Can’t “Fix” Teens Unless Parents Change Too

Parent’s inclination often is to seek help for their teen on the assumption that the teen has to do all the changing. The reality is both caregivers and teens will need to make changes …

Imagine — Tamara is 15 years old. She and her mother started arguing when Tamara was 12.  They argue about seemingly everything – clothes, curfews, chores, homework, friends – you name it and they’ve argued about it.  Their arguments have escalated over the last year.  Mom doesn’t trust Tamara to make good decisions, especially now that Tamara is dating a 16 year old who just got his driver’s license.  Tamara says her mother never listens and doesn’t trust her.  Tamara often storms out of the house when it gets too overwhelming.  Two times, she has stayed overnight with a girlfriend without calling.  Mom feels out of control and hopeless to change the situation. Mom decides to find help –- for Tamara.

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How To Defeat Depression

I spend my days teaching clients how to use skills … to reduce tough symptoms of depression. One day, one of those same clients taught me a valuable lesson — it’s not about the individual skills, it’s about what they can do in combination.

A mighty oak will not fall in one swing of the ax; a formidable foe will not fall after a single punch; a powerful army will not raise the white flag after one shot fired; and a chess master will not resign after the very first move. In that same regard, depression will not be quelled following a single application of a therapeutic intervention – not a fact I like very much, but a fact nonetheless.

As a therapist who specializes in treating intense and unrelenting depression and anxiety often associated with chronic mental illness and personality disorders, I spend my days teaching clients how to use skills like deep breathing, distraction, positive activity scheduling, thought restructuring, and mindfulness to reduce tough symptoms of depression. One day, one of those same clients taught me a valuable lesson — it’s not about the individual skills, it’s about what they can do in combination.

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When A Client Says – “It’s So Unfair!”

Radical acceptance is not easy. Getting hit by a drunk driver is not fair. Mental illness is not fair. Experiencing trauma is not fair. But only our clients can solve the problems that result.

Mature man with depressed look

Clients come to me with mental illness or a history of trauma. Most of my clients have both.  New clients often will say “it’s so unfair.”  What they really are saying is “I shouldn’t have to deal with this.  I don’t want to be here.  Why me?  Why now?”  My response is always the same.  “You may not have caused the problem but you are the only one who can solve it.”

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Choosing A Therapist

Our therapists all use evidence-based approaches. This means what we do in therapy is based on extensive research showing the approach achieves its goals with most individuals.

Not feeling too well todayFinding the “right” therapist to help you achieve your therapy goals can be tough. You deserve a therapist who fits your needs, someone competent with whom you feel comfortable.

If you’re reading this blog, you likely have an interest in St. Louis DBT, LLC. We’re glad you are here and hope you will take time to read our blogs and study our website. After you’ve gotten to know us a bit, we offer a free telephone consultation. We encourage you to make the most of it. The information below will help you use your time wisely.

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Graduating Therapy

When people identify what’s not working for them and change the underlying behaviors, their lives get better. When their lives get better, their thinking about the past and future changes. The future looks brighter and the past is just that, past.

 

triumphant male on mountain horizontal web small

It is always a bittersweet moment when a client “graduates.”  I am happy to see their hard work pay off yet sad to see them go.  But, of course, the goal of therapy is healing and that means letting go when the time comes.

From the first session, my goal is to help clients heal to the point of graduation. Some people come at a turning point and want a course correction; others want a major overhaul.  Their lives are out of control and they are feeling hopelessly caught in a downward spiral.

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