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About Jennifer Slingerland Ryan

Jennifer Slingerland Ryan knows a thing or two about kids and families. First, she knows they are joyous, exhilarating, loving and so darn fun. Second, she knows they suck your life dry and make you weep like a baby. By day she’s a psychotherapist; by night she’s a mom and wife. She claims to love therapizing couples, educating parents, reading dystopian fiction and sleeping in her free time (read: she never sleeps). Jennifer has spent over 12 years in private practice working with individuals, couples, and parents who are faced with kid-drama, mamma-drama, and family-drama, and she claims that although some stories make a grown woman cry, she loves it.
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Body Memory Is Feeling Traumatized All Over Again

Bodies and brains are miraculous because they soak in an extraordinary amount of information on a daily basis. But, it's the very happy and joyous and also the very traumatic things that we remember the most. Our bodies hold onto the memories, this is called a body memory. Recently, my traumatic memory of my mother's sudden passing snuck into the crevices of my brain and cells like a thief in the night, stealing away little pieces of joy and replacing them with sadness without me even realizing it was happening. I found myself in the midst of body memory that caused an incredible low period. Body Memory is pent up negative emotions Your body remembers what you feel when you've been traumatized. To release

  • spring renewal

Spring: A Time for Balance and Renewal

A lot of people set their New Year’s resolutions by January 1st. This practice is borne out of tradition, but when you think about it, it makes much better sense to start the new year in March which is a time for regrowth and renewal. Spring is when new ideas and goals spring forth!  No better time than now. Now is always a good time for change.  Today is the first day of Spring! Spring is a Time for Renewal The Spring Equinox is in March, and it is when the Earth's equator passes through the center of the Sun. Day and night are balanced equally in time, and this is the perfect time to think about life balance. One glance around you will tell you

  • spring stress

4 Ways to Deal with Spring Stress

In theory, spring is supposed to be the time of year when it’s easy to relax. We don't expect Spring stress, but of course, we are human. The sun starts shining again, the days get longer, flowers bloom and heavy winter coats get put away. However, according to some studies, The Washington Post reports that there are increased instances of depression in the springtime. These are attributed to the lengthening of daylight which can mess up your chemical regulatory system. This can also be a symptom of SAD which can be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. A good place to start is by seeing an Allen Counselor to assess your symptoms and feelings. There’s also Easter, a major holiday for some families, and there’s no

  • turn over a new leaf

4 Activities To Help Turn Over a New Leaf

Spring is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf! Rest assured that although the pun is intended, the sentiment should be taken literally. March is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Flowers start to bloom and the sun stays out longer. Make like the flowers and find your own way to blossom. From a therapy standpoint, a lot of seasonal mood changes are psychological. This is where an Allen Counselor comes in who can help you figure out how to be your best self. Here are four activities to help find your emotional spring thaw and turn over a new leaf. Keep It Simple Leave the grandiose resolutions for New Year’s and start small. Real Simple suggests making a checklist of all the

  • declutter

Decluttering Both Your House and Heart

Things pile up. We over-gift at the holidays and receive gifts we don’t use, buy clothes we never wear and save papers that don’t need to be saved. Nonetheless, the reality of life is that getting rid of things is often extremely difficult. While the sadness of ditching toys your kids have outgrown is more obvious, feeling anxiety over shredding billing statements that are ten years old is a bit harder to explain. Despite how difficult it feels, though, decluttering brings good things both spatially and emotionally. Here are a few tips on how to declutter both your house and mind this spring. The Physiological Chemistry Behind Stress Mess Psychology Today talks about “stress mess” and draws parallels between physical clutter and emotional clutter. Stress

  • optimism

Optimism: The Spring Thaw Your Mind Needs

Anyone who’s ever said that optimism is simply a state of mind probably never tried to be truly optimistic. The truth is, it’s not easy, especially if you’re going through a difficult time in your life or dealing with other troubles. Optimism is something you have to work for and work at, but in the end it can be very rewarding. Here are a few suggestions for how to find your inner optimism this spring. Optimism Is Not About Denial There’s a big difference between blind optimism, which amounts to denial, versus reconfiguring your perspective. NBC discusses that the brand of optimism that can positively impact your brain and increase life span is all about acknowledging stressors and dealing with them productively. Being in denial

Vision Boards: Setting Goals and Intentions for the New Year

I just hosted my 2nd Annual Vision Board party in my house, with friends who are eager to set their life wheels in motion, and manifest big, amazing goals! Many people set goals this time of year, and I personally think while goals can be set all throughout the year, there's no time like the present to get into the groove and put yourself on the path of attaining exactly what you want. I hear some people say they don't like the words "resolution" or "goals" and have requested they not be used because they just sound too staunch and concrete. So, I've resorted to using words like "vision" or "intention". What we put out to the the world, the world gives back to us. What we

  • A New Year How to Make You Time Part of Family Time

A New Year: How to Make “You” Time Part of “Family Time”

When every day is a flurry of bills, traffic and deadlines, it can be tough to find some me time with your family. The easy solution? There isn’t one. If you find yourself and your loved ones losing touch with each other, start reconnecting by scheduling some me time with family time. Here’s how: Set Aside Some Time Our lives are often full and busy to the brim that it’s easy to forget about making the people in our lives feel special. One way to prevent you losing touch with each other is to set aside family time. Set a firm policy against doing anything during ‘Family Hour.’ It can be as simple as playing a game of Scrabble, PSP or playing doubles in badminton.

  • Top Tips for Showing Gratitude to Your Spouse All Year

Don’t Wait for The Turkey: Top Tips for Showing Gratitude to Your Spouse All Year

With Thanksgiving approaching, it is easier than ever for most people to reflect on what they’re thankful for. When talking about your life partner, most of us can think of myriad ways that our spouse has made our life easier, better and more enjoyable. Do we take the time to show them our gratitude? Dallas-area counselors like those at I Choose Change say there is no reason to wait for the turkey to hit the table to show your spouse how thankful you are for their presence in your life. It is important to make an attitude of gratitude something you strive for every day in your marriage, as well as in other important relationships. Why Thankfulness Should Not Be Dependent on the Calendar The

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