Counselor's Corner

Why People Procrastinate

Why People Procrastinate

Everyone procrastinates sometimes and for different reasons.  Here are some of the common ones with suggestions as to how to get those tasks done that have been haunting you!

work-management-907669_640

1 – Overwhelming –

The task is so overwhelming that you don’t know how to start.  It will help you to break down the big task into smaller tasks on paper.  Than only focus on task at a time.

2 – Unenjoyable

You avoid something that was previously unenjoyable.  Your thoughts made you unhappy while doing the task.  Identify what thoughts are making you suffer, the thoughts that are not true.  It will be bad if ______________.  It is not the activity that’s bad, it’s the story you tell yourself about the activity or that you are not good or smart enough to complete the activity.  Let yourself know it is possible and that you are capable to complete the activity to the best of your ability.

3 – Comparison

You compare the job at hand to a fantasytemporal-distance-1138191_1280 world.  You have a task to accomplish but your mind visualizes doing something fun.  Your mind starts complaining that this job has no purpose or meaning, it’s boring and unsatisfying.   Ask yourself what you want most in life.  Purpose and meaning attainable only having fun or are you really looking for peace in your life.  Thoughts that compare you to others do not give you peace.  Don’t give attention to these thoughts, they are a waste of your time. Look at how you feel in the moment.  What is the story you are telling yourself.  Focus on now.  Get rid of the fantasy thoughts and get to the business at hand so you can finish the task and attain peace.

4 – Distractions

You distract yourself to avoid thoughts and suffering.  Your mind naturally goes to what makes you happy (shopping, eating, internet).  These things are stored in your memory and have offered you a temporary high in the past so you run to them to take away the suffering you are experiencing in the moment.  Don’t try to force these thoughts to stop with distraction.  Instead, look at how you are feeling in the moment.  Ask yourself what you are trying to escape from (not good enough, won’t do it perfect, boredom, too stressful).  What is the story you are telling yourself?

5 – Not the Right Fit

You feel the task is not the right fit for you.  You may love interacting with people but you have an accounting job which may not be a good fit for you.  You may have to pursue a different job but don’t avoid your current job. Focus on your current job while seeking a better fit for you but don’t let your thoughts make you procrastinate the tasks at your current job.

The cure for procrastination is ACTION.  Examine your thoughts and correct your story.

Stop procrastinating, focus on the task at hand, and attain peace.


IMG_0072_DawnDawn Schroeder
 is a professional counselor who enjoys helping people of all ages overcome life’s struggles.  She also has a special place in her heart for working with children and teenagers.  To learn more about Dawn, or to set up an appointment click here.

More

Psst! Hey, Mom and Dad! I’m about to tell you why I act up sometimes

Psst! Hey, Mom and Dad! I’m about to tell you why I act up sometimes

I know I look small, but I need A LOT of interaction with other people just like you do. And the most important interaction? Interaction with my parents – you. And, well, the truth of it is… negative attention is way easier to get and lasts a lot longer than positive attention does. Positive attention is usually shorter and less predictable. So, I try to get the positive every now and then but it’s hard work and it usually doesn’t pay off, so I just go for what I know I can get.

How do I interact, you ask? Good question! Through eye contact, physical touch, and talking.

If I’m desiring eye contact, physical touch, and an exchange of words…

I know I can probably get all three by acting up.

I know that I can get them for as long as I want by continuing the bad behavior.

I know that, even if you are ignoring me, I can keep getting worse and worse until eventually you have to look at me, touch me, and talk to me.

However……

If I’m desiring eye contact, physical touch, and an exchange of words…

I’m not sure if you’ll notice me quietly occupying myself over here or working hard on this project.

It almost seems like the quieter I am and the better my behavior is, the more I get ignored. I’ve heard you say, “Finally, some peace and quiet around here.” Then you look at your phone for a long time. I hate that!

Even if you say, “Good job on drawing that picture” the positive attention is over in less than 10 seconds and then I’m left trying to figure out how I’m going to get the other 29 min 50 sec of interaction that I need right now.

Mom, Dad, the good news for you is…

You are my favorite person.

I want you to teach me how you do all that cool adult stuff.

We don’t have to do anything super huge. I’d love to do almost anything with you if I can count on my Positive Interaction Bank getting filled in the process.

You can just hold my hand or rub my back for no reason. I love it when you do that.

I love your compliments more than anyone else’s.

I love your hugs and kisses more than anyone else’s.

I need you!

I adore you!

 

Love,

Your Little One

 

Corina Helgestad imageCorina Helgestad is a professional counselor who especially likes working with teen girls in such areas as self-esteem, cutting, suicide, depression, and anxiety. To learn more about Corina, or to set up an appointment click here.

 

More

Every Yes is a No!

Every Yes is a No!

I am currently reading The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst – a very good book so far.  The night before I read chapter nine, I happened to read a blog about how to have a decluttered kitchen.  The next day while reading chapter nine of The Best Yes, I realized that they were both saying the same thing.  We are always saying yes to something and no to something.

I had heard this concept before when it came to time management – we only have 24 hours in each day and everything you say yes to inevitably means that you are saying no to some other thing that you could have done with that time.   I had always understood it in that context.  It even made perfect sense to me in regards to how we spend our money – a yes to the brand new car might mean a no to the freedom to go on that spur-of-the-moment trip.

This concepYEs NOt was very easy to understand in regards to the physical and concrete things in our lives like money and time.  However, after reading that blog and chapter nine, I began to considered just how much this principal impacts our lives in EVERY area, including the less tangible ones like the emotional and spiritual areas of our lives.

Consider this, if I say no to a conversation that could potentially cause conflict, I may be saying yes to misunderstanding and resentment.  If I say yes to procrastination on that project, I am saying no to peace of mind.  If I say no to God’s prompting to take a leap of faith, I am saying yes to the disappointment of not knowing how God had planned to miraculously provide.  If I say yes to hanging on to every item of clothing I ever buy because I might need it someday, I am saying no to the tranquility of a well-organized closet that I will use every day.  There are so many, possibly millions, of applications of this principle in each day of our lives.  When that realization set it, I knew that I could no longer live my life without considering it at every opportunity I could.

When I am real with myself about what each yes means and what, out of necessity, I am saying no to, I believe my life will experience a new-found level of clarity.  It’s time for me to step out of the denial that I can have my cake and eat it too and own the fact that every no is also a yes.  What an exciting thing to learn!  I can’t wait to see how it changes me.  How will it change you?

Corina Helgestad imageCorina Helgestad is a professional counselor who especially likes working with teen girls in such areas as self-esteem, cutting, suicide, depression, and anxiety. To learn more about Corina, or to set up an appointment click here.

More

New Year’s Resolutions and Its Beginnings

New Year’s Resolutions and Its Beginnings

It is believed that the Babylonians in Mesopotamia were the first to celebrate New Year’s in 2000 B.C. At that time, New Year’s occurred in mid-March. The Babylonians would make promises to their gods that they would return borrowed objects and repay their debts. They believed if they kept their promises, the gods would bestow good things for them throughout the year.

Julius Caesar’s reign over ancient Rome made a change in the months of the year. Caesar added the month of January and named the month for the Roman god, Janus.  Resolutions were repeated annually and renewed the bond between the citizens, the state and the gods. Ancient Roman citizens would reflect on their past and look toward the coming year. The people would trade sweet fruits and honey with each other.

The early Christians believed the start of the New Year should be a time to reflect on past mistakes and work on self-improvement. At that time, the resolutions were more about treating other people kindly and seeking forgiveness from their enemies. By the end of the 18th century, many resolutions involved being more helpful, more diligent and to be a better person.

Isidor Thorner, an American Theologist, did a survey in 1951 to determine the relationship between Protestant values and New Year resolutions. The New Year resolutions according to Thorner helped Protestants manage their emotions. Over time, New Year’s resolutions lost their religious meaning and became a tradition with the general population. Listed below is a comparison of resolutions between 1947 and 2014.Resolution Man

Resolutions for 1947 – Gallup Poll

  1. Improve disposition, be more understanding, control temper
  2. Improve my character, live a better life
  3. Stop smoking, smoke less
  4. Save more money
  5. Stop drinking, drink less
  6. Be more religious, go to church more often
  7. Be more efficient, do a better job
  8. Take better care of my health
  9. Contribute more in home life
  10. Lose (or gain) weight

Resolutions for 2014 Resolution Woman

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love

10. Spend more time with family

According to a study done in 2007 by Richard Wiseman, approximately 88% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail. The study showed 52% of the 3,000 participants were confident they would succeed in fulfilling their resolution.

So, what about a New Year’s resolution for 2016? Is your resolution going to focus on:

Returning borrowed objects and repaying debts?

Keeping promises to others?

Renewing a bond between yourself and the state?

Reflecting on past mistakes and working on self-improvement?

Whichever New Year’s resolution you choose, make sure that it is obtainable and realistic. Lastly, make sure the resolution is accountable by sharing it with someone else.  Make it known to this accountability person that you want them to ask you how you are doing with keeping the resolution.

Dave Tice is a licensed professional counselor at the Center with over 6 years of counseling experience.  To learn more about Dave, or to set up an appointment, click here.

More

THE GIFT OF HOLIDAY STRESS

THE GIFT OF HOLIDAY STRESS

By this time, most people are already well into the “Holiday Spirit”. Unfortunately, for many, that means being overcommitted, over taxed, over spent and often frustrated with commitments or behaviors of friends, colleagues or other family members. Somehow this season of “joy and peace”, celebrating the coming of the Savior, is anything but that for many. There are many articles written about how to avoid holiday stress, but my suggestion is to see it as a gift.

I have been a therapist for many years and have taught numerous “Stress Management” Seminars. What I have learned is that distress and symptoms are positive, a gift if you may. Seminar leader, Gary Thomas, in his book Sacred Marriage, raises the question “what if Marriage was not intended to make people happy but to make them holy”. The same principle applies to the symptoms of distress—they point to area’s in which we may need to consider change.

  • Over-spending- perhaps it is time to review spending habitsHolidy Stress
  • Alcohol consumption- consider moderation, or even quitting
  • Over commitment- time management
  • Guilt or shame- grace to self and others
  • Relationships—reconciliation, or perhaps a change in plans, or associations
  • Over-eating- a healthy diet plan
  • Lack of sleep- a plan for self-care
  • Sadness or grief- the need for expression and support

The list goes on and on, but to be certain, each symptom has a cause and points to a remedy which results in good self-care and stress management techniques. We tend to look at symptoms as being negative and increasing our distress, but they point to the need for solutions. What if I were to ignore a pain in my side that was pointing to an appendicitis?   Are stress symptoms any different? The tendency is to overlook, or deny them, which only makes them worse and increases the probability that they will continue, or intensify. Stress is characterized by a “fight, flight or freeze” response, but is intended to initiate us to action for our health.

There are some problems that have been persistent and resist individual attempts to change them.   They may have become such a pattern that they resist correction by all of your “resolutions.” Rather than give up, seek out support from a trusted friend, mentor, pastor, or counselor. As a counselor and professional therapist, I am only too much aware that people often seek out help “too little, or too late.”

This holiday season, look on your symptoms as a “gift” that point the way to healing and peace– the indicators of good New Year’s resolutions to grow and change!

Lee Webster imageLee Webster is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over 40 years of counseling experience. He is also the founder and clinical director of the Center for Human Development.  To learn more about Lee click here.

More

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mental health condition associated with depression during the fall and winter seasons of the year. The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.”

SAD was formally described and named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health.  Dr. Rosenthal a psychiatrist, author, and scientist is credited with identifying SAD, as well as, the use of light therapy for its treatment.  Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder.  SAD’s prevalence in the U.S. ranges from 1.4% in Florida to 9.9% in Alaska.

SAD can often begin as mild depression and may progress to a more severe condition.  As the days begin to shorten and available sunlight becomes scarce, some people themselves (or others) may see changes in their mood: they become irritable, possess low energy, are hypersensitive to criticism, and see changes in their appetite (craving for foods high in carbohydrates).  Comparisons of people suffering from SAD to those of a bear preparing for hibernation have been made.

Light therapy is one way to treat SAD by exposure to artificial light.  During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box.  This box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light.  Light therapy is thought to cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts one’s mood and eases the symptoms of SAD.

In addition to light therapy, it is important to be sure that your levels of vitamin D are sufficient.  People in Northern Climates simply do not get enough sunlight which supplies this vitamin.  Vitamin D levels can be checked by your physician using a simple blood test.

Exercise and diet may also help relieve or reduce the symptoms of SAD.

Finally, remember that not all winter depression is related to SAD.  If the above recommendations do not work, seek out a professional counselor.   SAD_2

As with most health issues it is important to seek help early because symptoms may start to develop as early as September.  The sooner the SAD problem is addressed, the better.  Winter can be a wonderful season and it provides for some very special activities that can be enjoyed by you and your family. It doesn’t have to be a SAD time..

Symptoms specific to winter onset of SAD may include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy “leaden” feeling in the arms and legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Dave Tice imageDave Tice is a licensed professional counselor at the Center with over 6 years of counseling experience.  To learn more about Dave, or to set up an appointment click here.

More

How Porn and Sex Trafficking Affect Us In Central Wisconsin

How Porn and Sex Trafficking Affect Us In Central Wisconsin

How Porn and Sex Trafficking Affect Us In Central Wisconsin

Please join us for another Pastor of Ministry Leader’s Lunch with featured speaker Lisa Sennholz from Damascus Road Ministries. 

Lisa has been a local leader in combating the evils of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.  She has presented nationally and internationally in her outreach to help victims and create awareness of this problem which confronts all of us.

Wednesday October 21, 2015Damascus Road

11:30AM-1:00PM

Dudley Building

Scott and 1st Street

Wausau, WI

Lunch donation $10*

 

*Pre-registration is required call 715-841-0944 with questions or to register

More

WAR ROOM

WAR ROOM

The movie War Room quickly jumped to the top of the charts in recent weeks. I had the opportunity to view it with my wife and another counselor. Although it was not what I expected, I found it to be an extremely positive film which accurately portrayed situations and principles consistent with good counseling practice.

In this film, the middle-class Jordan family is facing the kind of marital and family crisis that is typical of those we see daily in the counseling office. The film clearly depicts Danielle, the daughter, experiencing the devastating impact that marital issues and lack of parental attention have on children. Often couples in the midst of marital problems deny this reality.

Elizabeth Jordan, the wife and mother, is confronted by Miss Clara who perceives her marital and faith struggles. Miss Clara is a wise, delightful and engaging character that I enjoyed very much. As a result of her interventions, Elizabeth is challenged to focus on herself and her role in the marital discord. She strengthens her faith and changes her behavior with the results having a tremendous impact on the relationship. She “rocks the family boat”.

Tony Jordan experiences the natural consequences of his behaviors and “hits the bottom.” His changes result in some unexpected and positive changes.

Some reviewers have been critical of the changes that Elizabeth made claiming that she became a passive, dependent female. They miss the point entirely. What she did was find herself and her personal identity. Rather than falling into old relationship traps, she found personal and spiritual strength and became a strong leader in her family.

One trap that wishful viewers may make in viewing War Room is the belief that if you change, everything will turn out well and you will “live happily ever after”. In this case Elizabeth and Danielle have gained something wonderful no matter what the marital results. Unfortunately, the reality is that as one person in a relationship changes the partner will have to change. That change is sometimes very negative and the relationship is lost. In difficult marriage situations, we find that when one person in the relationship changes the relationship has to change. Unfortunately people usually only seek out help when they reach a crisis point and often that is too late.

This is an excellent, faith based film and I strongly recommend it keeping my cautions in mind. Healthy marriages do not come easily in today’s society. Pre-marital coaching, the early recognition of problems and joint counseling are the best possible options.

Lee Webster is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over 40 years of counseling experience. He is also the founder and clinical director of the Center for Human Development.  To learn more about Lee click here.

war rooms

*Barb and I had the opportunity to meet and have our picture taken with T. C. Stallings who portrayed Tony Jordan at the American Association of Christian Counselors International Conference recently

 

More

Important Notice–Upcoming Health Care Billing

Important Notice–Upcoming Health Care Billing

Important Notice–Upcoming Health Care Billing

A major change is taking place in the health care industry on October 1, 2015.  We will be required, along with all other providers, to go to a different coding system.  This change should not affect you as long as everything goes without computer or coding issues.  We are prepared!  Our staff has spent hours in training for this transition and we are assured by insurance companies that they are equipped to handle the changes.  However, many providers are very anxious about possible complications which could take place. If our clients become aware of problems in their billings and insurance reimbursement it is important for them to contact our office to let us know.

More

Building a Strong Marital Toolbox

Building a Strong Marital Toolbox

How strong is your marital toolbox?

A “marital toolbox” can provide a couple with an arsenal of tools to assist them with problem-solving and the decision making process. Used effectively, this strategy can form the foundation for a healthy marriage.  Couples that prepare themselves for difficult situations in advance, often handle these situations better.

Here is an example that will help you in understanding this– the “carpenter toolbox.”  Years ago many carpenters built large boxes out of wood to store their tools in.  Whether at the workshop, or at the worksite, these toolboxes went with the carpenter.  Every tool of importance was placed in this box.  No matter what situation came up, the carpenter had what was needed to handle any job or situation.

Like the old carpenter toolbox, the marital toolbox prepares a couple to address many situations.  Being in a healthy and thriving marriage requires time, commitment and communication.  Married couples need to decide which specific tools should go into their marital toolboxes.  Listed below are some ground rules which can assist couples with the tool selection process.

Ground Rules:Tool Box Drawing

  • Respecting your spouse- he/she will have good ideas or insights.
  • Willing to hear your spouse’s perspective without interrupting them.
  • Entering a discussion without having a pre-determined solution in mind.
  • Speaking one at a time when discussing things.
  • Taking time-outs from discussions to cool-off, process information, or seek counsel.
  • Writing notes when your spouse is speaking so you will not forget what was said.

A marital toolbox consists of husband and wife working together to select the appropriate tools.  Participation in such a process assists greatly with future difficult situations.  Like the carpenter, a husband and wife need to be able to handle any job or situation they face.

Dave Tice imageDave Tice is a licensed professional counselor at the Center with over 6 years of counseling experience.  To learn more about Dave, or to set up an appointment click here.

More