Thursday, February 27, 2014

A kid to a parent, back to the kid.

Being a helper can be one of the most rewarding jobs that life can offer. It can also be one of the most emotional, exasperating, and stressful positions that life can offer. The trick is to find the balance! Sometimes you run into clients that just do not work the way you want them to work! Yes, some of this population may be classified as teenagers. I too was one of those kids who did not want to work with anyone! The story continues on as 18 months have passed. I began working with this troubled teenager, and for the life of me could not get the walls to come down. This particular kid, has been in and out of therapy, life skills, and medication management. The first five months were taxing to say the least, on him, me and his family. Then I did something that I have done in the past, on few occasions. I began to work exclusively with the parents. First the Dad rejected the idea. I began to work with the Mom first. We did some amazing work for two months, then the Dad came around, and we had a positive month with him. Nine months of working with the family for family sessions something changed. The kid began to sit in on the family sessions. Not once, not twice, but every Saturday, the kid would rearrange his work schedule, and fun schedule to take part. On the 11th month, I began seeing the kid again. This unique helping relationship has transpired over the last 6 months now. When I began working with this family, the kid was a D student, told many untruths, and got in trouble with the courts. The parents and kid did not have a healthy relationship at the time. If I remember correctly, the kid would not eat with his parents, or go anywhere with his parents. Yesterday, I got word from the family he was accepted to college. This kid is going on a family visit to his college with his Mom and Dad! His grade point average is 3.0! He has been clean for five months now. The tear jerk er in this whole story, the kid and family at their church are leading a christian group for families who need support. When we started this program, the parents and the kid did not believe in a higher power. Today they have found their higher power, and are helping other families find their higher power! Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What to do when self is out of balance?

I get this question several times a week working with client sessions, family sessions, skype sessions, and group sessions. The other day I was talking to a crisis family where I go out of town and provide services. The family, like many families is working through some addiction behavior. Everyone appears to be out of balance. Remember, you do not have to struggle with addiction to be out of balance. Nor do you have to be in a family crisis dealing with addiction to be out of balance. We all can get out of balance with our negative thinking. Some of us may make poor decisions when we are out of balance. How do you recognize the signs or red flags when self is out of balance? The first thing I tell people is to put energy into the problem. Don't avoid the problem. When you are feeling out of balance, you become less focused on the core issue and can look for the easy way out, which can be not dealing with anything. I call this unmet need a pathway to negative energy that if not dealt with in a healthy behavior you become out of balance. Self is using all their energy on making impulsive, negative and sometimes addictive choices that do not solve the problem. You are out of balance. Then the lying behavior, takes over. This is a early stage when you need to identify that you are becoming out of balance. When you are lying the negative behavior continues day to day and hour to hour. This behavior causes stress, anxiety and slowly life becomes harder in everything. You stop taking care of self, and accomplishing your goals. Self-medicating behavior can be next. You are looking for a escape or trying to run away from your problems in your head. Everything appears to be out of balance in your life. You think you can achieve balance by using, drinking, gambling, purging and unhealthy sexual behavior. But as you know, that does not work either. Non-addicts begin to put all their energy into one thing, it may be a job, or relationship. The non-addict becomes out of balance when they stop doing the things that brought them fun and joy. They become obsessive or co-dependent with the one thing, job or relationship and stop working on them selves. They to are out of balance. I have found that both addicts and non-addicts are capable of getting out of balance. Self included. The formula for being in balance always starts with your line of thinking. Utilize your common sense. Self needs to let the negative thoughts go, and focus on the positive thoughts creating healthy balance. Then you are able to use the tools you have in understanding that your negative thinking can mess you up. Reflect on this negative thinking by journaling, exercising, talking with someone which allows self to balance their thoughts again. Once you begin to practice these simple skills, you will be able see how you can talk your self out of negative thinking and not making things bigger in your head. You are creating a healthy balance for you as you learn to stay present, in the moment! Slow your thoughts down, and understand that everything will be ok. You deserve balance, but you have to work your routine. It is amazing when one person in the family is balanced, that others begin to get balanced as positive energy appears. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.