Tag Archives: help

Whole Brain Parenting Class

Whole Brain Parenting


  • Learn practical, easy-to-understand strategies for helping children manage “big emotions,” tantrums, anxiety, impulsivity, and more.
  • Develop understanding and skills rooted in cutting-edge neuroscience principles.
  • Practice coping skills to enhance mindfulness and remain calm and grounded during parenting challenges.
  • Help your child integrate their left and right brain regions through creativity, sensory engagement, and mindful language.
  • Build a deeper bond with your child, promoting their healthiest brain development, sense of self, and worldview.

$20 per session if paying “at the door” on a week-to-week basis
$120 for all 8 weeks if paid in advance ($40 savings)

Includes Whole Brain Child book, materials, and light refreshments.

Email Kristin at kbelkoferlpc@gmail.com for questions or to register via check or cash

Eventbrite - Whole Brain Parenting

New Events: Divorce Support Group

We have so many great events coming up!  Look back to see what else we have going on at Shoreside Therapies.


We recognize the pain and uncertainty you are facing at the time of a separation or divorce. You don’t need to go through this alone.

Our divorce support group offers you the opportunity to find help from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future.

Divorce support group is free but we require a minimum of 6 persons for the group to run.

8 week support groups are being formed now.

For questions email Cindy Donner cdonnershoreside@gmail.com

phone 414-698-6737
Eventbrite - Divorce Support Group



Codependence Seminar

Codependence Seminar

Are you emotionally drained. Do you feel like your life is filled with drama and you are tired of it? Have you ever thought you codependent?? Would you like simple steps to start creating healthier relationships?

I am offering a seminar and potentially a 6 week class focusing on skills to help you to create boundaries, gain more time, and gain more emotional energy!

Check it out.

Click here to register for Codependence Seminar

Codependency involves a habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that can cause pain.
Codependent behaviors or habits are self-destructive.
We frequently react to people who are destroying themselves; we react by learning to destroy ourselves. These habits can lead us into, or keep us in, destructive relationships that don’t work. These behaviors can sabotage relationships that may otherwise have worked. These behaviors can prevent us from finding peace and happiness with the most important person in our lives…. ourselves. These behaviors belong to the only person we can change.. ourselves.

This seminar has the capability of becoming a 6 week class.

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if you would like to join the waiting list for the 6 week class, or if you have any questions about this upcoming Codependence Seminar

Laurie Groh, MS, LPC, SAS
Shoreside Therapies
4530 N Oakland Ave
Whitefish Bay, WI53211


Homemade Energy Drink – StumbleUpon

Picture of Homemade Energy Drink
I started out with the intention of coming up with a recipe for a homemade version of the store bought energy drinks, but after doing some research and discovering how unhealthy they are for you, I decided instead to try and design a less sugar/caffeine fueled way to help myself through the workday afternoon sleepy slump.

What I landed on was a system of three drinks and some energy boosting ideas that are going a long way to helping me keep my energy up all day long! Here’s the good on the drinks:

The Fire Hydrant (left) – 3-4 8oz glasses throughout the day

filtered water
1 slice lemon
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Other than getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do to help keep your body functioning at optimum levels. So this drink is just water with a squeezed lemon slice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The lemon not only tastes good, but is also super alkaline* which helps your body maintain a healthy pH level. The cayenne pepper helps raise energy levels naturally and provides protection for your heart by helping to maintain proper cardiovascular movement throughout the body. Combining this with 4-5 glasses of regular water will bring you up to your recommended 8 glasses of water per day!

*For an explanation of lemons’ miraculous transition from acidic outside of the body, to alkaline once ingested, visit this link: http://phbalance.wikispaces.com/Lemons+Alkaline%3F

The Quick Fix (center) – as needed, during the day
(I don’t recommend drinking it at night as it might keep you up)

hot water
1 1/2 – 2 tsp honey (to taste)
1 inch of fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp tumeric

Cut off two thin slices of ginger and place in your cup or mug.
Use a garlic press to juice the remaining ginger into your mug.
Add both spices and fill your mug with hot water and stir.

This is the closest thing I found to a non-caffeine/refined sugar pick me up! And I find it pretty delicious. Ginger speeds up metabolism and increases circulation. It also aids in the digestive process which can help stave off the post lunch coma that contributes to the afternoon slump. Turmeric, a cousin of ginger, also helps speed things up in the body, including energy levels! And Cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Honey is mother nature’s equivalent of an energy shot and is one of the best kinds of sugars for your body.

The Heavy Lifter (right) – 1 glass in the morning

1 ripe banana
1/4 cup raw almonds or 2 tbsp almond butter
1 scoop of high quality whey protein powder (low sugar content)
2 washed kale leaves
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)

According to Dr. Oz, sixty percent of women don’t get enough protein in their diets and that is often the number one reason for fatigue! (http://www.doctoroz.com/media/print/11196) A morning protein shake is a really easy and delicious way to make sure that you’re starting the day off well fueled. Pair this with a piece of whole grain toast and you have everything you need to give you a solid energy foundation for the day.

The next steps are energy booster tips that I find, when done along with the drinks, help me keep on keeping on all day long!

Hand Mudra Meanings, Explanations and Benefits

Hand Mudra Meanings, Explanations and Benefits

While at yoga class or watching a yoga video, you may have noticed certain hand movements that are held while in a pose or during meditation. These are called Hand Mudras, and they have a specific and deliberate purpose.

What is a Mudra?Mudra is Sanskrit for seal, mark, or gesture. Typically, mudras are used during meditation or pranayama as a way to direct energy flow in the body. According to yoga, different areas of the hand stimulate specific areas of the brain. By applying light pressure to these areas of the hand, you will “activate” the corresponding region of the brain.In addition to the “reflexology” aspect of hand mudras, these positions symbolize various feelings, emotions, and states of being. Hand positions play a part in many societies and religions. The Christian church uses many hand movements during mass – all of which symbolize various important ideas. Even in modern Western culture we have hand movements that are associated with a meaning: clapping, flipping the bird, or holding the hands up and palms open to signify surrender.The mudras described below are an ancient part of the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Although they were developed thousands of years ago – their meaning is still understood and relevant today.Gyan MudraGyan MudraDescription: The index finger and thumb are lightly touching at the tips. The remaining three fingers are held out gently not ridged. This is one of the most recognized and commonly used mudras. In many depictions of the Buddha, you will notice he holds this mudra.Meaning: This hand mudra is also known as the “seal of knowledge.” The thumb represents fire and divine nature and the index finger represents air and individual human consciousness. When the two fingers are placed together in Gyan Mudra, it is meant to symbolize and encourage Wisdom and Expansion.Benefits: When used during meditation or pranayama, Gyan mudra can help ease drowsiness, inspire creativity, and increase concentration.Shuni MudraShuni MudraDescription: The middle finger and thumb are lightly touching at the tips. The remaining three fingers are held out gently not ridged.Meaning: This hand mudra is also known as the “seal of patience.” The middle finger represents Aakash and courage to hold duty and responsibility. The thumb represents fire and divine nature. When the two fingers are placed together in Shuni Mudra, it is meant to symbolize and encourage Patience, Discernment, Focus and Discipline.Benefits: When used during meditation or pranayama, Shuni Mudra can help encourage patience and the courage to fulfill one’s responsibilities. It also helps to develop noble thoughts and turn negative emotions into positive ones.Surya Ravi Mudra or Prithvi MudraSurya Ravi MudraDescription: The ring finger and thumb are lightly touching at the tips. The remaining three fingers are held out gently not ridged.Meaning: This hand mudra is also known as the “seal of life” or “seal of the sun.” The ring finger represents earth, energy, strength and endurance. The thumb represents fire and divine nature. When the two fingers are placed together in Surya Ravi Mudra, it is meant to symbolize and encourage energy, balance, health, and vitality.Benefits: When used during meditation or pranayama, Surya Ravi Mudra can give you energy, positivity, intuition, and help encourage positive change in your life. It also helps to build and invigorate the bodily tissues.Buddhi Mudra or Varun MudraVarun MudraDescription: The little finger and thumb are lightly touching at the tips. The remaining three fingers are held out gently not ridged.Meaning: This hand mudra is also known as the “seal of mental clarity.”  The little finger represents water and communication. The thumb represents fire and divine nature. When the two fingers are placed together in Buddhi Mudra, it is meant to symbolize and encourage openness and fluid communication.Benefits: When used during meditation or pranayama, Buddhi Mudra can encourage clear and effective communication. It also helps balance the water element in the body, activating the salivary glands and moistening dry eyes and skin.

via Hand Mudra Meanings, Explanations and Benefits.

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate – StumbleUpon

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate – StumbleUpon.

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to CooperateSEXPAND

As the parent of a preschooler, I often notice myself feeling frustrated and asking myself, “Why won’t she cooperate?!” If you have a young child at home, I know you understand. There are times when I’m tired or hungry or in a rush and I just want my daughter to do exactly as I say instantly without questioning, avoiding, or delaying.P

What I’ve noticed is that as soon as I get attached to things going a certain way, my daughter has different ideas. I can understand why. Nobody likes to be forced to do anything. Not even young kids. Or maybe especially not young kids. I mean, toddlers and preschoolers are just developing their will and learning to act independently of us. So, of course they’re going to push back when we thrust our will upon them.P

As a preschool teacher and now as a mom, I’ve discovered that there are certain things I can do that greatly increase the chances that kids will cooperate with me. Here are six secrets to getting kids to cooperate that have worked like a charm for me:P

Invite, Don’t DemandP

We all want our children to “ask nicely,” but the truth is, that’s easier said than done. My question is, where do you think they learned to be demanding and inflexible? Oh yeah, from us! If we want our kids to cooperate, then we’ve got to be the bigger, more mature ones and lead by example. Contrary to popular belief, asking nicely, inviting, and working together to find a solution to a problem doesn’t teach children to be more defiant or disobedient, instead, by doing these things you’re laying a foundation of trust and teamwork that your kids will soon learn to rely on.P

Use this quick test to figure out whether your request is actually a demand. Ask yourself, “Would it be OK if they answered ‘no’ to this request?” If not, then you’re not actually inviting or asking, you’re demanding or requiring a specific behavior. That’s OK some of the time, especially if safety is an issue, but remember, the more demands you make on your kids, the less true, internally motivated cooperation you’re likely to get.P

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have expectations of your children. It’s just that when those expectations aren’t met, it’s helpful to see that as an opportunity to problem solve together, rather than an excuse to punish them into submission.P

Turn it Into a GameP

Kids love to play. When you can make something fun, they’re far more likely to get on board. This does require some creativity and spontaneity on your part. When your child refuses to leave the park, can you find a way to make getting to the car more fun? Maybe you’ll pretend you’re firefighters and you have to jump into the firetruck to go put out the fire. Or perhaps you’ll race, or hop like a bunny, or offer a ride on your shoulders. Making things more fun isn’t just a great way to gain your child’s cooperation, it’s also a way to enjoy your time with them more. I mean, which would you prefer, a power struggle where you force your child kicking and screaming into his care seat or a fun game in which he climbs in willingly?P

If you’re not sure what kind of a game will work best, tune in to your child’s interests. If she loves princesses, then you’ll be her knight in shining armor or her trusty steed. If he’s into trucks, you can ask if he wants to be fork-lifted into the car. Or maybe you’ve just read a story about a friendly fish, so try acting it out! If you just can’t seem to come up with an idea, ask your child what to play. Most kids are more than ready with a suggestion for a fun game or activity that you can alter slightly to fit your agenda.P

Stop Repeating YourselfP

This is a mistake we all make, especially when we’re not getting the results we want. Trust me that repeating yourself is the last thing you want to do if you’re trying to foster cooperation. Your child heard you the first time, and by repeating yourself, you’re simply training her to stop listening and wait for you to get frustrated before she acts.P

Children are discovering all sorts of things about the world around them, including vast amounts of information about social/emotional dynamics. When they throw you off your game or induce you to get frustrated or upset, they’re gathering very interesting data about how to get what they want and what might cause you to reconsider your position. Don’t fall prey to their cunning.P

When you can keep your cool and maintain clear boundaries, your kids will still test you, but after they’ve tested all their theories about how to get around your rule with no success, they will find other areas far more interesting and emotionally rich.P

Be ForgetfulP

But what about when you’ve asked once and they’re not responding? Instead of asking again, take a different tack. Be forgetful and invite them to remind you what you said a moment ago. “Wait, I forget, didn’t I just ask you to do something? What was that? I think we were getting ready to go somewhere, but can you please remind me where?”P

This allows the kids to be the smarter ones and if there’s one thing children love, it’s being smarter and more capable than adults.P

Let Them Be In ChargeP

That’s why you’ll get a lot more cooperation when you allow them to be in charge. No need to constantly corral them, just put one child in charge of getting everyone ready and out the door and you’ll be surprised how quickly it will happen. This works especially well with my daughter when I underestimate her abilities and she gets to prove how smart and capable she is. “You don’t know how to do that all by yourself, do you?” And then when she has her shoes on and is climbing into her car seat, “Wow, you knew exactly what to do to get ready to go and you didknow how to do it!”P

Cooperate With ThemP

There are times when even the most cooperative child just needs some extra help. This could be because they’re tired, sick, hungry, or just feeling sad and disconnected. So if nothing else seems to work, offer to help. During times like this, we like to play a game in which my daughter pretends to be a baby and I have to do everything for her. After just a few moments of this game, she is far more willing to do what I’ve asked or help me with something. That’s because she knows that when she really needs some extra support, I’m there to willingly and happily provide her with the support she needs.P

Vitamins and herbs for strong, healthy hair

Vitamins for healthy hair

The first vitamin for hair health is biotin. This is actually a form of vitamin B that is widely used to help prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth. It is often recommended for chemotherapy patients to help increase the rate of growth.

It is also useful for thinning hair and is thought to help with loss of hair pigmentation although no conclusive evidence has been found. Biotin helps our bodies to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates. It can be found naturally in Swiss chard, liver, halibut and goat milk, to name a few.

Several other B vitamins help with hair loss or slow hair growth as well. Panthenol, or vitamin B5 is often used externally in shampoos and other hair products to help increase thickness. It has the ability to penetrate the cuticle and increase the diameter as a topical supplement.

A deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, which stunts hair growth. Supplements of this vitamin often fall short as they don’t absorb very well. Vitamin B12 shots are given for energy support in those who are deficient. However you can also increase your levels of this vitamin by eating foods such as grass fed beef, egg yolks and free range poultry.

Antioxidant vitamins are also an important source of nutrition for healthy hair. Vitamins C, E and A are important for the health of the skin and hair. They increase the health and efficiency of the entire body, thereby “freeing up” the resources to feed your hair the nutrients it needs on a daily basis. They help promote healthy connective tissues and cellular growth. A diet rich in these vitamins provides support for vibrant, abundant hair growth. Vitamin E also increases scalp circulation which in turn promotes hair growth.

Herbs for healthy hair

The foremost herb known for adding beauty and luster to the hair when taken orally is horsetail. Named for its long brush-like appearance, this herb is packed with a nutrient called silica. Silica is a substance that strengthens bones, nails and hair.

Siloca adds resilience to the hair by fortifying it with strength and thereby lessening breakage and thinning. Silica also is known for increasing shine and body thanks to the additional strength and presumably increased volume of hair. It is a relatively inexpensive herb and is used extensively for brittle or unhealthy hair.

Rosemary is an excellent herb to use topically to promote hair growth and increase scalp health. When applied to the scalp rosemary increases circulation and helps to gently remove excess sebum and dandruff, which can inhibit healthy hair growth.

Lavender is another herb that enhances the beauty of the hair. Lavender helps increase shine and gently cleanse deposits that dull the hair.

Hops are not only a main ingredient in beer. They make an excellent natural hair conditioner and softener when applied topically. The herb also contains silica so it helps fortify the hair from within. Many popular hair supplements use this to add strength and resilience.

Sources for this article include:





via Vitamins and herbs for strong, healthy hair.

How to Express Your Feelings in a Respectful Way

People often tell me that they have problems maintaining calm and respectful communication with their partner even though they intended to. They start out fine, but can’t follow through when their partner responds in disrespectful or angry ways. Some of these couples need the presence of an experienced couples therapist to be able to maintain calm and repair disruptions.

This article offers a communication model that outlines how to practice maintaining communication regarding how you feel in an honest and open way while keeping your calm. This is not about feeling good or even comfortable. This is about practicing staying calm even though you feel hurt and angry.

The rationale for this is having a fuller understanding of each other’s perspectives. Feeling angry doesn’t necessarily mean that you are bound to break up. It means that there is something you need to take care of.

If you manage to find solutions together, you will feel closer, safer, and understood on a deeper level. Imagine explaining to your partner that you are hurt and angry in a calm way. Also, imagine that your partner is able to hear you and respond in a loving way.

Because it is easier to express positive feelings and talk about what’s right in your relationship, I will recommend that you start with five positive statements about yourself, your partner, and your relationship. Build from the following, if you like:

What do you love about your partner?

What do you love about the relationship?

What is most important to you?

Give a concrete example of what makes you feel loved.

Give a concrete example of what you look forward to.

Expressing your love, appreciation, and willingness to stay connected and find solutions together is essential for your partner’s willingness to hear you out and consider your requests and proposed solutions to problems you are having.

Expressing feelings of frustration, anger, fear, and sadness is a lot harder and takes some consideration. If you are able to stay calm and collected while you talk about your feelings, your chances of staying on track are higher. If you avoid blaming your partner and instead talk about what you feel, think, and what is important to you and why, it is more likely that your partner will respond positively.

Try to make it easier for your partner to listen to you and refrain from interrupting you and subsequently defending herself/himself. Try to make your statements more about yourself than about your partner. This is probably one of the hardest things to do. Self-expression is about defining yourself and what is most important to you, which is not easy when you are feeling upset and hurt.

It is natural in a relationship to feel at times that the other person is to blame. However, if you consider the matter, you will become aware that you have a responsibility for your own responses and reactions, and how you function as a partner has an influence on the relationship. Your feelings are your own, and to blame others for them is not conductive for your individual or relationship growth.

Before you start expressing feelings of anger and hurt, I recommend that you think about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Consider the following:

What are your feelings? Do you feel angry, hurt, sad, scared, lonely, jealous, guilty, etc.?

Give concrete examples such as, “I feel scared when you don’t call.”

Focus more on what you feel, think, and want, not on your partner’s shortcomings. “I feel lonely and I miss what we used to do together.”

Tell your partner why it is important to you that you honestly and openly express your feelings. Make sure you explain that self-expression goes both ways, and that it takes courage to talk about feeling vulnerable. Showing vulnerabilities is a sign of strength, and talking openly and honestly about how you feel is not a weakness.

Be mindful of how you express yourself. Tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and eye contact are more important than most people think. Most of what you actually communicate to your partner has to do with how you communicate.

Be open and explicit about your intentions for having the conversation.

Make sure you are not having this conversation to get back at your partner. If you are very angry, you might feel vengeful. If that is the case, calm yourself and consider what is most important to you and what kind of partner you would like to be.

Don’t expect immediate success. Self-expression is a skill which takes practice to master. Ask for professional help if you need to.

via How to Express Your Feelings in a Respectful Way.

Thank you

Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS

Mental Health Counselor at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay

Teas for Mental Health and Well Being

Best Teas for Mental Health and Well Being

My goal this week it to find more information on tea and the mental health benefits.  Some teas help with tension, stress, sadness, sleep difficulties, even lactation and bowel movements.

First I will share (and give you a link) my favorites, which I believe do have a benefit.  I have personally found that these teas have relaxed me.  I do also pick teas based on my taste preference. So look around and see what you like.  I posted these to help you quickly get linked to them if you are interested.

Chamomile Tea (Teas for Mental Health)

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The most popular tea known to calm and relax is chamomile tea. Researchers in England have found that German chamomile tea contains the amino acid glycine. Sciencedaily.com reports that glycine “is known to act as a nerve relaxant, which may also explain why the tea seems to act as a mild sedative, according to the American Chemical Society.”

Valerian Root (Teas for Mental Health)

Valerian is from northern Europe and central Asia.It is known for its calming effect and is used for insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, tension headache and upset stomach, according to nutrasanus.com. When added to water or brewed as a tea.  Valerian also encourages sleep.  Valerian tea isfrom the root of the valerian plant, which is native to

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Lavender Tea (Teas for Mental Health)

Lavender eases anxiety and calm nervousness.  Another benefit is that lavender is also loaded with flavonoids and tannins. Flavonoids are potent antioxidants, and tannins are credited with keeping unhealthy bacteria out of your mouth, which helps to impede dental cavities, according to the “Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.”

Linden Tea (Teas for Mental Health)

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Linden leaves and flowers have long been used by Native Americans to treat

nervous stomach. The brew is potent and can only be used for a short time. According to teabenefits.com, linden tea may relieve tension and anxiety, ease restlessness and calm the nerves.

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Warning: It is important to research and understand the potency, efficacy and contradictions of any herbal product, including tea leaves and flowers, before you ingest it. If you are on medications, it is recommended that you get approval from your physician before using any herbal product.

 Throat Coat

I am a true believer in Throat Coat.  It has cured my sore throat on numerous occasions in one day.  The trick is drinking a lot of it!  It feels really good on your throat as well.  The taste is smooth and delicious.  Here is the link.  They have many other great teas as well! Traditional Medicinals  http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/seasonal_products

Yogi Bedtime Tea

Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night

I also love Yogi Bedtime and Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night.   I have had many times where I feel asleep so easily after have these teas.  I do typically have 2-3 cups, because I love it so much.  It makes the effects more dramatic.

Nighty Night has passionflower (used for insomnia)

chamomile and linden flower.  It is a wonderful combination.

To see photos of these teas or purchase these teas click here.

Thank you

Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS

Mental Health Counselor at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay

teas for mental health