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Emerton SeanneTherapist’s Corner...
Nurturing New Growth for
Family Resources of Greater Nebraska, P.C.

     I’ve just come in from a walk in the woods behind our house, where each step was visible in the 5 inches of fresh snow covering the ground. This has long been my reflecting place and today I was struck with new awareness. These are the same woods where, almost 30 years ago, I dreamed the vision of what is, since 1991, Family Resources of Greater
Nebraska, P.C. I guess it was only natural that this is where I got the idea of a sheltering tree for our logo.
     There is a clearing in part of this wooded area where, years ago, my husband planted a large area of perennial wildflowers and native grasses. And while they are only blooming in the spring, summer, and fall, I enjoy the quiet and peace in this area in the winter, too, knowing that this abundance of beauty, diversity and life is gestating just below the surface. All in its own time.
     Family Resources has been gestating as well. It is much like sustaining and nurturing perennials...looking toward the future yet staying present to tasks needed during each season. And trusting the process that even though we may not see exactly what it will look like, we are doing what we can to nurture it.
     It has always been a part of my vision for Family Resources that it be a sustaining entity, long after I have done my part in stewarding her. While I am not yet ready to retire (because I really love my craft), I am aware that Family Resources is ready for a gardener with new eyes and energy...and I am ready, too.
     I am excited to announce that over the last year we have been nurturing a partnership with a long-time successful business based in Kearney named Center for Psychological Services, led by an amazing woman named Jesica Vickers. Our partnership becomes official this month! What will this joining of forces look like? There will be no perceivable differences. Family Resources remains its own entity with the same locations, same staff and clinicians, and same good service you’ve trusted through the years. This new growth through joining forces means upgrades in resources and opportunities to serve you even better. It means another step in being Family Resources of GREATER Nebraska.
     I am staying on in my role as a clinician and consultant. We remain dedicated to protecting the mission, integrity and culture of Family Resources and our EAP. The roots of our Family Resources tree will continue to deepen as we live our motto of “Life Lived Well” with increased creativity and possibility.
     We all express deepest gratitude for past, present and future supporters of our business as we continue to move forward with this much welcomed new growth.

~Seanne Emerton, Founder/Therapist

JMcCasslin

Therapist’s Corner…
Growth Involves Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone—
And You Should

     Let's face it. Change is hard. It's easier and more comfortable to stay in your comfort zone. I mean, there's familiarity, safety, routine, and security all wrapped up in a nice, comfy, predictable, protective blanket. Who wants to leave that (especially in the cold weather we're having lately!)? Most of us prefer to keep our anxiety as low as possible, so sticking to things we know and are comfortable with is an easy way of doing that.
     However, it's important to step outside of your comfort zone. Growth and change is an unavoidable part of life but it's in the challenges that we make the leaps and bounds. In other words, stepping outside of your comfort zone is essential for growth.
     Now, I'm not saying we all need to go jump out of a plane to broaden our horizons (someday I will!). Neither can we "ditch" our comfort zones - we need them to serve as our safe places where we can relax, de-stress, and process the day's events. What we really need is the balance between our comfort zone and pushing ourselves to that point where we grow and learn more about ourselves.
     Don't doubt your ability to handle change. Our human spirit naturally rises to the challenge of change and learning. Some people handle it with more stress than others; part of that could be because they are less likely to take risks so when a challenge arises, they have fewer skills and experiences to fall back on than people who tend to take on more meaningful (not just gutsy) challenges.
     Think about how you identify yourself. For example, I'm a mother, wife, sibling, friend, and counselor. I'm independent, motivated, hard-working, and a leader. Several years back, I became a stay-home mom for a time after we moved to a new town. Bam - take away my job, schedule, social life, friends, etc. - I was a mess for awhile. Honestly, I never dreamed I would be in that role.  I was being pushed (usually literally by my children) to be a better mother and more conscientious wife. I had to face my short-comings alone.
     And then I had to change. I had to take the responsibility of stepping out of my comfort zone to re-define myself and the meaning I held in my life. I needed to role model that for my children because the alternative was becoming a downward spiral, and I was actually becoming less efficient, more stressed, and more angry by staying in my comfort zone. It was starting to feel more like a cage than a warm blanket.
     I learned a lot about myself from this experience, as will you when you step outside of your comfort zone. Your life is the sum of all of your experiences, not just the comfortable, safe ones. Mistakes and hands-on experiences are important - oftentimes more important - to your growth and ability to handle stress and change.
     We all go through small changes. Think about your knowledge and how you accumulated it through schooling and experiences. It can even be as simple as changing your routine or look (take a different route to work, wear that bright shirt, etc.). Those small changes build us up and help us learn to deal with the big changes. Then we can choose, or sometimes be forced, into bigger changes. Maybe it's the birth of a child, a job loss, move, or the death of a loved one that drops us onto a rollercoaster of change.
     Or maybe your thing is jumping from a perfectly good airplane strapped to a stranger with a parachute, and learning a thing or two about adrenaline, trust, and airspeed. Whatever it is, remember it’s important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone.

~Jessica McCaslin, Therapist

Lenz

Tips from Our  EAP...
Top 10 Ways to Support Someone in Being Their Best

     One of the greatest responsibilities we have is to support ourselves and others in living at our highest and best.
     With everything we say and do, we’re influencing, positively or negatively, the people we care about. Here are ten ways you can help others see and realize the best that’s within them.
1. Believe in Them: We all have self-doubts from time to time. Our confidence is shaken. We lack the faith in our talents and skills to go for an important promotion or launch a new initiative. Having someone believe in you at these times is priceless. The stories of great men and women are saturated with examples of someone who believed in them even when they didn’t fully believe in themselves.
2. Encourage Them: "You can do it. I know you can." These are words that are all-too-infrequently voiced. Sincere encouragement can go a long way in helping someone stay the course. The more specific you are, the better the results. "I remember when you got through your slump last year and ended up winning the sales contest. I’m willing to bet that you’ll do even better this time."
3. Expect a Lot: We’re often told not to get our hopes up. We’re encouraged to have realistic expectations. But when it comes to helping others operate at their best, we sometimes have to up-level our expectations. This can be taken to extremes, but there are many times when a teacher, a parent or even a boss has required more of us than we thought we were capable. And we’ve risen to the challenge which enabled us to see further than before.
4. Tell the Truth: And tell it with compassion. We often avoid telling the hard truth because we don’t want to upset anyone. We want to be nice. But telling the truth is a loving act. You may be the only person who can or will say to another what needs to be said. And you can confront someone without being combative.
5. Be a Role Model: One of the best ways we influence is by our own actions. Who we are speaks much more loudly than what we say. Don’t think that people aren’t watching you. They are. And they’re registering everything about you consciously and unconsciously. We automatically emulate our role models. And we’re all role models to someone so let’s be good ones.
6. Share Yourself: Too often, we miss the value of sharing our failings. We don’t want to be vulnerable so we hold back. In doing so, we deprive others of our experience, our learning and our humanity. When you share from your own experience, especially your failures, you increase empathy, you’re more approachable and you increase your relatability to others.
7. Challenge Them: The word "challenge" has some negative connotations. The meaning we’re using here is, "a test of one’s abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking." We all need to be challenged from time to time. Doing it for another is an art form. Go too far and it will backfire. Go too easy and you will appear patronizing. Remind people of their commitment to being their best and state your challenge. "I challenge you to overcome these unimportant opinions and get on with the real task at hand, get the job done, make the commitment, etc."
8. Ask Good Questions: A good therapist or coach doesn’t tell their clients what to do. They ask good questions in order for the client to understand themselves better, to get clear on what the issue is and from there to make good choices. You can do the same. By asking elegant questions, you cause people to think and come up with solutions. They’ll appreciate it.
9. Acknowledge Them: You find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for the best in someone, you’ll see it. If you’re looking for their failings, you’ll see those. Catch people doing things right and tell them. When we acknowledge the good deeds of others, they tend to do more of them. Write a note. Send a card. Give them a call. Praise them in front of others.
10. Spend Time With Them: We love what we give our time to. By devoting your most precious resource (time) to another individual, you’re showing them that you truly value them and your relationship with them. Invest time in your relationships; it’s what life is made of.

~Lana Lenz, EAP Coordinator (article by Michael Angier & Success Networks International)

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