Teens and Thoughts, Feelings, Behavior

Part of creating a healthy family climate is acknowledging that we’re all in the same boat. None of us is immune to life’s challenges, and we all need help once in a while. Star Point Counseling Center provides tools to help teens recognize the connection between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and develop healthier ways of coping.

TFB (thoughts, feelings, behavior) is based on the idea that how we feel and what we do are colored by the way we think. Because we have the ability to change the way we think, we can learn how to have better control of our feelings and our actions.

From time to time, all of us struggle with thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are unproductive or detrimental, and we all find it difficult at times to muster the motivation to take the action needed to interrupt our troublesome outlook and replace it with a healthier, more positive one.

Simply put, a situation arises, and we have thoughts about the facts of that situation; those thoughts trigger feelings, and based on those feelings we engage in behaviors which in turn impact the situation (either positively or negatively), and the cycle continues.

At Star Point Counseling Center, there are two convenient locations for you to choose from in Brandon and Tampa.  

We provide counseling services to individuals, couples, families, children, teens, and adults with any type of crises.  We help you build tools as well as help design and implement individualized goals and objectives, help you sort out beliefs, thoughts, and behavior patterns that may be hindering you in your relationship(s) whether at the work place or in other areas of your life.  
 
We have the tools you need for managing pain, anxiety, disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, or anger resulting from circumstances that interfere in achieving a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.  By working together, we will show you how to set and achieve goals and objectives therapeutically designed to meet your needs that will allow you to live the life you know that you deserve.
Call or text us today, or anytime, to schedule an appointment (813) 244-1251 or visit us online at:
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When to Seek Co-Parenting Counseling

When parents are able to create and maintain a strong parenting alliance after separation, children have a secure base to depend on while they grow. Some families are able to easily maintain a strong alliance after separation and others need support to create or regain a stable co-parenting relationship.

Through Co-Parenting Counseling you can reduce troubling symptoms and create positive change in your life. You’ll begin to identify what isn’t working and the effects these patterns are having on your relationships, mood, and productivity.

Parents seek co-parent consultation at all stages of post-separation parenting. Some parents come in before separation to explore how to separate in a way that best supports their children’s needs. Others have been co-parenting for a while and want to strengthen their co-parent alliance, improve communication and decision-making, or reduce children’s exposure to unresolved conflict.

Call or Text us at Star Point Counseling Center. We have offices in Tampa and Brandon and can work around your busy schedule. We can be reached at (813) 244-1251. We are also online at:

http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com

http://www.affordablecounslingbrandon.com

 

Troubled Teens

Parenting a teen is never easy, especially if they are taking part in reckless behaviors like abusing alcohol, using drugs, or is violent and depressed.  While parenting a troubled teen can often seem like an impossible task, there are steps you can take to ease the chaos at home and help your teen become a successful adult.

As they grow older, teens begin to assert their independence, because of this, they may experience behavioral changes that can seem bizarre to the parents.  Therefor, it is important for parents to understand which behaviors are normal during adolescent development and which are indicators of a more serious problem.

  • Changing in appearance is typical teen behavior, although if it is accompanied by problems at school or self-harm it is a problem.
  • Mood swings are normal due to hormone changes, although sudden persistent sadness, anxiety, or sleep problems can be a sign of depression.
  • Increased arguments is typical teen behavior as they begin to seek independence, although violence at home, getting in fights at school, and run-ins with the law are all red flags.

If you see a red flag behavior in you teen you should consult a doctor, counselor or therapist. At Star Point Counseling Center, we specialize in helping troubled teens get back on the right track. We can help your teen through the stages of change, to increase compliance with rules and laws, encourage positive peer selection, improve academic status, and overall goal directed behavior. If you have any questions or wish to speak to a counselor please give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

Solving Communication Problems with Your Tween.

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Maintaining a good relationship with your child is important for getting them to do things that they prefer not to do and being able to influence them. Even tweens with an overly developed conscience are still at the stage where they do the right thing to avoid displeasing their parents, teachers, and other authority figures because they can readily tell the difference between right and wrong.

A big problem for parents is getting tweens to listen when they are being spoken to. In fact, many parents are so used to being ignored, they automatically raise their voices when asking their tween to do something, as if speaking to someone who is slightly deaf. Most tweens dislike being shouted to and ordered about. It makes them resentful, and as they mature, they begin speaking in the same disrespectful ways to their parents.

For many parents, the biggest challenges are remembering to treat their child respectfully on the one hand, and demanding that their child treat them respectfully on the other. Modeling is the most potent form of teaching.If you yell and scream out of frustration, apologize later, just as you would expect someone else to do if they lost their temper with your child, and just as you would expect your child to do if they took out their crankiness on you or their teachers. Down the road, they will need to be able to handle them self appropriately with bosses and employers.

For more tips and tools on solving communication problems with your tweens, call us today! We teach and demonstrate effective parenting skills and techniques that will help you to break through the communication barriers that may be undermining your authority in the home.

www.starpointcounselingtampa.com    (813)244-1251

Effective Discipline For Children.

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Although you may think that spanking and physical punishment is the best discipline strategy, it is not very effective in changing your child’s behaviors. Parents who use spanking and physical punishment hope to decrease their child’s bad behavior, however, long-term use of physical punishment could actually lead to an increase in aggressive behavior in children.

Try these strategies for improving your child’s behaviors:

  1. Positive reinforcement. Children benefit greatly from positive attention and praise of good or desired behaviors. For example, if your child tends to talk back and disobey use positive reinforcement and praise during the times that they obey and don’t talk back.
  2. Consequences. Create rules and consequences for not following those rules, and ALWAYS enforce them. The more a child knows that they won’t get away with something, they are more likely to not engage in that behavior.
  3. Accept feedback. Get feedback from the child when creating rewards and consequences. By asking the child you increase the likelihood that those consequences and rewards will be more motivating for them to change their behavior.

All of our Licensed Mental Health Counselors and Registered Mental Health Interns at Star Point Counseling Center have experience with children and can work with you and your children to decrease problem behaviors.

For more helpful parenting tips and suggestions or to schedule an appointment visit our website or give us a call! www.starpointcounselingtampa.com  (813)244-1251

Busy Season Is Approaching!

Our busiest time of the year is closing in on us! All of our counselors are gaining more and more new clients each day, and their schedules are filling up. We want to make sure that you can get the help you need as soon as possible, so we highly recommend that you call to schedule an appointment as soon as you can before we are forced to begin a wait list! We have two locations for your convenience in Brandon and Tampa, and we also accept some major insurance companies and have affordable prices for those who do not have insurance.

Our counselors at the Tampa office are available Monday-Friday 12pm-8pm, and at the Brandon office Monday-Thursday 12pm-8pm and Saturdays anytime by appointment only.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, schedule an appointment while you still can! (813)244-1251, or After hours: (813)479-3510

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Advice For Blended Families.

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Raising a blended family comes with many ups and downs. When parents get remarried it can be very confusing and frustrating for the children who get stuck in the middle. With patience and a positive attitude, you can achieve a blended family that is filled with love, respect, and peace.  

Here are a few tips to successfully creating a blended family:

Be patient. Just because the parents are in love doesn’t mean the kids will automatically have the same feelings. Getting to know one another, and how to live happily under one roof takes lots of trial and error. 

Make the children feel safe. Children want to feel stability. In a blended family they often feel uncertainty, mistrust, and fear. Reassure them that often, and don’t make them make many changes at once. 

Don’t push them aside. The children are not in their honeymoon phase of love like you are. If you don’t show them love and attention like you do your partner they will feel like they are being pushed to the side and will take it out on the step-parent. 

Don’t force the children. They will learn to play nicely, share, hug, and love each other on their own time, don’t force it.

Set the rules. This is not the time for the children to begin calling the shots. Set limits and boundaries, make sure the children know what is expected of them when it comes to behavior. It may be rough at first but the children will learn to respect the new authority.

Never make your child choose. Never make children choose between, or talk badly about, their “real” mom or dad.

A blended family can be a wonderful thing. Give it time, compassion, and consideration. You might find that your blended family is better than you could have ever imagined.

Visit our website for information on how we can help you make the process of blending a family as smooth as possible! 

www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

Dealing with Troubled Teens.

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It is completely normal for your teenager to want to be independent, but not to act out in dangerous extremes. If they are creating self-destructive behavior DO NOT wait to intervene. The longer you let it go, the more perilous the situation becomes.

Here is some advice for parents with troubled teens:
-Identify the cause: If your teen is making drastic behavioral changes, there’s a reason. It’s a cause-and-effect situation. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change. It may be a recent event, or it may be something deep-rooted.
-Look back: Negative events that happened at ages 2, 3 or 4 help to shape children’s personalities. By the time these toddlers become teenagers, they’ve been living with the resulting pain for most of their lives. As teenagers, they are able to act on these feelings with more lasting — and harmful — consequences.
-Listen and talk: Teenagers today have more opportunities to make bad decisions than they did in years past. This is all the more reason that you must be a positive, reliable person in your child’s life. Listen to him or her and resist the urge to judge or advise; sometimes just being heard helps. Even though they’re often reluctant to admit it, they seek approval, love, and a “soft place to fall” in their parents. If they don’t feel valued, loved and understood at home, they’ll turn elsewhere to get the acceptance they so deeply need.
-Act like a parent: …especially if your teenager is already going down the wrong path. A warm relationship is ideal, but sometimes you must do things your child won’t understand. Remember: you’re a parent, not a pal. Your responsibility is to ensure the well-being and safety of your child. Intervening in a dangerous situation (like ones involving drugs, abuse or truancy) might make your child dislike you, but it will also save his or her life.

If you are having a hard time dealing with your troubled teen, seek help from a Licensed Mental Heath Counselor.
For more information on how we can help visit our website! www.starpointcounselingtampa.com
Call us today to set up an appointment! (813) 244-1251