Getting the Most out of Family Counseling

Post by: Philip Mitchell, LPC

Everybody loves a good deal. Hop over to the local mall and you’ll see several signs proudly boasting a fantastic sale. Even better, turn on the television and you’ll quickly find yourself swimming in the gooey cheeses of a thousand Papa John’s pizza commercials.

Whether negotiating for a new car, couponing for groceries, or getting a hefty discount on a summer vacation, maximizing potential benefits seems to be encoded into our very DNA.

While we seem to have become rather adept at employing this skill to purchase material goods, we sometimes fail to use this hardwired behavior to fully benefit other areas of our lives.

We may not notice, but we leave a few points on the table by not maximizing positive life experiences. Some moments may seem fairly innocuous, such as […]

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Am I a Good Parent?

Maybe not perfect. But at least a good parent? Every parent asks this question at least once, more likely every day. Your child’s answer may vary widely depending on when you last let her have dessert. Your best friend will likely give you a positive answer but the stranger who witnesses your child’s meltdown at the store may be less assuring.

The answer also depends on your definition of a good parent. All too often parents give me the disclaimer, “I’m not a perfect parent, but…”

So to clear things up from the start, the term “perfect parent” means nothing to me. I mistrust that term just as much as the “one size fits all” labels (Really? All? That is just impossible).

Good parents come in all shapes and sizes, and I get to meet quite a […]

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First steps when you suspect ADHD

ADHD-blog-postConfronting the possibility that your child is struggling with ADHD can be upsetting. Knowing what to look for, and what you can do, puts things into greater perspective. In addition, it helps to know that children with ADHD have specific strengths that help them overcome their diagnosis.

What to Look For

The symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) fall into three major categories, which include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These categories are fluid and the different traits associated with each of them typically occur in combination. For example, a child who has trouble staying on task, which is associated with inattention, may also have difficulty sitting still or waiting his turn, traits associated with hyperactivity and impulsivity, respectively.

More specifically, in addition to difficulty staying on task, […]

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Telling Children About Divorce (Part 1)

Telling children about divorce may be the hardest conversation you’ve ever had, in a long series of really hard conversations. Once you and your spouse have made the difficult decision to divorce, you’re faced with telling the other people who will be most affected – your kids.

Telling your children about the divorce

Following are the first 5 of 10 suggestions for getting through this difficult conversation as gently as possible.

Tell them together

In this scary time, your kids need to see their parents as a united team, working together to get through the rough times. If you can’t contemplate sitting down together with the kids for a civil discussion, bring in a third party – a family therapist is a good choice – to guide the conversation and ensure that […]

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Telling Children About Divorce (Part 2)

In Getting Divorced? How to Tell Children About Divorce Part I, I listed the first five suggestions for telling children about divorce. In Part II, I will share with you another five suggestions that will help your children process the upcoming changes in the most healthy way possible.

Telling Children About Divorce

Following are some more suggestions for getting through this difficult conversation as gently as possible:

Listen

Your children will have a lot of feelings about your announcement, and expressing those feelings will help them cope. Listen to what they have to say and try to understand what concerns lie behind the words. It may not be easy to hear, but this is valuable information for you as you move your family in a new direction.

Provide a sense of control

Your children have to come to terms […]

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7 Signs Your Child Has Developed A Healthy Attachment

In determining how well your child trusts, accepts, and connects with the world, healthy attachment is the key. 

Parenting is a big job.

From the beginning, you are well aware of each step in the process, each responsibility, and each milestone.

Even the way you look into your child’s face or interpret the things he isn’t telling you is important. More so, those non-verbal cues and your responses may be more important than the words that come later.

Do you wonder if your child has developed a healthy sense of emotional connectedness to his surroundings? Healthy Attachment (not to be confused with attachment parenting) lays the groundwork for social and emotional engagement, intellectual and educational interest, and physical development.

Attachment is emotional communication without words. It represents a relationship that is more than just bonding or […]

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Parenting Isn’t Easy: A Parent Coach Can Help

Partnering with a parent coach to become the best parent possible is a great plan.

You have a stack of parenting books, dog-eared and bookmarked, crowding your bedside table. But you need help now. Your head is full of your loved ones’ good intentions and hand-me-down childrearing advice. But it doesn’t seem to fit your family.

You’re feeling pressured and stressed, your parental confidence is lagging. But you don’t know what to do differently. You don’t need something vague, or generalized. You need something that will specifically address your personal concerns.

A Parent Coach helps you identify trouble spots and challenges.

You may not even know where to start. A parent coach listens closely and asks questions to help you nail down key issues. You have the chance to examine and eliminate the barriers that keep your […]

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Helping Your Child Battle Anxiety

Childhood anxiety is a common challenge that parents confront. Every one of us suffers from anxiety at some point; it’s a natural reaction to frightening or stressful situations. Anxiety becomes a problem, for adults and children, when it is irrational, excessive, and persistent. The sad reality is that at least one in eight children suffer from problem anxiety, and girls are more likely than boys to be affected.

Children with anxiety tend to be clingy, shy, complain of stomachaches, and have trouble sleeping in their own beds. Because of their difficulty in managing emotions, they can be impulsive, and lack social skills.

Anxiety is the most common mental health problem for children, although it is often undiagnosed. That’s unfortunate, since there are many effective treatments and, if untreated, anxiety can stifle a child’s social […]

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