Hough Counseling and Assessments PLLC

709 Lake Street
Roscommon, MI 48653

(989) 505-6591

Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Embracing Change

Posted on: October 12th, 2021

Starting a new journey can be both exciting and a little scary. Many people find comfort in familiarity. I propose that the comfort in the familiar often is a mechanism that prevents the necessary evolution of growth. The challenge is the idea of letting go of the unknown. The idea that the unknown will automatically be worse than the known creates fear. What would happen if we dismissed the narrative that the unknown is bad?  An analogy I often use is the idea of skydiving. People skydive for the first time I am very sure with a healthy amount of fear. Even though the fear is present they still take the leap. I believe the reward for taking the leap is embracing a new adventure. Taking the leap causes the fear to diminish its hold making a way to experience the joy of the adventure.

Move with courage. Embrace the change you want for your life.


Alicia M. Lurry MA LPC

Don’t Despise the Process

Posted on: September 13th, 2021

I recently underwent a medical procedure that forced me to slow down my regular lifestyle significantly. I have struggled not only with the healing process but with not being able to do what I normally am able to do.  I have learned during this time that this process requires patience and this time of patience brings growth.  Learning to be still and moving more slowly seems like a punishment at first. I wonder however, if times of stillness can be considered times of restoration and replenishment. Moving more slowly allows one to pay attention, see, hear and listen. The process is necessary for change. Meaningful change can often cause great discomfort. Working through the process requires resilience and resolve. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable place in the process of healing, hang in there the end result is positive change.


Alicia Lurry MA LPC

Finding Your Spark

Posted on: August 6th, 2021

A few months ago Disney came out with a movie entitled ‘Soul.” Without spoiling the plot, the main theme of the movie was about finding the thing in life that gives us purpose. I always took for granted that people understood they have purpose in life.  Over the years as I have spoken to many people in therapy I began to learn that the idea of purpose in life is often not a consideration. What if we viewed our difficulties and our triumphs as experiences contributing to our purpose?

When we look at moments in time that are difficult, try to view them through the lens of purpose. As a therapist, I often speak with patients who struggle with grief from the loss of a loved one. I provide empathetic support but I also can relate as I have had my own personal experience with grief. At the time of my personal loss, I couldn’t see how this experience would be able to help anyone, but, it has on many occasions.

Your spark is anything that gives you purpose.  Your purpose can be found in anything that contributes to the well-being of others. Everyone has a purpose. Enjoy finding your spark.


Alicia M. Lurry LPC

Celebration of Independence

Posted on: July 9th, 2021

A few days ago the nation celebrated Independence Day. This day represents the freedom of expression, freedom of choice and pursuit of happiness. We hold these principles as a founding vision for the ideas of our country. It is important to identify these values as relevant to all. We who believe in these principles must be willing to defend them for those who have limited or no voice.

There are people in our midst who struggle with disabilities or are differently abled. Many are ignored and defined by their physical or intellectual limitations. As we celebrate our freedom recognize the importance of freedom for all.   Freedom is precious and should be valued. Independence and the pursuit of happiness is what everyone requires. True freedom comes when everyone can celebrate without discrimination and pursue the greatness of individuality.


Alicia Lurry LPC

Pulling the Weeds

Posted on: June 2nd, 2021

I am not in any way considered a master gardener. I do enjoy planting flowers every spring and taking in the beauty in the summer. As I was out this weekend preparing my flower beds I began to remember how much work was involved with this process. There is a lot of digging. There is the struggle of pulling up stubborn weeds. Some weeds are imposters, they attempt to blend in with legitimate plants. You have to remove the debris from the previous season. You get dirty and sweaty. Why do I do this every year? To get to the beauty. I do it to experience the joy of a beautiful garden.

There are times when we must tend to our emotional garden. We collect debris from old experiences. Negative thoughts pop up as imposters like the weeds to confuse us and not allow us to see the beauty that is potentially in front of us. Just as the garden cannot clean itself we often need support to help us get to that place of beauty.

If you are struggling in any area of life do not hesitate to get support. There is beauty beyond your present circumstance.


Alicia Lurry MA LPC

Be Patient

Posted on: April 11th, 2021

Two of the most frustrating words to hear in the middle of difficulty are, “Be patient.” I, like every living creature, do not like to wait.  Over time we learn anything worth having requires patience. Life circumstances requires patience for personal goals, other people and ourselves.  We often view the time of waiting as wasted time or a form of punishment. What would happen if we viewed this time as a time for preparation? Patience is not our enemy. It is the space in which we prepare for our next step in our journey. Being patient with others is the space necessary for individual growth and grace. Being patient with yourself takes away the power of negative thinking and gives a greater appreciation for mindfulness of our present state.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
― Aristotle


Alicia Lurry LPC

A Moment of Pause

Posted on: March 5th, 2021

“Ask yourself: Where am I? Answer:  Here

Ask yourself: What time is it? Answer: Now. Say it until you can hear it.” – Ram Dass

In therapy we explore the idea of mindfulness. The concept of mindfulness is the state of open attention to the present. The process of observing personal thoughts, feelings and body sensations without judgment. This moment of pause allows us to lower tension, diminish anxiety and foster a greater sense of self awareness. As we move throughout our daily lives with numerous external stressors, a moment of pause can create a sense of control. I encourage my patients to practice those moments throughout the day. Step away from distractions and pause. After the pause and moment of mindfulness comes a time to reset and refresh. Just like our computers, if too many programs are running at the same time we find that we need to pause and restart for optimal effectiveness.  I encourage the reader to make a moment of pause and mindfulness a daily practice.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes … including you.” — Anne Lamott


Alicia Lurry MA LPC

Making Connections

Posted on: February 23rd, 2021

The other day I was in the grocery store and as I passed by other masked shoppers in the aisle it occurred to me that in our quest for safety during this pandemic we are losing our sense of connection. Simple gestures such as a smile from a stranger, a quick conversation about some small incidental thing, the feeling of community and comradery as we attend a sporting event, theater production, or music concert. All of these are activities and actions we took for granted in a pre-pandemic world.  I assert that although we must at this moment in time deny ourselves of these experiences it does not change our innate desire and need for connection.  If you are struggling with the effects of isolation at this time I have few suggestions that may help:

  • Take time to talk with loved ones on a regular basis.  Although it isn’t the same as face to face, spending time on a call or zoom can help remind us of our shared connectedness.
  • Plan for the future. Difficult situations often feel permanent but planning for the future reminds us they are not.
  • Take time for personal growth.  Times of solitude can be times of growth and preparation. Identify how you can positively impact the lives of others with your gifts, talents, and insights.

As we continue to navigate this unusual and disruptive moment in time it is important to remember we are all connected in one way or another.  We will come out of this experience stronger and with sincere gratitude for the gift of connecting.


Alicia Lurry  LPC

Becoming Your Own Cheerleader

Posted on: January 2nd, 2021

We have come into 2021 after one of the most difficult years in our lifetime. The pandemic of 2020 brought many challenges. We have had to struggle with the effects of the emotional anguish of grief, economic uncertainty and isolation. As we begin to recognize that so many things are out of our control, we need to recognize the power of our thought life. Our thoughts are constant and can often feel like a loop in our mind. It is important to be mindful of what we are saying to ourselves in the midst of difficult times.

Take time to encourage yourself. Remind yourself there is only so much you should do. Take a moment and assess where you are and identify what is good in your life. Take pleasure in your gifts and talents, don’t dismiss them as if they are not important. Be kind to yourself and take time to rest when you need it. Be sure to eat nourishing food. Be careful of the messages you receive from others. Find moments to laugh.

We are making it through a very difficult time. You are strong. You are resilient.

Happy 2021!


Alicia Lurry MA LPC

Stay Encouraged

Posted on: December 7th, 2020

Here we are in the last month of what we all can agree has been one of the most challenging years in our world’s history. As a therapist I must admit it has been a challenge to encourage others through the effects of fear, isolation, and frustration that this pandemic has brought. I struggle with the same emotions and somedays it is more difficult than others. I do believe however that there is strength in hope. This is but one chapter in many of your lives. It is important to recognize this present state as temporary, because it is. I have found it important to continuously count my blessings. I could complain about being stuck at home or I can be grateful I have a home in which to live. Families can complain about being together so much or be grateful to not be alone.  I can complain about the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic or be grateful for life.

We are experiencing a difficult time but we are not without hope. We will come out the end of this and when we do my hope is that we all will be even more grateful and value all we have.

Stay Encouraged.


Alicia Lurry MA CRC LPC