Laura Schneider CALM WITH LAURA

Laura Doerflinger Schneider, MS, LMHC
Counseling and Life Management

Kirkland, Washington
20 years experience counseling children, adolescents, adults and families
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Eastside Teens
Teen Group: 10 Essential Skills
Self-Regulation for Anxiety, Depression, Attention and Anger
If you are suffering from mood, focus, and/or energy problems, but are motivated to learn and think that you are ready for a change, this class is for you. This group is designed for teens, ages 14-17, who have challenges with anxiety, depression, anger, low or hyper energy, attention, and/or focus issues. If these mood and energy conditions have caused problems with school performance, family-functioning, and/or social connections, join us today to personally design a new tomorrow.
Dates: Ongoing Enrollment
Cost: $60 per session
Note: One month commitment. Fee must be paid in full with registration. Receipts will be provided for insurance purposes. Full reimbursement is offered 7 days before start date. Partial (50%) reimbursement is offered if member drops out by week two. Full attendance is recommended for best results. We do not reimburse for missed classes.
Class size: 10
Goals of This Class
The goals of the class include the opportunity to identify with others in the group, to be heard by the group, to discuss concepts for potential change or acceptance, to learn skills to decrease undesirable thoughts or behaviors, and to design a better tomorrow. For most of us, identifying with others makes us feel less alone. The collaboration of a group allows connection with others and an ability to find new options for old problems. This group encourages members to talk out their issues, and for group members to listen and reflect the thoughts and feelings of others. The opportunity to articulate issues and feel compassion from others can relieve internalized distress. An emphasis on creating an empathetic setting for members to express also offers an environment to learn. Understanding and analyzing our conditions helps us move forward in making change or accepting what we cannot or do not want to change. When we decide change is necessary then learning skills to overcome our thoughts, emotions and behaviors is a relatively straightforward process. By the end of this class, motivated group members will be able to identify, articulate, and skillfully cope with their mood and energy challenges.
Topics we cover:
The group will listen to a sampling of popular music and identify the moods expressed in the lyrics. They will connect the words and intention in music with how they feel, think, and behave. They will learn about the "feeling, thinking, behaving" trifecta and how these different experiences affect the other. Does thinking influence feeling? Do our emotions control our behavior? Does how we behave change the way we think or feel? These three experiential factors form a trifecta, which includes our neurological emotional reactions, a variety of thought, and our behavioral response. The trifecta is influenced both by our nature and our nurture. The process of becoming conscious of the interaction of these three factors can provide awareness to change destructive or ineffective patterns.

The group will consider the purpose of motivation, aka the energy to change. One might believe changing destructive patterns is all pros with no cons. Assessing the benefits of destructive patterns, however, is essential in committing to change. Many times we continue the same negative patterns and are confused by our inability to change because we don't realize that these patterns can have hidden benefits. Once the pros and cons are revealed, we can commit to change -- or understand and accept that we are unwilling, incapable, or uninterested in change.

Nothing to Worry About?
Worrying can keep us up at night, give us the energy to act, and take away the energy to do the necessary work to change. We will assess how our power to act can increase or inhibit our release of worry energy. Without the power to act, worry energy only implodes and can cause depression, anxiety or anger. The power to act can externalize the worry energy and relieve the stress. When we cannot act because we have no control over our concern, then decreasing worry energy through self-talk becomes crucial.

Mind Over Matter...
How do we assess our reality? What is our conclusion? What's the truth in our thought or conclusion? Thoughts have a powerful effect on our emotional state and direct our behavior. Identifying thought distortion is the first step toward changing our thinking. We all sometimes use distortion in both what we think and what we say. Once we become aware of distortions, we can hear the distortions in everyday life and turn the distortions into realistic thoughts.

What's Real?
Since the breaking of old patterns takes time and practice, the group will discuss how it is going for everyone. Members will analyze how their negative perception holds up against their realistic situation. They'll consider the benefits of untwisting their thoughts and predict how they might feel and behave if they choose a more realistic way of thinking.

Who am I?
How do I feel about myself? Who am I? These questions torment teens. They develop opinions and beliefs on self-esteem points like self-importance, connections to others, love and lovability, and productivity in the world. These beliefs infiltrate every day activities and attitudes. Learning how to love, be compassionate and empathetic to self is one of the most powerful tools in fighting mood disorders, accepting attention deficits and other challenges, as well as promoting good health. Awareness leads to change. In order to commit to higher self-esteem, members write a positive self-letter that they can read when they are down.

Speak up!
Self-talk is one mode of communication, but communicating with others is in a whole different league. Most adolescents feel intimidated by conversations with teachers and other adults. They often feel unheard or ignored by their parents. Their emotions can get the better of them in other conversations and irrational reactions can rule the words. Learning better communication skills allow teens to have critical conversations with the adults who matter. These skills can translate to peer conversations and improve relationships. journals. We will also analyze the song Talk, lyrics performed by Coldplay.

The Matrix!
It's important for us to truly know ourselves. Members have learned about their moods and their influence over their thoughts and behaviors. It is also important for teens to understand how their brain is working during adolescence. Understanding 10 important brain facts will allow members to recognize challenges in decision-making and communication. We will introduce the Safety/Health Matrix, so they can begin to assess the decisions they make. They will have the opportunity to talk about procrastination and how that behavior impacts their lives.

Choosing The Life You Want to Live!
We live our lives based on our perspective of choice, power, and will. When we don't choose our path (freewill), we allow our lives to fall into place based on the beliefs and opportunities externally presented (determinism). When we define our paths and are conscious of our choices, we have more control over our destination. For example, if students decide to focus on the requirements of a class (homework, tests, participation) then they have a better opportunity to achieve a higher grade. If achieving higher grades is not a conscious focus, then most likely they will receive a lower grade. Our choices have limits: factors like our natural gifts and abilities, our environment, or our means. These factors all affect what we can choose. Still, our will to be or act or think makes a difference in our personal experience and ability to achieve life goals.

Can't We All Just Get Along?
What defines a healthy relationship? What defines an unhealthy relationship? Our relationships influence our daily lives. Much like the ripple a pebble makes when thrown into a pond, we have our inner circle that then ripples out to our furthest circle. Those closest to us have the biggest influence, but even those in the rings further out (classmates, teammates, distant relatives) make an impact in our lives. When we have unhealthy relationships, our mood, self-esteem, thoughts, and behaviors are challenged. It's much easier to live a happy life in happy circumstances and with healthy relationships. Determining the quality of relationships helps one decide what needs to change. Do we need to change friends? Make new friends? Change ourselves? Get out of a relationship? Or, find new coping skills to handle the relationships we have?
For more information please email or call:
Laura Doerflinger, MS, LMHC

Ken Drummy, MSW, LCSW

Laura Doerflinger Schneider, MS, LMHC
8752 122nd Ave. NE
Kirkland, WA 98033