Jenna Behrens is a licensed professional counselor who has been practicing in the mental health field for seven years. She owns Behrens Psychotherapy Services, LLC which has four office locations around the Milwaukee area. She works with children, adolescents, families, and adults on a wide array of issues including depression, anxiety, ADHD, childhood behavioral disorders, adjustment disorders, stress and parenting.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! The holidays are officially here! Unfortunately, sometimes holidays are stressful, not just because there's so much to do and not enough time or because of finances, but because of family discord. Not all families get along splendidly and holidays are especially good at pointing this out. Whether you don't get along with your in-laws, parents, or siblings, there are a few things you can do to make the holidays more enjoyable.
What better day to write about the weather changing that Daylight Savings Day? Around this time of year, some of us start to feel irritable, down, or tired. The sun is shining less, it's cold out, and it gets dark earlier. People who suffer from seasonal depression can be diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD typically rears its ugly head in fall and lasts through the winter months.
Recently I have been witnessing, participating in, and reading a lot about this idea of getting out of your comfort zone. In therapy, it's something I talk with clients about regularly. Trying new things to get out of the emotional rut they are in or trying something new or that they've been avoiding as a type of exposure therapy to decrease their anxiety. This idea isn't new to me, but I began to wonder how often I actually do this. I am a pretty routine person. If you ask my husband, he would say I'm about 99% predictable. I always have been, even as a child. I like to be on time, I keep my word, I like a routine life, and having a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly plan. It feels good to me. I can't think of too many situations that I avoid due to anxiety, not to say that I never suffer from anxiety. I used to be incredibly anxious meeting with new clients especially if I felt they were intellectually superior to me. It was never a choice to avoid this because it wasn't an option for my practice to fail. So, I pushed through and dealt with whatever emotions came up. Eventually, I got over it. I realized that they were there to see me because what they had been doing hasn't been working so I must hold some information they don't have.
Right about now is the time therapy for kids turns into hatching a plan with parents to make the adjustment from summer to the school year less hectic and difficult. Parents and children have some of the same worries when they think about starting a new school year: From homework to waking up and going to bed much earlier, anxiety rises. Here are some tips that should be started now to get kids (and parents) more prepared for the year ahead.
I often have a love-hate relationship with technololgy. Sometimes I'm thankful to be able to be reached anywhere at anytime and sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I love that I can DVR a show I can't be home to watch and sometimes I hate the amount of TV that is consumed in our home. One part of technology I absolutely will never love is communicating serious topics via email, facebook, text messaging, etc. I have seen this in both my personal and professional life. Someone is mad at someone and they make a comment about it on Facebook or send a mean email and it gets blown way out of proportion. It seems that some people haven't learned the rules when using technology to communicate. As far as I'm concerned, if you are sitting down at your computer or texting a serious message to someone, you are at risk for creating a lot of issues. If you can't pick up the phone or meet the person to talk about whatever it is you want to communicate, then it probably shouldn't be said. It's so easy to sit at your computer or type a text message on your phone and let your emotions get the best of you. It's a lot more difficult to tell someone to their face. When you are using technology, you don't allow the other person to have an opinion or explain themselves which often leave the other person feeling angry, resentful and usually shocked.