Open Letter To Anyone Who Calls a Business

  1.  Don’t be doing something else while calling a business, your train of thought should be 100 percent if you want 100 percent of them.
  2.  Don’t put on the speaker on your phone, it is echoey and hard to hear you.
  3. Talk slow so they can understand you, especially if you are placing an order or making an appointment. You want the information to be accurate.
  4. Don’t get agressive or into bullying mode because they did not tell you what you want to hear. Simply say thank you and call someone else.
  5. Do speak clearly and friendly, you will probably get more information,
  6. Do talk assertively and do listen to what they are telling you. Isn’t that why you called anyway?
  7.  Do let the phone go to voice mail and leave a short message if they do not answer. I know, everyone knows how to leave a message and we have to listen to 30 seconds of how to leave a message before the beep.

Communications Counseling Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl.


Sex and Marriage Counseling in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl.

Let me ask you, Is your sexual life with your spouse as great as you’d hoped it would be? Do you have difficulty finding the time and desire to be intimate? Are you struggling to find the passion you once had together? Do you wish you knew more about how great sex happens? Does there seem to be something getting in the way of enjoying sexual intimacy to the full with your loved one?

At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. we will ask questions like these (and many more) these are common concerns couples and individuals have in seeking out a marriage counselor. Many marriages struggle in their intimate life and need help learning to talk about and grow their physical connection in the bedroom. Even sexually satisfied couples can run into difficulties over their lifespan together and need help getting intimacy back on track.

Sexual dysfunction in a marriage usually happens from a lack of open honest communication. Couples need to be able to openly discuss their sexual desires and fantasies without being judged.

Family Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Couples Counseling in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl.

Restoring Relationships with Family Counseling

Every family has difficulties, but family counseling can help when those difficulties become so overwhelming that you wonder if a solution even exists.

Ongoing conflict in the home affects every member of the household. Home should be a safe space for all of you, but when issues go unresolved, home can quickly become the last place you want to be.

The good news is that family counseling at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. can make your house feel like home again, restoring harmony and happiness and helping you feel like a family again.

How Does Family Therapy Work?

Every family is unique and comes with their own set of challenges and strengths. For that reason, we don’t have take one singular approach to family therapy. Instead, we work with each family to create tools and changes that are unique to them. This way you get exactly what you want to get from family counseling and you feel the improvement that you’re looking for.

As different as each family’s challenges may be, the overarching goal of family counseling is rooted in improving communication skills, building trust and resolving conflict so you and your family can feel like a family again.

Family therapy at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. not only helps solve the pressing problems you have today, but it provides the skills you need to resolve conflict in the future — and even address problems before they reach the point of crisis again.

Your therapist will evaluate your family, identify the core issues and teach you the skills necessary to work through problems. This may involve setting boundaries, managing anger, adapting to change or simply modifying the way you approach your challenges. Whatever the mechanics may involve, your counselor will help you replace dysfunctional behaviors and response patterns with preferable alternatives that make your family feel closer.

Can You Benefit from Family Counseling?

Any family who experiences trauma, conflict, pain or dysfunction can benefit from counseling.

The complexity and dynamics of the group can create conflict. But even one member’s challenges can cause upheaval within the household. And because families function as a system, one member’s problems can start a ripple effect that causes disruption for everyone.

A common question we hear is whether everyone must come to counseling to achieve its benefits. The simple answer is no, every member of your household does not have to come to counseling for it to be effective. If one or more members of your household refuses to engage in the therapeutic process, you can still forge meaningful change. In fact, never give up on the therapeutic process, even if no one else wants to join you. You’d be surprised how much one person can create change in your home.


Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it might become a medical disorder. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses that lead to excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry.

The five major types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
  • Panic Disorder
    Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
  • Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
    Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.


At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. treatments will consist of a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and sometimes medication.

Alcohol dependence, depression, or other conditions can sometimes have such a strong effect on mental well-being that treating an anxiety disorder must wait until any underlying conditions are brought under control.


Thinking of Couple’s Counseling?

While there are lots of great counselors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, and other helping professionals in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. area, not all of them are trained to counsel couples specifically.  In this post, I’ll describe a few qualities that you should look for when considering a competent couple’s counselor.

Look for a Couple’s Counselor that…

  1. Makes you both initially comfortable (don’t worry… it won’t last).  Upon your first meeting the counselor should spend some time with both of you together, and in that context both of you should feel comfortable talking to the      counselor.  Part of the first few of sessions should be about connecting with both of you and helping both of you share your experience in the relationship.  Eventually, the counselor will need to press you both more, making one or both of your more uncomfortable, but this only works if it is based upon trust and connection.
  2. Doesn’t take sides – all the time (or at least takes sides fairly equally).  Your friends and family take your side; your counselor should not, not all of the time ( sometimes you may feel they are but they are trying to have a break through in your relationship).  Your counselor should not gang up with you against your partner except in extreme cases.  In most cases, it’s when the counselor  stays more neutral, and helps you explore your part in the ongoing conflict, that will be most helpful.
  3. Puts your relationship first (above either of your individual personalities, complaints, or justifications).  I often tell my clients that their relationship, their marriage, is my primary client.  My work is to improve their relationship, not just their individual experiences.  You can work on individual issues in individual counseling, but if you do it will impact your relationships (often for the better).  My job is to improve your relationship.
  4. Looks for what is working (even though it feels like it sucks!).  Though your relationship is probably in significant distress, it’s probably not completely dysfunctional every moment of every day.  A counselor should take time to explore what is already working now.
  5. Engenders HOPE (it can always get a bit better).  No matter how bad it is now, it can get better.  And if you don’t have the belief for that truth, your counselor should.  I’ve personally seen couples overcome tremendous distress, disappointment, and distrust – sometimes to my own surprise!   While conflict and pain are part of relationships, it can always improve.

And on a final note, your counseling professional should be specifically trained in couples counseling, and many are not.  Counseling couples requires particular expertise, and many counseling professionals do not have adequate training.  At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. Clarissa Crystal-Belle, LMHC through her vast experience and knowledge through the years has developed many many skills and tools that every therapist at Star Point Counseling Center utilizes with clients who are here for marriage counseling, couples counseling or relationship counseling.


Family Counseling Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl.

At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl we feel families are happier when they share thier lives and experiences together. Think 50 – 60 years ago when the entire family ate dinner together at the same time every day. They didn’t just eat and run, they discussed their day with each other. They knew what was going on in each od their lves. They supported each other on their goals and dreams. Then the families 50 – 60 years ago would do simple activities together, have fun with each other.

When we see families for family counseling in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. we try to get the families back to this type of family systems. We know everyones lives are much more complicated and busier these days but this is the approach to family therapy to get the family supporting each others goals and dreams.

ANXIETY COUNSELING in TAMPA FL. & BRANDON FL. Ways to overcome an anxiety attack.

For those who have suffered a panic attack, you know they can be a horribly uncomfortable experience. Many sufferers develop residual anxiety about if/when they will have another attack, creating a downward spiral of anxiety and overwhelm. Thankfully, most people are able to reduce the frequency and severity of their panic attacks through anxiety counseling in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. They learn how to control their anxiety symptoms and often eliminate the attacks altogether.

The guide below will help you stop a panic attack after it starts so you can get the relief you need.

Recognize Potential Anxiety Triggers

You may be able to stop a panic attack before it ever happens. To do this, you need to know what usually triggers your panic attacks. Is there a certain sight or sound that causes your heart to start racing? Do you experience anxiety during a specific time of day? Some panic attacks occur at random, but most have an identifiable trigger.

Once you know what causes your panic attacks, you can work on how you react to that trigger. This is one of the most important elements of anxiety counseling. During our anxiety treatment programs, we help clients determine what is causing their anxiety, whether it be past trauma, low self-esteem, or any other experience. Then we teach them how to manage their anxiety so those triggers have little to no effect.

Control Your Breathing

Controlling your breathing will slow your rapid heart rate. This is one of the most concerning aspects of a panic attack because it feels unnatural. Take a deep breath over the course of 5 seconds, and then exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat this process until you feel your body relax. Breath control takes care of the physical element of a panic attack, freeing you to work on the mental side of it.

Acknowledge The Panic Attack

You’re having a panic attack – not a heart attack, not a stroke, not a mental breakdown. It’s just a panic attack. Acknowledging this will not eliminate the symptoms altogether, but it will reduce your instinctual fear. You know what’s going on and you know you have to do something to control it. Reassure yourself of what you’re experiencing so you can focus on relief.

Ground Yourself

One of the most trusted ways to stop a panic attack is with the grounding method. This involves pinpointing specific objects, smells and sounds around you to reacquaint your mind with its environment. During a panic attack, you may feel out of place and overwhelmed by the world around you. Grounding makes that world seem smaller and more manageable.

Many anxiety counselors recommend the 5-4-3-2-1 method of grounding. Identify:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste (even if it is a leftover crumb stuck between your teeth)

Doing this provides a complete sensory experience, which calms your anxiety quickly. If you do not have time or cannot remember to identify each of these senses, at least try to look for five things that feel familiar to you. The color of the wall, a picture by the bed, a coat hanging in the closet – anything can become an element of comfort during a panic attack.

Find What Works For You Through Counseling

Every person with anxiety has a unique way of coping. What triggers your anxiety will be different than the triggers for someone else. An anxiety counselor can help you create a personalized coping method specifically for your concerns, lifestyle and overall experiences. With that plan in place, you should see a significant improvement in your panic attacks and anxiety symptoms.

Contact Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl at 813-244-1251



Anxiety at Christmas Time

Ah, the Christmas season. For some, this is a wonderful time of year filled with fun, peace, joy, laughter, optimism, fellowship, family, friends, good food, giving, winter activities, cozy evenings, and fond memories.

The Christmas season also can be a time for stress, anxiety, sadness, frustration, hurry, loneliness, disappointment, overworking, overeating, over drinking, and overspending.

Many people find the Christmas season to be very stressful. There’s shopping, cooking, cleaning, parties, travel, crowds, the onslaught of advertising telling us about everything we “should” have, expectations, positive and negative anticipation, the fear of failure (giving the “wrong” gifts, an unsuccessful party, disappointing food, inappropriate clothes), the pressure from our family and friends about what they “want,” interactions with people we may not always get along with, and the ingestion of sweets, treats, drinks, and extra calories…to name a few.

The stress coming from all of these activities can adversely affect the body and in many ways. Persistent unrelieved stress can cause the body to become stress-response hyperstimulated and then symptomatic. Once the body becomes overly stressed, it can take a long time to recover. So, managing stress is an important ingredient to surviving the Christmas season and not having to enter into a protracted recovery after it’s over.

There is good news, however. Being proactive in your holiday planning can turn an otherwise stressful Christmas season into an enjoyable and memorable one. And one you don’t have to recover from. Here are seven ways to have a happier, less anxious, and less stressed Christmas season.

1. Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is the great refresher. The body does its best repair work when asleep. A reduction in good sleep not only interrupts this important process but also stresses the body. Research has shown that less than six hours sleep per night causes the body’s cortisol levels to rise. Elevated cortisol stresses the body. Elevated stress can make you feel more anxious. So when our sleep is frequently cut short, our physical, psychological, and emotional health can be adversely affected.

To prevent sleep debt and its negative effects, we can plan “sleep-in” days or make time each day for catnaps (or more catnaps) in spite of the many demands and expectations we may have for the Christmas season. Making sure you get regular good sleep during the lead up to and throughout the Christmas season can make a difference in how you will feel physically, psychologically, and emotionally both during and after the Christmas season is over. Getting regular good sleep can also insulate you from a build up of unnecessary stress, which can prevent against the need for a protracted recovery.

Did you know that sleep problems can occur when our sleep schedule frequently changes? Keeping regular sleep hours, in spite of the urge or requests to stay up later, can prevent problems with sleep after the holidays are over.

TIP: Cortisol is the body’s most powerful stress hormone. It causes a number of changes in the body, including increasing stimulation and the perception of danger. Getting regular good sleep can keep cortisol to a minimum, which can reduce the feelings of danger and dread.

Research has shown that getting less than six hours of restful sleep per night can cause cortisol levels to rise 40 percent higher than when getting 6.5 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Maintaining good sleep can go a long way to maintaining a healthy level of cortisol production.

2. Take frequent rest breaks

A great way to minimize the build-up of stress is to take regular rest breaks. Making sure to take time to rest and relax each day can keep your body and mind healthy, especially during busy or pressure-filled times like the Christmas holiday season.

Also, resting for even five minutes here and there throughout the day can be enough to diffuse and offset a build up of stress.

Practicing a daily deep relaxation technique is a great way to diffuse the buildup of stress and keep the body well rested during busy times. Research has shown that deep relaxing for 20 minutes can provide as much rest value has a few hours of sleep. So, making time each day to deeply relax is a small thing you can do to keep yourself healthy during and after the Christmas season.

TIP: Research has shown that regular deep relaxation is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress. Research has also shown that people who regularly deep relax, such as using meditation, have better control over their thinking and emotions than those who don’t. This better control can make a sizable difference when containing anxious behavior.

3. Be sensible about what you eat

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the food choices during the Christmas holiday season. Overeating and eating too much of a “seasonal” favorite are common causes of increased stress – high sugar foods stress the body.

Many people give themselves permission to forget about their diets and celebrate the holidays with eating anything and any time they want. While loosening up a little to feast is healthy, throwing caution to the wind and then paying for it with months of recovery may not be the best choice.

This year rather than overindulging, “sample” and eat less overall. Also, eat slower. Because it takes approximately twenty minutes for the brain to let us know that our stomach is full, when you eat slower, you eat less than someone who eats faster.

Another strategy is to eat a little bit at a time, then give yourself twenty minutes before you eat more. If you do this, you may discover that you don’t need or want as much as you originally thought.

Being selective about what you eat and watching the amount you eat can help prevent the unnecessary stress that comes from undisciplined eating. The more you manage your stress now, the less of an issue it will be after the Christmas season is over.

Again, as stress increases so can the feelings of being anxious increase. Keeping your stress within a healthy range can prevent feeling overly anxious during and after the Christmas season.

4. Be mindful of what you drink

It’s easy to overindulge in what you drink during the Christmas holidays. Even though what we drink is liquid, many drinks are high in raw sugar, calories, and/or alcohol, which stress the body.

Moreover, alcohol is a mood-lowering drug that also adversely affects the body’s nervous system. While you may feel good WHEN you are drinking, your body will experience the negative effects afterwards. Be mindful about what you ingest, because it ALL has an affect on the body, mind, and mood.

TIP: Raw sugar foods (such as soft drinks, sweeteners, and fruit juices) and alcohol punish the body’s nervous system. An agitated nervous system can aggravate the effects of anxiety and stress. Keeping raw sugar foods and alcohol to a minimum can help reduce the negative effects of anxiety and stress, as well as prevent a protracted recovery from the adverse effects of anxiety and stress.

5. Enjoy your holidays moment by moment

Too often, we spend our time in the past (with regret, guilt, resentment, sadness) or the future (imagining the future in an apprehensive manner). When we do this, we convert the treasures in the present moments to the despair of the past events that are often long over or to the angst of future events that may never occur.

Our life experience is derived from how we think about things. As we allow our thoughts to ramble, so plays out our life experience and quality of life.

Learning to be more in the moment is a great way to eek out every joyous moment of the Christmas season. As we savor each joyous moment, we improve the overall quality of our life experience.

Children often spend most of their time in the moment, which is why they are often happier and have more fun. As adults, we want to relearn this approach so that we, too, can have more fun and reduce our stress (it’s stressful being remorseful about the past and apprehensive about the future).

Living in the moment is a great way to discover the present joys in life and experience each one of them to the fullest.

TIP: Mindfulness – being present in the moment – can reduce anxiety, since anxiety occurs when we think about the future in an apprehensive manner. The more time you spend in the present, the less time you’ll spend thinking apprehensively.

6. Reduce your expectations

The majority of stress and pressure come from how we think. Often, it’s our unrealistic expectations (ideas that something should occur or should occur in a certain way) that are at the root of our disappointment and stress. Just because we can imagine something doesn’t mean it “has to” or “should” come true, or come true the way we imagined. Remember, thoughts are just fleeting notions. We don’t have to believe everything we think, nor should we.

Learning to lower or eliminate expectations is not only a great way to reduce stress and frustration but also a simple way to have more fun and enjoyment. If your expectations are realistic, you won’t be disappointed as often, and the things that do occur can be received with joy and thankfulness.

Unrealistic expectations is one of the great saboteurs of happiness and peace of mind. Eliminating expectations is a great way to be pleasantly surprised and pleased with what actually occurs.

7. Do what you like to do

The Christmas season is often filled with things you feel you ‘have to’ or ‘should’ do. Feeling you need to attend a party because you believe someone expects you to, believing you have to attend an event so that others won’t be disappointed, or having to spend time with people you don’t necessarily get along with are examples of doing things because you believe you ‘have to’ rather than what you want to. Most often, doing things we feel we have to creates stress, and for people who are overly anxious, anxiety.

So this season, plan on doing more things you want to do rather than things you feel you have to do. It’s healthy to say ‘no’ to requests or demands you don’t want to fulfill. Spending most of your time doing the things you want to do is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase joy during the Christmas season. Sure, some people may be upset with your choices, but that’s their issue not yours. You have a right to do the things you want to do. Those who disagree or become upset with your choices are infringing on your rights.

Spending time doing the things you love and want to do is a great way to celebrate the Christmas season and increase the quality of your life experience. This isn’t being selfish but authentic. Having healthy boundaries is essential to living authentically.

TIP: Living with healthy boundaries substantially reduces the anxiety that comes from self-esteem and relationship issues.

All of us at wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and New Year season. May it be filled with joy, celebration, and gratitude.


The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior – a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety’s underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety

Anxiety Counseling, Stress Counseling or Depression counseling in Tampa Fl. or Brandon Fl Call Star Point Counseling Center 813-244-1251

Christmas Anxiety, Depression & Stress

At Star Point Counseling in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. we can offer stress counseling, depression counseling and anxiety counseling for our clients.  Please call us at 813-244-1251 to set an appointment.

Christmas can be a very stressful time of year.  For many the Christmas holiday period is a mass of complex social interactions with family or relatives, some of whom you may rather not see.

There could well be expectations, or at least perceived expectations, to create a ‘wonderful Christmas’ with presents and perhaps the most important meal of the year.

Some people rate Christmas as being more stressful than divorce or being burgled.  We don’t want to add to the stress and have deliberately avoided putting images of holly, robins, snowmen or anything else Christmassy on this page! Star Point Counseling offers marriage counseling, couples counseling & relationship counseling in Brandon Fl. & Tampa Fl. ( We hope the Christmas stress does not lead to a divorce for you).

Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. can provide some tips and advice to make your Christmas as stress-free as possible. Don’t let the festive season get you down: follow the tips and advice you find here, relax and enjoy yourself.

Plan Ahead

Start making a list of things you need to do for Christmas early: for example, shopping, food and presents, decorations, seating plans or travel arrangements.  Make the list as detailed as possible, include people’s phone numbers or email addresses to make contacting them simpler.

Try to prioritise the items on your list: can they be done now, and are they essential?  Do not overestimate how much you can achieve on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Many recipes can, at least in part, be made ahead of time and frozen thus reducing tasks in the immediate run-up to Christmas Day.

Delegate the responsibility for certain tasks to other family members since this will reduce your workload.  Keep your list for next year; it’ll need tweaking and updating but will give you reminders of the sorts of things you need to think about.

Shop Online

Although shopping locally has many advantages, High Street shopping just before Christmas can be particularly stressful,  and with hundreds of other stressed people trying to find the ‘perfect’ gift.

Shop online from the comfort of your own home as you’ll not only save time and be less stressed but will probably save money too.  Always make sure you buy from reputable online retailers and check that they can deliver before the big day.

If you haven’t already tried it, you may be able to do your food shopping online too and have it delivered directly to your door. Remember to book your delivery slot early though as the prime delivery slots may well be booked early.

Christmas Cards

Start writing your Christmas cards early too!

Many people receive and send lots of cards at Christmas time so start in mid-November, if you can, and write a few cards and envelopes each day keeping them to one side before posting or delivering.

Know When to Stop

Decide when you will stop your Christmas preparations and start to relax and enjoy the holiday.  Work towards and try to stick to this goal, even if it is in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve.  Remember that Christmas is your holiday too.