The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

Everything listed under: Resources

  • Tantrums!

    tantrums

    Raise your hand if you've experienced your child having a tantrum. I'm pretty sure anyone reading this would indicate they've seen this behavior before. You are not alone! This blog article will get into some nuts and bolts on how to deal.

    Let's start first with parenting resources. Most of us barely have time to manage our households- and then to be expected to read up on parenting?! There will be some positives, though, if you consider reading the following book: 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan. I will mention some other resources at the end of this article, but if you seek any book/parenting program, this should be your number one go-to.

    1-2-3 Magic is essentially a behavioral management program for kids- and parents! It uses counting and a clear disciplinary approach to parenting. Here are a few things to remember:

    1) Your child is not a little adult.

    2) You make the rules.

    3) Stay consistent.

    4) No monologues.

    5) Follow through.

    6) Use time-outs and reverse time-outs.

    Other resources include No-Drama Discipline by Dan Siegel and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman. They propose:

    1) Discipline is essential.

    2) Pay attention to your child's emotions.

    3) Validate a child's feelings.

    4) Assess your parenting style.

    5) Label emotions in a way your child can understand.

    6) Watch your emotional response.

    The health of your relationship with your significant other can also be of paramount importance in how your child behaves and reacts. Some great resources on healthy marriages and relationships include The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, What Makes Love Last by John Gottman and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, also by Gottman. In these books, you will have opportunities to practice more effective communication skills and develop healthier bonds. This in turn will provide a more safe, calm, stable and loving environment for your child. If those things are in place, you should see tantrums and acting out diminish.

    Remember: To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. -Unknown (www.parenting.com)

  • Stress, Depression, and Anxiety Management Apps and Websites

    Counselors often are asked if there are any apps or websites that we would suggest for managing mood, tracking anxiety or depression, and alleviating stress. In this article, our practice will provide a list of apps and websites we often suggest to clients to help aid in the therapeutic process. Some are supported by iOS and Android, some by one or the other, or are just websites you can access by computer or mobile. It is also important to note that some apps do cost a fee. Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. So, if you find a tool isn't working for you, try another one. Don't get discouraged- you have to find the right fit for you!

    Stop, Breathe, & Think (SBT) app:

    This app is supported by iOS. It has recently been updated and is now free. You can purchase add-on features as you feel needed. This app does a great job of encouraging you to check in mentally, physically, and emotionally and then calculating which mindfulness/meditation techniques to use. The meditations vary in length and walk you through varying mindfulness techniques. It's a highly recommended app by our practice.

    Optimism app:

    This app is also supported by iOS. It is a free app and great mood tracker. This app's ability to send reports to your therapist or healthcare professional as you see fit can be a definite benefit in looking at what your triggers are, what coping skills you're using/not using, and how exercise/diet/sleep habits can impact your mental health. There is also a website you can log on to if you do not have an iOS system. We encourage our clients to track their mood to help get a baseline for triggers and trends.

    DailyStrength website:

    Check out www.dailystrength.org for a comprehensive support network. It is free and anonymous. You can be as involved or uninvolved as you want in the community. They have varying support groups for different issues. It's a great way to connect with others who may be sharing in similar problems. There are chat boards, the ability to instant message, the ability to private message, and access to healthcare professionals with a wealth of resources on the site. This can be a potential alternative to going to group therapy if you can't afford it, don't have the time, or feel more comfortable keeping your personal problems anonymous.

    Headspace app:

    This app is supported by iOS and Android. It is also free with potential add-ons that you can purchase and has a coordinating website. The focus of this app is for you to spend 10 minutes each day for 10 days to meditate. The graphics are clean and helpful. There are guided meditations and is an alternative to the SBT app.

    Relax Melodies app:

    This app is supported by iOS and Android. It has a free version and you can upgrade to a more comprehensive version if you so desire. It has the ability to mix different sounds to your liking (volume, intensity, one sound at a time, or multiple mixed together). This is a great way to meditate as well as provide some relaxing music in the background while you work or play. You can also use this app to assist in getting to or staying asleep. There's an alarm and timer feature in the app as well. During sessions, our practice will sometimes play this app in the background to help focus the session, bring calm to the environment, and drown out outside noise.

    DailyOM website:

    Check out www.dailyom.com for your daily dose of comfort and guidance. You can sign up for daily emails as well as check out their site for a plethora of tools, articles, and vignettes to assist in centering yourself. There is also the option of signing up for online courses that cost a nominal fee. This a great site for calming down and focusing your direction.

    At Meghan L. Reitz & Associates, we want you to feel comfortable with the tools you have to use. The list above is just the tip of the iceberg for apps and websites. Searching your app store or Google can also provide you with alternative apps and websites to check out. We suggest using the following search terms to give you the best results:

    • Mindfulness
    • Meditation
    • Relaxation
    • Stress
    • Mood Tracker 
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