When Life's Overwhelming Treatment Shouldn't be!

Mental Health Counseling


What is Mental Health Counseling ?

Mental health counseling, or psychotherapy, is something many people wonder about. It's a concept that, until one begins, seems hard to fully grasp. It's not uncommon for people to associate counseling with the proverbial couch, with the client lying on this piece of furniture and spilling their guts while a counselor, who may or may not look like Sigmund Freud, furiously takes detailed notes on a pad of paper. This process is called psychoanalysis and is rarely practiced in the twenty-first century.  If this picture is outdated, how does clinical mental health counseling really work?

Mental health counseling is a formal, purposeful partnership between a client and a mental health professional.  Counseling is a process of varying lengths during which a mental health counselor and a client work together to explore problems and develop the skills and mindset needed to transcend challenges and live a life of emotional health.  The length of the counseling process varies depending on the individual and the mental health disorder or distress. It can continue anywhere from a few weekly sessions to months or, sometimes, years of occasional sessions.

How Mental Health Counseling Works

Mental health counseling is a formal, purposeful partnership between a client and a mental health professional. It's sometimes referred to as clinical mental health counseling; not because it's cold and dispassionate but because it is based on sound research and uses techniques proven to be effective.

Counseling is a process of varying lengths during which a mental health counselor and a client work together to explore problems and develop the skills and mindset needed to transcend challenges and live a life of  emtional health. The length of the counseling process varies depending on the individual and the mental health disorder or distress. It can continue anywhere from a few weekly sessions to months or, sometimes, years of occasional sessions.

People seek counseling for many different things. Counseling is for mental illness as well as for specific life stresses, such as a toxic workplace with a bullying boss. Counseling happens individually, in one-on-one sessions with a counselor. Additionally, people can engage in couples therapy, family therapy, or group therapy.

Counseling Approaches

Mental health counselors choose from a plethora of approaches when helping someone. The particular approach used depends on both the counselor's professional preference as well as the nature and characteristics of an individual client.

Each approach has a particular focus. Mental health counseling methods can emphasize a person's background, emotions, thoughts, behaviors, or a combination of these elements

Benefits of Mental Health Counseling

Counseling indeed helps many people. When people engage in mental health counseling, they often gain:

  • Personal empowerment
  • Hope
  • The overcoming of demoralization caused by social stigma
  • Acceptance of life
  • Personal insight
  • Life skills
  • Wellness
  • Prevention of future mental health distress

Mental health counseling improves and even saves lives. Seeking counseling is a sign of courage and strength because it's an important step in taking charge of mental health and creating the life that you deserve, a life worth living.

Intensive OutPatient (IOP) and OutPatient (OP) Programs

Addiction is different for each individual. There are several contributing factors that influence the disease. At Frankie’s Place we offer individualized Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Outpatient  (OP) programs that are dependent on various circumstances including mental and emotional states, duration of the addiction, cultural influences, substance of choice, and co-occurring disorders. Frankie’s Qualified Professional Staff works to transition the clients into a healthy and productive life. 

Every addiction is different and should be treated as such. Frankie’s Place offers individualized IOP and OP treatment programs that are dependent on multiple circumstances including the client’s substance of choice, mental and emotional state, and duration of addiction. Our programs seek to improve each individuals' quality of life through a combination of treatments ranging from the intensive outpatient to outpatient programs for those further along in their recovery process.

IOP and OP treatment is an ideal option for a person seeking addiction treatment and counseling while maintaining their family, work life, and other responsibilities. A Qualified Outpatient Treatment Program, like ours, will add a level of flexibility that makes treatment possible for anyone.

Frankie's Place utilizes evidenced based therapeutic practices  in Fort Myers in conjunction with Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Outpatient (OP) Treatment to provide an extended treatment experience at a more affordable cost. Our outpatient is very unique and dependent on the needs of our clients. Clients come in for a comprehensive assessment and discuss with their therapist what works best for their lifestyle and recovery. 


Sex Therapy


Sex Therapy

Sex therapy is a strategy for the improvement of sexual function and treatment of sexual dysfunction as well as Out of Control Sexual Behavior. This includes sexual dysfunctions such as premature or delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, lack of sexual interest or arousal, painful sex and sex addiction. It also includes dealing with problems imposed by atypical sexual interests paraphilli, gender dysphoria; lack of sexual confidence, recovering from sex abuse, such as  rape, sex traffic, sexual assault, or sex addiction, hyper sexuality and sexual issueless related to aging, illness or disability. 

Certified Sex Therapist (CST)

Frankie’s Place Certified Sex therapists assist those experiencing problems in overcoming them, in doing so possibly regaining an active healthy sex life. The transformative approach to sex therapy aims to understand the psychological, biological, pharmacological, relational, and contextual aspects of sexual problems.

Sex therapy requires a comprehensive examination provided by a Certified Sex Therapist (CST). CST’s discuss and instruct clients in therapeutic sex-based treatment exercises to help their clients develop healthy mindset and skills. 

Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction, also known as Out of Control Sexual Behavior, is a state characterized by compulsive participation or engagement in sexual activity, despite negative consequences.

Proponents of a diagnostic model for sexual addiction consider it to be one of several sex-related disorders within hyper sexual disorder.  The term sexual dependence is also used to refer to people who report being unable to control their sexual urges, behaviors, or thoughts. Related or synonymous models of pathological sexual behavior include hypersexuality (nymphomania and satyriasis), Considerable controversy surrounds the diagnosis of “sex addiction.” It’s been excluded from the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5). However, it’s still written about and studied in psychology and counseling circles.

Additionally, it can still be diagnosed  using both DSM-5 (as “Other specified sexual dysfunction”) and the “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems” (ICD_10) criteria (as “Other sexual dysfunction not due to a substance or known physiological condition”).

ICD-10 criteria

By way of a definition, “sex addiction” is described as a compulsive need to perform sexual acts in order to achieve the kind of “fix” that a person with alcohol use disorder gets from a drink or someone with opiate use disorder gets from using opiates.

Sex addiction (the compulsive sexual behavior described here) should not be confused with disorders such as pedophilia or bestiality.

For some people, sex addiction can be highly dangerous and result in considerable difficulties with relationships. Like drug or alcohol dependence, it has the potential to negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health, personal relationships, quality of life, and safety.

It’s purported to be somewhat common (although statistics are inconsistent), and some argue that it’s often not diagnosed.

It’s believed that a person with sex addiction will seek out multiple sex partners, though this in itself is not necessarily a sign of a disorder. Some report that it may manifest itself as a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, or be in sexually stimulating situations.

A person with sex addiction may significantly alter their life and activities in order to perform sexual acts multiple times a day and are reportedly unable to control their behavior, despite severe negative consequences.

What are the symptoms of Sex Addiction ?

Since sex addiction isn’t outlined in the DSM-5, there’s considerable controversy about what criteria constitute an addiction.

One characteristic may be secrecy of behaviors, in which the person with the disorder becomes skilled at hiding their behavior and can even keep the condition secret from spouses, partners, and family members. They may lie about their activities or engage in them at times and places where they won’t be found out.

But sometimes symptoms are present and noticeable. A person may have a sex addiction if they show some or all of the following signs:

  • chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies
  • compulsive relations with multiple partners, including strangers
  • lying to cover behaviors
  • preoccupation with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, and so on
  • inability to stop or control the behaviors
  • putting oneself or others in danger due to sexual behavior
  • feeling remorse or guilt after sex
  • experiencing other negative personal or professional consequences

Compulsive behaviors can strain relationships, for example, with the stress of infidelity — although some people may claim to have a sex addiction as a way to explain infidelity in a relationship.

It’s important to remember that enjoying sexual activity is not a sign of sex addiction. Sex is a healthy human activity, and enjoying it is normal. In addition, differences in the level of sexual interest between partners does not mean that one partner has a sex addiction.

Theft Prevention


4 Hour Course

We have developed a required 4 hour anti-theft educational model to help individuals learn to accept responsibility for their  impulse control behaviors. Our model focuses on cognitive behavior approaches and reality therapy approaches in which this evidence-based model is designed to help participants to overcome faulty thinking and self-defeating behaviors.

Theft Course Provide Meaning

The theft courses provide meaningful content, which is intended to meet court, legal, or employer requirements. We also recommend that the theft awareness sessions should be considered for personal growth as well. We believe in the quality of our program.

Seek Services

Few people seek help on their own when they have a problem with theft or shoplifting. When people attend shoplifting sessions they typically have been court ordered, had it required by a probation officer, mandated by an employer or apart of a diversion agreement. Some people figured out or have an attorney who figured out that it is a very good idea to complete theft sessions by a qualified behavioral health professional before going to court. The judge, probation officer, district attorney or employer see that the person is taking the matter seriously. We have specialized in educating theft offenders and we are committed to serve our participants, and referral sources by assisting and reaching resolutions to all impulse behaviors!

What will the 4-hour course will include?

The 4-hour course will include practical training exercises, lectures, homework, review of journal articles on shoplifting, videos, discussions and assessments. The model is designed to help individuals realize the impact of their behavior about themselves and others. These efforts focuses on changing old behaviors that should avoid future theft impulses. All participants are required to complete at least 4 hours of shoplifting education sessions; therefore, the participant will learn to identify necessary steps to make a positive change, avoid future negative behaviors. 

Anger Management Program


Anger Management Program

Frankie’s Place offers an Anger Management Program designed for  your individual needs. Our Anger Management Program is 8, 16 or 24 weeks depending upon probation requirements or personal needs. Each client will  work with a counselor in a individual sessions  to learn about their anger issues. An Anger Management Counselor will observe and analyze each client's behavior from an impartial perspective, and  help you them with reality testing.  An Anger Management Counselor will also be an expert in all manner of effective anger management strategies, and will be able to help each client develop a personalized set of strategies for changing both their thinking and behavior to be productive and successful in their life .

Individual Sessions

Frankie's Place Anger Management Counselor will help the client  explore and understand their feelings. Our counselors  have been trained in anger management techniques and have specialized their practice for anger management problems.

A typical course of therapy for anger management unfolds more like a class than a traditional therapy session. Participants are helped to become conscious of their emotional, cognitive and physical responses to anger and the different ways they respond to conflict. Depending on each persons needs, Frankie's Place Counselors may work on breathing or meditation exercises to reduce anger arousal, safe and appropriate emotional and physical techniques to release anger, communication skills, and cognitive restructuring  (a method for disputing and changing the thoughts that shape your emotions).

What makes our Anger Management Program different?

Our Program is designed to work with each client individually. We work within your schedule and accommodate your needs. We look at anger and pain each individual is feeling  through insight that is expressed verbally, nonverbally, and unconsciously that allows for behavioral change. The program is structured for a  individuals that want to go to the next level. Each individual will be challenged which helps him/her learn about their reactions to life stressors. This behavioral approach is designed to help individuals with co-occuring disorders, self-esteem issues, codependency, trauma, social anxiety, depression,  and sexual disorders. 

What Should YOU Expect?

Expect to Understand Youself-This program is going to bring you physically and mentally to the place that has been affecting your life and happiness. 

Expect to Open Your Mind-By leaving judgements and perceptions at home where you can allow yourself to become open to different ideas and view points. By being open minded you allow yourself to be challenged in the best way possible. 

Frankie’s Place incorporates a wellness model designed for our clients to find inner peace and the ability to develop interpersonal skills. By challenging yourself in a supportive environment, this allows for an understanding of ones potential. It opens up areas allowing for happiness to individuals as they strive to be the best they can be. 

Batters Intervention Program (BIP)

What is a Batter's Intervention Program (BIP)?

In Florida, the Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP) is a 6 month intensive program designed and monitored by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

The program purports to address the root causes of domestic violence and prevent participants from committing acts of domestic violence in the future. It consists of an initial assessment, orientation, and at least twenty-six (26) weeks of group counseling sessions.

To commence the Florida Batterer’s Intervention Program, participants will first undergo an initial assessment, which is described by the Department of Children and Families as a ‘psychosocial’ evaluation to determine if [participants] will benefit from mental health or substance abuse treatment programs prior to or concurrent with batterer intervention.”

The participant must also sign a contract, admit responsibility for his or her acts, and follow strict rules and procedures as outlined by the program’s administrators. Violation of Batterer Intervention Program rules and procedures can result in a participant’s immediate expulsion from the program.

Upon completion of the initial assessment, the participant attends a one-time orientation, followed by at twenty-six consecutive weeks of group “counseling” sessions. Each group session is typically an hour and a half long and is presided over by a designated “facilitator.”


The curriculum used in the Florida Batterer’s Intervention Program is based on a so-called “intervention model,” which considers domestic violence to be the result of “one person . . . systematically using tactics of emotional and physical abuse in order to maintain power and control over the other.”

In following the “intervention model,” the Department of Children and Families requires that the BIP curriculum incorporate the following elements:

  • An educational approach that assigns responsibility for the violence solely to the batterer and provides a strategy for assisting the batterer in taking responsibility for the violence;
  • Content that encourages the participant to develop critical thinking skills that will allow the participant to rethink their behavior and identify behavior choices other than violence;
  • Content that supports the belief that domestic violence is primarily a learned behavior;
  • Content that supports the belief that domestic violence is not provoked or the result of substance abuse;
  • Content designed to improve the batterer’s ability to identify and articulate feelings;
  • Content designed to improve communication skills and listening with empathy;
  • Content designed to improve negotiation and conflict resolution skills;
  • Content that challenges stereotypical gender role expectations;
  • Content that includes strategies for helping the batterer to develop and improve support systems;
  • Content that identifies the effects of distorted thinking on emotions and behavior;
  • Content that identifies the effects of domestic violence on children, and
  • Content that includes information on the relationship of substance abuse to domestic violence.


Couples and/or Family Therapy

What is Frankie’s Place Family Wellness Program?

The stress of addiction and mental health disorders can cause unhealthy relationships within the home. Frankie’s Place family model is developed for clients to live in their own home. Frankie’s Place is grounded in the preservation of the family unit. Our family programs are vital to  the clients treatment and recovery process as it teaches and assists in building strong family relationships and bonds. 

Frankie’s Place Family Wellness Program advantages; 

Because our clinical model is an Intensive Outpatient model where our clients will likely be living with their families and spouses. It is important that they establish a home environment that is conducive to the change process clients will be going through in treatment. Our Family Wellness Program will assist families in identifying, establishing, and enforcing healthy boundaries and expectations at home so they can maximize their treatment experience. At Frankie’s Place our family programs runs concurrently with our IOP and OP programs. By providing individualized services our clinical practices meet the specified needs of our clients' family unit. The family program also assists the family members in developing effective communication skills and relational dynamics that are supportive to the sobriety and recovery of their loved one. 

Family programs consists of;

  • Family or couples therapy sessions
  • Access to family support group services with other family members.
  • Participation in a three day weekend program.
  • Education about the science of addiction.
  • Coping skills to manage stress, fear and co-dependence groups.
  • Consultations with our staff

The family will work with a case manager to learn and understand the community services available to them in their area.

Frankie’s Place Family Wellness Program understands that the disease of addiction encapsulates the whole family unit. Our professional addiction staff helps the loved ones cope with the devastation of addiction. Our staff focuses on the perspectives of the whole family unit involved of the healing process. 

Why is participation in our Family Wellness Program important?

Addiction greatly impacts our clients’ families and personal relationships. When clients arrive at Frankie’s Place for recovery, their families also enter into our care. The unhealthy relational dynamics among the family system that developed during active addiction does not leave because clients have stopped abusing substances. 

Frankie’s Place Family Wellness Program is designed to help facilitate the healing process and promote active recovery.  Relationships is the number one relapse issue and needs to be addressed and issues resolved while in treatment where everyone is supported throughout this process.

Frankie’s Place encourages all clients and their families to participate in our Family Wellness Program. Our Family Program consists of family and/or couples therapy sessions during treatment, as well as ongoing family support groups for the family members of our clients.

At Frankie’s Place our professional clinicians work with clients and their families to determine the appropriate time to schedule and conduct family therapy sessions. Scheduling and frequency is individualized to each client and their particular needs and experiences while in the clinical care of Frankie’s Place.

The family support group meets on a regular basis continuously throughout treatment and is meant to be a source of support and collaboration with other clients’ parents, spouses and loved ones.