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We have 2 offices: 109 S. 10th Street in Lexington MO and 601 NW Jefferson Street, Suite 5A in Blue Springs, MO
660-259-3900 TCCT is moving to Odessa on July 15, 2018! Brand new office! Same services! We will continue to be here in Lexington until then.

coping skills

Men Have Feelings Too–No, Really

One of my favorite parts of my practice is counseling men who have been court ordered to see me because they were convicted of domestic violence.  Some people can hardly believe I say this.  They cannot believe I would even consider helping these men especially being a domestic violence survivor myself.  “Why not?” I ask.  “Who else is going to?”  They usually aren’t in jail and most of the time they are back home with the victim.  I explain I would much rather educate, motivate, counsel, and help men become better men, better spouses and partners, better parents, better friends, better co-workers.

I have found treating these men with dignity, respect and kindness has actually made a difference.  Most of the men who have been ordered to see me are likeable, hard working, smart, decent people.  Most of them were taught how to interact with women and others by their parents and caregivers.  It is generational like most things.  You might also note our society tends to teach men it is ok to be angry or happy, but certainly not sad.  And for godsake DON’T CRY!  They have pushed feelings down and internalized their sadness, disappointment, and shame.  They have used this as an excuse to harm their partners and others.

Let me make myself perfectly clear.  Domestic violence is not ok.  Hitting people and calling names and controlling people is not ok.  These men are asked to be accountable for their own behaviors and not blame their victims.  I help them learn to realize that no matter what someone does to them, they are still responsible for their own behaviors.

Our curriculum is based on the Duluth Model.  We discuss power and control they use towards partners and children and how it has affected everyone in their lives.  I educate them on ways to manage emotions and use them properly.  I give them an opportunity and encourage them to tell their story without judgment in a safe environment with other men who have behaved the same way.  It is fascinating and, many times, amazing to see them help one another through situations.

We give these men a place to come if they ever need to return before they abuse again.  Many times they ask for couples counseling, individual counseling and even counseling for their children when they complete their court ordered domestic violence group counseling.  It is a true joy when they realize it is a good thing to have feelings, discuss them and heal from their past.  I call this a win.

Not everyone can be rehabilitated, but I would not be a therapist if I did not believe people can change with the right tools, someone to trust in their process, and make a personal choice to do so.

 

Mike Koch, MS, LPC

52_TCCT_Aug2015Mike has worked for the Missouri Division of Youth Services for almost three decades; he will retire from there in March. During that time he was in residential program management for 12 years. He was a Regional Family Specialist for 10 years, providing individual and family counseling for the students who are placed there.  For the past few years, Mike has been in the position of Regional Clinical Coordinator. His experience in residential treatment has allowed him to work extensively with survivors of trauma (sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and domestic violence), adolescents and children with sexual behavior problems, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.  Since joining the group practice at The Center for Counseling and Training, Mike has received training in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  Mike received his Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in 2010. He served his internship at the Child Abuse Protection Association (CAPA) in Independence, Missouri, where he gained experience in non-directive play therapy. Mike joined The Center for Counseling & Training in June 2013. He prefers to work with middle school and high school students, adults of all ages, people with mild intellectual disabilities, couples, families and groups.  His approach is person-centered, strengths-based and solution-focused.  It emphasizes building resilience, coping skills, protective factors and strengths so that people may not just face and manage the problems of life but flourish in their everyday existence.  His approach to counseling is eclectic.  He seeks to apply theoretical approaches in an individualized manner that specifically meet the needs of each individual client.  He has experience in the utilization of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).  Key components of his counseling work includes mindfulness and meditative techniques. Mike is a co-facilitator for The Center for Counseling & Training’s Batterers Intervention Program.

Mike is married to Mary; they resides in Odessa, Missouri.

What is Play Therapy?

Play is an essential part of development in childhood.

As children grow, they use play to practice new skills, communicate with others, and relieve stress.

Play therapy uses what we know about how children use play to help clients process trauma, express their feelings, and practice coping skills. Play therapy lets children be active and engaged in the therapy process in a safe and accepting environment. When children are not able to express how they feel through words, they can use puppets, art, toys, and sand tray.

Play therapy also helps children begin to develop the words to tell us how they are feeling. Research suggests that play therapy is effective in helping a variety of issues (see Association for Play Therapy for more information).

Registered Play Therapists are mental health professionals who have completed additional training and supervision in play therapy and how to use play to help clients meet their therapy goals.

Vicki Knipmeyer and Amy Dobson at The Center for Counseling and Training both have specialized training in play therapy.