Moving Forward – working to heal the divide

Moving Forward – working to heal the divide

The results of this past weeks election have put a new exclamation mark on the sense of divide that has been growing in our country over the past few years. I keep asking myself: What should I have done? How should I move forward? How do we heal the divide? It’s tempting to get into discussions about politics, however I’m not a political analyst.  I’m […]

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When life isn’t fair

We’ve all heard it before: “Life isn’t always fair”. Maybe it was from a parent, or friend or mentor, but the old adage is true. The funny thing about being a counselor is others think we are supposed to deal with it better.  I was in my chiropractors office recently and he asked me why I think I’m feeling so stiff and sore lately.  I […]

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Seminar – Stepparent is not a dirty word

Thursday April 21th 7-8pm   Dancel Center YMCA Conference Room 4331 Montgomery Rd. Ellicott City, MD  21043   Light refreshments to be served   From Cinderella to Will Ferrell’s latest movie “Daddy’s Home” step-parents are often painted in a negative light.  Please join us for a free discussion on the impact that blending families has on children and parents.  We will cover major do’s and […]

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Seminar – Parenting Teens with Anxiety and Depression

Seminar – Parenting Teens with Anxiety and Depression

Please join us for a free seminar on the impact that anxiety and depression have on our teenagers.  We will speak on some of the major causes of these disorders in teens today, coping strategies for dealing with acute episodes, and how to best coach our children and take care of ourselves.  There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. When: Thursday […]

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Finally the Ottos…

…have returned to Youth Ministry! It’s been 10 years to the month since I stepped down as Youth Director at Wicomico Presbyterian. Ten crazy years. We’ve doubled the size of our family, moved twice, helped plant a church and seen our kids grow into pre-teens and teens.  I’ve felt a call outside of professional ministry, started a new career, and now, God has brought us […]

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Therapy, Wilderness and Scouts

There is something really therapeutic about just being outdoors. Hiking, swimming, climbing, backpacking, boating…it doesn’t matter, being out in God’s creation can be incredibly healing and building. One thing that has really stuck out to me as I’ve met clinicians from outdoor wilderness programs is how many of them have a background in Scouts. I haven’t kept count, but probably between 2/3 and 3/4 of […]

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New Beginnings

I’m not really sure how this happened. I’m currently in a plane, over the grand canyon, on my way to Las Vegas for a conference that combines two of my favorite things: therapy and the wilderness. It’s fitting really. My journey to becoming a counselor began 19 years ago when I took a job as a counselor at a Boy Scout Camp. I loved working […]

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Social media and electronics guidelines for teens

With the holidays coming up many teens and kids are hoping to find a brand new tablet or smartphone under their tree on Christmas morning.  While these things are great fun, and very helpful at times, they also create a big headache for parents to teach their kids how to handle electronics and social media.  This is new territory for us as parents.  Portable electronics, […]

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Summertime Blues

Summertime Blues

We’re a couple weeks into the summer now and I’ve seen an increase in something that I see every year:  anxiety and/or depression about the change of routine, more commonly known as the summertime blues.  It’s funny, we normally think of the summer as a time of rest and relaxation, and for many it does bring that.  But there is also a number of folks […]

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The Gun Control Debate is Missing the Point

The tragedy in Newtown is a little over three months old, and talk in the wake of that tragedy has largely devolved into the need for more or less guns. The need for better mental health services got some good lip service, but most of the “solutions” I’ve seen passed and proposed offer little more than the duty to warn laws already on the books […]

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