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Tips for Families

Your Teen is Away: Learn to Sleep Again!

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If your child is away in treatment, you may still be suffering from the sleep distress that was a part of being vigilant and worried. If so, now’s the time to reclaim your right to a good night’s sleep! Your child is safe and, for the time being, it’s someone else’s job to be vigilant around the clock. A huge part of every parents’ job when their child is in treatment is to prepare for their return home. You’re a better parent (and employee, and friend, and everything) when you’re taking good care of yourself. Sleep is at the core of self care; so now’s a great time to practice good sleep habits. I joke that learning to fall asleep and stay asleep has saved me thousands of dollars in carpentry, refrigerator repair, fly traps…oh and plastic surgery. So if you’re a light sleeper, an insomniac, or curfew cop on sabbatical, here are some things I’ve learned that will help you sleep like a baby.

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COMING CLEAN WITH YOUR DIFFICULT TEEN

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Many experts agree that the negative effects of anger can be minimized by addressing the emotion in an honest, non-reactive manner. While ranting and raging tend to actually increase, rather than alleviate, anger (according to some studies), the healthy expression of anger can actually reduce its intensity and keep it from festering. In fact, the healthy communication of your full range of emotions—including anger—can be a critical part of your difficult teen’s healing process.

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When A Family Crisis Hits–Take Care of You!

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Like any crisis, a mental health emergency—whether depression, violence, self-harm, psychosis or addiction—is generally symptomatic of a deeper, more pervasive dysfunction. Our tendency with family mental health emergencies, though, is to just treat the symptoms and—once those are addressed—get on with living the same life that caused those symptoms in the first place.

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FAMILY THERAPY FOR ENMESHED TEENS AND PARENTS

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When we are motivated to be involved in relationships we’re being driven to something that creates some of the most joy and peace in life: connectedness. Most of us want to connect and most of us want to be accepted by others. We just need to channel our efforts to meet these needs in a healthy direction. That’s what we aim for with enmeshed relationships at Sunrise, to redirect relational energy in a direction that will bring out the most peace, connection, and growth possible.

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Enmeshed Parents and Teens

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Those in enmeshed relationships are often the last to see it. But with awareness you can start to recognize some of the signs: 1. If you cannot not tell the difference between your own emotions and those of a person with whom you have a relationship. 2. If you feel like you need to rescue someone from their emotions. 3. If you feel like you need someone else to rescue you from your own emotions. 4. If you and another person do not have any personal emotional time and space.

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THE SAME COIN

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Even diagnosed emotional and behavioral disorders are often linked to personality traits that can have a very positive expression. Knowing this can help you avoid misguided attempts to quash personality traits in your adolescent that may just be temporarily misdirected. It can also help you be an encouragement to your child when he or she is struggling and can’t see the other side of things.

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