Archive for the FCG Category

I’m Just Sayin’ #2

Posted in Family Crisis Group, FCG, Home, Hope, Need with tags , , , , , , , , on 09/24/2011 by wooddickinson

I was at a meeting yesterday with a very good therapist friend of mine. She has spent a lot of time examining the teen suicide epidemic that we are currently experiencing. She asked a teen in the meeting why teens feel so hopeless. The teen at the meeting really could’t articulate the reason and considering the brain development in the teen years I wouldn’t expect them to.

But the fact remains, they do feel hopeless. I’d like to offer a couple of ideas that may point to an answer to this question. First if you look at the popular culture I think you get a read on the social fabric of our youth. The current slate of TV shows that are popular with the teens contain a great amount of disrespect towards people and makes this look like that attitude is fine. Sex is just part of life, mom get over it. In the political world the message is horrible. Our current president promised “Hope and Change” and the youth swarmed to him. Now the teens see there is no Hope with the current financial crisis. Obama has framed so many issues as a “crisis” that during the time he’s been president even I feel like I’m on a leaking submarine. I’m more than certain teens feel everything is truly in crisis and no hope in fixing it. I’m just sayin’.

Even commercials represent a pathetic life style being lived by our young adults the same as with teens including relentless social media creating isolation and emotionless communications. I hear about “Facebook Stalking” and races to accumulate huge numbers of “friends” even though you don’t know 98% of them.

I was at a meeting yesterday with a very good therapist friend of mine. She has spent a lot of time examining the teen suicide epidemic that we are currently experiencing. She asked a teen in the meeting why teens feel so hopeless. The teen at the meeting really could’t articulate the reason and considering the brain development in the teen years I wouldn’t expect them to.

Creativity is spurned. The arts are the first thing to be cut out of school budgets. Yet creativity is what brings not only art, plays, and movies; it’s also the well where innovation lives. Innovation in products, services, medical advances, new drugs, our clothes…

Half our brain is devoted to creative thinking and when combined with the problem solving skills of the left brain we have a whole person. All we currently do is teach to tests in our schools and we don’t teach critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and the like. You don’t think our teens feel something major is wrong?

Teens may not be able to express the reason for their hopelessness but it’s there nonetheless and it is time for the responsible adults in the room to get a grip and start fixing this mess we have created. If we’d do that I truly believe hope would make a comeback.

A New Initiative

Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Faith, Family Crisis Group, FCG, Fear, Home, Hope, Humility, Need, Patti Dickinson with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/12/2011 by wooddickinson


Patti and I have been helping other families for a very long time. We have 30+ years of experience in parenting (and we aren’t done yet) and in that time we have experienced some bumps and a lot of joy. We increased our knowledge by taking parenting programs, continuing education, keeping current with the literature and being involved in our community.

Currently I serve on the Advisory Board at Ozanam Home (a residential treatment facility) and I’ve worked with families and boys through the Boy Scouts for over 20 years. I have worked with Lone Scouts and as a Scoutmaster. Patti has spent years involved with the PTA. She worked with schools raising awareness of the homeless and has written an introspective book entitled Four Ordinary Women. She is a licensed educator and has taught K through 8th grade. Some of that time was spent teaching in schools in ethnic neighborhoods learning as much as she was teaching. Patti and I co-authored No Windows No Doors – On the Threshold of Homelessness. The book was created for the 20th anniversary of Uplift. We have spent many evenings riding in the back of a truck bringing meals to the homeless where they live. Currently Patti volunteers her time at the Kansas City Free Health Clinic.

I have an MA from TCU in Communications. Communication seems to be an issue that’s at the heart of family problems as well as a challenge for kids of this current generation. I have taught The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People since 1994 and worked with individual schools and school districts in implementation of this program. I’m developing a new workshop called HOPE based on a foundation developed by Dr. C. R. Snyder who was the leading expert on hope theory.

Experience is one of the best teachers. I think that’s why people “practice” law and medicine not just “work” in those fields. Society is in rapid change, destabilizing business, science, economics, politics and families. After helping other families I mentioned to Patti that we should formalize things. We have made contact with so many excellent resources (also called people!) and been a guide to so many families that it seems very natural to create what we now call The Family Crisis Group or FCG.

We had our first client family before we even announced this initiative. This family had a teen who was spiraling out of control. We walked them through the predictable feelings of grief, shame and heartache. We wanted them to know that a family can heal, marriages can be repaired and relationships restored. We can help you walk that road. FCG is composed of professionals from psychiatrists to addiction specialists and educational consultants.

Patti and I will stay with you as the point people in your effort to regain control. We will coach, teach, listen, recommend action then be there through the action so you know you can pick up the phone 24/7 and we will be there to help. As a matter of fact, you can call us now. We are non-judgmental, supportive, and objective. There’s no blame, no shame — only advocacy for parents and families. The out of control teen causing this maelstrom is a person crying for help.

We try very hard to bring an intensive therapeutic environment with us so residential treatment can be avoided. We can facilitate addiction intervention, and represent your plan to help your child in court. If residential treatment is the only option we work with an excellent educational consultant who will guide you through that maze and try to leave you with some money in your bank account.

The teen may not like us but that doesn’t matter. We have a great team that’s got our back so we can have yours. Parents are so often the forgotten piece in all this and if you are involved with the social services or juvenile justice system you know what I mean. You need an advocate for you with the goal being to repair your broken family.

Family is the most important thing we have. Call and we’ll talk. Together we can take steps toward better days. Until then, God be with you.

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