Gals Institute mission is to provide prevention and healing for the whole family system. We believe that it is important to provide families with education and skills to help your family thrive and grow to remain healthy and strong. Below are resources for the whole family to utilize on your journey. Please feel free to reach out to Gals Institute if you would more resources on a specific topic not shared below. We are launching our Parent Education Series to kick off 2021. Follow us on facebook or check back for more tips, tools and resources provided by The Gals Institute Team.
Top 5 Tips for Couples During This Pandemic: By Michele Eimon, MS, LPC
YOU ARE NORMAL. With all the additional stressors right now – from fear and anxiety about what’s ahead, to lack of structure and all new ‘routines’, to a whole lot of nonstop time together in close quarters… We shouldn’t be surprised that there are plenty of moments when we aren’t handling it well or bicker more, etc. Marriage therapist/author/expert Bill Doherty says, “you are in a bunker together with an invisible enemy surrounding you.” Realize you are normal and this is normal for abnormal circumstances.
KNOW YOUR TYPE. Just a hint: it’s likely different from your partner’s! We all have a general “coping style” to life’s stressors: some of us are over-reactioners, maximizers, worriers, talkers/expressors… while others are under-reactioners, minimizers, ‘just-calm-downers’, quieter types. Take a moment to reflect: these are lifelong coping strategies and not likely to change during a crisis, AND, just because it’s not your style, that doesn’t mean it is somehow inferior either. Give grace, to yourself and each other.
CREATE A NEW ROUTINE. If you find yourselves suddenly together 24-7, make a clear plan together about your schedule, for together time and alone time. This will give you some breaks from each other, and also manage expectations.
SEEK MORE SUPPORT. Don’t rely solely on your partner to give you everything you need during this time: social contact, emotional support, conversation, etc.... It’s too much for just one person, so reach out! Be conscious and intentional about seeking connection and support with other people and resources.
Final thought: it’s very hard to solve problems during a crisis – right now the primary goal is to not make the problems worse. Bring your best selves to this now, and if this current crisis reveals stress fractures that were already there, when this is over TAKE ACTION and stop waiting for things to change on their own. Find good support and start on a new path together. Change is absolutely possible! By Michele Eimon, MS LPC at Gals Institute, Delafield WI ** Call today at 262-337- 9770 to schedule an appointment with one of our providers available to assist your family at this time. Prevention is the key to creating a strong foundation to be able to with stand future stress.
How to increase resiliency & build GRIT in your family By: Deanna Marincic, MSW LCSW
Parenting is tough. Believe me I am in the the trenches with you and share in the popular consensus that many days I wonder how will all we get through high school emotionally and physically intact . As anxiety and depression statistics continue to rise in today's youth I am even more aware of the need for preventive teaching and resources for new parents. I am passionate about helping families build resiliency and adversity. Helping your kids strengthen their sense of self and have GRIT. Psychologist Angela Duckworth and colleagues Angela Duckworth extensively studied grit as a personality trait. GRIT is defined as "perseverance and passion for long-term goals". To have grit much like being resilient, one world have a strong character, resolve and a strong sense of self. Something we all strive for and probably would help us at work and as a parent. *****Below are some tips when integrating into your family can help with resilient foundation.
Model in your actions and in how you communicate - adversity is to be expected, normal, healthy aspect of life (sport example). If your child has a favorite athlete, they are likely familiar with aspects of that person's story that include disappointments and setbacks. Talk about how this person used the adversity they encountered to grow and improve. Point out examples of how your child has done this in the past as well, reminding them that it's ok to feel upset now and that their distress will most likely fade with time. Develop a game plan with your child of how they would like to be treated after a disappointment (losing a game, bad grade on a test, fight with a friend, etc.).
DO NOT fix the problem for your child -Rushing into problem solving mode may inadvertently send the message that something has gone "terribly wrong" and requires immediate fixing. It may even reinforce the belief that some feelings need "fixing." Instead, reinforce the lesson that your child is loved and supported no matter what and that it's ok to not feel great all the time. Problem solve later, if appropriate, with your child's input (as appropriate). Remember no kid is perfect and they will make mistakes. Growing is learning.
Remind your child that their feelings do not dictate their choices and that acting out, talking back, blowing up, etc., should not occur no matter how upset they may be. Talk with them about effective ways to soothe their feelings if this has been an issue.
Communicate! Keep the lines of communication open and remember prevention is the key. The Gals Institute team are always here to help families be healthy and happy. These are just a few ideas.
**Stay tuned for more tips and tools to help you navigate your relationship with your kids.
While you may not see it, therapy is vital to a successful recovery. We want to help you make the change for a brighter future. It is a regular occurrence where I meet individuals entering the stage of recovery who question the benefits of therapy interventions. This skepticism is present for many reasons and I understand the resistance. Taking the additional step to bare your secrets and pain doesn’t sound pleasant. Especially when you do not have your old coping methods available to self-medicate those experiences, thinking about talking with a stranger may be intimidating and not at the top of anyone’s self-care list. What if I told you it could be a pivotal part of your journey to health and happiness? I can only share my personal and professional experiences as to what I have seen in successful treatment and long term recovery. In these experiences, I have observed three main reasons why potential clients do not wish to endure therapeutic sessions. The most common reason I hear from clients is due to at least one bad experience with therapy in past. Whether it be a bad personality fit or someone who went too deep too fast before the therapeutic trusting relationship was built. The lack of skill set can be another reason. You should not feel unsafe or unheard when you leave your therapy session. A therapist works for you. That does not mean they should not challenge or push you. You actually want a therapist to help you help yourself and that may mean some hard sessions. Think of a therapist like a personal trainer for your brain. You want your therapist to push you and challenge you to have a successful outcome to reach your goals. The second reason puts the focus on the client and their personal struggle to admit that there is an issue. There is an unrealistic expectation of a “quick fix” with medication or a short treatment stint. This is a set up for disappointment and relapse as there is no “quick fix.” Believe me, I wish there was. Recovery is a process, not an event. This process should be seen as a journey to a healthy sense of self. A good therapist can help you hold yourself accountable as well as assist in helping you build healthy coping skills and support systems. It is not appropriate to have your family be your only support system as they may not want to bear the duty of calling a loved one out. The third reason individuals do not seek therapeutic help is due to the mindset of, “All I have to do is quit the substance and I’ll be fine.” Research shows that there is a increase in residential facilities being opened specifically designed to help individuals with addressing the whole person not just the addiction. This shows that there is a need for people to address their issues to potentially avoid relapse. Those reasons vary quite a bit but they all lead to the same common necessity; you need to peel the onion layers until they’re gone and the tears are done. Disregarding any assumptions a potential client has about the treatment process is essential when they wish to seek help. To accept that, there is more than one step in the process. Say you go to your doctor to take care of a pressing medical condition. They may prescribe more than one type of medicine to help you improve your health. But when you decide to take less than what is prescribed, you will find yourself back in their office seeking more help. This same concept is applicable to the therapeutic process when dealing with addiction and substance abuse. Everyone is individualized but in every scenario, processing the underlying issues to substance use and dependence is key to successful recovery. By Deanna Marincic MSW LCSW-Founder Gals Institute, Delafield
To Raise Resilient Kids, Be a Resilient Parent
What will it take to stop the heroin epidemic? By: Deanna Marincic MSW LCSW – Owner Gals Institute The recent deaths of well-known entertainers due to substance overdoses and suicides are deeply concerning for parents like myself raising young adults in today’s society. For all of the celebrities that have spoken out, breaking the silence and stigma around mental health and addiction, there are just as many who have died and suffered silently. What can we do to continue to increase awareness, but even more importantly, increase prevention, treatment and support for regular people like you and me? Most of us cannot afford intense residential treatment (at a cost of $30,000 a month or more!) and still pay the mortgage or rent, food, medical bills, transportation and other endless needs that the average family has. Where do we start, so that we can avoid getting to that point? First off, we need to start building resiliency in our youth, starting as young as possible, and become more mental health and trauma-informed in our schools and work places. Integrating resiliency skills in the school curriculum will empower students to appreciate their unique gifts and strengths, develop positive coping skills and learn how to make good, healthy decisions. Second, let’s make sure that those key individuals who have contact with our kids are positive influences by their actions and behaviors. This includes coaches, church youth leaders and other mentors that are so much a part of our community and impact our children’s sense of self with every word they say. They should be trained on how to build character and confidence rather than breaking kids down by what they say, or even yelling negative comments from the sidelines. We all could work on being a better example to our children in our behaviors around mental health, substances and increasing empathy towards others in the way we speak and/or post on social media. Third, we need to keep the conversation going… at home, in our schools, and in our community. Let’s continue to talk about it, all of it, including the hard (and scary) parts, what helps, and what doesn’t. Those of us with children in our lives (our own or others in our care) can start by asking more questions, listening more than talking, and by giving these children the gift of our attention. These are just a few starting points to creating a healthy, positive environment for our youth. My family has been deeply affected by addiction and loss, and I hope I can do my part to help families obtain the tools they need to keep their family happy and healthy. Gals Institute is a leader in providing prevention and healing for families. We also are available to assist families with getting connected to appropriate support if we are not a good fit. We are all in this together!
How to help your kids avoid the pitfalls of metal health and substance use. Why YOU are the best tool to helping your kids find the right path on their journey. By: Deanna Marincic MSW LCSW, Founder Gals Institute/Gals On The Go Project The most important tool you can provide for your child’s upbringing in today's complicated time is YOU. Show up & Be present. Starting early and talking to your kids about important issues such as mental health issues and addictions is important for many reasons. Like many parents we feel like every day is a test of will and sometimes is like walking on a sheet of ice. Any moment your attempt to have an impactful conversation about anything serious in life and it can take you sliding farther away from your teen and in the ditch. I get it. I am sometimes buried in a pile of snow but one thing I have learned. Don’t give up. Keep using any and all opportunities such as family dinners, family outings or even that time when you are putting the kids to bed.
Be A Role model – More important than superman, wonder woman or any popular super hero of the time is the role a parent plays. Kids watch and mimic their parent’s behaviors, comments and take on their parent’s values and beliefs. It is very important to think about what you choose to do in front of your kids. If you’re not okay with them doing the same thing now or later in their life than you need to reassess your timing and behaviors. Again, were not perfect and sometimes it is realizing that maybe you shouldn’t have argued about finances in front of your kids or had too many drinks that Sunday afternoon. Own it, be accountable. Role model to your kids that we all make mistakes but taking responsibility and making changes is a lesson.
Prevention vs. Crisis – Being in the mental health field for so long, If there was some wisdom I wish to share with parent’s is: do not wait until circumstances with your children are at a boiling point. If your child has anxiety symptoms, experimenting with drugs/alcohol or making high risk choices, you need to get help right away. Early intervention can make a major impact on the journey to resiliency for your son/daughter.
Have resiliency building discussions: Lastly, have those important discussions that incorporate morals, values and expectations of your family. Help lay the foundation on the development of your child’s character while strengthening your connection with them while role modeling healthy discussions, even if it is conflict resolution focused. Remember we are not perfect and your kids will make mistakes even poor choices sometimes, allow mistakes and use them as learning opportunities. Help them with accepting accountability and working on a plan to make a different choice when faced with the same circumstance.
There was no manual when we were handed over the sweet baby you added to your family, but if I was to name one it would be called, The Icy Road of the Parenthood Journey. Just know that you are not alone in this journey. There are many resources in your community to help navigate the parenthood pitfalls.
Gals Institute, LLC (262) 337-9770 | fax (262) 337-9771 | firstname.lastname@example.org 383 Williamstowne Dr., Suite 101 | Delafield, WI 53018 Located near Target in Delafield by the intersection of Hwy 83 and I-94