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Klein Chris

Therapist's Corner...
A Reflection on Family Resources of Greater Nebraska

(Note: Family Resources of Greater Nebraska, P.C. and Center for Psychological Services joined forces. Client services will continue uninterrupted. On March 28, 2019 FRGN staff met for a celebration and the "passing of the baton." This reflection was written by Chris Klein and the staff presented Seanne, our founder, with a red oak tree, which all can enjoy because it is planted just east of the FRGN building in Grand Island. Check out our Facebook page for pictures: www.facebook.com/FamilyResourcesNeb)

     I spend a lot of time in my car, as many of us do, and in the last year or two, I’ve become more aware of trees – the varieties, beauty, and individual characteristics. From the seedling that sprouts from the maple trees’ helicopter seed in the garden or flower bed (and the roots go deep fast, if you’ve ever tried to pull one out) to the mighty redwoods; they are a symbol of strength, resilience, and hope. 
     It’s so fitting that the tree is Family Resources symbol and logo. Like the seedling, it sprouted as an idea and has 25+ years with deep roots in the community. Like the trees, Family Resources is resilient and strong.
     Trees reflect the seasons of change. Spring is such an exciting time of year (and it’s finally here!). The days are warmer, the sap begins to flow, and buds burst forth. It is the promise of new growth and fruit. The summer months are often stormy, hot, or windy. Trees provide shade, color, and a welcome distraction as we watch the new growth and feel the gentle breezes. The fall brings change, new colors, and a reminder of the cycle of life as the last leaf lets go and floats to the ground. And then there’s winter – long, cold, and stormy. It’s full of snow, ice, and wind, and yet trees stand tall. They are bare, and sometimes they yield to the storms, bending with the weight of the ice and snow. Yet, in the dead of winter, there is life in the roots and the promise of new growth and spring.
     Family Resources, like trees, has endured many seasons of change, times of struggle, storms, and drought. It has also seen gentle breezes, refreshing shade, and fruit – plentiful fruit. It is a place of peace, hope, and respite for weary and wounded souls. It is a place of growth. And it is not just for those who come through the front door but also for those who come through the back door.
     Ecologist Suzanne Simard discovered that trees, through a network of soil fungi, communicate their needs. They send warning signals about environmental change, search for kin, and transfer nutrients to neighboring plants. She refers to this as “forest wisdom” and “mother trees.” What a great picture!
     We’ve been blessed to be trees in the Family Resources Forest. We are nourished by our neighbors and the Forest Wisdom. And you, Seanne, our role model and friend, you have been our “Mother Tree.”
     It is our hope that this gift – a red oak tree – will be a symbol of change, growth, resilience, and fruit as Family Resources experiences a new season.

~ Chris Klein, Therapist

Ryan Linda

Therapist's Corner...
Because Time Won't Stand Still

     Just a few days ago, a friend and I were talking. I said, “It seems like I am always saying or thinking that when I get done with this, things will be slower”. She answered that she finds herself saying, “Once this is past…” Other friends have agree that it seems we are always “getting ready for the next thing…even when we are not done with what we are doing. Our mind is always thinking ahead to what the next objective job, or activity will be. 
     Also recently, I read an article about why time seems to move faster the older you get. This was an intriguing idea to me. Why indeed does time seem to move faster and faster as I get older and older? 
     I wonder…Maybe time seems to go faster because as adults we have so many things on our mind at once that we are scattered in our attention, and therefore, our memory is that it is just another one of those busy days. As a child, our focus is more likely to be concentrated on one thing for a period of time, and therefore we spend more time in the moment. Have you ever watched a very engaged toddler doing some activity that seems to have no clear outcome as far as you can see? I have watched my grandson do this many times. I always wonder what is going on in his mind. But maybe that is the wrong way for me to look at it. Maybe I should just notice how engaged he is in the moment, how absorbed and attentive he is to what he is doing. All his focus is in that one moment, he does not seem to be also thinking about when dinner is, or when he will be called from his play to go to the grocery store with his mom. No, he is just there playing with the singular purpose of enjoyment of the moment. 
     So, for what ever reason, if you want time to move more slowly and have more time, or enjoy your time more, then increase your mindfulness of the moment. Really get into the moment, enjoy the sensations, the feelings, the thoughts. Focus on the positive side of the experience. Revel in the sensation of appreciation. Make every moment count and be the best one ever!

~ Linda Ryan, Therapist

 

Lenz

From Our EAP...
Five Ways to Improve Employee Relations

     Running a business and keeping everyone happy is a difficult venture. Employers need a mixture of personalities, creativeness, work ethic, perseverance, and ways of thinking to bring a variety of ideas and skills. However, all those things can also be a recipe for disaster because of clashes amongst employees. So how can you strengthen employee relations at your business?
1. Focus on the business' mission and values. Most people want to succeed in their job and to be a benefit. Share your company's hopes and goals. What need are you filling? What are you giving back to your community? What's your story? Help the employees feel like a part of something bigger than themselves.
2. Promote dialogue and communication. Be clear with your expectations. Good communication helps employees understand the project, reduces stress, and helps people feel "in the loop." Dialogue is a conversation between two people (hence the "di-" part!). Let the employees know they have a voice and a process for expressing grievances.
3. Show the employees that they are valued. It can be within our human nature to focus on the negative, what didn't get done, what was done wrong, and to criticize. Step back and realize the employee likely gave the project their best shot and is proud of their work (unless under-productivity is a pattern). Help the client feel appreciated by focusing on the positive parts of the project, with fewer criticisms. Tell the employees "thank you" for small AND big things, tell them they are valued, and that you appreciate their work. You can publicly recognize high achievers for their work and how it relates to your company's mission/values. Let the employees voice ideas and insights...it could be a game-changer for your business!
4. Consider ways to advance careers. Every business knows the least amount of kickback for their time, money, and resources goes into training a new employee. Businesses with higher turnover have to train new employees, and therefore, lose some of their productivity. Businesses that keep their employees have more efficiency and productivity. So consider ways to help your employees advance their career goals - maybe it's "moving up the ladder," repaying tuition or paying for extra training, cross-training employees to fill several roles, or simply adjusting roles as strengths are presented. Whatever it may be, use your employees' skills wisely and with appreciation, and they will add value to your organization.
5. Be understanding about work/life balance. Employees who are happier at home are happier and more productive at work. Encourage employees to invest in their personal lives outside of the business because that has to take priority. This is especially difficulty if you, as the owner, have poured your life into your business, but understand that your employees will have a greater loyalty towards you if they feel they are supported in their home life. Many employees are seeking benefits like flexible schedules, paid time off, health insurance, employee assistance programs, and an employer who understands being involved in their family activities (such as kids' school events, etc.). Be supportive when employees need time off while still keeping communication open so that you are aware of their situation, progress, your expectations, signs that more of an intervention is necessary (such as in the cases of depression or anxiety), and to recognize when an employee may be abusing the time off.

~ Lana Lenz, EAP Coordinator

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