Monday, February 3, 2014

Children Don't Cooperate with Talk Therapy

If a counselor tries to work with a child in the same manner that they work with adults, both parties are bound to feel frustrated. If you have school-age children, you know how difficult it can be to get a child to tell you just one thing about their day when you pick them up.  The thought of your child giving you an insightful account of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors throughout the day is absurd.  This video is a humorous clip of what that might be like.
Children's Counseling

Find out more about Play Therapy and Children's Counseling at

Friday, December 13, 2013

Beat the Winter Blues

      When cold weather lingers, it is not uncommon for some people to begin feeling low.  Many places, like Boise have been experiencing lower than normal temperatures, making it feel like we are in the thick of winter even before winter solstice officially welcomes the season.  Use the following tips to be proactive in warding off low moods that can lead to depression.  If these tips are not working or you lack the motivation to even try them, consult a mental health or medical professional for help.  
  1.  Exercise. Research shows this is as effective as medication in combating depression.  Find something you enjoy like dancing, snow shoeing, mall walking, or hula hooping while you watch TV.  Be creative and fit it in.
  2.  Eat well. Too much refined and processed foods can have a negative effect on your mood.  Fill your body with nutrient dense foods like salads and vegetable soups.  Eat whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, and make sure you are eating adequate protein (lean meats, fish, legumes, tofu, etc.).  When you have a sweet tooth, reach for fruits with fiber like apples or pears.
  3. Get adequate essential fatty acids. Fish and flax offer this important nutrient that some research has shown to be as effective as prescribed drugs in combating low moods.  
  4. Get sun. The shorter/colder days result in less sun exposure which can negatively affect your mood.  Be intentional in spending time outdoors, opening blinds, or sitting by windows.  You can change bulbs in your house to "full spectrum" bulbs to get the same effect on "feel good" neurotransmitters than the real thing.
  5. Celebrate.  Be deliberate in scheduling events to look forward to.  A weekend trip, girls/guys night out--even a simple movie night in--can feel special if you plan ahead.  Having something to look forward to can break up the long winter.
  6. Avoid binge drinking.  Remember that alcohol is a depressant.  Although one or two glasses can help some relax, more may worsen your mood and lower your energy both short term and the following day.
  7. Practice good sleep habits.  Lack of sleep can cause increased cravings and low mood.
  8. Laugh.  This stimulates endorphins (neurotransmitters that help us feel good).
  9. Drink plenty of water. Even mild dehydration can lower your mood. 
  10. Talk and connect with others.  When you are feeling low, talking with someone you trust about how you are feeling can improve your mood.  Try to be around caring, positive people.  Volunteer or get involved in group activities.

If your low mood continues for more than two weeks, you may be experiencing depression.  Talk to a knowledgeable health practitioner about making a plan to combat depression.  

Kristin Wright is a Counselor that works in Boise.  She helps adult and child clients struggling with depression, anxiety, and other issues discover the specific blend of solutions that will optimize individual wellness.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

6 Tips for Talking to your Child about the Kuna Bus Accident

In response to the bus accident in Nampa this morning, I wanted to reach out to parents with some tips on how to talk to your kids about the accident. Sadly, a dump truck and a Kuna school bus collided in Nampa causing injuries and death in at least one child. Just hearing about the news is devastating, and helping your child cope can feel overwhelming.  Use these tips as guidelines when talking to your child about the accident.  Remember though, that you are the ultimate expert on your child.  You know them better than anyone, so trust your instincts in how to deal with this sensitive issue.

1. Break the news.
Talk to your children about the bus accident if you know that he/she will find out eventually.  If possible, you want to be able to control how they first hear the news.  Use your judgment.  If you know that your child will see it in the news or is old enough that his/her friends are hearing the news, then talk to them about it.

2. Be calm.
No matter what you are telling your child, if you yourself are noticeably anxious, that is what your child will likely pick up on.  If you need to, practice deep breathing before the conversation.

3. Be reassuring.
Talking about death is never easy, but an accident involving children is especially difficult because of how egocentric children are.  They will likely wonder if this could happen to their bus.  Tell them how unlikely something like this is and stress all the important safety measures that are taken to prevent something like this from happening again.

4. Be developmentally appropriate.
Don't offer too much information, but rather let your child lead the discussion.  If they have questions, be ready to answer them, but it is not necessary to go into details that your child has not asked about.  They may need to talk about the Kuna bus accident more than once.  It may not be necessary to bring it up again, but make sure that they know they can ask you any questions about it in the future.  They may hear things from peers at school and want to fact check with you.

5. Be available.
If you notice your child is upset, try to make yourself very available.  Spending time together as a family can be very reassuring, as well as ever- day routines .  Making sure you are present for your child when you are in the same space is important for him/her to feel connection to you.  Remember that your love and attention provide safety and security.  Be aware of the activities that so easily distract us like electronics.

6. Do an activity to help process grief.
If your child expresses sadness for the victims of the Kuna bus accident, you may encourage him/her to do something to memorialize the deceased and/or support the injured.  Drawing pictures and making cards are some positive ways of providing closure to the grief they feel.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What is Play Therapy? A Boise Counselor's Quick Explanation

Here are two videos that help explain how play therapy works.  This first one gives and overview.

To watch the video click here: "play therapy works!"

The second video uses humor to explain why traditional talk therapy does not work with children, then explains a bit more about play therapy.
 Childrens Counseling Play Therapy

If you have more questions about play therapy after watching these videos, please comment below or send me a personal message via my website,  I am currently practicing in Boise and Middleton schools as well as at my private practice location on State Street in Boise (4980 W State Street, Boise, ID 83703).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Boise Counseling Office

I'm so excited to start posting about Counseling in Boise.  My name is Kristin Wright, and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor.  I am joining two other counselors in opening a private practice group called Wellness Counseling Center, located at 4980 W State Street, Boise, ID 83703.  This blog will incorporate a lot of topics in the counseling realm.

At Wellness Counseling Center, we have counselors who specialize in Marriage and Family, Nature Counseling, Grief and Loss, Trauma, Play Therapy, and Behavioral Wellness.  I specialize in Play Therapy and Behavioral Wellness.  I find working with kids and adults very rewarding.  Future posts will expand upon the definitions of each of these specialties, what they entail, and what type of clients would benefit from such specialized counseling.

Please comment and let me know what types of topics you'd like me to write about.  There are so many different topics and cutting edge research I am excited to share about counseling and how it is changing lives!

#boisecounselor #playtherapy