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We’ve all experienced times when our thoughts begin spinning in our head like a wheel spinning out of control. So imagine that you are in a car and a tire is stuck in the mud. The harder you push on the gas pedal, the deeper the tire digs itself into the ground, and the worse

Sue came to my office shuffling her feet and looking down at the ground. She was unwashed, her hair was unbrushed, and her clothes were wrinkled as though she had been sleeping in them. Her eyes were wet and red from crying. It came as no surprise to me when Sue told me she came

You have the capability of deciding how you feel. You aren’t at the mercy of uncontrollable outside forces. Even when you have a physical disorder that leads to anxiety or depression, you still make the problem better or worse with your own self-talk. Self-talk is that little voice in the back of your head, and

Now that you have an understanding of how an “I message” works, and the two parts, identifying your feelings and giving a specific statement, it’s time to start practicing with other people. You may also discuss your action or behavior, but don’t blame the other person for your actions or thoughts. Here are a few

The next step in good communication is learning to be specific. Say exactly what you want, and don’t leave it open ended for others to have to guess your meaning. Here are some examples that are done for you. Yes or no relates to the statement being specific or not: Clean up the mess –

How do you know if your therapist is ethical, and is doing a good job? Here are some things to look out for: Does the counselor have the training and experience in your problem? A licensed counselor has a masters degree, two additional years of supervised training, has passed a difficult state test, and meets

Now you try some. Write Yes if this demonstrates good communication (even if it doesn’t relate personally to you). Write No if it shows poor communication, or blames others for the writer’s feelings. 1. I feel happy __________ 2. You make me happy ___________ 3. The kids upset me __________________ 4. I feel upset with

A second part to good communication is to be specific. I like going around a room and asking people what they would do if I asked them to clean up. If there are ten people in the class, I’ll probably get ten different answers. “I’d sweep the floor,” I’d pick up those papers” “I’d straighten

There are people who would focus on how the boy “should” be punished for not doing the dishes, but the dishes were not really the issue, and punishment only breeds anger. The issue was keeping the relationship healthy and respectful. Tillie may have spent five minutes doing dishes, but she saved an hour not driving

I have another story about another 15-year-old boy. This boy asked his mother, Tired Tillie, if she would drive him to the movies. Tillie didn’t want to drive to the theatre but decided that she would do so if her son would wash the dishes. Tillie knew that her son could get a ride from