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As a mental health professional, I have worked with families, teens and young adults for almost a decade. One thing that I repeatedly see is the power struggle parents have with their children. More specifically, in regards to their mental health treatment. It’s common to have a parent call me to either get their child into the Adolescent IOP or into individual therapy to help their child who is maybe self-harming or struggling with suicidal thoughts and impulsivity only to have the kid refuse to go. I’ve seen parents back away from treatment at that point and not encourage their child to try therapy. Parents sometimes worry that their kid will “act out” or get “worse” if they are made to go to therapy. Kids have threatened their parents with their own repercussions if they are forced into therapy.

A quick, practical way to regain composure

This phrase is applicable on so many fronts. As a parent, when you watch your kids grow up or do things that you warned them about. As a pet owner, when your pet is sick and you can’t figure out what is wrong or stop it. As a boyfriend/girlfriend when the other breaks up with you. As a spouse when you are going through tough times (e.g. divorce, separation). When you lose a loved one. These are just a few examples of when things are out of your control, but you just cannot stop thinking about them.

I was recently asked this question by a client of mine. My answer was, “absolutely!” We’ve all experienced burnout from work, school, family and other stressors. Sometimes, we just need a break and there is nothing wrong with admitting that and taking ac-tion on it. If you work fulltime, you typically get sick time and vacation time but Ameri-cans are notorious for not using either. Based on recent statistics, Americans on average take 16.2 days of vacation a year. Back in 2000, we took on average 3 weeks of vacation ( Looking at sick time, studies show that 69% of Americans don’t take sick days ( Those are some eye opening numbers!

I had two deaths in my life within ten weeks. One was my friend since age 12, with many shared experiences, history and, common values, many laughs and tears were shared together. The other lived with us for almost 18 years and was never very far away, never the left the house overnight, and understood how to be a companion to myself and children whether we were sick or happy, or really down. One had fur. One did not. One death was very sudden with no hint it was coming. The other gave us a week of guessing, vet appointments and trying to do all the right things. They were both difficult and gut wrenching. Having two deaths in a short time is so difficult, I don't have words to describe it, heartbroken works, but only so much. I walked around literally feeling as if I was punched in the heart. Loss is so much more than words can describe.

Becoming More of a Positive Person

We often hear about how we need to engage in physical exercise in order to be healthy. There are many options for physical exercise. We can do aerobic exercise to increase breathing and heart rate; there are anaerobic options which strengthen muscles; flexibility exercises stretch muscles and help keep us limber; balance exercises are very important to prevent falls, especially as we age. All of these activities strengthen and reprogram specific parts of the brain. However, how often do we hear about the importance of reprogramming our brains from being a negative individual to being a positive person?

In our rapidly paced society where we are expected to be working, connected to others and responsive 24/7 we might not notice the effects situations are having on us. Stress can be beneficial to us in small doses, in that it assists us in completing tasks and be productive. However, intensity and frequency of stress can creep into our daily lives and have an impact on our mental health.

I'd like to talk about self-esteem.

  • How highly do you view yourself?
  • Do you love and respect yourself?
  • Do you feel confident in the choices that you make and the way that you live your life?

We all have a certain level of self-esteem. It often develops in childhood and can be changed as we grow and learn throughout life. In my work, I've recognized that low self-esteem often contributes to symptoms of depression and anxiety.

In honor of the recent Memorial Day holiday, I want to share about a special interest area of mine, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I often overhear comments, "All these guys claiming they have PTSD need to get over it,” "My dad served in [WWI, WWII, Korea] and he didn't have PTSD," “That guy’s a vet he’s probably dangerous,” "They just need to buck up."

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.