Family Counseling, Couple Counseling, Marriage Therapy, Teen Counseling, Child (Play) Therapy

Help with depression, anxiety, grief, loss, parent issues, substance abuse, addiction, sex therapy, social anxiety, eating disorders, body image, trauma, and wellness coaching

  • teen brain

The Teen Brain: A Users Guide

What's going on in that teen brain? Every so often, you will hear an adult say, "I remember when I was a teen...," and that statement usually is correct before they mention how much the world has changed since they were a teen.  They’re not wrong!  Teens today seem to live in a whole new reality compared to what we, adults, experienced. It feels like their teen brain is lagging behind. But you know what hasn't changed? The feelings of wanting to be alone, the constant anxiety, teen angst, and striving to meet every single expectation of friends and family. (Yes, Mom, they want to please you!) You and I both know how it felt to be a teen. It's even harder as a parent [Read more...]

  • substance abuse

Substance Abuse and Addiction: How to Help

More than 22 million adults in the United States have struggled with substance abuse or addiction.  The numbers continue to grow while communities are drifting further apart. Now more than ever, it’s time to ban together in support with friends, families, and neighbors to address this pervasive, manipulative battle.  Those who struggle with substance abuse and addiction, and their families, deserve proper education, support, and guidance as they navigate this debilitating disease. Plus, fantastic support makes a world of difference in the overall outcome.  What causes Addiction Issues? Frankly, anyone can fall victim to substance abuse and addiction. From simply falling into the wrong crowd of friends to self-medicating due to a mental illness, substances may be a cover for the user not to feel [Read more...]

Building Empathy

One of the best traits anyone can have, I think, is empathy. Empathy is a direct route to the heart of how someone is feeling. Unfortunately, if you aren't in touch with your own feelings, it's impossible to have true empathy. You can go through the *skill* of parroting back what someone said to you or even reading certain physical cues (i.e. tears must mean sadness, so you express words of empathy when you see the tears), but true empathy is really feeling the emotion like a power punch in your own gut before you can give it back so someone else. One of the major lessons I teach my clients is empathy; consequently, it is also the hardest to teach. It's like saying, "Yes, [Read more...]

  • Acts of Self-Love

Self Love Tools: The NEW, Preventative Mental Healthcare Model

Self Love is essential! The good news is, you're most likely already giving yourself Self Love throughout the day. So, what are the Self Love Tools? It's a preventative mental healthcare model to help you feel content, grounded, peaceful, and grounded.  Your emotional capacity, self-esteem, connectedness, and sense of belonging start with a solid foundation of your Core Self. Tune in, gain insight and increase awareness of what you think, feel, and do by using just eight simple tools.  In holistic counseling, you must be willing to examine your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self in a full-length mirror. This new appreciation of self and what the "self" even is, requires you to engage in meta-awareness. That is, becoming aware of what you're aware of. Self-Love [Read more...]

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 [Read more...]

  • Grief Child College

Finding Center When Your Child Leaves For College

It seems like all of life is change, doesn’t it? And change can sometimes feel terrible, but it is also great because when things are happening that we don’t like that means things will eventually change! Little changes, like your favorite restaurant changing their menu, don’t require much recalibrating. But big changes, like a child going off to college, can require major calibration. My Child is Leaving for College I am preparing to send my eldest child off to college in 12 days. She and I have a close relationship - somehow we missed that “I hate you” phase that people always tried to warn me about. I am grateful for the warmth between us. I gave her more and more agency for herself as [Read more...]

  • 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 [Read more...]

  • 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...]

  • 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...]

  • 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...]