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Get Better Teenage Behavior

We all want to work with our teens to get better teenage behavior out of them. Last weekend I was reminded of something while watching my son’s soccer game. The coach is a good coach and loves soccer. However, during games he tends to get excited and starts shouting directions at the kids. “Move back! […]

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Parenting Teenagers

High Achiever High Anxiety Students

In my Grand Rapids counseling office, I see a lot of stressed out teens who worry about their futures. They try to get the best grades they can and do all sorts of extracurricular actives to create a portfolio that will impress colleges. They worry about not getting into the right college and ruining their […]

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communication Marriage Counseling Relationships Uncategorized

Communication In Marriage: Remind Them to do What They Promised

Communication in marriage is a keystone necessity. Good communication with your spouse is an essential tool for staying connected and resolving problems so they don’t take over your marriage. I was meeting with a couple today for marriage counseling and they told me a story that I thought had an amazingly good strategy. They gave […]

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building self-esteem Good habits Teenagers

How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

I just heard this saying the other day for the first time and it made me think about my own habits. The saying suggests to me that we all have a level of conscientiousness about how we approach things, from our jobs to relationships to keeping up our homes to parenting our kids. If someone […]

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Manage Your Marriage Like an Effective Business

One way to keep your marriage running smoothly is to manage it like an effective, streamlined business. Learning from the Automobile Manufacturing System: A few years ago I listened to a radio program about problems that occurred in the 1970’s American car manufacturing industry. There were a lot of problems arising in the manufacturing industry […]

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building self-esteem Children Individual Counseling Teenagers

Self-Confidence from Competence

I counsel a lot of teenagers and young adults who suffer from low self-confidence. One thing that sometimes happens is they find themselves staying in relationships that aren’t working because they allow their self-worth to be dictated by being in a relationship, or by being valued by their friends, rather than valuing themselves independently for […]

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communication Marriage Counseling Relationships

Improving Communication: Win the Argument:

Okay, kind of a misleading title because if you set out to “win” an argument you aren’t likely to get very far. I’ve seen a lot of arguments lately on facebook and other places. People take a side on an issue and take the stance that anyone who disagrees with them is just plain wrong. […]

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Marriage Counseling Relationships

Marriage Counseling: “He’d say Goodmorning”

When doing marriage counseling, one thing I do is ask the “miracle question”. This question helps you think about how you will first notice a miracle has happened, if the miracle is that your relationship is fixed overnight while you sleep. It helps you think about what positive changes you want in your relationship and […]

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Marriage Counseling Relationships

Solution Focused Marriage Counseling

I use Solution Focused Marriage counseling when providing couples counseling. Many of the clients I see for marriage counseling have a similar problem.  You started off well and your relationship was solid.  But then you had kids and things seemed to change.  You found yourselves getting distant from each other and not spending as much […]

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Parenting Teenagers

Talking to Teenagers

Talking to teenagers effectively is a critical skill when guiding them make healthy decisions for themselves. When I was a school social worker, providing counseling for teenagers, I worked with young children, ages 5 to 8 years old. These were easy kids to work with because they liked seeing the social worker and enjoyed counseling. […]