Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Beauty of You: A Love Note from Your Body

by Brittiney George

You are a beautiful imperfection.
I know that makes you uncomfortable, because you want to be perfect. child.  I do not work in perfection...humans do. 

Perfection assumes completion.  But how can you be complete when the world around you, and in you, is full of so many glorious options for miraculous change?

I work in magical mysteries, in awe inspiring moments of truth and clarity.
I commend you for wanting to better yourself.  But I ask you to not try to perfect yourself. That implies you are flawed. You are not flawed.

You are a colorful mosaic reflecting the experiences of your life.
Instead of berating yourself for all that you do not know;
Breathe. Listen. Explore with me.

You are more than a number on a scale, a title in a job, the pain or fear that you feel.

You are a gift.

If you don’t believe me, journey with me.
Let me show you how amazing and resilient you truly are.

Unconditional Love~ Parenting a child with explosive behavior

by Lisa Grant-Feeley, MS, LPC

If you’re a parent, you might never forget the first moment you saw your child and the wave of love that overtook you in that instant. Simultaneously, with the wave of awe and amazement came a jolt of terror as you recognized the responsibility loving - and raising - this tiny child would bring.  Many parents take that responsibility to heart and want to do the best they are able for their child.  Some have already had success in raising happy, well-adjusted children and are bewildered when a younger child struggles with behaviors they have never seen before.

Why does my child struggle when plans change?  Why does my child become so incredibly frustrated when things don’t go as expected?  How can my child scream, “I hate you!” or “You’re the worst mother (father) in the world!”  Or worse, how can my child hit, kick, throw things at me?  These are questions many parents ask themselves when their child has explosive behaviors.  In fairness, it is difficult to understand how the same parents can have success with some of their children and not with all of their children. 

According to Dr. Ross Greene, children who exhibit these behaviors typically have underdeveloped skills in the areas of frustration tolerance, flexilibity/adaptability and problem solving, which means they don’t have the skills needed to manage many of life’s unavoidable situations.  Situations that require them to be adaptable or flexible, or to be able to manage frustration that occurs in an average day, or are confronted by a problem they need to solve.  These children are doing the best that they are able with the only “skills” they have. 

When we understand that our child is struggling to find a way to manage a difficult life situation, but doesn’t have the necessary skills, it is easier for us to support our child who is explosively showing us the intensity of that struggle.  Seeing our child as doing the best they are able, allows us to provide the unconditional love we felt the first time we saw them.

Lisa Grant-Feeley is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in working with children who exhibit explosive behaviors and their families. Many of these children also struggle with symptoms of ADHD. Focusing on strengths, she helps families develop proactive solutions and develop skills needed to manage struggles.  For more information, please contact her at 267-625-2565.

Loving your Emotions

by Catherine McLaughlin, MA, NCC, LPC

Emotions are defined as “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others; instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.” In other words, emotions are something that comes from within us, beyond our control, and naturally occurring. Despite what we may have been taught, emotions are not bad, wrong, or abnormal. Receiving this message can cause us to repress our emotions; to push them down or brace against them. Over time, this “emotional backlog” can cause issues. There’s nowhere for the emotions to go, but they have to come out. If you’ve ever had a clogged pipe in your house, then you know what happens next - the water just starts spraying out everywhere, all over everything. What a mess! 

And our repressed emotions don’t usually come out as what they were to begin with – they’ve morphed into something else. Health problems, intense anger, anxiety, depression… all painful expressions of the feelings hiding inside for so long. But there is a better way.

Feel your feeling – instead of shying away from feelings, as much as you can, allow yourself to feel them. This may take some work, as we have all received messages in our lives that some feelings are “bad” or “wrong.” Give yourself permission to sit with and really feel your feeling. It may be uncomfortable. But it will not last forever.

Acknowledge and name the feeling – what is it, exactly? Are you angry, or are you infuriated? Sad, or distraught? It is especially helpful to give your feeling a specific name. 

Allow the feeling to leave – when you allow yourself to feel and name your feeling, it should naturally resolve. Let it! Unnecessarily holding on to feelings can cause pain and suffering. 

By feeling, naming, and allowing emotions to resolve, we’re following the natural path of feelings moving through our bodies. If this is a struggle for you, or if you know you have an “emotional backlog” of your own, a therapist could help you to work through this process. We provide a safe place to experience the emotions and feelings that have been clogging up the pipe for so long. And we have lots of buckets to catch all the spraying water. 

Catherine McLaughlin loves working with people to identify and experience their emotions in order to feel like themselves again. She specializes in issues of adolescence, and working with artists and creatives. Contact her at 267-800-5073 or for a free 20 minute phone consultation or to get started in therapy today.