Posts in Action steps
Cultivating Meaningful Relationships

How many friends do you have? Now, think about the quality of those friendships. How many of your friendships are invaluable to you? It's not always easy to make meaningful friendships. For teens especially, it's tricky to cultivate quality relationships when everyone's changing and figuring out who they are. As people change, friendships evolve too. There's a difference between hanging out with a group of people while feeling lonely, and hanging out with a few friends while feeling genuinely happy. Everyone wants to spend time with people who we enjoy being around. But how do we foster those kinds of relationships? Here are some tips to help you develop valuable and worthwhile friendships…

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How to Take a Brief Vacation

Life always pushes and pulls us in many directions. Between work, school, kids, friends, family, obligations to the community, etc, it’s hard to find the time to slow down in both body and mind. Do you ever feel so distressed that you have to leave the environment that’s making you stressed? By briefly removing yourself from an overwhelming environment or activity, you tend to feel better. You may not realize it, but you’re employing a DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skill called “brief vacation.” Let’s explore how it works…

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Practicing Kindness

Have you heard of the saying "A little bit of kindness goes a long way"? It's more than just an expression—it's actually true! Science proves that performing acts of kindness is beneficial for all of the people involved. It reduces anxiety, makes you feel calmer, and increases happiness too. Why not do your part to be kindhearted towards others? Try performing one random act of kindness each day. It can be something big or small—whatever you choose. Are you ready to take this challenge? We’ve got some suggestions to get you started…

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5 DBT Skills That You're Already Using

Have you just started working with a DBT therapist or have you recently joined a DBT Therapy Group? If so, you may be anxious about learning a whole new set of coping skills. The good news is that you are most likely using some DBT skills on a regular basis. You may not even realize that you are applying these skills regularly. It is helpful to review the skills, so that you can be aware of when you’re utilizing them and then use them most effectively. Here is an overview of five DBT skills that you may already be using…

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What is Executive Functioning?

Have you ever heard of executive functioning? This term may be used at school or at therapy when talking about students’ basic skills. Each of us needs to be the CEO, the executive, or the person in charge of how we function. This is particularly important for kids and teens, who are developing these skills as they mature. Students improve their executive functioning skills in order to reach their personal maximum level of achievement. Essentially, they are the skills that we need in order to organize, prioritize, and complete tasks. Executive functioning skills are vital to a person’s success. Learn more about executive functioning, and why an academic success coach may be just what your child needs…

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Managing Family Expectations this Holiday Season

Can you believe that the holiday season has already started? The holidays are a time for family, spirituality, personal reflection, gift-giving, travel, food, and so much more. It’s a wonderful time of year, but it’s also a stressful one. We envision an idealistic family gathering or holiday party, even though we know that this is not realistic. Many of us put too much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect holiday experience. While the “perfect” holiday may not exist, you can use the following strategies to make the most of this holiday season…

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Infinity Loop: Identifying Negative Cycles in Your Relationship

Do you and your partner find yourselves arguing over the same issues, time and time again? Do you want to figure out what isn’t working and make a change for the better? Consider using the Infinity Loop to improve your relationship. Scott Woolley, PhD, first introduced the Infinity Loop in order to help couples identify the negative cycles that they get stuck in—the negative habits that perpetuate dissatisfaction. Identifying and communicating these cycles’ helps each partner gain a deeper understanding of one another. Read more to learn how to have less argumentative and more effective discourse…

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Self Harm: What Parents and Loved Ones Need to Know

Self harm is the act of self mutilation. If you are a parent or family member discovering your loved one is engaging in self harm, it can feel like a crisis. Self harm is a coping skill that individuals engage in to help deal with stressors that may be taking place in life. It is often a symptom of other health problems, like depression, low self esteem, grief or other deep emotional distress. So what do you do if you discover your loved one is self harming? Here is some information about self harm and what you can do to help…

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Doing Homework Mindfully

Working on homework can be stressful, overwhelming, or just annoying for both students and their parents. It’s the time of day that everyone wishes they could skip over to avoid the drama. Now, imagine if you could feel calm, confident, and even enjoy doing homework! Well, it is possible. By adding some mindfulness to your homework routine, you and your child may dread homework a little less. We encourage you to share these helpful homework tips with your child or teen. He or she should follow these steps before doing homework, to approach tasks with ease:

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How to Successfully Navigate Life’s Transitions

Change is not easy, but it is possible to get through it successfully. Maybe you are moving to a new town, going to college, getting settled at a new job, or are taking a break from school or work. You’re probably nervous about this new venture and are experiencing some doubt, anxiety, or instability. Don’t worry—it’s completely normal to feel this way. Use some of the tips below to help you get through this period in your life…

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The Power of Guided Imagery

Every day, people suffer from stress. You may feel the pressure of an upcoming presentation at work, or you may feel like you’re being stretched to the limit between running errands and getting your kids to school and to extracurricular activities. The demands of life can take a toll on your mental health. That is why it is crucial to have a coping method that you can utilize to combat the stress you feel. Here’s one scientifically proven, effective way to relax: guided imagery. This is how it works...

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How to Think and Act Dialectically

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a well-known and widely regarded, highly effective practice for a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal issues. One of the first questions clients often ask is “So what does ‘dialectical’ mean? And why is it such a big part of this type of therapy?” Here are a some simple steps you can take to start thinking and acting dialectically...

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How to Maintain Healthy Relationships

We form so many bonds in our lives: with our partner, with our children, with our family, and with friends. However, sometimes bonds become strained. You might know someone whose relationships are suffering–or maybe your own relationships are suffering too. Maybe you two don’t see eye to eye lately, or maybe you are too busy to maintain the connection. If you could use some advice in supporting yourself and others in your relationships, consider these tips...

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How to Make Healthy Decisions This Year

Often times, we may make impulsive decisions. We feel good about the positive choices we make, while we may regret other responses when looking back on them later. Did you know that we all have built-in tools for identifying, understanding, and using our emotions to improve our lives? You can stop repeating negative patterns and start making healthy decisions. Here are some tips to guide you this year…

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How to Overcome Emotional Eating in the New Year

Eating is an essential part of our day. We can develop complex relationships with food because food plays such an integral role in our health and livelihood. Many people struggle with overeating or possibly emotional eating; they may eat mindlessly, or feel that they must finish their plate. Here are some tips to better understand emotional eating habits, and how to make some healthy, and hopefully lasting changes for 2018.

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How to Eat Mindfully this Thanksgiving

The holidays are just around the corner! They’re the time for great food, good times with family, celebration, and perhaps some stress as well. One thing that many people struggle with during this time of year is eating mindfully on Thanksgiving. With the abundance of delicious food at your family gather, it can be easy to overindulge and overeat. Here are some tips to help you keep yourself in check and be more mindful during this year's holiday meal...

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How to Get Your Teen to Commit to Therapy

Approaching the idea of therapy with your teen can be a difficult. It may bring up the question, "what is wrong with me? or the notion that you are disappointed or that your child isn't measuring up. 

Here are four quick tips for getting your child to commit to the process....

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The Four-Letter "F" Word that You Should Embrace Right Now!

Curious? Read on to find out what it is and what you can do about it....

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Four Life Skills Every Emerging Young Adult Needs to Know Now

Transitions can be difficult for adolescents and parents, so the transition to adulthood is definitely no exception! It’s important for your child to feel comfortable talking to you about some of his or her stressors, anxiety, fears and worries about the transition. Autonomy can be simultaneously liberating, scary and challenging.

Here are 4 Life Skills for your emerging young adult to practice and master in order to help make the transition smoother:

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Five Steps toward Grieving a Loss

Grieving a loss is a process that we will all experience at some point in our lives. The most obvious form of grieving is for a dying or deceased loved one, including a pet. However, loss can occur in areas other than in death such as when receiving a health diagnosis, during the end of a union, or even when an experience doesn't measure up to your expectations.   Here are five steps toward grieving any loss....

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