Do You Really Need Therapy?

basil and iHello, my name is Julia Jay.   This site is a place where you can contact me, the owner of ATOP, to decide if professional help is right for you.

Are you anxious, having trouble sleeping, scared, lonely, in a crisis with your family?

Do you have a difficulty that you are hesitant to talk to a professional about (sexual abuse, sibling incest, fosterparenting the difficult child who you are beginning to fear?).

Well, I am sure (really I am), I can help you.

However, my help is a little different then many professional “counselors”.

I do not desire to breed dependency on “psychology”, ” the government” or “medication as a treatment plan”.

Rather, I strive to help you to see through a lens of life ” journey”.  My goal is to create total independence in you enabling “you” to deal with ” your” issues and learn how to separate “others” issues and I discourage clients from  “allowing yourself” to be plagued or controlled with  “others actions” that inadvertently inflict pain on you.

My goal is to create a confidential place, on line, via phone, and physically in my community, to facilitate well being of body, mind, and soul.

My desire is to enhance your relationship skills enabling “you” to take charge of your personal life. This will include teaching techniques which build new and support your existing relationships that should affirm you as a person.

Once you learn these skills, you should confidently cope with any and all traumas that come into your life, intermittent or chronic.

I know this may sounds crazy, and yet, if you were not struggling in a situation right now you would not be seeking help.

Why not give counseling a try, maybe counseling could really help you to gain control over your life.

Of course you may “feel” none of this situation is” your fault” and you may wonder why difficulties keep coming into “your” life.

Well, I can help you explore the answers to these and many other questions about your life.

By providing an avenue to practice “wellbeing” with coping tools, one can begin to understand and deal with the struggles of life effectively.

I know, you just want someone to “fix” this problem.  May I ask you, “Wouldn’t you prefer to FIX your life permanently?

I know that is a BIG  advertisement. But what have you got to loose, pick up the phone or text me a message and give me the “problem” and I assure you I have the life experience (nothing will “shock me”) and I will process with you a solution to even the toughest dilemmas.

Did you ever meet someone who keeps having the same issues, whether its dept, gambling, addictions, food, or relationships, they never seem to learn from the past.

I have finally realized (after years of helping people with their struggles and struggling in my own life) ones past is really THE  stepping stones to ones future. Without the past(even the traumas of the past) you would not be the person you are today.

By exploring your “problem” you can gain great insight into your “potential life journeys purpose”.

Once you discover the potential of analyzing your past(why you choose the partners you choose, your weight is a constant frustration, you never have any money ect.) you unlock the destiny of what those choices or experiences are meant to accomplish in your life purpose and journey.

About my process: in order to learn new skills you will have to take a chance and allow someone into your private world. You have to be willing to get to know “Yourself” or at least want to know the “REAL YOU”. You have to want change in your life, you have to want to “get better” enough to apply the tools that will assist you with the change you desire. Anyone can say the “correct words”, anyone can re post a nice “life saying” on fb.

However, can you apply the principles you learn to make lasting change to overcome your addictions, or meet your current crisis with positive possibilities? I actually know very few professional therapists that can personally apply psychological well being in their own relationships. It is a slow process, more of a journey than a destination.

I have not “arrived” but I am certainly on the journey and I would love to share these learned and practiced principles to benefit others, because, I too, was seeking answers all my life…to no avail.  I certainly did not find any real life answers in a psychology text book …even at the graduate level!

Change is the one constant  in our lives and  yet change is also continual process. The real ” You “is the sum of all the choices in life “you” have made  that have led to crisis point in your life.

Rarely do people want to hear that they are the cause and the solution to their problems, we much prefer blaming…our parents, the government, politicians, the church…ect.

When we conclude it is someone elses’ fault..then we do not have to take personal responsibility to remedy the situation…meanwhile we have no control over the pain inflicted upon us my others.

If you are on a limited income and looking for a piece of paper to satisfy drug and alcohol requirements, a psychological evaluation or documentation to qualify you for SSI or SSD, medication management, divorce or custody affirmation (supposing that you are the best parent for custody), I suggest you  call MHMR @Mental Health Case Management Unit(717) 393-0421  8:30 AM – 5 PM  1120 Frances Ave  Lancaster, PA 17601  or look them up onlne @ Reading has the same services, SAM Service Access Management. I am sorry I am not a place that wants to do mandated counseling just saying….

I do not  accept insurances ( check out Why I do what I do. on this site) . If you need those mandated services it will not even be worth your time to call me unless you only want connected to community resources. I  do actually help  many people with resources and crisis intervention personally. Often,  I provide advice if needed with just a phone call.

Regardless of your income I help anyone. Anyone, that is, who really wants help and is willing to change. I am a person you can contact  confidentially and talk to a human to explore your feelings, assist you with options, or help you make a difficult decision.

I have realized, better late than never, that people, for the most part, are exactly who they want to be, by default. You are who “you want” to be. Its hard to believe but thats a basic truth. You really are where you are right now to learn some basic lesson about yourself.

Believe it or not “you need” to be in the situation you are in in order to create lasting life change. Do you really want lasting life change?

If you are not happy with your situation, you have to” want” to actually apply positive change. Change is Hard work!!! Change often  brings temporary discomfort, or self denial, or sacrifice! Change cannot be focused on any other individual, not your partner, your child, your boss- no YOU must want it enough to do something to push change to become your reality.

One lesson I learned very young in my professional quest to help others is: for the most part, people have the lives they want. If they do not want that life…. they choose to change it, either voluntarily or involuntarily, usually because of forced additional pressures. People do the work that will afford them to live the life they want to live.

Humans naturally want the highest level of pleasure with the lowest amount of effort- that is just mankind. We usually “put up” with undesired behaviors because changing them takes too much effort. Often, we do not want the positive results bad enough to suffer the discomfort of applying change.

Patterns may have been in your family for many generations, and yet family dysfunctions can be changed for future generations when you say…hmmm I see a pattern, how can I change this in my life? (Read my RIP BLOG on this site). Knowledge is very useful but without application noone cares what you know.

Once you figure out that change is possible, and you are willing to put the effort into the change needed, and you actually have the faith to believe it is really possible to change your life for future generations potential dysfunctions, now you are ready to begin the intervention process.

Really change is possible, I am walking, talking, breathing proof!

I would love to walk that journey with you and help you process your pain in meaningful ways that result in “healing of those wounds” and  helping you become the person you are PROUD to be. Although I would love to walk through your journey with you, I have no power to change anyone, only “you” have the power to change your life.

Your problem did not start today. You had some part in allowing it to get to the level of discomfort of the current state.  Dysfunction is often generational and often it even feels comfortable- it feels normal- its stable, it is all you have ever known.

People who are brought up in years of dysfunction don’t just go there because they want to carry on the family curse of dysfunction. Each generation does their best to change the things that wounded them in their childhood. The dysfunctions that remain are there because, they have always lived there, to a certain extent, and keeping them and dealing with the consequences is easier than the work of change. When “You” don’t make the effort to change-” you” will remain the same. Sure maturation itself may change some thing,s but deeply embedded wounds usually are passed down if one does not dealt with changing it personally. (Read my blog the stain on the white shirt) Change is a highly desired commodity in this generation.  We all want to change!  How we eat, how we exercise, how we parent or maintain relationships.  But how often do we really change these disciplines without effort? Rarely!! The answer is YOU must want change YOU and be willing to learn the truth about Yourself.  To apply change to the way you act, the way you think, the way you feel. This work is a process?

My familys’ dysfunction goes as far back as I can recall but I changed things for my generation, well ….I did my best… as maybe did all my parents… and their parents before them. Today, I choose to live a life blaming no one for who I AM. I am who I am and I am proud to be the woman I have become and if my brother or my daughter or my son or even my hubby doesn’t like it …well I guess its them that have to accept they cannot change me.

Being “ME” took alot of work, years of intervention and education (tons of emotional pain, confrontation,communication, books, sessions, classes, a graduate degree, CEU;’s ect).

Honestly, I don’t know another person on this earth as blessed as I am. To have had the privilege to have grown in marriage with the same man, since adolescence, for 33 years now. To have the opportunity to grow into my 50’s, to have birthed 4 amazing gifts, to have had the honor of adopting a sibling group of 4 and watching all of them grow into amazing people (not perfect, but each uniquely amazing)! I have been privileged to impacted the lives of hundreds of people, professionally, and personally. I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing each one is on a uniquely different journey and I, in some way, have been blessed to be part of that journey. And yet- I really do not personally know anyone who survived the struggles I did and fared as well, I credit most of that work to the LORD.

I accredit my change also to the fact, I learned to CHANGE- and believe me, its a process. I am still learning with a long way to go.

Hopefully, I can help you learn to change along your journey.

If you really desire an end to the pain you may be experiencing then call me and we can chatt.

We are not ever done changing. Every day I aspire for more- to be better, learn more, grow more, pray more, listen more.

Continual transformation is what allows us to accept ourselves each day, because we know, who we really were in the past and we see what potentially  we desire our future to become. We believe we can become wiser and we can overcome the past, if we allow the painful past to shape us into who we desire to become as an individual.

How do you know if you need professional help or you are just in a transitional phase?

Everyone can use a listening ear to process the pain in their lives.  Everyone has problems, so what is the difference between a person with problems….like us all… or a person who needs therapeutic interventions and professional help?

Is the problem in your body?

Your emotions?

Could it be a spiritual problem?

If its your body, the criteria that defines a behavior as a diagnosis usually depends on how this act (self abuse, depression, anxiety ect)  interferes with your daily functioning.  Can you work everyday? Can you care for your family? Can you get the basic things done to provide food, clothing and shelter? If the act (sleeping too much, crying all the time) has changed your life to such an extent you are unable to perform your daily responsibilities or enjoy life, then you may benefit from professional help. Ask yourself, has this problem become chronic? If the answer is Yes, it is likely a diagnosis that needs professional help.

If your drinking is so extreme you cannot work a steady job, then obviously you have an addiction problem.

The best place to start asking these questions  is with the people around you.

Can your parents help you with this problem- do they see this hindering your life? Your Siblings? What about close friends?  Extended family? Church?

Usually, if you are surrounded with loving people, and if you feel you can go to them to express yourself confidentially and feel support, then that is what you should do.

If your support system doesn’t exist, or your family is critical of you and you have no one to go to- or you have been to all of them to no avail, then the problem may warrant professional help.

For the most part I try to refer as many people that request my help as possible to community or government resources so it is not a financial strain paying for a professional. However, when you have depleted all other resources, I will consider taking that person as a client if I see they really are motivated to learn and they personally want change.

Because I cater to a few clients I can be available to assist you personally almost anytime you need me.

What will happen when you arrive at the office. First,  I refer clients to resources for free help to evaluate if the problem can be resolved by information alone.

The internet is amazing and often  the information you need to change is a click away. Many times grieving people can benefit from the connection to a hospice support group, or those with addictions to a sponsor, or a AA group.

If you need help with a referral suggesting  where to go, please contact me.

If you have decided you need my help and you cannot find help elsewhere, fill out the intake form on this site. I understand it can be scary, giving out all your private information and talking about deeply personal thoughts but if you want help, you will need to talk to diagnose the problem.

Next, we usually do a phone interview where you can talk to me about your particular concern and we find a time that fits your schedule. I can make office hours to accommodate any schedule. The intake form has a small psycho social evaluation which helps me to evaluate your symptoms so it is very important to complete these first 4 pages- The rest of the intake document is informational containing signature pages that give information about cancellations and the therapeutic process.

At the first visit, I listen to you and we begin to explore if the therapeutic relationship is a match. The most critical factor as to whether I can help you lies not in the intervention we use, rather in the relationship we are able to form and the ability to trust that is achieved.

I use cognitive behavioral approach to therapy  because it has the most proven results. Usually therapy is a process but you should get immediate results as you apply the things you learn.

The most important information you will learn will be communication. Tools for learning how to communicate your emotions effectively are essential. Most disputes are found to be common communication issues.

I have a library of helps which I will lend freely to teach you different coping skills, communication, parenting ect. Each week we will review your goals and come up with plans to get the results you need to overcome the issue you are dealing with.

How do you know if I am successful?

My success lies in your ability to deal with your future life situations. I provide tools: how you choose to apply those tools will determine your success. At first you may need advice practicing the tools you have learned but within a few session you should be able to build a support system and self maintain.

When you do not need me anymore- then I know we had a successful therapeutic interaction.

I strive, for the fewest sessions, with the least expense to you, to equip you with the tools to live your life successfully with a sense of well being.

I find very few people today have the sense of well being that allows them to live life, trust in the future and be who they are.

A number of other benefits are available from participating in therapy. I can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and body image issues.

Hopefully, I can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and how well you can put into practice what you learn. If I can help you with a personal response email me at

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Family services for the Cocalico area