November 24, 2020

Office Closure Update

Due to issues with our lease, we need to close the office sooner than we originally announced.

The last day the office will be open is Saturday, August 29.  After that date, clients wishing to continue with Erik Young will only be able to do so through online video sessions or phone sessions.

Once again, we thank you all for your support and understanding at this time.

Peace,

Erik Young, M.Ed., LPC

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Office Closure

Ten years ago, I started Erik Young Counseling.  I was looking for a way to better use my skills and knowledge to help families and people with special needs.  What started out as a part time endeavor has blossomed over the years into a wonderful group practice.  During this time, I’ve been honored with the opportunity to work with and learn from so many people.  It’s been a dream come true.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end as they say.  Due to circumstances beyond my control I have to close the physical practice.  I’ve given this much thought and I do not do this lightly.  This will be occurring on or about Saturday, September 19.  We will be closing our doors.

Over the next few months, my team and I will work to help everyone transition as easily as possible.

  • For those of you who wish to continue their work, we will help get you connected with new therapists.
  • We will assist those of you who wish to discontinue therapy in doing so in a healthy and practical manner.
  • After September 19, Erik will provide video and phones sessions to those who wish to continue therapy with him.
  • We will maintain your records for 7 years in accordance with ethical and legal guidelines. You can gain access to those records by emailing erik@erikyoungcounseling.com

I expect that many of you will have questions and concerns.  I will do my best to address them as they come up.  As always, you may call, text or email.

I want to thank all of you for trusting in us and allowing us to share in your and your families’ journey.  It’s been a true honor.

 

Peace,

Erik Young, M.Ed., LPC

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We are reopening the office as of 5/11/2020

After consulting with the Chester County Health Department, we will be resuming office visits on a limited basis starting Monday May 11.

 

We will be using the following safety precautions:

  • You will be asked to wear a mask while in the office. NO sessions will occur without wearing a mask. Our staff will also be wearing masks.
  • Don’t bring visitors. Only the identified client (and a parent or guardian if they are a minor) will be allowed in the office.
  • Social distancing guidelines will be followed before, during and after appointments. Maintain a 6ft distance between yourself and others.
  • Appointments will be staggered to allow time to disinfect the office between appointments.
  • Stay home if you are unwell. We ask that if you are showing symptoms you do a video or phone appointment or reschedule.
  • These are for clients of Erik Young only. Gina and Moira will be offering video sessions only at this time.

 

Additionally, we will continue offering video sessions as we have been.  Simply contact us to set that up for a given session.

We thank everybody for their patience and support during these unprecedented times.  Together, we can continue to stay safe and thrive.

If you have any questions regarding this policy update, please feel free to call the office at 484-693-0582 or you can email us at erik@erikyoungcounseling.com.

 

Peace,

Erik Young, M.Ed, LPC

 

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Say “Hi” to Dr. Gina

I want to take a moment to cordially welcome our newest clincian, Dr. Gina Dattilo.  She is a friend and colleague of mine who has a ton of expereince working with kids and families.  

She is skilled with “Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused, Systems, Developmental & I use empirically supported treatments when possible. I use a variety of interventions including; art, behavioral analysis, drawing, games, workbooks, and talking.

I have experience with families, teens, pre-teens, children, and young adults.”

 She specializes in Crisis and Trauma, Adoption Issues (all areas of the adoption Triad), behavioral and emotional issues (non compliance, self injury, school refusal) serious mental health issues (Bi-Polar, anxiety, depression, ADHD), developmental and cognitive delays (intellectual disability Autism).

We are super excited that she has agreed to join the practice. Her knowledge and skills are a fantastic asset for us.

Please feel free to reach out to her if you feel she can help you with anything that you might be going through,  Her phone number is 484-558-0343.  You can email her at gina@erikyoungcounseling.com.  Also, if you want to go ahead and schedule an appointment, click on the “schedule now” button and select Gina as the therapist with whom you want to work as you are setting up your appointment.

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We’re growing…Again!

I’m very happy to announce that Erik Young LLC is doing very well.  So well, in fact that I need to announce some changes that are happening over the next few weeks to the practice.

First, the office location is moving.  Starting September 18th, the office will be located at 558 W. Uwchlan Ave, Suite #8, Exton, PA 19341.  This is about 10 minutes away from the current office location in Downingtown.  

The reason for the move is that I’m expanding the practice to bring in new clinicians.  The new office is larger, with four offices and a spacious waiting area.  This will allow us to accommodate the new clinicians.

I’m very excited about these changes.  This will allow us to better serve our clients and provide expanded services.  Stay tuned for more updates and introductions to our new clinicians.

Thank you for your support and loyalty….this has allowed us to grow and make these exciting changes.  

Peace,

Erik

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We’re Growing!

Erik Young Counseling is growing!

I’ve gotten busier over this last year and have decided to bring on some help.  To this end I’ve decided to bring on some new staff.

Please give a  warm welcome to my new office manager Kat.  She will be handling billing and scheduling as well as other tasks that will help things run smoothly.  She is a talented and skilled and I am looking forward to seeing how she can help the practice grow.

Peace,

Erik

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FOUR SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO BE A BETTER YOU IN THE NEW YEAR LESSON FOUR

This last lesson is one that is very familiar to those of you who have personally worked with me.  It came from a very difficult and dark time in my life.  I was miserable.  I realized that if I didn’t do something to inject some positivity in my life that some bad things were bound to happen. Furthermore, no one wants to work with a miserable and depressed therapist.  After much research, soul searching, and personal therapy, I figured this out:

Lesson #4:  Happiness is a Skill, Practice it

We often confuse skills and traits.  A trait is something that a person has that either is or isn’t.  Eye color, height, and the like are examples of traits.  Conversely, any quality of a person that can be changed or altered with effort and practice is a skill.

We often attribute traits to things that are skills.  Happiness is one of those things.  We say that so and so is a happy person or a not happy person like happiness is a something that is or isn’t.  Happiness is something that we have and that we can grow and cultivate.  It is an endeavor that is worth investing time in I assure you.

Happiness practice is important.  We humans are wired for negativity.  When something nice happens, we tend to enjoy and reflect on it for about 30 seconds or so.  When something negative happens, we can dwell on it for hours, day or even weeks.  The result is that the neurons in our brain associated with negative thinking tend to get more of a workout than the neurons associated with positive thoughts.  Practicing happiness is a way to give the positive neurons more of a workout and make them stronger.  It’s a way to balance our thinking.

How can we practice happiness?  Here are a few simple things to try:

  • Start a happiness journal. Get a notebook.  Once or twice a day, stop and reflect on your day to that point.  Pick out something positive that happened and write down what, when, where, who and why of what happened.  This should take about 5 minutes.  The positive events don’t have to be big events (I once journaled about buying a fancy cup of coffee when it was cold out and how good the warm cup felt and how nice it smelled).  If you can’t think of something positive that day, reread the journal and reflect on past positive events.
  • Set an intention to smile more that day.  Smiling is associated with happiness and the physical act of happiness will stimulate and connect with the pats of your brain associated with happiness.  Smiling purposefully, even if you don’t feel happy, can make you feel happier over time.
  • Give up self-criticism and self-judgement. Instead of calling yourself names or putting yourself down, rather, be your own best cheerleader. Talk yourself up.  Focus on things you are doing (as opposed to not doing) and give yourself credit for those positive things you are doing.
  • Take time out to play. Have fun.
  • Watch a funny movie.

There are many more ways to practice happiness.  The only limit is your imagination.

I hope you found this article helpful.  Please share this with everyone you know.  Spread the positivity!

If you would like to work with me on practicing happiness and reducing stress, then call 484-693-0582 or go to www.erikyoungcounseling.com to schedule a consultation.

Find part one of this series here.

Find part two of this series here.

Find part three of this series here.

©Erik Young, M.Ed., LPC

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FOUR SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO BE A BETTER YOU IN THE NEW YEAR LESSON THREE

This next article is probably the most controversial of the bunch and may seem the most difficult to do.  Yet, like I mentioned in the previous article that you can read HERE, this is nothing but changing how you think about something.  A small change at that.  Putting this change into practice will have profound impacts on your stress levels, thus lowering anxiety and improving your overall physical and emotional health.  So, without further ado, here’s the next lesson!

Lesson #3:  Worry is nothing but a bad habit

When I say this to clients I got one of two reactions: “I know it is, but I’m so used to worrying that I don’t think I can stop” or “If I don’t worry then I won’t be prepared for what life throws at me.”  It is hard for people to wrap their heads around the idea something that is so pervasive and seemingly natural to life could be bad for you.  Then again, arsenic is natural and common in nature.

This thought was a total revelation for me.  I remember sitting down and really thinking about my life and doing a pros-cons analyses.  I concluded that for all the energy I’d put into worrying about various situations in my life, not a lot of benefit came from all that worry.  I talked to some people about this and realized that the fundamental problem with worry is that it takes anxiety about something and projects it into the future where it is impossible to do anything about it (because the situation hasn’t occurred yet and we can only impact the present).  Thus, worry just becomes a big old ball of anxiety that we are powerless to do anything about because it is effectively out of reach.

Right about now, I bet you’re wondering about the concerns vocalized by my clients in the second paragraph of this article.  To those who see worry as a benefit that helps them prepare I say this:

  • There is nothing wrong with thinking about the future, looking ahead, and being prepared. This, however, is not worry.  Simply being present and mindful of today and doing what you can to be prepared and then relaxing and letting the worry go is a great way to both be prepared and not be overly anxious.  However, catastrophizing and putting a lot of energy and thought into all the terrible things that might happen, regardless of probability, is just a great way to get yourself some ulcers and not really avoid the bad times that may or may not happen.
  • Is it worth it to put a lot of time and energy into preparing for something that never happens? Is it worth it to spend a lot of time and energy on something that hasn’t happened so that you are worn out, burned out and exhausted when the event finally occurs?
  • Being proactive is not worry. Worrying is usually not helpful to proactivity (it is simply a big emotional and physical energy drain…it adds to stress rather than resolves it.)

To those who are so used to worry that they can’t imagine life without it I propose the following:

  • Try thought stopping. When you find your thoughts have turned to worry, do the following:
    1. Identify the irritating thought that is behind the worry.
    2. Yell stop in your head. (Do not argue with the thought, that simply gives it energy)
    3. Think a calming, more true thought. Focus on being present in the moment and doing things that you can do now.
    4. Repeat as necessary.
  • Set an intention to not worry and reset that intention every day. Over time you will find yourself worrying less.
  • Focus on proactive solutions as opposed to catastrophizing.

I hope you found this article helpful.  Please share this with everyone you know.  Spread the positivity!

If you would like to work with me on worrying less and reducing stress, then call 484-693-0582 or go to www.erikyoungcounseling.com to schedule a consultation.

Find part one of this series here.

Find part two of this series here.

Find part four of this series here.

©Erik Young, M.Ed., LPC

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Moving to new digs!

Starting Tuesday, November 1, my offices will be at a new location:

101 Manor Ave

Downingtown, PA 19335

With more space (two larger rooms than my current location) I will be looking to add new services including groups and therapeutic martial arts.

I’m very excited about the opportunities this new space may open up.  I look forward to seeing you all there!

 

Peace,

Erik

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3 simple things you can do today for a happier family

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3 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY FOR A HAPPIER FAMILY

I see a lot of families in my practice. They are all different…different struggles, different needs, different backgrounds…and what seems to unify them all is their desire to simply be happier. Isn’t that what we all want on some level? This article will present 3 simple things that you can do today that will help your family function better and thus be less stressed.

Less Stress = More Happiness!

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TIP #1: MAKE AND POST HOUSE RULES
It seems obvious to this, yet I’m amazed at how often families neglect to do this. Sure, there are usually house rules. They are verbally taught to the children. What doesn’t happen is that the rules get posted up for everyone to see.  Here’s the thing. Kids are great. They’re funny, loving, and we as parents adore them to death. They are terrible at remembering stuff (especially when it’s stuff that might keep them from getting or doing what they want)!  Parents often tell me how they’ve taught the rules to their kids. They fail to realize that in the moment where they want their kid to follow the rules the drive to do whatever it is that the child wants to do might drive rules knowledge right out of their little brains.

A picture is worth 1000 words and kids remember what they see better than what they hear!

geograph-3461576-by-Christine-Matthews

Here are the guidelines for rules:
• Keep them few in number (I try to do no more than five)
• The rules apply to everyone in the house
• State them positively (they should tell you what to do instead of what not to do)
• They should cover about 85 to 90% of what might happen (imagine how great life would be if 85% of the time these rules were followed!)
TIP#2: MAKE A FAMILY MISSION STATEMENT
I got this from the book “The Secrets of Happy Families” by Bruce Feiler and I’ve used it with my family as well as families with whom I’ve worked. How often do families take stock of who they are and then discuss and write it down? Not very often. Having this discussion can really clarify moral and ethical beliefs of your family and negate assumptions and faulty beliefs.
Take a page from the corporate world and have a sit down meeting with everyone in the family. Discuss what you guys, as a family, are all about. What things are important to all of you? What traits define you? Write it up in two or three simple paragraphs.
Once that’s done, post it right next to the rules. Use this document as a teaching tool. Let’s say someone does something that isn’t captured in the rules? Refer to the mission statement and have a discussion as to how what happened did or did not fit in with the mission statement. Instead of a failure you get instant teaching moment.

TIP #3: MAKE A FAMILY MOTTO
This is related to tip #2. Distill the rules and the mission statement down into a simple family motto. For my family, when I did this, our motto became “We take in strays. No one is turned away.” This was based on the fact that we had fostered and adopted kids in the family and every single pet we owned was a rescue. It really summed up what we were about.

You can do these three things in a day or so. Once done, you can do things like tie reinforcement/reward strategies to them. You can know that with these things posted, you don’t have to keep repeating yourself…just point at the posters. This saves argument and aggravation. It decreases miscommunication and misunderstandings.  Besides, these activities can also be really fun.  It’ll help put everybody on the same page as to expectations and help everyone to feel more a part of things.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Please share in the comments section other exercises you have used to help increase your families’ happiness.
If you want to get access to more tips like this and worksheets to help do these exercises, consider joining my Super Parents Team. Go to www.erikyoungcounseling .com/superparent-team to sign up.
If you would like to work with me then call 484-693-0582 or go to www.erikyoungcounseling.com to schedule a consultation.
©Erik Young, M.Ed., LPC

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