New Counselor Starts in March

Curriculum vitaeStrategies for Success is excited to welcome Regina Robison to the practice starting March 23, 2015. Regina’s strengths as a clinician include being compassionate, non-judgmental, and utilizes a strengths-based approach to care. She believes it is important to look at each individual as a whole, taking into account each person’s spiritual, cultural, and environmental influences to assist clients in overcoming problems and achieve balance and happiness in their lives. Regina also believes that it is essential for people to work through past trauma in order to release residual blame and shame and break free of old patterns that can keep them stuck in maladaptive thinking and behavioral patterns in their current life stage.

Regina’s clinical experience includes over 10 years working with children, adolescents, adults, elderly and clients with disabilities. She also has experience working with individuals and couples, providing treatment for mental health issues and substance abuse concerns as well as with conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief and loss, and relationship conflicts, to name a few. Regina has also led multiple groups on topics that include self-esteem building, anger management, social skill building, substance abuse and conflict resolution, and is excited about the possibility of leading some groups at Strategies for Success.  She has worked from a Multisystemic approach successfully,  with seriously delinquent adolescents, and is very well versed with adolescent and family concerns.
In 2008, Regina received her Master of Arts Degree in Professional Counseling from Ottawa University in Phoenix, and her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2004, Magna Cum Laude.  She currently holds independent Licensure with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health, as a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Regina utilizes various therapeutic approaches to assist clients in achieving their goals including cognitive behavioral therapy, brief solution-focused therapy, existential therapy, insight-oriented modalities and narrative therapy. Regina is a firm believer  in the healing power of the client-therapist relationship. Each treatment plan is created and implemented collaboratively with each client, tailored to maximize positive outcomes and lasting results. To email Regina, please do so at To schedule with Regina starting at the end of March in our Chandler location, please call our Main Number: (480) 252-5152 or email us at

8 Tips for Surviving Depression and Anxiety During the Holidays

by , Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, NYU Medical Center

Article from The Huffington Post

Depressed man

Ah, the holidays! Most people feel a sense of anticipation and joy as we approach the holidays. Time for family gatherings and other fun activities. However, a considerable number of people, including those people in therapy, can feel depressed, frustrated, and anxious thinking about the holidays. These could be people without a family or without a significant network of friends. Or they can be people who have had mixed or negative experiences with friends and family in holidays past. What can they do to make the holidays more enjoyable?

“I don’t think I can stand another holiday,” said John*, my patient, a 54-year-old lawyer who lives in the city. He’s never been married, although he’s had a few short-term relationships. His parents died years ago, and he never was that close with them. He doesn’t have any siblings. His few friends all have commitments for the holidays. He has had depression since his mid-30s and has been off and on anti-depressants with good results. Of course, he has the week of Christmas off, but no idea what to do with himself. Last year he was so depressed in November and December that he considered committing suicide. A close friend of his did commit suicide 10 years ago around the holidays.

John and others like him are at considerable risk during the holiday season. He falls into a vulnerable category of older white men who have a higher risk of committing suicide, although the highest risk is for men over 75.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are commonly reported in the general population, especially during the holidays. People who may attempt suicide complain of hopelessness, rage, and the need to seek revenge. They are more impulsive than the average person. Other behaviors that may be associated with potential suicide include people making arrangements for someone else to care for their dependents, including children, pets, or elders.

John felt a lot of anger and he told me he was starting to drive recklessly. He said he felt trapped with no way out. He was increasing his alcohol use, but he didn’t return to his marijuana smoking, which he’d done in his younger days. Other people who have family and friends might withdraw from them and isolate themselves. John couldn’t isolate himself any further, but he said he felt no sense of purpose in life.

I suggested the following ways for him to get through the holidays. Even if you or your loved ones aren’t exhibiting the type of intense behavior that John is, the following ideas can help lift depression and anxiety:

• Try to schedule a theater or dance performance either the night before or the day of the holiday. In major cities across the United States, many shows are on during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If there is no live theater, go to a movie theater and watch a film. You can do this alone or extend an invitation to a neighbor or business colleague who may be spending the holidays alone.

• Go on a trip out of town. There are many cruises or day trips during this season. John expressed an interest in staying in a country inn upstate where he had Thanksgiving dinner once before. I encouraged this because it linked an image of the holidays with a past memorable experience and could boost the spirits quickly.

• Join a community group such as the YMCA, or take a photography or art class that has planned activities on or just before the holidays. John could take a class photographing trees and turning those pictures into holiday cards or presents.

• Organize a hike into the countryside or a park tour with a group. In New York City and Los Angeles, there are tours every day of the week, including during the major holidays.

• Go to a yoga retreat or a spa resort. Many hotels and spas have special weekend activities and rates at Thanksgiving and Christmastime.

• Plan an intensive exercise routine. John hadn’t exercised for a while and he was putting on weight. He hired a trainer who was free the week of Thanksgiving to work him out because exercise increases certain chemicals in the nervous system that fight depression and anxiety.

• Help others who are less fortunate by volunteering at a soup kitchen. One of the best ways to forget your own loneliness is to help others at shelters or hospitals. Getting “outside of ourselves” and helping others in need helps take the focus off of our own situation, circumstances, and feelings, and often delivers a significant emotional boost.

• Try an AA meeting if you find yourself drinking too much. For John in particular, I suggested he go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on the holidays, especially if he couldn’t do any of the above. AA and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are immediate communities that help people deal with alcohol or drug abuse, which may be covering up negative feelings at this time of year.

Experimenting with a different way of celebrating the holidays this year can lift your spirits and get you out of a funk. For some, major depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are alleviated if they are engaged in healthy activities leading up to and during the holidays.

*Not his real name.

For more by Carol W. Berman, M.D., click here.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Aurora Behavioral Health Care in Tempe

photodune-1283601-recovery-xsby Elizabeth Rahamim, LCSW, SAP

Today I toured Aurora Behavioral Health Care’s Tempe location.  This three year old facility is beautiful and very well designed to meet the inpatient and outpatient needs of adolescents and adults in the East Valley.  Aurora Behavioral is the largest voluntary psychiatric hospital system in the state of Arizona.  There are a variety of behavioral health and chemical dependency services available and each treatment plan is tailored to each patient’s special needs.  I look forward to being able to confidently refer my patients to Aurora if necessary.  I know they will be in good hands.  Additionally, my staff & I are available to provide services to interested patients who have completed inpatient and/or outpatient programs at Aurora.

For more information, please visit:

What will happen to me if I violate a DOT drug & alcohol rule?

DOT-trucks2by Elizabeth Rahamim, LCSW, SAP

Below you will find information taken from the United States Department of Transportation website ( regarding Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance ( for DOT employees (  I am a SAP and am available to assist DOT employees in need of evaluation, counseling, prescription & treatment.  I am located in Chandler, Arizona and can assist all DOT employees in need of a DOT SAP in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Tucson and surrounding areas.


What will happen to me if I violate a DOT drug & alcohol rule (e.g. test positive, or refuse a test)?

Your employer is required to immediately remove you from performing safety-sensitive functions. You will not be permitted to return to DOT regulated safety-sensitive functions until you have:

  • Undergone an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). Your employer must provide you with a list of SAPs that you can use;
  • Successfully completed any course, counseling or treatment prescribed by the SAP prior to returning to service;
  • Undergone a follow up evaluation by the same SAP to determine your compliance with their recommendations; AND
  • Provided a breath and/or urine specimen that tests negative for drugs and/or alcohol prior to returning to DOT regulated safety-sensitive functions.

You will also be subject to unannounced testing for drugs and/or alcohol for at least 6 times during the first 12 months of active service with the possibility of unannounced testing for up to 60 months (as prescribed by the SAP).

For more information, please visit:


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