Thursday, December 26, 2013

Health Anxiety or Hypochondria

Health anxiety or hypochondria is a type of anxiety that affects the way people feel about their health. They often become obsessed with their own health, assuming every symptom, sore throat, headache, ache, or pain is due to a serious illness or disease. Dr. Marji Prefontaine treats this type of anxiety through different methods, including counseling, medication, and education about what hypochondria is.

The common symptoms of health anxiety or hypochondria include:

  • Believing minor symptoms can lead to a serious illness.

  • Seeing doctors repeatedly for these minor symptoms.

  • Having intense anxiety about having a serious disease.

  • Switching doctors often because the previous one did not provide a diagnosis.

  • Doing health research on an obsessive level.

  • Checking vital signs frequently.

  • Checking your body for sores or lumps frequently.

  • Thinking you have a disease you read about.

Here at Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we treat different types of anxiety, including health anxiety or hypochondria. It is a common occurrence, even though many individuals feel there is nothing wrong with them on a psychological level. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call our office at 505-821-1948 to schedule an appointment.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Couples Counseling

At Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we provide counseling and therapy for individuals, couples, and families experiencing issues in their lives. Couples counseling is one of our more common types of therapy, which helps couples of all kinds with issues in their relationship. But it isn’t just couples with problems that visit us; we also believe in couples counseling for improving the relationship and helping the bond become even stronger.

Children do not participate in couples counseling if the couple has children. Couples counseling here at Relationship Center of Albuquerque is only for improving the couple and providing them with a healthier relationship. We help our patients improve on their communication, find resolution, and give them a free space to talk about their emotions, feelings, worries, and concerns. Some couples need help with intimacy issues, while others are having struggles with their parenting styles or financial situations.

Dr. Marji Prefontaine opens up the line of communication in the couple, assessing any issues they are facing and helping them to heal. In many cases, just having a neutral third party to listen to them helps both people in the couple come to better understanding with what the other person is going through. If you’re considering couples counseling, learn more by calling us at 505-821-1948.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Family Counseling

Family counseling is one of many counseling services we offer here in Albuquerque, NM. People come to us for counseling for their family for different reasons involving their family dynamics. Even the smallest problem within the family can be devastating and cause severe emotional stress for one or multiple members of the family. By getting help with their problems, our patients prevent more serious consequences and help their family stick together through a difficult time.

Here at Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we help families with all sorts of situations. Families seek our help due to financial issues, children or teens dealing with anxiety or depression, or a family dealing with a separation or divorce and hoping to help their children deal with the change in their family dynamic. In some cases, families seek counseling from our office because their children feel they are not getting enough attention, while other adolescents want more freedom. Through counseling and family therapy, adolescents feel more free in speaking their feelings and parents get some resolution into whatever issues they see.

Divorce and blended families are two very common issues with families. We provide counseling for children and parents going through a divorce, as well as helping children adjust to their new blended families with step-parents and step-siblings. Contact Dr. Marji Prefontaine today to benefit from family counseling.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Eating Disorders

In the United States, there are approximately 24 million people of all ages dealing with eating disorders, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. People with eating disorders are among all ages, genders, social statuses and lifestyles.

Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, Dr. Marji Prefontaine understands the importance of offering counseling and psychotherapy for people with eating disorders. Eating disorders cause the sufferer to become preoccupied with food, physical fitness and their own weight. It is an unhealthy lifestyle that can lead to serious medical complications and can even be fatal.

Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder. Each of these disorders is serious and based on unrealistic expectations. Many people suffering from eating disorders have mental and emotional disorders that have led them to an unhealthy way of life. Signs of someone having an eating disorder includes extreme weight fluctuations, using the restroom after every meal, cuts on the person’s fingers and roof of their mouth, and a visible obsession with food and weight.

Eating disorders counseling is important because Dr. Prefontaine addresses the underlying cause of the eating disorder, whether it is depression, anxiety, a mental disorder or a childhood trauma. Many different aspects of a person’s life can contribute, which is why counseling and therapy is essential to helping overcome it.

If you notice signs of eating disorders in a loved one, call us at 505-821-1948 to get more information and schedule an appointment.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is something just about everyone can benefit from. The goal of individual counseling here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque is to help our patients identify areas of their life causing stress, anxiety, fear or conflict to help resolve those issues.

For some, it’s about learning conflict resolution with people causing them stress, while others learn to deal with depression and the strong emotions that come with it. Dr. Marji Prefontaine works with each patient individually to offer them the counseling they need.

Here are some of the situations where participating in individual counseling here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque can help:

1. Teenagers dealing with bullying in school.

2. Anyone with anxiety, extreme stress or depression.

3. Signs of self-harm, such as cutting, eating disorders or cutting.

4. Having thoughts of harming yourself or others.

5. Trouble dealing with loss and grief.

6. Persistent conflicts with friends, roommates or family members.

7. Difficulty adjusting to new changes, like college, a new move or new job.

Individual counseling helps patients come to a realization about what they want in their life, people or situations that are holding them back. It offers them a place to express their feelings without judgment or criticism, and helps them make healthy and positive changes.

To learn more about how individual counseling can help, call us directly at 505-821-1948. When you call, ask us about our free telephone consultation and 20% off discount for the first visit.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stress Management

Everyone deals with some level of stress in their lives, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help dealing with it. Whether it’s relationship trouble, money woes or work stress, it can cause mental and physical illness when it isn’t dealt with properly -- especially when the stress accumulates due to added pressures. Dr. Marji Prefontaine offers stress management to help patients handle the various stresses they have in their everyday life.

Stress management isn’t necessarily about avoiding the stressful situations in your life, but learning how to best manage stress to keep it at a manageable level. This includes identifying the main sources of stress and coping with it in healthy ways. Many people turn to substance abuse and other unhealthy ways of dealing with it, but we offer counseling for stress education as a positive, healthy alternative.

Here at Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we believe stress can be managed in a healthy way. In doing so, we help patients learn ways of coping with stress to keep it from affecting their lives in a negative way. To start on the path to healthy stress management, call Dr. Marji Prefontaine at 505-821-1948 to schedule your first counseling session.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grief or Bereavement

Experiencing grief or bereavement after a loss of a loved one can cause our patients to go through a series of emotions. Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we provide our patients with an outlet to express these emotions without judgment.

Many of our patients tell us that it is often difficult to share their experiences, memories and feelings with close relatives about who they lost because they are also grieving. This is why Dr. Marji Prefontaine makes herself available for grief and bereavement.

People dealing with grief or bereavement typically go through five steps:

  1. Denial

  2. Anger

  3. Bargaining

  4. Depression

  5. Acceptance

We help patients go through these important steps in a safe and caring environment that enables them to express their emotions and talk to someone who helps the process go more smoothly.

Counseling is an essential part of grieving because it allows the patient to deal with the loss and learn how to deal with these different stages of grief, from denial to acceptance. If you or someone you know is grieving over a loved one, schedule a consultation with Dr. Prefontaine in Albuquerque, NM to get help for the bereavement process by calling 505-821-1948.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Relationships and ADD

It is not always easy to maintain a healthy relationship.  This is especially true for those that are suffering from ADD.  As children, you may find it difficult to pay attention in school or to finish dull or boring tasks.  As we age, this can evolve into self-esteem issues and put a strain on relationships.  If you or your partner has ADHD, you may have difficulty:

  • ·         Paying attention – It difficult to listen and communicate with your partner. 

  • ·         Staying organized – As a result, you may forget a birthday or anniversary.

  • ·         Finishing tasks – This can lead to lack of commitment in your relationship.

  • ·         Handling responsibilities – You may forget to pay the bills, clean, etc.

  • ·         Managing your emotions – It is easy to lose your temper, leading to major misunderstandings.

It is important that people with ADD seek treatment to improve their focus and deal with relationship issues.  We offer services that diagnosis and treat ADD at our practice.  Call 505-821-1948 to schedule an appointment and to take steps in improving your relationship.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Depression is more than simply feeling sad.  The loss of a loved one, loss of a job, moving to a new place, and a number of other factors can lead to this chronic health condition.  Depression can have a severe impact on your life and can even make you feel like a different person.  If you are suffering from depression, you may experience feelings of hopelessness, lack of sleep, inability to concentrate, lack of desire to socialize, and lack of interest in things you once enjoyed, among other symptoms.

If you are feeling depressed, it is important to surround yourself with things that make you feel happy.  At Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we can help you overcome feelings of depression and enjoy the things that once made you happy again.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Anger and Relationships

It is natural to feel frustrated, confused, disappointed and sad when negative things happen in a relationship.  While these emotions can take many forms, it’s important that we learn to manage and release anger in a positive way.  By finding outlets for your emotions, you can work through problems and control your anger.

Some people struggle with expressing anger through violence and self-destruction, while others hold anger inside.  We work with you to help you channel your anger in a more constructive way and work through your relationship problems.  Through anger management counseling, you can find out what triggers your emotions and learn to manage anger in the future.  If you are struggling with anger management and it is affecting your relationship, we invite you to visit us in Albuquerque, NM.  We look forward to helping you effectively manage your anger before it has a negative impact on your life and your relationship.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Over 25 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders.  This common mental health issue is more than feeling nervous or anxious from time to time.  Chronic anxiety can result in panic attacks, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, sweating, trembling and nausea. 

Anxiety disorders can be triggered by traumatic experiences, neglect or abuse during childhood, and other events that impact your psyche and mental state.  Fortunately, anxiety disorders do not have to be permanent.  We work one-on-one with our patients to lessen or even eliminate anxiety.  When you gain a better understanding of your anxiety, you can learn to conquer it.  Although it is not always easy to face your anxiety head on, we invite you to call us and learn more about how we can help.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Take this passionate relationship test....

I just discovered a test that you can take that measures 10 aspects of your relationship: forgiveness, initiating, closeness, know how, seduction,enticement, devotion, edginess, expression, and longevity.  It's at this site:

Take the test, see where you are with your partnership, and let it take you places you'd like to go that you've never been before.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Humanity is having great difficulty with relationships right now.  Many of us are experiencing this on an individual level.  We think we're with the wrong partner, or that our partner is behaving poorly.  Rarely do we see it as a personal issue to which there's a solution.  However, if we look at this more deeply, we can begin to see the patterns in all of our relationships since birth.

Our relationships are our greatest teachers of inner wisdom.  They offer us chances over and over again to reflect on our ability to love unconditionally.  We have experienced many relationships in which there was an absence of unconditional love.  This includes our own relationship with ourselves.  Sometimes we offer love unconditionally to others and refuse giving it to ourselves. Other times we give it to ourselves and refuse to give unconditional positive regard to the other, whether that other is a Mother, a father, a partner, a child, or a friend.

Couples often have great difficulty sustaining the love that first brought them to the decision and experience of bonding.  We could think of the first experience of unconditional love with our partner as the promise of what's possible once we've both worked through our unconscious programming from childhood, teenage, and adult years of experience.
Rarely have we experienced the unconditional love of another on this planet.  From birth to present time, we have scars from people purposely or not so purposefully wounding our psyches.  Many times if not always we hold on to these hurts in our unconscious, and they arise only as we experience deep love from someone, especially a romantic partner.

Couples counseling is not always easy, and it's rarely simple.  By the time a couple has decided to come for therapy, there are many layers and many years of difficulties that need to be dealt with.  Often couples believe that a few sessions of counseling will fix them and they'll be able to be in love again.  That's rarely the case.  It takes hard work during sessions, great patience, and a strong desire and willingness to work things out and forgive the offenses of our partner and ourselves that moves couples toward resolution of difficulties.

Beyond that, working through difficult feelings and experiences, there is often great healing and a renewed desire to love and care for one another and the relationship itself.