So, what’s the deal with teen therapy?
Maybe you are familiar with child- focused therapy, family therapy, or individual therapy but what does teen therapy look like and why can it be so valuable?
Teenagers can sometimes confuse parents and parents can sometimes confuse teenagers. Let’s look at what can be most helpful in focusing on this crucial life stage.
Guidance and support in a safe space.
Let’s face it. Teenagers in 2019 have many competing factors for their attention: peers, parents, social media, school, etc. It can make it difficult to determine who to listen to with all those voices, much less find your own voice. Having a dedicated non-judgmental safe space to unpack and explore struggles can be so beneficial for teens.
Therapists can be trusted mentors to help bridge the gap between parents and teens to increase communication and increase cohesiveness in the family. Therapists respect confidentiality meaning that other than safety concerns, teenagers can express freely which creates the opportunity for personal growth and exploration.
Sorting out the ‘perfect storm.’
The combination of teenage hormones with the onset of mood disorders like depression can create a ‘perfect storm’ for both teens and parents. Therapists can assist with teasing apart the red flags from the ‘typical’ teen behavior and create a focused plan to address symptoms. Parents may notice that their teens are trying to cope with anxiety, managing school academics and pressures, perfectionism, substance use, and low self-esteem or struggles with body image.
If a teen experiences a traumatic event or the loss of a loved one, this adds an additional layer of feelings and thoughts to sort through. Teens are also navigating relationships and friendships on top of determining their own sense of values, priorities, and the ‘who am I?’ question. Having an ally during this time can help with processing and preparing for the next stages of growth and discovery.
Build tools for a lifetime
Learning helpful skills during the teenage years can further accelerate personal development into adulthood. Some examples are learning healthy boundary setting like ways to say no to too many demands and recognizing when to take a break. If teens can apply strategies to reduce depression and anxiety, they will be able to use them again in their adult life as well.
How powerful would it be if teenagers are self-aware to the point of noticing mood changes in themselves and recognizing when they may need support into adulthood? Being able to recognize symptoms of depression or anxiety returning can be so powerful in awareness of early treatment and overall functioning. This awareness can, in turn, impact the stigma of mental health as more people will be mindful and communicative about how they are feeling.
Let’s be a generation that equips our teens with emotional intelligence that serves them well now and into the future.
Want to learn more? Check out the book, ‘How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk’ for great insight into communication with teenagers.
Wondering if therapy may be beneficial to your teen? Connect with us at FFT and let us partner with your family to find out. 😊
In the US around 8 million people are suffering from PTSD. Though it’s a disorder commonly associated with veterans, PTSD can affect people from all walks of life. Here are a few things everyone should know.
Understanding PTSD and what causes it?
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder. It usually appears when a person deals with a traumatic experience. Many times PTSD will appear in the case of war veterans and those who’ve experienced military combat.
Combat veterans can be easily triggered by elements such as loud noises and fireworks commonly associated with summer. But, it’s important to remember PTSD does not discriminate. It’s not a disorder reserved only for
our veterans. There are many other types of traumatic experiences that can
lead to PTSD.
More commonly, victims of sexual assault, trauma, violence, disasters, cancer, life-threatening illnesses, and physical abuse can also develop symptoms of PTSD.
Watch Out For Symptoms
As with any disorder, each person can experience PTSD differently. Some of the common symptoms of the disorder come post-trauma in the form of flashbacks, event recollections and even nightmares. Those who suffer can have difficulty sleeping, feel detached and emotionally numb, and avoid various places, people, and things that might remind them of their trauma.
A Journey To Wholeness
Trauma can become fragmented inside of the brain, leaving the brain susceptible to “triggers” and reactions. Trauma therapy can help the brain
put the pieces together in a meaningful way that allows for healing. You can learn to understand and identify triggers and form different responses to them.
You can learn to replace your fearful and negative thoughts with positive ones. You can work through the trauma and allow your brain to reconnect the pieces into a whole story that can be processed and then rewritten. You can move forward with a sense of purpose and hopefulness for the future, and you can ease your fears and worries and learn to trust again.
We’re here to help!
Sleep is an essential part of our overall health and wellbeing. When we get quality sleep, our bodies have a chance to recharge so we wake up feeling refreshed and energized. But for some people, quality sleep doesn’t come easy.
Studies show that an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans experience sleep-related problems. Whether it’s oversleeping, insomnia, sleep apnea, or restlessness, lack of quality sleep can really take a toll on your physical and mental health. Here are a few things everyone should know…
Sleep Disorders Can Cause Mental Illness
Over the past few decades, clinicians have changed their perspective on the way they view insomnia and its connection to mental illness. Traditionally, it was thought to be a symptom of a mental health disorder whereas now, it’s believed to also be a contributor. Whatever the cause, it’s important to seek help so you can restore quality sleep and your health.
Insomnia Is One Of The Most Common Sleep Disorders
Insomnia can affect your sleep in many different ways. It’s generally described a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Insomnia can really decrease sleep quality when it interferes with getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. Sleep disorders like Insomnia can trigger symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression making it a vicious, repetitive cycle.
Medicine Is Not Always The Answer
Medications alone are not always the answer. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help determine the underlying cause of your sleep disorder in order to restore your wellness. CBT can also help you develop good sleep habits and avoid behaviors that keep you from sleeping well for long term solutions.
Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity even in our busy society. Sleep’s powerful effects on our mental health can’t be ignored. If you’re struggling with your sleep routine, our sleep guide can help get you started on the path of restoration.
Sometimes sleep disorders are related to other underlying causes like depression and anxiety. Our resource page can help you take the first step in wellness. Download our guides today > > DOWNLOADS
“You run like a girl…Man up!… Real men don’t cry…”
Unfortunately, you’ve likely heard one of these stereotypical insults before.
They might seem benign on the surface. But, gender stereotypes are very limiting. They can be quite harmful to our personal health and happiness. Women are supposed to be nurturing and men are supposed to be strong. Society does a great job of telling us what we’re supposed to be, how we should act, and what roles we should play in life. This type of thinking is toxic and can cause people to hold back their feelings and interests to “fit in.”
No one may understand this better than our own therapist Steve Cline.
“Being in the military for 20 years, mental health was always something that was a double-edged sword and the civilian world is no different”, Steve explained. “The expectation was to always be fit for duty and that implied your mental/emotional health but if you struggled with it (as everyone does from time to time) your competency was called into question”, he continued.
Steve also explained a lie that propagated throughout the Army. It was that mental health issues were a sign of weakness. Your worth and ability to do your job would get called into question. You may even lose your security clearance. Then, your track towards promotion could grind to a halt.
In other words, being open about your thoughts, feelings, and mental state could cost you your job. Or, a promotion.
“My final years in the Army were in special operations. We had the highest rate of deployments and time away from families in the military,” Steve said.
Unfortunately, many believed that they’d have to go it alone. Vulnerability and humility are also signs of weakness, incompetence, and lack of manhood.
Yet, this type of thinking about men’s mental health is part of civilian life, too. Men feel like they can’t reach out or communicate their feelings in an open way. They see it as a sign of weakness, not strength and stability.
As Steve continued his journey into Delta Force, he needed to do a psychological exam. He said they wanted to test their emotional intelligence since it was as important as physical fitness. It was to ensure service members could identify, label, and regulate their thoughts and feelings. This was due to the mental and emotional strain that they would face with the type of missions they would carry out.
This toxic mindset and lie lead to many struggling men, husbands, fathers, and families. To help, The US Special Operations Command put out a video. This was to combat the stigma of mental health because of the misunderstanding associated with getting help.
(watch video: here)
Now, Steve Supports other men overcome this toxic mindset
Despite his uphill battle during his decades of service, we’re thankful that Steve is a part of our Foundations Family Therapy Team! He is able to help people through life’s struggles. We honor his resilience and openness about his first-hand experiences over the years. As Steve says so perfectly, “You can’t have peace without conflict; you can’t have victory without struggle; you can’t have bravery without vulnerability and most importantly, you can’t have wholeness and completeness without mental health.”
We’re here to walk with you!
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“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart” Helen Keller
Have you ever found yourself wanting more?
More shoes, more money, more, more followers, more, more, more!
Often times society makes us feel as though, we must have more of everything to be happier or better. The more the merrier, right? This type of mindset isn’t something we’re born with, it’s a learned mindset.
It seems like more always equates to “better” but that’s not the case. If you live your life with this type of thinking, you can risk personal happiness because you’ll always be dissatisfied. Luckily, there are some things you can do to change your mindset.
The Problem With Always Wanting
When we give in and obsess over the things we want in life, we create dissatisfaction with our personal reality. Wanting makes it impossible for us to truly appreciate our present state because we feel like we’re missing out on something. This type of thinking takes us from a present mindset to one of anticipation and desire about the future.
How To Cultivate Happiness
To start, you must understand that stuff does not equate happiness. You’ve probably heard about separating your wants vs. needs in life. When you change your mindset to focus only on the things you need, you are welcoming happiness.
True happiness comes from within. It comes from giving, being mindful, practicing gratitude, and a long list of other elements that don’t cost a penny.
Redirect your focus and learn to nurture the things and people in life that are truly important like your friends, family, coworkers, your health and happiness. When you stop wanting more and appreciating what you have, you’ll live a happier life.
Having an anxiety attack is an awful experience. It is obviously very bad for the person experiencing the attack and also for people around a loved one going through the experience. When you or someone you love starts to feel an anxiety attack coming on, the first thing to do is breath.
Take a deep breath in, hold it for a moment, then release it out.
This can be done a few times until the person catches their breath.
After that, there is a “5-4-3-2-1 Method” to remember.
This is a five-step process that will help keep a person grounded and connected to their surroundings as opposed to focusing on the anxiety. Here’s the process:
5 Things You Can See
The first step is a small one to start the process. Take a look around you and identify 5 things you can see. Wherever you are, small items, big items, people, things, anything to begin the process of stopping the focus on your anxiety and connecting you with the moment and the outside world.
4 Things You Can Touch
As you build to the next steps, find things that you can touch. It can be something on your body like your clothes or your hair or simple things around you such as a pen or a toy. Reach out, touch the object and think about how the object feels and your connection to it.
3 Things You Can Hear
Tune in to your surroundings even further by finding 3 things you can hear. They may be obvious things like the noise of traffic or people talking or they can be things your not usually in tune to like the hum of the air conditioner or your computer working. No matter how big or small, listening to things you may not have been in tune with when your anxiety started will help focus on what is going on around you.
2 Things You Can Smell
The next step might be little more complicated but that’s a good thing because it will force you to think even more about connecting to things outside of your thoughts. You can, literally stop and “smell the roses” if you are outside, smell the furniture you are sitting on or even give yourself a quick smell check.
1 Thing You Can Taste
This can mean acknowledging the taste in your mouth in the given moment like the last thing you ate or your toothpaste. It can also involve you taking a sip of coffee, popping a stick of gum or walking to the fridge to get some food. Any of these things will connect you to your fifth and final sense. After this, take another deep breath or two and your anxiety will have subsided on some level.
Anxiety attacks can be alarming to some. Help prevent future attacks by seeking proper medical care. Work on identifying your triggers and don’t forget about the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to help you through.
We’re here for you!
There’s no way to prepare for a challenging setback in life.
You don’t really know how a life-changing diagnosis will affect you until you are faced with it head-on. For some people, the uncertainty is almost as bad as the diagnosis itself.
Maybe you just received a diagnosis that you were not expecting, or perhaps you’ve been living with it for a while. It’s not the path you would have chosen. But here you are trying to navigate your “new normal” while balancing physical symptoms, doctor’s appointments, treatment plans, and schedules.
As you continue to navigate the waters of your ‘new normal’, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Everyone experiences change differently. These tips will help you stay grounded during difficult seasons of change and adjustment in your life…
A life-changing medical diagnosis often comes with a wide range of care and support from your healthcare team. It’s likely your physical health is in good hands, but too many neglect their emotional wellness.
Allow yourself to feel. Someone dealing with a life-changing diagnosis might experience periods of shock, numbness, denial, anger, disorientation, and emotional pain. Recognize your feelings and be kind to yourself!
Maintain Your Routine
Don’t let a diagnosis keep you from thriving in life! You don’t have to give up everything you once enjoyed…you just have to find new ways to enjoy them!
For example, you might really love your morning walk around the neighborhood with a friend. If you’re adjusting to a ‘new normal’ that prevents you from continuing your walk with a friend, invite them over for morning coffee on the porch. You can find ways to spark joy in life even if it requires change.
Acceptance is a process of ups and downs. Don’t expect your adjustment to happen overnight. It’s a transformative process that takes place over time. And, even thought you might not have control over your condition, you do have control over your reaction.
You can still live a rewarding and fulfilling life! Your ‘new normal’ might not be the path you would have chosen, but you are in control of what you’ll do next.
Life is a beautiful gift and each day is worth living. If you or a loved one needs support in navigating the waters of change in life, our team is here for you!
Do you find yourself saying “I’m Sorry” multiple times a day?
Constantly apologizing for things you didn’t do or are out of your control?
Why are we so hard on ourselves?
The Voice Of Our Inner-Critic
Self-blame and criticism are behaviors that are learned over time. Maybe you had a particularly critical influence in your life that has taught you to over-apologize. Negative
That destructive voice inside can really hold you back from thriving in life. Negative thinking can affect everything from your relationships to performance at work or school. The good news is you can change your mindset to welcome positivity and cultivate happiness in life in a few simple steps.
Recognize Your Emotions
It’s OK to feel a variety of emotions each day. Sometimes these are negative. What’s more important is to pay attention to triggers when you sleep
Create A Plan For Positive Self Talk
If you want to stop over apologizing and blaming yourself for everything, then you need to change the way you think. Often times, people who take the blame are very compassionate. They care deeply about others and take the blame so others don’t have to experience negativity.
Start by practicing self-love and care. Speak kindly to yourself. As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.
Develop A ‘Glass Half Full’ Mindset
Try seeing life through a different lens! This is what we mean when we talk about going from surviving to thriving. In order to develop that thriving mindset, you’ll have to change your outlook and thinking.
View mistakes as learning opportunities. Accept challenges and defeat as part of life. Look for ways to self-improve without beating yourself up or constantly taking the blame.
Above all, remember to be kind to yourself because you are doing the best you can!
We’ve all been there before…
You set a goal to motivate yourself and one thing leads to another. Work, the kids, deadlines, soccer games, grocery shopping- where does the time go?!
Soon, a few months pass and you aren’t any closer to your big goal leaving you feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and maybe even hopeless- sound familiar?
Burnout & Stress Lead To Overwhelm
Unrealistic personal goals usually do more harm than good in the long run. You essentially set yourself up for failure by having high standards or you become too consumed with perfectionism.
When your mindset is focused on always wanting more, you
However, having motivation and goals in life is important. The good news is you can create the perfect balance of motivation without getting overwhelmed if you change your mindset.
Baby Steps Over Leaps
If you have a big goal, you don’t have to toss it out the window. Dreams and aspirations are great motivators. The key is developing a mindset that welcomes change and personal growth.
Instead of going from A to Z, take as many baby steps as you need. Try going from A to B. Think about one small thing you can (realistically) do today that will move you one step closer to the bigger goal. This mindset will help you feel motivated and accomplished which is just the fuel you need to take another baby step the next day….or week.
Above all, on your journey to personal improvement and growth, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Sometimes, life really does get in the way. Enjoy the moment at hand for what it is and try to refocus.
After all, life isn’t about how many times we fall, but how many times we get back up!
Do you find yourself scrolling your newsfeed mindlessly before realizing that you had no intention of even being on your phone?
You aren’t alone.
Current studies show that we are becoming addicted to the ‘scroll.’ Even the ex-president of Facebook, Sean Parker referenced the ‘thought process that went into building these applications like Facebook…was all about, ‘how do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’
This world of comparing likes and comments can be detrimental if we let it consume all our attention and if it starts to impact our self-identity. So, how can we manage our scrolling before it manages us? Let’s talk.
Set boundaries around social media use.
Establish certain times when you check your social media accounts and certain times when you don’t. If social media, is your first outlet when you wake up and last outlet when you go to bed, assess whether it is impacting your mood. Are you starting your day already comparing yourself in a negative way to others? If you aren’t, is it helpful for you? If it is helpful, set a timer for yourself to create that structure. That way it puts you in the driver’s seat to manage your time effectively.
Create positivity in your newsfeed.
Make a conscious effort to really assess what you are viewing in your newsfeed. Are you watching/reading about uplifting things that bring you joy or is it the opposite? Think about following organizations that are important to you and maybe unfriending those ‘friends’ who are always negative. Of course, it’s not realistic that everything will be positive in your newsfeed, but if you are finding that more is negative than positive, that might help you assess the proper balance.
Engage in other activities.
Whenever you shift time from one activity, it’s important to find healthy replacement activities. If you are on social media less, what else can fill your time? Maybe there is a book you’ve wanted to start or a work out routine you know would boost your mood. Other activity options could be listening to music/podcasts or catching up with a friend. If you want to add a mindfulness activity, consider starting a daily meditation such as Headspace or Abide, if you are interested in a faith-based meditation.
These tips can help you take control of your social media scrolling but sometimes you need more balance. Give us a call if you’re interested in learning more about establishing healthy balance in your life and incorporating mindfulness into your routine