Cougar Counseling Corner
October Counseling Newsletter
Meet Your School Counselor
I grew up in Tennessee but have lived in Oregon for the past 7 years. My husband is an elementary teacher and we have a 12 year old rescue dog named Blossom. In our free time we are often hiking up on Mt Hood, climbing in Central Oregon or tending to our garden at home.
I received my Masters in Counseling from Portland State University. I have experience working with kids, adolescents, and adults in a non-profit, school, and clinical setting. My belief is that any student should feel safe and thrive in our school community regardless of identity. You can learn more about my role here at Kelly Creek below!
My Role As a School Counselor
Student and Family Support
I also can help connecting with family resources, mental health resources, any housing/utility help, etc.
Helping Kids with Anxiety
From the Child Mind Institute:
"When a child gets upset in an uncomfortable situation and their parents take them out of the situation, they learn that getting upset is a good way to cope. Instead, it’s helpful for parents to let kids know that they’re going to be okay, even if they’re scared. You can’t promise your child that nothing bad will happen. But you can express confidence that they can face their fears and feel less afraid over time."
Positive Parenting Behaviors That Help with Stress
Reward coping behaviors and positive risk-taking
Extinguish excessive anxious behavior
Manage your own anxiety
Develop family communication and positive problem-solving skills
Authoritative parenting (vs. authoritarian, permissive or uninvolved parenting)
Helping Kids Recognize and Describe Their Feelings
- Learning what different emotions look and feel like will strengthen kid’s emotional vocabulary and increase their capacity to be empathetic towards others feelings.
- Kids learn feelings best with visuals and sensory. Prompts to identify emotions.
Validate feelings, even “bad” feelings are okay. All feelings and emotions are signals to our bodies. -- I also want to validate that this is challenging when kids are having BIG EMOTIONS.
- Model talking about your feelings, and how you manage them, making nonjudgmental observations.
Managing Your Own Anxiety and Stress
**Note: Not everything works for everyone. The most important thing is to find something that works for you and your family in your context.
STOP Right Now, how do you actually feel? We are often asked this and we say “fine.” But this has been a difficult time lately, and emotions can be complex. You may be feeling sad, worried, or stressed.
Pause. Breathe. Notice How Do You Actually Feel?
Observe how you are feeling and what you are thinking, without judgment. Instead of responding or reacting to those thoughts or feelings, note them, and then let them go.
Take breaks from screens, news content, social media, Netflix, etc.
Take Care of Your Body
Reach Out and Stay Connected
Teaching Kids to Describe and Recognize Feelings
The Meta Moment: The meta moment is the moment in between a stimulus and how you react. Such as if someone cuts you off in traffic (stimulus) you can either immediately get mad (unhelpful response) or pause (meta moment) and let it go (helpful response). This idea is so valuable for kids.....and adults!
Body scans: If kids can identify that feelings feel like such as when their heart beats really fast this is a sign they are anxious. Then, when this happens in the future it will be a sign to them to use some coping and calm down tools.Breathing Activities: Teaching kids how and when to take deep breaths calms down the nervous system and helps them de-escalate