Welcome to counseling services by Jeff VoVillia, MA.

couplesI am a counselor and have been working with Individuals, Couples, Groups & Families in the Northern Colorado area to provide insight and understanding to grow past times of struggle. I am dedicated to helping people gain greater psychological health and well-being by promoting healthy relationships, increasing self awareness, and transforming people’s lives.

Are you ready to feel better? Improve relationships? Get unstuck?

I specialize in working with:

I offer a free 1 hour consultation for new clients.

Please E-mail Me for an appointment
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Author of Self-Help books dies at age 75 – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer died this past weekend, August 29th, 2015, at the age of 75. He was a well known author of self-help books which emphasized psychology and spirituality. According to Wikipedia,

His first book Your Erroneous Zones is one of the best-selling books of all time, with an estimated 35 million copies sold.

On a more personal note, I’ve been reading self-help books since I was a teen and have read everything Dr. Wayne Dyer has put out. Although I might not agree with everything he writes, (a healthy dose of independent thinking is always necessary) but overall his teachings have influenced me and continue to influence me today. This includes my personal life and my profession in the healing arts.

Never heard of Wayne Dyer? I highly recommend any of his books, especially “Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao“(affiliate link). If you’re still not ready to pick one of his best-selling books here are some quotes that may give you a slice of the philosophy of Dr. Wayne Dyer.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.
Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
Conflict cannot survive without your participation.
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.
When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.
Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.
Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.
Many lives have been touched by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer including celebrities like Ellen Denenerous and her wife Portia de Rossi; the couple’s wedding was officiated by Dr. Dyer.
Here is some of the books written by this incredible being that I recommend. (affiliate links)

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life The Sky’s the Limit
Gifts from Eykis: A Story of Self Discovery (One of my favorites!)
Real Magic: Creating Miracles in Everyday Life
Everyday Wisdom
Your Sacred Self: Making the Decision to Be Free
A Promise is a Promise: An Almost Unbelievable Story of a Mother’s Unconditional Love
Manifest Your Destiny: The Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Everything You Want
There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem
Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

And there are many more!

When you’re sick of the ways things are going, when you’ve lost yourself or are simply in a dark place, these books can lift you up. Need more support to return to the realization that you’re divine? Make an appointment today and wecan work together to return you to you.

What are some of your favorite books or quotes from Dr. Wayne Dyer? Please comment below!

You’re doing the best you can, AND you can do better – a meditation

This little saying is known as a Dialectic – that is two things that seem like opposites being true at the same time. We can explore these little paradoxes for ourselves to see if they are true.

For me this one speaks to the idea that we need to be gentle with ourselves. Many times while sitting quietly in formal meditation I’ll notice myself getting distracted and then get down on myself for not being able to focus. Many guided meditations encourage people to gently  bring their awareness back to the present. Notice how the title of this post can fit that scenario quite well, I am doing the best I can, AND I can do better. I’m being as mindful and present as I can in that moment, and I can continue to improve through focus, practice and patience. This then applies to life off of the cushion where I can be more gentle with not only myself but others as well.

Keep this idea in mind. In this place there is no stagnation. There is an acceptance and a gentle reminder that we are dynamic beings that continue to learn and grow.

I encourage you to be gentle with yourselves, and know that you’re doing the best you can and you can do better.

If you choose to try this as a mindfulness mediation practice, I applaud you! If it is a first time, you may want to start with mediation music, guided mediation or gentle yoga poses. Learning how to meditate is easy – practicing is the hard part. Here’s a short video that explains meditation in 2 short minutes.

Want more? Make an appointment today.

Jeff A. VoVillia, MA
Phone: 303.847.9172
Email: TheLucidCenter@gmail.com
333 W. Drake Rd. Suite #14
Fort Collins, CO 80526

Book Review: 1-2-3 Magic! Effective discipline for ages 2-12

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2–12

List Price: $14.95 USD
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When you have a baby you are filled with the joy and possibilities. After a few years, that joy may be covered up by yelling, repetitive lectures and frustration. If you are a single parent this can seem overwhelming. There’s no partner to bounce discipline ideas off of or to simply take a break. Your are on full time. Although there are many parenting styles there doesn’t seem to be one technique to stop unwanted behavior. Well, that’s where 123 Magic! comes in.

I recently finished reading “1-2-3 Magic!” after hearing a grandmother say she was interested in starting this with her defiant grandson.

The author divides behavior into 2 basic categories; “Stop” behaviors (those caregivers want to stop) and “Start” behaviors (when we want the child to do something). For instance, we want them to stop whining but we want them to start picking up their toys. The “1-2-3” part is only for “stop” behaviors.

The basic premise is that a child is “counted” and have 2 chances to stop a particular behavior (except when a violation is too big to provide chances). When the child does not stop, they reach 3 and are thus provided a time-out or rest period (usually 1 minute per age of child). If there is no time for a time-out, or for some other reason it’s not able to be delivered then a time out alternative can be the consequence.

“Start” behaviors, says the author, are more difficult because they require a longer time period of sustained attention and focus. The book provides many struggles and examples of how structure, routine, incentives, praise and similar rewards/consequences can help a parent keep their cool.

What I like about 1-2-3 Magic

At it’s core this program provides a formula for parents to manage unwanted behavior. It’s simple, easy to teach and easy to learn and use. The discipline strategy gives the child multiple chances to correct their behavior. This is similar to “cue” and “actions” words that can help build executive functioning. See ADHD article for more.

It can be applied to schools, sitters or grandparents. With a simple “1”, a child stops pestering, badgering, whining and attacking a rule or boundary their caregiver has set. Another big plus to this book was starting with where the “magic” comes from – parents. Two basic rules dictate that parents do not lecture nor show emotion when triggered.

I’m a bit torn on this because I think it’s important to let our kids see how they affect us sometimes. However, if we’re playing a victim and not in control that can really scare a child. The author uses the metaphor of a child throwing a stone in the water over and over. They like to see the big splash – they like to see their effect on the world around them. So, when parents show emotional reaction, usually anger, the child’s brain gets rewarded – something like, “ooh, I made the parent get upset all by myself!”

Where 1-2-3 falls short

Once the book gets past using this formula for “Stop” behaviors, it becomes scattered with different tools for different situations. Many of which were valuable and I realize that there’s no one manual for parenting. Every situation, child and household is different. However, parents need straight-forward tools that can be used in a variety of situations.

Also, the program does not appear to be trauma-informed. When a child or parent has experienced trauma, they may feel anxiety, have symptoms of PTSD, or are simply easily affected by life stress. The book talked about locking doors to keep a child in time-out or other similar methods that could only increase anxiety and further harm a parent/child relationship.

Final Thoughts

The program has been around for some time so you should be able to check it out at your local library. There was mention of a DVD as well. It doesn’t hurt to check it out and talk with your partner about whether the “1-2-3” method is right for your child and family. It may just save you from some unpleasant public breakdowns!

However, if your child has experienced any traumatic event in their life that may be underlying their behavior, it may be better to explore more trauma-informed methods like Dan Siegel’s The Whole Brain Child.

Want more support? If you’re in the northern Colorado area take a moment to schedule a free consultation and we can talk about ongoing family therapy to support you, your child and your family.

Jeff A. VoVillia, MA
Phone: 303.847.9172
Email: TheLucidCenter@gmail.com
333 W. Drake Rd. Suite #14
Fort Collins, CO 80526