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...

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...

What’s the difference Between a Psychotherapist, Psychiatrist, and Psychologist?

At Creative Family Counseling, we receive a lot of inquiries for support across a wide spectrum.  Since our specialty is working with children, teens, and families, many parents call us to seek out counseling and other services for their young child or teenager. At both the initial phone call and during appointments with our clinical team members, many clients pose questions about the services we offer and don’t offer, largely because there is confusion about the different kind of mental health providers: psychotherapist, psychologist, and psychiatrists.  And we get it! All those different (yet similar sounding) providers of mental health care can be hard to keep straight. Let me provide some clarity for you! Learn More...

How Teachers and Parents Can Talk to Young Children About Intruder Drills

It is unfortunate that school shootings in the United States are so rampant that our schools must now include Intruder Drills as part of the rehearsed safety drills each school year. It is terrifying to think about any type of disaster where our children and caregivers are endangered, but especially so when it would be at the hands of another person. Just as we gain “muscle memory” and a sense of control and preparedness from other types of safety drills, such as fire and tornado drills, providing intruder drills can help accomplish this as well. Here are six tips for talking about and providing these drills in a way that prepares children and gives them space to process it. Learn More...

Should You Talk to Your Kids About Self-Harm?

Should you talk to your kids about self-harm?

Short answer: YES!

When it comes to talking to kids about self-harm, parents sometimes worry that bringing up the subject will put the idea in their child’s head. The truth is, though, your child is going to hear about self-harm at school, through their peers, and on social media. But, if you are the one talking about the topic, you can debunk any myths, make sure your kids have the facts, and establish that they can talk to you about anything. Learn More...

Why is There a Sandbox in Your Office?

It is International Play Therapy Week!  As a practice who provides play therapy for many of our clients, I thought it would be helpful to illustrate one of the interventions we regularly use in our offices with child, teen, and even some adult clients.

In most of our offices, we have a sand tray.  In play therapy, sand trays are used most often with a collection of small figures.  These small figures range from animals, humans, buildings, landscape, and other day to day items, which are all used within the sand tray.  Without geeking out and getting too far into Play Therapy Theory on you, I’ll just summarize that there are many ways a therapist who provides play therapy can utilize sand and miniature figures.  In both Sandtray Therapy and Sand Play Therapy, therapists provide access to a sand tray and miniatures to allow the client to create scenes in the tray.  Sometimes, depending on the client and the focus of the session, the scene completion is the intervention itself.  Other times, the scene may turn into an evolving story which is played through while the Therapist observes or even participates if the client invites them to do so.  Sometimes clients explain their sandtrays and other times they do not.  Use of sandtrays in therapy can be a powerful intervention for people at various ages. Learn More...

Telling Your Children You’re Divorcing: 5 Things to Consider

When couples decide to end a relationship and it leads to the breakup of a family with children, the amount of information to process can be somewhat overwhelming. While the separation may be what’s best for everyone involved, how the information is shared with children will be a memory they hold forever.  How this family change is shared can impact the trajectory of the entire transition for each child. This process should be handled with tender care and with an emphasis on how you, the parents, will provide physical, mental, and emotional safety for each child.  Here’s a simple list to guide you through a very challenging decision making process which can help you share this news with your children in the most honest and gentle way possible. Learn More...

The Secret to Co-Parenting Success: Shifting from a Personal Relationship to a Parental Relationship

As a Therapist who has spent over a decade working with families and children, I’ve had the great privilege of sharing the various journeys of many, many clients. Some journeys (especially at the end of my work with clients) take a positive turn; I cherish the moments when I see clients thriving and no longer needing therapy for the time being.  Most people, however, begin their work with me at the start of a challenging journey, such as a journey of separation and divorce. Since I specialize in working with children, teens, and parents, the caregivers typically reach out to me after they’ve made decisions to end their relationship. They are oftentimes seeking out support for the purposes of best caring for their children through the transition. Sometimes they need support in developing c0-parenting skills, and sometimes they need support in how to tell their children about the divorce (and most times, both).  If you need help in planning how to tell your children you are separating, this article may be helpful, here. Learn More...

How to Choose a Therapy Group

You’ve decided Group Therapy will help you meet your mental health treatment goals, and are excited to start this new journey – Yay! Now you may be wondering, which group is best for me? Here’s a few factors to consider…

Open versus Closed Groups: We offer both open and closed Group Therapy formats at Creative Family Counseling. Open groups do not have an end date, and allow for new members to join as current members exit. Closed groups are time-limited with a start and end date, and do not allow for new members once they’ve begun.  Learn More...

Introducing ‘Grow’ – A Group for Teens

“Am I the only one that feels like this?”

“Do other people talk to you about this kind of stuff?”

“This is super embarrassing, but…”

“I know this isn’t normal.”

“Literally no one gets it.” 

I’ve heard the above statements and questions over, and over, and over in the therapy room, especially when I am working with teenagers. In their world, they’re the only one with this experience, this struggle, this thought, this worry, this insecurity. This perception leads to feelings of isolation, loneliness, low self-esteem, and hopelessness.   Learn More...