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Showing posts from October, 2011

Ready or Not… Here Come the Holidays!

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

Do the holidays catch you by surprise every year as if they came in the middle of the night sneaking up on you while you slept? Do you feel tired and overwhelmed at just the thought of the next “fun” family gathering? Do the Christmas colors of red and green remind you more of anger and money instead of holly and wreaths? Too often expectations of anticipated holiday traditions tend to get in the way of truly enjoying the events as you desperately try to be or to do things inconsistent with your normal life. Here is a look at three expectations that may need to be examined before this holiday season hits.

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly”. For many, the holidays are all about the decorations and not just a few candles or one tree but numerous trees (one main pretty tree, one with the kid’s school made ornaments, small ones for each of kid’s rooms, and sometimes a couple small ones for outside accompanying the full manger scene), wreaths on the windows…

Teamwork at its Finest: Lessons Learned from Teens

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

Every now and then you get a chance to witness teamwork operating at its finest. Usually this is found in sophisticated work environments or in places where adults have known one another for a long period of time. I however have found it at a high school with a group of seniors who have come from a variety of backgrounds with enormous variations in economic and social status.

As a group, there is nothing special that stands out among them as evident in their number of 29 with the majority of them being males. With the exception of a few, they are not the most intelligent, athletic or popular class. Their personal interests are varied from medical school to marines, from marine biology to hunting, from football to dance, and from art to engineering. Yet they get along with surprising contentment for their differences. How? There are three observations as to how they have accomplished this task.

Servant leadership. One of the most striking features of …

“Someone Please Help Me: Empowering Our Kids to Cope With Bullies”

By Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC, CSOTS

I know what it’s like to be bullied. Before I grew into my body I remember what it was like to be shamed and humiliated; to feel alone and powerless; to feel afraid to go to school every day, knowing I might be pushed down or punched or verbally berated. It’s not a good feeling. In fact, it was awful. I felt lonely, depressed and powerless to stop it.

Until I was 14.

I remember that day vividly in my mind. It was winter so I was wearing a toboggan hat, heavy blue coat and extremely thick blue gloves. I don’t know why, really, but something clicked. One of the guys who regularly pushed me around threw me into my school locker for no good reason. That’s when it happened. Something in my brain suddenly told me that it would be better to get beat up that day than to be shamed; to know that I cowered before him and was humiliated in front of everyone in the hall. I pushed him back. At first he was shocked and then he raised his fist to raise…

Forgive, Forgive, and when you don’t know what else to do, Forgive again

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH


I would be out of a job if husbands forgave wives, wives forgave husbands, children forgave their parents, siblings forgave one another, friends forgave each other, workers forgave their bosses and nations forgave nations. Imagine for a moment a child forgiving a parent who verbally belittled them instead of harboring that resentment well into adulthood and either repeating that pattern with their own children or worse internalizing the thoughtless comment. Imagine a worker forgiving their boss for taking undeserved credit for a job well done instead of finding ways to even the score. “Impossible” you say?

Signs of unforgiveness are everywhere in our culture. Just turn on a talk show any day of the week and you will hear story after story of one person who believes they are justified in their anger. And sadly, sometimes they are justified but there is a better way. If we can identify the early warning signs of unforgiveness in our own lives and learn to…

Managing ADD/ADHD: Where are my keys?

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH


Quite possibly my favorite trait of an ADD/ADHD person is their ability to misplace so many important things in a variety of places. One would surmise that as time goes on, the number of places that their sun glasses, cell phone, wallet, homework or keys would land would be limited or at the very least consistent with previous locations but this is not the case. Rather, those with an advantage of ADD/ADHD seem to have an unlimited number of new and creative locations for their most basic and most frequently used items.

Not only is the location of the keys creative, but at the moment of initial placement, it is also logical and systematic. The difficulty lies in remembering the logic of the location instead of the actual location because the logic of the location is the right key needed to solve the end mystery. This key concept can then be transferred to other traits of difficulty for those blessed with ADD/ADHD.

Bigger than life dreams. Spend a little time…

How to Fight Fair and Win an Argument

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH


Have you ever had a fight with your computer? Everything is going fine one minute and the next thing you know the computer begins to act up. It starts with one program and then leads to another. You fight back by shutting down the dysfunctional program and trying to control or anticipate the next problem. It retaliates back by doing something new and unexpected and before you realize what is happening you are doing battle with an inanimate object and sadly it is winning.

If fighting with an inanimate object is frustrating, try fighting with a human. You begin on one topic and before you know it you are on another topic that has nothing to do with the original topic and you can’t even remember why you were fighting in the first place. Talk about unpredictable and frustrating. However, it does not have to be this way. There is a better way to fight if you think of it in terms of how you handle your computer properly.

Pay attention to the problem at hand. …

In the Shadow of the Mouse: Relocation Stress in Orlando, Florida

By: Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC, CSOTS

Ah yes…Orlando, Florida, the land of dreams. A place where the magic of Disney permeates the community; where residents sing instead of talk, where children laugh and play without fear, where bluebirds regularly land on our shoulders. This is the city of hope and joy; where each person cares about the other; where hugs are frequent and neighbors are prized. Yes, Orlando is the happiest place on earth…or so I thought before I moved here.

However, for many who have moved to Orlando, the transition has been anything but joyful. When our expectations are high our disappointments, when those expectations are unmet, can often shake us to the core. That is what commonly happens to new residents of Orlando. In reality, many people who move here find Orlando to be disconnected, uncaring, and angry. In fact, a 2006 article by “Men’s Health” ranked Orlando as the #1 angriest city in America. That may shock those of you who live elsewhere but, to those…