5 Ways To Grieve The Loss of A Loved One | Orlando Grief Counseling

It seems that every time we turn on the TV that we are bombarded with tragic loss.  This can be especially hard if we are dealing with loss in our personal lives.  It is also difficult when the loss does not make sense and/or is unexpected.  We have the entire town of Windermere grieving the loss and honoring the life of their beloved officer and friend, Robert German, who was tragically killed in cold blood in a senseless murder at gunpoint.  We also have the family and friends grieving the loss of his killers, Brandon Goode (18) and Alexandria Hollinghurst (17), who took their own lives that same morning after taking the life of Officer German.  Neither occurrence makes sense to their loved ones.  Neither death can fully be explained in a way that would relieve the pain they are facing at this moment in their lives.


 There is nothing anyone can say or do to make the pain of losing a loved one go away but there is help in the process.  If you or someone you know is dealing with a loss from a death or suicide here are some helpful tips to assist in healing along the way:

1)   Share your feelings with others.  This is not a time to be alone or to isolate yourself.  There will be moments that you may need to be alone to process the events, to grieve out loud and listen to your own thoughts and feelings, but isolation does not assist in the long run.   Avoiding the company of others or not sharing your feelings keep you stuck and can cause you to fall into […]

The Pansexual Generation | Pansexual Orlando Counseling

By working closely with teens, I often find myself discovering the newest trends, the latest beliefs and the most common behaviors. Their way of life is so different than when I was in high school (which was NOT that long ago) and while I talk to them, I often hear me “dating” myself.

The latest movement is being “Pansexual.” I first started hearing a lot of this term last year when I had a few clients loosely throwing the word around. One day, a teenage girl that I had been counseling for a while told me that her and her long time boyfriend had broken up and she was now talking to this girl named…”Susie” or whatever her name was. I responded with, “Susie? I didn’t realize you were a lesbian.” To which she responded, “I’m not.” And then we stared blankly at each other. I waited for a while and then said, “Oh, I’m sorry…bisexual?” To which she responded, “Nope!” So jokingly (while totally serious) I said, “So…how would you classify your sexual orientation?” She responded that she didn’t want to be labeled anything, but if she had to be, then she would be considered pansexual. At this point, I was so confused because I thought liking men and women meant you were bisexual. She went on to explain that it’s not just guys and girls, but it’s “anyone…” transgendered, androgynous and “gender neutral.” (The word pansexual comes from the Greek prefix pan-, which translated means “all”).

Pansexual Orlando Counseling

This generation of adolescents (or at least many of them) has taken such a different approach to “acceptance” than their predecessors. While my generation has become more […]

How To Cope This Holiday Season: Loved One’s Eating Disorder

As wonderful as the Holidays can be for many of us, this is often a time of stress, anxiety, and despair for many suffering from an eating disorder. The Holiday Season is not only focused around gifts, and time with loved ones, but FOOD. Food is an obsession that those with an eating disorder struggle with every day, and the holidays just intensify this obsession.

OrlandoEatingDisorderCounselingHolidaysThe following tips will help you cope with your loved one’s eating disorder and make the holidays merry and bright.

o Do not put a huge emphasis on what your loved one is eating.
o Check in with your loved one privately and see how he or she is doing emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.
o Be genuine with your loved one. Remind him or her that they are loved and valued no matter what.
o Make the focus of the holidays about family and quality time together, not food or eating habits.
o Do not draw attention to the eating disorder.
o Do not talk about weight loss or weight gain, even if referring to yourself or others.
o Be patient. This is an especially difficult time for your loved one.
o Have your loved one seek counseling.

Although there are some specific guidelines to help your loved one this holiday season, do not feel that you have to “walk on eggshells” and be unnatural. The more natural environment that you create, the easier it will be for your loved one to cope and not feel the pressure of his or her eating disorder.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, then call Eating Disorder Counseling Orlando with  Life Counseling Solutions today for a COMPLIMENTARY […]

What You Need To Know: YouTube & Self-Harming | Orlando Teen Counseling

This week, I was brainstorming on what to write for the Orlando Teen Counseling| Life Counseling Solutions blog. I decided I wanted to find an inspirational video on YouTube about cutting and expand on that. Unfortunately, instead, I came across some disturbing videos about teens and self-harming.

Because I have worked with many teens that self-harm, I have heard stories about them finding people they can relate to on YouTube, being inspired through YouTube videos and even posting their own videos. My desire is to inform parents of what is out there and what is easily accessible to their children.

Popular YouTube Self-Harm Videos Include:

  • 36 Self Harm Scar Excuses
  • What to do if you cut too deep
  • How to cut deep (for bigger scars)
  • Real cutters vs. Fake Cutters
  • How to hide self-harm scars with makeup
  • Cut the pain away
  • How to self-harm
  • Covering self-harm without long sleeves
  • Self-Harm (Warning graphic content may be triggering)

The scariest part about these videos is that they have anywhere from 300,000 to 1,000,000 views. This is the newest outlet for teens to express their hurt and pain. Many of them share their story to get “comments” from other teens encouraging them, or just to get their feelings out in the open.

5 Things You Can Do

  • As a parent, be very aware of what your child is posting and watching on YouTube.
  • Check their Internet history.
  • Have open communication with them about their feelings, emotions and behaviors.
  • Find out what type of music, shows and movies they are into at the moment.
  • Be involved in your teen’s life (and social media) as much as possible so that he or she is not seeking out guidance, help, or direction from YouTube or other unhealthy sources.

If you think or know that your […]

6 Ways to Combat Holiday Social Anxiety | Orlando Social Anxiety Counseling

Halloween has come and gone and now we are starting to see Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, and retailers decking the halls with sales and specials. Thanksgiving has gotten lost amongst the hustle and bustle of it all, which means one thing: The Holidays are upon us. The Holidays are a time when people enjoy Christmas parties, family gatherings and work events. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? Well, not for someone suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder.

Orlando Social Counseling

The Holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year for someone who suffers from Social Anxiety. This may even be a time that he or she finds dreadful. Here are Six Ways to Combat Social Anxiety During the Holidays and make this season a merry one.

Six Ways to Combat Social Anxiety During the Holidays

1) Inform Yourself: Anxiety comes from the unknown: “Who will be at this party?” “What if everyone thinks I’m stupid for bringing this gift? What are we even supposed to bring?” “What time is everyone showing up?” If you ask the host these questions and get this information beforehand, it may alleviate a lot of that anxiety.

2) Stick with the least threatening situations: If you are the most comfortable at a small family gathering or an intimate dinner rather than the annual corporate Christmas party, then go to those events. You do NOT have to go to every event that you are invited to, but you DO need to remain social during the holidays. Avoidance will only fuel your social anxiety.

3) Avoid/Limit alcohol: You may think that a few glasses of wine may help calm your nerves, […]

5 Signs That Your Teen May Be Cutting | Orlando Self-Harm Counseling

Cutting, a form of self-harming is unfortunately far too common amongst teenagers today. There comes a point where a teenager may no longer know the best way to cope with stress, sadness, anger and other emotions. The emotional pain is too much to handle and the only way they can find relief is by diverting their attention away from the emotional pain and directing it to physical pain. I have had clients describe cutting as “an escape,” “a release” and even “a high.” Orlando Self-Harm Counseling Can Help!


Although a teenager that cuts is not necessarily suicidal, this is a devastating, accidental outcome much too often. This negative coping mechanism is one that needs to be addressed as soon as it is brought to light. If you are unsure if your teen may be cutting, then here are some signs to look out for.

  1. You may begin to notice that he or she has withdrawn from friends and family. Isolation is one of the biggest signs of self-harming because it is a shameful and embarrassing experience and usually done alone in secret.
  2. You may also begin to notice that your teen is no longer participating in activities that he or she once took interest in like sports, extracurricular activities, dance, music, etc. They have turned their once healthy outlet into a negative coping mechanism.
  3. You may see or hear that the music they are listening to or the movies/YouTube videos they are watching are very “dark.” There are plenty of artists putting out music and/or videos sending a message that teens feel they can relate to, but the message is usually pretty heavy and negative.
  4. If you see […]

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 […]

  • 5 Ways To Thrive in New School Transition | Orlando Counseling Services 5 Ways To Thrive in New School Transition | Orlando Counseling Services

    5 Ways To Thrive in New School Transition | Orlando Counseling Services

5 Ways To Thrive in New School Transition | Orlando Counseling Services

How can parents and students thrive in a new school environment?  A new school environment can be a result of a student going from middle school to high school, or the entire family relocating to a different state.  Today, and especially in Central Florida, there are many schools that parents can choose from for their children.  If your child is switching schools due to a personal choice for him or herself, or yourself, different dynamics will apply.  The following are five things to consider in order to thrive in school transition!

After I completed my freshman year of high school in Mobile, Alabama, my father uprooted the family and moved us to sunny Central Florida.  He was offered a better job and as the baby in the family, who was I to argue?  This was no easy transition and I did not desire to move away from all that I knew to be familiar.  The road had been paved twice over from my older brother and sister graduating from my high school in Alabama.  My last name was known and I had more friends than I could count!  People, including teachers and coaches, knew me long before I had even heard of them and now I have to go to a new town and start over!  Ugh!

I learned from this experience and my desire is that it may help you or someone you know going through a similar situation. It was not easy for me, but eventually I was able to thrive in the new environment.  Transitioning to a new school is no easy task for anyone.  It is a different environment full of people you […]

Stressed Out Mama! Orlando Women’s Counseling




Summer’s over and now I am hitting the ground earlier, getting breakfast together with one eye open, making lunches, backpacks stocked, thinking about work and dragging sleep drunk kids out of bed. I barely get a swig of coffee before I tear out the door with two rowdy kids in tow. The drive to school is full of “I don’t want to go to school, I didn’t brush my teeth, I forgot my homework” and me fumbling to check my iPhone calendar at a red light.  Yep, I am “back to school”! The world of an overwhelmed “back to school” stressed out mama, doing the best I can! You may be a CEO, work in health care or prevent global warming, but back to school stress still gets you!

Once I drop the kids at the school doors, papers flying everywhere; I put the car in drive, breath and start thinking about how another year has gone by…sniff, sniff! As a mom it has been hard learning how to adapt to so much change and juggling so many things at once. I confess I can’t do it all and sometimes just scrap by trying to keep it all together myself.  I am not the “I’ve Got It All Together Classroom Mom” or the “Super Working Mom”.  I‘ve found myself in several awkward situations; trying inconspicuously to pull a hot roller out of my hair while running into the school with a form or arriving at work with mismatched shoes, or forgetting to send my child’s lunch to school.

So here is why you may […]

  • 5 Tips to Help Children in a Successful School Year | Orlando Family Counseling 5 Tips to Help Children in a Successful School Year | Orlando Family Counseling

    5 Tips to Help Children in a Successful School Year | Orlando Family Counseling

5 Tips to Help Children in a Successful School Year | Orlando Family Counseling

In many cases children, especially teenagers, need support, encouragement, and accountability when it comes to their school work. Orlando Family Counseling can help you and your family by providing the right tools to get your family moving in the right direction!

Keep in mind that in two-parent households, parents should work together as a team in all aspects of parenting. This is also true when it comes to the expectations each of you have when it comes to your child academically.  It is imperative that parents are on the same page and back each other on the rules and expectations of the school year.  When parents do not work as a team, it is easy for a child to manipulate the situation and get out of responsibilities. In single-parent households, this may be difficult due to you working alone but is doable none-the-less.

1.     Communicate Your Expectations: Prior to the school year beginning, hold a meeting with each of your children present. Communicate to them the expectations you have of them this year. Explain to them that school is important to their future and that they are required to do their best. A good way of engaging a teenager in this discussion is by asking them questions such as, “The school year is about to start, I am wondering what grades you are capable of earning in each of your classes this year if you do your best?” This is a great way to get a fair assessment of the mind set of your child prior to school beginning. Keep in mind that children are gifted differently and the academic strength of each child will not be the same. You should encourage your child  to do […]