• What is Play Therapy?
    Written by Kaitlin Cross, M.S., LPC It’s National Play Therapy Week, so I am taking this opportunity to share with you how play therapy works and the benefits it can have on a child’s mental and emotional health. What is Play Therapy? The Association for Play Therapy (APT) defines play therapy as “the systematic use […]
  • 25 Ideas for Family Fun during the Holiday Season
    The holidays are a special time to reflect on the good things, celebrate annual traditions, and connect with friends and families. When the kids get out of school, it can sometimes bring stress in discovering things to keep them occupied during the winter break. These kid-friendly indoor and outdoor activities will help your family bond […]
  • Two brains are better than one
    Written by Teana Elmer I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before, and I think it applies perfectly to the fields of psychiatry and psychology. When a psychiatrist and psychologist work collaboratively by sharing information about their patient, a greater picture is presented, for both clinicians,  to make a more informed assessment and treatment approach. The […]
    Written by: Amy Bryant I will never forget the first time I went to therapy. I was going through a divorce and desperately trying to save my marriage. I cannot remember why or how we ended up with the therapist that we did but I did not do any research beforehand. I simply followed blindly […]
  • Back to School Basics: Setting the Stage for a Great Schoolyear
    It seems like every year the summer season gets shorter and shorter, and before you know it autumn hits (or what passes for autumn in Texas). For many adults this shift doesn’t significantly affect their day-to-day routine. However, for children this change is often huge. Gone are days filled with camps and vacations (or if […]
  • Parent Self-Care 101: Trust me, your kids will thank you
    Written by: Kate Hill Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart: it requires a high demand on time, energy, and attention in caring for the kids and the family. Unfortunately, this usually means that parents’ own needs will take a backseat and are quite often neglected. When parents stop caring for themselves, stress can cause […]
  • Summer is Here: Let’s Get Rid of Screen Time
    Written by: Carol Vieth (Master Level Practicum Student) If you are a parent, you probably heard from your child’s pediatrician early on, to limit your child’s screen time.  This was a recommendation because of the negative effects that can occur from too much time in front of the screen.  There is an abundance of research […]
  • 14 Summer Activities to Strengthen Family Relationships
    IDEAS THAT ARE BUDGET FRIENDLY AND BRING YOU TOGETHER AS A FAMILY Summer is coming up soon, it’s easy to think about all the sun, fun, and the relaxing benefits of summer vacation. While vacations can create lasting memories of fun, laughter, and enjoyment, not all families have the money (or time!) to travel. Additionally, […]
  • Are we there yet?
    Written by: Erin McCall, M.S., LPC-Associate To say “it’s been a year” is an understatement. Just a year ago, webraced ourselves for what we thought was a temporary adjustment.Little did we know, it was more than temporary and lately it’s been away of life. We have become so normalized with safety precautionsand social distancing one […]
  • Emotional First Aid in the Pandemic: 4 Ways We Need It
    Written by: Bailey McAdams, M.Ed., LPC With the unwelcomed anniversary of the start of COVID-19 upon us, I am reminded of the great losses we have experienced.  As of this writing, COVID-19 has killed at least 549,000 in the US, disrupted everyone’s lives, battered the economy, caused tremendous political division, and has impacted emotional and […]
  • Therapeutic Role-Playing Game: Group Benefits
    Written by: Jennie Fincher, Ph.D. You might be asking yourself, “How can playing a game, like Dungeons & Dragons, be helpful?” As someone who had never played D&D, when I first heard about it as a therapeutic tool, I only had the name to make assumptions of what it was…I guess there will be something […]
  • Therapeutic Benefits of Role-Playing Games
    By: Matt Nolan Role-Playing Games are a popular form of games that people throughout the world play. Role-Playing Games or RPGs come in many forms in both video game, board game, and table-top formats. Examples of RPGs are Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, or World of Warcraft. This type of game provides opportunities for players to […]
  • Dear Santa…Should my Children Believe in You?
    By Ashley Geerts-Perry, M.S. The day after Thanksgiving at my house means the tree is going up, lights are getting hung, and Hallmark Christmas movies won’t leave the TV until December 26th (okay, you got me… Hallmark was on long before Thanksgiving). For most children, the Christmas season means one thing…SANTA! While standing in line […]
  • ‘Tis the Season to Stay Connected
    “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”― William James As soon as October ends it seems the whole world goes into overdrive preparing for the upcoming holiday season. Christmas lights go up, stores start advertising their Black Friday deals, and people start preparing for the next two […]
  • Creating Healthy Boundaries
    By: Erin McCall, M.S., LPC-Associate (Supervised by Jennie Fincher, Ph.D., LPC-S) “If you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you.” —Cheryl Richardson When people talk about boundaries, they usually think about […]
  • 10 Ways to Boost Self-Esteem for Teens
    Written By: Kaitlin Cross, MS, LPC Adolescence can be a challenging time for many teens as they figure out who they are and who they want to be. For many, this journey is filled with self-doubt, insecurity, and challenges as they search for their place in the world. Though teens may not say this directly […]
  • Four Ways That Creating a Family Safety Plan Will Improve Your Mental Health
    Author: Bailey McAdams, M.Ed, LPCLength: Six minute read Imagine yourself lying peacefully asleep in your bed in the dead of night and then being bolted awake by the piercing, deafening shriek of your smoke detector sounding.One second passes.Two seconds.Three seconds.Four.Five.You sit up in your bed, your groggy brain reeling, trying to make sense of what’s […]
  • Five Feature Film Fathers and What They Can Teach Us About Parenting
    As a child of the 90’s, I grew up with some of the best dads that sitcoms and movies had to offer (Full House had FOUR father figures!). In fact, it was often the father figures who served as single parents to children across popular media at the time. (Fun fact: some of Disney’s most […]
  • Break the Stigma
    Have you ever heard someone say something like, “only weak people go to counseling,” or “you aren’t a real man if you go to counseling,” or “first responders should be tough and going to counseling means they shouldn’t be doing their job,” or maybe even “only crazy people go to counseling”? Are any of these […]
  • Talking to Your Kids About COVID-19
    With all the changes over the past couple of weeks and feelings of uncertainty related to COVID-19, we here at North Texas Counseling Associates thought it would be helpful to provide some resources to help stay connected, talk to your children about COVID-19, and tips to manage stress and anxiety. Tips for Staying Social: Although […]
  • Runaway Brain: Making Sense of My Emotions
    By: Dr. Jennie Fincher, PH.D., LPC-S The brain is an amazing and complicated organ. We absolutely need it live and more importantly, we need it to function well to live well. There are three main types of emotion regulation systems: threat system, drive system, and soothing system. All mental health problems are related to an […]
  • Parent’s Navigation Guide to Healthy Teen Relationships
    By: Bailey McAdams, M.Ed., LPC As we approach Valentine’s Day, we generally think of our loved ones and begin our annual stress fest of what to buy them to “show our love.”  We often neglect to think of the health and well-being of the relationships themselves.  As a therapist that works with all ages, I […]
  • A New Look at Resolutions
    By: Daniel Mark, M.S Habit is habit, and not to be flung out the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. – Mark Twain Many people chose to make New Year’s resolutions, such as lose weight, eat better, quit smoking, watch less TV, exercise more, be kinder, save money, etc. […]
  • The Power of Gratitude
    By: Kaitlin Cross, MA, LPC-Intern The Power of Gratitude With the holidays quickly approaching, I am reminded of the importance of gratitude. Research shows the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. Robert Emmons, psychologist and author of Thanks!: How the Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, states several advantages to practicing gratitude including: Gratitude […]
  • School Stress SOS
    By: Bailey McAdams, M.ED., LPC Signs, Symptoms, and Strategies As this school year kicked off, I am reminded that never before in the 15 years I have been a counselor, have I seen so many stressed out kids.  I am currently seeing more and more children and adolescents with symptoms of anxiety and depression related […]
  • Therapy with Dragons: How Roleplaying Games Can Help with Social Skills, Problem-Solving, and Stress Management
    by Alana H. Fondren, M.A. “You wake up in a forest clearing. You have no memory of how you got there. As you sit up and look around, you see three other individuals who also seem just as clueless and dazed as you. You reach down to your belt, but you realize your sword is […]
  • How to be “Unbullyable”
    As a parent and a counselor for children, one of my biggest fears as my oldest entered kindergarten this year was that she would encounter the dreaded “bully”.  Growing up, we have all experienced that child, but somehow, it’s different when it’s your child preparing to enter a world that you have very little power […]
  • My teen must be faking, right?
    As parents, we try to ensure we do what is best for our children. As they grow we try to lead them, teach them, and mold them into young people that can think for themselves and make good decisions so that when the time comes for them to go out on their own, they have […]
  • My Give a Darn is Busted
    I am burned out, I don’t know what is going on but I’m frustrated and angry when people ask me for help. I just want to be left alone. These are just a few of the things that one may be experiencing when they have compassion fatigue. Who gets compassion fatigue? I mean, it doesn’t […]
  • Stop for a second – it’s OKAY.
    Recently, my precious 2 ½ year old gave me a real test of patience.  I’m not entirely sure that I would say I passed that test with flying colors.  Allow me to explain… On this particularly beautiful day, my sweet child decided that going through the front door of the house was far preferable than […]
  • We all experience it, but did you know that it may be affecting your health?
    STRESS! We all experience it, but did you know that stress may be affecting your health? Stress symptoms can affect your body, as well as your thoughts and feelings. If left unchecked, stress can lead to many health problems, like high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. Effects of stress on mood: Anxiety Restlessness Problems with […]
  • What You REALLY Need: Toys that Promote Emotional Health in Children
    I’ve had many people look at me sideways when I tell them I’m a “play therapist.” And I get it.  Conceptually, play therapy seems odd at first.  Like, the two words on their own make sense just fine (Play? Okay. Therapy? Sure, no problem), but for whatever reason, when you put the two together, it […]
  • Please Place the Oxygen Mask on Yourself First
    You hear it every time you fly somewhere.  If the cabin loses pressure, place the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then assist those around you.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  If you pass out, how can you help anyone else?  Are you even a little surprised to be reminded that the same is true […]
  • PTSD: More Common Than You Might Think
    When people hear PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) many immediately think of soldiers and veterans, but PTSD can affect ANYONE from child to adult! What is PTSD? It’s a disorder that develops in some people after they have experienced or witnessed a traumatic, scary, or dangerous event. These events could include but are not limited to […]
  • Six Habits of Effective Therapy Clients
    I recently watched a video presentation by Andrew Price, on the seven habits of highly effective artists. I like learning about people’s creative processes and this video did not disappoint. The speaker set out to learn a new artistic style and made a bet with his cousin that he could get a 1000 people to […]

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