Food for Thought

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As Pippen heads into her elder years, retirement is on the horizon. Olive is an Auggie - a Corgi/Australian Shepard mix. She is starting her puppy training and will hopefully, eventually start the process to become certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

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I send these out every week and thought it might be helpful to post here. Have a great week!

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Self-compassion is helpful in the context of self-criticism or negativity. Self-compassion requires practice. The goal is to to access positive and affirming emotions more regularly and easily. This strategy can be very helpful for quieting the voice of self-criticism or negative self-talk. Here are some ideas for making self-compassion part of your life:

Pause. Take special notice of your breath. Notice what you feel.

When applicable, remind yourself, “This is a difficult moment for me. I am experiencing suffering. Suffering is a part of life. I accept myself as I am.”

Thinking in certain terms or with specific language can also foster a sense of compassion. Try using these words:

  • Safety
  • Forgiveness
  • Happiness
  • Endurance
  • Peace
  • Strength
  • Kindness
  • Protection
  • Learning
  • Acceptance
  • Wisdom
  • Respect
  • Understanding
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I've come across many inspirational messages about the new year in the last few weeks. Here are a few:

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It can be a very scary experience to have your teenager express suicidal thoughts. Seeing our kids in pain makes us feel helpless and clumsy with our words and sometimes, our actions. The important thing is to make sure that your child or teen knows that you are on their side, that you are supportive, and that you will give them a nonjudgmental place to share. Here are some resources and tips that might provide a way to start the conversation with your child/teen. Don't be afraid to have those conversations.

The Association for Suicide Prevention has many great resources for parents. Here are several articles posted on their website to help parents identify signs of depression and how to approach your teen with various topics related to suicide:

https://afsp.org/teens-and-suicide-what-parents-should-know#what-if-they-don-t-want-to-talk-

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With the recent implementation of surprise billing protection and good faith estimates for consumers with regard to health care, I thought some information on the pros and cons of using health insurance to pay for therapy would be appropriate. Read on for more information.

Life is getting difficult and you've tried many things to cope with the struggle. You want to feel better, or help your child feel better, but nothing seems to be making a difference.

This is the point when many people decide to seek help from a counselor. One of the questions you might ask during an initial consultation or phone call is does the counselor you're interested in seeing accept insurance. Maybe you're also wondering if you should use your health insurance to pay for counseling services.

First, to clarify, I do not accept insurance presently for various reasons. I do have many clients ask me about health insurance during initial phone consultations. Since health care, insurance and benefits are confusing topics, I decided to write a post as a resource for folks trying...

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Holidays are a stressful time of year. Remember to take time for yourself. Divide your to-do list into 1) things you have to do 2) things you want to do and 3) things others want you to do.

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Being a parent can be challenging. There is no guidebook or manual that tells us how to interact with our children, but there are many things that we can do at home to support our teens.

• Open communication – Communicating with your teen can help them cope with many challenges. These challenges include mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and the social medial pressures that they experience every day. Communication can also increase and improve the quality of your connection with your teen and your family unit. Communicating is easier said than done. In order to open the lines of communication, here are several things to keep in mind:

➢ Timing is everything. Make sure that you and your teen are both in a good place before starting a conversation. If your teen is busy, has had a bad day, or is preoccupied, consider waiting for a better time to check in with him/her.

➢ Don’t lecture, minimize your teen’s issues, or tell your teen what they “should” do. Teens respond better if they feel heard and respected. If you come off as...

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