Friday, December 29, 2017
Imagine yourself in a third world country. Close your eyes, right now. Now open them and focus on this story. You have no cell phone, computer, or television. You have no car, only your feet for transportation. The scenery that you are currently looking at is dirt ground, spacious land without buildings, and miles of dirt. If you look closely you will see animals of all kinds. Some may be dangerous, others looking for food. It is time for you to go to work. You walk a few miles on more dirt paths. The job you work is in a small village where you sell food, but you are hungry. There are acquaintances from other villages that may have different jobs, they to are hungry. The work day is over, and it is time to go to school for a few hours. You get to eat, and may be able to play soccer before the sun sets. Night has come, and you lay awake in your cot, in your small hut, with your family in the next room. At 14, this is your life. Living in a third world country. This is a true story from a now 21 year old who is attending the University of Minnesota that I met a week ago. Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Board games with families can be a positive and joyful time. As a helper, I am very fortunate to meet all different kinds of families all over the United States and across the seas. Over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing all types of different board games in the kitchen area with each family. I can remember years ago when I first started this mental health company the interesting games we have played. Playing board games can be a super positive approach in integrating family dynamics. For instance, I think developing healthy interpersonal relationships with each person in the family, of the person I am working with can be a positive. Holidays can be difficult for some, and family time is a great way of keeping the positive energy and Xmas spirit flowing into the upcoming year. This particular family is a special family. There is joy, support, and positive energy flowing from one person to the next person in their family. I honestly thought I was privy to most board games and understood the premise of each. For those who know me, I am very competitive in almost everything I do, ok, everything I do! Sometimes I meet a client who is also very competitive, and their family is very competitive! Bonus right? This client is not a addict. She is learning how to work our model while getting life skills and how to stay in the moment. There is only one problem, I can't remember the game we just played! The game was filled with laughter, jokes, and above else, healthy family time. The funny thing about this story, (ok to share) the family did remind me I would forget the name of game! Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun
One of the many things that Addiction Services implements with clients that most other helping agencies do not do is exercise sessions. As many of you ascertain, addict or not, exercise is a great way for the mind to let all of the negative energy out, (racing thoughts) and create new, positive energy while having fun! Racquetball is one of this helpers favorite exercise sessions to do with clients. Teaching the game of racquetball to clients can be filled with a intense work out. Last weekend, my client and I were ready to start our session with racquetball. We found our regular table, and began to gear up. She put her racquetball glove on, and I put my glove on. She had her racquet in her hand, I had my racquet in my hand. However, we forgot to do one basic thing. Get up from our chairs and walk three feet into the racquetball court? This was strange I thought in the back of my old mind, or was it? No, it was incredibly therapeutic, because my client and I were engaged in positive, deep, working through life's challenges sitting three feet from the court, with all of our gear on. Now 15 minuets passed, and I looked at her, and she still had her glove on, racquet in hand, and was actually motioning with it, as she talked. Then, I caught myself motioning back at her as I listened to her, and offered some comments on our subject. Thirty minuets into our sitting in the chairs, three feet from the court we began to laugh. Neither one of us was going to get up! The conversation continued, and there went and hour. The best racquetball game I remember without playing racquetball. Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun
Monday, November 6, 2017
I am asking for many patience blogger world! It has been for to long before my last blog here on this positive energy helping page. I was talking to a client in Chicago the other night via skype. Then, I ended up talking to three of his family members unexpectedly. The skype came to conclusion, and it was time for me to do my dreaded notes, (I really don't pine for the note taking each night, but I do enjoy reflecting about each client and their families) something I wish I could push a button and be done. Meeting these new people in my skype was quite interesting. Then I began to think about how I have met more new people and their families over the last decade of being a helper. My mind began to reflect again. I can remember all of the faces and each story they present. Meeting people is what my job is all about. Listening to each family, and learning how special each person can be in their family is one of my favorite aspects of being a helper. Respectfully, I am trying to do my note on this Chicago family, and find myself smiling thinking about my last family session over lunch this last weekend. Stay focused, I am telling myself, right? Meeting new people can be a boost of energy for a overworked helper. I systematically begin to finish my current note, staying in the moment and on track with my thoughts. The note is complete, the Chicago family of my client is in perfect, grammar form! It appears late, and time to wrap things up with my paperwork. I'm about to sign off, and I decide in my thoughts (remember I reflect and journal each night to clients) that I will blog on meeting new people in the morning. Stay in your health, stay in the moment. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Working with people who struggle with eating disorders can be a challenging task. This story is about a young man who I was helping, mentoring, and adding life skills along the way. He gave this writer permission to share a glimpse of his world with other teenagers who may be suffering from a eating disorder and anxiety. I met him through a referral from a church youth group pastor. The first day I went to his house and visited with his parents. As I was sitting down at the table, I remember seeing a white, iron scale that was in the middle of the table. Then I recall, several note cards with dates and pencil sketched numbers. The young man came into kitchen where we were meeting. He was cold, defiant, and told me, "to get the fuck out of here". I looked at his parents, who were both scrambling for words, and trying to apologize as they were talking over each other. The young man then abruptly sat down at the table. I looked at him, he gave me the deep, dark, stare. Staying in my health, I decided to ask about the elephant in the room, the scale. He then jumped up, and pointed to his stomach, and lifted his shirt up. I could visibly see his pants were almost falling off, and he was frail. At this point, his mother was crying, his father was yelling something, I to this date can't remember the exact details. I then asked if I could open the deck screen door, and gently picked up the scale, and launched it to the back yard. (I honestly did not realize I threw it that far) The teen then started to laugh, and his mother started to laugh. The father was looking like who is this mental health professional in my house- did I get the wrong guy? Scales are only measuring tools for one's weight, right? We need to utilize this tool when we are in a hospital, clinic, or another helping setting. I decided not to make the negative energy about the scale, and the fact that this teen was not eating, and in desperate stages of hospital care- which can be a very good thing, if the client was motivated. The problem, he was not at this positive energy transition in his life. Over the next three weeks, I gleaned first hand how this teen was bullied beyond belief growing up. It was the fifth session that we had a break through, no I did not throw another scale out the back yard! We began to look at the body as a blank CD, and decided we would use his body, and make up songs that he believed were flaws on his body-hence he did not want to eat- but more importantly wanted to loose weight, because of the bullying. Five songs were created, and then the next session, two more songs, or actually lyrics. The next month, he decided to take a music class at the high school. We had to finagle our way into the class, but the school was willing to give him a opportunity. I think it may have helped that I agreed to give a talk to their health class to on addiction education! Over the next few weeks, the family began to see a different kid. I was very eager to see if he was gaining weight, it looked like he was eating again, and he did not purge to my knowledge. He turned 17 last month. I took him to our favorite spot to get milk shakes and play cards. Then something amazing happened. We walked through the mall, and I could see him drift off to Macys. The next thing I know, he wanted to look in the mirror at HIMSELF while trying on a shirt. I grabbed that shirt out of his hand so quickly he said, paid for it right there. He smiled, I was tearing up, but holding it in. Then as we walked out, there was a scale section. "Watch this he said," got up, on, 138 pounds he murmured. I'm going in my own thoughts, this is good right. Gained 9 pounds. Self-Balance-Higher Power-Fun
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Our college mentoring program is one that allows the family to take part in when visiting a prospective college with the future college student. Last week, this writer had the opportunity to head to the mountains of Georgia and visit a beautiful college. Over the last few years I have visited thirty plus colleges with families and my clients all over the USA. Watching a teenager experience what the college tour is all about is amazing. Watching her mom, watch her daughter experience the college visit, is mesmerizing. Parents work very hard to mentor, coach, parent and help provide the vision for their child to go to college. In our program, we assist the family, and help navigate the prospective college student with life skills to achieve a positive educational platform that makes it possible to go to college. As we are walking with the tour group with other students and their families I begin to notice a focus with this teenager. She appears attentive, eager, excited and driven. Then I look back at her mom, and I see the same passion in her. Each building we tour, each panoramic view there seems to be positive energy cloud following us, or a higher power. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.
It was a balmy Saturday, in January across the mighty Mississippi river in Wisconsin. A family session was about to begin. I began to take out my yellow memo pad (many of my teenage clients have jokes about this) and start our session. I begin to start with our goal progress when my teenage client throws, yes throws a old, leather, photo album on to my lap. Her mother started laughing, and I could here her brother in the background going, "oh no not this...". Well, this writer is a sucker for pictures as many of you know reading this positive energy blog. I put my trusty, yellow memo pad down and begin to turn the pages. At that second, literally, I was surrounded by two teenagers on each side of me on the couch, a cat on my shoulder, and their mother at our feet on the carpet helping me turn the photo pages slowly, making sure that their was a story for each photo. Now, how long do you thing this lasted? Two hours later we turned the last page of photos. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.