It can be tough to change poor habits when it comes to eating, exercise, work, drinking, and other behaviors. Therapy and behavior modification can be valuable tools when it comes to dropping habits that don’t serve you well and adopting new ones. Understanding the reasons for certain behaviors can make change easier and help you […]
It can be tough to change poor habits when it comes to eating, exercise, work, drinking, and other behaviors. Therapy and behavior modification can be valuable tools when it comes to dropping habits that don’t serve you well and adopting new ones. Understanding the reasons for certain behaviors can make change easier and help you live a happier, healthier life.
Both good and bad habits form when you think, feel and act in a certain way over a length of time. The habits you develop aren’t just due to behavioral and environmental factors; they can have a basis in neuroscience as well.
Many decades of research have helped doctors and mental health providers determine three primary types of learned behavior. With classical conditioning, two stimuli are linked together to produce a learned response by association.
Operant conditioning shapes behavior with either positive or negative reinforcement. Developed by psychologist B.F. Skinner, it is the process of encouraging or discouraging behaviors with either reward or punishment.
Observational learning, a social learning theory developed by psychologist Albert Bandura, portends people learn behaviors by observing and modeling others’ attitudes, emotions and behavior. In his research, he found babies and young children imitated the behavior of those around them. This is also true of some adults.
Scientific research has shown when neurons fire at the beginning and end of a specific behavior in the brain region, it becomes a habit. Over time, patterns form – both in behavior and in the brain – which can make it extremely difficult to break bad habits. The positive part of this is it also helps you develop good automatic habits like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.
A key to start changing a habit is to do it before it hits a problematic tipping point. If you learn to regulate your behavior before it spirals and you feel like you’re out of control, it’s easier to not only survive, but thrive. Seeking therapy is just one piece of the puzzle that can help you better understand and change bad habits.
Accountability can be another valuable tool in breaking bad habits. Studies have shown if you are held accountable to someone else for meeting a goal, your chance of success increases dramatically. For example, if you want to improve your diet and lose weight, having someone you trust as an accountability partner can make you more likely to succeed and achieve your goals. Positive reinforcement can also work well — if you’re trying to lose weight and give yourself a healthy reward, like a new outfit when you reach a goal, it can motivate you to keep going.
Therapy is another great resource that will equip you with the tools you need to stay committed to changing your lifestyle and adopting better habits. Ready to learn how to break habits that may be holding you back? Contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.
When someone meets you for the first time, one of the first questions they usually ask is “what do you do?” It’s a simple ice-breaker question, and yet in recent years it has come to mean so much more. It is common for people to feel like their social status is determined by what they […]
When someone meets you for the first time, one of the first questions they usually ask is “what do you do?” It’s a simple ice-breaker question, and yet in recent years it has come to mean so much more. It is common for people to feel like their social status is determined by what they do for a living. However, your job title does not define you.
Whether stocking shelves at the local grocery store or returning emails for business accounts, these are just tasks. And these tasks have very little to do with your personality, interests, goals, etc. There is a danger in believing your self-worth is based on your job.
Applying mental standards or labels to yourself because of your job can lead to added pressure and stress. Although it can be difficult to look past the emphasis society places on job title and status, it is better to focus on being content and happy with what you do and where you’re at.
Even if you’re not where you ultimately want to be, are you living a fulfilled life? Do you do things that bring joy and happiness? Does your work give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day? Are there people in your life who bring out the best in your and contribute positivity?
Learning to focus on these factors will lead to increased happiness and peace. When you are living an enriched life, other people’s opinion will have less of an impact because you are content with who you are and where you’re at. This will allow you to become a better, happier you.
To help work through the mental barrier of a job title and to truly discover your true self-worth, it can be beneficial to speak with a therapist. The Kayenta Legacy Program is an affordable, low-cost therapy service provided by our graduate student therapists. Contact them directly to book a session.
LGBTQ teens face unique challenges and can thrive when parents and other family members accept and support them just the way they are. Acceptance and support from family members is critical in helping LGBTQ teens deal with risk factors, like depression and anxiety. Individual and family therapy, support groups and LGBTQ ally organizations can all […]
LGBTQ teens face unique challenges and can thrive when parents and other family members accept and support them just the way they are. Acceptance and support from family members is critical in helping LGBTQ teens deal with risk factors, like depression and anxiety. Individual and family therapy, support groups and LGBTQ ally organizations can all play a vital role in ensuring your family has access to the resources they need. So, what should you do if your child comes out to you?
Let Them Know You Love Them
Children need love and acceptance at all ages, but particularly in adolescence. For many LGBTQ teens, coming out to their parents can be the hardest part of their journey. Even if you feel blindsided and don’t know what to say, show them love. Something as simple as, “I’m here for you and love you no matter what,” can make a huge difference in how they feel about themselves and let them know they have someone to turn to when they need help.
Getting any teenager to open up often feels like an uphill battle. Facilitating open communication can make it easier for your child to talk with you about complex issues like sexuality. Start with more casual, light conversation to let them know you’re interested in their life. Ask them how their day went, how school is going, how their friends are doing, and what they like to do.
These small steps help build trust and can lead to a stronger, closer relationship. Embrace their evolving sense of self and celebrate your child for who they are. The more positive communication you have with your child, the more comfortable they’ll feel about opening up to you.
Build a Social Support Network
If you’re having a hard time, reach out for help. Educating yourself about the issues your child may be facing can empower you to provide the support they need and help you find healing. Talk with a therapist, and seek LGBTQ support resources in your community and online. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a family and LGBTQ ally organization that provides support for thousands of families around the country.
Help your child find the resources they need as well. Communicate with your child’s educators and other important people in their lives. Encourage them to become involved in groups like gay/straight alliance at their school. Individual therapy can give your child someone to confide in without feeling judged. Although online groups and social media provide support to LGBTQ teens as well, make sure to keep an eye on what they’re doing to keep them safe.
Individual and family therapy can help you better understand and support your LGBTQ teen and help them grow into a happy, healthy, confident adult. Contact a family therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.
Good communication between you and your child can make your bond stronger and make them happier and more confident. As children get older, having a good relationship can also make talking about difficult subjects less challenging. Here are some tips from a family therapist on how to effectively communicate with your child. Start Early Facilitating […]
Good communication between you and your child can make your bond stronger and make them happier and more confident. As children get older, having a good relationship can also make talking about difficult subjects less challenging. Here are some tips from a family therapist on how to effectively communicate with your child.
Facilitating open communication with your child when they’re young can help you develop a positive relationship and make it easier for them to feel comfortable confiding in you as they grow. Setting aside time to play with your child every day lets them know they are important to you. Having fun with them is also a great opportunity to talk and learn more about how they think and feel. Whether they’re a preschooler or teen; positive reinforcement works wonders — it’s vital to praise your child when they do something right. This type of feedback makes it more likely they will behave in a positive way again.
Children’s feelings are sometimes very intense, emotional and immediate. Often, they just need to be reassured everything is okay. Creating a comfortable space for your child to talk can help them (and you) understand how to navigate challenges and make good decisions. Being there for your child when they want to talk becomes even more important as they grow into adolescents.
Regardless of age, giving your child your full attention when they are trying to talk to you lets them know you care about what they have to say. Technology and the demands of chores, work and other obligations can make it easy to become distracted. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, look your child in the eyes and listen.
Like adults, children just want to be heard. Actively listen to your child when they’re speaking to you. When they’re done, take a quick pause before you speak. Gentle follow-up questions like “How do you feel about that?” or “Tell me more about it,” can keep the conversation going, encourage your child to open up and deepen your connection. If there’s something specific on your child’s mind, make sure to follow up in a day or two.
Consider Your Child’s Unique Personality
Some children are very chatty while others are more reticent and take time to open up to conversation. Pay attention to how your child responds, and adjust your communication style according to their needs. If know your child is usually hungry and cranky after school, it’s probably not the best time to start a conversation. Something as simple as taking a walk in the park can put you both in a better mood and lead to more meaningful conversation.
A family therapist can help you and your child learn how to effectively communicate, show love and help you create a healthy emotional connection that lasts a lifetime. Contact a family therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.
Low self-esteem can affect practically every aspect of your life, from how you view yourself to the way you relate to others. Therapy is a valuable tool that can help you reduce negative thoughts and improve self-esteem, which can lead to a more joyful and fulfilling life. What Causes Low Self-esteem? Many people develop low self-esteem […]
Low self-esteem can affect practically every aspect of your life, from how you view yourself to the way you relate to others. Therapy is a valuable tool that can help you reduce negative thoughts and improve self-esteem, which can lead to a more joyful and fulfilling life.
Many people develop low self-esteem in childhood due to harsh criticism or rejection from parents and other loved ones. Bullying, abuse and other negative experiences can also have a significant impact on self-esteem. Toxic relationships (of any kind), loss of employment, illness, breakups and other life circumstances can affect your sense of self-worth. Isolation and discrimination also play a part, as they stunt social interaction.
Although it is common to experience lack of confidence and self-esteem, that doesn’t have to define you. Discussing the factors that influence your self-image in therapy can be beneficial in many ways. It allows you to feel heard and validated, which, alone, increases confidence by making you feel like what you have to say matters. In addition, a therapist will be able to provide you with steps you can take to counter these negative feelings and work toward a more confident you.
If you’re struggling with low self-esteem, you may not think it’s a big enough deal to speak to a therapist about. However, the way you see yourself greatly impacts your quality of life. Individuals with a poor self-image often see the world as a hostile place and feel victimized by other people and circumstances. They also take things personally, usually in a negative way. They may feel they don’t deserve love or happiness, which can make them reluctant to express and assert themselves.
The lack of confidence that accompanies low self-esteem can result in many missed opportunities, experiences and feelings of powerlessness. All of these factors can lower your self-esteem even more and lead to addiction, self-harm, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. That’s why it’s important to talk about your feelings. Often times, we are our own worst enemies. A therapist will help you change your perspective and celebrate the attributes that make you unique and different instead of criticizing them.
When you have a therapist who responds with compassion and validation of your feelings, it becomes easier to talk about the parts of yourself that you deem negative. This is healthy not only because it allows you to start changing your self-perception, but also because it enables you to let the negativity out. When you do that, you make room for positive thoughts and self-talk, which make you feel happier and change your disposition toward others.
If you’re ready to let go of negativity and say hello to a new, confident you, contact a therapist at Kayenta directly to book a session. By attending therapy, you’re taking the first step toward a better you, and a better life.
As a parent, you want the best for your children. It can be difficult to see your adult child face disappointment and make mistakes. Your first instinct may be to try and fix things for them or dole out advice, which can often be perceived as criticism. Relationship counseling suggests trying these tips to help […]
As a parent, you want the best for your children. It can be difficult to see your adult child face disappointment and make mistakes. Your first instinct may be to try and fix things for them or dole out advice, which can often be perceived as criticism. Relationship counseling suggests trying these tips to help you learn positive ways to show support and compassion for your child, and can lead to better communication and a more fulfilling relationship:
Even in casual conversation, being a good listener improves communication. Ask your child about how they’re doing and things that are happening in their life. If they are venting, try not to interject with your own opinions. Let them finish before responding. It can be helpful to offer advice, but before you do, be sure to show empathy and offer statements of encouragement and understanding. Sometimes, what children seek most of all is for you to be on their side.
Because parents want the best for their children, it is normal to want to point out areas in their children’s lives that need improvement. While this usually comes from an honest desire to be helpful, it can actually have the reverse effect and make your child feel incompetent and judged. When speaking with your child, a helpful tactic is to ask yourself, “How can my words be helpful? Will what I’m about to say positively impact the situation?” Even if you think your child is making a poor choice, try to express your concern without sounding bossy or condescending.
Although it is good to be honest with your child, keep in mind, children are constantly seeking the approval of their parents. Therefore, it’s important to be extra mindful of your delivery. Remember, it’s less about what you say than how you say it.
However, we all say things that come out in a way we don’t intend sometimes. If you’ve unintentionally upset someone with a remark or unsolicited advice, the best thing to do is apologize. Do your best not to make excuses or become defensive, as that can escalate the situation and cause your child to feel like they’re not being heard or their feelings don’t matter.
When your child was little, they were dependent on you for almost everything, which makes many parents feel loved and needed. As children grow, they become more independent, meaning your relationship with your child will change. Even though they may not rely on you for everything anymore, a healthy relationship with an adult child can be just as fulfilling in a different way.
Learning to let go and maintain healthy boundaries is key to a positive relationship. Even though you’ll always be their parent, it’s important to treat your adult child as an equal by valuing their opinions and allowing them to make their own choices. Give them space to come to you.
It can be easy to assume your child knows you love them and are proud of them, but that isn’t always so. Saying these things out loud allows your child to feel you believe in them and their abilities to handle challenges, which gives them a stronger sense of confidence. If they are facing a challenge, let them know you believe they can handle it by offering positive reinforcement.
If you’re struggling with how to communicate with your adult child, relationship counseling at Kayenta Therapy can give you the tools you need to become a positive influencer in their life. Contact a therapist directly to schedule a session today.
Whether something has just happened to cause a family rift or there’s a long history of problems, broken family relationships can seem impossible to mend. The good news is if you really want to heal, there are steps you can take to help you get there. Start with these six tips from a family therapist: […]
Whether something has just happened to cause a family rift or there’s a long history of problems, broken family relationships can seem impossible to mend. The good news is if you really want to heal, there are steps you can take to help you get there. Start with these six tips from a family therapist:
Check In With Yourself
Before you can reconcile with your family members, you’ll need to check in with yourself, and make sure you’re ready. If you’re not mentally in a place where you feel like you can move on, don’t push it. Trying to force things too soon will often lead to failed attempts and disappointment. If you go through this exercise and decide you’re not ready, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply decide to table it for a while, and check in again later.
Let Go of Your Anger
Holding onto anger and grudges robs you of your inner peace. Decide to let it go, whether the person who has upset you has made amends of not. Forgiveness is the first step toward healing, and doing so allows you to give yourself the gift of happiness.
Set Realistic Expectations
Our state of mind often influences the outcome of a situation, whether we intend it to or not. When you reach out to reconnect, a healthy perspective is important. Staying optimistic with minimal expectations is the best way to keep from getting frustrated or disappointed and takes the pressure off of the person you’re trying to reconnect with.
Take It Slowly
Remember, the person you’re reaching out to might also need time to decide whether they’re ready to move forward. Think about sending a letter, sending a private message on social media or simply making small talk at your next family function. This allows both of you to ease into interactions without feeling forced or obligated.
Decide If You Need to Get Closure From the Past
Some people can make amends by agreeing to let the past go. Others won’t get the closure they need until they hash things out. If you decide you need to revisit previous issues, do your best to come from a place of peace. Listen to the other person’s side with an open mind, and calmly express your feelings. Be willing to agree to disagree for the sake of family harmony.
Seek Professional Help
If you and your family member aren’t able to resolve your conflict, don’t give up. A qualified family therapist can help you work through your issues and find a resolution that works for all parties involved. Agreeing to go to therapy together is a huge first step because it shows you’re both committed to working on repairing your relationship.
To learn more about what to expect during a therapy session, connect with a family therapist in your area today.
Understanding the factors that go into building a healthy relationship can bring you and your partner closer together and help you avoid common pitfalls that can weaken your bond. Here are a few important elements to a happy relationship discussed in couples’ therapy: Keys to a Healthy, Happy Relationship Self-confidence Many of the unhealthy things people […]
Understanding the factors that go into building a healthy relationship can bring you and your partner closer together and help you avoid common pitfalls that can weaken your bond. Here are a few important elements to a happy relationship discussed in couples’ therapy:
Many of the unhealthy things people do to sabotage their relationships come from a place of low self-esteem and insecurity. If you are overly self-critical, you may find yourself being more critical of your partner as well. When you love and accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all, it’s easier to accept and love others. In addition to couples’ therapy, seeking individual counseling allows you sort your feelings, leads to better communication and helps you come to a place of self-acceptance, confidence and joy.
Shared Values and Goals
People in healthy relationships often have different interests, religions and cultural backgrounds. You and your partner may be miles apart in the way you grew up but share core beliefs and goals about what’s important to you, like the value of spending time with extended family and your methods of raising happy, healthy children. Working together toward common goals like buying a house or saving for retirement can strengthen your bond.
Trust is one of the most vital elements of a good relationship. Trusting yourself and your partner to do the right thing shows you care about and respect each other. Being dependable, respecting your partner’s boundaries and making sure your words match your actions can create a strong, long-lasting bond and allow you to be your authentic self.
Mutual Respect & Open Communication
It’s okay to disagree, but mutual respect is a must in a healthy relationship. All couples argue. It’s not necessarily what you’re arguing about that’s important — it’s how you argue that matters. Combative or abusive behavior like yelling and name-calling isn’t productive for anyone.
If you find yourself in conflict with your partner, one of the best things you can do is listen to what they’re saying. When they’re done, then you can talk. Sometimes, you just have to agree to disagree or seek couples’ therapy to improve your communication skills.
Agreement on Finances
Even if one person makes more money than the other, it is vital to have equal input about where your money goes. Large purchases should always be discussed before buying. If you’re the one who’s responsible for paying the bills, make sure they’re paid on time.
Don’t hide money from your partner. If you want a separate account, that’s fine, but be open about it. If you have an account with your own money to spend on what you’d like, it can actually cut down on conflict.
Sex & Intimacy
Healthy physical affection and intimacy are vital to maintaining a happy relationship. Make time for sex and be honest about what you like, what you don’t like and how you’re feeling.
Don’t forget to have fun! Finding the humor in everyday life and laughing with your partner can help you feel more joyful and less stressed.
If you feel couples’ therapy would be beneficial for you and your partner, contact one of the therapists at Kayenta Therapy directly.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but have trouble sticking to them. A positive attitude and determination will help you make your goals a reality. Below are five effective practices that will enable you to achieve your resolutions this new year. How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions Be realistic and honest with your capabilities. […]
Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but have trouble sticking to them. A positive attitude and determination will help you make your goals a reality. Below are five effective practices that will enable you to achieve your resolutions this new year.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the goals you’ve set for yourself, therapy can be a beneficial outlet. Speaking with a therapist will give you the tools you need to overcome these feelings of doubt or anxiety. Contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule a session.
The holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, but after the festivities end, many people find themselves feeling sad, lonely or discontent. The following weeks are a return to normal activities like work and school, often leading to stress, which can wear a person down emotionally, mentally and even physically. These feelings during […]
The holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, but after the festivities end, many people find themselves feeling sad, lonely or discontent. The following weeks are a return to normal activities like work and school, often leading to stress, which can wear a person down emotionally, mentally and even physically.
These feelings during the post-holiday slump are referred to as the “January Blues.” Researchers have studied this mood disorder and have suggested ways to combat it and try to stay hopeful and happy after the holidays.
Spend time outside. The cold temperatures and limited daylight can tempt you to stay inside as much as possible. Sunlight has a positive impact on your body that can help regulate sleeping cycles and improve your mood. Make sure you take the time to get as much sunlight exposure as possible.
Identify possible causes of your depression. Try to find the source of your unhappiness and understand what makes you feel sad, angry or alone. Once you acknowledge these issues, you can begin resolving them.
Take the pressure off of yourself. Many people get high hopes about their New Year’s resolutions only to become quickly discouraged when they can’t immediately accomplish their goals. You can still achieve your goals no matter what time of the year it is! Avoid putting pressure on yourself and realize working toward a goal is still a huge accomplishment.
Practice self-care. With so much focus on others during December, January is the perfect time to focus on yourself. Treat yourself to a relaxing day of pampering, set aside time to do your favorite activities or plan a trip, so you have something to look forward to as you roll through January.
If you’re struggling with the January Blues, it may be beneficial to speak with a licensed therapist, in addition to taking the above steps. Contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment today.