Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How to Break the Fear of Fear Itself

Hello, my name is Anita Sandoval, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, and from the Rio Grande Valley. My job is to help people come up with techniques, skills, strategies, to implement and move forward to a healthier environment. It is up to you to be responsible and do what is necessary to create your own healthy environment, and I am ready to help you do so.

Today's Topic is Fear:

As one famous person said:

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address 

I would always wonder what that meant. I mean I am a person who fears many things. From spiders, to unforeseeable events and many more. The question was, was I not entitled to have fear. How can fear be overcome. Then I slowly after much reading I realized that fear is something that we have in our minds that we make it to be as big or small as we choose it to be. I read a book called, Punch Fear in the Face by Jon Acuff

and I then started to realize that fear is what was holding me back into being the person I so wanted to become. I realized that breaking through to my imaginary troll of fear I would then reach my destination of success. As with everything I do that I fear, I tend to go with baby steps. I know there are some people that fully immerse themselves to what they fear a type of sink or swim type of deal. That's great for them but for me I like to take things small that way the risks are small whether great or not I like like to work that way. 

I have come to realize that throughout life that the only way I can move forward is by facing fear head on and beating it with a punch. I recently published my book BROKEN CHAINS ( How I broke the cycle of abuse and neglect and went from victim to survivor) It's scary to see your whole life out there for everyone to see and judge and criticize. Then I realized again that the only way I can make a difference to people is by being authentic to myself and realize that the only person I have to come to terms with with love, respect, and acceptance, is with myself. 

So for anyone who is ready to break the cycle of abuse and neglect and create healthier relationships send me an email on how you can purchase my book. 

If you have any concerns, questions or would like to comment on any of the blogs or would like for me to discuss a certain issue, I will be more than happy to discuss it with you. You can email me at

Email: or on as well
Positive Awakenings Counseling Center
Broken Chains Blog:



Monday, October 19, 2015

Awareness and Prevention on Domestic Violence

Hi, my name is Anita Sandoval MA,LPC. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor.  

My job is to help people come up with techniques, skills, strategies, to implement and move forward to a healthier environment. It is up to you to be responsible and do what is necessary to create your own healthy environment, and I am ready to help you do so.

Today's Topic Domestic Violence 

According to the website

What is Domestic Violence?

  • Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.
  • Other terms for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence.

  •  1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence at some point in his life.
  • Domestic Violence affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men.  

Domestic Violence in America: General Statistics and Facts

  • Women ages 18 to 34 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.
  • In 2 out of 3 female homicide cases, females are killed by a family member or intimate partner.

What are the Effects of Domestic Violence on Mental Health?

  • Domestic violence victims face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.
  • Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors including chronic conditions such as heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Most women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence were socially isolated and had few social and financial resources.

It is important to become aware of the facts and then help yourself or someone you know who is in need. I have many patients that come to my office justifying, excusing, blaming, minimizing the domestic violence. There is no excuse for abuse and as you have read everyone gets affected and then the cycle begins. The question to ask is when will it end! When will someone finally say enough!
I know one of the common irrational beliefs is that children need both parents and that divorce or separation will affect them. In reading the statistics above, logically ask yourself are the effects of the children's future mental health well being and success in life being at risk worth having both parents if it involves one with domestic violence.

Some of the Signs of Domestic Violence are:

Does your partner ever:

  1. Accuse you of cheating and being disloyal?
  2. Make you feel worthless?
  3. Hurt you by hitting, choking or kicking you?
  4. Intimidate and threaten to hurt you or someone you love?
  5. Threaten to hurt themselves if they don’t get what they want?
  6. Try to control what you do and who you see?
  7. Isolate you?
  8. Pressure or force you into unwanted sex?
  9. Control your access to money?
  10. Stalk you, including calling you constantly or following you?

Get Help:

Hotline Phone Numbers

Domestic Violence Hotline:
800.621.HOPE (4673)

Crime Victims Hotline:
866.689.HELP (4357)

Rape & Sexual Assault Hotline:

TDD phone number for all hotlines:

 You are not alone:
Here are some stories of victims from domestic violence.

Michael's Story: When a Child Witnesses Domestic Violence

“Mommy’s boyfriend hurts her...”

Five-year-old Michael said these words to his teachers during his first week at school.
His teachers were startled. Usually, they listened to students talk about summer vacation – not hear a student tell them that his mother’s life was in danger. They contacted Michael’s mother, Daphne, to report what her son had said.
They discovered Michael was right. His teachers put Daphne in touch with Safe Horizon, and a day later, Daphne showed up at our offices, anxious yet hopeful.
As Daphne told us about her life, she told us she was shocked to hear that Michael knew what was happening to her. For two years, her boyfriend had routinely beaten and raped her, yet she never called police. She described a harrowing relationship in which her boyfriend was not afraid to punch and kick her in front of his friends, and he would often force her to have sex with them. Daphne told us that once, during a brutal rape, she screamed so loudly that neighbors called the police. Her boyfriend left before the police came. When they asked her what happened, she lied and told them that she and her boyfriend were just arguing.
In spite of such horrific behavior, Daphne’s boyfriend was careful never to attack her in front of her child. Still, he often threatened to hurt Michael if she ever told anyone about the abuse. Daphne was terrified of what he might do to her son, so she stayed silent and suffered.
It may surprise you to know that children do recognize domestic violence and abuse when they see it. In homes where domestic violence takes place, between 80 to 90 percent of children in those homes not only know about the abuse, but can describe it in detail.
Children will also often try to stop violence when they see it happening to a parent - and the consequences to children can be tragic. Yet like Michael, they cannot just watch their parent get hurt. Michael decided to be brave and tell his teachers about it instead.
The compassion and concern of our supporters makes it possible for us to have community programs where Daphne could come and find someone to tell about the abuse. For families affected by violence, we can provide a lot more than a listening ear. For Daphne, we would help her and Michael find the tools they needed to get out of a violent, dangerous situation.
Daphne told us that she wanted to leave her boyfriend, take Michael away, and return to her hometown. Daphne was able to come to our offices because her boyfriend was in jail for drunk driving and driving with a suspended license. She did not, however, want to report the violence or the rape that he and his friends committed. She just wanted to escape.
We helped Daphne get a medical examination, helped her get counseling, and worked with her to manage her situation.
Daphne told us she had been trying for two years to contact Michael’s grandparents without success. We helped her finally reach them. When we did, we learned that they had been desperately trying to reach Daphne, too ... but Daphne's boyfriend intercepted their calls and so they could never talk to her. They told Daphne they would take her and Michael in, if she would just return to them.
Finally, Daphne had a chance to escape and to be with people who cared about her. Our staff worked hard with organizations in her hometown to provide her with the financial and material assistance she would need to relocate. We also found emergency transportation funds to help Daphne and Michael travel to Michael’s grandparents.
A week after Daphne and Michael left, she called us. She told us that she and Michael were safe and they were happy, and most of all, they were grateful for what Safe Horizon did for them.
Daphne and Michael found the chance they needed to escape violence and abuse because Michael spoke up. Thanks to his young voice, he and his mother can now live their lives with brighter, safer futures.

At the end of the day you only have one life and isn't it about time you live it the best and by being happy!
I would love to hear from you, your thoughts and stories.

If you have any concerns, questions or would like for me to discuss a certain issue in the blog, I will be more than happy to discuss it with you. You can email me at

Twitter: anitasandoval@pacctx
Facebook: Positive Awakenings Counseling Center