Family

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 […]

When to Clean and Sober | Orlando Substance Abuse Therapy

When is the right time to get clean and sober??

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

When is the right time to get clean and sober? Now!  Often times when someone starts contemplating stopping or going into treatment they will come up with a list of various reasons why they can’t.  We frequently hear things like, “I don’t have time;” “I could loose my job;” “I won’t spend as much time with my children;”etc… The list of reasons go on and on.   These are things we hear all too often as loved ones when we are watching someone die right in front of us.  It may be frustrating from an outsider’s perspective but what we must recognize is that this individual truly does not know any other way to live.  One way to have compassion for someone struggling making that step into recovery is to understand that this life is the ONLY normal one to them.

When someone is in active addiction almost everything they do is managed around the drinking lifestyle.  They go to places where they can drink, they hang out with people who drink, or they come home to drink – the drinking/using routine becomes very ritualistic.  Eventually it gets to the point where if one tries to stop they begin obsessing about getting the next drink and then the compulsion takes over where it’s unbearable so they must drink again. Not until intervention is implemented can this cycle be stopped.

Progression of Addiction

The real problem of waiting to stop is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease.  […]

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Over 10 million people have a mental health disorder and substance use disorder combined (2005).  Recognizing the link between addiction and co-occurring disorders is important for many reasons but when we acknowledge this link as a professional – whether it be a counselor, nurse, doctor, attorney etc. – it allows us to develop a cohesive system of care for this person.  It is not uncommon to have a mental health disorder in conjunction with addiction.  Symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD and more are seen often with substance abuse.  However, when we are talking about co-occurring disorders we are not just referring to mental health symptoms – we are also finding solutions for people who might be homeless, HIV positive, or those with a history of criminal charges.  When we think of the term co-occurring disorders we can think about treating the whole person and connecting them with multiple resources in the community.  This all enables the person to further achieve sobriety.

Why can’t we just help the person get sober?  Doesn’t that solve the issue in itself?  That is the FIRST major step.   Treatment programs that solely focus on the addiction aspect are missing a vital contributor to the person’s addiction.  For instance, let’s say a person struggles with depression from a very young age.  Then as an older adult they discover alcohol; it fills the void but gets out of control and eventually becomes a problem overtime.  Once, they stop drinking the deep empty feelings of depression return and intensify without something to numb it.  They are not sure how to cope with these uncomfortable feelings and they […]

Start Fresh and New Beginnings | Orlando Life Coach

by Mike Martinez

As the new year begins I can’t help but think of the many new beginnings that it will bring. Maybe you’re starting a new job this year. Perhaps you’re moving into a new apartment, house, or maybe even a new city. Maybe this year you’re becoming a Mom or a Dad for the first time. That’s quite a new beginning! Or maybe you’re aching for a new beginning of some sort but it hasn’t seemed to happen yet. Here are few things you need to do to open yourself up to the endless possibilities this new year (and your life!) can bring.

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

  1. Be open to new possibilities by stepping out of your comfort zone. There are many quotes about the negative consequences of staying in your comfort zone. One of my favorites is, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” So if you stay in it, you will not grow. It’s that simple. Get out of your comfort zone by taking risks and trying new things: new foods, new places, new people! You’ll never know what amazing things can come from it! So open yourself up!
  2. PURGE! New beginnings. What’s the opposite of new? Old. What might you not want or need any more? Old things. Old habits. Old behaviors. Old negative thoughts! Purging can be mental. Get rid of it all – get rid of negativity to make room for positivity. Purging can also be physical – get rid of some of the clutter in that room or closet; (Yes, I know […]

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

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.
  2. Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion: 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 […]

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, […]

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

I have often heard that we are our own worst critics. I’ve also heard that we talk to ourselves worse than we would talk to own worst enemy! Maybe it’s time to show yourself a little bit more love and respect. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your self-care, to enable a healthier you.

happy young woman relaxing at home, self-care

  1. Get more sleep! Yes, late nights can be very productive but your body and mind need sleep to recover and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad that you did and getting a full night’s sleep will lead to an even more productive tomorrow.
  2. Meditate. Take the time to meditate at least once daily. Clearing your mind can work wonders in your day. It doesn’t matter if you do it before you start your day or at the end of the day. It is a natural way to relieve stress and give yourself a much needed time out.
  3. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine. Take some time to laugh! Maybe watch a tv show that you find funny. You can also laugh at yourself. Instead of feeling bad about that mistake you made earlier in the day, try to think of it in a bigger picture and how it looks in the great scheme of events. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Get (or do) a hobby! Working on your hobby has many benefits. It’s a good way to release stress. While doing a hobby you would be able to relax and find some enjoyment. […]

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad | Orlando Parenting Counseling

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad | Orlando Parenting Counseling

In the short span that I have been a father I have discovered and come across a few truths that every new or soon-to-be Dad should know. I have compiled them here and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

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1. Aside from breast-feeding and actual child birth, there is NOTHING that Mom can do that you cannot do. Probably the most profound piece of advice ever given to me relating to becoming a dad. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and never shy away from your duty as a father. You can do anything and everything for your baby (with the exception of those first two, physically-oriented tasks). Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know what you are doing. You know just as well, and perhaps even better, than they do.

2. YOU WILL GET UPSET/ANGRY/FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR NEWBORN. Don’t feel guilty, it happens to everyone. What’s important here is to remember that the baby is just that – a baby. Your baby is helpless and cannot verbalize what’s needed. They will scream and they will cry. Add a sleep-deprived male in the mix and frustration is unavoidable. Have systems in place – if you feel you are becoming too angry to deal with the baby it is okay to gently put your baby down in the crib (or other safe place), take a step back and take a few breaths. You can then re-approach with a calmer mind. Some couples have a code word they use when they […]

The Murder of Our Children | Orlando Child Abuse Counseling

The Murder of Our Children | Child Abuse Counseling

The headlines for child abuse are glaring and unbelievable.  One story in particular has stayed with me and I haven’t been able to let it go.  In February of this year, a Detroit woman was arrested for murdering her two children and putting their bodies in a refrigerator.  At her trial, she showed no remorse.  Obviously, she is mentally ill.  Unfortunately, my search for ‘child murder refrigerator’ brings up too many other similar stories.  These are blatant examples of child abuse.  They are happening today, in our midst.

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For those of us who love our families and children, and live to make a sincere effort to give our families the best, these stories make our stomach churn.  This kind of evil is unfathomable.  I don’t have a hard time convincing anyone that the above story is a case of child abuse.  But, it is very often that I have a hard time convincing the wounded soul in front of me in a counseling session that they suffered from parental abuse, even when all of the evidence is there to prove it.

Abuse is not just the torture and murder of a child.  Verbal, mental, and emotional abuse happen along a continuum that can make it hard to discern exactly what abuse is.  After all, some people consider spanking to be abuse, others consider it to be a swift and just discipline for poor behavior.  A father believes he is doing his best parenting when he offers his children ways to improve and gives them what he believes are healthy critiques to help them succeed, but […]

Fatherless Epidemic | Orlando Marriage and Family Counseling

Fatherless Epidemic | Orlando Marriage and Family Counseling

With Father’s Day approaching I was struck by just how “father” figures are under appreciated in our society. Think about it, do most of us actually recognize all that a father truly embodies to a child? I took this question to the source and I asked my son. I received a plethora of answers ranging from “a love giant”, “superhero” to “booboo kisser” and “my bike rider helper”. These titles may seem childish and somewhat inconsequential at a superficial glance, but with a deeper look these qualities truly are the core of what a father “should be” to a child: a care giver, provider, supporter, teacher, friend, protector.  Unfortunately, there are many children, both young and grown up, who are missing this key figure in their life.

ID-10063601Yes, a mother can, and often will, take on many of these core roles, but research has shown children still need a strong “father” figure in their life. For many the good news is this “father” figure does not have to be the biological father. Realistically, many children who are still in the care of their biological father, are receiving more harm or neglect than good.  Being present, physically is not enough on its own. Many times men who are “not required” to love the child, can take extra steps to be amazing “father” role models.

A recent article on Today.com highlights how imperative non-biological “father” figures can be in this fatherless epidemic.  As the article states caring step-fathers and even boyfriends can be a huge asset to children. Additionally, uncles, brothers, friends, neighbors, fellow church members, etc. can be […]