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Working Through The Past For A Brighter Future

For the last seven months, Maria* has been receiving counseling services through CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic. A 30-year-old who is originally from El Salvador, Maria was experiencing extreme anxiety and would often lash out at her husband and children as a result. According to Holly Pryor, a Krist Samaritan counselor at Point of Light Clinic, Maria stated she “did not know where this was coming from.”

Pryor started by providing de-escalation strategies which Maria reported helped. “When working with clients, one of the most helpful strategies for a therapist is to teach the clients new skills to de-escalate,” Pryor said. “I usually start out with breathing exercises to begin the process of calming the mind and then move on to teaching clients grounding techniques and mindful exercises to facilitate a more rational response. These skills usually are effective for most clients, mainly because they are simple to remember and to do.”

They then began the longer process of ongoing therapy. “I utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to assist Maria in identifying underlying causes,” Pryor said. “In addition, CBT helps gain understanding of how emotional responses from the past and present are connected which over time can develop into unwanted and unhealthy reactiveness.”

Maria was determined to make positive changes in her life and worked diligently in session and practiced what she had learned on her own. “She quickly made noticeable changes and worked hard to continue to make positive changes and healthy choices,” Pryor said. “Maria now has a stronger, healthier relationship with her husband and children and is able to identify triggers and successfully reframe thoughts. She now enjoys being more confident and has a higher self-image.”

Maria continues on a daily basis to be mindful and thankful to the Lord for the success she has had through therapy and is finishing up her journey with Pryor.

*not patient’s real name

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