Blog

What To Do If Your Teen Is Self-Harming

What To Do If Your Teen Is Self-Harming

You just found out your teen is self-harming. Your heart drops to the pit of your stomach. You feel shocked, confused, and utterly lost. What now?

You are not alone. About 17% of teenagers have engaged in self-harm at least once according to the American Psychological Association.  Often times, self-harm occurs as a way to cope with distressing feelings or situations. Teens who self-harm are not intending to die but are desiring relief. It may seem counterintuitive to be harming oneself as a way to get relief but it is true. Many teens lack the knowledge or skills to effectively cope in healthy ways. Therefore, they turn to self-harm as a way to distract and overwhelm their internal pain with external pain.

Self-harm is common among teens but in particular those in middle-school age groups. There are different forms of self-harm from skin cutting, burning, to head banging or hitting as stated by Mental Health America. Teens may pursue this unhealthy coping as a way to deal with anxiety, bullying issues, or intense feelings of sadness. Self-harming is an incredibly shaming behavior as a result teens self-harm in less visible places such as their upper thigh, arms, or wrists and hide their visibility.

As a parent all you want to do is protect and stop this self-destructive behavior. Here are few steps on how to help your teen after your discovery.

Engage with love not fear tactics

It is important to engage your teen after discovering this unhealthy behavior. 

Dear PostSecret: A Letter To An Assault Survivor

Dear PostSecret: A Letter To An Assault Survivor

postsecret, assault, sexual assualt, survivor, anger, pain, heal. grow

http://postsecret.com/#jp-carousel-12116

Dear postsecret,

You are experiencing so much pain, anger, and hurt after hearing the phrase “it could’ve been worse.” Assault is horrible, wrong, and a violation. You do not deserve what happened to you and it was traumatizing. The cutting phrase “it could’ve been worse” devalues your experience. Your rights were stolen in that moment and that is that. It hurts me to even read that this was your experience. You deserve better.

Facts and Effects of Sexual Assault

1 out of every 6 American women have been a victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime according to the rape abuse and incest national network (RAINN). Look around the room and start counting. 1 and 6 American women. In addition, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. After learning how high the statistics, you maybe feeling some shock. Or, you feel numbness because you are a survivor.

Sexual assault or attempted/completed rape strips a person of every bit of power and control in one moment. A survivor may feel a variety of emotions in the aftermath. Assault is a devastating occurrence and many survivors feel at blame or disgusted with themselves. Every bit of them wants to forget and wash the incident away like dirt off their hands but it is not that […]

  • Hurricane Irma: Am I Really Prepared? Hurricane Irma: Am I Really Prepared?

    Hurricane Irma: Am I Really Prepared?

Hurricane Irma: Am I Really Prepared?

Hurricane Irma: Am I Really Prepared?

Hurricane Irma is right upon us. As the hours and days draw closer and closer so does your fears. You have physically prepared as much as possible by putting up shutters, buying water and food supplies, and filling up your gas tanks. But, are you emotionally prepared?

It is important to not only care for you and your family’s physical well-being but their emotional well-being too. Buildings make break and injuries may occur but those things are tangible with a clear cut solution. But, emotional injuries and damages take a lot longer to recover and are much more complicated to fix. Therefore it is important to not only create an emergency toolbox to prevent physical injuries but for emotional ones too. Below are three types of tools to keep in your emotional toolbox in preparation and use for the storm.

  • Distraction tools: these objects will take your mind off the problem to prevent increasing anxiety and panic.
    • Examples include puzzles, books, crafts, knitting, Sudoku, or board games.
  • Self-soothing tools: these objects will give comfort through the five senses if fear or sadness sets in.
    • Touch: stuffed animals, stress ball, a fuzzy blanket or socks
    • Hear: calming or upbeat playlist, meditation guides, or comedian stand up
    • See: snow globe, happy pictures,
    • Taste: mins, warm tea, sour candy
    • Smell: lotions, candles, or perfumes
  • Emotional Awareness tools: these objects are used to help express and release pent up tension or emotions that can be consuming or troubling.
    • Examples include journal, writing utensil, art or drawing supplies

Collect all these items and put them in a box or a bag close by for easy access. […]

  • Hurricane Anxiety | 3 Tips to Calm Down Hurricane Anxiety | 3 Tips to Calm Down

    Hurricane Anxiety | 3 Tips to Calm Down

Hurricane Anxiety | 3 Tips to Calm Down

Hurricane Anxiety|3 Tips to Calm Down

 

It’s a difficult day when people are panicking and lining the streets and stores to prepare for the worst. At this point, you are doing as much as possible for the unknown by securing your home, buying food or supplies, and ensuring you and your family’s safety. However, you are doing all of these things but the hurricane anxiety is not going away.  Overwhelming fear and anxiousness will not help you during this process, therefore; here are three tips to help calm your anxieties while prepping for the storm.

 

  1. Limit your media exposure.

    Your hurricane anxiety is increasing for a reason. Every time you turn on the news channel or check your phone for the latest storm updates, you are re-triggering your worst fears. You are basically pushing the panic button every time you tune in for the latest update. It is important to be informed but it is unhealthy to constantly trigger your anxieties. Limit the number of times you check the news so you are not overwhelming yourself. For example, restrict yourself to three media updates such as one in the morning, afternoon, and night time. You will still be informed without sky rocketing your fears every few hours.

  2. Remind yourself of positive statements.

    It is important to fill your mind with hope instead of “what ifs.” There is only so much you can do to prepare.  Fretting will not magically stop or dissipate the storm.  Therefore, you need to speak positively to yourself as well as actively prepare. Create a mantra for yourself to help you get through the next few days. For example, “I will get through today. I am scared but I am doing […]

Prince William and Prince Harry | Dealing with Death

Prince William and Prince Harry | Dealing with Death

In an upcoming documentary “Diana, 7 days” Prince William and Prince Harry share their experiences dealing with the death of their mother.“I remember just feeling completely numb, disorientated, dizzy,” William said. “You feel very, very confused. And you keep asking yourself, ‘Why me?’ All the time, ‘Why? What have I done? Why? Why has this happened to us?'”

death, grief, bereavement, sadness, grieve

Dealing with death is never easy. It is not easy two days after the loss. It is not easy 20 years after the loss, as in the case with Princess Diana. Dealing with death is not supposed to be easy. You valued and loved that person and grief is part of losing them.  At the same time, dealing with death does not mean you have to feel constantly overwhelmed, depressed, and lonely.  Here are 4 things to remind yourself as you are dealing with loss.

Support.

First, it is important to remind yourself that even among the tragedy and grief you are not alone. You loved and were loved by this person. Therefore, there is someone else who loved and was loved by them too. Know you have support and seek refuge in them especially if they are trying to deal with the death as well. Do not isolate. It is important to be open and find comfort in people who you trust and feel safe with.

Feel.

Secondly, numbing your pain and compartmentalizing emotions is the solution. As Prince William stated in the documentary there was a part of him that knew about his obligation and duties. At the same time, the other part of him wanted to do […]

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.

back-to-school anxiety, fear, children, teens, parenting, school, panic attack

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 […]

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

holiday blues, depression, christmas, alone, stress,

  1. Reach out!

    As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion:

  2. Lend your time.

    Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.

  3. Watch some funny movies.

    There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.

  4. Read.

    Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books you can read. Once you have a good book […]

How To Love Your Family Better Than A Stranger | Orlando Individual Counseling

How To Love Your Family Better Than A Stranger | Orlando Individual Counseling

Somewhere in my decades old subconscious, I have a memory of being somewhere in the age range of 9 years old and throwing some kind of pre-adolescent temper tantrum. (Well, actually I’m sure that I had more than one of those, bless my parents). It was the kind of tantrum where I was determined to make everyone in the house as miserable as I was.   But in this particular memory, I must have been making every one in my home a little crazy that day. The situation must have gotten to a point of no return because my mom had to step in, but I don’t remember many other details. The only thing I clearly remember is what she said to me that day. It is a thought that is lasered permanently in my psyche. She said to me, “Zuleida, you would treat strangers better than you are treating your own family today.”

The truth of that statement hit me hard, in that moment, in a very good way. It stopped me dead in my tracks and gave me pause. Was what she was saying true? Yes! I would have been more polite and loving to someone who I didn’t know in those moments. Actually, if I were honest, I would probably have stopped treating my family so badly if a stranger had simply stepped in to witness how badly I was acting. I might have snapped to better behavior quickly! So what did that say about me? Simply, I cared more about what people who didn’t love me thought then the ones that did.

love a [...]
</p>
			</div>
			<div class=

EMDR | Orlando Trauma Therapy

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a treatment used to “desensitize and reprocess” memories that have been stored in your brain as a result of traumatic experiences (this can be a small trauma to a larger trauma).  EMDR is  considered to be an effective therapy because of the quick and lasting relief clients feel from their emotional distress.  EMDR therapy repeatedly activates opposite sides of the brain, which releases emotional experiences that have become trapped in the nervous system and can be completed by the eye movement, audio to tactile methods.

EMDR is shown and used at Life Counseling Solutions to have effectiveness in treating the following conditions:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Overwhelming Fears
  • Relationship Problems
  • Loss of a Loved One
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Post Traumatic Stress (Rape, Robbery, Natural Disaster, Car Accident, Fire, Earth Quakes)
  • Sexual, Physical, or Emotional Abuse

Orlando Trauma TherapyHow Does EMDR Work?

The EMDR therapist works with a client in revisiting the traumatic experience, the feelings about the experience, and any negative thoughts or feelings.  The therapist then uses bi-lateral stimulation (either eye-movement, tactile, or audio methods) to activate both sides of the brain to bring quick and vibrant images that are then processed by the stimulation bringing about relief and resolved feelings.  

Flight Of A Mom With a Special Needs Child, Orlando Women’s Counseling

 

When we are about to take off on a flight, the flight attendants instruct us about our seat belts, emergency exits and oxygen masks. Few of us pay attention.  We are busy settling a baby, telling our kids not to kick the seat in front of you and getting the DVD player rigged up. However, we are told if the oxygen mask drops from the compartment above to put your mask on first. Do you remember why? You can’t help your child/children if you don’t help yourself first and pass out from lack of oxygen. So why don’t we apply this in other areas of our lives that have taken flight in a direction we haven’t planned for? Especially if you have boarded the flight of a mom with a special needs child.

When we become mothers we often neglect ourselves as we care for our children. I am a mom of two little boys and ride the turbulent flight of health and learning problems for each one of my sons. It has taken time and effort to make sure both have proper care, Doctor’s, OT, PT, Speech, Learning Specialists, finding the right school, educating teachers about their needs, researching and being an advocate.

Maybe your experience began during pregnancy, when your child was born, in the NICU or during his/her first few years of life. You took on the role of being a mom and your child’s care needs are many: appointments, medication, daily functioning, nursing, emotional and social needs. You cope with crisis […]