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Change can be difficult, what you need to know!

Posted on June 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)
There comes a time when we realize that change can only occur within one self. For many this can be difficult. Even the mere mention of change can make one feel uncomfortable. But, sometimes it???s an action that must be accomplished to achieve success in one???s life or when one needs different outcomes. In these series of articles Carolina Alvarez, a children and family therapist for over 10 years and Julio C Caba author of Tales of an Underdog will discuss steps to change. These steps come from real life experiences and tried and proven therapeutic techniques. It will not be easy; as change never is, but can give those that want to change a different perspective in hopes of motivating those in need. In this part, we will discuss the number one factor to change. To begin the change process, we must first force ourselves to see our lives from another perspective. We must do one of the hardest things, look at the mirror and ask the deep and hard questions of self. This is vital to change because it will allow you to see what it is that you need to change. This is the moment you must be brutally honest with yourself. You must find out how is it your own fault that certain situation occurs. Even if you are completely convinced or you are very sure the fault lays with others. This is because most of the time you cannot change others and only have the power to change self. Julio C Caba: One of the best changes I made in my life that helped me change everything was placing blame on myself. Even if a situation was caused by another person; I go deeper and ask how did I get involved with that person or is there something I could have done to protect myself from people that would put me at risk. The funny part is after some time of thinking this way I discover how I could have avoided it even if I had no control. In the case of becoming a single father, it was not my fault that the mother of my children left my children behind. But it was my fault that I was involved with a person with such character. Warning signs existed but I choose to ignore them. This lead to me putting protections in place or test of character before trusting people. This has led to me only having great people that Match my personality around me. Carolina Alvarez: One of the best changes I have made in my life is accepting my individuality and owning my decisions. I became the mother to 3 children without giving birth to them and I became a wife without getting married. All these decisions were mine but I did not own them, I continuously gave credit to this happening to me but not recognizing and accepting that I made these decisions. One I owned it, everyone around me including my family of origin accepted my decision to be a mother and a wife because in their mind as in mine it was not my decision it just happened and they resented this. But , when I owned my decision to being a great mother to my children and a great partner to my husband my perspective in life change and my parents and sibling???s perspective about my life changes too. Change only happens when you are ready for it! As a therapist and all my years of experience I have encountered that the best way for a person to make changes is when they are ready. Change is process were an individual identifies a behavior they would like to change or modify. They can analyze and make a list of things that might have worked in the past and things they have done that do not work. You can start with this exercise: - Take inventory of what goals you have, or what you want to do with your life. - Write down your plans from year 1 to year 5 to help you achieve your goal - Evaluate your behavior or current situation along with any barriers you may have. - What and how needs to change to reach your goal. - Change, get rid of or modify your behavior. - Identify those who can and cannot help you to achieve this goal and write their name down. - Inform the ones that can help you about your goal - And stay away from the ones that cannot help you or unmotivated you. This is just the first step in your quest for change. These series of articles will discuss different strategies to changing. The next part discussed will be environment. If you would like to get updates when articles are submitted add yourself to our email list. Author: Carolina Alvarez L.M.F.T Author: Julio C Caba m.b.a Change M.F.C.R Tales of an Underdog www.changetherapy.vpweb.com Available on Amazon www.myindividualandfamilycounseling.com www.talesofanunderdog.com www.julioccaba.com

We are together, but I am still me!

Posted on January 26, 2017 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (1)

Success for Couples and marriages


Whether you are a married or in a serious relationship, keeping it together can be a real challenge. Because first and foremost, we are individuals. You are an individual that has likes, needs, goals, and dislikes. The other person that you are in a relationship also has like, needs, goals, and dislikes.


The issue becomes when these feelings are not the same. Even though it seems like this only means you don't Match or belong together. But nothing could be further from the truth as we are all unique and usually it's what attracts us to each other. It is the reason we fall in love with each other.


Even if we know this to be true after a relationship has been going on for a while we tend to lose the understanding of the fact that our differences are exactly the reason we fell in love


In this blog, I will disclose some research as well as experience as an individual and family therapist of some characteristics of a healthy relationship.


Below are some of the characteristics of a healthy relationship








Kindness towards each other


Healthy arguing


Shared values








You have to understand that you are each individual's and need these basic parameters. Then you can begin to heal and make sure you are acting and treating one another in a way that you would like to be treated. Relationships are not always easy to maintain. With work on both ends, you can have a great relationship. Take time to remember the why. Why did you choose each other, or why did you fall in love. Think about the long game. Act strategic with the relationship. Try to put yourself in the others perspective. And always remember to love.

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WOMEN! the new leadership trend(interview by JCaba)

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

In a new world change is the only constant. As we all try to find what is our purpose in this life. It has become very evident that women are become taking their place as leaders in our societies. In fact, the United States of America had its first women presidential hopeful of a major party. This shows a lot about the direction in which the world and our country is heading.

This can be clearly seen in the corporate world or the new business environment. In which more and more women are CEOs, Presidents and owners of all types of organizations. As an insurance agent, I would say that at least 80 percent of the time my supervisor or manager has been a woman. This is great for a man that has three daughters obviously. As observed it is also become obvious that they are very good leaders as well.

In this newsletter, we will be interviewing Carolina Alvarez L.M.F.T. She came to this country from Colombia with a dream. A dream to learn and succeed in this country. In Colombia, she studied as an undergraduate family counseling. When moving to the United States she continued her education completing her Bachelor’s degree in science and a Master’s degree in science with focused on family and marriage therapy. She has worked in Florida as a Therapist for 1o years. Opening a marriage and family counseling clinic. The motto of her organization is providing access to mental health, to all! We sat down with this CEO/owner/operator to discuss some of the challenges face as a small business and what has been the driving factor for success?

I started by asking Carolina what made her choose the mental health profession?

Carolina Alvarez: I have always believed in the power of people, and how they are capable of such beautiful things. Since When I was twelve I can remember taking the money my parents would give me every week and buy food. Then I would take that food to a very poor area called Moravia in my country Columbia. My friends and I would spend the day feeding them and playing with the kids. I did this till the age of nineteen and it helped me realize that I needed to find a profession in which I can help people. Mental health was the perfect fit, because it was a way to help people by empowering them to help themselves.

Julio Caba: So, you have been working in mental health organizations for over 10 years, how has that worked for you?

Carolina Alvarez: It has been an amazing experience! I have learned so many new things and have helped hundreds of families. It has helped me understand what metal health is about and the difference it makes in people’s lives.

Julio Caba: So, why open an agency? If you can get what you need working in an organization, like helping people why go through the trouble? Being that opening a business is difficult?

Carolina Alvarez: Because one of the problems with mental health is that it’s expensive to obtain. And what some people don’t understand is that we still have people in this country that do not have insurance because they can’t afford it or the company they work for does not provide it. But the same people make too much money to have Medicaid help them. I did not see any programs in the organizations I worked for that catered to that group of people. Most counselors are 150 to 200 dollars and hour. This becomes expensive especially knowing and understanding that counseling takes several sessions to get the benefits of it. This is the main reason for opening Change, to allow people in that bracket to be able to get the help they need.

Julio Caba: Wow 150 to 200 an hour? What do you normally charge? And does it bother you that you are not making as much as you could on a client?

Carolina Alvarez: it depends on the clients need or what they can afford. I have gone as low as $40 dollars and hour. And no! because I believe the money will follow. Right now people need these services and I am very honored and proud that I can provided the services. Look I love what I do, and in most cases by helping them I feel as if I am giving back to a community that took me in when I came to this country with open harms and gave me the education to do so.

Julio Caba: Yeah, but anybody could tell you this is all I can afford just to pay you less no?

Carolina Alvarez: No, not at all we must start believing in people. You would be surprise how honest people are when you give them a chance. Plus, all that I care about is the fact that they have made the first step in creating a better life for themselves.

Julio caba: Now let’s talk business, what has been the hardest part of opening and running a business?

Carolina Alvarez: Well, there have been many challenges but if I had to choose it would have to be the organization of everything. It can be difficult to develop new ways of operating and of course the fear of finding new clients. As a business owner, it can be very difficult to believe in the dream you are creating because I have learned it takes time to develop and you have to keep motivating yourself to push forward.

Julio Caba: In such a technological age, how do you use technology to help you in your business?


Carolina Alvarez: The use of technology has been imperative in the development of my business; social media, google, my website www.changetherapy.vpweb.net and blogs managed by jcabacorp have allowed me to get more clients, advertise my business and promote my ideals. Without this I don’t believe I would be where I am. I also use and electronic health record EHC that allows me to keep track of my notes, my practice and billing. Technology is also a great way to communicate with people that do not have access to traveling and this is the next market I would like to explore; counseling via skype to give my clients other options.

Julio Caba: What do you believe are the factors that helped you succeed by coming to this country, open your own business and succeed in this business?

Carolina Alvarez: that’s a great question, I believe that what motivated me was my desire to learn and succeed not only in a financial way but educationally. The original reason why I came to the USA was to finish my education. I have always believed that education is the key to success. My husband and kids also motivated me to continue and finish my masters. After this I went on to become licensed and gain as much experience as I could. As far as opening the business to be honest this was all my husband’s motivation and believing in me, I wanted it but I wasn’t sure I could do it but he reassured and gave me confidence in myself which allowed me to keep pushing forward.

Julio Caba: Have you had any challenges or do you believe is harder because you are a business woman?

Carolina Alvarez: I don’t think so, I focus on myself and my potential so I don’t focus on the female or male. I can tell you that being Hispanic and knowing another language has given me an excellent edge both while I worked in large agencies and in my own private practice. I focus on my qualities and clinical skills and do not let negativity bring me down.

What would you advise other women that are thinking about opening a business?

Carolina Alvarez: My advice is to move forward with their plan, to believe in their selves, surround themselves with people that will empower them and help them achieve their dream. Opening a business can be scary but with the right tool and positive people around them this is possible. Fear of the unknow is scary but you will never achieve greatness if you don’t try different new scary things. Also, to believe that this is going to happen and if you fail its ok, this is part of growth you dust off and move forward.

This was a great interview as it shows a small example of the leadership women are providing in many industries. I am sure the world is ready and in need of this diversity in the business environment and if you ask me, it will grow in numbers.


Parenting in today's world!

Posted on September 17, 2016 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

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Marriage is communication!

Posted on September 13, 2016 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Marriage is a great way to show the one you love that you plan on staying together till death do you part. It is a lifelong commitment that two people make to each other. It is actually a beautiful concept in which two people decide that they will share every aspect of each other’s life from this day forward. A great deal of money is spent in the process and celebration of marriage. According to www.costofwedding .com the average wedding cost is between $19,984 and $ 33,306. Wow! That equates to a very nice car that should last you 10 years. It should be worth it because you will spend the rest of your life with this person, Right?


Forever or for the rest of one’s life feels like a long time. This is true in a huge number of marriages end in divorce. Yes, the big D word happens a lot more than it should. Depending on what research you are looking at marriages in the U.S have a 50 percent divorce rate. Now this does not mean that half of all marriages are doomed. The 50 percent is from new yearly marriages (www.divorcesource.com). This is still a big number we are talking about. Why is this the trend and how can we slow it down. There is no one answers solution to marriage but there are things partners can do to assure the marriage stays a happy partnership. The Huffington post has an article that states the top ten reasons people become divorce. The ten top reasons included:

• Getting in for the wrong reasons

• Lack of individual identity

• Becoming lost in the roles

• Not having a shared vision of success

• Intimacy disappears

• Unmet expectations

• Finances

• Being out of touch

• Different priorities and interest

• Inability to resolve conflicts (Payne, Olver & Roth 2015)

The surprising part is that in the top ten infidelities is nowhere to be seen. While looking at the list it becomes obvious that most of the problems that lead to divorce come from the lack of communication. Most of these problems could have been resolved or helped by creating a communication dialogue between the partners. This means that couples need to learn how to communicate. If this communication is gone seek professional help. In the field of marriage therapy there are many techniques to re-establish communication. Avoid being part of the statistics and seek help before it’s too late. Communication needs to happen regularly with all relationships. If you live with a person for long periods of time it’s quite normal to argue and become tired of certain behaviors. What is not normal is throwing it all away because you refuse to lose an argument or refuse to honestly communicate. Communication is the key so talk about it or get a professional to help you talk about it.







The 10 Most Common Reasons People Get Divorced ( Lisa L. Payne, Kim Olver & Deborah Roth, 2015)www.huffingtonpost.com


I WILL MAKE IT! Motivational seminar

Posted on September 8, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

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Psychotherapy Then and now #TBT

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (1)

In modern times psychological problems can be treated and controlled to help people live happy and normal lives. In 2016 the psychological problems humans encounter has become understood like never before. Effective treatments for every type of situation like depression can be solved with developed techniques. But since it is throwback Thursday let’s look into this subject from a time machine perspective. Going way, way back on how and what was done when mental illness was discovered or encountered.

In the Middle Ages after the Roman Empire fell according to www.pshychcentral.com mental illness was believed to be demonic.(Haggerty 2016). People were tortured in order to gain confession of the possessions. But some physician began to believe and advocate that mental illness could be treated in (1493-1541) by using psychotherapy (Haggerty 2016). Sigmund Freud continued studies and developed treatment. He theorized that mental illness came from memories and could be treated by speaking to the patient and bringing the memories to the forefront (Haggerty 2016).

From 1917 and 1935 shock introduction was a form of treatment used in Europe (Sabbatini). These treatments included Malaria-induced fever, Insulin-induced coma and convulsions, Metrazol-induced convulsions, and Electroconvulsive shock therapy ( Sabbatini). These techniques where considered leading break trough’s at the time. Using different types of shock to the body in order to cure or control mental illness. By the seventies these treatments where out the door as many problems came from it and drugs began to be used.

Now there are many treatments available for all and any type of mental illness or societal problems. Counseling and medication can be used for many issues. Individual and family therapy has become an import part of society today. We as humans and as a society face complex issues that must be dealt with in order to have a happy life. Our society has become a high paced environment with issues we have never imagined. It can be difficult at times to cope and move on to the next steps in our individual lives. Individual and family therapy can help in many ways with techniques that have been proven and tried.



Haggerty, J. (2016). History of Psychotherapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 25, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/history-of-psychotherapy/



Do you remember?

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you remember being a teenager? Remember how your parents or elders thought the music you listened to was horrible? How about when you thought no one understood you or listened to you? I remember understanding the world around me much more differently than I do in my adult age. Think about it, what was in your mind at the age of 16 thru 18? Perception of life was different in many ways. What about communicating properly to express feelings? Well these are the things we as parents need to remember when dealing with our teenage kids. We need to remember they have not gone through the trials and tribulations we have gone through yet and see, feel, and react to things without those experiences.

Now imagine trying to understand the world in its current state? Problems which we as parents never had to think about or deal with. With so many mixed messages and conflicts on issues we thought society had a handle on during our generation. As we move through life with more questions than answers how we can expect the kids of today to not be confused as to what the next steps of life are. We as adults are not even sure what is next. Remember finishing high school and figuring out if college is the next step is pretty scary. As a kid they have lived off of us and depended on us for all major decisions. They only worried about the day they lived and not about what to do for the future. I speak as a therapist and as a mom of three teenagers currently moving to the next step. What looks like laziness and procrastinating is actually fear; Its feelings of confusion of the next step. They lived in a cocoon during high school and now are old enough to see the world can be cold and difficult.


The point is we need to step back and see the world through their eyes. It is not the time to fight them on getting it started or giving them some hard medicine. It’s time to relate and be there for the, time to make sure the answers they seek can be found. Remember they do not communicate the same or act the same we did when we were their age. Does it matter that they might mistake your kindness for weakness? Or what really matters is that they get it together and succeed during this transition. That the dreams you told where possibly actually are. Help them get there and they will appreciate it and stop running away from the next step. Guide them as it is a parent’s job to teach and motivate. Motivate them instead of breaking them down. Remind them to take the risk needed by trying college or anything they dream while you are around. They could never really fall too hard because they have us to catch them. They are the future and have a lot of work to do to fix, mold, and drive the future. If you give them wings, they will fly.


How to Love

Posted on August 9, 2016 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

How to love

Love is relative to each person, there is no right or wrong way to love, love is the emotion that all human beings search for their entire life but most are not able to feel it because they put so many barriers in front of them to not allow themselves to feel it. Love comes in many shapes or forms.

When I think about love the 1st thing that comes to my mind is my family; my kids and my husband. Our family is a reflection of love. Our family started with the love of a single father for his 3 young children, the love that would do whatever it would take to see them succeed. And then came my love for all 4 of them, a love of a friend to the kids and the love of a girlfriend for her struggling boyfriend. It wasn’t easy it was actually very hard to get this family going the right directions and surviving all the struggles but what kept it all together was the love we had for each other, that unconditional love that would make us overcome everything that was put in front of us.

Humanity is awesome

Posted on August 9, 2016 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Someone mentioned how bad humanity has become. Almost every news outlet reports on the bad and the ugly parts of humanity. We must remember the news is like any other form of entertaiment it reports what sells. I refuse to belive humanity is bad and ugly. Especially when observing such great human interactions. Like single parents always pulling through and finding a way to feed, dress, and house theire families. Or eating in a resturant and waching a young lady buy food for a veteran on veterans day. I have seen people helping people in many ways and many times. If you choose to only see the negative than that is what you will see. But before giving up on humanity look a little closer and what you see might change your perspective. ‪#‎humanityisawesome



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