South OC Counseling

Piper Walsh, Ph.D. PhD. Clinical Psychologist
Call Now (949) 370-4726

Therapy and Counseling for Children, Adolescents, Adults, Couples and Familes in South Orange County

Marriage Counseling Questions to Strengthen Your Relationship

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Sometimes, in life, things don’t always pan out, and this is especially true for marriages. While infidelity issues and misunderstandings can create a rift in the strongest relationships, the tried-and-true method of compromising can restore a bond that has been lost. For this reason, you and your partner should consult a compassionate counselor. Consider asking these marriage counseling questions to strengthen your relationship: 

What are the biggest problems in our marriage? 

This question forces you to gain a deeper understanding of what’s destroying the relationship. It also allows you to express how you really feel. Also, the key is to listen to your partner; try to see things from a different perspective. Once the biggest problems are revealed and addressed, you and your partner will be in a better position to find common ground again. 

What needs to change? 

Even if your behaviors and habits aren’t necessarily bad, they may still be a major source of annoyance. No one wants to come home and interact with a person who is vexatious. Therefore, it’s very important that you and your partner talk about the minor and major things that need to change. 

Is there any trust left? 

Trust is conducive to a strong, healthy marriage, so it’s the one component that you don’t want to lose. Unfortunately, if you’ve been unfaithful to your spouse, there might not be any trust left. This is where counseling can help. Infidelity issues and suspicious actions should be discussed so that everyone can better understand the reasons behind them. During each session with your counselor, you’ll have opportunities to show your spouse that you can be trusted again. Don’t hesitate to share your concerns if you think that you’ve also been betrayed. 

Do you still love what you see? 

Don’t get defensive if your spouse gives you an unfavorable answer. Whether it’s a complaint about your weight gain or a remark about your personality, you have to be willing to acknowledge how your spouse feels. More importantly, you should spare no effort to make some personal changes if you want your marriage to take a turn for the better. Lifelong unions are easier to maintain when the two people involved are open to improving themselves. 

How can we restore our bond? 

It doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re doing enough. Taking suggestions from your partner can only help because you’ll know exactly what to do to shrink the rift that has developed. In most marriages, bonds are broken due to poor communication skills. That’s why talking is definitely a requirement. If your spouse feels lonely or unappreciated, go out of your way to showcase your unconditional support and gratitude. Your counselor is trained to offer personalized solutions, so give marriage counseling a try if you truly want to strenghen you relationship.

Develop Solutions And Coping Skills

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Coping skills are mechanisms that you use to deal with stress and trauma. We all face difficult times in our lives, and sometimes we need help to get through them. You must develop solutions and coping skills whether you have one issue or multiple problems that cause stress, anxiety or depression. Dr. Piper Walsh compassionately helps people in South OC develop coping skills from therapy.

When Do People Need To Develop Coping Strategies?

There are many times in life when coping strategies are necessary. After a loss such as a divorce or the death of a loved one, coping strategies help people to continue their lives while they deal with anger, depression and grief. In some instances, coping strategies may be necessary after a positive life change. For example, some newlyweds may have difficulty adjusting to married life and may face emotional challenges. Also, the birth of a child or a job promotion may bring more joy to life but may also bring new types of stress. Dr. Walsh knows how to help people learn and use coping skills to get through any type of life change.

Types Of Coping Mechanisms And Strategies

Coping strategies usually include two major facets. Coping is needed because of a problem that causes emotional distress. A problem-focused strategy helps you deal with the person, incident or thing that causes the distress. An emotion-based strategy helps you deal with the negative feelings that arise from the problem. Learning to cope with only the problem but not with the feelings can be detrimental. This is why Dr. Walsh performs a thorough analysis and develops a comprehensive and personalized strategy for you.

Mechanisms for coping may be active or avoidant. Active coping is addressing the problem when it causes negative feelings. However, avoidant coping is avoiding the problem or stress source. These are some examples of common coping mechanisms:

  • Talking about the problem
  • Relaxing
  • Taking action
  • Humor
  • Physical activities

Think of a coping strategy as a holistic approach to dealing with what is troubling you. Also, a comprehensive coping strategy includes awareness and multiple actions or activities. Creating an ideal action plan depends on your individual needs, the problem, your feelings and your goals. Dr. Walsh will discuss these topics with you in greater detail and will help you build an effective action plan.

As time passes, improper coping mechanisms may turn into more complex issues. When a life change or problem arises, it is important to seek therapy as quickly as possible. You show care for yourself and for your mental health when you seek help. Reaching out for help is often the most difficult step of the process for some people. The good news is that once you reach out, you will have a personal advocate who is ready to help you succeed. If you are ready to learn beneficial coping skills from therapy, call South OC Counseling.

Dealing With The Loss Of A Child – Grief Counseling Can Help

Published by . Filed under Grief and Loss, Orange County Counseling. Total of no comments in the discussion.

When a person is dealing with the loss of a child, grief counseling can help. Grieving parents may visit support groups or may talk to friends who have also lost children. They often feel that it is harder to relate to people who have never experienced such a devastating loss. Although reaching out to others may provide some comfort, each person’s reactions to the loss of a child are different. Dr. Walsh works with many parents who feel that nobody understands the multiple facets of their grief.

Viewing Grief As A Unique Experience

Most people have heard of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her theory of five stages of grief. They include depression, denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance. Over the years, teachers and psychologists have applied these stages to many scenarios. However, recent studies and reports show that some people may not experience each of those stages. For example, one woman whose 20-year-old son died in a car accident said that she only felt numbness afterward. She did not feel that she experienced any of those five stages. While a feeling of loss will remain with a parent forever, every person expresses a variety of emotions. A parent’s history, memories, experiences and relationship with a deceased child are unique. Grief is related to those factors and many others.

Why One-on-one Counseling Is Helpful

A counselor who learns about a grieving parent’s loss can offer support that is tailored to the individual’s unique needs. According to multiple studies, one of the most profound types of grief is a parent’s loss of a child. However, humans have the ability to go through a devastating loss and come out changed but not broken.

If parents do not receive adequate bereavement counseling, some may develop complicated grief. This type of grief includes symptoms of trauma and separation distress. Complicated grief is more common among parents whose children die unexpectedly or suddenly. If a parent has other children to care for, grief will affect them too. Research shows that siblings are more likely to internalize or externalize grief during the first two years following the death. Parents can help grieving children better when they have a counselor who nurtures their mental health while they grieve.

If you are dealing with the loss of a child, South Orange County Grief Counseling can help. You need someone who you can trust and someone who understands your feelings. Although grief is a difficult journey, you do not have to navigate it alone. Dr. Walsh will help guide you through each step with compassionate support. She is experienced in helping parents accept and cope with the death of a child as they move forward with their lives. If you have additional losses or obstacles in your life, Dr. Walsh can also help you deal with those.


Overwhelmed? Always Worried? Anxiety Counseling Can Help

Published by . Filed under Anxiety & Stress, Orange County Counseling. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Life can be tough. It’s a simple statement, but the feeling is profound. From work, home and financial pressures to relationships, children, and tasks you undertake when you would rather not, it’s staggering. Together with life’s myriad other responsibilities, the pile of stressors sometimes begins to weigh you down. To say that the situation is overwhelming may be an understatement. Moreover, it can leave you feeling always worried, anxious about your ability to handle it all. You also wonder what will happen if you just can’t. That’s when anxiety counseling can help make all the difference.

Offering the safety, support, and encouragement that you need, anxiety counseling can help to relieve your worries and stress. Beyond merely talking about your anxiety, this is counseling that provides you tools for change. The result is personalized ways to remain calm amid difficulties, individualized means for peace of mind even when facing fears. In fact, this counseling enables you to confront those fears and quell your worries simultaneously. That feeling of being overwhelmed begins to fade until it no longer exists. Just as important, fear, worry and anxiety no longer have power over you.

You might experience generalized anxiety, the kind that seems to persist without cause. Or you might endure a more specifically focused type such as a phobia or panic disorder, among others. However, regardless of the type of anxiety that besets you, anxiety counseling offers several benefits:

Assistance Without Judgment

Friends and family want to be helpful when you approach them, confiding your fears and worries. Yet you may sometimes feel judged or simply misunderstood afterward. A professional counselor offers help without judgment or criticism, enabling you to discover answers for your individual anxieties and worries.


A well-trained counselor will guide you in reflecting on the triggers for your anxiety. This includes the specific people, places, and situations that produce anxiety in you. Additionally, you will learn to delve into past experiences that underlie your current fears. This type of self-reflection provides you with a context for understanding your worries, fears, and anxieties.


The overall outcome of this counseling is a sense of confidence. Overriding your anxieties, the confidence you gain from overcoming your anxieties empowers you to move forward unhindered. Inner peace and a calmness you have never known before accompanying that confidence, transforming your life.

Anxiety Counseling Can Help!

Far more than the temporary symptom relief provided by medication, anxiety counseling uncovers and alleviates the causes of anxiety. While it encompasses a variety of effective therapies, the most commonly used is cognitive behavioral therapy. Its combination of changes in both thoughts and behaviors compels people overwhelmed by worries to rethink their behaviors. Those changes arise as they realize the reasons for those behaviors. Ultimately, although counseling won’t make you into a new person, it facilitates changes that make your life easier and more enjoyable.