Women

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: Narcissists will drain the life out of you

1-Minute Read- NarcissistsA narcissist often presents as super confident, but what lies behind the mask is a fragile self-esteem.  Narcissists have to be right and cannot handle criticism.   And lastly, they don’t care about you (though they claim to) and they will drain the life out of you.

Does this sound like someone you know? 

Other common characteristics of a narcissistic personality disordered (NPD) individual:

Grandiose sense of self-importance

Sense of entitlement

Requires excessive admiration

My way or the highway attitude

Easily rages (particularly in interpersonal relationships)

Lacks empathy

Many of my clients are in relationships with a NPD partner, parent, boss, friend or family member.  Some didn’t realize it.  Maybe you didn’t either.

What’s important to know is that relationships don’t have to be this way; this isn’t “normal”.

Relationships are difficult enough but throw into the mix a narcissistic personality and what you are left with is self-doubt, confusion, drama and a lot of emotional pain.  A narcissist never asks the question “Why is my relationship so difficult”?  That is because they know the answer:  It is because of you.  They never take responsibility and they are master manipulators.

This is a serious situation!  If you or someone you love could be in a relationship with a NPD individual, then please reach out for help.  A lot of outside validation and support will be needed to heal.  I speak from experience, I have been there!


 

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: Bad behavior – Don’t accept it!

1-Minute Read- Bad behavior - Don't accept it!As a general rule I am sure we all agree on this, but you would be surprised how many women allow others to treat them poorly. This includes spouses, children, co-workers and friends.

My experience in working with women is that many have conflict avoidance. I get it. It’s not easy speaking up to some people, and standing your ground is no walk in the park.

If you do not already know the saying “We teach people how to treat us” then go ahead a commit it to memory. It’s true. Every time you allow someone to be rude to you (whether intentional or not), you are sending them a green light for more. In my opinion it not only hurts you but it hurts them to be rude to you. So you are not doing the other person a favor by allowing their rude behavior to continue.

Children watch closely as to how you treat others and allow others to treat you. Your children will have experiences dealing with difficult personalities and they will need a good role model.

If this is not a strength of yours, it’s okay. You can learn to be assertive (self-confident). It feels really good (after you get past the fear). You will need a good coach/counselor and a lot of practice. Your future self and your children will thank you (or at least I like to think my kids will).

The simple message here is DO NOT ALLOW OTHERS TO TREAT YOU POORLY. You matter. Maybe you can’t change another person but you can ask for change in how they behave toward you. You can let your voice be heard. You can stand up for yourself. This is a great start!


 

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: A path to healthy self-esteem and happiness

1-Minute Read- Want a better path to healthy self-esteem and happinessWant to know a better path to healthy self-esteem and happiness? Try some self-compassion. In other words, cut yourself some slack!

In my work with girls and women, I have found self-compassion to be an area where women are lacking. We women can be so hard on ourselves; this isn’t good for our health (emotional or physical).

So why are you so hard on yourself? Is it actually helping you feel better or to be a better person (mom, daughter, wife, sister)?  My guess is that it is not.  No need to keep doing something that is not working, right?

I remember when I was younger and my mom noticed that I was being very hard on myself. She suggested I view and talk to myself as if I were talking to a child in a compassionate manner. I did this and it worked! As a matter of fact, it has been something I have kept up for most of my life.

The world would be a kinder place if we could all embrace a little more compassion for ourselves and others. Remember, it’s a journey!

I’m here to help.


 

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: Ever have a difficult relationship?

1-Minute Read- ever have a difficult relationshipHave you ever had a friendship that left you feeling confused, hurt or angry? It’s not only our children who struggle with difficult friendships. Adults can struggle with friendships just as much as our kids. We all have them!

Here are some questions I frequently hear:

How do I tell my friend that he/she has hurt my feelings?

How do I end a friendship? Is this mean?

How do I get over a hurtful experience within a friendship?

These are great questions. Things to consider when seeking solutions are your own patterns (people pleaser, peace maker) and your ability to deal with uncomfortable feelings.

Knowing those answers will also help us be a role model for our children on how to handle difficult friendships. At times we need to know how to speak our mind.  At times we need to know how to set boundaries. At times we need to be able to end a toxic relationship.

It is very important to get clarity on all of our relationships so that we can feel empowered in them. Remember that whenever one friendship ends it opens the door for other relationships to enter. Change is not a negative.


 

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: How to Deal with Strong Emotions

Myth Emotions are for girls 2Why aren’t we teaching our children how to understand their emotions? Maybe it’s because we don’t understand ours? Maybe it’s because we have been taught to ignore or deny what we are feeling. Feelings don’t lie. Our feelings are never wrong.

Three steps to dealing with strong emotions:

1. Feel your feelings. The problem is we have so little tolerance for uncomfortable feelings. Stop trying to escape them. Sit with them. They are a part of you. Feelings are not facts. They will pass but they will also come back to you.

2. Share your feelings. As social beings we are meant to share, especially our feelings. Share with a trusted person. It can bring you a sense of relief or a sense of calm. Sharing can help you to realize you are not alone and it can help you to find the answers you desperately seek.

3. Re-frame the situation. Give an emotion or event a different interpretation. Shakespeare says “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. How you sort and file events will affect how you feel about them.

Emotions make our lives rich.  Embrace them.  Understand them.

Parent Tip:  Help your children to sit with their uncomfortable feelings. Show them how to do it.  Talk about feelings.  Share them.  Seek guidance.  Read books.  Emotional intelligence is critical to your child’s future personal and professional success


 

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: Talk About What Hurts!

1-Minute Read- talk about what hurtsWe all have struggled emotionally.  I have.  You have.  Some of us talk about it and others do not.

If I had not talked about my divorce when I was going through it, I would have suffered a lot more.  If I had tried to deal with my parenting struggles alone, I would have felt isolated and confused.

My talking and reaching out to supportive people (family, friends and a great therapist) made all the difference.  Like many others, I had to overcome the embarrassment of admitting that I was struggling (and therefore sad, confused, hurt, and anxious).  

My wish is that you learn how to embrace your issues (your problems) too, because we all have them.

I see so many women and girls who have kept so much inside of them that they are about to explode (with anger, anxiety) or implode (through depression).  Keeping your emotions trapped is very emotionally damaging.  

Parent tip:  Demonstrate for your children that you have difficult and unpleasant emotions.  By demonstrate I mean let them see you sad, mad, or hurt.  These emotions are real.  You are real.  The trick here is to be able to talk about your emotions and show your children how to work through and mange those unpleasant feelings.  There is a difference between productive talking and letting loose (without control).  This gives your children permission to own their emotions without feeling broken or bad.

It’s time to start talking about what is hurting us!  

 


 

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.

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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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Retired Arlington County Teacher
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Kelly
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