Why Being Good Is A Choice According To Counselors

I have been a long-time fan of fantasy and animated movies. I play them whenever I feel down and need to get away from the real world. Their stories always hooked me and made me feel like I was really somewhere else, even if I was only in my bedroom. Then, when it’s over, I feel better than ever.

Now, if you think about movies like Disney’s DescendantsMinions, and recently Fe@rless, they have one thing in common. The villains in those films inherited their evilness from their parents. And it was not as if they were forced to do it. In truth, they wanted to surpass their parents’ evil deeds by doing anything and everything possible.

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Why It’s So Easy To Be Bad

It is so easy to be bad because bad people are typically thrill-seekers. It entails that the more danger they put themselves in, the more they want to do something all over again until they achieve their goal. In the fantasy movies’ cases, that would be mass destruction and world domination. They would only stop if the heroes could render them powerless.

Even in the real world, you know, it is also easy to become bad. The reason is that people tend to follow in their parents’ footsteps. For instance, if the child sees their parents stealing, abusing substances, and doing other awful activities, they could see them as normalcy. And when they grow up, they may think that that’s the only way to get through life. It does not always happen, but you’ll be surprised at how much it commonly happens.

Choosing To Be Good

When bad people get busted for their wrongdoings, others are quick to judge them. They say, “Oh, apples don’t honestly fall too far from the tree.” Or, “Going to prison serves them right.” None of them may know that everything may have been prevented if the wrongdoers had access to counseling at the beginning of their lives. Believe it or not, you can choose to be good.

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Saying the last statement out loud would often earn me weird looks from other people. They would nod and smile, but their eyes would be saying, “Okay, it’s your funeral.” Then, I would come across more blunt ones who would tell me that that’s a load of crap. “Bad people don’t change,” they would insist. “If you try to help them, you will get sucked in and hurt in no time.”

I cannot blame those individuals for thinking this way, of course. I am privy to some folks who would act friendly when you are facing them. But when you turn your back, good luck – you cannot imagine the crazy things they might do or say about you.

Despite that, I will stand behind my initial belief that being good is a choice. It genuinely is. Although many people follow their parent’s evil deeds, become criminals, and embrace lawlessness, more people with worse role models fight hard to ensure that they would be nothing like their parents. I repeat: that is always a chore, especially when you think of how easy it is to choose becoming bad. Still, they take every day that they don’t snap at someone a victory. That tends to keep them on the right path.

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How Can You Choose To Be Good?

I have come across a number of people who did not know that they were doing awful things until I asked them to recount their past actions and see if they were harmful to others. Once they realize it, they want to know how to make the correct choices to become good. And while no two individuals are the same, the ideas on how to achieve goodness are always similar.

If You’re Angry, Back Away

When anger rules over you, it may seem so right and easy to confront the person who made you angry and brawled with him. That action informs others who’s boss and that they should not mess with you.

Despite that, good people don’t start fights. Instead, they back away and wait until their anger simmers. Only when they are calm enough to form coherent words that they speak up about their issues with the other person.

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Don’t Do What You Never Want To Experience

It seems typical for wrongdoers to feel better about what they’re doing by thinking that they succeeded in their evil deeds because their victims allowed them. Well, that is not a very healthy way of thinking about the situation. It’s as if you are saying the others want to be taken advantage of, which is never the case.

As a rule of thumb, you should never try to do something that you don’t want to experience in this lifetime or the next. This idea covers a slew of things. Whatever you can apply this to – be it robbing, hitting, etc. – you’re correct. You should never do any of them.

Final Thoughts

Becoming good should be easy if that’s what you have always strived to achieve. Even when you have done some awful things in life, you can still be good if you choose it.

 

Counseling 101: The Truth About People Who Complain Incessantly

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When I became a licensed psychologist and counselor, my brother dealt with me to visit his company once or twice a year and assess his employees’ mental behaviors. It was set to be an informal setting where I could go through various departments, talk to them during breaks, or even chat them up in the hallways. The goal was to know how they felt about their jobs, projects, and even coworkers.

During my first few visits, the employees were a bit guarded about their words and emotions. If you must know, many of them saw mental health professionals as no different from law enforcers. They knew that I could see through their lies and that my presence could cost their jobs. But once I established that I was there to help them and not snitch on them to their big boss, the employees grew to trust me and sometimes even confide their worries to me.

I believe that’s one of the small but vital reasons why the company managed to hold on to as many good employees over the years.

When A Potentially Bad Apple Mixed With The Good Ones

In my brother’s company, they accepted part-timers and interns at any age. My brother did not care if the person was fresh out of high school or was almost as old as our mother as long as they were willing to learn and be good to the other employees.

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On my previous visit, I met an 18-year-old part-timer named Jane. She did not know who I was and assumed that I was a senior employee from another department. She was nice and sweet once we talked, and then I asked her how her first month was at the company. That’s when a slew of complaints flooded my eardrums.

“Well, you know,” Jane started, “I am still learning everything, but I have a hard time dealing with different managers here. They all have different techniques for doing their jobs, and I was expected to learn all of them. I mean, why can’t they pair up one manager per intern so that my life would be easy here?”

Uh-oh, I thought. Out loud, I asked, “Can you elaborate more about this issue?”

“You see, one of the managers like to provide video presentations to explain what they wanted to be done for a project. Another manager would give me all the materials without telling me more about it. Then, there’s another one who wanted to set up a meeting with everyone before the project started.”

“I hear you, but I don’t see what’s wrong with any of them. Isn’t it good that you have managers who are doing all these things to ensure the project’s success? And if they cannot do that, they still give you everything you may need to complete it,” I said.

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Jane sighed dramatically. “Yes, but why can’t they write everything down so that all I would have to do is read what I’m supposed to do? It takes a lot of time to watch presentations or go to meetings or learn things by myself. I could have used that time to start the project already.”

Spotting A Constant Complainer

I realized right there and then that Jane was a chronic complainer. Complaining too much is that it is technically not a mental disorder, but it can be brought about by childhood issues or lack of confidence. Instead of admitting that a task is challenging for her, Jane blames the managers who are merely doing their jobs in the best way they know.

So, I told Jane, “If you must know, I am a licensed counselor and psychologist. I cannot resolve your issues regarding your managers – you may have to take it up to your supervisor – but I have an office here, and I would love to accommodate you this afternoon. We can talk more about your issues if you like.”

Of course, Jane seemed surprised by my revelation, but the possibility of complaining some more to a willing soul was attractive to her. And that’s what I would do – listen and sympathize with Jane because there was no other way to handle a constant complainer. But when Jane arrived and repeated the same stories about her managers, I had to ask her why she had not done something about her issues already. She had no response to that.

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“Sometimes, problems remain as problems because we do nothing about them. Things may get better if you speak up during work,” I advised.

Final Thoughts

I was no longer shocked when I did not see Jane anymore on my next visit. That’s how constant complainers usually worked – they’d be excellent at airing out their issues, but they were awful at heeding suggestions.

What’s my advice to all the young individuals who want to succeed in life? Please don’t be like Jane.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teletherapy

The youth, especially those going through adolescence, can experience mental and emotional distress. As symptoms continue, it is necessary to seek immediate mental health assistance. Unaddressed mental health conditions can extend and develop as serious problems in adulthood. 

There are various ways to seek mental health therapy or counseling. If a physical session is difficult for your teenage child, maybe they can try remote treatment through teletherapy.  Through research and technological developments, therapy is now possible in the comfort of your own home.

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With teletherapy, there is no more need to travel back and forth from the therapy clinic. It is truly convenient, especially to those who have busy schedules, as it saves transit time.

Moreover, it also helps those who have a physical disability to conveniently and independently attend sessions. The application and benefits of teletherapy are certainly endless as it grows like a field of practice.

Teletherapy may not seem like the conventional way to receive professional help. However, it is currently widely practiced, especially in this age of technology. Teletherapy became even more prevalent with the recent COVID-19 pandemic as people needed to stay home. 

The younger generation is open-minded to different available and practical options. It is, however, normal to have questions about this relatively new method of therapy for mental health care.

Usually, people wonder how it compares to the typical face-to-face therapy sessions. Is it as secure and effective? How does it work? Here are the frequently asked questions about teletherapy, its advantages, and how it can treat mental health.

Is teletherapy secure?

Yes. In teletherapy, the safety and security of the patient are of top priority. Like face-to-face therapy, the therapist would keep everything brought up within the session confidential.

Furthermore, most teletherapy platforms have end-to-end encryption to secure the confidentiality of each therapy session. It allows patients to feel safe and comfortable during their therapy sessions.

Does online therapy really work?

Despite numerous questions surrounding online therapy, studies have consistently shown its effectiveness in addressing mental health concerns. Not only is it practical, but some studies have also shown that it’s just as effective as face-to-face therapy. Furthermore, it is highly cost-effective in terms of sustaining follow-up therapy sessions. Online therapy is best for addressing conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders.

What is teletherapy?

Teletherapy refers to a type of therapy conducted by a licensed therapist through an online platform means. It can be through live video conferencing, text messaging, or calling.

This form of treatment has been around since the 1990s in the U.S. It is beneficial for a diverse range of treatments, such as occupational, speech, and mental health therapy.

What should I not tell my therapist?

The goal of therapy is to provide a safe space for patients to share their honest thoughts and feelings. It is regardless of whether these thoughts and feelings are good or bad.

Keep in mind that everything told within therapy sessions is kept confidential with certain legal disclosure limitations. However, other than that, honestly opening up to your therapist can help in your recovery. It will teach you many things about yourself that may be hard to face outside therapy sessions.

What are some possible advantages and disadvantages to online therapy?

Despite the proven advantages of online therapy, there also arise some disadvantages for particular circumstances. Looking at these pros and cons will allow you to decide if online therapy is suitable for you.

Some of the advantages of online therapy are remote accessibility, convenience, affordability, and effectiveness. Meanwhile, its disadvantages include insurance coverage limitations, technological privacy issues, limited body language evaluation, and other ethical and legal concerns.

Is online therapy expensive?

Like face-to-face therapy, online therapy fees vary depending on provider and type of communication. To give you an idea, chatting and messaging would start at around $40 a week.

Meanwhile, live video conferencing may cost approximately $59 to $99. It is significantly more affordable than in-person therapy, which typically ranges from around $75 up to $100.

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Is online therapy as good as in person?

Research has found that online therapy can provide the same service quality as face-to-face therapy. Furthermore, it can also address a range of mental health concerns. Some patients may find online therapy the best therapy option depending on their individual circumstances and the severity of their condition.

What is online therapy called?

Online therapy is known in many terms, including teletherapy, e-therapy, e-counseling, or cybercounseling. Different providers and different online therapy platforms would use varying names, depending on preference.

What are the 3 types of therapy?

The three most common therapy types are psychodynamic therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). These therapies can be conducted through one-on-one, group, or online therapies.

Essentially, a specific therapy would suit certain types of conditions and circumstances best. Make sure to talk to your therapy provider to know which type of therapy suits you best.

Teletherapy may be considered as one of the top choices when it comes to mental health therapy services. Because of its practicality and cost-effectiveness, mental health care is now more accessible to those in need.

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Regardless of the type of therapy you need, teletherapy can be a good fit for you. It allows different types of therapy such as psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or behavioral therapy, 

With the latest online security features, teletherapy is a safe and reliable option. It is proven to be effective since the convenience of teletherapy results in a more consistent follow-through. There will be significant savings in time and costs in the long run.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is your mental health. So, as long as you feel comfortable with online therapy, you can enjoy the benefits of teletherapy.

Just like any other form of treatment, teletherapy may have its disadvantages as well. Because there is the use of gadgets, technical and privacy issues may arise. Insurance coverage may also hinder people from seeking mental health care.

Aside from those, there are also limitations in the practice of therapy virtually. However, finding a professional and skilled mental health care provider can help ensure your therapy success.

The result of teletherapy varies per individual and their conditions. Make sure to consult with a healthcare provider first for the best assistance. Each person requires individualized treatment and care because every situation is unique.

A health professional’s expert opinion will help you understand how a specific kind of therapy, like teletherapy, can work for you.

The practical use of time and resources are contributors to a person’s mental health and well-being. So see to it to make practical choices when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Exploring and understanding our options is the first step towards enjoying a better quality of life.

Teens Are Prone To Mental Health Issues

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We have come to a point in humanity where the previously judged and stereotyped have now become a huge part that defines us as people. From extreme hate and misunderstanding, we have come to love and appreciate the LGBT community. From misdiagnosing and shame, we have come to embrace and understand the mental health issues of the world. And from controlling and manipulating our youth, we have come to allow them to be free to be passionate and express themselves. We have come a long way from the stereotypes that previous generations have created for us. We now live in a world that is more accepting and appreciative of change.

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Family Values And Virtues Shape Us

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They say our family affects our choices and opinions, our beliefs and truths, our red flags and green flags. In everything in our life, we are guided by the virtues and values of the family that we grew up in. We form everything around the norms that we grew up in. This is why some kids grow up to be passionate people and some grow up to be lost souls.

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Kids And Teens Can Get Stressed Out Too With This Lockdown

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It didn’t occur to me that stress, anxiety, and depression can be brought about by this pandemic. It’s not just us parents who are experiencing these mental health issues. Even children are also susceptible to it. My third child broke down the other day, saying, “I cannot live in this house without going out for another day!” I had to talk to her and ask why she was feeling that way, and her reply was, “I am so sad, mom!”

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The Sex Talk: What You Should Tell Your Teens About Sex

The 2019 Digital Health Event discussed how emerging technologies and approaches could improve health. With these continuous advances, almost every information is within our reach, and our children’s. What we don’t want to explain to them, they can find unfiltered online. And one of those things we don’t want to talk about is sex.

But, the truth is that most teens wanted to get the sex talk from their parents, not from the web or their friends. If you don’t know where to start, here are some topics that you should include in the sex talk.

Body And Puberty

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Start talking to them about their bodies at an early age, and use the correct names for their private parts when you start the talk. Explain to them what happens during puberty and how it is different for girls and boys, and from child to child. You may use anecdotes to help them better understand the changes their bodies will undergo.

Gender

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Explain to your teens how gender is different from sex. And if they say that they don’t feel like the sex assigned to them at birth, then acknowledge and talk about it. What’s important is that you make your child loved and accepted, regardless of their gender identity.

Relationships

Your teen will most likely develop a romantic interest or relationship with another person when they hit puberty. That is why the best time to talk about sex is before that, as they will be less likely to act defensive about being in one when they’re younger. Also, never assume that your teen is only interested in having a relationship with the opposite sex. Talk about both heterosexual and same-sex relationships with them.

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Intercourse, STD, And Pregnancy

When you start talking about sexual intercourse with them, talk about consent, and safe sex. Then, talk about the effects of unprotected sex – pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Your teen will be unlikely to tell you when they do try to have sex. That is why you should have a conversation about sex with them before they even do so.

Start early is the best tip for all parents when giving the sex talk. Your teens will listen; they’re just waiting for you to be ready to discuss it with them.

Talk And Bond With Teenage Kids – Lockdown Diaries

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On lockdown and every day, my three teens always want a piece of the story that has long been buried. They have a lot of questions about their dad about me, about my parents, and his parents. No, we are not divorced, but he is not around. He is not around anymore. My husband was a hero, one of the firefighters who died in 9-11, and I always tell our children that he was the most honorable man I have ever met and had the privilege of loving.

Continue reading Talk And Bond With Teenage Kids – Lockdown Diaries

Misconceptions About Sex Education In Schools

The 2019 Peer Pressure Seminar discussed different issues concerning today’s youth. One of the most controversial topics was school-based sex education. Sex education is the process of providing information on sex, sexuality, and reproductive health. 

Notwithstanding the evidence-based advantages of sex education among the youth, some people still doubt its importance. Adults, especially parents, are concerned with the possible adverse consequences of sex education on children’s values and behavior. These concerns are commonly a result of misconceptions about sex education in schools. Debunking these myths is essential in promoting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of the youth.

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Here are some of the most common misconceptions about sex education in schools.

  1. Sex Education Encourages Young People To Become Sexually Active

Many people think sex education means teaching young people to engage in sexual activity. What sex education programs teach is the biology of reproductive organs, among others. It tackles pregnancy and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. Sex education does not encourage sexual activity but merely helps young people to make responsible and healthy choices. Additionally, research shows that comprehensive sex education may delay sexual initiation among teens.

  1. Sex Education Increases The Risk Of Unwanted Pregnancies

The purpose of sex education is to avoid, not to promote, unwanted pregnancies. Knowing about reproduction and safe sex practices helps the youth become more cautious with their choices. The truth is, unintended pregnancies are the result of misinformation and lack of information. Through sex education, young people become more aware of the possible consequences of their actions.

  1. The School Is Not The Right Place To Talk About Sexual Health

Some people acknowledge the importance of sex education but disagree for it to be taught in schools. For them, teaching sexual health is the sole responsibility of the family. Sex education is not a linear process. It requires the cooperation of the individual, his or her family, and the entire community. Both the family and the school have essential roles to play in promoting sexual and reproductive health among the youth.

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School-based sex education does not only help the youth make the right decisions. It also develops and instills the values of responsibility and self-acceptance. We can only achieve these objectives if we debunk the misconceptions about sex education in schools. 

How To Give Counseling To Sexually Abused Teens

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“Many people who suffer from sexual abuse or sexual assault can also suffer long-term effects from the abuse,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D. Going to a shelter for sexually abused teenagers to give counseling for the first time is not easy. You may act and sound friendly, but you’ll be able to tell how hesitant many of them are to greet visitors. It is difficult to listen to them as well while recounting the reasons why they ended up in the facility instead of living a normal life.

Some of these kids, after all, are stowaways who got mixed up with a dangerous crowd. Others were violated in their own homes. If you visit a housing system for girls, there may even be a few who became pregnant at a young age because of sexual abuse.

Despite the sadness that may engulf you, though, you need to get over it so that you can counsel these poor souls. They have to let go of their past before they return to the outside world again. That can only happen if you help them. So here are steps you may take to ensure that you’ll be an effective counselor.

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  1. Earn Their Trust

The truth about sexual abuse cases is that the victims typically know the perpetrators personally. “So often child sexual abuse occurs in families, and in social contexts in which the family knows and trusts the perpetrators,” according to Sharie Stines, Psy.D. It may be a classmate, a family friend, or even a relative who is already welcome in their lives. Thus, once the evil deed takes place, they find it hard to trust another person again.

What you can do to prove that you mean no harm is to open about yourself at first. Keep your distance from the teenager too, especially if you are of the same gender as the violator. More importantly, speak more like a friend than a mental health professional so that the kids don’t feel the need to hide from you.

There’s no way to estimate how long you have to wait before an abused child trusts you. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to tell once it occurs since that’s when the teen starts to smile and talk without prompting.

  1. Work Out The Negative Effects

In case a sexually abused teen grew up with malicious acts performed on them, there is a possibility that they will try to follow the wrongdoer’s lead and commit the same violations. It was like doing sexual stuff is all they know. Unfortunately, that is true for many teens that were abused over and over.

Once you have earned their trust, therefore, you should start removing the negative behaviors the kids developed because of the violence. It may be tough to make them see reason in the beginning, but you ought to remember that children are born to be smart. After months or years of helping them come to their senses, you will notice an incredible transformation in their character.

  1. Offer Support

As a counselor, you may have plenty of diplomas and certifications lining your walls. It is likely that you have also read tons of books regarding counseling victims of abuse. However, if you feel worried about treating the underaged ones for the first time, don’t be. You have to recall that they need support more than anything. After all, you cannot take away their ugly past on your own. Your job is to assist the teenagers in changing their thinking patterns so that they’ll be able to figure out how to eliminate their demons. According to psychiatrist Lynn Ponton, MD, “An effective counselor can identify negative thinking patterns that may be feeding feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety.”

It is always better to allow the victims to come up with a solution to their problem themselves than to supply it to them. If they only hear it from you, the words might enter their right ear and exit the left. Considering it comes from their mouth, however, their brain already believes that it will work. Hence, they will focus on genuinely making it work.

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In The End

Instead of allowing the children to become dependent on you, you have to teach them how to cope with their issues. You may inform their guardians about it too. This way, even years after your counseling sessions end, the teen won’t relapse and relive the adverse effects of sexual abuse.