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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, […]

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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

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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 […]

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Individual Counseling Marriage Counseling Relationships

Marriage Counseling: The Art of Apologizing

In my Grand Rapids counseling office, I see a lot of couples for marriage counseling, and one of the top requests is to get help with communication. What often happens is that communication breaks down even before a conversation starts because your spouse has an idea of how you’re going to respond to them and […]

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Teenagers

Counseling for Teenagers using SFBT

Download One of my first jobs was as a case manager for families and children. At the time, you couldn’t have paid me do counseling with teenagers because I thought they were rude, disrespectful, and walked around with giant chips on their shoulders. My original approach to trying to help them didn’t exactly improve my […]

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Children Teenagers

ADHD versus Asperger’s Syndrome in Children

ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome (now found on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder) are two common disorders that are usually first diagnosed during childhood. They can appear very similar in their symptoms but have different causes and different treatments. While many children are diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, quite often Aspergers Syndrome is mistaken for ADHD at […]

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Marriage Counseling Relationships

Marriage Counseling: The 6 to 1 Ratio

One thing that often comes up in marriage counseling is the idea of having a successful disagreement. When you live together, things are bound to come up but how do you talk about it without the other person shutting down? In my experience providing marriage counseling to various couples, the shutting down often comes from […]

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Children Parenting Teenagers

Counseling for Teenagers: Get Teens to Listen

This is actually more of a Love and Logic strategy that I incorporate in counseling for teenagers and if you’re not familiar with Love and Logic, do a google search and you’ll tons of books and videos available. Teenagers have a tendency to screw up and do things they shouldn’t or fail to do things they should […]

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Individual Counseling Relationships

Improve Self-esteem: Doubting your Doubts

While counseling a young man who has a tendency toward self-doubt, we were discussing how we tend to view events that occur to us through certain filters which in turn effects our self-esteem. If we tend to have lower self confidence in ourselves, we will tend to, for example, dismiss genuine compliments from others as […]