How to Validate Teens (Even When You Don’t Agree)

Invalidation basically means expressing a lack of empathy toward someone’s feelings and experience of the world. Validation, then, conveys the message: I see you, I hear you, and I understand where you’re coming from and what you’re going through. Validation or invalidation aren’t always articulated verbally, but could be shown through a supportive or skeptical …

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3 Must-Read Books About Self-Care and Personal Growth

For anyone who works in education or the helping professions, I’d like to share with you three books that I’ve found particularly helpful in dealing with stress, burnout, and vicarious trauma, and in moving toward a life that’s both more satisfying and more effective in serving others.  The Compassion Fatigue Workbook: Creative Tools for Transforming …

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How Can I Focus on Self-Care When There’s Endless Need?

In his book on Clergy Burnout, Rev. Fred Lehr sums up the unspoken mantra of the helping professions: “Be the selfless martyr. Bear everyone else’s pains. Make everything right.”  Of course you could always do more. But can you? Self-care isn’t about being selfish or self-indulgent. Nor is it just one more item to add …

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The Five Major Types of Drugs Used by Teens

Most of my clients use drugs because they’re self-medicating symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, or other emotional or environmental challenges. They don’t understand the negative consequences, or they’ve decided the benefits outweigh the risks. If we’re going to ask teens to stop using drugs, we need to understand the perceived benefits as well as the …

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6 Ways to Support Overburdened Helpers

“My ability to care for people has suffered. […] Many of us feel like we’re becoming worse at our jobs.” nurse dealing with hospital staffing shortages during COVID-19 (source: NPR.org) I doubt there’s a single person working in the helping professions who hasn’t heard that it’s important to practice self-care. Yes, self-care is important. But …

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5 Ways to Practice Self-Care When You’re Exhausted and Overwhelmed

“Dr. Tudbelly eyed the distraught Lionel. ‘What are your symptoms? Do you feel baffled? Bewildered? Confused? A little edgy? Frightened? Puzzled?’ ‘Yes, yes!’ cried Lionel. ‘All of that!’ ‘Good,’ said Dr. Tudbelly. ‘You’re quite normal.’ ‘But what shall I do?’ ‘Why, the same as any sensible person in the circumstances. Keep going. Hope for the …

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6 Tips for Helping Teens Deal with Back-to-School Stress and Anxiety

This year, in addition to the usual back-to-school jitters, teens are getting hit from all sides during the pandemic: They may be hearing alarming misinformation about COVID, or have legitimate concerns about a highly contagious illness; They may be pawns in the competing agendas of parents, teachers, school administrators and government leaders about mask-wearing, vaccinations, …

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8 Principles for teaching mindfulness to teens

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