Blog Section

Camp Gregory – A Weekend of Healing for Grieving Children

camp gregory flyer

Children who are experiencing grief and loss struggle with identifying how and what they are feelings, as there are often no words to describe the emotions they experience. Oftentimes, they feel isolated and alone in their pain and confusion. Camp Gregory gives young children the experience of healing together with other children who have also suffered loss and are trying to process their feelings of grief. Join us for a weekend of play therapy, laughter and healing.

Location: Grandview Family Counseling, 1576 S. 500 W. Bountiful, Utah.

Dates: Friday, August 5th and Saturday, August 6th.

Facilitating: Holly Willard, LCSW RPT-S and Clair Mellenthin, LCSW RPT-S.

Ages 5-8 from 9am-12pm Friday and Saturday.

Ages 9-12 from 1pm-4pm Friday and Saturday.

Cost: $200

To register, call (801) 406-9002 or visit grandviewfamilycounseling.com.

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Healthy Personal Boundaries: Holly Willard Podcast

Healthy Personal Boundaries: Holly Willard Podcast

Enjoy Holly Willard, LCSW’s interview on Healthy Personal Boundaries on the Brain Injury Radio station with Host Kim Justus.  Hear what Holly has to say. Listen to the podcast below.

Request an appointment with Holly Willard, LCSW

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This Week at WFT 9/29/14


ThisweekatWFT

HOLD ME TIGHT WORKSHOP

Wednesday, October 1st, 6 – 8 pm

SIGN UP TODAY – Only a few more openings left!

Based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT).  THE most effective couples therapy, this class will teach you and your spouse how to connect emotionally and physically and to create the relationship of your dreams!  Only $400 per couple for the 8 week series!

Monday, September 29th – Holly Willard, LCSW on KSL Fresh Living

Tune in today to hear what Holly Willard has to say on the topic “Why Kids Lie”.

 

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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

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Finding Emotional Connection: Hold Me Tight Workshop

Finding Emotional Connection: Hold Me Tight Workshop

Are you tired of reading relationship books with a few tips and advice that may put a band aid on your marital discourse?  Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love, relationship researcher and expert, believes that the attachment bond individuals have with their partners is crucial for a happy, healthy relationship.   Just as an infant feels close, attached, and loved when her mother gazes in her eyes, adults have the same need.  We innately feel a desire to connect, be loved, depended on, and to feel safe.  When the attachment is insecure with our spouse or partner, there is greater likelihood for disconnection, isolation, and distance.  Hold Me Tight looks to address that attachment bond.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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Children’s Books For The Hard Stuff: Anxiety, Divorce, ADHD, Depression…

Children’s Books For The Hard Stuff: Anxiety, Divorce, ADHD, Depression…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most common questions I get as a child therapist is, “What books do you recommend for (fill in the blank)? Here are some of my favorite books for specific issues. If you want to learn more about the books or order a book here is an Amazon list http://www.amazon.com/lm/R36QCME4OWNS7Y/ref=cm_pdp_lm_all_itms

Divorce/ Grief/ Trauma

When Dinosaurs Divorce by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown (Illustrator)

When Dinosaurs Die by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown (Illustrator)

Tear Soup by Pat Schweibert , Chuck DeKlyen, and Taylor Bills

A Terrible Thing Happened- A Story For Children Who Have Witnessed Violence or Trauma by Margaret M. Holmes

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