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  • Writer's picturefjilloldham

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

Sunday morning was typical. Except it was totally different. We had a "supply" Pastor at church Sunday and some of his words stuck in my head. I can assure you that the words that stuck in my head are not the words that he hoped would take root. He delivered a fantastic sermon but the phrase "because I said so" set my mind in motion.

Those words were part of a story he told about his kids and doing dishes and how sometimes they have to be reminded...and sometimes that includes "...because I said so". But as he told the story and I heard the words, it dawned on me that sometimes having someone say that can be a relief. It can be a feeling of love, support, and a clear definition of boundaries. It can be a question-ending, path-defining, choice-eliminating statement that offers finality and comfort.

Even though my new phrase is contrary to the communication skills I teach, I believe it has a place in our repertoire. And you know what? I think the teens/tweens are begging us (parents/teachers) to say this sometimes. I don't think this phrase is the best way to regularly communicate with your kids (or anybody); but when used, it speaks volumes: not everything is up for negotiation and I love you enough to have clear boundaries for you.

You can say "because I said so" without saying a word: remove your impressionable teen from the steady diet of social media, don't allow computers and TV's in bedrooms, be mindful of clothing, etc. The reduction in the potential for self-imposed isolation (for kids or adults) can change your family life.

Nobody is suggesting that putting your foot down about some situations and declaring "because I said so" will be easy and all will be in agreement. But what matters isn't always easy. If you are declaring "because I said so" then it must be important and worth the effort.

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  • Writer's picturefjilloldham

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

I remember going through the steps in July to get the business license for our new office for SRCC. Then BAM! Just like that it was October. Clients were coming at a steady pace and seemed to be growing from the experience. Then all of a sudden it was Christmas.

Time just flies by. And now it's 2019.

So what will be different for 2019 for South River Counseling & Consulting, LLC? What will be different for us as individuals? What will be different for you?

I took a course about working with trauma clients through hypnosis and truly enjoyed the content and learned quite a bit more about the brain. During the course, one of the presenters told a story about a client who was fretting about having to do presentation to a large group. As she was describing the situation and how anxious her client felt, I could feel that knot in my stomach...just like it was me in that situation! She said ONE thing during that discourse that caught my ear and made me reconsider my approach to situations in my personal life and my work. She said to the client (of course this is boiled down to the essential meaning): it's not about you. I had to think about that. If it's not about that guy in her story then who is it about? It's about his audience.

So when I'm worried about having a hard conversation with my child, or client I need to re-frame the situation because it's not about me. What is it really about? It's about information that they need. It's about them and their well-being. What about when you are anxious about talking to your boss or spouse or parent? I have good news----it's not about you.

I need that statement cross-stitched on a couch pillow. I want it on a screen-printed poster with lovely colors.

It's not about you.

It's not an easy concept. I did have to hike many miles to really understand the relief this understanding could provide for me and my clients.

Let it roam around in your brain and see what it means to you. For me it made positivity easier.

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  • Writer's picturefjilloldham

TEST! TEST! TEST! Did you feel a little nervous? Maybe even started to sweat a little when you read those words? Do you struggle with tests? Are you preparing for a credentialing exam?

During a recent team planning meeting, Evelyn Pesiri (professional test-item writer/wizard) exclaimed that she would be sharing the "good stuff" during an upcoming training event. While saying this, she was holding her arm up as if holding a pitcher of the "good stuff" and demonstrated by pouring the contents of the invisible pitcher into an invisible container.

If only it were that easy...or can it be?

What we have realized is most programs prepare their students to face the content contained in a credentialing exam but aren't equipped to teach how to approach the actual test. I remember preparing for my licensing exam (for months!) and when the test began and I opened the booklet: I would have sworn that the first question was written in a foreign language. Of course it wasn't. It was just my anxiety playing with my brain.

I watched Evelyn work with a group of EMT students and by the end of the session, I understood why she calls it "the good stuff". She's not an EMT instructor, but her session wasn't about teaching the content, it was about the structure of the test and how to make the structure of test work for you.

What has your experience been with testing? What's your best test-taking tip? What is your greatest fear when you sit down to take a critical exam?

If you're interested...we do have the good stuff. Click here to get more information about getting some for yourself or your kids.

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