Reflections from a therapist: Taking Your Child or Teen to Therapy

Reflections from a therapist: Taking Your Child or Teen to Therapy

What you should do before the 1st session

1. DO NOT surprise them. Telling your child what to expect will decrease the anxiety they have about starting therapy. During the first session, you can tell your child to expect to be asked questions, so the therapist gets to know you. There are no wrong or right answers to these questions, therapy is not a test. It’s recommended to tell children about 1-2 days before the first session, and teens about 5-7 days before. Continue reading

How to Help Your Child & Family Come to Terms with this New Reality

Reflections from a Therapist: How to Help Your Child & Family Come to Terms with this New Reality

On May 4th it was announced that New Jersey schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. For many, this is an unsettling time. Kids, adolescents, and teens are missing their peers, teachers, classrooms, sports teams, and clubs. Peer interaction and play are fundamental to their development, and it looks very different right now. Continue reading

Reflections from a therapist: Mother’s Day In Quarantine

Reflections from a therapist: Mother’s Day In Quarantine

Mother’s Day- a day to celebrate and honor mom. I have been having quite mixed emotions upon thinking about the day. Something that has been coming to the surface of my mind is how no matter what your lifestyle is like, whether you have children, single, spouse, etc. we are all currently taking care of ourselves the best we can, and you know who taught us that? Our parents-and most likely our mother, grandmother or some maternal figure. We are digging deep and utilizing the skills of how to survive, find strength, and carry on through the dark of night into the light of day. The basis or foundation of many mothers world wide. Continue reading

Coping for Couples during COVID-19

Reflections from a Therapist: Relationship Tips during Covid

Coping for Couples during COVID-19: 6 Tips to Keep your Relationship Healthy

The Covid-19 social isolation has had an impact on all of our daily lives. We are staying home and couples are spending more time together than before. While that can be great, it can also be challenging. Trying to balance working from home, childcare, household duties, and homeschooling can cause higher levels of stress and anxiety. This may lead couples to become overwhelmed and frustrated with each other. This is completely normal, especially during a crisis. So what can couples do to relieve some of the tension? Here are 6 tips to help from a psychotherapist: Continue reading

Ramadan During Quarantine: Creating a Sacred Place at Home

Ramadan During Quarantine: Creating a Sacred Place at Home

This year Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, will be a different experience for all of us. We won’t be hosting family and friends over for iftar dinners. We won’t be going to the musjid at night to pray. We won’t have that physical sense of community, a time when we usually strengthen our bonds with family and friends.

Despite these difficult and isolating times, I still wanted this holy month to be meaningful. Once I knew Ramadan would be at home due to COVID, I started to plan a Ramadan spent at home with intention. I chose to focus on what we would need to have a meaningful month and really invest in our home space this year to really follow in the Islamic tradition of ease and simplicity.

One night around the dinner table, I had my kids and husband list their duas, or individual prayers. Together, we then created a family master dua list. This way, all of our duas are connected to God and each other. Some of our duas included prayers for the entire worlds healing of Covid and prayers for ours parents who are in Pakistan. Continue reading

Reflections from a Therapist: On Slowing Down

Reflections from a Therapist: On Slowing Down

It’s so easy to get lost in our own lives.

This last month in quarantine has taught me so many valuable lessons, especially in the art of slowing down. Thus far, I have been blessed with a fast paced life, filled with love and joy. As I slowly approach 40, most of my life until now has been rushed. I always felt as though I never had a moment to sit with my thoughts, to truly process it. Continue reading

Reflections from a therapist : Parenting during a Pandemic

Reflections from a therapist : Parenting during a Pandemic

Everyone seems to be saying the same thing since we have been in COVID-19 isolation: this homeschooling while working thing is impossible, infuriating, exhausting, overwhelming, annoying, anxiety provoking. And all that is true, I am learning, as I home school my 4th and 1st grader. I have become a master of flexibility, of letting go, of taking deep breaths and walking away. I have grown to appreciate my husband more in this past four weeks than I have over the past 12 years. I have scratched my head over new math and spent more time than I am interested in on first grade “fundations” (spoiler alert: there’s nothing fun about it). Continue reading

5 Benefits of Getting Outdoors Even During Social Isolation

5 Benefits of Getting Outdoors Even During Social Isolation

“Go play outside!”

You might have heard that from your parents. You might have thought they wanted you out of their hair, or to get away from the TV, but what if we told you they might have had a point? (Gasp, never!) It’s not too surprising though; before the onset of COVID-19, Americans spent more than 90% of their lives indoors. Considering the far reaching effects of coronavirus and social isolation, that percentage may be higher for some.

On the flipside, with many now working from home and children either out of school or participating in school online, many adults and children have rediscovered the outdoors and have used it to their advantage to combat the boredom that comes with social distancing. Continue reading

Coronovius to Settle Your Anxiety

Facts About Coronavirus to Settle Your Anxiety

Facts About Coronavirus to Settle Your Anxiety

Since it’s appearance in December of 2019 in Wuhan, China, COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, has been in the media nonstop. It’s spread to the United States and other nations have put many on edge. While the spread of disease is indeed a serious issue, we here at Olive Branch Therapy Group want to alleviate some of your anxieties with some facts straight from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

First, and foremost, stay calm. Remember, we will get through this!

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness spread via droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Respiratory illnesses are something we have dealt with before.

Continue reading

6 Tips to Declutter Your Mind, Body and Soul this Spring

6 Tips to Declutter Your Mind, Body and Soul this Spring

Birds are singing, the sun is shining and the days are slowly getting longer. You know what time it is? Spring time! And what goes hand and hand with spring time? You got it! Spring cleaning!

While you may dread household chores, there are some great benefits to decluttering your physical spaces. According to one study, women who viewed their homes as clean, were less likely to be fatigued or depressed than those who described their homes as “cluttered.” Tidying up has also been proven to help people to be more focused, sleep better and lead healthier lifestyles.

We sometimes forget that, while it’s great to clean up our physical spaces, we can all benefit from decluttering areas of our lives that aren’t in front of our noses too. Here are six tips that can help with some mind, body and soul spring cleaning. Continue reading