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Use this form to initiate contact or ask questions:

2401 Haskell Boulevard

Muskogee, OK 74403

(918) 869-6890

Jon A Ward, MWS, MA, LMFT

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  • Marital/Couples

  • Pre-Marital

  • Family Therapy

SPECIALIZING IN:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Adolescents/Children

 
Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal, natural and sometimes necessary emotion. It is an adaptive response to stress or danger. Anxiety helps us cope with tense situations, and can motivate us to work harder or stay focused on solving an important problem. In general, it helps us manage many challenges in our daily lives. But for some people, anxiety can become excessive, irrational and debilitating. When anxiety significantly impairs our ability to function in daily life, at work, at school, and in relationships it may be due to a condition called anxiety disorder. While some amount of anxiety is normal, if worries and fears are preventing you from living your life the way you’d like, you should consider contacting a mental health professional or anxiety therapist for a complete evaluation.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 40 million Americans a year. Unlike the anxiety caused by a single stressful event, anxiety disorders last 6 months or more and can get worse if not treated. Anxiety disorders typically respond very well to treatment. Many who are faced with anxiety issues are successful in treatment and go on to live healthy, fulfilling lives. If you or someone you know is experiencing excessive anxiety please seek help.

 
Depression

Depression is a disorder that affects both the mind and body; it affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression is more than just a bout of the blues: it is a chronic condition that usually requires long-term treatment. When feelings of extreme sadness or despair last for two weeks or more and begin to interfere with normal living, you may be a suffering from a depressive disorder. Depression is not just “sadness” or feeling down. Individuals who have depression feel helpless, hopeless, and tend to blame themselves for feeling this way. Depression can interfere with their ability to function in their daily lives, hold a job, or maintain a relationship. Some people with depression may even have thoughts of suicide or death.

The good news is most people with depression feel better with medication, counseling, or another form of treatment. Understanding the signs and symptoms of depression can go a long way in finding the most effective treatment option for you. Once you can identify that you may have a depressive disorder you can begin to seek the treatment you need to find relief and start to feel like yourself again.

 
Family Therapy

Virginia Satir a noted systems theorist,  suggests, family therapy is necessary to address family pain and heal a family’s wounds. We all start this life with a family, whether that family is composed of blood relatives, adopted parents, or a foster family. This family that we acquire when we are born influences every aspect of our lives, from our first moments to our last. Our family affects who we are and who we become, both for better and for worse. We learn our vocabulary, our habits, our customs and rituals, and how to view and observe the world around us.

We also learn how to love, and how to interact with others from these first important relationships. If we are born into a healthy family with healthy relationships, we are likely to learn how to maintain healthy relationships. If we are born into a dysfunctional family that struggles to connect, we may also struggle to connect with others. While it is certainly difficult to be born into the second kind of family, it’s not an unchangeable situation. Nearly all families deal with some sort of dysfunction at one time or another, yet most families retain or regain a sense of wholeness and happiness. Family therapy offers a way to develop and/or maintain a healthy, functional family.

 
Marital/Couples Therapy

As marriages move through the various stages and experience life’s challenges together, there are many types of conflict that can occur. Some are minor arguments while others run deeper and can drive a couple apart. The more serious conflicts are troubling as the couple may face the uncertainty that they will find a resolution, or whether they even want to. As a couple drifts apart, they may realize they want different things in life, one or more of the partners may be unfaithful, or they may feel stuck with no way out of the rut. Before seeking marriage counseling, one or more of the partners must identify that the marriage is in trouble and they must decide together that they want to attempt to repair their broken relationship. There are numerous benefits to marriage and family counseling, from improved communication among family members to resolving deep-rooted emotional hurt.

 

The decision to seek marriage counseling is an important first step for a couple. When a couple can admit that their marriage is in trouble, they can also realize that they may need outside help from a third-party. Marriage counseling is not just for unhappy or struggling couples, couple’s therapy can be used proactively to strengthen bonds and to gain a better understanding of one another. In addition, before a marriage begins, premarital counseling can help couples achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before their wedding day. Couples that seek therapy to improve a troubled relationship may be dealing with issues such as:

  • communication problems

  • financial problems

  • sexual difficulties

  • parenting challenges

  • substance abuse

  • anger management

  • infidelity

  • divorce

 
Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling, a specialized type of therapy usually provided by marriage and family therapists, offers benefit to all couples who are considering a long-term commitment such as marriage. Typically, the goal of premarital counseling is to identify and address any potential areas of conflict in a relationship early on, before those issues become serious concerns, and teach partners effective strategies for discussing and resolving conflict. Partners seeking counseling before marriage may also find that premarital counseling can help them better understand their expectations about marriage and address any significant differences in a safe and neutral environment.  

Couples counseling can help intimate partners address concerns that arise in the course of their relationship, but premarital counseling can help partners identify areas likely to cause conflict before it creates baggage in the relationship—finances, child-rearing methods, career goals, and family dynamics, among others—and either work through these issues in the early stages of the relationship, if possible, or develop a plan to address them in the years to come. A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, which was conducted via radom telephone survey, showed couples who had participated in some type of premarital counseling program were 31% less likely to divorce. 

 
Adolescent/Children

Adolescent and Child counseling are specialized areas of counseling focused on working with teens and children who have a mental illness or disorder, have experienced a traumatic event, or are facing a difficult family situation. Adolescent/Child counseling often deals with many of the same issues as adults, such as anxiety or grief, but this type of therapy focuses on breaking these problems down so that teens and children can understand, process, and make sense of them. Adolescent and Child counselors are specialists who can offer insight into the inner workings of your teen's or child’s development that are not necessarily visible to family and friend. Most important of all, your teen or child may not be able to tell you or consciously know what sort of help they need, so your judgment is critical in ensuring your teen or child receives the therapeutic intervention that is best for them.

Adolescent and child counseling can help interpret issues in a way that is accessible and understandable. Teen and child counselors and therapists are highly trained in the thought processes of adolescents and children so they can help kids and teens to interpret issues or trauma in a way that they can understand. When a teen's or child’s emotional issues are left untreated, it’s likely that they’ll impact the their educational and developmental progress and can also persist into adulthood.