Accepting New Family Member and Partner Coaching Clients

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Over five years ago, I started coaching partners and family members of people with bipolar disorder as an addition to my writing career.

I never thought I would find work that I enjoy as much as I enjoy coaching. I feel at home with the parents and partners as I have been where they are- and I remain calm during the crises that many of my clients are going through while we are working together. Bipolar disorder is like a puzzle. It’s not always easy to find the right pieces on your own. It helps to have a coach as a guide.

My coaching practice has room for new clients. I take new clients about once a month-and then help them as best I can. It’s a partnership that saves relationships and often lives.

Coaching is not for everyone, but if you are [ Read More ]

Tips to Talk with Kids about Bipolar Disorder and Life in General

david julie selfie 2014Here’s a pic from last summer. I’m lying on the hammock with the greatest person I have ever met in my life- my nephew David.

He has taught me so much.

He turned 13 this year and the inevitable changes are happening in our relationship. When he turned 11, I started talking with him about the changes he would experience as he became a teenager so that I could prepare myself for when nights at home with Auntie Wee would not be a priority.

I believe we can talk to kids from a very young age about emotions and behaviors so that they can learn empathy, compassion, self belief and personal strength as they get older. I started teaching David about bipolar disorder when he was four. I wanted him to understand his Auntie Wee even if he could not intellectually express [ Read More ]

Guest Blogger Tara Rolstad: Parenting Children with Mental Health Disorders. It Gets Better!

Tara book signing 2 13 15(Note from Julie: Tara and Dave’s book, No Really, We Want You to Laugh: Mental Illness and Stand Up Comedy Transforming Lives was just nominated for an independent book award.)

Unique, alone, and never-ending.

When I started my journey seven years ago walking alongside family members who lived with mental illness, I was pretty sure those words would always define my experience.

My husband and I had become foster parents for two nieces, and I became legal guardian of a third, and we helped my parents as they took in a fourth. It wasn’t long before the severity of the girls’ PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and anxiety became clear.

We who had known nothing, really, about mental illness would eventually become skilled advocates, experts in DBT, CBT, and OHCHWGA. (That last one? [ Read More ]

Parent of a Child with Bipolar Disorder?

Julie at mike blog

(The group coaching call is Sold Out! Thank you for your interest in my work. The call will be available as an MP3 in the future. Please make sure you’re on my mailing list or Twitter @JulieBipolar or Facebook at Julie A. Fast for more information. My next coaching call will be for partners.)

Join me for two calls that will change your life and your relationship with your child forever… and for the better.

Is it time to get YOUR life back from the jaws of a child’s out of control illness? It is possible. You can learn to help your child while maintaining your life and relationships. Join me for two days of life changing group coaching calls that will help you identify, stop and ultimately prevent the detrimental patterns that arise when a beautiful child’s ugly illness [ Read More ]

Parent of a Teenager with Bipolar Disorder? Why What Teens Worry About Matters….

teen girlTeenagers have the same symptoms as adults with bipolar disorder, but how they see the illness is quite different. This is especially true when it comes to WORRY.

The worries of a teen are different than adult worries and this must be reflected in how we help teens manage this illness.

Teenagers care about….what others think, their short term future, friends, who said what to whom, dating, studying, being popular, electronic devices, music, school and the pressures of substance use. (Just to name a very few!)

These are very different than the adult worries of supporting themselves, supporting others, divorce, retirement, work, raising children, making money, changing the world and mortgages. It’s easy to compare these lists and discount teen worries as superficial- but they are never superficial to the teens themselves.

 

Teens also live in a world where nothing is private. They [ Read More ]

My Bp Magazine Blog Post: Does My Teenager Have Bipolar Disorder?

Teenagers gloomy

 

It’s hard to know if your teenager has bipolar disorder simply because teenagers are emotional creatures! How are parents supposed to figure out what is typical and what is a possible bipolar disorder symptom when so many teenage behaviors seems to mimic the ups and downs of bipolar disorder? I address this question in my latest blog for Bp Magazine.

 

 

 

After years of working with parents who ask me this exact question, I came up with a quick tool all parents can use to at least determine if a teenager needs an evaluation from a health care professional. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but wow, it can save a lot of future grief!

Click here to read the blog post from Bp Magazine and visit [ Read More ]

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