Saturday, December 14, 2013

Beating Holiday Stress

The holidays can be an overwhelming time, especially for those that often experience anxiety. With increased family and social demands the holidays can increase stress, anxiety and depression. Proper self-care is vital to reducing these feelings felt by many during the holidays. It can also be a difficult time to focus on self-care due to these increased demands. Feelings of guilt and selfishness can accompany attempts at self-care and sabotage our best efforts to relax.

Psychology Today has featured anarticle on how to beat those feelings of guilt and selfishness in order to be your better self and improve your self care and sense of wellbeing.

Remember, it is far more difficult to care for and give to others when we do not care for and give to ourselves.  At Dr. Quintal and Associates you can find the support you need to improve your self care and reduce your stress not only during the holidays but year round. 

We invite you to visit our site for more information or you can call us at (941) 907-0525 for a free consultation.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Do social situations make you extremely uncomfortable? Social anxiety can be treated!

Social anxiety and social phobias are treatable anxiety disorders.  Please visit our site at or call us at 941-907-0525 for a free phone consultation.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night? We can help!

Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. Using Accelerated Healing Methods, the team at Dr. Quintal & Associates is able to successfully treat insomnia without the use of medications.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Good News About Chronic Pain

With good therapeutic support and a commitment to do some hard work on important life issues, chronic pain can be managed very effectively. For some people, mind/body strategies have been shown to eliminate pain altogether, even when all else has failed. People who have been through therapy which addresses pain report significantly reduced pain severity, lessened depression and anxiety, and decreased feelings of losing control. They report reductions in the degree to which pain interferes with their daily activities. Even if the pain continues, the sufferer can experience less distress and emotional suffering – and can become an active participant in life again.

Successful Treatment and Therapy For Chronic Pain with Dr Quintal
Therapy For Chronic Pain
 There are several good physical treatments that can alleviate pain. Some forms of acute pain respond well to painkilling medications ranging from mild analgesics to strong opium-based drugs for the most severe cases. Some chronic pain responds well to anti-inflammatory medications or antidepressants, although narcotic drugs are seldom effective for chronic pain (they may work for short-term acute pain) since narcotics tend to require ever increasing doses and they become less effective over time – not to mention their effect on our sleep, our mood, and our ability to think and perform clearly. Sometimes electrical stimulation methods provide some relief, as well as local anesthetics, surgical procedures, ice, heat, and massage. If these medical interventions fail, however, it may be time to take a hard look into some psychotherapeutic techniques that focus on the way we handle our emotions and our general way of living.

Although the cause of chronic pain is usually difficult to pinpoint, most pain experts believe that it is caused by damaged and inflamed nerves, muscles and blood vessels – and it is very real. The body becomes locked into a vicious cycle. You naturally limit movement in the painful area, and this causes you to lose strength and flexibility. If you try to ignore the pain and increase your activity, the pain becomes so severe that you again become inactive. Sometimes you unconsciously guard against the pain and this leads to muscle tension and spasms. Your body becomes weak and deconditioned, and you begin to feel frustrated, angry, and depressed. Your friends and family do not understand the pain and may underestimate its impact on your life. This leads to more anger and depression.

Sometimes, though, it may overindulge you, and this can make you feel more dependent and out of control of your own life. These negative emotions can actually perpetuate pain. The more negativity we feel, the greater our pain – and the greater our pain, the more negative emotions we experience. This negative spiral, though, can be broken. We are sometimes told that we will just have to live with our pain after all else has failed, but we are far from doomed at this point. The realization that nothing else medically can be done can actually force us to examine the way we have lived and what brought us to the point where pain can play such a dominant role in our lives. In fact, this may just be the thing that it takes to turn one’s life around in a very positive and meaningful way.

You are invited to explore the many alternative ways of dealing with pain that therapy has to offer. Please visit our site at or call us at 941-907-0525 for a free phone consultation.

You can also receive more information by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Treating Anger Issues with Accelerated Healing Methods

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion.  Anger is a natural response to perceived threats, a warning bell that tells you when something is wrong. Anger is “an emotion that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense rage.” Click here to learn more...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Understanding and Managing Chronic Pain

Estimates based on research indicate that from ten to thirty percent of the American population suffers from chronic or recurrent physical pain. Pain sufferers often feel that their doctors are not able to give them the treatment they need to alleviate their pain. They may have been told that it is all in their head, and they feel very alone when nobody can seem to give them support for being in pain. They feel helpless, anxiety-ridden, depressed, angry, frustrated, and out of control. They often turn to prescription pain medication, drugs or alcohol for relief – only to find that these quick fixes can cause more complications and devastation in their lives than the original pain.

Tips For Managing Chronic Pain and Regaining Control of Your Life

The first step in taking charge of chronic pain is to learn more about our experience of pain in a structured way. When we live daily with pain we sometimes lose track of just how severe the cycles can be, and we also tend to forget the better periods. We need to increase our awareness of the cycling of pain throughout the day and what we are doing to manage it. We also need to distinguish between the actual pain we experience and our emotional distress associated with this pain. Thus, it is important to keep a pain diary. This allows us to record our level of pain at various times throughout the day – and to see how pain is related to the time of day, mood, fatigue, stress, what we are doing, and whom we are with. It also encourages us to become aware of the crucial question of whether the pain is physical or more associated with our subjective experience of emotional distress.

Negative thinking can greatly increase a person’s experience of felt pain. When we think that our life is over, we will never have fun again, and our plans for the future are destroyed, we are undermining our own sense of control and are setting ourselves up to experience more pain. We need to challenge these negative ideas and replace them with positive thoughts. Examine your negative thoughts and change them to more positive, assertive ideas. Rather than saying, “I am totally incapacitated and will never have pleasure again,” replace it with, “I need to learn what I have done wrong in the past so that I can go on to accomplish things in the future that I have always wanted to do.” These are but a few of the techniques that can be explored in dealing with chronic pain. You are invited to explore the many alternative ways of dealing with pain that therapy has to offer. Please visit our site at or call us at 941-907-0525 for a free phone consultation.

You can also receive more information by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Balancing work, school schedules and attention to family issues can be difficult and stressful

Bradenton Family Counseling
At Dr. Quintal & Associates, we will help you and your family to develop a plan that will find a balance. Problems can stem from a variety of sources such as finances, health concerns, jobs and more. Whatever your concerns, we will help you identify the problem areas and find solutions.
Parenting can be demanding.
Children don’t come with an instruction book.  Sometimes it’s hard to know the right things to do to raise healthy kids.  Sometimes it is ultra challenging to deal with their difficult behaviors.  Whether it is challenges with a young child, difficulties during the teen years or any other concerns you may have, our team can provide you support, guidance and the skills needed to successfully raise your child from birth through their adult years.
Dr. Quintal & Associates can provide tools and strategies that will help strengthen your family life. A customized approach based on your specific needs will maximize the strengths and minimize weaknesses of each family member.
For more information or to make an appointment for family therapy or parenting help, please call today us at (941) 907-0525 or schedule a free phone consultation.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Healthy and Unhealthy Boundaries in Relationships – Some Examples

Are you able to establish healthy boundaries in relationships?  Here are some examples of healthy and unhealthy boundaries in relationships:


  • Feeling like your own person
  • Feeling responsible for your own happiness
  • Togetherness and separateness are balanced
  • Friendships exist outside of the relationship
  • Focuses on the best qualities of both people
  • Achieving intimacy without chemicals
  • Open, honest and assertive communication
  • Commitment to the partner
  • Respecting the differences in the partner
  • Accepting changes in the relationship
  • Asking honestly for what is wanted
  • Accepting endings


  • Feeling incomplete without your partner
  • Relying on your partner for your happiness
  • Too much or too little togetherness
  • Inability to establish and maintain friendships with others
  • Focuses on the worst qualities of the partners
  • Using alcohol/drugs to reduce inhibitions and achieve a false sense of intimacy
  • Game-playing, unwillingness to listen, manipulation
  • Jealousy, relationship addiction or lack of commitment
  • Blaming the partner for his or her own unique qualities
  • Feeling that the relationship should always be the same
  • Feeling unable to express what is wanted
  • Unable to let go

A most exciting way to live is in true connection with your partner, family, friends and business associates.

Are you in a rut, feeling stuck?  Perhaps experiencing ongoing conflicts?  Wish you felt closer and more connected?  Have you been hurt, finding it hard to trust again?  These are just a few of the feelings that may be present in a relationship.  Most create undue tension, sadness, worry, fear, stress and more.

Dr. Quintal & Associates look at a variety of therapeutic approaches and tailor those best suited to you and your partner’s needs.
Learn to communicate more effectively and remove the blocks that keep you from connecting.  Get the tools you need and build the relationship you’ve always wanted.  Resolve conflicts and create a close loving relationship that can last a lifetime.

Dr. Quintal & Associates highly trained and skilled therapists are ready to help.  Make an appointment or schedule a free phone consultation today (941) 907-0525

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Side Effects of Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family

Over-Responsibility and Guilt

One characteristic of growing up in a dysfunctional household is that we may learn to feel guilty if we fail to ensure the success and happiness of other members of the household. Thus, in adulthood, we may come to feel responsible for our partner’s failures. The guilt we feel when our partner fails may drive us to keep tearing down our personal boundaries so that we are always available to the other person. When we feel overly responsible for another person’s life experiences, we deprive them of one of the most important features of an independent, healthy and mature life – the ability to make their own life choices and accept the consequences of their decisions. At Dr. Quintal and Associates we offer Accelerated Healing Therapy that can remove the feelings of unwarranted guilt and feeling overly responsible for others behaviors.

Dr. Quintal, Dysfuntional Families, co-dependent relationships, BradentonFantasy vs. Reality

Children from dysfunctional households often feel that things will get better someday, that a normal life may lie in the future. Indeed, some days things are fairly normal, but then the bad times return again. It’s the normal days that encourage the fantasy that all problems in the family might someday be solved. When they grow up, these adults carry the same types of fantasy into their relationships. They may portray to others the myth that they have the perfect relationship – and they may believe, to themselves, that someday all of their relationship problems will somehow be solved. They ignore the abuse, manipulation, imbalance and control in the relationship. By ignoring the problems, they are unable to confront them – and the fantasy of a happier future never comes to pass. Unhealthy boundaries, where we collude with our partner in believing the myth that everything is fine, make it difficult to come to terms with the troubles of the relationship.

Healthy boundaries allow us to test reality rather than rely on fantasy. When problems are present, good boundaries allow us to define the problems and to communicate with our partner in finding solutions. They encourage a healthy self-image, trust, consistency, stability and productive communication.

Learning to have healthy boundaries is an exciting adventure, an exercise in personal liberation.
It means coming to know ourselves and increasing our awareness of what we stand for. It also means
self-acceptance and knowing that we are OK as we are and worthy of the good things in life. When two people with healthy boundaries enter into a relationship, they encourage wholeness, independence, and a zest for life in their partner. They know that trust is possible and that the normal expected difficulties found in all relationships can be worked on constructively. They can find true intimacy as whole, complete and equal people. The journey to a sense of healthy identity is not always easy – but it need not be all that difficult. It often means letting go of some of our old misconceptions about the nature of the world. It means treating ourselves with respect and
appreciating ourselves for what we really are. When we can do this for ourselves, we can take the same approach toward our partner – and then the true happiness and love that our relationship deserves can become a reality.

For additional information on these subject you can follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, or contact us for a free phone consultation at 941-907-0525.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Relationship Boundaries - Building Fences and Opening Gates

Unhealthy boundaries often emerge from dysfunctional family backgrounds. The needs of parents
or other adults in a family are sometimes so overwhelming that the task of raising children is demoted to a secondary role, and dysfunction is the likely result. Consider the role of the father who screams at his children or becomes physically abusive with them as a way of dealing in a self-centered way with his own anger. His needs come first, and the needs of the children for safety, security, respect, and comfort come second. What the children are likely to learn in this situation is that boundaries don’t matter. As they grow up, they lack the support they need to form a healthy sense of their own identities. In fact, they may learn that if they want to get their way with others, they need to intrude on the boundaries of other people – just as their father did. They would likely grow up with fluid boundaries, which may lead to dysfunctional relationships later on in life. They would have a hazy sense of their own personal boundaries. Conversely, they may learn that rigid and inflexible boundaries might be the way to handle their relationships with other people. They
wall themselves off in their relationships as a way of protecting themselves, and, as a consequence, may find it difficult to form close interpersonal bonds with others in adulthood.
Relationship boundaries, maintaining a healthy identity in relationships

Here are a couple ways in which unhealthy boundaries may show themselves in our relationships, along with some remedies:

Lack of a Sense of Identity

When we lack a sense of our own identity and the boundaries that protect us, we tend to draw our identities from our partner. We can’t imagine who we would be without our relationship. We become willing to do anything it takes to make the relationship work, even if it means giving up our emotional security, friends, integrity, sense of self-respect, independence, or job. We may endure physical, emotional or sexual abuse just to save the relationship.

The more rational alternative is to find out who we are and what makes us unique, and to rejoice in this discovery. Realize that your value and worth as a person are not necessarily dependent on having a significant other in your life, that you can function well as an independent person in your own right. When you move into accepting yourself, your relationships will actually have a chance to grow and flourish. This journey
of self-discovery can be challenging – but highly rewarding. Working with a trained therapist can provide the structure and support we needed to take on this task.

The Difference Between Love and Rescue

People who grow up in a dysfunctional family may fail to learn the difference between love and sympathy. Children growing up in these conditions may learn to have sympathy for the emotional crippling in their parents’ lives and feel that the only time they get attention is when they show compassion for the parent. They feel that when they forgive, they are showing love. Actually, they are rescuing the parent and enabling abusive behavior to continue. They learn to give up their own protective boundaries in order to take care of the dysfunctioning parent. In adulthood, they carry these learned behaviors into their relationships. If they can rescue their partner, they feel that they are showing love. They get a warm, caring, sharing feeling from helping their partner – a feeling they call love. But this may actually encourage their partner to become needy and helpless. An imbalance can then occur in the relationship in which one partner becomes the rescuer and the other plays the role of the helpless victim. In this case, healthy boundaries which allow both partners to live complete lives are absent. Mature love requires the presence of healthy and flexible boundaries.

Sympathy and compassion are worthy qualities, but they are not to be confused with love, especially when boundaries have become distorted. Healthy boundaries lead to respect for the other and equality in a relationship, an appreciation for the aliveness and strength of the other person, and a mutual flow of feelings between the two partners – all features of mature love. When one partner is in control and the other is needy and helpless, there is no room for the normal give-and-take of a healthy relationship.

For help in establishing healthy boundaries within your relationships contact Dr. Quintal and Associates at 941-907-0525. We will provide a free phone consultation.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Ability To Trust

It is difficult to achieve intimacy in a relationship unless we have the ability to trust. We tend to focus on other people when we think about trust – that is, we might ask, who out there can be trusted and who cannot? But it may be more helpful to look inside and to think about trust also as something that we do well, or not. Some people grow up with a good ability to trust appropriately, and others, because of their needs and life experiences, have more difficulty with this issue.

Having a good eye for trust involves having a healthy sense of our own identities – and this means having a positive self-image, the ability to value ourselves and our decisions, and a good sense for protecting our own boundaries. We need to know what we stand for and what is best for us. Trust also involves acquiring a knack for making good judgments. When we have the self-confidence that comes with knowing and liking ourselves, as well as the ability to make life-enhancing decisions, we should be able to decide fairly easily about whom to trust.

Trust between two people emerges from a process of mutual self-disclosure – we gradually reveal more and more about ourselves to the other person until the relationship achieves a sense of intimacy. The first person self-discloses only to the degree that the other person has, in a series of steps.  A good balance is maintained between both people. If this balance is disrupted, it is difficult to maintain trust. For example, if one person reveals everything all at once and the other person reveals nothing at all, the balance is broken – and neither party will be able to trust the other. The building of trust is a mutual process that takes time. We feel comfortable revealing things about ourselves when the other person has shown that he or she is willing to take the same risk.

Some people trust blindly. They reveal everything all at once, expecting that the other person will be able to reciprocate immediately. What is more likely is that the other person will feel overwhelmed and may back off from closeness. People who trust blindly may want to look into issues like boundaries, self image, and why they need to be so close so quickly.

Other people find it difficult to trust at all. They may feel protected, but the walls are so high that they may never find an intimate relationship – and what a price to pay for protection! People who have difficulty with  opening themselves to trust may want to look into the pain that may have closed them off– and they may want to look into ways of improving their communication skills. The rewards of intimacy are well worth it.

A most exciting way to live is in true connection with your partner, family, friends and business associates. Dr. Quintal and Associates can help you find the path to living a fulfilled life and allowing trust to be a integral part of your relationships. Please contact us if you would like a free phone consultation at 941-907-0524. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook and Google+.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Benefits of Intimacy

Once two people have entered into a deep level of sharing, they usually want to stay there. If there is true equality between the two, they achieve a balance that feels right and they don’t want to lose. If, however, one of the partners feels the need to lessen the level of intimacy, the probability of conflict increases. You can avoid misunderstandings by maintaining your commitment and trust during these natural cycles that occur within any relationship. Intimacy takes work and a sense of maturity. To shirk the responsibility of keeping an intimate relationship alive invites a return to isolation.

Visit for relationship therapy and couples counseling
 The intimate relationship is healthy. Intimacy allows us to end loneliness and to share the deepest and most personal parts of ourselves with a trusted partner. As social beings, we respond physically to the experience of intimacy. People who have intimate relationships live longer and healthier lives and they report more personal happiness and satisfaction with the way they live. Intimacy gives us a feeling of comfort, security, and a sense of being loved and accepted. It gives us the freedom and support to stay true to the special qualities that define each one of us as a unique person.

A number of research studies have shown persuasively that people in intimate relationships live longer and happier lives than those who are not.


Study Results of the Healthy Benefits of Intimacy

• For example, we know that people in marriages or other committed relationships live longer than
people who are single.

• In one classic study researchers found that 95 percent of people who described their parents as uncaring had diseases by mid-life, while only 29 percent of those who described their parents as caring had mid-life diseases. Having supportive and close relationships with parents in our child- hoods leads to healthier relationships in general when we grow up, and it is these healthier adult relationships that are linked to a lower prevalence of heart disease and cancer in mid-life. In other words, one can compensate for a deprived childhood by learning later in life how to sustain supportive relationships.

• In another series of studies, researchers found that people who are socially isolated are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than those who have a sense of connection and community.

• A study at the University of Texas looked at patients who had undergone open-heart surgery. Those who had neither ongoing group participation nor were able to derive strength from their religion were more than seven times more likely to have died six months after their surgery.

• Women with metastatic breast cancer were assigned to support groups which met once a week for a year. The women in the support groups lived twice as long as those who were not in these groups.

• One study has even found that people with fewer relationships of any kind (e.g., friendship, a partner, family, work, social groups, religious affiliations) were four times as likely to develop a common cold as those who had more relationships.

• Interestingly, research showed that people with pets are healthier than people without them and
have to make fewer visits to doctors.

Psychotherapy can allow us to explore our own deepest and most intimate feelings in a safe and accepting setting with a professional trained to understand these inner processes. The psychotherapeutic relationship allows us to learn to stay true to our uniqueness and feel comfortable in sharing our authenticity with another person. We can explore who can be trusted, and who can’t, as well as the features of our lives that may have led us to hide ourselves from others. Psychotherapy has the potential to teach us how to break out of isolation and loneliness into a world of love and acceptance. It prepares us to explore an intimate relationship outside of the therapy setting.

At Dr.Quintal and Associates we provide a variety of counseling services including relationship counseling. Please call us at 941-907-0525 for a free phone consultation. You can also visit our website at for more information on services, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.