All posts in Communication

Fire Child, Water Child – Cowan’s 5 Types of ADHD

canstockphoto13998194Do you feel that you have a fire child? Parents of children identified as suffering from Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) sometimes do. They may wish that their child was more identified with the properties of water – seemingly calm and serene.

Dr. Stephen Scott Cowan, in his book “Fire Child, Water Child: How Understanding the 5 types of ADHD can help you improve your child’s self-esteem & attention” encourages parents, as well as practitioners, to view their ADHD-identified child as one of the “five primal powers described in Chinese medicine as Wood, Fire,Earth, Metal, and Water” (p. v). The first line of the introduction in Cowan’s book, “ADHD is a symptom, not a disease,” sets the tone for the remainder of the book.

He explains that caregiver interactions with children identified as ADHD are less successful when they come from a place of fear.  Fear uses words like “something is wrong with my kid,” or “what can you do to fix him/her?” While Cowan admits that the ability to pay attention in class is definitely a problem, he disagrees that it is the problem and it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with a child. He shares how focusing on the problems a child exhibits will bring up feelings of judgment, guilt, and fear for both the child and the caregivers in his or her life. He instead chooses to direct the reader’s attention to what they ultimately want to see the child experience in the school setting: success. He suggests that we can learn to develop a “sense of compassion for the diverse ways in which we engage with the world” and recognize ”the qualities each child has to offer” (p. 1)  in attempts to manage the natural gifts of a child’s personality. When we embrace and nurture these natural gifts, they can become strengths that aid in improving focus for the classroom setting.

What are the natural gifts of a child’s personality? Usually these are the behaviors that teachers observe in the school setting that are discussed in parent-teacher conferences and lead to a visit to the pediatrician’s office for a medical assessment. Behaviors such as being always on the move, active, easily frustrated (wood child); overly social, class clown, mood swings, impulsivity (fire child); worried or indecisive when stressed by the environment (earth child); difficulty shifting out of routine or moving from task to task (metal child); daydreaming, easily distracted and hard to keep on task (water child).

Dr. Cowan maps out the path toward improving attention so that children can enjoy school and function effectively at home. He enlists the support and love of parents and caregivers who have control over the home environment to create the first influences that can be shared with other caregivers and teachers to maintain behaviors in the structured school setting.  Dr. Cowan’s goal to educate and empower parents, caregivers, and teachers to understand the ways of holistically viewing their children through the 5 primal elements is clear – when we validate the qualities that children possess, we can bring them in tune with their world and help them learn the self-regulation skills necessary for success.

Whether your child is diagnosed with ADHD or not, the qualities that make them unique can sometimes contribute to struggles in the school setting. Utilizing Cowan’s 5 Types of ADHD may help you learn to embrace these qualities and identify strategies to nurture them to the benefit of your child’s ability to focus. Additional skills for focusing in the classroom can only lead to good things. As we transition into the end of the school year, this summer may be a great time to tune in with your child and create a path for improved focus and success at home as well as school!

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Should I Forgive My Abusive Mother? Julie Hanks on Rewind 100.7

Should I Forgive My Abusive Mom?I’m giddy about being invited to talk with listeners on the Todd and Erin Morning Show. They’re now on air weekdays at Rewind 100.7 FM! I chatted with caller “Nicole” about whether or not to forgive her mother who has a history of alcoholism and abusive behavior.

For individual, couple, and family therapy services in Utah visit WasatchFamilyTherapy.com

Click arrow below to listen to the conversation!

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Improving Communication In Your Relationships

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It is a rare relationship that does not experience difficulties in communication from time to time. Sometimes we feel that nothing we say is understood correctly – that everything is misconstrued. Or we get stuck in arguments that just spin around and around, going nowhere. Or we feel that our partner is dismissive of what we are trying to say — that he or she really doesn’t care. When we care deeply for another human being, we are our most vulnerable – and also our most human. We make mistakes. We say what we don’t mean. We don’t say what we do mean. We retreat. We attack.

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8 Phrases That End a Relationship Fight: Julie Hanks in Redbook Magazine

Wasatch Family Therapy Couples
Julie Hanks, LCSW was interviewed by Redbook Magazine to discuss why/how some phrases work well when ending a fight with your partner. Many of these phrases are meant to clarify, pause, or help you re-connect when things start to go South.

Read the article online!

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G.I.V.E. Your Teen Better Communication Skills

Wasatch Family Therapy

Do you ever feel like communication with your teen is going no where? Have you ever wondered if your teen has a mom/dad filter that blocks out everything you say? You’re not alone. My favorite tip to help build better communication patterns with families (and couples) is using the acronym G.I.V.E.

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4 Tips For Getting Teens to Engage in Family Time

4 Tips For Getting Teens to Engage in Family Time

1) Model the behavior you want to see

Although it may not seem like it, your teens are watching your behavior just as much as you are watching theirs. Show your teens that family time is an important part of your family life by being consistent, enthusiastic, and engaged. Put away your cell phone and focus on the family if you expect them to do the same.

2) Make it a scheduled event

Pick a day and stick to it! Chances are your teen’s social life is buzzing with friends, school, and other activities, making a scheduled event increases the chances that your teen (and you) will fit it into the schedule. Send them a reminder a few days before and remember to tell them the day of that you are looking forward to spending time with them.

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October Date Night: Managing Money Matters in Marriage

DATE: Fri. Oct. 11th

TIME: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

PRICE: $40.00 per couple (includes catered dinner for 2 by Texas Roadhouse Grill & dessert by Straws)

LOCATION: Wasatch Family Therapy (SL County Office)

7084 South 2033 East Suite 215

Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

Bring your partner for a night of learning, laughter, and delicious dinner. Learn more about how money matters in your relationship and how to come together on the topic of finance.

Taught by Mike Morgan, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Limited to 15 couples

Reserve your seats now at Eventbrite http://www.wasatchdatenights.eventbrite.com/

Texas Roadhouse

 

Mark your calendars for our next date night!

Nov. 15Improving Your Sex Life

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Are You Too Needy? Julie Hanks Interviewed in WSJ

Pick up today’s Wall Street Journal and check out Elizabeth Bernstein’s “Bonds” column on neediness in relationships. I’m always happy to comment on attachment styles! Here’s my quote…

Anxious people are the ones who typically are seen as needy. They worry about whether their partner loves them, and they most likely had parents who were inconsistently nurturing. They often are emotionally overwhelmed, says Julie Hanks, a licensed clinical social worker in Salt Lake City. “Or they might ignore, deny or minimize their needs, and then look to others to fill their emotional void in manipulative or indirect ways.

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