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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. […]

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Individual Counseling Relationships

Self-Esteem and Why I Hate This Sign

Building legitimate self-esteem takes time and effort and 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 […]

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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 takes on is helping […]

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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 strategies that works well for parenting young kids is the 1-2-3 Magic program designed by Dr. Thomas Phelan. I have used it with my own son and have recommended it to hundreds of […]

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Individual Counseling Marriage Counseling Relationships

Marriage Counseling: The Art of Apologizing

I see a lot of couples for marriage counseling, and one of the top requests is to get help with communication. Apologizing is a necessary part of effective communication. What often happens is that communication breaks down even before a conversation starts. This can happen because your spouse has an idea of how you’re going […]

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Teenagers

Counseling for Teenagers using SFBT

Talking to teenagers can be a challenge because of what we think of as teenage resistance. One of my first jobs was as a case manager for families and children. At the time, I worried about doing counseling with teenagers because I thought they were rude, disrespectful, and walked around with giant chips on their […]

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Children Teenagers

ADHD versus Asperger’s Syndrome in Children

ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome 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. Symptoms of ADHD While many children are diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, quite often Aspergers Syndrome is mistaken for ADHD at first. The APA in […]

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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 argument where you give your spouse constructive criticism. When living together, problems will arise but how do you talk about it without your partner shutting down? In my experience providing marriage counseling to various couples, the shutting down often […]