Doc Brown’s Blog 27 March 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

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Parenting with Purpose

Are you willing to participate in an experiment? It won’t take long. Just follow these directions:

List the last five things your child did that required your redirecting or reminding:

 

Now list the last five things your child did well, correctly and without reminding:

 

What did you find was easier to do? Most of you as parents would have little trouble listing all the things our kids have done incorrectly. When we as parents are asked to list all the good, positive, and rewarding things that our kids have done we can have a lot more difficulty. These two prompts can help us to begin reframing how we discipline, acknowledge, and guide our kids. I encourage you to write them down or type them out and paste them on your mirror or other easily accessible place in your home to be a constant reminder of what you choose to focus on with your kids’ actions. If we as parents choose to focus on our kids’ shortcomings and areas for improvement they will in turn show us more of their shortcomings and areas of improvement. We have to decide today that we will make efforts to compliment, encourage, and validate our kids so that these are the behaviors that they choose to do more often. I would encourage all of us as parents to use the 75/25 rule in which we encourage 75% of the time and redirect 25% of the time.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance for yourself or your child/teen please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to develop strategies and recommendations to address how your parenting is impacting your child/teen’s overall functioning and what can be done to be more purposeful in parenting.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.

My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

 

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 6.

 

 

 

 

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Doc Brown’s Blog 26 February 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

Bullies, Bullies, Bullies Everywhere

 

 

The following are some sobering facts about bullying from stopbullying.gov:

  • In one large study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.
  • Most bullying takes place in school, outside on school grounds, and on the school bus. Bullying also happens wherever kids gather in the community. And of course, cyberbullying occurs on cell phones and via social media.
  • Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.
  • Only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied inform adults about the bullying.

 

These statistics speak to the seriousness of the bullying epidemic that infects All of our communities on a daily basis. Many of the adolescents and teens I work with on a daily basis have been victims of bullying and become hypervigilant, depressed, and hopeless because they don’t want to snitch or tattle on the bullies themselves or look for support with parents and other supportive adults. As a counselor I often arrange for parent teacher conferences to bring the awareness to school officials about bullying incidents at schools and sometimes school officials intervene and sometimes they continue on with business as usual. I hear from my clients about how anti bullying programs at their schools are just for optics and skin deep. There is no sustained support system, mentoring, or formal bully response process thus many of my clients feel isolated and alone. My job is to help them believe in themselves through positive affirmations, exercise, and encouraging them to participate in clubs, sports, and self-defense classes. The greatest part of my work with bullied kids is cultivating trust that allows them to open up and share painful experiences that they may have never told another person let alone an adult.

 

If you begin to detect signs of bullying in your child or teen such as social withdrawal, wearing baggy clothes even when it’s warm, disinterest in school and school activities, little to no friends, flat affect all the time, restless sleep, nightmares, and traumatic reactions to the bullying do not hesitate to sit down with your child/teen and have an open and frank discussion about your concerns. Do not be afraid to express your concerns to the guidance counselor at school, teachers, and school leadership.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance for yourself or your child/teen please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to develop strategies and recommendations to address how bullying impacts your child/teen’s overall functioning and what can be done to be proactive.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.

My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

 

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 6.

Doc Brown’s Blog 25 January 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

 

New Year Resolutions Blog #25

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Many of us at this time of year become incredibly focused on specific goals and resolutions. As the days, weeks, and months pass that same resolve is diluted and worn or just plain gone. This year maybe it will be better to focus our goals on a monthly basis instead of an annual assessment, which can seem insurmountable. So reflect on what 3 goals you have for the month of January ONLY. As the days of January unfold it may be easier to confront our daily goals when we just focus on 3 for the month.   The other piece of a resolution or goal that always seems to challenge people is the vagueness or clarity of the goal or resolution. For example simply stating I will be a better person this month of January we need to ask ourselves how do we meet this resolution in a measurable way? The goal needs to be Simple, Attainable, Measurable, Immediate, and Controllable (SAMIC). So in the previous example being a better person may mean volunteering at the local animal shelter one hour each week or spending quality time (1 hour a week) with loved ones. The importance of this article is to underscore 2 elements to success with your New Year’s Goals this year:

  1. To focus on one month at a time and no more than 3 goals for the month
  2. To make sure each goal is measurable in some way otherwise those broad and ambiguous resolutions die early deaths.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to explore your monthly goals and give you tools to realize them.

 

Sincerely,

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.

My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 6.

Doc Brown’s Blog 24 December 2017 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

Family Holiday Time

Cook Together — Include your children in meal prep and baking for holiday gatherings. In our family we have a tradition of baking cookies for Santa on Christmas eve.  It’s a great way to have fun and teach kids about cooking and nutrition. While you’re cooking, you can practice math and reading skills to reinforce what has been learned in school.

Make Holiday Greeting Cards and Gifts — Have your kids write holiday cards or letters to family and friends. It’s a great opportunity for children to practice their handwriting (even cursive if they know it), as well as their grammar, spelling and creative writing skills.  My daughter and I both made Christmas cards for Santa that will be placed next to the aforementioned cookies.

Explore Your City — When you feel a bit of cabin fever, plan a family outing. Many local parks and zoos feature light displays and other festivities to celebrate the season. There are also smaller towns in your area that probably have weekend Christmas celebrations.  You can also visit a local museum and historic sites, or see a play at a local theater.

Play Games — Playing board and trivia games during the holiday break is a good way to enjoy quality time together. Look for ideas online. There are a variety of games—for all ages—that are fun and educational as well.  The easiest ones that are really fun and I recommend for all ages are Sorry, Jenga, Life, Quick Cups, and Monopoly.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors — Play with your kids in the backyard or at a local park. If it snows, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make snow angels, and go sledding!  Cabin fever is real, so if is just a walk in the park after dinner then do it just to get some fresh air.

Read Every Day — Take your kids to the local library and borrow books to read over the winter break. And spend time reading together—it helps children develop their literacy skills and excel academically.

Family schedules can be dizzying during the holidays, but remember the most important part of the season is spending quality time with the people you love. And when you add learning to your quality time, it will accentuate the special moments with your loved ones.

Source: http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2015/12/7-family-time-and-learning-tips-for-the-holidays/

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Inner Compass Blog.

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. He is author of Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life (Balboa Press).  Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 14 and 6.

Doc Brown’s Blog 23 October 2017 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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The fall season is here and that means the splendor of Mother Nature surrounds us in a bounty of earthy colors and motifs. Fall is my favorite season as football is back, fall festivals and activities abound, the buzz of school activity is all around, and cooler weather with shorter days begins.   With the shorter days and cold nights also comes SAD ness. Most people suffering from SAD begin to experience symptoms in the early fall that persist until spring. According to the Mayo Clinic here are some of the typical symptoms:

Seasonal affective disorder is a subtype of major depression that comes and goes based on seasons. So symptoms of major depression may be part of SAD, such as:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Feeling hopeless, inadequate, or worthless
  • Having low energy and no rigor
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed (anhedonia)
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight (usually weight gain)
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

It’s normal to have some days when you feel down or listless. But if you feel down for days and weeks at a time and you can’t get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor or a therapist. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed or if you feel hopeless, think about suicide, or turn to alcohol or other drugs for comfort or relaxation.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor that you can begin working with to explore and resolve issues around your SADness.

 

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20021047

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Inner Compass Blog.

 

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 14 and 6.

Doc Brown’s Blog 22 August 2017 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

Teaching Tolerance During Intolerant Times

Tolerance does not mean tolerating intolerance

 

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Intolerance itself is a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit…Gandhi

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

“Look at my African American over here.”

 “Our great African-American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.” 

 “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.” 

 “I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall.” 

 “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.”

 “We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.”

 “We have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out.”

I am sure I could do more research to find even more degrading and racist commentary. However it is depressing to do so as it is so easy to just Google “Trump racist quotes” and obtain a plethora of information about the president. Many days I feel like I am living in an alternate universe with alternate facts and realities.

How do we as therapists convey an open, genuine, and culturally competent attitude with our clients during such intolerant times? The racist rhetoric that comes from the very top of the country’s power structure needs to be acknowledged as well as the fact that racism is not an alternate fact in the 21st century. I believe it is our duties as multiculturally competent therapists to help our more privileged clients begin reflecting on the myth of a post racial society. We need to speak the truth about this country’s shadow, which many in positions of privilege are able to ignore and walk past each day. I find that having discussions with our clients is the key to awareness and planting seeds of cultural empathy. Secondly, having them read The Invisible Knapsack as well as Helms 1995 White Identity Development can foster healthy and growth inducing discussions. Having them read books like Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson or exploring welcomingschools.org to discover resources for the whole family about the many civil rights struggles of the past and present and asking pointed questions to induce dialogue:

“what is the hardest part of reading about certain people’s struggles?”

“Why is race and culture important to talk about?”

“What is racism?”

“How can differences be good?”

“What does being color blind truly imply?”

“How can volunteering or serving others help with our own prejudices?”

Thirdly always include volunteering in your treatment plans for clients. I have witnessed many clients’ views on others transform simply by volunteering a few hours a month (soup kitchen, retirement home, Guardian Ad Litem, Habitat for Humanity and many others). These clients begin to make connections with others they would have never thought about talking to or finding commonalities with. Lastly, Googling civil rights images will pull up numerous powerful images that can solidify the reality that many disenfranchised groups have experienced. We as therapists can moderate healthy and introspective discussions around one powerful image.

Sadly, we are not a post racial society and the truth of that is more evident with each passing day and each intolerant tweet. However, as therapists we can begin helping our more privileged clients explore their privilege and discover that they too have culture and when they respect and honor their own culture they can do the same with others’ cultures.

For information on excellent resources:

 

http://www.welcomingschools.org/resources/books/

 

https://nationalseedproject.org/images/documents/Knapsack_plus_Notes-Peggy_McIntosh.pdf

 

https://mss.boisestate.edu/tunnel-of-oppression/inside-the-tunnel/helms-white-racial-identity-development-model/

 

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor that you can begin working with to explore and resolve issues around the culture of intolerance that is being cultivated aimed at preventing you and others from having a more fruitful professional and open, accepting personal life.

Until next time peace, kindness, and love be with you,

 

Doc Brown

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my American Counseling Association blog.

Doc Brown’s Blog 21 July 2017 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

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Importance of Genuine Friendship

                  Many of us have “friends” on social media and if we add all of them up all of a sudden we have hundreds even thousands of friends that we can turn to right? Not so much…true genuine friendship is difficult to find and takes work on both parties to cultivate and maintain. Love among friends requires struggle so that we maintain connection with our true friends. We strive to accept them for who they are as they accept us but not lose ourselves in the process. As you read this I want you to begin to make a mental list of the friends you have that you know will help you move, or visit you in the hospital, or be by your side when the storms of life are raining down. That list of individuals will probably whittle down to less than 5. One of the primary themes in my work with many adult clients and some adolescents is the lack of real connections they have with anyone. Their loneliness only serves to push them towards self-serving attitudes and exploit shallow, parasitic relationships. I find that a common goal that I prescribe for such clients is for them to introduce themselves to 3 people they don’t know each week. For adolescents and kids inviting a friend from school over for a sleep over, dinner, movie, etc. can also be a great way to begin the long process of cultivating a long lasting genuine friendship. For adults looking up grade school friends, neighbors, college roommates, and former teammates on social media may be an excellent way to reconnect with individuals that can inspire “positive nolstalgia.”

Mutual caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain”

Mister Rogers

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor that you can begin working with to explore and resolve issues around your lack of genuine connection with others so that you can begin attracting what you want and people you want from life…

You may also want to check my other blog about fatherhood in the 21st century on the American Counselor Association website.

Until next time peace, love, and kindness be with you,

Doc Brown