McElfresh Professional Counseling

McElfresh Professional Counseling Providing therapy to adolescents and adults for over 38 years. We offer individual therapy for adolescents and adults troubled with:
• a sense of worthlessness
• negative thinking about the future
• feelings of hopelessness
• believing your input is not important
• finding yourself stuck when it comes to making decisions
• a fear of speaking your mind
• dreading the day when waking in the morning
• finding even small tasks overwhelming
• oversleeping to avoid painful thinking
• overeating to make yourself happier
• feeling that everything is a threat
• avoiding anywhere there might be a crowd
• having sleepless nights due to constant worrying
• finding yourself forced to carry out rituals in order to feel safe going to bed or leaving the house
• assuming others are out to ‘get you’
• hating time when you’re alone

We can help you resolve your:
• depression
• anxiety
• phobias
• grieving issues
• obsessive-compulsive disorder
• parenting problems
• sexual concerns
• spiritual difficulties
• anger issues

Operating as usual

Everything you feel, you feel for a reason. Just because you don’t understand why you’re anxious or angry doesn’t mean t...
03/31/2017

Everything you feel, you feel for a reason. Just because you don’t understand why you’re anxious or angry doesn’t mean there isn’t something going on. Don’t judge yourself, get curious and investigate yourself!

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Want to quit being so judgmental? You'll change when you find out it’s good to be wrong. Earlier this year, I stopped at...
03/30/2017

Want to quit being so judgmental? You'll change when you find out it’s good to be wrong. Earlier this year, I stopped at three places trying to find the Sunday paper for my visiting mother-in-law. When I told her I couldn’t find it she said, ‘Well, maybe it’s not out yet.’ It was noon, I thought. How could she be so dense? Then I realized it was Saturday…

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I met with an old friend recently who in updating me on his past ten years presented his life as one calamity after anot...
03/29/2017

I met with an old friend recently who in updating me on his past ten years presented his life as one calamity after another. I couldn’t trust his perspective for the same reason I wouldn’t trust a coin that came up tails ten times in a row.

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This may sound odd but I have no concept of what ‘loving yourself’ means. Seems to me that just honoring what needs to b...
03/28/2017

This may sound odd but I have no concept of what ‘loving yourself’ means. Seems to me that just honoring what needs to be said or done is enough. I never found that I needed to go from hating myself to loving myself – I just quit hating myself and started thinking and feeling and doing what came naturally.

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Nearly every client who has presented himself/herself as being ‘weird’ or ‘not fitting in’ was accurate as far as standi...
03/27/2017

Nearly every client who has presented himself/herself as being ‘weird’ or ‘not fitting in’ was accurate as far as standing outside the crowd. But while they saw that as a deficit, every one of them had something unique about him/her that was a strength or a gift others lacked. For some reason we’re usually inclined to see being different as being inferior.

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The most accurate assessment of anxiety I ever encountered comes from a folksinger named John Prine:That’s the way the w...
03/26/2017

The most accurate assessment of anxiety I ever encountered comes from a folksinger named John Prine:

That’s the way the world goes ‘round
You’re up one day and the next you’re down
Half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown
That’s the way the world goes ‘round

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I never had much luck with motivating a client to change. As is the case with so many motivational speakers, the passion...
03/25/2017

I never had much luck with motivating a client to change. As is the case with so many motivational speakers, the passion they impart in us fizzles out a week or so later. I find the clients who change the fastest and most significantly are sick to death of their anxiety or depression.

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The end of the year is when the most famous psychics make predictions regarding what is going to happen over the upcomin...
03/24/2017

The end of the year is when the most famous psychics make predictions regarding what is going to happen over the upcoming year. Keep copies of their predictions and read them next December. You’ll find they are almost always wrong. How does that apply to us personally? When we’re anxious, we wake up expecting something dreadful will happen but we never lie in bed at night and assess how flawed our morning predictions were.

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To be accurate, someone is not a schizophrenic, he is a person with schizophrenia. That’s an extremely important distinc...
03/23/2017

To be accurate, someone is not a schizophrenic, he is a person with schizophrenia. That’s an extremely important distinction. He is not the delusions and hallucinations, he has delusions and hallucinations. If you deal with depression or anxiety, this applies to you as well. I see so many clients who beat themselves up for being anxious or depression, forgetting that they are people with thoughts and feelings that make them anxious or depressed. Thoughts and feelings can change.

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It’s true that a lot of people, maybe more men than women, look at crying as being weak. That kind of thinking isn’t as ...
03/22/2017

It’s true that a lot of people, maybe more men than women, look at crying as being weak. That kind of thinking isn’t as prevalent as it used to be. Just as widespread as ever, though, is the belief that getting angry is destructive and falling for manipulation by the person who led to the anger. Probably not coincidentally, that is exactly how I would hope you would feel about anger if you resisted me attempting to control you.

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I’m inclined to think that Jesus’s comment about loving your enemies is less of a command and more of an acknowledgement...
03/21/2017

I’m inclined to think that Jesus’s comment about loving your enemies is less of a command and more of an acknowledgement of appreciation. Not much personal growth comes through our friends, most of our strength is the result of learning how to endure or resolve our encounters with people we really wish were not in our lives at all.

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When tracing self-destructive thinking leads back to what was learned as a child, that doesn’t mean a therapist is sugge...
03/20/2017

When tracing self-destructive thinking leads back to what was learned as a child, that doesn’t mean a therapist is suggesting the client blame her parents. It’s just identifying cause and effect. If a client understands how she came to think so negatively about herself, that means she isn’t worthless, she just learned to believe she was worthless.

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You very well may want to ignore this but I suggest you not disappoint yourself with New Year’s resolutions. Significant...
03/19/2017

You very well may want to ignore this but I suggest you not disappoint yourself with New Year’s resolutions. Significant changes don’t result from a date on a calendar but because we’ve finally emotionally tipped the scales enough to move toward what we either really want or really don’t want.

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It’s easy to lose track of self -awareness. Little kids aren’t likely to overeat because they know when they are full. M...
03/18/2017

It’s easy to lose track of self -awareness. Little kids aren’t likely to overeat because they know when they are full. Me, I’ll eat popcorn at night endlessly because I’m watching a movie rather than paying attention to what my stomach says.

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We can test drive a very expensive new car but if it doesn’t feel right we won’t buy it. Approach going to therapy the s...
03/17/2017

We can test drive a very expensive new car but if it doesn’t feel right we won’t buy it. Approach going to therapy the same way: if the interaction doesn’t click, trust your gut and see someone else. Relationship is an exceptionally important component in therapy being effective.

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Pay close attention to your earliest memories. If you went to Hawaii you would send your friends a handful of pictures t...
03/16/2017

Pay close attention to your earliest memories. If you went to Hawaii you would send your friends a handful of pictures that best represent your trip. You head does the same: it remembers the significant moments from your past that best represent what, for better or worse, has shaped you into becoming who you are today.

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Parents, have regular expectations regarding your kids. Give them chores they’re responsible for carrying out, make sure...
03/15/2017

Parents, have regular expectations regarding your kids. Give them chores they’re responsible for carrying out, make sure they do their homework in spite of all their complaining. Without having external requirements they’re not going to learn self-discipline. I regularly encounter young adults who have no idea what it’s like to make themselves look for a job or clean their apartment. And by that time it’s often too late to learn.

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There are three main ways we make ourselves miserable: ‘others must treat me the way I insist,’ ‘the world owes me,’ and...
03/14/2017

There are three main ways we make ourselves miserable: ‘others must treat me the way I insist,’ ‘the world owes me,’ and ‘I need to be a certain way or I’m a failure.’

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A therapist’s ultimate job is to teach clients how to read and act on their feelings and thoughts without needing a ther...
03/13/2017

A therapist’s ultimate job is to teach clients how to read and act on their feelings and thoughts without needing a therapist.

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Communication is everything in a relationship. Peel back the layers of any verbal attack we’re inclined to use and we’ll...
03/12/2017

Communication is everything in a relationship. Peel back the layers of any verbal attack we’re inclined to use and we’ll find a request or a disappointment that, if stated as such, would never lead to an argument.

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It took me forever to learn but I finally realized that my frustrations with others are almost always more the result of...
03/11/2017

It took me forever to learn but I finally realized that my frustrations with others are almost always more the result of my mood than it is their actions.

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Getting well is not a matter of going from negative thinking to positive thinking. That’s just changing ways of interpre...
03/10/2017

Getting well is not a matter of going from negative thinking to positive thinking. That’s just changing ways of interpreting everything that happens to us. Getting well is always a matter of becoming more realistic about how things are: I don’t need to be a perfect person, nothing horrible happens if the world isn’t the way I want it to be, and I won’t die if someone doesn’t approve of me.

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The first step in getting rid of self-destructive thoughts is to not believe them, even if they continue to hang around....
03/09/2017

The first step in getting rid of self-destructive thoughts is to not believe them, even if they continue to hang around. Martin Luther said ‘I can’t keep the birds from flying over my head but I can keep them from nesting in my hair.’

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Non sequitur is a Latin term meaning ‘it doesn’t follow,’ that an irrational conclusion has been drawn. Here’s one that ...
03/08/2017

Non sequitur is a Latin term meaning ‘it doesn’t follow,’ that an irrational conclusion has been drawn. Here’s one that sometimes come up in therapy: ‘I’m depressed so it must be punishment for having done something wrong,’ Why would we think that way? Maybe it’s because when we were a child and given consequences for misbehavior we felt bad and, like when we’re depressed, bad about ourselves.

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Studies conclude that anxiety is three times more common than depression. My guess is that anxiety will become even more...
03/07/2017

Studies conclude that anxiety is three times more common than depression. My guess is that anxiety will become even more prevalent as a result of our technological forms of home entertainment mean we will leave the house less and interact with others less, making such forays out of our caves more uncomfortable and intimidating.

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There might be patterns in our lives that we’re not aware of but would be helpful to acknowledge. Think in terms of your...
03/06/2017

There might be patterns in our lives that we’re not aware of but would be helpful to acknowledge. Think in terms of your job history, your history of romantic relationships, your history of friendships. How long did they last? Who ended them? Why did they end? Were the endings generally smooth or endings you look back on regretfully?

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There was a time when people who heard voices were burned at the stake as witches. That was before we understood schizop...
03/05/2017

There was a time when people who heard voices were burned at the stake as witches. That was before we understood schizophrenia. There was a time last week when I was sure my neighbor was a *&^%$ idiot. That was before I found out why he was so stressed every day.

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I can recall a zillion times when I thought someone was doing something utterly stupid, only to find out later why he ma...
02/23/2017

I can recall a zillion times when I thought someone was doing something utterly stupid, only to find out later why he made that choice. Behind every action there is an understandable reason, whether we agree with it or not. One of the joys of being a therapist is meeting someone I initially find offensive and by digging beneath the surface, no longer being able to judge him.

mcelfreshcounseling.com

If new students starting college were told how many thousands of hours they will spend studying, how many thousands of t...
02/22/2017

If new students starting college were told how many thousands of hours they will spend studying, how many thousands of textbook pages they will read before they complete their degree, a sizeable chunk of them would drop out before starting. There is absolutely no benefit to thinking that far ahead. Take one semester at a time and they’ll find themselves ready to graduate. Don’t let your head drive with its brights on.

mcelfreshcounseling.com

I’ve been a fool for magic ever since I was a kid. The subtle steps a magician takes to manipulate us into thinking what...
02/21/2017

I’ve been a fool for magic ever since I was a kid. The subtle steps a magician takes to manipulate us into thinking what he wants us to think is downright fascinating. I use a similar approach with unmotivated clients (and myself) by constructing a series of nearly effortless steps that result in completing seemingly impossible tasks.

mcelfreshcounseling.com

It’s very common for people who are no longer in a rotten relationship to think they miss the ex-partner when actually w...
02/20/2017

It’s very common for people who are no longer in a rotten relationship to think they miss the ex-partner when actually what they miss is being in a relationship – the two aren’t the same, and that’s good news.

mcelfreshcounseling.com

Address

4111 E. Valley Auto Dr Ste 201
Mesa, AZ
85206

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

(480) 528-2811

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