Nurturing Relationships

Healthy relationships are essential to our happiness and emotional health. They also have a positive effect on our physical health.  Research shows that people who have satisfying relationships have been shown to be happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.  For these reasons, it is important to take care of and nurture the relationships we have in life.  Because life is so busy with work, school, appointments, etc (and depending on what life stage you are in, it can be even more challenging) there is rarely enough time left over to “nurture” our relationships.  Of course, there is the “I love you” as you run out the door, the quick kiss hello as you return, but for relationships to sustain time, they need more intentional love and care.

Little ways to nurture relationships with our significant other:
  • Leaving a little note/card that simply says “I love you” that let’s your partner know  you are thinking of him/her
  • Taking a few brief moments to actually look in your partners eyes when they walk in the door and greet them with warmth.
  • Giving them a hug or kiss just because
  • Spending a few minutes snuggling before you fall asleep
  • Cooking your partner’s favorite meal.
  • It’s designating one night a week, “your night”, whether you have a babysitter or not, to eat dinner together (alone), sit on the couch and talk, or  work   on a project  together; to connect and interact on a deeper level than thepracticalities of life and parenting.
Little ways to nurture relationships with children:
  • Putting a little I love you note in their lunch box
  • Spending at least 15 minutes to just listen to them about their day.
  • Hugs and kisses
  • Reading a bedtime story
  •  Designating time to have a special date with each child individually at least once a month
  • Baking cookies together
So, as Valentine’s Day approaches it is important to remember that showing love and appreciation for the special people in your life is a gift that can be given every day and not just on the one day a year that represents “love”.

Crossroads Family Counseling Center, LLC wants to wish you a very Happy Valentines Day!

Written by Denise Booth who is a Virginia Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 10 years experience working with children and families. She has experience providing individual, family and group therapy to court-involved adolescents and families. She specializes in providing therapy to adolescents dealing with trauma and PTSD, behavioral issues at home and school, as well as anxiety, depression, self-esteem and substance abuse. In her work with parents, she strives to enhance parent-child relationships and strengthen parenting skills.


Winter Blues?

With the excitement of the holiday season coming to a close, you may notice the post-holiday blues beginning to settle in.  Weeks of holiday planning and preparation, parties and family entertaining, shopping and gift giving can lead to January and subsequent winter months feeling dreary, empty, and lonely.  Children are not immune to these same feelings as they struggle to resume their regular routine.  So what can you do to help your child combat the winter blues?
~ Let your child express their disappointment and/or sadness and empathize with their feelings.
~ Share your own feelings, experiences, and memories about feeling sad after the
~ Life may have resumed its busy schedule, but make sure you structure
family time together.  Play those board games they received as
Christmas gifts! Find time for a movie night complete with popcorn!
Plan ahead so the children have something for which to look forward too.
~ The often frigid outside temperatures of the winter months can force children
          to remain inside.  Create fun, physical activities that help children release
          excess energy.  A parent/child jumping jack competition?  Yoga animal
~ Help them to focus on the positives.  What do they love about winter?
         What are they thankful for when it is cold and dreary outside?
~ Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Children do best when there are
        consistent routines, expectations, and schedules.
The post holiday blues may feel intense, but tend to be short lived.  If your child’s mood and behavior remain persistent, begin to affect school, social activities, interests, appetite, and familial relationships, he or she may need some additional support.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to Crossroads Family Counseling in order to determine how your child’s need can best be met.
FAMILY FUN ACTIVITY:   Watch a Family Movie at Home
Why spend a small fortune taking the families to the movies when you can stay at home for an even better theater experience? Host an unforgettable family movie night that’s more than a couple of hours sitting on the couch together. Let the kids create movie tickets, make snacks and open their own concession stand. After the movie’s over, let their inner critics write movie reviews. Winter Fun for Kids12 Activities to Beat the Cabin Fever Blues, By Apryl Duncan, Guide
The staff at Crossroads would like to wish you each of you a joyful 2013!!!!!!
Darah Curran is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of Virginia with 15 years experience working with children, adolescents and families. Darah has provided support for pediatric and adult individuals and families in outpatient and inpatient medical settings. Her areas of focus include adjustment and behavioral issues, social skills development, chronic illness, grief and trauma work. Darah believes in the strength of the family and encourages each member’s involvement in making positive change for the child or family system.

Holiday Expectations

During the holiday season, we imagine incredible wafting aromas, long awaited visits with family and friends, crunching leaves, falling snow, joy,laughter and…

…whining and fighting—not so much!

Holidays can also bring with them higher stress levels.  At Crossroads Family Counseling Center, we specialize in supporting families through every season of the year.  Here are some tips that may be helpful:
  • Think about what’s most important to your family and how to put the needs of your family first.  Let others know in advance to give them time to adjust.
  • Watch overscheduling.  Children often get cranky when they have to rush from place to place.
  • Build in time for normal routines, unstructured playtime for kids, i.e. “downtime”.
  • Include kids in age-appropriate ways—cooking, family traditions, faith traditions, etc.
  • Simplify.  Sometimes less is better.  A handmade gift by a child can be both less expensive and more meaningful than something purchased at the store.
  • Take time to unplug:  play some family games, do a craft or spend extra time reading to the kids.

If your family is in transition or is experiencing separation or divorce, this brings a unique set of stressors to the holiday season.  Remember that children experience security from seeing mom and dad respect each other even when they don’t live in the same house anymore.

Crossroads Family Counseling Center wants to wish you a happy and blessed holiday season, from our playroom to yours!

FAMILY PLAY ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH:  Design a family holiday banner to display in your home.  Make it out of felt or poster board.  Decorate it with pictures or symbols that are important to your family this holiday.  Let your imagination soar and have fun!
Written by Laura Thieman, LCSW.  Laura is a social worker at Crossroads Family Counseling Center.   She brings over 15 years of experience across numerous settings to her work with families, and her areas of focus include play and expressive therapies with children.  She has four young children of her own and can be found swinging at area parks, writing, and blowing bubbles

Fall is a time for Change

Autumn is a time of change. Nature changes around us, while our routines change as well with the shorter days, and the transition back to school, extracurricular activities, and the upcoming holidays. It is a beautiful time of year.

But change can be hard, especially for children, who don’t always like the changes in weather and routine that fall brings. Shorter days and the time change can disrupt children’s sleep patterns. Some children dislike adding additional layers and warmer clothes. Those with sensory issues may have opposition to long pants, socks, and heavy shoes. This can create power struggles and tears during the morning rush to get out the door. Some children struggle in adjusting to a new school, class, babysitter, teacher, or have trouble facing holidays if things are not the same as they were last year.

Crossroads Family Counseling Center, LLC is a place that understands about change and transition. We’re actually going through changes ourselves. We have a new website with more information about our practice. Check it out at:

We also have two new team members: Darah Curran, LCSW and Denise Booth, LCSW. Darah has experience with working with medically challenged children and their families, as well as with grief and loss issues. Her warmth and guidance to families and children creates a sense of calmness when anxiety and stress are high. Denise has a background working with troubled adolescents. Her strength and confidence help parents and teens succeed with communication issues, rules at home and school, and managing the challenges of being a teenager in today’s world.

All Crossroads Family counselors can offer your family and children support as needed during this season. We specialize in working with children, adolescents and families. We are trained play therapists and use play as a way to create change.

Even though change can be hard change can create new opportunities. Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn

We hope that the beautiful Fall weather and change in the colors around you gives you time to enjoy this transition and spend some time outdoors with your children and family.

PLAY ACTIVITY FOR THE MONTH: Check out this article about Autumn-sensory Play. It focuses on ideas for touchy-feely, smelly, noisy, visual and tasty autumn activities.