Overcoming Social Anxiety and Struggles

Are you a teen struggling with anxiety or social anxiety? Do social situations my your super anxious? If so, it is time to find a way to overcome these struggles.

Are you experiencing anxiety? It is time to get Counseling in Grand Rapids, MI

Adam Nash LLPC “I am very passionate about helping teens learn how to manage their anxiety and move past it to a healthier life.”

One of my passions as a clinician is to see teens be successful in all aspects of their lives. If you are a teen who is struggling with social anxiety then you have come to the right place.

Are you struggling with feeling like you don’t fit in with the people in your school? If so I have over 10 years of experience working with teens and helping them reach their full potential through healthy ways of cope anxiety.

Anxiety is a feeling of overwhelming worry or unease about an upcoming event of uncertainty and it greatly affects the ability of the person suffering through it to be able to manage their emotions. However there is help and it is possible to learn how to manage anxiety and live a great life.

Social Anxiety is the fear of situations where one must interact with other people, practically in large groups, and can easily prevent a person from being able to function in social situations. Often, social anxiety if not properly managed can become debilitating and prevent the person’s ability to even leave the house for fear of social interaction. However there is help and techniques to overcome this struggle. There is hope!

Anxiety can be overwhelming when handled alone however there is help for you in this struggle. Counseling is proven to be effective in treating all forms of anxiety. If you are struggling with anxiety today is the day to get the support to overcome this and move towards a healthier life.

You can call 616-200-4433 or directly 616-676-7081 or email me at adamn@healthforlifegr.com and I will give you a complimentary 15 minute consultation.

adam nash helping teens with anger, depression, and anxiety“Thank you for reading” – Adam Nash MA LLPC 

 

Paul Krauss MA LPC interviewed by Empire Radio Now

Paul Krauss MA LPC is interviewed by Christopher Celery on Empire Radio Now.

Paul Krauss MA LPC visited the Professional’s Round Table on Empire Radio on 6/09/17 for a live interview.

Paul Krauss MA LPC discusses the clinical team at Health for Life Grand Rapids located in Grand Rapids Michigan. Paul Krauss discussed the his specialities of utilizing EMDR therapy for trauma and PTSD, and the specialities of the other counselors in the office. Paul Krauss MA LPC discusses that the goal is to help people feel like themselves again and be able to go back out and live their lives to the fullest.

Paul Krauss MA LPC discusses his personal background and why he decided to go into professional counseling. Paul discusses growing up in Michigan and how mental health was not a typical topic of discussion. Paul discusses how counseling is one of the best preventative treatments for mental health concerns and how it can reduce violence, drug addiction, and family turmoil in the greater community. Paul briefly discusses how the research overwhelming supports the effectiveness of counseling for all sorts of personal and psychological concerns.

Christopher Celery asked Paul Krauss MA LPC to discuss what it takes to become a licensed professional counselor. Paul talked about how one becomes a licensed professional counselor. Paul has trained many counselors and is currently running a counseling supervision group in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul Krauss MA LPC discusses how he sees himself helping individuals and the community by continuing his private practice and helping other counselors improve their skills and be able to help more people over time. Paul and his team also do “ask a counselor” events throughout Grand Rapids, MI.

To listen to the interview- click on the link: https://empireradionow.com/paul-krauss-6-09-17-counselor/

Paul Krauss MA LPC practices counseling in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul specializes in working with people who have experienced trauma, depression and anxiety–Paul uses a combination of EMDR and traditional talk therapy. Paul has over 10 years of experience and has gone through many advanced trainings to be able to help people get through whatever they are going through, heal, recover, and feel renewed. If you would like to work with Paul Krauss, you can call him directly 616-365-5530, or email paulk@healthforlifegr.com or call the main line 616-200-4433.

 

Help for Teens, Young Adults, and their Parents (pt. 3)

For Parents: 10 ways to help Teens or Young Adults get healthy and begin living their life (Part 3).

This is part 3 of a series of articles working on Help for Teens, Young Adults, and their Parents.

by Paul Krauss MA LPC, Counselor in Grand Rapids, MI (Forest Hills area)

Click here if you missed part 1 or here if you missed part 2.

Paul Krauss have over 10 years of counseling experience helping parents of young adults and parents through this difficult transitions and circumstances. Whatever the circumstances you are going through and whatever the goal, Paul can help.

The following are tips 7, 8, 9, and 10 for the parents of young adults and teens.

  1. Follow Through and Consistency

We’ve all heard the trustworthy saying “Actions speak louder than words.”

(What are some of your experiences with people you knew whose actions spoke an entirely different language than their words?)

With children and young adults, our actions teach and impact them more than our words ever will. Children learn at a young age is their parents is serious about giving them a timeout or if they are just threatening in a frustrated manner. Since children’s brains are growing at an immense rate, they are able to better pick up on behavioral cues than on the meaning of our words. Just the same, young adults will know if you are serious about your boundary or rule regarding giving them money when they ask you for an exception because of X and you say “ok, but this is the last time” (And how many times have we said that?). Whether they are living with you or not, your follow through will mean a great deal more than your words in helping your young adult transition to independence. It can be scary, but as long as your young adult is safe, remember they have to develop problem-solving skills somehow. Don’t make exceptions to let them have their way, just because they are emotionally upset—this is similar to them throwing a fit as a toddler and you giving in.  If you need help with follow through and consistency, find an adult accountability partner—maybe you will utilize your actual partner or another parent you know—set goals together.

Five Ways to show your child love without giving them money or unearned resources (adapted from “The Four Seasons of Recovery” by Mike Speakman LISAC)

  1. Words of Encouragement (“I love you” “I believe in you” “I know you can do it.” People generally hear disapproval twice as loud as approval, so you’ll need to redouble your efforts to show love to your son or daughter.)
  2. Cards or Letters (Written words of encouragement can be invaluable to your Young Adult. Often times, these forms of communication can be overlooked as texting and emailing dominate our culture. If you don’t know where your Young Adult is—you could keep the letter until you see them).
  3. Hugs (Hugs provide physical interaction that is irreplaceable. Hugging isn’t just something that happens between parents and children under the age of 18. It is a worldwide indication of affection, and adults hug all the time.)
  4. Emotional Support (If your Ten or Young Adult calls you crying, or angry, or distraught or talking about something—even if you disagree with the content—as long as they are not verbally abusing you, LISTEN. Just LISTEN. Don’t give any advice. Just LISTEN. Tell them you love them. Offer help—don’t give unsolicited advice or “rescue them.”)
  5. Sharing a Meal (You can share a meal together in your home if there is enough trust left or built, but this is a tricky situation. I work with many parents who feel an obligation to bring their adult child home for a meal when they’ve experienced theft in their home and or other negative interactions, such as violence. In these cases, it’s highly recommended that you meet in a restaurant).

As a parent, how many times a week are you worrying about your teen or young adult? What will become of them? Will they learn to become a conscientious member of society? Will they ever become a functional member of your family? Your own fear can cloud your judgment concerning your young adult and cause you to make choices that, in retrospect, seem ridiculous. For example, I heard of a situation where a Father was so fixated on his son having “good credit” (so that his son could take over their business…someday) that he would continually pay off his son’s credit card debt—even though his son was spending recklessly on his OWN credit card account. The credit card was not even attached to his father’s account. The father kept telling his son “stop spending so much money on your credit card….you should only spend in credit against of what you have in your checking account…don’t you want to take over the business? If you do, you need to have good credit….You must learn how to balance your checking and credit card account….” And on and on he would lecture. The Father would lecture and yell at his son each time they spent time together and the son would agree to “try harder.” However, the son knew instinctively that his father would “bail him out” because of the unwritten agreement he and his father had. His father wanted his son to take over the business and carry on the family name. The father was obsessed with having “good credit” because of the family business. The father had access to his son’s account (initially under the guise that he was going to help his son learn to balance his bank account), but soon after, his father began paying off the young adult’s credit cards instead of letting them stay maxed out. The son would either get a new card added or wait until his father paid off his card before going out and spending frivolously. The Father lived away from where the son went to college and—consumed with fear about his son “starving”—he continued to pay off his debts. Eventually his son developed a problem with consuming too much alcohol (much of the credit card charges were from local college bars where the young adult would drink 4-5 nights a week…he would also buy drinks for friends and strangers). His father continued to pay the bills until one day, his son dropped out of school, rented a car, and drove to a large west coast city and began spending and drinking even more than before. It wasn’t until his Father stopped paying the bills and the credit card maxed out that he got a phone call from his son asking for help—at this point the Father had received help and guidance. The Father agreed to help his son only with a greyhound bus ticket home and refused to give him any money until he completed 45 days of inpatient, 90 days of intensive outpatient and sober living, and 80 hours of volunteer work. The son took a few days to “think about it.” But as he soon learned, the friends he had made at the bar weren’t as excited to hang out, feed, and house him as they were when he was paying for all of their bar tabs. He eventually came home and received treatment and the boundaries he needed from his father.

 

       8. Promoting Pro-Social Activities with Positive Peers.

The research has demonstrated time and time again that their peers heavily influence teens and young adults. Statistically speaking, your teen or young adult is much more influenced by their social group than both parents and professors. One way to use your money and influence on your young adult is to encourage or facilitate them to engage in one (or more) pro-social activity a week with their peer group. Pro-social is defined as a voluntary activity to help others—and while I do believe that that is a good goal—if you can get your young adult to participate in group therapy, hiking club, writing club, music classes, spiritual groups, exercise classes, etc. Any of the preceding types of activities can have a tremendous impact on their happiness and social abilities. We are striving for the opposite of anti-social activities with negative peers.

In this case, you may reward your teen or young adult, at first, for attending—with gift cards (never cash). Remember; don’t give them gift cards worth over $25 dollars. If they are living with you—you can have more leverage—paying for their phone, gas driving, etcetera all contingent upon them participating in activities. You’d be amazed at what happens when you call the phone company and turn off your young adult’s phone for a few days—or just get rid of text and data for a few days. Results come quickly!

Time and time again I see teens and young adults dramatically change their behavior and reduce their consumption of drugs/alcohol when they begin to participate in and make friends with peers that enjoy pro-social activities. It’s not to say that all of their peers don’t recreationally drink or use drugs—but they are more engaged in sober activities and do not make “using” their primary activity. Your teen or young adult doesn’t need to be in five clubs and be obsessed with volunteering and arts and crafts to get a benefit from pro-social activities. Even, being a part of something positive, social, and meaningful once a week can help your young adult begin to alter their behavior and begin to seek healthier friendships. While many young adults will require clinical attention and much larger interventions—encouraging and promoting pro-social activities can be excellent ways of letting your young adult learn that there is a much greater and long-term reward in healthy meaningful relationships and fulfilling activities than in the short-term high and superficial friendships they acquire while using. Countless times, I have worked with teens and young adults to find something—anything—that they liked to do that did not involve using drugs/alcohol. When they finally get involved in a somewhat consistent manner, I almost always see a reduction in their consumption of drugs/alcohol along with attitude and positive behavioral changes.

  1. Be a Good Example of a Community Member.

Since you are likely paying for most of their life, they can spare some time to spend with you.

Sometimes, we need to bring our young adult out of their comfort zone and expose them to new ideas and situations. For instance, you can bring them with you to volunteer to help the less fortunate or to a self-help group. The possibilities are endless. If you did this a few times a year it could still be impactful.

This next example surprises many parents:

…so many times I hear teens or young adults say “I wish my parent(s) would spend more time with me…” And then I reply “Wait…you just got done telling me that you are sick of your parents and that you wish they’d leave you alone.” And the teen or young adult says something like this (although not as concise articulate): “Well, I am sick of them trying to control me, telling me what I must do, and lecturing me—but I do wish that when I came to them to talk to them that they would actually listen, not judge me, and offer encouragement. I wish they would believe in me instead of telling me that I don’t know what I’m doing. I wish we could spend time doing things together…but I don’t think my parents could ever do this…they just worry…judge me…tell me what to do….and scoff at my ideas…”

I have parents tell me “I’ve tried spending time with my kid, but they don’t want to listen to me…” Again, I ask—what are you talking about? Or what are you telling them about? When a relationship is strained or needing to grow—it is important to remember that your presence, time, and caring and encouraging presence is needed more than your wisdom. Trust me, if they have questions, they will ASK YOU. To repair or grow a relationship, spend time where you are interacting for hours and doing something meaningful and/or fun. That is why I suggested volunteering. Some parents say “Well I bring them on vacation with us every year…” I would ask you how much time you spend face to face with each other (without electronics and movies on). If you don’t know what I am talking about, I would suggest getting 4-6 sessions of counseling to work on being more present with your child. Less worried, less judgmental, and less controlling—more in the moment and accepting and celebrating the time you have together.

  1. Set Concrete and Achievable Goals.

Now it is time to take action. Write down small goals weekly or biweekly, that are brief, specific, and doable regarding which tips are you are going to try and when. To find a specific way to apply the aforementioned tips to the problem you are facing, try the following problem solving skills:

First, define the problem. Second, Brainstorm ALL possible solutions with a professional or someone you trust. Third, Eliminate all possible solutions are you are not willing to try. Fourth, select a solution that you would like to use. Next, frame your goal for the week: First, Write down a goal based on the possible solution you found to the problem. Second, write down all the steps you can think of that will help you achieve this goal. Third, write down all potential barriers that may get in your way. Fourth, write down ways to navigate around or through potential barriers.

Remember, it is difficult to do this alone.

You are not alone, but you may need to reach out for help.

We all need resources and connection with others.

Get connected:

  • Find a Licensed Professional Counselor with teen, young adult, and family experience.

If you are in Grand Rapids, MI or anywhere in the state of Michigan, Paul Krauss MA LPC can help you. If you want help for your teenager, Adam Nash MA LLPC can help.

  • Meet with other parents facing similar phases and stage of life.
  • Try out or join a local support group for parents.
  • Read Books or check out blogs on this subject.
  • Seek wise-counsel.
  • Get into counseling yourself–just 4-6 session can help immensely.
  • See what local community organizations and treatment centers offer.

Remember! If your teen or young adult has a serious mental health and/or substance abuse issues: Consider hospitalization, detox, professional assessment, inpatient treatment programs, intensive outpatient treatment programs, sober living, behavioral adjustment program, and finally outpatient therapy.

This 3 part series was inspired by the Teens, Young Adults and Parents that I have met in my counseling practice, empirical research, and the belief that all families can find a way to experience healing. – Paul Krauss MA LPC

Do you or someone you know need professional consultation for their family situation? Paul Krauss can help. PaulK@healthforlifegr.com Call 616-200-4433 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

At Health for Life Grand RapidsAdam Nash MA LLPC Specializes in working with Teens and Young Adults. AdamN@healthforlifegr.com Together Paul and Adam are a team that can help your family.

Paul Krauss MA LPC specializes in working with the parents of Teens and Young Adults as well as Young Adults.

References:

Mike Speakman’s Book

Consistency: An Essential Ingredient

http://www.pal.ua.edu/discipline/consistency.php

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think by Johann Hari

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

Research Matters / Promoting Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior by Yael Kidron and Steve Fleischman

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr06/vol63/num07/Promoting-Adolescents’-Prosocial-Behavior.aspx

Prosocial Involvement as a Positive Youth Development Construct: A Conceptual Review by Ching Man Lam

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2012/769158/

How Volunteering Affects the Volunteer by Douglas LaBier

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/douglas-labier/how-volunteering-affects-_b_788584.html

Here is a webpage recommending many other quality books related to this subject books that may help you:

Additional Books

 

What do I do about my Anger? (3 tips from Paul Krauss)

Paul Krauss MA LPC is a professional counselor in Grand Rapids who has a great deal of experience helping men, women, and teens overcome anger outbursts, irritability, and resentments.

There are many good reasons to be angry and so Paul Krauss will not tell you to stop being angry. Anger is a human emotion and it is a valid one. Paul will help you figure out how to utilize the energy from your anger toward something that benefits you instead of being destructive toward yourself or others.

“Anyone can become angry; that is easy. But, to be angry, with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and the right way, this is not easy.”- Aristotle.

Here are 3 tips for dealing with Anger:

1. Figure out why you are feeling angry.

There are many sources of anger, but three of the most common are:

A. Recent Frustrating Event(s): “It’s the straw that broke that camel’s back…” Often times, it can be the ‘little things’ such as being stuck in traffic when you’re in a hurry, extra assignments at work when you are already feeling overwhelmed, something breaking in your kitchen that needs replacing. Whatever the source, if we are frustrated often and don’t deal with it– anger can be stored inside of us and this can lead to an anger outburst, or the feeling of being irritated or stressed constantly.

B. Hurtful On-Going Situation(s): These are often situations that cannot be resolved immediately, such as an ongoing conflict in the workplace (a boss expecting more hours than you can reasonably give, or a coworker causing there to be more work for you), difficulties with a spouse or significant other that cannot be resolved easily–such as bickering or arguments about money, sex, or what to do with children, friends, or relatives. Whatever the source, ongoing situations can lead to chronic feelings of irritability and anger–and can lead to anger outbursts, sadness, and even depression.

C. Past Unresolved Situation(s) of Hurt: There are many valid reasons to be angry about things that happened in the past. For instance, someone abused you, someone cheated on you, someone cheated you out of money, someone left you out of a friend group, someone said mean and hurtful things about you, etc. (this can be a long list). Past situations can lead to a feeling of resentment, which is stored in the body and contributes to long-term negative feelings. It is even more difficult to resolve resentments, because, often times, the short-term coping skills of releasing your anger or confronting a difficult situation are impossible–because your anger comes from a past situation. There are many advanced therapy techniques that Paul Krauss can utilize with you to help you feel resolved inside, even if you cannot resolve a past situation with the source of your pain. One of these techniques is called EMDR therapy and Paul Krauss has advanced training in EMDR.

2. Learn Strategies to deal with Anger.

There are many different strategies that you can learn to deal with anger–whether it is coming from recent frustrations, on-going situations, and past unresolved situations of hurt. In fact, there are so many that it would take about 15 pages to list and explain them all–Paul Krauss MA LPC has advanced training in these and will help you figure out which is the right one for you. Here is a short list:

A. Releasing the Anger from current frustrations: There are many skills that can help you learn to release your anger (and not store it!) resulting from current frustrations. One of many is removing yourself from the current situation (walking away, driving away, or taking a long walk) so that your nervous system has time to calm down and you can think clearly, instead of acting on your anger or escalating the situation. Another one is learning how to “breath counting” which is a technique that Paul Krauss can teach you–in this technique you work on breathing in on the “1” and out on the “2” and focusing all of your attention on your body naturally breathing–while attempting to focus less on thoughts of the current situation.

B. Learning Assertiveness Skills to deal with ongoing situations: Often times, ongoing situations cannot be fixed overnight, but if you learn assertiveness skills, you may be able to construct a boundary over time that will lead to your ability to be insulated or become less angry about the situation that you cannot change. Furthermore, learning assertiveness skills can help you move from feeling like a victim to feeling self-assured and confident.

C. Directly addressing your past hurt and resentments through journaling or counseling: How many times has a “bad memory” replayed in your mind and all of a sudden you felt a physical sickness or deep anger in your body? Many times resentments feel as if they are stored in your body and we feel that we are “back there.” If this is happening to you, there are advanced counseling techniques that can help reduce and even take away these bad feelings and “bad memory” replays–but it is very difficult to do it on your own. One strategy that has helped many people is actually to write down on paper exactly what happened and how you feel about it now and how you felt about it then. Then stop writing and go do something fun. Over time, this form of “journaling” (though you can shred everything you write–you don’t have to keep it) can help you gain a feeling of distance from the unresolved past situation. If you do not feel better after 2-4 writing sessions, it may be time to see a professional counselor.

“Constructive action is the antidote to violence.” – Gandhi

3. Get rid of our bad habits associated with Anger.

We all have bad habits–these are often “knee-jerk reactions” where we seem to “automatically” do or say something that we didn’t want to do or didn’t mean to say. The counseling process can help you learn to “reprogram” your automatic reactions and bad habits in a way that will ultimately help you feel more in control.

Here are 3 bad habits often associated with anger to look out for. With time all of these habits can change.

A. Suppression: This method seeks to deal with anger by hiding it and not dealing with it at all.  Often times, we learn this bad habit in childhood. Some people hold their anger in, swallow their anger, deny their anger, and can even make themselves feel physically sick from suppressing their anger. If we do not learn to express our anger, it can build up and create negative consequences.

B. Aggression: Violence, yelling, name-calling, threatening, blaming, intimidating, bickering, griping, hurtful criticism, and sarcasm are common example. This is one of the most obvious forms of unhealthy anger expression. Aggression is focused outward (toward someone else) and is the opposite of suppression.

C. Passive-Aggression: Silence, procrastinating, playing dirty tricks, emotional withdrawal, nasty comments, showing up late, and not participating are some ways that passive-aggression takes shape. This unhealthy expression of anger is focused on someone else, but unlike aggression it is done in often hidden and sneaky ways. It can be toxic to relationships and communities.

Remember, anger can be damaging and toxic to not only yourself, but everyone you meet. Children are easily affected by feelings of anger in a parent just as people can “sense” your anger at a workplace. If you are feeling angry and don’t know what to do about it–take action before long-term negative consequences occur! Anger can also turn into depression if not treated.

If you or a loved one is experiencing daily bouts of anger, irritability, rage, or resentments, call Paul Krauss today 616-200-4433 or email him at paulk@healthforlifegr.com and set up a complimentary 15 minute consultation. 

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain

Check out Paul Krauss’ podcast here or On itunes.

Paul Krauss MA LPC was trained to help people dealing with anger by Anger Expert Mike Speakman.

References:

The Healthy Expressions of Anger Workbook by Mike Speakman LISAC.

Overcoming Trauma, Depression, and Anxiety

Are you suffering from Trauma, Depression, or Anxiety? It’s time to truly overcome it. Find out how Paul Krauss can help.

Grand Rapids, MI

Paul Krauss MA LPC: “I wanted to speak directly to anyone who may be reading about how my specialized training and experience can help you.

If you are suffering from a traumatic experience, relationship break up, abuse, neglect, job loss or any other type of trauma– I have advanced training and specialized techniques (such as EMDR therapy) and I can help you feel like yourself again. No one should have to continue suffering from trauma after the event is over.

If you are suffering from depression and anxiety for whatever reason, I have 10+ years of experience helping people overcome depression and anxiety, including creative solutions and ways to actually change the brain (using techniques validated by Neurobiology–and have been proven to work through MRI scans and research).

If you are not sure what to do with your life, I have tools and years of career counseling experience to help you come up with novel options and work to find your true vocation and calling.

If you are a business leader or high achiever–I have advanced training in helping leaders and high achievers with micro issues at work and home that are causing snags and difficulties in their process of becoming great.

If you are going through a midlife or quarter life crisis–I can work with you to find the opportunity within the chaos and figure out where to go and what to do next.

Whatever you are going through, counseling can help. No matter what I specialize in, I have over 10 years of experience helping people get results and I will customize a plan to fit your unique situation.

Counseling has been empirically proven in research time and time again that counseling can be beneficial to anyone.

You can call 616-200-4433 or email me at paulk@healthforlifegr.com

and I will give you a complimentary 15 minute consultation.

Thank you for reading.”  – Paul Krauss MA LPCPaul Krauss MA LPC: Providing Psychotherapy, Consulting & Counseling Services

With an effective therapist, science shows that psychotherapy even works better in the long-term and is more enduring than medication. In fact, not only is it more cost-effective, but psychotherapy leads to fewer relapses of anxiety and mild to moderate depression than medication use alone—so much so that Norwegian Health Authorities have issued new guidelines concerning treatment of mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stating that psychological interventions, not medications, should be applied first. (Brownawell & Kelley, Monitor on Psychology, October 2011, Vol 42, No. 9)

“Not only is psychotherapy widely practiced, it is effective: Those who receive psychotherapy achieve much better outcomes than they would have had they not received psychotherapy (Lambert & Ogles, 2004; Wampold, 2001, 2007).

Learn more about Paul Krauss here or here.

To listen to Paul Krauss’ podcast:   click here.

Subscribe to The Intentional Clinician on itunes (click here).