Author Archives: palomaster

Grateful to CECO for donations

San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization comes through for clients of PFCS!


We were happy to receive funds in 2019 from the San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization for two different purposes.

Bike Rack at PFCS



Thanks to CECO, we purchased and installed bike racks for our Escondido, Fallbrook, and Vista offices to benefit agency clients who ride bikes to their counseling or group sessions.




Table in Counseling room

We also purchased a lovely table and chairs for one of our renovated counseling rooms.  These furnishings match other furnishings in the room and provide a much more inviting space for clients of any age than office-style tables.  The table comes in very handy for reviewing and signing paperwork, drawing, written exercises, or playing therapeutic board games, and the feedback from clients and staff has been very positive.


We are immensely grateful to CECO for the donation.

Watch You Tube Video Promotion of PFCS

Mission Fed Puts PFCS on Prime Time!

Palomar Family Counseling (PFCS) is immensely grateful to partner with Mission Federal Credit Union for an amazing promotional opportunity…their commercial relations folks chose us as the subject of a 30 second commercial spot running on Univision!

The 30-second Spanish language commercial was filmed in the Escondido office with several long-term PFCS professionals, including speakers Angelica Rodriguez and Agustin Ortiz.  Catch it on Univision during primetime hours throughout October, November, and December, or click above to watch.

Thank you, Mission Fed, for your amazing support and partnership!

Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!


Stand Against Domestic Violence


Domestic violence is a global phenomenon that can happen to anyone regardless of gender, education, profession, nationality, socioeconomic status, culture, age, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

Generally speaking, domestic violence occurs when one partner in an intimate relationship exerts power and control over their partner.  Please visit for a wealth of information from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a national advocacy organization that we are proud members of.

Both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence may believe that children are not affected unless they are the direct victim themselves.  This is false:  exposure to all types of family violence, physical or not, can be highly traumatic for children.  Children who grow up witnessing domestic violence may experience challenges such as:

  • Shame, guilt, sadness, fear, anger, and confusion
  • Insecurity and inability to feel safe
  • Self-blame
  • Nightmares, sleep disturbance or bed wetting
  • Eating problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Somatic complaints such as abdominal pain and headaches
  • Inability to regulate emotions
  • Externalized behaviors such as aggression, bullying, and lying
  • Inability to focus
  • Cutting and other forms of self-harm
  • Suicidal and homicidal ideation or attempts
  • Attachment challenges
  • Substance abuse
  • Higher risk early adolescent sexual relationships and pregnancy
  • Higher risk of repeating the cycle of violence

If you are concerned for yourself or your children, please seek help.  If you are in crisis, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or San Diego County’s 24 hour hotline at 1-888-DVLINKS.   Both of these hotlines are available 24/7.  You may also call PFCS during business hours at 1-760-741-2660 to arrange for low-to-no cost counseling services for you or your child.


Carlson, B. E. (1984). Children’s observations of inter parental violence. In A. R. Roberts (Ed.), Battered women and their families: Intervention strategies and treatment programs. New York: Springer. Retrieve from:

Stiles, M. (2002). Witnessing Domestic Violence: The Effect on Children. Medicine and Society, 1(66), 2052-2067.

Submitted by Parinaz Basiri, AMFT

Back To School Tips For Busy Parents

Just In Time For Back To School

Back to School Kids

Just in Time for “Back to School”…Tips for Busy Parents

Once more is that time of the year when parents need all the help they can gather to help their children start the new school year off right.  Here are some simple tips to support your children’s academic, emotional, and social success.

  •  Homework typically goes more smoothly when it is done at approximately the same time every day. Children thrive with routines because they can anticipate what’s coming – at least most of the time – which helps them feel secure.
  •  Use “When Then” statements to help children understand your expectations.  “When your homework is finished, you may play with your friend”, or, “When you finish the questions on page 13, you may take a 20 minute snack break”.
  •  Most children need quiet in order to focus on homework.  Help them concentrate by eliminating distractions such as electronic devices, TV, or loud music, and keep siblings engaged in their own quiet tasks.
  •  Provide your child with breaks when needed, especially when they are getting frustrated about not be able to do something. Ask your child to practice deep breathing to regulate himself, along with positive self-talk such as “I can do this”, or “I’ll try again.” Positively reinforce all attempts at emotional regulation.
  • – Never forget that your children need to know you believe in them and that they are capable individuals…even when they are struggling.
  •  Validate their feelings.  “I understand you’re frustrated…these are really tough problems!  You’re doing a great job of trying it over and over until we get this right.”
  •  Show genuine interest in your child’s day beyond asking “How was your day?”, but try to avoid multiple questions that can feel like an interrogation.  Instead, initiate friendly chats about things like who prefers chocolate milk over regular, what’s the best part of the new playground, or which classmates changed the most over the summer.
  •  Encourage them to be a good friend, to share, to take turns, to help others, and be respectful of others’ private space and boundaries.  (Don’t forget that modeling is more effective than lecturing!) These social skills will be helpful to them their entire life.

Finally, do not hesitate to consult with one of our professional counselors if you or your child need our support and knowledge. We’ll be happy to assist you.

Submitted by Analia Chapero, LMFT

Oceanside Promise’s LOVE of LITERACY events

PFCS Supports Oceanside Promise’s LOVE of LITERACY Events

Oceanside Promise Logo
This summer we were proud to partner with Oceanside Promise to help encourage early literacy to local children. Oceanside Promise is a fellow nonprofit whose mission is to ensure that Oceanside children reach their fullest potential, cradle to career.  For the third summer in a row, the Prevention & Early Intervention team at PFCS conducted outreach, provided needed community resources, and had Principal Dina read to children at three Love of Literacy events!


Jessica Ambriz Cruz


Incredible Years Specialist Jessica Ambriz-Cruz has Principal Dina read to a tent full of happy kids at John Landes Park on July 10.






At John Landes Park



Also at John Landes Community Park, Jessica is joined by Community Outreach Specialists Clare Hernandez, Maria Trinidad, and Veronica Villanueva who do a tremendous job linking families to resources.





Pete the Cat



Emily Shoots and Principal Dina have fun with Pete the Cat from Oceanside Public Library at the Balderrama Park event on July 15.



Learn more about Oceanside promise at



Partnership with Neighborhood Healthcare

An Exciting Partnership with Neighborhood Healthcare is Underway!

Neighborhood Healthcare LogoWe’re pleased to announce that PFCS and Neighborhood Healthcare entered into a collaborative partnership to meet the needs of more Escondido residents with MediCal.  PFCS is now considered a satellite site of Neighborhood Healthcare, a Federally Qualified Health Center, which means that Neighborhood Healthcare patients who are experiencing mild to moderate distress have even more options for behavioral health services.  Please call 760-741-2660 to speak to an intake coordinator to see how we can help you or your child.


Location of our Poway Office has Changed!

Effective August 1, 2019, PFCS moved its Poway operations to a new space down the road operated by the Poway Alano Club.  The Poway Alano Club is a fellow nonprofit organization devoted to supporting 12-step meetings of all forms.  As both oPoway Alano Club Logorganizations are committed to emotional recovery and growth of Poway area residents, it makes sense to share space and save resources.

Please note that services are not related or interdependent (i.e. one doesn’t have to attend 12-step meetings to receive counseling, and vice versa) and no private information of clients or group attendees is shared between the organizations.

PFCS will operate out of 13943 Poway Road, Suite A, on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Thursday August 1.  If you are interested in receiving services at this new office, please call 760-741-2660 to speak with an intake coordinator.

Many thanks to Poway Alano Club for their support!  You can learn more about them at