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

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.

Family Counseling for Parents and Children

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

Raising a happy and healthy child is not always an easy task, and parents are often left searching for answers. If your relationship with your child is strained and interactions are stressful, family counseling for parents and children could be the perfect solution.

When things don’t go according to plan, some parents feel tempted to blame themselves, but doing so only brings feelings of guilt which won’t improve the situation. Parents can develop healthier relationships together with their children by learning to appreciate their views, respecting their feelings and establishing reasonable boundaries in communication. Family counseling, parents can also help their children find solutions to problems and uncover constructive ways to deal with the stresses of life.

Bridging the Gap

A lack of communication and understanding is one of the biggest problems parents and children face. As a parent, it’s sometimes hard to know how your children are feeling and why they see the world the way they do. Your children may also have trouble understanding why you make certain rules, and they won’t always be able to see the situation from your perspective.

Since we want to help families address that problem and move forward, family therapy aims to bridge the gap and restore communication. Family therapy sessions can give parents and children a way to relate to each other in positive ways, which goes a long way to repair damaged relationships.

Practicing Consistent Parenting

Kids learn from their parents how the world works, so teaching them about rules and consequences is key. Setting boundaries can be a family discussion, where the consequences are agreed upon in advance. When children understand the cause and effect of their actions, they become able to take responsibility for their choices, both good and bad. In family therapy, parents can practice consistency both in the enforcement of rules and boundaries and in the delivery of positive feedback or rewards, when appropriate.

Helping Your Child

Children often act out because they have hidden issues about which they don’t want to talk. Growing up and going to school is a stressful and overwhelming experience, but family counseling in South Orange County can help. When you come to us for assistance, support and guidance, we will show your children how to cope with the challenges of life.

Final Thoughts

Family counseling in South Orange County could be the perfect solution if you want to improve your relationship with your children. Learning to understand your children will get you moving in the right direction but setting healthy boundaries will complete the picture. Our goal is to empower you and your children to work together to overcome the roadblocks of life.

We will help you uncover and address hidden issues that could be causing stress, and you will be pleased when you see the difference the right approach can make. If you have questions or concerns, you can reach out to us right away. We will learn about you, your children and your needs so that we can give you the best results possible.

Making the Most of Marriage Counseling

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

When you’re having problems in your marriage, counseling can help. However, simply meeting with a counselor or therapist isn’t enough on its own to ensure healing within your marriage. Making the most of marriage counseling means both parties being willing to put in the work to repair the damage within the relationship. If you enter the sessions with an open mind and a willingness to do the work necessary, you will see the best results.

Here are some tips that can help you and your spouse to make the most of your time in counseling:

1.) Decide to put in the work.

Relationships can be hard work to develop, maintain and grow. When those relationships are damaged, repairing them will be a difficult journey. You must be realistic with yourself about the emotional challenge ahead of you. Counseling may at times be painful or force you to reconsider some of your most closely held beliefs about yourself and the way that marriage works. If you are willing to put in the work, be sure that you are emotionally prepared for the job ahead of you. Just remember that, if you truly want to salvage the relationship, the difficulty will be worth it in the long run.

2.) Don’t wait.

Some people view relationship counseling as a measure of last resort after all other choices have been exhausted. Unfortunately, this often means that the marriage has degraded significantly by the time counseling starts. If you wait until you are emotionally exhausted, counseling will be more challenging. Relationships are difficult; there is no shame in seeking professional help when problems first arise rather than waiting for anger, resentment and other negative feelings to build toward a boiling point.

3.) Choose a therapist who respects your values.

Therapists don’t have share all of your personal or spiritual values. A good therapist will respect your personal beliefs and help you make choices that you can feel comfortable with. Similarly, you’ll want a therapist who you feel you can speak candidly with, and whose communication style meshes well with both of you. You may choose to interview a few different counselors before deciding which one to work with long-term.

4.) Consider what you want out of the process.

Bear in mind that the end goal of counseling does not have to be staying in the marriage. A therapist can also guide you and your spouse toward making changes to a relationship, up to and including a peaceful breakup if that becomes the goal. Just because you feel you are ready for a relationship to be over doesn’t mean that there is no point in seeing a counselor. Working together with a therapist can help you and your spouse to end on better terms and find peace in the decision. A therapist can help you both in the process of either changing or ending the relationship so that you and your spouse can move forward.

If you’re committed to making the most of marriage counseling, you’re making the right first step. Contact us today for more information about our counseling services and to learn about the next steps to follow in order to improve the quality of your relationship.