Month: September 2015

developing social skills

Developing Social Skills

Developing social skills is very important to our well-being. A sense of belonging, friendships, intimacy, affection and love are all basic needs that are experienced by individuals during their life time. To be able to fulfill these needs we need to have the ability to interact with others in a satisfying and positive manner. That is why having good social skills is of great importance.

Social skills are defined as the ability to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. Human beings use many forms of communication to share messages, thoughts and feelings with others. To be able to fall within the acceptable norm of communication or have the skills that are necessary socially, most of us have to follow familial and societal rules that let us know what the acceptable social behavior is in our environment. Originally, the societal rules allowed people to survive as they organized into groups to provide protection and support to each other. Developing social skills was essential to remaining part of the group.  Now, good social skills are needed for success in most types of relationships and is expressed well in Effective Communication Improving Your Social Skills.

Developing Good Social Skills is Even More Important Today

Today the importance of having good social skills has increased. We live in a society where being included as part of the group necessitates being able to communicate effectively and social skills are part of the process of communication. With today’s technology some might say that communication is easier to carry out even with poor social skills; however as humans, we still experience the basic need to belong and have human contact. Good social skills facilitate a smooth transition into different social situations where one is more easily allowed into different groups, from work groups to friendships to networking to family relationships. People are more likely to allow others into their groups if they are able to pick up on social cues and are perceptive as they make use of their social skills.

When comparing social skills to other skills, including academic abilities, it has been found that social skills help us in adapting to our social environment leading to a more successful life.
Interestingly, it is our development of social skills and abilities that allow us to be more independent as we are able to rely on our own interactions to produce good results in fulfilling our basic needs.

Some suggestions in improving and developing social skills are:

  • start small
  • talk with individuals you know
  • practice over and over talking to others even if it is just saying hello or thank you

Observing others and emulating those with positive social skills is a good way of learning good social skills. Other suggestions include:

If you think you may need guidance developing social skills, please reach out to me. I am Maria Rodriguez-Fischer and my phone number is 919-401-8261.

personal relationships

business relationships

social relationships

family relationships


visualize your goal

How To Visualize Success

Want to know how to visualize success?

As more information is presented to us through scientific studies about the importance of the mind-body connection, we realize the influence that each side has on the other. Just as we find through research, and our own experience, that being physically active and exercising affects the chemical balance in our brain, which often leads to a better mental health status, we have also seen that our mind can have an influence on our physical health.

Most of us have experienced incidents where negative, anxious or depressive thoughts have led us to feel physically ill. At times, all we have to do is remember those incidents to have a negative reaction from our body. On the other hand, we only have to think of a pleasant memory or experience and some of those positive feelings are brought into our awareness.

Having this information helps us in shaping the life we want for ourselves. Everyone has their own ideas of what leads to happiness and success. So how does knowing about the mind-body connection lead us to the life we want? There are many paths to success and they tend to include hard work, common sense, intelligence, persistence and drive to name a few.

Creative Visualization

One more factor that is becoming more widespread as individuals seek assistance in working towards their goals is Visualization. Visualization is a technique used where a person invokes a positive mental image to focus on in preparation for a particular action or performance. Visualization is a tool that can assists on the path to success in many areas of a person’s life. There are many examples given by individuals from all walks of life where they implemented visualization as a way of reaching their goals.

Several well-known people, from famous chess players and athletes to not so well-known individuals, have used visualization and went on to improve their performance. They mentioned that after visualizing their actions, they felt as if they had actually practiced before going through the motions.  This idea is expressed well in Remez Sasson’s article Creative Visualization.

Visualization has gone from being a tool for areas such as sports and games to expanding to our personal and professional lives bringing with it the possibility of mental practice before the actions. We can now have mental images or representations to perfect the outcome leading us to move through the actions with more confidence and self-assurance. Yet, visualization can be used for much more. It can help us see the life and goals we want to reach and show us how to get there. It is important to focus on the goals and see ourselves being successful to create a clearer picture of where we want to go. It is a very powerful tool that when added to the more traditional tools in reaching success will create a better outcome for us.

If you want help learning to visualize your goals, give Maria Rodriguez-Fischer a call at 919-401-8261.

visual poster

crative visualization


executive function disorder in children

Executive Function Disorder

Does your child's difficulties in school lead to any of these?

  • stress and anxiety
  • trouble developing strategies
  • difficulty caring out plans
  • misplaced items
  • disorganization

If so, they may be suffering from executive function disorder.  If your child is having any of these difficulties, please call me today at 919-401-8261.  I am an expert at developing therapies for this issue.  Don't delay your child's progress.

It is time once again for children and parents to consider their hopes and concerns for the new school year. As parents and students prepare for this school year they may also be thinking about the student’s performance during the last year and wonder how this year can be as or more productive.  For those who do well in school, the coming year may lead to some concerns but overall they may feel positive about school. On the other hand, there are those students who think of school and only feel an overwhelming sensation of stress and anxiety.

There are several reasons a student may feel stress and anxiety in relation to school. There are pressures coming from themselves and others to do well. But what happens if you feel as much as you would like to do well, it just seems extremely difficult to accomplish.

Most individuals have heard of learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD, and other special needs that many children experience which make succeeding in school very difficult. As a professional working with children and their families I have learned over time that children do not go to school with the intention of failing. There is usually some struggle or another that a child faces which leads to difficulties at school.

Searching for answers regarding the challenges some children face at school led me to learn about something that is a very important factor in facilitating learning. That factor is called executive function.  Executive function is a set of mental skills that help you get things done.  It acts to manage various parts of the brain. Executive function allows us to analyze a situation, plan how to address the situation, organize the steps needed to carry out an activity, develop timelines for completing the activity, adjust the steps, if needed, to complete the activity, and complete the activity in a timely way. Having difficulties with executive function, executive function disorder,  has to do more with the rate at which this part of the brain is maturing and not with a person’s intelligence. In working with children and adults, I have found that learning about executive function in the brain allows a greater understanding for parents, teachers and other professionals of an individual’s development.

Children and adults with executive function disorder may have problems organizing materials and setting schedules. They often misplace items, reports, and other school materials. They might have problems keeping their personal items and bedroom organized. Individuals with executive function disorder may also have difficulties in planning ahead, initiating tasks, problems with short term memory and managing their emotions.

You are able to help your child at home by working with them and assisting them in making checklists and setting time limits for tasks, including using timers.  You can help them by getting them into the habit of using planners and calendars.   Communicate concerns and expectations with your child and listen to their concerns. It is also important to find out more about the areas of difficulty you are noticing or your child has noticed in him/herself. Seek professional help from a professional who is knowledgeable about this area of development. Contact the school and work with the school to have a support plan for your child.

Studies have shown that executive functioning skills continue to develop through the teen years normally reaching maturity around the age of 25. Helping with executive function difficulties at a young age allows that child to learn strategies to decrease negative effects and help them reach their full potential. In addition, receiving support to manage difficulties with executive function at any age may lead to a more positive outcome in an individual’s life.

You do not have to suffer or let your child suffer from executive function disorder.  Begin on the path to a better future for you or your child by calling me today at 919-401-8261.


executive function disorder in teens

executive functioning disorder

school anxiety



emotional health during holidays

How to Take Care of Your Emotional Health During the Holidays

For many people getting through the holiday season is no small feat. If it were possible to skip over this period of time, …

tough love

Parenting Styles and Tough Love

  As parents we are bombarded with advice almost daily on which of the parenting styles to adopt. One issue where others …

happy marriage

Keys to a Successful Marriage

What are the keys to a successful marriage or relationship?  Many articles and books have been written on this subject. …