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Healthy Range of Emotions: The Personal Side

How well are you handling your emotions?

In the last blog on this topic I talked about how families differ in their handling of emotions. Parents are the primary role-models for how emotions are to be dealt with in family units. Children learn how to process their emotions by watching what their parents do (or do not do) with their own feelings.

In the same vein, there is a continuum for how emotions are expressed in family units. The continuum starts with families who talk little about emotions and ends with families who express most of their feelings but not always in healthy or helpful manners. An emotionally healthy family lies somewhere in the middle of this continuum.  Continue reading

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Healthy Range of Emotions: The Practical Side

Do you know how to share your feelings in a healthy way?

This week I was listening to a lecture on anxiety and the speaker talked about “optimal anxiety.” Now, when I first hear the word “anxiety” I do not feel warm and fuzzy. However, the speaker stated there is a healthy form of anxiety that motivates people to successfully accomplish difficult tasks and this is “optimal anxiety.” This “healthy anxiety” can help you succeed at things like completing a big project, planning a large event, starting a new job or embracing a dramatic life change well (for example, marriage/partnership or parenthood). This is the opposite of anxiety that inhibits you from doing things—think fear of flying or fear of bridges. Continue reading

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The Inner Critic

Are you too critical of yourself?

“I can’t believe I slept so late, I’m so lazy.”

“I will never get all of this done in time, I’m so stupid for offering to help.”

“I’m such an idiot! I can’t believe I forgot my book again!”

“There is no way I could pull this outfit off, I’m way too fat.” Continue reading

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Empower Yourself

How positive have you been lately?

We are all human and as perfect as we think we might be, we all have our faults. Life is not about finding the negative, but about embracing ourselves as a whole, accepting others for who they are, and empowering the past. The life you have lived can be either a foundation for the future or an anchor that holds you back. A great way to achieve this is to focus not on the facts of the past, but on how you relate to those difficult situations lived. To help you achieve this, here are some suggestions: Continue reading

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes—The Personal Side

How are you coping?

I have had many transitions in my life the past couple of years. Thankfully, most of them have been very good ones. Transitions are funny in that they can be “good” or “bad” and “planned” or “unplanned.”  For example, I planned to get married and I planned to have children. But I never “plan” to get sick or lose aging family members. I guess the point is that planned or unplanned all big transitions come with a certain amount of stress.  Continue reading

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes—The Practical Side

Are you experiencing a life transition?

Are you in the middle of a life transition? Or are you facing one in the near future? Maybe you are about to get married or are pregnant with your first child. Maybe you will graduate high school this year and are preparing to go away to college. Maybe you have just received an incurable diagnosis or someone you love has passed away. Whatever transition you are facing I can almost bet you want me to tell you the hardest part will soon be over. You might even want me to tell you that you will never have to deal with another transition like this in the future. Because whether they are “good” or “bad”, all major transitions challenge us emotionally, mentally and even physically.  Continue reading

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Have You Heard of Teen Dating Violence?

Is this love?

February is Teen Dating Violence Month. It is a month to raise awareness about abuse in teens and 20-something relationships. Teen dating violence is not something that is spoken about very often, and many times it’s not something that comes to mind when watching the teenage couple walking into the movie theater, but it is real. Continue reading

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The Many Faces of Love: The Personal Side

What does love look like to you right now?

A young woman and young man posing for a picture before heading off to their senior prom. 

A bride and groom standing on a beach reciting their wedding vows.

A mother of a new baby getting up at all hours of the night to feed, change and rock her new baby.

A kindergarten teacher giving every student a hug on the first morning of kindergarten.

A father of a physically disabled son who bathes, clothes and feeds his boy every day.

A man who helps his friend and family pack and move a house.

A woman who drives her friend to every single chemotherapy treatment. 

An elderly woman caring for her husband of 60+ years who has Alzheimer’s. Continue reading

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The Many Faces of Love: The Practical Side

Who has best loved you in your life?

Do you know someone who is the perfect gift-giver? Are you great at gift-giving? The secret to being good at giving gifts is understanding the “love language” of your gift recipient. For example, one of my close friends loves food and gifts in general, so any gift related to food makes her happy. I have given her everything from kitchen utensils, to restaurant gift cards, to food subscriptions. I have another friend, however, who is not much into gifts. He is a practical type person and believes that gifts should be useful. I would never buy him things like expensive gourmet food or movie tickets. In the past I have bought him kitchen utensils (just realizing this may be a go-to gift for me), a sleeping bag for freezing temperatures and a shelf. Continue reading

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Parenting Plan for 2017

Can I add more joy to being a parent?

On my last blog, I wrote about New Year’s resolutions and included a list of ways for making life more fun a must. There are many benefits to living a joyful life, and as an adult we forget to do those things, often, because… Well, life. As a parent, it is equally as easy to forget about those things because… Well, life with a child. One solution to this problem and something I often recommend to clients that come in with very stressful daily routines,  is taking me-time. Continue reading

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