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On Going Kids Social Skills Group

Wasatch Family Therapy is excited to announce this school year’s social skills group. This group is opened ended allowing kids to come into the group throughout the school year. There is a six session commitment, but children can stay longer, if needed. Groups are $50 per session, due at the time of the group. Please contact us at 801-944-4555 to register for the group.

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Kids Social Skills Group

This 8 week group is designed to help school-aged children navigate the challenges of social situations and understand what it means to be a friend. Focusing on understanding their role and impact on those in their world.

  • Making and keeping friends
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Discover skills for coping with anxiety
  • Strengthen Social Skills
  • How to manage emotions such as anger
  • Dealing with Bullies

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Summertime Rituals and Filling Our Family Buckets

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In the musical Fiddler on the Roof, the main character Tevye poses the question: “How do we keep our balance?” He replies to his own question with, “Tradition!” After bursting into song with the entire town, he then explains, “Without tradition, we are no safer than a fiddler on the roof!” Tevye was a smart man! He’s right, tradition is important to family development and a sense of personal well-being.

Tradition, however, does not necessarily need to be related to big family celebrations, holidays, or life events. Routine rituals have quite a bit of power in creating “balance” within the family. Summertime is a great time to begin new family rituals! These may include everyday things that involve roles, chores, rules, and family living.

Why do rituals hold so much weight in family life? Because of the feelings they create! Children who participate in family rituals experience buckets of benefits:

  • A sense of belonging
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Social competence
  • Improved health
  • Better academic success
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Understanding of Roles
  • Feelings of family identity
  • Memories
  • Family cohesion
  • Better sleep
  • Adolescent well-being
  • Predictability

With the school year wrapping up, why not start some new family rituals today? Here are some ideas:

  1. Dinnertime: Dinnertime is one of the best ways to form new memories, integrate family values and social rules, add a chore, and create connectedness. Allow each member to have a job in the meal prep, such as setting the table, filling the drink glasses, cleaning up, or choosing a dessert (my personal favorite). This is a time for parents to get details on the kid’s day. You can play the game “A Rose and a Thorn” by having each member share one good thing that happened and one negative thing. This opens up opportunities for gratitude, listening and feedback, and validation.
  1. Child Date Nights: Choose one night a week to do something special with your child. This can be a fun way to get to know what your child enjoys or would like to try! Fun activities can include put-put, painting parlors, splash pads, a trip to the zoo, a bike ride, or a concert. Remember, put the distractions away, pay attention, and let your child take the lead!
  1. Library Lolligag: Take a stroll through your local library on a regular basis. Plan on spending time reading together, talking about topics, and slowing down. Even big kids have subjects and books they enjoy! Try checking out the same book your teen does; you may find you have something in common!
  1. Game Night: Frequent game nights teach children social skills in disappointment, competition, and winning. Some games require critical thinking, planning ahead, keeping a “good” secret-to win, and seeing what comes next. Playing together teaches appropriate modeling when the game doesn’t go as planned.
  1. Saying “Goodbye” and “Hello”: Little routines of saying “goodbye” and “hello” opens doorways to connection, disconnection, and re-connection. Think of something that is special to you and your child that is a signature sediment. A hug, a kiss on the forehead, a fist pump (for the tough guys), or even “See you Later Alligator.”
  1. Coming of Age Celebration: Growing up can be tough! A Coming of Age celebration gives permission for change and allows us to embrace growth. Perhaps, even some discussion of family values, expectations, and personal precautions. A small trip with Mom and/or Dad, can be defining in developing a life-map, of sorts. Where the focus is not on physical maturation, but life goals. Considering dating, college, careers, and even hopes of marriage and partnerships.
  1. Saturday Morning Breakfast: A happy morning wake up call to breakfast in bed and watching a favorite kid show may not be so bad. Perhaps, that’s not your style, but a bowl of a favorite cereal in PJs and a morning bike ride might feel more like it. Or maybe choosing a favorite breakfast spot, where everyone can pick what they like and then get on with weekend commitments.

No matter what summer ritual you decide to pick up, remember that it’s about dropping the distractions and filling our summer buckets with memories and connection.

For more insights into creating family cohesion and decreasing family stressors, visit our website at www.wasatchfamilytherapy.com/blog.

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Give Yourself the Credit You Deserve

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With the 2016 right around the corner there is so much to pause and reflect on from 2015. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows are all taken into account when assessing the 15th rotation since the dawn of the new millennium. Perhaps you finally completed that project you’ve been meaning to get around to, or you landed that promotion you were really hoping for, or signed on the house of your dreams, or…not. The beauty of it all is you set goals for the year and whether you achieved them or not give yourself credit for setting them in the first place. As we all get to the usual ritual of setting resolutions for 2016 remember these two things:

Be the good you want to see – If you feel like things aren’t unicorns and skittles as often as you’d like then that is a good sign that it is time to do some self-evaluating and figure out what you are doing to contribute to that unhappiness. Give yourself permission to answer the tough questions like, “What part did I play in how things turned out?”, “How could I have handled that situation differently?”, or “What can I do better?” Rarely is the case where someone else’s actions directly impact our levels of satisfaction – it is more often the case of how we react to their actions that has that impact. Be the good you want to see and then take notice just how much your perspective will change as you’re able to balance out the bad with the good. Let your inner Yoda serve as motivation to remind you to do or do not because there is no try.

Give yourself the credit you deserve – We often suffer from the “I’m not good enough” disease which eats away at our self-esteem and leave us defenseless against the tyranny of being our own worst critic. So what if you finished last in your first marathon, YOU FINISHED A MARATHON! I certainly can’t say that and I’m pretty awesome! So go head…it’s ya birthday…we gonna party like it’s ya birthday because you deserve the credit! It’s so easy to get caught up in the grass is greener mentality but I assure you it is all about proper lawn care and maintenance that gives it that crisp sheen. That maintenance involves celebrating the small victories in life like finishing your first marathon because it is the small things that we remember the most which ultimately becomes the cherished memories that we can look back upon fondly. Now go forward with that luxurious lawn that everyone else will be envious of and be the awesome person that you are in 2016!

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Stop Comparing and Live Happy!: Studio 5 with LCSW Julie Hanks

Stop Comparing and Live Happy!: Studio 5 with LCSW Julie Hanks


Comparing ourselves to other people. It’s something we all are guilty of (particularly women). Whether it has to do with looks, money, talents, or belongings, many women perceive themselves as less than someone else who seems to have a better life. In a society that so often ranks us, it’s no surprise that this is so common! But at what cost? Comparing ourselves to others can eat away at our happiness and lead to lower self-esteem, but thankfully it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 5 strategies to avoid the comparison trap:

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Are You Self-Aware or Self-Absorbed?: Julie Hanks, LCSW on Studio 5

We each have a long list of personal responsibilities: our finances, careers, bodies, families, etc. It’s critical to be aware of our lives and our needs. But when does self-awareness become self-obsession? Do we think about ourselves too much?  Here’s how to determine if you’re self-aware or self-absorbed:

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Self-esteem vs. Self-compassion: Julie Hanks on Studio 5

Self-esteem vs. Self-compassion: Julie Hanks on Studio 5

We talk a lot about developing good self-esteem: an inner confidence rooted in who you really are.
Studio 5 Contributor Julie Hanks, LCSW owner of Wasatch Family Therapy, says self-compassion matters more.

Additional Self-Compassion Resources

Dr. Kristin Neff’s Self-compassion website
Julie Hanks interviews Dr. Kristin Neff (part 1)
Julie Hanks interviews Dr. Kristin Neff (part 2)

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The Sexualization of Young Girls: KUTV News

Most parents would be horrified to think of their little girl as a sexualized object in our society, but that is what “smart” marketing is doing without our conscious awareness. Watch for my tips on how to protect your children from this cultural phenomenon as well as ways parents can teach their children their individual worth, beauty, and self-esteem.

http://kutv.com/news/features/fresh-living/main/stories/vid_653.shtml

 

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I’m Not Perfect and That’s Ok! 4 Steps to Overcome Perfectionism

Michael Morgan, AMFTOne of the most common causes of anxiety stems from a belief that one needs to be perfect in order to be accepted by others (or for some, by their God). Those who hold the identity of a “perfectionist” have every reason in the world to do so. It is tied in with their identity and has helped them move forward and try to be a better person. This need to be perfect often comes from some type of a short-coming or difficulty when we are younger—trying to impress an unavailable parent, living in a household with intense conflict, or embarrassing/traumatic moments that was never told to other people because of fear of their rejection.

Perfectionism ultimately comes from a comparison to someone or something (or even one’s self). It is fueled by a fear of rejection! It is a brutal cycle of beating one’s self up and self-loathing. It is also often derived from some internal conflict: knowing that one is not perfect but trying to convince one’s self that he or she has to be.

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6 Ways to Grow A Teen’s Self-Esteem

Many people young and old, male and female, struggle with recognizing their self-worth and their true potential in life. Often we are our worst critics. Most of us would gasp in horror if we heard another person speak out loud the thoughts we tell ourselves because it would be considered abusive!

Recently, as I was speaking to a group of young people and their parents on the topic of self-esteem, we broke down the definition of what self-esteem truly means. This is an interesting concept and I think helpful to break down into segments.

 

 

  • To esteem something is to hold it in high regard, to treasure it, to value it.
  • The self is you, the individual

How amazing it would be to think of your self in this manner. Is it possible to hold yourself in high regard, to value yourself, and to treasure it – i.e. to treasure you, the real you?

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