Katie Steele, MA, LMFT #96656

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The Value of Journaling

I don’t know about you, but my mind is constantly swirling; thoughts, ideas, worries, wishes and dreams run through my mind. Sometimes I find myself consumed with these things and need a place to sort through it. Journaling is a great way to sort out our thoughts. There is power in the written word. Research shows that journaling not only improves psychological health, but also physical and physiological well being. Journaling is a platform where one can reduce stress, heal from past wounds, problem solve, enhance self awareness and experience personal growth.

There is no right way to journal. The value isn’t in the content but in the process. Here are a few ideas and tips to get you started:

1. Pick a journal with appeal! Spend some time finding a journal that you are drawn to; do you like the look and feel of it? If so, you are more likely to use it!

2. Don’t pressure yourself. Your journal can be filled with long entries, quotes, drawings, pictures etc. Don’t stifle your creativity by putting expectations on what belongs in your journal.

3. Bring your journal everywhere! Capture the opportunity to spontaneously journal. Life moves fast and carrying your journal with you will allow you to pause and reflect on what is important or impactful to you.

4. Consider using some prompts to help enhance your processing. Pinterest is a great place to explore journaling prompts. Here are some pins that I recommend to get you started. Visit my journaling pin board for more ideas. https://www.pinterest.com/kstherapy/journaling/


Journal Prompts

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Book Review – Parenting with Love and Logic

I am frequently asked about book recommendations for issues regarding parenting, relationships, marriage, healing past traumas etc. I am working on compiling an extensive list of books that I have found beneficial, but in the mean time I am going to occasionally post a review of a specific book.

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay is a great resource for parents. This book offer insight into parenting without being emotionally reactive. The authors offer many practical ways to empower your children to make responsible choices. The premise of Parenting with Love and Logic is that choices and behaviors that children make come with consequences, whether good or bad. The book emphases giving your children choices, letting natural consequences be the teacher, and being an empathetic but consistent parent.

This book is broken into parts. Part one is the educational piece; the explanation of the theory behind the title. It equips the reader with knowledge of how to parent with love and logic as well as an explanation of the philosophy behind love and logic. Part two is filled with specific scenarios, which they call “Pearls of Wisdom” where you can go to find specific ways to implement the the principles of Love and Logic. It is a helpful resource to be able to look to topic specific issues you may be dealing with in your parenting struggles.

Overall, I think this book is a great tool for parents. I think the general principle behind the book is good, however some of the logical consequences the author gives seem extreme. I would recommend this book as a guideline for parents. The approach of Parenting with Love and Logic is beneficial in helping shape your child’s character; teaching responsibility and well thought-out decision making. However I do suggest that readers of this book decide where their comfort level lies when it comes to logical consequences for their children.

If you have read this book, what are your thoughts on the principles of Parenting with Love and Logic? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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The Importance of Remaining Friends

When working with couples, I often come across the fact that part of the relational struggles stem from the fact that the couple has forgotten to nurture their friendship. Couples get wrapped up in the functional aspects of the relationship; the business of raising a family and maintaining a household. Making time for connections outside of these roles can become challenging. When we become good co-parents and business partners, but starve the emotional connections of our relationship, we are at risk for foundational breakdown. Relationships need a foundation of emotional safety and trust in order to thrive. By making time to connect as friends and lovers, we provide the proper environment for emotional connections to be cultivated.

When was the last time you and your partner spent some quality time together? Pull out a board game or go on a walk together; share a laugh or a personal struggle. Building a strong foundation of emotional safety and trust doesn’t require a lot of time. Connecting as friends is a great way to cultivate the environment that breeds emotional connection.

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Picking a Therapist

Entering into therapy can be a challenging, scary, and uncertain task. Picking a compatible therapist is an important key in the success of your therapy experience. The therapeutic relationship is essential to the benefits of therapy. So how do you go about picking out a therapist? Here are some suggestions:

1. Take some time talking on the phone with potential therapists. Connecting over the phone will give you a good indication of compatibility. Take notice of how it felt to talk with him or her.

2. Ask questions. Find out about the therapist’s modality of treatment, theoretical orientation, experience, and types of clients he or she has worked with. There is nothing wrong with interviewing a potential therapist!

3. Consider the gender. Take a moment to reflect what it would be like to enter into therapy with a therapist of the opposite gender or the same gender. If you feel that you won’t be able to disclose information to a therapist due to his or her gender, seek out a therapist you would be most comfortable with.

4. Ask for referrals. Word of mouth networking is powerful. Consider asking a friend, family member, or coworker for recommendations.

5. Look online. The internet offers a vast amount of resources. Check and see if a potential therapist has a website or Psychology Today page. These resources can offer you more information about the therapist and be a good indicator of the type of therapist he or she is.

Lastly, if you find that once you have entered into therapy and you don’t feel comfortable with the therapist, ask for a referral. It is in your best interest to feel safe, comfortable and confident with your therapist!