Friday, August 11, 2017

Helpful Mental Health Apps

Top 5 Mental Health Apps
With the technology of today there seems to be an app for everything. What we don’t always recognize is that we can use this technology for personal growth and development. In other words, there are more enlightening apps than angry birds and candy crush. I took some time to look into many of the mental health apps available and found that there are hundreds available. Below you will find a list and description of the top 5 mental health apps I discovered. All of these apps are free and available on iPhone and android devices.
1.       Stop, Breathe, and Think
This mindfulness app is great for beginners and for those experienced with relaxation and meditation techniques. There is information on learning how to meditate and understanding the basics in order to get started. What I enjoyed about this app is that it prompts you to check in with yourself. So you will be asked how your body and mind are feeling and also what emotions you are currently experiencing. Then based on those responses the app suggests a few mindfulness exercises for you. Most of the exercises are brief anywhere from 3-15 minutes. You can also track your mindfulness progress over time.

2.       Daylio
This app is a very basic mood tracking app. What I liked about it is that is very quick and easy to complete. I find with mood tracking that it can be hard to stick to it daily if it feels too time consuming or overwhelming. This app allows you to track your mood daily, allowing more than one entry in a day, as we know our moods can change throughout a day. It also asks you what you have been doing that day. Then under stats you can look at what your recent moods have been and also what activities are typically connected to those moods. For example, it may show that feeling happy is typically associated with spending time with friends or that feeling sad it usually connected to watching TV. This helps us to recognize connections between our moods and behavior to figure out what helps and what doesn’t.

3.       What’s Up
Here is an app that incorporates techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It has several different components the first of which is a section on self-calming strategies in order to get to a place where you are calm enough to sort through an issue. Then there are many coping strategies for addressing our thinking patterns and better understanding of our thoughts. In addition, there is information about specific mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, anger management, etc. This app could be a useful tool in between therapy sessions to help stay on top of using your coping skills.

4.       Mindshift
An app that is made to specifically address anxiety. It is geared towards adolescents and young adults but can be useful for people of all ages. There is information on understanding anxiety and it then helps you identify the situations in your life that are triggering this for you. Once those are identified, it walks you through a step by step method for gaining skills to cope with your anxiety, providing specific tools and inspiration along the way.

5.       Rise Up + Recover

This app is geared towards individuals with disorder eating or a challenging relationship with food. On this app you can create a meal log to keep track of eating patterns and the app has a feature where you can also email your log to your therapist, nutritionist, or other supports. Along with the meal log it tracks emotions and eating disorder behaviors such as bingeing and purging. Lastly there is a coping skills section for support in between sessions with your treatment team or support individuals

Kaitlyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor who strives to help people find inner peace and healing.  She provides client centered counseling services to children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults.  She values the human connection and creating a safe space for exploration, learning, and growth.  Kaitlyn obtained her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from The Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. She has extensive experience working with individuals struggling with eating disorders, self-esteem, and body image issues. She also has a particular passion for working with adolescents and young adults. Other areas of interest include grief and loss, anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavior issues, parent/child relationships, and family systems.
Kaitlyn utilizes several therapeutic approaches but specializes in Internal Family Systems Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She often incorporates relaxation and mindfulness techniques into sessions. In her work with children she frequently integrates play therapy and artistic expression to encourage healthy emotion regulation and communication.  In her free time Kaitlyn enjoys running, traveling, camping, and gardening. Kaitlyn believes that happiness is something you create and every individual has the power to make positive change in their life. She is here as a partner on your path 
to creating happiness and peace. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


I cannot forget the first time I learned that someone was intentionally cutting herself.  Two female high school students had asked to talk with me after class.  The friend encouraged “Amy” to tell me what she was doing.  I was dumbfounded.  WHY would you (or anyone) do this?  Amy explained that she was under a lot of stress, didn’t like how she looked, felt misunderstood at home and was generally unhappy.  I would never have guessed she was going through any difficulties by her always cheerful disposition. Unfortunately, cutting has become much more widespread for all age groups but for teens and young adults in particular.  Cutting is only one form of self harm.  Others might burn themselves, punch walls, bang their head against the wall, hit themselves, (and even worse things), all of which, in general, indicate intense emotional turmoil.  Although these actions are not suicide attempts, some individuals who self harm may also attempt suicide.   
Persons who self harm lack coping skills that work in the long term.  Several mental illnesses are also associated with self harm.  One depressed young woman I worked with told me she cut just so that she could “feel something.”  Another had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Other associated diagnoses include, bipolar disorder; major depression; anxiety disorders (esp. obsessive-compulsive disorder); and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Do you suspect that someone is self harming?
You might have noticed some of the following:
·         Wearing long sleeves/pants even in warm weather.  (some persons cut on body parts that are always covered by clothing so this is not always a tell tale sign.)
·         Someone who has frequent bruises or scars and has excuses for their clumsiness. (One mother told me her daughter’s excuse was that she accidentally cut herself while shaving.)
·         Having sharp objects in their possession – for no “real” reason
·         Taking excessive amounts of time alone (in bedroom or bathroom)
·         Bloodied clothing, bedding, tissues, bandages –more than what would be typical
·         Low self esteem
·         Difficulty handling their emotions

No matter what the person might be doing to self-harm, it is important for them to have access to other healthy and long term coping methods.  The relief one feels after self harming is only temporary and will continue unless other coping methods are established. 

What to do instead of self harming
I have found that teens have to WANT to stop self harming and will usually not be able to resist the urge when it happens.  (Sounds like a habit/addiction, doesn’t it?)  You can join them in their attempts to try new behaviors and change their negative self talk.  A very good article with suggestions about how to help someone stop the cycle of self harming can be found here:

An additional guide for parents and carers of individuals who self harm:
There is also an app that you can download to your smart phone.  Search for Calm Harm.

Kathy Thome is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Esprit Counseling & Consulting in Neenah, WI.  She has extensive experience working with individuals, couples, and families who want to make changes in their lives.  Kathy believes that you possess the tools necessary to make positive changes in your life, and she offers a comfortable, open, and supportive setting in which to do so. Kathy's experience as a teacher and school counselor also offer a unique perspective when working with adolescents and their families. She is currently accepting new clients. To schedule an appointment with Kathy, please go to and schedule online today.

Monday, July 10, 2017


Conversations around co-parenting often center around what not to do. Common statements that people often hear are “don’t fight in front of the kids”, “don’t use the kids against one another”, “don’t bad mouth the other parent”, “don’t put your children in the middle of the conflict”. These messages don’t offer help or suggestions for parents on what to do to navigate the difficulties of co-parenting after a divorce. Divorce is difficult on the whole family and can come with feelings of anger, hurt, fear, and resentment. These feelings can make it difficult to co-parent in the beginning when emotions are high, however it’s important to find ways of interacting with your ex that support your kids. Below are some useful ideas on how to maintain positive interactions that benefits the children.
1.      Be there for your children: It is important for both parents to be emotionally present for their kids and engaged in what they have going on in their life.
2.      Talk with the children about the divorce: It is important for children to know they are not being abandoned, by either parent and they are not to blame. Divorce can be a long process so it is important to check in regularly as changes in the family occur. Let them know that you are there to support them.
3.      How you feel about your ex is less important than how you act towards them. Speak and act in a respectful manner towards the other parent especially when the children are present. It is important for the child's well being to shield them from conflict and show respect to the other parent.  Avoid putting the children in the middle and involving them in adult problems, it puts too much pressure and stress on them.
4.      Choose your battles. Major life decisions should be made jointly however parents sometimes have different views in these topics. Divorced parents don't need to agree, but learn how to deal with the differences and compromise. Determine what is most important to address and provide room for the other parent to make some choices to avoid fights on smaller topics. After time heals the hurt that occurs with the divorce some of those topics may be more easily addressed. Each parent has the right to develop their own parenting style, as long as no harm is being done.
5.      Support the other parent in having relationships with your children. Keep a co-parenting schedule, remain flexible whenever possible and cooperate. The kids are the ones who are affected when this is not a priority. Focus on co-parenting responsibilities rather than your relationship with your ex-partner. This can be hard when there is still hurt and anger that exists from the divorce however it is important to deal with these feeling separate from the relationship that the children have with the other parent.
6.      Maintain open communication channels with the other parent. Each party is entitled to their privacy; the only information that needs to be shared between co-parents are things that pertain to the children. If your relationship is not in a place to talk in a healthy manor try sticking to emails or phone calls rather than face to face meetings. In some circumstances, it may be beneficial to have a third-party present to help mediate.
7.      Maintain your children's community support. It is necessary for the children to feel secure especially when major changes are occurring in the family. Part of security involves maintaining routines and existing relationships with extended family, friends, and school activities. Children count on predictability in as many areas as possible; with many changes are going on in the family it is important to have predictability in their other relationships and routines.
8.      Maintain your own health and well being. Focus on what you need during this time and seek help and support when needed. In order to be there for your children, you need to be taking care of your well being through the divorce process and post-divorce.
9.    Seek out informal and formal sources of support.
So, you may be reading this thinking yes, that all sounds great; I can do that, but what about the other parent, they are not following any of those guidelines. It can be very frustrating to deal with a parent that will not cooperate. It can make it difficult for you to make good decisions and not sink to the level of the uncooperative parent even if that is not in the best interest of your child. Usually the parent who is unwilling to cooperate or involves the children in the divorce process has unresolved anger, grief or sadness. Leave the issues of the marriage in the past. Playing out the never-ending conversations does not help the situation, the divorce has happened, and continuing to relive those conversations/problems just increases feelings of frustration and anger. Continue to redirect the focus to topics that relate to the kids.

Overall divorce impacts everyone in the family. It is normal to experience emotions of sadness, resentment, anger, and frustration and it may take time to heal from the relationship ending and the change in family dynamics. At times, it may be beneficial to seek support from friends, family or a professional to start the healing process, focus on your own health and well being and find ways to figure out how to co-parent with an ex-partner maintaining focus on the children’s well being. Co-parenting is an ever evolving process from the time the kids are young until even when they are over 18, keeping the well being of your children as the focus can help with this difficult process. 


Danielle Zarling is a licensed professional counselor. She has specialty training in Functional Family Therapy, which looks at the
conflict and strain that occurs within family relationships and seeks to heal, rebuild and find new ways of interacting with
one another.  In addition to family therapy, Danielle enjoys working with adolescents, adults and couples.  Danielle
specializes in family and relationship issues, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, behavior issues in addition to mood
disorders. She provides client centered therapy and incorporates multiple therapeutic approaches depending on what is
the best fit for the client. She works alongside her clients to identify their strengths and build off of those strengths as they
work to achieve their goals.
Danielle has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from UW Milwaukee and Master’s Degree of Science Education in Clinical
Mental Health Counseling from the UW Oshkosh. Outside of work Danielle enjoys spending time with friends and family,
traveling and exercising.   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


We would like to introduce Nicki Phillips, a counseling student joining
Esprit for the 2017-2018 school year. She is currently accepting new
clients for a reduced cost out-of-pocket.
She is a graduate student at UW Oshkosh working towards a degree in
clinical mental health counseling.
She brings a fresh perspective to her work along with a vibrant
personality. Nicki believes everyone is inherently worthy of respect and
compassion, and strives to create those qualities in her relationships
with clients.
Nicki has experience working with anxiety, self-esteem, stress
management, body image, sexual assault, depression, life transitions,
and emotion regulation/impulse control. She often uses relaxation and
grounding techniques, cognitive restructuring, coping skills, and
artistic expression in her work with clients. She particularly enjoys
working with adolescents and young adults, and has also worked with
children (ages 6 and up) and adults.
Outside of work, Nicki loves spending time with her friends, her family,
and her dog, Freya. Her favorite self-care activities are knitting,
reading, walking, and traveling.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Warning Signs That Your Child or Teen May Have Anxiety

Does your child or teen experience irritability, angry outbursts, unexplained physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, stomachaches), difficulty paying attention, frequent worry, school or social activity avoidance, repetitive behaviors (e.g., counting objects, hair pulling, nail biting, hand washing), or generally feel overwhelmed?
Everyone has anxiety. It can even be motivating. However, frequent or more intense symptoms negatively impact children’s well-being. Further, anxious children tend to be people pleasers who worry about being judged; they may therefore minimize or hide their concerns. But, like a beach ball held underwater, anxious feelings often force their way up more strongly, if pushed down or ignored, than if they had been appropriately dealt with or managed.
Situational anxiety is normal, but when it interferes with daily activities or prevents your child from enjoying life (e.g., being active, completing schoolwork) it’s time to act. Left untreated, childhood anxiety can lead to poorer school achievement, missing out on social experiences, and increased risk for depression and substance abuse. A mental health provider can help your child develop a toolbox full of effective coping skills that will not only enable them to enjoy life more now, but become independent adults who can manage the daily stressors of post-high school education, a job, and relationships.
Anxiety may be linked to a specific stressful event and may relieve itself at some point. Some people, however, may be biologically predisposed to anxiety. In either case, a mental health counselor can help.
A more comprehensive list of anxiety symptoms and disorders appears below. If your child suffers from symptoms on this list or you suspect they have anxiety, seek an assessment from a mental health provider who can best determine whether the anxiety is normal, develop an effective treatment plan, and provide additional resources or referrals.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

  • Frequent or extreme worry in several life areas (e.g., family/friend relationships, world events, natural disasters, school or sport performance, well-being/safety of self or others)
  • Perfectionism
  • Constant need for approval or reassurance to feel comforted
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
Panic Disorder:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Choking sensation
  • Stomachache
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Feeling things are surreal
  • Tingling
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Worry about recurring panic attacks
Social Anxiety
  • Fears social situations (e.g., parties, outings, family get togethers)
  • Performance fears (e.g., school presentations, class participation, recitals, sporting events)
  • Avoids talking in groups
  • Expresses concerns/embarrassment about being negatively judged
  • Discomfort initiating social interaction (e.g., inviting friends to do things, making phone calls)
  • Avoids eye contact
Separation Anxiety
  • Fearful/nervous when away from home or separated from caregiver
  • Headaches or stomachaches when thinking of or actually separated (often on school days)
  • Refuses to leave caregiver or home
  • Fears being alone
  • Nightmares about separation
  • Bed wetting
  • Worries that something bad may happen when or if separated from caregiver
  • Difficulty sleeping without caregiver present
  • Repeated pleading or temper tantrums
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)\

  • Repetitive or frequent unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions)
  • Upset if unable to repeatedly perform rituals and/or routines (compulsions)
  • Constant irrational worry about dirt, germs, or contamination
  • Fears harm or danger to a loved one or self
  • Over-focus on religious rules or rituals
  • Hears intrusive words or sounds
  • Constant worry about losing something valuable
  • Excessive need for symmetry, order, specific arrangement of objects or tasks
  • Hoarding or saving unnecessary items
  • Ritualistic counting (e.g., of steps, ceiling tiles) or behaviors
  • Checking and re-checking (e.g., on homework, checking if light left on or door was locked)
  • Repetitive verbalization (e.g., prayer, activity, phrase, name, song)
  • Need to engage in activity or task until it is “just right”
  • Intense fear and anxiety
  • Emotionally numb
  • Easily irritated or angered
  • Emotionally triggered by anything (e.g., a smell, sound, person) related to a traumatic event
  • Avoids places, people, or activities associated with a traumatic event (e.g., accident, abuse)
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Feels detached from others
  • Jumpy or exaggerated startle response
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reliving or re-creating a traumatic event through play
Other anxiety indicators can include:
  • Phobias or irrational fears of specific situations or objects (e.g., spiders, open spaces)
  • Refusing to speak in situations where talking is expected or necessary in daily life
  • Persistent skin picking or scratching
  • Pulling out hair, eyebrows, or eyelashes (trichotillomania)

Kathy Glick is a licensed mental health therapist, who recently joined Esprit Counseling, and is currently accepting new clients. Viewing the client as the most important person in the room, Kathy provides a caring presence, helping clients find hope. Building on clients’ strengths, Kathy helps them discover their own resilience, to better achieve their goals and dreams. Using evidence based therapies (including CBT, EMDR, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, and Family Systems), Kathy individually tailors her approach and has consistently rated as highly effective in helping clients reduce symptoms.  Kathy has worked extensively with trauma (e.g., sexual abuse), life adjustment (e.g., grief, divorce, illness), PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, bi-polar disorder, mood disorders, grief, co-dependency, relationship difficulties, and anger issues. She treats adults, adolescents, and children (10 and up), individually, in couples, or as families.  Kathy holds a Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, certification from the National Board for Certified Counselors, and is Licensed in Wisconsin. Outside of work, Kathy loves spending time with family, friends, her children, and her dog, Miguel. She enjoys traveling, yoga, walking, biking, cooking, and reading.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June is LGBTQA+ Pride Month

June is LGBTQA+ Pride Month!
In honor of this, we at Esprit wants to share some of the great resources for both members of the LGBTQA+ community and their allies right here in the Fox Valley. Below is a list of resources and a short description of each from their websites.

Valued Families promotes family equality for Fox Valley LGBT parents and their children by providing social networking, education, community outreach, and advocacy to increase recognition and respect for LGBT families in our community.

LGBTQ Anti-Violence Project:
The Fox Valley & Oshkosh Anti-Violence Project (FoxO AVP) was created to improve the safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals who may be experiencing violence or be at risk for all forms of violence (including hate crimes, suicide, intimate partner violence and sexual assault).

The FoxO AVP will work to meet the immediate safety needs of the underserved LGBTQ community and provide long-term solutions by developing supportive infrastructures at the 4 collaborating domestic violence and sexual assault agencies, law enforcement, health care professionals, schools & universities, as well as in the LGBTQ community itself.

Rainbow Alliance for Youth- Safe Group in Neenah/Menasha:
The Rainbow Alliance for Youth (RAY) focuses on building capacity, nurturing leadership, and strengthening collaborations to develop comprehensive programs addressing the needs of LGBT youth in Wisconsin and throughout the country.  By integrating LGBT youth programs into mainstream community efforts about prevention, youth, and social justice issues, RAY can focus on LGBT youth as leaders and resources to their community, maximizing their development and risk prevention as well as enhancing communities.

The LGBT Partnership is an ongoing leadership development and support group for youth ages 14-18 who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied. Spectrum is a social and educational group for adults 18 and older who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, questioning or allied. T-Force is a transgender social group for adults 18 and over.

UW Oshkosh also does some community SAFE trainings.  You can request a training here:
  Participants  take part in a three hour interactive workshop designed to introduce you to LGBTQ+ terms, culture, some of the challenges that many LGBTQ+ people encounter in their lives, and how to be an effective ally both in and out of the classroom. 
SAFE training prepares you to become an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.  We address the ever changing terminology in the community, the messages that are generated in society about LGBTQ+ lives, the coming out process, and other skills necessary to being a successful ally.  Learning goals for this training include:
·         Be sensitive to various identities of our students, faculty, and staff.
·         Understand the challenges of being asexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, questioning in a predominately heterosexual and cisgender society.
·         Confront acephobia, biphobia, homophobia, and transphobia in all its guises through educational means.
·         Provide support to LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty.
·         Promote and acknowledge safe places for LGBTQ+ individuals.
·         Increase awareness of self-defined LGBTQ+ allies.

Fox Valley Pride Out Loud
The Fox Valley is known for offering great opportunities in education, enterntainment and culture.  Having a Pridefest is a wonderful way to show that the Fox Valley is an accepting and safe place for everyone in our community.  Our event will include a potluck picnic, live music, booths, and vendors during the day and a drag show in the evening.  It is a chance to spend the day with people who understand and offer support for the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community.  Fox Valley Pride Outloud was created to celebrate the whole LGBTQ community no matter how they identify themselves, and show that the Fox Valley is an inclusive place for everyone.  

Nicki Phillips is an counseling student at Esprit and a graduate student at UW Oshkosh working towards a degree in clinical mental health counseling. She brings a fresh perspective to her work along with a vibrant personality. She believes everyone is inherently worthy of respect and compassion, and strives to create those qualities in her relationships with clients. She sees clients who are uninsured, underinsured, or prefer to pay out-of-pocket for a reduced cost. She particularly enjoys working with adolescents and young adults, and has also worked with children (ages 6 and up) and adults. She has immediate openings for new clients! Please schedule online at She can also be reached via email at or by phone at (920) 383-1287.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Making Sense of Consent

What is consent?
Consent is the most important part of any sexual encounter. The laws about consent can be confusing, but some basic facts can help you make the experience positive for all parties involved. At its core, consent is an agreement by all parties to engage in a given sexual activity. There are many different ways to give consent, and verbal consent tends to be the best way to respect your partner(s) boundaries and avoid misunderstandings.

How does it really work?
Consent needs to be given for every individual sexual activity, every time. Just because someone gives consent for something once, doesn’t mean it’s always okay. Also, consent for one type of sexual activity does not translate to consent for all activity. Consent should be requested and received before proceeding with any sexual activity at any time. It’s all about communication and respect, and you can change your mind at any time.

What does it look like?
Positive (or affirmative) consent is the best way to make sure you and your partner(s) are on the same page. This involves getting a clear “yes” to questions like, “is this okay?” or, “can we try ____?” It is not the absence of a “no” or the assumption that someone is okay with something based on what they are wearing or how they look. It is also not getting a “yes” based on fear or intimidation. The most important part of consent is that it is freely given.

What about legally?
Legal consent laws and definitions vary by state. In Wisconsin, “consent” means words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. “Freely given consent” means the consent was given of the person’s own free will, without being induced by fraud, coercion, violence, or threat of violence.

A person cannot consent to sexual contact or sexual intercourse in circumstances where: (a) the person suffers from a mental illness or defect which impairs capacity to appraise personal conduct; or (b) the person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act. (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 940.225(4)).

In Wisconsin, the age of consent is 18 years of age. (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 948.01(1). Wis. Stat. Ann. § 948.09). Anyone under 18 years of age is incapable of providing consent for sexual activity, regardless of the age of their partner(s). Other groups of people who are incapable of providing consent are: a person suffering from a “mental illness or defect,” a person who is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to participate, a person who is unconscious, a person who is under the influence of an intoxicant to a degree which renders that person incapable of freely giving consent (if the defendant has actual knowledge that the person is incapable of giving consent and the defendant has the purpose to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse with the person while the person is incapable of giving consent). (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 940.225(4)). There are also several types of relationships that impact a person’s ability to freely give consent, including: (a) a therapist-patient relationship; (b) an employee of an adult family home, community-based residential facility, an in-patient health care facility, or a state treatment facility who has sexual conduct with a patient or resident of the facility; (c) an employee of a child welfare agency, foster home, or shelter or a direct care or treatment services hospital or home health agency who has sexual conduct with a client at the facility; (d) a correction officer or prison volunteer who has sexual contact or sex with an inmate (unless the person was sexually assaulted by the inmate); (e) a probation or parole officer who has intercourse or sexual contact with the individual on parole or probation who’s supervised by him or her or a subordinate. (Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 940.22; 940.225).

That’s a lot to remember.
There are a lot of factors in obtaining consent, so approach every sexual situation with respect for your partner(s) and their boundaries regardless of how long you have been sexually active with them. Here’s a video comparing sexual consent to making tea. It’s an easy way to remember some of the different aspects of consent.

If you’ve experienced sexual assault, you’re not alone. To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at

Nicki Phillips is an intern at Esprit and a graduate student at UW Oshkosh working towards a degree in clinical mental health counseling. She brings a fresh perspective to her work along with a vibrant personality. She believes everyone is inherently worthy of respect and compassion, and strives to create those qualities in her relationships with clients. She sees clients who are uninsured, underinsured, or prefer to pay out-of-pocket for a reduced cost. She particularly enjoys working with adolescents and young adults. She is seeing new clients beginning June 1, 2017. To schedule an appointment with Nicki, please go to