The Candid Counselor

Helping individuals overcome anxiety, depression, and life's issues

Dr. Julia Becker

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Licensed Psychologist
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Serving the greater Waco, TX area, including Woodway, Hewitt, Lorena, Bellmead, Robinson, and China Spring.

Is Thanksgiving good for your mental health?

Posted by Dr. Becker Saturday, November 3, 2018 0 comments

Can you imagine having Thanksgiving all year long? Not exactly the turkey and pumpkin pie, but a spirit of gratitude. Research shows that practicing gratitude leads to increased happiness and overall wellness. Please read my article to learn more about practicing gratitude.

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

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Keep the Stress Out of Your Family Fun: 4 Simple Steps

Posted by Dr. Becker Thursday, September 20, 2018 0 comments

There are so many fun fall activities in central Texas that are perfect for families! Sometimes even fun activities can cause stress when we strive for perfection and worry about missing out. Please read my Hooray for Family article for tips on keeping your family activities fun and stress-free!

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

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Help Kids Cope with Stress by Exploring Expectations

Posted by Dr. Becker Tuesday, September 4, 2018 0 comments

Our brains constantly take in information and make connections. As thinkers, we naturally form expectations about the world around us. Although we may not always be aware of these expectations, they still affect us. Unmet expectations can lead to stress, anxiety, or depression. In my recent Hooray for Family article, I discussed ways parents can help kids cope with stress by identifying and discussing expectations in several key areas. By having these conversations, parents will be better prepared to help kids cope when their expectations are not met. To learn more about helping kids cope with stress, please click here to read my article.

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

How Can Parents Help Kids Cope With School Stress?

Posted by Dr. Becker Tuesday, August 28, 2018 0 comments

When I work with teenagers or college students, their parents often ask me how they can help. Whether their child is dealing with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, or general stress, parents often wonder what to do and what not do. In my recent interview with the Wacoan magazine, I discussed some of the challenges facing teens and young adults today. Technology, pressure to succeed in school, and concerns about friendships all contribute to stress. Many people recognize the importance of seeking counseling to treat depression or anxiety. However, we often forget the value of prevention and striving for good mental health. 

We take care of our physical health by going to the dentist or physician for checkups, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy.

What do you and your child do to maintain good mental health?

Please click here to read more about common stresses, prevention, and positive mental health practices.

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

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While we would all like to focus a bit better, sometimes focus problems interfere with important life goals, including academic and career goals. ADHD is often suspected as soon as difficulties with focus arise. Some of the inattentive symptoms of ADHD include concerns many people can relate to, including:

Poor attention to detail

Difficulty sustaining attention

Poor organization

Difficulty starting or completing tasks

Being easily distracted

ADHD is only one cause for poor concentration. Depression, anxiety, poor diet, and poor sleep habits also cause similar problems with focus and productivity. The first step toward improving focus is to determine the cause of the poor focus. If ADHD is the cause, treatment usually involves medication, as well as counseling to address time management and organization. If anxiety is causing poor focus, the goal of counseling is to reduce overall anxiety and calm the body and mind when anxiety peaks. If multiple factors are causing poor focus, it is important to understand and address each of these factors simultaneously.

Sleep is often an underappreciated factor in poor focus. Sleep impairment may occur as a single problem, but it often occurs along with anxiety, depression, or ADHD. Research shows that sleep is crucial to mental focus and productivity. A psychologist can assess sleep quality and help with developing better sleep habits.

If you have concerns about poor focus or decreased productivity, please call to set up an evaluation.

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

How Does Stress Affect Physical Health?

Posted by Dr. Becker Tuesday, July 24, 2018 0 comments

Stress is not just unpleasant; it can also cause physical health problems. Even a few minutes spent worrying causes physical changes in the body.

Our complex brains constantly send signals thorough the entire body and receive signals back from the body. Our thoughts and emotions impact these signals, as well as various stress hormones including cortisol.

Short term stress causes various physical problems, including:

Difficulty sleeping
Edginess/increased heart rate
Muscle tension
Upset stomach

Long lasting or chronic stress responses are linked to more serious conditions, including

Heart disease
Gastrointestinal disorders
Chronic pain

The effects of stress are based on how we cope with the stressful event, rather than the stressful event itself. Stress will always be a part of life, so improving coping skills is essential for minimizing the harmful impact of stress. If stress is a problem in your life, consider counseling. Research shows that effective counseling changes the brain, and these positive changes lead to greater resilience and improved coping with stress.

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

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How can I reduce my stress when my life is so busy?

Posted by Dr. Becker Sunday, July 1, 2018 0 comments

Life is often busy and demanding. Finding quick and effective ways to reduce stress is crucial for good health. Try taking just a few minutes  to relax each morning and afternoon. You could take a walk, practice deep breathing, tense and relax muscles, or engage in an enjoyable hobby. Whatever activity you choose, the key is to be focused on the present moment. When your mind strays to future plans, worries, or thoughts about the past, gently bring your focus back you your present activity. This is a quick and simple way to decrease daily stress. Research shows that mind wandering and worrying are linked to negative health outcomes and increased depression and anxiety. Learning to focus your mind through consistent, brief practice is an excellent way to improve physical and mental health. If stress is still a concern, consider counseling to help develop coping skills.

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

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