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This is Us: How to help your child when facing cultural differences

This is Us: How to Help your Child when Facing Cultural Differences

I recently got sucked into a new fall show called This is Us. I am loving it so far as the tear-jerking moments tug at my heartstrings. But, the show is not just about creating sappy moments and making viewers cry. The show really hones in on topics real people struggle with, anywhere from body-image to abandonment issues. In particular, the fifth episode, titled the pool directs viewers to recent headline problems, race-related issues.

In the episode, viewers are made aware of the difficulties Randall (one of the main characters) experiences as a black man in a white suburban society. The issue is explored from his point of view as an adult and as a child. Feelings of loneliness and desire for belonging is a target area the show explores.

**spoiler alert** In the show, Randall struggles as an adopted child because he is a black boy in a white family. His childhood experiences bleeds into his adult life as he faces present day issues of race-related prejudices and microaggressions. As much as Randall’s parents wanted to take of care and protect him, he still experienced the difficulties of being different. He faced the reality of his differences everyday.

Feelings of loneliness and the desire to belong does not just affect those who are adopted.  Many people who are culturally different from their surroundings or are intermixed with different cultures struggle or face the same difficulties of belonging. It almost seems inevitable. As a parent, the big question and concern comes […]

By |November 3rd, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

Tips for Managing Anxiety | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

Tips for Managing Anxiety 

Anxiety can be such a scary feeling especially when it starts to overwhelm and take over your daily life. The loss of control is paralyzing which can perpetuate or increase the anxious feelings. The problem with anxiety is that when you feel out of control and helpless it makes you panic even more, perpetuating the cycle. Today I will be sharing with you a few tips I give in my counseling sessions to help you better manage anxiety and to feel more relaxed.

  1. I-Spy with my little eyes…

The biggest task with decreasing anxiety is pulling yourself away from triggering thoughts. One way to pull yourself away is by playing I-spy. Distract your anxiety provoking thoughts by asking yourself to describe the room in as much detail as possible. For example, describe the types of chairs in the room, what are the colors or textures of the walls, how many electronic devices are there, what are the devices, etc. The more you engage yourself in this activity the more you can pull yourself away from the fear inducing thoughts. Do this for at least 2-3 minutes until you notice yourself decreasing in emotions and physical symptoms.

  1. Categories Game

Another technique to distract yourself from negative thinking is to list things in a specific category. When you notice your anxiety increasing start naming as many things as possible in a specific category such as animals, fruits, or celebrities. You can even make the task more challenging by listing things in alphabetical order. Once again this will pull you out of […]

By |November 2nd, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

Overcoming Challenges in Blended Families

Overcoming Challenges in Blended Families

In blended families there are numerous challenges in becoming a family in harmony. The first relationship that must have a firm foundation is between the biological and step parents. In blended families there tends to be issues of anger, resentment and bitterness in the beginning. As step parents face these challenges strife can come in the marriage which in turn causes emotional separation. Below are a few tips that you could implement today to start a new path to bring unity within your blended family.

1. Be Intentional.

Make the decision that the two of you will support each other. In order to do this the two of you must have ongoing consistent communication.

2. No Visible Arguing.

Disagreements may occur, but do not allow the children to see or hear the two of you arguing with each   other.

3. Understanding.

Commit to having family meetings to resolve conflict by having a mutual understanding within the family unit. This can sometimes best happen with a counselor or mediator present, to allow everyone the opportunity to speak and feel heard.

4. Communication.

Be mindful of your communication with your step children and spouse. ie: words and body language.

5.  Understand that you are the step parent and do not need to validate your position.

In place of trying to validate who you are in your step children’s lives, simply show them love and acceptance through action.

Remember, you and your spouse are on the same team. You both want to see the family grow and have safe and healthy relationships. If you find that […]

By |November 1st, 2016|Articles|0 Comments
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    Battling Indecision | 5 Steps to Help You Make Big Decisions Battling Indecision | 5 Steps to Help You Make Big Decisions

    Battling Indecision | 5 Steps to Help You Make Big Decisions

Battling Indecision | 5 Steps to Help You Make Big Decisions

Battling Indecision | 5 Steps to Help You Make Big Decisions

Everyone has experienced a point in their life where they find themselves extremely indecisive and stuck. A decision as small as “What should I eat today?” to something as big as “Should I change jobs?” Sometimes, the big decisions in life can paralyze and weigh you down. You do not want to make the wrong decision, but at the same time, you are not making any decisions. You are stuck! All the while you to feel anxious, stressed, and fearful about the big decision. What can you do? Here are 5 steps you can implement to help you overcome the fear and make big decisions!

  1. Research

Spend some time researching the options for your predicament. It is important to be informed. It may be scary but be aware! Burying your head in the sand will not give you the best solution. Ignorance is surely not bliss. Set yourself a specific time frame, days or hours, for what you are researching. The internet is glorious but it can also be a black hole. Set a limit for yourself so you do not overindulge in research. You do not want research to become a roadblock from actually making a decision. You have to remind yourself that it is important to be informed but it is impossible to know everything.

  1. Pros and Cons

A good ol’ pros and cons list. Often times, we make pros and cons in our heads but it’s important to actually sit down and write it out. When you write out all the benefits or drawbacks then you can see a clearer picture of the situation. Make sure to write out all […]

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

3 Ways Men Grieve Differently Than Women | Orlando Mens Counseling

3 Ways Men Grieve Differently Than Women | Orlando Mens Counseling

It’s no surprise that men grieve differently than women. However, it’s important to note that not all men grieve in the same manner. This article, talks a little bit about the male and female models of grief. Here, I would like to quickly present to you some of the ways men may grieve differently than women. Please note that everyone is different and no one fits in a box. What is considered normal for one man may not be considered normal for the next.

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1. Avoidance: Many men who are grieving will turn toward work and keeping busy. Men may do this for two main reasons: one reason is to simply avoid the pain they are in; the other reason is because the expression of such pain is rarely expressed by men due to their own upbringings  and expectations placed upon them by their families and society. This may come off as being insensitive but it’s just the person’s natural tendency.

2. Anger & Rage: Men may also be more likely than women to express anger and rage toward the situation. This again stems from society’s expectations that anger is more acceptable than grieving and mourning for a man. So if a man is expressing anger and rage following a traumatic event or loss, it could be that person’s own way of dealing with it.

3. Do Something! Many men are seen as strong “protectors” to their families. Being protectors, they may have the urge to do something about the situation. Doing something may include things such as starting an investigation about […]

By |October 5th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

Preventing Parentification | Children after a Separation or Divorce

If you read my earlier article Parenting my parent, “I thought I was the child?” | Understanding Parentification, you are familiar with the dangers of parentification. Parentification is when a role reversal occurs when a child is forced into the role of a parent for themselves or their parent. Many consequences occur when a child is forced into an unnatural role and are robbed of childhood. Some emotional consequences include feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, and anger. The responsibilities of an adult are meant for the life experiences and maturity of an adult. When adult responsibilities are placed onto a child, the child is overwhelmed and experience stressors beyond their coping abilities. Often times, parentification occurs to a child when a parent undergoes a separation or divorce.

Here are 4 tips to help you from parentifying your child:

  1. Reassure your child: It is important to reassure your child during the season of transitioning from a separation or divorce. Transitioning can be difficult and at certain times financially straining. Often, children will want to take on the responsibility by helping you or the family. Reassure your child that you are taking care of the concerns or stressors as the parent. Encourage your child to focus on their responsibilities such as school or chores or to engage in play/social activities.
  2. Be careful not to make remarks that require your kids to grow up too soon: Refrain from saying comments such as “You are now the man of the house … or You need to step up now…”: As […]
By |September 29th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

Parenting my parent, “I thought I was the child?” | Understanding Parentification

We all have different roles at various points in our lives. As a child or teen, the role is to play, focus on school, have minor responsibilities, and to make mistakes while learning from them. But, not everyone is given that right to be a kid. Some are robbed of a childhood and become parentified.

What is parentification? Parentification is the process of a role reversal where a child plays the parent to themselves or to their parent. Here are a few signs letting you know if you were parentified:

  1. You were very mature at a young age: Many people noted or even complimented on how mature you were as a child. Your thoughts were less focused on play and more on the state of your family or yourself, frequently thinking up ways to take care of yourself or your family.
  1. Took on more and/or heavier responsibilities than your average peer:  Most teens and children have the responsibilities of school work, chores, and sometimes a part-time job. But, you added on tasks such as picking up your siblings from school, helping them with their homework, cooking for them, etc. You had to completely manage and take care of yourself or your family because was no one else was available. In addition, a part-time job was not- negotiable it was necessary in order to support yourself or your family financially.
  1. Your parent emotionally leaned on you: You become your mother or father’s best friend, confidant, therapist, etc. Your parent sought you out when they were upset and shared information about the family or themselves to […]
By |September 29th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

“Why would you say that?” How to Engage when Offended | Orlando Multi-Cultural Counseling

“Why would you say that?” How to Engage when Offended | Orlando Multi-Cultural Counseling

“You must know Karate.”

“When I look at you, I don’t see color”

“What are you?”

“Why do you sound so white?”

Do these comments sound familiar? If a sudden pang of irritation comes upon you or feelings of offense while reading some of these comments, then you have just experienced a microaggression. What is a microagression? According to dictionary.com, a microagression is a subtle discriminatory comment often unintentional that reinforces stereotypes. For instance, the comments above were not necessarily stated with the intention of being malicious or purposefully discriminatory. However, the receiver of the comments experiences the statement as offensive.  Growing up, I experienced my fair share of microagressions. When the comments occurred, every part of me wanted to lunge forward and shake the person who was making the remark. But of course, I didn’t. Instead, I internalized the remarks while it festered inside of me. Neither behaviors are healthy, but what are the options? Here are five tips in how to engage when offended.

1.     Refrain from being reactive. Anger or rage usually takes over when you may feel insulted, especially discriminated against. However, acting on a knee jerk reaction might lead to an unhelpful and possibly disastrous interaction. Behaviors driven by anger do not bring about change or awareness, which is what you ultimately want.

2.     Take a step back. Start by evaluating yourself and asking the question, “What about the statement was offensive?” When you take a moment to step back and look within yourself, the moment becomes a learning experience to help you in the future. When you are able to evaluate yourself and learn what triggered you, then you […]

By |September 15th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

How to tell if Anxiety is an issue in your life? | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

How to tell if Anxiety is an issue in your life? | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

According to the national institute of mental, the most common mental health disorder faced by Americans is anxiety disorders. Women are 50% more likely than men to experience anxiety. At this point, you might be asking yourself what is anxiety really? Anxiety is a feeling of excessive fear and worry. It is normal for everyone to have a feeling of anxiousness at some point, but anxiety becomes a problem when it is all consuming. Today I am going to give you four quick questions to determine if anxiety is becoming a problem in your life.

  1. Do I always feel on edge? When you fall asleep at night is it difficult to turn off, instead of sleeping you have racing thoughts about all your worries and fears about the day and the next day. You pray and hope that sleep will eventually overcome your worries.
  2. Do I worry constantly about everyday tasks, big and small? You start panicking or worrying about a small task such as arriving at an appointment on time. A big task that you worry about can be an important meeting. You start feeling anxious and nervous thinking about the meeting, and you keep thinking about it over and over again.
  3. Am I experiencing more or new physical discomforts? The mind is very powerful. You can have nothing physiologically wrong with you according to doctors or blood work, but you still feel pain. For example, you have frequent chest pains, difficulty breathing, stomach issues, […]

Am I dying or is it just a panic attack? | Orlando Anxiety and Panic Attack Counseling

Am I dying or is it just a panic attack? | Orlando Anxiety and Panic Attack Counseling

“Nothing. Nothing is wrong with you according to my assessments.” the doctor states. After visiting the emergency room, your doctor’s office, and having multiple blood work done, your doctor has just determined that nothing is wrong with you, at least to your body. Then why in the world do you feel as if you are dying at times?

Panic attacks. Panic attacks are what you are feeling. Panic attacks are a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety, fear, and loss of control. Panic attacks can last from a few minutes or longer.

Listed below are just some symptoms of a panic attack:

  •    Increase heart rate
  •    Shortness of breath
  •    Dizziness
  •    Blurry vision
  •    Chest pains or tightening

When people experience a panic attack often times they will believe they are dying, having a heart attack, or going crazy. You may only experience it once in your lifetime, or you may re-experience it several times. A concern is raised when panic attacks become a frequent occurrence or it is preventing you from living your life to its fullest. For example, you do not join in on certain activities or go out to specific places out of fear of having another attack. Or, you constantly worry or fear having another attack.

Sometimes panic attacks can be a wake-up call alerting you to deeper issues of anxiety. Do not let this fear control you! Call today at 407- 622-1770 for a free 15-minute consultation or make an appointment […]

By |September 12th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments