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.

Serving the people of Central New York since 1978!

Latest Blog Articles

By Rev. Michael Heath

Recapturing Gratitude in Turbulent Times

It’s Thanksgiving time and (if you can resist the pressure from the malls and media to ignore it in order to push Christmas shopping) its lesson of GRADTITIDE is one that is vitally important for us today.
Ironically , the image of the pilgrims celebrating, in the wake of such unimaginable hardship, is sometimes difficult to comprehend. Nonetheless, it stands as an important reminder for us that , in even the worst of times, there is always something for which to be grateful.
Today, especially, when the threats and uncertainties of the world can be overwhelming, it is important to understand that getting in touch with our sense of is an gratitude is not only a nice thing to feel but that it is an integral part of our mental and spiritual health. That said, in the midst of difficult times, accessing a sense of gratitude is not easy. It is important to understand the obstacles that keep us from feeling gratitude so that we may re-capture this profound awareness. Here are some observations and tips to help us to increase our awareness and deepen our appreciation of our blessings:

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In Praise of Marriage

Since so many of my commentaries have been centered around psychological disorders, for this segment I decided this time to post one which is positive and affirming. One of the most positive and affirming institutions that I can think of is the institution of marriage.
Frankly, marriage’s reputation in the modern world is not so great. Such things as high divorce rates, infidelity and domestic violence have caused many to postpone or even forgo marriage altogether. When folks are ready to marry, at what ever age, it is important to under that that good marriages don’t “just happen”. Successfully blending two individuals into a working partnership is neither automatic or easy. We have learned that for marriage to thrive the partners must have the knowledge of some basic skills as well as the commitment to working through inevitable conflicts and disagreements.
Given the all problems and work required, many wonder, “Is marriage worth the effort or am I better off staying single?” Fortunately, there has been a lot of research regarding the differences between married and non- married folks and, as a result, there are a lot of statistics that show that happily married folks do a lot better in life in many ways. In addition to the dramatic financial and tax benefits, here are some other advantages, married people enjoy compared to single folks :

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Bursting Some Myths About Trauma Related Memories

The media coverage of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court has exposed just how ignorant and insensitive many Americans are about the reality and consequences of sexual assault particularly as it pertains to memory. What we are witnessing in this political struggle is a contest between traditional views and modern science concerning the way traumatic memories are stored and recalled. The responses made in defense of the nominee, have inadvertently revealed our culture’s prejudice and disbelief regarding sexual assault. Criticism of accusers have also exposed an astonishing level of insensitivity and even hostility toward victims. In that context, here are three serious misconceptions that need correction.

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Tips for Coping with Disturbing Headlines in the News

Many folks have been shaken by the intense media coverage of recent stories concerning things like the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, political wrangling, and , worst, the devastating force of hurricane Florence. Fortunately there are several effective tools anyone can employ to reduce the disruptive effects of disturbing stories and decrease your vulnerability to a panic reaction. Here is a brief list of things to try:

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APPRECIATING THE DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE OF LABOR DAY: The importance of leisure and self care

Beyond being an end of summer long week-end and its significance for more humane public policy, Labor Day is also a symbolic reminder that there is more to life than work. Likewise , modern research has shown that taking time off from work and having time for leisure activities is not a luxury but is an essential part of physical, emotional , social and spiritual health. Unfortunately, due to religious and cultural influences a negative prejudice against leisure prevents some from including leisure into their self-care routines. Here is why leisure is so important.

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