Girls

1-Minute Read: Healthy & Productive Conflict

1-MINUTE READ- Healthy & productive conflictBeing able to navigate relationship conflict is essential to happiness and success in life.

Conflict often indicates a struggle or a state of opposition. Because many girls and women are uncomfortable with disagreement and seek to “people please”, they perceive conflict as a negative. Of course, conflict can be uncomfortable and even ugly at times but it doesn’t have to be… if you understand how to have healthy and productive conflict.

It’s a simple recipe:

Say how you feel.

Ask for what you need/want.

Remember to check your emotions at the door (if possible) and remain calm.

Here is an example: “I am feeling left out by my friends and I would like to spend more time with them. I’m afraid I might lose them.”

No one can argue with how you feel. It is always okay to ask for something (in my book).

You might have to spend some time understanding your emotions and motivations beforehand so you can communicate what you want/need clearly.

Let’s teach ourselves and our daughters how to have healthy and productive conflict. It’s a great beginning to label conflict this way and let others know this IS a possibility.

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Why Girls Have More Anxiety Than Boys

1-Minute Read- Why girls have more anxiety than boysConsider this as one reason why girls have more anxiety than boys… girls use social media in different (and more harmful) ways than boys.

Girls tend to post more pictures of themselves (usually looking cute). Boys tend to post more pictures of themselves doing something (or achieving something). If a girl does not get many “likes” for a photo of herself, she is likely to dwell and internalize the meaning (i.e. no one thinks she is pretty). If a boy does not get many “likes” for a picture of him receiving a medal/award, it doesn’t matter so much because he already got his recognition.

Girls tend to seek more external validation for their self-worth and physical appearance. Boys seem to have more internal validation. As a girl reaches adolescence she is likely to be less happy with her body. The opposite is true for boys.

When girls turn to social media for validation, their self-esteem is at risk.

Fragile self-esteem, an excessive need for external validation, and too much screen-time equal more anxiety for girls.

This is something to be aware of as you raise your daughter in this very challenging time in history. I have not finished raising my daughters (do we ever?) so I am on this road with you. Let’s support each other by keeping the conversation alive.

Here’s to raising strong, resilient daughters.

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Girls and Quiet Leadership

1-Minute Read - Girls and Quiet LeadershipNot all leaders are loud or bossy. Not all girls are loud or bossy. Many parents want to encourage their daughters to be leaders, but many girls shy away from this title – and for good reason. Girls have different personalities and some are shy and quiet and that’s okay.

Girls need to realize that leaders can be quiet, soft-spoken, introverted and thoughtful (as well as loud and bossy). Famous introverts include Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks and Mark Zuckerberg. I love Rosa Parks’ version of leadership. What she did was say NO! How powerful.

Tips to help girls embrace their own brand of leadership:

• Avoid “excessive” praise of girls who are well-behaved. I want girls to know that it is not the ultimate goal to NEVER get in trouble or to hold themselves up to impossible standards of “always being good”.

• Teach girls that all questions are good (though this may be contrary to how she feels in school) especially in middle school or if she has ever been made fun of for asking a question.

• Encourage girls to have a voice in their friendships. Can your daughter tell her friends what she wants to do when playing or does she let others decide?

• Teach girls the difference between speaking up (which you want her to do) versus talking back (which implies disrespect).

My goal is to help girls embrace their personality type, especially if they are quiet and introverted. They can be leaders – starting in their friendship circles and families.

Here’s to raising strong, confident and resilient girls!

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Don’t let your emotions runs your life

1-Minute Read-don't let your emotions run your lifeLife gives you plenty of reasons to get mad, sad, irritated and frustrated. These feelings are all okay.

Sometimes, however, it may feel as though your emotions are taking over. If your emotions are feeling overwhelming to you, causing trouble in your relationships or interfering with work or school, then you may need some help in understanding your emotions, identifying triggers and learning tools to manage them.

Tips to Manage Strong Emotions:

• Stay calm and mindful
• Develop healthy outlets (emotional and physical)
• Get support
• Stay connected to your support system

If your child(ren) also struggle with strong emotions, then you definitely want to make sure you can be a positive role model.

It’s a sign of strength to own your emotions and admit to being human.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Confidence!

Authenticity_breeds_confidenceI have always been curious about confidence. What is it? How do you get it? Why do some people have more of it than others?

As a woman and as a counselor I have been on my own journey to understand the mystery of confidence. In the February issue of the Warrenton Lifestyle you can find my article on “The Mystery of Confidence” (click link here to read it).

Hundreds of girls and women have shared with me their struggles and their pain. I often hear these words: “I don’t feel worthy”, “I don’t like myself/my body”, “I don’t have the confidence to say/do that”. It takes courage to be so vulnerable – even with a therapist. I appreciate the trust many have given me as I help them to understand themselves and their relationships.

Confidence is built with the winning combination of right thinking and action.

You can learn how to think in an empowered way.

You can learn how to act in an empowered way.

You can learn to feel and be more confident.

Confidence is a requirement for healthy relationships.

Above all, we must be authentic. Authenticity breeds confidence.

Learn what is weakening or has destroyed your confidence and most importantly, learn how to build or restore your confidence. I would love to help you.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: It’s Going to be a GREAT Year!

1-Minute Read- It's Going to be a GREAT Year!Why not think it’s going to be a great year?  Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?  I do.

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that focuses on the bright side.  A growing number of people believe in the effects of positive thinking.  Yet, it will take more than just believing in it.  It will take daily practice which includes visualization and affirmations.

Affirmations are statements made with confidence about perceived truths.  They have the ability to program your mind.  If you want to attract something positive into your life, then start with a positive thought, affirmation and visualization.  I have used this concept in my own life with much success.

I am very excited about this coming year.  I am looking forward to personal changes in my life and growing professionally.  If you want to know exactly what I am talking about you will need to look at my vision board which helps me to stay focused on the positive and get excited about the future!

By the way, vision boards are great activities to do with children as they tend to be more visual anyway.  Let’s help our children stay focused on positivity.  It starts with us.

What are you anticipating in 2016?  Happy Positive Thinking!

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Break the Cycle of Holiday Stress-Eating!

1-Minute Read- Break the cycle of holiday stress-eatingIf you find yourself stress-eating during the holidays (or anytime), please know how very common this is for women in particular. Maybe it’s our way of self-nurturing or maybe it’s just how we handle stress.

I have noticed with many of my clients who stress-eat that they are missing one very important thing in their life. They are missing COMPASSION — for themselves. Self-compassion heals! Being angry at yourself or hating yourself is never productive, but an alarming number of females engage in this behavior frequently and regularly.

What can you do differently?

Holiday stress-eating isn’t likely to take over when you stay mindful of your stress, your eating and your patterns. Try pushing the pause button next time you find yourself stress-eating. Ask yourself:

• Why I am doing this?
• How will I feel about this later?

Would you like to replace stress-eating with a healthier and happier habit? That’s right, it’s just a habit and habits can be replaced.

Stay mindful! Do something nice for YOU! You deserve it! Carve out a small piece of time – just for you.

P.S. It’s great modeling for your kids.

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Holiday Stress Getting to You?

HOLIDAY STRESSSometimes I think that the holiday stress is now in my DNA.  What about you?  After years of having stressful holiday moments, is it possible that I anticipate the stress without checking into the reality of my holiday situation?  Probably! Just the thoughts of all those gifts I think I should buy and all of those things on my “to do” list I think I should do are what really stresses me out.

Think about what stresses you out.  Actually spend some time writing down where your stress comes from (out-of-town guests, cooking, cleaning, finances, kids, etc.)  As is often the case, our stress swims around in our heads creating a mild (or not so mild) type of anxiety.  This frequently triggers a chain reaction of stress = anxiety = snapping = arguing = fighting.  You know the routine.

My suggestion is to become super mindful about this process.  Talking to a calm friend or counselor can help you to identify stressors, triggers and patterns in behavior and thought – all good information. Change follows awareness and it starts with our thoughts.  

If you would like some help in breaking old patterns of thoughts and behavior, I would love to hear from you. This is a great process to acknowledge with your children.  It’s a gift that never stops giving.

Wishing you peaceful moments during this holiday season!


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1 Minute Read: The Confidence Gap

One-Minute Read-The Confidence GapResearch shows that females are less confident than males.  In my book, confidence is as important as competence.

I was not confident as a child or a young adult.  I felt held back, frustrated, stuck, confused and hopeless at times.  I learned how to be confident through a winning combination of right-thinking and action.

It also helped having an awesome therapist who helped me navigate through difficult mental terrain and many challenging transition periods (such as school, marriage, parenting, divorce, business ownership). I continue to work with an awesome therapist because I’m certain there is more to come in my life where I will want and need her guidance.

How confident are you?

Why do you think you have shaky confidence (in certain areas)?

Do you know how to build your self-confidence?

I want to empower females to catch up to the guys in the area of CONFIDENCE.  We can do it!  

Need some support and guidance?  I would be happy to help you on your confidence journey.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: What your daughter needs most… is what you need most

1minute readGirls and women need more confidence.

  • With confidence a girl will be able to speak up for herself in school and with friends/boyfriends.
  • With confidence a woman will be able to ask for a raise or set appropriate boundaries in her relationships.

We’re not born with confidence.  We create it.

It comes from a tiny spark of confidence which we all have; it just needs fuel to grow. 

Confidence is often situation-specific.  However, if you have it in one area of your life, you can share it with other areas — such as from dancing to relationships.

“Relationship Confidence” is an essential part of your happiness.  My passion is helping women and girls build their confidence — especially their relationship confidence.

Interested in rating (and improving) your “Relationship Confidence”? We should talk.

 

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

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I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I left your office so inspired today.
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AnnaMay
To say Michelle changed our lives would not be an exaggeration. She was very empathetic and non-judgmental... She didn't make our daughter feel badly... She didn't make my husband and myself feel like incompetent parents.
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Linda
I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.
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Grace
People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.
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Chris
We felt comfortable knowing that Michelle would be the kind of counselor that would help our daughter see the good in herself, but also question some of her choices and actions.
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Patricia
You have brought back the communication ability that I thought that I lost. You helped her understand what we were feeling and she is such a better person for seeing you.
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Maggie
Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment. All seems to be good now. She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.
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With Michelle’s guidance, I was able to accomplish in approximately 8 months what I hadn’t been able to over the past 15 years.
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Elizabeth
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Anne
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Retired Arlington County Teacher
She helped me focus my attention toward problem-solving issues.
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She helped me in so many ways!
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Kelly
Michelle Kelly saved my life. What more can I say?
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