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Children and Teenagers with Social Anxiety

Children and teenagers with social anxiety is a common occurrence.  It often shows up in early adolescence where kids have difficulty making friends, making connections and developing a satisfactory social life.  We generally describe these kids as shy but the problem can become more pervasive and problematic for many kids. Few things are more painful […]

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Managing Teenage Anxiety

Does your child have teenage anxiety?  If so, they are not alone.  Even before COVID 19 happened to us, lots of kids had anxiety.   How do you know if your child has anxiety?  There are a few signs that are common to teenage anxiety that I have seen in my counseling practice.  This can […]

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Counseling for Anxiety Using SFBT

Counseling for Anxiety is one of the main things that therapists provide. So the good news is that if you have anxiety, you’re in good company. There are many different strategies that help with anxiety. Below, I will discuss one of the strategies. Anxiety as a Mental Construct Anxiety often comes about because of our […]

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New Healthy Habits and Keep Them

We all have tried to start new healthy habits such as exercising more and many of us have trouble sticking to it. We start off well and then run out of steam. Here is one strategy for making it stick. First start out small. Don’t plan on suddenly working out for an hour a day, […]

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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 […]

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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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 […]

Individual Counseling Relationships

Improve Self-esteem: Doubting your Doubts

While counseling a young man with a tendency toward self-doubt, we discussed how we tend to view events that occur to us through certain filters, which in turn affects our self-esteem. If you have low self confidence, you tend to dismiss genuine compliments from others as “just trying to be nice”or trying to make us […]

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Relationships: How Criticism Can Drive Someone Away

Below is an article written by a married woman who caught herself criticizing her husband over trivial things rather than focusing on his positive qualities. It was ruining her relationship. She realized her attitude toward him was causing him to feel unloved, unvalued, and basically treated like a child. In her case, her husband had […]

Individual Counseling

Counseling for Life Stress: Taking Detours

When I counsel people in my Grand Rapids office, they often make progress for a time, then have a day or two when things don’t go as planned. Life stress gets in the way temporarily. For some, they view these momentary setbacks as some kind of failure, or proof that they “always” screw things up. We […]