The last day of school ushers in longer, warmer days, and our thoughts turn to camping in the mountains, fishing, yardwork, and barbeques. Anxious to get outside and feel the sun after a seemingly endless winter, and with the bustle of the school year in the rear view, most of us are looking to shed some tension and enjoy our families. Did you know that it’s also the perfect time to take stock of the past year?
Maybe something’s on your radar, in the periphery; it’s not a big deal yet, but you’re aware of changes happening with your daughter. Perhaps your son’s teacher inquired about a behavior that you’d noticed, too. Or, your family might have struggled through a rough patch, and despite your best efforts, things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. Providence Mental Health (PMH) can provide the tools necessary to restore balance and harmony.
While it’s tempting to just let things slide for a while—turn it off and ignore the signs—there’s no better time to look deeper, identify stressors, and strategize solutions. Summer vacation brings a bit more breathing room for families. Parents are running less of the footrace with fewer places to drive and events to attend. There’s space to pursue options such as therapy while the push of activity is scaled back and issues from the past year are fresh on your mind.
For kids, it’s easier to build therapeutic relationships while the anxiety of school pressures is relieved, as opposed to waiting for things to ramp up in the fall. It also means that they’ll go into the next grade having their own special, confidential person already in place to help them navigate. It’s a solid investment in their future—a powerful resource in their back pocket, providing them with a sense of confidence and putting coping skills in place before they head back to school. And it means that you’ll have backup, too.
It’s no secret that today’s children experience greater emotional challenges than ever, amplified by peer relationships and complicated by social media. Their ability to experience and deal with the emotions as they come is key to positive outcomes. That’s why it’s an important focus for Providence’s specially trained clinicians. “Children have to figure out how to navigate the world and their own emotions,” says Lacey Hunt, PMH clinician and six-year veteran in Montana school systems. “That kind of pressure doesn’t give kids the space to process behaviors and emotions and what they need to do differently to be their best. As adults, we know that our thoughts and feelings often motivate what we do and that having a safe person to process this with us is helpful. I think we don’t always connect that the same thing could be helpful for our children as well.”
“There is so much pressure for the adolescents today. Between issues of divorce, sexuality, bullying, and suicide, they deal with a lot.” says Wendie Bauer, PMH lead clinician. “Working through the traumatic experience and processing the emotions of today’s adolescence is what needs to be addressed. This is where Providence Mental Health steps in,” says Bauer. “Over the summer there is a resource for parents and their teachers.” Providence Mental Health is there to provide support and find solutions using their unique and effective Internal Family Systems therapy model. “We use a team treatment approach, meaning different clinicians work with different members of the family,” explains Erica Kotick, PMH lead clinician, “because families operate as systems; a set of individual parts working together. When a part of the family is impacted, the rest of the system gets thrown off-balance. For example, when parents experience stress or conflict, the children can physically and emotionally feel the tension. Similarly, when a child is having difficulty socially or in school settings, the siblings and the parents are also likely to be impacted. Often times, more than one family member is experiencing elevated stressors from within the family and other social environments. The family is affected on multiple levels with different family members experiencing multiple stressors.”
PMH’s strengths-based approach and trauma-informed care is designed to make kids more resilient and better able to deal with the sharper edges of life, smoothing the way for easier transitions to adolescence and adulthood. The Providence mantra is that it’s never early or too late to change the trajectory of a family or family member. If you’d like to learn more about how Providence Mental Health can help position your kids for success at school and home, while ensuring your family has the support you need to enjoy your best possible lives together, please go to www.providencemh.com or call 406-579-4984.
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