What’s in a Play Room?

by Lynn Wonders on August 17, 2017

playroomformoreWhat’s in a Play Room? 

Come and learn everything you need to know about how to build your play room for play therapy! Whether you will be setting up a traditional play room, using an office for multiple purposes or using a mobile play room for play therapy in the community, this 1 hour mini-workshop provides a comprehensive list of all you need to be equipped for providing play therapy services. This workshop provides 1 hour of non-contact play therapy training (Approved APT Provider 12-321).

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how to equip a traditional child centered play room.
  2. Learn how to equip a combination office and play room for multiple purposes.
  3. Learn how to create and travel with a mobile play room.

Fee: $20

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Parenting a Stressed Out Teenager

by Lynn Wonders on August 5, 2017

parenting a stressed teenagerShe’s under a lot of pressure between academic assignments, college applications looming and strife between her friends.

You haven’t seen her smile and laugh in a long time.

She stays up late to get school projects done and gets up early to make it to her student club meeting before school. You’re concerned. And you should be.

We all know how stress affects our health and well-being adversely and teens are not excluded from this risk.

In my office I see a lot of adolescents who need stress management tools. I also notice that often their parents are either contributing to their stress or just have no idea how to help them.

Let’s face it. Being a teenager has always come with peer pressure, romance woes and some amount of academic and professional stress. But today’s adolescents are under far more stress than we were when we were teens. I see my daughter juggling more than I believe is reasonable and I often find myself talking her down from the heights of overwhelm. I find myself repeating this process with many of my adolescent clients in my office so I thought I’d pass along some of this to you.

8 tips and tools for parenting a stressed out teenager you can begin using today.

  1. Listen. Just listen with empathy and reflection. Resist the urge to lecture. Simply hold space for your teenager and let him know you are there without judging or demanding.
  2. Breathe in. Breathe out. It may sound ridiculously simple but the act of slowly breathing in and slowly breathing out deeply and audibly while you are listening with empathy and reflection will be a very helpful and contagious action. Slowing the breath and taking in a nice dose of oxygen soothes the emotion based limbic center of the brain and allows the reasoning and rational prefrontal cortex to come back on line.
  3. Help your teen manage time and get organized. Implement an effective time management system called time blocking. There are free apps such as Plan that interfaces with your google calendar and allows you to block off time to complete tasks that are priorities and you will learn how to say “No” to things that are not a priority.  Time management can eradicate overwhelm.
  4. Roll out the  yoga mats and cue up some soothing sounds. Try one of my free guided relaxation recordings at no cost here. Invite your teen to join you on the floor. With soothing music filling the room and maybe a little lavender essential oil in the air, you and your teen can benefit from gentle stretches and some progressive muscle relaxation.
  5. Practice laughter medicine. Text her a funny GIF or a laughing baby video on YouTube. Make it a point to find the humor in life and make her heavy load a little lighter.
  6. Be sure your teen is eating nutritiously and consistently. I am alarmed again and again when I hear my adolescent clients reporting that they are skipping meals, too busy to eat and when they do eat they are eating junk.  Teach her how to make a delicious green smoothie in under a minute in the morning. Help her pack a nutritious lunch and snack and have healthy food ready to grab in the fridge.
  7. Let her sleep. Teens need their sleep. Let her take a quick nap or sleep in on the weekend. Encourage healthy sleep habits by hanging darkening curtains in her room and having her put away all electronics an hour before she hits the hay.
  8. Motivate and encourage but don’t pressure or criticize. Chances are, your teen is hard enough on himself. What he needs from you is encouraging statements such as, “I know you can do it!” and “You’ve got what it takes! How can I support you?”  Humans are not motivated by criticism. Criticism is shown to break down relationships and negatively impact self-worth. Find ways to use positive reinforcement of healthy and adaptive choices he makes and redirect unhealthy choices in a better direction without being harsh.

If your teen loses motivation for more than a few days, seems to be sleeping instead of attending to priorities or has no appetite, your teen might be suffering from depression. Seek professional help from a licensed psychotherapist like myself if you are concerned your efforts to support are not enough.

 

 

 

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Navigating Relationship Rough Patches

July 26, 2017

I often receive messages from 1/2 of a marital partner saying, “Our relationship has hit a rough patch and we need some help.”  It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help from a professional when you are experiencing relationship trouble It also takes a lot of commitment from both partners to show […]

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Train Your Brain to Create Peace and Stillness

May 17, 2017

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. We are wired to feel fear as human beings. Many people are plagued by anxiety to the point it interferes with daily functioning, robbing us from an ability to savor life. Most understand intellectually that we need to find a way to quiet our busy minds. Yet, I find that […]

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Feelings Need To Be Felt

April 1, 2017

If I had a dollar for every time a client has apologized for crying during their first visit to my office I would be a very wealthy woman. I find myself telling all of my clients at some point that crying is not only allowed, but encouraged. It is all too common that people in […]

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Mindfulness for Children: Helping Kids Feel Calm

October 29, 2016

The practice of mindfulness has been scientifically proven to change the brains of adults in positive ways. The Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School has ongoing ample scientific research data to prove how mindfulness supports many healthy, positive changes to human beings. While we don’t yet have a lot of research about […]

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Play at All Ages

October 5, 2016

“You can learn more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato Photograph by Judy Bruner of JBruner Photography www.judybruner.com Play is good for us. At all ages. It’s bad enough that many adults don’t understand the essential value of play for children and how play is […]

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Mission Statement for a Parent

May 10, 2016

In my years of leading parenting workshops and supporting parents in family counseling the most important aspect of these workshops and sessions is helping parents get clear on creating a mission statement for the very important job of raising their children. I tell parents of young children, “Imagine your child in cap and gown on […]

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Couples Who Play Together Stay Together Happily

February 17, 2016

According to Howard Markman, PhD of University of Denver’s Center for Family and Marital studies, the more couples invest time and energy in having fun together the happier the couple will be over time.  Research also supports that happily married couples live longer, healthier lives. It can be all too easy to slip into the […]

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Life Support for Women Over 50

January 24, 2016

   A Mid-Life Support Group For Women Over The Age of 50 8 Weeks of Face-to-Face Group Support Sessions Facilitated by Lynn Louise Wonders, LPC Come and learn something each week AND participate in supportive group discussion. Share, learn, listen and feel supported and connected with other women facing similar issues of mid-life. Some of […]

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