10 Things to Make Your New Year Stress Free

I don’t know about you, but for me the end of a year and the beginning of a new one always has a feeling of relief for me. I love the idea of a new, fresh start and starting over. The past year for me has been full of ups and downs, and a lot of personal stress. But at the same time, there are many blessings in my life. If I look back this year, I can see where God has really come through for me and my family. I love the hope that a new year brings. I believe that this year will be better than last year, and that God will continue to teach me how to trust Him in my life.

Here are 10 things that I am going to do this year to make life more stress free take these ideas and also add your own in the comments:

1. Say no to at least one project a week.

2. Reduce the amount of caffeine and sugar I consume.

3. Plan at least one date night a month with my husband.

4. Plan more time with my girlfriends.

5. Schedule in at least one morning a week for writing and business planning.

6. Pay down debt.

7. Say what I am thankful for everyday because God supplies all me needs and provides for me every day.

8. Read more for pleasure.

9. Read a good Bible study or join a Bible study group.

10. Give up trying to plan every little detail of my life and allow God to work things out.

 

Verses that Spoke to Me this Week:

 Isa 43:16, 18-19

This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can’t get up;
they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
—the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Proverbs 3:5-6 

The Message (MSG)
5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

My Top 10 Favorite Gifts for the Play Therapy Room

 

As a play therapist people are always asking me what I need to complete my play therapy room, which of course I answer a play room is never really done.  Here is a list of  10 items to give your play therapist this Christmas. Play therapists, feel free to add your top favorite gifts for your playroom in the comments!
1. Sandtray miniatures
2. Art supplies
3. Gift cards to craft stores or toy stores
4. Dollhouse furniture
5. Children’s books or activity books
6. People (can be family figures or people in the neighborhood)
7. Puppets
9. Board games
10. Sand!
You can find these items many places online, and of course at your regular retailers, like Target and Walmart.
I like:

Confusion vs. Trust and Faith

What’s chronic, repetitive, or inflamed in your inner or outer life?

This burning question is personal. There are many things I could say about it. The past year or so of my life have brought out a lot of hurt, joy, tears, laughter, many mixed emotions. Most recently I took on some opportunities in my life that reminded my of the things that I left, and inflamed a lot of mixed emotions, distrust and confusion. Confusion about what God’s will is for my life right  now, how to decide if an opporunity is one that Is from God, or just a distraction from what His will actually is in my life. And me,being stubborn would rather take an opportunity and then stress about how to get out of it rather than saving myself the heartache and stress and trusting the path that I believe God has put me on. The repetitive is the constant battle to trust the process, and my practical mind, the need for certainty and to provide for my family financially vs. patience, trust and hearing the whispers of the Holy Spirit in my heart leading me, allowing God to unfold his will for my life openly without reservations. The balance between the “busy syndrome” that often accompanies the profession of counseling, the need to pour out compassion everywhere, and the need for self care and rejuvenation. It is a constant battle and conflict for me, and left unchecked can lead me to stubborn slips of faith. It reminds me of Peter, when he sees Jesus walking on the water towards the boat, he takes one step out, and begins walking towards His Savior, and then loses his focus off Jesus and focuses on the storm, then fear sets in and he falls into the stormy waters. There are several things that I love about this picture. One: Peter has the faith to get out of the boat, and two, Jesus is right there pulling Peter out of the water to bring him back to safety and into the boat. It reminds me that I don’t have to fear, that I can take the steps of faith that are presented to me, and that when I fail Jesus is there to rescue me and bring me back to safety, and showing me that I can Trust Him and His will and place in my life.

Matthew 14:22-34

 

Benefits of Therapy – Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children

Read the Most Recent Review of Sam Feels Better Now! and Interactive Story for Children.

Benefits of Therapy – Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children

When to worry about kids’ temper tantrums

When to worry about kids’ temper tantrums

An interesting article on how to differentiate between normal pre-school aged tantrums and something that is a clue that something more is going on.

Ten Questions to Ask When Looking for a Therapist

question markSometimes when you are entering therapy for the first time at an agency or private practice it’s hard to know if you are making the right choice for your child. Think about it, when looking for a therapist, many people look up their insurance provider list, find a few names, ask a friend, pastor or teacher, and maybe look them up on the web. The following are ten things parents should ask when finding a therapist for their child.

1. What is your background in (_child’s problem__)

2. What are your fees, and do you take my insurance.

3. How long have you been practicing

4. How much will I as a caregiver be involved in my child’s therapy

5. What methods do you use (i.e. play therapy, theoretical background)

6. Can I get information about (play therapy, sandtray,) or Can you explain it to me?

7. How will I know if therapy is the right choice for my child?

8. How much will I as a parent be involve?

9. How long will therapy last?

10. What do you do if for some reason my child needs to see someone else?

Joined Eagles Landing Christian Counseling Center!

I am excited to announce that I have joined Eagles Landing Christian Counseling Center and will be seeing clients at the McDonough and Conyers offices. I am currently taking Cigna and Private Pay Clients. I am pursuing other insurance panels, including Amerigroup and Centpatico. I am a play therapist and a writer, I wrote the book “Sam Feels Better Now,” and I help children learn how to cope with traumatizing situations and disabilities. I can see ages 3 and older. I am hoping to find more time to write, blog and teach. If you are interested in referring to me please contact me.

Eagles Landing Office Phone: 770-898-2966 or my

Cell Phone: 404-234-0546.

Email address: kjillosborne@comcast.net

Blog: www.jillosborne.org

Eagles landing website: http://www.eagleslandingchristiancounseling.com/

Thank you for reading!

Favorite Therapeutic Activities for Children, Adolescents and Families: Practitioners Share their Most Effective Interventions

 

lowenstein_2006I am always looking for free or low cost resources, as I am a therapist on a budget (and I am sure there are many of you out there like me!). With so much info on the web it’s hard to narrow down what’s good, what’s not, and how I can find the resources I need for my clients without spending a fortune. That’s why I am soooo glad that I was sent this free copy of Favorite Therapeutic Activities for Children, Adolescents and Families: Practitioners Share their Most Effective Interventions, Edited By Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S.

This ebook is a compilation of over 100 pages of techniques submitted by multiple therapists. It is divided in to different sections: 1. Engagement and Assessment Interventions, 2. Treatment Interventions, and 3. Termination Interventions. Each intervention lists goals of the intervention, materials, advanced preparation, and detailed instructions. As I read through some of the descriptions, I found them easy to follow and detailed enough that I felt that I could easily follow the intervention. The list of contributors includes 35 different therapists, many of which are authors/presenters themselves. The best part is, that the interventions come from various treatment models, including family, sandtray, and more directive, and also integrative models. I love this, as I pull from various theories myself, and therapists from different backgrounds will all be able to glean from this book due to the wide range of ideas. I recommend this book to any child/adolescent/family therapist looking for creative ideas for their clients, as it is FREE!!! and FULL of creative interventions. What do you have to lose? I will be using this resource for a long time, and can’t wait to try some of the ideas with my clients.

 

Liana Lowenstein is a presenter and also author of multiple books including:

1. Paper Dolls & Paper Airplanes: Therapeutic Exercises for Sexually Traumatized Children (with Crisci & Lay)

2. Creative Interventions for Troubled Children & Youth

3. Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce.

4. Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children.

5. NEWEST PUBLICATION: Creative Family Therapy Techniques: Play, Art, and Expressive Activities to Engage Children in Family Sessions

 

She has edited: Volumes One and Two of Assessment and Treatment Activities for Children, Adolescents, and Families: Practitioners Share Their Most Effective Techniques, and will be launching Volume Three this year.

 

To sign up for the free ebook, visit Liana Lowenstein’s website and sign up for her free monthly newsletter. You can also view her upcoming workshops.

Financial Success in Mental Health Practice

 

Recently, I interviewed Dr. Steven Walfish, the co-author with Dr. Jeffrey E. Barnett of “Financial Success in Mental Health Practice: Essential Tools and Strategies for Practitioners” about his book and also surviving as a private mental health practitioner. I think that most mental health practitioners who are in private practice or are planning to be in the future will benefit from this book.

What inspired you and Dr. Barnett to write this book?

I was a frequent responder on list serves regarding the business of practice. An Acquisitions Editor at APA Books asked if I would be interested in writing a book about the financial aspects of running a practice, as there were no such reso

urces out there at the time.

 

What is your background in private practice?

I went into part-time practice in Tampa, Florida upon receiving my PhD in Clinical/Community Psychology in 1981. After I completed a Research Fellowship I then took the plunge into full-time practice. I remained in practice in Tampa until 1992 when we moved to Seattle. I was in full-time practice in Edmonds and Everett, Washington for ten years. We then moved to Atlanta. I was a visiting professor first at Kennesaw State University, full-time as I started my practice, and then two years later was a half-time Visiting professor at Georgia State University as my practice continued to grow. In 2006 I stopped teaching and concentrated solely on my practice.

Are you working on any other writing projects?

Jeff Barnett and I just completed another book for APA Books that will be published

this summer titled, Billing and Collecting for Your Mental Health Practice: Effective Strategies and Ethical Practice. It is a continuation of our emphasis on our first book in that mental health professionals receive little, if any, training/guidance on the business aspects of a private practice. The book focuses on how to bill and collect and to avoid ethical or illegal behaviors in the process. Lisa Grossman, a Psychologist in Chicago, have just signed a contract for Springer Books titled, “Translating Research into Practice: Researcher and Clinician Perspectives. Academics/researchers will present the evidence-based research on a large number of clinical problem areas and then clinicians will comment on what it is like to try and implement evidence-based practices within clinical practice.

When you’re not writing what else do you do?

My wife is an artist so we go to openings. We also enjoy dining out in the wide variety of restaurants that Atlanta has to offer. I also enjoy watching our local sports teams.

What are other books that you have written?

In 2001 Allen Hess and I co-edited, Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students. It looks at the application process to grad school, then how to make it through (both academically and politically) through the rigors of program, and then looks at career options. In May of 2010 APA Books published a book that I edited titled, Earning a Living Outside of Managed care: 50 Ways to Expand Your Practice Many people want a practice that falls outside the purview of managed care. Very few know how to accomplish this in their practice. The book presents vignettes of people who are doing this and they discuss their interest in the area and if the reader is interested how to learn more about incorporating the practice activity into their practice.

What are some of the top pitfalls that private practitioners find themselves in?

I think the main one is not viewing our practices as a ‘small business” and that we are ‘small business owners.”Another key one is ignoring our entire skill set (assessment, psychotherapy, consultation, writing, research) in helping us to make a living in independent practice. I believe too often people say, “I only do this or I only do that.’ It limits our options to deliver good services or to develop products.

What tips do you have on thriving in mental health private practice?

 

Jeff Barnett and I have 20 Principles of Private Practice Success that we present in our book.

Here are the top 5:

1. You Need To Resolve the Conflict Between Altruism and Being a Business Owner

 

2. It Is Essential That Mental Health Professionals Have Ready Access To Competent Professionals To Answer Questions Outside of Their Areas of Expertise. To Ignore This Places the Clinician at Ethical, Legal and Financial Risk

 

3. Private Practitioners Need To Become Comfortable With Negotiating From a Position Of Strength. If You Are Desperate For The Job or Income You Will Negotiate From a Position of Weakness. Strength is Found in the Ability to Say No Thank You and Walk Away.

 

4. Participation In A Managed Care Plan Is Not A Requirement For Being In Private Practice. If You Choose To Participate Clearly Understand, and Emotionally Accept, All Of The Financial and Clinical Ramifications and Limitations Beforehand. If You Do Not Do So You Will Be Setting Yourself Up For A Great Deal Of Frustration During Your Participation.

 

5. There Are Only So Many Hours In The Week That A Private Practitioner Can Earn Income. Therefore It Is Financially Advantageous To Develop Revenue Steams of Passive Income.

How should a therapist prepare themselves for opening a private practice?

First and foremost of course is to buy our book (tee hee!).Actually there are many good books out there on developing a private practice (Chris Stout, Lorina Kase, Holly Hunt, Lyn Grodzki). I would find appropriate mentors who can teach you about the ins and outs and pros and cons of private practice and perhaps they will take you under their wing.Also be prepared to pay for consultation and program development advice. Mental health professionals tend to “be cheap” and not want to pay for services that will bring them more money (or preserve the money they have) in the long run. There are also professional organizations one can join. For psychologists there is APA Division 42, Psychologists in Independent practice.

Who will benefit from your book?

Anyone considering going into practice. The review of the books have lauded how realistic and practical we try to be. In the Preface Jeff and I point out how many mistakes we have made in a combined 50 years of practice. We want others to avoid making these same mistakes.

Many of my readers work with children, what are some additional considerations when working with children in private practice?

Working with children requires flexibility in hours, especially if it is a long-term case. Parents do not like to take their kids out of school on a weekly basis. So hours may need to be offered after school, early evening, or on Saturdays to optimize filling psychotherapy slots. You also need a waiting room that is “kid-friendly” and office staff that can tolerate children with behavior problems. Working with children also requires working with the adults that control their lives (e.g., parents, teachers, school administrators). So skills in working with adults that can be difficult are an essential part of the job description.

What is one of the most rewarding things about working in private practice?

For me it is in having been able to create my own successful small business. I also get to choose my hours, client populations that I work with, and that I have no boss listening to one of my ideas and saying, “No!”

What is one of the most difficult things about private practice?

The uncertainty of the continued success of my practice. One fact about private practice is that it is always changing and evolving. Some of these changes are within my control and some are not. This is the reality of free enterprise in out culture.

How/when did you decide to start writing?

I have always written professionally, though most has been for formal journal articles. Moving into books was a natural progression for me.

Where can “Financial Success in Mental Health Practice” be purchased?

Through the American Psychological Association, Amazon.com and likely other book outlets.

 

Do you have questions about play therapy?

Do you have questions about play therapy? What is it? Who is it for? What does a play room look like? Maybe you have never heard of play therapy, or you want clarification about it. Please ask your questions in the comments section. I will answer them to the best of my knowledge, or point you to a resource. I will not answer questions about specific cases, or personal situations, or give counseling advice. I will answer questions about play therapy in general, so ask away!