Hurricane Prep Tips & Links

LPB Professional Photo

Living in Florida my entire life, I’m used to watching the weather and I’m also used to keeping emergency supplies on hand year -round. Since we’re in nearing the height of Hurricane season, I’d like to share some hurricane preparation tips with you.

First, please know Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC and The Bravo Counseling Goup, LLC, will NEVER charge a late cancellation fee for someone who cannot get to the office for a scheduled appointment safely due to weather or weather-related concerns, i.e. flooding, downed power lines and so on. (Please see The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC’s “Severe Weather Policy” https://laurapeddiebravolmhc.com/2015/08/27/the-bravo-counseling-group-llc-severe-weather-policy/https://laurapeddiebravolmhc.com/2015/08/27/the-bravo-counseling-group-llc-severe-weather-policy/ for more details.) Your safety is my priority!

Here are some basic hurricane tips I’ve learned over the years:

  1. We usually have advanced warning of potentially severe weather. Decide now if you choose to stay or go somewhere else to ride out the storm. Note: if you live in an already flood-prone area, you may want to seriously consider leaving ahead of the storm.
  2. Arrange for someone (i.e. friend or family member) outside of the storm impact area to be your communication liaison to the rest of your loved ones. That person can keep everyone informed as to how you are doing.
  3. Make sure you have enough prescription or non-prescription medication, and enough water and food to last for — at the minimum — three days (for each person in your household).  Note: After Hurricane Charley, it took seven days to restore power to my family’s home.
  4. Have extra cash on hand. I rarely carry cash anymore, but think about all of the electronic ways we pay for things. If there’s no power, we will need cash to purchase gasoline, groceries, water, etc.
  5. Pets – please remember your pets and stock on on their food, medications, and water.
  6. If you have a yard, please pick up items that strong winds can turn them into projectiles. If you have a pool, you can sink your lawn furniture, etc., in the pool (so it doesn’t go flying through your or your neighbor’s windows).
  7. Have a battery powered radio so you can listen to weather alerts, i,e. tornado warnings. Many of us rely on our smart phones for everything but it’s a good idea to have an old fashioned AM/FM radio on hand (with extra batteries!)

Here are links to Hurricane planning resources:

Ready.Gov:  www.ready.gov/Hurricanes

FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/98105

The Weather Channel Hurricane Central, Storm Safety Tips: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central 

Local news resources for Central Florida:

Local Channel 2/WESH: http://www.wesh.com/

Local Channel 6/WKMG: https://www.clickorlando.com/

Local Channel 9 news/WFTV: http://www.wftv.com/

Local Channel 35 news/Fox Orlando: http://www.fox35orlando.com/

Local Radio Station Z88.3 FM 88.3: http://zradio.org/about/eas/

If you have any questions regarding whether or not it is safe to travel to a scheduled appointment, please never hesitate to contact your counselor or The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC at 407-222-6239. Your safety is the top priority!

About the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor and the owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC provides outpatient counseling to individuals, couples, and families in the Central Florida area. For any questions or to set up a complimentary phone call about counseling services, please call 407-222-6239. Your call will be returned as quickly as possible. Please note: commenting or messaging on any social media platform, i.e. a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on, is not confidential. To ensure your confidentiality, please call 407-222-6939. Thank you!

No Need to Drink & Drive: AAA & Budweiser Continue To Offer The Tow-To-Go Program

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC

For upcoming holidays, (most major holidays), AAA and Budweiser continue to partner with each other to offer the Tow-To-Go program. If you or a loved one are unable to drive, you can call for the Tow-To-Go program and obtain a FREE tow to your destination. There’s no need to drink and drive!

Upcoming Holidays for 2019:

St. Patrick’s Day March 17, Cinco De Mayo May 5, Memorial Day May 27, Independence Day, July 4th, Labor Day, September 2nd, Halloween, October 31, Thanksgiving, November 28th, and Christmas through New Year’s Eve, December 20th through January 2, 2020.

To access the program in Florida, please call: call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 To learn more, you can click on the following link to go to AAA’s website:

AAA Safety Link

May you and yours enjoy a year of safe holidays!

LPB Portrait (best) 11-2017
Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is the owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC in Winter Park, FL.

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC Contact Info. & Hours of Operation Spring 2019

LPB Professional Photo

Contact Info:

Contact Information For Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC & The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC:

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC, MH6561, 7221 Aloma Avenue, Suite 300, Winter Park, FL 32792 Phone: (407) 222-6239. Non-confidential email: LauraPeddieBravoLMHC@Gmail.Com.

Hours of operation: Mondays, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesdays, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Wednesdays, available by phone, text & email 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursdays 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Fridays, Saturday & Sunday, Closed

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC & The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC provide Outpatient Counseling services, including Individual, Couples and Family Counseling for teens and adults. Mrs. Peddie-Bravo specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for issues not limited to the following: Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, Bi-Polar, OCD, High Functioning Autism Spectrum, and Personality Disorders. Mrs. Peddie-Bravo has been licensed in the state of Florida since 2001.

Regarding Crises:
Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC and The Bravo Counseling Group LLC are NOT providers of crisis counseling services. If you are in crisis, please contact 911.
Here are some links to crisis providers in Central Florida and Nationwide (you can also contact your health insurance provider who can guide you to the nearest in-network crisis resource): Lifeline         1-800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  https://www.mhacf.org/community-crisis-suicide-services/  Orange County (FL) Government:  https://www.orangecountyfl.net/FamiliesHealthSocialSvcs/MentalHealth.aspx#.WaGiC_qGO00  Current UCF Students:  http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu/resources/emergency/ Other crisis resources from CFEC: https://www.cfec.org/job-seeker-resources/community-resource-guide/34-cfec-monthly-meetings/cfec-monthly-meetings/159-crisisinfomation-hotlines

5 Tips For How To Handle Being Alone During The Holidays

IMG_4891Whether through choice, death, or simply logistics, some find themselves alone during the holidays. While quite a few feel depressed due to this circumstance, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some suggestions to not just survive the holiday season, but to thrive!

1.) Volunteer. There are so many wonderful organizations that are in desperate need of volunteers. Volunteers can volunteer with babies, children, teens, adults or older adults or animals. If someone doesn’t want to volunteer face to face with strangers, there are plenty of behind the scenes ways to volunteer, i.e. administrative tasks. Here is just a short list of organizations to chose from: Hospitals, Assisted Living Facilities, Animal Shelters, Homeless Shelters, Political causes, and so much more. In Orlando, there are literally hundreds of charities that could use more volunteers. Volunteering and giving of ourselves is the best way to feel better. Additionally, new relationships will be created, and suddenly, one might find a social calendar teeming with new friends and activities.

2.) Ask. Most of us (not all, but most) have extended family that we could chose to be with during holidays. If your extended family doesn’t invite you to join them, (because they likely assume you already have plans), why not ask if you can join them? They will most likely say “yes” and perhaps apologize for not thinking to ask themselves.

3.) Remain active. Exercise/movement is especially important during the holiday season. We need sunlight, and getting outside to take a walk, go for a run, or a bike ride can help us feel better.

4.) Faith. Faith is huge. As a Christian, I could fill my entire calendar with my  church’s activities alone.  Some people don’t have a church, and there are various reasons for that. Churches are made up of fallible human beings (to borrow from Dr. Albert Ellis.) If you didn’t have a positive experience at one, you can try a different one. There are seeker friendly churches, churches that go more into depth, and “high” churches. Is your family from another country? There are Greek churches, Romanian churches, etc. What a great way to connect to your heritage and create some new relationships. If you live in a metropolitan area like Orlando, FL, every denomination represented. There are even churches which meet on our beaches! It can be fun to visit every single denomination, learn their differences, and discover where you feel comfortable. Faith – believing in something greater than ourselves – can be incredibly powerful, healing, and fill us with Joy because we believe we are never alone.

5.) Grief. If you find yourself alone due to loss of a loved one, and find yourself grieving, it’s important to talk about it. Holding it in, ignoring it, and hoping it will subside may make those feelings worse. Call your local Hospice and find out what groups they offer for grieving family members. Hospice typically runs many groups for children and adults who are grieving. They also tend to be free of charge.

Of course each of these can be expounded upon and take hours to discuss. These tips are meant to stimulate thought and give some quick ideas as to how to potentially fill up your holiday season, brighten it, and thrive this year.

This article may be reproduced as long as the author’s name and contact information are kept in tact.

LPB Professional PhotoAbout the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (2001) and Nationally Certified Counselor (1999.) Mrs. Peddie-Bravo is the founder and owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. For more information or to arrange a brief complimentary appointment, please call 407-222-6239. http://www.TheBravoCounselingGroup.com

 

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC’s Holiday Hours

Maple leaves Fall

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC will be closed from Tuesday, November 25th through Sunday, November 30th, 2014 due to Thanksgiving vacation. The office will reopen Monday, December 1st at 8:00 am. If you have any questions, please call Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC at 407-222-6239.

Please note The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC is not a provider of crisis services. It is an outpatient counseling private practice. If needed, there is a 24 hour 7 days a week service through the Life Line telephone number and website:1-800-273-8255  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  , in case of urgency, and 911 in case of a life threatening emergency. Life Line provides a live person to talk, or chat with via computer,  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

New client appointments will be scheduled on or after 12/1/14.

Again, if you have any questions, please call Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC before Tuesday, 11/25/14. All communication received on or after 11/25/14 will be returned on Monday 12/1/14. Thank you!

Welcome to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Now What?

 

Question Mark

As a parent of a child on the Autistic Spectrum, I’ve had numerous conversations that started something like this:

Me: “Oh, you have a child on the Autistic spectrum too?”

Acquaintance: “Yes, what have you tried to help your child?”

Me: “I’ve tried Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Hippotherapy, Therapuetic Riding, Digital Auditory Aerobics, iLs,” and so on. “What have you tried?”

Receiving a diagnosis of “Autism” isn’t like being diagnosed with a broken arm, for example. If someone has a broken arm, we know exactly how to treat it. With Autism, it’s a completely different story. We don’t really know what, if anything, will help. We do know that recent research indicates that early intervention with children on the Autism Spectrum can yield incredibly positive results.

You may be thinking “Ok, but exactly which interventions?”

That’s the tricky part.

We don’t know exactly which therapies to recommend. Some therapies have emerged as helpful, largely in part to documented research that proves positive results. Occupational Therapy is routinely recommended and has been proven to help those on the Autism Spectrum. Speech Therapy also has been documented to helpful, if it’s needed. ABA therapy has also been shown to be a solid, helpful therapy. Play Therapy can be helpful too. But there are other therapeutic approaches, and they can be very expensive. My fellow parents traveling the ASD journey know how many thousands we have spent “trying” therapies.

There is a saying in the Autism community “If you’ve met a child with Autism, you’ve met ONE child with Autism,” meaning, each child with Autism is affected differently. Occupational Therapy on horseback, called Hippotherapy, may have worked wonders with my child, but your child may not obtain the same result. That’s the reason most of us say we’ve “tried” this and that therapy.

Here’s a list of every therapy I know about that my friends and I have tried with our ASD children, and I’m sure there’s plenty I’m missing:

Occupational Therapy http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/benefits-of-occupational-therapy-for-autism

Applied Behavioral Therapy (ABA) http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment/applied-behavior-analysis-aba

Speech Therapy http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/benefits-speech-therapy-autism

Hippotherapy http://www.freedomride.com/programs/hippotherapy.html

Therapuetic Riding http://www.freedomride.com/programs/therapeuticriding.html

Play Therapy http://www.a4pt.org/?page=WhyPlayTherapy

Learn To Learn http://www.learntolearn.com/

Vision Therapy http://visualhealthlearning.com/

Social Skills Group http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/community-connections/social-skills-and-autism

Digital Auditory Aerobics http://holistichealthchicago.com/ait.html

iLs http://www.integratedlistening.com/autism/

Gluten/Casein Free Diets (GFC) http://www.autismspeaks.org/node/112986

Chelation http://www.generationrescue.org/recovery/biomedical-treatment/treatments-to-explore/

Hypobaric Chamber http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AutismNews/story?id=7070353

Fast 4Word https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T6QpYUtVt0

Music Therapy http://www.joyfulmusictherapy.net/about-us.php

Marital Arts (with an instructor who is an expert with both martial arts and ASD) For example: http://www.dragonflyasd.org/

Luminosity http://autismsd.com/lumosity-and-autism/

The Salt Room http://www.saltroomorlando.com/about-salt-therapy.html

And more (i.e. therapeutic swimming, therapeutic gymnastics, etc.)

So, how do you know what will be best for your child? What I recommend is connecting with other parents who are a bit further down the road than you. Talk with them, listen to their experiences, ask questions and take notes. Support for the parents and caregivers of ASD children is critical. Some places to obtain parental/caregiver support: 1. Parent Support Groups through your child’s school, 2. parent support groups through local chapters of Autism groups, i.e. Greater Orlando Autism Society in Orlando, Florida, 3. Parent Support through local therapy clinics, and 4. If no face to face parent groups are available, try online support through Autism Speaks, CARD (Center for Autism Research and Development), Autism Support Network, etc.

I encourage you to maintain high expectations for your child, and be patient with him or her as (s)he develops at his or her own pace.

Let me leave you with hope and positive quote from Dr. Temple Grandin (if you don’t know who she is, look her up. Her books, website and public appearances about Autism are incredibly helpful.)

“The most important thing people did for me was to expose me to new things.”

Dr. Temple Grandin

 

About The Author:

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Laura is the parent of three amazing children, one who has ASD. She  has extensive experience with the Autism community in Orlando, FL  as both a parent and professional. You are welcome to distribute this article as long as you keep the author’s information intact. For more information, or to schedule a complimentary phone call, please phone Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC at (407) 222-6239.