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Written by Rachel Ealy, M.Ed., LPC-Intern

 

Welcome to the third and final week of my blog series featuring all six topics covered in Heights Family Counseling’s week long School Readiness Camp. This week’s blog will take a closer look at frustration tolerance and communication/listening skills. Below are links to 3 of my previous blogs. One covering what group counseling is, the benefits of group counseling, and how to talk to your child about group counseling: https://heightsfamilycounseling.com/blog/2019/5/29/summer-counseling-camps-have-arrived, the second covering our School Readiness Camp format as well as two of the topics that will be covered (what to expect at school and expected/unexpected behaviors): https://heightsfamilycounseling.com/blog/2019/7/1/school-readiness-camp-what-to-expectexpected-and-unexpected-behaviors, and the third covering two more of the topics covered in camp (empathy and perspective taking, as well as teamwork/relationship building): https://heightsfamilycounseling.com/blog/2019/7/10/school-readiness-camp-empathy-and-perspective-takingteamwork.

 

Just as a reminder, Heights Family Counseling’s child and adolescent therapists, Rachel and Kristin, will co-lead this camp open to children entering kindergarten through 2nd grade. The camp will be held Monday, July 29th through Friday, August 2nd from 10:00am-11:15am at our office located at 2500 Summer St., Houston, TX 77007 #1220.

 

Our School Readiness Camp is designed for children who are unsure of what to expect on the first day; children experiencing anxiety, nervousness, or stress related to starting school or getting in to the routine, and for those that may need to touch up on some skills before starting the school year. Being anxious or nervous about school is not a requirement! Those that are more confident and ready for the school year can help those who may be more nervous and those that are more nervous can help the children that are more confident in other ways. Let’s face it, grade school is hard and each year comes with its own challenges! There are many things to navigate including routines and schedules, school rules, making new friends, meeting lots of new adults, and perhaps getting up earlier than usual.

 

Group Topics

 

This week I will be reviewing 1) Frustration tolerance and 2) Communication and listening skills:

 

1)  Frustration tolerance

Frustration tolerance involves being able to identify the emotions that are felt in the body, where they are felt, and how they are felt in the body. Once your child is able to become more familiar with the emotions, triggers, and warning signs that lead to frustration, they will be able to decide what to do with these difficult emotions. One of the key components to frustration tolerance is impulse control. Your child will learn about impulse control and how to follow a step-by-step guide that makes controlling your impulses easier and fun! Another critical component to frustration tolerance is learning a set of healthy coping skills. The mindful coping skills taught and practiced each day will serve as the beginnings of a set of coping skills that will help your child learn to regulate their own emotions.

 

2)  Communication and listening skills

Your child will learn about both verbal and non-verbal communication. It is important for your child to understand that it is not always what we say, but how we say things. Our body language communicates so much about how we feel and what we are thinking. The group will be able to explore how one’s tone of voice, body language, eye expression, posture, and topic impacts communication. Listening skills are a crucial part of communicating in an effective way. Whole body listening will be practiced and reinforced throughout the entirety of the group. The children will have to opportunity to play a communication game that is interactive and engaging. We are looking forward to helping your child be successful by sharpening their skills before school!

 

At the end of the week, your child will be sent home with a resource folder so that you are able to practice and reinforce the skills that they learned during camp. This will help strengthen learning and to keep anxious feelings at bay. Remember, all feelings are okay to have! If your child is still feeling anxious, that is okay. Take the time to validate and empathize with your child. Remind them that you are proud of them for preparing for the first days of school and that they have a set of new skills that will help them get through challenging times. Let them know that you are there for them and you know what it is like to start something new!

 

How to Sign Up

 

You can call our office at 713-380-1151 to sign up for our school readiness camp. Our wonderful intake specialist, Helena, will guide you through the process of getting your child set up. You can also email Rachel or Kristin directly at rachelealy@heightsfamilycounseling.com and kristintallackson@heightsfamilycounseling.com. We are happy to offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to answer any questions that you may have about the camp. During the parent-only intake, your counselor will gather information about your child in order to get to know your child and to makes sure that the camp is a good fit.

 

 

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Written by Brittany Barnes, M.A.

Hey it’s Brittany with #weekendvibes.  It’s Sunday evening, which means the Sunday scaries can start creeping in.  Monday is around the corner, and anxiety is looming.  There are a few ways that we can try to combat that Sunday-Scary-Anxiety. 

One way is to remember to breathe.  Practice grounding yourself back into your body.  When the anxiety hits, our breathing changes.  Slow it down, inhale, hold and exhale.  Place your hand on your stomach to feel your body steadying, relaxing and breathing.  As you do so, it can be helpful to practice a positive mantra that resonates with you. 

Another helpful technique you can practice is to identify what you are grateful for in the upcoming week.  As Sunday night approaches we can often forget about the aspects of the week that we are looking forward to.  Listing these out can give us the opportunities to reframe that anxious energy into excitement.  I believe it is also beneficial for us to practice self-compassion on Sunday night.  When not all the tasks are marked off the list, feelings of frustration and stress can appear as Monday gets closer. 

Remind yourself that you did the best you can do yesterday and today, and that is all we can do.  Allow yourself to feel accomplished for what was done and patient with the leftover “to-dos.”  It can be valuable to set goals for yourself for the week.  Going into the new week with a positive plan of action can help to reduce our focus on the negatives.  Try to set smaller daily goals that can help you move towards accomplishing a bigger goal that you want achieved by the end of the week.  Practice being mindful, present and breathing. Be kind to yourself and encourage yourself.  You can tackle whatever is thrown at you this week because you are strong, brave and courage.

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Written by Rachel Ealy, M.Ed, LPC-Intern

  

Welcome to week two of my three-week blog series coving our upcoming School Readiness Camp. This week’s blog will take a closer look at empathy and perspective taking as well as teamwork. Below are links to my two previous blogs. One covering what group counseling is, the benefits of group counseling, and how to talk to your child about group counseling: https://heightsfamilycounseling.com/blog/2019/5/29/summer-counseling-camps-have-arrived and the other covering our School Readiness Camp format as well as two of the topics that will be covered (what to expect at school and expected/unexpected behaviors): https://heightsfamilycounseling.com/blog/2019/7/1/school-readiness-camp-what-to-expectexpected-and-unexpected-behaviors.

 

Just as a reminder, Heights Family Counseling’s child and adolescent therapists, Rachel and Kristin, will co-lead this camp open to children entering kindergarten through 2nd grade. The camp will be held Monday, July 29th through Friday, August 2nd from 10:00am-11:15am at our office located at 2500 Summer St., Houston, TX 77007 #1220.

 

Our School Readiness Camp is designed for children who are unsure of what to expect on the first day; children experiencing anxiety, nervousness, or stress related to starting school or getting in to the routine, and for those that may need to touch up on some skills before starting the school year. Being anxious or nervous about school is not a requirement! Those that are more confident and ready for the school year can help those who may be more nervous and those that are more nervous can help the children that are more confident in other ways. Let’s face it, grade school is hard and each year comes with its own challenges! There are many things to navigate including routines and schedules, school rules, making new friends, meeting lots of new adults, and perhaps getting up earlier than usual.

 

Group Topics

 

         This week’s blog will feature two of the six topics covered in the group. The topics of the group include communication and listening skills, frustration tolerance, what to expect at school, expected and unexpected behavior, teamwork and relationship building, as well as empathy and perspective taking. Stay tuned for summaries on additional topics.

 

Heights Family Counseling’s School Readiness Camp’s main goals are to prepare your child for starting school and to ease the transition in to elementary school. Rachel and Kristin developed a curriculum tailored specifically to assist with your child’s needs. This week I will be reviewing 1) Empathy and Perspective taking and 2) Teamwork/Relationship building:

 

1)  Empathy and Perspective taking

Learning about empathy and perspective taking are integral parts of your child’s social and emotional development. These are especially important to learn about when starting school so that your child can begin to learn to navigate other’s feelings. Your child will learn the definitions of both empathy and perspective taking, their similarities, and their differences. These terms are difficult to grasp, even for adults. Rachel and Kristin will use hands-on activities in order to make sure that your child adequately understands empathy and perspective taking, how to show empathy towards others, as well as how to take the perspective of others. Parents-you will be encouraged to reinforce these topics by practicing with your child every day, even after school starts. These activities will also sharpen your child’s skills in recognizing their own body language as well as others’ body language.

 

2)  Teamwork/Relationship building

The best thing about group counseling is children getting to learn from other children their age in a safe environment. Group counseling fosters building skills to work in a team.  Being able to work in a team or group is extremely important, especially for your child’s future. Teamwork is not only important between students, but between teacher and student as well. Effective teamwork shows that your child is able to use skills related to communication and compromise. When your child’s teacher assigns group work, there is a common goal to be worked toward. Not everyone works toward goals in a similar way, which is completely fine, as long as your child knows how to navigate this in an appropriate manner. In order to assist in your child’s ability to work effectively in a group, Rachel and Kristin will provide scenarios to roleplay. Each child will have the opportunity to practice skills in order to understand the importance of teamwork and how to accomplish group work efficiently.

 

At the end of the week, your child will be sent home with a resource folder so that you are able to practice and reinforce the skills that they learned during camp. This will help strengthen learning and to keep anxious feelings at bay. Remember, all feelings are okay to have! If your child is still feeling anxious, that is okay. Take the time to validate and empathize with your child. Remind them that you are proud of them for preparing for the first days of school and that they have a set of new skills that will help them get through challenging times. Let them know that you are there for them and you know what it is like to start something new!

 

How to Sign Up

 

You can call our office at 713-380-1151 to sign up for our school readiness camp. Our wonderful intake specialist, Helena, will guide you through the process of getting your child set up. You can also email Rachel or Kristin directly at rachelealy@heightsfamilycounseling.com and kristintallackson@heightsfamilycounseling.com. We are happy to offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to answer any questions that you may have about the camp. During the parent-only intake, your counselor will gather information about your child in order to get to know your child and to make sure that the camp is a good fit.

  

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Written by Katie Mitchell, M.A., Certified Sex Therapist

            For July’s highlighted position of the month, I thought I would share a simple position that is great for partners who are tired, but still desire to sexually engage with one another.  This is a great option for those who have been busy all week with the fourth of July and have no plans of slowing down yet!

As you are probably imagining, this position is only a slight twist of the tradition 69 position.  The great thing about making this small change is that it makes the position much more comfortable for you both.  Neither of you have to decide who will be on top or bottom; instead, both partners can focus on giving and receiving pleasure with one another. 

In order to get into this position, try laying on a soft surface – like a bed, wide sofa, or blanketed surface.  You will both lay on your side, facing one another.  However, rather than laying face-to-face, you will both lay with a head-to-feet orientation.  Thus, your head will face your partner’s genitals, and your partner’s head will face yours.  It’ll help to provide more oral access to each other, if you both bend your top leg upwards (when laying on side, the leg that is laying on top of the other) and rest it on your ankle, creating a rhombus shape with your inner legs.  From here, both of you can use your hands and mouths to provide sexual pleasure to each another.  Be sure to provide one another with verbal affirmations, sharing what is pleasurable and/or what you would like more of.

Even when you are both wiped of all energy, there are great position options that do not require a ton of output from one another.  I hope you and your partner deliberately carve out some time from a busy week to sexually connect with one another!

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Written by Rachel Ealy, M.Ed., LPC-Intern

 

Have you been thinking about signing your child up for Heights Family Counseling’s School Readiness Camp, but aren’t sure if it will get a good fit? Perhaps this is the first time you are hearing about the camp and want to know a little bit more about it. This week’s blog will delve deeper into the camp’s format and a couple of topics covered. Check out my last blog for more on group counseling, the benefits of group counseling, and how to talk to your child about group counseling. https://heightsfamilycounseling.com/blog/2019/5/29/summer-counseling-camps-have-arrived

 

Leading up to the start of our School Readiness Camp, I will be writing a blog series that highlights topics covered in the camp. Just a reminder, Heights Family Counseling’s child and adolescent therapists, Rachel and Kristin, will co-lead this camp open to children entering kindergarten through 2nd grade. The camp will be held Monday, July 29th through Friday, August 2nd from 10:00am-11:15am at our office located at 2500 Summer St., Houston, TX 77007 #1220.

 

Our School Readiness Camp is designed for children who are unsure of what to expect on the first day; children experiencing anxiety, nervousness, or stress related to starting school or getting in to the routine, and for those that may need to touch up on some skills before starting the school year. Being anxious or nervous about school is not a requirement! Those that are more confident and ready for the school year can help those who may be more nervous and those that are more nervous can help the children that are more confident in other ways. Let’s face it, grade school is hard and each year comes with its own challenges! There are many things to navigate including routines and schedules, school rules, making new friends, meeting lots of new adults, and perhaps getting up earlier than usual.

 

Camp Format

 

Each day camp will follow the same general format. Camp will begin promptly at 10am every morning. The children will sit in a circle to foster relationship building as well as encourage engagement in the group. The counselors will review the group rules consisting of 1) listening with your whole body (each group member will be taught how to do this), 2) respect your peers, 3) talk only when it is your turn or if there is group discussion, and 4) have fun! Next, the counselors will check in with each group member by asking a question and allowing time for each member to answer. The check-in serves to build the therapeutic relationship as well as foster emotion identification and expression. Additionally, the check-in helps to ‘break the ice,’ so to speak. The children will be encouraged to empathize with and validate their fellow group members. The next step involves introducing the day’s topic. Each day will consist of learning about the day’s topic and the counselors will answer any questions the group members may have. The counselors will then utilize handouts, games, and group discussion to teach and reinforce the topic of the day. After wrapping up the activities, the group members will learn and practice a mindful calming strategy. Group closing will involve a recap of the day and group members teaching the other members how to do the mindful calming strategy.

 

 

Group Topics

 

            This week’s blog will feature two of the six topics covered in the group. Stay tuned for summaries on additional topics.

 

Heights Family Counseling’s School Readiness Camp’s main goals are to prepare your child for starting school and to ease the transition in to elementary school. Rachel and Kristin developed a curriculum tailored specifically to assist with your child’s needs. This week I will be reviewing 1) What to expect at school and 2) expected and unexpected behaviors:

 

1)  What to Expect at School

During your parent-intake appointment, your counselor will gather information about your child to make sure that your child will be a good fit for the group. You will be asked what school your child will be attending. Behind the scenes, Rachel and Kristin will do as much research as possible to tailor the group to the specific needs of each member. Rachel and Kristin will gather information about each school to help each child be successful in the transition back to school. Some standard “what to expect” material will be introduced as well. Some of these include: waking up on time for school, eating a balanced breakfast in order to fuel our brains, getting used to a schedule (bell schedule for some), what a fire drill will be like, what subjects you will be required to learn, raising your hand before asking a question, what behaviors are expected in the classroom, cafeteria, and playground, and more! Your child will become more and more comfortable with starting school every day!

 

2)  Expected and Unexpected Behavior

Your child will learn the definitions of both expected and unexpected behavior, how expected and unexpected behaviors makes others feel, the consequences for expected and unexpected behaviors, and explore how these behaviors make them feel inside. The counselors and group members will safely roll play several different scenarios to foster a deeper understanding of the emotions connected to each behavior. Each group member will have the chance to identify both expected and unexpected behaviors during the roll play activities. Now that your child is better equipped to identify expected and unexpected behavior in themselves and others, the counselors will help prepare your child for what to do when they spot unexpected behaviors in their fellow classmates.

 

At the end of the week, your child will be sent home with a resource folder so that you are able to practice and reinforce the skills that they learned during camp. This will help strengthen learning and to keep anxious feelings at bay. Remember, all feelings are okay to have! If your child is still feeling anxious, that is okay. Take the time to validate and empathize with your child. Remind them that you are proud of them for preparing for the first days of school and that they have a set of new skills that will help them get through challenging times. Let them know that you are there for them and you know what it is like to start something new!

  

How to Sign Up

 

You can call our office at 713-380-1151 to sign up for our school readiness camp. Our wonderful intake specialist, Helena, will guide you through the process of getting your child set up. You can also email Rachel or Kristin directly at rachelealy@heightsfamilycounseling.com and kristintallackson@heightsfamilycounseling.com. We are happy to offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to answer any questions that you may have about the camp. During the parent-only intake, your counselor will gather information about your child in order to get to know your child and to makes sure that the camp is a good fit.

 

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Written by Michele Dial, M.Ed, LPC

  

“If the airplane cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Place the mask over your nose and mouth before helping others.” You know the drill – put your mask on FIRST. Even though our instincts often guide us to take care of EVERYONE else first, or at least those closest to us. Especially our family, right?


Wrong.

 

Yes, making you partner, your kids, your siblings and parents a priority IS important. We are humans; we are built for connection. For many, nurturing is instinctual. But how nurturing can you be if your resources (empathy, patience, lovingkindness, understanding, energy) are completely depleted?

 

If you pass out from lack of oxygen, how the heck can you possibly help anyone else with their oxygen mask?

 

You can’t. In order to serve and care for others, we have to have something to give. If this concept of taking care of yourself sounds impossible, try not to worry. The last thing we want to do is add more stress to your life. Instead, take a few more minutes to read this brief blog about easy ways to sprinkle in some self-care, and see if it doesn’t actually boost your ability to help others.

 

Take Five in the Morning

How many of you wake up with your mind racing about all the things you have to do that day? How does your day unfold on days like this? If you’re like me, you hit the ground running – feed the dog, the kids, and anything else that breathes, check the weather, check traffic, get yourself clean and clothed, round everyone up along with all their gear, and pray you didn’t forget anything. By the time you reach your destination, you may feel as though you’ve run a marathon and the day is just getting started.

 

Try This: Set your alarm five minutes earlier than usual – that’s not much sleep to sacrifice, and the benefits can be life-altering. During this five minutes, choose something enriching to help ease your racing mind, and take control of your body and your day, before it runs away with you.

Some suggestions:

-       Read the news with some coffee

-       Meditate on a handy app with time-sensitive meditation options (Calm, Headspace)

-       Read a devotional or inspirational passage

-       Do jumping jacks or jog in place to expend nervous energy

-       Practice deep, controlled breathing and stretching to slow your thoughts

-       Take some tips from the 6-minute Miracle Morning (https://halelrod.com/6-minute-miracle-morning/)

 

Make Time for Lunch

If you’re accustomed to eating in your car or at your desk, you may find that you get indigestion, eat unhealthy foods, or even forget that you’ve eaten … or haven’t. Absentminded, rushed eating wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. Dedicating even just 15 minutes to eating and nothing else, can allow a brief interlude in your day to relax, reset, and refocus on whatever tasks are awaiting your attention.

 

Try This: Plan your lunches ahead of time. If you know what you’re eating the next day, you can take some of the uncertainty off your plate and make dedicating that 15 minutes to eating much more feasible. Bonus points if you schedule a leisurely lunch with your significant other or a friend.

Some suggestions:

-       Pack up dinner leftovers in to-go containers

-       Use a mail-order meal service

-       Buy pre-made, health-smart lunches at the grocery store that you can grab-and-go

-       Eat in the kitchen or dining area at home, or a common area away from your desk in order to truly disconnect from projects

 

Get Your Body Moving

Exercise is often at the bottom of the list of priorities when we start to feel the time crunch. It’s an unfortunate casualty because the benefits run far deeper than just shaping your body. The release of endorphin and adrenaline boosts mood and releases tension.

 

Try This: Try not to feel overwhelmed by hour-long classes at the gym, which also requires round-trip drive time, or a run in the heat that requires showering and getting ready all over again. Instead, get your body moving in small spurts throughout your day to increase blood flow, boost your energy, and clear your mind.

Some suggestions:

-       Take a 5-minute stretch break

-       Walk around your block or office building during lunch or on a break

-       Walk the dog

-       Look for online guided exercise, such as yoga or Zumba that you can do in 20-30 minutes at home

-       Set up a portable table tennis net on your dining room table and engage the whole family

 

Take 15 Before Bed

At the end of a busy day, diving straight into bed can leave us tossing and turning as we struggle to settle our minds. We may find ourselves critiquing our choices and actions from the day and fretting about tomorrow’s to-do list. It’s no wonder we find it difficult to get deep, restful sleep.

 

Try This: Take 15 minutes to wind down intentionally, slowing your mind and body, and working through the whirlwind of racing thoughts.  can take a world of difference.

Some suggestions:

-       Take a hot bath or shower

-       Read a book

-       Meditate (remember those apps!)

-       Journal – a simple debrief of your distress and sources of joy for the day

-       Make a list for tomorrow to clear out the worry

-       Make a gratitude list

-       Practice deep, controlled breathing and stretching to slow your thoughts

-       Cuddle with your partner or your pet

 

See a Professional Counselor

I know you’re busy taking care of everyone else. You don’t have time for therapy. I get it. But who’s taking care of you? When your resources are depleted, you have nothing to give. Enter your therapist. A professional counselor or therapist can serve as a compassionate source of support, and an objective resource for working through difficulties, restoring your emotional reserves, and strengthening your sense of self. When you fill up your tank, you have so much more to give in your quest to serve and care for others.

 

Remember: taking care of you IS taking care of others.

 

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Written by Katie Mitchell, M.A. Certified Sex Therapist

Dreams are wonderful to have; yet, people often struggle to connect with partners or even acknowledge those dreams themselves, especially if feeling over committed in over areas of life.  If you’re devoted to work and your partner, committing to a dream can feel overwhelming.  Have you been able to relate to this line of thought?  Ever found yourself thinking, “How in the world am I supposed to give more time to something else, when I feel like I already do not give enough time to x, y, and z?” “But dreams are important.  You own dreams.  Your partner’s dreams.  And the dreams you have together.  Dreaming together, and supporting each other in pursuing individual dreams, is just as critical for your relationship as trust, commitment, and sex.”  Making time to discuss dreams will help foster intimacy, connection, and the feeling of support within your relationship. 

I know that as a couples counselor and as someone who is also guilty of assuming thing within my marriage, it can be easy to find yourself in a place of believing that you already know everything that there is to know about your partner (yes – I’m talking to you, the couple who has been together for years and believes that they have already talked about every topic that exists), but the reality is that people grow and change over time and the topic of dreams is a conversation that is always worth coming back around to.  “Dreaming together is one of the most profound acts you can do in a relationship with each other.  And honoring your partner’s dreams is a potent way to express your care for someone, because it shows a profound love.”  Additionally, when we hide or suppress our dreams, we hide precious aspects of ourselves, which ultimately blocks intimacy and connection in a relationship. 

Remember that one of the arts of dreaming and making those dreams a reality is potentially taking turns within the relationship.  Both of your dreams can be supported by one another, but they might not be able to be acted out all at the same time.  Discuss with your partner what it looks like to support one another, to take turns, and to make sacrifices for one another, without suppressing your dreams and building resentment. 

The Gottmans’ and Abrams’ provide the following questions as a helpful tool in discussing dreams with your partner: How do you see work changing in the future?  What do you find exciting about life right now?  What are your biggest worries about the future?  How do you think we could have more fun in our life?  What things are you missing in your life?  The Gottmans’ and Abrams’ also provide a wonderful free exercise on dream levels (found at the PDF link provided below) which help individuals to identify/inspire their dreams so that they can then be better understood by your own self and communicated better to your partner.  They recommend that both of you complete this activity prior to the date and then discuss it as a portion of the dreams date. 

This chapter provides amazing recommendations of date locations, which includes out-of-the-home and in-home options.  If going out for this date, try finding a location that is inspiring for you both.  This might be a place with a beautiful view, or maybe it is a place that you have both acknowledged as inspirational in the past.  If needing to do this date at home, try creating a sense of inspiration within your home for this conversation.   Possibly having this conversation sitting on a blanket under the stars in your backyard, or maybe sitting in your favorite room in the house (that is most inspirational to you both).  At this end of this chapter, there is a ton of other helpful information on dreams and more open-ended questions to consider discussing.

As always, if you and your partner struggle to communicate in an open manner, the first few chapters of Eight Dates also include helpful information on putting your feelings into words; asking open-ended questions; making exploratory statements; and expressing tolerance, empathy, and understanding.  I highly recommend reading through this material as a refresher for even those who consider themselves the best communicators!

If you are just tuning into this new blog series, I highly suggest going back to read all of the previous date topics, as this blog covers the final date topic in the series.  The first date topic, trust and commitment; the second date topic, conflict; the third date topic, sex; the fourth date topic, work and sex; the fifth date topic, children; the sixth date topic, play; the seventh date topic, growth and spirituality.  Eight Dates is a date guide about 8 different beneficial conversations that help couples to connect and gain a better understanding of one another.  If you finding this resonating with you and your partner, I highly suggest purchasing the book here and completing each of the date conversations with your significant other.  For your convenience the authors have complied the exercises from each chapter in a free PDF; you can find them here.

Do yourself and your relationship a favor this weekend and take some sacred time to discuss how you and your partner discuss and foster dreams within your relationship.  Discuss how the two of you can “imagine and then reimagine” your lives together.  If you find that the two of you struggle to discuss dreams, reach out to our office today, and we will get you set up with a counselor who can help you both work towards transforming that experience. 

 

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Written by Katie Mitchell, M.A., Certified Sex Therapist

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH Y’ALL!!  Around the world, June is Pride Month for LGBT+ community.  I hope that you’ve had the chance to celebrate yourself or loved ones everyday this year, but also hope that you have the time to do so publicly this month with all the Pride Celebrations that are taking place!  Many of the quintessential Pride events are taking place next week(end), including the Houston Pride Parade.  More information can be found here on the Houston Pride Parade.  Be sure to take a look at the official Houston Pride calendar of events here for information on all other Pride events. 

If you are unable to make it to any of the pride events, there are many other ways to celebrate your own LGBTQIA pride or be a proud ally to those around you!   To begin with, there are many other days that highlight and celebrate the LGBT+ community throughout the year.  This is definitely something to honor more than just one day in June or throughout the month of June.  ALGBTICAL, the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama, has several great resources that discusses the important days of celebration for the LGBT+ community (link). 

If you are a person who would like to celebrate your own LGBTQIA experience and/or support those around you who identify with this community, but disagree with the way large corporations have sponsored and/or change Pride celebrations, there are other ways of acknowledging and showing support to the LGBT+ community.  One example is to buy products from companies who support the LGBT+ community.  Here are some amazing options for sex companies who pride themselves on truly supporting the LGBTQIA community.  This article includes information on different companies who strive to support and campion for the LGBT+ community.  Other ways of showing support is by volunteering with local organizations.  For Houstonians, the following link leads to the Montrose Center Volunteer page where you can submit a volunteer application!  Plus, here is another article that provides information on the different social organizations and volunteer opportunities that support the local LGBT+ community in Houston. 

Another way to celebrate yourself or those around you in the LGBT+ community is to be educated on matters of LGBT rights.  The American Civil Liberties Union has an incredible website with lots of information regarding LGBT rights.  Be educated on your rights as a person of the LGBT+ community or help to support those around you in better understanding and being aware of their rights.  Another major piece of showing support for the LGBTQIA community, is gaining a better understanding of intersectionality.  There are a lot of individuals who would identify as being a part of the LGBT+ community, but who do not feel welcomed into the community because of other aspects of their identity (race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc).  The following blogs do an excellent job at describing how the LGBT+ movement can prioritize experiences for specific individuals over others (link and link) and help to provide a basic education for those who are wanting to better understand intersectionality. 

At some point this month, I hope that you are able to take some time to celebrate Pride in Houston!  If you identify with the LGBT+ community, I hope you have a safe and spectacular time authentically celebrating your own experience.  If you are attending any Pride festivities as a proud ally this month, I hope you take some time to support those who you know (and don’t) within the LGBT+ community by potentially stepping back and prioritizing their celebration of experience; here are some helpful ways to do so. 

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Written by Kristin Tallackson, M.A., LPC (OH), LPC-Intern (TX)Child and Adolescent Specialist

 

Impulse control is an essential skill for completing daily tasks. Impulse control takes place in our prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that manages executive functions. Children’s brains are continually growing and certain activities can help facilitate growth.

 

What does it mean to act on impulse?

Defining impulsiveness can be tricky. Most think of it as being lazy or thoughtless, but it actually means to lack self-control or to react quickly without thinking. Those who struggle impulse control may disregard rules, spontaneously hit another child, or have strong reactions to what others see as little problems.

 

How can you help?

There are many ways to help your child with impulse control, but perhaps one of the best ways is through games. Games like red light green light, slap jack, mother may I, Simon says, Jenga/Jenga Pass and Operation help children gain impulse control. Other ways you can help include modeling (model the behavior you want to see from your child), teaching delayed gratification, labeling emotions, and remembering that consistency is key.

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Brittany Barnes, M.A, CST-Candidate

Hey it’s Brittany with #weekendvibes!  School is out, temperatures are rising and vacation vibes are all around!  Summer is officially here, and there are a number of activities to do in our beautiful city.  Discovery green is a free option, that offers different things to do for all ages.  You can catch a yoga class in the park, take the kids to play in the fountains or play set, take a ride in the paddle boats or catch a free movie at night.  Discovery green is a beautiful space that has something for anybody, and is cost effective.  Another budget friendly summer activity are free movies that are being offered during the summer at the Miller Outdoor Theater.   You can bring a blanket and set up a picnic while enjoying a movie from the hill.  Along the lines with affordable and fun activities; Alamo Drafthouse offers $5 movie tickets before 2 PM.  Another exciting summer deal in our city is that museums are offering free entries to museums in the museum district at different times of the day, every Thursday.  The Museum of Fine Arts and The Children’s Museum are two of the museums that are participating in Free Museum Day.  It is really exciting to see that Houston is providing a variety of activities that a family, couple or individual can partake in that are not only fun, but wallet friendly as well.  Summer time can be just the reason we need to take some time off to decompress and spend some much-needed quality time with others and ourselves.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!  Have fun!

https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/texas/articles/17-things-to-do-in-houston-this-summer/  

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