Friday, December 5, 2008

New Years New You

The New Year is a time when people reflect on the year gone by, but more importantly it is a time when many people make promises to themselves to live their lives in a more effective manner. The most common New Years Resolutions revolve around being healthier, improving financial situation and/or strengthening family, work and social relationships. Surveys indicate that the majority of people who make new years resolutions are confident that they are going to be able to keep them. However further research indicates that less than 20% of these people actually achieve their goal. The following are some tips you can use that greatly enhance your ability to accomplish whatever you set out to do.

· State your goal in behavioral terms (Instead of saying “I want to be healthier”, define what behaviors you plan to utilize to achieve this goal).
· Make sure that your goal is measurable
· Set goals that are realistic
· Focus on behaviors that you personally control.
· Make sure that the goal you set is for you, not somebody else.
· Tell others about your goals and utilize family and friends as support.
· Write your goals on a piece of paper where you can see it often.
· Monitor your progress. Reward yourself for any move in a positive direction.
Be open to trying new behaviors if some you are already using are not working.
· Focus on “progress not perfection”


Setting goals and achieving them, especially when they entail making lifestyle changes, is often frustrating. Seeking the guidance and coaching of a professional can often increase your chances of success by helping you identify and define goals more effectively and providing support and encouragement in helping you to stay on task. To discuss in more detail how you can make effective changes in your professional and personal life call the the professionals at PTC (954) 741-1099.

Just a reminder PTC posted an entry on October 22, 2008 "Coping Tools for the Holidays" ...hope you check it out. Have a great holiday season. PTC

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mortgage Info & Referral

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to give everyone a great referral. I recently went through the tough task of getting a mortgage. Luckily, I had the most honest and patient mortgage broker. I just wanted to send out a big thank you to Scott (my mortgage broker) and Kelly (my loan processor). Thank you guys for your hard work, diligence and patience. And for the readers out there... if you are in need of their services the info is below:

Ace Mortgage Loan Corp.
10181 W. Sample Rd Ste 206
Coral Springs, FL 33065
Ph: 954.777.4774
Fx: 954.777.5115


Thank you, Lisa at PTC

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Relaxation Tips

We received an email from massagetherapycareers.com blog...they wanted to share their tips on relaxation to PTC readers. So check out the link below.





http://www.massagetherapycareers.com/blog/2008/100-illustrated-relaxation-exercises-for-your-mind-body-and-soul/

Friday, November 14, 2008

Billing Info for Therapists

Hey there,
As promised we wanted to share tools, skills, and tips for therapists. I found a billing company that has real low cost and excellent customer service for insurance and regular billing. There website is http://directphysiciansbilling.com .

Lisa at PTC

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Coping Tools for the Holidays

Holiday time is traditionally perceived as a time of joy and festivity. For many however, the holidays bring about what is commonly referred to as the “Holiday Blues”. Holiday Blues can range from mild sadness and just feeling stressed to symptoms of severe anxiety and/or depression. For many, holiday time can magnify difficulties that have been present all year long but become intensified due to the pressures of trying to promote the holiday spirit. Family/relationship issues, grief and loss, financial strain, and time constraints are common sources of increased emotional distress. Unrealistic expectations and difficulties setting healthy boundaries increase the potential of feeling overwhelmed during the holiday season.

Here are some tips to help you manage the most common triggers of holiday distress:

Unrealistic Expectations:
* Don’t expect perfection of yourself or others. Driving yourself to exhaustion will not create a happy holiday for you or your loved ones.
* Simplify family traditions that may be too much work or that are not conducive to an already hectic lifestyle.
* Prioritize invitations and do not feel compelled to attend every holiday event.

Family Issues:
* Set differences aside
* Accept family members and friends as they are, not who you wish them to be.
* Avoid using holiday gatherings as a time to resolve old and recent grievances.
* Be supportive of others who may be feeling negatively. Remember they may be experiencing the same holiday stress that you are.

Financial Strain:
* Before you go shopping, decide how much you can afford to spend on gifts or other holiday expenses.
* Stick to your budget.
* Remember that you can not truly buy happiness, love or acceptance.
* Explore ways to express holiday cheer that do not cost lots of money.
* Find ways to share expenses with others especially in regards to gift giving and event planning.

The most important thing to remember during this time of year is to be true and good to yourself. This means setting boundaries with others and making time to care for yourself. Focus on making this holiday season as joyful as possible. If you don’t feel merry for whatever reason, share your feelings with loved ones and let them know what you need from them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Clinical Supervision for MSW's and Mental Health Counselors

PTC gets several emails a month re: psychotherapists and interns that want us to post tools and skills. Therefore we have decided to add posts that will provide tools and skills for psychotherapists and interns. If you are an intern in South Florida, PTC provides Qualified Clinical Supervision for MSW and Mental Health Counselor interns in Florida. We have added some links on the Resource section (see right side of blog) and toward the bottom of the blog there is now a section devoted to Resources for psychotherapists and interns.

Lisa Friedman, LCSW has been a clinical supervisor since 1999. Lisa is also a Qualified Clinical Supervisor in the State of Florida. She has experience working with issues such as, wellness, mental health, psychiatric disorders, dual diagnosis, homeless, HIV/AIDS, trauma, and eating disorders. The populations she has served include children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. She utilizes a consultation and toolbox (ecletic) approach to clinical supervision. Lisa typically sees masters level social workers and mental health interns individually or in small groups. Lisa provides exam preparation and coaching to assist MSW's in taking the ASWB clinical social work exam.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Parenting Tools: Expectations

All parents have expectations of their children. Setting and communicating these expectations in a healthy manner goes a long way in helping children achieve their maximum potential.

There are two primary types of expectations that can be established for kids. The first type is behavioral. Behavioral expectations demonstrate character traits that parents would like to see in their children. These may include things like manners, ambition, perseverance, respect, and the ability to take responsibility.

The second type of expectations is achievements. Achievements are based on your child accomplishing specific objectives such as developing friendships, earning certain grades, or making a team.

It is important that that the expectations you set are realistic. Expectations that are set too high or do not match your child’s personality, strengths, age, or interests can lead to all kinds of negative stress for you and your child.

Here are some helpful tips you can utilize establish healthy expectations:
· Talk to your child often so you can understand his/her strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
· Make sure that you communicate your expectations clearly and specifically.
· Ensure that your child has the resources, education, and support needed to reach set standards.
· Make sure your child knows how they, not you, benefit from meeting certain expectations and goals.
· Emphasize unmet expectations as opportunities for learning and growth as opposed to being examples of personal failure.
· Remember that your actions speak louder than words.
· Avoid using “do as I say, not as I do” as a primary parenting philosophy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Self Esteem Tool

Self Esteem Box

Clients and the therapists I supervise always ask me for tips, tools and skills to build self esteem.

The building blocks of self esteem are developed while receiving praise and accolades for successes, as well as pride for self, all throughout child development. If anything got in the way of that developmental task…a person’s self esteem is possibly less full as one would like.

One of the tools that I use is a “Success Box”. This tool is for kids, teens, and adults.

As each individual creates and fills up their “success box” they have a tangible way to access their success…and this will assist someone in building upon each success... thus building a strong sense of self esteem.

Here’s how you create or help someone create a “Success box”:

Use a shoebox or a box that is the same size and decorate the box according to your personality. (My box may have suns, starts, greens, blues and purples, pictures of animals, and perhaps a collage of beach scenes). Everyone’s box is different.

As you begin the creation process, this is your “Success Box”. Start to fill the box up with letters/cards you have received praising you from others, note cards with your daily, weekly and yearly successes (any successes), awards, and your own note cards including positive thoughts about yourself.

Parents helping their kids with a “Success Box”: use fun note cards and write your child successes daily and/or as each success occurs and give it to your child to place in their box. Include praise from teachers, other parents, siblings and adults in your child’s life.

Now the box exists for when you having a low moment: Just open the box and review the contents when you need them. We build our self esteem all throughout our life…so you can continue adding to your box and reviewing the contents whenever necessary.

Have Fun!

Lisa

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tips to Improve Self Esteem

Tips for improving self-esteem:

1.Use visualization to achieve your dreams and increase your self- esteem!

2. Develop and work at achieving your goals. If you do this, your confidence will increase and you will feel positive.

3. Be aware of and make a conscience effort to change negative/self sabotaging self-talk.

4. Identify and embrace your feelings; even those you do not like.

5. Be aware of how you compare yourself to others.

6. Clarify your values and make decisions that are in alignment with these values.

7. Identify your strengths. Focus on your strengths.

8. Make a point to learn something new everyday.

9. Make an effort to start your day on a positive note.

10. Make a list of accomplishments.

11. Learn to reframe perceived failures and don’t be afraid to “fail” in the future.

12. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and generally take good care of yourself.

13. Cultivate a social life and associate with people who help promote your overall well-being.

14. Utilize positive affirmations and/or meditations on a daily basis.

15. Congratulate yourself as often as possible.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Job Satisfaction

Be Positive-Be Productive

Job satisfaction is a major component of emotional well-being. Increased job satisfaction also promotes greater productivity. The key to experiencing greater job satisfaction is gaining control over how you approach your job.

Every job has challenges. Tips/tools for promoting a more positive work experience include:

1. When faced with a situation at work that you do not like, think about possible solutions as opposed to dwelling on perceived problem.

2. Maintain perspective and check your focus. Nobody likes every person or task. Concentrate on aspects of the job you like and the task(s) you are charged with completing.

3. Remember that everybody is going to have good days and bad days. They tend to equal themselves out.

4. Look for ways to improve your skills to promote continued professional growth. Stagnation breeds discontentment.

5. Look for ways to break up monotony (i.e.: Become crossed trained or volunteer for different tasks).

6. Avoid negative “self-talk”. The more you tell yourself that you do not like your job the more likely you are to validate your beliefs.

7. Another key aspect of experiencing job satisfaction is to clarify what motivates or inspires you. People tend to approach their work from three primary perspectives; job, career, and/or calling.

Job oriented people view their work primarily as a source of income. They work to finance other aspects of their lives or to accumulate wealth.

Career oriented people tend to focus on advancement. They look for ways to climb the corporate ladder or obtain the next highest title.

Some individuals view what they do as their calling. These people truly identify with and to a greater extent, enjoy what they do at work.
We are all motivated at some level by each of these three perspectives. But knowing which holds the most weight for you will help you focus your energies in a more fulfilling and productive direction.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Professional Toolbox Store

PTC is so excited to be able to offer you relaxation music produced by Dr. Harry Henshaw...
Perfect for Relaxation, Hypnosis, Self Hypnosis, Sleep & Stress Relief.


You can enhance your relaxation, sleep, and overall wellbeing with this collection of music that is composed with binaural tones and relaxing natural sounds.

Lisa Friedman, LCSW (PTC) utilizes this same music as the background in hypnotherapy sessions at the office and wellness workshops.

Visit our website to purchase these music downloads at www.professionaltoolbox.org

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Some People

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile.
They leave footprints on our hearts.
And we are never, ever the same."

copywrited by Flavia Weedn

Monday, March 17, 2008

How to Create Change

If you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution and abandoned it a few weeks later, you know how reluctant human beings are to change. Our habits are something we can count on and they give us a routine, a sense of predictability. Attempting to break a bad habit or acquire a new one –even if it’s for the better – can make us feel very uncomfortable and lead us back to the familiar. Let’s see what we can do to help make positive changes lasting changes.

1. Be realistic. Break your goals into small, manageable steps.

2. Be persistent. Think long range about the time it will take to replace your new lifestyle with the one you’ve had for the past ten years. It’s going to take more than a few weeks and more than one effort or approach.

3. Be specific. Saying “I want to take better care of myself” is too vague to know what you’re going to do or how you’re going to do it. But by saying “I will take 20 minutes each day to walk or do yoga”, you’ll be able to gauge if you’re making progress.

4. Be forgiving. Know that in any change process, setbacks are bound to occur. If you break your diet or have a cigarette; this is not a failure. Progress is picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and continuing your efforts.

5. Be proud. You don’t have to meet your total goal to celebrate. Incremental accomplishments will lead to your ultimate success – so go ahead and tell a friend, post your progress chart on the wall, or give your self a reward.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Review

Hi there,
If you are new to visiting Professional Toolbox Consultants' blog....or you are a regular guest you may want to review our blog from the beginning.

We have tools and skills for a variety of topics such as: communication, relaxation, motivation to fitness, self esteem, love & money, parenting, and more. Just check out the Blog Archive section and click on 2007. Let us know what you think...your comments help us create this blog. Thank you for visiting our blog. PTC

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sharpening the Saw

This is a powerful metaphor, found in Stephen R Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
"What are you doing?" you ask.
"Can't you see?" comes the impatient reply. "I'm sawing down this tree."
"You look exhausted!" you exclaim. "How long have you been at it?"
"Over five hours," he returns, "and I'm beat! This is hard work."
"Well why don't you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?" you inquire. "I'm sure it would go a lot faster."
"I don't have time to sharpen the saw," the man says emphatically. "I'm too busy sawing!"


Sharpening the saw is about renewing yourself - physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally

Letting Go of Perfection

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect, and beginning the work of becoming yourself." - Anna Quindlen

Thank you to Jaime for blogging and sharing this quote. I hope that the recent quotes on our site are helpful and full of hope.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Motivation

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happiness

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Gandhi