BRANDON — As licensed mental health counselors with more than 45 years of combined experience, Dr. Dominick Gulli and Tammy Alsing recently launched Cope Well Counseling Associates at 415 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon.
The recent opening comes in the midst of September’s National Suicide Prevention Awareness month.
“Talking about suicide is still considered taboo by many,” said Dr. Gulli, a retired Army veteran who also works at MacDill Air Force Base. “We’ve got to remove the stigma from talking about suicide, that’s the big thing.”
Gulli and Alsing said they want to focus on warning signs of suicide. While they want the entire community to understand these warning signs, which can include everything from talking about being a burden to others to sleeping too little or too much, their expertise focuses on military families and families who are dealing with children and parenting issues.
Alsing spent 19 years counseling for hospice and currently acts as a military child and family advocate working in the Hillsborough County school system. She wants people to know that Cope Well Counseling understands that people from different backgrounds have different values, practices and beliefs.
“Many people have a negative view of counseling, due in part to how they were raised,” said Alsing, a USF graduate. “Messages like ‘don’t talk about it, don’t share, keep your feelings to yourself, it’s a sign of weakness’ make people less likely to reach out when they need the help most. We’re hoping to change that belief, and help people view counseling as a strength, rather than a weakness.”
Cope Well offers free 30-minute consultations. Gulli and Alsing want to help the greater Brandon community cope, heal and adjust to their specific life circumstances. In addition to suicide prevention, they focus on marriage and family issues, infidelity, parenting and loss — which can include everything from death to career changes to individual’s identity. They also help parents have conversations with their kids.
Call (833) 426-7464 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Gulli and Alsing, who met as adjunct professors while working at Hillsborough Community College, offer evening appointments during the week and some Saturday availability. The office has a group room, individual offices and is ADA accessible. Visit www.copewellcounseling.com.
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