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

The Family That Dines Together, Stays Together

For many busy families, getting everyone to sit down at the table together for dinner can seem like an impossible task. However, Dallas-area counselors agree that family dinners can have a substantial impact on positive communication and increase bonds between family members of all ages. Making the time to dine together often means that the family stays together through thick and thin. Here are a few reasons why family dinners have taken on more importance today than ever. Avoiding Bad Influences and Increasing Social Benefits According to WebMD, studies have shown that family dinners reduce the likelihood of teens using drugs and alcohol, and increase grades and self-esteem. The underlying foundation of this result is that family dinners encourage communication and facilitate direct engagement between [Read more...]

How Much News Should Your Children Watch?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash The world can be a very scary place, and today’s non-stop news being transmitted in every medium imaginable, whether on social media or TV, it can be a challenge deciding how, or if, to let your child see it. As a parent, you need to be the filter through which information is delivered. This requires a solid approach of how to discuss upsetting real world events with your children while also providing reassurance. Finding Allen family counselors who specialize in children’s therapy such as the ones at I Choose Change can also be extremely helpful. Planning for Self Awareness By the time children hit 7 or 8 years old, Kids Health says that what they might see [Read more...]

Don’t Be a Zax: How to Deal with Stubbornness in Kids

Stubbornness is a common complaint from parents, especially those with children either in middle or high school. For these parents, it may seem like the defiance they face from their children is designed simply to push their buttons. This can lead to a shut-down in communication – which only worsens the issue.   How can parents with stubborn children deal with their oppositional behavior? What are some ways to keep that opposition from becoming a problem in school? How does dealing with that youthful stubbornness affect their development as an adult? You might be able to get a few pointers from a classic short story by renowned author Dr. Seuss. The Story of The Zax The fictitious tale of “The Zax” focuses on two unrepentantly [Read more...]

5 Tips to Prepare Your Overanxious Kid for the New School Year

For most families, the slide from summer to autumn is a time of excitement and perhaps a bit of sadness at the coming end of the carefree vacation days. For a growing number of children, though, the days leading up to school are racked with dread. Why such fear, when most of their peers are excitedly browsing backpacks and lunch boxes in the crowded stores? The simple answer is anxiety. Anxiety in Children Anxiety was once considered to be a purely adult affliction. What could possibly cause children to have anxiety? Today, the answer might surprise you. Some common fears children express about attending school include: Being the target of bullying or harsh judgement by peers Separation from their parents and/or families Separation from the [Read more...]

Why I Love Couple’s Therapy

My mom died exactly three weeks ago today. It's hard for me to move forward with even the most mundane of tasks. I'm knee-deep in grief and can't really put myself in a position to help others through their loss just yet. But, what I love most is couple's therapy and it gives me joy to be back in my office giving of my time. It is a practice that, for me, helps spouses have the tools they need to support their partners through life's biggest and most traumatic happenings. Like, when your mother dies. To honor mom, please let me tell you about her. She was young, only 67 years old. She was an absolute HOOT! Everywhere she went, she made people laugh; it was part of [Read more...]

How To Get Kids To Do What You Want

Bribes. That's the only thing I have to offer. Bribes. But not just any bribe, the right kind of bribe. So, here's what I can tell you. I can tell you that we as humans love rewards. We love feeling like we've done a good job at something, and we get those acts and words of affirmation in many forms. We all need it - adults and children alike - so it isn't surprising that bribes work. I can also tell you that the type of bribe is extremely important, so if you aren't tuned into what your kids love (or coworkers or others in your life), your words of affirmation will fall on deaf ears. As I told a client recently who felt like he [Read more...]

Being Misunderstood: What the Wicked Witch of the West can Teach Us About Life

The Huffington Post is always so timely. If you don't read this online news source, I encourage it. Just yesterday this great article was posted. It shows an interview between Mr. Rogers (whom we all love, right?) and the Wicked Witch of the East. Mr. Rogers was way before his time on many issues. In his interview with the Wicked Witch, he proclaims two things: 1) That boys and girls like to dress up as witches for Halloween (and for play, undoubtedly), and 2) That the witch is a frustrated person because she's never gotten what she's wanted out of life. As the author asks, "Being misunderstood, not getting what we desperately want, searching for happiness... none of that sounds that unfamiliar, does it?" In my upcoming book, I [Read more...]

You Are The Company You Keep

Why do we keep doing and feeling the same things over and over again, even when they aren't serving us well in any capacity whatsoever? Oh, the madness! Consciousness is a “here-and-now” experience of focused attention that is fundamentally a measure of how our body, thoughts, and mind is changed by interaction with our internal or external world. As such, our caretakers as infants played a vital role in helping us make sense of our internal and external worlds. We came to know who we are because of what they mirrored back to us, and therefore, consciousness is said to be context-dependent. This is a process in which we regulate our inner and outer worlds, to gain an understanding, if you will, of how the world operates [Read more...]

Be The Audience: Examine Your Life From the Outside

  "It's difficult to be curious and unhappy at the same time." – Mark Williams Much of the change process is about awareness of yourself and others. Consciousness will allow you to take ownership of what is yours so you can change it. I liken personal awareness to a theatrical production. Often, I will ask my clients to imagine themselves in a play. The show will be the play of their own life, where they are the writer, director, producer, set director, stagehands, and actor. They play every single role of the play! And, in life, we do. We write our own lives, set the scene, direct the show, and act out based on the lines we've given ourselves. However, we rarely play one part of the [Read more...]

Narrative Self: Insert Your Life Story Here

Your life script is so automatic, that to change, you need to stop and just be the audience in the play of your own life. Observe the writing, directing, production and set design of your own life's play - the one you're creating. As you begin to learn about who you are, understanding your powerlessness and power all at once, you will begin to realize that what you’ve learned about “who I am” is really an exercise in thousands of experiences which have occurred around you and which shape your mind into a story that you adopt as “mine.” The stories you hang on to about your life, and about the world around you, is what helps you make sense of ourselves and other people. [Read more...]