Tracy Crain Offers High-Quality Counseling Services to Tarrant County, Texas Residents

Colleyville, TX, December 20, 2012 –(– Tracy Crain, based out of Colleyville, Texas, understands that it can be healing to voice your troubles, worries and fears. Tracy Crain offers top-quality counseling and therapy at Tarrant County Counseling – her areas of expertise include addiction, sexual abuse, family and marriage counseling. Tracy’s website can be found at

About Tracy Crain

Tracy Crain has been a marriage, family, addiction and abuse counselor since 1998. She has an office that is close to Fort Worth, located conveniently in Colleyville, Texas. She enjoys working with clients from adolescence onward in individual psychotherapy, as well as couples and family therapy.

Tracy utilizes cognitive and behavioral therapies in her approach, though she stresses that the core of her work is always client-centered. She believes that you always have the power to control the outcome in any situation, as long as the proper mental processes are followed. “Because mental strength and preparation are the keys to survival, other forms of therapy aren’t as effective when trying to create a more positive self-belief or healthier identity,” says Tracy.

Tracy emphasizes the fact that therapy and counseling is an important part of any healing process, and that you don’t need to have a mental disorder to benefit from it. “And yes… sharing with a therapist is very different than turning to friends or family,” says Tracy, “Your therapist is a professionally-trained listener who helps you get to the root of your problems, overcome emotional challenges and start making positive changes in your life.”

You can download a registration packet straight from the website, so you can be prepared for your meeting when you arrive. You can even read a missive that explains what you can expect in your coming visit for therapy. Feel free to visit the website for more information, at

Colleyville TX Therapist Offers Chemical Dependency Help in Midst of Global Rise in Designer Drug Use

Colleyville, Texas, therapist says designer drug abuse is on the rise worldwide. Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and Professional Counselor Tracy Crain says her therapy treats not just the addict, but also the codependent.

Colleyville, TX March 19, 2013

Tracy Crain, of Tracy Crain Counseling and Therapy, said designer drug use is on the rise worldwide. Citing a January 2013 report issued by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Crain said, “Mephodrone, which is similar to cocaine and ecstasy, is now showing up as the current designer drug-of-choice in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia.” Crain says that while the drug is most likely manufactured in China, it is also becoming much more available here in the United States via the internet.

“The short-term affects are similar to those of cocaine,” Crain said. Those include: restlessness, anxiety, heart irregularities, nausea, vomiting and paranoia. “Long term affects,” she said, “include addiction, depression, and possible long-term memory damage.”

Mephodrone is just one of many designer drugs showing up on the world market. Per the ICBN report, Japan has recently added 51 drugs to its controlled substance list, and Europe has added 15. The ICBN is a world-wide narcotic drug watchdog that advises the United Nations.

Regardless of the substance abused, Crain says the approach to change this condition includes treating the afflicted as well as the codependent—that person or persons in the addict’s life “who picks up the pieces and tries to keep everything (and everyone) together. That person who ultimately grows tired, hurt, resentful and worn out,” says Crain.

Crain is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Her therapeutic approach for the codependent is to work together to look at what safe boundaries are, how to establish initial boundaries and learn how to manage what you control for yourself.

As for her interaction with the person abusing the drug, Crain says her therapeutic approach “allows people to explore not only what they’re currently dealing with, but what they’ve been going through for years and what they need to change. Each person’s individual experiences create their own unique spin on life (their reality). Until those issues are faced and addressed, one’s poor coping skills continue to delay, hide or suppress any possibility of beginning to live a healthier life.”

Crain also added that opiate use in the form of pills or heroin as well as cocaine and alcohol continue to negatively impact the metroplex at an alarming rate amount adolescents and adults.

Tracy Crain can be contacted at her office at 4012 Gateway Drive, Suite 100, Colleyville, Texas, or by calling (817) 283-4300.

Ten Ways to Re-Look at Your Anger:

  1.  Your anger is ultimately a perception that something is unjust or unfair.
  2. Anger can come from your reaction to events in your world.  The events don’t necessarily create the anger; your thoughts and reactions are what create the anger.
  3. Anger is an emotion, not a tactic.  While it can stimulate you to take action, it normally does not play a role in resolving problems.  In fact, left unchanged, it often becomes even more destructive.
  4. At times, we can become angry over criticism that we allow to damage our self-esteem.  Remember:  no one can damage your self-esteem but yourself.  It’s how we internally view ourselves, and others’ good or bad behavior toward us should have no bearing on it.  We might be embarrassed because we know we were caught doing something wrong, but then, we should own that because deep down, we know we did something wrong.
  5. Do not use anger as a barrier to keep others away from you.
  6. Self-righteous anger can be the most hurtful.  Don’t be so self-indulgent as to think you have all the correct answers in the world’s list of problems.  Try to see events as others would see them so you can grow in tolerance and learn to celebrate our differences.
  7. If you accept the fact that you control your anger, then you will realize that you control yourself.  Self-discipline is a necessary part of our growth pattern.
  8. Anger, when left unchecked, can become an all-consuming monster, conjuring up beliefs that are far from the truth.  Correcting such distortions comes when we reduce our anger.
  9. If you are a C student and aim to become an A student, yet fail to include behavioral changes to achieve that goal, you will frustrate yourself immensely.  Make sure your goals coincide with your action-plan to ensure success.
  10. Revenge normally leads to more upset, and can even be illegal, depending on the circumstances.  It is NEVER a good idea.

For anger counseling in Fort Worth, Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake or Keller please visit Tracy Crain Counseling.

11 Ways to Manage Your Anger

1. If something unexpected occurs, remember to hold your tongue, at least initially, while you’re deciding how to respond.  Words, once spoken cannot be retrieved.  Sometimes silence is the best answer for now.

2. Your principles are important to you, just like other people’s principles are important to them.  Mature, responsible, reasonable adults know that it’s okay to agree to disagree.  Avoid sarcasm and foster respect for each other’s positions.

3. Our world is broader than just ourselves.  Make time to look around you, to put things in perspective, and to avoid paying physically for emotional upsets.  Look, think and listen.

4. Stand up and accept responsibility for your words and your actions, even if they’re negative.  Changing the subject or blaming others does not erase what you may or may not have said or done.  Sometimes, just saying, “Forgive me, I was angry,” may begin the healing process.

5. Realize your world includes others.  While it’s important to listen to your internal compass, be sure to take into consideration the comments, feelings and needs of others.

6. Taking risks can be healthy for personal growth but they can lead to upset or anger due to stress.  If this happens, don’t be afraid to distance yourself from the source until you have calmed down and put things in perspective.

7. Problem-solving is about the problem, not about the person.  Anger and drama over such matters just makes them worse.  Focus on solutions and team work while avoiding judgmental behavior.

8. Make time to let others into your world.  Take care of your health, but realize that those around you need to trust you, not fear you.  Nurture relationships to foster good will and respect.

9. If you discover you are at fault for something, acknowledge it.  Avoid using such tactics as aggression and defensiveness to cover your hurt feelings or damaged pride.  Honesty goes a long way in problem resolution.

10. People differ in age, gender, ethnicity, up-bringing and in so many other ways.  Recognize that problem solving has more than one answer, even if it’s different that what you might initially think it should be.  Keeping an open mind and a cool head can achieve effective results.

11. Be a gracious compromiser.  In fact, be a gracious loser, because we all know we can’t “win” every scenario in life.  Accept reality, face it and avoid playing games with yourself or others.  How we get through difficult situations becomes part of our character.

Denial Is a Large Part of Chemical Dependency

Denial is an internal coping mechanism that we humans employ most-often to protect ourselves from the truth.  We deny a loved-one has been killed in an accident; we deny that our friend has betrayed us.  The pain of these realizations is so great, we hide deep inside and tell ourselves, “Oh, no.  That’s can’t be so.”  We can even act like nothing is wrong because oftentimes, we employ denial subconsciously, with no knowledge that we’re doing it.  (Remember the steps of the grieving process?  Denial is the first one.)

However, denial has nothing to do with truth.  It has to do with how we accept the truth.

In chemical dependency, denial becomes more than a side-effect of addiction.  It becomes a component necessary for the addiction to thrive.  Consider termites.  Their environment requires them to always have dirt, moisture and darkness.  If one is missing, the organism dies.  Think of denial as darkness.

How many times have you or someone you know said, “So-and-so has a drinking/drug problem.  Why don’t they just quit?”  Denial is a large part of the reason they don’t.  It blinds them from their excessive behavior and from their inappropriate actions.  After all, they say, “Why should I quit when there’s nothing wrong with me?”  Even if told they will die if they don’t quit, it shouldn’t surprise you to see a reaction of, “Are you talking to me?” from the addict.  The addicted person has no insight into his/her decisions because of denying the truth even to themselves.

In addition to being a coping mechanism, denial is also a maneuver used by chemically-dependent people when interacting with others.  It can range from simple rejection of the truth (“I don’t have a problem”) to minimizing it (“Oh, maybe I drink a little too much sometimes, but it’s nothing I can’t handle”) to blatantly—and arrogantly—blaming any shortcomings on other people or circumstances (“If I didn’t have to provide for you and the kids, I wouldn’t have to drink to relieve all that stress”).  Chemically-dependent people are often very dishonest—and this dishonesty is a form of denial.  The sneakiness of the disease, however, is that even the addicted person is unaware they’re lying to, and ultimately hurting. themselves.

Denial is that fatal aspect of chemical addiction that locks affected individuals in destructive patterns that increase over time, that sense of self-delusion that tells them they’re okay even though they are spiraling dangerously downward.  It is a huge component of alcoholism and chemical addiction, and so must be treated along with the physical symptoms of the disease.

For assistance with dealing with these issues visit Tracy Crain.

How to Achieve Effective Conflict Resolution

The classic communications model states that someone has a message, the message is encoded (put into words), and then transmitted (spoken).  On the other end, the person receives the message (hears it) and decodes it (lets the brain make sense of the words).  However, unless you allow the person to respond to the message (give feedback), you’ll never know if your message was received or if it was effective.

Such is the case in communicating during conflict resolution.  You have to bring more to the table than just a list of things you find wrong.  You have to carefully choose your words and allow the person to respond.  Thus both parties continually go back and forth as the sender and receiver.  This interaction, respect, and encouragement to speak honestly make for healthy communication, even if the topic is uncomfortable.

Here are eight tips to resolve conflict by using effective communication:

  1. Speak about behavior rather than make personal attacks.  If a person failed to meet a deadline, then the issue is a missed deadline.  It’s not “You’re always sabotaging the success of those around you.”
  2. Phrase the upset from your perspective rather than blaming the other person.   Say, “I was very angry when you missed the deadline,” instead of, “You make me angry.”  The latter approach will almost guarantee a defensive and argumentative response because it will feel like a personal attack.
  3. Stick to the facts.  “You came to work late three days this week, you missed two deadlines and you made five errors on the work you turned in.”  These are provable facts which clearly identify the behavior in question, and therefore can lead to a fix.  It’s a more effective approach than, “Your lazy and sloppy work habits have cost us a lot of money.”
  4. Don’t let upsets linger.  If you’re mad at your spouse for something done or not done, don’t wait two weeks to bring it up.  The best time to address something is close to the time it happens because it’s fresh in both party’s minds.   Sometimes we silently let things go “this time,” but the next time an issue arises, we bring out the current event, plus events from last week, last year and even from the day of our marriage.  The other person will be blind-sided and communication will most probably be reduced to a huge argument.
  5. Clarify communications by rephrasing what the other person is telling you, or ask them to rephrase what you’re telling him/her so you know the message is what was intended.  Failure to do so can lead to wrong conclusions and more hurt feelings.
  6. Have a resolution in mind and be willing to compromise to achieve the goal.  If the issue is late arrival, then work together to fix it.  “Oh, so you’re late in the mornings because you have to take your child to school?  Okay, why don’t you start work a half-hour later?  You’ll have to stay a half-hour later, too, but that way you’re child will be safe, you won’t feel so hurried, and we’ll count on you to put in a full day’s work.”
  7. Clear communication is never more important than when we are trying to resolve conflict in our home or our workplace.  We must always remember to encourage people to honestly and respectfully speak their thoughts and allow us to do the same.  These six tips can help you find peace and solutions in everyday life.

For more help with conflict resolution please visit Colleyville counselor Tracy Crain.

Chemically Dependent People and the Four D’s

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are not the person with a chemical addiction.  You are probably reading it because someone you know, love and care about may have one.  So, this article is intended to arm you with some knowledge to understand the disease better.

The first “D” is already mentioned.  Addiction is a Disease.  Many people think it is a choice and therefore can be turned off or on like a spigot.  Be assured this is not the case.  Perhaps the person had a choice at one time, but now, that choice has developed into a disease.

The second “D” is that of Denial.  A large part of the disease includes a self-deceptive mechanism that allows the addicted person to continue destructive behavior because “there is no problem.”  The addict believes this and continues onward.  Or, perhaps the denial shows up in the form of blaming others or events for their use of the drug of choice.  Regardless, denial continues until the users can no longer avoid the consequences of their actions.  Maybe they were fired, or lost their family or lost their home.

However, even these life-altering events don’t necessarily make the addict seek help.  Oftentimes, they go to the third “D,” Detour.

Detour is a behavior pattern by the addict that manifests by changing people and surroundings in an attempt to change the disease.  That is, they may change what they drink or change the drug they use.  They may change when they are using or where.  They may even attempt to go to AA or NA meetings to appear to be sincere about recovery.  Over time, though, the user and the people around him/her realize no progress is being made, so the addict goes to the next step.

The fourth “D” is Delay, which is a tactic to put off any attempt at abstinence or to postpone steps to regain healthy living patterns.  Examples:  “I’ll go to a marriage counselor, but I’m not going to a drug counselor.” Or, “I’ll go to the rehab near home (where my user-friends can visit), but I won’t go to the one 100 miles away (where I’ll be forced to face my habits with my fellow addicts and the counselors).”

The addict may even acknowledge he/she needs help…but not yet!

People with chemical dependencies are sick.  They will continue to be sick until these internal and self-deceptive practices cease.  Getting help through counseling can begin the healing process, so it’s of prime importance to begin counseling as soon as possible.   Tracy Crain can help you, your addicted loved one, and your family.  Reach out to her now.

5 Ways to Stay Sober While You Are Partying

Holiday celebrations oftentimes include indulging in treats and special recipes that only come around once a year.  They often also include activities with alcoholic beverages and/or access to drugs.  If you’re in recovery, how can you stay sober when the opportunity to fall off the wagon presents itself everywhere you turn?

Here are 5 ways to maintain sobriety in tempting times.  (These also work for non-holiday periods.)

  1. Don’t Feel Sorry for Yourself:  Avoid questioning and brooding about why you have a problem while others don’t.  It doesn’t matter why; it matters that it’s true.  Instead of looking at what you’re not able to do, focus on what you can do by pursuing positive personal goals (reading, going to school, practicing your faith).
  2. Help Others:  Inquire at your AA/NA gatherings about opportunities to do something special for your fellow-recovering men and women.  Perhaps organize a special celebration or give yourself as a “gift” as a sponsor to someone else.  Volunteer at a food kitchen to serve the holiday meal.  Visit the ill in the hospital or nursing home.  Knowing you make a difference in another’s life in a good way is a wonderful kind of high.
  3. Plan Your Own Party:  Organize a gathering of friends and/or family who are clean, and host them at your place or take them out on the town.  If finances don’t allow that, then invite one or two sober friends to enjoy a cup of coffee with you.
  4. Choose Wisely:  Avoid going to functions where you know alcohol/drugs will be available.  You’re already so far into your recovery.  Don’t tempt yourself unnecessarily.  You know there will be enough temptation out there without willingly walking into it.  If you MUST go, take a non-using companion with you.
  5. Be prepared:  Take the list of recovery support phone numbers with you so you can call someone immediately if you get a weak moment.

The motto of One Day at a Time is true, and eventually, one of those days will be a holiday.  Temptation can increase at these times if you let it, but you can keep yourself in hand if you recognize it and proactively plan something else ahead of time.  And as always, there are support people you can rely on for help.  Contact Tracy Crain.

The 6 Steps to Prevent Relapse

Relapse prevention for alcoholics, drug addicts or those recovering from other destructive, compulsive behaviors isn’t something to be taken lightly. That’s why it’s important to follow a prescribed plan to help prevent a relapse before it happens. If you have a plan in place, you can also get back on track quickly if you should relapse. That is why I have developed a 6 Step Plan that will help you stop a relapse in its tracks before it overwhelms you.

Preventing a Relapse – Step 1:

The first stage involves understanding your triggers and heeding the tell-tale warning signs. You should sit down and write out FIVE PERSONAL WARNING SIGNS that came up before you ever started using drugs, drinking to excess or falling into a pattern of compulsive behavior. If you know yourself and are honest about this step, you can safely catch yourself before you start feeling compelled to slip.

Preventing a Relapse – Step 2:

The second stage is to decide WHAT YOU WILL DO if these early warning signs present themselves. Sometimes, this can be thought of as “covering your bases” or establishing your support system. In some cases, the answer will be obvious. You could call your counselor or sponsor. However, what will you do if they are unavailable or your personal warning signs are showing themselves at an off-hour – in the middle of the night, for example? Some of your actions could include writing down what you are thinking or feeling and allowing yourself to explore your emotions without feeling consumed by them. You could also try doing something positive instead – something that will help you feel better about yourself and more in control like exercise or dancing. Perhaps there are friends who are willing to help you out during an off hour — someone who will spend time with you while you wait to get in touch with your counselor or sponsor.

Preventing a Relapse – Step 3:

The third stage is to write down and BE HONEST ABOUT WHAT SCARES YOU MOST in leaving treatment and being on your own after rehab. Sometimes, when we are honest with ourselves, we can learn a great deal about our own pattern of “self-sabotage” that can get in the way of our healing process. We can then get everything out on the table before it becomes a problem. This is a preventative step and is crucial to lasting stability.

Preventing a Relapse – Step 4:

The fourth stage involves a coping strategy for HANDLING THIS FEAR. This is a critical step to discuss with your counselor and your sponsor in order to break down any obstacles that may overwhelm you into small, manageable pieces. This is one of the critical elements of success – shining a light on your fears and really looking at them for what they are. Sometimes identifying what scares us and talking through it can make obstacles to positive change less scary and can really help us strengthen our coping skills.

Preventing a Relapse – Step 5:

Stage five is about FINDING SUPPORT GROUPS in your area that will help you feel part of a positive, supportive community. Support groups offer the chance to find others in your exact situation who can be there for you when you feel yourself slipping. Also, when you are part of a group, you will be able to offer others help when they need it and that can make you feel a lot better about your own sense of self-worth. When you get a better sense of self-esteem, this is a powerful weapon against potential relapse.

Preventing a Relapse – Step 6:

Finally, stage six is about really solidifying WHO YOUR SPONSOR IS and identifying your “home group.” Think of this as your go-to place to help yourself when you find yourself in trouble. Setting up who your sponsor and your home group is and making it official will give you the piece of mind you need to feel that help is around you when and if you need it.

If you are able to follow these six stages and take them seriously, you will be on your way towards a better sense of self and the potential to avoid a relapse. Obviously, all of these stages are important to discuss with a professional counselor and your sponsor. If you or a loved-one is suffering from an addiction, reach out and get professional help.