Category Archives: Adult Counseling

Stress Management Starts with Tough Decisions

stress-management

Feel over-stressed, over-worked, and overwhelmed? You are not alone. In fact, a staggering 73% of adults in the U.S. experience psychological symptoms associated with stress (The American Institute of Stress). Whether your stress comes from work, finances, your relationship, your health, or any other source, there are options available to you. Let’s take a look at some stress management strategies, starting with tough-yet-necessary life decisions.

Let Go of Commitments You No Longer Have Time for

Stress management and time management often go hand-in-hand. If you feel stretched for time or sleep deprived, you may need to let go of certain commitments. That book club you once had time for may not suit your current schedule. The animal rescue organization you’ve helped for years may be too much responsibility for you to handle right now.

Even if you find joy in these activities, you may not have the time and energy for them that you once had. Letting go and freeing up more time for yourself will give you a chance to recharge. If your schedule frees up again, you can consider working them back in.

Evaluate Your Social Group

Stress is just as contagious as positivity. Is there someone in your life who constantly brings you down? If so, you may want to distance yourself from them. As much as you may want to support the other person, you have to think of what’s best for your mental health. If their negative energy is dragging you down, you need to do something to lift yourself back up.

Find a New Job or New Fulfillment in Your Current Job

In a stress report from the American Psychological Association, money and work are two of the most common sources of stress in America. If you feel overworked or underappreciated at your job, it may be time for a change. That could be a complete change of employers, or it could be a new development in your current job. Perhaps you could work in a different department or swift from day shift to night shift. Maybe you could learn a new skill that would lead to other career opportunities in the future. These moves are never easy, but they can make a big change in your stress levels.

Put Yourself First

Your stress may not entirely be your own. It may be a combination of stress from other people that you feel connected to or responsible for. The most important lesson in stress management is to put yourself first. When you are in a good place mentally and emotionally, you are better equipped to help others. Putting your needs on the backburner will only add to your stress.

If you want personalized stress management solutions, call Perspectives Counseling Centers to learn about our therapy programs. We offer depression counseling, anxiety counseling, family counseling, couples counseling, and other services across several therapist offices in Michigan. Contact the location nearest to you to get started.

 

Father Complex: The Psychology behind ‘Daddy Issues’

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‘Daddy issues’ is a phrase readily used in today’s society. It is often ascribed to women who date older men or struggle in some element of their relationships. But what are daddy issues, really? What is the psychology behind a father complex, and how can someone work through these emotions? Let’s take a closer look at the father complex and why it is so prevalent today.

What Is a Father Complex?

In psychology, ‘daddy issues’ are described as a ‘father complex.’ A father complex develops when a person has a poor relationship with his or her father. The need for approval, support, love and understanding progresses into adulthood, and it may result in bad decisions with relationships.

How ‘Father Complex’ Became ‘Daddy Issues’

Originally, the phrase father complex was used to describe a man who had a distrusting relationship with his father. As psychologists explored the complex further though, they assigned the term to both genders. Somewhere along the way, society colloquialized ‘father complex’ into ‘daddy issues’ and eventually attached the phrase only to women. In psychology, we still use father complex in reference to both genders.

Women AND Men Can Have Father Complexes

As the term ‘daddy issues’ gained popularity, it became almost exclusively associated with women. However, both men and women can experience father complexes. Men with father complexes tend to struggle with approval and self-worth, while women tend to yearn for protection and validation. With that in mind, every father complex is unique, and it can manifest in any number of ways. The experience is as complex as the name suggests.

Overcoming a Father Complex through Therapy

The best way to overcome a father complex is through therapy. A therapist can help you understand the root cause of your emotions and behaviors, then work with you to find personalized solutions for them. Therapy is an adaptive process that covers a wide range of topics: depression treatment, anxiety treatment, grief therapy, self-esteem building, stress management, anger management, and much more. Your therapist can help you bring closure to past experiences and alter your current thought patterns. In the end, you will understand your mind better, and you will feel more in control of your actions.

If you would like to schedule a confidential counseling appointment, call Perspectives Counseling Centers. We have specialists in nearly every area of mental health care, and we will match you with the best therapist for your specific needs.

Is It a Bad Idea to Make Friends at Work?

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If you spend 40 hours a week, 50+ weeks a year with the same group of people, you’re bound to form bonds. For some, work is the only time they get to socialize with people outside of their family. This poses an important question: is it OK to make friends at work? Let’s take a moment to decide the best path for your professional image.

Benefits of Making Friends at Work

Aside from convenience, there are benefits to making friends in the workplace. If you enjoy the people you work with, you’re more likely to enjoy work as a whole. A pleasant environment is a productive environment, so the whole company benefits from your positivity. Having work friends also gives you people to help cover you in case of an emergency. It’s a classic “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” situation.

Downsides of Making Friends at Work

Despite the benefits of making friends at work, there are some disadvantages to this setup. If one of you gets promoted, your past friendship may get in the way of your professional relationship. It may be hard for the lower-level employee to respect the other person’s newfound authority. Coworkers may accuse one of you of favoritism, which could create tension in the workplace.

Problems in your friendship may also bleed into your work life. For instance, let’s say you and your friend have a big fight over the weekend. Monday morning, you’re still furious at one another. You may not be able to put aside those feelings at work, which could lead to a series of repercussions.

Finding a Work-Life Balance That Fits Your Needs

There is no right or wrong answer. If you click well with someone from work, you may become good friends. If you don’t have work friends, you can still be pleasant with your coworkers to create a positive environment. Here are some tips to help you find a work/life balance, regardless of your situation:

  • Avoid conversations about work outside of work. This can quickly turn into work gossip, which will come back to hurt you later on. Keeping a separate work life and personal life will also keep your stress levels low because you are not constantly thinking of work after hours. Form friendships that don’t rely on work similarities.
  • Know when to say no. If you’re coworkers want to have a night out once a month, you might be able to fit that in your schedule. If they are asking you to come out every weekend, all weekend, that may cut into your family time. Set boundaries for your friendships so you can balance all aspects of your life.
  • Do not put yourself at risk to help others. This includes lying for a friend at work. If they ask you to cover a shift, you can do whatever fits your schedule. If they ask you to do something that will put your livelihood at jeopardy, they aren’t much of a friend anyway.
  • Do not talk about pay. Never discuss how much you make with a coworker, and never ask them how much they make. This can create tension and jealousy, and it’s an unprofessional act.
  • Do not talk about your relationship at work. Once again, this is unprofessional. It may also create issues for you if your supervisor finds out.
  • Be careful who you befriend. People tend to present the best versions of themselves at work, so you may not like some of your coworkers in the off-hours. Avoid spending time with people you cannot trust or do not have anything in common with.
  • Be supportive and get support in return. If you are going to be friends with a coworker, support their professional endeavors. If they get a promotion, congratulate them on that. In return, you should also be friends with people who support your career goals. If you feel a competitive tension with someone, that probably isn’t the best person to befriend.

How to Monitor Your Child’s Online Activity (Part 2)

online-activity

Continued from Part 1

Watch Your Child’s Social Media Activity

This is a topic that receives some controversy. Some parents believe it is important for children to have their privacy. This allows them to form independent opinions and feel a sense of responsibility. However, that privilege should only be available when a child is truly ready. It may take years of monitored social media activity for a child to understand the responsibility that comes with using the internet.

If your child has a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, know the login information. Have the accounts linked to your email address so you can get into them no matter what. Check your child’s messages and talk to them about any suspicious activity you notice. If your child has a phone, you may also need to do this with SnapChat and other communication apps.

Limit Your Child’s Time Online

It’s much easier to monitor your child’s online activity when it only occurs during a certain frame of time. You may let your child online for a short period of time after school or before bed, depending on how old he or she is. If your child as a cell phone, you may have him or her leave the phone with you overnight. You can also turn off the internet after a certain time period so you know your child is not online. Set guidelines that suit your family.

Lead by Example – Show Your Child What You Do Online (and When)

Show your child the right way to use the internet. Avoid being on your phone or tablet during family time. If you are online, let your child see what you are doing when possible. Children mimic what they see – the good and the bad. If you maintain a healthy relationship with the internet, your child is more likely to do the same.

Communicate as a Family

If you saw something funny online that’s kid-friendly, share it with your kids. Show them that you have nothing to hide about your time online. If they want to show you a video that they found entertaining, pay attention. This encourages your children to remain open about their online activity. If someone they do not know contacts them, they are more likely to tell you about it.

We encourage open communication for all family matters. If you need help building communication skills in your household, consider family counseling. Perspectives Counseling Centers offers family counseling in Michigan, with specialized counseling for teens, kids and adults. No matter what your family dynamic is, you can have a strong relationship with every family member. Call (248) 244-8644 to schedule an appointment with a family counselor near you.

 

How to Monitor Your Child’s Online Activity

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Children are born with technology at their fingertips. They learn how to use computers, smartphones and tablets at a very early age, preparing them for life in the modern world. This constant access to the internet comes with consequences though. Children may be exposed to inappropriate content or improper influences just by browsing online.

In this guide from Perspectives Counseling Centers, we’ll help you monitor your child’s online activity so you can ensure his or her safety.

Why It’s Important to Be Informed

The internet seems harmless at first glance, but even seemingly innocent platforms have dangerous information on them. For instance, there are many inappropriate YouTube videos that target children, even though they contain sexual and violent graphics. The titles and thumbnails look like kid-friendly content, but a closer look at the videos shows images you may not want your children to see.

Child predators often use social media platforms to talk to children. Websites that start out as innocent may have ads that lead children down a dangerous rabbit hole. Simply put, the internet gives your child access to a world of information he or she may not be old enough for. Parents have to take action to limit and control that access.

Use Parental Controls Where Applicable

One of the easiest ways to block children from inappropriate content is to use parental controls. You can use parental control apps and web browser extensions, or you could set parental controls within a website. For instance, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube have kids accounts that only feature child-friendly content. If your child is allowed to visit these websites, you can make sure he or she only navigates that section of the site. The types of parental controls you use will depend on the device your child uses and how he or she accesses the web.

Talk to Your Child about the Internet

Children must be taught to use the internet properly, just like they must be taught to read or put on clothes. If your child needs help researching for school or using the computer in some manner, do what you can to assist him or her. It is better for you to teach your child than for him or her to start looking around alone.

When you feel that your child is old enough, talk to him or her about predators and other dangers on the internet. This is just like preparing your child for peer pressure or bullying at school. You hope your child never faces those issues, but if so, it’s best to be informed.

Continue to Part 2

5 Reasons You Should Like Your Therapist

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Does it really matter what therapist I go to? Can I just see any therapist? The simple answer is no, you can’t. In order to have a good experience with therapy, you need to work with the right therapist. Here at Perspectives Counseling Centers, we believe it’s not only important to find a knowledgeable therapist. It’s also important to find a therapist you like.

Let’s take a look at why you should like your therapist.

You’ll Feel More Comfortable

Talking to your therapist should feel like a conversation with a friend. This is someone who will support you and guide you through your life transitions, not just a sounding board for you to talk to. If you feel comfortable in therapy, you’re more likely to open up. This is when the real progress is made. We want you to feel safe, comforted and respected during every therapy appointment so you can get the tools to improve your life.

It’s Easier to Build Trust

Trust is crucial in therapy. Your therapist should be someone you can tell your deepest secrets to because that is the source of your healing. All therapy appointments at Perspectives Counseling Centers are completely confidential, so you can speak out knowing that your privacy is protected. When you have a therapist you like and can trust, you feel safe talking in that confidential environment. It’s a winning situation all the way around.

You’ll Feel Understood

When you connect with your therapist, you feel more understood. It’s not just a person listening to you with a clipboard. It’s an active participant in your life. You should never feel ignored in therapy. It’s your therapist’s job to listen to your thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences to help you improve your quality of life. Working with a therapist you like ensures that you feel valued and heard.

You’ll Get More Accomplished

With all the factors above in mind, you will get more accomplished in therapy if you like your therapy. You can open up more and talk about issues you need to resolve. You will also be more likely to take your therapist’s advice if you trust what he or she has to say. You get the benefit of talking to a professional, but you will feel as comfortable as you would with a friend.

You Will Want to Continue Therapy

One of the biggest reasons people stop going to therapy is because they do not like their counselor. Not only is this a frustrating and discouraging experience, but it’s also a danger to your mental health. You looked for a therapist because you had an issue to resolve. Leaving early means leaving without that resolution. That’s why we take the time to match each patient with the best therapist for his or her needs. We want you to get the top-quality mental health care you deserve from your first appointment.

How to Get Matched with a Therapist You’ll Like

At Perspectives Counseling Centers in Michigan, we match each person with the best therapist for his or her needs. When you contact one of our counseling centers, we will ask some simple questions to determine which therapist is most qualified to assist you. For example, if you are looking for marriage counseling, we will pair you with a licensed marriage counselor. If you need divorce prevention services, we have specialists on hand for that.

No matter what your situation may be, we have a therapist who can help you. Give us a call at (248) 244-8644 to get matched with a therapist in Michigan.

Why You Shouldn’t Hold a Grudge | Adult Counseling in Plymouth, MI

hold a grudge

Forgiveness is hard to receive and even harder to give. No matter how you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to let go of anger. This is especially true after a major event of mistrust, like infidelity or a long-spanning lie.

Holding onto a grudge is not good for your mental or physical health. It affects your sleep, your thinking, your reasoning, and your productivity levels. Let’s look at some reasons why you shouldn’t hold a grudge and what you can do to move forward with your life.

You’re Hurting Yourself More Than the Other Person

The grudge hurts you much more than it hurts the other person. The recipient may not even realize you’re still angry with him or her. If you’re holding a grudge over someone you no longer talk to, you are the person most affected by it. They’ve moved on, and it’s time you do the same.

You cannot afford to rent space in your own head. In other words, you cannot let any person or situation take up valuable space in your mind. Let go of the grudge so you can make room for pleasant members in the future.

The Grudge May Impact Other Relationships in Your Life

Your anger may not be limited to the target recipient. In fact, there is a good change you will take your frustration out on someone you love. This may lead to more arguments in your life or decreased productivity at work. At that point, the grudge has taken control – you are no longer in charge of the situation. By letting go, you can reclaim the throne and remain in charge of your own happiness.

Finding Closure and Letting Go

Finding closure is not always easy. That’s why you have a grudge in the first place. It starts by making peace with the situation. Analyze what went wrong, what could have been done to change it (if anything), and what you can learn from the experience. Rise from the ashes by learning a life lesson about something you will or will not do in the future. Then acknowledge that there is nothing you can do to change the past, and commit to moving forward in your life.

The best way to work through these emotions is with a counselor or therapist. We have several counselors who specialize in adult counseling, depression counseling, trauma counseling, and more. Contact Perspectives Counseling Centers in Plymouth, MI to learn more about how you can benefit from adult counseling.

How to Date as a Single Parent | Adult Counseling Sterling Heights, MI

dating single parents

Dating is tricky for everyone, but it can be particularly challenging for single parents. Not only do you have to juggle a new relationship, but you have to worry about how your children will react along the way. At our adult counseling center in Sterling Heights, MI, we help people just like you find balance in their work and personal lives. Check out these dating tips for single parents so you can conquer the dating world with confidence.

Take Care of Yourself before Seeking Someone Else

Before you start dating, make sure you are content with who you are, what you want, and what you do not want for the future. Many adults jump into dating hoping to find their other half. In all reality, you should find someone who complements the whole person you already are. If you are dealing with low self-esteem or resentment from a previous relationship, work through those issues before you start dating. Our adult counseling services in Sterling Heights can help you do just that.

Avoid Dating Immediately after a Breakup

If you have just split from your former partner, wait a little while before you start dating again. This will give your children time to get used to you on your own, and it will be easier for them to see you dating in the future. If you bring a new person in the household right away, your child is naturally going to resent him or her. This sets a bad tone for the relationship from the start.

Be Transparent about Having Children

When you begin dating, be transparent about having children. The ideal partner will accept you and your children as a package deal. If you wait to tell that person about your children, you may find out that he or she has no desire to be a parent in the future. You’re not just looking for a partner. You’re looking for someone who could potentially help you raise your children down the road. You need to make sure whoever you’re dating is prepared for that responsibility.

Create Time for Dating, without Sacrificing Family Time

You deserve to have some time for yourself. There is nothing wrong with having a scheduled date night or finding spare time to spend with your significant other. The key is to balance dating time with work and family time. If your children visit their other parent every weekend, spend time with your boyfriend or girlfriend then. If you have a long lunch for work, you could set up lunch dates with your partner. When it comes to family time, give your children your undivided attention – no texting, no social media, and no phone calls. Otherwise, they may feel like your new partner is taking away from their quality time.

Plan Introductions Carefully

Eventually there will come a time when you introduce your significant other to your children. Approach this with caution. You may spend a few weeks getting your children excited about meeting your new friend. You should also talk to your children about fears they may have about you dating. Explain to them that this person is not going to take you away or replace their other parent.

This is a topic you may want to discuss in family counseling. The counselor can help you explain matters in a way that your child will understand, hopefully creating a pleasant environment for the actual introduction.

If you’re a single parent in Sterling Heights, MI looking for someone to talk to, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers. We have many adult counselors who specialize in dating, parenting, self-esteem building, stress reduction and much more. Get matched with the best counselor for your unique needs.

When Should My Kids Meet My Boyfriend? Parent Counseling in Michigan

kids meet boyfriend

You’re in a new relationship and you feel a real connection with the person. You enjoy each other’s company and see a potential for true love in the future. There’s just one catch – you’re a single mom.

As a dating parent, it can be difficult to find the right time to introduce your boyfriend to your children. This guide is dedicated to dating single moms trying to do what’s best for their families.

There Is No “Right” Time

Before we assess different scenarios, we need to make something perfectly clear. There is no right time to introduce your partner to your children. Your unique situation will dictate the appropriate time for your family. This includes your child’s age, your past relationship history, your maturity level, your child’s maturity level, and much more. If you’re looking for a specific timeframe, you’re not going to find it here. Rather, we will explore how you can assess your situation to come up with the best time for your specific needs.

Do Not Introduce Your Children until You Have Commitment

Ideally, you should wait to introduce your boyfriend when he actually holds the title “boyfriend.” However, we realize that labels aren’t always common in today’s society. That’s why we clarified the need for commitment. If you are in a committed, monogamous relationship, you have both agreed that there is some sort of chemistry between you. If you’re still in the fleeting stages of dating, you do not want to get your children involved. They may become attached to someone that is only in your life for a moment. Then they will face disappointment when that person is no longer around.

If you are not using labels for your relationship, you still need to wait until you are in an exclusive relationship.

Wait until You Feel Confident in the Relationship

If you’re still hesitant about the long-term potential of your relationship, it’s not appropriate to involve your children. They will feel your hesitation, and they may alter your decisions in the future. You may stay in a relationship you are not happy with because your child likes your partner. You may also feel the need to get out of a good relationship because your child is not happy with the situation. Wait until you are completely sure of the relationship before introducing your children.

Use Your Relationship History as a Guideline

Do you have a history of breaking up after a few weeks? Or perhaps your cycle is to date for three months, find something wrong, and then break up. Whether you want to admit it or not, you have some sort of dating history. Use this as a guide for when you should introduce your boyfriend to your children. If you’ve made it past the three month breakup zone and you’re still happy, that’s a good sign this one is here to stay. There is less risk introducing your children at that time.

Ask Your Counselor about the Introduction

If you are seeing a counselor or therapist, talk to him about your new relationship. If you feel like it’s time to complete the introduction, your counselor can tell you how to go about this process. There is no way to predict your children’s reaction, but this will give you the best chance at success. Your counselor will also let you know if it is too soon to do this introduction, so you can pull back if necessary.

For more advice for single moms, contact our parent counseling centers in Michigan. We have multiple locations in Metro Detroit, MI, and we work with single parents of all ages.

Cultivating An Attitude Of Gratitude | Adult Counseling In Metro Detroit, MI

become grateful

Gratitude is a positive personality trait that some people have naturally.  It has been shown to be one of the personality traits the people that are the most content with their lives have.  The good news for those people that do not have it naturally is that it can be learned. Listed below are some helpful and effective ways to become more grateful.

Keep A Gratitude Journal

Increasing our propensity for gratitude is one of the easiest things to do to change our level of happiness.  One way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal.  Keeping a gratitude journal consists of writing down nightly the three to five things that you were grateful for that day. It is best if the things are unique to that day and were unexpected.  There are several reasons that this is helpful.  Knowing that you are going to have to write down positive things that happened to you helps you to focus on the positive.  It will help you enjoy small things that happen in your day that make you smile because you will try to keep it in your memory to write it down later.  Then at the end of the day when you remember it later you will enjoy those same good feelings.  If you hear your favorite song on the radio, or run into an old friend, that memory will cause the chemicals in your brain to change and creates a positive mood.

Do Not Define A “Bad Day” By One Negative Experience

Often people who are unhappy see their day as being all bad or all good.  This is called Black and White Thinking.  So if one bad thing happens in the day, the day is bad.  Since most days are mixed with good and bad, for these people most of their days appear to be bad.  A change in perspective by noticing and acknowledging the good things that happen during the day help these people see that good things are happening too.  The change in focus leads to a change in perception.

Acknowledge The Positive Amidst The Negative

What if there are some difficult things that are happening in your life, like a job loss or a cancer diagnosis?  How do you focus on the positive things that are going on and can they help you?

Recognizing the positive things can definitely help you.  We often move, learn and grow in times of difficulty.  A job loss leads to a new job or career opportunity that you wouldn’t have had if you weren’t unemployed.  A cancer diagnosis taught you to have better balance in your life, make time for the important things, not to sweat the small stuff, increased your faith, helped you to understand how many friends you had and how much you are loved.  In difficult times there are things to be thankful for and acknowledging those things will help you get through the hard times.  Acknowledging the opportunity to grow and learn can also help you get through those times of difficulty.

Practicing gratitude in good times helps you to continue to be grateful during difficult times.  The ritual of doing a gratitude journal everyday no matter how the day has turned out helps you stay focused on the positive.