How to Prepare Your Teenager for That First Counselling Session

Do your homework Find a psychologist or counsellor online or through a recommendation. Try to check out her website or profile, read her blog, or have a brief phone conversation. You may want to book a session to discuss the issue, and to get to know the counsellor. You may also get some direction and support. How do I choose a therapist? Trust your gut.You should like the counsellor, or at least feel comfortable with her manner and her approach. She might not be someone you would choose to befriend, but you should have some rapport, enough to work together on a professional level. Does the therapist seem to listen and understand what you are saying? Does she communicate well? Is she respectful? Did you get the answers you were looking for? Does she like teenagers? Will your teenager like and respect her? Be honest Don’t turn it into an ambush. Deception typically backfires. Have a conversation with your teen about counselling ahead of time. When should I talk to my teenager about meeting with a counsellor? Choose an appropriate time. Timing is everything. When is your teen most likely to be receptive and calm? How should I act? Be calm and matter of fact. This is essential. He may get upset, he may even refuse to go when you first broach the topic. If you get emotional and act as though this is something he is doing for you, it may backfire. Let him know that you are concerned, but unless this is a safety issue, don’t be overly serious. You don’t want to give him the impression... read more

Workplace Etiquette for Personal Issues

Be discreet. Share what you need to share with trusted friends, or your boss if need be, but don’t give unnecessary details to the entire group. Your disclosures should be limited to what they need to know, and should focus on how it will affect your work. Some staff groups are close, and it may be appropriate to talk to the group, or to be more candid with your boss, but try not to release any information that might embarrass you or compromise your reputation in the future. Err on the side of caution so that you don’t “overshare”. Be organized, on time, and well-groomed. You don’t need to fake it, but being late, disorganized, and unkempt will only cause you more stress and may damage your reputation. Being on time gives you a chance to settle in and focus, and you will need to be organized, because you may not be yourself, and you may forget important items. Use lists and electronic reminders. Confirm deadlines and communicate in writing for clarity and for future reference. Taking care of your appearance may give you a boost. Take personal calls in private, and during breaks, if possible. It is extremely awkward and disruptive for others to witness arguments, emotional outbursts, or to hear private details that don’t concern them. Your boss and coworkers will respect you for not involving them. Work hard. It is important to remember why you’re there. Be as productive as you can. If you are unable to get anything done, you may need some time off. Stay involved. Don’t isolate yourself. Greet others, and take an... read more

Managing your stress at work

Workplace stress is a common problem. There are many demands on your time and resources, and it can be overwhelming. Here are some ways to manage your workload and reduce your stress: Say no. You don’t have to accept every request or opportunity. If you don’t have time, or it does not fit with your skill set or purpose, you don’t have to feel obligated. Prioritize. You can’t do everything, and there will always be emergencies and new projects that come up unexpectedly. Try to plan ahead the day before, or in the morning before you get started. Make a short list of things that need to be done. Try not to have more than 3-5 items on the list. What if you work for someone else? If you have lots to do, ask your boss which project is the most important. Try to establish deadlines when the work is assigned. Ask for help if you cannot manage your workload. What if you work with several departments or report to more than one person? Try to keep everyone informed about the projects you are working on, so that they know what your workload looks like. Let them know when you will be available to take on more work. It is often helpful to put some procedures in place. You may need to ask your immediate supervisor or another staff member to process and respond to requests before they come to you. Guard your schedule. Eliminate or shorten meetings if you can. Plan an agenda for each meeting in advance so that you can use time efficiently or determine if... read more

Journeying Through Grief

Grief can be incredibly isolating. It is almost surreal, how life moves on around you, in spite of how you are feeling. It can seem insensitive and unfeeling of everyone else to just keep going when all that you are is in questions, when everything you knew is suddenly unfamiliar. You cope. You cope with the well-meaning comments. People never really know what to say. It can be so awkward, and you may end up comforting them. How do you deal with grief in a social situation? Discussing life and death and illness can be taboo. Nobody really wants to go there, but we need to. Unfortunately, grief is incredibly democratic. None of us are exempt. What does it mean, when people talk about “moving on” from grief. Are they referring to the week or two that are given for compassionate leave? Are they talking about when you start packing up or giving away items that belonged to your loved one? The course of grief can be difficult to describe. Grief has it’s own schedule. We all process our pain at different rates and in different ways. There is no “right” way to grieve, however, it is true that some ways of coping are healthier than others. Nothing that causes you to bury or mask your emotions is healthy. Pretending that all is well may just postpone the expression of your true feelings, and your grief may become complicated as a result of that. Substance abuse will interrupt your natural grieving process, and may morph into dependence or addiction. Extremes can be problematic. They may include overeating, and not... read more

Starting Over

Starting over can be difficult. When you have experienced time, energy and effort, it can be frustrating and overwhelming to contemplate beginning again, whether you are working on a project, a chore, your career, your finances, or a relationship. Your initial reaction might be to panic, or give up. You may not see a way to get through the situation. After you have time to process your disappointment or pain, you may find that you have the capacity to rebuild, regroup, generate some options, and set some new goals for yourself. Before you begin, take some time to think about what you want to do next, and where you want to go in your life. Write down some goals in specific areas of your life that you want to target, and tackle them one by one. Be clear about what you need to do to attain success. What changes do you need to make? For financial goals, write down how much you need to earn, save or pay down to reach your goal. Include the specific steps that you plan to take. Do your research. You may need to consult a financial advisor or your bank. Perhaps you need more time to complete a project or chore, and you can reschedule another activity so that you can relieve some of the pressure you are feeling. You may meed to ask for an extension, or re-prioritize your responsibilities. If this is a regular occurrence, you should set some boundaries for others so that you can limit what you take on. Developing a habit of saying “no” when the demands are... read more

10 Ways to Connect With Your Child

10 Ways to Connect With Your Child   Have a sense of humor. Joke and laugh. Lighten up! It’s okay to be silly and to play. Shared experiences and inside jokes create strong bonds between parent and child, and looking back on those positive moments can be helpful when the relationship gets rocky.   Listen, really listen. Set aside the screens for a designated period of time each day if possible, so that you can be fully present. Try not to “zone out”, even if you are bored, or you have had a similar conversation before. You may gain a new perspective on an old theme, or discover that your child has had a radical change of heart about an important issue. Asking the right questions can increase your understanding of your child and help your child to feel heard. Sometimes it’s not about the content. Your presence is often the most important ingredient.   Pay attention to what your child is interested in, and get interested– or at least informed about that subject, no matter how trivial or silly it may seem to you. Children are often the ones being taught, and they enjoy teaching adults new things.   Discover your child’s love language and learn to speak it. The Five Love Languages according to Dr. Gary Chapman are: Quality time (spending time), acts of service (doing something for another person), words of affirmation (positive comments/compliments), touch, and giving gifts. The idea is that each individual needs to experience his or her love language in order to feel loved. Dr. Chapman initially used this idea with couples, and he has expanded it to include children as well. You can google the 5... read more

10 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Behavior

10 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Behavior 1. Acknowledge when your child does well. 2. Give incentives when appropriate. 3. Tell your child what to do instead, rather than saying “stop that” or “behave” without an explanation. 4. Model appropriate social skills. 5. If your punishments are ineffective or too harsh, try using incentives for positive behavior instead. 6. Set clear limits and expectations, and be consistent. 7. Emphasize relationship repair when you give consequences. It is important to make things right. 8. Try to be in the same room as your child when you give an instruction. Eye contact can be helpful to ensure that your child is listening. 9. Plan ahead to spend time with your child doing something fun or nurturing whenever possible. 10. Create some screen free time each day so that you can be fully present. Tara-Anne Powell, M.A., R.... read more

10 Ways to Help Your ADHD Child

10 Ways to Help Your ADHD Child 1. Use visual or written reminders for routines and rules (i.e. House rules, chores, hygiene, etc.). 2. Be clear about expectations and rules so that you do not get into power struggles and arguments. 3. Have realistic expectations that take your child’s strengths and weaknesses into account. 4. Model self control and take breaks when you or your child need time and space to calm down. 5. Use external cues such as timers to remind you and your child to keep track of time. 6. Avoid situations that increase time pressure for you and your child. 7. Avoid comparing your child to peers and siblings. 8. Establish a good relationship and regular communication with your child’s teacher. 9. Encourage exercise as a healthy outlet for emotions and excess energy. 10. Break down difficult tasks or assignments into manageable chunks. Tara-Anne Powell, M.A., R.... read more