Relationships

March 14, 2016
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Peers Academy

Building Social Strengths through Awareness, Role-playing and Reinforcement Think back to your teenage years…what pops into your mind? Friends, school, budding romance, hanging out, feeling awkward, dating, erratic emotions, confusion, beginning independence, and the list could go on. For those individuals without mental health issues, the teenage years are challenging, but add a mental health issue and all these issues become overwhelming! At Heritage we specialize in identifying these unique issues and help create a pathway of learning and encouragement through our therapeutic framework. One main element in this therapeutic framework is known as our Peers Academy program. PEERS stands for […]
March 8, 2016
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Talking to Your Teens About Sex

Over the years working with adolescents and their families I have found that many times people find themselves in situations they are not prepared for.  As parents we want to protect and help our children grow up safe and smart. We want them to understand how the world works and be prepared for what life will bring to each of them. And yet, sometimes we shy away from certain topics because it is more comfortable for us not to have hard conversations. The human mind is amazing. Adolescents go through rapid changes during a short amount of time. Perhaps it […]
March 3, 2016
Chapel

Religious Diversity in Utah and Religious Offerings At Heritage

When one is visiting Utah for the first time, occasionally the assumption is made that everyone is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the “Mormon Church.” Such is not the case. The choices are tremendous. To help one navigate through the many religions located in Utah, Linda Walton, Chaplain and leader of the Utah Valley University Interfaith Association, and current Chair of The Utah Valley Interfaith Association created a very helpful resource. Use this website when you are planning a visit if you would like to attend services off campus. Let’s […]
February 15, 2016
Father and Son

“And Then Puberty Kicked In”

In my career I have always loved working with teenagers, they always keep things exciting.  Teenagers are growing and learning through many developmental experiences.  One of these experiences is puberty.  This was illustrated to me by my own son.  He came into our room one night and woke me and my wife up because he couldn’t sleep.  He was obviously distressed.  We had him sit on our bed and we started questioning him why he couldn’t sleep.  He went through a number of life stressors that he was going through at this time.  He mentioned his science project that was […]
February 4, 2016
Equine Therapy

How Equine Therapy Can Benefit Troubled Teens

Winston Churchill once said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Horses can have a profound effect on just about anyone. It has often been said that horses are a mirror to our souls. Due to the incredible nature and ability horses have to mirror and touch the souls of those that work with them, the use of horses in therapy is becoming more and more popular.  Horses can help people to overcome fears, gain confidence, learn self-control, focus their attention, build relationships, and develop new skills—in a way […]
February 2, 2016
Family Fun

Creating a Positive Family Culture

As we exit the holiday season and start the New Year, I have been reflecting a lot on the importance of quality time, tradition, and cultivating family culture.  Culture is defined in the Miriam Webster’s dictionary as, “a particular society that has its own beliefs, way of life, customs, art, etc.”  What this definition doesn’t explain is that culture is usually created very organically, and has many unwritten nuances and rules. The organic nature of culture is often so subtle that we rarely take the time to identify or consider what we are projecting as important to our children. So […]
January 25, 2016
Father And Teenage Son Having A Hug

How to Avoid Stand-offs With Your Teenager

Born and raised in the great state of Texas, I’m a big western movie fan. I own more Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies than I should admit. There’s something about a high noon showdown that reminds me of the way I unintentionally square off against my stubborn children sometimes. I’m guessing you can relate. The foundation of any relationship is communication. To improve parent-child communication, a simple but difficult strategy is to show up at high noon, drop our gun holster on the ground and kick it away with our hands empty saying, “let’s talk about this, what’s going […]
January 22, 2016
Mountaineer celebrates the conquest of the summit. Concepts: victory, success, achievement, triumph.

Vicarious Trauma: How To Learn Through Others

In my previous post titled, “Vicarious Trauma: How it Affects You Without You Knowing & How To Use It To Your Benefit” I discussed how to use smaller traumatic experiences and the experiences of others to prepare ourselves for our own, more significant traumatic experiences. In this post I want to explore how we can vicariously learn from the experiences of others.   Here is the paradigm shift for vicarious trauma; are you ready? What if you could use the trauma of others to help transform you? The technical jargon for what I am talking about is vicarious transformation and […]
January 19, 2016
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Vicarious Trauma: How it Affects You Without You Knowing It & How To Use It To Your Benefit

Vicarious or secondary trauma is a term used to explain burnout in caretakers who work with individuals who have suffered a traumatic or series of traumatic events. I know that sounds a little complicated but to illustrate its meaning, imagine you have a daughter who has recently been abused in some way. Because of the level of empathy you have for your daughter, you will begin to experience traumatic symptoms even though the trauma did not directly happen to you. This is what we call vicarious trauma. In many circumstances, sufferers do not recognize the signs or symptoms and do not […]
December 17, 2015
Senior couple laughing and talking to camera

Parental Guilt and Compassion Fatigue: Part 2/2

Human empathy exposes us to a range of vulnerabilities that tend to physically and mentally break us down into parenting mush!  We lose our effectiveness, our parenting moxie, the belief that we should be better than we have become.  And the evidence…our son/daughter is in residential treatment.  The guilt discussed previously drives us to a breaking point.  Often we think we should just buck up and take it.  But if you really look at your effectiveness at home, in the work place, with other relationships that seem to deteriorate with not knowing why?  I suggest the human system can only […]

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