Posts filed under "counseling"

What You Can Do To Prevent Suicide

The growing problem of suicide

The CDC just released a disturbing study: From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among middle-aged adults in the United

States increased 28.4%.  Suicide deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes in recent years in the United States.

Most disturbing, that spike among the middle-aged, a 28 percent rise overall, a 40 percent jump among white Americans, and among men in their 50s, suicides increased by more than 48 percent. Guns remained the leading method used in all suicides, followed by poisoning, overdoses and suffocation.

In Oregon, the suicide rate has increased a whopping 49.3 in this same time period!

While these results don’t give causes for this increase, it is correlated with increased financial stress associated with the Great Recession.  Also, alcohol abuse, street drug abuse, and overuse or abuse of prescription opiates is also seen as a factor in increasing suicide rates.  

We are the solution

Yet, we are not powerless to this epidemic: 

Contrary to popular opinion, asking someone if they are thinking of harming themselves does not increase the risk, but actually decreases the risk that they will harm themselves. 

Just asking can make a huge difference. 

Simply asking the question, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” can help prevent that outcome.

Per Dr. Thomas Frieden

, the director of the CDC, there are two key things individuals can do to improve their resiliency:

  1. Social connectedness: staying connected, joining groups, not isolating yourself.  
  2. Caring for your mental health (treatment, physical activity, avoiding excessive alcohol/drugs).

The CDC report also identifies key components of suicide prevention:

“Suicide prevention strategies involve enhancing social support and community connectedness, improving access to mental health and preventive services, and reducing the stigma and barriers associated with seeking help. Other prevention strategies include programs to help those at increased risk of suicide, such as those struggling with financial challenges, job loss, intimate partner problems or violence, stress of caregiving for children and aging parents, substance abuse, and serious or chronic health problems.”

In Eugene and Lane County, Oregon, we are fortunate to have the Lane County Suicide Prevention Program.  One model they have developed is QPR training:  Question, Persuade, Refer.

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying "Yes" to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor. 

Resources and Links

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and visit online at

Ryan Scott, PhD is the Director of Vista Counseling and ADHD Clinic, a group practice of skilled therapists in Eugene, OR. 

This practice focuses on individual, couples, and family counseling for depression, anxiety, ADHD, parenting, and psychological evaluations. 

People interested in improving their lives and their relationships can schedule a free 15 minute phone consult at our website.

Posted on May 6, 2013 and filed under "Scott", "coping", "counseling", "prevention", "suicide".

Question: I Have ADHD. How can I get help in school?

Dr. Keith Miller responds:


Students who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and are attending the University of Oregon are commonly able to access a variety of accommodations through the Accessible Education Center (AEC).    Possible accommodations include: extended testing time; reduced distraction testing; access to instructor notes/slides; advance notice of reading assignments; ability to audio record lectures; books in audio format.  Instructors are legally required to provide extended testing time and use of a reduced distraction testing environment.  Most instructors at the University of Oregon are very supportive of students with learning differences/ learning disabilities/ ADD/ADHD.

I tailor my work with adolescents with ADD/ADHD based on their age, maturity level, their parents desired level of involvement, and their specific areas of difficulty.   I typically address issues such as: time management (using a planner); organization; setting up systems of external accountability; developing healthy peer relationships; communicating effectively with parents and teachers; strategies for minimizing the negative impact of ADD/ADHD on academic functioning; and strategies for utilizing strengths commonly found in individuals with ADD/ADHD to improve funcitoning.  

I prefer to work with parents and teens simultaneously.  Often I work with parents to clarify their expectations; increase their positive communication with teachers and counselors at school; and increase the use of contingent parenting practices that provides both predictable rewards and consequences.  I support the use of tools such as school cards and school based assignment monitoring systems.

 If you are interested in working with Dr. Miller, you can schedule a free 15 minute phone consult with Vista by clicking here.

Posted on April 2, 2013 and filed under "ADHD", "Miller", "children", "counseling", "therapist".

Meet Stephanie...

Stephanie Steele, LMFT is one of our couples counseling specialists at Vista. Many relationships have benefitted from their well-spent time with Stephanie.  She also loves working with individuals.  

Want Stephanie to help you?  You can schedule a free 15 minute phone consult with Vista by clicking here



1. What inspired you to pursue a career in therapy?

I have always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I took an undergraduate course in marriage and family therapy and realized therapy was my true calling. I have always felt that no one should settle for anything less than genuinely happy and wanted to not only share that belief with friends and family but also help others connect and achieve their life goals.

2. What types of people do you love to work with?

I love to work with anyone who is willing to work outside of therapy as well as during our sessions. I am solution-focused by nature and strive to get a lot accomplished in the therapy room, but I also hope to send clients home with things to think about or try throughout the week. I work mostly with couples, adults and teens.

3. Who are your role models/heroes?

I look up to individuals who are not afraid of failure in order to pursue their passions. John and Julie Gottman are role models in that aspect. They truly want to make their research known in order to change the way our society views marriages and relationships, and I believe that is truly admirable. My friends and family are my own personal heroes for their spontaneity, adventurous nature, steadfastness, confidence, ability to achieve their dreams, and unconditional love.

4. Why do you love working in therapy?

I love to see people’s lives change in front of my eyes – not because of me, but because they have allowed themselves that hour each week to pay close attention to their life and put efforts in to change it for the better.

5. What is the best advice for people considering therapy?

My best advice is to try not to let others’ experiences of therapy influence your own. Therapy is very personal, and each therapeutic interaction is different. If you wish to invest the time and energy, it can be life changing. Nothing is more important than starting that process as soon as possible.

6. How do you recharge your batteries, and nurture yourself?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and two dogs. I love to watch movies, read new books of any genre, and travel to new places.

Check out Stephanie's free web seminar, Ensuring a Happy Relationship, by clicking here.

Posted on March 16, 2013 and filed under "counseling", "couples", "steele", "therapist".