Blog Section

5 Things I Wished I’d Known In Graduate School

Common Therapy QuestionsI feel very privileged to be an adjunct professor at Westminster and University of Utah.  I really enjoy teaching, it re-energizes me. I love the student’s thirst for knowledge and dedication to their field. I remember trying to juggle school, work, practicum, and family and how difficult it is but how excited I was to start my career.  I wanted to construct a blog detailing what I wished someone had told me. Although the advice is specifically for people in the counseling field, it has application for anyone in higher education.

  1. Worry less about grades and focus more about gaining knowledge/experience.  (Yes, this is coming from someone who literally freaked out when they got an A-).  I have never had a client or even a job ask about my GPA.  They wanted to know my skills and training.
  2. Interview your practicum placement.  If it isn’t a good fit, find somewhere else.  One of my internships was amazing the other placement was horrible.  I knew from the beginning that my second placement wasn’t good but I didn’t want to look like a “quitter.”  I didn’t realize that the interview process needs to be mutual and that I needed to take charge of my learning experience. There is no shame in saying it isn’t what you want.
  3. Attend as many professional trainings that you can.  Most trainings have a big discount for students, take advantage of it!  Even if that means using some of your student loans- trainings are a great investment.  Especially if the trainings have a certification or count towards a special licensure. This will distinguish you between other graduates and help you find your specialties/passions. They also are a great place to network and become involved in professional organizations.
  4. Find a mentor. You will need an advocate to help you navigate the field, for consultation and support. A mentor can be a professor at your school, your clinical supervisor or someone in your professional organization. A good mentor should support and challenge you at the same time.
  5. Start a professional case portfolio.  Some of the most difficult/interesting cases I worked was when I was a student.  I didn’t realize at the time that I would want to refer back to details and interventions (for training or evaluation purposes).  Keep notes in your personal files without identifying information.  Obtain consent to video-tape sessions and interventions.

Hang in there, it will get better.  Hopefully, you will look back on this experience with some fondness or at least relief that it is over.

-Holly Willard, LCSW

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More

Infertility: The Real War On Motherhood

infertility
(c) Can Stock Photo
I am sure people who see me with my four young children in the grocery store would never imagine I struggled with infertility for over ten years. Sometimes they make comments like, “Wow, you have your hands full!” I probably surprise them with my huge smile when I reply “I know.” They don’t understand that not having my hands full was my biggest sorrow.

More

5 Things to Let Go: Studio 5

When we let go of destructive patterns we create room for love, appreciation and growth. We live a fuller and more meaningful life and we aren’t weighed down by the trivial.

Director of Wasatch Family Therapy in Davis County, Holly Willard shared five things we should all let go.

More

Is My Daughter A Bully? Studio 5

Mean girls. It’s a title that has become common conversation in parenting circles. But the mean girl syndrome is not reserved for Junior High – in fact, it’s happening in Kindergarten.

Relational bullying or the “mean girl syndrome” is affecting girls at a younger age. The mean girl phenomenon used to start around 5th or 6th grade but now we are seeing it as early as first grade. I have seen children excluded from the group for how they dress, their religion and sadly even for their weight. The behavior usually begins as a “secret club” or best friends.

More

What’s Wrong With Being 50? Studio 5

whats wrong with 50

On Studio 5, I argued the upside of “50 is the new 40” and how we can use it to motivate us. Here are some positives of being over 50.

People are living longer today, they’re healthier, and they’re enjoying life more. Due to an increased understanding of the importance of good diet and a more active lifestyle, people are feeling much younger than people their age felt in previous generations. For example, 1964 the average age for someone to move into a nursing home was 64. Currently, it’s 81 years old.
Motherhood: There is a distinct trend for women to delay motherhood. So at 50, their kids ages are more similar to their mother’s kid’s ages when she was 40. It used to be when you turned 50 you were becoming a grandmother. Now, by 50 most of their kids are teens or young adults and less demanding. This creates a period of more freedom and self-reflection.
More happiness, more sex, more money and confidence who wouldn’t want to be 50. A recent research study showed that people over the age of 50 experience more joy than younger adults. Proposed reasons for these findings were because they had their priorities set on friends and family. Other related studies showed that 50-somethings have a more fulfilling sex life, are more confident, and are more financially stable.
Mind body connection and self-fulfilling prophecy: If we tell ourselves we are old, our body will act old. We will purposely look for things that are failing because of our age, even if it has nothing to do with aging. Believing that 50 is the new 40 creates hope and provides positive self-affirmation. We don’t have to limit ourselves physically or expect deterioration just because we are getting older.

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More

Davis County Office Opening Feb. 18th

We are very excited to announce the opening of our Davis County Office. The Location is 405 S. 100 W. Suite # 250 Bountiful, UT 84010.  We are opening Feb. 18th and  currently scheduling appointments.    Holly Willard, LCSW will be the clinical director and Heather Judd will be joining her. We will also be adding an intern in to provide reduced priced sessions ($50).

More

How To Talk To Your Child About Conn. Shooting

How To Talk To Your Child About Conn. Shooting

We are deeply saddened and horrified by the shootings at Sandy Hooks Elementary. If you have school aged children, it’s likely that they have been exposed to some of the disturbing news of these past couple days.  Here are some helpful hints and guidelines in opening a discussion with your children about this event and their fears surrounding it.

1. Talk to your children about their worries. Provide a validating environment where the child can express their concerns and feelings. Start the discussion by asking what they know about the event.  Follow the child’s lead. Some want to talk about it, some will be quiet. Spend time together doing activities or playing. This provides a time for informal sharing but more importantly it increases feelings of security.

2- Talk to your child on their level. Give kids honest information they can understand. Ask for questions. For instance, ” A bad guy made a very bad choice and hurt people.  The bad guy is dead and can not hurt anyone else.”

3- Reassure them that they are safe now. Comfort your child if they’re distressed. If your child starts having fears or nightmares, you can normalize this fear for them by giving a gentle hug and letting them know that the information is scary but they are safe with you no matter what and you will always protect them the best that you can. Avoid telling them nothing bad can ever happen. Giving them a false sense of security actually increases anxiety because it is a unrealistic view of what can be controlled.

4.  Limit their exposure to media about the event. The continuous new’s clips and updates are reminders that something frightening can happen. Seeing descriptive images can be very traumatizing. Children’s perspectives of time and place are skewed, they may not be able to differentiate how close they are to what they are seeing. Children are often unable to determine that what they are seeing is a repeat of the same event. Inform them that the images on the TV are from far away and not happening now.

5- Try to not use scary words.  Young children understand “hurt” but more descriptive words such as kill, murder, etc. are beyond their present understanding. Even older school age children who do understand the definition do not need to be told in explicit detail.

6- Teach children the skill of confronting their thoughts. Just because we think something doesn’t mean it is true. Anxiety feeds on negative thoughts so help them learn how to replace their scary thoughts with reaffirming statements. Teach distraction techniques: playing with toys, exercising, singing a favorite song, etc.

If your child’s anxiety affects their ability to function on a daily basis or is persistent for longer than thirty days, seek professional help.

Above all else, children want to know that they are loved and will be protected. So turn off the TV and give them a hug and the reassurance that they are safe and you love them. This will be the best information of all.

 

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More

Supporting Loved Ones In Coming Out: KSL News

Holly Willard was featured on KSL about the importance of unconditional love and understanding when a family member comes out of the closet. The issue is very emotional and difficult so here are some tips when a family member discloses their homosexuality to you:

1. Let them know that you love them.  They need your acceptance and unconditional love.  They have felt alone and rejected for a long time.  Saying you love them defuses the fear and provides healing.

2. Tell them they belong and will always be a part of your family.   The decision to come out of the closet takes a lot of courage because of the many horror stories of families who disown their children.  They need to know that they are yours and will always be.  They need to know they belong.

3.  Don’t Lecture.  They are probably aware of your religious beliefs/values.  Most likely they have done a lot of research on the topic because they are trying to reconcile their beliefs and feelings.

4. Recognize that they have come out to you because they care about your relationship.  When someone comes out of the closet, they are asking, ” Can you see me for who I am and accept that.”  They are being open and honest. The emotional message that they are trying to convey is that they want to be closer to you.

5.  Find a safe and supportive place to explore your feelings.  Acceptance is a process, be patient with yourself.  Find someone you can talk to i.e. support group, friend, or therapist.  The process can be especially difficult when your child discloses.  Most parents grieve who they thought their child was or what they wanted for their future. Parents want to protect their child and they  might be scared of the societal challenges their child may face. It is usually not helpful to talk through these issues with the person because they may see it as rejection or you wanting to change them.

6. Have an open dialogue about what they want for their future.  Keep the door open to continue the conversation so you can discuss their goals and how you can support them.

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More

The Birds And The Bees: Talking To Your Child about Sex

 

Teaching your child about sex and safe-touch should be an ongoing discussion that starts as early as they are verbal.

1. Start by teaching them about private parts.  Explain the difference between good touch and bad touch. I like to use Your Body Belongs To You! A Coloring & Activities Book .   Tell them that no one has the right to touch their private parts and they can say no and tell someone. RadKids Rules

2. It is normal for pre-school aged children to become interested and fascinated with private parts (theirs and others). Use correct medical language, not nicknames, when discussing private parts.   Answer questions on a level consistent with their developmental age.  (i.e. they don’t need to have anatomy lessons to understand where babies come from, that comes later).   Talk to them about your personal and family values.  If your child exhibits sexual behavior, it’s important to deal with it without making them feel shame or embarrassment. Here’s a resource with more detailed information and explains the difference between normal and concerning behavior. 

3.  With school age children, parents need to be more direct regarding sexual abuse and sex education.  Some of these resources are may be too direct or differ with your values so it’s important to read before sharing them with your child.  The books do not need to be read in entirety you can pick and choose depending on your child’s questions or level of understanding.

What Every Kid Should Know About Sexual Abuse: A Coloring & Activities Book 

What’s the Big Secret?: Talking about Sex with Girls and Boys 

The Right Touch: A Read-Aloud Story to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse (Jody Bergsma Collection)

How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It’s Best to Start Early, but It’s Never Too Late- A Step by Step Guide for Every Age
4.  Explain maturation before the school’s presentation.

Most public schools present information about maturation in fifth grade.  Children are often easily embarrassed at this age, especially boys.  Some of them may find it more helpful to be given a book or pamphlets to read.  However, if you choose this method make sure you have a follow-up discussion with them and are available for questions.  If you are open, non-judgemental and informative it will increase the chances of them coming to you with questions instead of going to their friends. Or maybe I should say coming to you after they have heard incorrect information from their friends.

Puberty for boys: The Boys Body Book: Everything You Need To Know for Group Up You (Boys World Books)

Puberty for girls: The Care and Keeping of You (American Girl) 

The Girl’s Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up You (Girlsworld)

5. Don’t worry about giving your teen too much information about sex education. Most parents error on not providing enough information because they don’t want to “expose” them.  Unfortunately in my practice I see that tweens/teens have already been exposed to it.  Parents need to continue to teach their values in a non-judgemental way, focusing on the benefits of living those values.  Have frank discussions with them about choices and consequences.  Relate it to what their peers are doing, good and bad. I cannot stress the importance of having a strong/bonded relationship prior to having these discussions.

Sex Ed for Teens:

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: Expanded Third Edition: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships

The Sex EDcylopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to Healthy Sexuality, For the Modern, Male Teen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More

10 Tips For Surviving The Holidays

The approaching holidays can be exciting, overwhelming and hard all at the same time.  Here are some tips to not only survive but thrive during the festivities.

1. Live “whole-heartedly” during the holidays

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston coined the phase after conducting thousands of interviews studying happiness and connection.  “Whole-hearted living” means letting ourselves be deeply and vulnerably seen. Loving with our whole hearts, even when there’s no guarantee. Focus on what is really important.

More