Problem solving

I often find in my personal life and with clients that identifying a problem is easy. Almost too easy! We are all constantly faced with challenges that can range on a level of significance and impact. Despite where these challenges fall on that spectrum, how we respond to them remains the same.
There are a lot of unknowns right now. Will you go back to work or school? Will you be able to travel to see your relatives? Is it safe to see “that friend” or go to “that appointment”? Our bodies and brains tend to do one of two things—we either push the feelings of anxiety and fear away, or we obsess and overthink about the possible outcomes.

It’s back-to-school time. And this year is certainly shaping up to be different than any other. Planning is challenging and the news we receive continues to change. Just when you think you are ready to go, you learn you have to pivot to another option. Below are some tips to build success during this year, not just for your student but for parents, too.

I am that mom that let’s my daughter climb on the playground without shadowing her every move. I’m also the mom who let’s my daughter steal toys from other kids and vice versa without getting involved. Lastly, I’m that mom who will stand there and let my daughter have a tantrum without trying to stop it, regardless if we're in a public place or not.
Have you ever found yourself avoiding a topic or person in order to avoid discussing something uncomfortable? Difficult conversations are rarely something we look forward to. It doesn’t matter if it’s a romantic partner, a family member or a co-worker, tackling a tough topic is challenging. 
The school year is back in full swing and many students we work with are feeling overwhelmed. Parents want nothing more than to help their children, but often, this isn’t the message their kids hear. What you say and how you say it can make all the difference in how your child feels and acts, so how do you communicate your concerns to them without it turning into an argument?
Everyone procrastinates. Whether it be homework assignments, work tasks, cleaning your room or apartment, running an errand, washing the dishes or even just getting into bed, at one time or another, we have all said to ourselves "I can do it later." While procrastination may be harmless at times, the habit of pushing things off can also have detrimental consequences. Lack of productivity can elicit feelings of guilt and inadequacy. It can contribute to poor performance at school or at work. We can even forget about a task all together if we procrastinate long enough.
As we approach the new year, we often reflect on the past twelve months and what was accomplished. We may be proud of ourselves for the changes we have made and the success we have achieved. We may also feel disappointed that certain goals were not met. The New Year is a blank slate, and there is always pressure to map out what it may look like and what we want, or don’t want, it to look like. Have resolutions worked for you in the past? Great! If they haven’t, or cause you stress, here’s a way to start a new chapter in a positive way.
Radical acceptance is a skill we teach in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that aims to help you move from anger and pain to acceptance of the realities of life. It is the key to feeling more in control of your emotions. We all face situations in life that interfere with our mental health and overall happiness and learning how to radically accept them can make a profound difference in your life.