through depression, you might wonder how long it will last. While there is no average for how long it can take to overcome depression, it’s not uncommon for feelings of hopelessness to last several months. In […]

4 Ways the Pandemic is Impacting Our Mental Health

lone man in terminal

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a major dent in the mental health of people across the world. Whether we look at what’s gone viral – back when everything on the internet was cake – or follow the impacts on mental health and substance use, it is clear that this year will […]

How to Maintain Sobriety During the Holidays

holiday alcohol bottles

Christmas and the holiday season bring joy and a sense of hope to many people worldwide, but for a person in addiction recovery, the holidays can also be a stressful time. If you’re new to sobriety, you may be dreading the holiday season, from events that have a heavy alcohol presence to avoiding relapse during […]

The Risk of PTSD after a Car Accident

car crash

The experience of being in a car accident can be traumatic and frightening, so it should come as no surprise that car accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general population. Unfortunately, car accidents are not an uncommon occurrence, with about six million happening in the U.S. every year, about […]

Can Stress and Anxiety Trigger ADHD?

stressed out boy

Can stress and anxiety trigger ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)? Can ADHD trigger stress or anxiety?

What’s the link between these three conditions?

If you are living with ADHD, you may want to know if the condition can also cause you stress and anxiety. Again, if you are experiencing stress or anxiety, you may want to know if there are chances of developing ADHD.

7 Sober Hobbies to Help You Overcome Drug and Alcohol Addiction

black couple cooking

Deciding to be sober is the first step to getting treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. The decision to stop may not be easy, especially if you have been into it for a long time and have already gone through detox and treatment but weren’t successful. However, with the help of professionals, and with the […]

Understanding Addiction as a Disease: A Guide for Friends and Family

supportive hands

If you have a loved one who struggles with substance use, you might have wondered what triggers the behavior. Is it a choice? Genes? Oftentimes it can be hard for friends and family to understand addiction, but science might make it easier. Researchers have confirmed that addiction has nothing to do with morality or willpower. […]

How to Avoid Anxiety and Take Control in Times of Uncertainty

young man thinking

We live in uncertain times. The coronavirus pandemic took everyone by surprise, and even though this prolonged break is good for the environment, it turns out to be damaging for some people. The way we relate to events around us tells something about ourselves. Some people might have seen this pandemic and lockdown as something […]

Elizabeth Jorgensen, CADC

Elizabeth-Jorgensen Headshot

Elizabeth Jorgensen is a certified alcohol and drug counselor who specializes in adolescent and young adult psychotherapy and substance abuse counseling. Liz has over 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist and is a nationally recognized expert in counseling, particularly in engaging resistant teens and motivating them to change.

The Link Between Insomnia and Depression

man laying in bed

Nothing is more frustrating than tossing and turning all night when you should be sleeping. Lying there, anticipating the alarm going off at 6:00 am as the hours tick by, can cause deep distress. You cringe when considering the coming day, knowing that you will be functioning on fumes. Insomnia is one of the most […]

How COVID-19 Quarantine is Testing Recovering Addicts

stressed adult male

When Manhattan set the standard for quarantine lockdown, liquor stores were famously considered essential. Soon enough, bars were allowed to order take-and-go cocktails and drinks as if it were an east coast Las Vegas. Today, liquor stores are one of the few industries that aren’t just surviving amidst a pandemic, but absolutely thriving. For those […]

Stress and the Isolating Effects of COVID-19 Make Suicide Prevention Awareness More Important Now Than Ever

sad teen with smartphone.

This week marks National Suicide Prevention Week, a week when we are urged to learn more about suicide and how each of us can take steps to prevent deaths by suicide in our communities and our country. This year it comes after months of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and as many of us face the stress of family members returning to school, college, or work under uncertain conditions. With so much on our minds and with a pandemic threatening our health, is it really important to talk about suicide? The answer is yes.

Managing Your Addiction Virtually During the COVID-19 Pandemic

window view of rainbow

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive worldwide disruption in addition to untold physical and financial devastation, negatively impacting countless areas of our lives. Unfortunately, this has hit more areas than many of us ever would have dreamed, and that includes addiction services. Due to the pandemic, hundreds of millions of people were forced to stay […]

9 Tips for Managing Anxiety During Quarantine

woman in yoga pose

We may not even be aware of the powerful role our mind plays in determining our mental health. Even when we feel that things are under control and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic is manageable, our brain could be telling the mind a totally different story. Brain chemistry is highly sensitive to our emotions, whether […]

What Adult ADHD Is Like for People at Midlife

distracted man with smartphone

Did you know that about 3.3 percent of adults between 44 and 85 years have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? What this means is that about 70 million adults may not be aware that they have ADHD until the challenges and demands of life become overwhelming and unbearable. Adults who may be facing the challenges of caring […]

Art Therapy Is More Important Now than Ever During the COVID-19 Pandemic

family art time

Art, by definition, is the expression of human creativity and imagination. Visual art can take many different forms and express a multitude of emotions. Whether you are creating art for the first time or returning to practice, it can be a powerful way to cope with stressful times. At the time this article was written, […]

Stamford, Connecticut

Located northeast of New York City, Stamford is the third-largest city in Connecticut with a population of over 130,000. It is the fastest-growing city in the state with a rapidly growing millennial population. The community of Stamford is racially and ethnically diverse, with more than one out of three residents (35%) being foreign-born. […]

EMDR Therapy for Trauma Recovery

trauma recovery image

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is how very precious, and how very fragile, our health is. But all the physical strength, stamina, and well-being in the world mean nothing if you don’t also have peace in your mind and tranquility in your spirit. Unfortunately, for far too many people, that kind […]

The Difference Between Normal Aging and Dementia

senior couple hugging

A Note from the Editor May 7, 2020, is National Older Adults Mental Health Awareness Day. Many older people will behave in a way that makes us wonder about their mental health. Sometimes the changes we notice are just part of the normal aging process. But they could also be the signs of emerging dementia. […]

Coping with Coronavirus Quarantine: Resources for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Mental Health Conditions

mother and daughter face masks

By now, we have all heard reports of how the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown are affecting mental health. Social isolation, job loss, disruption of routines, and grief or fear of losing loved ones have created conditions that seem likely to set off an explosion of depression and anxiety. Meanwhile, 22% of Americans over the […]

Coronavirus COVID-19 Resources and Information

Laurel House and rtor.org are here to help the communities where we operate in Connecticut and New York. In addition to our weekly blog posts on coping with the coronavirus pandemic and mental health, we encourage our users to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and local news reports regularly for updates. […]

The Importance of Surrender in Addiction Recovery

man praying

I am coming up on five years in recovery from drugs and alcohol. A remarkable feat for me personally as I spent many years attempting to get sober. From the ages of 21 to 26, I went to a handful of treatment centers. Going in, I truly did want to stop doing drugs and wanted […]

Depression and Its Effect on Your Life

woman in bed

Clinical depression is also called a major depressive mood disorder. It is a serious and common medical condition, which negatively affects the way you feel, act, and think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8.1 percent of Americans aged 20 and over experienced depression in a given two-week period. Different people experience […]

Facts About Co-Occurring Disorders That Often Go Unnoticed

Most of us know someone personally who struggles with a dual diagnosis, or the presence of a substance use disorder and coexisting mental health disorder. Many people rely on the numbing effects of a substance to help them manage a difficult mental health issue. Sadly, the end result is often two co-occurring disorders that only […]

Does the Addictive Personality Really Exist?

addictive personality

If someone were to ask what types of people get addicted to drugs or alcohol, most of the population would be able to offer a few general ideas. They may say that individuals with an “addictive personality” would be the ones most likely to become inadvertently and unhealthily preoccupied and reliant on a substance. Yet […]

Teen Rehab: Stigma vs. Need

addicted teens

Drug rehab is considered so universally uncool that there’s even a top 10 hit song about it. 2006’s “Rehab” was written and performed by Amy Winehouse, a musician who struggled with illicit substances throughout her short life. And in 2011, Winehouse tragically lost her battle with addiction. She was just 27. It was Winehouse’s former […]

The Power of Positive Self-Image for Those in Recovery

Self Reflection

Holistic healing refers to the treatment of the whole person to achieve optimal wellness. And for those recovering from substance abuse, taking a holistic approach to care may be the key to success and lifelong freedom from drugs and alcohol. The recovery process, therefore, should be a multifaceted endeavor involving physical healing from addiction as […]

What a Whole Year of Recovery Can Do for Someone with an Addiction Problem

You had heard it all before. While still in active addiction, well-meaning friends and family members tried to assure you that your life would be immensely better if you would just get some help. They promised you repeatedly that if you got sober, and stayed that way, you would enjoy a fulfilling and prosperous life. […]

Mountain Lake Academy

RtoR Family-Endorsed Provider Profile   Mountain Lake Academy Lake Placid, NY Mountain Lake Academy is a therapeutic residential school for adolescent boys and young men, ages 12 to 21, with emotional and learning difficulties that have impacted their ability to be successful in home or school. Student challenges may include anxiety, school avoidance, lack of […]

Effective Ways to Help a Loved One with an Addiction Problem

helping hands

It’s painful to watch someone you love struggle with drug or alcohol abuse. You know he or she can benefit from professional help, but how do you breach the topic and how do you convince someone who is reluctant to seek treatment to go to rehab? Substance abuse is often accompanied by feelings of shame […]

Alarming Facts About Suicide in the United States

sad woman

Suicides in the United States are on the rise. The number of people who die by their own hand every year is roughly equivalent to the number of people who overdose on prescription pain killers. Yet there is virtually no press coverage or public debate about the matter. On average, 129 people die by suicide […]

Mental Health and Homelessness: An Update

Mental Health and Homelessness

Nearly every time there’s a public conversation about homelessness, the topic of mental health becomes a major talking point. For instance, the California Policy Lab released data in October 2019 on the prevalence of health problems among homeless populations in Los Angeles, and concluded that mental illness is a key cause of homelessness. Further, unsheltered […]

Treating Depression While in Addiction Recovery

calm waters

Recovery from addiction is said to be simple, but not easy. I have no doubt that for many people this holds true. But for some, like myself, there is more than one illness of the mind to fight. Going through recovery with a dual diagnosis adds an extra layer to addiction recovery and can make […]

How Does Someone Develop Co-Occurring Disorders?

co-occurring disorder

By John Kahal, CEO of Capo by the Sea Imagine being trapped in the vicious cycle of both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. On a daily basis, one condition continually aggravates and fuels the other, regardless of which one happened to emerge first. The co-occurring disorders, often referred to as a […]

Looking for Help with a Mental Health Problem? Consider Trying Group Therapy

group therapy room

When it comes to substance abuse or mental health problems, you may have looked into the benefits that therapy can have for you. However, you may have overlooked the positive impact  group counseling can have on your situation and your psyche When you are looking for help for a substance abuse or mental health problem, […]

Stressed-Out, Anxious, and Depressed on Campus – A Review of a New Guidebook for Parents on the Challenges of College for Today’s Emerging Adults

college stress

The Stressed Years of Their Lives: Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years A review of the new book by Janet Hibbs, PhD, MFT and Anthony Rostain, MD, MA A depressed young adult named Nick lives at home with his parents, playing video games all night and rarely venturing outside of the […]

10 Coping Techniques When on the Verge of Addiction Relapse

Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention

It is an oft-used phrase that “relapse is a normal part of recovery.” No one ever wants to relapse back into substance use. Not really. They may romance the past or desire the buzz, but anyone who has devoted so much time, attention, and treasure to overcoming addiction surely doesn’t desire to fall down. Regardless […]

Dual Diagnosis: The Connection Between Mental Health and Addiction

man at lighthouse

More than two decades ago, researchers found that treating one person for two behavioral health disorders — even simultaneously — at two separate clinics or care providers was often ineffective. Parallel treatment was the norm at the time. Yet the need for a more combined treatment approach for those with substance abuse issues and a […]

Tips for Setting Priorities During Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

recovery priorities mental health

Seeking help and starting the beginning stages of recovery is extremely hard, but following through with continued recovery is a battle in itself. Recovery lasts a lifetime, whether you’re managing substance abuse, mental health symptoms, or both. How you balance and sort your priorities when you’re in recovery has a big hand in your long-term […]

Co-occurring Disorders: The Link Between PTSD and Addiction

Most people who struggle with an addiction problem have also experienced significant past trauma. By the same token, 50-66% of individuals diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also live with co-occurring addiction disorders. The presence of one or more mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs) in the same person is referred to as co-occurring […]

Struggling with Depression and the Natural Road to Recovery

healthy biking

Over the last few years, depression has become much more widespread. We’ve all heard it before, “mental health issues don’t discriminate,” and that quote couldn’t be more accurate. Depression impacts people in the suburbs and on farms, in inner cities and refugee camps, in boardrooms and in classrooms. It is estimated that over 300 million […]

Dabs, Wax, Vaping Weed, Edibles and the Real Impact of High Potency THC Products: What Parents Need to Know

vaping cannabis.

During the month of September www.rtor.org will be observing National Recovery Month with a guest blog series on addiction and substance use disorders. For our second article in this series, we are featuring a guest post from Elizabeth Driscoll Jorgensen, owner of Insight Counseling, LLC, in Ridgefield, CT, and Consultant to Family-Endorsed Provider Newport Academy at its […]

The Link Between Addiction and Anxiety

The Link Between Anxiety and Addiction

Everybody at some point will experience periods of uncertainty and unease in their lives. This can lead to feelings of anxiety. Luckily for most people, these feelings are temporary and will recede with some simple breathing exercises and a re-evaluation of the problem that is causing them stress. However, this is not the case for […]

Is Addiction a Disease or a Decision?

Is Addiction a Disease or a Decision?

This September, www.rtor.org is observing National Recovery Month with a guest blog series on addiction and substance use disorders. To kick-off the special series on addiction and co-occurring disorders we open with a guest blog post from Ken Seeley, an internationally acclaimed interventionist and founder and C.E.O. of Ken Seeley Communities. Imagine waking up one […]

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