Social Media and Body Image

In the month of February, we highlight the awareness of Eating Disorders. “In the U.S., 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified.” (Wade,Keski-Rahkonem. & Hudson, 2011). With eating disorders on the upswing, young girls and boys are looking to peer pressured ideals and the ever present social media standards to gage the notion of what it means to be “enough”. The growing usage of social media, popular magazines, and even TV shows and commercial have been linked to increased anxiety, depression, and don’t forget anorexia and bulimia. In recent years photo editing and video imaging software has become ever so prevalent. These knew technologic advancements have forever shaped and changed online photos, magazine images and TV shows. For instance: The popular website “Pinterest” is a place where you can pin photos or videos to a board of your interest; and keep in mind – the main users of the website are females. On this site, you are able to the name the boards whatever you wish: maybe you search “Perfect Body” or Bathing Suit Ready” for example. Yep- those will yield results in the search engine! Pinterest has become a place for users to “pin” photos of their fantasy body-type with the company even acknowledging that this use of Pinterest has the ability to damage one’s self esteem. Currently under debate is whether or not to ban the word “thinsperation”. Girls and women today are bombarded by the social media industry and as opposed to a few generations ago, they don’t even have to leave their homes. Young women, women in general, need positive motivation, not degrading stimulation. If you are considering making a change via weight loss, look at yourself first and make sure you are making the decision for the “right reasons” (yep, let’s play the health card here). Give yourself some daily self-love and work to understand that you are beautiful, even with a few added pounds. Celebrate the things you love about yourself, this February. You do not need to look like a “fantasy body”. We want to celebrate the real you! Hmmm…I hear a challenge, what would it be like to pin real versions of healthy self-esteem and body image? Take a look in the mirror and think positively… self-love is always worth a pin.


For Parents: What is Play Therapy?


Some parents reading this may have thought about bringing their younger child to see a therapist about the child’s emotional and behavioral struggles. However, most parents don’t have a clear idea of exactly what play therapy is, how it works and how they can be part of the process of helping their child feel and behave better. The Thrive Therapists offer the following Top 10 tidbits which help explain to parents how this form of therapy works, when you might want to consider it and how you can be involved in the most supportive way.

  1. All children have adjustment problems while growing up; some need extra help to cope.
  2. Children have difficulty expressing in words how they feel but like to play. Play therapy provides toys and materials so children can “play out” what they cannot say in words.
  3. Children recreate in play the life experiences that are part of their troubles. Children’s play evolves until they gain understanding/comfort over their conflicts/worries.
  4. Releasing feelings with a safe, caring, understanding adult helps children feel better.
  5. Children learn to express themselves in positive ways, to control their behavior, to make decisions and to act responsibly. They change their personal view of life events, enjoy more their interactions with others and feel increased self-esteem.
  6. Usually, more recent distressing events mean shorter treatment and vice versa.
  7. Parents can meet with the play therapist to express concerns, talk about their child’s behavior at home and receive feedback. Parents may be given guidance through Filial Therapy as to how to help the child at home and even infuse their own “special play-time.”
  8. Children need some degree of privacy regarding what occurs in their therapy.
  9. Parents can ready the child by describing therapy as “special play-time” to share feelings with a special person and feel better.
  10. There is a possibility that the problem may “get worse before it gets better”; this is not unusual nor does it mean the therapy is not going to be effective.

Thrive Counseling Observes World Suicide Prevention Day: September 10th


Suicide Prevention Day is a global day of awareness observed by the United Nations on September 10th of each year. Thrive counseling knows that suicide is a major public health concern, a tragic expression of deep psychological pain which greatly impacts family, friends, and communities. Thrive counseling urges people to look at suicide as a fatal symptom of depression, rather than an avoidable personal tragedy.

Thrive counseling works to educate their broader community about some of the realities and misconceptions of suicide. People who commit suicide are treated like their death was their own fault, a preventable mistake the person made. Thrive counseling notes that this misconception fails to account for the very real power of depression. A person who commits suicide is a person who died of depression, says Thrive. Just as a person who has cancer may technically die of a pulmonary embolism, but we still say they died of cancer.

The loss of Robin Williams to depression-induced suicide shook the world this year. Thrive notes how Robin Williams’ suicide and has drawn renewed attention to the struggles of those with depression. Depression is an erosion of a person’s sense of self which leads to a total loss of self love. Thrive explains that people with depression feel alone, worthless, alienated, and disconnected from the rest of humanity. Communication becomes burdensome, and the depressed person may recede farther and farther into isolation. The despair of total isolation, feeling unpaired from humanity, often leads to suicide.

According to Thrive’s research, suicide accounts for almost half of all violent deaths worldwide. Thrive counseling notes that the world is recognizing the power and seriousness of depression, and taking steps to defeat it. World Suicide Prevention Day, this September 10th, is a global day of awareness and activity meant to bring people together and refresh personal bonds. We at Thrive counseling will do the same.

This September 10th, Thrive urges you to reach out to your community of humanity. Reinforce the bonds of connectedness between you and your family, friends, and loved ones. A person with depression needs to know that someone is there for them, that someone is willing to listen. Thrive believes that your compassionate ear could save a life.

If you would like more information regarding World Suicide Prevention Day this September 10th, please contact us at Thrive counseling. We can answer any questions you have, provide you with resources, or simply listen.

Helicopter Parents & Over Scheduled Kids



What is a helicopter parent? How can you tell if you are one? Thrive counseling helps provide perspective and information for parents who want the best for their kids, but also want their kids to learn for themselves.

“Helicopter parent” is a name used for a parent who pays excessive attention to their child’s experiences and challenges. A helicopter parent will step in to resolve a conflict for a child, notes Thrive counseling, before giving their child a chance to solve the problem themselves. Thrive has found that helicopter parenting can be a significant deterrent to your child’s personal development. Helicopter parents can have children of any age, from primary school to college age. The term describes a tendency to hover over your child, Thrive clarifies, monitoring all of their experiences, instead of encouraging free play, creativity, and independent problem solving. Helicopter parents confuse stability with over-involvement. Helicopter parents tend to take personal responsibility for their child’s successes and failures, says Thrive counseling, robbing their young child of essential personal experiences. Helicopter parents have been known to fight their children’s battles and solve their children’s problems.

What do helicopter parents do?

Thrive counseling explains that helicopter parenting can happen with any age child. A helicopter parent of a toddler might continually follow their child, says Thrive, always directing the child’s behavior and playing intently with the child, rather than giving the child a healthy dose of alone time. A helicopter parent of an elementary school child often tries to hand pick a certain teacher or coach for their child, or choose all their friends and extracurricular activities. Thrive notes that some helicopter parents provide so much assistance for school projects and homework that they leave little actual work for the student. Helicopter parents of college youths have been known to call their child’s professors to argue grades and suggest teaching techniques.

Thrive counseling knows your children mean the world to you. They are foremost in your thoughts every day. Though you may be a well meaning and conscientious parent, Thrive explains that there is such thing as giving your child too much attention, particularly as they enter adolescence.

Beware the Over-scheduled Kid

A child’s “work” is play. Free play and direct interaction with nature are the core of early childhood development. Structured activities are good, adds Thrive counseling, but helicopter parents are liable to overdo it. Thrive notes that one common symptom of helicopter parenting is the over-scheduled kid. Helicopter parents want everything for their child that they may have missed in their own youth. Art classes, sports camps, activities, dancing, language instruction, music instruction. With too many scheduled activities, your child loses all opportunity for valuable free open play, which cultivates self esteem, imagination, and problem solving skills. If you think you’re too busy, advises Thrive, then your child is probably too busy. Thrive counseling reveals that over-scheduled children take on the stress of their usually over-scheduled parents, using up valuable energy which could be spent on enhancing your child’s self esteem and imagination.

The Consequences of Helicopter Parenting

Thrive counseling explains that the big danger of helicopter parenting is that parents- however well meaning – take the learning value of personal experience away from their child by monitoring and involving themselves in all of their child’s experiences. Thrive counseling reminds parents that the learning power of unmediated challenges, failures, and mistakes must not be underestimated. If, as a helicopter parent, you take away all risk, challenge, or hard work from your child, you also take away one of life’s most powerful learning tools. Thrive counseling says it is important for all parents – particularly helicopter parents – to realize that each child has their own destiny – completely separate from that of their parents.

Thrive counseling notes some of the more obvious and troubling consequences of helicopter parenting: low self esteem, underdeveloped life skills, diminished problem solving skills, a sense of entitlement, and an inability to cope with perfectly natural frustration. Though it may seem harmless, or a product of love, says Thrive, helicopter parenting can lead to social and emotional deficiencies for your child.

How Do I Avoid Helicopter Parenting?

The best way to avoid helicopter parenting is to let your child perform the tasks that he or she is capable of doing. Resist the urge to “help” your child with perfectly typical experiences. Let your children face their challenges. Teach them to clean up after themselves, and accept the consequences of their actions directly. Making your 3 year old’s bed is not helicopter parenting. But doing the same for your 12 year old certainly is. Let your children struggle and learn when meeting challenges. If failure occurs, allow your children to experience disappointment, which is natural, and help them work through the emotion, rather than avoiding it.

Thrive’s 10 Tips For Success During The New School Year


Summer is winding down, and that means it is time to gear up for Autumn, and a new school year. Here at Thrive, we know how important it is to be prepared for new challenges, and to allow time for transitions. Although Summer is not over yet, there are some simple and wise things students and parents can do to make the most out of a new school year. In the spirit of success and preparedness, the Thrive team presents 10 tips for success in the new school year.

1. Set Goals: goals are a very useful way to give you direction and momentum when starting out a new school year.  Choose 3 to 5 realistic, incremental, powerful goals that you can achieve this school year. Don’t over do it with goals. You don’t want so many that you intimidate yourself. Maybe you want to get better science grades, or make new friends. Maybe you want to make it onto a sports team. Choose your goals. Make sure they are possible. Dream big, start small, act now.

2. Take School Seriously: Education is more important than you may think it is now. Education is not merely something that qualifies you for a job or helps you fit into society. Education develops your mind for the rest of your life. The Thrive Therapists note, by taking your education seriously, you enhance your perspective on all life experiences, making yourself more capable of determining your own future. Take school seriously.

3. Keep A Journal: it’s easy for your thoughts to get away from you, especially during a transition from Summer to a new school year. If your getting nervous, bummed out, overwhelmed, or excited about a new year – or if you are dreading the end of summer – take a little time to sit and write out your thoughts and feelings. Do some drawings in your journal, too! There is no need to show your journal to anyone if you do not want to. There is not even any need to read over your journal if you do not want to, explains Thrive. But the act of converting your thoughts to words can go a long way toward helping you cultivate your ideas and better prepare you for the upcoming transition.

4. Smile: Sounds silly, but it will change your day. Smiling is an ancient form of positive communication. Remember to smile at people. When those around you see a smile on your face, it makes it more likely they will give one back. It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Make it easy on your face and brighten up your day with a smile.

5. Become a member of a school organization, club, or sport: School is a great environment for trying new things. Thrive notes that you may be surprised by how many interesting organizations there are at your school, filled with like minded students. There is probably a club at your school to match anything you’re interested in. Some examples include track and field, football, baseball, chess club, science club, cooking club, Spanish club, environmental club. What if you like to do something they don’t have a club for? Then, start one! The Thrive Therapists encourage you to start the first fashion club, or the first model airplane club, or the first Tolkien club!

6. Create a Permanent Workspace: A new school year means there will be work to do. Be ready for this basic reality, Thrive reminds, rather than being surprised by it or grumpy about it. You will need a place to do homework, with enough room for your books, papers, and self. Choose a space in your home that is free from distractions and quite enough for study. Get this space ready before the year starts, and keep this space ready for work all year long. Schedule ample time for homework, maybe a couple hours after school, or a couple hours after dinner. If your room is too small for your Permanent Workspace, choose a different part of your home for your workspace. When preparing your workspace, remember Tip #2.

7. Mind Your Health: Eat right, stay active, and sleep enough! At Thrive, nutrition and physical fitness are essential components of academic performance. Scientific studies have demonstrated that students who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches get higher grades and are more aware throughout the course of their entire school day. Home cooked food, fruits, and vegetables – YES! Junk food and fast food – NO!

8. Clean Your Room: And keep it that way. The order of your living space reflects the order of your mind. If your Permanent Workspace is in your room, keeping your room clean will be a critical factor in getting any school work done. If your room is too messy for your Permanent Workspace, clean it!

9. Adjust bedtimes one week before schools starts! Tune your body and your mind in to your upcoming new schedule. The Thrive Therapists encourage going to bed early for the 7 nights before school starts, so it will not be such an agony to wake up on time for the first days of the new year.

10. Remember, you aren’t alone: Summer is filled with lots of open time, late nights, and sunny recreation. Thrive knows that the end of summer dread can be a very real thing, and your friends and prospective classmates are feeling it, too. Your school year is also fun, but it will be a different kind, more structured and intellectually stimulating than the lazy days of summer. Reach out to your peers, and make the most of it!

Thrive Counseling Boredom Busters

Summer approaches. And with summer comes fine weather, family trips, swimming pools, ice cream, and a host of other seasonal delights. For youths, one of the great things about summer is that school is out and fun is IN. With all the freedom of summer, the Thrive Therapists still note that one of the biggest complaints from children is boredom. With a totally clear schedule, many youths also draw a blank. Parents often find themselves asking, How can my children get bored during summer break, with a whole world outside? Because the full schedule of their school year has passed, many kids are at a loss to fill the time. Thrive Counseling believes that structure is the key to the boredom puzzle. Even though some children may have begrudged the routine of the school year, they weren’t so bored. The Thrive Therapist highlight the fact that children and young adults are very responsive to structure, and some routine even though it does not need to be as rigorous a structure as the school year. But children should at least have to be somewhere at a particular time at least three times per week during the school lull of summer break. That may be a soccer team practice, a pool day, a horseback ride, or a meeting at a friend’s house for a Thrive Counseling Summer Boredom Buster Day Program. Recreational summer programs, like those offered by Thrive Counseling, are an excellent source of fun and structure. Children in a Thrive Counseling Boredom Buster Program engage in all sorts of excellent boredom busters, including games, art, crafts, music, and so much more!

The key to winning out over summer boredom, Thrive Counseling explains, is in keeping the kids active and engaged, in a loosely structured recreational setting. Sure it’s great to sleep in for a week and veg out on video games, but even that gets boring. Thrive’s summer programs help children find play and recreational activities which fill up the down time of summer with upbeat and engaging interactions. Thrive Counseling offers a summer lineup of fun, interesting, and interactive Boredom Busters activities filled with nature learning, drama performances, kitchen concoctions, arts and crafts. In addition to therapeutic summer activities, a Boredom Buster Day Program enables the company of engaging peers for the enhancement of personal and social skills development. The time youths spend with each other in such enrichment activities provide an opportunity for social learning which is essential to healthy child development.

The best part about Thrive Counseling Boredom Busters Day Program is that the Thrive Team comes to you. Parents only need invite a few children to one of their homes, and a visiting Thrive Counseling Support Staff takes it from there, banishing boredom and expanding horizons. If you think a Thrive Summer Boredom Buster might be right for your children and those in your community, please drop us a line here at Thrive Counseling to speak with our Program Planners about designing a day of boredom busting individualized for your group. Our programs are perfect for local neighborhoods, cul-de-sacs, community centers, churches… wherever kids can gather! We can’t wait to help your family make summer a little funner…bye-bye boredom!


Welcome to the official Thrive Counseling Blog!

First and foremost, we want to take the opportunity to thank you for visiting our  blog page. It is our pleasure to warmly invite you and your family into the official Thrive Counseling blog! (cue the confetti!) It is our hope to provide a safe and carefree atmosphere for sharing  – and who knows even a few nuggets of wisdom may appear! Here  at Thrive, our therapists realize that kids are a remarkable group of people. No seriously, we really do! P.S. parents and other supportive adults are pretty amazing as well. We so appreciate when families pull together in support of one another.

Because of this, we wanted to create a space on our website that is just for you. It is our hope to cultivate and environment rich in sharing, challenge your thinking, and even impart a few “tools” to help you cope with life’s ups and downs. Our blog is a place to offer different topics to build awareness and offer connection in our discussion related to the things that matter most to you. If there is ever a topic you want to hear more about – simply let us know. We L-O-V-E your ideas.  The goal – we  want to make this a friendly and respectful site so that everyone can benefit  from it as much as possible. Yep- only personal insights, supportive comments, and warm fuzzies here. We want everyone to feel welcome and as though their voice matters (because it does!).

Each month, the Thrive Team will upload a blog post to the site. So make sure to drop by  often for new material and posts so you don’t miss any of the juicy details!

Happy Blogging!!!

The Thrive Therapy Team