At Coral Reef Counseling, Dr. Malkasian is proud to support her clients on their path to recovery. We place a lot of value on a strong therapeutic relationship and connection, taking a collaborative and casual approach to therapy. We offer individual, family, and group therapy as well as meal support and treatment aftercare support and consultation. We have experience addressing a variety of needs, including eating disorders, addiction/substance use disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, body image distress, problematic dieting or weight control, women’s issues, stage of life concerns, stress management, identity issues, college or career (re)integration, and post-treatment aftercare support. Dr. Malkasian offers in-person sessions in Fort Lauderdale as well as telehealth treatment options for clients throughout Florida.
Telehealth therapy allows us to provide healthcare services and practice safe social distancing through the use of video conferencing. Long before COVID-19 changed our world, it worked well for clients with busy schedules or long drives to our office. To ensure the safety of my clients, I am currently only offering telehealth therapy. In-person sessions will resume at a later date.
For more details on telehealth therapy, click here.
Individual therapy involves sessions with only the client and therapist. Common goals include inspiring change, improving quality of life, and/or overcoming obstacles that risk an individual’s well-being. During our sessions, which last 50 minutes each, clients learn skills for handling difficult situations, making healthy decisions, and reaching their goals. The frequency of sessions will be discussed during our initial appointment.
Family therapy involves multiple family members in order to improve communication, resolve conflict, and/or support one or more individuals on their path to wellness. Our sessions, which are 50 to 90 minutes depending on each family’s needs, focus on skills to deepen family connections, and rise above challenging times. Family therapy can be utilized as a short-term supplement to individual work or as an ongoing process with the family as the client rather than an individual.
Group Therapy (coming soon!)
Group therapy occurs when one or more therapists lead a group of three or more patients who all struggle with a similar problem. The group typically meets once a week for an hour or longer. Benefits of group therapy include a built-in support network and sounding board, accountability, diversity, and new perspectives, an opportunity to practice new skills, improved social behaviors, and more.
Meal support provides emotional support during meal times to clients suffering from eating disorders or problematic dieting habits. During these 45 to 60-minute sessions, we focus on improving mindful eating skills, addressing fear-food exposure in a restaurant setting, and unlearning eating disorder behaviors. Meal support is often an add-on to individual, family, or group therapy and can be done through our telehealth services.
Treatment Aftercare Support and Consultation
During 45-minute therapeutic sessions, we work together to establish an aftercare plan and find reputable resources and services available to clients for support after treatment ends. Consultation services are also available for clients returning to work or school or relocating after treatment.
Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that involve an obsessive focus on weight, body shape, food, and eating. They negatively impact an individual’s health, emotions, and ability to function during everyday life. The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Treatment includes individual, family, and/or group therapy as well as meal support.
Addiction/Substance Use Disorders
A person struggling with addiction or substance use disorders uses a substance or engages in a behavior in a way that’s immediately rewarding but ultimately has detrimental consequences. Addiction often involves the use of substances such as alcohol, opioids, cocaine, and nicotine or behaviors such as gambling. Relapse or recurrence of substance use is common, and therefore, it’s important that treatment, which includes individual, family, and/or group therapy, is consistent and completed to full recovery.
For individuals with mood disorders, their general emotional state or mood is distorted and inconsistent with reality, impairing their ability to function. Some examples of mood disorders include depression, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Mood disorders are successfully treated with therapy sessions and medication.
People with anxiety disorders feel intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about common, everyday circumstances. They often suffer from panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of intense anxiety and terror that reach a peak within minutes. Anxiety disorders can impact one’s mood and often go hand-in-hand with depression. Examples include social anxiety disorder (social phobia), separation anxiety disorder, and specific phobias, such as agoraphobia. Treatment options include individual or group therapy and medication.
Personality disorders are mental health conditions related to inflexible and unhealthy patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Individuals suffering from personality disorders often have a hard time getting along with others and handling everyday problems. Personality disorders are grouped into three clusters depending on the characteristics and symptoms: suspicious (paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder), emotional and impulsive (antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder), and anxious (obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and dependent personality disorder). These disorders can be treated successfully with therapy and medication.
Body Image Distress
Body image distress is often considered a symptom of eating disorders; however, the two conditions do not always occur together. Body image distress is characterized by dissatisfaction with appearance, which often leads to behaviors such as dieting, obsessively checking a mirror, and social avoidance. In terms of treatment, cognitive-behavioral interventions during individual or group therapy have the best outcomes.
Problematic Dieting or Weight Control
Dieting is frustrating and restrictive. Almost everyone fails in their attempts to lose weight and are often seeking weight loss to try and achieve happiness, health, or some other need that weight loss ultimately cannot meet. Additionally, dieting or weight control attempts can lead to eating disorders or even substance use disorders. With individual or group therapy and meal support, if needed, individuals gain the confidence they need to make smart and healthy nutrition choices. I practice through a Health At Every Size philosophy and strive to help clients develop a mindful and loving connection with their bodies, which will help enhance both health and happiness more effectively than weight loss and dieting.
This specialty refers to any stressors or mental health concerns and conditions that women may face throughout their lives and are impacted by their experience as a woman. From a feminist perspective, we will explore how certain concerns are compounded by the white masculine heterosexual norms in society and the function of oppression, suppression, and gender norms on stress and mental health issues.
Stage of Life Concerns
Thanks to social media, it’s all too easy for people to compare themselves and their life paths to others. Instead, they should remember that their journey belongs to them and them alone. During individual or group therapy, clients share their stage of life concerns and find a sense of peace about their past, present, and future.
Stress is a normal part of life. While a small amount of stress can be motivating, overwhelming or chronic stress can lead to serious health problems. Stress management provides individuals with a range of tools to help calm their nervous systems after a threat (or perceived threat) is handled. Treatment consists of individual or group therapy.
Developing a sense of identity is an essential piece of the puzzle for every individual, and struggling during this process is natural and normal. However, identity issues can lead to depression, hopelessness, addiction, and other mental health conditions. Through therapy, clients learn healthy ways to cope with their struggles and ultimately discover themselves in the process.
College or Career (Re)integration
The start of college or beginning of a new career may be a time filled with fear, uncertainty, and loneliness - feelings that can lead to bigger health problems such as eating disorders, addiction, and depression. Through individual or group therapy, clients not only talk about their emotional state and practice skills to help them navigate their new path in life but also build confidence as they realize that they’re smart and capable individuals.
Post-Treatment Aftercare Support
This option is available for individuals after they’ve completed treatment and reached full recovery. Together, we outline an aftercare plan, complete with resources and services that continue to support the client’s needs. Aftercare support can be completed remotely if necessary.
Insurance & Billing
Coral Reef Counseling is not in-network with any insurance companies. However, we offer a monthly super-bill that can be submitted for reimbursement if you have out-of-network benefits. Dr. Malkasian offers an insurance-free practice to ensure complete confidentiality and increased availability to her clients. A sliding fee scale is available on an as-needed basis.