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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  • 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 [Read more...]

  • 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 [Read more...]

  • 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 [Read more...]

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 [Read more...]

  • 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. [Read more...]

  • 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 [Read more...]

Trick or Treat? Removing Your Relationship’s Mask before Saying “I Do”

You decide who you want to become for the night. You prepare your outfit, plan your approach and hope to end the night with a little sugar. You dream of treats, but primarily hope you don’t end up with a trick. It may sound like the average Halloween night, but this concept sadly applies to a first date. This process of masking yourself with hopes of getting treats over tricks may actually continue far past that first date. Over time, though, the relationship may grow to a point where you want to get married. Here is how you can remove the “mask” from your relationship before your big day.Trick Know Yourself without the Mask The key is to know who you are first without the [Read more...]

Parent Coaching

Parent coaching may seem like an odd concept, and that being a parent seems straightforward in theory. You teach your children good moral values and encourage positive behavior to excel, but life can be messy and parenting is never easy. Whether you have children who are well-behaved and fulfill every expectation or ones who are troubled and get into sticky situations, the bottom line is that parenting is never simple. One key point to remember is that you’re not alone. If you feel like you’re struggling with parenting, there a few easy things to consider. What is Parent Coaching? We all need guidance and mentoring with our parenting. At our office, you've got a team of experts who are not only parents themselves, but who [Read more...]

  • help for anxiety at i choose change allen counseling center

Anxiety

Anxiety can be one of the most difficult and frightening mental health issues to deal with, especially since much of the disorder is self-manufactured fear. The stats say it all: over 40 million Americans are affected by severe anxiety, and 40 percent of adults will experience some kind of anxiety disorder in their life. However, only a third of adults and one-fifth of teens receive treatment. If you feel like you might be experiencing an anxiety disorder, here are a few starting points. What Having an Anxiety Disorder Feels Like Mental health terms get thrown around a lot, but what’s important to remember is that there’s a big difference between feeling anxious versus experiencing a decrease in functionality and the ability to calm yourself down. [Read more...]

  • treating ADHD and ADD at i choose change allen counseling center

ADHD: A Neurological Disorder of the Brain

ADHD, often used interchangeably with ADD, is a neurobiological disorder of the brain characterized by inability to focus on tasks or follow through with tasks, or hyperactivity. It's important to distinguish life stressors which can cause these symptoms, to that which can be considered a true disorder.   The DSM outlines specific criteria that patients exhibit who are clinically diagnosed with the disorder. ADHD can be treated with a multi-pronged approach, including pharmacological options and talk therapy, but the first step is to understand what it is and how it works. What ADHD Feels Like The DSM defines the following three symptoms as indicative of someone suffering from ADHD: Inattention: The inability to maintain focus on tasks, both during work and play, that results in lack of follow [Read more...]

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