Posts Tagged ‘Therapy’
Guide to Thrive during SummerMay 18, 2021
Believe it or not, many of our school aged clients actually report worsening mental health over their summer break. That is consistent all over the country. That may seem a little backwards at first, I mean what’s better than going on vacation, sleeping in and spending the days by the pool? But, the main thing that most summers lack is routine and social outlets! Routine is so important for children (and adults alike!). While we are not recommending that you structure every moment of every day, it can be beneficial for parents and children to have a basic outline of a “normal summer day”.
As a mother myself, it can seem overwhelming to think about a whole summer with my children at home all the time. I need routine for myself too. There are different types of time that we recommend scheduling into your days to help you and your children thrive over summer. Based on the ages of your children, it could look different but the ideas are the same.
We recommend spending as much time outside being active as possible during summer. This could include playing outside, swimming, exploring a nearby creek, having picnics, playing on the playground, pretending with friends, etc.
This means time where they do something that builds their brains or grows a skill. This could include reading, reviewing some topics that interest the child, playing a musical instrument, learning a new skill. This gives a sense of mastery that is often missing during summer and crucial for mental health.
At my house we call this the “art station”. This could include painting, drawing, pretending, play-doh, whatever it is that your child does that is creative.
While older kids might balk at the idea of a “rest time”, it is so crucial. This does not mean they have to take a nap but does mean “down time” or quiet time. This is crucial for parents and children! Set a timer, start with a small increment if you need to, and tell your child they need to do something quietly in their room until the timer goes off. This can be playing independently, reading in their room, or napping.
Personal Responsibility/Sacrificial Time
This is time dedicated to helping others or taking care of home responsibilities. Summer is a great time to volunteer, visit shut-ins, clean out closets and give away unneeded items, etc. This is when our children refocus on others and fill their cup by filling other’s cups. This can also include home chores.
This just means committing to eating meals. That may sound silly, but think about how often we are rushing during the school year all around time. Meals are either skipped, unhealthy, or eaten separately. Take summer to try new recipes, commit to eating the rainbow, or just commit to eating regularly as a family.
No pressure, we can help!
While it may not always be possible to hit every category every day, it can be helpful to have a basic outline to each day. This not only helps children, but helps parents too! It also limits the never-ending “I’m bored!” “What can I do?!” If your child or teen is struggling with mental health, summer can be a great time to get started seeing a therapist. You are not competing with homework or other schedules. We would love to help if you need us!
Suicide Prevention MonthSeptember 1, 2020
September is Suicide Prevention Month and we at Foundations Family Therapy want to be part of the solution to end the stigma of suicidal thoughts and help everyone know the signs that someone you love could be experiencing suicidal thoughts.
The first thing to note is there are different tiers of suicidal behavior. The first is suicidal ideation. This can range from thoughts of “I don’t want to do anything” to “hurt or kill myself” but sometimes “I wish I could just not wake up” to contemplating suicide on a regular basis.
The next step is suicidal plans. This could be someone who has moved from the desire to be dead into making a plan of how they would kill themselves.
Lastly, suicide attempts are the last stage of suicidal behavior. This is someone who has moved from thinking, to planning, to taking action and is the most serious.
Many people who experience suicidal thoughts have some common signs. These include talking about death or suicide, feelings of hopelessness, withdrawing from friends and family, verbalizing that they are a burden to others, losing interest in activities they used to enjoy, extreme mood swings, giving away possessions, or saying goodbye to people they care about.
Don’t be afraid to ask your child or someone you care about if they are experiencing suicidal thoughts. You are not going to “give them the idea” if they are already having these thoughts. Many times, people want someone to ask and acknowledge how they are feeling and will tell you honestly.
If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, don’t wait, act. If they verbalize a suicide plan or have attempted suicide, please call 911 immediately or take them to your local hospital.
If they are voicing suicidal ideation without plans or means, please reach out to a licensed mental health provider about getting them help or reach out to their doctor immediately. You are not alone and there is help available.
*The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)*
Is Your Family Struggling With Staying At Home? Family Therapy In Raleigh, NC Can HelpJune 18, 2020
When will the coronavirus threat pass?
When can I safely make plans with my friends again?
How will the economy turnaround?
At this point, it seems like we have more questions than answers. There are so many unknowns as we continue to move through these challenging times. Lockdowns and regulations are starting to take an emotional toll on families. But even during these uncertain times, there are plenty of ways your family can move forward in positivity and strength.
Communication is Key
Being part of a family unit is hard and COVID-19 has made that strain even harder for some families. We are all imperfect individuals coming together trying to connect, engage, and balance multiple personalities, goals, dreams, demands, and constant changes. What we crave is connection, support, love, calm, and acceptance.
Some families are adjusting to telework and may find it difficult to get their work done due to lack of childcare, confined spaces, technological issues. Other families are struggling with lack of social freedom (especially in teens). We all have unique struggles as a family.
With all of these additional stressors, communication is more essential than ever! It helps provide clarity, respect, and understanding during these challenging times. Sometimes we miscommunicate. Other times we forget to say important things. Help your spouse and family members by communicating what’s important to you. And, on the flip side, don’t forget to listen to what’s important to them.
Anger Is A Secondary Emotion
Oftentimes kids will show anger on the outside, but on the inside, there is usually a lot of fear or sadness. All of the COVID-19 transitions and adjustments can add to the anger and confusion kids experience. At Foundations Family Therapy, we can help angry kids manage their behaviors, express their feelings in a healthy way, and increase
their communication. Your child is struggling right now. Child counseling at our Fuquay Varina our Raleigh counseling office can help.
How To Bridge The Distance Gap
Now, some families are separated from loved ones like grandparents because of COVID-19 safety regulations. Humans are wired for connection and affection making self-isolation and loneliness rising concerns. The good news is there are ways you can connect, communicate, and nurture relationships from miles away.
Our Family Therapists help families learn to communicate better and reconnect from near or far. We treat the entire family as a unit to help each person feel heard and valued within the family system. Through family counseling, you can move through these difficult times and come out on the other side even stronger as a family.
Above all, it’s important to remember that our current state is temporary. The world has gotten through pandemics before and sooner or later this too will pass. Find the good in each day and use this time of ‘togetherness’ to cultivate healthy, stronger relationships with those you love. We’re here to help strengthen your family unit so you can move forward in positivity and love.
Parenting in the Midst of Working from HomeApril 24, 2020
Due to the recent COVID19 outbreak, many parents are finding themselves working from home. While some parents are used to working from home, many are making the transition and settling into any given comfortable space in their home.
Whether working from home was the norm or a new transition, many parents are also now finding themselves taking on the role of teacher, cook, playmate, lesson planner, and everything else in between for their child(ren) in addition to having to work their job and keep up with daily work demands.
While we as parents may understand that this is the “new normal” and how things have to be for now, it can still be difficult to carry on all the responsibilities that we are used to all at the same time and all in the same location with every member being home all at the same time.
This transition may be difficult, but we can help!
We used to have the luxury of taking a break and going to our favorite coffee shop to get a hot latte that warmed the soul or going to our favorite restaurant and enjoying our favorite meal in the midst of mindful eating. Now? Not so much.
The breaks at the house may not seem as pleasant or appetizing as they once did. Your patience may be wearing thin and you may be singing “Jesus Take the Wheel” more than you ever have before.
Feeling overwhelmed right now IS NORMAL AND VERY MUCH OKAY. You are human. You have needs and you also need breaks. Self-care is important. YOU are important. I can assure you that you are not alone in feeling this way.
Strategies for Coping
So how can one have some semblance of sanity in the midst of this chaos? Here are a few suggestions that might be helpful:
Establish a routine
Not only for your child(ren) but also for yourself. While the routine may not look like it did before, there is some sense of normalcy in having a routine (with time).
Keep taking breaks during the day as you once did
Sure, you may not be able to hit up your favorite spot but you can substitute that time with another activity. Maybe you take a short drive somewhere or take a walk around the neighborhood/house or even take an actual lunch break in a different part of the house. Or maybe you take a few minutes for meditation and deep breathing.
When you can, ask for help
Whether that’s from your partner, nanny/sitter, daycare, or whoever! If you’re partnered, tag team it up. Split up tasks. Ask for what you need and be specific in what you need.
Check in with yourself often
If you need to, reach out to someone you trust and just vent. Whether it’s a family member, your partner, friend, neighbor, therapist, church member, whoever. Let it out.
Make time for a break
My favorite way to do this is setting a slightly earlier bedtime for your kid a couple of times a week. That way, they’re in bed and you’re hopefully taking a hot shower and catching up on your favorite show or just sitting there in silence.
Join your family, friends, co-workers, etc. through a digital coffee date, a Zoom meeting, or Google hangouts. Adulting with other adults is important!
Practice giving yourself grace
Parenting isn’t a competition and we are all in this “new normal” together. How easy is it to understand and validate another’s situation but then get down on ourselves?
Remember, we are human and aren’t perfect, and this includes in the parenting arena. Sometimes Fruit Loops and screen time are exactly what’s needed. Go with it.
Leticia Frazier, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
How Christian Counseling Can Help You Overcome FearApril 9, 2020
Fear and anxiety are real challenges in life.
Perhaps we face them now more than ever as we continue to live in uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Sometimes, the thoughts in your head can be so overwhelming and disruptive that it’s hard to sleep at night. It seems like your mind is working in overdrive with no way to calm down.
This is what it’s like to live in fear.
How To Move Forward In Faith
Fear has a lot to do with perception. The Bible teaches us to develop courage and faith to allow us to embrace the unknown. As Dr. David Calvert, Pastor for Creative Arts at Grace Community Church in Angier, NC said,
“The gospel tells us of God’s overwhelming love for us, proved in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – but sometimes we need help remembering God’s forgiveness and remembering God’s deep love.Dr. David Calvert
A Christian therapist can help a client remember what is true in the gospel.
How Our Faith Impacts Counseling
Our faith influences our worldview. Therefore, we are open and honest about our beliefs as they influence how we understand healing, pain and hope. However, at Foundations Family Therapy we work with individuals with different perspectives and backgrounds.
“Many people are crippled by shame or the perceived inability to forgive themselves or others, and faith-based therapy is equipped to break down those perceived barriers to help Christians live in ways that bear the fruit of the Spirit,” said Dr. Calvert.
When you begin therapy, your counselor will meet you wherever you are in your faith journey. Faith-based therapy can work very well within the context of discipleship, coming alongside pastors and others making disciples by helping provide key insights and training for emotional health.
Finding God in your struggle
As we head into Easter Weekend, take moment and evaluate your relationship with God. Maybe you’re struggling with your faith and having doubts about God. Maybe you’re wondering “where God is” in the midst of your circumstances. You know he’s there but you can’t feel or sense him and you feel lost, hopeless and disconnected.
Our Christian therapists can help you learn from God’s promises that he will not leave you or forsake you. Christian counseling could help you find hope in your circumstances and identify purpose in the midst of your pain.
5 Tips To Help Ease Pregnancy Anxiety During COVID-19April 6, 2020
You have waited 9 months for your little bundle of joy to arrive and the time is drawing near. But now, instead of total elation, you may be experiencing anxiety and disappointment due to the threat and restrictions of COVID-19.
Suddenly, the way you pictured your birth and postnatal period going is totally different without you having much say in it.
You may be experiencing anxiety as you think about the unknown of what the restrictions could be, the health and safety of you, your baby, and your family, and what that could mean for help when you get home.
Many mothers right now are feeling the same thing.
We are in uncertain times which no one could have predicted or planned for. It is normal to feel some anxiety and disappointment. If you or someone you love is preparing to have a child, here are some things to remember during this time.
Adjust Your Focus
Remember, it’s best to focus on what we CAN control rather than what we CANNOT control. Currently, we have no control over mandates from our government officials, the doctors and nurses who are making regulations based on their knowledge, or the unknown direction of this virus. This could mean, the people you wanted with you in the delivery room or shortly thereafter will not be able to be there. That is outside of our control.
What is under your control is your own coping skills and relaxation techniques for the safe delivery of your child. You might start creating a relaxing playlist or plan to have your loved ones video call in. When our minds start wondering about things we cannot control, we can easily spiral to a lot of “what ifs”… and this will not be beneficial to you.
Your attitude is the number one thing that you can control during this time. The way you choose to respond will set the tone for everything else. Find things in this process that you can control and focus your energies there.
Prioritize Health and Safety For All
We must trust that these regulations are in place for a reason. The number one goal for your doctors and nurses is a safe and healthy delivery for you resulting in a healthy mother and baby.
Secondly, they are also invested in keeping as many people healthy as possible. Find the good in this situation. This is something that most people have to practice. This could mean creating a gratitude journal to remember this challenging time. Start by thinking about 10 things that you are looking forward to with your upcoming delivery and new baby’s arrival!
Does this situation mean that your support person (who you thought was only going to have a week off) is now going to be working from home and more present than originally thought?
Does this mean you don’t have to entertain visitors that stay too long when you just want to sleep?
Find some humor in this situation, too! Find that one friend who always makes you laugh and talk to them, laughter always does the heart good.
Stay Focused On The Big Picture
Hopefully, at the end of the day, you will be holding your precious baby! What greater gift and joy! The pain and disappointment will be swallowed up by the gratitude and joy you feel holding your baby.
Soon enough, the world will be back to its normal pace and life will go on. Cling to this time of togetherness with your immediate family and be thankful for it.
Surround Yourself With Support
We are all in this together. We can grieve with you because your birth is not going to look the same as you were hoping. Video chat with family/friends as much as you can to provide safe connections and support from miles away.
Many restaurants are now offering free delivery- use this! Be thankful for others who are willing to drop off helpful meals or supplies. Even though your support system may not be able to be physically present as you originally planned, their emotional presence can help you in many ways.
Most importantly, please remember that most cases of postpartum mood disorders begin in the last trimester of the pregnancy. If you find that you are experiencing anxiety or depressive symptoms more than 2-4 weeks postpartum, please feel free to reach out for support.
We are here for you. We have teletherapy services for connection and support from the comfort of your own home. Also, if you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy, check out a group we’re forming for pregnant moms HERE .Give us a call today.
Elizabeth Edwards, LMFT
Staying connected in a social distancing worldMarch 30, 2020
With COVID 19 impacting our lives, we find ourselves more physically isolated than ever before. For people struggling with anxiety or depression, this could be a recipe for disaster if we are not intentional in remaining connected.
All people are built for relationships.
We are made to be in relationships with others. It is important to remember that what we are aiming for is physical distancing NOT social distancing. It is as important, if not more important than ever before to stay connected and in community with others.
How can we do this?
We have seen a lot of creative ways through social media recently on how to stay connected including FaceTime and other video messaging services, teleconferencing for work, and now even teletherapy. We are blessed to live in a time where these things are available to us.
We have also seen “bear hunts” throughout neighborhoods and teacher parades recently on social media. These small things remind us that we are all human, longing to be together again soon. We are all in this together.
For some, social distancing can easily slip into isolation which can lead us down paths of hopelessness and cause our thoughts to spiral. If you find yourself struggling with anxious or depressive thoughts during this time, check your connectedness first.
Are you still communicating with friends and family members?
Are you making time for things that bring you joy?
Are you finding meaningful alternatives to things that you used to enjoy such as going to the gym or going out to eat?
If you are a member of a local church, are you watching church online? Doing your own quiet time and Bible study? Talking with people from your small group?
Some fun ways to stay connected and encouraged are below. If you find you are still feeling depressed or anxious, know we are here to help you!
- Creating a goody bag for friends/family and putting it on their porch or driveway.
- Have your children have a “guest reader” for bedtime stories. Call a grandparent and have them read a book to your child on FaceTime
- Write encouraging messages on neighbors, friends, or family members driveways
- Send snail mail
- Get outside and meet some neighbors (in their yards of course!)
- Watch a show with a friend on zoom and talk about it like if they were watching in the room with you
- Have someone else hold you accountable to stay connected
- Host an online prayer/worship time
- Wave and be friendly to those you see in your neighborhood. You can’t catch COVID-19 from waving!
- Make cards and leave them on people’s cars
Get creative and have fun in this short season to make memories and stay connected!
Elizabeth Edwards, LMFT
Coronavirus Update: Online Counseling OnlyMarch 23, 2020
In a time where so much is unknown, take comfort in knowing our team at Foundations Family Therapy is here for you! Social distancing and limiting human contact are essential when it comes to flattening the curve and we’re stepping up to do our part.
Effective Wednesday, March 25th, we will be servicing our clients via online sessions only. Book Your Session Today
Online therapy offers secure, convenient, and easy to access care in a time when you need it most. Also, many major insurance companies have agreed to pay for Telehealth services the same as they would pay for in-office visits. This means your out of pocket cost should be the same for Telehealth services as it is for in-person office visits. They have agreed to continue this throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our team at Foundation’s Family Therapy remains committed to doing everything that we can to provide you a safe and comfortable environment for wellness. We look forward to connecting with you and moving forward together in health and happiness.
Jamie Criswell MS, LMFT
The Lifelong Benefits of Family TherapyJanuary 31, 2020
Relationships are hard.
Family dynamics can be complicated. And when everyone in your family has their own personality, a unique set of personal values and wants to be independent? Well, life can get complicated sometimes.
When families enter therapy, they commit to moving forward in growth together. Your family therapist at Foundations Family Therapy will meet you and your family where you are.
We will get to know your family…
And look for patterns in how you communicate…
We’ll work to identify common conflicts and talk about the problems bringing you in.
So, if you and your family ready to start functioning as a unit again, here are a few ways our Family Counseling services can help.
One of the most critical skills in developing relationships is communication. Family therapy helps families in the development of spiritual, intellectual, and emotional roles of life. Challenges for families have changed with addiction issues being high across the country. Therapy can assist with teaching coping skills for family members and opening a dialogue for communication regarding serious matters of concern.
Communication within a family can sometimes be challenging. Family therapy is available for these situations to assist with the learning of better communication techniques while learning to resolve issues as well. Teaching strengths and weaknesses of a family it is crucial to keep an open mind to growth and the potential for positive change.
Lower Risk of Conflict
Lowering the risk of conflict within a family is a valuable skill. While conflict is never desirable, even one member under stress can wreak havoc within a family. Learning the skills to communicate with multiple generations improves family life, teaches about respect, problem-solving, and responsibilities within the family dynamic.
Family therapy has become a widespread need for families throughout the country and our Raleigh, NC community is no different. Families face many challenges that could include issues with addiction, multi-generation homes, divorce, teenage rebellion, and so much more.
Your Family Can Get to a Better Place
Through family therapy, you can increase your sense of connection and begin to enjoy one another again. Our therapists work with your family to improve communication, resolve long-standing conflict and teach conflict resolution skills.
Not only will you find ways forward around the sticky issues you are sick of rehashing but you’ll feel ready to face future conflict together as well. Your therapist helps you clarify your values as a family and then apply those as you problem solve major issues in your life.
You don’t have to stay stuck in the same old patterns. It is possible to enjoy one another and feel like you can have a conversation together. Family therapy can help. Contact our office today
How To Cultivate A Healthy Post-Holiday Mindset For 2020January 17, 2020
Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration – especially when you’re down.
Maybe the holidays have left you feeling a little derailed from your normal routine. All of the shopping, late nights and overeating can leave anyone in a major post-holiday slump this time of year.
However, as you go through this transition from the holidays back to your daily routine, it’s more important than ever to give your body and mind what they need. Here are some ways you and your family can start 2020 off on the right foot.
Rely On Your Relationships
Finding support when you need it can really be a troublesome thought for some. It’s not always easy to ask for help. Healthy relationships and connections help release feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and oxytocin flood the brain’s reward centers, creating a deeper sense of happiness and an elevated mood.
Don’t be afraid to reach out! Having someone to talk to about your feelings whether we are stressed, angry, sad, excited, or happy is important! It is unhealthy to always have to keep our thoughts and feelings balled up.
Don’t get stuck in the comparison trap social media can spark! Move at your own pace in 2020. Break down your post-holiday chores and tasks into manageable goals to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. People who have higher self-esteem and fewer stressors in their lives tend to fare better with social comparisons.
Focus on your strengths! Instead of dwelling on your weaknesses or imperfections, celebrate your talents. Feel good about what makes you unique and use your strengths to the best of your ability.
Instead of setting a deprivation-based resolution, try focusing on positivity this year. Forget about short-term “resolutions” and focus more on developing healthy habits that will improve your overall health and wellness.
Whatever resolution or lifestyle change you pledge to make this year, it’s
essential to stay mindful every day. Mindfulness helps you stay focused which is important when goal setting. Mindfulness can help you…
Stop procrastinating and start getting real work done by controlling your
attention….end the negative cycle of self-criticism and stay focused on your goals instead of every little mistake along the way…mindfulness can do so many things!
Above all, it’s important to take care of yourself in 2020 and beyond. We understand it’s not always easy to stay mindful, optimistic, and nurture your relationships when you are suffering from depression.
If you or someone you love is struggling to thrive…our compassionate team at Foundations Family Therapy is here for you!