Now is a good time to start

LIVE TO THRIVE COUNSELING

Between the stimulus and your response there is a space, and in that space is your power and your freedom (Viktor Frankl).

Call 845.357.7700 to schedule an appointment

A BIT ABOUT THERAPY

Live to Thrive Mental Health Counseling
with Amélie Southwood, LMHC, EMDR and Maria Becchere, LMHC

At Live to Thrive Mental Health Counseling, we implement effective psychotherapy methods to help you arrive at a deeper understanding of yourself, what really matters to you and how to best align yourself with it. Therapy helps you explore what is and isn't working in your life and how self-defeating beliefs or destructive patterns contribute to that. While the demands and constraints of your circumstances may sometimes be unavoidable, therapy can help you make the best of these. A word of caution: therapy is not a magic pill or a quick fix. It is a healing process that can sometimes be difficult and that always requires both of our participation and commitment. We have not seen therapy fail when undertaken with earnestness; it can help you live the life you want to live. Sometimes, this may seem like a tall order, one that could feel overwhelming.  But, in the end, making small changes in the self-defeating behaviors and beliefs that bring about painful feelings can create life-altering results. We can help you achieve this. We'll move forward one step at a time until you find your way into a life that is rich and meaningful to you.

Gazing Out to Sea

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

Here For You

Holding Hands

COUPLES THERAPY

Co-create a Great Relationship

Group Discussion

GROUP THERAPY

Strength in Numbers

 
Sky

EMDR: TRAUMA, ADDICTION AND DYSFUNCTIONAL PATTERNS

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Used to treat PTSD, developmental trauma, "little t" traumas, and substance or alcohol use disorder, EMDR is effective in reducing the long-lasting effects of distressing memories by engaging the brain's natural adaptive information processing mechanisms. It reconciles negative self-beliefs that clients developed in the past with what they know to be true about themselves now. For instance, victims of childhood abuse may have grown into competent adults but still be haunted by feelings of powerlessness that reduce their emotional experience and quality of life. Compared to classic psychotherapy, EMDR is expeditious. The therapy uses an eight-phase approach that includes having you recall distressing images while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements. This has the effect of neurological reconsolidation, aligning the "emotional charge" of a past trauma with the more valid and current reality of a person, thereby neutralizing triggers, reducing nightmares and hyper-vigilance while restoring a healthier sense of self. EMDR does not cause anyone to forget past events and is used in conjunction with other techniques used in talk-therapy.

Jetty

ANXIETY AND LIFE TRANSITIONS

Are You Living in the Wreckage of the Future?

Anxiety is fear about the future intensified by catastrophic thinking.  Fear is a natural protective agent that stimulates our fight-flight-freeze response when confronted with danger.  We humans are all hardwired for fear, which is a good and necessary thing; without it, we would be reckless and compromise our survival.  Sometimes, though, fear oversteps its boundary, "locks in" and overwhelms, becoming a liability rather than an asset. This can exacerbate unhealthy resistance to change and the transitions of our lives, which are often unavoidable, if not desirable. So, instead of committing fully to thriving as we move from one phase of our lives to another, be it from student to professional, single to partnered and parenting, from in a committed relationship to alone again, or from younger to older, we anxiously expend our energy resisting change. This is often exhausting and unproductive.  Therapy will help you examine your resistance while supporting you as you decide on the concrete steps you can take to address your current problems.  Therapy will help you soften the edge of anxiety and restore it to an appropriate measure so you can gain greater clarity.

Buddha Statue

MINDFULNESS THERAPY

A Happier, Healthier You

Used in conjunction with other treatment modalities, Mindfulness Therapy is an invitation to self-inquiry with dignity and grace.  Its tools and practice is what allows us to expand that space between the stimuli of our lives and our reactions to them. When we allow ourselves the time to pause we can begin to identify the resistance we put up against our circumstances.  It begins with the breath, which helps connect our thoughts to the awareness of our physical bodies.  Breath grounds and anchors us to this moment, helping to extricate us from our narratives of stress and worry. These need to be honored, but they are not all of who we are. Mindfulness does not stop your feelings.  Instead, it allows us to know them as they arise, to let them be and then decide how we want to respond to them.
​​The practice of mindfulness has endured for thousands of years because it works. In its relatively recent embrace of this time-honored wisdom, the West has begun to validate its efficacy in numerous empirical studies, showing practical applications and positive outcomes in most mental disorders.  The beauty of mindfulness is that not only does it work, but the practice does not conflict with any of the major religions. Its beneficial effects are available to anyone.

Swan

CAREGIVING AND DEMENTIA

From Chaos to Peace

"Life does not unfold according to our wishes. It is not predictable. It does not follow a smooth and comfortable path. It offers beauty and love mixed with transience and loss, creating a marvelous melancholy--a blend of pleasure and pain that brings intensity and mystery to existence. In the midst of such complexity, the ability to give care to one another is an essential part of a meaningful and compassionate life." (From the Tao of Caregiving by William and Nancy Martin) And yet, in caring for others, we must not neglect ourselves lest we slip into sadness, isolation and depression. Balancing caregiving and self-care is a delicate task made easier with the help of someone who understands the sometimes subtle, often raw immediacy of caring for a beloved who is tragically and inexorably letting go of identity and function. Caregivers need the support of practical counseling when faced with having to make decisions in the absence of open communication with the person they are caring for. Decisions such as how to manage the changing roles in the relationship and the irrational behavior of your loved one, how to modify the house for safety, when to take the car keys away and, one of the hardest of all, is it time for longterm care? In the midst of these chaotic changes, caregiving can be a lonely heartache where the self in former, happier times is lost and longed for. It is essential to speak of this, to feel free to express the depths of your feelings and find relief so that you can continue to give care and begin to take up the things that once nourished and helped you thrive.

INSURANCE ACCEPTED

Aetna                      Fidelis

Cigna                      Pomco

Self pay rate: $150.00

Cash, check and credit cards (with added 3% convenience fee added) are also accepted at end of each session to cover copays or full session fee.

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AMÉLIE SOUTHWOOD, LMHC, EMDR

Fluent in French and English

I am a licensed mental health counselor, certified in EMDR to treat single-event and developmental trauma. I currently help adults struggling with PTSD, life stage transition, depression and anxiety, and addiction recovery. I am also a Dementia Cares Specialist, committed to helping those with dementia and their caregivers thrive during their difficult circumstances.
My graduate field work was within the entire spectrum of eldercare with a focus on dementia. I developed a unique blend of effective behavioral interventions and counseling techniques that help to sustain their identities against the erosive effects of their disease. I also counseled their caregivers, providing practical and emotional support to strengthen their coping mechanisms and harmonize their interactions with their person with dementia. I continue to work with caregivers and include them in my workshops titled From Chaos to Peace. Additionally, I train CNA staff of nursing homes as to the standards of best practice for behavioral interventions. My post-graduate supervised clinical work was with people who have chronic, severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar I, MDD, OCD, SSD, and substance abuse disorder, among others. I use art and music as therapy with groups to consolidate the value of 1:1 sessions, and vice-versa. I practice Brief Solution Focused Therapy, CBT, MindfulnessTherapy, and Existential Therapy grounded in kindness and emotional generosity.
My mission is to be of service to others. I work with the human psyche because I understand it and wish to see others live full and happy lives. I believe the secret to this lies in noticing what and how we are without making it wrong while still making necessary adjustments to optimize our wellbeing. Whether severely mentally ill, physically impaired or depressed and unhappy, the question of how to make the most of our circumstances always remains. I delight in helping people answer that question so they may feel more whole, gracious and at peace with themselves.

Linda Edwards, MHC in Practicum

LINDA EDWARDS

Mental Health Counselor- LP

Linda Edwards holds a limited permit in mental health counseling under the supervision of Dr. Elijah Bell, Ph.D., and Amelie Southwood, LMHC. From 2008 to 2015, Linda worked as a Direct Care Counselor at Rockland County’s Camp Venture, caring for adults with developmental disabilities such as Autism, Intellectual Developmental Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome. She also worked with people suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as with hospice patients, helping them with depression, anxiety and end-of-life issues.  Linda’s ability to work with disabled people is informed by her innate emotional generosity and empathy, which she consistently couples with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy and Brief Solution-Focused Therapy. Linda has worked at Nyack Hospital’s Inpatient Recovery Unit, where she supported the personal growth and recovery of substance abusers and facilitated group counseling for women as well as family therapy.  Since the pandemic, Linda has been making presentations on behalf of Here to Here/The Thinkubator to help Bronx youths cope with COVID-19 and the challenges of career planning in this difficult time of social isolation. In her own words: “I am passionate about creating a safe environment for clients to grow, explore and express themselves freely while building a sense of community; and individually addressing each client’s needs in a practical way. Therapy provides a chance to be still and reflect on life’s challenges while exploring alternate methods to reach their goals. I feel it is a privilege to be a part of this process!"

email Linda at: linda@livetothrivecounseling.com

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Michele Hughes

Mental Health Counselor - LP

Michele Hughes holds a limited permit in mental health counseling under the supervision of Dr. Elijah Bell, Ph.D., and Amelie Southwood, LMHC.  She also holds a Masters Degree in School Counseling from the University of Rochester.  She has over 15 years experience working with young people on school related issues.  During her time at the Juvenile Diabetes research Foundation (JDRF), she ran psycho-educational groups for people living with Type 1 Diabetes.  As a prevention educator for CANDLE she worked with LGBTQ adolescents, provided prevention education for youth as well as presented educational programming on the hazards of vaping to parents, adolescents and adults in recovery throughout Rockland County.  As a student assistance counselor in Clarkstown Central School District she has provided support to staff and parents on a variety of parenting concerns and social emotional issues with children.   

email Michele at: michele@livetothrivecounseling.com

CONTACT

Seagulls

Address:

2 Executive Blvd., Ste. 101
Suffern, NY 10901

Email:

Phone:

845.357.7700

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