Q&A With Counselor Tamika Summers

Get Rid of Your Emotional Baggage With Counseling | Q&A With Counselor Tamika Summers

Tips FOr Mental health, divorce, finding a New Normal & More

Mental health is very important. It is important to heal from our past issues in order to move forward to live a fulfilling life. Do not ever feel like a problem is too small or your problem is too much of a burden. If something bothers you, you should talk to a counselor about it.

Know that you are strong and no problem is ever too big that you can not heal from it and learn to live a richer more fulfilling life.

If you feel uneasy about talking to a counselor, I hope that this interview helps you to feel a little more comfortable.

I would like to thank Ms. Summers for allowing me to ask her some questions. I sincerely appreciate her time and patience answering these questions.

Angel


Disclaimer:

The responses listed are not to replace any type of counseling and the writer is not acting in capacity of the reader’s therapist. For more information please contact a local counselor or visit the resources page to identify a counselor in your area.

Q: Can you tell me about yourself?

A: I am Tamika Summers LMFT CADCII SAP, I have been a counselor for 11 years working with individuals, families and couples. I have worked in the community going to where the client is (schools, homes and even in a field of cucumbers!) I have also worked in private practice since 2015.

Q: Have you had counseling before? 

A: No but I’m not opposed to it.

Q: What is your general philosophy and approach to helping people? 

A: I approach each client expecting to hear from them as individuals. I devote my time to focusing on what they are saying and not saying (nonverbal cues). My general philosophy is that the answer to questions a person is trying to find is most likely already within them. Self-awareness is key.

Q: What tips can you give to people to take care of their mental health?

A: Sit with yourself quietly and if you do not feel that you can sit still or become calm then you are probably emotionally unsettled. There is probably some emotional and spiritual unpacking that needs to be done.

Q: I was married  for seven years or so, I never figured out what the purpose of marriage was. I can’t help but to think that it is another way for the government and lawyers to make money. When you fall in and out love with a person, love can not possibly be the reason. So, what is the purpose of marriage? 

A: Marriage is a social construct. It is created by people. There are risks and benefits to marriage, and because it is a social construct it will mean different things to different people. It will start with why you chose to get married, who you chose to get married to and the choices you made while married. The answers are always already there. The answer will vary based on the individual because everyone is different.

Q: 2020 was a rough year. Were you over booked on Zoom?

A: Booked and busy as they say. We are facing a mental health crisis at this time. It isn’t being discussed much now but I believe it will be included in any future documentaries when people “look back” or “review” the impact of COVID19.

Q: There were many breakups or divorces while in quarantine. What is the key to making it through difficult times?

A: Making the decision to have a better relationship. If both parties agree and decide, change can be made by having a conversation and seeking the right support (i.e. professional help, not mama, auntie, cousin, sister’n’em, they are too close to the problem.)

Q: If someone is on the fence about getting a divorce, what factors should they consider before making a final decision?

A: First it is important to consider if the relationship is able to be sustained with support and communication. Next, It is important to consider who and what will be impacted by the divorce and how. Finally if it is determined that the relationship cannot be recovered, it is important to determine the healthiest way to dissolve the relationship in which both parties experience the least amount of negative impact from the separation. If possible come to an agreement to settle out of court. Using attorneys to communicate can feel cold and uncaring, but useful if absolutely necessary.

Q: After many years of being with someone, a relationship can get old, what are some tips that could spice up a relationship?

A: Communicate about the old times. The first time you met, what sparked the relationship. Spend time alone together and separately from others. When a problem arises address the problem directly with your partner. Make sure you make time for 30 minutes of communication each day just the two of you.

Q: Many times people get married and bring baggage into the relationship. How can a couple deal with their own issues while working on building a stronger marriage?

A: Individual therapy is important to pursue. Self-improvement is always necessary, whether in a relationship or single. A person does not need another to become whole and developing self-love and self-care will go a long way in building a stronger individual.

Q: How can someone learn to communicate and deal with a parent who doesnt want to co-parent?

A: Depending on the level of cooperation there are means to coparent without having to be too involved with the other parent. If a person chooses not to parent then the primary parent will have to make a decision on how they will parent individually. Bad behavior is usually not productive behavior and is just a temporary transfer of energy. Conserve your energy and put it towards parenting.

Q: How can a person heal from a breakup or divorce?

A: Self-love, self-care and self-actualization. Invest time and energy into yourself and if you have children put that energy towards them as well. Time heals wounds and healing will often be realized in retrospect.

Q: What is the most common family problem? How do they deal with it and heal from this problem?

A: Miscommunication due to managing multiple people/emotions/personalities within the home. Sit down and communicate/listen with the support of a professional. Spend time together in team-building activities. Develop a family culture that you can be proud of.

Q: What can parents do to help their teens to get through the sometimes emotional or tough years of being a teenager? 

A: Listen without judgement and without trying to solve the problem. Try not to react. Wait for them to ask for your advice. Start this when the child is young so they will feel comfortable coming to you and expressing. Usually an overly emotional response on behalf of the parent will shut down any communication from the child. Be firm set boundaries but don’t overreact.

Q: For a person dealing with any kind of addiction what do they do to stop the addictive behavior? 

A: Seek professional help, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. They are still meeting on Zoom.

Q: For anyone dealing with a friend or family member who is on drugs or an alcoholic who doesn’t want help, what can they do? 

A: Set firm boundaries, do not enable the behavior/addiction, continue to remind their loved one that they love them, be ready to help them into treatment when they are ready. Do not take the addiction or addictive behaviors personally because it is in fact a disease.

Q: Things are slowly getting a back to somewhat normal. Regardless of a vaccine, many people still do not feel 100% comfortable. What advice can you give to people to help them to feel more comfortable and find a sense of normalcy?

A: Set a schedule, find activities that will allow you to feel some sense of peace and safety (i.e. functions outdoors, socially distanced, around others who are also vaccinated and/or safe). There is no timeline for getting back to normal, take baby steps and do what feels comfortable. Follow CDC recommendations, stay up to date on news regarding the vaccine and how governments are handling reopening.

Q: Please tell people how to reach you for couseling.

A: Visit our website www.georgiacounseling.com 

The responses listed are not to replace any type of counseling and the writer is not acting in capacity of the reader’s therapist. For more information please contact a local counselor or visit the resources page to identify a counselor in your area.


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