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Family Meetings

Janette Strokappe

 

Relevance of Family Meetings

Expert advice by veteran Family Therapist and Psychologist

Janette Strokappe – Online Counselor and Therapist

I work a lot with children and their families. The biggest complaint I get from parents is about the disrespect and arguing over doing chores. I strongly recommend no arguing with children, especially teenagers. That is a fool’s game. I would tell any child being disrespectful; you can talk to me when you are willing to talk to me respectfully. I would then disengage.

Instead I recommend monthly family meetings, more often if an emergency arises. These meetings are scheduled and everyone in the family attends, and there are no interruptions allowed. This is our time to talk about how the family is doing, and the children have a say.

We talk about who does what. Chores are assigned according to age. Even very little children can take their dirty dishes to the sink. Older children must realize that the little guys cannot do as much as they can, and that the day will come for the little guys as well.

I don’t recommend consequences for young children. I like behaviour charts where the children can mark down when they have completed a chore. This is done with a star or little sticker just to make it more fun. At the end of the week, if the chart is full, they get to pick the Saturday night video or what the family will be having for Saturday night supper. They do not get an expensive gift.

For children with ADHD, sometimes they need to see the reward before they will work for it. For these children I would make up a little treasure chest of things from the dollar store so the child can see the prize. If they complete chores as agreed upon, they get to pick one thing.

FamilyThere are three things to remember about chores. First, the parent should demonstrate what they are looking for in, for example, a clean bedroom. Too many times, I have had kids tell me that they will clean the bedroom and mum or dad will say, “That’s not good enough”, but never explain why. The parent has to demonstrate what a clean bedroom looks like. Also putting things away properly, and what do they have to do for the parent to decide the bedroom has been cleaned properly. Is a clean bedroom, all the clothes put away properly, and nothing shoved under the bed?

The second thing is how many days a chore has to be done to get the privilege at the end of the week. Is it 5 out of 7, 7 out of 7. This is decided at the family meeting.

Thirdly, a time limit has to be set on the chore. Does the garbage have to be emptied by 6 o’clock in the evening?

We do make exceptions for special occasions. With our own children, mum and dad covered the chores if the child had a party or a concert. However, if the child wants to take on a sport where they need to attend once or twice a week, this has to be decided at the family meeting, so chores can be discussed again.

With older children, we use consequences. By that I mean removed privileges. Consequences need to be immediate and appropriate. We do not tell children that they can’t watch next week’s game. Instead it must be immediate. The consequence has to happen tonight. We don’t take away the European trip they have been planning for two years with the school.

Children get to have a say in what the consequence will be. If it is losing the phone, then the decision is for how long. If it is not playing video games for a day, then the computer, laptops, tablets and phones have to be turned over.

If the parents set consequences, then they must follow through. Parents must never undermine one another. If a consequence has been agreed upon, then both parents must support one another to make sure it happens.

What are the exceptions? If the family has been away for the weekend, having fun at a sport or just doing things together, we do not tell children to do chores the minute they walk in the door. The same goes for a teenager that has just played at a music competition, participated in the science fair or played in a sports tournament; we do not tell them “you’ve had your fun, now do your chores”. We savor the good times with them. Chores can wait until tomorrow, unless the dog needs to go outside.

Meet Janette Strokappe here for further support

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from California Joins the ProvenTherapists Team

Janeen Wilson, a qualified and experienced Family Therapist and Counselor has started her online counseling clinic at ProvenTherapy.com. She is available to potential clients for individual and couples therapy through live chat or email service.

JaneenPress Release – 21 Nov. 2014: Janeen Wilson, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California (August 2006) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Janeen began practicing therapy in 2000 working with a variety of different therapeutic issues and problems. Janeen initially began working with women in Domestic Violence and with adolescent boys struggling with psychiatric issues, bipolar issues and attachment disruption that were in a Residential Treatment setting. Janeen has worked with all ages of children in school based settings and their families addressing issues related to family dynamics, ADHD and emotional disruption. Janeen became very interested in an strength based evidence approach (Multi Dimensional Foster Care) and was formally trained as a Program Director and Family Therapist through this program (MTFC). With this training she focused on assisting families in reuniting youth from foster care back to their homes and strengthening their family systems. She has also worked with families as the Director of the Family Stabilization Team in Boston, MA to prevent youth from being removed from their home, as an Outpatient Therapist and with specialized populations such as the blind. Janeen has worked with a variety of different types of people in different areas, ranging from the tundra in Alaska to urban Boston, rural and urban Pennsylvania as well as in Southern California.

Issues Janeen has worked with ranges from working with the blind community, SED children and their families, Adoption, Foster Care, as well as Addiction and Trauma. Janeen has also been formally trained to work with firefighters to address their specific needs related to work and trauma.

For the last two years Janeen has been working as a Individual and Family therapist in an inpatient dual diagnosis residential setting for individuals struggling with addiction and mental health/trauma issues. Now she has opened her virtual clinic at https://www.proventherapy.com.

Read full press release here…

Tips for Troubled Relationships

Dr. Adam Pearson

Dr. Adam Pearson

Relationships are vital to the human experience. Relationships and the way a person perceives a relationship should be starting at the moment the person is born. The attachment of a child to his/her parent(s) will be a model for relationships with friends, intimate partners, roommates, bosses, etc. Romantic relationships and marriages seem to be the most prevalent among patients seen in online therapy. Communication is one of the most important aspects of a relationship including how we talk to each other, what we say, when we say it, and what we really are trying to say. It seems most people in a troubled relationship believe they know how the other person thinks and act upon these false perceptions. In marriage and family therapy arguing in a troubled relationship becomes a pathological pattern of coping with anger, resentment, hurt, jealousy, and is called the “dance”. Couples argue for the sake of arguing. They bring past mistakes the other person made and use them as a weapon to gain ground or power against their foe. If you do this you are hurting you, the other and the entire relationship.

men are from marsThe key to healthy communication is being humble and honest with one another, forgiving one another and not holding those mistakes against the other person. In an argument timeouts are a very easy and successful avenues of allowing each other to calm down and thinking with logical thought versus thinking with pure emotions. Decisions should NEVER be made when highly emotional, logical thought is minimized and instant gratification is sought when emotions are at their peek. The divorce rate in the United States is around 50% and divorce is proven over and over again to have ill effects on each partner and the children. Living together before marriage has been found to be the number one variable in predicting divorce. Commitment is diminished when a couple goes from living separate to living together and then getting married. The commitment and feeling of being married has been spoiled by living together and the sanctity and fortitude marriage is supposed to bring decreases and makes divorce an easy escape. People are disillusioned and somewhat delusional when they believe living together will help them make a more informed decision about getting married.

In any relationship there are bound to be times when the other person does certain behaviors which negatively have an impact on the relationship. It is not good to “suppress” negative feelings towards someone as they always come out in an uncontrolled and pathological way. There are also times when you will have to decide “Is this worth bringing up or is the problem actually me”. There is nothing wrong with doing a quick “check-in” with the person you are in a relationship with. While it might be uncomfortable to ask “Is there anything I am doing or saying that bothers you?” but for the health of you and your relationship this helps avoid blowups and arguments that severely damage the relationship. Yelling in an argument, name calling, talking down to someone, or demeaning someone all equal different ways of verbal and emotional abuse. Neglecting a partner and putting yourself first is a sure fire way to create problems in the relationship. Loving someone means serving each other and communicating with a balance of grace and justice. It is also important to work together as a team to develop boundaries in your relationship. This helps increase the quality and strength of the relationship when working together towards the same goal. This article is just a snippet to help aid people in their everyday relationships but simple, small things, the way we talk to each other, the validation of each other, a text message, doing something without being asked can make the difference between joy or pain.

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It is not too late to save your relationship or marriage… Talk to an online counselor now!

Alternative Therapist Leeza Joins the Team!

Leeza S. DillipLeeza S. Dillip opens Counseling Services at ProvenTherapy.com. She is experienced in alternative therapies like Yoga, Pranic Healing, Crystal Ball therapy, Handwriting Analysis, Art therapy, Colour therapy, etc.

Leeza was excited while opening her service at ProvenTherapy.com, “Life is always filled with manifold twists and turns. So anyone can fall a prey to different problems due to this muddle. Today many of us struggle in the silent yet strong shackles of stress, tensions, depression, relationship problems, job-related issues, adolescent and age related problems, marriage and family crisis, and other clinical-psychological ailments. At the same time a fast-paced lifestyle, personal issues and other difficulties become a hindrance in the path and process of treatment. Given to all these hitches, ProvenTherapy brings the best solution to one and all. It is the best breakthrough avenue in the world of Online Counseling, which interested me to join hands with the experienced therapists in the site.”

https://www.proventherapy.com is one of the most popular online counselling options today. Adorned by more than 80 qualified and experienced therapists far and wide the globe, ProvenTherapy has helped many people to successfully overcome their problems and agonies. With the provision of online text chat and online voice chat, proven therapy has not only made a mark in online counseling but also many areas related to psychotherapy and healing. The qualified professionals work 24/7 in order to provide quality services, online counseling and psychotherapy to the “troubld hearts and souls”. Leeza S. Dillip, an Indian Clinical Counselor and Alternative Therapist, is the recent addition to the ProvenTherapists team.

With a dream and passion to help people and those suffering from mental health issues, Leeza has achieved many milestones in the field of face-to-face counseling, online counseling and psychotherapy. With an experience of almost 8 yrs Leeza S. Dillip has excelled in the fields of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Behaviour therapy, Client-centered counseling, Family therapy, marital/relationship therapy, therapies for problems and issues related to all age-groups and cross-culture. Her experience and practice in spiritual healing, alternative techniques like Yoga, meditation, naturopathy, crystal ball healing, pranic healing, acupressure, color therapy and handwriting analysis gives her therapy procedures the kind of holistic dimension that is necessary for the all-round sound health and development of an individual.

Read full story here…

BounzD reviews ProvenTherapy

Proventherapy have made sure that the concept of ‘Virtual Therapy’ connects to a lot of disturbed people and thus offer online counseling and online psychotherapy services for mental health, marriage, or relationship issues through highly confidential sessions using traditional as well as innovative online counseling methods through live sessions, telephone counseling, and email therapy.

The founders of Proventherapy (www.proventherapy.com) make sure that the customers are comfortable with them and they also make sure the customer is completely out of the problem. The services offered by the founders are:

  • Flexible, making sure that the customer can join their therapeutic session from    any private place in and moreover wait for sessions to start in a convenient and secure ‘Virtual Waiting Room’.
  • Convenient, eliminating the travel time and costs associated with traditional therapies
  • Verifiable, making the customer confident that the practitioners on their network are legitimate, highly qualified and ready to assist the customers
  • Secure, most importantly the founders offer a secure way of connecting the customer with the therapist by maintaining high confidentiality.

Read full story here

Press Release: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Goes Live on ProvenTherapy.com

Arthur Belmont, a California based marriage and family therapist joins the team of professionals giving online counseling service through ProvenTherapy.com, one of the leading online counseling and psychotherapy clinic on the Internet.

The virtual online counseling and psychotherapy clinic for mental health, marriage, and relationship problems https://www.ProvenTherapy.com has a team of more than 60 Approved ProvenTherapists extending ‘healing touch to the troubled hearts and souls’ through online counseling and psychotherapy services. The professional therapists provide counseling and psychotherapy support through live chat, telephone, and email methods round the clock, seven days a week. Arthur Belmont, a licensed independant counselor and psychotherapist, is the latest addition to the team of ProvenTherapists who has 18 years of experience in the therapy field.

Arthur H. Belmont is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) who has been practicing psychotherapy since 1995. He received his M.S. degree in Counseling from California State University, Long Beach and his B.A. degree in Communications from Temple University in Philadelphia. Arthur is currently practicing in San Diego, California and maintains his licensure in both Florida and California.

Read full story here…

MARRIAGE – Happy despite the challenges

Sharanya Dinesh

Approved ProvenTherapist

Sharanya Dinesh - ProvenTherapist I am an ardent fan of Khalil Gibran; a poet, philosopher, visionary, saint ….I run out of eulogies when I need to describe this one person. This page is dedicated to him, in the sense I will be writing his poems and try to understand them with you all. Each of us sees the same thing with a unique individual perception. Help understand this great prophet better…

Contact Sharanya for Marriage and Relationship Counseling

He writes:

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But, let there be spaces in togetherness.
Love one another but make not a bond of love
Let your love be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous,
But let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your heart but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
Stand together yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Beautiful, is it not? A few lines to aptly describe the way a couple can live together happily! A marriage is not about merging with each other! How can two different people merge? It would mean a loss of identity for the partner who is making all the changes or accommodating more. This only results in bitterness and shows its ugly face at the most unexpected stage of married life.

Can an oak tree and the cypress tree be called oak tree? We need to walk hand in hand towards the same goal. Like the train tracks, each one independent yet dependent and very imperative for the smooth running of the train. The train carries so many people every day to their respective destinations and achieves its own milestones because of these two tracks on which it confidently chugs away. When the tracks need to meet and change the direction of the train they do meet and again mutually stay together at a little distance.

Couples too need to retain their individuality, take decisions together and let life stay on course with the partners holding hands and walking in forward n the same direction. Give your love to your spouse but safe guard your heart. That is for the creator! We humans forget this truth. We shower everything on each other. And breathe down each other’s neck! Too much proximity brings in claustrophobia. We are meant for each other and God brought us together for some purpose. Our individual goals and our destiny together are as designed by God. We forget the creator, the purpose of our lives and ourselves too. We begin trying to merge; with unmet expectations end up on different shores with a sea of misunderstandings between us.

He says that we all need time to introspect, be alone and ponder about ourselves. The pillars of the temple stand apart and are home to the God inside and to the thousands of devotees praying to the Lord. The couples should support each other, help each other and learn from each other. The Oak tree and Cyprus tree do not grow in each other’s shadow.

Infidelity In Marriage As It Affects Us These Days

Our marriages are constantly being confronted with different challenges. Are we finding solutions? Can we say the problems are on the rise or are they reducing? We can only give an answer when we have looked around us at the marriages we have today. We would look at this presently.

I am constantly stumped by this question. Can we say that the problems marriages are facing today are more than those faced by past marriages? The reason I ask this is that infidelity in marriage seems to be on the rise and I can’t help but ask if this is because of the increased challenges marriages now face.

I have taken time to really look into this issue and I still think that marriages today are not necessarily encountering more challenges. I can only say that the way we respond to these challenges have changed.

One thing everyone knows is greatly needed to build a solid marriage is communication. Developing a solid communication with your spouse requires time together. We’ve now arrived at what I consider the main issue. The amount of time we spend in our homes seems insignificant when placed side by side the time spent at our business places. This should easily shed light why many affairs happen with colleagues at work.

The other day while talking with a friend, he mentioned one challenge that marriages now face which I found interesting. A study was carried out and it was found that couples with television sets in their bedrooms had higher chances of having problems. Thinking about it, you should clearly understand the reason. The television offers a choice that distracts one or both spouses so problems aren’t taken care of. If the television weren’t there, the couple might have had no choice but to trash out the issue regardless of how heated things got.

This is only a little example of the current development that might really be blamed for the increased breakups in our marriages. We’re regular in the middle of so much to choose from by way of distractions. The reason why a lot of people are faced with finding how to cope with infidelity is because a spouse saw the affair as another option.

In the past, there were not too many options. People either went to a bar or simply took a walk when upset. Today, you can simply get lost in the internet, social media or television. Can you imagine a couple discussing while one of them is chatting on a social media network? This is a common sight. Is this crazy or what?

Our greatest need today is the will and discipline to regulate our time and set our priorities right. We must begin to have times we turn off our Ipads, televisions etc and simply communicate with our spouses. These devices were made to make our lives easier and not to destroy our marriages.

Anything we do in life is always subject to choices. This includes our marriages. It’s your choice to either create time for your marriage and have a successful one or not to.

Marriage Counseling – Handling Emotional Affair

The breakup of a marriage cannot be a sudden occurrence. It is usually a gradual buildup of events. When these issues are ignored, regardless of how little you may suppose they are, they eventually become massive enough to cause a total breakdown of a once intimate relationship.

Our concern today is emotional affair with a person of the opposite sex other than your spouse. This problem is easily ignored by many simply because it does not involve any physical act of cheating. Research that has been carried out has shown that about half of these affairs end up in physical intimacy.

We need to start from the beginning by asking this question. What do we mean by emotional affair? An emotional affair is an affair that excludes physical intimacy but includes emotional intimacy.

From the definition above, we would see that this involves committing a lot of emotional energy into a relationship other than your marriage. The simple fact that a person involved in this sees nothing wrong in it is in itself a big problem. This thinking is usually a proof that the individual is in denial.

When people have had marriage counseling and have succeeded in dealing with the affair, you would find out that there were things they weren’t truthful about. There was in most cases a guilty feeling in their hearts. It a lot of times was a feeling that they were being unfaithful to their spouses. This feeling of guilt could actually reveal itself in the form of unnecessary anger whenever the issue of the affair is mentioned.

A marriage can be easily damaged by an affair such as this. To avoid complications, it should be nipped at the bud.

Another question we would ask is this. What can push an individual into this kind of affair?

A lot of times, the absence of communication between spouses could easily result in something like this. It mostly starts when an outsider starts giving much attention to a spouse who doesn’t receive that attention at home.

One thing that each party in a marriage needs is emotional companionship. If this is not provided in a marriage union, the temptation to seek this satisfaction outside can arise. What makes it very easy to happen is that it usually starts as an innocent platonic friendship.

How can this be stopped?

it’s commonly said that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. If we are committed to our marriage union, we would be willing to ensure it works. It’s very important that couples communicate very deeply. If a couple does not communicate well, they are set to split up.

If a couple do not have an issue with their communication, it would basically be unheard of for their emotional needs not to be satisfied within the marriage. We are talking about actual communication, not just speaking. When there is real communication, everything can be brought up and treated.

There’s one solution I know that may assist keep couples away from emotional affairs. Don’t stop bringing up issues about your spouse. Let the great personality of your partner be the topic to discuss with that friend of the opposite sex who is always “there”.

This is a wonderful tool for totally removing the beginning of any level intimacy. Do not forget that maintaining very real communication is of the utmost importance to your marriage.