A Letter For Your Isolated and Hard to Reach Teen – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT and Steve Legallet, LMFT

    As family therapists, we are seeing more and more young people who are suffering from various degrees of depression, anxiety, addictions and social isolation as they try to mask all of the emotions and negative consequences associated with theses self-defeating behaviors. We also see many concerned and baffled parents who struggle with trying to find ways to help their wounded and isolated kids. If you have a son or daughter who is suffering, addicted, depressed, anxious, isolated, angry and/or shut down, here are some words that you might consider writing or saying to open the door to a new avenue of communication: Dear Son or Daughter, We see that you are struggling and suffering. We imagine that there are many thoughts and feelings underneath your anger including confusion, fear, hopelessness, and pain. We understand that you are going through a very difficult time in your life, and that… Continue reading

9 Ways to Improve Body Image – By Andrea Wachter & Marsea Marcus

Body dissatisfaction is an epidemic in our image-obsessed culture. If you are a member of the unofficial “club” of women who dislike or despise their bodies, you may have discovered that the daily dues are high and the long-term benefits are low. But membership in this body-bashing club is hard to avoid, with people speaking the club’s not-so-secret language and recruiting new members just about everywhere you turn. We call this club’s language “Fat Chat.” Fat Chat is when people talk about food, fat, or other peoples’ bodies in a negative way. Even positive comments about bodies can sometimes be Fat Chat because of the focus on looks and the pressure it causes people to think they need to look a certain way. Club doctrine dictates that there are “good foods” and “bad foods” (though this changes, depending on the year). Club status is determined by how much or how… Continue reading

What Drives Those Wonderful Aha Moments? – By Sally Stacey

Have you ever tied yourself in knots trying to think of how to resolve a problem, then slept on it and woken knowing exactly what needed to be done? Or have you prayed for guidance in a situation and had the answer suddenly appear out of the blue by way of a thought, a nudge or a person? A God moment or a God shot perhaps? What about reading or hearing a concept that didn’t quite gel until you saw it in action or you experienced it…and then the penny dropped? Has exasperation ever been etched across your face as you searched the recesses of your brain for the name of a familiar song you’ve just heard but can’t remember…only for it to hit you between the eyes a couple of hours later? And what about anxiously wrestling with a delicate situation regarding someone…a child or a parent perhaps…only for… Continue reading

Food for Thought – By Jeanne Foot

One byproduct of entering recovery is the multitude of gifts that sobriety can offer us.  Some of the perks are more obvious than others, such as improved health, relationships, overall satisfaction and contentment.  Although life steadily improves after active addiction, there is the stark reality of the state of the life you have just awoken from which may have been contributing to your active substance use disorder in the first place. Many of us may be overwhelmed in our early days of sobriety with thoughts and feeling of depression, anxiety, self-loathing, shame and low self-esteem. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it may feel impossible to feel anything differently. Being in active addiction is like being highjacked from your own thought process, where you have ZERO control to any other outcome, than to feed your addiction; and we have the science to prove it. The good news is that… Continue reading

Would You Rather be Right or Happy – By Sally Stacey

  The title is a well known phrase, something I’ve asked myself in situations many a time and one I often hear being contemplated by others. “Happy” is often the first thought when responding to this question, especially in current times where so much emphasis is placed on seeking happiness at every available opportunity. Life is too short for anything else. But there have been studies done which show that the more value people place on happiness, the less happy they become. Interesting stuff. A study was performed in New Zealand which caught my eye where a husband, who had expressed his preference to be happy rather than right, agreed to agree with every opinion and request his wife made without complaint. The wife was not privvy to the details of the study outside of monitoring her own quality of life. Needless to say, things went rapidly down hill with… Continue reading