Building Self-Esteem in a Child with a Learning Disorder

Date: February 20th, 2019

Filed under: Kids

Does your child have a learning disability? While it’s important to help a child with a learning disability to develop the basic skills taught in the classroom, what is equally important, and often overlooked, is helping that child to develop a healthy self-esteem in the face of this challenge. So how do you do that?

Talk to your child about the difference between learning disabilities and intelligence.

Recognize that many children with learning disabilities feel that they are not as smart as their peers. Help your child understand that a learning disability has nothing to do with how intelligent they are. By definition, a learning disability only affects a person’s ability to develop particular skills—it doesn’t change their IQ or overall intellectual ability.

Talk to your child’s teacher.

Work with your child’s teacher to develop a plan for helping your child succeed in the classroom. Children need to experience repeated successes to build self-esteem and confidence. Ask your child’s teacher to set their student up for success rather than failure. Any comparison should be with how much a child has progressed from past efforts, not how they measure up to their peers. And making sure to recognize achievements frequently can boost your child’s confidence and inspire them to keep trying.

Help your child find their talent.

Everyone has something they’re good at. Help your child to identify an area they excel in. It might be academic—perhaps they struggle with reading but math comes easily to them—but it doesn’t have to be. Talents like drawing or singing can help a child feel that they have something of value to offer. And be sure to point out not-so-obvious talents too: Maybe your child has a gift for making friends, is extra creative with Legos, or is a great helper at home.

Praise your child often.

Children are highly tuned to the emotions of their parents. Develop a positive attitude and give frequent, sincere praise for your child’s talents, successes, and efforts. This can go a long way toward boosting your child’s self-esteem and helping them to see how unique and valuable they are.

Tips for Wintertime Self-Care

Date: February 7th, 2019

Filed under: Mental Health

Mental and emotional health can be a challenge during the winter months. Without the natural benefits of warmth and light, it’s easy to feel unmotivated or even depressed. Try these four tips to take good care of yourself even when it’s chilly and gray outside.


You don’t have to bundle up and go for a run in the sleet, and you don’t have to take out a gym membership either. The truly important thing for mental health is to engage your body. Yoga can be a great indoor exercise technique for when it’s too cold to venture out, and simply paying attention to your body as you stretch, breathe, and balance can be therapeutic. Of course, if you want to jog up and down the stairs or do jumping jacks in the living room, we won’t stop you!

Eat Healthy

Comfort food is great in the winter, and it’s fine to indulge occasionally, but you’ll feel much better if you include a good variety of veggies, grains, and lean proteins in your diet instead of going heavy on the dairy and empty carbs. Cold weather can be a great excuse to try whipping up some healthy meals and hearty soups in your own kitchen.

Get Enough Rest

Nobody can function at full capacity all the time—not even Mother Nature. Just as the earth takes a break from growing and producing during the winter, it can be rejuvenating to make time to relax, unwind, and recommit to those eight hours!

Embrace the Season

Rather than wait anxiously for your summer vacation, why not explore what winter has to offer? The cold months after the holidays are over can be the perfect time for candles, hot baths, and cozy evenings. Why not choose a new book, or try your hand at a craft or hobby?

Winter can be the perfect time to try something new, nurture your creative side, and take time out to practice some much-needed self-care. Done right, it may become your favorite time of year!

Therapy Sessions: What are they like?

Date: February 20th, 2018

Filed under: Counseling

It can be hard to start therapy, especially if you are uncertain of what to expect. The stereotypes of lying on a couch and sharing your deepest secrets tends to not be reality, fortunately. But if the Hollywood image of therapy is not real-life, then what is? Here are a few things to expect, and not to expect, when attending your first therapy session.

Yes, therapy may be a good fit for you! The truth is that every session is going to look a little different and will be catered to you, your needs, and your goals. You may seek therapy for three sessions, three months, or three years, and that’s okay. Simply put, if you want to share your story with someone and you benefit from processing things out loud, then therapy may be a good fit for you.

No, you do not have to fit the definition of a mental health issue in order to seek counseling. There is an extensive list of reasons that people seek counseling – grief, anxiety, and depression are common, as well as wishing to improve overall mental wellbeing, social skills, or self-awareness. Couples attend therapy to work on their relationship, families can talk about the loss of a loved one, and individuals can work on their interpersonal skills. Your reason for seeking therapy is valid, and it’s likely you can find a therapist that fits your needs. Your experience with therapy can be tailored to what you want.

No, your therapist will likely not ask you, “And how does that make you feel?” It may be the iconic verbiage of a counselor, but don’t be surprised if this phrase is absent from your session. Your therapist does care about how you feel, but their role is to ask questions that help you process, and this may or may not include conversations about feelings.

Yes, you can be yourself. You can shake all those nerves because in a session there is literally no one you need to impress. When you are sitting in a room with no one besides yourself and your therapist, there is no pressure to say the right thing or act the right way. It’s a bit weird at first – we spend most of our days trying to conform to social standards – but it can become a space free of social pressures and expectations.

Reducing Stress During the Holidays

Date: December 18th, 2017

Filed under: Holidays

December is advertised as the happiest time of the year – people singing, sharing gifts, and reconnecting with family and loved ones. If we erase the façade, December can be the most stressful time of the year. If you feel like you can relate to the latter, we want to share a few tips to reducing stress and increasing self-satisfaction during this holiday season.

Take care of yourself physically

Holiday months often mean the pressure of losing weight for your summer bod has been replaced with the plate of sugary treats that frequents your office. The problem is that high intakes of sugar can poorly affect your mental and physical health. Depression and anxiety symptoms have been shown to increase when diets consist of high amounts of sugar. If you are already feeling stressed during the holiday season, your body will thank you if you reduce sugar.

You can say “No.”

Are the plentiful social events tiring you out? Are your kids asking for the biggest and best presents? Does your family want you to partake in a holiday tradition that sounds like a downer? Saying “no” can be the best solution to finding a sense of relief. If you don’t want to decline something outright, find an alternative option to compromise on. Try turning down the invitation to the family get-together that always ends poorly by saying, “I’m sorry, Mom. I don’t want to attend this event because it is usually not enjoyable for me. Can we have dinner together instead?”

Find times to enjoy yourself

Of course there’s no reason you need to enjoy the holiday season, but if you find yourself feeling like a constant Scrooge, let yourself relax a bit. Do you know the best way to get yourself out of a bad mood is to smile? The simple act of smiling releases hormones in your brain that makes yourself truly happier than you were. In a similar sense, try approaching the event you are dreading with a smile and the thought that it will go well. If it works: Great! If it does not work: You know that you tried and you can confidently avoid it next time.

Fear Is Limiting Your Full Potential - Don't Let It

Date: November 15th, 2017

Filed under: Anxiety

Fear. We know the feeling – tight chest, sweaty palms, short breaths and rapid heartbeat. It is an essential part of the animal instinct to survive. It protects us from fighting a predator we can’t beat, and from stepping into potentially dangerous, unknown territory. Where does it come into play in the modern world? In the modern world, fear is not always the protective instinct it was intended to be.

Danger doesn’t have to be present to elicit a fear response. People have imaginative minds, and we quickly learn to recognize stimuli we believe will bring an unwelcome response. Have you ever been nervous to complete a task, and when you complete it you realize the danger you feared wasn’t even present? What happened was an imagined fear; as a form of protection your body responded with a fear response. That’s not uncommon.

Fear can be rooted in a variety of stimuli. It is most commonly rooted in one of the following concerns: Being wrong, not being good enough, missing out, or being victimized. Without question, many people will avoid those outcomes if possible. But does the desire to avoid them outweigh the potential benefits you’re missing out on? If you weren’t afraid of being wrong, would you speak up more often? If you weren’t afraid of being good enough, would you pick up that hobby you’ve always wanted to do? In a modern world, fear can manifest in ways that limit us from our potential.

The good news is that you’re not stuck. Just as fears can be learned, they can be unlearned.

  1. Acknowledge the fear – This is an important first step to overcoming a fear that is holding you back. The more specific the better. If a whole situation is causing fear, it can be hard to pinpoint the specific thing that is causing it. Ask yourself why you have made the choices you have and be honest with yourself about the thing you’re shying away from.

  2. Question the fear – Once you’ve pinpointed the fear, it is time to question it and the actions it has caused. What has it held you back from completing? How have your actions come across to others? Not participating in that business meeting may have come across as aloof, not nervous about being wrong. Ask yourself where it is coming from and where you would like to be if this fear wasn’t present.

  3. Determine your move – What was your answer when you asked yourself where you wanted to be? Go there. Here’s the key: This move is about you. No one else needs you to make this move more than you do, so your plan should align with your own values. Think of the answers you’ve come up with so far and go from there.

  4. Make your move – Go ahead, take that step. Remember when you learned how to ride a bike and you couldn’t believe that gravity would let you stay upright until you took off the training wheels and successfully rode that bike? Sure, the fear of not being good enough was present, but it turns out you were good enough. Remember that and remember you are good enough.

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Contact Oregon Counseling

To request an appointment please call us at 541-714-5620 for a free, confidential consult with our intake coordinator who will help you find the best therapist for your needs or fill out the form below.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room.

To request an appointment please call us at 541-714-5620 for a free, confidential consult with our intake coordinator who will help you find the best therapist for your needs or fill out the form below.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room.

To request an appointment please call us at 503-928-3998 for a free, confidential consult with our intake coordinator who will help you find the best therapist for your needs or fill out the form below.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room.

To request an appointment please call us at 514-868-2004 for a free, confidential consult with our intake coordinator who will help you find the best therapist for your needs or fill out the form below.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room.

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