Clinical Internship at Family Options Counseling
Leah Van Grinsven, Clinical Intern
The clinical interns at Family Options are provided wonderful experiences during our year servicing clients and families. We are graduate students that are either pursuing a doctorate or masters degree and are implementing the many theories and interventions we have learned throughout our programs. In addition, we have a passion to work with children and their families in order to aid in the ability for our clients to reach their treatment goals and help them develop specific skills to make positive changes within their lives.
Looking back on the past year as a clinical intern at Family Options, I have been provided many opportunities to enhance my competencies as a clinician. Although the main focus of my work was individual and group therapy, I was incorporated in all aspects required for successful treatment. In addition to working with my own clients, I helped provide therapy through a team approach with an additional clinician. This allowed for immediate feedback, an in depth analysis of the session, and continued planning to assist the client in reaching his/her treatment goals. As a co-therapist in a group, I have been able to aide in the implementation of each session, administered activities independently, participated in team meetings, provided insight for the development of sessions, and assisted in the outcome assessment for each participating client. The family sessions that my clients participated in helped to increase the communication between myself with the family and within the family themselves. Improvements for one individual are special but improvements within the family dynamic are amazing. I was fortunate to participate in psychological assessments through learning and administering new measures along with scoring, interpreting, and writing clinical reports. The independence throughout all these activities along with continual support has allowed me to challenge myself to attempt new skills while receiving additional assistance as necessary. It is the combination of all experiences and opportunities in which my days were never the same and my passion and energy remained strong throughout my time.
These experiences provided through Family Options have helped me grow not only professionally but also personally. The feedback and assistance I received from my supervisor has pushed me to think deeper and take into consideration additional factors that may not be readily known as an intern. In addition, each therapist at Family Options has provided support either through passing or during direct meetings. Their willingness to take time out of their day to share knowledge is in part one of the many reasons we can be successful as clinicians. I will sincerely miss the staff, fellow interns, clients, families, and teams that have made an impact on my life.
Family Options SHOUT OUT!
Family Options Counseling wishes to thank the ADA’s that work with the juveniles charged with sexual assault. We appreciate their collaborative efforts to understand the treatment provided by the ASAP and ASAP PLUS programs. We recognize that the ADA’s are truly a part of the overall process in helping the families affected by sexual abuse.
From the Desk of the Office Manager:
I would like to welcome Dr. Inosencia Amarante to the Family Options Counseling team. Dr. Amarante started this week full time and we are very excited to have her start working with us, she is an amazing addition to the Family Options family!
Dr. Inosencia Amarante is a Spanish bi-lingual Licensed Professional Counselor who comes to the Family Options Counseling team with experience conducting individual and group therapy in university, community, and correctional settings. She received her Doctorate Degree in Educational Psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The clientele with whom Dr. Amarante has worked with have struggled with an array of mental health and AODA issues. Dr. Amarante has worked with clients in the Midwest and on the East Coast and has developed multicultural competencies that have afforded precise treatment planning and powerful treatment outcomes. She has served as a keynote speaker and lecturer at various Universities within the Midwest and East Coast regions while empowering her audience to succeed in the face of adversity, understand rehabilitative tools for at-risk youth, and focusing on career decision making strategies for the college population. Dr. Amarante subscribes to a holistic client informed approach to treatment. Her treatment approach centers on Person-Centered, Existential, Cognitive Behavioral, Motivational Interviewing and Trauma Informed Care while also utilizing other treatment modalities that target client presenting problems and treatment goals.
414-431-4444 x 113
"The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think."
- Edwin Schlossberg
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Balls (a fabulous sugar free healthy snack) ~ great for school lunches!
Cloud dough is a wonderful sensory lesson for young children and an amazingly fun activity for older children. Cloud dough is very simple to make and it allows hours of play. The dough will stick together when compacted, to resemble a play dough material, but then will run through your fingers like sand.
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup sesame seeds (shelled)
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds (shelled)
- 1 cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
- 1 cup oats (quick oats is fine)
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup unsweetened peanut butter (no sugar added)
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- mix all the initial ingredients together
- roll into balls (about ½ inch size) and roll in the coconut
Refrigerate or freeze them. If you leave them at room temperature, they are still good but sticky. Packed with protein and kids love them!!
* For a smaller batch, just cut all the ingredients in half
These are really yummy……tested by Dr. Diorio and her family!
Life Line (– Tips for Parents)
Heading back to school after summer vacation can sometimes be tough for children (and parents!) to get back into the swing of things. Here are some strategies that you can do to help your child stay organized all year long.
- Set up a Designated Study Space — Make sure there's an area of your house just for homework, with all the supplies needed in bins, boxes or some type of storage unit. Provide plenty of space for books and set up baskets for papers so your child can find old homework to review for tests.
- Homework Time – Create a time that is designated for homework each night after school. Set a timer if kids have trouble staying on task. Let them know they can stop or switch tasks when the timer goes off.
- Color Code Subjects — Buy school supplies for each subject in a different color, so your child can see at a glance which folder, notebook, and binder has to do with which subject.
- Create a Cubby Hole at Home — Place a crate or sturdy box near your front door so your child can keep his backpack and other school items in one spot. Teach him to put anything he needs for the next day in that place as well. That way, he'll know where his stuff is when he's looking for it.
- Use a Calendar — If your school doesn’t supply assignment notebooks, give your child a date book or other portable calendar that she can bring with her to school. Teach her to write down assignments, tests, play dates, lessons, and other plans regularly. Also have her write down her classmates' phone numbers and e-mail addresses so she can find and contact them easily. Your goal is to make your child as self-sufficient and accountable as possible and having your child keep her own calendar is a good habit for her to create.
- Use A Family Calendar - Teach your kids to enter their own events on the family calendar. Kids need to learn that nobody will know where they need to be unless it’s written on the calendar.
- Have a planning session each evening with your child to go over the next day's activities and schedule. Preplanning and preparation are the foundations of success.
- Create habits you can share that nurture you and your family. Go for an after-dinner walk, read together or make family dinner favorites. Discover activities that bring the family closer and make everyone healthier and happier.
- Reduce the clutter by keeping only what is currently being worn or used in your child’s room. Box up the rest and rotate seasonally.
- Set a Good Example — If you keep things neat and organized in your own life, your child is more likely to follow suit. Seeing you turn off the TV at a regular time to pay bills or even just to read will show him the
Did You Know?
- 79 million: The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2010 — from nursery school to college.
- $7.7 billion: The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2011. Sales at book stores in August 2011 totaled $2.4 billion.
- 11.8 million: Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who spoke a language other than English at home in 2010; 8.5 million of these children spoke Spanish at home.
- 41: Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college in 2010.
- 56: Percent of college students who were women in 2010 (includes both undergraduate and graduate students).
From the Program Directors….
Alternatives to Sexual Assault Program (ASAP)
Program Clinical Director – Christina Diorio, Ph.D.
Putting “Risk Factors” back into Perspective
When working with youth and families affected by sexual abuse, the concepts of risk are daunting, especially when people do not know or understand a particular family. I want to reign in those fears a bit and try to put the concept of risk back into perspective.
First of all, you should know that the majority of youth with sexual behavior problems do NOT repeat the sexually abusive behavior. Of course, there are many factors that act to buffer their risk which is why treatment and overall intervention is so important. Also, applying what is known about adult sex offenders to youth with sexual behavioral problems is never appropriate as the developmental levels and motivation for sexual acting out are worlds apart. So, everyone should feel optimistic about creating safety amongst families affected by sexual abuse as a whole. Careful understanding of the history of the problem, individual differences and natural safety components that already exist within a family are all critical to assessing the risk / safety ratio within a family and as you can imagine, there is a significant variance across families.
Professionals working as teams with these families should be careful when using terminology such as risk factors, deviant sexual arousal, recidivism, child molestation, pedophilia, risk assessment, sex offender registration, and even offender and victim labels. Instead, the conversations should include language such as safety planning, healing, restoring, education, normal sexual development, age appropriate behaviors / activities, school success, and overall good communication and support within the family.
Notice the emphasis on the process of change in a healthy manner as opposed to focusing on the emotionally charged negative aspects of sexual abuse. You will all be amazed how these subtle differences will facilitate a positive, more engaged process for the families.
Thanks for reading!
CHOICES – Anger Management
Program Clinical Director – Kimberly Young, Ph.D.
Why we'd all be happier in Bhutan
I admit that I am a sports fan and I find the Olympics particularly enjoyable because it provides an opportunity to watch sports we typically don’t get to see. While enjoying the women’s archery competition, a human interest story on an athlete from Bhutan was thrown into the coverage. Archer Sherab Zam and shooter Kunzang Choden, both 28-year-old women, are the only two athletes to represent the remote kingdom of Bhutan at the 2012 Games, competing on wildcard entries allocated to ensure all 204 National Olympic Committees can take part even if no athletes have qualified. Neither Sherab nor Kunzang expect to win medals for Bhutan, an impoverished, largely Buddhist country between India and China which only opened up to foreigners in 1974, banned television until 1999, and uses happiness to measure its success.
As one of the world’s tiniest nations, Bhutan is offering a lesson to us all. This country is emphasizing happiness for its citizens, and describes it as something which doesn't come in dollar bills but from strong social networks, employment, health, political freedom and the absence of corruption. The term Gross National Happiness (GNH) was created in 1972 by Bhutan's fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The Bhutanese grounded in Buddhist ideals suggests that beneficial development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance. Bhutan's GNH index measures health, psychological wellbeing, time use, education, cultural diversity, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and living standards.
The following is a reflection from the 5th King of Bhutan, which urges all, to ponder their own values profoundly, and seek to advance the common good. His Majesty the King stated, “GNH has come to mean so many things to so many people but to me it signifies simply -Development with Values. We strive for the benefits of economic growth and modernization while ensuring that in our drive to acquire greater status and wealth we do not forget to nurture that which makes us happy to be Bhutanese. Is it our strong family structure? Our culture and traditions? Our pristine environment? Our respect for community and country? Our desire for a peaceful coexistence with other nations? If so, then the duty of our government must be to ensure that these invaluable elements contributing to the happiness and wellbeing of our people are nurtured and protected. Our government must be human.” (The Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture delivered by His Majesty the King, 23 December 2009 in New Delhi.) We clearly have a lot to learn from Bhutan.
Social Skills Program for Kids
Program Clinical Director – Christina Diorio, Ph.D.
Back to School Sleep Patterns
With school back on the near horizon, parents and caregivers everywhere are trying to re-adjust kids back to an earlier bedtime / wake up time so that school can be productive. (Or at least, that is what parents and caretakers know that they should be doing as school approaches. It is a difficult thing for all families ~ I know!) I thought I would remind everyone of the importance that some of the simplest skills have in daily functioning for people. So, this month we focus on the basics of a bed time ritual! It is so important that children get enough sleep to remain focused and attentive during their long school day. This is extremely important in schools with large class sizes as the children are not prompted as often to pay attention as children in smaller classes. Also, it is also easier for kids to get distracted with more kids…..to state the obvious. These basic steps in creating better sleep patterns are just as easy to do as they are not to do! In fact, problematic behaviors and kid’s ability to cope with stressors are significantly impacted by sleep.
I certainly can not cover all the possibilities but I have listed the patterns that seem to be the simplest to follow, even in a household with a lot of children and caregivers. The children will appreciate the structure way more than they could ever verbalize!
- Have a regular bedtime and wake up time (don’t allow this to deviate too much on the weekends)
- If you eat before bed, be sure that it is a light, healthy snack (large meals will interfere with sleep)
- Establish a bedtime ritual that is easily performed each night (reading books or telling stories is great)
- For younger kids, create a checklist of “before bed” jobs as part of the ritual (i.e., brush teeth, pajamas on, use the bathroom, clean room, pick out books)
- Avoid video games or television before bed as that will stimulate the brain; some music is fine (use good judgment on this one)
- Reduce the lighting in the bedrooms to allow the physiological process of sleep to kick in (some kids sleep best in a dark room so reconsider night lights)
- Encourage some type of exercise each day (that will help with sleep), but not right before bed
- Children should all have a regular sleeping place, preferably a bed in a bedroom ~ avoid sleeping on couches or relocating sleeping places often
- Adults should role model healthy sleep patterns
New Directions - A group for young women
Program Clinical Director – Kimberly Young, Ph.D.
Cycles of Abuse
New Directions group sessions have recently focused on the cycle of abuse so I thought it was a good time to provide this information again as so many of our young women experience abuse both directly and indirectly. We broke the cycle of abuse down into three stages that would be easier for our young women to understand and incorporate into their thinking about personal experiences.
- The cycle starts with the green stage, which is exemplified as being a state when both individuals are happy to be in a relationship. At this point the relationship is loving and enjoyable.
- The next stage is the yellow stage in which tension is building within the relationship. The individuals may be getting into small arguments, and the abuser may become frustrated with the victim. The victim does their best to reason with the abuser, calm the abuser, and stays away from their friends and family to try and work on the relationship. This is the same stage where the abuser is nitpicking at the victim. They are yelling, screaming, threatening and blames everything on the victim. This is also the period where the abuser may act sullen and withdrawal affection from the victim. This phase lasts the longest it could last from days, to weeks, months, or even years.
- The last stage is the red stage. This stage is usually the shortest stage and the most harmful. This stage is based on one specific incident that leads to an explosion of anger. The abuser may sexually, physically, psychologically or verbally harm the victim. Some abusers may use a weapon against the victim, pull their hair, and publicly humiliate the victim. This is the time when the victim may call the police, fight back and try to leave the relationship.
- The abuser quickly defaults into the green stage again to make up for their behavior. This is when the abuser will bring gifts, declare their love for the victim, say they are sorry, and may even enter counseling. During this time the abuser will blame outside forces for the abuse, say they are stressed and makes empty promises that things will change. The victim at this time will end all legal procedures against the abuser, go back to the relationship, agrees to work things out and feels hopeful that things will change.
Once the cycle is in place it becomes difficult to break. The cycle of abuse is based around denial, because when the both parties deny the abuse, there is no way to stop the pattern. We are hopeful that by understanding this cycle we can prevent further abusive relationships for our young women.
Family Options Counseling and the Community!
Welcome to Family Options Counseling!~
In am attempt to meet the growing need for qualified, dedicated therapists, Family Options Counseling has added to our team of therapists. Many of you have asked us to increase the number of evening hours that our therapists can be available for after school therapy AND (more importantly) family therapy. We now have that available! So, please collaborate with the therapists to support family therapy when working with youth. Our outcomes are so much more successful when family therapy is incorporated into the overall treatment objectives.
Family Options Counseling currently has an employment position open for a licensed therapist or psychologist. If you are interested in applying, please check out our posting on Milwaukeejobs.com or send your cover letter and resume to Dr. Diorio.
Dr. Diorio ~ email@example.com
Dr. Young ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Options Counseling
3015 N. 114th St
Wauwatosa, Wi 53222
Don't forget that you can get more information for all of our programs, get referral packets, and check out our staff bios by going to our website at www.familyoptions.com.
Our Family Options Programs include ASAP - ASAP Plus - CHOICES - GLAM - Social Skills - NEW Directions.