17 Jun 2020

BY: Pare

Depression Therapy

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Suicide in Rockwall

Another suicide has happened within our Rockwall “bubble.” I am unsure what each communities pain threshold is for loss by suicide, but being directly involved with the surviving  friends and family members I can imagine sweet hometown Rockwall has to be close to a 10.

I hope that Rockwall can serve as a prime example  of how depression, anxiety,  and broken relationships also “cross the bridge.”  When we hear of a death by suicide the devastation is something words cannot describe.  Leaving behind spouses, children, memories shared with friends and family.  Often people cannot imagine what could have possibly been “that bad” to make such a devasting and tragic decision.

Read More “Suicide in Rockwall”

28 Mar 2020

BY: Pare

Anxiety Therapy / Depression Therapy / Life Coaching

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3 Coping Tools for COVID-19 Anxiety & Depression

 Got “Coronavirus” Stress, Anxiety, Depression?

For many clients COVID-19 or “Coronavirus”   has added stress or  has triggered anxiety and depression symptoms.  It is my goal to continue to support my clients through offering strategies for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress through this unique time through video and remote therapy options.

Keep up the self-care that has worked for you in the past!

(exercise, sleep schedule, coffee before kids rise, alone time with spouse)
Although your schedule and responsibilities have changed, try to find time to keep the “tried and true” healthy habits a part of your day. COVID-19 Stress can quickly accumulate, so be sure to combat it daily.Be sure to limit anything that isn’t working for you (social media, news, inside all day). Check out this list of  self care habits to keep you going Indoor Self-Care. There is a lot of information on COVID-19 that can be helpful for your overall feelings, however, if you are not responsible it could also create fear and unnecessary worry if you over expose your anxiety and depression.

Actively “re-frame” situations

Instead of “I’m having to work from home” try “Hooray! for no commute time” or “I can’t go anywhere” to “I finally have some extra time to be at home.” This might be a challenge sometimes, but how we “think” about things is how we will “feel” about them. This is crucial. Negative perceptions can quickly snowball into “feeling down.” Good news is positive thoughts can do the same thing. Hang in there!

Take one day at a time

With so many things changing in short amounts of time, it is hard to keep up with expectations of yourself, kids, and partners. Trying to look to far ahead can trigger anxiety, irritability, and fear. Try taking the next 24 hours or sometimes even one hour at a time and set “bite sized” goals and expectations. Having everyone fed and logged into work/home-school can be the only goal some days!
If you are looking for a therapist that offers remote or video counseling/therapy sessions during this unknown time of COVID-19, please feel free to reach out to me.  We offer both Skype and Facetime  counseling  & video sessions for clients.
If you are ready to book, click here.
Feel free to see what others are saying about their experience with me & heath counseling reviews.
importance of self-reflection 05 Jan 2020

BY: Pare

Featured

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Embracing 2020 with the Importance of Self-Reflection

Who else enjoys setting New Year’s intentions more than opening their presents? Nothing feels more refreshing than planning for the future, reflecting on the past, and focusing on the importance of self-reflection. This is what I do each year and want to share with you. Now – grab your journal and answer the following questions honestly. Feel free to share with your loved ones and kids too!

2019/2020 Self-Reflection Activity

Five of the most significant events from last year:

I am most proud of these three accomplishments from the past year:

Three valuable lessons I’ve learned in the past year:

Three personal improvements I’ve made in the past year:

Three things I would change over the past year:

The greatest influences on me (products, people, viewpoints, other) in the past year on me were:

The smartest decision I made in the past year:

The biggest risk I took last year:

A crucial relationship that improved in the previous year:

Two things I need to do less of in the new year:

Two things I need to do more of in the new year:

This is the time of the year when nature tells us to rest, slow down, and reflect. Following a spending splurge and overeating during the holiday season, you likely feel you have little energy to develop new habits. However, with these self-reflection exercises, you can start with small changes and implement them slowly. One of the biggest reasons new year resolutions fail is that they are too hard or too big to sustain.

What’s New With Me

Millie will be 1 in January, and her smile and appetite continue to make us smile! I discovered the Peloton App for running on a treadmill. Total game changer! The “Bigs” are getting big, and trying to keep up with all of their interests can be a full-time job. My husband and I are looking into a little new business adventure for couples; I will keep you posted.

What’s New With You?

Did you survive the holidays?
Any New Years’ goals that I can help to support?
What are some ways you stay active in the winter?
Are there any new books or experiences you would like to share?
And as always… how’s your sleep schedule?

The start of a brand new year and a new decade is the perfect time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going. Speaking to a professional counselor can give you some insight into the importance of self-reflection and the support you need to become the best version of yourself. Don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me to set up a private session. I would love to hear about your self-reflection!

civil conflict resolution 05 Jan 2020

BY: Pare

Couples Counseling / Featured

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Learning the Dos and Don’ts of Civil Conflict Resolution

Conflict in a relationship can be healthy, natural, and helpful for building intimacy, but only when both partners are committed to resolving the issue. If your partner refuses or is resistant to making healthy changes, you must assess the overall health of your marriage, as well as your partner. Here are the essential dos and don’ts that can lead to civil conflict resolution with your spouse today.

 

What You Should Do

  • Set the tone and speak to each other face-to-face
  • Work through different conflict resolution strategies
  • Get rid of all the potential distractions in the room
  • Voice the conflict as a concern, not a complaint
  • Remember the three F’s: Fact, Feeling, and Fair Request
  • Take time to reflect on each other’s concerns and emotions
  • Ask for clarification if you need it, don’t nod your head pretending to listen
  • Remember that you’re on the same team and offer each other support and guidance throughout the civil conflict resolution
  • Brainstorm how you can avoid the same conflicts in the future
  • Thank each other for taking the time to listen and peacefully resolve the conflict

 

Actions You Should Avoid

  • Using deflections to get off topic and bringing up your own concerns
  • Calling each other names and using defamatory terms
  • Personally insulting each other’s character during an argument
  • Using dismissive body language
  • Involving your children or friends (solve this conflict together)
  • Arguing under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Working on conflict resolution when you’re hungry, tired, or upset
  • Attempting to work through conflict resolution over text messages or phone calls
  • Bringing up more than one issue at a time

 

If you feel like your arguments involve more of the actions you should avoid than the ones you should do, you may be in an unhealthy relationship. Take a quick non-clinical assessment to find out more.

Conflict is natural in every relationship; these periods can help you grow and learn as partners. However, it’s crucial you maintain a civil conflict resolution to avoid fighting with one another and causing irreversible harm to your relationship. To learn how you can work together to resolve issues you may be facing, schedule a consultation for couples therapy in Dallas today.

date your spouse 09 Oct 2019

BY: Pare

Couples Counseling

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5 Things That Happen When You Forget to Date Your Spouse

If you’ve been in a committed relationship for two, seven, or even fifteen years, you know that there can be dry spells that both you and your partner experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of love in your relationship, but you might be noticing some friction that wasn’t there before. Let’s talk about the importance of couples’ communication and the five things that happen when you start forgetting to date your spouse.

1. They Forget That You’re Into Them

If you stopped calling and texting when you and your partner were “dating,” they would probably think you weren’t interested in them. The same thing happens when you stop dating your spouse. If you don’t prioritize open communication and together time, they may start to feel like you’re no longer into them. It’s vital to have regular date nights planned, so you both have something to look forward to. You and your partner can rest easy knowing that the other is still interested and wants to spend time with you.

2. You Are Unsatisfied With Your Sex Life

Intimacy is crucial to any relationship. If you stop dating your spouse, your sex life might begin to suffer. But, when you don’t prioritize your partner, they may feel underappreciated and less likely to be “in the mood.” Honesty and open communication are critical to a healthy sex life; be straightforward with your partner about how you’re feeling and what you are looking for.

3. They No Longer Work To Impress You

When you first start dating, you want your new partner to think the best of you; you work harder to impress them. After you’ve been together for a few years, though, you may feel like you don’t have to try as hard. While it’s great to feel comfortable being yourself around your partner, this doesn’t mean you should stop making an effort. When you date your spouse, it gives you both an opportunity to look nice for and impress your partner once again, which can help rekindle your relationship.

4. They Stop Pursuing You

When you don’t go out and spend quality time with your spouse, they may begin to feel like you are taking them for granted. If you’re not going to make an effort for the relationship, why should they? Everyone wants to feel desired. But, if you don’t take the time to pursue your spouse, they won’t return the favor. Make your partner feel wanted, and they’ll do the same for you.

5. They Forget Why They Married You In The First Place

When you stop appreciating the relationship you have with your partner, they may begin to question why they’re still with you. Relationships thrive on conversation and shared experiences; these are the things that got you to the altar in the first place. If you take away the lifeblood of the relationship, you are leaving the relationship starved from the very things that created it. Memories of the good times aren’t enough to keep your relationship healthy.

It’s time to get your relationship back on track! With couples counseling, you will gain the tools needed to communicate better, improve your work/life balance, and be more intimate. Contact our Dallas counseling office today to book your first appointment!

Kiddos in the trenches of chores 30 Jul 2019

BY: Pare

Parenting

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Positive Reinforcement with “Reward Rocks”

How can you get your kids to listen to you without absolutely losing your mind?! Are you a “we will go get ice-cream if you do XYZ” parent or are you a “you just lost your TV privileges” parent?

Sure, screaming and “legal negotiations” can get your kids moving, but what if everyone still had a smile on their face when you were correcting behavior? Reward Rocks might just be your answer.

What Are Reward Rocks?

What do you do when your kids “outgrow” certain rewards? What do you do if you have kids of different ages or personalities? Or one kid that refuses to go to bed, but the other refuses to get out of it?

If you are tired of lengthy or confusing reward charts or Pinterest parenting fails, I invite you to take a look at what is and has been working in our home. I call it positive reinforcement with “Reward Rocks.”

I’ve tried many different forms of positive reinforcement but, my two kids view their accomplishments differently. My daughter has a more naturally agreeable personality. She can thrive in just hearing “good job” and getting a high five. My son, on the other hand, is much more analytical; he wants to understand why I ask him to do certain chores.

My kids are 7 and 5 and struggle with different tasks. While I have to talk my son into putting on a jacket, it’s no biggie for my daughter. “You need to eat breakfast” is no problem for him, but with her, it’s a different story.

To motivate my two kids, I came up with a reward system called Reward Rocks. I went to Family Dollar and spent about six bucks on two vases and 4 bags of rocks. You can use marbles or anything else you think your kids will like. Rocks are a gift in our home. We give them to each other when we find cool ones, and I love them for grounding, so it was a no brainer for me.

I came home and let the kids individualize their rock vases with patio paint I had lying around, and voila! They were already excited about mom’s new project. I filled a larger vase with rocks and put all three vases in the most public place I could find, the kitchen. Then I explained the rules of Reward Rocks with them. I will give them a rock (or sometimes two or three) for their good behavior and tell them when they get one and the reason why.

Positive Reinforcement Really Works!

There is a huge difference between positive and negative reinforcement. If you are unsure of what the difference is, check out a great explanation here!

So far, the main ways to get rocks are saying yes ma’am, thanking each other, asking politely for snacks, taking initiative on cleaning something up on their own, not whining, telling their sibling good morning, brushing their teeth without asking….the list can go on and on.

My son got several rocks at one time because the lunch lady at his school pulled me aside and told me that he always has excellent manners and is so sweet. Compliments from the outside are a bonus!

This really has been a wonderful experience for me and for them. I think it offers ways to reward both behavior and character accomplishments.

Parenting Is Fun Again!

They already have full jars of rocks! It takes them about 3-5 days to fill one up it seems. Before we started, we all sat down and came up with a list of things that they would enjoy as their reward. We came up with about 25 activities that last either half an hour or a full hour.

When their jar is full, my kids are allowed to pick either two 30-minute rewards or a one-hour reward. We had a lot of fun coming up with the activities! They don’t have to be expensive either; the only one that costs money is an ice cream break. Some of the things we came up with were: playing blocks, playing classroom, riding bikes for an hour, painting nails, watching their favorite show and cuddling, cooking a recipe together, and going to the park.

The first week went very smoothly for us. They are still very excited and motivated about it! One of the main reasons why I like this is that it isn’t the same thing over and over. You can adjust the rewards system as you go depending on what your kids struggling with.

This week, I’m giving out rocks when we don’t fight to put on a jacket or pack it in their backpack!

The kids have already turned in their first completed jars and chose to play blocks, play classroom, and go on an ice cream date!

Reward Rocks Do’s and Don’ts

Do you want to use Reward Rocks with your own kids? Use these helpful tips to get started!

Be sure to:

  • Make the reward fun! Put away your phone, praise your kids, and be present.
  • Choose rewards that they love. They’ll be on their best behavior because they can’t wait for the next one.
  • Make the rocks a part of everyday life! Even if you’re in a public place, it should be easy to hand out rocks throughout the day.
  • Use rock language. Say things like, “you rock,” “that’s definitely a rock,” and “Let’s earn some rocks during bedtime.”
  • Invite all parenting figures, babysitters, and grandparents to use Reward Rocks! We are a blended family, so it’s awesome to let step-dad reward them and grow their relationship together.
  • Allow it to cross over to out of home, too. Good report cards, helping friends, and compliments from other parents all deserve rocks!

 

Be sure NOT to:

  • Make it a competition between siblings. This is a surefire way to de-motivate your kids and kill their spirit.
  • Take the rocks out of the jar as a consequence. Use separate logical consequences for poor choices and bad behavior. The rocks should only be associated with positivity.
  • Skip days or forget about the rewards.
  • Be on your phone, talk about chores, or be distracted when you are rewarding your kids.

 

I hope you and your family enjoy Reward Rocks as much as we have! If you need help getting started or want to learn more about positive reinforcement, book a free consultation with me. I would love to hear the different spins you creative parents have on it! Have a rocking week!

pumpkins on black background 21 Nov 2018

BY: Pare

Family Counseling

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Turkey With a Side of Boundaries Please! How To Enjoy Thanksgiving with Family that stresses you out…

Be Thankful for the Right to set Boundaries!

At last, Thanksgiving day! The day of thankfulness and reflection of the joys you have in your life! I truly do love Thanksgiving and the entire vibe of giving, sharing, abundance, relaxation, and family. It has all the perfect ingredients for an ideal Holiday. Unfortunately, family issues and relationship conflict are often called to the table… Read More “Turkey With a Side of Boundaries Please! How To Enjoy Thanksgiving with Family that stresses you out…”

a couple of birds bickering 17 Sep 2018

BY: Pare

Couples Communication / Couples Counseling

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Is “Agreeing to Disagree” Causing a Communication Breakdown?”

Why don’t I feel good after we “agree to disagree?”

Many times when individuals come into couples counseling, I hear the dreaded well, “ we will just have to agree to disagree.” The only problem with this is that it is said with disappointment and contempt. Stop throwing in the “agree to disagree towel” Read More “Is “Agreeing to Disagree” Causing a Communication Breakdown?””

white door with an exit sign 31 Aug 2018

BY: Pare

Couples Counseling

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Read This Before You Give Up On Your Marriage

Is your marriage worth saving? Many times couples or individuals come into counseling with this very question at hand. Looking straight at me, hoping I will provide them with a definite and concrete answer of yes or no. Often these same individuals have been contemplating each scenario over and over for years. Here is the answer to the question… Read More “Read This Before You Give Up On Your Marriage”

deer fighting 29 Aug 2018

BY: Pare

Family Counseling

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Co-Parenting Tips…your kids want you to read this!

First of all, a huge credit is due here to Bradley Craig owner of “Between Two Homes” for introducing me years ago to the co-parenting resources and movement here in North Texas. Brad took me on to be a part of his well researched and accredited co-parenting interventions, skills, and classes “Children in the Middle, along with introducing me the top-notch professionals working with families in transition in the area.” So what would all children…
Read More “Co-Parenting Tips…your kids want you to read this!”

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