Posts

Showing posts from June, 2011

What To Do if Your Teen Rebels

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH


Rebellion in teens can be secretive or obvious depending on the personality of the teenager and the circumstances. It can show itself as rebellion against authority, against their peers, or against themselves. The article titled, “Symptoms of Teenage Rebellion” identifies some of the symptoms and breaks down each category of rebellion separating out normal behavior from abnormal behavior. Once you have come to the realization that your teen is rebelling, then it is time to take action to help them overcome the destructive behavior.

Think. The first step in helping your teen is to differentiate between normal teenage behavior and abnormal teenage behavior and address only the abnormal teenage behavior. Leave the normal teenage behavior for another day. Also, if your teen is in trouble for stealing from school and sneaking out of the house, then address one of the issues because the issues are not related. If however, your teen is in trouble for stealing …

Symptoms of Teenage Rebellion

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

Teenage rebellion is not just about skipping class, staying out past curfew, or smoking anymore, now the rebellion has taken on new forms and looks considerable different from the past. Understanding the early warning signs of teenage rebellion as opposed to normal development can make the difference not only in your relationship with the teen but in their lives as well. As a mother, teacher and counselor of teens, I have observed three main areas of rebellion in teens. Each of these areas is as important as the next and should be addressed.

Authority. As part of the normal developmental process of a teenager growing into adulthood, teens become increasing aware of the numerous authority figures in their lives. For a teen, the number of authority figures seems to multiply from parents to coaches to teachers to police officers to store managers to even older teens. While during childhood the authority figures were for the most part respected, for some teen…

To Sleep or Not...

By: Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

To sleep, or not to sleep—that is the question:
Whether it is better for the mind to ponder
The outrageous thoughts and dreams
Or to tackle the sea of problems
And by challenging end them. To wake, to sleep—
Which one—

Yes, which one. It is some ridiculous hour when by all logic you should be sound asleep yet you find yourself wide awake for reasons beyond your understanding. So what do you do? Do you lie in bed trying to get to sleep? Do you get up and do some work? Do you turn on the TV in an attempt to distract your thoughts? Or do you wake up someone up to help you go back to sleep? Which to choose?

“It appears that every man's insomnia is as different from his neighbour's as are their daytime hopes and aspirations.” F. Scott Fitzgerald realized that one solution may work for you but may not work for your friends. You are different in personalities, dreams and experiences from others and even at times your personality, dreams and experience c…

Finding That Perfect Mate

By: Linda Riley

At one point or another in our lives, we are all searching for that perfect mate. Relationships often start out well, but end poorly. Often we ignore what should be obvious “red-flags” that this person may not be the best choice for us. What are some of the common reasons for this?

1. Lacking the ability to evaluate the person’s character.

2. Being attracted to emotionally damaged people.

3. Getting sexually involved before we fully know the person.

4. Not establishing a foundation of friendship and trust.

5. Wanting it to work so badly that we accept being treated wrongly.

6. The inability to be alone, which makes us settle for anyone.

7. Not really listening when the person we’re dating talks about who they are, what they like and dislike, and what they believe and value.

8. Not really knowing ourselves well enough to be aware of what we need in a relationship.


We all have issues stemming from painful and disappointing life experiences, but some people avoid dealing with their…

Ranting and Raving

By Chris Hammond

The other day a female client told me about her husband’s ranting and raving over what seemed like nothing and then again it was something. His work was demanding more and more, he did not like his boss or the people he worked with, the house needed some repairs, his health was deteriorating, he got a stomach ache from his last meal, the dog wanted too much attention, and several other large and small complaints. His ranting and raving lasted well over several hours and resolved absolutely nothing. At the end, she was exhausted, frustrated, hurt and desperately wanted to help him but had no idea where to begin.

Sound familiar? Maybe it is a close friend, a co-worker, a child, a parent or a spouse who routinely rants and raves over what seems like nothing but usually is something. Their ranting and raving does not seem to resolve anything in the moment and by the time it ends they feel better and you feel worse. It is as if they unloaded their garbage onto you but you …

Functional and Dysfunctional Grief

By Chris Hammond

Not everyone grieves in the same way. After all, we are different people with different physical appearances, different perspectives, different experiences, different thoughts, different emotions, different backgrounds, and different attitudes. So why when it comes to grief do we believe that there is one correct way to handle the loss of a loved one? There are in fact a number of constructive ways to manage the feelings of grief and some destructive ways. Learning the difference between the two is far more important.

Denial. It is not uncommon for someone to struggle with believing that a loved one has passed away or to pretend that the person has not really passed. For a time being, the person may even imagine conversations with their loved one, knowing how they would most likely respond in a given situation. This usually does not last too long after passing and is more of the emotions catching up to reality. The seeds of dysfunction can begin however when the emotion…

Saying Good-bye

By Chris Hammond

Every once in a while God gives us the opportunity to say good-bye to a loved one before they pass away. You may have experienced moments such as this in the past or may be going through it right now. Either way, it is still difficult to endure. Nevertheless, these are rare precious moments to be treasured as gifts from God. Not everyone has the opportunity to say good-bye to a trusted friend, a close family member, a loved one, or a valued mentor. Some must deal with the shock and loss all at once, but sometimes God graciously grants us an opportunity to say goodbye. This is a gift that can be used as part of the healing process of letting the person go. In the moment, such times are difficult to endure, but in the end they are a blessing and are very often helpful in healing from the loss.

In some cases we avoid saying good-bye because we don’t want to admit the end is near. We don’t know what to say in the moment we see the person or we fear that we will say the wr…

Is This the Right One?

By Chris Hammond

How do I know if this person is “the one”? Can I live with them for the rest of my life? Are their behaviors a deal breaker or a bump in the road? If you are in the process of asking yourself these questions, then taking time to evaluate the situation may be in order. Premarital counseling with a pastor or licensed professional can be useful, but in the meantime look through the following checklist for your own self-evaluation.

1. Are there frequent arguments over nothing?

2. Do you or your partner use biting sarcasm to confront issues?

3. Are you staying in the relationship out of fear?

4. Do you have few areas of common interest?

5. Are either you or your partner overly dependent on your parents?

6. Is there any sign of physical, sexual, or verbal abuse?

7. Do you avoid discussing sensitive topics to prevent an argument or because you are afraid of their reaction?

8. Does your partner frequently complain about unreal aches and pains?

9. Does your partner make excuses for not…

Fathers Do Not Come in One Size Fits All

By Chris Hammond

Trying to pick a card for Father’s Day is difficult these days. None of the cards I find seem to reflect my experience, gratefulness, or love that I have for the men in my life. I don’t have a grandfather who grew up in this country, a dad who loves sports, or a husband who played football, and none one of them are TV watchers. My grandfather did many activities with me and did not just sit in a rocking chair talking to me. My dad worked very hard for all of his life and still has yet to retire. My husband is extremely active in the lives of our children and does not leave the responsibility of raising our kids on me alone. So that eliminates about 90% of the cards out there and the rest of them are just plain silly.

Looking back on my life there are three significant fathers: my grandfather, my dad, and my husband. Each one shaped my life because they added significant value though teaching, contributed to healing the hurts, and nurtured my soul. Fathers do not come i…

Are We There Yet?

By: Chris Hammond

My husband and I just drove from our home in Orlando to the mountains of North Carolina and back in one weekend to drop off our three kids at summer camp. The kids were overly anxious to spend 2 weeks away from home, responsibilities, chores, each other, random work, and the list of books we gave them to read for the summer, so the number one question asked on the trip is…you guessed it…”Are we there yet?” Sadly, as our kids are often a reflection of both the good and bad in ourselves, I even caught myself secretly asking the same question by looking at the GPS estimated time of arrival more times than I can count and trying to beat the estimated arrival time.

And as annoying as the question gets from our kids, it is even more annoying when we badger ourselves with the same question. The origin of the question stems from a lack of systematic discipline in our lives to patiently wait and work hard for our goals. Instead we have a tendency to want whatever we want i…

Do You Struggle With Anxiety?

By Linda Riley

Anxiety often leads to avoidance behavior because when we feel anxious, we tend to avoid doing the things we both want and need to do. Therapy can help you confront and deal with your anxiety. It's important to understand how the body responds to stress. One must realize that anxiety symptoms, although uncomfortable and frightening, are generally temporary and not life threatening.

Anxiety basically affect us in three ways:
-Physically, resulting in the symptoms we experience
-The way we think
-The way we behave

Anxiety management involves learning techniques to calm down, to recognize how negative thinking impacts anxiety, and changing that limiting behavior.

Don't let anxiety control your life. Find the courage to overcome it.

Make an appointment with Linda Riley today and get the help you need!

How to Know When Your Child Needs Therapy

By: Chris Hammond, M.S.

When your child struggles for a period of time, has difficulty in school, seems different at home than at school, or acts inconsistently with their personality, therapy designed specifically for children can help them overcome these challenges. Most children experience difficulties from time to time while growing up. Some of these challenges are physical (their changing bodies), some are mental (their school work), some are social (their friendships), some are environmental (their home life) and some are spiritual (their religious affiliations). For some children, these challenges are easily faced and they continue to have a positive outlook on their future. For other children, these challenges become road blocks and they seem to be stuck in a negative cycle.

As a parent, understanding your child’s challenge and how to best motivate and encourage them is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with them. Children take their cues from their parents…

Play Therapy

By: Chris Hammond, M.S.

Play therapy is interactive, intentional, and inspirational play to help children overcome the challenges they face. Because play is a child’s language, play therapy motivates and encourages children of all ages to heal and learn new skills. Play therapy works with children’s natural tendencies to overcome their challenges and assist families in building stronger connections.

Play Therapy is about as much fun as it sounds and yet it is a highly effective form of therapy over traditional talk therapy for children. Children naturally enjoy play and are encouraged to engage in play as part of their normal development, so they are more comfortable in a playful environment. Playing comes naturally to a child and entering into their world of play allows the child to feel more in control of the session. Therapy for children is about discovering where they are and helping them to move forward in productive ways not destructive ways. The best environment to accomplis…

Hurt

By: Chris Hammond, M.S.

There are times in our lives when things happen that hurt us. Perhaps it is the disappointment of our children, the broken trust of our spouse, the betrayal of a friend, the abandonment of a family member, the failure of a business, or the rejection of a neighbor. Whatever the incident, we have a choice to either deal with the hurt or bury the hurt.

Often the reason we bury our hurt is because we don’t want to feel the pain. We instead turn to some sort of medication to stop the pain as if the pain is the problem instead of a symptom of the problem. Medication does not necessarily come in the form of drugs, some medicate themselves from pain through excessive shopping, eating or drinking or perhaps fantasy thinking through gambling, pornography, television or video games. Whatever the medication, the goal is the same, to dull or distract us from the pain and hurt we feel.

But we can choose to deal with the hurt instead. The process is threefold beginning …

Hurt

By: Chris Hammond, M.S.

There are times in our lives when things happen that hurt us. Perhaps it is the disappointment of our children, the broken trust of our spouse, the betrayal of a friend, the abandonment of a family member, the failure of a business, or the rejection of a neighbor. Whatever the incident, we have a choice to either deal with the hurt or bury the hurt.

Often the reason we bury our hurt is because we don’t want to feel the pain. We instead turn to some sort of medication to stop the pain as if the pain is the problem instead of a symptom of the problem. Medication does not necessarily come in the form of drugs, some medicate themselves from pain through excessive shopping, eating or drinking or perhaps fantasy thinking through gambling, pornography, television or video games. Whatever the medication, the goal is the same, to dull or distract us from the pain and hurt we feel.

But we can choose to deal with the hurt instead. The process is threefold beginning …