Back-to-School Anxiety 

Back-to-School Anxiety | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

You have everything ready and set for your teen’s first few weeks back-to-school. Clothes shopping is done, new school supplies are bought, and lunches are prepped for the week. Everything is planned and perfect. Until you realize your teen’s back-to-school anxiety starts creeping in. The next thing you know, you are trying to calm down your hyperventilating child while coaxing him or her to attend school.

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Anxiety disorders are one of the leading psychiatric disorders during childhood, according to the Child Institute Children’s Mental Health Report. No parent expects back-to-school anxiety to kick in so quickly or to even occur at all. But, many teens become easily overwhelmed by increasing school work or peer relational issues. Here are 5 tips to help your teen with back-to-school anxiety.

Tip #1: Routine

Teens live in chaos when they are left to their own devices. Therefore, it is important to create or help formulate with your teen a weekly school routine. Routine gives them a sense of order and order will help them calm down when anxiety kicks in.

Tip #2 Discipline

Teens are procrastinators, many if not all are at some point. They might spend the entire day playing but then spend the last few hours of the night cramming.  If a teen only has a few hours before school begins to finish a project or study for an exam then, of course, their fear will sky rocket. Consistent cramming will only lead to high anxiety. As a result, set limits with your teen to help them create discipline and to decrease anxiety.

Tip # 3 Play 

On the other […]

5 Tips to Help your Teen Sleep

5 Tips to Help your Teen Sleep| Orlando Teen Counseling

Coming out of vacation and starting school is tough. What is even tougher is regulating your teen back into a healthy sleeping schedule. No school and infinite play time mean staying up into the wee hours of the night. Teens typically sleep about 7 and 7 ¼ hours of sleep but most of them need 9 and 9 ½ hours. During vacation, teens have ample time to fill up their sleep need but once school starts it is the first to go. Therefore, as a parent, it is imperative to help your child start school on the right side of the bed. Here are 5 tips to help regulate your teen’s sleep.

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1. Start early and gradually:

Do not wait until the day before school to implement your teen’s sleep schedule. Your teen has been staying up for the past week or months until 1 am or later. Their bodies will not magically fall into timely tired and wake patterns. As a result, encourage or even enforce earlier and earlier bedtimes as school is approaching to help teen sleep. Do not budge even if it is the weekend!

2. Eliminate screen time

Remove all electronic devices from your teen an hour or two before bedtime. Lights emitted by devices can jolt the body into wake mode and delay natural hormonal releases to help sleep. Often times, teens will gravitate to their devices to pass time hoping to feel tired. What they do not realize is that the tool they […]

By |August 9th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

“What Causes Addiction?” | Orlando Addiction Therapy

Orlando Addiction Therapy | “What Causes Addiction?”

I think we ask ourselves this question because we want answers.  We want to get to the root cause of someone’s drinking. Maybe we are hopeful that if we can figure out why they started in the first place and solve that problem then it won’t be an issue all together.  Or maybe if we figure out why all these people are ….what I hear people say “choosing” to use opioids… (which is a whole different educational piece we will discuss later on), but if we know why all these people are getting addicted to the heroin then we can eradicate the issue.  Right??

This thing is that… this illness.. is not that simple.  In fact, it is very complex as to why someone might use excessively resulting in destroying their lives and those around them.

Orlando Addiction TherapyWhile I can’t directly answer this question what causes it …. I am going to explain to you things that happen from a young age that are likely to increase someone’s chance of turning to substances. These are behaviors, environments, parenting styles, experiences that people live with from a young age that have been supported by research to increase someone’s chance of becoming addicted. This thing called addiction can happen to ANYONE.  No one is immune and there is so much we can do to prevent it.

Dr. Earley, the president elect of ASAM recently reported that our genes account for 50% of someone’s chance of becoming addicted.  If someone is addicted in the family that means that we need to monitor for this even more.  Now, […]

How to Stop Over Extending Yourself, and Start Saying No! | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

Do you seem to be helping everyone else except yourself? Giving constantly but having nothing in return. Do you find yourself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and resentful? You ask yourself, “How did I end up here?”

Everyone else labels you as the nice guy. You are the one who is always available and willing to help. Yet you find yourself never having your own time or needs met. But, you feel too guilty to say no. You don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings.

This behavior on the outside seems so giving and beautiful, but it can easily be poisonous and deadly. Life is all about balance. If you continuously give with no return and no recharge, you eventually become drained and empty. You do not get the opportunity to value yourself. Here are a few negative drawbacks of being a constant giver:

  • Taken advantage of by other people
  • Growing stressed and feeling overwhelmed
  • Bitterness and anger builds up
  • Becoming more absent with your friends and family
  • Life becomes dictated by other people’s needs

These consequences not only affect you personally but those closest to you. Your partner, children, friends are constantly being rescheduled or overlooked due to your duties or commitments. Loving others does not always mean giving everyone your complete time and energy. Loving yourself and valuing your needs will lead you feeling more refreshed, confident, and happier. In fact, loving yourself gives you the power to better help others.

Here are a few tips to help you set healthy boundaries so you can feel more refreshed

  1. Self-care: Give yourself time once a week to fully engage […]
By |March 24th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

Developing Compassion after Trauma, & Heartbreak | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Developing Compassion after Trauma & Heartbreak

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Individuals who have experienced tragic or traumatic events in their life often struggle with self-hatred or intense shame.  These core feelings prevent self-love and compassion, ultimately postponing healthy, desirable relationships.  Furthermore, if someone has experienced trauma and lacks healthy coping skills, they are more likely to use alcohol or other substances to self-medicate.

Over 80% of individuals with alcohol or other drug problems have experienced trauma or abuse in their past. Part of gaining long term recovery often means working through the effects of trauma or abuse.  This is a process effectively mastered in the counseling setting.  Bringing up any trauma or abuse can be re-traumatizing (if not done correctly); therefore, it is vital to do this with a professional. This is especially true for individuals trying to stay clean and sober, as it can be a major trigger for relapse.

One major component in healing from past trauma is learning how to develop compassion.  Most importantly compassion and love for yourself.  Once we learn how to love ourselves, and accept ourselves entirely, then we are capable of truly caring for others. We can’t fill anyone else’s cup if ours is empty.

Compassion is absolutely necessary in successful relationships.  Let’s say our partner has said something hurtful but genuinely apologized, and we just cannot find it in ourselves to forgive this behavior.  The hardest time to have compassion for another is usually when they have done something unkind.  Hurt people, hurt people; but when someone has hurt us it is helpful to remember they are not […]

How to Make a Happy New Year

How to Make a Happy New Year and Accomplish your Goals!

Happy New Year! Let’s analyze this expression that we hear and say so often. Happy. That’s the goal for the New Year isn’t it? I mean, we have goals and New Year’s Resolutions but the ultimate goal that we aim to achieve if we achieve our goals is that first word, happy, right? 2nd word, New. Yes, renewal. NEW. We’re done with the old: old ways of thinking, feeling, old way of looking, old habits. New! New is what we want! Year. Yes, we have one year to make this happen. (Only one year? We better get started!) This is the YEAR to make it all happen! So how? We often give up on our resolutions after a few weeks, so how do we keep them going strong for a whole year? These tips and tricks can help you have a truly Happy and truly New Year.

How to Make a Happy New Year and Accomplish your Goals!

  1. Commit and re-commit. Commit to your goal. No matter what it is, commit. How? Every single day commit to your goal in three ways: first, define the goal. My goal is _____________. This keeps the goal fresh in your mind DAILY. Second, imagine what it would be like to have the goal. Feels good doesn’t it? Third, imagine NOT having the goal done. Ask yourself, how would I feel for this year to end and not have achieved this? If it’s not a big deal you may have to re-evaluate your goal. It’s important to do this daily so you don’t (conveniently) forget […]
By |January 5th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

How to Accomplish your New Year’s Resolution | Orlando Stress and Anxiety Counseling

How to Accomplish your New Year’s Resolution | Orlando Stress and Anxiety Counseling

Every year, hundreds and thousands of people create New Year’s resolutions. Everyone is excited and looking forward to a fresh start. They are pumped and motivated for change. But what really happens when the New Year arrives?

January begins and you re-commit or sign-up for a gym membership, you decide to start a healthier diet and make plans to create a new and more fulfilled you. Then February rolls around and your initial motivation is dwindling. In April you still believe you can achieve your goals but you find yourself busier and pushing them off. June pops out of nowhere and you feel discouraged and guilty for the lack of accomplishments. In October you have completely given up hope and most likely forgotten what was on your original list. Finally, you are in December approaching January 1st again. The cycle continues. So how do you break this cycle?

A simple way to break this vicious pattern is to create better and S.M.A.R.T.(er) goals. According to George T. Doran a S.M.A.R.T. goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.


Specific: It is important to be as specific as possible when developing your goals for the new year. It is a lot easier to follow something that is very narrow and clear than something that is vague and abstract. For example: “ My goal is to be happier.” versus “My goal is to hang out with friends on the weekends, so I feel happier and less stressed during the week.”

Measurable: You want […]

By |December 13th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

Holiday Survival Guide: Tossing the Stress and Gaining the Joy | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

Holiday Survival Guide: Tossing the Stress and Gaining the Joy | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

The holidays can be a blissful time…yet it can also be a time of mounting pressure, stress, and high-time anxiety. Here are a few tips to survive and actually enjoy the holiday season.

stress, anxiety, anger, orlando, maitland

Delegate: You feel more pressure because there is more pressure. Everything does not have to be on your shoulders. Take a load off by delegating tasks that you are willing to release to other family members or helpers. For example, ask your spouse to pick up gifts from various stores while you are at home setting up for visitors.

Limit your tasks: Be realistic with yourself and evaluate your task load. You may want to do everything on your list but is it really possible without losing your marbles or feeling highly irritable. For instance, this year you are hosting Christmas dinner. You may feel less stressed if you are not in charge of making every or almost every dish for dinner as well as setting up your house to host. Limit your to-do list!

Be kind to yourself: During the holiday season people’s level of perfectionism kicks up a notch or two. Remind yourself that everything does not have to be perfect. If you bake a batch of cookies and few come out oddly shaped…it is okay. You do not need to throw away the whole batch and start over. People will still enjoy those cookies. Be gracious and kind to yourself. The holiday season is not ruined if you have misshaped cookies.

Just say no!: Do not be disillusioned into believing you have […]

By |December 8th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

Dealing with Loss During the Holidays | Orlando Grief Counseling

Dealing with Loss During the Holidays | Orlando Grief Counseling

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…It’s the hap-happiest season of all.” These lyrics maybe true for many but certainly not for all. The holiday season can be a great time, but it can also be one of the most difficult seasons for those who have suffered loss. Whether the loss was recent or years ago, you may be struggling because grief is resurfacing. The emphasis on family gatherings and joyous traditions can remind you of your lost loved one. How can you cope with this season well and not suffer through it? Here are a few tips to help deal with loss during the holidays.

grief, loss, anger, holidays

  1. Don’t should on yourself! It is important to be understanding and kind to yourself during this season. This is a tough time period for you as mixed emotions arise. Do not should on yourself by saying statements like, “I should’ve attend this event, baked these cookies, or be happier during the holidays.” Be gracious to yourself as you would for any friend that has suffered loss instead of shaming or berating yourself.
  2. Allow yourself to feel: If you are happy today, be happy. If you are sad today, be sad. Stuffing your emotions and masking it behind a smile can be one of the worst things for you. Eventually, you will run out of room to stuff and explode or have a melt down. Once again, you may be going through an array of emotions. It is okay if you feel spirited and joyous one moment and sadness or pain the next.
  3. […]

By |November 30th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

5 Ways to Beat the Holiday Stress for Blended Families & Time Sharing

5 Ways to Beat the Holiday Stress for Blended Families & Time Sharing

The holidays can be a stressful time for blended families. Whether your family has gone through a recent divorce/separation, or not, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety about the holidays and making it all work. Here are 5 ways to beat the holiday stress for blended families and time sharing.

blended families, holiday stress, anxiety, families, orlando

Plan. Be open and honest in discussing upcoming holiday events and time sharing. Discuss the time share schedule, drop off and pick up times and locations. Set a doable budget for holiday spending and who will be doing the actual shopping.

Accept what you can’t change. In most cases, one parent may not be able to spend time with the children, due to the time-sharing schedule which can be hard. Be realistic that this is not the ex-spouses fault.  If possible make plans to call, face time or email the children on the given holiday.  Accept that this is not the end of the world you will see the children during your scheduled time.

Avoid Acting Out. Remain focused on the well-being of your children for the holidays. Do all that you can to avoid arguing or saying negative comments about the other parent. You know what conversations could trigger you to act out therefore avoid those traps at all cost.

Gift-Giving. If gift giving is a family tradition, be sure that all the children receive gifts, those living there full time and part time. There should also not be a major difference in the gifts […]

By |November 17th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments