5 Basic Tips for Better Parenting

After spending over thirty years with children and parents, we
have developed 5 basic parenting tips that will change how you feel about being
a parent. These are such basic tips, yet they are fundamentally going to change
how you think and behave towards your children.
They are nothing new, they are common sense tips.

 

Tip #1: Have a Purpose in Your Parenting:

When you become a parent for the first time, no
one gives you the manual. You must figure it out on your own as parents. Some
of us do it the way our parents did. Some of us read the latest books on
parenting. Some of us just go at it one day at a time. None of the above ways
are wrong. You, as parents, need to have a reason, or purpose, to the
parenting. Do you want to rear dependent, needy children? Maybe you want your
child to live with you forever, or at least next door. Would you rather produce
independent, self-sufficient children? You may want your children to travel the
world and explore new places. Whatever your choice, you will be the one to
determine this in how you parent your children.

My husband and I determined early on that we wanted to raise
our children to be independent, competent Christian adults. We knew we would
have so much fun with our adult children if we were successful in our
purposeful parenting. We started early giving them opportunities to make
decisions and see the results, either as consequences or rewards. We encouraged
reading and education, as well as giving them opportunities to do things on
their own. In doing so, we did not hover over them, blame others when our child
made a mistake or error, or allow them to not take responsibility for their
actions. It is hard to see you child fall down and not want to help them up.
Yet, in the end, by falling and getting up on their own, they learn to be
confident even when they make a mistake.

 

Tip #2: Say it Once.
Do not repeat yourself. Children are trained to know when to REALLY listen. I
learned this the hard way. One early summer day I had prepared lunch for my
children who were playing right outside the kitchen on the patio. I could hear
them because the window was open. I had done such a great job on their peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches, even cutting them into hearts with the cookie
cutter. I went to the window and said, “Kids, lunch is on the table!” I watched
them continue to play for a moment or two, then said it again, a little louder.
I stood there watching them ignore me! I got madder and madder. Then the oldest
said, “Did mom call us to lunch?” My son replied to her, “Yes, but she has two
more calls before she really means it.” What an eye opener for me! I had
trained my kids to not come at the first call, but the fourth one!

If you mean it, just say it once. It will be hard to
re-train them and yourself, but you will be happier when you do!

 

Tip #3: Give Them a Choice:

Whenever possible give them a choice instead of a command. Children
have little control over their life. They need to learn how, and giving them
choices teaches them this important life lesson. Giving a child the choice to
choose between a positive and negative helps them learn how to make the right
choice and they learn about consequences. Unless you want your child living
with you forever, begin now giving them a choice instead of a hard and fast
command.

A great example of this came to me from a parent friend. Her
daughter had the job of unloading the dishwasher, which was not her favorite
thing to do. The daughter would refuse, throw a fit or just ignore had a choice
of either doing the job right then and being free to play, OR she could go to
her room until she was ready to do the job. Now this meant mom had to wait for
her to decide, but the girl learned that sitting in her room was not what she
really wanted to be doing. She wanted to be playing, so the next time the
choice came along she made the “right” choice of doing the job immediately. It
does not always go this smoothly the first time, but once you begin giving
choices and not drawing lines in the sand, the child will respond.

 

Tip #4: Technology
and Our Families
: It is hard to imagine our lives today without any kind of
technology. Don’t believe me? Try going the day without any technology! Do not
use your cell phone, iPad, computer, TV, etc.
You will be amazed at how helpless you feel. Your children have been
raised in a world with information and entertainment at their fingertips. They
do not know that televisions come with buttons to change a channel or turn the
power on. They do not know a world without microwaves and DVD’s. Our lives are
constantly being bombarded with trivial information, to the point they do not
know what is important to listen to now. No wonder so many suffer from ADHD and
ADD.

All technology is only as good as the user. As the parents,
do you have standards of use and time limitations on “screen time”? Is there on
central place all electronics are turned in at night to be “charged” (and
inspected if need be)? Talk to your children about the positive and negative
uses of the internet and Youtube. Let them know what you expect from them and
how you are going to monitor them. Children, as well as adults, need to know
the rules of the house and how to protect themselves. Parents should know how
to access any Facebook, Instagram, or website your child has.

 

Tip #5: Children as Adults:

Parenting does not last forever, if you have chosen to raise
independent children. Once your child is in their mid-teens, you have taught
them all you are going to as a parent. You will continue to guide and assist
them as they travel towards adulthood. If the lines of communication stays open
and trust is there, they will continue to seek you out for advice and help
along the way. This is when the “choices” should pay off. They know how to make
a choice because you have given them plenty of opportunity to practice. They
developed an understanding or rewards and/or consequences. You have provided
the foundation of education, love and support they need to have the confidence
to try, and sometimes fail, on their own.

Parenting is not for the weak or the weary. It is a great
challenge. It is a wonderful experience as well. You can decide to make changes
anywhere along the path and have great results. You just have to know your
purpose, say it once, give them choices and guide them through the pitfalls of
modern technology. Your parents and their parents before them did the same
thing.

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An Act of Courage

An Act of Courage

 Seeking help is an act of courage. To ask a friend to help
you with a personal issue is hard. But to ask a total stranger to know your
deepest secrets and problems is beyond difficult! Taking the first step,
whether a phone call or an internet search, is bold and brave.

As a Licensed Associate Counselor, I am amazed at the
courageous people who call and come in my office every day! Sometimes it is
easier to tell a total stranger your problems than a trusted friend or family
member. I get that. They don’t know me and I don’t know anyone in their life.
Having the courage to admit you have a problem at all is remarkable.

After all, we live in the United States of America, home of
the free and brave. We are supposed to be able to do anything we set our minds
and hands to. So to say to someone we are not able to do something on our own,
especially as an adult, is a tough thing.

In anything we set out to do, the first step is always the
most difficult. Letting others help you with that step can be scary. Trust is a
huge thing in counseling. Trusting someone with your life, your secret, and
your emotions can be frightening. A good counselor or therapist knows this and
should be willing to help you as you take this first of many steps together.

So go for it! Be Strong and Courageous! You are Bold and
Brave! Look for someone to help you and begin healing and growing today.

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A Quiet Sanctuary

A Quiet Sanctuary

 Everyone wants a  climate of peace and contentment in the home.
We love thinking about a home where everyone in the family is welcome and loved. Parents want their children to grow up in a calm atmosphere with no fighting or arguing. Couples desire a peaceful, serene environment that is warm and comforting after a hard day’s work out in the harsh world.

This is what we want, but this is not reality in most American homes today. Most of our homes are an extension of the harsh, loud world we so desperately want to escape. How then, can we create this desired oasis in our homes? Is it possible to for a family, couple, or single parent to have this sanctuary within the walls of their home? I believe it is!

Let’s start by building an atmosphere of loving consideration. If each family member considers one thing each day they can do for one other family member or the family as a whole, we have a good beginning. When one person puts another person’s needs or interest before their own, they gain a sense of accomplishment and giving they did not have before. Ask yourself or your child this question, “What did you do for the family today at home?” Remember, making your bed or cleaning up your mess is not for the family, it is for your own satisfaction or comfort. Doing dishes or carrying out the trash is something for the family. We all dirty the dishes and we all create trash so these jobs are perfect examples of doing something for the
family.

Next, allow every family member time to “leave off the world and re-connect to the family”. This means that everyone should have at least 15 minutes, if not 30, to transition from the world to home. A  husband and/or wife coming in from work needs a few minutes to shift gears, change clothes, or just go to the bathroom before taking up the new responsibilities of home and children. Children who have been at daycare or school all day need this as well. Parents, do not make the kids walk in the door and begin homework! They need a break too! Children, do not ask for food the minute mom walks in the
door! She needs time to shift from being an employee/employer to being mom!

Finally, establish “quiet zones” or “quiet times” in the home. You may choose a room or corner to be the quiet place in your home where
family members can go to escape the noise, read, or meditate. You may choose to set aside a time each day, like right before the kids’ bedtime, and all the distractions like TV or video games are turned off. Everyone finds something to do that is quiet and calming before heading to bed. Can you imagine how relaxed you would be when you finally have the kids in bed and you are ready to go to sleep?

Find ways to establish quiet and loving respect into
your home. You will create the sanctuary you desire. You and your family will look forward to coming home each day to a loving, caring environment. A place where everyone is glad to see you and each is looking for ways to serve the other.

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Blended Families

In our world today, “blended families” are the norm. Learning how to cope with two sets of parents, two houses, two sets of rules and all the other changes that come with it, is hard on the kids. Everyone knows that divorce is hard on children, but so is trying to create a “new” family from two broken ones.

Children are asked to live in a constant changing environment when placed in a new blended family. So many things change. Who is “Mommy” and “Daddy” and in which house do I have to call the step parent that? Can I have my own room in the new family, or do I have to share with another kid? Do I get a choice, anyway?

Children have so many questions and are often either not answered or put off until things are calmer. Things are NEVER calmer to them until they get answers!

When parents and step-parents give the children some decision-making power, things will go smoother. Talk to them about the changes before hand. Give them time to ask questions. Let them have a say in SOMETHING. They will respond.

Also, kids are smarter than most adults give them credit for. Inform them of the events leading up to the changes coming their way. You do not have to share everything about the divorce or how crazy the other parent is acting, but give them credit for already having a clue that things are not the way they used to be.

Talk to your children. Treat them with respect and love. Give them a say in the decision-making if at all possible and listen when they talk. They will make the transition easier and you will too!

 

 

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The Dangers of Taking a Counselor’s Advice

Giving advice is often what clients expect from counselors. When I enrolled in my first Master’s level counseling course, I expected to be taught the answers to problems so that I could properly advise clients. I was surprised and bewildered when the professor, during the first week of class, emphasized that a counselor was not supposed to give advice. According to the professor, whenever you give someone advice, three things can happen – two of them are bad and the other one is not good. The person you are advising can choose to not follow the advice (this is the one thing that is not good). So your advice may be wasted, along with the effort to help the client. Although seeking advice sometimes helps a person to evaluate options and make better decisions.

The bad things occur when the client listens to the advice and tries to follow it. The first bad thing is that the situation doesn’t change, or may even get worse. The person may not have listened well, may not have implemented the changes properly, or may have done exactly as instructed, but the counselor didn’t properly analyze the situation. Whatever the problem, people being people, the counselor will get the blame. This lowers the counselor’s credibility and discourages the client from seeking help.

The second bad thing is when the person follows the advice and it works. (This was one of the most startling, and discouraging things that I learned in my counseling training). When the counselor’s solutions work, the immediate situation may improve, but the client is damaged. How? The counselor is now seen as the person with the answers, so the client does not need to find answers, make decisions, evaluate options, in short, learn to guide their own life. Instead, this person becomes dependent upon the counselor, and the counselor is given the responsibility of making decisions for another person’s life. This is not good for the counselor either. We all have enough trouble leading our own life. We don’t need to take on responsibility for another person. (Even with children, we should accept that responsibility as a custodian to gradually return to our child. But this is the subject of a future blog.)

So, counselors are not supposed to be advice givers. Then why, you may ask, should anyone go to a counselor? Good question, glad you asked. I see myself as a guide. My clients have gotten themselves lost in the forest and can’t find their way to their destination. It is not my job to tell them where to go, and it is especially not my job to carry them there. But I can show them the way, and point out the signs that mark the path so that if they are ever lost in the same place again, they can find their own way through.
Carl Rogers advocated that clients hold the answers to their problems within themselves. His model of counseling portrays the counselor as a helper who assists the person in finding their own answers. While this view of counseling limits the power of the counselor, it is very empowering for the person seeking help. And empowering a person to take better control of their life is one of the primary purposes of a counselor.

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Parenting 101

Parenting is a full time job for two people. It takes confidence, humility and patience at the best of times, let alone courage. Parenting should be deliberate and consistent. With many single parent or duo-working parent households today, many parents are struggling to feel
confident or patient.

One of the biggest stressors in parenting today seems to be lack of time and consistency. Most parents want to do their best but are limited in time and patience. Busy parents are tired and not ready to deal with tired and cranky children in the evening when everyone arrives home.

Here are a few simple things to try to ease the initial chaos and frustrations when everyone gets home at the same time:

Everyone take a short break from each other. Go to separate rooms or parts of the home and relax for at least 1o minutes (but up to 30 works).  Once everyone, especially parents, has a moment to “switch gears” and get into “home mode” then everyone is ready for “family time”.

Homework is another sore spot for parents and children alike. A simple fix to this problem is a kitchen timer. Give the child 20 minutes on the timer to work on homework. When the timer goes off, the child gets a 5 minute break. Have them get a drink of water, walk around or leave the room. Then back to the homework for another 20 minutes. Adults don’t sit for hours on end working, why should we expect a child to do it?

The last simple fix is to take time to ask about each other’s day. By showing genuine concern for each other, the stressors of outside life will go away and the family can bond together over shared experiences and life.

Parenting is hard at the best of times. Try to take a little time for self and your children will be happier too. Talk to each other, give positive encouragement once a day to each other and you will see a wonderful change in the home.

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Social Phobia

This is a lightly edited reprint of a brief paper I submitted to a graduate course several years ago.  The information is still current.  I am adding it to my blog to assist anyone
suffering from Social Phobia to better understand their problem and the treatments available for it.

A friend who is an accomplished speaker once admitted to an audience that he had a problem that regularly caused him embarrassment and discomfort.  He had a fear of ordering from a menu in a restaurant when he was with a group of people.  He didn’t have any problem ordering from a menu when he was alone.  He wasn’t bothered by the waiter or waitress.  It was his fear of what the people with him at the table might think of his food choices and manner of ordering.  He regularly managed the problem by waiting until someone else ordered, and then saying, “I’ll have the same, please.”

This man suffers from a social phobia.  He is distressed by the fear of what others might think about his performance in a social situation.  “Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is diagnosed when people become overwhelmingly anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social situations” (NIMH, 2009).  Social phobia is a strong fear of being judged by others, and becomes a disorder when it interferes with everyday life (NIMH, 2008).

Social phobia is one type of phobia.  Phobias are a subset of anxiety disorders.  Although at least 275 types of phobias have been identified, the DSM-IV-TR only lists three:  agoraphobia, specific phobia, and social phobia (Maxmen, Ward, & Kilgus, 2009). About fifteen million American adults suffer from social phobia (Kessler, et.al., 2005). The lifetime prevalence is between three percent and thirteen percent of the American adult
population (Ingersol and Burns, 2001).  Social phobia affects men and women equally (Bourdon, et. al., 1998).  People suffering social phobia may experience physical symptoms such as blushing, heavy sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty walking (NIMH, 2008).

Social phobia can be treated with medication and/or therapy.  Drugs that have efficacy for treating social phobias include escitalopram, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine (Hansen, et. al., 2008).  In addition to antidepressants, anti-anxiety
medications and beta blockers are also useful (NIMH, 2008).  The most common therapies for social phobia are social skills training (SST), relaxation techniques, exposure-based methods, and multicomponent cognitive-behavioral treatments (Barlow, Esler, and
Vitali, 1998).

The DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistics Manual, fourth edition) defines social phobia as a marked or persistent fear of social situations where embarrassment may occur (APA, 2000, p. 450).

Diagnostic Criteria for Social Phobia (APA, 2000, p. 456):

A. A marked or persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The
individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be humiliating or embarrassing. Note: In children, there must be evidence of the capacity for age-appropriate social relationships with familiar people and the anxiety must occur in peer settings, not just in interactions with adults.

B. Exposure to the feared social situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed Panic Attack. Note:
In children, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or shrinking from social situations with unfamiliar people.

C. The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Note: In children, this feature may be absent.

D. The feared social or performance situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety or distress.

E. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance
situation(s) interferes significantly with the person’s normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.

F. In individuals under age 18 years, the duration is at least 6 months.

G. The fear or avoidance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g.,
a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition and is not better
accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Panic Disorder with or Without
Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a Pervasive
Developmental Disorder, or Schizoid Personality Disorder).

H. If a general medical condition or another mental disorder is present, the fear in Criterion A is unrelated to it, e.g., the fear is not of Stuttering, trembling in
Parkinson’s disease, or exhibiting abnormal eating behavior in Anorexia Nervosa
or Bulimia Nervosa.

“Essential in the treatment of phobias is exposing patients to the feared object or situation for an uninterrupted period of time” (Maxmen, Ward, & Kilgus, 2009, p. 396).  The objective of therapy is to motivate and enable the client to immerse self in the feared social situation and experience a sense of control over self, both emotional and behavioral.  The medications prescribed are to enable the person to endure the physical and emotional reactions to their fear.  The counselor helps the person to find healthier ways of thinking about the feared situations, as well as to discover and practice successful ways of acting in the situation.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective with anxiety disorders, including social phobia (NIMH, 2009).  An example of a treatment method for social phobia using CBT is to lead the client through the thought process of imagining their feared situation occurring.  The feared outcome is explored.  The client is asked to imagine being one of the other social interactors.  The question is posed, “How would you feel if you witnessed someone else experiencing what you fear?”  After the client becomes adept at imagining self failing in the social situation and the consequences being less than feared, the person is led to actively engage in a similar situation with trusted people and intentionally fail.  The outcome is reported back to the therapist.  From that point, the person is encouraged to fail again and survive the experience.  Eventually, the person is able to perform ably despite their continued fear of the situation.

At this time, a cure for social phobia is not available.  But social phobia ceases to be a disorder when the person learns to continue their life in normal ways despite their fear.

If my friend referred to at the beginning of this article were to seek therapy, the following outcome might occur.  The person could describe the fear in detail to the therapist.  All
aspects of the possible outcomes of ordering from a menu in a public restaurant in the midst of peers would be explored.  The client would visualize their worst fear occurring, and then explore the most likely results.  The client would be led to imagine self as an observer of this failure, and describe in detail the feelings concerning the person experiencing the social embarrassment.  The client might be asked to recall the most embarrassing event that occurred concerning the social fear.  Then, the client and the therapist together would design an experiment with safe people (such as close friends or
trusted family members).  The client would intentionally fail during the ordering process in a restaurant in the way most feared.  After the failure, the client would pay close attention to the behavior of the people around.  This experience would be described in detail to the counselor, after the fact.  Then the client would be challenged to again intentionally fail during the ordering process, but with a group of people considered less safe.  Again, the client would be instructed to observe the reactions of these people to the social failure.  After lowering the fear of failure, the final sessions of counseling would center on success strategies for ordering in a variety of public situations.  The client
would be sent forth to succeed and report back to the therapist.  Associated methods of treatment might also include relaxation techniques and visualizing success.  The client would still have the fear, but it would be manageable and not limiting to normal life.

Social phobia is a common problem in American society.  Between three and thirteen percent of the population will find their life limited by the phobia at some point.  There is no cure at present, but there are effective therapies that allow the sufferers to regain control of their life.

References

APA, (2000).  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-TR.  Washington:   American Psychiatric Association.

Barlow, D. H., Esler, J. L., & Vitali, A. E.  (1998).  Psychosocial treatments for panic disorders,   phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.  In P. E. Nathan and J. M. Gorman, Ed.s. A   guide to treatments that work, 288-318. New York: Oxford.

Bourdon, K. H., Boyd, J. H., Rae, D. S., et.al. (1998).  Gender differences in phobias:  Results of  the ECA community survey.  Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2, 227-241.  [Referenced in NIMH, 2009, Anxiety disorders, p. 10.].

Hansen, R. A., Gaynes, B. N., Gartlehner, G., Moore, C. G., Tiwari, R., & Lohr, K. N.
(2008).    Efficacy and tolerability of second-generation antidepressants in
social anxiety disorder.  International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 23 (3), 170-9.

Ingersol, R. E., & Burns, L. (2001).  Prevalence of adult disorders.  In E. R. Welfel & R. E. Ingersol, Ed.s, The Mental Health Desk Reference, 3-10.  New   York:  Wiley.

Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. E.  (2005).  Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R).  Archives of General Psychiatry, 62 (6), 617-627.

Maxmen, J. S., Ward, N. G., & Kilgus, M.  (2009).  Essential psychopathology and its
treatment  
(3rd ed.).  New   York:  Norton.

NIMH.  (2008).  Social phobia:  (Social anxiety disorder).  National Institute of Mental Health,    United States Department of Health and Human Services, NIH publication No. 08-4678.

NIMH.  (2009). Anxiety disorders.  National Institute of Mental Health, United States      Department of Health and Human Services, NIH publication No. 09-3879.

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Depression

Like an ocean wave the feeling of sadness flowed over me, knocking me down, swirling me around until I did not know the way back up; losing all hope, I accepted the end of joy.

This is the season of depression. Cold, dreary days and long nights. Christmas bills and taxes. The holidays are over. Nothing to look forward to until Spring. I can clearly remember elementary school, and how down I felt during the first week back to school after the Christmas holidays. The first week of January has never been a pleasant week for me. But I refuse to allow my down mood to grow into depression.

Depression is a relatively mild and short-lived experience for most people. The common occurrence of depression at this time of year is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is associated with short, gray days and long nights. Darkness oppresses mood, diluting joy, limiting happiness, extending grief, and magnifying problems into hopelessness. Add in the seasonal challenges of weather, and the relational challenges that are often intensified by the holidays, and depression becomes a common problem for many people. And, since emotion seems to be contagious, being surrounded by depressed people is itself depressing. So, if you feel like you are depressed, you probably are, but don’t worry.  Depression is common for this time of year.

There are many things that a person can do to overcome this type of depression. For example, since darkness intensifies depression, you should turn on all the lights in the room as soon as you get home.  I leave a lamp burning in my entry way, so I walk into lit house.  Beginning in the fall, I change the wattage of light bulbs to the brightest that will safely fit in my light fixtures. If you are using the new low-wattage spiral fluorescent bulbs, you need to allow a few minutes for them to warm up to full brightness. I turn on the light in my closet when I first get up in the morning, so it will be brighter when I need it. On sunny days, I try to spend at least a few minutes outside, even if it is bitterly cold. One advantage of living in Arkansas is the warmer, brighter winter days. But even when I lived further north, I sought out the sunshine.

You should also avoid sad shows, sad movies, sad books, and sad songs (no Blues or Country until April). Actively seek out happy people. Exercise regularly (especially walking). Eat healthy. Sleep regularly. Count your blessings. Make plans for spring and summer activities. Read the Psalms. Soon you will be back to normal.

Some people fall deeper into the cycle of depressed feelings, negative thoughts, sad feelings, morbid thoughts, and the feeling of despair that is almost impossible to overcome. There is help! This kind of depression requires a helping hand. Talk to your doctor. There are great medications available to help stabilize your mood. See a good counselor. There are new ways of thinking that will help you to control your emotion. Life does not have to be a burden unless you let it.

For Christians: When a feeling of depression begins, immediately pray, thanking God for as many blessings as you can, and ask for strength to think and feel right. Call a friend. Do not hibernate. Read the book of Philippians or the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Avoid Ecclesiastes.

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People can change

People can change.

Change is a constant.  People grow, develop new skills and understandings, and improve on existing abilities.  People also deteriorate.  People who avoid working on themselves, will begin to lose skills and abilities.  In much the same way that a muscle, unused, will waste away, so do people when they are not challenged.

I have noticed that people experience the greatest growth during times of highest stress.  Curiously, when life is easy, people are more likely to change in unhealthy ways.

The belief that people constantly change, alternating between growth and deterioration, is called a “dynamic” view of humanity.  The opposite view is of “static” existence.  Many people hold to this belief – thinking that once a person matures into an adult, that person will always remain the same way.

Change is caused by many stressors – education, work, promotion, relationships, crises, disasters, misfortunes, disappointments, physical challenges and illness, substance abuse, addictions, and so on.

Change is often unwanted.  Positive change, or growth, may be desired, but avoided because of the amount of work required.  I often challenge my clients, who are trying to survive some disaster in their life, to use this opportunity to intentionally develop their life in some desired way.  After all, they are already experiencing the pain of change, why not add in the joy of achievement?

People do change.  But, without a plan for change, and an ideal for a goal, the change may be for the worse.  Counseling is about change.  Counselors are change agents.  We facilitate life change for our clients.

People who fully use the opportunities available through counseling can find themselves living a radically different life – a life of their choice.

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Welcome to Pogue Counseling

We are change specialists.  We are counselors, psychotherapists, educators, presenters, and writers.  Welcome to our site.

If you are looking for resources to help you change your life, check out this site.

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