Compass Counseling Services of Apex

Individual and Couples Counseling

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2015 News- Clinical Supervision is now offered

Posted by Corinne on May 28, 2015

Starting August 2015 I will be providing clinical supervision for LCSW Associates that plan to take the LCSW exam in NC and need supervision for hours. Fee is $80 per hour of supervision

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Raising an Only Child

Posted by Corinne on August 2, 2012

Are you a parent of an only child? Is this a challenge to you mainly because you were not an only child? Parenting coaching to offer techniques raising only children is now available. Gain insight into the world of the singleton, and impact on their development emotionally and socially. These sessions are private, not in a class. One or both parents welcome to attend.

Fee is $90 per 60 min session


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The i Generation

Posted by Corinne on August 4, 2011

Just a comment, observation etc on the new generation- kids born between 1990 and now. Both of my kids are in this generation , so I feel somewhat entitled to blog about this both professionally and personally.

The i-phone, ipad , i touch, i pod – Apple’s babies. Our babies are growing alongside them. Compared to my generation which saw the dawn of the microwave, cordless phone, cell phone, the  personal computer .All of these emerged gradually as we grew up. The i generation has experienced this on a rapid pace. Facebook amd twitter have been their voce to each other and to the world. Their comments are broadcasted, as are they personally. What is the impact on moral development, communciation skills, and social skills? Camera on phones capture impulsivity, are part of “dating” or even flirting. Nothing is taken seriously except for the the consequences

I have a caseload right now of about 5 adoelscents ages 12-17. All of them have a really hard time putting their phones down during therapy. They are always “on”, and so are they. Awaiting someone to talk to them or make them laugh. A sense of entitlement to be responded to. To be heard is critical to this age group, but perhaps not this way.

The biggest challenge the i generation faces as a result of the blossoming technology is social skills and emotional regulation. Lets slow them down a little. Put down the kindle and pick up a book. Take a break from Facebook. Turn off the Wii and go outside. Perhaps say no to a smart phone ? The second hurdle is us as parents… regulating or putting it all down ourselves, and reconnecting on a more sincere human level.

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Advocate for your Health Insurance

Posted by Corinne on June 9, 2010

Our country is obviously implementing some changes in healthcare, but for now, we are still destined to have to deal with private health insurance. I always encourage clients to call and advocate on their own behalf with insurance. In essence it is a business and in reality patients are consumers. Although I started to call them on behalf of my patients, I got nowhere fast. It was so frustrating. Whether it was hearing something different from each person, not even reaching a “live” person, or getting re-routed to everyone under the sun. One thing remained consistent: the patient needs to call. Of course this makes sense, but for many people, they feel just as trapped as I did. They key when asking for authorization or specific questions,  is to ask for a care advocate and stay away from anyone in customer service if possible.

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Teach Coping Skills Early: Kids and Journaling

Posted by Corinne on February 12, 2010

Recently I attended training on journal writing for adults.  As many already know, journaling is an excellent tool for coping.  In the conference I learned of the many forms of journaling .  This has been an especially helpful resource I have shared with my adult clients.

What really opened up my eyes to journaling was a recommendation about teaching  journaling to children., to kids that are preschool age and cannot write yet.  This got my attention as a mother of two preschool age children.  It also got my attention as it applies to my work with parents.  It has been my belief that if we can teach our kids good coping skills as soon as possible, we are aiding in their development in a priceless way.  Parents that I see as clients are always asking how they can prevent problems in their children’s lives, whether it is peer pressure, poor decisions, relationship issues and the mood shifts of adolescence.  Well, this is one way- teach them to journal.

The Daily Doodle by Janet Mentore Lee PhD  is a wonderful workbook for kids ages 4-7 to use art (drawing) as one way of identifying,  exploring and problems solving through emotions.  Parents can serve as coach in the review and discussion of their work.  Parent can also just see the patterns that emerge at each entry.  My 5 yr old daughter uses it and it has given me tremendous insight into her experience of emotions and situations.  More importantly, she is learning a way of expressing herself in a healthy way that will last a lifetime.

The Daily Doodle is available on or

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Request for Info Regarding Local Support Groups/Workshops

Posted by Corinne on January 4, 2010

When I practiced in CA, I had some experience facilitating groups and also presenting workshops in the area.  Now that I am in NC it seems that there is a general shortage of support groups.  I found a list of some on However this may be only my perception and not the actual reality.  Therefore I am asking for comments from any professionals or have knowledge of a support group in the Triangle area to email me or comment and I will publish it on my site.  Support group can be for any issue (Coping with Cancer, Stress, Parenting Skills etc.) .  My hope is that I will update this site with a list of local groups and workshops to serve the community as a resource.

As far as my office and practice is concerned, I am hoping to have about 5-6 workshops/support groups offerend in 2010.  See my page on Groups for details


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Psychology Today Therapist Finder

Posted by Corinne on December 17, 2009

I recently registered with Psychology Today in their online directory of therapists. I did this not only  to help market my practice but also because I was impressed. If I were a client in need of services I would use this site. Most clients feel overwhelmed with the list of providers given to them from their insurance provider. Plus that list doesn’t always have credential info, a photo a personal statement  or website about the therapist. Sometimes all they have is a name, address and specialty. The Therapist Finder has it all , plus a link to the therapist’s own webpage . Clients can learn a lot about the theoretical orientation and style of the therapist before even making that first call. So kudos to Psychology Today for making it easier to get help, and giving the power back to clients to choose their mental healthcare.

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Holiday Daze

Posted by Corinne on December 4, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder is one term used to describe those that suffer from sadness and depression due to the increased darkness of the winter months. This is a very real experience for many, and can range in severity from irritability to thoughts of suicide. However for most of us, we experience a “holiday daze”: A mixture of anxiety, excitement and uncertainty. From the frenzy of feast and family in November, to the consumer crazy dash throughout December. Family relationships are put to the test especially when alcohol and jet lag are part of the equation. Pressure to decorate, pressure to make wishes come true and pressure to bake your head off are more triggers of a stressful season. I have learned to be even more available to clients during the months from Nov to Jan.. for this very reason. Sometimes clients need to talk things out before family from out-of-town arrives, or have some time to reminisce about people they miss during the holidays.

Here are some tips to stay focused this holiday season and enter into the new year with more energy.

1. Time management. Make lists, set realistic goals and expectations for you and your family. Decide what parties are really worth attending and be sure that you have time to yourself. 

2. Keep good habits going. Whatever healthy things you do to manage stress, continue it. Exercise, eat a balanced diet, limit alcohol etc

3. Set budgets for spending. Entertainment, travel and gift expenses can get out of hand. Start planning as soon as possible in regards to budget. Keep it simple.

4. Delegate. If you can cater a meal, hire a neighborhood teen to put up some lights, or get a babysitter for some much-needed “me time”, just do it.

5. Traditions. Keep the traditions of holidays past and be free to add a new one as needed . If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, try to add a new tradition to honor that person (or pet).

6. Hope. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, this is the season of hope and peace. Find some quiet time each day to really meditate on this.

I hope you find this helpful . Happy Holidays

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The Inner Critic- Poor Self Esteem

Posted by Corinne on November 5, 2009

I always thought of the term “self-esteem” as overused psycho-babble . It seemed that self-esteem (low self-esteem to be specific) was a catch-all label to attribute for any unexplainable emotional distress. My late grandfather (a product of the Depression era)  used to say “What is this nonsense of self-esteem and stress- your generation just needs to buck up!”.  Before becoming a therapist I associated “self-esteem” with the challenge faced by teenagers only. I would hope that by adulthood that our self-esteem would be solid and therefore we could move on with our goals in life. Now that I am an adult, and a psychotherapist, I see things differently.The term “self-esteem” is a pretty credible term. In fact I would go so far as to say that poor self-esteem finds its way into multiple life issues. Marital problems, body image/eating disorders, substance abuse, domestic violence, work performance issues, anxiety and mood problems…the list goes on and on. I have found a way to integrate some basic educational methods in my therapy with clients , as well as dig deeper into the root of the development of their current self-esteem. In other words – uncover that inner critic. The inner critic that once echoed what a parent may have said or reflected encounter with a peer. Throughout adolescence and adulthood how has that impacted choices we have made and our coping style?  As a therapist I have come face to face with that inner critic faced by clients and have sometimes felt powerless against it.  It is not my job to boost a clients self- esteem but rather balance out that inner voice of feeling inadequate , with more hope and realistic positivity. As a parent I have become more aware of the messages I have communicated to my two children , and tried to role model healthy self esteem.  I must admit that has been a challenge in its own right.  I conclude that we all need to re-evaluate out own inner citics- not only to feel better about ourselves , but to be the best we can be.  Therapy, or simply an increased awareness of this, can help.

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What makes a competent psychiatrist

Posted by Corinne on October 21, 2009

I have worked with psychiatrists for about 10 years, both in an inpatient and outpatient setting.  About 60% of my clients are on a psychotropic medication  and therefore need to be followed by a psychiatrist. They typically see that person about once every 1-3 months for about 15 minutes .However, that depends upon the medication  and how long the client has been on medication. I have spoken with clients about their experiences – the good, the bad, and the questionable.  I have learned that, for sure, the client’s ultimate prognosis can be greatly helped or hindered by the medication and treatment from a psychiatrist. I have had the pleasure of working with one psychiatrist that was so trusted and appreciated that he was invited for Thanksgiving Dinner by clients.  On the flip side I have had a client come to see me in tears because her psychiatrist told her “just be a better wife.”

The role of psychiatrists have changed in the last 20 years. Therapists like myself know them as the “go-to guy” for managing medications and hospitalization of clients.  Many of them in practice today have had just basic counseling experience, especially if trained after 1990. Most of them, they have chosen to serve as managing medications and referring to LCSWs and LPCs /MFTs for counseling.

If a client is on medication and actually needs a MD to manage it, the first criteria in selecting a psychiatrist is how she or he is willing to collaborate with your therapist. I strongly believe good mental health care takes a team approach: the client, the family, the therapist and the psychiatrist.  I have worked with some psychiatrists that have done wonderful jobs on assessing clients, and some that basically ask me to get the psychosocial  info and make their own judgement on how to treat them.  Typically a competent psychiatrist focus on gathering info, suggest psychotherapy and a treatment regimen of medications.  He or she should always review options of medications and side effects just as any other MD would be expected to do.  Clients need to trust their gut when it comes to any MD, especially one that needs to know more than your vital signs and medical history.  If you feel that a psychiatrist is asking a lot of questions and seems genuinely interested- great!  If he or she rushes you out with a sample of meds without explaining the meds or giving you a diagnosis… find another one.

Another thing to consider as a client is who your internal medicine MD or other MD refer to.  They may have worked with a certain psychiatrist that they felt managed patients effectively.  Of course their experience is not as a patient but they have seen the kind of time this person has invested in his or her patients and sometimes that is even better.

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