An important first step in developing emotional health is becoming more aware of your internal emotional cues. Once you learned to recognize that you’re feeling something, the next step is to give a label to the emotion you’re experiencing. Interestingly, the very act of naming your feelings helps reduce the intensity of the feeling, making it more manageable.
Use this feelings word list to help you label your feelings and increase your feeling vocabulary.
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We can pretend our painful feelings don’t exist. We can ignore them. And so many of us do, because we think that this will soften the blow. This will help us bypass the discomfort of our hurt, sorrow, agony, anger, anxiety. We assume the feelings will just go away (and they might, but only temporarily).
Click the link below to read what Monette Cash, LCSW has to say about handling painful emotions.
Having been in school about 2 and 1/2 months, my mailbox at school is getting busier with referrals. As the school psychologist in an elementary building, there’s been ample time for teachers to identify concerning students, try individualized interventions, and monitor their progress. For some of those students who are still struggling, it’s time for including the school psychologist for some discussion with the parents: should we be considering testing?
How and when should parents and teachers begin to consider a child for testing?
What should you expect if you decide to move forward with testing?
As my well trained teachers know, lack of sufficient growth to grade level instruction can be an early indication, along with insufficient rate of growth despite individualized intervention. Because of changes in the law that governs special education and testing, most school districts require some period of intensive, individualized interventions either prior to testing or as part of the evaluation. This is called ‘response to intervention’ or R.T.I.Throughout this time period, the expectation is that the student’s response to the intervention (progress) is monitored and documented. This is an important concept to keep in mind and to consider prior to initiating the testing process or, at the very least, to understand once testing is underway.
Fall time is upon us! There are so many things that make fall a great time of year. The food, the smells, and the holidays are all things to look forward to. However fall also marks a difficult time for many people. Our days become shorter, which mean we do not have as many daylight hours. For some this transition only marks the beginning of a season change, while for others it marks a significant change in their mood.
Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a common problem that numerous people struggle with. Many people have symptom onset in the spring time, however the majority of people notice their symptoms start in the fall and continue through the winter months. Researchers speculate that the lack of sunlight during these months cause a change in important chemicals like melatonin and serotonin that affect our mood, appetite, and sleep. As a result we become more likely to exhibit depression like symptoms during months where we do not receive enough sunlight to regulate these chemicals.
Shame has been a popular psychotherapy topic in social media lately and due to its fame it is frequently on my mind. Today I’ve been thinking specifically about shame-based families and how this toxic feeling is often handed down through generations.
Shame can be passed through a family in myriad ways. A common path is for it to travel through family rules. With some prompting, maybe you can recall some of your family’s rules. What rules did your family have about touching and sexuality? What were the rules regarding marriage, money, vacations, religion, socializing…?
In John Bradshaw’s Healing the Shame That Binds You he outlines 7 rules that are maintained by shame-based families.
As parents, the ability to talk with our kids about race can be very challenging. Over the summer, I had a chance to talk with KSL Radio about the term “transracial” as it related to a popular story of the fallout and national conversation about race, when a white woman chose to identify as a black woman for professional and personal reasons. In the radio interview I addressed the term transracial as an adoption term only and I discussed the history of “Passing” in a America. What I didn’t get a chance to talk about (because we only had 2 minutes) was how to help parents of children who may hear about being transracial and feel that they, too, identify with another cultural or ethnic group outside of their own.
Click the link below to listen to LaShawn Schultz talk with KSL Radio
Parents may wonder how to address it or whether to ignore it and hope it passes like a rebellious taste in music. You don’t have to be a scholar about race relations in America in order to talk to your child about racial identity. What you do have to be aware of is the relationship you have with your child and the reality of identity development in the life of an adolescent. Adolescence can be a trying time both for the tweenager, the teenager, and their parents and caregivers. This is because identity and the ability to explore it is in a full fledged developmental process. Identity itself is a lifelong process that only begins in adolescence. Our goal in parenting through change is to help our kids navigate the questions that arise from their crises.
While racial identity development is a separate experience reserved for the lived experience from birth of a specific racial or ethnic identity, the discussion of feeling a connection and kinship to a racial group that is not part of your own and only experienced in a social interactions is different. The ability of parents to remember and do the following 3 things will help keep your connection to your child as durable as it is flexible.
Recognize that a “crisis” is not a bad thing, it is simply an unanswered question or series of questions. It’s okay to explore questions with your child because this builds critical thinking skills.
Realize that your child bringing the unanswered question to you is as much a compliment as it is a hearing test. Your child wants to know if you’ll hear them and listen when they talk.
While your child cannot change their racial identity, the relationship you have with them is what will change as you use your ability to talk with them as an emotional connection point. Connection is what allows you to talk with them about race as a social construct and get underneath their questions to reach the desire for emotion and validation that is fueling the questions about their identity in the first place.
The three things are the foundation of your relational connection to your child and will make a big difference in your relationship with them all because of your willingness to understand them.
This event is titled, “You’re Already Good Enough: How Embracing Imperfection and Cultivating Confidence Frees You to Influence & Lead.” Perfectionism, depression, anxiety, and feeling “not good enough” can halt your positive growth and development. Dr. Susan R. Madsen, founder of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, will moderate a lively and engaging panel of therapists, authors, and experts on this topic. The panel will discuss how embracing imperfection can increase self-worth, improve academic achievement, and inspire you to be engaged in your community (locally, nationally, globally) as a resource to other women and girls. Panelists will also discuss how to increase confidence, find your unique voice, and develop leadership skills in order to expand your positive influence. Come and learn how you can be a positive influence on others who may struggle with feeling “never good enough.” Women and those who influence them are invited (this means men are welcome too)!
This event, held on November 3, 2015 from 6:30-8:30 pm, will be in the Ragan Theater in the Sorensen Center at Utah Valley University. Panelists for this TV talk show type event will include: Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks (PhD, LCSW), Dr. Kris Doty (PhD, LCSW), Dr. Julie Clark (PhD), and Dr. Ruth Terrison-McKane (PhD, LCSW). It is hosted by the Utah Women & Leadership Projects and sponsored by the following: Woodbury School of Business, UVU Women’s Success Center, Squire, Utah Community Credit Union, Jeffery & Katie Nelson, Crandall Corporate Dietitians, Utah Education Network, Women’s Leadership Institute, and the Women’s Business Center at the Salt Lake Chamber.
This event will conclude with light refreshments as attendees move into dialogue groups. The event will live stream as well (more info to come). Video recordings of the event will also be available at www.uen.org and also rebroadcast on UEN-TV channel 9.1. Come listen, ask questions, and learn!
One common trap that I’ve noticed many people fall into is “black and white” or “all or nothing” thinking. This is the type of thinking where you think in extremes, and have very few options available to you. For example, “I’m either smart or I’m stupid”, “I succeeded or I totally failed”. This type of thinking can prevent you from having a full, realistic view of yourself, your values and beliefs, and from making well-informed decisions.
Visit the link below to learn more about this common pitfall, and how to avoid it!
As a licensed therapist, I have the privilege of hearing incredibly powerful stories on a daily basis. Everyone has come from a different set of circumstances and experiences and has a unique story to tell. Although there are many parts of our lives that are worth examining, the most important aspect of any story told in a therapy office is the person who is telling it.
The reasons and circumstances that lead to someone coming to therapy are as vast. However, one of the most common needs in therapy is some aspect of self discovery and understanding that was not there prior to coming into a therapist’s office.
For example, many clients will come into therapy due to some perceived “weakness,” whether that is an individual struggle or perceived relational shortcoming. However, as is often the case, the client ends up seeing themselves as courageous and strong, rather than weak, after sharing their story. This is particularly noticeable in cases of abuse and addiction.
To use a fictional example, Harry Potter may have felt that he was a common, unimportant, ordinary child. Although I was reluctant to admit it at first, the Harry Potter series is full of exciting adventures: quidditch, magic, flying, and battles with Voldemort. Although the series is packed with thrilling moments, the most important part of the books/movies is “the boy who lived.” It is what he was able to accomplish and find out about himself. The most important thing he learned was that he was courageous and loved. He was anything but ordinary!
This transformation of seeing oneself as “weak” to recognizing their own inner strength is a process. To be honest, sometimes it is not easy. However, I have seen it enough times to convince me that it is worth the effort. Sometimes it is the challenge in and of itself that allows someone to come to the realization of their own inner strength and worth.
Therapy can be a scary place to go. However, sometimes the scariest places are the ones that can teach us the most about ourselves. Remember, even more important than someone’s life history, is honoring the value of their own life. There are a lot of interesting topics and facets of psychology, but the most fascinating and important subject is the person who is sharing.
Women’s DBT Skills Group is a 3-series skills group that teaches basic skills
such as how to manage your emotions so they dont control your life-how
to cope effectively with difficult relationships- and learning how to
react calmly rather than impulsively in order to avoid unhealthy
escapes. This 3 module skill group will run in 6 week segments and
all are necessary to have lasting success.
The school year is now underway, and for most of us, that can only mean one thing. It’s just a matter of days before ‘it’ begins, ‘mom, where is my science book? I know it was in my book bag and now it’s gone!’ or ‘dad, YOU SAID you would help me with my English!’ Homework season has begun.
When did homework become so intense, so stressful? Does it have to be this way? Here are just a few ideas to re-frame the homework experience to make it easier on you and help you remember why we do it at all.
Pro or con, the homework debate has been going on for as long as most of us can remember. How much is enough? Is it worth it? Should you monitor your child? Most research leans towards yes, generally speaking, though not always in the way we might think. Overall, a good rule of thumb is approximately 10 minutes per grade, so a first grader completes about 10 minutes, and so on.