A time and place to meet

Every Wednesday evening from 7:00-8:30 in the Rainier House Conference Room, any parent or relative experiencing difficulties with a struggling adolescent or young adult is welcome to join us for sharing, learning, support and prayer.



Rainier House Conference Room is located in the Rainier House which is next to the parking lot on the north side of UPC at 4714 15th Ave NE, Seattle, Washington 98105. www.upc.org

See below for more on highlights of previous support group discussions and details about upcoming and past speakers.



Past Speakers

Clinical and therapeutic staff from New Haven Residential Treatment Center, Utah: Dustin Tibbitts, Executive Director, John Stewart, Clinical Director, Laurie Laird, Education Director and Brad Rentfro, Therapist, joined us for a great question and answer session focusing on depression, addiction, self-harm, PTSD, behavior management and other behavioral, emotional, psychological issues.


Randon and Carolyn Wickman, two longtime support group participants explored with us the concept of Boundary Principals as the means of maintaining healthy relationships within the family. Their story is a powerful witness to the need for setting and maintaining boundaries as a key component to the challenges of being the parent of an at-risk child even as that child enters adulthood. They shared ways that you can navigate having a relationship with someone you love as they continue to bring pain into their own life and the lives of those who love them.


Theresa Froehlich spoke on Internet and online gaming addiction.

Internet and online gaming addiction has negatively and hugely impacted school performance, employee productivity and marriage relations in the U.S. and in many other countries.

If you are wondering if your child, spouse, student, or a young person in your youth group, or your employee is spending too much time on the computer, get educated about this addiction that has devastating results similar to alcohol and substance addictions. If you would like to invite someone to speak to your organization about this addiction, please contact Rev. Theresa Froehlich at her website, www.transitionslifecoaching.org.


Here are some useful web resources if you or someone you love is concerned about internet or online gaming addiction: 

On-line Gamers Anonymous: www.olganon.org

On-Line Gamers Anonymous is a fellowship of people sharing their experience, strengths and hope to help each other recover and heal from the problems caused by excessive game playing.

The Center for Internet Addiction Recovery: www.netaddiction.com 814-451-2405

The Center for Online Addiction offers hope and valuable resources to those seeking information about Internet addiction. Internet addiction is a type of compulsive disorder and as an organization, they are specifically dedicated to helping people who suffer from this form of addictive behavior.

Self-Diagnosis Questionnaire www.bcceastmi.com/computerinternetaddiction.html

This website includes a self diagnosis questionnaire around ten symptoms of computer/internet addiction that was developed by James Fearing, Ph.D., at the National Counseling Center in Minneapolis, MN.


Ruth and David Seidel spoke about their experience with drug and alcohol addiction issues in their family. They shared about the strength and hope they discovered in this difficult place of struggle and in particular how involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon have played a critical role in the healing process.


Pastor Ray Moore talked about They Need To Know They're Not Monsters which tied to the October topic of Forgiving: Setting The Prisoner Free.


Marriage In Stressful Times

Facilitators: Milt and Metta Smith have been married 47 years and raised 4 children. As they embrace Marriage Nurturing they continue learning what it means to love each other as Jesus loves them. Metta is a licensed professional counselor. Milt has served as an Elder and practices Law with their son.


Assertiveness Skills and Your Adolescent

Presented by: Jinah Yoon, M.Div., MSW, LICSW. Jinah, a clinical therapist and pastoral counselor. Below is a recap of the material she shared with us.

Three Parenting Styles

1. Selfish: aggressive, autocratic parent bring limits without freedom to parenting

2. Assertive: authoritative, equally respects self and others brings freedom with expanding limits to parenting

3. Selfless: submissive, doormat parent brings freedom without limits to parenting

Five Goals of Normal Teen Development

1. Figure out how to connect and belong to others besides Mom and Dad

2. Become empowered

3. Protection of growing sense of self

4. Space and time to process and understand self and world

5. Test skills and courage and measure how independent they’re becoming in their journey

Five Steps to Problem Solving

1. Identification of whose problem it is

•Aggressive parent: parent owns the problem

•Assertive parent: shared ownership between parent and child

•Submissive parent: parent gives ownership to child

2. Share your thoughts and feelings and acknowledge your adolescents thoughts and feelings

Skills to accomplish this:

A. Reframing—hearing the feeling underlying the words & understanding the context.
Express the feeling and name the meaning behind the context to your adolescent..

Teen: You’re the worst parents in the world! You never let me do anything!

Parent: Sounds like you’re pretty mad and feel like you don’t have much control in your life.

B. I statements—when using these you want to be as specific as you can.

I feel_________when you___________because________.

I felt angry when you didn’t answer your cell phone last night because you don’t seem
to care if I worry about you.

3. Generate guidelines through brainstorming and negotiation within limits you as a parent can live with

4. Decide on consequence for violation of guidelines

A. Natural consequence—natural result of the choice

ex. I choose not to do my homework and am lost during class discussion

B. Logical consequence—dictated by the situation and makes rational sense to everyone involved

ex. I choose not to do my homework, so I get a bad grade

ex. I choose not to do my homework, so I do not get to go out with my friends that weekend
until all my homework is done

5. Follow up to insure that the guidelines are being followed and enforce consequences.
May be necessary to revisit guidelines and consequences if they are not effective.

Recommended Books:

Active Parenting of Teens: Parents Guide by Michael H. Popkin

People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others & Resolve Conflict by Robert Bolton


Barbara Barnes spoke on Handling Criticism Constructively.

Notes: Tools for handling criticism handout (PDF)

Barbara has been an active member of UPC for many years and has served in leadership roles in a couples’ group, Children’s Ministries, Umin and much more. Currently she is serving as a Deacon and she and her husband Steve teach two-year old Sonbeams at 5:00 pm. Steve and Barbara have been married almost 35 years and have three grown children who live in the area.

Barbara has a MA in organizational management and is a trained coach and mediator. Barbara works with corporate, non-profit, and personal clients. In her coaching practice as well as in her work with the Bellevue Neighborhood Mediation Program and King County Dispute Resolution Center she helps people communicate effectively and respond to criticism and conflict constructively. Not only does she find the work satisfying but her own relationships have improved as she has been putting these tools to work in her own life.

Barbara can be reached at 425.643.2298 or email bbarnes1009@comcast.net. Please contact her with any questions on the topic of handling criticism or if you would be interested in a free life coaching session.


John Medina, Developmental Molecular Biologist at the University of Washington spoke on PARENTING WITH THE BRAIN IN MIND.

You can find out more about John and the amazing brain at John's website, Brain Rules.


Ben Wahl, Program Director of the Collaborative Coaching Program at Ryther Child Center in Seattle spoke on INTERVENTION RESOURCE OPTIONS.

To find out about the Collaborative Coaching Program and how parent coaches and student mentors can help rebuild strained and fractured family relationships, check out: Collaborative Coaching.



Highlights from our weekly discussions:



The following selection from The Addictive Personality by Craig Nakken was read:

Addiction as a Process

Over the years, addiction has been described in many different ways — a moral weakness, a lack of willpower, an inability to face the world, a physical sickness, and a spiritual illness. If you are a family member or a friend of a practicing addict, you may have more colorful ways of describing addiction. However, addiction can be more accurately described and defined in the following way:

Nearly all human beings have a deep desire to feel happy and to find peace of mind and soul. At times in our lives, most of us find this wholeness of peace and beauty, but then it slips away, only to return at another time. When it leaves us, we feel sadness and even a slight sense of mourning. This is one of the natural cycles of life, and it's not a cycle we can control.

To some extent, we can help these cycles along, but for the most part they're uncontrollable — all of us must go through them. We can either accept these cycles and learn from them or fight them, searching instead for elusive happiness.

Addiction can be viewed as an attempt to control these uncontrollable cycles. When addicts use a particular object, such as a substance or an event to produce a desired mood change, they believe they can control these cycles, and at first they can. Addiction, on its most basic level, is an attempt to control and fulfill this desire for happiness.



The following poem by Lucy Shaw was read:

Mary's Song

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest ...
you who have had so far
to come.) Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled
a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world.
Charmed by doves' voices, the whisper of straw,
he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed
who overflowed all skies,
all years.
Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught that I might be free,
blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth
for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.

Question: What is a surprise that has been given to you that you need to trust God with?


  • Things I thought would be direct and simple with my kids haven't been either
  • Thought if I did a good job as a parent — encouragement, opportunities, boundaries, etc. — my children would turn out well
  • Thought if my children had talents they would take advantage of them
  • Was God surprised when Adam and Eve went so awry?
  • Two kids, one family, same parenting, two totally different outcomes
  • Didn't think this would happen to my family
  • Surprised this group is a place I love to be, and surprised by the authenticity of the group
  • change & growth


Gratitude in the Journey

Question: Gratitude feeds the heart — identify what you're grateful for and how does what you've identified help you cultivate gratitude?


  • beauty
  • change & growth
  • having a passion
  • knowing others care about my kids
  • friends who keep me grounded
  • books, gardens, places of refuge
  • the significant others in life (specific references to spouses)
  • children who have a passion
  • friends who bring good conversation
  • maturity in my kids

"Gratitude is the heart’s memory " (French proverb)

Question: What memory do you have which bring forth gratitude?


  • Good memories from when the children were small. Drawing strength & comfort from each other. Giving comfort & protection
  • Real gratitude is more painful—difficulties give you a different perspective of real life
  • Passing time can sometimes help you be grateful
  • Good memories seem to reside in my heart and bad memories seem to reside in my head
  • The Psalmist is constantly calling us to remember. In doing so we are able to better see God’s faithfulness to us. My gratitude comes from the assurance of a merciful God who walks with me through it all, is ever present regardless of the circumstance or situation.
    Therefore, it helps me to look back at good times and difficult times and remember His ever loving arms. I have spent much time looking back through photographs for articles, gift albums, and websites. This is very bittersweet for me. While the event caught on film may have been wonderful and joyous, it is often very difficult to remember those sweet times when life feels so much more complicated and difficult, yet I can find myself thankful that the people are in my life.


Fears and How to Disarm Them

In the book THE SHACK by Wm. Paul Young, the main character Mack is talking with Jesus, opening up his soul to look at his fear.

(Jesus is speaking) "... But now tell me, where do you spend most of your time in your mind, in your imagination, in the present, in the past or in the future?" Mack thought for a moment before answering. "I suppose I would have to say that I spend very little time in the present. For me, I spend a big piece in the past, but most of the rest of the time, I am trying to figure out the future". "Not unlike most people. When I dwell with you, I do so in the present — I live in the present. Not the past, although much can be remembered and learned by looking back, but only for a visit, not an extended stay. And for sure, I do not dwell in the future you visualize or imagine. Mack, do you realize that your imagination of the future, which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind, rarely, if ever, pictures me there with you?"

Question: How do you bring light to the dark places of fear and isolation in your life? What helps to dissipate that fear so that it loses some of it's power?

Our discussion centered around these contributions:

  • Paul Tournier said, "Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets"
  • Name the fear, put it into words — this brings the fear out of the dark place and into some light. By telling it to someone we are no longer alone with it.
  • Words of encouragement — from friends, from scripture.
  • Remember times in the past when you were afraid. Were your fears realized or had you been fearful for something which never materialized? What actually happened?
  • Embrace the situation. Live life as it is occurring rather than idealizing what I want.