Showing posts from 2006

A New Year…A New Start Written by: Devie Forrester, Marriage & Family Student Intern

There is something about a new year that prompts us to reflect and renew. Many of us find ourselves thinking about all the things we could have, would have and should done in the past year as we ponder on how we can do more and better in the upcoming one.


What is it that informs your decision making? Are you driven by competition to outdo others, or are you aware of your unique circumstance/reality? We must make sustainable goals. In order for us to do this, our goals must be achievable. For example, you may resolve to 'exercise for three hours a day, every day in the coming year' when in fact you are a working mother of three, going to school in the evenings, who has never exercised regularly before. Setting realistic goals is by no means lowering expectations of yourself. It is rather, the facilitation of success that is borne of the awareness of your current reality. Forget the status quo and the Jones’s. What can you maintain? What can you manage? Wh…

7 Strategies to Survive the Holidays

Have you ever wondered why traditional holidays are so stressful? Instead of being called the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ it seems that we should rename it to be more accurately called the ‘most difficult time of the year’. I believe you can break the pattern of stressful holidays by realistically changing your perspective to directly deal with predictable daily pressures and then by using strategic coping skills to steer around or even better steer away from the bigger problems that tend to ‘pop up’ this time of year.

Face it. There are as many factors to cause our stress levels to build to an explosive level as there are people on the planet. Everyone has complexities and challenges different from others, yet there are some universal pressures everyone has to address no matter their age, gender or marital status. Stress tends to go up as we age because there are more factors to consider, more people to deal with and more responsibilities. The older you get, the more you are …

How to Choose a Therapist…

First of all check the therapist’s education, credentials, knowledge and experience in dealing with your problem.What is the therapist’s reputation in the community or is the clinic reputable? How long has the counselor been in practice? Was the therapist referred by a physician office, other professional or prior client? This adds credibility to the therapist’s work. If any of your friends or family have ever consulted a therapist, ask them what their experiences were like. Did they like their therapist and was the treatment helpful? Ensure that your therapist’s moral values are similar to yours. A therapist’s role is to guide you in the choices that you make. If your therapist’s views are too different, the advice that they offer may not make a lot of sense to you. Therapy, however, is an adversarial process and you shouldn’t start looking for a new therapist just because your current therapist challenges your views and attitudes. That’s part of their job. What is important is the …

Don’t Forget the Blessing! By Aaron Welch, LMHC

When we think about the phrase, “bless you”, what immediately comes to mind is that someone has probably sneezed and, for some reason, we believe that offering them this comment brings some relief to their allergies or head cold or whatever they’re suffering from. Come to think of it, I have no idea why this tradition was started. Perhaps it is designed to counteract any potential embarrassment they may feel by sneezing in front of us. I don’t know. I only know that, when we think of blessing, this comes to mind. Another situation that stirs in my brain when I think of a blessing is when we pray before eating a meal. “Don’t forget to say the blessing” is a sentence that I heard a lot while growing up. I always wondered if something horrible, perhaps even fatal, might happen to me if I forgot to pray before taking a bite into my bologna sandwich. Luckily, I am still intact in spite of forgetting to bless my food at times.
But the blessing that I want to encourage you…

Relationship Cancer: Understanding the psychological dynamics of domestic violence. By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor

Her cries for help in the middle of the night startled us awake and when we turned on the lights and let our neighbor inside, the red welts on her arms and face shocked us even more. “How could he do this to you?” My mother asked, and all she could sob out was “He didn’t mean to do it, please don’t call the police.”

That was my first exposure to domestic violence almost 35 years ago yet I can still vividly remember the look of terror in her eyes after being beat up by her husband, (who was so out of control that he had actually pulled out a weapon to use against her). She ran for her life, but an hour later as the police were handcuffing him for transport to the jail, she was begging them to leave him alone so she could take care of him. It was a long night for everyone, but the next day it was like nothing had ever happened, because it was never discussed again. Nothing ever changed at that house for years until a sudden divorce ended the marriage and they just went their separate w…

Problem Solving Process by Dwight Bain, LMHC

State the Problem in a way that it can be solved.
· You are so messy. Not a solvable problem.
· You haven’t been getting your clothes into the hamper. This can be solved.

Brainstorm all possible solutions without evaluating them.
· Put a hamper in the bedroom and the bathroom.
· Pay someone else to pick up the clothes.
· Do your own laundry.
· Buy new clothes and throw away the used ones.
· Wear wrinkled/dirty clothes.
· Post reminder notes around the house about picking up the clothes.
· Etc.
· Etc.

Evaluate the possibilities.
· What will happen if I pick this option?
· How will this one work?
. Pick one, or a combination, to try out.

· Many people omit this step.
· Schedule a time and date to re-evaluate how the solution is working.
· If it is not working, then go back to step two and start over again.

Terrible Two’s or Terrific Toddlers? by Aaron Welch, LMHC

I know.........everybody seems to claim that toddlers who hit the age of two suddenly become a close replica to Satan himself. You know, they are demanding, they throw temper tantrums, they grab everything they see, and they seem to have fallen in love with saying the word, “NO!”. Although some of these behaviors do happen during this stage of development, it doesn’t mean that these years have to become an unbearable nightmare that leads every parent into psychological therapy. Raising children of any age is challenging. Although children are a tremendous gift, they can also be a test of our patience. It’s just part of being a parent. If children were born with the innate ability to handle life, where would the fun be? Most parents love to hold their children and love on them as much as possible. Is there any greater word in the English language than “daddy” or “mommy”? Yet, just as parents enjoy the sweet dependence of their children, they must also endure the immature emoti…

Depression Checklist

You may be saying “I can’t think straight. I can’t feel anything. I can’t even will myself out of the blues! What’s going on?” You may be weathering the storm clouds of depression. And just as there are different kinds of clouds, there are also different types of depression.

What is Depression?
Depression is a condition of being pressed to a lower position
Depression is a state of decline and reduced activity
The word Depression is from the Latin word depressus, which means “to press down.” What is Psychological; Depression? Psychological Depression is a state in which the heart is pressed down and unable to experience joy.

Psychological Depression is an umbrella word when covers feelings from mild discouragement to intense despair.

Psychological depression is a condition which involves the whole person: physically, emotionally and spiritually. A DEPRESSION CHECKLIST FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES

The purpose of this checklist is to help you assess patterns of depression.
There are no good or ba…

AFFAIRS -What is true about affairs and what is not? by Linda Riley, LMFT

Affairs are normal since everybody has them. Actually, marital fidelity is the norm and surveys show time and time again that the majority of people believe strongly in monogamous marriage. Intimacy requires exclusivity and always will. We try to justify cheating by telling ourselves that everybody cheats. Only about half of the population actually commits adultery.

1. Some people actually believe that affairs can keep marriages together or even enrich them. This idea is popular in secular society and is portrayed in the media; movies, books and magazines. The truth is that affairs are extremely destructive to both the people having them and their marriages. It takes a great deal of healing and pain to recover from an affair and save the marriage.

2. Affairs mean we aren’t in love with our spouse. In my practice I have worked with countless people who claim they still love their spouse even though they are involved in an affair. Frequently, we only fall out of love after having …

10 Questions to See if Your Life Works by Deedra Hunter, LMHC

Are you staying connected to your spiritual core?What are some of the things you are grateful for?Were you involved with people this week?What old feelings came up this week?What new feelings came up this week? What behavior did you handle noticeably different this week?How often were you angry this week? Did you challenge yourself to do, say, or think about something differently this week?Did you drink enough water?Did you get enough sleep?

For More Information on how we can help make your life work contact:

The LifeWorks Group, Inc
1850 Lee Rd. Suite 250, Winter Park, FL 32789
407-647-7005 or

Dangers of Media “Riptides” by Dwight Bain,LMHC

Positive steps to protect kids from negative media exposure
By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor

If you live near an ocean, you know about riptides, which are highly dangerous currents that can rip your legs out from under you and sweep you out into the ocean depths in a matter of seconds. If you try to fight the current, you will drown as dozens of people in Florida do every year. These silent and powerful ocean currents can overpower even the strongest of swimmers because the size and force of the waves become completely overwhelming. There is only one way to escape and save your life so listen carefully; “Don’t try to fight the riptide, just flow with it as you swim parallel to the shoreline. In a few dozen feet you will be out of the strong current and can safely swim back to the shore.”

So, if you have to deal with a dangerous ocean riptide, you have three choices… First- stay out of the water (and don’t let anyone you love go near it either). Second, pretend that riptides…


I remember, growing up, those horrible times when I was faced with the awful realization that I.............well............I had NOTHING TO DO. As a child, this was worse than almost anything, outside of going to the dentist. What made it worse was that I unfailingly had to keep this burden to myself. I mean, I couldn’t rely on my parents for relief. Whenever I would attempt to come to them for sympathy about such a depressing situation, they would always say something to the effect of, “well, if you’re bored, clean your room” or “I can find something for you to do”. The latter statement usually meant something abominably worse, like raking leaves or pulling weeds in the garden. What was productive about that? They obviously did not understand my predicament. KIDS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE BORED! Didn’t they know that? Didn’t that stipulation come in the handbook? Were they really that callous? To a child, there is nothing worse than being bored. Or is there?

In society today,…

COMMENTARY: How to Beat the Bad-News Blahs by Huntington News Network

By Dan VierraSacramento Bee

A nationally recognized mental-health counselor from Winter Park, Fla., is certain people are being adversely affected by the barrage of bad news _ on TV, in newspapers and on the Internet. (SHNS photo courtesy
Bummed? Could be the bad-news blahs, triggered by war, terrorist threats, hurricanes, gas prices, global warming and plenty of other equally deflating topics. Does a day pass when we don't get an earful about Hezbollah, Beirut or Baghdad? Or hear about a death caused by West Nile Virus, obesity or the serial killer of the month? A recent Harris Interactive poll of U.S. adults revealed a sense of deep pessimism. Only one in 100 believed there would be peace in the Middle East in the next year. A mere 10 percent predicted peace in the volatile region in the next 10 years. "Seems like in the past year with Katrina, Iraq, Lebanon and local kids in car crashes, it's gotten a lot more depressing," says Claire Gliddon of Fair …