Family Counseling – intervening in the family dynamics that need to change through structural/strategic family therapy.
Blended families – helping families navigate loyalty conflicts and custody problems, keeping the marriage intact and setting healthy boundaries.

Cancelling Your Family

Bryan Regan, a stand up comedian, joked recently: “Hey, I saw something interesting today on social media. Somebody posted a very strong political opinion. And somebody replied, ‘Good point. I changed my mind’.”  Of course this got a lot of laughs, because this kind of reply on social media never happens.  Social media platforms are used to bolster support for our own beliefs, not to challenge them.  This especially seems to ring true in our post-COVID era.    There are marker events in history that create observable shifts in our culture.  COVID is one of those events.  It has brought
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Categories: Children, Family, and Relationships.

There’s More Than One Grinch Out There

The Big Grinch of 2020 brought with him several Little Grinches.  These other grinches have always been around, but the Big Grinch has really paved the way for them to infiltrate our homes, relationships, and personal lives in new and devious ways.  These Little Grinches are fear, addiction, loneliness, confusion, apathy and mistrust.   I’ve seen an unprecedented level of fear and anxiety in 2020.  Of course there are more issues that have been worrisome this year; the election, the spread of a serious virus, economic uncertainty and plenty of civil unrest.  Many people have dealt with the anxiety by
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Categories: COVID, Family, Holidays, Mental Health, and Parenting.

Keep it Boring

Airplane pilots describe flying as a mostly boring activity interspersed with moments of panic.  When you are in the air and dependent on the flying machine, you want it to stay boring!  Unless you are an acrobatic pilot.   Daily life can reflect this situation, especially now during the COVID 19 restricted life we are living.  Pilots have a flight plan that they follow as best as they can, and this allows them to get to their next destination as safely and predictably as possible.  Using this as a metaphor for life, what is your flight plan?  Where are you
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Categories: Children, COVID, Family, Parenting, Personal Growth, and Relationships.

Family on Purpose

“Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.” This is rule 7 in Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life”.  It is a strong recommendation to build your life on principles instead of just doing what is easy for the moment.  There are two general ways to go through life; directionally, or directionless.  We can either punch a destination into the GPS, or just see where the road takes us.  Henry David Thorough is quoted “In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.”  I agree.  If you aim your life
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Categories: Children, Faith issues, Family, Parenting, and Relationships.

Strong or Safe?

Anxiety is increasing in the developed world, and I believe that we can blame this on our ever-growing dependency on technology. The more technologically connected we are, the more alone we feel in reality. The American Psychiatric Association ran a poll in 2017 and discovered that millennials are the most anxious population in the U.S. I wonder how much of this anxiety is due to kids being too plugged in without limits, and how much is due to parents’ efforts to create the perfect childhood for their kids? Its an indicator that “safe” has been given preference over “strong.”
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Family, Parenting, and Stress.

Should I Let My Child Have Social Media?

Here’s my answer. Growing up in the digital age is something most parents today know nothing about.  We have no direct experience of what going through middle school in the era of social media is really like.  We can, however, observe the impact of social media on our children.   I want to emphasize that we must not underestimate its impact on our children.  I believe that our middle schoolers are the most vulnerable to social media’s influence.   The reason I say this is based on child development theory.  Erik Erickson developed the “Psychosocial” stages of development.  He believed
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Categories: Children, Faith issues, Family, Managing Media, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships, School, and Transitions / Change.

A Thanksgiving Thought

Once November starts, the remainder of the year just flies by with all the plans, festivities and the extra work that goes along with them.  The frenzied pace can prevent us from really enjoying the purpose of the special days of thanksgiving and other holidays at the end of the year.   Take some time now to think about Thanksgiving.  The name of this American holiday spells out clearly what the purpose of the day is.  The word “holiday” is an old English word meaning “Holy Day.”  Basically, its a day that is set apart and made more special than
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Categories: Faith issues, Family, and Holidays.

What is More Important Than a Red Balloon?

I just watched the movie “Christopher Robin” in which we see Winnie the Pooh and friends rescue an older Christopher Robin from himself.  As a child, Christopher Robin played and spent long hours exploring the Hundred Acre Wood with his stuffed animal friends.  He used his imagination to create stories that most of us heard about as children in the Pooh books by A.A. Milne.   Some wise sayings from Pooh are heard again in the movie.  Specifically, there are a couple of observations Pooh has about doing nothing.  The first is “Doing nothing often leads to the very best
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Categories: Children, Family, Managing Media, Marriage, Parenting, Personal Growth, and Stress.

Why is bullying such a problem these days?

Given the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the importance of addressing bullying is at its peak.  Bullying is an issue that is related to several problems in our schools, from mild anxiety problems to truancy to incidents of deadly violence.  Did you know that social rejection and bullying are common factors among students who become school shooters?  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics victims of bullying are twice as likely to bring weapons to school.  Statistics reported by ABC News state that nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids (nationwide)
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Family, Mental Health, Parenting, Personal Growth, School, and Stress.