Call 315.637.0605   Rev. Heath Can Help!

Hi! I am Michael Heath and this is the Pine Ridge Pastoral Counseling Web Page. Pine Ridge is a place for folks who are looking for the best mental health care but who are turned off by large clinics or impersonal facilities.

Since 1994, Pine Ridge has offered a distinctive and more personal alternative for mental health needs while providing a comprehensive range of psychological services to help individuals, couples and families deal with a wide range of emotional, relational, crisis related, life phase and spiritual problems.

Since I am both a state Licensed Psychotherapist and a nationally Certified Pastoral Counselor, I offer a comprehensive therapeutic approach which can relate to both the psychological and spiritual dimensions of life's difficulties .

This web site is a great place to learn about my areas of expertise and to find answers to questions you may have concerning psychotherapy, marriage counseling, couples counseling, and other counseling related issues. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact me and I'll be glad to help.

See Rev. Heath Live on 9 WSYR's Bridge Street!

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Do You know  -

 What Panic is and how to calm It

Although the mainstream media is trying to reassure people not to panic over the Ebola virus, reports are springing up that many folks  already are.

- This is a good time to take a deep breath and think about what is going on when we panic. Likewise, it is important to remember that there are some simple steps which can calm exaggerated fears before they get out of hand.

- Simply put, panic is an irrational perception of an imminent crisis that is manifested by both physiological and emotional signs. It occurs when the reasonable part of our brain is hi-jacked by the primitive fear center, the amygdale. Although it feels real, it is crucial to know that panicked reasoning and conclusions are distorted and do not express either accurate perceptions or good judgment.

- The best way to tell panic from a reasonable fear is that factual reassurance isn't helpful in calming a panic. One who is In a state of panic-induced terror is not reassured by a reality that differs from his/her fears.

-  In times such as these, when real threats are present but the exact extent of the danger is not known with certainty, it is a good idea to examine your fears carefully and not jump to catastrophic conclusions or to immediately assume the worst. Being aware that panic reactions are common can help alert a person to reality test the validity of his/her worries.

- Brain research which has been gathered from returning combat solders has proven that the best way to reality test panic thoughts is to allow them to be verbally expressed, perhaps in a journal where a dialog can take place between the scared part and the reasonable part of one's awareness.  Allowing and giving yourself permission to say what you fear most - without immediate criticism - helps to re-establish access to the reasonable part of our brain and to calm the panic experience.  

- Understanding that moments of panic are normal human experiences that can be processed and calmed before they lead to unwise and impulsive behavior is important in times of uncertainty. With a little practice, you can learn to talk through rather than to act out the frightened impulses we get when we panic.     

Rev. Michael Heath, LMHC         10 2 2014


Coming up Next: November 7th, 2014 at Maple Downs in Fayetteville NY:

Coping with Senior Stress   

Come and hear Rev. Heath Discuss effective ways to reduce needless stress and to cope with the stressors you can't get rid of. 


*note for Windows 8 users: MS still has some compatability problems with the 9wsyr website video streaming. It is not your computer.


Watch Rev. Heath's Bridge Street Mental Health segments below:

October 27, 2014

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Halloween

Five Things You Didn’t Know About  Halloween

Normally we talk about problems, emotional problems or marital problems or relational problems and then try to offer some helpful tips. Today however, we’re just gonna have some fun and learn some facts that you might not have known about this popular Fall festival.  I’m even going to tell you why I think it’s emotionally healthy for both kids and adults alike.

Where did Halloween come from?

Most of the imagery and traditions surrounding Halloween come from ancient Ireland. Over the years Halloween has evolved from a pagan festival to a roman observance, to the day before a church feast day ( all Hallows eve) until finally to our modern secular event.

Historically, our Halloween can be traced to the old Celtic New Year’s festival called Samhain (pronounced : sa Wane) which took place at the end of the harvest season. When the Romans conquered the Celts, the Druid festival was incorporated into the Roman remembrance of honoring the dead.  Centuries later, the Catholic church renamed the observance  All Souls Day.  The day before this feast day became all hallows eve  (…
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