Entries by Lacey Ryan, LMFT, RPT-S

What is a Gap Year and Why Should I be Aware of it?

A term you may not have heard of is “gap year.” If you have teenagers, you may want to consider putting this term on your radar for your child to consider. Taking a gap year means a high school graduate takes a year off of academic training before pursuing additional training or education. If a graduate in May of 2024 takes a gap year, they wouldn’t pursue additional education until the summer or fall of 2025. Learn More… Learn More...

Does My Child Need Therapy?

Does My Child Need Therapy?

Parents seek out our services for several reasons. Sometimes parents know that a big family change or stressor is in the child’s future and they want to proactively provide their child with a resource (a trusted therapist) which will help them through that transition. For these parents, helping and encouraging their children to manage the emotions related to that transition/change in healthy ways is their priority.  Other times, parents are concerned or worried about an event that has already happened. A traumatic event or social stressor has impacted their child and they want to provide their child with a healthy outlet to cope. Most often, parents have observed a change in their child’s behavior or the way their child is interacting with others and are seeking to understand how to help them and resolve that problem. Learn More… Learn More...

Setting Boundaries During the Holiday Season

Is this the “most” time of year for you too? While there are breaks from school (and maybe work too), many of us find our schedules BUSIER than ever with extra holiday celebrations and fun events. A friend shared with me last holiday season that their family had SEVEN family holiday gatherings to attend within a week’s time. She, her partner, and their children were all exhausted and at each other’s throats by the end of it all. It was too much. Here’s an invitation to set some proactive boundaries in your lives now, before the “most” time of year gets the best of you and your family too! Learn More… Learn More...

7 Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Boredom During the Holiday Break

Holiday breaks usually include some much needed downtime for many families. With a scheduled break from schoolwork and tests, large projects at work, & extracurriculars like sports and clubs, most families welcome the chance to rest and recover from such busy day-to-day lives. A drastic change from going from “go-go-go” to such a relaxed schedule can reveal some needs your family may have. Here are some things you can do to help with that adjustment: Learn More… Learn More...

International Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today we take a moment of reflection to acknowledge today as International Transgender Day of Remembrance. Transgender Day of Remembrance focuses our attention on the violent reality that our transgender and nonbinary siblings experience in their day to day lives, and brings to our attention the names and stories of the individuals who have lost their lives this year to this type of senseless violence.

As we lift up the names of these bright lights that have been lost to our families and communities, we also acknowledge the disproportionate impact that this kind of violence has not only on economically disadvantaged members of our community, femme presenting members of our communities but disproportiately upon BIPOC members of our communities. We mourn these individuals while acknowledging that this violence only ends when people of privilege in our communities take active steps to address and eliminate not only transphobia, but also classism, misogyny, and racism. Only when we address the total marginalization of individuals for all facets of their identity can we help assure their safety. Learn More...

Limiting the Overwhelm of Parents: Making Therapy More Accessible to Children and Teens at School

As parents, we want our kids to be happy and healthy. Oftentimes this means running them all over town for various events and appointments – wellness visits, sick visits, tutoring, dentist appointments, lessons, sports activities, vision tests, club events…and the list goes on and on.  While their happiness and success is a priority, what happens when crises arise which add to the already over-scheduled family schedule? When our children experience mental health symptoms and concerns, this moves up quickly on the priority list of weekly commitments. Parents who are already burning up the road with mileage then try to find more time in the day to fit in one more (very important) therapy visit. Learn More… Learn More...

Back to School: What to expect from your child and how you can provide them support

For many parents, the return of children back to school is a mixture of relief and stress.  We feel stressed because there’s a lot of prep work for the return to school and there is also a sense of relief when we can all get back to a set routine and schedule. 

Leading up to the first day of school for your kids, you may notice feelings of concern, fear, and nervousness or even anger and irritability.   Learn More… Learn More...

Back to School: Time for a New Routine Chart

If your family has had a relaxed scheduled this summer, you may find that it’s time to get back into a routine to prepare for your back-to-school schedule! This afternoon my elementary-aged child and I created a new Routine Chart. Routine Charts are a positive parenting tool that can help streamline a routine or process, help your child increase their autonomy and skills and releases you of the nagging for all that has to be done! Instead of asking quick-fire questions in the morning about all their morning tasks, you can simply ask, “Have you completed your morning routine?” Learn More… Learn More...

What’s the Difference Between Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Health?

Depending on the professional with whom you speak, mental health can sometimes be referred to as emotional health or behavioral health. To me, they’re all the same. It’s hard to differentiate our cognitions (mental) from our emotions and our reactions (behaviors) because they are all interconnected and influence one another. What is happening in our environment impacts the way we think about ourselves and our surroundings, influences how we feel both physically and emotionally, and therefore causes us to react in our behavior.  While emotions can oftentimes be recognized through non-verbal communication, we cannot read one another’s minds, and yet, the behaviors of children are oftentimes what gets the grownup’s attention.  Challenging behaviors are usually why parents call us for support. Learn More… Learn More...

Creating a Summer Schedule for Your Family

As the school-year ends, many families embrace a slower schedule, or lack thereof. Taking a break from the busy school schedule is well-deserved, but if you’re like my family, some structure and routine to the day can keep things interesting when day in and day out at home can seem boring after a while.

A summer schedule can also help set some boundaries around use of technology, which research shows is correlated to poor academic performance and higher mental and emotional health symptoms. And at least at my house, the more screen time there is, the more outbursts we have, which tells me their brains need less of it!  If you want to include technology time in your summer schedule, you could designate a limited amount somewhere throughout the day. Learn More… Learn More...