Generation G(oogle) - children, anxiety and the web?

Generation G(oogle) - children, anxiety and the web?

I noticed on Facebook the other day a meme came up on my feed that read, “Please don’t confuse your Google search with my medical degree.” And it got me thinking about the power of Google in our lives and in particular the lives of our children, the access it affords them to the wondrous and unknown, that generations before us could only have dreamed about. There is much said in the media and taught in our children’s schools about the dangers of inappropriate, unsupervised access to the Internet. We are all too aware of social media trolls, cyber bullying and online predators but what of the seemingly harmless websites our children visit and the hidden impact they can have?

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Counselling – An Act of Courage.

adolescent, counselling, st kilda east, courage, megan rees, sarah sacks, the grove counselling, bayside

Sitting across from me in my counselling room is a young man who twirls a thread, dangling from the knee of his jeans, as he stares uncomfortably down at the carpet.  When he’s done with that he absent-mindedly pulls at the hairs on his arm, not that long ago they were pale and downy but recently they darkened and became coarser.

There are a million other places he’d rather be than sitting and talking to a child and adolescent counsellor, but “Tom” (not his real name) has reluctantly agreed to come because he’s tired of how he feels. He’s sick of being asked what’s wrong and would tell them, if only he knew himself. Sure, he gets that exams are stressful and the kids at school can be d%*#heads sometimes, but there is more to it than that. Only it’s hard to tackle it, when you don’t yet know, what it is.

And whilst I sit with him, witness to his anguish and vulnerability, I am profoundly aware of the strength it has taken for this young person to simply turn up today. Coming to counselling is an act of bravery. To commit to a process, to change how your life feels, is seriously admirable. For some, the amount of courage that needs to be summoned to speak with a therapist can be huge. And during the tumultuous teenage years, the decision to ‘give it a go’, I believe is even more commendable.

However, it never ceases to amaze me how that risk pays off. As the therapeutic rapport grows, we gently explore that which we have ignored, suppressed or denied. In time this affords us incredible liberation as we gain a greater sense of control over how we deal with our experiences and relationships. The sense of relief at moving through depression, anxiety, loss, grief, compulsive behaviours or anger, can be life changing.

Counselling can be hard work; no doubt about it and having concerns about how that might feel is perfectly understandable. But hang in there because the discomfort is worth it.

I have enormous respect for Tom finding the courage to show up for therapy and I admire his trust in the process. Together, we work to make the experience of counselling, worth the risk he took.

(Specialising in working with children & adolescents, Megan Rees, works from her practice The Grove Counselling, located in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St Kilda East .)

If this content interests you and you would like to receive regular updates of developments at The Grove, please leave your details in the "Subscribe" box to your right.

 

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Sarah Sacks

Sarah is a qualified and experienced counsellor, meditation teacher and group facilitator. Sarah's years of body based based practices, in meditation and yoga, have led Sarah to believe in the inherent wisdom of the body. In line with this belief, Sarah has trained and qualified as a Whole Body Focusing Orientated Therapist, Transpersonal Counsellor, Holistic Counsellor, Meditation Teacher and Group Psychotherapy Facilitation. Over the last 5 years Sarah has worked in the not-for-profit sector, the community health sector and privately, as a generalist counsellor and group facilitator. Sarah has experience working with children, families and adults around issues of; isolation, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, anger, separation, addiction and general mental health. Sarah's warm and intuitive counselling style, along with her extensive life experience, enables Sarah to gently support her clients towards their own path of change. Qualifications - Bachelor of Holistic Counselling, Diploma of Transpersonal Counselling, Bachelor of Business (International Marketing & Trade), Diploma of Arts (Japanese), ACA (level 2), qualifying member for CAPAV

Growing up with my daughter...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mugley/1432690148/sizes/o/

When I was growing my first born, I thirsted for all the information I could lay my hands on to make sure I offered her the best start in life. I spent every spare dollar on books and read all of them from cover-to cover. I pored over, What to Expect When You Are Expecting, The Rhythm of Life and Positive Affirmations for Pregnancy and Birth. I hung off every word Dr Christopher Greene had to say, downed blueberries, folic acid and raspberry leaf tea like there was no tomorrow, all because the ‘experts’ said I should.

During the pre-school years I pounced on Melbourne Child warm off the press and could recite Toddler Taming by heart. I continued to seek every piece of information and advice from friends and professionals alike, as my children transitioned through all their ‘firsts’ – first sleepovers, first day of school, first menstruation - right up until I attended seminars on, Parenting an L Plater & Surviving VCE. Of course, I didn’t take heed of all the advice some of it was too difficult and some of it was just plain ridiculous! I couldn’t see the sense in reading advantage for 3 year olds and I certainly wasn’t going to disguise vegetables in desserts. I cherry picked the pieces that worked for my family, and with the guidance of all those experts, mostly we bumbled our way through. So when my 18 year old announced she was off to live in New York City to attend Acting School, (after picking myself up off the floor) I decided to turn again to the experts to guide me through parenting, but this time, an independent young adult.

There wasn’t necessarily a shortage of Empty Nest literature, but the advice was pretty universal, “Get a life!” Well that was well and good, I already had a life, a thriving private practice, friends and family to travel and socialize with and 2 gorgeous dogs (one that belonged to said daughter!) that demand my time, but what was I to do about this aching hole in my heart? I missed my daughter so badly it hurt. 

Oh dear, what had I done? I’d fostered independence and celebrated her for being true to herself and to her dreams. I’d reminded her enough times that she is responsible for her destiny and to welcome opportunity. And what did she do? She listened! Seized the day and embarked on a great life adventure. Now while others tell me how proud I must be, I envy them their Mother/Daughter time, their chats over coffee, and their weekends away.  I ponder how to stay connected to her during these years as she really transitions from girl to woman. As her Mother, I feel short-changed. I haven’t finished yet; I have plenty more to say! 

And as I lay in my bed Facetiming her at 2am, (during her lunch hour at school) I realize it is my daughter who can guide me how to navigate this new parenting frontier. I just have to allow her to. I still cry myself back to sleep sometimes after we hang up but then I sense I am no longer hanging up from my little girl but rather a capable young woman that now shares my joys and sorrows while I continue to share in hers. And as much as I treasured baking muffins together for class parties and receiving burnt toast and cold tea in bed on Mothers’ Day, there is something equally heart-warming and precious about this next chapter in our relationship. When my eldest sends me an encouraging text on the morning of an important presentation or posts a photo of a curry on Instagram with the hashtag #notasgoodasmum’s, I remind myself that times may have changed but the love between us is the same and maybe, if I am open to it, the connection woman-to-woman runs even deeper in its unexpected reciprocity. 

Reflection - "What have your children taught you?

( Specialising in working with children & adolescents, Megan Rees, works from her practice The Grove Counselling, located in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St Kilda East .)

If this content interests you and you would like to receive regular updates of developments at The Grove, please leave your details in the "Subscribe" box to your right.

1 Comment

Sarah Sacks

Sarah is a qualified and experienced counsellor, meditation teacher and group facilitator. Sarah's years of body based based practices, in meditation and yoga, have led Sarah to believe in the inherent wisdom of the body. In line with this belief, Sarah has trained and qualified as a Whole Body Focusing Orientated Therapist, Transpersonal Counsellor, Holistic Counsellor, Meditation Teacher and Group Psychotherapy Facilitation. Over the last 5 years Sarah has worked in the not-for-profit sector, the community health sector and privately, as a generalist counsellor and group facilitator. Sarah has experience working with children, families and adults around issues of; isolation, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, anger, separation, addiction and general mental health. Sarah's warm and intuitive counselling style, along with her extensive life experience, enables Sarah to gently support her clients towards their own path of change. Qualifications - Bachelor of Holistic Counselling, Diploma of Transpersonal Counselling, Bachelor of Business (International Marketing & Trade), Diploma of Arts (Japanese), ACA (level 2), qualifying member for CAPAV

The Grove has opened!

After much planning, dreaming and hard work, we are excited to announce that our new practice The Grove Counselling & Therapy, has opened.  Our first clients were welcomed into The Grove on April 22nd.  

The Grove is a collaborative counselling & therapy practice that offers an holistic approach to mental and emotional wellbeing.  We work to support individuals, couples and families through difficult times. Our practitioners include Sarah Sacks, Megan Rees and Cheryl Taylor.  

Sarah is a generalist counsellor, passionate about enabling individuals to find ease and vitality in life beyond anxiety and depression.  Inspired by the therapeutic potential of the expressive arts and play, Megan adores working with children and adolescents.  Believing in the transformative power of relationship, Cheryl is a couples counsellor and professional supervisor.  As a team we work together, supporting both our clients and each other, to be the most effective we can be.

Thank you very much to our families', our clients, and our colleagues for all of your encouragement and support.  It has been an incredible journey and we are looking forward to sharing our dream with you.

To mark this moment, keep your eyes peeled for details of our opening celebration coming later in May.

1 Comment

Sarah Sacks

Sarah is a qualified and experienced counsellor, meditation teacher and group facilitator. Sarah's years of body based based practices, in meditation and yoga, have led Sarah to believe in the inherent wisdom of the body. In line with this belief, Sarah has trained and qualified as a Whole Body Focusing Orientated Therapist, Transpersonal Counsellor, Holistic Counsellor, Meditation Teacher and Group Psychotherapy Facilitation. Over the last 5 years Sarah has worked in the not-for-profit sector, the community health sector and privately, as a generalist counsellor and group facilitator. Sarah has experience working with children, families and adults around issues of; isolation, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, anger, separation, addiction and general mental health. Sarah's warm and intuitive counselling style, along with her extensive life experience, enables Sarah to gently support her clients towards their own path of change. Qualifications - Bachelor of Holistic Counselling, Diploma of Transpersonal Counselling, Bachelor of Business (International Marketing & Trade), Diploma of Arts (Japanese), ACA (level 2), qualifying member for CAPAV