Rooted & Grounded


Authenticity | A Guide for Reflecting on 2019

How we can look back to help us as we look ahead.


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Authenticity | Forgiveness Around the Table

How can we open our hands to let go and receive just a little more.


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Authenticity | How "You Do You" is Not Self-Care

The most important way to be true to ourselves can't exclude the care for others.


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Authenticity | Asking Your Partner for What You Need

The most important question to ask may be the hardest to answer.


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Hope | When Your Work With Clients Feels Too Weak

The path forward may go back to the beginning


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Hope | When Life Feels Too Late

The path forward may look different than expected


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Hope | When You Feel Too "Wrong"

The path forward starts with parents


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Hope | When You Feel Too Stuck

The path to getting un-stuck may surprise you


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Letting Go | Property Lines

from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie


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Letting Go | Confessions of a Holder of Expectations

What I Did + Didn't Think This Would Be About


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Choosing: The Hallmark Family Doesn't Exist

But does that mean we just give up trying?


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Choosing: The Golden Rule for Marriage

What would happen if I treated my partner the way I want to be treated?


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Choosing: The One Thing Your Practice Needs

I'm currently sitting at home, waiting for the dishwasher repair technician to show up and fix the magical appliance that cuts down my kitchen work (and why we think that giving "windows of time" makes the waiting easier, I have no idea, but that's a different topic).  If I had the tools and the knowledge to fix my own machines, I would do that in a second as opposed to putting myself at the mercy of someone I don't know from the hours of 12-5pm.

 

As a clinician in private practice, I have often found myself in a very similar place:  waiting for that next magic training or webinar or conference or coach, to come to me and "fix" my practice.  Sometimes I even have the tools and the knowledge I need, but I set them on the figurative (or even literal) shelf and let my practice go on in a less-than-ideal way.

 

But that is how our world operates today, especially when we see ads like this one:

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Q&A: Talking with kids about tragedy

My kids have been seeing and hearing a lot about the recent tragedies in our country and around the world, and they’ve been asking a lot of “Why?” I don’t want to say the wrong thing or tell them too much or too little. How do I answer their questions?


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Tools for Couples: Practical help for getting unstuck


I want to offer some simple, helpful tools to support you as you rebuild your relationships.

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Our Blue Print: How do we get unstuck? (Part 2)

Every month, I want to share a bit of the "blue print" that I use with individuals, couples, families and helping professionals.


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Our Blue Print: How do we get unstuck?

Every month, I want to share a bit of the "blue print" that I use with individuals, couples, families and helping professionals.


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Q&A: "We're stuck."

Q:  Why is it so hard for my partner to understand me?  I think I’m pretty good at communicating, but I just can’t seem to get through to him.  He thinks I’m too emotional or I’m just making a big deal out of nothing, and that makes me even more upset.  How do I get through to him?


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Our Blue Print: Getting on The Same Parenting Page (Part 2)

Every month, I want to share a bit of the "blue print" that I use with individuals, couples and families.


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Our Blue Print: Getting on The Same Parenting Page (Part 1)

Every month, I want to share a bit of the "blue print" that I use with individuals, couples and families.

As always, I hope the questions from the last blog post were thought-provoking, helpful and an encouraging step toward getting on the same parenting page.

 

Over the next two weeks, I want to look at why it can be so difficult to feel unified with your co-parent (regardless of whether you are in a romantic relationship with that person or not).  There are two parts that make up this struggle:  the “parent” side, and the “partner” side.  Let’s take a look at the “parent” side today.

 

In her book Raising Parents, Patricia McKinsey Crittenden writes, “Parents are children’s primary attachment figures and, as such, they function to promote children’s survival and well-being as well as to prepare children to become attachment figures to their own children.  As with any primary attachment figure, they are irreplaceable…and more dedicated to their children than are any substitutes” (p. 3). 

 

I believe that 99.99% of parents care deeply and fiercely about protecting, preserving and caring for their children’s well-being.  These parents desperately want their children to grow up into mature, responsible, rational and thriving adults.  They inherently know the weight of being a parent and the love they hold for their children.

 

And I also believe that when 99.99% of parents see their children misbehave, act inappropriately or do dangerous things, their care for their children turns into a frantic fear that can cover up our best intentions.

 

“If my child keeps acting this way, will s/he end up homeless and using drugs?” 

 

“If my child doesn’t learn that being aggressive is wrong, I’m so afraid s/he will turn out to be some horrible person who winds up in jail.”

 

“If my child hangs out with these people, what will s/he become?  How will other people see her/him?”

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Q&A: How do we get on the same parenting page?

My partner and I cannot get on the same page about parenting.  I think my partner is just too hard on our kids.  I’m not about throwing away all of the rules, but sometimes I think it’s ok to figure out how they’re feeling or not make a big deal of things rather than come down hard.  How can we get on the same page?


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Tools for Divorcing Families

I want to offer some simple, helpful tools to support you as you rebuild your home.


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Our Blue Print:  A Divorce Narrative

Every month, I want to share a bit of the "blue print" that I use with individuals, couples and families.


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Q&A:  How do we tell our kids we're getting a divorce?

We’re getting a divorce and we haven’t told our kids yet. When should we do that? And better yet: how should we do that?


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Tools for Making Therapy Worthwhile

I want to offer some simple, helpful tools to support you as you rebuild your home.

During my first session with any new client, I always pose this question:  “Let’s say we’re at the ‘end’ of our time working together (whenever that end date may be).  We look back at our time together in therapy and you say, ‘Wow, that was worth all of the time, money, effort and energy.’  What would we need to have done to make this process worth it?”

 

I always want to make therapy a worthwhile process for my clients, and I believe that each therapist will have his/her own perspective on how the therapist can help to make therapy as beneficial as possible.

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Our Blue Print:  Factors That Affect Therapy

Every month, I want to share a bit of the "blue print" that I use with individuals, couples and families.  


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Q&A:  Why does therapy seem to take so long?

Every month, I want to take some time to respond to a real, honest and authentic question that I have heard in my work with individuals, couples or families.  My hope is that reading these questions and responses will give you encouragement for your own situation and reassurance that you are not alone. 


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Rooted & Grounded

 

 

New on the blog:

Authenticity | A Guide for Reflecting on 2019

 

 How can we look back

to helps us as we look ahead.


In the neighborhood...

 

Raising Emotionally Healthy Children | January 13th, 2020

Point Loma Presbyterian Church Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) Group

 

I'm grateful for the opportunity to spend time with moms of young kids and explore different ways that we can help cultivate emotional health in our children.


Around town...

"Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children"

Science Daily 

 

"A new study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use. The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills. These skills include imagery and executive function — the process involving mental control and self-regulation. These children also have lower scores on language and literacy measures."


 

Alair Olson, M.A.

 Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

(MFC#86504)

 

South Mission Valley | San Diego, CA  92108

858.634.0302 | therapy@alairolson.com