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anxiety

Tom Corporon, MS, LPC

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Tom Corporon has embarked upon a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor after 31 years in education as a teacher, counselor and administrator. He joined The Center for Counseling and Training in January 2015. He recently completed all of the requirements to become fully licensed as a therapist.

Tom is trained in multiple areas including marriage and family, depression, anxiety, child and adult abuse, as well as trauma. His specialty is marriage and family counseling. Tom enjoys working with couples, families, and individuals 13 and up.

Tom has been married for 38 years to Melanie. They have two grown sons as well as two dogs and a cat.

This Therapist is in Therapy

I have been a licensed therapist since 1995. (I often joke I started when I was 10!) Everyone has heard the adage that most therapists become therapists because they need therapy themselves. I believe there is truth to that. I will tell you I have done a lot of my own personal growth work over the years. I have gone to individual counseling and therapy. I have gone to family therapy. I have gone to couples therapy. I have learned a lot and have applied it to my life throughout the years. I will have to say working with a group of other therapists, having a group of true friends , and growing in personal faith has helped as well.

Where I still struggle is with anxiety. I go through bouts of it when I am around people I do not know, when I am asked to do something I have never done. I am an outgoing, silly person. Many people who find out I have this problem think I am kidding. I assure you I am not. A close friend of mine urged me numerous times to come with her to CrossFit. She is a beast, freakishly strong; I told her I was afraid to try it because I am not as strong. She assured me I would not feel like I was weak and I would be given positive reinforcement. I kept putting her off. I had been working out at a gym. I was working hard and had come a long way on my own. I finally promised her I would go in January. Exercise is an excellent way to decrease anxiety and depression and I was doing just fine. But, I kept my promise.

I started at the same time the CrossFit gym was beginning a 7-week challenge. The male and female who made the most changes in their workout, weight, etc… would win a month free of CrossFit. Unfortunately, I did not get to start the first week due to a family emergency. Fortunately, it did not ever occur to me I was not in the running to win until the day we re-did our measurements and weight. I look back and wonder if I would have tried as hard. They asked us to do the Slow Carb Diet as written by Tim Farris. This diet meant no dairy, no wheat, no sugar. I could have one “cheat meal” per week. The rest of the week it would be meat, beans, and vegetables. Ugh, I thought. I decided to go all in. I love to cook so I started looking for new recipes.

These workouts have been more intense and painful than any other workout I have done in my life. Both physically and emotionally. The physical pain is something I can handle; it is a way for me to tell I am doing some good work. It is the emotional pain that has been the hardest for me. I was not an athlete as a kid. I hated PE. My brother still teases me about the one season of Parks and Rec softball I did because I was so bad at it. CrossFit is touching on all of that shame and fear I had as a teenager in middle school and high school PE class. I was never pushed physically by my parents. I was not a child who was encouraged to do sports. I have struggled with my weight from nine years old. I have found an area of my life where I have not done justice for myself. It is therapeutic and my therapist is a long-time PE and sports coach. Here was my biggest fear right there in full color, pushing me, coaching me, encouraging me, scaring the sh** out of me. So I keep going. At least four times a week for therapy. I get nervous every morning when I go because I know I am going to have to try something new. I go anyway and I am so excited and happy when I leave because I am getting stronger, faster and more confident.

At the end of the seven (six for me) weeks, I have lost 6.5 pounds and 9.75 inches. This is the bonus to the “head work” I am doing. I write this on the first day of my second six weeks of CrossFit. I am going to keep going. This is the beginning of my therapeutic journey into my biggest fears. Stay tuned.

~Theresa Dotson Alexander, MS, LPC, NCC

Theresa Dotson Alexander, MS, LPC, NCC and Founder

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Theresa received her Bachelor of Science degree from Central Missouri State University and completed her Master of Science in Psychology degree there as well. Theresa moved to Lafayette County in 2006 where she worked as a therapist for Rodgers-Lafayette Health & Dental Center in Lexington, Missouri. In 2008, she started The Center for Counseling & Training. She has worked in many different settings and with all demographics throughout her career. She has been trained in working with offenders of domestic violence, teen issues, family and relationship matters, PTSD, victims of domestic violence, depression, anxiety, and many other areas. Theresa is a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors and the Missouri Mental Health Care Association. She has over 20 years of experience in the mental health and social services field.

Theresa’s approach is strength-based and positive. She enjoys working with all ages of clients and often uses humor as a way to help them manage stress. She is available for individual, couples, family, and group counseling as well as court-ordered and court-related matters.

Theresa is married with two daughters and a son.

Get off the Fence!

We often hear,

“Get off the fence and make a decision”

… as though being on the fence is a bad thing.

I’d like to encourage you to stop straddling the fence and take time to stay on the fence.  It is so easy to straddle the fence, with one foot in the past and one foot in the future.  The past frequently becomes something we use to judge our choices and decisions in a negative way.  The future can be filled with worry and fear.  As we judge how we’ve lived our life in the past and worry about how we’re going to live life in the future, we neglect to truly live today.

Take a moment on the fence.

Take time to get on the fence and be mindful of the present moment.  The present moment is what counselors refer to as the here-and-now.

Notice your surroundings, acknowledge you circumstances, be grateful for your relationships, and accept your life as it is.  Real living takes place in the present moment, so be mindful, get on the fence and choose to really live today.