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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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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 […]

Categories
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 […]

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Parenting

Parenting Skills: Teach them to Be Safe

Most parents spend a fair amount of time wondering if their parenting skills are the right ones. I tend to be a protective parent, trying to make sure I keep my young son out of harm’s way and protect him from harmful people.  However, when he went to  a week long summer camp this month, […]

Categories
Marriage Counseling Relationships

Effective Communication in Marriage

The basics Effective communication in marriage is one of the most important things to figure out, and one of the hardest to do consistently. When couples have trouble communicating during conflict, this can be one of the most frustrating of events. In marriage counseling, one of the tasks the marriage counselor may take on is […]

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Marriage Counseling Relationships

A husband’s take on Solution Focused Marriage Counseling

Categories
Parenting

Parenting Strategies for Young Kids

In my Grand Rapids counseling office, I counsel lots of parents who want to develop moreeffective discipline and parenting strategies. One of the simplest things that works well for parenting young kids is the 1-2-3 Magic approach to discipline designed by Dr. Thomas Phelan. I have used it with my own son and have recommended it to […]