Ahh! Parenting! It is never a dull moment. And definitely not for the faint of heart. Being a parent is filled with joy, confusion, laughter, monotony, surprises, and frustration. So, we decided to ask our Thrive team of therapists to share their favorite parenting tips or recommendations. Come learn a little more about parenting and our therapists.
Abbey Stewart, AMFT: My favorite parenting tip is not usually my most popular: less is more. I mean that parents are quick to believe that if they don’t offer solutions or instant comfort, their child will experience unreasonable distress. I like to support children in finding their inner strengths by increasing their understanding that they can navigate challenges autonomously. If folks have questions, I am happy to expand!
Dr Andrea Seldomridge: Less is more! Often, seeing kids and teens about to make mistakes can be hard. Instead of stepping in each time, allowing them to make mistakes can be a great way to help them grow, mature, and build confidence.
Kim Macias, APCC: I always recommend that parents spend time one-on-one with their children where the child gets to pick the activity. You may be surprised by what they choose! And it's a great way to show how special they and their interests are to you.
Jennifer Gonzalez, LMFT: Although not the only form of communication, words matter. Even when you think that your child is not listening, they are. The best way to teach your child positive behaviors is by role modeling, but you are also human, and you might not get it right every time. You are also learning with your child, so if you notice that your emotions are intensifying and might dictate your reaction, take some space and walk away rather than saying things you may not mean or want to say.
Dr Maria Fowlks: That your child is a whole person with the same feelings we have, but with developing brains and very limited experience with these emotions. So remember your child is having a hard time, not giving you a hard time.
Molly Llamas, AMFT: Less is more! Parents often feel pulled to make decisions and choices for their children to prevent them from making mistakes or getting hurt. I love experiences where I can work with parents to normalize these worries/ concerns while also empowering them to welcome opportunities to see their children succeed and learn from their mistakes/ choices.
Ying Ying Shiue, LPCC: Foster connection and hold your boundaries. While you may think it’s an oxymoron, you can do both by fostering a connection with your kids and holding them accountable.
Being present in the moment to love and support your child is key. At Thrive, we are here for you. We take a positive, client-centered therapy approach focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you want to talk with one of our therapists about yourself, your child, or your teen about attending therapy, call us at 858-342-1304. We offer in-person and video sessions, and all of us LOVE supporting parents!
Are you thinking about starting therapy for yourself or a loved one? An important aspect of that decision is finding a therapist who can connect with you. Every therapist has a style and approach that is as unique to them as their thumbprint. We recently asked our Thrive therapists to describe their approach in therapy. We invite you to read and consider if this may be the help you have been looking for.
Dr. Maria Fowlks: My therapeutic approach looks to help individuals become more understanding, accepting and compassionate in dealing with themselves and those they love. I believe in creating a safe and non-judgmental space for my clients. I strive to make them feel comfortable and supported throughout our sessions. My goal as a therapist is to support my clients on their journey towards improved mental well-being, and to empower them with the tools and insights to navigate life's challenges. I do this by taking an integrative approach to therapy. This means that I draw from various evidence-based therapeutic modalities and techniques, tailoring my approach to meet their unique needs. I also recognize the importance of cultural sensitivity and strive to create a culturally inclusive environment. I respect and value diversity and am committed to understanding and addressing the unique challenges clients may face based on their cultural background. I work alongside my clients, supporting, guiding, and rooting them on as they brave the challenges life can sometimes bring. My clients are as much my teachers as I am theirs. My clients never cease to amaze and inspire me with their strength, courage, and resilience.
Dr. Andrea Seldomridge: I like to strike a balance between structured and unstructured. I often will bring in tools that may help them with what they’re coming in for, such as depression or anxiety. However, I always want to meet the client where they’re at and utilize a more conversational and organic approach.
Molly Llamas, AMFT: I bring my authentic self to all sessions by incorporating humor, curiosity, empathy, and culture, inviting you to bring your whole self, too. My approach includes a multicultural lens that allows me to understand and honor all of my clients’ needs and stories by meeting them where they are, while also challenging them to step out of their comfort zones through a non-judgemental approach.
Ying Ying Shiue, LPCC: I like making connections with my clients, so I incorporate a lot of real-life experiences and humor into my style of therapy. I’m kind, caring, and compassionate while also being realistic and honest. If you’re making a mistake, then I’ll tell you that, but then I’ll also tell you about the time when I made that same mistake, and we can laugh about it!
Abbey Stewart, AMFT: I would love for clients to know that I have tools and knowledge that I use to support a client in exploring their questions or processing experiences they have. Ultimately, every person is the expert of their own experiences, and supporting people in their therapeutic journey is a great privilege.
Kim Macias, APCC: I strive to provide a warm and nurturing space for you to identify your needs and goals. I approach therapy as a partnership between me and my clients to help you reach your goals, and I strive to create a space where you can be yourself.
Jennifer Gonzalez, LMFT: I utilize various evidence-based therapeutic modalities as I believe the therapeutic approach should meet the client’s needs, not vice versa. In treatment, I always operate under a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive lens.
At Thrive, we have an amazing team of therapists. We take a positive, client-centered therapy approach focused on connecting with our clients and building skills to help them manage their symptoms more effectively. We offer in-person and video sessions and group therapy for preteens and teens. We would love to hear from you at 858-342-1304 so that we can support your family!
As the founder of Thrive, I have the privilege of working closely with some truly amazing therapists. My Thrive Team! In the next blog series, I am going to be introducing you to them one at a time.
Who do you LOVE working with?
Being a therapist brings me so much joy! I have the privilege to connect with individuals from all walks of life and see the world through their lens. I love my work with adolescents, adults, and parents. Working with the BIPOC community is something I am passionate about as a BIPOC clinician myself. I enjoy supporting clients experiencing anxiety, life transitions, identity challenges and interpersonal struggles.
What should potential clients know about you and your style in therapy?
My therapeutic approach looks to help individuals become more understanding, accepting and compassionate in dealing with themselves and those they love. I believe in creating a safe and non-judgmental space for my clients. I strive to make them feel comfortable and supported throughout our sessions. My goal as a therapist is to support my clients on their journey towards improved mental well-being, and to empower them with the tools and insights to navigate life's challenges. I do this by taking an integrative approach to therapy. This means that I draw from various evidence-based therapeutic modalities and techniques, tailoring my approach to meet their unique needs. I also recognize the importance of cultural sensitivity and strive to create a culturally inclusive environment. I respect and value diversity, and I am committed to understanding and addressing the unique challenges clients may face based on their cultural background. I work alongside my clients, supporting, guiding, and rooting them on as they brave the challenges life can sometimes bring. My clients are as much my teachers as I am theirs. My clients never cease to amaze and inspire me with their strength, courage, and resilience.
What is your favorite parenting tip or recommendation?
That your child is a whole person with the same feelings we have, but with developing brains and very limited experience with these emotions. So remember your child is having a hard time, not giving you a hard time.
What advice would you like to have received when you were younger?
I wish I was told that all feelings were valid and okay to express. That acting strong and like you can handle everything on your own will catch up to you. It’s okay to not be okay and to ask for help.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to watch my son play baseball. I also love spending time with my family, especially going to Padres games together! I also enjoy reading and dabbling in photography.
At Thrive, we take a positive, client-centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with Dr. Maria Fowlks, or a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy we offer in person and video sessions, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Thrive to all of our Thrive blog readers!
At Thrive, we know that the holidays can be a very stressful or emotionally difficult time for families. If you or your loved ones would like support, please call or email us today! We still have therapists on our team who are working and happy to support you!
We at Thrive have certainly noticed that the holidays bring a certain level of expectation, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm and overcommitment for many of the families, kids included, that we work with. This year does not seem any different and perhaps is even more stressful and overwhelming due to the timing of the holidays. Many of the families we have been working with are particularly stressed and worried about how they will accomplish all the things they either want to, or feel that they are expected, to accomplish.
I wanted to share some of our previous blogs on this topic as I felt that they are still helpful and a fun blast from the past!
Here are some of my favorites!
Dr. Maria Fowlks – In this blog she writes about managing the overwhelm of the holiday season as a parent and understanding that your child might be overwhelmed too.
Dr. Erica Wollerman – This blog shares ways parents can manage expectations during the holidays
Dr. Erica Wollerman – This blog is all about coping with holiday anxiety
I hope you enjoyed these blog posts and found them helpful in the hustle and bustle of the season! If there is anything we can do to support you and your loved ones now or in the New Year, please feel free to reach out via phone or email!
At Thrive, we take a positive, client centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome regarding any issues around child or teen psychotherapy services in San Diego by Thrive Therapy Studio.
To stay in the loop on the services offered and to receive updated information about Thrive, please feel free to sign up for the newsletter through the following link: http://eepurl.com/dsgLNL.
A note from Thrive's founder, Dr. Erica Wollerman:
About Dr. Fowlks:
I work with a diverse array of individuals including children, adolescents, adults and families, as well as offer parent support. I enjoy helping individuals become more understanding, accepting and compassionate with themselves and those they love. It brings me tremendous joy working alongside my clients supporting, guiding, and rooting them on as they brave the challenges life can bring. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to: ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Behavioral Issues, Developmental Disorders, Family Conflict, Life Transitions, Racial Identity, Relationship Issues, and Women's Issues.
For more information about Dr. Fowlks please check out her longer bio here!
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.
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, Jennifer, Maria, Kim, Andrea, Molly, Abbey, and Ying-Ying
Anoushey Nazir Khan
Therapy At Thrive
Ying Ying Shiue