Stop by my new website and say Hi!

Hi Readers,

My new website is under construction.  Please stop by and tell me what you think.  Go here to see the new Strong Solutions Website!

Feel free to email me any feedback or suggestions!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my NEW web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  Bill Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

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Simple doesn’t mean “Easy”…

Hi All,

Bill Strong Denver Therapist here.  I hope all of my readers had a great Easter weekend.  For me it’s a time to celebrate life and the healthy growth available to us all.

I had an interesting interaction last weekend with someone I hadn’t seen in a few years.  Because I’ve lost about 40 pounds since this person last saw me, he was a bit surprised by how I looked.  I found his reaction to my weight loss interesting for several reasons and a reminder that having a “Solution Focus” isn’t always easy.

It’s pretty common for a person who hasn’t seen me in a while to ask “how did you loose the weight?”  Other than going into just what program I followed, my response is generally something like: “I think weight loss is a pretty simple process.  You have to move more and eat smarter”.  This may sound a bit flippant, but it’s true.  To loose weight we have to create a “caloric deficit”.  If you don’t do that, the weight isn’t going anywhere.  It’s simple physiology.  To do it right you want to eat well and healthy, and move more in ways that increase your metabolism.

The person I’m referring by saying “Wait a second, for some of us losing weight isn’t easy!”  To that I pointed out that I never said it was easy, it’s just not complicated.  We then had an interesting conversation.

Whatever program you use, if it’s reasonable and you stick with it…it will work.  Most of the programs now involve the grazing method, where we eat more meals but with smaller portions.  This is what I did.  Notice how I said “eat smarter” not “eat less”.  These types of programs point out the if we put our body in starvation mode, our metabolism slows down and our body holds on to fat.  That doesn’t work for long term weight loss.

During our civil discussion another person pointed out that it’s “easier” for men to loose weight then men.  Although this is true in many cases, I did respond that it sure didn’t seem easy when I was going to the gym 5-6 times a week at 6:00 in the morning while changing my eating habit.  It wasn’t easy at all and keeping it off takes effort as well.

I think that if we are focused on something being “easier” for others or “easy” in general, maybe we aren’t ready to commit to a significant change.  It takes hard word and dedication.  I believe in the research that says that indeed it is easier for men to change their body composition as we can build muscle mass (thereby changing our metabolism: go here to read more on metabolism) more quickly than women can.  But again, it sure isn’t easy.

So…are you ready to change your body composition and lose weight?  If so, find a program that you believe in and stick with it.  Quit screwing around an follow it to the letter.  Don’t do what I did 3 years ago and “kind of” follow the program, because that only kind of works!

Change your eating habits, never let yourself get hungry and work out.  It took me 7 weeks of this to really see some changes…but once I did things really took off.  Look for a long range plan that you can continue after meeting your goal.  Do not look for quick fixes…those never last.

I’ll be writing more on this shortly, until then let’s get healthy!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my NEW web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  Bill Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

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Have you read “The Five Love Languages”?

Hi  All,

Bill Strong Denver Therapist here (Please go here to read about using background checks to keep you and your loved ones safe).

Many of my clients and readers are aware, or have read, The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.  I have found this book very helpful in my work with couples.  This book, along with “Getting The Love That You Want” by Harville Hendrix are what I suggest to most of the couples I work with.

Go here for a helpful self-assessment where you can take a quiz to find our your love language!

When I first read the book I thought of my dating experience with my wonderful wife.  As the book suggests, we often have a different love language from that of our partner.   Like many guys, one of my love languages is “Act of Service”…and of course, Acts of Service do not do a lot for my wife.  She appreciates the things that I do but that’s just not her love language. I remember the time during our dating that I changed the oil in her car, thinking I was being super-boyfriend.  I was expecting her to be gushing with appreciation (or that I’d at least get a kiss).  When I was finished, instead she seemed annoyed.  I asked her something like “hey, I just did this great thing for you, how come you’re not all happy with me?”  To that she responded, “Well, thanks but I don’t like it.  It’s dirty and I’m not sure you did it right!”.  Whoa!  Loving act turns south real quick.  I may not be a mechanic, but I know how to change the oil in a car.

I believe Chapman’s book goes a long way in explaining why we as couples struggle with loving exchanges so often.  Oil changes, scraping the ice of my wife car, bringing her coffee are all nice, they just don’t equate into loving acts for her.  She likes “Gifts of Love” (not diamonds, though she wouldn’t turn them down…cards, flowers, silly gifts I pick up) and Quality Time (walks in the park ect).   And of course I’m the kind of guy who barely remembers cards on a birthday!

So what’s the answer.  Should she just “feel loved” with how I do things?  As we all know, the answer is NO!  I need to make effort to modify my loving acts in a way that create loving feelings for her.  In other words, if I want her to feel loved, I need to do the things that feeling loving to her. I believe it was Scott Peck in his amazingly rich book “A Road Less Traveled” who pointed out that love is when we do things for another that we wouldn’t normally do!

So, now I buy 5 cards at a time and give them to her periodically.  I schedule walks in the park or other activities that aren’t too busy and feel like quality time to her.  I’m not the best husband in the world, but I want her to feel loved and know that if I do what comes naturally to me, I’m not speaking the right language.

Pick up the book and give it a try.  I think you and your partner will be glad you did!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  Bill Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

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A New Year Plus One Month!

Hi All!

William Strong Denver Therapist here!

We are one month into the New Year, so I’m checking in with my clients and readers about how things are going so far.

If you decided that 2012 was a “Year for Change”, just what would that change be?  Some people come up with a New Year’s resolution, only to have the energy behind it dissipate as the year progresses.  I recently read that only 5% of such resolutions actually create significant shifts in the person’s life.   I hate to admit it, but when I read that I thought, “Wow, 5% is more than I would have guessed”.  Most of us know that a New Year’s resolution rarely holds.  That’s because change is difficult.  Very difficult.

If you avoid thinking about what changes would be healthy for you to focus on, perhaps now is the time to begin.  Bring those thoughts out into the light!  If you’d like professional help in doing so, you may want to read my suggestions on finding a therapist: Bill Strong Denver On Finding A Therapist.

Let’s look at 2012 as a year of change.  Just what areas in your life would you benefit by focusing on?

  • Relationships:  I believe that life is about relationships.  Sure achievement and successes are important, but does any of it matter if we don’t have fulfilling relationships in our life?
  • Spiritual:  When I ask my client’s if they are “spiritual” I’m asking if they believe their life has meaning.  The “meaning” we place on our life should guide us throughout.
  • Financial:  The reality and how we feel about our financial stability and security have a huge impact on our quality of life.
  • Physical Health:  It’s hard to have a high quality of life when we are unhealthy.
  • Career and Achievements:  Much of our self-concept comes from how we are “doing” in our professional life.  Are we excited and motivated or bored and unchallenged?  (go here to read about work dissatisfaction)
  • Activities and Interests: How we spend our free time determines much of how we feel about life.  Active with interests usually means healthy and happy.

Let’s all look at the above list.  How are each of us doing in the areas above?  What changes would be of benefit?  The relationship you have with your children, and your primary relationship with your spouse (assuming those exist) are going to go a long way in defining your life.  Let’s also know the importance of your friendships, and work relationships.   It’s human nature to avoid looking at the parts of our life that needs attention.  There are a million ways to create distractions away from changes that are necessary.

Make your list.  Perhaps I’m missing an important categorize.  Whatever the change is, I can almost guarantee that the process will be difficult.  Get help when you need it.  Tell those close to you what your working on.

Get clear on what you’re going to change (not “try” to change) and start today.  It’s worth it.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  Bill Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

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Theraputic Ideas for the New Year!

Hi All!

William Strong Denver Counseling here!

Wow, it’s been since Thanksgiving since I’ve written on this blog.  What a busy holiday season.

William Strong Denver Therapist here!  I hope all of my clients and readers have had a bright start to 2012!

Things have calmed down from the holidays, so I’ll be writing more on this blog soon.  For now I’d like to suggest a Solution Focused book: The Miracle Question: Answer It and Change Your Life by Linda Metcalf

I think you’ll find it a great book in how to apply the “Miracle Question” in a helpful way.  To read more of my thought on the Miracle Question, please go here.

If you’d like to start looking at solutions instead of focusing on problems, that book is a good start.

I’ll be back soon!

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

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Thanksgiving is almost here…how do you want it to go this year?

Hi All,

Thanksgiving is upon us.  Please go here to read about the importance of being grateful:  Bill Strong Denver Therapist on Thanksgiving.

Ask any therapist who specializes in Family Therapy or assists adults in their relationships, and you’ll find that they are very busy over the winter holidays!  As you might guess…family drama is pretty common from Thanksgiving through New Years Day.

I’ll be posting about this during the holidays.  I want to start with this question:  What are your goals for this ThanksgivingHow do you want it to differ from last yearAnd what family rituals do you want to continue, or begin, this year.  To read more about healthy family rituals, please go here:  Bill Strong Denver Counselor on Family Rituals.

So the first question:  What are your goals for this Thanksgiving?

I always tell people that I like “simple” holidays.  I come from a family that seemed to make holidays so complicated…from the menu to everything else, each holiday was strained with complexity.  It seemed like holidays were pressured filled and needed to “fit” everyone’s agenda in.  So…I say keep it simple.  I want families to “Simply Have Fun Together”  Sound good?  We cam achieve that by planning a menu that isn’t too much.  Let’s plan some games and activities that are fun and create shared experiences.  And let’s stay away from patterns that have proven to not work…whatever those may be.

The most common example of a holiday pattern that usually doesn’t help is heavy drinking.  I’ll write about this more in the coming days.  Sticking with the topic of what your goals are for Thanksgiving…I will ask where drinking comes into play for this upcoming holiday?  Wine with dinner is much different than an open bar all day where heavy drinking is a result.  Would it make sense to approach alcohol use differently this Thanksgiving?

Who do you want this Thanksgiving to differ from last year?

The above question of how alcohol will be used this Thanksgiving is a good start.  What else?  Are there any changes you’d like to plan for?  Simple changes like the time dinner starts, who is invited and what activities take place, and what is on the menu will guide this Thanksgiving in a different direction.  Let’s plan for it.  Do any changes come to mind?

What family rituals would you like to continue or begin this Thanksgiving?

I have fond childhood memories of the family football games that we would play in City Park every year.  That’s a ritual we have been doing in my family for the last few years and it’s always fun.  What about you?  Anything from your childhood that you’d like to carry on in your own family tradition? I also started a “pop-over contest” in my family…where those who want to participate get to show their pop0over prowess (it’s more difficult than you think!).  The best pop-over wins.  It’s a fun thing to do…unless your popover turns out to be a flop!  Go here for a great popover recipe:  Bill Strong Denver Thanksgiving suggestions. You can tell I’m getting excited about this year!

 

So…I’m hoping that this post helps create a Simple and Fun Thanksgiving that your and your loved ones can share Together!

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

 

 

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Part of being “Solution Focused” is knowing what you’re trying to solve…

I am asking my clients and readers to become very specific about just what change, or pattern shift, they’d like to make to improve their life or relationships.

In being “Solution Focused” we need to know what we are trying to solve.  Figuring this out can be more difficult than it sounds.  To read more on being “Solution Focused” please go here:  William Strong Denver Therapist on Solution Focused Therapy.

Just what change would be productive for you to “Focus” on?  What is one of the missing pieces to the puzzle?  Maybe it’s a work change, communication changes with your partner, becoming more active, or decreasing certain unhealthy behaviors.  Sometimes it’s a deeper pattern that’s difficult to identify, like self-defeating thoughts or compulsive behaviors. It sometimes takes the help of a professional to figure out just what changes will get the helpful results.

Whatever it is, I can assure you that you have the power to change your life.  Doing so typically isn’t easy, and it may take some assistance from loved ones or others.  One thing for sure, it’s important for all of us to know exactly what it is we are working on (or trying to change) before we are going to see the result that count.  A pet peeve of mine is when someone comes into my office and says something like “I saw this therapist for 6 months”…I say “Great, what were you working on”…they say, “Hmmmm, I’m not sure”.

What do you bet that the “therapy” was a circular process that focused on the “problem” and not the solution?

So, do you need to quit smoking?  Loose weight?  Perhaps it’s handling conflict better (either by remaining calm or by not withdrawing during difficult interactions).  Let’s quit screwing around and really start changing then things we know would help!

So, here is your challenge.  Come up with one thing that you KNOW will improve your life.  Write it down and work on identifying specific actions that will meet that goal.  If asking for help from loved ones or a professional is necessary, don’t hesitate.  We all have things we can improve on.

Let’s all get started!

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

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I’m putting pressure on my clients and readers…make sure you’ve had your yearly physical.

Have you had your yearly physical?  Do you have a Primary Care Physician?  If not, please take some action on this.  Treat your self like a “Loved One”!!!

Several weeks ago I posted the suggestion to make sure you’re up to date on your medical care.   To read that post, please go here:  Bill Strong LCSW Denver Counselor on Health.

The above post was primarily focused on making sure that your doctor is involved in any treatment of mood problems.  As the year is coming to a close I want to ask that we all be vigilant in our health!

So…I’m putting the pressure on!  Please contact your doctor (or find a doctor if you don’t have one) and end the year by taking care of your self.  Heck, get into the dentist too!

Treat yourself like a “Loved One”.  It’s important.

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

 

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A Simple Reminder About Family Get Togethers!

Hello…now that Labor Day weekend is behind us, and temperatures are starting to cool, we know that the holidays aren’t far off.  In the upcoming months, I’ll be posting several suggestions about how we can all enjoy this years winter holidays as much as possible.

I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend.  It’s always nice to end the summer with friends and family.  In doing so, this year I was reminded of something that most of us learned as kids.

My father always said, “Never discuss Politics or Religion”.  Now, I come from a family that likes to debate.   We’d sit around the table and discuss matters of consequence and controversy.  I was raised to think for myself and express my opinions.  So we could discuss something as heated as the Death Penalty, with many opinions expressed and in the end, no hurt feelings.

My father’s rule applied to social events and I think it’s worth remembering.  Discussing controversial topics among close family/friends is one thing (assuming each individual can do so respectfully)…doing so in a bigger social situation is another.  I was at an event on Monday were a few individual seems to insist on bringing up controversial topics whenever they had a chance.  The group was big enough that I started to wonder if this was an appropriate place for such discussions.  I noticed several individual walk away from the group as these two started another topic, and came to believe that they were making the group as a whole uncomfortable.   I found the behavior that these two were engaged in to be highly provocative and disrespectful to the group, and to the hosts.

I’d like to remind my clients and readers about my father’s advice.   Let’s respect differences by being careful and caring.  Let’s have boundaries that are healthy and respectful.  To read more about boundaries, please go here:  William Strong LCSW Denver Therapist on Boundaries.

I think with some planning and effort, our group events can be fun for us all.  That’s what it’s all about anyway, right?

William Strong

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

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More on Situational Depression…Do you have gum stuck on the bottom of your shoe?

Carrying around something from the past that you “can’t let go of” can really make life more difficult!!!

I call it having gum stuck to your shoe.  Carrying around a past disappointment, betrayal, violation or hurtful family occurrence can have a very negative effect on your quality of life.  It can add to a pattern of situation depression that is very difficult to overcome.

I once knew a therapist who would have his client carry a phone book or heavy rock “everywhere” once it became apparent that the person was carrying around a past wound or unresolved issue.  The client was instructed to take the phone book or rock everywhere with no excuses, even to bed.  Inevitably the client would get sick of carrying such a burden and would subsequently set it down.

Are you carrying around something that’s weighing you down and negatively impacting your quality of life?  If so, are you struggling with some mood problems or depression?  If so, can you imagine the freedom you’ll feel from letting it go?

Please take the time to examine your life and how you “tell your story”.  Do you include information about a past wound or family pattern that indicates you’re carrying something that holds you down?  I once had a friend who said he’d “never get over” the fact that he wasn’t invited to his brother’s wedding.  Is there something you say you’ll never get over???  If so, I’ll bet you’re correct.  And never getting over something in the past severly limits certain aspect of life.  In fact, it’s downright depressing.

A profession therapist can help you let go of past wounds.  Contact one in your area if you think you might be burdened with something that would best be put in the past.  You’ll be glad you did!

William Strong

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 


 

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