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Thursday, June 30, 2011


I wanted to share some information about a group I lead: Survivors of Suicide. This group is to help those who have lost a family member or friend to suicide. Survivors of Suicide have been left behind not only by the person who died, but also the person who choose to take their life. Guilt and anger, among other, emotions are experienced by those that have been left behind by the suicide. This group helps members find hope for the future and learn how to heal through this very difficult time.

I myself am a survivor of suicide, so the group is very special to me. My father completed suicide and also killed my mother the same night. Not only is the group a way for me to give back to those who are going through the loss of their loved one, but it also allows me to learn things about healing along the way.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, please have them contact me in order to find resources available to them in their area, so they may be blessed with healing as well.

Another resource for those of you in Tennessee is The website lists SOS groups in Tennessee and provides other information that may be helpful to you and your friends.

In spite of this gloomy topic, I hope you have a wonderful week.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Choices, Choices, Choices

We all have choices in life, but when it comes down to choosing, sometimes things can be a little more difficult than expected. Some decisions are simple, but others are harder and need more thought and preparation. Sometimes the choices we have to choose from are both equally appealing, so it makes the choose more difficult...such as cookies n cream ice cream or chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. If you know me, you know that is a difficult choice! There are also choices, which have equal drawbacks, which then makes the decision that much more difficult.

So, when faced with these tough decisions, what is the best way to go about them? First, recognize the problem or choice you have to make. Next, gather all the information you can about all the decision needing to be made. Try not to make the problem or choice into something more than it is. Stay focused on the decision you are having to make now, and take it one decision at a time. The next step is to look at past situations similar to this one and figure out what has worked in the past. Then generate all other possible solutions to the issue at hand. Don't limit yourself here. Think of all the possible solutions, even if they may be unrealistic. Now that you have named all the possible solutions you can think of, begin to narrow down the choices even more. Eliminate the ones that will not work for you or you will not use to come to the conclusion you are looking for. Now is the time to pick the ones that are most realistic to you and ones you can implement most effectively. Drawbacks should also be assessed at this time with each of the choices. Finally, after determining the best option, implement and test out the best choice you have come up with. If it doesn't work, go back to the drawing board and implement the next best choice. Also, remember to be positive throughout the entire process. If not, you may not be completely objective to making the best choice possible. Good luck!

I hope this is helpful if you have any tough choices you are trying to make. If you would like to share how this blog helped you, please post a comment.

Thank you for tuning in and reading my blog. My hope is that you get something out of it, so if you are not, please let me know, and I will try to adjust accordingly. Also, if you have any topics you would like to discuss, please let me know those as well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Playing Around

Play therapy is a technique used mainly with children, who have had change in their lives or a traumatic event in their lives in order to express their feelings appropriately. Children do not have the capability to express themselves with words. Their language is communicated through play since they don't have the means to communicate with words. With play therapy, children are naturally able to express themselves and begin the healing process safely. It shows children that they are being helped and understood in a safe way.

It is helpful for children who are dealing with parental conflict or divorce,  those who have been traumatized, children who have been adopted, those suffering from loss or death, children who have been hospitalized, those who have been abused, children who have been diagnosed with ADHD (see blog below), and those who have been in accidents. Signs your child may be showing a need for you to seek play therapy them: excessive anger, excessive sadness, aggressive behavior, trouble separating from primary caretaker, excessive shyness, behavioral issues, low self esteem, learning problems, sleep problems, bathroom problems, acting out age inappropriate sexual behaviors, difficulty adjusting to change, or other physical changes that cannot be diagnosed by a doctor.

That is a quick overview of play therapy. For more information check out the Association for Play Therapy at I have training in play therapy, so if you think your child may need counseling, please contact me at

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Truth or Fad?

I have been doing some thinking about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) over the last few weeks...Is it a fad diagnosis? Is it over diagnosed? or does everyone who is diagnosed ADHD really have ADHD?

So what does it mean to be ADHD? Does it mean you can't sit still in your chair long enough to write a blog? or you can't follow instructions in order to complete a task? Does it mean that you are a trouble-maker or undisciplined? Maybe, but maybe not...

Let's look at what it means to be ADHD. First of all, the signs must be present before age seven. So if the signs are not present before age 7, then you can be ruled out for being diagnosed as ADHD. However, it's important to distinguish what is "normal" childhood behavior and what may be signs of ADHD. Also, if only a few of the signs are observable, it's probably not ADHD either. Furthermore, if the symptoms do not appear in multiple settings, it's probably not going to be ADHD. A child with ADHD is going to show many symptoms across all settings in their life-home, school, church, and in play just to name a few.

With that being said, lets look further. Not all children with ADHD are hyperactive; they may only have attention problems without the hyperactivity piece. Here's a tricky part: children with ADHD may be able to concentrate on activities they enjoy, but they will still have trouble focusing on tasks within that activity. An important fact to remember with children with ADHD is that even though they may not be able to sit still, that does not mean they are a trouble-maker or are undisciplined. They are not acting this way on purpose, they are just not able to focus or pay attention for long periods of time. Also, children with ADHD will not outgrow their disorder; it does continue into adulthood. There are, however, treatments to help manage their diagnosis. Medication is one option for managing ADHD, but it may not always be the best option for every person. There are other options to help minimize the symptoms of ADHD, including educating yourself or your child about the disorder. Way to go! You are already taking an active step at managing and minimizing symptoms of ADHD! There are also many resources you can take advantage of in school as well as outside of school to help minimize symptoms, such as counseling, special testing, and an IEP (Individualized Education Program) at school to help modify their work during school. Your child's pediatrician and doctor may be able to help as well. Also, a proper diet and exercise may help with symptoms of ADHD.

The reason for my concern about this topic is that is hard to distinguish between children who have symptoms of ADHD or do they have other issues going on. Just because a child is inattentive or hyperactive does not mean he or she has ADHD. There can be certain medical problems that present like ADHD and even stressful life events can look like ADHD. Learning disabilities, such as reading or motor skill problems can also look like ADHD. Psychological disorders, such as anxiety or bipolar disorder can oftentimes look like ADHD as well.

By saying all this, I want to encourage you if you or your child displays symptoms of ADHD or someone mentions to you that you or your child may have ADHD, seek a professional to get an accurate diagnosis and rule out other possibilities that may be showing up as signs similar to those of ADHD. By doing so, you will be able to get the most accurate treatment for whatever is causing the symptoms being experienced.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." — Henry David Thoreau

I hope that this quote encourages you, no matter what your circumstances, you are a unique individual that deserves the same respect everyone else out there does.

If you have any other comments about ADHD, I would love to hear them!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Committing to Marriage

"Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work." ~Author unknown

The definition of a marriage is  the social institution in which a man and a woman establish their decision to live as a husband and a wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, or by other means, according to Webster. However, those of us who are married, know there is much more to marriage than this definition. If you are married, or even in a relationship, you know marriage involves thoughtfulness of another person and sometimes even conflict. Marriages take more than just the definition of a social institution and legal commitments; marriages take energy and work!

A marriage is a commitment both parties have to work at. However, making time for your spouse can be hard, especially if you have children. Marriage has to not only be a commitment, but a priority in your life in order for it to work.

Now, how do you keep your connection with your spouse or even deepen that connection in order to make that connection solid?

One place to start, especially if your marriage is even a little bit rocky (and even if its not), is to talk about your expectations of a marriage. What does it mean to have a connection with your spouse? These are also good to review often to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page with regards to what your marriage should look like. Make sure to be honest with your spouse about your expectations.

Be positive and notice the positives of your spouse. No one wants to be around someone who is negative or nagging all the time. Make sure to tell your spouse how much you appreciate them and the things they are doing to help out. Sometimes this means overlooking some of the things our spouse does that drive us nuts!

Also, make sure you are having fun! Dates nights are always great. It may take a little effort, but it will allow that much needed alone time with your spouse to rekindle the those feelings you had when you first got married. Once you are married, that does not mean you have to stop dating. It just means you date the same person for the rest of your life.

Reading books are also another great way to deepen your relationship with your spouse. You can read books about relationships or even books about other topics and discuss those as well. One of my favorite books is, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is a great book to purchase and keep around your house and use to refresh your memory often too.

Do you have any other great marriage books you would like to share? Please do so by commenting below.

Marriage is worth the time and effort it takes to make it work. It can even be exciting too, but you do have to put forth the effort to make it fun and exciting. You have to choose to make your marriage work.