Fall 2023 Newsletter

Older couple hugging in field for Summit Counseling Fall 2023 Newsletter

Accepting Medicare Starting January 2024

On December 23, 2022, Congress passed the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S.828/ H.R.432) which was subsequently signed into law by President Biden. 

This bill allows Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) to enroll as Medicare providers. As of January 1, 2024, participating LPCs and MFTs will be able to bill Medicare Part B and be reimbursed for approved services.

 Summit Counseling is currently engaged in the provider enrollment process. We will be participating and offering Medicare patients counseling and addiction services beginning January 2, 2024.

Seasonal Depression and Loneliness

Loneliness and depression can damage us emotionally, physically, and socially. Particularly vulnerable are the elderly and single souls among us. Someone sitting in a crowded room can feel lonely if they have no common interests with the others around them.

Loneliness can strike anyone, and it is usually the result of an inability to establish relationships with others. This inability to establish relationships may be circumstantial. The elderly are less mobile and dependent upon others to come to them or provide transportation. Many avoid celebrations because they can’t hear well or because noisy rooms are incompatible with hearing aids. Or maybe they are infirm and afraid of falling in a home with children playing and large dogs jumping up on guests, or they worry about incontinence; so, they decline invitations.

Loneliness can be a maladaptive protective mechanism to protect an individual from rejection. For those of us who may be less confident, or who have experienced significant rejection, reaching out to others is a scary proposition. So rather than be rejected, this person may build a protective wall by sitting alone during the holidays.

 Ways to conquer loneliness: 

  •  Share your feelings with someone you can trust. A family member, a friend, the clergy, or a therapist are great resources. Just talking about loneliness can help chase it away.
  • Avoid social media! Reading about someone else having a fabulous time while you are sitting home alone only increases your feelings of loneliness.
  • Practice self-care. Get plenty of sleep, exercise or start an exercise program, or go walking. Even warm baths have been known to lift spirits.
    • Volunteer. Helping others is a great way to help yourself and there are many volunteer opportunities in southeast Wisconsin. Try Volunteer Match  by going to for volunteer opportunities in your area.
  • Another way to stay active is by getting involved in a social group. The group Meetup at is a great way to get active.

In addition to everyday loneliness, many individuals are also affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder - appropriately known as SAD. This condition is a type of depression related to a lack of light during dark months. This seasonal depression affects about 10% of the population with another 20% affected to a lesser extent.  

Some Self-Care Treatment Options: 

  • Make your environment brighter. Open blinds and sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.
  • Get outside. Take a long walk or sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help. Outside time within two hours of getting up in the morning seems  to work best.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise and physical activity help relieve stress and anxiety which can increase depression symptoms. Being fit can make you feel better about yourself which will lift your mood.
  • Normalize sleep patterns. Schedule reliable times to wake up and go to bed each day.  

Lifting Weights May Help with Depression

Adding weights to a regular exercise routine has been shown to add muscle tone, decrease injury risk, and improve bone health. But its effects might also extend beyond the physical, as new evidence suggests that regular strength training may both ward off and fight symptoms of depression.

 That evidence comes from an analysis published earlier this month in JAMA Psychiatry, that examined the results of 33 randomized, controlled studies on depression and strength training. The studies included both males and females of varying ages, more than 2,000 participants in total.

 When the results of the studies were aggregated, the researchers found that weight training significantly reduced the incidence of depression. The results were significant even when the researchers controlled for age, gender, or improvements in muscle, Participants who saw few physical changes from strength training still tended to see improvements in mood.

 A 2017 analysis, conducted by the same group of researchers, found that weight training was also an effective treatment for anxiety, and the current review adds to a growing body of evidence that exercise — in a variety of forms — is beneficial to mental health, experts say.

Are You Ready for Addiction Recovery?

Congratulations, you have made the decision to take charge of your life rather than letting your addiction call the shots. The next stage in the recovery process is the preparation phase. It is this important next step that sets the stage for a successful recovery.

During the preparation stage, it is important to move away from people, places, and things that may trigger substance use. Likewise, it is important to move toward people, places, and things that promote absence of substance use.

The People

Having a strong social support system is essential in recovery. Do you need to expand your social support system and/or deepen your existing social support system? In what areas do you feel you could use more support?

Some areas to consider include:

  • Emotional Support - Someone who you can talk to about your feelings.
  • Practical Support - Someone who can help with specific tasks.
  • Recreational Support - Someone to enjoy activities/hobbies with.
  • Moral Support - Someone who provides guidance and instruction.

 For each of these areas you will need to identify:

  • Who are the people you can count on to help you?
  • What are the things they can do to help you?
  • Who are the people who are unhealthy for your recovery?
  • What is your plan to get distance from those people?

The Places

Spending time at or even driving past certain places may trigger one to use substances. Therefore, this is a good consideration to make while planning your day.

  • Where are the places you can go that will help you to maintain sobriety?
  • Where are the places to avoid that could be considered high risk situations?
  • What routes can you take to meet these criteria?

The Things

Certain things are important to consider in your recovery. Such things refer to activities or other actions that will promote ongoing sobriety, exercising for example. Some find it helpful to manage their money so that they do not have access to purchase substances or to remove paraphernalia from the home. Deleting contact information for those who deal drugs or heavily use substances is always a good idea.

  • What are the activities or hobbies you enjoy that will be safe and healthy?
  • What things can you do to limit access to substances?

For more information or assistance with your addiction recovery call Summit Counseling at 262-793-0990.

We Are Hiring!

Are you looking for an employer that gives you the opportunity to pursue your career interests? Summit Counseling may be the place for you. We are a growing practice, and we welcome creative individuals with an enthusiasm for trying new things. Qualities we value in our team members include:

  • Individuals wanting to create their own niche in an organization,
  • an interest in and talent for new program development and group counseling,
  • individuals with significant life experience seeking an encore career,
  • individuals wanting to build a new career helping others,
  • varied backgrounds including military, parenting, educational, cultural, etc.,
  • an ability and interest in working with men and women or all ages, and
  • therapists that understand the unique challenges race, age, gender, disability, and sexual orientation can place on individuals.

We are currently hiring Licensed Professional Counselors or Licensed Professional Counselors - In Training. To learn more about this opportunity send a resume and cover letter by email to: [email protected]. or call Stephan at 262-793-0991.

Contacting Us

In June 2022 we installed a new phone system and our numbers have changed. Our new phone number is (262) 793-0990. This number will be answered 24/7, including holidays. As always, if it is an emergency call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Don’t forget the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is also available.


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