Truth: I am a see the glass half full person
Truth: My Hubby is NOT
Truth: Our children are like sponges listening to every work we say
Girls receive over 3,000 messages a day telling them what they aren’t and I AM THAT GIRL exists to help them celebrate what they are. I am that girl is a movement inspiring girls to love, express, and be exactly who they are.
They have several local chapters of forward thinking girls & women on High School and College campuses. These chapters work to shift girl culture in America, by raising the standards for how girls treat themselves, each other, and the world.
When I spotted this noble venture on line, I was reminded that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is rooted in exploring and challenging negative core beliefs individuals have about ourselves, others, and the world. This type of therapy teaches the skills necessary to overcome negative & destructive patterns of thinking.
Cognitive behavioral therapy also helps to identify which factors are playing a role in maintaining a negative body image and works to address each one by teaching the skills necessary to allow healing to occur.
Once the negative thoughts have been identified and evaluated for truthfulness, it is time to replace them with positive, productive thoughts that create a favorable outcome. this involves practice and dedication but has been demonstrated to be extremely effective in breaking the cycle of negative thinking.
If you or someone you know suffers from body image problems, low self esteem, or body dysmorphic disorder, I would encourage you to contact a counselor in your area for guidance and support. Please take a minute today to visit I AM THAT GIRL.COM and take the pledge today! I have done it…Now it’s your turn. http://www.iamthatgirl.com/
I, Angie Glancy, am that girl…
I have a brilliant heart and a beautiful mind. I am me, an amazing work in progress, and perfectly flawed. I promise to lift other girls up, have their backs, and make it safe for them to be exactly who they are. I’m on a mission to raise the standards for how we treat each other, how we treat ourselves, and how we treat the world. Every time I look in the mirror I’ll remind myself that I’m not alone, that my voice matters, and that I am enough.
So nice to hear from someone who recently went through this big transition. She shares what helped her the most when it was time to go. Written by my Summer intern Karley Knight who spent the first half of her summer studying abroad in Ireland and the second half helping me get more “put together.” She offers parents a few hints as to what your budding college freshman really need from you as they get closer to move in day.
The big transition…
Consider two fruits- apples and bananas. They’re both fruits, nutritional, and have the same goal- to fulfill hunger. However, they differ in crucial ways. They’re different colors, taste differently, have different benefits, and so on. Compare the similarities and differences of apples and bananas to high school and college. Both high school and college are forms of schooling, have the same goal of educating students, and so on. However, they also have defining differences that make them seem like two completely different concepts.
Almost every high schooler can’t wait until they can finally escape the immaturity and monotony of high school to flee to the magical idea of college. They’ve enviously eyed college students and their wild parties, autonomy, and seemingly glamorous lifestyle from the confines of their dreary hallways for the last four years, and they’re more than ready to join the cool crowd. Although dreaming about their idealistic future can be exhilarating, their excitement can be easily squashed when they realize the other, more sobering factors that go along with leaving home. They have to think about the less fun realities of college- harder classes, doing their own laundry, having to shop for groceries, and other things they’re used to having their parents do for them.
I was just like the majority of overly enthusiastic students whenever it was my time to depart for college. After graduation, I was so excited to finally exchange my all too familiar small town for a new, diverse college environment. I was so busy planning how I would decorate my dorm room, constructing my class schedule, and picking out school supplies that I didn’t leave any time to think about anything else but the pros of moving away. As the summer drew to a close and move in day crept closer, my blind enthusiasm slowly began to be replaced by a growing realization of what I was leaving behind. I had been waiting for move in day for so long that I’d forgotten that it was actually going to happen. I now thought about how drastically my life was about to change, and had the same worries that most college freshman have, such as the first week of classes, dorm life, a new social scene, and so on.
My parents were a huge help in assuaging my newbie college anxieties. Their support helped my transition from high school senior to college rookie smoother. There were three main things that my parents did in the time leading up to my farewell that really encouraged me:
- Constantly reminded me that my core social support (my family) would always be there for me with unwavering love
- Advised me that I wouldn’t be 100% successful, and that it was going to take me a minute to get used to my new situation, but that it was okay to not be perfect at everything right away
- Always demonstrated genuine confidence in me and my ability to adapt and thrive in college
By having a secure, supportive backbone to fall back on, I felt less alone in my journey to college. In addition, by being told that I wasn’t expected to automatically be perfectly established in college alleviated the pressure I put on myself to prove that I could be successful on my own. The third, and probably most important one, was the way my parents responded to me whenever I expressed my apprehension about leaving. Both my mom and dad always assured me that they had no qualms concerning my capability to do well in college. They constantly told me how proud they were of me for going to college and how excited they were to see me flourish in the coming years. By hearing about how others believed in me helped me believe in myself, which was crucial in assuaging my fears. I encourage parents with kids preparing to leave the nest to practice these same strategies to help their children feel better during this time.
Parents shouldn’t expect their kids to be perfect, but instead expect them to learn from their experiences and become a greater person because of those opportunities. And although they may want to, parents can’t do everything for their kids. They can support and advise them, but ultimately adolescents must learn for themselves how to manage their affairs on their own.
This progression period is a tough time filled with conflicting emotions of excitement and anxiety, but the transition from home to college is a very important time in a person’s life. College helps develop one’s true identity and realize what they really want in life. It seems daunting in the beginning, but after acclimating to college, life becomes much more exciting.
Written by Karley Knight
How to be a Positive Parent when Facing Change
1). Listen Fully
2). Validate their feelings.
3). Consider the Positives
4). Let go….
Earlier in the week I introduced you to the basic concepts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT is a direct approach to problem solving in counseling that focuses on identifying, challenging, and changing faulty belief systems and distorted ways of thinking…otherwise known as Stinkin’ Thinkin”.
My last blog post explored the powerful link between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Today we will move beyond the CBT triangle and focus on distorted thinking patterns called Cognitive distortions. Quite simply, cognitive distortions are inaccurate thoughts that reinforce negative thinking, behavior, and emotions.
For instance, a mom who has just signed on for a new PTA position might tell herself she SHOULDN’T make any mistakes in this new role and MUST transition into the role seamlessly. These types of SHOULD/MUST thoughts cause anxiety & unnecessary emotional distress.
Below are a few more types of distorted thinking that can lead to what I like to call “Mommy-Manic Moments!!!!”
Magnifying or Minimizing: Exaggerating or minimizing the importance of events-discounting achievements or exaggerating mistakes. “Everyone noticed I left the date off of the school carnival packet. This is AWFUL & everyone will think I am incompetent.”
Overgeneralizing: Making broad statements from a single or a few events. “I wasn’t as prepared for the PTA meeting today as I should have been. I am always unprepared!”
Magical Thinking: A belief that acts will influence unrelated situations. “I am a good person-bad things should not happen to me.”
Personalization: Believing that one is responsible for events outside of his/her own control. “My child is going through a hard time. If I were a better mom, my child would never have to face hard times.”
Jumping to Conclusions by Mind Reading: Interpreting the thoughts and beliefs of others without adequate evidence. “Little Johnny wasn’t invited to that birthday party, so that mom must think he is an awful kid!”
Jumping to Conclusions by Fortune Telling: Expecting a situation will turn out badly without adequate evidence. “Little Bobby will surely fail 2nd grade because he isn’t reading at the same level as the other children in his class.”
As you can probably guess, this type of negative thinking leads to anxiety & depression….Not to mention countless unplanned trips to TARGET for retail therapy!!!! In upcoming posts, we will explore a few more types of Stinkin’ Thinkin’ & begin the process of challenging and changing Negative Nelly thoughts.
“I want to go to my new school!”, squeals my (almost) 3 year old. In a few short days she’ll be transitioning to a new daycare . My husband and I have been prepping her for this change for a couple months… and prepping ourselves as well. Due to multiple changes occurring within this month ahead (hello baby number 3, kindergarten here we come) we figured why not just throw in one more thing. Changes all around! No man left behind! Let’s go all in!
If you’ve read any of my most recent posts you understated that for me, change usually brings anxiety. But, we are not here to talk about anxiety today. I’m taking a break from anxiety for a while. Instead, I’m focusing on being proactive, positive, and peaceful. I’m keeping in mind that I can only control so much. The rest I must leave up to faith, hope, and trust. I have come to realize I really do know very very little about predicting the future. Psychic readings are not my calling. <huff>
Let’s take some time, shall we, to focus on these 3 “P” words: Proactive, Positive, and Peaceful. Given that there is much to be said on each one of these “P” words I am going to break it down to 3 separate posts over the next 3 weeks, which will be just in time for most of you as you get ready to send your kiddo off to a new school year. We’re going to start with the first, and most important, in my opinion –
Not an actual picture, a mental picture. Children function through images. They develop understanding through seeing and doing as opposed to hearing. Learning through hearing is an acquired skill that develops more through development and growth. When children are young, they need to see and do in order to fully grasp ahold of a concept. This helps them feel empowered and in control.
Here are 3 simple ideas for how to do this:
- Draw a picture together
- Enact a scene using dolls and other toys.
- Dress up and act out a scene together of the first day.
How to get started:
- Start out by reminding your child about the upcoming change.
- Tell her that today you’re going to draw a picture/play a game together about the first day of school.
- Allow her to select the materials to get started.
- Ask questions along the way to help shape her mental picture, such as what will it look like, what colors will the room be, what will her teacher be like, what will she play with, what will she eat, etc. There are no limits really to how imaginative you can become. *It is important, though, that this picture be one grounded in reality. You want her mental picture to closely reflect what will actually happen.
- Also helpful to include here is a play by play. “Mommy will bring you to school and walk you to your room where we’ll meet your new teacher. I’ll get you settled in your room then mommy will leave for work. After work I will come back to pick you up. I’ll be so excited to see and hear what you do on your first day!” Always great to end with something you can both look forward to.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
This simple premise is the cornerstone of my work as a therapist.
I have found that the root of a client’s anxiety and/or depression is often directly related to his/her core beliefs about himself, others and the world around him. These beliefs, in combination with distorted thinking patterns, cause a great deal of emotional distress.
So it stands to reason that if we harness the power of our thoughts, we can directly influence our feelings & behaviors. This idea is the backbone of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Quite simply: changing your thoughts can change your life!
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. With a lot of introspection and a little homework, you will be well on your way to mastering your mind.
In my upcoming blog posts, I will shed light on the core principles of CBT. Today, however, we will begin to explore the foundation upon which CBT is built.
The first step in understanding CBT is to understand that feelings, actions, and thoughts are always connected.
Here is an example of this triangle in action:
Situation: I have an upcoming blog post deadline & a mountain of laundry looming in the other room. If my thought is…I’ll NEVER get this blog post done in time, I immediately feel ANXIOUS. This feeling of dread might cause me to avoid doing either task & instead, binge watch 1,000 episodes of Odd Mom Out.
My negative (all or nothing-always /never) thinking in this situation led to anxiety and avoidance…Not to mention some serious mind sucking t.v. time…which does little to help me conquer the Everest of Underwear in the other room.
With a small mommy mind makeover, I will rewind this scenario & hopefully end up with a more productive outcome.
Situation: I have an upcoming blog post deadline & a mountain of laundry looming in the other room. If my thought is…This blog post deadline is looming & so is the laundry. I’ve been in this situation before & I managed to get it all done. If I stay relaxed, I will be more productive. As a result, I feel less ANXIOUS and more hopeful. This new feeling of calm helps me to work on each task a little at a time and eventually get both of the tasks done. …Which in turn allows time for a glass of wine & 2 episodes of Odd Mom Out.
This mind makeover is obviously a win/win for booze, BRAVO & Borax!
Your homework this week is simple:
1) Put on your big girl panties… (Hopefully they’re clean!)
2) Put a lot of thought into situations that trigger you to feel anxious, overwhelmed, etc..& jot them down.
3) Stay tuned….In upcoming posts, we will explore how to label these thoughts and (if they are irrational), change them.
Happy Mommin’ –
My mind feels quieter lately, less disturbed, and much more calm these past couple of weeks. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs this pregnancy and I feel that I’m finally coming to a place of peace, which is somewhat ironic given that soon I won’t be pregnant at all, but instead will have the change of my new baby to grapple with. At which time I’m sure I’ll have a lot of newness to contend with, but for now, I feel calm, quiet, serene even as I enjoy these last few weeks of holding my baby inside.