Change is in the air Fall weather is here, and with it comes a feeling that it's time for change.  This is the time of year for fall cleaning, getting organized, getting a head start on the holidays.  Most of all, we hope it can be a time of taking care of yourself and those around you.   Hopefully, we have something of interest to share with you.

Getting organized for school -- no time like the present

Sometimes it can take being halfway through the semester to make us realize that we need to streamline our school routine.   Often, it's a progress report, or quarter grades that catch us (and our children) by surprise.

Our philosophy is, "Don't beat yourself up!  Start over, start fresh, but above all, keep trying!"  With that in mind, here's an online checklist from The Online Organizer  to help develop good school routines for your elementary age school kids.  Parents of teens, please read it too.  There are lots of tips that apply to you.

Speaking of teens ...

If you're the parent of a teen, or pre-teen, you probably feel inundated by all of the music, movies and other media that interest them.  You want to help them make good choices that fit your family's values, but you can't possibly know all about every movie and band out there .... or can you?

Check out Focus on the Family's PluggedIn site.  They have comprehensive reviews of movies, videos, music and television programming.  Five minutes spent reading their reviews can help you decide what works for your family and your children.  Please let us know what you think.

Preparing for the holidays 101 ... why do we feel stressed?

This time of year promises a lot.  We are all faced with the paradoxes:  in the midst of joy and abundance -- lack; along with excitement -- anxiety; promises of closeness that increase awareness of distance.

Although New Year's Day is classically the time for resolutions, now is the time of self-inventory.  This involves becoming aware of our true needs, calculating our resources, and admitting our limits.  ...... READ MORE

Preparing for the holidays 102 ... stress tools that really help

If you are feeling stressed, don't worry.  There are lots of great tools that can help.  Some are quick things to try, others involve a little more commitment.  One of the best sites we've found is hosted by Duke University ... let us know what you think about it! 

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Did you know? ...
Our counselors are available 6 days a week, for morning, afternoon and evening appointments.  Many forms of insurance are accepted on an out of network basis.   Some of our counselors may be on your PPO panel.  Take at look at our Therapists page on our website.

Speakers are available
for your group or organization.  Many of our therapists enjoy speaking on topics such as parenting, couples communication, discipline, stress management, and many other topics.  If you'd like to know more, please fill out our contact form at or call us at 805.583.3976 x 33 .

Did you know ...
Families Counseling has an online bookstore.  We have direct links to for many classics in the areas of parenting, couples communication and other topics related to emotional health.

Our "shelves" are a little dusty, meaning our booklist hasn't been updated for awhile.  Please take a moment when you can to see what's in our bookstore, and then send us your suggestions as to what we should add.

With your help, our bookstore should be up to date in no time at all!  It's so helpful for people who are browsing the website to see what books others have found useful.

Thanks for your help!