Focus: Failure to Launch

While many parents look forward to their children's return to school (Routine! Planned activities! Less Boredom!), if you're the parent of an emerging adult aged 19 to 28 who's still living at home, you're not alone. Statistics show that more and more adult children are either not leaving home or returning home after college (or an attempt at college) to live with parents. While some financial experts say this phenomenon, known as "Boomerang Kids", is largely the result of the recent economic downturn, others maintain it has just as much to do with the struggle to find independence. 

In all likelihood, a number of factors may be involved. While the competition to get into college remains stiff, the chances of getting a well-paying job upon graduation are fairly low, leaving many recent college grads with a mountain of debt and little opportunity to pay it off. For some, moving in with Mom and Dad makes financial sense -at lease for a predetermined period of time. But if there's no end game in sight, or if parents continue providing the sort of "hotel amenity lifestyle" (meals, laundry, housekeeping) to which many kids are now accustomed, there's little incentive for them to move on. 

Failure to launch may also have an emotional component, for the child as well as parents. The child may feel shame, frustration or anger about his situation while parents are equally frustrated with a lack of privacy, or worrying that they aren't saving as much for retirement as originally planned during the post-college years. "Failure to launch can sometimes be caused by family dynamics that subtly communicate to a young adult. 'We don't believe you have what it takes to handle this challenge, survive this failure, or manage these uncomfortable emotions.' Addressing these dynamics and converting unintentional messages can be an important first step in helping the emerging adult gain independence," says Murphy Foster of Insights Collaborative Therapy Group. 

The rise and diagnosis of conditions such as ADD, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders may also play a role. Parents of children with these conditions know the challenges many of them face to maintain focus, assume responsibility and function independently. Family and individual counseling can be very helpful in increasing awareness of emotions and communicating them to others. And in some cases, medications to treat symptoms of ADD, depression and anxiety may be appropriate. 

For more information on failure to launch and therapy for your child and family, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or for moms, you may be interested in attending the Mindful Mom's Group on Wednesdays. For more information about the Mindful Mom's Group, click here.

Are You Aware of Your Alcohol Intake

April is Alcohol Awareness month and so we thought we’d talk a bit about, well, awareness. Unlike, say, fattening desserts – it’s easy to increase your alcohol intake without even realizing it. Gradually eat more chocolate pie and you probably won’t be able to fit into your clothing. Gradually increase the amount of alcohol you drink and you may or may not notice any bodily changes but make no mistake, it, too has an effect.

Unless you morally object to alcohol, not everything about it is “bad”, right? We celebrate milestones with Champagne, cheer on racehorses with Mint Juleps and enjoy sitting around a campfire with friends sipping hot toddies. Moderate, responsible social drinking can be enjoyable and if the experts are right about the tannins found in red wine, even health beneficial.

But alcohol is one of those substances that is very easy to “slip” into. A glass of wine with dinner can easily become two or three, especially when you find yourself under stress and looking for a quick way to relax. And the more alcohol you drink, the more it takes for you to get a “buzz”, sometimes called the “creep up effect.”

What’s the downside of increased alcohol intake? Pragmatically speaking, there are several factors to consider, including:

·   Drinking is expensive (you could use that money toward a relaxing vacation!)

·   Decreased motivation

On the physical side:

·   Empty alcohol calories = weight gain OR decreased appetite which can lead to insufficient nutrient intake

·   Foggy thinking

·   Sleep interruptions

·   Less energy

On the emotional side:

·   Shame

·   Guilt

·   Feelings of powerlessness

And as far as relationships are concerned, since many people typically drink in the evening, they may also fall asleep on the couch and are consequently uninvolved in the partnership or family, not to mention that under the influence of alcohol, it’s much easier to say things you don’t necessarily mean. If you’ve noticed more frequent tiffs of late with your partner, you might also consider if they happen more often when you’ve been drinking. Is it worth it?

If your drinking has increased, there are several things you can do to get back on track:

·   Take a few nights off each week from alcohol. Instead of a cocktail when you get home from work, substitute a soft drink or mineral water with lemon.

·   Think portion control for alcoholic drinks just as you would for food intake. Decide in advance how many ounces you’ll allow yourself and stick to it.

·   If having alcohol in the house is too tempting for you, remove it and save your social drinking for actual social occasions.

Most importantly, if you believe that your alcohol intake is beyond your control, it’s time to take back your life. Make an appointment with a qualified addiction therapist, who will ensure you get the help that you need.

This article is reprinted from the April 2015 edition of Insights’ free monthly newsletter, Think Tank. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, please let us know; just This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Much-Needed Meltdown

Have you ever had a total meltdown? One of those really embarrassing, drama-filled episodes where you announce to yourself and the world in no uncertain terms that you “Just. Can’t. Take. It. Anymore!” But how did you get to that emotional point of no return so “quickly”?

 

The answer may surprise you . . .

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Two Kinds of Thoughts

If you look closely and mindfully at your incessant mind chatter during the day, you will likely notice there are two broad kinds of thought:  wholesome ones (those rooted in compassion, generosity and wisdom) and unwholesome ones (those rooted in aversion, greed and delusion).

Observe your thoughts today and categorize them according to the root intention behind each thought. Make two lists -- one for wholesome thoughts and one for unwholesome ones. If you notice a thought that is fueling anger, recognize the aversive state at the root, and add it to your unwholesome list. If you notice a thought of care and concern, recognize the wholesome root of compassion, and add it to your wholesome Iist. When you notice impatience, see the underlying force of aversion. When you think about dessert, feel the force of greed. When confused, arrogant, or hypocritical thoughts arise, notice the root of delusion. And when thoughts of impermanence, cause and effects, and the value of honesty intrigue you, notice the wholesome root of wisdom from which they spring. Track your thoughts
throughout a day.

To the extent that you can learn to mindfully notice the presence of wholesome and unwholesome thoughts, you can begin to choose which thoughts to nurture and which ones to abandon.

Letting Go When Friendships End

Are you holding on to an “expired friendship”?

 

Though all healthy relationships ebb and flow as far as intimacy and emotional needs are concerned, “expired” friendships are consistently one-sided. Perhaps you find yourself doing all or most of the work—you know, the one who makes the call,

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Happy 2nd Anniversary. . .to Insights!

It’s hard to believe but we’re already celebrating our Second Anniversary! On September 18, we marked the occasion by opening our doors to colleagues, business associates, friends and family to enjoy a festive open house celebration complete with bubbly, tasty munchies and over-the-top cupcakes from Trailercakes bakery.

 

It has been a very productive time for the Insights team. Since 2011, we have added two new offices, significantly expanded our play therapy area, and built a large group meeting room where we host numerous events including weekly meditation classes for the community and continuing education seminars for mental healthcare professionals.  We recently welcomed Dr. Jeff Baldridge to our team. Jeff is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in solution-based therapy for managing anxiety, depression and blocks to goal-setting.

 

What has been the best part of watching Insights grow? For Founder and CEO Mary Sanger, it has to be “Following through on a dream, yet remaining open to different and exciting possibilities. The Insights team has surpassed even my greatest expectations and I am very proud of the work that we do, not only for our clients but also for the Dallas community.”

 

What’s next for Insights? Look for an improved website with numerous resources to enhance the therapeutic process, new and interesting groups including an experiential dance therapy group beginning November 7, and continued class offerings for both clients and professionals. Mary is also publishing a companion guide to therapy.

 

We’re looking forward to our third year at Insights and hope to see you soon!

 

 

What's Bugging You (in the bedroom)?

Sexual fulfillment is one of life’s greatest pleasures. In a healthy relationship, sex provides not only increased intimacy, enhanced self-esteem and pure joy; it also offers significant benefits for the mind, body and spirit.

Except . . . when it doesn’t.

For the millions of people struggling with sexual issues,

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Learning to "Just Be . . With What Is"

Insights Therapist Suzanne Feiler Shares her Journey to Motherhood

 

Flip flops, rolled-up jeans and open windows—a perfect description of the laid-back, cozy lifestyle that Suzanne Johndrow Feiler shares with her young family in Oak Cliff. When she isn’t worrying over the tomatoes in her little patch of a community garden/food bank on the south side of the Trinity River, reining in her work-a-holic husband, or chasing her three-year old twins, you’ll find Feiler practicing psychotherapy at Insights Colloborative Therapy Group in Dallas. Feiler specializes in working with people in transition; stressed out brides-to-be, twenty-something’s shifting into adulthood, expectant mothers and women in all life stages and--her special interest--those dealing with infertility, having faced that unique challenge herself not so long ago.

 

With degrees in English, Classics and Literature,

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How Filial Therapy Can Improve Your Relationship with Your Child

Parents -- Do You Feel Like Flipping Your Lid!?  If you, like many parents, find yourself frequently at wit’s end when it comes to child rearing, you are not alone. Children have the unique ability to make us want to scream at and hug them simultaneously. While conflicting thoughts and feelings toward your child are sometimes unavoidable, those left unexpressed or unresolved may cause more serious problems in your relationship.

Enter filial therapy. No, we’re not suggesting you buy a pony

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