Saturday, September 22, 2007

All You Need Is Love

When I say this to couples that I work with (after we've gotten to know each other), they sometimes find it hard to believe. That ALL you need is love. Any therapist worth his beans would say that in order to make a relationship work well it takes good communication (especially listening), trust, respect, understanding, compassion, good conflict resolution, affection, fun, finance management, romance, commitment, and (sometimes) forgiveness. What I mean, though, is that love makes all of those things more possible to achieve, especially forgiveness. It helps you let go of some of the baggage that can begin to weigh a relationship down, because you can focus on the love that you have for your partner, in the present. It makes you listen better, and want to understand more. Focus on expressing love in every interaction between yourself and your partner, even disagreements, and you will resolve issues easier and without the drama. You'll laugh and play more. Your home will have less stress. Love is all you need.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

When Should We Get Help? (Final Back-To-School Lesson)

If you have implemented the Back-To-School lessons of my blog the past few weeks, without getting the results that you want, then you should call or come in. I can help you figure out how to do things differently, and let you know if therapy is necessary. You and your child are not "failures" if change doesn't occur quickly enough, or the way that you expected it to. Habits are hard to break.

When children have problems behaving in class, or are not able to get their work done, then they need help from you. Don't wait until he or she gets suspended, or until they get D's and F's on their report card. Don't wait until the teacher labels your kid as a troublemaker. Once they start treating you child as the class "problem," it is VERY hard to break them of that habit. Your child may end up with that label sticking with them year after year, no matter how hard he tries to change it. Too many parents don't bring their child in for treatment until after everyone's given up. By that time the habits have gotten stronger, and the labels have gotten worse. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Depression. These are serious labels. At this point school personnel often start recommending medicine. PLEASE come in for an initial consultation before considering medication for your child (and before you get too attached to any of these labels). Unfortunately, there are some children who require medication to help them break some of the bad school habits that they've developed, but this should be considered only after you've really tried everything else.

The majority of the children, and adolescents that I counsel make substantial improvement in their school performance, especially if their family participates. And the younger the child is, the more quickly they respond, usually. So, my final back-to-school recommendation is this: if you need help for your child to be successful in school, GET IT!