Jovel Broqueza, MSN, APN

Ms. Jovel Broqueza is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (AMCC) and a member of the Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society.  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from St. Paul University, Philippines, and her Master of Science Degree in Nursing at North Park University in Chicago.

While working as a Registered Nurse, Jovel became extremely passionate about health promotion and prevention.  She decided to focus her energy on becoming a family nurse practitioner with the goal of helping to empower patients in managing their chronic diseases using a holistic approach that will, in turn, decrease hospital admissions.  Jovel’s extensive healthcare career has resulted in her exposure to many areas of nursing including weight loss management, chronic disease management, mental health assessment, psychotropic medication management, and nursing education.

Jovel joining Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. in 2016.  She is also a visiting professor at Chamberlain College of Nursing and an adjunct faculty member at the College of DuPage.

Kathleen Alberts, LCPC, CCSOTS

kathleen_albertsMs. Kathleen Alberts, LCPC, CCSOTS is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Illinois and a Clinically Certified Sex Offender Treatment Specialist (CCSOTS).  Kathleen earned her Bachelors of Social Worker (BSW) and Masters of Social Work (MSW) Degrees Summa Cum Laude from George Williams College of Social Work at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.

Kathleen’s career in behavioral healthcare spans over two decades where she has worked in nearly every capacity imaginable.  She has served as Clinical Director of the Adolescent Sex Offender Treatment Unit with the Friends of Children under Supervision Program in Illinois.  She also worked at the non-defunct UHS, Streamwood Behavioral Health Systems Residential Program and has worked in private practice since 1993 serving all age groups with an emphasis on treating children and adolescents, self-harming behaviors, victims of crime / abuse, PTSD, bullying, domestic violence, sexual harassment, families, parenting, marriage counseling, court-approved divorce and family mediation, court-appointed child custody evaluation, court-appointed expert on child behavior and emotional disorders and families, Sex Offender Treatment and Assessment (SOMB Approved), supervision, and psychiatric assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders.  Kathleen’s treatment style is eclectic and borrows from CBT, DBT,  family systems, trauma-focused psychotherapy, solution-focused psychotherapy, mindfulness, and play therapy.

Kathleen lives in the Western suburbs and joined the staff of Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. as an outpatient psychotherapist at his Mount Prospect office in 2015.

Sandi Jiongco, MSN, APN

sandi_jiongcoMs. Sandi Jiongco, MSN, APN is an American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner.  Sandi completed her Bachelors of Nursing Degree (BSN) with a minor in Family Studies from Marquette University and went on to complete her Masters of Nursing Degree (MSN) from Olivet Nazarene University in 2013.  She also has a Masters Degree in Health Law and Policy with distinction from DePaul University in Chicago.  Her thesis examined the socioeconomic factors affecting obstetrical length of stay.  Sandi has a wide array of skills and experience, ranging from working in provider relations, contracting, and utilization management with a large insurance company to working with the entire lifespan of age groups in clinics, hospitals and school settings.

Since becoming a Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner, Sandi has been employed at an outpatient wound care and hyperbaric oxygen clinic.  As part of her wound care practice, Sandi has earned several wound care specialty certifications.  Sandi has always had a keen interest in working in behavioral healthcare.  As a primary care provider, she frequently found herself managing psychotropic medications.  In this sense, Sandi views her work with Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. as a natural extension of her work as a primary care provider.

Sandi grew up on a farm in a small town in Southern Wisconsin.  She is married and enjoys spending time with her husband and special needs teenage son.  Her hobbies include horseback riding and catching up on sitcoms.  Sandi is a strong advocate for those with autism and other developmental delays.  Sandi takes pride in thinking outside of the box to assist her clients in achieving their healthcare goals.

Michael Juhasz, LCPC, CADC

mike_juhasz picMichael (Mike) Juhasz, LCPC, CADC is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois and received his Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Springfield in 1980.  He is also a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC) in the State of Illinois.  He has spent many years working in the mental health / substance abuse field utilizing a wide range of cognitive-behavioral interventions to focus on relapse prevention and mental health wellness.  His clinical orientation is eclectic – meaning he is able to provide specific counseling strategies to meet the needs of his clients.

Mike believes in a wellness-based approach to behavioral healthcare – advocating that his clients take care of themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually to live a balanced lifestyle for optimal psychological well-being.  His professional interests include treating self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety, life-transition issues, and substance abuse related disorders.  Mike has extensive experience working in an outpatient community mental health clinic as well as an inpatient settings.  He joined the staff of Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. in 2015 and works in the Mount Prospect office location.

Mike has been married to his lovely wife for 31 years and lives in the Northwest suburbs.  He enjoys barbecuing on the grill, visiting with friends, exercising, and is a Chicago sports fan.  His peers tell him that he has a warm personality and is easy to talk to.

Melissa Colon, Psy.D.

dr_melissa_colonMelissa Colon, Psy.D. completed her Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) from Roosevelt University of Chicago and her Doctor of Psychology Degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Adler University in Chicago.

Dr. Colon is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Illinois specialized in Clinical Neuropsychology and Psychophysiology.  She is also a certified parent educator.  She has extensive experience in brain-mapping (QEEG) techniques, neurofeedback treatments and technologies, neuropsychological assessment, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Dr. Colon works with both pediatric and adult populations on an array of issues, including:  Autism, ADD / ADHD, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), Pain Management, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), Parenting Techniques, Dementia, Anxiety, Depression, and Learning Disorders.

Dr. Colon joined the staff of Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. in 2016 and works in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Her passion lies in the neuroscience field.  Dr. Colon enjoys keeping up with the latest research and technologies in the field of Clinical Neuropsychology and neurofeedback techniques.

Dr. Colon enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

Can Hobbies Improve Mental Health?

Improve mental healthIt is easy for people to get wrapped up in various treatments, therapies, and medications when it comes to controlling mental illness but did you know simply engaging in hobbies you already love can help too?

According to a 2009 study testing the potential of managing anxiety in eating disorders with knitting found that, “patients reported a subjective reduction in anxious preoccupation when knitting, more specifically- 74 percent reported it had a calming and therapeutic effect.” (1) Engaging in a hobby you already love may be just the treatment you have been looking for. Some people find that listening to music, volunteer work, keeping a daily journal of events and how they feel, laughter, playing with pets, shopping, or other forms of common hobbies helped them to relax. (2)

From singing to cooking and just about every hobby in-between, taking time to relax with an activity you enjoy can help you reap a multitude of benefits when it comes to mental health. Here’s a few that you can look forward to.

  • Reduces stress. Transitioning the focus from the chaos of life to a fun, easy, and enjoyable task can instantly help reduce stress levels. Harness this benefit by opting for more relaxing hobbies. These may include knitting, painting, photographing, journaling, or even bird watching. Whichever hobby you choose, be sure it makes you feel more relaxed.
  • Improves mood. Taking a break to do something you already love beats an extra hour spent at the office anyway. Investing in hobbies can feel similar to taking a break and enjoying yourself and obviously breaks and joy often produce an improved mood. A hobby should always be something you desire doing.
  • Encourages socialization. Though not all, but some hobbies can help encourage socialization where you would otherwise spend time alone. And numerous studies have found a connection between relationships and happiness. Consider participating in group hobbies like team sports, clubs, or other activities that draw a crowd.
  • Improves memory. Did you know studies have shown that people who regularly challenge themselves through puzzles, games, and reading can not only improve their memory now, but also help themselves avoid memory loss later in life? If you enjoy challenging your mind with puzzles you can expect to reap this benefit.
  • Wards off depression. If your hobby of choice is an activity you find happiness in, it can easily help ward off feelings of depression and sadness. If you find yourself not loving a hobby, stop doing it and find something new that you do love. Hobbies are meant to be fun, and in order to benefit from them you must enjoy doing them.

While people may be consumed with treatments, therapies, and medications- sometimes all you need to lift up your spirits and improve your overall mental health is a little time spent doing a favorite hobby. Invest in yourself by taking the time to participate in things that you love. By doing so you can begin to reap the many mental health benefits that can accompany hobbies.

Mark D. Parisi, Psy.D. & Associates, P.C. provides counseling, psychological testing, and psychotropic medication management in Mount Prospect and Chicago – serving surrounding Cook, Lake, DuPage, and Will Counties. They accept most insurance and offer extremely affordable sliding scale rates. Call (847) 909-9858 for a free, no-obligation telephone consultation

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Sources:

  1. Managing Anxiety in Eating Disorders with Knitting, Results quote, 2009, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=knitting+anxiety
  2. Management, Information about hobbies, 2015, http://www.stress.org/military/combat-stress/management/

 

 

 

 

 

Sports and Mental Health: What’s the Connection?

Sports and mental healthTeam sports have long been a popular activity for people of all ages. While some people play just for fun, there are many others who play at an extremely competitive level. No matter your reason, however, there are benefits and dangers of playing sports.

Benefits

  1. Mental. Any type of physical activity can be beneficial to a person’s mental health, from walking to aerobics to sports. For people at risk of mental illness, exercise can be preventative; in those who already suffer from mental illness, activity can be used as a form of treatment. Exercise has been proven to lessen depression and decrease the number of psychotic episodes in other illnesses – and this is true for males and females of all ages. The more physical activity, the greater the improvement in mental health will be, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) (1).
  2. Emotional. One of the biggest areas of emotional well-being is self-esteem. Belonging to a team, having people depend on you, and knowing that you are needed can all help a person have a positive view of themselves (2).
  3. Social. Someone who struggles socially can greatly benefit from team sports. A team usually consists of a people of a common age and interest, so you already have something in common with everyone. What a great start to form new friendships.
  4. Familial. So many mental health issues are worsened or even partly caused by a person’s home situation; this is especially true in children with mental disorders. Playing team sports can give a family a chance to spend time together and give a parent the chance to encourage the child.
  5. Physical. Playing sports has many physical benefits. Being in good shape does not just aid in sports performance but also in the performance of your body’s systems. Physical activity is good for the heart, the respiratory system, and the circulatory system among others. The healthier your body is, the healthier your mind will be.

Dangers

  1. Mental. If the athlete has obsessive tendencies or an addictive personality, sports and exercise can actually become detrimental to their mental health. Being so reliant upon physical activity for mental well-being, it could cause problems if you were to become injured or unable to continue for other reasons. Make sure that there are other treatment options in place.
  2. Emotional. There are times that a person playing sports can have a lowered self-esteem due to poor performance or inability to contribute to the team. Choose a sport in which you know you can be successful.
  3. Physical. Competitive teams really emphasize training, and with good reason. However, it is possible to injure yourself if the body is over-exerted. To avoid this, pay attention to your body’s signals of needing a break.

As long as you are aware of the dangers and do everything you can to avoid them, most psychologists will greatly encourage team sports to enhance your mental health.

Mark D. Parisi, Psy.D. & Associates, P.C. provides counseling, psychological testing, and psychotropic medication management in Mount Prospect and Chicago – serving surrounding Cook, Lake, DuPage, and Will Counties. They accept most insurance and offer extremely affordable sliding scale rates. Call (847) 909-9858 for a free, no-obligation telephone consultation.

 

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Sources:

  1. Exercise Helps Keep Your Psyche Fit, Exercise and mental health, 2004, http://www.apa.org/research/action/fit.aspx
  2. Benefits of Sports, Emotional benefits, 2015, http://www.muhealth.org/services/pediatrics/conditions/adolescent-medicine/benefits-of-sports/
  3. The Benefits of Playing Sports Aren’t Just Physical! Social benefits, 2012, http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/blog/post/the-benefits-of-playing-sports-arent-just-physical!.aspx
  4. Exercise and Mental Health, Dangers, 1990, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2192422

5 Ways to Better Cope with Stress

cope with stressToday, chronic stress- stress that interferes with your ability to function normally over an extended period- is becoming a public health crisis, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). (1) Caused by a variety of triggers such as money, work, the economy, job stability, personal health, and even family responsibilities, stress is wreaking havoc in the lives of most Americans these days. But what can we do to better cope?

According to the Centers for Disease control, “The best ways to manage stress in hard times are through self-care.” (2) To help you better understand exactly what I mean by “self-care” here are 5 ways to better cope with stress in your personal life today.

  • Find support. Weather from a partner, friend, counselor, doctor, or close family member finding the support you need is critical to coping with stress in a healthy way. Choose someone who is willing to listen to you without judgement, offering constructive advice when needed.
  • Stay connected. When times of high stress arise it’s far too easy to isolate yourself socially but isolation is not the answer. Instead choose to spend those times with a group of close loved ones you can find support in.
  • Say “No” to drugs and alcohol. While both drugs and alcohol are popular coping mechanisms for a number of problems as a quick, temporary fix they tend to create a snowball of problems in the long term. Simply say, “No.
  • Get active. A 2015 study comparing stress and exercise found that one year of physical exercise intervention improved mental well-being among working adults. (3) To better cope with stress, get active through exercise. Join a gym, take a jog, become part of a favorite team-sport. How you choose to be active is not important, simply being active is.
  • Eat healthy. You know what they say, “We are what we eat.” By striving to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet you can prepare your body to better cope with stress naturally. Choose foods high in protein and low in sugars and carbs along with lots of healthy fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

And as a bonus…

  • Take a break. Far too many people are constantly going with the petal pressed to the floor, speeding through life. Sometimes the best way to deal with an overabundance of stress is by taking a break. This means a vacation, time off from work, or maybe just a night to yourself. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself a break every now and then. It’s good for you!

With stress impacting so many Americans today in ways that make life far more difficult to live, it’s time to fight back. Whether it’s money, work, the economy, job stability, personal health, family responsibilities, or something else learning how to best cope with stress can make all the difference. By finding support, staying connected, refraining from both drugs and alcohol, eating healthy, and of course- allowing yourself to take a break when needed you can not only change the way you respond to stress, but also decrease the amount of stress you experience. And who doesn’t want less stress?

Mark D. Parisi, Psy.D. & Associates, P.C. provides counseling, psychological testing, and psychotropic medication management in Mount Prospect and Chicago – serving surrounding Cook, Lake, DuPage, and Will Counties. They accept most insurance and offer extremely affordable sliding scale rates. Call (847) 909-9858 for a free, no-obligation telephone consultation.

 

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Sources:

  1. Stressed in America, Chronic stress crisis, 2011, http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/stressed-america.aspx
  2. Managing Stress, Self-care for stress quote, 2012, http://www.cdc.gov/features/handlingstress/
  3. A 12-Month Exercise Intervention Decreased Stress Symptoms and Increased Mental Resources Among Working Adults, Get active study, 2015, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26159956