Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting therapy in the new year?


A lot of people start the new year by saying that they need to talk to a therapist. This is a great idea because your therapist can help you work on things that you want to change in the new year, work through pain in the past years, and of course be a sounding board for your new plans and ideas.

I wanted to give you some assistance today in starting to find a therapist. Here are some things to remember:

1. If you have a therapist and you would like a new one, tell your old one NOW:

Be prepared to answer questions like "what did you like about therapy?" and "what didn't you like about therapy?" It is your choice to answer or not but remember, it may help the therapist to make changes for future clients if you are open about your discontent. Either way, they need to know you are moving on so that they can not call you to check in or send you materials. You will also need to tell them for the next step.

2. Get your records from any previous therapists:

These records are things you are entitled to, however, sometimes they are not helpful if the therapist does not take thorough notes. These can aide your new therapist in finding areas that you had issues with as well as helping them to gain a fuller picture of you as a client. If you would like to just hold on to these, that is okay too.

3. Prepare yourself for telling your story ENTIRELY:

As therapists, we do something called an intake that can take a whole lot out of you if you have a painful past. We ask things about your family of origin, your current family, your social relationships, your romantic relationships, your physical health history, your mental health history, your families mental health history, and the list goes on according to the therapist. This is not just to probe into your history and make you feel uncomfortable. This is for us to get a thorough clinical picture. You would be surprised how many physical diseases can cause or lead to depression so it is important for us to know history in order to rule out things and give you proper care and referrals.

4. Approach therapy with a fresh perspective:

Many people have heard about therapy from others or even had bad therapists themselves. Go into your therapy setting with an open mind and work collaboratively with your therapist. This is your money, your time, and your life. Get what you want out of therapy!

5. Treat it like an interview:

You do not have to pick the first therapist you call. You can meet with therapists in a consultation and see if you feel comfortable sharing with them and feel comfortable with the environment, gender, ethnicity, age, etc... There are many factors to everyone's choice of therapist but the overall thing to do is treat it like a job interview. You are paying this person a great deal of money (sometimes) to do this so it's fair that you feel comfortable and safe with them

Have a lovely New Years Eve!!! Join me tomorrow on January 1, 2011 to begin our series on CHANGES!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just a clip

This was one of those movies where I thought, "Now, that's pretty much how it goes" with meeting in laws, people talking behind your back, etc...here is a clip for your day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Family Quote



I found this quote and loved it and thought I would pass it on to you!

Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others. Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back.
-- Mignon McLaughlin


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Buy the book


I have another family book recommendation for you all. This is on the topic of Birth Order and explains how your birth order affects your personality, relationships, marriages, parenting, etc...

Here is Amazon's write up:

Product Description

Dr. Kevin Leman's ever-popular book on birth order is getting a new look and updated writing. With insight and wit, Dr. Leman offers readers a fascinating and often funny look at how birth order affects personality, marriage and relationships, parenting style, career, and children. Birth order powerfully influences the way people interact with others, whether they're at home or on the job. This is a great book for anyone who wants to learn more about how they react to their world. Dr. Leman even shows readers how to overcome ingrained tendencies they never thought they'd be rid of, all by focusing on their birth order.

From the Publisher

Your birth order -- whether you were born first (or are an only child,) or second, in your family -- powerfully influences what kind of person you are, who you marry, the job you choose. Now you can discover: How to pick out the first born in any group. Why the baby in the family gets away with everything. How to help middle children feel less squeezed and more loved. Ways to overcome your worst inborn tendencies. Which career suits you best. How to make the perfect marriage match and much, much more... You've seen him on television and heard him on the radio. Now internationally known psychologist Kevin Leman reveals an exciting new way to better understand yourself and those you love.

"Forget astrology. The fresh, new karmic aid for picking friends and lovers is birth order... a funny, and sometimes not so funny, look at the effect siblings, or the lack of them, have in shaping a person." -- Chicago Sun-Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The Book retails for $10.87 and I think it's interesting enough for every penny! I hope you have a great day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Resolving to Change

I wonder if you all are thinking about resolutions and changes the way I am today?! I think most of us like to start a new year thinking about making positive changes in our lives and relationships. Our January theme on the blog is going to be CHANGES for that reason. We are going to talk about breaking bad habits, setting better boundaries, making positive changes in our relationships, and overall just being better people.

Today, I decided to do a post about goal setting and new years resolutions in order to get you engaged for January. Here are Erica's goal setting and new years resolution tips:

1. Ask yourself a few questions.

This is my first tip because there are some questions that you need to ask yourself before choosing any resolution. Here they are:

  • Is it realistic?
If your goal is to lose 200 lbs by next year..not realistic and not safe, however, if your goal is to lose 4-6 lbs per month, that is realistic.

  • Is it achievable?
If you have not even applied for college, there is no way you can graduate with a BA by next year. Think about what is achievable and go for that. In this case, maybe it is being accepted into college and choosing a major.

  • Why do you want to make the change?
There a lot of reasons to change something. There is change just for the sake of change. There is change that is for your children. There is change for someone you are dating. There is change for better mental or physical health and a million other options. Knowing why you are changing this particular thing may help you choose the best resolution(s)

  • Will it improve your life?
Obviously the answer to this should be yes or you are choosing the wrong resolution. If you want positive change in your life, you have to choose things that will improve your life and will not cause more pain or more discouragement. A great example is making a goal of buying a new car when you are already in debt by several thousands. This might improve your immediate driving circumstances but will probably add stress to your life.

2. Create a plan

This is imperative when making resolutions because the difference between success and failure is always a plan. A great example is if you want to try to organize your home in 2011, make a list of projects that need to be completed and around how much time each project will take. Let's see you have piles of paperwork to go through and shred and file. You should make a plan to spend a certain amount of time each day going through the papers so that your goal can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. Overwhelming yourself with giant projects and not breaking them down will only lead to them being a part of 2012's resolutions.

3. Reward yourself along the way

My best advice for any lasting change is to make sure and give yourself rewards as incentives. A great example is if you would like to lose weight and you make a goal of losing 2 lbs per week, you could give yourself a small gift of reward (non food related) for those 2 lbs being lost. Maybe you love lip gloss, give yourself a new lip gloss or pair of shoes when you lose a certain amount. Make short term and long term goals and rewards. Make the longer term rewards better!

4. Change for good

A lot of times people will make a resolution and change things only to go back to doing them again. If you make a resolution to change something negative in your life or to include something more positive in your life, consider doing it slowly and consistently. That is where true change occurs. A great example is wanting to stop speeding especially when your children are in the car. You can obviously see why this is a great change to make, however, it is easier said than done. Take it one car trip at a time and you will more likely stop that behavior than if you try to cut out all speeding and never stop to look at your changes. Always recognize a great change.

5. Visualize success

This may sound a bit cheesy to some of you but visualizing yourself changing this behavior or making your resolutions come true is a great way to have it happen.

Here is a full example of a new years resolution using my tips so that you can follow along:

Jackie would like to start exercising more in 2011. She is of average weight but finds herself getting very fatigued after a day of work and often spends her evenings sitting on the couch watching TV. When her friends ask her to do something active she opts out because she is afraid she will grow quickly tired and be difficult to deal with. She really wants to get in better shape by 2012 and has decided to make that her New Years Resolution.

Step 1: Jackie asks herself the important questions:

A. Is it realistic? Yes. There is no problem with Jackie's resolution. So far it is vague and doesn't insist upon too much.

B. Is it achievable: Yes. A lot of people get in great shape in way less than a year so this is reasonable request on her part.

C. Why do you want to make the change? Jackie wants to change this for her overall health and even her social life. She wants to be able to do active thing with her friends, have more energy and increase her life span. GREAT REASONS

D. Will it improve your life? Yes, Jackie will be able to do activities with her friends, will have more energy for her job and life, and will most likely add a few years of life and possibly eliminate risk of illness as well. This will very much improve her life.

2. Create a Plan:

Using Jackie's goal, her plan should be reasonable since she does not exercise at all right now. First she will start off by adding activity into her day gradually. This may mean she signs up for an exercise class or gets a gym membership. She also may start walking on her lunch break with friends or start some sort of walking group. She can also just make herself an appointment each day for 30 minutes of exercise. After she is in better shape, she may take up a sport or specific exercise and try to train more specifically. At first, the key is start small.

3. Reward yourself along the way:

Jackie has decided that 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day is her first goal and she wants to do that for a week. After the week is over, Jackie is going to get a manicure if she has completed each day's activities. She has also made a long term goal of a month (30 minutes per day). Jackie has been reasonable and decided that if she exercises for 30 minutes per day for at least 20 days of the month, she will buy herself a new piece of clothing. Having reasonable goals and rewards is always nice because you may set yourself up for failure if not.

4. Change for Good:

Jackie has decided in order to stick with her plan, she will get a support group of people who exercise regularly to check up on her and encourage her. She has also decided to begin scheduling more active type outings with her friends for other opportunities to exercise. She has also added eating better to her life to fuel her for the coming work outs. Overall, Jackie's chances for success are huge!

What do you want to work on in 2011?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stress free?

I wanted to share an awesome link with you from Prevention magazine. This is sort of late coming in December but I thought you might be able to use a few of the ideas!




Enjoy

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Since today (Christmas Eve) and Tomorrow are family days, I will not be blogging. Have a wonderful Christmas and See you back on the 26th!

Love from my family to yours!

--Erica

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book giveaway Winner

As I said on the blog before, I am giving away "The Family Book" by Todd Parr to some well deserving follower. I did the drawing yesterday and I am here to announce who the free copy will go to! To the winner: Please email me at ericalewisms@hotmail.com or on Facebook if you are my friend and give me your full mailing address (if I don't have it) to send your prize! Have a lovely day!

The winner is......

COURTNEY JAYNE

Thank you to everyone who is a follower and please refer your friends as there will be future drawings exclusively for followers!

Have a lovely day!



Truly Grateful


I have noticed lately that a lot of people in my life and around me are suffering. Some have recently lost family members to cancer, car accidents, tragic circumstances, and the like. Others in my life have lost jobs and been on unemployment for long periods of time. Some in my life have lost children or are battling infertility. Others are just lonely and longing for a special someone to spend their life with. When looking around at all of this, it is easy to get into a funk.

I think that overall, we would be happier people if we were able to be truly grateful for what we have. I know it's easier said than done so today's post is giving you some simple tips to be more grateful in your life.

1. Realize your true worth:

A lot of us think that if we just get some more money, we will be happier. The truth is, we are already some of the richest people in the world. Head on over to

Global Rich List.

and type in your current annual income and it will tell you in what percentage of the world's RICH you are. We are not doing very well in my house currently but I came up in the top 12% of the world. That is a pretty easy way to quickly see how truly rich you are. Remember that some countries do not have the simple luxury of clean drinking water.

2. Living in a peaceful country is nothing to sneeze at!

Can you imagine living in a city that is constantly bombarded by bombs? I am sure that if you ask a United States Marine who has been deployed, they will tell you that it isn't the same as the peaceful streets of America. Take a moment today to realize how lucky you are to live in this great country.

3. Maintain a "great things" list

Keep a small journal listing all of the ways you are feeling blessed each day and read it when you feel a little down in the dumps. I bet your gratefulness meter skyrockets!

4. Make gratitude a defined part of your day

A great exercise that my husband and I sometimes do at night is talk about how blessed we are. It helps to realize when you have had a difficult day, week, month, year, ...heck life that you have daily blessings of people loving and supporting you, a smile from a nice customer, or even just having each other in that moment. Take time each day to give gratefulness a try!

5. Focus on giving

This is the best way I have found to be grateful. When you focus each day on finding people you can give to, it is so powerful for your attitude and gratefulness in life. This does not just include money or food but also time, talents, compliments, affirmation, and sometimes even just a listening ear. I try to start my day this way and God gives me tons of opportunities to give. If I step out and take them, I feel great! :)

Today I am grateful for all of my readers/followers. They make my life more full and happy and I appreciate each of you that stop by!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Child of a borderline



Today is not a very happy topic. Do you have someone in your family who makes you feel like you are walking on eggshells to not have them explode or get their feelings hurt? Is one of these your parents? I think anytime we think about family, we have to consider a family member who may not be the healthiest mentally. We have to consider those family members who struggle with depression, anxiety, and many other serious mental illnesses. One of the hardest disorders to be in relationship with is

Borderline Personality Disorder..


I will first of all cover a multitude of symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) so that you may be able to figure out if someone that you love is struggling with this disorder.

Symptoms of BPD:

  • Relationships with others are intense or unstable
  • May swing wildly from love to hate and back again
  • Frantically try to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • Uncertain about their identity or self-image
  • Tend to see things in terms of extremes (all good or all bad)
  • Typically view themselves as victims
  • Take little responsibility for themselves or behaviors/problems
  • Feelings of emptiness and boredom
  • Frequent displays of inappropriate anger
  • Impulsiveness with money, Substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting
  • Intolerance of being alone
  • Recurrent acts of crises such as wrist cutting, overdosing, or self-injury
  • Frequent threats of suicide or attempts


It is estimated that 4-6 million people in America suffer from BPD and that means that a lot of those people are parents.

Borderline parents cannot separate their needs from the needs of others, therefore they want their children to meet their needs and when the children do not, they are explosive, withhold affection, manipulate, and are downright mean. Children of Borderline parents will most likely get told they are the most amazing child in the world one minute and that the parent is sorry they had them at another minute. Children in these families may be teased, confided in (with adult issues), have their feelings discounted or criticized, not be allowed to express emotion, denied physical and emotional affection, held to extremely high standards, and have their privacy violated.

Being raised by a parent who has BPD may leave a teenager feeling low self-esteem, a lack of trust, a tendency toward perfectionism, and hypersensitivity and all of these things usually follow in adulthood. Take heart though if you have just figured out that you are a child of a BPD parent, there is hope. Therapy can really help to sort out healthy ways to cope with your parent's diagnosis as well as learning how to have strong boundaries, learn what is appropriate in parenting and in life, and move on from the abuse that was in your childhood.

If you think you or someone you love may be a child of a Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder check out the following...

Some great resources:














Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Erica's Book Recommendation!



Have you ever noticed that your family is the one place you don't seem to communicate effectively? Me too! This book was a book I read some time ago about talking to your family when you are all adults. This means charting conversation with siblings, parents, and even your adult children. I like the writing style of Deborah Tannen and really found this book to be thought provoking and helpful.


The list price on this book is $15.95. Below I have also included a product review from Amazon.com on what the book is all about.



Why does talk in families so often go in circles, leaving us tied up in knots? In this illuminating book, Deborah Tannen, the linguist and and bestselling author of You Just Don't Understand and many other books, reveals why talking to family members is so often painful and problematic even when we're all adults. Searching for signs of acceptance and belonging, we find signs of disapproval and rejection. Why do the seeds of family love so often yield a harvest of criticism and judgment? In I Only Say This Because I Love You, Tannen shows how important it is, in family talk, to learn to separate word meanings, or messages, from heart meanings, or metamessages — unstated but powerful meanings that come from the history of our relationships and the way things are said. Presenting real conversations from people's lives, Tannen reveals what is actually going on in family talk, including how family conversations must balance the longing for connection with the desire for control, as we struggle to be close without giving up our freedom.

This eye-opening book explains why grown women so often feel criticized by their mothers; and why mothers feel they can't open their mouths around their grown daughters; why growing up male or female, or as an older or younger sibling, results in different experiences of family that persist throughout our lives; and much, much more. By helping us to understand and redefine family talk, Tannen provides the tools to improve relationships with family members of every age.




Monday, December 20, 2010

Blogs of interest


I am not only a lover of writing my blogs, I am also a lover of reading great blogs. I subscribe to so many blogs and really enjoy every writer that I read. Today, I wanted to give you a few blogs I enjoy that are aimed at family.

Here are two that I enjoy and a brief synopsis of what might happen there!


This blog is created by a group of mamas who tell it like it is, endorse great products/toys/books for moms, and add in just enough humor to make it fantastic. I highly recommend this blog. I am also a subscriber to their newsletter. They always have fantastic giveaways too!



This blog is written by a woman who writes about being newly married, she has been married since September of 2007, and writes about crafts, recipes, etc... I love her writing and her blog.


If you have blogs that you think are great and want to share, email them to me at ericalewisms@hotmail.com and I will look them over and possibly put them in my blog roll for others to enjoy.

Have a great day and happy reading!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stable or Unstable?

Do you ever wonder if people in your life are unstable? Do you ever wonder if you are unstable? Today I wanted to discuss what is looks like to be unstable vs. stable and how that might look in your family members.

In our family we can have both stable and unstable people. We can have this multi-generational like a grandparent can be incredibly stable while your parent may not be. You can also have this in the same generation like one cousin who is mentally off the charts while another cousin is healthy and productive.

Stable people are "fairly long lived people who take full advantage of available educational and occupational opportunities." There lives are not bothered by serious physical dysfunction, social dysfunction, or emotional dysfunction. A stable person's marriage is intact and overall satisfying. These people have children and spouses who function at about the same level as they themselves function. If this person moves from place to place it is due to their goals and not from a desire to run from any current circumstance.

An unstable person is one who "either lacks the motivation to take advantage of or they consistently squander available educational and occupational opportunities." The life of an unstable person is often hindered by serious physical dysfunction, emotional dysfunction, or social dysfunction. This person's relationships are unstable and they may have many failed marriages or even one considerably overwhelming failed marriage. These people are often estranged from people who were once very important in their lives like parents, siblings, and close friends. Often, these unstable people will move geographically based upon getting away from an "old" experience and trying to move to a "new and better" experience instead of going toward goals.

Most family members are somewhere on the continuum of these two polar opposites.

Now that you know the criteria,...are you unstable? Stable? How about your family as a whole? Sometimes it is helpful to take stock of where we are!

**Information taken from "Family Evaluation" by Michael E. Kerr, MD & Murray Bowen, MD**


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winners!!!


The Holiday Giveaway was over as of yesterday and the names have been picked. The winners are as follows:

1st Place: Hilliary Lee

2nd Place: Shirley Albertson Owens

Runner Up: Jeniffer Zowada

Have a lovely day and thanks for entering! Keep your eyes posted for the next giveaway! I have a book drawing happening on December 20th for my Followers so if you aren't a follower, click follow now to be a part of the drawing. Followers must be signed up by 12:00 am December 20th. Thanks!

--E--

The Family "Roles"

In every family there are unspoken roles that each family member holds the place for. In dysfunctional families it is even more evident. Today I wanted to introduce you to some family roles and try to get you to think about your family of origin as well as your family today and see if these roles exist. I have used pictures of sitcom families to allow you think about these roles more concretely.

If they do, I have also offered you some ways that the person in each role can make their lives more balanced.


The first role in families is THE HERO. It is exactly what it sounds like. The Hero is the person in the family who is "perfect", can't be wrong, gets positive attention, awards, achievements, etc...

What you don't see about THE HERO is that they are often afraid of failure, and over-controlled and over-controlling.

How THE HERO serves the family is by making the family not feel so bad because this part is so good and THE HERO likes the extra power and attention.

THE HERO in the family can often end up in adulthood being the workaholic, be plagued with physical illness, controlling, prideful, not so fun, and shameful.

With help, THE HERO can often find out the difference between achievements and success and learn to say no with boundaries and get in touch with their bad side which simply means being okay with not being perfect at everything and possibly fail here and there without shame.



The second role in families is THE SCAPEGOAT. This person is the bad, angry, never good enough, black sheep of the family who just doesn't fit in.

What you don't see about this person is that often they feel hurt, rejected, full of shame, and like the "family loser."

This person is used in the family to ignore any other problems. It is always THE SCAPEGOAT who holds the family issues, although that is nearly never accurate.

Without help, this person can be addictive, have trouble with the legal system (law), be promiscuous, constantly in trouble, continue on in these roles in other relationships or in their jobs, and might have a "chip on their shoulder" and play the victim.

These people in a balanced and healthy way can learn to take appropriate risks, be adventuresome like in missionary work or military, or even be business owners. Mostly they can learn to be okay with the fact that they can be "good" and feel "good" at the same time.



The third role in families is THE LOST CHILD. This person is ignored, quiet, invisible, loves animals, is often really attached to their material possessions, artistic, and sometimes has learning disabilities.

What you don't see about this person is that they are frozen in that they can't seem to express feelings and they are often times very lonely.

In families where there is a LOST CHILD, they often feel that "at least they don't have to worry about this child." This can be counterproductive as you can imagine.

If this person is not helped, they can often not express their needs, not share their opinions and can even lead to suicide due to them feeling empty and alone.

In a balanced situation, this person can be talented, creative, a great listener, can learn to participate and share wisdom and can grow to feel needed and connected. This will take more time for them than for other personality types.


The last role I am going to cover is THE CLOWN/MASCOT. This person is funny, hysterical, cute, immature, and do just about anything for a laugh.

What you don't see in this person is that they often hide pain in their humor, are incredibly scared, and feel inadequate like they have to entertain to be liked.

This person helps the family to avoid issues by clouding them in humor. They entertain the family and bring a light side.

Without help, this person can build up pain and resentment, let others tell them what to do too much, be a follower, and never "Grow up."

In a balanced situation, this person can feel a wide range of emotion and learn to express it, laugh when it is appropriate and cry when it is appropriate, learn to take the lead more, and grow up to meet responsibilities.

Have you found yourself? Your brother? Your Sister? I think these are interesting things to look at!


Friday, December 17, 2010

What's for dinner?


Do you guys hate this question as much as I do? Every time I am asked "What's for dinner?" I get irritated. Not because I don't love to cook, because I do. Not because I don't love cooking for my loved ones, because I do. The reason I hate the question is most of the time, I do not know what is for dinner until I go to make it or perhaps until I thaw whatever we are having that morning. I have started to meal plan for the month recently though and found that it is much better for our budget in terms of buying groceries and keeps me from hearing that question. I can just say, look at the meal plan!

In my house, this keeps me on my toes budget wise because I have to buy all potential ingredients for the 2 weeks or month I have planned and eliminate un-needed trips to the grocery store. This keeps me from putting anything unnecessary in the cart and I am sure saves me loads. This also helps me not to let any food items go bad by planning my meals according to leftovers and fresh produce being used up! Again, I got this tool from Lisa Whelchel's website so I have given you the link so you can also create a month of meals to plan from.

Have a lovely day and Happy Dining!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Staying Organized



One thing that can lead to a chaotic household is clutter, disorganization, and one person trying to do everything by themselves. Each part of a family should be able to hold their own in terms of family chores, responsibilities, and tasks. I know everyone probably remembers the 80's sitcom, "The Facts of Life" and if you remember it, you remember Blair. Well, Blair (Lisa Whelchel) is now a writer and web-site owner who talks on topics of family. I ran into her website and really enjoy the advice she gives and tools she provides. I have provided you with her template for Household Chores so you can make a chart for everyone in your family to start pulling their weight and decreasing the family stress.



I think that having a chart and certain tasks that need to get done help to keep the family on task. Also, my own personal addition is that having a points system for each task a child completes helps them to see incentive for doing things that are above and beyond. Some tasks around the house should not get points like keeping their own space clean and possibly other family responsibilities but when you see your child going above and beyond to do something great, points to redeem for privileges are a great way to encourage that sort of behavior.

Tomorrow check back in for a template for a month's worth of meal planning. Getting and staying organized in your home has the potential to eliminate tons of stress!





Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Far Away Family


The idea of "far away family" is close to my heart as I am over 2,000 miles away from any of my family members. This creates opportunities to be creative and do things that are technologically advanced to be a part of their lives. For example, I am going to be skyping on Christmas Morning to see my nephew open his Christmas gifts. Another thing I ran into this holiday season that makes a lot of sense was this item from Hallmark.


You can add your voice to every single page so that your little one that you love can hear your voice any time they want to!

Titles that are available are:

The Night Before Christmas
Frosty The Snowman
The Very First Christmas
All the Ways I love You
My Little Princess
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Bright and Beautiful
Guess How Much I Love You
Counting Kisses
On the Night You Were Born
I love you Grandma
My Grandpa and Me
We're Not Scared of Anything
Hey, Diddle, Diddle
and...
Thank You God for everything

With 15 titles, there are lots of option for everyone on your list this year. I highly recommend this for family members who are far away and want that connection! Have a lovely holiday and God bless you, near and far!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take a look, its in a book!

Today I wanted to give you a suggestion for something to put under the tree for the little ones. The book I recommend today is "The Family Book" by Todd Parr. It is extremely great for the little ones as the colors are bright and cheerful and the pictures are funny but more importantly it does not treat the family like cookie cutters. This book includes step siblings, step parents, being adopted, and even two moms or two dads. There are so many types of families out there now and this concept book can help your child to understand their individual situation as well as their peers.

If you want this book, it will cost you $6.99 retail, however, I am giving one copy away to a follower of my blog that will be chosen at random. If you should win and don't want your copy, please either give it to a child in your life or let me know and I will pick a new winner!

The only stipulation is that you MUST be a follower of my blog to win this book. If you aren't a follower and would like to be, simply click FOLLOW on the right side of my blog! Thanks ahead of time!

Being a follower of my blog enters you into a drawing for this book taking place on December 22nd. All followers need to be following by 12-22 at 12:00 AM. Thanks for reading and here are the specifics on the book:

Ages: 4-8
Pages: 32

Have a lovely day and Good luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I need a vacation from Vacation


A lot of us pack and go on vacation for the holidays! This can be one of the more stressful events of the year, if we let it be. Today I wanted to share with you some tips to help make your vacation less stressful ANY time of the year!

1. Involve the little ones:

Have the kids prepare for the vacation with you by helping to pack and also planning activities they want to do while you are there. This will make the whole family invested in having a great time!

2. Budget:

Make sure you budget each thing into your vacation. There is nothing worse than running out of money while you are away. Buy as many tickets ahead of time that you can for activities and events and plan out meals, snacks, and even some emergency money in case someone gets the sniffles.

3. Confirm all reservations:

If you confirm everything, it eliminates the stress of anything falling through. Also, make sure you have gps or maps so that getting lost is out of the question. Stressful things...lost and no place to stay!

4. See for Free:

Look at where you are going and try to find things that are free or near free for everyone to enjoy like tours of candy factories, museums, or parks. This eliminates the stress of overspending and lets everyone have fun.

5. Entertainment Bag:

Bring a bag full of things for the kids or even adult passengers to do like a portable dvd player to watch movies, travel games, crosswords, or hand held video games. This removes some grumpiness on long car or plane trips!

I hope you all have safe and fun travels and remember, the trip isn't as important as your family members. Keep the love for them as your first priority and the trip will be loads of fun!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

A holiday Giveaway!


Hey everyone.

I wanted to do something a little special for my readers today and to get some more readers on my list!

I am having a holiday giveaway for the Starbucks Ornament Hot Cup that you see in the picture above. It is about 3 inches tall I would say!

To win this little beauty, I am going to be drawing out a name (randomly) on December 17th (Friday)

Here are the things you can do to gain an entry into the drawing:

1. Become a follower of my blog or if you are a follower, simply comment and say "I already follow"

2. Refer the blog to your friends by posting it on facebook or twitter and commenting me with the link to see that you did it!

3. Comment on this post by telling me about your favorite ornament on your tree this Christmas.

4. Comment on this post a second time telling me your favorite starbucks beverage!

P.S. A second drawing will be done for another starbucks prize so I recommend you do as many thing as you can to win!

Have a lovely Sunday and Good luck! Entries must be in by 12:00 Am on December 17th!

You give the advice....


Today I wanted to open the blog up to you. Here is a question and I would love all of you to chime in:

Q: How do I handle an in-law who is easily offended?

-- Tired of it in Terre Haute, Indiana

I am curious what you all think about this delimma!

Leave your responses in comments...and it is okay to be anonymous!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Laugh, it works!


Some benefits to adding humor to your family life:

-- Dispels anger and tension

-- Coping strategy in difficult situations

-- Makes life fun

-- mentally and physically good for all members

-- means of communication and expression

-- Helps express truth even when truth is feared

-- Bonds families together with "inside jokes"




Friday, December 10, 2010

Have a seat on my couch!


I know that I am a therapist and I am supposed to believe in therapy but I thought today I would try to make a believer out of you too! Here are just a few benefits of having your family in family therapy!

-- Resolving family issues: This one may sound obvious but most families have issues that can not really resolve themselves or even be worked out without a mediator. A therapist is just that. They are a outside voice that can help sort out each family members feelings and give them a voice in the room so the family unit is heard and helped in an efficient way.

-- Open Communication: Often times at home, children are afraid to say what they really feel and so are parents. In this setting, there is an unspoken and sometimes spoken rule that whatever is felt, should be said. This is a place where thoughts, feelings, and even conflicts are welcome and fostered into growth instead of tearing apart.

-- Individual Issues: Often one of our family members is acting out or has an issue that needs to be resolved individually. Undergoing family therapy can sometimes bring those issues to the center and create an opportunity for that individual to get more specialized help.

-- Lastly, you get to meet a cool person like me: Most therapists are caring and really passionate about what they do. If you do not feel that with your therapist, make sure to voice any concerns and if they are not being resolved, find a therapist that fits your family's personality and values.

I hope that you consider family therapy just a little more today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Volunteers? Anyone?


Today I found a website I just had to share with you. It is THE VOLUNTEER FAMILY

Volunteering as a family can help you build unity and intimacy in your family as well as the multiple benefits to your own mental well being when you give back. This also teaches your children by example to give from their abundance and be a great steward of what they have been given. Whether that is the family finances, time, or talents...it is always good to know how you can help others.

This organization runs a website where you can volunteer as a family. They list ideas for families as well as tons of organizations all over the U.S. where they need families to volunteer. In my area, I found 14 opportunities just in my little neighborhood. I hope that you will stop in and see if there is anything your family can do!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rules: Pro or Con?


Today I was thinking about Family Rules. I have a client who I see who has a list of rules that govern the family as a whole and have consequences for stepping out of those family rules. They are all very reasonable rules as are the consequences that come with not abiding by the family rules. I read an article on creating family rules and thought I would give you a few tips if this is something you would like to institute. I would also love to hear from you on whether you think family rules are affective and good or should be tossed!?

Tips for creating your family rules:

1. Keep your list small: The more rules you have, the harder it is to follow them. If there are certain things you want to instill in your children more than others, these are the ones to create rules about. For example in my home my rules might be:

a.) Respect other people at all times (no insulting, making fun of, etc..)

b.) no violence at all

c.) Respect yourself and God in this home

2. Have these rules written out in a place the whole family can be reminded of them

3. Review them with your children by having a family meeting. Make it clear on what happens if they are not followed and make it clear by what the rules mean.

4. Rules should apply to everyone, including parents! We live by example much more than by talking and lecturing.

Any ideas on your part? What do you think about instituting family rules?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A family Quote for you!





The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.


~Erma Bombeck

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mindfulness and stress


So, is there any time more than the holidays that creates stress? Granted, a lot of the stress is the happy kind like with Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, planning, house guests etc...but it is still stress and that is not so great for our bodies and minds. Today I wanted to introduce a topic that might make things a bit easier this holiday season.

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more fully aware of the present moment, non judgmentally and completely, rather than dwelling in the past or projecting into the future.

Mindfulness stems from eastern religions but it is something that anyone can do and adhere to of any faith. It is simply taking in every moment and being "in the now." This is not to say that you should not think of consequences of your actions or words but simply being able to be in the moment with things and not get too ahead of yourself.

During the holidays there are so many happy moments that get passed up to get to the next happy moment. An example is smaller events like putting up the tree, putting ornaments on, shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts, making out Christmas cards, etc...

I think that if we took the time to take in every moment with all of our senses and truly enjoy it and be mindful of what is happening, our happiness level this holiday season would raise exponentially. I challenge you this holiday season to be mindful! Enjoy those around you and take in every precious moment.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A cup of hers, A cup of his, and blend


Today I am doing a post about "Non-traditional" families, whatever that means. I am not sure that any of us are traditional anymore. Today, I mostly mean those families that are blended with step-parents, step-children, divorces, separations, and the like. I found an article talking about some tips of how to make the holidays the best possible given your situation. I thought they were pretty good so some of these are transplanted with my comments and some are mine alone. You can find the original article HERE




1. Accept and Keep the custody agreement:

Most custody agreements are not entirely fair for one or both of the parents. It usually means that one parent has to have Christmas Eve while another has Christmas Day or half and half. It is NEVER convenient or ideal but it also was not intended that marriage should END, so that being said we can probably all agree that some complications are probably expected. The best thing we can do for children is to accept what is and make the very best out of it. That will increase your holiday peace by leaps and bounds.

2. Allow your child to feel their emotions:

It is not easy for a "divorced kid" anymore than it is for a divorced parent so remember that when your children feel put out by having to go separate places for holidays. If you can get along with your ex, try to do it for the kids. If you can't, help your child to understand that they have two parents who love them and want time with them and don't add fuel to the fire by acting out resentment in front of your children. They are feeling enough emotion that they don't need to add guilt to it by feeling pulled and tugged.

3. Plan and Communicate:

It is important to talk with your ex about specific drop off and pick up times so that your holiday traditions can be done as well as his/hers. The child/children in the situation will feel much less pulled around if everything is clear for both parents. Conflicts occur where communication drops off.

4. Equality is key:

It is understandable to think that you should buy more gifts or better gifts for your biological child but this is imperative not to do. Make sure your biological children and your step children feel loved and treated equally this holiday season and every day. It is not their fault that they are in this situation.

5. Yes, buy your ex a gift from the kid(s)

I loved this tip. What a beautiful way to show your kids that you love them by thinking about their mother or father on Christmas no matter what your romantic feelings are. To truly love your child is to love and respect the other parent, barring that they are abused in any way by them.

These are my five tips for the day. Again, you can read the original article at the link above but I wanted to highlight the ones I liked and write my own take on them. I pray for you a peaceful and happy holiday season!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dinner's Ready!!

Today I am going to talk about the importance of family dinner so I thought it appropriate to put one of my favorite Family Dinner clips up.. Enjoy!



I found an article on

Healthline.

by Dr. Nancy L. Brown about the importance of Family Dinner and thought it was necessary to write about it. I decided after reading this article that I should post some ideas on how to make family dinner fun and something that you look forward to each day.

Erica's ten tips for making Family Dinner a blast!

  • Have a theme! Eat dinner around the table and finish up with family movie night and keep the theme rolling. Watch "Lady and the Tramp" with Pasta and "Chicken Little" with a chicken dinner (okay that one may be a bit disturbing) and pancakes for dinner on "Elf" night. The kids will love it and will it build excitement for the next themed dinner. Don't be afraid to do more than just the movie: Speak in accents, wear costumes, and even be characters. Anything that is fun to do makes your family closer
  • Have your children/spouse help prepare the meal. Anything that you invest in is always a bit more rewarding. Have each person have a task and something that they can add to the meal. Have little kids set the table or do bread service and older kids can do side dishes or be the waiter!
  • Set the mood: Always make sure all distractions are taken away from at least one hour to have dinner. This means silence cell phones, turn off the tv, and make sure pets are fed or have gone outside. This is family time and distractions speak no investment.
  • Due to schedule conflicts and busy days this is something that probably can't happen every day. If it can, great...if not, set aside a day of the week that everyone is at the table for a meal. If you can't do dinner, make it breakfast or lunch. Whatever works for your family and creates consistency is going to help you bond.
  • If cooking isn't your thing, that is okay! If you would rather have a night out for dinner that works too. Order pizza from your favorite Pizzeria and take the stress out of preparing or go to a restaurant that you all love and enjoy while having family time. Just make sure this restaurant isn't too noisy to enjoy your family and talk.
  • Have some sort of tradition at your dinners. This is covered in the article I read about praying before meals and that is certainly a tradition in my home but adding a bit more to this, what about asking everyone what their biggest blessing of their day was and the biggest challenge or something they have learned that day.
  • Designate a "family member of the day" and let that person be special for that particular dinner. For example, let them pick the meal, dessert, etc.. and have everyone at the table go around and genuinely compliment the person of the day. This can help with sibling rivalry as it gives a socially acceptable chance to actually admit you like your little sister. :)
  • Let each family create a rule for family dinner time. Examples might be "No topic is out of bounds" or "Cell phones must be put in another room on silent before dinner."
  • Make a game out of clean up: Watch your kids for appropriate dinner behavior including opening up, sharing, being positive, affirming other family members, and proper manners and allow them off of clean up duty if they do great! Have those family members that are not off duty have designated tasks so that clean up is not overwhelming.
  • Parents: Use this time to model love and compassion to your spouse. Thank your husband/wife for passing the potatoes, hold hands across the table, and pull out chairs husbands. This models for your sons/daughters how compassion and love looks and helps them sort out respect and honor for their future husbands/wives. We learn most by what we see, not what we hear!

I hope you all institute at least one family meal a week and get creative and enjoy it. Especially with the holidays right around the corner. Enjoy each other!




Friday, December 3, 2010

In Laws or Out Laws?


In each family, there is always the joining of two families that creates what a lot of people find difficult, IN LAWS. I am not just speaking of the mother and father in laws but also brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc... If this is a topic that causes you to feel anxiety, you are probably like about 99% of the population. I found an article with some tips (rules) for dealing with in laws on

FAMILY EDUCATION.

and thought I might add or take away from this list and create my own... Five Basic Rules for "dealing" with In Laws:

Erica's Five Rules for dealing with In Laws:

1. Marriage First

The main rule that I would want you to know is that your marriage always comes first. I take this (myself) from scripture where it says "For this reason, a man will LEAVE his mother and father and be united to his wife." Mark 10:7 This argument can be made for that reason but it has mental health reasons too. If you are never on the same page with each other to have a first priority than often times, things go awry. An example is Date Night. Imagine that you and your husband/wife have date night every single Friday. It is an appointment you have made with each other with the only exception being emergencies or being unexpectedly needed at your job. It is a normal week and your mother in law asks your husband/wife to come and do some work at the house that she needs done and it is imperative that it happen on Friday night. If your husband/wife caves into this and does the thing that his/her mother needs, it is a direct choice for putting his/her parent first and not his/her marriage. I should note, that if you both decide that it is okay to reschedule date night,that is absolutely fine but if one of you decides without the other...you are creating a potential in law issue. That leads me to my next rule...

2. Always have and keep boundaries with your in laws:

If you have a rule in your house that there is no smoking but your father in law smokes, he will need to exit the house and do that outside. This is plain and simple and should be enforced by both partners but upheld directly by the person whose family it is. It is important for your family to completely respect you and your spouse's wishes regardless of their own choices in their own homes or lives. If they do not, it is time to create a plan on consequences to not doing so. In the smoking example, if your father lights up in the house, it is your job to say "Dad, you need to go outside, we don't smoke in here" and then if the problem continues, you need to talk to your dad about being at your home and how if he insists on smoking, you will need to visit together somewhere else. This can get much stickier when involving grandchildren, however, at that point boundaries are more important than ever in how you wish to raise your children. They have raised theirs and its time for you to decide how these children are raised TOGETHER with your spouse.

3. Nix the Passive Aggressive Nonsense:

It is never appropriate to purposely alienate or treat anyone with disrespect so it is important that if your in law has done something to hurt you, that you confront that behavior. Yes, it is scary to think about your mother in law or sister in law or whomever not liking you but the other potential outcome is fatal to your marriage. If you allow your in laws to continue to hurt you or disrespect first of all you are sending a message that you will take it. Secondly, you are building a volcano of emotion. One day, you will have one injury too many and say exactly what you think about how she raised her precious son or how you weren't wishing for them as a family either. It will do irreparable damage to that relationship and possibly your marriage.

4. As Cheap Trick said "Don't be cruel":

It is never okay to call names or disrespect your in laws. We all are going to have opinions and say things when alone with our spouse but calling their mother/father etc.. names is not just hurtful to that person but to your spouse. They will have to repair the damage you have done most likely and it is hard to support your spouse when they are in the wrong. Deal as an adult with the issues that arise with your in laws. If they call you names, it doesn't mean you should respond in turn. Be the change you want in your family!!!

and ......

5. Try to have fun even if the circumstances aren't great!

Remember that this same person that you are having trouble with either gave birth to your spouse or they are an integral part of his/her life. Ask your spouse to help you see the positive in that person and start to make a point of looking for it. This is a lifelong relationship so get over yourself and be the bigger person. I should note here as well that if your in laws are abusing you in any way (example: threatening you bodily harm) than it is completely appropriate to sever that relationship. Never let someone take away your most basic rights no matter who they are related to. I know you can!

Have a wonderful holiday...and enjoy the comical picture I chose for this post! A little tongue in cheek..maybe!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Date Night is over?


I just read the following statistic about families and found my second topic to discuss.

"New parents experienced declines in leisure time with their spouses in the initial months after the birth of their first child; although, shared leisure time increased in the latter half of the child’s first year, the amount of time spouses spent in shared leisure activities at the end of their child’s first year did not return to pre-parenthood levels." Familyfacts.org

Although I can completely understand this statistic, it scares me a bit in how marriages work after children. I think that there is something to say for trying to find a way to keep that "spouse leisure time" that they talk about while also attending to your child's needs. After all, I think most of us would agree that parents being in love and happy are one of their children's needs.

I had a few thoughts on why this might be paramount to your child's health as well as your personal well being. Here are just a few of those thoughts...

1. How can you parent successfully as a TEAM if the TEAM never talks and really creates the unity that it needs?

2. How does the child that you love experience and observe love and compassion if they never see you take time for the person that you vowed to love?

3. How does the child learn self care if they see that you only spend time on them and never on developing relationships outside of them, including with their other parent?

These questions that I am posing I realize are easier said than done. I am not so delusional to think that after having a child you have time or money for a weekly date night where you go out for 5-6 hours for a night on the town and pay a sitter. NO, what I am thinking is even having a weekly time of an hour where it is just you and your spouse alone (perhaps during bed time or nap time) and perhaps one day a month where you get together for something other than that. I would argue that your marriage is worth the $50 in babysitting even if you just go out for Frozen Yogurt together and talk!

Nurture your marriage especially when you have children, you are teaching them fundamental lessons about investing in those that they love!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

As Tevye says; "TRADITION"

When I think of the Holidays, one word that comes into my head immediately is "Tradition." When I think of the word tradition, the first thing that pops into my mind is "Fiddler on the Roof." I have given you the video of the song "Tradition" where Tevye talks about how the Jewish people have always had traditions and they "make the people know who they are and what God expects them to do."




This opening scene of "Fiddler on the Roof" got me to thinking about how traditions really do form us in our families. I have traditions on Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years that if not performed, would make me feel like it wasn't right. I think the same goes for our families and how we relate to each other, treat each other, and even talk about each other. In some families, the rule is to not share any family details outside of the family. This keeps many families from seeking mental health services.

In some families, it is considered normal to not speak with your family members for years at a time. For other families, this would be considered estranged and would cause them distress. For some families, it might be completely normal to ignore things in the family that are taboo or not accepted while others talk about it at every family dinner and it ends in a verbal altercation. We all come from a family and have family "traditions" that we are carrying around even if it means we have no traditions..that is our tradition. I know, that was confusing.

I think that Tevye is right in that Traditions do tell us who we are. We use these traditions as a way of belonging to our families. I found this quote while researching Family Traditions and thought it was a funny way to start this month of talking about family....



When I was a boy, my family took
great care with our snapshots.
We really planned them.
We posed in front of expensive cars,
homes that weren't ours.
We borrowed dogs.
Almost every family picture taken
of us when I was young
had a different borrowed dog in it. -- Richard Avedon

I thought it was funny but it also made me think about how many of us are walking around being someone we aren't due to tradition. It might be tradition to hide all of your pain. It may be tradition to say yes to everything because you are afraid of what no brings. It may be tradition to allow some family members to tell you how to parent your children or live your life and you don't like it..but it's tradition.

There is also a great side to tradition. The research says that traditions can help keep families together, help keep children off of drugs, and keep generations connected. These are the traditions I am going to talk about first. I might as well start out pleasant huh?

Do you have any family traditions that have helped form and keep your family together?

In my family, we have tons of traditions. I will share a few of ours with you so that you have incentive to share with me.

Anthony and My traditions:

-- Each year on Thanksgiving, we always eat at our house and very rarely have it with other family members. This is not because we don't love our family but rather because it is a great time for Anthony and I to just be married people and thank God for the marriage we have. We eat a fantastic meal that we prepare together, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, watch Christmas movies, put our tree up, and cuddle up on the couch with a glass of wine. It is one of my favorite days of the year. I love my family and call each one of them to say Happy Thanksgiving...but that is the only way we talk!

-- Each year Anthony and I buy an ornament for our Christmas tree that depicts the kind of year we had. Sometimes it is humorous and only we would get it and sometimes it is painful and everyone would catch on. This year, it is a little Starbucks Cup that we just got the other day to thank God for coffee bringing us some peace in our home. (There is a lot to this story)

-- Each year we create a thankfulness box. On Thanksgiving we started the box and it is just a shoe box that I created to be fancy with scrapbook paper. Each day of the year, we take an index card and write on it something we are very thankful for that day. We put it in the box and on Thanksgiving, we wrap it up like a Christmas gift and put it under our tree. On Christmas day it is the last thing we open and we read them aloud to remember all that God has done throughout the year. We start it up every Thanksgiving for the new year. This keeps us so mindful to be thankful and to consider that even bad days, have great things in them!

-- There is a painful anniversary for Anthony and I that we usually just want to be alone for. We decided to pick a restaurant that is both tasty and expensive that we would not normally go to and we take that day, turn off the cell phones, and go eat a fancy expensive dinner and talk about whatever we want because that is our day to be sad about what we have gone through. The other days of the year are days to be thankful and full of joy but sometimes, you have to grieve.

There is a little of my family to yours...what are your traditions and do they make you feel closer to your family?

Happy December ...only 24 days until Christmas!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A new season of mental health

I have been thinking about ideas to make my mental health blog more exciting and more beneficial for its readers and to entice new readers. I have come up with a plan to do monthly series on certain subjects so that there is a ton of information on things that people are interested about. I am going to start this on December 1st so without further ado...the theme for December is....







I think since December holds Christmas and New Years eve it is a great time to talk about what comes up a lot...Family. Family issues often arise at the holidays with In Laws and sibling rivalry and even divorces. Missing your family or grieving family can often be much more uncomfortable during the holiday season! I am hoping to cover all of these topics and more. If there is any topic about family you would like me to cover, just comment or email me and I will be on it! I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving and come on over on December 1st through the 31st to see what's in store with FAMILY! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's been a while

I haven't written on my blog for a while and there have been many reasons but I wanted to let everyone who reads it know that I am going to be writing more frequently now and I would appreciate you checking in for new articles. I hope you are all well and I wish you Fantastic Mental Health

--Erica Lewis, MFTI--

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wedded Wednesday 7/28/2010

Since today is a special historical day for me, I decided to start a new series on building a checklist before you get married.

I am going to cover one topic that you should consider as PRE-married people. This also works for married people in seeing what things could be causing conflict in your marriage and things you might possibly want to start working on.

We are going to start with a very obvious one...

Does your future spouse or current spouse have the ability to compromise and do you?

When you get married so many things change in your life but not everything changes. For example, if you are someone who enjoys watching sports on television and your spouse does not, chances are, you will still enjoy watching sports and they still won't once the I Do's are in place.

Now, as a married couple compromises generally take place on both sides. Using our prior example, let's say that as a single person you watched sports on television 4 days per week. Your spouse NEVER watched sports on television and enjoyed sitcoms instead. In your house, there will most likely need to be a level of compromise. A good example would be you changing to 2 days of sports on television a week and your spouse watching at least one of those days with you. Shared interests are important and although your personality will NEVER change, the situations in your life will.

Can you think of any area where you will NOT compromise and other areas where you are 100% willing to compromise?


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Talk it Out Tuesday 7/27/2010

Today I wanted to take a poll and I could really use your help. I want to know the following if you could email me at ericalewisms@hotmail.com or simply leave a comment after this post.

The questions are...

Imagine that you are looking for a therapist/counselor. I would like to know the following things from you if you indeed were looking for a therapist...

1. How would you find a therapist in your area? (would you go online, ask a friend, etc...)

2. What is most important to you when looking for a therapist?

3. What would make you feel comfortable in a therapist's office?

4. Would you use a therapist if you heard about them from your general doctor or a trusted professional?

5. Does a free consultation session appeal to you when trying out a therapist? (this is a 50 minute free consultation to meet the therapist and talk with them to see if it is a fit)

Thank you ahead of time for your input and I really appreciate it!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mental Health Monday 7/26/2010

Today I decided to put a video on of deep breathing because a lot of people do not know how to do it and it is so effective. I have started using it and fall asleep much faster and feel much less stressed. I have also included a link where you can purchase the cd that I use that was created for Christians and produced by my Boss and Friend Dr. Jennifer Fee, Psychologist!

To order a CD email drfee@visionquestpsychologicalservices.com or you can just email me if you want! :)



Here is how to start

Self Care Sunday 7/25/2010

Yoga: a start

If you have never tried Yoga, I highly recommend it. It relaxes me and has made my back a lot stronger and I don't hold as much tension. I have included an 8 minute video to try to see if Yoga is for you.


Relax and enjoy!