Category Archives: Blog

Barbie: An Unexpected Spokesperson for Children’s Mental Health

barbie-mental-health

Barbie once represented the “perfect” female figure, with unrealistic body proportions that made young girls hate what they saw in the mirror. Over the last decade though, Mattel has completely transformed Barbie’s image to showcase beauty in all shapes and sizes. They came out with a line of curvy Barbie dolls, and they have striven to make Barbie an all-inclusive brand.

Now Barbie has taken on a new role as a spokesperson for children’s mental health. The Barbie YouTube channel, which has nearly 5 million subscribers, includes an array of videos that discuss depression, anger, low self-esteem, and more. Children and parents alike are starting to take notice of the subtle words of wisdom embedded into Barbie’s videos, and the mental healthcare community is fully here to support it.

Life Lessons from Barbie’s Vlog Channel

Barbie’s vlogs are designed to look like an actual person talking to a camera. It’s a format that children expect from their favorite YouTubers, like they’re having a conversation with a friend. While many of these videos are lighthearted, some talk about important mental health issues that people face at every age. Some examples include:

  • Sorry Reflex: Barbie talks about how people, particularly girls, often apologize for matters that aren’t their fault. She explains how to reframe “sorry” as “thank you,” helping empower young women in their daily lives.
  • Feeling Blue? You’re not alone: Barbie discusses how she feels sad at times for no apparent reason, and that everyone experiences that in some way. She then goes on to describe some ways she relieves sadness, such as journaling, meditation, and talking to other people – tasks we often discuss in depression counseling. She also explains that it is okay to feel sad, and that it’s nothing to feel guilty about.
  • Power and Empowerment: This vlog is all about “going high when they go low.” Barbie tells a story about her sister getting picked on in class. When she ignored the bully, the bullying stopped. But when the bully gets cast aside by her peers, the sister decides to befriend her, rather than joining the crowd. She encourages viewers to spread positivity and empowerment, even when it does not seem like the easy thing to do.
  • I’m So Cranky: Barbie explains that she’s having a “cranky day” because she didn’t get much sleep last night. Then she talks about ways to get through this type of day, including breathing exercises, listening to music, and some self-reassurance.
  • The Empathy Challenge: This video is mainly a baby food taste test, but at the end, Barbie challenges her viewers to think before they get angry. “Think about how they’re feeling…Put yourself in their shoes.”

Even in a vlog that’s silly in nature, Barbie incorporates small mental health tips for her viewers. Mattel is using their platform to help people of all ages feel better about themselves and their circumstances.

It’s Not Just for Young Girls – It’s for Everyone

Perhaps the best part of Barbie’s vlog channel is that the lessons within apply to everyone. We all have days where we feel sad, cranky, guilty, etc., and we all have our own coping mechanisms for those experiences. Barbie helps young girls feel like they aren’t alone, and adults resonate with the positive encouragement within the videos. There is something in the videos for everybody.

Other Ways to Help a Child’s Mental Health

If your child is struggling in school, being bullied, feeling down about their body, or simply unhappy with life at the moment, there are solutions available. Child counseling is a personalized experience where a professional child works with your child one-on-one. In this process, your child can overcome challenges and learn how to cope with different emotions he or she may be facing. You can also learn how to communicate effectively with your child and resolve conflicts within the family.

If you are interested in child counseling in Michigan, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers. We have several locations to assist you, and we will match you with the best therapist for your needs.

Back To School

Back to school

As families are preparing to go back to school, we should remember the children and adolescents that live with mental health conditions. As a community, we may expect all children and adolescents to be excited about going back to school. However; for a growing number of children and adolescents; going back to school increases stress and anxiety exasperating mental health conditions.

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (2018), 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have a mental health disorder. In layman terms, approximately 20% of students going back to school live with a mental health condition. Let us learn how to be sensitive to all students who are preparing for a new academic year.

In this guide from Perspectives Counseling Centers, we’ll provide helpful tips on how to navigate the conversation of “going back to school” with all children and adolescents.

BE PRESENT & LISTEN

Don’t assume every child or adolescent is happy about going back to school. Ask thoughtful questions and listen to their response. Staying present with what the child or adolescent says, and feels is most important.

Although tempting, do not give advice. Every person in the world desires to be heard and belong. Unnecessary feedback (advice) will move you further away from the goal. Listen to the child or adolescent. This will build trust and allow them to feel safe in your presence.

BE SUPPORTIVE

One of the best questions to ask is, “What do you need”? Providing appropriate support will allow the child or adolescent to know that they don’t have to walk through this alone. Living in a western society, individual accomplishment is celebrated. However; when we give children and adolescents permission to ask for help; we validate and support collective accomplishment.

BE TRANSPARENT

Be open to the conversation. Most people have at least one “horror” story about going back to school. Whether it was the year you received the “notorious” evil teacher, the year your mom and dad couldn’t afford the latest jean trend, or when you went through your “awkward” phase. Sharing stories normalizes experiences and provides children & adolescents hope for the future.

BE WISE

Mental health is complex; know your limits. If you suspect a child or adolescent may need professional mental health, refer.

Perspectives Counseling Centers is one of Metro Detroit’s largest, oldest and most experienced counseling centers which now has 5 locations to include: Clarkston, Novi, Plymouth, Sterling Heights and Troy.  With well over 40 Michigan therapists, counselors and on-staff psychiatrists; there is certain to be a mental health practitioner to meet the child’s or adolescent’s mental health needs.  To schedule an appointment or for more information call (248) 244-8644.

MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY

To effectively address youth mental health, it is essential that Mental Health Literacy becomes a focus of mental health interventions for young people.

Igniting Mental Presence and Cognitive Toughness (I.M.P.A.C.T.) is a research based; theory driven mental health literacy program developed by Perspectives Counseling Centers, Oakland Psychological and Heron Ridge Associates to assist schools and communities decrease mental health stigma and increase help-seeking behavior. The goal is to improve mental health awareness and enhance overall health and safety for children and adolescents.

To become a pilot school, a community partner or learn more; contact Olivia Dixon, MA, LLPC, Mental Health Awareness Liaison at (248) 244-8644 ext. 159, Olivia.Dixon@perspectivesoftroy.com, and/or https://perspectivesoftroy.com.

NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

Although changing, mental health is still a stigmatized taboo topic in many of our communities. The more we support mental health, we teach children and adolescents that all people matter. Consider supporting one of the upcoming national initiatives that brings awareness, love and encouragement to those living with mental health conditions.

  • National Suicide Prevention Week: Sunday, September 9th – Saturday, September 15th
  • World Day of Bullying Prevention: Monday, October 1, 2018
  • National Bullying Prevention Month: October 2018

Is It a Bad Idea to Make Friends at Work?

make-friends-at-work

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.

Ten Practices for Authentic Living

Be Authentic

Love and belonging gives purpose to our lives. We often engage in fear based behaviors to “try to fit in” or try to protect ourselves from losing the potential of love and belonging, but these behaviors end up separating us even more from feeling fulfilled, living loved, and connecting to others. Ultimately, some of the behaviors we engage in end up doing the exact opposite of our intention and we end up feeling lonely and disconnected from ourselves and others. We end up living lives that lack authenticity.

Brené Brown, a qualitative researcher who extensively studied shame, vulnerability, courage, and empathy has written and spoken on these topics extensively. In some of her works, but more specifically “The Gifts of Imperfection” (2010), she wrote about some of the shared characteristics of people who live wholeheartedly. Below is a list of practices to incorporate in daily living in order to enhance your life. Practicing the tenets below can be scary as it would mean leaning into the “scarier,” “less comfortable” emotions of vulnerability, fear and shame. But, by leaning in, we can live more fully and have the rewards of courage, compassion, connection and authenticity.

  1. Let go of what people think and practice being authentic

Talk about a scary undertaking! We fear judgments and potential reactions/consequences and so we end up catering to what we think people think. If our actions are not aligned with our values or what we really think, we end up feeling a sense of dissonance within ourselves and often feel fraudulent and a lack of connectivity–a sense of “not belonging”. It actually places distance between us and the person of whom we are trying to obtain the approval. This is a practice of honesty with ourselves and others-a practice in integrity. This doesn’t mean we don’t regard others or respect others, we still live among others, but it does mean working towards respecting ourselves. And when we respect ourselves we end up being able to respect others too.

  1. Let go of perfectionism and show yourself some compassion

Similar to the first guidepost, this is a practice in being authentic and allowing yourself to be human. When was the last time you met someone that hasn’t made a mistake? I’m sure that you’ve met people that have tried to not make any mistakes and perhaps have gotten upset from making a mistake (not many people enjoy making them), but there are zero people that have been 100% mistake free. ZERO. Setting a bar for perfection will lead to disappointment, anger, and a fear filled life. The saying “practice makes perfect” has been drilled in our heads, but in reality, practice makes more natural, not perfect. It is a disservice to ourselves and others to expect perfection. The antidote? Compassion towards self and others.  Perfection separates us from others while compassion connects us to others and ourselves. Being gentle and compassionate towards yourself is brave and at times difficult. When we’re able to be kind to ourselves in the midst of shame (or disappointment with self/experience), we’re more likely to reach out and be connected. It allows us to not feel alone because truly we are not alone.

  1. Let go of self-numbing and powerlessness to build resiliency

People often think of numbing as alcohol or drug related, but really, numbing can take so many different forms that it would be difficult to list it all here. Numbing is pretty much any time that we engage in things/activities that distance us from feeling our emotions and from vulnerability. So, sometimes even seemingly positive things (i.e. “staying busy”-through work, chores, errands) can be considered numbing activities. The issue with numbing is that it not only numbs us from uncomfortable feelings, but it also numbs us from love, creativity, belonging, and empathy.  It puts us in a more powerless position and our ability to work through whatever the issue is negatively impacted. So, if you find yourself engaging in some activities repeatedly, a good question to ask might be “Am I distracting myself from something or am I avoiding something uncomfortable?”.

  1. Practice gratitude

This is more than just having “an attitude of gratitude”, it’s actually being intentional in the practice of gratitude. It’s a practice in focusing on the “haves”, not the “have nots”. It’s not dismissing what the struggles in your life are (there is benefit to being honest with limitations), but often times when we focus on what is going “wrong” in life, we have a very difficult time accepting anything that is going “well”. Make it a daily practice and see how life can transform. Be mindful of the small things. Research shows us that those who are actively practicing gratitude have more joy in their lives. Not happiness—that fleeting feeling that is often based on external circumstances, but joy. “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” (Melody Beattie). Gratitude allows room for growth and builds resiliency.

  1. Let go of the need for certainty and trust faith and intuition

Another scary sounding one! We humans seem to be terrified of uncertainty. We want to know things and feel unsettled, antsy, and perhaps even anxious when we have to wait on something or don’t know what’s going on.  This is about letting go of things outside of our control. It’s also about being attuned to our intuition.  Dr. Brown defines that “intuition is not a single way of knowing—it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty, and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason” (Brown, 2010, p 88) . At times, we’ve neglected or pushed down our intuition and so it may take some practice to realign ourselves with it, but it is worth it. Other times we confuse intuition with fear and then emotionally reason one way or another and get ourselves into trouble. Using your intuition doesn’t just mean letting feelings rule—it’s a skill that incorporates feeling AND reason AND experience, it incorporates multiple factors. There are times when we absolutely cannot have one hundred percent certainty about a situation and being able to let go of the worries associated with not knowing can be so freeing.  Try it with small things and see how life can change!

  1. Let go of comparisons and practice creativity

When we compare ourselves, we actually limit our ability to be ourselves and limit our ability to grow within our strengths. We often try to be like others and others may be completely different than us (different strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, circumstances, etc.). Whoever said “Comparison is the thief of joy” (Theodore Roosevelt, I think), seems to have made an astute observation.  We often tend to compare down from others (how we are deficient in some way) and it puts us in a losing fight. Because we are NOT the people we are comparing ourselves to, we can once again set ourselves up for disappointment. Even though we share similarities with others, we are unique and comparing ourselves to others often impacts our ability to allow for our own specialness to be present. We are all creative beings. Not everyone’s creativity looks the same, but there are no uncreative people, just people who have stifled down or not used their creativity. So, go out and explore what creativity looks like for you, you may surprise yourself!

  1. Practice engaging in play and rest—let go of having your self-worth be dependent on productivity

This is different than numbing! This is being mindful about engaging in “fun” activities and “rest” activities. It has a purpose and that purpose is not to numb. In the U.S. “staying busy” and “productive” has become almost a status symbol and anything else can be viewed as “wasting time”. At times, we get so ‘busy’ with the responsibilities of life that we even put sleep on the backburner—an essential ‘rest’ component that helps restoration of our mind and body. Play helps us connect with others and it helps release “feel good” hormones in your brain including endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. These hormones are the key to mental health benefits including reduced stress and improved mood.

  1. Practice calm and stillness

In a world full of chaos, it is imperative to take some mental “down time”. This doesn’t mean sitting in a room being bored to tears. Boredom is not peaceful or calming and often times it can lead to feelings of restlessness.  Dr. Brown defines what calm and stillness look like. Calmness is about “creating perspective and mindfulness, while managing emotional reactivity” (p. 106). In a sense it’s being able to take an observer approach to situations—rather than being engulfed and potentially overwhelmed by the different variables, it’s the ability to step back and look at what’s going on more clearly. Stillness “is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally chatter-free space allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question” (p. 108). So, practicing calm and stillness is about creating space, or a clearing to look at things without reacting to things.

  1. Practice meaningful work

This tenet encourages us to utilize our gifts and talents. Sometimes we end up stifling our gifts/strengths/qualities/etc. because of what we “should be”/”ought to be”/”have to be” doing.  It’s not telling us to not be responsible, but it is telling us to also be responsible with the gifts and talents that we do have. If this means that you have a job where your gifts can’t be utilized, then use the gifts after work. To help explore what can feel like meaningful ‘work’, ask yourself the questions “What are my gifts and talents” (sometimes we need to dig a little because we’ve covered them up with the “have tos” of life), “What am I passionate about?” “What could I spend my time doing if I didn’t get paid?”. Take the time to explore what makes you feel “alive”. Again, this is not to escape from uncomfortable feelings, but rather to live life more fully.

  1. Engage in laughter through silliness

This is another guidepost that encourages us to let go of control. It’s giving ourselves permission to laugh as hard as we can, to sing, to dance and move, to allow ourselves to be silly. It’s once again encouraging us to be human and not be this shell that we show the world and kill our spirit in the process. It encourages us to be free. And freedom to be yourself (even when there are consequences) is a freedom that only you can set into motion.

There is risk in practicing these tenets and at times life can feel more turbulent as others may not always respond in the way we’d like them to, often times because they may not understand. But, practice makes natural and over time these turbulent times become moments of growth and moments that lead to a more fulfilled life—it also allows us to feel a sense of belonging even when we don’t fit in. In the meantime, to help you navigate the ins and outs of these practices and to assist you with areas of life that have been more difficult, we have skilled clinicians that are willing and prepared to help you along this part of the journey. At Perspectives, You need not walk alone, and we are here to help you maneuver through the difficulties of life.

Resources:

Brown, B. (2017): Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. Description & contents.

Brown, B. (2015): Rising Strong: The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution.

Brown, B. (2012): Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. New York City, NY: Gotham

****Brown, B. (2010): The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Center City, MN: Hazelden.[12]***

Brown, B. (2007): I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power. New York:Penguin/Gotham.[19]

Talks:
TEDxHouston 2010: “The Power of Vulnerability”, June 2010

“The Power of Vulnerability” — Brown’s talk at the Royal Society of Arts (2013)

by Georgiana DesRosiers, MA, LPC

Can’t Sleep? Try These 5 Tricks

sleep-tricks

A good night sleep can turn a mediocre day into an amazing one. Your brain relies on that sleep time to sort through thoughts and emotions you may not have had time to process in the day. Less sleep means less processing time, which can lead to an assortment of mental health issues.

Since sleep is a fundamental part of depression treatment, we’ve come up with five tricks you can use to improve your sleeping experience. Check out these sleep tips, courtesy of Perspectives Counseling Centers.

Go to Bed and Wake up at the Same Time

Your body thrives in habits. That’s why people are often more productive when they have a consistent work schedule. If you are able to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day, go for it. Your body will get used to the routine, and you will find yourself falling to sleep faster at night.

Of course, this is not an option for everyone, particularly workers who switch from day shift to night shift. If you’re in that situation, try to maintain as consistent of a routine as possible. Follow the same steps before bed, whether it’s day or night. Shower, read a book, go to sleep. Watch TV for an hour, listen to soothing music for 30 minutes, go to sleep. Find the routine that works best for you.

Replace Caffeine with Water

No caffeine? What?! It may not sound like a pleasant option, but caffeine strongly affects your sleeping patterns. If you need a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, that’s fine. However, if you’re drinking coffee and energy drinks all day long, you are blocking your body’s natural ability to produce energy. Your body gets lazy because it knows you’re going to pump it full of extra caffeine. Substitute the caffeine with water, and you will develop natural energy over time.

Note that you may experience withdrawals for the first few days. Some people have to gradually wean themselves off caffeine, depending on their daily intake. Fight through the fatigue during the adjustment period, and you will see a noticeable change in your energy levels over time.

Avoid Your Phone for at Least 30 Minutes before Bed

Are you one of those people who spends the last hour of the night scrolling through social media? There is nothing wrong with a little time online, but it’s best to plan that earlier in the day. The light from your phone and the mental stimulation of social media makes it difficult for your brain to shut off at night. That’s why you may toss and turn for the first hour of sleep, because your brain is still trying to wind down. Cut off your phone time so your body can get the rest it needs.

Don’t Make Sleeping a Chore

For some, going to sleep is a stressful experience. They worry that they won’t get enough sleep at night, and that stress makes it difficult to fall asleep. Instead of feeling like you need to get X hours of sleep, just focus on resting. Even if you lay in bed for hours, your body is doing minimal work. This frees up brainpower so your mind can still tackle some of the tasks it needs to complete while you sleep.

Keep Naps Short and Sweet

If you need a power nap during the day, sleep for 20-40 minutes. This will give you the same energy boost as a cup of coffee, but it won’t leave you feeling groggy when you wake up. Long naps that are 1+ hours can disrupt your sleeping patterns, leaving you more fatigued the following day. If you keep the right balance though, power naps are a great alternative to caffeinated beverages.

Follow these simple sleeping techniques from Perspectives Counseling Centers, and you’ll soon feel well rested and ready to take on the world.

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

child-online-activity

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

Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem after an Abusive Relationship

rebuild-self-esteem

Congratulations, you’ve made it out of an abusive relationship. You’ve overcome the biggest obstacle, and now you can enjoy a better quality of life. Part of this next chapter is rebuilding your self-esteem, because chances are you’re not feeling too confident right now. No worries though. The counselors and therapists at Perspectives Counseling Centers are here to help.

Check out this guide to boost your confidence after an abusive relationship.

Find a Therapist near You

Working with a therapist can significantly speed up your progress. We’re not just saying that because we have counseling centers in Michigan. Therapists have years of specialized training to help people get through major life transitions. You’re going through one right now. A therapist can show you confidence boosting strategies that are tailored to your personality and lifestyle.

Your therapist can also help you see past experiences in a new light. Years of belittling and brainwashing may have altered your view of yourself and life as a whole. You can retrain your mind to recognize your positive features and eliminate negative thoughts. Find a trusted therapist near you with experience in self-esteem building, and you’ll be on the fast-track to confidence.

Discover Your Likes and Passions

You may have lost sight of your personal passions in the relationship. Use this fresh start as a chance to revisit those passions and discover new ones. Go to a concert, take a dance class, learn a foreign language, or travel to a place you’ve never been. Find what makes you happy, and enjoy the positivity that follows.

Revamp an Element of Your Appearance

Sometimes all it takes is a haircut or a new outfit to make you feel like a new person. This doesn’t mean you need to change. You’re beautiful just the way you are. However, having a slightly revamped appearance will make you feel like a snake shedding its skin. Treat yourself to a change that’s going to make you feel happy, attractive and ready to take on the world.

Surround Yourself with Supportive People

Supportive people naturally boost your confidence. These are the ones that will tell you how great you look and will congratulate you on every accomplishment. Think about the people who make your life the best – the ones that make you happy and brighten up your day. Keep those individuals close, and eliminate negative energy from your life.

Compliment Yourself Every Day

Look in the mirror and tell yourself how great you look. Find a specific feature to compliment yourself on, whether it be your hair, your smile, your determinedness, your charisma, or anything else along those lines. Write those positive messages on a sticky note and put them somewhere you’ll see throughout the day. This may seem forced at first, but you’ll start to believe yourself after a while.

Celebrate Your Strengths

You don’t need a special occasion to celebrate. You do amazing things every day, and those are worth recognizing. Take a moment to acknowledge all of the strengths you have, even if they may not seem important to someone else. They’re important to you, and that’s all that matters.

To get in touch with a therapist near you, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers at (248) 244-8644.

5 Reasons You Should Like Your Therapist

like-your-therapist

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.