One of my biggest fears growing up was falling into a pit of quicksand and not being able to get out. There was such a state of panic in my mind when I would see characters fall into quicksand and the harder they would try to get out, the more impossible it seemed. The other scary part about it was that the characters never knew where the quicksand was. Without even realizing it, they would be stuck in this deathtrap. (c) Can Stock Photo
This experience of “being stuck” has become a reality for many of my clients. I hear it in a lot of forms: “I just feel stuck,” “I feel like I am in a rut,” “I am going around in circles,” “I feel like when I take one step forward, I take two steps back,” and “I feel like I have painted myself in a corner.” Maybe you can identify with this state of helplessness or hopelessness?
Having a defiant teenager is a particularly difficult stressor on a family. A lot of parents get frustrated and hopeless, wanting to give up altogether. This stressor can also affect the couple relationship significantly. So, what is the best thing to do with a defiant adolescent?
When addressing the issue of “diabolical teens,” one of my colleagues jested, “you just praise the hell out of them!” This may seem counter-intuitive, but studies have shown that praise and positive reinforcement are the most effective tools for long-term changes with adolescents. Understandably, the natural tendency of parents is to be stricter, yell, and demand compliance. Sometimes this will work in the short-term, but will likely further damage the relationship and will make teaching your teen less effective. Dale Carnegie suggested that “a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” We can catch some of those pesky teenage behaviors more effectively through praise than with criticism.
Have you ever been to a fancy restaurant and felt uncomfortable because you don’t know what to do with the vast quantity of silverware? A quick refresher on etiquette can be helpful in that situation. Similarly, these ensuing tips will help young couples (and all family members involved) in dealing with the uncertainty that comes with having in-laws. I like to call it “In-Law Etiquette.”
First of all, it is important to remember that every family is different. We are very quick to label something that is different as “weird,” or “bad.” However, just because something is different doesn’t mean that it is better or worse. It is just different! Branch out and have fun with the differences between family cultures. Also, avoid labeling your in-law’s culture as strange, stupid, or dumb. It can even be healthy to poke fun at your own family culture.
I am so excited to be joining our Provo Team as the new Clinical Director in Utah County. I am looking forward to building up our practice in Provo, where Kate Hofer, LPC and Mike Morgan, AMFT are busy building a strong foundation of excellent clinical work to offer our clients and the community. In March we are going to be offering several exciting new groups, workshops, and services including:
–The K.I.D.S. Group
This is a therapy group for children ages 8-12 who need a social skills building group to address
• Difficulty making and keeping friends
• Building confidence and leadership skills
• Group begins Wednesday, Feb. 22nd 4-5:30 pm
–Hold Me Tight Workshop for Couples
This is an 8 week workshop facilitated by Haylee Heyn, AMFT using Emotionally Focused Therapy skills to build stronger, closer connections to your partner. Space is limited so please register early! See our website for more details.
–For Professionals: Kate Hofer will also be teaching a monthly Art Therapy Techniques workshop. More details to follow.
– We are pleased to be partnering with the University of Southern California Masters in Social Work program and are looking forward to having graduate level interns in our Provo and Salt Lake City office.
We are thrilled to be offering our clients in Utah County excellent services and community resources. I am looking forward to growing Wasatch Family Therapy and being part of this wonderful team!
The holiday season is an opportunity for young couples, families, and friends to show how much they mean to one another. Some people seem to have gift-giving down to an art form. However, there are those who habitually struggle with finding the right gift and don’t even realize it. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right gift for your loved ones this holiday season:
Not everyone appreciates gifts in the same way. This isn’t what the retailers want you to think. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, a top-selling author and marriage counselor, gift giving is one of the five ways we can show our loved ones that we care. However, there are four other primary ways to show love and affection: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Quality Time.
To celebrate our grand opening of Wasatch Family Therapy Provo location we are offering free 45 minute therapy for new clients who bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Provo Community Action Food Bank.