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Category Archives: Providers

Articles for counselors and therapisits

1 month ago Providers

Dreaming About Starting a Practice?

So where do you start?

I’m hosting a question and answer session about how I got started with my private practice, the Fredericksburg Relationship Center. Click here for info regarding the next Q&A event.

Does a name matter?

What’s your reason for starting a private practice?

Should you take out a loan?

Should you start it as a side-hustle?

What kind of location should you start with?

Join me as I answer these questions and many more.

Do you have questions about starting a practice, send me your questions, click here.

2 years ago Providers

No Crisis Needed

Mental Health Awareness Month:

Define mental health and learn where to find help.

In recognition of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I had to squeeze in time to come through with a short blog entry.  As an advocate for mental health and wellness, I try not to wait for May to come around to do my part to minimize the associated stigma.  Each year, I’ve got some idea about how I’d like to generate more awareness but
I’m usually too busy to act on my goal.  LOL.  It’s fine though!  In 2018, who are the people saying that they don’t have “issues” or they’ve never had mental health concerns?  The answer should be no one is still saying this!
Mental health is about our emotional and psychological well-being.  It’s gauged by our awareness of stressors, personal and/or professional, and our ability to cope with circumstances that cause distress.  There are a bunch of mental health myths that exist.  If you only remember one, know that there’s no problem, concern, or situation that’s too small to influence your mental health.

Reasons to seek professional support

Some of the reasons past clients have contacted me include the following:
  • Low esteem
  • Career dissatisfaction
  • Professional/Work-related stress
  • Break-ups/separation/divorce
  • Pre-marital/marital/couples issues
  • Relationship difficulties (Interpersonal)
  • Grief and loss (loved one, relationship, etc.)
  • Bouts of sadness, feeling overwhelmed, and/or irritable
  • Adjusting to life transitions (college, career, break-ups, relocation, etc.)
  • Etc.
Most people tend to “get by” on their own without professional support but at what expense?  You don’t have to have a crisis or “breakdown” to seek professional support about anything causing you distress.  Professional support/help may look like checking in with your employer’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor, a therapist, a life coaching, joining a support group, consultation with your doctor, or psychiatric evaluation.  You’ve got options!  I ask my clients, “do you wait until your car runs out of gas to fill it up?”  The answer should be no!  So, don’t wait until you feel like you can’t cope on your own any longer to talk to a professional.  If you think you’re managing your stress well than you’re among an elite group of people.  Feel free to call me out of my sarcasm!  Just remember, resilient people still need people.
If you value your emotional and psychological stability be active in caring for it; the same way you care about all the other important things and people in your life.  If you aren’t sure where to look for a professional, check out some of my favorite sites!  You may filter by your location and other details that are important to you!

Please subscribe to the sporadic blogs and updates!


2 years ago Latest News , Providers

The Counseling World Needs A Little More Color

Celebrate Multiculturalism

Counselors of Color is a new online lead generation directory for mental health providers.  We provide a niche directory for clients to search for the mental health professional of their choice. Our distinct platform does not shy away from multiculturalism as one of many unique selling points for your practice.  We believe ethnicity and heritage should be celebrated rather than minimized.
Counselors of Color is open to all counseling professionals.  We encourage people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and countries of origin.  List the multiple languages spoken in your office.


Our primary goal is to help clients find the resources they need; you.  Clients are looking for you.  Help them find you.  You can’t serve your community if they don’t know you exist. Believe it or not, clients do look for providers they are most comfortable with; whether it be language or looks.  Comfort helps to bridge the gap and build rapport.
Another important goal is to help you expand the reach of your practice.  You can do that by listing your practice or facility by signing up here.



Thanks to you and your feedback, we found a way to make the site free.  All we ask in return is your feedback for working out the bugs.  Help us to improve and enhance the site.

Thanks for letting us help you and for you helping us.  Let grow something together.


“The counseling world needs a little more color.  Help us populate and grow Counselors of Color.”

3 years ago Clients , Providers

Importance of Collaborative Approaches to Care Coordination for Persons with Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is characterized as a severe mental health disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling. Schizophrenia is a cyclical disease characterized by multiple psychotic relapses. Unfortunately, schizophrenia is a chronic condition, requiring lifelong treatment.

Clinical Features of Schizophrenia Include:

Positive Symptoms

  • Hallucinations (auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory, gustatory)
  • Delusions
  • Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior

Negative symptoms

  • Flat or blunted affect
  • Difficulty speaking or even an inability to speak (alogia)
  • Inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Lack of desire to form relationships (asociality)
  • Lack of motivation (avolition)
  • Inappropriate social responses to normal social cues
  • Lack of interest in most aspects of life
  • Inappropriate bodily movement

Functional impairment

  • Work Interpersonal relations, difficulty engaging and responding to others
  • Self-care (maintenance of appropriate ADL’s)
  • Apathy

Cognitive impairment

  • Episodic memory
  • Executive function
  • Working memory

Mental health decompensation or relapse can be extremely difficult for the sufferer as well as the people that love them. Although, a return of mental health symptoms can appear “out of the blue”, most relapses have warning signs, signaling symptom re-emergence. Friends and loved ones that recognize the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia can help to prevent relapse. Loved ones that are aware of the risk factors associated with mental health decompensation can greatly reduce the likelihood of relapse. Preventing a relapse is important as it can create problems and interferences with work, school, and relationships. In most cases, you can treat a relapse and get the disease back under control. However, each relapse makes the disease harder to treat. That’s why it’s important to recognize and prevent a relapse whenever you can.

Risk Factors Associated with Relapse Include:

  • Failure to adhere to medication regimen, discontinuance, or change in medication
  • Increase in physical or emotional stress
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs

Prodromal (or early stage) signs, which often precede a psychotic episode by 2 or more days, include sudden onset of:

  • Interruptions in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Memory or cognition issues
  • Depression

Risk Factors Associated with Disengagement from Mental Health Services Include:

  • Lack of established outpatient clinician
  • Lack of prior outpatient mental health care
  • Short inpatient stay
  • Ethnicity
  • Involuntary patient admission/hospitalization
  • Poverty
  • Discharge against medical advice
  • Substance/alcohol abuse
  • Lack of involvement in treatment decisions
  • Transportation difficulties

Adherence Barriers to Overcome

Patient Related

  • Lack of or poor insight
  • Cultural and religious beliefs
  • Language skills
  • Lack of social and familial support
  • Comorbidities
  • Cognitive limitations or deficits
  • Stigma

Medication Related

  • Poor or inconsistent medication adherence
  • Efficacy
  • Side effects–actual or fears
  • Complex medication regimen
  • Lack of perceived benefits
  • Poor therapeutic alliance

Treatment of mental illness and decompensation should include a collaborative approach between mental health professionals, hospital staff, the patient, family members, and the community aftercare agencies. Persons struggling with schizophrenia benefit from a solid support system and consistency. By involving all pertinent people and health care providers the likelihood of decompensation and symptom re-emergence can be avoided or greatly reduced.

Persons struggling with schizophrenia possess unique challenges that need to be addressed by the treatment teams that work with them. By utilizing a collaborative approach to treatment stabilization of symptoms is more likely to occur, allowing those with schizophrenia to remain actively engaged with their community and access to appropriate services.


3 years ago Latest News , Providers

Why Are You Doing This For Free?

Below is a recent email reply (edited) for a new member that forced me to become clear regarding my passion and motivation for Counselors of Color.


Member:  “By the way, why are you doing this for free, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Me:  Great question! It’s not entirely for free.  We do have paid features also.  However, our primary goal and motivation are to help grow the field for people of color and minorities.  In 2015 the American Psychological Association published its membership demographic.  ( Out of 77, 881 members, only 1.9 % identified themselves as Latinos and 1.7% identified as African Americans.  Sadly, all the non-whites added together equaled 5.9 %.  That is unacceptable. When I discovered that statistic, I was frustrated and could not believe it.

My Motivation

My wife challenged me to do something instead of complaining about it.  So Counselors of Color was born.  While it is a search directory, it also serves as a platform for me to coach and mentor counselors and therapists to grow their private practice and their influence within their community.  We have plans to offer coaching packages soon.
We will continue to provide free services because we believe it provides value to those that need it.  We also think others will see the value of our paid services through the benefits of the free services. We think of it like an ice cream shop that hands out free samples.  Those that want it and value it will pay for it.  You’ve just received one of my first coaching sessions :).  We look forward to hearing about your continued growth and journey into private practice.  What do you think we can do to grow the field?

About the Author

Dr. Dave Jenkins, DMin, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist in the Northern Virginia area.  He’s the founder of The Fredericksburg Relationship Center, The Relationship School, and Counselors of Color.  He’s been married to the same woman for 25 years and has four children and a daughter-in-law.
3 years ago Clients , Providers

Cultural Awareness From A New Friend

  Throughout our American history, there have been countless white people that have been willing to give a helping hand. They have gone out on the limb for minorities, people of color, and immigrants.  It’s far too easy to overlook or minimize their contributions.  It’s too simplistic and easy to adopt a polarized view of people and categorize people.  We must develop cultural awareness as all people are not the same.  People are people.  As a person of color, it would be easy for me to be resentful and close myself off to people that do not look like me.  I have since learned that I must be willing to see the heart and motivation of others that genuinely want to help. They efforts to assist in many forms to those of us that come from underprivileged communities. 

  I recently spoke with someone that helped me reaffirmed my goals and dream for Counselors of Color.  It was a powerful moment for me.  At the end of our dialogue, I said to myself, “He gets it.”  Below is a snippet of our exchange. I changed his name to protect his confidentiality. 

John Doe:  Dr. Dave, I certainly would like to join Counselors of Color, but I am Caucasian and wouldn’t want to mislead anyone by doing so.  However, I would certainly want to welcome people of color into my practice – especially in times like these. I believe these are times when we need to focus on building community and unity. (more…)

3 years ago Latest News , Providers

Where Are All The Men

Men At Work

I look around at the conferences I attend and see that men are underrepresented in the mental health profession. According to, men make up about 23 percent of the mental health field. It’s even less if you specifically look at marriage and family therapists at 15% and social workers at 19%. Women traditionally dominate both of those professions. The highest rate of men is among psychologists at 33% and psychiatrists at 59%. Additionally, according to the American Psychology Association in 2013, minorities only made up 13 percent of the field combined.  So, let’s do the math.  That means minority men make up less than 3% of the mental health profession.

So my questions begin, how important is it to have men of color (Latinos, Asians, African Americans, Arabs, etc.) represented within the mental health profession? What are the implications and should we be concerned? And finally, how do we recruit and encourage more men of color to join the mental health field? I’m curious regarding your thoughts, suggestion, and solutions.


About the Author

Dr. Dave Jenkins, DMin, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the Northern Virginia area.  He’s the founder of Fredericksburg Relationship Center and Counselors of Color.
3 years ago Latest News , Providers

Clients Look For Connections Even When We Don’t

Comfort Zone

  I was once stationed overseas in Germany.  I learned an invaluable lesson of self-awareness and connections.  Like many soldiers, I was initially scared to leave the comfort of the military base.  I eventually left the station and started to explore the local community.  In the beginning, when I left the comfort of the army base, I eagerly looked for other Soldiers and Americans.  Regardless of their race, they were easy to spot.  The moment I spotted another American, I felt a sense of comfort.  It was as if we had an instant connection.  It didn’t matter whether I knew them or not because I assumed they would understand and accept me.  
  The first question was generally “Where’re you from in the world?” (Military slang referring to the United States).  Followed by “What unit are you with?”  Sometimes there were no conversations, just merely a head nod.  The longer I lived in Germany and the more Germans I got to know from the local community, the less I relied on using other Americans as my security blanket.  I grew to appreciate the German culture and learned the language.  The Germans loved it when I would attempt to connect and speak their language.


  We humans, love l to find connections and look for it everywhere. The moment we discover the person we’re talking to is from our same state, we keep drilling down.  “What city, what neighborhood, what school, what street do live on?”  As the conversation continue, we look for the people we know in common.  We even explore if we’re related.  This process also plays out visually with race and color.  Even though it’s unreliable, race and color are the visual cues that serve as a shortcut to comfort.  It acts as a visual security blanket. 

  Much like my military experience, some are too anxious to leave the comfort of the base and explore the rich diversity of the surrounding community.  Others embraced the rich culture, learned the language and married Germans.  Some were angry about being stationed in Germany and hated everything about Germany.  On the other extreme, some Soldiers were ashamed of their American roots and did everything they could to avoid being seen as American.


Counselors and Therapists

  Most of us counselors and therapists are very comfortable and embrace different cultures.  Our education and training have expanded our worldview.  However, most of our clients do not come to us with this high level of self-awareness, education, and comfort.  Overcoming the anxiety to get help is hard enough for anyone.  For many of our clients, it may be their first time seeking help from a stranger.  Like Soldiers overseas, clients are looking to connect.  Some clients need the security blanket of seeing someone that looks like them.  When the therapist or counselor looks like them, it’s one less hurdle to overcome.  It’s almost instant rapport.  Right or wrong, some clients will never leave the “barracks” and embrace other cultures and communities.  For others, it will not matter as they will thrive and flourish. 

  Even though race may not be a source of anxiety for us as counselors and therapists, it may be for the clients we work with.  As helping professionals, I believe it’s our job to meet our clients where they are rather than expecting them to arrive with our comfort level and worldviews.  Even the Soldiers that refused to leave the base were entitled to good mental health care.  So how does the community you serve know you are open to serve them? 


About the Author

Dr. Dave Jenkins, DMin, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist in the Northern Virginia area.  He’s the founder of Family Room Services, LLC, My Marriage School, and Counselors of Color.  He’s been married to the same woman for 25 years and has four children and a daughter-in-law.
3 years ago Latest News , Providers

Counselors, Showcase Your World

Welcome to Counselors of Color.  Admittedly, we are a niche counseling directory.  Our goal is to match clients with their preferred therapists and counselors.

The search services are always free for clients. 

For counselors and therapists, our goal is to help you market and expand your facility to serve your communities better.  Showcase your facilities with Counselors of Color.

Counselors of Color is now free for providers!  

Counselors of Color will not shy away from race or ethnicity.  For many of us, it is our world.  Therefore, we aim to highlight and promote those differences; not from a place of inferiority or supremacy.  However, from a place of self-acceptance.  Counselors often ask their clients to “become comfortable living in their own skin.”  Counselors of Color will extend that metaphor and ask you to do the same as counselors and therapists.

Our private Facebook group is open to all counselors and therapists whether you’re a premium member or not.  You can also find our group on LinkedIn.

List your facility and your Staff with us by signing up HERE.



It takes different colors

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