Author Archives: Hurley Counseling

Mental Health May

Are you just not okay?  Not feeling like yourself lately?  Are there no major issues going on but something just doesn’t feel right?  Well, May is the month to explore those feelings because it’s Mental Health Awareness month!  Take this month to check in with yourself and be honest about how you’re doing.  Whether there’s been big changes in your life or things simply don’t feel the same, it’s always a good idea to look after your mental health.  Our brains are what control everything about us, so if it’s not functioning properly how can we be our best selves?  This month also involves advocating for others’ mental health.  From providing support to others, working to educate ourselves and others on mental health, advocating for policies to help those with mental illness and their families, and most importantly fighting the stigma around treating mental health, there’s plenty of ways to practice and educate ourselves.    

Everyone struggles with mental health at some point; some in big ways and others in small daily battles.  Everyone’s battle is important, and we should all work to support one another and show that you are not alone.  If a friend or family member seems to be struggling ask if they want you to listen to them, leave someone a nice note as a surprise, or even just smile at someone you see.  You never know what others are going through, but we can certainly all use a mental health boost every now and then!  So, take the time to be honest with yourself this month, check in with family and friends, and if you or someone you know is struggling don’t be afraid to reach out to us for help.  Take time to check in with yourself every now and then and make sure that you are what you should be…YOU!

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment we can be reached by phone at 251-222-8880 or by email at

This blog was written by our Spring Hill/Hurley intern Taylor Empson.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Thinking about memories of the past is usually a good time filled with laughter, happiness, and a desire to replay a moment just one more time.  However, for those with PTSD, memories of the past can be terrifying and debilitating to their everyday lives.  PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric, trauma- and stressor-related disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed an intensely traumatic experience.  PTSD can develop when a person was directly exposed to trauma, witnessed trauma, learned that a relative or close friend was exposed to trauma, or had indirect exposure to intense details of the trauma like first responders or medics may experience.  Intrusive symptoms such as re-experiencing the trauma, avoidance of trauma reminders, negative mood or thinking, and feeling on edge and on guard are all a part of PTSD.  

Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy is a method of treatment used only to treat trauma-related problems and has been proven by research to be incredibly effective.  PE uses in vivo and imaginal exposure techniques to help those suffering from PTSD to overcome their symptoms and heal.  Imaginal exposure occurs in session with a therapist and involves guided remembering and describing of the traumatic event in detail in the safety of the therapist’s office.  This is combined with in vivo exposure which is a patient’s “homework” to safely and comfortably face real life situations that remind the client of the trauma.  These types of exposure combined with the guidance and support of a therapist certified in PE have helped many people overcome their trauma-related pain and move on with their lives.  If you have PTSD or other trauma disorders contact us for a consultation on whether Prolonged Exposure Therapy is right for you.  It’s time for you to get your life back!

If you are interested in making an appoint call us at 251-222-8880 or email us at

This blog was written by our Spring Hill/Hurley intern Taylor Empson.

Coming Soon: Story Group!

Join us for our 9-week Transformational Story Group based on the Allender Center’s Story Methodology – that we are best known and our stories best read in the company of others. If you are tired of feeling anxious, depressed and discouraged and long to feel seen, loved and healed, then please consider applying! 

Narrative Focused Trauma Work has proven to be a significant source of wholeness, healing and freedom in people’s lives and relationships. Sharing difficult stories of our past in the presence of others helps shed the masks of guilt and shame, as well as unravel some of the most harmful and unhelpful relational dynamics in our lives. At the end of 9 weeks, you will emerge with a fuller understanding of life, an ability to embrace more of what life offers, and a kindness that is rooted deep in your heart.

This Story Group will be facilitated by Scott Moore. Scott is a Trauma Informed Pastoral Counselor and a Story Group Facilitator/Coach. He has a bachelors degree from the University of South Alabama, a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary, and has been an ordained minister and pastor in the Presbyterian church since 2010. He holds multiple certifications in Narrative Focused [Trauma] Therapy from, and is a Core Facilitator for The Allender Center at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

2021 Spring 9-Week Story Group:

  • Time: Sundays, beginning May 2nd (7:00-9:00pm)
  • Place: Hurley Counseling Center
  • Investment: $80/Session

Additional Mindfulness Yoga, lead by Lajuan Humbert, will be offered after each session for those who would like to attend.

Destress Colorfully

Are you stressed out? Feeling anxious? Blue? Unfortunately, this is a common state that many people find themselves in every day. Life can be hard. There are competing demands of work, school, family, friends, homelife, bills to pay, errands to run. Sometimes it seems like the world never stops or even slows down. So what’s the solution? While it won’t solve all your problems, pushing pause and taking a moment to destress can certainly help. Of course, there are many ways to do this, but one of the simplest, and (in my opinion) most fun ways to take a mental break is something you are already familiar with: coloring.

            Coloring has been shown to be helpful to reduce stress and anxiety for several reasons. First, coloring promotes mindfulness. While you are coloring you aren’t focusing on the future or worrying about the past. Instead you are firmly grounded in the here and now, selecting colors and filling in the spaces. In fact, some research suggests that coloring can have similar effects to meditation, and for those who find mediation difficult it can offer an easier alternative. Additionally, the repetitive motion required for coloring can be soothing.

            Preliminary research as well as anecdotal evidence also suggests that certain colors can cause you to feel different emotions. For example, warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow often make people feel happy. Cooler colors such as blue and green often promote relaxation and calm. Because of this, the color palette you choose to use can also add additional benefits to coloring.

            While there are many commercially available coloring books for teens and adults on every topic from gardening to animals to the latest TV show, many coloring pages available for free online. Here are 18 to get you started. They range from simple to complex and are designed to promote mediation and relaxation.

If you would like to read more about the benefits of coloring see this article.

This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett

New Year, New Me?

The first of the year has come and gone. If you are like most people, you probably have
a few New Year’s Resolutions: eat healthier, exercise more, be kinder to your family and friends, save money, the list goes on and on. When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st those resolutions seem so promising. We all think that this is the year we will make it work. Then we go back to work or school. Life gets busier and busier. It’s been a long day, why go for a run? It’s so much easier to go through that fast food drive through than it is to go home and cook something healthy. That new phone looks so nice, surely it will be worth the splurge? And once you’ve broken your resolution one time, what’s the point of keeping it going? If you are already struggling with keeping your New Year’s Resolution, you’re not alone. Most research suggests that by the end of this month, 80-90% of people will have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions. So what’s the solution? How do we make resolutions that will stick? The answer is much simpler than you might think:
Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions!

That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for self improvement, you can and you should.
A resolution for a whole year, however, is way too daunting for most people. On day one or two it may be easy to think that you can go the whole year without eating sweets, but by day twenty or thirty, the possibility seems a lot sadder. So what should you do instead?

● Make daily resolutions. Choosing to make coffee at home instead of going through the drive through today is a much easier choice.
● Break your goal down into specific manageable steps. Instead of making a blanket
statement like “I’m going to be more patient with my mother” decide on something
specific, such as “When my mother criticizes my shirt, I am not going to say anything.”
● Focus on the process more than the goal. Instead of saying, “this year I am going to give up all sweets” say “today I am going to eat vegetable sticks because they taste good and give me more energy.”
● Most importantly don’t compare your progress to that of others. Don’t worry about how fast or how far other people are running, instead focus on the fact that you got out the door in the first place.
● Finally, give yourself room to fail. Just because you slipped up and snapped at someone or ate that cookie, doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your goal, all it means is that you are human. So what if you have one (or ten) bad day(s)? Tomorrow is another chance to make another resolution.

This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett.