Category Archives: change

How to Protect Transgender Kids from Bullying at School

Counseling Can Help Trans State University Students

Ways to help your trans student from bullying with counseling.Transgender kids face alarming rates of bullying and abuse. GLSEN’s 2017 National School Climate Survey found 83.7% of trans and 69.9% of gender nonconforming (GNC) students experience bullying at school.

Bullying can erode self-esteem, increase isolation, and make it more difficult for a child to assert their gender identity. Some bullied children become depressed and suicidal. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that any involvement with bullying—whether as a victim, bully, or both—raises a child’s risk of suicidal behavior.

Parents, educators, and other adults have significant power to reduce bullying and support trans kids at school.

TRANSPHOBIA STATISTICS
Transphobia is animus toward transgender people. It can cause bullying, physical aggression, and other forms of abuse.

Research consistently finds that gender-related discrimination is a problem in schools. GLSEN’s annual National School Climate Survey looked at over 23,000 children in grades 6-12. The study found 42.1% of trans and GNC kids are prevented from using their preferred pronouns. Nearly half of these kids (46.5%) are forced to use the wrong bathrooms.

Other research has found high rates of transphobic bullying.

Research published in 2017 found trans kids are two to three times more likely than their peers to be bullied.
A 2016 survey of adult transgender individuals found 60% have avoided public restrooms because they feared confrontation and bullying.
A 2012 survey found 61% of students have heard peers make negative remarks about gender expression. The same survey found 27% of students face physical abuse because of their gender expression.

CREATING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR TRANS KIDS
Many parents and educators worry that there’s nothing they can do to stop transphobic bullying. Yet research consistently finds that creating an inclusive, gender-affirming environment can greatly reduce bullying. Even when kids are bullied in these environments, they may feel more comfortable reaching out to an adult than they would in less inclusive environments.

According to GLSEN, students at inclusive schools with curricula that feature LGBTQ-affirming content are less likely to experience bullying, hear transphobic remarks, or feel unsafe at school. They are also less likely to be forced to use the wrong bathrooms or the wrong pronouns. Inclusive curricula can also raise self-esteem, reduce the risk of depression, and even improve grades.

Some strategies that promote a safe environment for trans kids include:

Creating a trans-inclusive curricula. Schools can participate in LGBT History Month, feature notable transgender historic figures, and discuss transgender history and civil rights with students.
Asking students about their preferred pronouns or names and then using them. Educating teachers, school counselors, and others who work with students about transgender issues. Establishing safe spaces, such as counselor’s offices, where students can safely discuss gender issues and bullying.
Refusing to tolerate any bullying or transphobia, even from teachers or other adults. Parents who want to support a transgender child should urge their child’s school to promote an inclusive environment that actively works to prevent transgender discrimination. At home, parents can help by allowing children to assert their own gender identity in a safe, judgment free zone.

It is important to let the child determine what gender means to them. Parents should avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes or rigid gender ideologies. For example, a trans girl does not need to turn her entire wardrobe pink in order to “prove” she is a girl. No toy or clothing should be off limits to anyone solely because of gender.

Parents can also support their trans or GNC children by introducing them to the wider LGBT community. They may read books with their child that feature people of many gender identities and presentations. They may identify trans or GNC role models for kids to learn about. They may also help their children meet other trans kids through support groups, trans camps, and other communities.

Lastly, parents may wish to educate themselves about transgender history and issues. Children pick up on what parents believe, not just what they say. Parents who are uncomfortable with their child’s gender presentation may inadvertently stigmatize their child. Education can help parents reevaluate their own ideas about gender and become better advocates for their children.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD’S RIGHTS
Federal, state, and local laws determine a student’s legal rights. Trans students in some states have more protections than students in other states. Individual schools may extend additional rights to trans students.

Many courts have ruled that transgender individuals are protected under Title IX. This federal law forbids schools from discriminating against students based on their sex or gender expression. Under Title IX, transgender and GNC students have the right to:

  • Be protected from bullying, harassment, and violence.
  • Use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
  • Be called the correct name and pronouns.
  • Dress and present themselves according to their gender identity (so long as they follow the general school dress code).
  • Access the same educational opportunities and school events as other students.
  • Maintain their medical privacy, including the right not to disclose being transgender.
  • However, not all states share this interpretation of Title IX. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, only 17 states have laws explicitly protecting transgender students from harassment and discrimination. These include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. The District of Columbia also has anti discrimination laws.

Even between these states, the extent of civil protections can vary. For example, only California, Connecticut, and Washington currently allow transgender students to join school sports teams consistent with their gender identity. School districts within a state may also vary in their policies.

The rights of transgender students at school are continually evolving. Parents who worry their child is facing discrimination should consider consulting a lawyer who specializes in educational law or who has experience with transgender issues.

HOW THERAPY CAN HELP TRANSGENDER KIDS
Therapy can offer immense support to transgender kids and their families. Family counseling can help a family identify strategies for supporting a child’s gender identity and fighting back against bullying. When family members do not fully understand or accept a child’s trans identity, family therapy can educate them and encourage acceptance.

Individual counseling can help transgender kids who struggle with depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety due to bullying. The right therapist can also affirm a child’s gender identity and point them toward trans role models and literature. In therapy, a child can learn that being trans is not a mental health problem or a weakness, but an important component of a person’s identity that should be respected and celebrated. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about trans counseling, make an appointment at my Portland area office.

Courtesy of Good Therapy.

Please follow and like us:
error

Coping with Loss as We Age

Life Coaching to Help Cope with Loss Through Life

Dealing with loss with life coaching in Portland.One inevitable feature of life as we age is loss. Some losses are minor; some are massive. We lose physical characteristics, abilities, and loved ones—our hair, our bone density, our eyesight, our hearing, our best friend, our spouse. These losses can lead to grief, loneliness, and despair. We may wake up in the morning with an overwhelming sadness that starts before our conscious mind is even alert, and we’re reminded of what happened, that it wasn’t just a bad dream.

VIEWING LOSS WITH REALISTIC POSITIVITY

Realistic positivity means seeing and accepting what is now—both in our inner and outer worlds—and then putting our focus on what we would love. Seeing life through the lens of realistic positivity can have a massive effect on our enthusiasm for life and interest in moving forward after loss. When we accept the truth that “the only constant is change,” and that change often entails loss, we become more resilient in the face of loss. We are open to life filling the void without our intervention, and we can proactively fill it when it doesn’t.

For example, a woman I know had fantastic hearing one day, and the next day experienced the sudden and complete loss of sound in her left ear. No doctor could bring it back. She grieved her loss—an essential part of realistic positivity is accepting “what is”—and then came to appreciate how incredible the neuroplasticity of the human brain is: Her brain “rerouted” sounds to her right ear. Losing her hearing in one ear made her realize how little she appreciated it while she had it, and it taught her not to take anything seemingly so basic for granted again.

Other times, though, we must proactively replace losses when they occur.

REPLACING THE LOSS OF A CAREER

Whether we were laid off, forced to retire, or chose to retire, the loss of a job or career can feel devastating. In the U.S., we treat our careers as almost inseparable from who we are. “What do you do for a living?” is often the first question we’re asked by new acquaintances right after “What is your name?”

I find it helpful to think of the void a loss has left as merely a space for something new and gratifying to enter our life. If we approach the loss of our career with realistic positivity, we can both accept the reality of what is—our career as we once knew it is has ended—and turn our focus to what we want and need—a drive to accomplish or experience something new, a purpose. The loss of our career leaves a space we can now fill with new ventures. We can write a book, travel to India, learn a new instrument or a new language, volunteer, or start an entirely new career—one not focused on income potential, but on passion.

REPLACING THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE

When we lose someone we love, we have the opportunity to deepen our connections with those still with us or forge new ones. We gain resilience by being proactive in replacing our losses. When a loved one dies, we may lose several things at once: the person, our relationship with them, our way of being with them, their help, our plans with them, and so on. We must replace the loss not because we didn’t truly love them or don’t miss them, but because our own life is still worth being the best it can be, and to live a good life, we need good people in it.

Replacing the loss of someone we loved requires allowing ourselves to fully grieve and letting go of the expectation that we will find someone who will fill our loved one’s shoes in precisely the same way. We must examine and acknowledge our needs and be willing to reach out to others. We must also have patience and compassion for ourselves as we find our way into the future.

SEEING THE GIFT OF LOSS

Loss is a gift? It is if through it we learn to value life in the present, to live and love fully, with the knowledge that we may not get another chance. Loss can help us if we recognize the lesson it teaches us—that every moment counts, material things don’t matter in the end, and we’re not defined by what we do or don’t have. Loss can be an impetus to meet new people, have fresh experiences, and explore additional ways to achieve the affirmation and love that we need. Experiencing loss also can make us more thoughtful, loving, and compassionate. By showing us what is essential, and what isn’t, loss helps us to let go of what is false and not serving us and guides us to our truest, best selves.

If you or someone you know is struggling with loss, set up a life coaching appointment at my Portland office.

Courtesy of GoodTherapy.org. 

Please follow and like us:
error

Danger of “if then” thinking

Can Life Coaching Help with ‘If Then’ Thinking?

Have you ever had the thought of “If I (fill in the blank), then (fill in in the blank)” or “once I…, then I’ll…”

Choices in life coaching Portland-If I move to another city, then I’ll be happy.

-Once I get this together, then I’ll be able to do this.

-Once I turn 50, then I’ll buy myself that car.

-Once I have enough experience then I can start that new project.

-If I ever win the lottery, then I’ll buy my dream home.

-Once I start therapy/coaching/medication, I’ll feel better.

Do any of these sound familiar? What are some other ones that you may find yourself thinking? Continue reading

Please follow and like us:
error

Ending therapy or coaching

When Finishing Your Therapy in Portland Oregon

At some point it is time to end the process of coaching or therapy. It may be something you bring up or your coach or therapist brings up.

Endings can be hard. My own experience and those I see in sessions is that saying goodbye is something that is not taught. So it is understandable when people avoid them. I have had people just disappear and I have no idea what happened. I have also had sweet endings where we have spent several sessions talking about the end.

When finishing your behavioral therapy in Portland Oregon.Endings can be hard, it is closing a chapter or even a book. I would encourage you to face this, as it can be quite healing to have a conscious, intentional parting. Some things to explore with ending:

  1. Ask yourself how you have handled endings in the past.
  2. What have you learned, what will you take away.
  3. Is there some sort of ritual or something that you want to take with you from this experience.
  4. Do you want to hear the coach or therapist’s view of the process
  5. Review the time together.
  6. And give feedback to the coach or therapist (both what you would consider positive and negative) as it is a process for the coach or therapist as well.

Saying goodbye doesn’t have to be hard. Think through the process with these tips and contact me today.

Photo compliments of StuartMiles at freedigitalphotos.net

Please follow and like us:
error

Ch Ch Ch Changes

“Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”
Watch the Ted Talk here.

 

Can your posture or environment change you?

Try curling into yourself, bring your knees in, cross your arms, look down. Portland Oregon Cognitive TherapySit like this for a minute. How do you feel in this position? Now try stretching your arms up, standing tall, looking up. What body sensations do you notice?

Changing your posture can change how you feel, how you interact. She does a much better job at demonstrating this, watch her video to get the full scoop on it.

I what to take this somewhere else: your environment. That may be your home, your organization, your clothes in your closet or even the clothes you wear. Think about when you wear sweatpants and an oversized sweat shirt. I think cozy, comfortable, ease of movement. Now what about going on a date, what clothes do you pick out for that? And it probably depends on how you want to feel. Some women will wear sexy underwear or a camisole to feel sexy even if they are wearing not so sexy clothes.

Posture affects you. Clutter in your home affects you. What you wear affects you.

Check in with yourself when you are feeling a certain way, (Not as a fix it, I don’t believe in fixing your feelings, more as a possible shift move.) and try changing your posture or your clothes. Play with it and notice what happens.

Like I say to many of my clients, life is like a science experiment: have a hypothesis, try it out, determine the next step. Go into this not knowing, being curious, wondering what will happen. And then gather data.

If you think cognitive therapy could help you, contact me for Portland appointments.

Appreciation for use of the photo go to Serge Bertasius Photography At FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Please follow and like us:
error

Comparisons

Portland Area Life Coaching for Your Daily Life

Comparison is something that often comes up everywhere. In school we are given grades, in job evaluations, in reality tv, in fashion.  How am I doing in comparison to others? It may not be a conscious thought, it may just be a judgement of what someone else is or isn’t doing. Whether you have lost someone dear to you, are in a relationship, starting a new job, continuing in one for a while, or going to the gym. We are all on our own journey. There may be similarities with others on a similar road. And it is still your own individual, unique journey that life coaching can help with.

For example if I go to the gym to build muscle, I can follow a routine that others have suggested—a friend, a youtube video, a personal trainer. This routine may have different outcomes for someone else because we eat and consume differently, have different body types,  or are different ages.

Life coaching in the Portland area.What does comparing get me? What does it get you? Perhaps feeling better or worse about myself or my situation. This leaves me in a one up or one down from others. It doesn’t leave room for seeing everyone as whole or even myself as whole. It distances me from others, it puts a wedge in the relationship, even if I haven’t talked to the person.

Stepping stone: If you are interested, notice where you compare yourself to others. Is it in a particular setting? Is there a certain judgement that comes up? Notice how you respond to the comparison and to the other person or situation. Is this something that you want to continue?

If you need help with these questions and more, contact me today to see how I can help you on your journey. 

Photo curtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at freedigitalphotos.net

Please follow and like us:
error

Recharge

I am not sure if it is related to the end of summer: running hard all season or the panic before the school year starts. A topic that has been coming up a lot for both my therapy/coaching clients as well as myself is how to recharge in the midst of busyness.

More Life Coaching Tips from Portland Area Therapist

It is also interesting to note the idea of actually taking a vacation and coming back and getting Recharge with life coaching at Awakening Your Spark, Portland OR.right into the bustle of life again. Vacation seeming like a distant memory, sometimes even forgetting what it felt like to relax.

I am also thinking of a change of perspective. I can run from event to event, from errand to errand and feel stressed. I can do the same thing and breath and notice myself in time and space. Do I actually get somewhere faster if I am rushing? I have noticed for myself that I do not. What happens is that if I rush, I am ahead of myself, thinking of the next thing, of how late I am. If I take a breath, come back to the actual journey of getting somewhere, I am in the moment. I am nicer to myself and to others when I breath and come back to the moment instead of jumping ahead.

Homework, if you choose to participate: how can you create mini vacations in your day, a mini relaxation time.

Here are some ideas:

A breath. Or two. A walk. A step away from what you are doing to gain perspective. Chatting with a friend. Dancing. Singing. Self massage. Closing your eyes.

This doesn’t need to take a looooooong time; it can be a minute. Just do something.

For more information on relaxation and life coaching, contact me today.

 

 

 

 

Photo compliments of David Castillo Dominici at freedigitalphotos.net

Please follow and like us:
error

Frequency in Therapy/Coaching

I am an advocate of people empowering and listening to what they want. Here are some ideas to think about as you are thinking, “How often do I want to go in,” or “Can I cut back on my session frequency?”

What Are Your Life Coaching Goals?

What are your goals? How close are you to your goals? Have you accomplished them? What do you want to get out of your sessions? I see more frequent as powering your movement forward. So how fast do you want to move forward toward your goals?

And how intense are those goals? I am guessing if you are thinking of less frequent you are not in crisis, which is when many people want to decrease session frequency. My thoughts are that after a crisis is when you can really dig down and start working on what is really going on. You are not in crisis mode so have a different awareness; you are able to take a breath and notice.

How accountable are you to yourself? Are you able to practice the new tools or skills in that amount of time or do you wait until the night before or day of to do homework? Are you able to get the most out of the time in between?

Portland area life coaching sessions.What I have noticed is that once every week or two at the least is optimal to stay on track. Less is more of a “check in” vs digging down and making changes. And of course everyone is different, so this is not a blanket statement, just what I have observed and from talking with other people.

I would encourage you to talk to your therapist/coach about this. I don’t usually have people mention at the end of the session why they want less frequent sessions. This timing doesn’t actually allow for conversation in that session, it is a one way conversation, this is what I decided. I want you to actually have a conversation about it, bring it up earlier in the session, hear their thoughts vs just deciding because it is still a relationship and communication goes both ways.

To learn more about how a life coaching session can be a relationship for you, contact me today.

Photo compliments of Gratisography by Ryan McGuire.

Please follow and like us:
error

Contradictions

Contradiction, according to Google: “a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.” Opposites, same source: “having a position on the other or further side of something; facing something, especially something of the same type.”

ID-10066173Sometimes we can have ideas, feelings, thoughts that feel totally at odds with each other. fFor example I can either accept the situation as it is and do nothing or reject it completely and make major changes, I can either have security or passion, I can either win or lose this argument, I can either be rigid or be in the flow. And we think, “How can these possible co-exist?” We feel stuck.

Try something out with me. In one hand put one of your statements. Feel it there. Does it have any movement, texture, color, sound? Be with it right now in this moment. Now in your other hand put the other statement. Notice the same. Now can your two hands holding these statements move and be in existence in each hand at the same time? Hold both simultaneously and notice what happens. Once you notice ease in this, perhaps have ID-100279435your two hands interact together. Move them closer together then farther apart. Have one hand try on the movement, feeling of the other hand and vice versa. Do you notice anything different in your experience of the two appearing contradictory statements?

 

 

 

Image curtesy of Ambro  and taesmileland from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Please follow and like us:
error

Living as Art

I was talking with some people recently about strengths and being a visionary and an artist. I started thinking about art: life as art, the art of living, being art. Which is where the idea for this blog came in.

ID-100203610I was thinking about what to name it. There is already an Art of Living Foundation. I settled into Living as Art. What if we are a masterpiece in the creation? We are the art. We are the focus which looks different in different light, in different settings. We are not stagnant. We are not finished. We are evolving and changing.

 

ID-100146460Painters can start, paint over, cover up, change what they are working on. Aren’t we doing that all the time? I have
the intention to continue looking inward at the exploration which is my life, of my patterns, of what I create in my life or not. I adjust myself, I shift from stuck to possibilities, I express.

Exploration for thisID-100209562 week is to check out what looks like an amazing example of this called Exhibit: Growth. It is interactive. Art is created from your responses. ID-10047285How awesome is that?

Photos from Free Digital Photos

Please follow and like us:
error