About Arizona Connection Counseling

Arizona Connection Counseling is a licensed counseling agency with offices in Mesa, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ. Founded by Valerie Alston-Southwick, LPC, in 2017, Arizona Connection Counseling now has a growing team of licensed counselors and therapists located throughout the state. Our team has years of experience, with specializations in a variety of highly researched and clinically proven treatment counseling and therapy modalities.

Who Do We Help?

Our therapists have experience working with a wide range of people of all ages and backgrounds, dealing with a variety of issues. We particularly focus on helping people embrace and process their emotions in healthy ways. Emotions give us important information, but sometimes it’s hard to know just what that information is, and therapy is one of the best places to sort it out.
At Arizona Connection Counseling we recognize that when you share the deepest parts of your heart in therapy we are in a sacred space, and we will do all we can to protect that honor.

Our Mission

"To provide our clients with a safe, comfortable, non-judgmental environment where they can explore issues and make changes to their life."

Meet Our Founder Valerie Alston-Southwick, LPC

I had two primary objectives when I created Arizona Connection Counseling: Safety and Security.

Safety: To create an atmosphere where all who come to learn, grow, and heal will have a safe space to do so. One that is gentle, respectful, caring, and full of empathy and understanding, while being open to exploring, with curiosity, parts of yourself as you heal and grow.

Security: To me, Security means fostering human bonds and connections that allow us to not feel so alone in this world. My experience has been that when we feel more connected, whether therapeutically or with the important people in our lives, the work we do in therapy is much more effective and satisfying.

These two primary principles govern all aspects of our business. For our entire team, our wish is to have AZCC be a safe and secure place for all who work or pass through here. We work, operate, and feel like a family – we hope that you have that same experience working with us too.

Questions? Contact Us

If you have a question about Arizona Connection Counseling, please reach out. We are here to help. You can use our contact form, email info@azconnectioncounseling.com or (call/text) 480-744-5864.

Eating Disorders - It's Not About the Food

By Kelly Lopez

If it’s not about the food, what is it really about?

The eating disorder serves a function, it does a job. Despite the problems an eating disorder creates, it is an effort to cope, shield against, communicate, and solve problems. Behaviors may be a way to establish a sense of power or control, self-worth, strength, and containment. Bringing may be used to numb pain. Purging may be a way to release emotions. When one cannot cope in healthy ways, adaptive functions (behaviors) are created to ensure a sense of safety, security, and control.
According to Carolyn Costin*, some of the “adaptive functions that eating disorder behaviors commonly serve are”:
It’s not about the food, it’s a way of coping with low self-esteem, negative emotions, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, unstable home, difficulty resolving conflict and much more.
*Costin, Carolyn. The Eating Disorder Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments and Prevention of Eating Disorders. 3rd. edition, McGraw Hill, 2007.
Fuller, Kristen. “Eating Disorders: It’s Not All about Food.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 22 Mar. 2017