Our Thoughts of Care and Concern go to the Victims of Today’s Terror in San Bernardino

When witnessing an event with as much magnitude as on the news today as the terror attack in San Bernardino, CA, its time to stop what you are doing. PERIOD! Take a mental break, take a self assessment, drink some tea, well, you get the idea, no? Next, determine either on your own, or with someone you care about, how has this news, the vivd pictures on-line, and the ongoing feeds you have been reading impact you.  Do the images flash through your mind like a snapshot while carrying on throughout your regular routine?  Do the images appear when you lie down at night to go to sleep, making sleep nearly impossible, spurring racing thoughts through your mind? Ugh, let me sleep, you may be saying to yourself! Are you more irritable than usual, less motivated?

We all carry the burden of being human, which may cause you to experience a normal, albeit unpleasant and inhibiting reaction.  This is to have a normal response to an abnormal situation.  Let me say this again, as it is very important. Listen up, now:  You are having a NORMAL response to an abnormal situation.  It is normal to feel, to be emotional.

Word from the Wise Therapist…..expect to have a lingering sadness, anxiety or increased irritability following a major event for around 2 weeks or so.  After about 10 days, and your symptoms have not waned, set yourself up with one of our life coaches online, or schedule in person to get things in the mental department checked out and running like a well oiled machine.  It MUST be a priority for you to take care of you!(At least a weenie teeny teensy tiny little bit!!!)

Give those love ones a little bit of an extra hug and try to enjoy some quiet time together…carve out a little break for some rest and relaxation, and afford yourself the support you need, and seek help of a qualified professional to get you through the slump that you may be feeling.  Not only do you Deserve it, you actually need it, or it may linger longer than you may ever expect.

We here at Strategies for Success want to express our deepest thoughts and condolences to the victims and their families of the horror that occurred today in San Bernardino, California.  As I learn more about it, my heart feels heavy with despair.

Understanding The Nurtured Heart Approach

Heart made from handsBy Janine Stanley, Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been asked several times to explain this “Nurtured Heart Approach” by many friends, co-workers, parents and clients.  I often struggle to find my own words at times because it is represented in a visual image for me.  Imagine having the land to build your home, you have to start with building a foundation.  This in itself is a process, but you trust the contractors to follow your plan.   Some thoughts of all the things that could go wrong have already started but, you soon realize that you have created the time to attend all the meetings with the contractor; building a relationship and have set your expectations for this plan with creating boundaries on your blue print.  You then allow these “fear” based thoughts or negative thoughts to disappear creating a more positive outlook on what is being build.

Creating a new way to be in relationship with your child is much like I described above, you have to be willing to allow the negative to not have all the “power” in the relationship, you need to create more opportunities for the positive to shine in, and lastly you need to set the clear expectations which allow for the relationship to grow.

Once the foundation is poured only then can you allow the framing to begin.

According to difficultchild.com, “The Nurtured Heart Approach® is a set of core methodologies originally developed for working with the most difficult children. It has become a powerful way of bringing inner wealth to all children while facilitating parenting and classroom success. It has a proven, transformative impact on every child, including those with behavioral diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Reactive Attachment Disorder – almost always without the need for medications or long-term treatment.” 

Howard Glasser is the founder of the Children’s Success Foundation and creator of the Nurtured Heart Approach® which has been used in hundreds of thousands of homes and classrooms around the world.”


  • Neutralize Negative Behavior (“Don’t energize the bunny- take the batteries out”)
  • Energize Positive Behavior in Meaningful Ways (“Create the relationship that honors you and your child and allow for time-in)
  • Demonstrate Fair and Consistent Boundaries (“Create limits for transformation”)


  1. Understand the uniqueness of the challenging child in the here & now
  2. Teaching a child to “Shift” or “flip” his/her intensity in successful ways
  3. Create a deeper sense relationship by allowing by building success & inner wealth for the child
  4. Identifying behavior that is working by feeding the soul with greatness this is not complimenting and feeding empty words
  5. Teaching a child to be Fearless in standing in their own Greatness

My good friend Sherry Blair, another Nurtured Heart Trainer and author wrote the following practice exercise, try it!

Nurtured Heart Greatness Practice: Stop now and notice yourself. What in this moment do you notice just by answering the above statements? Go ahead and notice TGT (Three Greatness Things). Create a sentence as if you were describing it to a blind person or as if you took a picture of yourself.

Now let’s notch that up. We are going to add some values and character strengths to the three statements above. For each statement above, answer the question “What does this show about me?” or “What value or strength am I showing?” For example, “I notice I completed this exercise. That shows my ability to focus and concentrate.”


I love how she states “create a sentence as if you were describing it to a blind person…”  This allows me to stop and think which words would I choose?  Does a blind person understand color?  I have to dig deeper than describing myself on the surface, this is something most of us struggle to do, to stop and recognize most things around us on a deeper level.  Almost too afraid to stand in our own greatness and allow others to truly “see” us from the inside.  The word “positive” has some mixed feelings for some of us and sometimes it appears to be overused.  Again, I would challenge you to see that creating positivity is about creating relationship that is not at the surface level.

If I take us back to the image I created with you in the beginning the house please remember, once the foundation is completed, you allow the framing to begin. I will share with you these next steps as we continue to build the home of your dreams!

For more information n NHA: http://www.childrenssuccessfoundation.com

The Holidays, Children And Divorce – 5 Things To Do And 5 Things Not To Do During The Holidays

Divorce effect on kids concept with sad boy-focus on child


Written by  

Article from www.firstwivesworld.com


A journalist recently interviewed me to discuss the most important things to keep in mind during the holidays after divorce if you have children, and the following suggestions were my recommendations:





5 Things to Do:

  1. Be sensitive to the fact that your children are looking forward to the holidays with you and also with your ex. Do not take it personally that children like to spend time with both parents. Create new or continue old holiday traditions to make your children feel good about the holidays.
  2. Do coordinate big gifts with your Ex. There is nothing like the letdown of both of you getting your child the same big gift. It is a letdown for both the parent and the child and is completely avoidable by communication between both parents.
  3. Do send a card to your Ex’s family if you are close to them. It is natural to still have feelings for them if you were close emotionally to them. However, do not say anything derisive or negative about your ex in the card.
  4. Call a truce with your Ex in the spirit of the holidays if you do not have a mutually respectful relationship or still harbor animosity toward them. The holidays are a time to transform anger and to have goodwill to all men (and women)… even if that includes your ex.
  5. Do take care of your self during the holidays. Take time to de-stress in healthy ways (exercise, massage, good nutrition, refrain from over-indulging in food or alcohol). If the children are not with you over the holidays, then plan to do something that would be fun and nurturing rather than sitting at home and being miserable.

5 Things Not to Do: 

  1. Do not compete with your Ex to out-do in gift-giving; it only spoils the children and makes everyone feel uncomfortable (including the children).
  2. Do not punish the children for having a good time with your Ex or sharing stories of the good times they had at your ex’s home. Don’t you want your children to have good memories of their holidays? They have a good time with you too and are also sharing that with your ex. Your children need to feel happy and loved in both homes and not be made to feel guilty about it.
  3. Do not send a mean card to either your Ex or your ex’s family. If you can’t say something nice (especially during the holidays), then don’t send anything at all.
  4. Do not tell your children how lonely you are when they are not with you over the holidays. It is NOT fair to make your children feel responsible for your feelings, thoughts or behaviors. We are very powerful in our choices, and we can either choose to be miserable or choose to be happy. After all, the adults were the ones who chose to get a divorce. The children just have to deal with the situation.
  5. Do not over-extend your self over the holiday with attempts to be super-parent to outdo your ex (by volunteering in the school, with sports team, or community parties).

(originally posted by DocTracy)

Pet Project

by Suzanne Northey, M.S. LMFT at Strategies for Success in Chandler, Arizona



Do you ever feel unappreciated or unsupported?

Do you ever get lonely or bored?

Do you have difficulty talking yourself into getting off the couch to go outside and enjoy some physical activity?

Do you want to find additional tools to teach your kids responsibility and compassion?

Have you ever thought it would be rewarding to donate some of your time to a worthy cause?


If you answered yes to any of the above, having or assisting a pet could be the answer.

Here’s why:

Pets are loving, loyal, and always happy to see you. They live for your attention. There is research that shows that having a pet lowers blood pressure and decreases the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and may even lower one’s cholesterol.

Pets are also great for mental health. That’s why so many professionals in the social service industry advocate the use of therapy dogs that go to visit residents in assisted living settings, and patients in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals. Pets simply make people feel happier.

Pets are also great entertainment. Watch a dog or cat play and see if you can keep from cracking a smile. Their behavior is spontaneous, infectious and they have no hidden agenda. Also, observing fish in an aquarium is great for your health because it slows the heart rate and helps manage stress.

And if you have wanted to begin a fitness program but haven’t found inspiration, a dog may be a great solution. Research shows that individuals that have dogs are more likely to get exercise because they walk or run their dogs, take them to a dog park, or play fetching games.

Do you want your children to learn stills to grown into responsible adults? Do you want them to be kind and compassionate in their interactions with others?  Having a child exercise, feed, and clean up after a pet teaches them accountability. Also, there is significant evidence that having and caring for a pet teaches children and teens to develop greater empathy and sensitivity towards others.

Finally, if you or your teen are passionate about giving back to the community, why not volunteer at a pet shelter or animal rescue organization?  There are so many dogs and cats in need of love, attention, and finding placement in a good home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a part of something so valuable?

In summary, there are multiple benefits to having a pet. It is a win-win situation for both you and your beloved furry friend. So consider welcoming in a new member of the family. You will be glad that you did.

Copyright 2016 by OutLoud Marketing Studio for Strategies for Success