Finding the Words Isn't Always Easy

I'm just so $^@& MAD!!!!! 

...I recently had one of my 4th grade client's scream during session. Clenched fists, hunched shoulders, scowl on his face. "Yes, I can see that," Was my response, "something has made you really angry....". One of my favorite things to work with my kids on is finding the words to describe the way they're feeling. Sounds so simple - describing how you feel; but it's really not. "How are you" we're asked probably 10 times a day by different people, typically as a greeting. "Fine", "Well", "Ok", we typically answer - none of which are feelings. I find, many times over, that it's hard for people to put into understandable, intelligible, descriptive, words, how they are feeling. Probably because honest answers are not expected or encouraged when someone asks "How ya doin?". This goes for me as well, I can relate to my kiddo...sometimes what comes to mind is I am just so $^@& MAD!!!!!  

feelings chart.jpg

Feelings charts; love them. MAD is often a place holder, a go to feelings filler word for - What I'm feeling is intense, it's strong, it's overwhelming and I don't know how to describe it to you. 

With my kids - I try to avoid asking questions  -especially why questions. Well why are you upset? Why are you screaming? What's wrong? Instead I focus 1st on keeping my tone and my over all presence, calm and focused, 2nd encouraging my kiddo to keep going - what they're feeling is ok for us to talk about, and I can handle it. 

I can see that you're upset

Wow, you are very mad

You're showing me that you're angry

While their feelings are fine, especially in our counseling space, certain behaviors are not so much. Throwing things is a no, hitting yourself is a no, breaking toys is a no. Every helping professional is different, but for me as long as you're not hurting me or hurting yourself - get it all out. Scream, yell, stomp your feet - let's have it. I recently had  a kiddo (different kid) begin yelling about his frustration with his teachers and the work they're "making [him] do". His voice begins to escalate. He stands up out of his seat. Into his vocabulary spills words like "freakin", "flippin", "stupid head"....and then...."F$@^!" He stops. He looks at me..... I look back, silent. He continues, every other word profanity now. After a while I notice out loud "you're not yelling anymore, and you're sitting back down, do you feel better now?" 

As a adults we often can't find the words to describe how we're feeling. How often do you avoid or ignore a situation because, well, it'd be uncomfortable to confront? How often when there's a rift in a relationship with someone do you sit down with them, talk it out, listen to their "side of the story" and come to an understanding? How often are you able to do either of these things, sure of yourself - confident that you've got the words to express what you're feeling, and the ability to maintain your calm and cool. My guess, if you're anything like me, is not super often. How can we expect our kids to?  

We all need a space to talk things out, to process thoughts and feelings, un-judged and unfiltered. We all need a space to turn I'm just so $^@& MAD!!!!! into - I'm so disappointed, I'm so hurt, I'm so scared. 


ResourcED Counseling & Consulting Services

ResourcED Counseling & Consulting specializes in assessments and therapeutic support for children, teens and their families challenged with Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD) and other related deficits such as:

·       Impulsive behavior

·       Trouble managing emotions

·       Poor organization and planning

·       Forgetfulness in daily activities

·       Poor time management.


While commonly used in conversation, the term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is no longer used in the mental health community. With the publication of the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, available to practitioners in May 2013, ADHD diagnostic criteria was revised into three distinct types, which include many ADD specific symptoms.

ADHD is one of the most common childhood mental health concerns. Early psychological research speculated that children would grow out of certain symptoms, treating ADHD like a phase that maturation would eventually resolve. While the cause of ADHD is still widely debated, we now understand that ADHD is not a phase and has a neurobiological basis. Untreated, incorrectly treated, or undiagnosed, ADHD can greatly affect a child’s life, impacting their self-esteem, relationships and educational success.

ResourcED Counseling & Consulting therapists utilize individualized assessment tools to not only identify areas of struggle, but to also create holistic and personalized success plans.

ResourcED Counseling & Consulting is an active member of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder (CHADD), a national authority on evidence based support for individuals and families with ADHD. ResourcED’s therapists understand that symptoms of ADHD often co-exist with symptoms of other mental health issues and are experts in identifying and treating co-existing concerns such as:

·       Stress

·       Anxiety

·       Depression

·       Self-Harming Behaviors

·       Learning Challenges

·       Behavioral issues

The ResourcED team is now accepting new clients in West Bloomfield, Royal Oak and also online through e-therapy.