By: Dr. Erica Wollerman
January 1st was a very big day for us at Thrive, and really for me in particular as the founder of Thrive Therapy Studio. You see, this is the day that we celebrated our first year anniversary of being a group therapy practice! Not only have we celebrated our first year of being a group practice, but we have also been able to expand our team of clinicians and services offered over the past year. While reflecting on the year, I feel so proud of the work we do, families we work with, and overarching values of our growing company!
At Thrive, we offer a different approach to psychotherapy in the sense that our clinical team focuses heavily on the relationships we develop with our clients. We all have different approaches to working with our clients, but this very relational, client-centered, and collaborative approach remains the same with any Thrive Team Member. This is one of the most important factors that has gone into choosing clinicians to join us at Thrive as I truly believe that therapy works best when we are collaborating with our clients and building a bridge with them to their goals. We believe in building people up so that they can learn to change things themselves with our support rather than a top down more clinical approach.
Since we have many different therapists to choose from, I feel confident in knowing that we can truly serve our community in so many different ways and that most people seeking therapy will feel that one of us will be a good fit for helping and supporting them. We offer individual therapy for children as young as 3 up through adulthood. We also are offering parent consultation services, either in conjunction with individual therapy for a child or teen or as a separate service to support parents. Special areas of interest and specialty for us as a whole includes the following: Autism, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Issues, Anxiety, Depression, and Adjustment Issues. All of us are well versed in working with children, teens, and adults with a myriad of challenges.
We have even started offering all of our services in Spanish as well due to our lovely bilingual clinician, Jennifer Gonzalez, LMFT. Jennifer is wonderful in working with shame around parenting and increasing communication in parent-child relationships (check out her bio here!).
Dr. Maria Fowlks specializes in working with teens who are going through the pangs of adolescence and need a supportive space. Check out her bio here!
Angela Bianco, ASW, is skilled in working with individuals who are feeling stuck, frustrated, or bored with current parenting strategies. Check out her bio here!
And I, Dr. Erica Wollerman love working with individuals of any age who identify as perfectionists! Check out my bio here!
As I mentioned before, I am so proud of how far Thrive has come in one year and so excited to think of how many more people we can support in the coming years! To stay in the loop on our services offered and to receive updated information about Thrive, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter through the following link: http://eepurl.com/cvGx5n.
If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself for adult psychotherapy, your child, or teen attending therapy with one of us, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
By: Dr. Maria Fowlks
The holiday season is upon us. And let’s be honest, the holidays can be quite stressful and exhausting! They can be demanding and overwhelming for the whole family. And feeling like you need to do everything to give your kids an amazing holiday can make it even worse. For you and them. Especially when they are displaying challenging behaviors and you start to feel resentful because they seem ungrateful. It is important to remember this time of year is not just stressful and exhausting for you, it is for your children too. Whether it is tests, finals, parties, school performances, extracurricular activities, family visiting, or all of the above, it is a LOT for them. It is a lot for ALL of you.
So try and remember this when your child is giving you an attitude, throwing a fit, wants to stay in their room, or displaying any challenging behavior. These behaviors are likely their way of communicating they are overwhelmed, over stimulated, or tired and in need of a break. And don’t forget about you, when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, becoming irritable or short with your family members, take a break. Try to model for your family that the holidays should not be about being stressed and overwhelmed. You don’t have to do every trending holiday activity or event. Pick a few, or none. Make family traditions simple, and let them be about who you are as family and what you enjoy, and not what everyone else is doing. Remind yourself of this as many times as you need. Take a moment to look at your beautiful family. Enjoy them this holiday season. Have fun, be playful, and let the small things (or big things that no one cares about anyway) go. Happy Holidays! May this be the best one yet!
We at Thrive thought it would be fun to share a joint blog from our team of therapists where we each share one of our favorite parenting tips. Since we all have different perspectives, this is a great way to get to know each of us as a therapist. Hope you like it and find our ideas helpful!
Lindsey Brady, LMFT - How to support your child through tough feelings
In practice, I often work with children who experience difficulty with self-regulation, anger, and tantrum behaviors. A big part of what I do is help parents to understand developmental levels and how to support their kids through the “tough stuff.” Often, as parents, we expect our children to be respectful and behave appropriately and it’s easy to forget that kids often don’t understand or know how to manage their emotions. It’s important to teach children that ALL feelings are okay, even the ones that seem socially unacceptable, like anger or jealousy, and that all feelings pass with time. Encourage your kids to do something with their feelings if they need to. Invite them to be still or to share, cry, or communicate. If a child is unable to regulate and engages in inappropriate behaviors, parents can lovingly disengage and remind themselves that the behavior is not a reflection of their parenting or their child’s lack of respect, but more a lack of skill in dealing with the emotion or situation. Stepping back in the moment and addressing it when everyone is calm enables the child to be in an emotional space to learn and allows the parent space to explain and correct in a calm and loving way.
Maria Fowlks, PsyD - Validate your child’s feelings
Validating your child’s emotions helps them feel heard and understood, and it lets them know their feelings matter. When you do this, you are sending the message you love and accept them regardless of how they think and feel. It is important to honor and validate the big and small things, because what may seem small to you is likely very big to them. It shows them you care and think their feelings are important. It teaches them that ALL feelings are valid.
Jennifer Gonzalez, LMFT - Provide your child with options
I am almost sure that you have heard “children like to have options” before. I agree with this statement completely. Children and adolescents like to feel like they are in control and hold power, and who doesn’t?
Well, I would like to offer you an extension of that. Giorgio Nardone creator of Brief Strategic Therapy designed an intervention called “illusion of alternatives” which is exactly what it says; it gives the illusion that the person has an alternative. This intervention is a real elegant way in which you offer the possibility of a option: The first option is very frightening and almost impossible for the person to complete and the second option is one that is less threatening and easier to put into practice.
Translating this into child and adolescent terms: the first option should be one that is boring, tedious, and annoying to them. The second option (the one that you really want them to choose) should be doable, easy and in many ways more appealing. For example you may say: “Would you rather vacuum the entire house or take out the trash?” or for adolescents “Would you rather do the dishes and put them away or vacuum the living room.”
Angela Bianco, ASW - Helping parents shift from being reactive to proactive in parenting
Taking time to reflect on your parenting and interactions with your child is crucial in learning to shift from being reactive to proactive in parenting. Unfortunately, because our lives are so busy, parents are more likely to operate from a reactive state of mind instead of working from a clear set of principles and strategies. Instead of just reacting, try asking yourself the following questions: Why did he act this way? What's the lesson? How can I best teach it? Use these questions and your overarching parenting principles you want to use to guide your parenting as a guide for how to intervene and teach your child.
Erica Wollerman, PsyD – Knowing when to let your kid fail
As many of you who read the Thrive blog know, I am passionate in my belief that as parents, one of the best things we can do is to allow your child to fail at times. I believe strongly in the importance of teaching kids that failure is okay because it means you are trying new things and leaving your comfort zone. The other great thing about allowing your kids to fail is that you can then coach them through the failure. Teaching them how to fix things after mistakes, how to manage their feelings about the failure, and that it is okay to fall down only helps build grit and resiliency in all of us. As parents, this is a great gift you can give your children that will help them be more successful and resourceful in the future!
We hope you enjoyed our first group blog! There will hopefully be many more to come in the future so that we can continue sharing our many different experiences and thoughts with you!
If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy with one of us, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
If you would like to receive updated information about Thrive Therapy, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter through the following link: http://eepurl.com/cvGx5n.
Being a therapist brings me so much joy. I get to connect with individuals from all walks of life and see the world through their lens. There are many reasons why I love being a therapist. I will share 6 of these reasons below.
1. It is a challenge. Therapy is hard work, not just for the client but for the therapist too. Therapy is like an intricate dance, and it is important for the therapist to know when to move delicately, move boldly, and when to let the client do a solo while you cheer them on. Although the work can be challenging, it is incredibly rewarding.
2. It is an honor and privilege to be apart of someone’s journey. Being given access into a person’s thoughts and feelings as well as seeing a person at their most vulnerable, is truly a privilege. In a fast past society where time seems to fly by, being able to be present and in the moment with another human being is a wonderful gift. It is an honor to be able to just BE with a client, with no agenda, in whatever it is they are going through.
3. I enjoy my role as a guide and a cheerleader. It is a pleasure working alongside my clients, supporting, guiding, and rooting them on as they brave the challenges life can sometimes bring. The reward of being able to witness my clients learn about themselves and grow is invaluable.
4. It is inspiring. I too learn and evolve. My clients are as much my teachers as I am theirs. My approach to therapy is a partnership, and in that partnership there is learning occurring on both sides. My clients never cease to amaze and inspire me with their strength, courage, and resilience.
5. Therapy is dynamic. There is never a dull moment. Each client is so different and brings their own life experiences and challenges and I get to come along on the journey, even if it is for a brief period of time. Being multiracial, I value diversity and multiculturalism, and enjoy the diverse array of clients I see.
6. I am there for the best and the worst. I get to witness the human experience. It’s not always pretty, but it is real. In a society where it is unclear what is real sometimes, I am grateful to be part of the REAL human experience and it is truly an honor.
Thank you for reading! For more information about Dr. Fowlks and her services, please contact her at 858.401.6929 or check her profile out here.
Blogs from the Thrive Family!
Musings from Erica, Lauren, Panicha, Angela, Jennifer, and Maria
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Thrive Therapy Studio
5230 Carroll Canyon Rd. Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92121
"Watch your thoughts,
They become words.
Watch your words,
They become actions.
Watch your actions,
They become habits.
Watch your habits,
They become character;
It becomes your destiny."