Saturday, September 23, 2017

HOPE After Harvey

During Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, our home was caught in a flash flood of White Oak Bayou at 2:00 in the morning.   My wife and I moved our 2 year old and our 5 year old up onto our roof, where we all spent the night until a canoe rescued us at 8:00 AM the next morning. 
In the weeks after, we received help from our church and our community that allowed us to recover. I became aware for the first time of how powerful God’s help is through the hands and feet of those who follow him.  Now I am hoping that Interface-Samaritan Counseling Centers can provide the same kind of hope and recovery for those affected by Harvey.

At Interface we have spent the last 2 weeks working at the George R. Brown and other facilities doing Mental health first aid for flood victims.  Now, as people begin to handle first-order needs for shelter, food, clothing, and physical health, the emotional impact of what they have been through will begin to emerge.

To answer this need, Interface will be offering counseling, education, and consulting services through its Hope After Harvey initiative.  Interface will be available to offer groups at our partner churches designed to provide helpful tools and tips for restoring your emotional home

We hope you’ll reach out to Interface and engage us as we help our community heal.

Steve Duson

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Back to School

It is August, the month most students return to school.  I have developed a contract for parents and their students to read, discuss and alter to fit their family and sign as a blueprint to having a harmonious and successful school year each and every year. Click here for the Form.

I hope this will be something you find useful for your family.  Have a GREAT school year!

Here's a preview: 

Parent/Student Contract for School 8/2017
I, We _____________________________________(the parent(s)) enter into the following contract with our son, daughter in order to create and maintain order, success and harmony in our home during the 1st - 12th grade school years starting with this school year 2017-2018 at __________________________________________________elementary/middle/high school.
(Student)________________________________________________ promises to follow all rules discussed and written on this contract daily and understands that there will be consequences for not following the rules as agreed upon in this contract and signed by parent and student.

1. Respect yourself and others in everything you say and do.
2. Use a calendar to record homework and other important dates, and activities.
3. Have regular attendance in all classes and arrive on time.
4. Listen carefully to all directions given, and ask questions when necessary.
5. Write down all assignments, show them to your parents, give homework to the teacher.
6. Maintain a positive attitude daily and smile at all of your teachers.
7. Be prepared when you get to class, have all necessary supplies with you.
8. Do your very BEST every day, share events of the day with your parents.
9. Attend tutoring for any subject that becomes difficult and your grade is below a _________.
10. Keep up with all of your personal belongs and possessions every day.    
11. Become very familiar with district and school policies and rules.
12. Get to know the names of teachers and staff and work together for a successful year.  
Parent’s Signature   _________________________________________________
Student’s Signature   _________________________________________________

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Veterans with a Vision for Their Life

by Wanda Hobbs, LPC

I have been privileged to work with a group of female veterans every week for almost two years.  During the last quarter of 2016 we focused our discussions on goal planning and developing a vision for each of their lives that they could refer to regularly for motivation and inspiration, and revise as needed, both now and in the future. This was accomplished by having each veteran choose pictures and words from magazines and assemble them on a large piece of poster board.  The outcome was simply beautiful and gave each person specific things to focus on doing to accomplish their individual goals as they make plans for their future. Some expressed a desire to earn a Bachelor’s degree from a university, some are seeking full-time employment, one having already received training to become a pharmacy technician, others will return to the careers they had in the military, such as Logistics.  The ladies also put on their vision board a vision for their families, relationships, traveling, decorating their very own apartment space with colorful, eclectic, items, and maybe even adding a pet.  This project was very satisfying to the women and a joy for me to observe as well.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

What is Play Therapy?

Jennifer Hendricks, M.Ed., LPC, RPT 

Play Therapy can be individual, family or group based, for kids as young as 3 through early teens.  It  is beneficial for children because they are able to express themselves through their most natural language, play.  The toys utilized in the playroom allow for expression of nurturing, aggressive and collaborative play.  By engaging with the therapist, a child is able to enhance problem solving skills, expression of feelings and develop coping strategies to use in everyday life.

Play Therapists can also utilize sand trays with a multitude of miniatures to allow children to create their world and process situations.  Kids can show family or peer situations.  I’ve seen battle scenes, playground scenes and slumber party scenes.  Toys utilized in the playroom are specific and selected in that there are no rules for the play.  Puppets, dollhouses, family figures, animals, dress up and building play are all included in the playroom.

Book series are often used in the playroom to address specific situations with children.  This is beneficial for children with a history of trauma, specific anxieties or worries or to allow for developmentally appropriate expression.  

Therapeutic games are helpful in addressing situations with children of all ages.  These games can be focused on increasing self awareness, self expression and social skills.

Play Therapy is engaging for all kids, big and small.  I enjoy watching children connect with me and their families by learning a new skill or expressing difficult emotions.  I’ve seen kids share their feelings with parents about traumatic events and seen kids discuss helpful strategies to help them with peers at school.   Kids can learn to identify their strengths and accomplishments through play.   Play therapy can be combined with talk therapy to address topics in a less threatening manner and allow children to process topics that would be difficult in a dialogue.   We can learn from children that we are never too old to play!