Arlington/Mansfield Best of 2016 Winner – Family First Counseling!

Best of 2016 Blog and Twitter

Thank You for making us the 2016 Arlington/Mansfield Best of Counseling Services for the first time.  I feel so blessed to receive this honor from our friends and clients.  What a way to start off the first day of this month! This post cannot fully express how grateful I am.

Thank you to all of the clients, colleagues, friends and family who voted for us, helping us win:


I am grateful and humbled by your support.

Thank you from all of our staff from the bottom of our heart!

Megan Pickens, LPC-S

Cooking is Good For the Soul!!!

As a counselors we are asked to find self care methods to avoid burnout. For me, my self care is cooking. I do enjoy cooking and oddly enough, I find it quite relaxing. Baking relaxes me even more. This past holiday I was in the kitchen with my grandmother and we had a blast cooking. I like to experiment with recipes to try and make them better. I also come up with my own recipes. Now of course, my grandmother has her old schools ways, (which in most cases is the best way) and my shortcuts couldn’t possible deliver the same results…..until they do….lol.  The time we spend is absolutely amazing and then we get to share the magic with family and friends when we have our Thanksgiving dinner.  The enjoyment and laughter shared over food is the best. I suggest that both the cooking and the eating and the sharing are all good for the soul. Not only is it good for the souls but it is also therapeutic at least for me. While surfing the web, I found a few sites that agree with cooking being good for the soul.  The following is an article written by Tameka Dorsey

 15 Reasons Why Cooking is Good for My Soul!!

I am Creative
I usually experiment with foods that you would never think to put together, and it tastes magical!
I Get to Eat Great Food
One of the benefits of cooking in the kitchen is enjoying some tasty foods. Sampling my dishes is the thing I look forward to the most!
I love cooking for my family and friends. When they want me to cook for them, it’s a great feeling knowing that they love my food.
I Relieve Stress
I Share Food with Loved Ones
If I’ve had a bad day, I release my stress into whipping up a good meal, and the good food absorbs my worries.
I Increase My Skills
My loved ones give me feedback on my food, and this improves my skills for the next time around.
I Am More Confident
Not only does their feedback improve my skills, but it also increases my confidence when serving others, and they compliment me on my dishes.
I Am Happy
Whenever I am in the kitchen, I am HAPPY! It always puts me in a good mood, and is my favorite place to be.
I Am Doing Something I Love
Cooking is my passion, and I would love to make a career out of it. What better way to spend my days practicing something that I love.
I Try Out New Recipes
Experimenting with new recipes adds on to my creativity in the kitchen. Once I master a dish, I add a little twist to it to make it my own.
I Know Exactly What I’m Eating!
When I cook my own food, I know where the food comes from, what it is, and exactly what goes into my meals.
I Am Eating Healthy
Cooking on my own keeps me away from fast food and eating out all the time, and allows me to choose a healthier option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I Am Saving Money!!!
One of the benefits of cooking is the amount of money I save. The food lasts longer, and I am getting more for my money.
I Feel Special
I love to dress up in my apron and chef hat. I feel like superwoman when I’m making magic happen in the kitchen. Who doesn’t love a woman who can cook?
This is what I wear underneath my coat!
I want this apron!
I Feel Rewarded
Being in the kitchen is very rewarding. The best feeling is knowing that I’m a good cook, and that other people enjoy my food so much.
This is how I feel when others love my food!
I Bring People Together
Food brings everyone together no matter what. The thing I enjoy the most about cooking is sharing precious moments with the ones I care about over a meal. FOOD IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL!!


Happy Cooking!!!


Career Versus Job!!!

Are you currently in a career or a job? My definition of a career is something you are trained to do via education or hands on. Not only are you trained to do it but you enjoy doing it. You are also able to explore other dynamics of your field and there is room for improvement and advancement.  The added bonus….you get paid for doing what you love.  As for a job, it is the place you go to earn a paycheck. That’s it you get no perks….just a paycheck. Don’t get me wrong….getting paid for services is a beautiful thing. However, in my opinion, a job is not as fulfilling as a career. Studies have shown that individuals who secure a career that matches their personal qualities; seem to do better and excel in their profession. There are several career inventories that can help match your personality traits/qualities with the best job type for you. One of the most common assessments used is the Strong Interest Inventory. This assessment uses Holland’s 6 categories of interest to give individuals insight on what jobs might be a great fit for them. So many of us finish school and take the first job available in order to pay the bills…..again just earning a paycheck……. But how many of us are truly happy with our current jobs? I have found myself asking myself this question a lot lately. Although I am currently in a job earning a paycheck…I have my career wheels in motion as well. I have taken career inventories and I know the best fit for me……Right now, I just have a job……Hopefully, soon I will have the career I desire!!! Having a career versus a job impacts your performance and in my case, whether you have any sick days accrued.  So where are you, in a career or a job?

Counseling Can Be Fun! Using Humor to Heal

Can counseling be fun?

Can counseling be fun?

Fun! Counseling is not the first thing people think of when they think of having fun.  Yes counseling is a serious business and it takes some serious work if you want to change.  But does that mean there’s nothing fun about counseling?  No it doesn’t!  I’ve had some really great laughs with my clients over the years.  I’ve laughed so hard with my clients that I’ve cried!  When I think back at some of my favorite clients, they’re my favorite because they had a sense of humor and we could laugh together in between the serious hard work we did.  Humor and laughter are very useful and appropriate tool in counseling.  Laughter reduces anxiety, tension and depression, thereby, mitigating several serious diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, in which anxiety and tension are predisposing factors.   Humans life in general can be funny, life can be ironic, PUNS!  Puns can be funny.  Here’s a great example of a silly pun, this is actually my husband.  It was hilarious at the moment he did it, but I know to others it’s just silly.

My point is a well-timed pun in counseling can be down right hilarious.  Humor should be used in a culturally sensitive way especially in a counseling session.  In counseling humor should not be used to exert superiority over the client, to make fun of light of any mental illness or serious symptoms.   I often use myself as a source of humor because I can laugh at myself and I generally find others don’t mind laughing at me if I’m poking fun at myself.  Sexual and racial jokes are never okay in counseling.  Jokes about silly misunderstandings can be funny.

So if you think counseling is all serious and there can’t be periods of stress relieving laughter, well you are mistaken!  You’ve either let Hollywood convince you counseling is no fun or maybe you just need to find a therapist that realizes how healing a good laugh can be!