Sometimes we have an idea of what depression and anxiety look like, especially if we've gone through them ourselves. However, when it comes to our children or teens, the signs may be different. It's important to recognize that both children and teens may experience anxiety and depression, and it often times will look a little different than it does in adults.
Children and teens with depression or anxiety may display these symptoms:
Do you know a teen struggling to find hope, purpose, and motivation? Is anxiety or depression overwhelming them?
If you, or anyone you know, recognizes someone experiencing the symptoms above, additional services and support may benefit them. Coming from someone they trust, such as their teacher, counselor, or physician, it would be helpful to suggest therapy services at this critical time. People often make the excuse of “oh, it’s not that bad”….yet. Now is the time to be proactive in working through their negative thinking patterns, overwhelming emotions, anxiety producing situations, lack of motivation, and finding hope, purpose, and enjoyment in the future.
Allison Kidd at Resolve Counseling and Wellness specializes in working with teens experiencing anxiety and depression. Through individual therapy, she provides guidance in empowering them to understand and reframe their negative thoughts and perceptions. Allison is passionate about helping others to thrive, find joy in their life, and identify future goals to work towards. To contact Allison or book an appointment, click here.
Allison Kidd, LMSW, LAC
(913) 735.4056 (cell- text)
"Loneliness does not come from not having people around you - but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you" - carl jung
We seem to have forgotten how to listen. We think we are listening, but we are, in fact, not listening. We sit in a car next to someone, go out to dinner with friends, or talk on the phone with someone, and we are hearing them, but we are not listening. Because if we were listening, conversations wouldn’t start with “I” all the time. We wouldn’t reply to someone with simply how it relates to us or unintentionally try to one up the other person.
I was recently in a conversation with a few other people when something caught my ear. I noticed that what was happening really wasn’t a conversation at all. It was a hodge podge of “I-statements” simply replying to the other’s “I” with another “I” or “my”. The people in this conversation weren’t talking about a particular subject with collaborated ideas, questions for each other or learning more about another perspective. Instead, each statement was being replied to by a statement about the person talking.
I was baffled. How did I just now notice this? How long had this been going on? These were both questions I had in my head. The answer, I think, is that it’s been going on for awhile and not by the fault of any one particular thing, person, or community. In a world full of opportunities of communication, we talk, text, email, chat, IM, or snapchat with each other often times hundreds of time during the day; however, we are not connected to this person. Because if we were connected, this kind of conversation wouldn’t be enough. If we were connected to people, conversations wouldn’t be about you. They would be about the connection you have with that other person and genuinely trying to get to know them or where they are coming from, exchanging ideas, and collaborating--not something resembling the Disney movie where the birds on the beach are saying “Mine”, “Mine”, “Mine”.
Because of this conversation, I began to understand my clients a little bit more. Sometimes, people come see me for a variety of symptoms, including feeling isolated, depressed, lost, sad, or really anxious. Sometimes they see me for trauma or loss of purpose. Often times, these symptoms stem from one simple, yet very complex, thing: disconnection. Many people feel as if they have no one they can talk to. They think that no one really understands them or can see where they are coming from. This leads people to believe that they are the only ones going through life adversities or hardships and can lead to even more isolation. It makes them feel like a therapist is the only one who gets it and isolates them from reaching out to people in their own social support networks or circles. It increases isolation and magnifies loneliness.
Think about it. Think about the last conversation you had. Was the person really hearing you? Did you leave the conversation thinking, “Wow, that person really understands what I just said”. I hope you did, but I am going to guess you didn’t. In order to have connection, I believe you need to have three things:
To be heard.
It’s one thing to be listened to; it’s another to be heard. To have someone really hear what you are saying and respond with validation and reflection. Brene’ Brown talks about those people you don’t want to share some inner parts of you with: those who are one uppers, those who degrade you, those who give you advice and those you have console.
"Rarely does a response make something better. what makes something better is connection." - brene brown
To be understood.
Few things are worse than sitting next to someone who is sitting on their phone distracted, not looking at you, or distracted by other things while you are trying to talk with them. Understanding requires empathy. Empathy is the skill to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective. It’s the ability to really view life from the other’s eyes and to then reflect back what that person is saying to show them that you get it. You aren’t doing this for yourself. You’re doing this for them--to show this person that they aren’t in it alone and that even though you may not agree, that you understand.
To be respected.
You can have 2 of the 3 pieces of connection and still come up short. For example, if you hear someone and understand them but don’t have respect for them or their beliefs, then you may counteract with your own beliefs or tell the person the way they feel is wrong. Obviously or not, this is not helpful when you’re communicating with someone or when you’re trying to build connection.
To respect someone is to value their beliefs, ideas, and perspective. It’s knowing that each person has a different childhood, different background, and different history than everyone else and that people view life through different lenses than yourself. Let me be clear: you don’t have to agree with someone to respect them.
Have you ever felt like you were the only one on planet Earth when you were sitting in an auditorium or a room full of people? This is the type of disconnection I'm talking about: the feeling of being alone or being disconnected, not being understood, and not feeling heard when there are physical human bodies around. The power of disconnection can lead many people down a rabbit hole of isolation, of depression, of loneliness, and hopelessness. By respecting someone's perspective, hearing what they are saying instead of responding, and understanding where someone is coming from even if you can't relate or are unsure what the experience is like will build connection, improve relationships, and improve a greater quality of life.
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
To read more articles by Robin, view her bio. Robin works with millennials and other adults on loss of purpose in life, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Robin believes there is more than one template to being happy and seeks to help her clients build their own template for happiness in their own lives. Robin also works with young children and their parents on issues at school, difficulty adjusting, trauma, and attachment/adoption. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Robin, click here.
They say we are selfish, self-centered, and don’t work hard. They say we don’t value hard work, the value of a dollar, or don’t care about anything that matters. They say we are lazy and expect good things to just get handed to us. While one can generalize one person who fits those characteristics to the rest of us Millennials, there are other traits that many of this age groups possesses that goes unnoticed.
Brookings Institution says by 2025, Millennials will account for 75% of the workforce. They say we are almost 90 percent more likely to purchase something based on whether it supports specific social issues. Eighty-eight percent of us do not believe that money is an indicator of success thus are more focused on gaining experiences versus things. We also are less likely to trust people - only 19 percent believe that we can trust almost anyone, comparatively to 31 percent of Gen X and 40 percent of Baby Boomers.
We hear what they are saying about us, and we are less likely to value or buy in to what you are saying because of it. Blaming us or anyone else for that matter is not going to get you far, so maybe another approach could be helpful. This is what I see when I read these statistics about Millennials:
Most of my friends, colleagues and others whom I respect are Millennials, and most of them don’t talk about not wanting to work or want money and success to just come to them like many people think we do. They instead talk about how they think they are meant to do something more than just go to work, make money, and die. They often talk about how they feel like there is something bigger for their life, how they can help people, and how they can make experiences with their loved ones versus how they can buy them the next best thing to make them happy.
Maybe you have met one of us that didn’t fall in this category. Maybe you deemed this person as lazy or not hard working. I encourage you, then, to ask them what brings fire to their eyes - what makes them wake up each morning. Their answer may not be the same as yours - what a boring world we would live in if it was.
Ask questions. Get to know them. See life from a different lens without feeling pressured to take that same lens with you.
If you are a millennial who is having difficulty finding your mission in life, who may be stuck or unfulfilled in the place you are in, or one who wants to process through trauma or significant life events from your past to become a healthier version of yourself, call Robin for a free consultation at 785.408.7529. After chasing the next thing that would make her happy (the next phone, the nicest car, the newest style of clothing, or a certain dollar amount in the bank account), Robin has learned how to counter society’s expectations by changing her expectations of herself, of her success, and of growth and can help you do the same.
"Millennials don't want to just read the news anymore - they want to know what they can do about it,"
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
I grew up in a town of 700, including most household pets on the good days. The sunsets, backroads, bonfires, and connectedness are something you don't find in the city, or if you do, it's not the same. There is a beauty and camaraderie about small towns - the way that everyone pulls together in the face of community hardships - many of which my town experienced while I was in school or my brothers were in school. They say that tragedy can either tear people and families apart, or it makes them stronger than they were before it happened; in my town, I’d like to think the latter.
While small towns and communities have many benefits, there are also some downsides. Sometimes there is a lack of diversity among people, making it difficult to see other people’s perspectives. Or there may be a lack of services - only a few doctors, no access to mental health, long waits, and few options for shopping.
It is estimated that young adults and teens spend around 20-25 hours weekly in front of a screen, including television, social media, phones, and texting. Because of this, tele-health is becoming more and more popular and more effective in reaching people in these small communities. Growing up, there were many services that we had to drive 45 minutes to an hour for. Things like Target, serious surgeries, hospitalizations, movies and other extra-curricular activities were only accessible many miles away, only to name a few. You may not be able to do anything about your broken arm over a video conference, but you are now able to access mental health services...and it's working.
Accessing mental health services? Not only did no one talk about this, but many people in rural communities don’t have the ability to drive an hour or so to get this help. They can’t financially take off work, find a babysitter, and have someone pick up their kids from school to simply talk to a therapist about how to handle conflict in their marriage, manage their anxiety, or work through grief. Other barriers may include knowing everyone or almost everyone in the town and feeling afraid that everyone will know my business. Tele-health is confidential. No one is going to see your car parked outside of the therapist’s driveway on Main Street.
Tele-health means three things:
The saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup” applies to all of this. If we don’t sometimes take the time to take care of ourselves, we will have nothing else to give those that we care so much about.
Q: Who is this for?
A: This is for the adult who doesn't have time to make the trip to see a therapist or can't afford to take off work. This is for the college student in a different city struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or finding their purpose. This is for the teen still in high school who now doesn't have to drive an hour to learn emotional regulation. This is for you and your family.
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
To schedule a free phone consultation to discuss benefits, concerns, and costs of this service, please contact Robin at 785-408-7529 or at email@example.com. To read more about Robin, read her biography here.
Couples come to counseling for many different reasons. Typically, the presenting issue is common, such as poor communication, lack of intimacy, financial disagreements, and the list could go on. The root to many of these issues include ghosts from our past relationships, leaving the difficult issues for after we get married, and getting so busy that we put other things ahead of our marriages.
1. Unaddressed issues from previous relationships.
Issues from past relationships, whether they appear significant or not, are the number one root cause of problems couples face. You may be saying, "But that relationship was in the past, I’ve moved on, how is it currently living in my marriage now?" Or even, "I swore I would never be my parents, so WHY do I find myself acting like them when communicating with my significant other?" The answer is that it doesn’t matter what type of the relationship it is with, like a parent, ex-significant other, friend, or even a stranger. If the issues we have in other relationships are not dealt with (poor communication styles, attachment injuries, traumatic events, whatever the problem is), it will ALWAYS factor into our relationship and affect our ability to attach and relate to our partner.
Stop to consider: when having a disagreement with your partner, have you ever felt like you were “paying the price” for someone else’s problems? Do you find yourself reacting to your spouse in a manner that they don't deserve, or you just don’t understand why you respond to conflict in the way that you do? If you answered yes to any of these, there are likely issues from previous relationships that have not been addressed and are playing a role in your current one.
2. Not addressing the hard things first.
I often hear premarital counseling referred to as “checking the box.” Why is that? Well, often premarital counseling is something that people “feel” like should be done to get the green light for marriage, and most often it turns into a surface level counseling. Usually there is a book to read or a questionnaire taken that assesses suitability for one another. As long as things match up well enough then they’re deemed “go to go.” I rarely come across people who say they dug deep into their relationship, their communication styles, and their past hurts prior to marriage. It wasn’t until they encountered an issue head-on that they were finally forced to talk about it; however, all of these hard topics affect a relationship more than knowing how many kids are wanted, or how highly financial fitness falls on the priority scale.
Simply put, relationships and marriage are often entered into without discussing some of the really hard things first.
3. Not prioritizing the relationship.
Okay, this one falls into the “pretty common reason for counseling” category, so it’s important enough it needs to be mentioned. We live in a fast paced society where our time is filled with kids’ needs, after school activities, work events, family functions, and the list can go on and on. Unfortunately, too often quality time spent with each other takes a back seat to everything else. The choice to prioritize other things over your significant other is not usually a conscious one, but gradually happens over time.
Take a moment to think about your partner, has your love grown for them in your time together or has it dwindled? Now think about the amount of quality time you have spent with them in the past 6 months. Were there quality date nights? Deep conversation, not just about work and the kids; but authentic getting to know the deeper you conversations? Real intimacy? If you answered no to any of these then it may be time to examine where your partner lands on your priority list and what prevents them that place of priority.
If you feel you and your spouse may benefit from couples counseling, book an appointment with Kim Farag today at www.kcresolve.com.
Kim Farag, LPC, NCC, NA
Phone - 913-210-0656
E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
August is here, and for some students, this is the dreaded countdown to losing their summer freedom, while others excitedly await the beginning of a new school year. The change in routine can be difficult on kids, as well as parents, as the challenge of enforcing the transition begins. Parents: now is the time to start encouraging your kiddo to make a plan for change.
Many kids start off the school year being optimistic, thinking “things are going to be different this year”, “I’m not going to fall behind”, “I’m going to try to attend”, “I need to keep up with my homework”, etc. Often, they start off on this optimistic foot, making every effort to follow through with their intentions. However, for some, the motivation and effort decrease more and more each week. Change can be difficult for many and often it requires the actual desire to change, preparation of how to make this change, putting the plan into action, and being consistent in order to maintain.
5 steps to help prepare for school to start:
1. Stay active: Studies say that on average, students who struggle the most with the transition back to school are those who spent too much time indoors relaxing and not being active. The return to school can be overstimulating with educational as well as social aspects. Encourage kids to keep moving and engage!
2. Review the schedule: When kids know what classes they will be taking, their location, teachers, and peers in the course, this can decrease a lot of unnecessary anxiety. Having expectations of what a typical day might be can create a plan in their minds. Encourage kids to take a tour of the school, review the class material, talk to their friends about their schedules, and meet the school counselors!
3. Designate a study space: Identify a space where they can go to focus on their homework and only their homework. Even if this space is in their bedroom, de-clutter a designated area to decrease distractions (especially electronics) and chaos. Organized environment = organized mind!
4. Sleep: Most students need 8-10 hours of sleep per night in order to be fully alert and functional the next morning. If your kiddo needs to get up at 6am, they would need to go to sleep around 10pm. Honestly, most teenagers are staying up way past this time over the summer and even into the first few weeks back. Now is the time to start getting on a sleep schedule. Encourage them to go to bed an hour earlier and more importantly, wake up earlier. Finding a bedtime routine that decreases the use of electronics will help train their brain to be tired and triggers sleep mode! (Read a book, have a hygiene routine, organize backpack for the next day, plan their outfit, journal, sketch)
5. Develop a routine: Have a plan of action! School can be stressful; friends can be dramatic; extracurricular are activities overwhelming; and family events may be unpredictable. Creating an ideal routine to follow will help ease the transitions, increase productivity, and create stabilization.
I know what you’re thinking, easier said than done! Yes, the transition back to school can be difficult as change often is. It’s better to start off being proactive than constantly playing catch up and having ongoing struggles. For teens especially, these skills stimulate independence, communication, organization, time management, and a sense of control…which they all desire in some fashion!
If you or someone you know needs assistance in developing these skills, please reach out now for that added support.
Allison Kidd, LMSW, LAC
Resolve Counseling & Wellness
So you’ve never heard of occupational therapy, and you’re trying to understand what exactly an occupational therapist might do and how they help people. Many people think an occupational therapist is someone who coaches and guides in career fields. While that is certainly a beneficial service, occupational therapy is far from that.
What We Really Do
Occupational therapists work one-on-one or in groups with a focus on occupations. Occupations are the things you do on a day-to-day basis. For children, this may involve development of gross and fine motor skills, play individually and with others, academics, and learning life and social skills. Daily occupations for adults may involve the simplest of things as getting dressed, brushing your teeth, making meals, and laundry to more complex tasks such as work, driving, financial management, and caring for others.
An occupational therapist works with a variety of individuals spanning the life span. This includes, but is not limited to, children with developmental delays, adults with chronic health conditions, anyone recovering from an injury/illness, and anyone seeking prevention and wellness in their daily routine to maintain a healthy and balanced life.
When working with an occupational therapist, together you collaborate and focus on the things you do on a day-to-day basis with the goal of establishing independence and function in desired and meaningful activities. Here are a few examples of what this may look like:
3 year old child. Parents have been noticing their child seems to have poor balance, incoordination, difficulty holding crayons to color, difficult time transitioning from one activity to the next, and avoids touching or eating foods of various textures.
40 year old adult with chronic pain and fatigue. This individual has found it difficult to complete daily activities due to fatigue and is no longer engaging in social events causing decrease in moral. This individual has consulted with their doctor and was found to have decreased function of their thyroid gland and is on medication but wants natural approaches to improve function as well.
Any age adult who wants to implement healthy habits and routines into their daily life to prevent and minimize the risk of illness and injury.
Brooke Williams, OTR/L
Phone 913-608- 9515
god, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
You likely have heard and possibly recited the Serenity Prayer before. It is often used in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and has been widely used in religious and non-religious settings alike. It is a simple sentence with a very difficult message to adhere to. I have found both in my life and in the lives of those I counsel that accepting things we cannot control, and thus cannot change, is one of the most difficult challenges we face on a regular basis.
Addicted to Control
Many people are addicted to control. We like to think that we have greater control over situations and people than we really do. One of the greatest illustrations of this I see is parents' belief that they control their children. Sure, we can teach, set limits, establish and follow through with consequences, and give or take away items, but at the end of the day, children are still free-thinking and acting humans. We can do everything in our power to keep our children from making mistakes or poor decisions and they still do. It goes to the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."
This addiction to control can be seen in other situations. Some think that everyone should like them, but no matter how hard they try there will still be those who choose to have negative opinions and possibly treat them poorly. We also like to think we can control a loved one into being different or treating us different. We can't make someone treat us in a certain way, but we can control how we react to them and what limits we set in who we choose to keep as a part of our lives. We can also share our experiences with our loved ones and let their empathy and love dictate how they respond. If it is not in a kind manner then further counseling or boundaries should be pursued.
The Anxiety of Over-Control
Believing we have more control over people and situations than we actually do can cause a great deal of anxiety. There becomes a tension between the way things are and the way we want them to be. Rather than accepting what is outside of our control and focusing on what we can control (i.e. ourselves), we spend all of our energy and focus on trying to change others. This can be like trying to push an immovable object, the only thing it does is wear us out and lead us to feel defeated.
The Weight Lifted From Our Shoulders
When we start to accept things that are outside of our control it can feel like a weight has been lifted from our shoulders. It gives us energy that we had been using elsewhere to actually focus on ourselves. An example of this is a parent who always yells and screams at his/her children for doing something wrong, but by the time punishment is dolled out they are too mentally and emotionally exhausted to enforce it. Rather than trying to change the child, they could focus on what is within their control, like boundaries and consequences, and really enforce those.
We can also see this in relationships. Rather than trying to change the other person in a relationship, look at what boundaries you can set in your life and look at ways in which you react to others. We have enough on our plate to deal with the things we can actually control, taking on people and things outside of our control is just too much. By accepting things outside of your control you will find more energy to focus on what you can.
Resolve-Counseling & Wellness
Prairie Village, KS