Pictures of Vintage Real Santa Claus carrying gift sack

One of the Best Things About Having Family in Town During the Holidays

The holidays bring much joy, laughs, love, and they can also bring frustration, confusion, holiday stress, and if you are like me a slightly snug waist band as I sample “just one more” holiday treat.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist although many of my clients are taking time off and going on vacations spending time away with family, I have other clients who remain in town and whose family members are coming to spend time with them. I love any opportunity to include others in therapy. Having other people in session creates such richness and healing for people. It often creates an opportunity for clients to further expand their repertoire of solutions. By sharing the therapy experience with others, clients open up a door to further growth as they look to understand alternate ideas, ideals, perspectives, and solutions. I have had the pleasure this week of working with several clients and their “out of town” family members doing just this. It was an honor for me to be their guide as I helped them to unblock stuck and unresolved patterns, situations, and communications that often people are plagued with for years and even decades. It can be a magical experience like one that “Good Ole Saint Nic” provides.

Pictures of Vintage Real Santa Claus carrying gift sack

If you are currently in therapy or thinking about attending therapy don’t miss the golden opportunity of including a family member, friend or loved one to help facilitate and further your own growth. *WARNING – more closeness, communication, connection, and love may come along the way.  It truly can be the gift that keeps on giving!!!


If you would like more information on how we can be helpful to you in creating a long lasting gift you give to yourself, CONTACT US.

by Katie Lemieux


Art as Therapy – a Local Idea for Great Self Care

As a therapist, the topic of self care often arises.  Therapists and other helping professions need to be extra diligent in taking care of themselves to continue to provide quality services for those they work with.  Helping professions and professionals need to be aware of “compassion fatigue” and burnout.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I see it as my job to have integrity with what I am sharing with my clients to help them in their lives, and what I am doing in my own life.  I can’t boast about pampering and taking care of oneself if I am not willing to do it for myself.

Back in September Elizabeth Gard, owner of “The Gard Gallery” in Parkland, FL, reached out to me to join forces with the work I do and the work The Gard Gallery does.  I decided to take a group of friends, most of them therapists, for a partial celebration and to put our artistic skills to the test.

It was a very interesting experience.  Getting so focused on what is at hand the worries of the world seemed to slip away.  As we allowed the instructors to guide us through the process, I definitely felt many different emotions arise as I was painting, some of them were frustration, confusion, pride, and relaxation.  One of the skills that they taught us was to “step back”, every once in a while to gain a new perspective on what we were painting. So many times in working with clients we have to remind them to “step back” to look at the big picture.  We invite them to look at and celebrate the progress they have made as well as looking at all the sum of all the parts and how they have come together to create a whole.


This collage contains pictures of the studio, Elizabeth assisting me on my painting, and me stepping back to gain a new perspective of my creation.  I think you can tell by my expression that I am pleased with the final product.

As 2014 rolls around Lemieux Solutions Unlimited, LLC and The Gard Gallery will be joining forces to bring together counseling, creativity and art.  Check back with us periodically to see what we are up to, how you can get involved and how our joined forces will benefit you and those you care about!  For more information about services that Lemieux Solutions Unlimited, LLC provides CONTACT US.


Snapshots of our evening were done by Photographer Trish Hamilton.  For further info about her photography you can visit her at

So we did a trial run of a Mother’s and Daughter’s Painting Evening on December 27th. we gathered 18 mothers and daughters to take part in this event.  Below are some snapshots of what was created.  The Gard Gallery instructors really have a talent for bringing out the talent in others.  For many of the women it was their first time painting and they were all pleasantly surprised by the results of their work.  In some of the pictures you can see the drawing as well as the painting.  Look closely and see how well every woman is doing.  We hope you stay tuned to what we are up to in 2014.  See you then!

by Katie Lemieux



Clients Stop Asking Your Therapist “WHY”

Tell me, would you be ok with trying to resolve a problem and not know the “why?” behind it?  Most people aren’t. Time after time I have clients sit in my office wanting to know, “WHY?”  My clients think if they could just figure out “why”, then they can resolve the problem.

“Why do my kids behave the way they do?” – Family Counseling

“Why do you want to get a divorce?” – Couples Counseling

“Why do I keep dating the same person?” – Individual Counseling

“Why do I go back to using drugs each and every time?” – Counseling People Dealing with  Addictions

“Why does my mother act that way towards my husband?” – Individual Counseling

“Why don’t my parents trust me?” – Counseling with Teens

“Why, why, why, why, why…” 

The answer is: knowing “why” doesn’t always make the difference!  Knowing why doesn’t spring us into action.

I know you are thinking I must be crazy, but let’s take a different look, if you are willing…

Answer these questions:

Let’s use weight for an example. Would you agree that either you or the majority of people have wanted to either lose or gain weight at some point in their lives?  Great! Let’s take a further look.

Why are you not the weight you want to be?

Scientific Answer =

More calories in the mouth + less calories burned = weight gain

Less calories in the mouth + more calories burned = weight loss

Would you say it is pretty safe to agree on the above?

Great, so now that we know ‘why’, people still aren’t the weight they want to be and there are thousands of diets out there that work, WHY are people not getting the results that they want? The answer is simple, knowing “why” doesn’t CHANGE behavior, patterns, thinking, etc.

If you are willing, try these notions on for size even if just for a moment:

  1. “The solution has nothing to do with the problem.”
  2. “We don’t have to analyze the problem in order to solve it.”
  3. “Focusing on the problem may actually be unhelpful.”  The more your focusing on something the more you create it.
  4. “We don’t even know what the problem is in order to solve it.” (this one sounds pretty hard to get your head around, doesn’t it?”) 

These notions come from Solution Focused Brief Therapy.  I get that it can be hard to grasp and if you are willing to try these ideas on they can be INCREDIBLY powerful!

For more information or to schedule an appointment to start living from the solution CONTACT US!

PS – You don’t have to wait until the New Year to start.  “WHY” not start now?


by Katie Lemieux