(via you--are--beautiful)Source: ifeelinfinitelyyoung
Who is Jennifer Cochern, LCPC? And what does she know about Alignment?
If you’re curious who the presenter on 11/22 is, you’ve come to the right place!
Jennifer Cochern is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor, a Masters Addiction Counselor and energy enthusiast currently living in the Boise area. She is the Clinical Services Manager at the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (www.wcaboise.org) and has been a force in educating and eliminating the community from domestic violence and sexual assault.
In addition to her clinical work at the WCA, Jennifer studied under Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D and earned a certificate in Shamanic Energy Healing through the Four Winds Society (http://thefourwinds.com/). Jennifer’s energy and alignment research is being presented in her forthcoming book, The ABC’s to Alignment.
Jennifer received her BA in Liberal Studies from San Jose State University and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Idaho State University. Jennifer is also a board approved Clinical Supervisor and provides in depth leadership, mentoring, and supervision to masters level counselors.
Jennifer has also completed the Idaho Prevention Institute Training and Facilitator Training for the Nurturing Program. She approaches individuals (both inside and outside of her office) in a person-centered manner using guided imagery, Emotion Focused Techniques, possibility therapy, mindfulness and energy work to get to the core of issues.
Jennifer is admired both personally and professionally for the many contributions she has made to the field of counseling and welllness. For fun, Jennifer enjoys gardening, hiking, snowshoeing, spending time with her family and grandchildren and exploring the foothills. Jennifer’s forthcoming book, The ABC’s to Alignment is due out next fall.
One of the most challenging and scary parts about having a teenage son or daughter is the likelihood that they will experiment or abuse drugs and/or alcohol. I encourage parents to do their own research on drugs and alcohol and “talk early, talk often,” but here is a link to some of the most commonly abused drugs among 9th to 12th graders.
Drug and alcohol abuse is one of the most difficult (and frustrating) behavioral issues to stop in teens. It is one of those hot button topics that teens often feel they can manage themselves, so even when you feel you’ve stopped the behavior, or in some way managed it, the chance for relapse or continuation are extremely high. This leaves parents to feel like their efforts are pointless and not working. That’s why I am going to outline a few ways to minimize the likelihood for out-of-control drug and/or alcohol abuse.
While national statistics show an increase in not only risky behavior but experimentation our home state of Idaho, and specifically Boise has its only challenges. According to recent stats for Ada County there were almost 19,000 drug and alcohol related arrests (ouch.) Here’s the breakdown:
So what do we do to better the odds that your teen has a fighting chance at surviving 9th – 12th grade without becoming a permanent statistics? Good question…
To begin, I have been lucky enough that some of the youth that have come in to my life at one point or another, have kept in contact with me after they have left treatment. So sometimes, I get to tap in to their fabulous minds about their personal experiences with this very issue.
One of these young individuals will be 20 years old this year and is living independently in Colorado. He has had his own struggles with both emotional issues and drugs, yet is an extremely insightful young man. So I took a chance and asked him (via text), “if you were a parent, how would you handle your kids using drugs.”
He wrote, “I would probably try to talk to them and explain the different between recreational and abusing drugs. Idk it’s a hard question, I would have feelings that I can’t comprehend right now.”
I wrote, “Good answer, but what if they were abusing them.”
He wrote: “I would probably be pretty strict and hard on them. Like never giving them money or anything.”
Side Note: Experimentation, Abuse, and Addiction
Experimentation: Means your teen dabbles in alcohol and drugs once in a great while.
Abuse: Means that your teen is getting high or drunk on a fairly regular basis (1 or more times per week). Some problems in relationships, work, and school.
Addiction: An inability to control use – regardless of what they decide beforehand, they frequently end up drunk or high. Also, a problem at work, school, and in relationships gets worse here.
So I thought; that’s a great tool for parents in combating this issue:
If your child is exhibiting issues with drugs and/or alcohol:
1. Never Give Cash:
If you child is in need of money for food, etc. It is always best to give them money on a debit card where you can monitor where the money is being spent. I think of all of the things I did with my parent’s cash and it was not being spent on food or gas. So strategy #1 – if you want to minimize the likelihood that your teen will not abuse drugs, don’t give them cash.
2. Don’t Take It Personally:
Email me if you want to talk about this – but remember, it’s not about you. A great book to read is the Four Agreements – I would highly recommended reading the chapter about not taking things personally.
3. Have Monthly Meeting w/ Your Teens School/Counselors/Etc.
Raising a teen takes a village – lessen the likelihood that your teen will fall through the cracks and be your teens advocate for keeping everyone on the same page. Lies and drugs breed in secrecy, the more accountability your teen has, the harder it is to use.
4. Use “No-Drug” Contracts:
Use a no drug contract to clearly outline what will happen if your child uses drugs – one of the major issues with trying to “police” drug use is that there are no clearly defined rules…parents just assume their kids know they shouldn’t come home high, simply not true.
5. Use Monitoring Kits:
Using monitoring kits is a cheap and easy way to tell if your child is high or drunk (or both). If your child refuses to take the test, use this paragraph from Dr. Sells book, Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager:
I appreciate your honesty and I want to keep the lines of communication open. To do this, I also have to be honest and straight up with you. If you are using drugs, I do not condone it. You are legally underage. However, I cannot watch you and police your every move, all the time. I want to trust you to do the right thing and tell me if you are getting in too deep so that we can work through the problem together.
I want you to know my position up front. If I find any drugs on these premises, on you, or in your room, I will immediately call the police. If I don’t, I could be held legally responsible. If I suspect anything, I will randomly search your room.
If you look drunk or stone at any time, I will ask you to submit to a random drug test. If you test clean, I will honestly and sincerely apologize and my trust for you will grow stronger. If you test dirty or come up with any level or us, the consequences will be severe. They will be less severe if you tell me first or before I administered the test.
6. Talk with You Teen Directly: “Talk early, talk often.”
Don’t avoid these uncomfortable talks – get assertive and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk!
7. Don’t Make Empty Threats:
If you say you’re going to call the police – call the police.
8. Invade Their Privacy:
The majority of problems, drugs included, breed in secrecy, it’s not often you find someone using drugs openly in a public place; for example smoking pot outside of their office building where they are the lead supervisor. As Dr. Sells writes, “to counter crazy behavior, you might need to act a little crazy yourself.” Move in to your teen’s room and tell them you will only move out when they test clean for one month or advertise for a responsible college student to live in your child’s room with them rent free. For more about this, send me an e-mail.
9. Ground Your Teen:
There is an old Buddhist proverb that encourages one to walk barefoot as often as possible as to connect to the earth. Whatever spirituality you believe in, use it to tap in to a grounding and foundation for your child, whether it is yoga, meditation, acupuncture, etc.; find something “greater than ourselves.”
10. Don’t Preach:
Just don’t do it.
Exactly where your teen is at is going to dictate whether or not you need to seek additional resources. These techniques are meant to be used in conjunction with a counselor or some outside help. If you have questions about any of these, please send us an e-mail.
In a recent Study on adolescent behaviors of those who come from households who earn an income of 150,000 or more shows similar behavior issues in “rich kids” versus “poor kids.”
While the most comparable behaviors were high alcohol use, binge-drinking, and marijuana use, there was a difference in affulent teens versus poverty teens in their rule breaking.
Teens coming from rich households were more apt to steal from their parents or peers, while inner-city teens were more likely to commit crimes like carrying a weapon.
Also, national study shows that teens of the rich are two-times more likely to experience emotinal problems (depression, anxiety, etc.) than those who come from low-income or inner-city neighborhoods.
The Millennial generation prizes community, which is very good, but it tends to come at the cost of fearing loneliness. The truth is, being alone can do you a lot of good. Be able to sit quietly—reading, writing, praying or just listening to the silence—and use that time to truly evaluate how your spirit is. Loneliness is exercise for your heart. Do it regularly.
Laughing Yoga is Fabulous!