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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. These are both boys and girls, men and women. One thing that sometimes happens is they find themselves staying in relationships that aren’t working for them because they’ve been allowing their self-worth to be dictated by being in a relationship, or […]

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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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Uncategorized

Manage Your Marriage Like an Effective Business

One way to keep your marriage running smoothly is to mange it the way an effective streamlined business . A few years ago I was listening to a radio program about the problems that occurred in the 1970’s American car manufacturing industry. The gist of it was that there were a lot of problems arising […]

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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, where people take a side on an issue and take the stance that anyone who disagrees with them is just plain […]

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Marriage Counseling Relationships

Relationship Counseling: “He’d say Goodmorning”

In doing marriage counseling, or relationship counseling, one of the things I often do is ask the “miracle question”. This question is designed to have the couple think about how they would first notice a miracle has happened if the miracle is that their relationship is fixed overnight while they sleep. About 99% of couples […]

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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.  They started off well and their relationship was solid.  Then they had kids and things seemed to change.  They found themselves getting distant from each other, not spending as much quality time […]

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Parenting Teenagers

Counseling for Teenagers: Talking to Teenagers

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. However, several years later, I began working with middle school and high school kids. This was […]

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Individual Counseling Relationships

Why I Hate This Sign

This sign is basically a lie. It’s what I call “blowing sunshine”. You’re not important, special, amazing, or extraordinary merely by walking into a room. No more than you are a professional athlete merely by walking into a gym. The good news is that you CAN be important, amazing, and extraordinary if you’re willing to […]