SoulSpring Counseling's Top 10 Blogs: Season 2023
You read 'em. You picked 'em. There are your 10 fav blog posts of the past year!
One of our favorite things to do at SoulSpring Counseling is helping our clients. But a couple of years ago we realized we could help even more through writing, and thus the blog was born! After our first year, we were curious to see which articles were the most popular and it was such an eye-opening experience that we've decided to make it an annual thing.
So read on to check out the Top 10 articles from our Palm Beach Gardens counselors! There's a little something for everyone: addiction, adoption, alcoholism and more.
Stay tuned – we can’t wait to bring you more over Year 3! Click here to read the top articles from 2022
Marie was living her life as the Director of Foster care at 4Kids of South Florida years ago. She never planned to adopt. She was the divorced mother of two teenage sons, neither of which had gone wayward. But as you may hear from some OG’s (old gangsters), "I didn’t choose this life, it chose me."
Just like there are 8 million stories in the big city, there are probably just as many adoptive journeys. They are all special and unique. Many are called to this venture, but few accept the challenge of being chosen. If you happen to be one of the chosen, adoptee or adopted, consider yourself special and blessed.
We think it’s high time for us to take the stigma (and fear) out of adoption and embrace the concept as just another way to give birth. No epidural needed!
Read all of Marie's beautiful story
You’ve been hearing us chat up this “Action-Based” group Wynne is starting for Adult Children of Dysfunction this summer. What does this mean – “Action-Based”? Sounds weird….
In a nutshell, “Psychodrama” is a marriage between therapy and improvisation. The therapy side is that the client explores therapeutic issues for which the client is ready to address. The “improvisation” side of psychodrama is the strategic use of therapist-directed activities to assist clients to explore their thoughts and feelings about identified issues.
Do you remember those interactive games the camp counselors asked us to play? Well those silly games were designed for us to have fun, laugh, let our guards down, and get to know the other kids. Well, psychodramatists use action-based methods for the same reason: for group clients to find common ground, lower anxiety and build group “cohesion”.
And there is so much more to this type of group!
There’s a new group for adults coming into town and we are so excited for it! Wynne is creating a group for persons who identify as “Adult Children of Dysfunction” to start meeting in the SoulSpring Counseling office. Stay on the lookout for details.
In the meantime, you may be wondering, “Why go to a group? How can a group help me?” You may have doubts such as, “I don’t do well in groups. I don’t need to share my problems with others.” Or, “I don’t want to hear anyone else’s problems.” These are all common objections people have to attending a group.
Often, underlying these objections is a core emotion of fear. Fear of being shamed, rejected, exposed. These fears are perfectly valid. And a strong group leader uses skills to prevent or intercept such behaviors from happening. But for the one who is ready to move past fear into change for something better, groups are a very therapeutic and cost effective means to heal and grow.
"Our decisions and answers to life did not seem to work. Our lives had become unmanageable. We exhausted all the ways we thought we could become happy. We often lost our creativity, our flexibility, and our sense of humor. Continuing the same existence was no longer an option. Nevertheless, we found it almost impossible to abandon the thought of being able to fix ourselves. Exhausted, we held out hope that a new relationship, a new job, or a move would be the cure, but it never was. We made the decision to seek help."
Does this sound like the thoughts of someone who finally decided, after many years of trying to get better on their own, to reach out, call a therapist, and start counseling? If you said “Yes” you would be right. However, this particular quote is taken directly from the website of Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families (ACA for short), www.adultchildren.org. ACA is a 12-step fellowship for persons who identify as an “Adult Child”.
Do you think you may be an "Adult Child"? Did you grow up in one of the family types common to Adult Children? Are you finding that no matter what you do, you can't seem to fix yourself? Would you like to find freedom from those inner saboteurs hijacking your enjoyment of life? SoulSpring is here to help 😊
Kim Ratz originated Make a Difference to Children Month in 2006 out of his huge compassion for children living in underprivileged and/or abusive circumstances. SoulSpring Counseling shares Kim’s heart that children deserve to live a life characterized by physical safety, encouragement, nurture, and emotionally stable role models.
In particular, children need their role models during times of stress so they can learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways. During stressful events, if children are left to interpret the events around them with their underdeveloped minds, they are likely to draw false conclusions and then act like they are true. And because of their stage of development, where in their minds the world still revolves around them, children are likely to believe events that have nothing to do with them are somehow their fault.
And thus are the roots of so many of the reasons that adults come in for counseling. They are operating in the world with the false beliefs, unresolved emotional pain, and survival skills they learned in childhood to help them get through.
There are common characteristics of parents that correlate with children growing up feeling secure, stable, and making more positive choices. Conversely, there are parental behaviors that tend to result in children feeling insecure, unstable, and making poor choices to cope with painful feelings.
Please read on to explore some categories of each!
Many people find it challenging to talk openly about grief. Folks are especially at a loss for words when it comes to addressing parents who have lost a child. It’s widely accepted in our culture that it is unnatural for a child to die before their parents, but the reality is that many children do pass away before their parents.
When using the term “child” or “children,” we typically think of someone under the age of 18. Those older parents who lose adult children experience loss that can be equally as devastating. We will all experience death and grief, but not all will face the loss of a child.
NationalToday states that by age 70, 15% of parents in the United States will have lost a child.
So how can we help those that are grieving?
Nearly 100,000 Americans died from overdoses in 2020. How did we get here? And how can we prevent more untimely substance-related deaths in the future? The early 2000's mark the infamous rise of the “Pill Mill” industry, or doctors’ offices which were widely known for prescribing excessive amounts of mood altering substances following minimal to no medical exam. Opioid Addiction, and the overdoses that come along with it, increased more rapidly during this time than law enforcement or the American Medical Association could respond. Once these agencies didn't respond, the increased accountability in the medical field drove up sales of illicit opioid drugs, sparking a resurgence of in the use of heroin and other substances laced with Fentanyl. It's mind boggling to think of the lengths that drug addicts will go to chase their high. There is much sadness to feel at the thought of nearly 1 million American lives lost since 1999 to drug overdoses. Our sadness honors the victims and those they left behind. We affirm their lives meant something.
So what can be done to stop the generational transfer of addiction and its related dysfunction? Prevention is key. https://www.soulspringflorida.com/single-post/overdose-awareness-day
So there are substance addictions, like alcohol and narcotics. Just because someone uses a needle or tinfoil and a straw doesn’t make them any more addicted than the person who drinks a fine bottle of scotch to excess regularly in the comforts of home. The disease process is the same. For the most part, so is the treatment.
But what about process addictions? A little video gaming never hurt anyone, right? Well, a “little” video gaming is not addictive. However, the gaming addict repeatedly spends excessive time playing the game at the expense of personal health, finances, personal responsibilities, relationships, and work or school performance.
Process addictions are also progressive, chronic, and primary. They are “incurable” in the sense that a person typically cannot return to casual use of the behavior without significant intervention. Like a substance abuser, a process addict also cannot reliably stop and “stay stopped” on his or her own without outside help.
Do you think someone in your home may have a process addiction, like to porn, video games, or food?
In July, we shared a blog written for Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. SoulSpring Counselor Cindy Gourley shared a story in that blog about the annual 5K walk/run that honors the life and service of Captain Gerald F. DeConto, United States Navy from Sandwich, Massachusetts. Well, Cindy participated in the race and wanted to share the experience.
During the pandemic, the 5K race was held solely virtually so this past weekend was the first time in 2 years that the event was back in person. Now in it’s 21st year since the tragedy at the Pentagon on 9-11, the Naval hero could once again be honored for his service to his family, town, and country.
These images show how a small community can come together to celebrate the qualities that made this highly decorated officer so admired by his family, friends, Navy comrades and all the recipients of the scholarship fund awarded to a graduating senior that exemplifies his strengths.
We will also, NEVER forget. And to quote Pat, “Go Navy!”
On March 11, 2020, after following the trail of the Corona virus worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. What followed in rapid succession was the shutdown of airports, schools, restaurants, and eventually all non-essential businesses. While we all did what we had to do to stay safe during the crisis, no one could have imagined the extent of the damage that would be caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Over two years later, as we begin to slowly come out of hiding, we can finally start to look back and assess some of the damage. But no one could have imagined the extent of the damage that would be caused by the pandemic.
Post Covid-19, saw an increase in those seeking professional help for their mental health for the first time. From anxiety to substance abuse, providers have seen an increase in demand for services.