Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Children when Divorce Occurs.

See that the "children aren't forgotten" when divorce occurs.

Children who live in divorcing families often experience their primary relationships as "unpredictable and double binding". These children manage the resulting anxiety by narrowing their feelings and ideas about themselves, other people, and relationships into "very simple and rigid patterns". They become distrustful and begin to avoid closeness as a means of creating safety for themselves. They become distrustful and hard to reach such they are difficult to engage (see "High-Conflict, Violent, and Separating Families" by Vivienne Roseby, Ph.D and Janet R. Johnston, Ph.D).

Michael Van Dam, LCSW, MT-BC is now offering an interactive group designed to demystify children's responses to divorce, to reduce anxiety and shame related to their family experience, to know that "they aren't the only one", and to establish a "new normal" to help them proceed with assurance, confidence, and hope in their lives. As a Certified Music Therapist, Michael will incorporate effective musical interventions into the group format.
For information, contact Michael Van Dam

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mom's Grief Group

Why a group when one is grieving?  A group can be helpful in gathering relevant information, talking and sharing about your loss, and supporting others who have had a similar loss.  I have watched a beautiful group of moms who have had a child die, lift each other in their deep time of grief.  We have two groups specifically for moms who have had a child die.  Daytime group meets Mondays: 11:30 - 1:00 and the evening group is meeting Wednesdays 6:15 - 7:45 pm.   Please contact Becky Andrews, LPC, FT at 801.259.3883 or email: for the specific schedule.

A group member shares:
A mother who has buried her child can't breathe at times, can't see at times, can't hear at times, can't focus hardly anytime.  The group Becky has for us is a place we can breathe again, see other grieving moms, hear familiar sounding problems and pain and allows us to focus where we really want to focus, on our child and how to cope with his/her leaving us.  We feel free to laugh in group because we all know that we may not be laughing an hour from now.  Group is a place of love, understanding, compassion; it's the place where people GET IT.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Parenting Course.

The best way to help a struggling child is to help the family. As a therapist with LDS Family Services for ten years and now continuing my work with Resilient Solutions, many of the mental and behavioral health challenges I address as a therapist precipitate from disruptions in home life and family relationships. For this reason I am focused on strengthening families as a preemptive measure to thwart conditions that could later require complex, expensive, and extensive treatment.
When individual therapy for children is warranted, the desired outcome is achieved more effectively and efficiently when family and home life is addressed simultaneously with the child's individual therapy. Therapy is brief and the results are more lasting when the therapist serves to teach, coach, and model to parents how to become the therapist to the child themselves.

I am offering a course on strengthening the family that will guide parents in creating stability in the home and in establishing secure relationships with their children. Gospel centered principles and practices will be taught that will yield improvement in many dimensions of individual and family life.
Families have their choice between classes on Tuesday evening or Saturday mornings. The eight-week courses will begin Tuesday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 12th at 9:00 a.m.. The cost is $175 per person or $250 per couple.

For questions or information, please contact Michael VanDam, LCSW at 801 815-6152 or

Monday, October 10, 2011


The term practice is inviting.  Often part of the therapeutic process is to practice healthy ways in our life.  Thich Nat Hanh states:

Encourage ourselves to find peace and joy.
If you want to garden, you have to bend down and touch the soil.
Gardening is a practice, not an idea. 
To practice well being, you yourself have to touch
deeply the things that bring you peace.

Face our own suffering directly,
Don't run away from things that are unpleasant in order
to embrace things that are pleasant. 
Put your hands to the earth of your being.
Face the difficulties and grow new happiness.

Don't throw away the pain.  Learn from it.
As we learn, whether by reading, listening, or discussing,
we need to be open so we can see ways to put
what we learn into practice.  If learning is not
followed by reflecting and practicing,
it is not true learning.

There is limited space still available for our Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Course that began last Thursday, 11:45 - 1:00 PM.  If you are interested, contact Becky at 801.259.3883 or Christy at 801.243.4959.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Strength in Numbers. Trauma.

Addressing Trauma – Strength in Numbers

We may at some point in our lives become a witness or even a victim of a traumatic incident. Circumstances of this nature can be shocking, overwhelming, and confusing.

Addressing post-traumatic concerns is imperative for anyone affected by a distressing incident or accident. Many therapists agree that group work is highly valuable and a successful tool as it presents an opportunity to share and gain relief in a safe setting. It also provides a possibility to picture one’s experience through different perspectives, as group members share their point of view from the same situation or similar circumstance.

There is strength in numbers when working through a traumatic experience in a group setting. “The give-and-take of group work offers individuals a nurturing environment for growth, change, renewal and connection” states Shallcross. It can be like a sense of unity in a community of fellow-beings, dealing with similar issues at hand.

Within a group setting, one has the opportunity to come to the realization that one is not alone or isolated with one’s feelings and struggles. One has the opportunity to learn from others and their successes, by learning how others overcame their challenges. Also, when genuinely contributing to the group setting, one usually feels satisfaction as one realizes one’s own contribution helps other group members gain relief. This in turn, empowers and strengthens oneself to tackle one’s own challenges anew and in a more positive way.
Counseling Today/September 2010; Strength in Numbers, Lynne Shallcross; One School’s Response to External Traumatic Events, Thomas J. Pallardy.

Monica, an LAPC with Resilient Solutions, Inc., works with individuals, families and groups who have witnessed traumatic incidences or accidents, and may be suffering with Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Contact Monica Forsman, M.Ed., LAPC, at Resilient Solutions, Inc., in Bountiful, Utah, for questions and information on group/individual therapy concerning trauma issues.

Monica can be reached at (801) 604-5040 or email at: