Let’s look at how we can encourage a positive family culture!

offering a variety of services for families

Hello Parents, our clinical team at Paramount Health Directions in Denver, Colorado is excited about the services we are offering families. We offer family therapy, individual therapy for children and teens, couples therapy as well as psychological and medication evaluations. Thanks for visiting our blog, please come visit our office in Cherry Creek to see the helpful approach we offer parents and children.

In my work as a family therapist at Paramount Health Directions, I ask parents to consider themselves to be the “Executives” of a very important company. The company, or “system” is their family. In this system, parents are the “Executive Subsystem” and create the family’s culture, just as owners of companies do.

Consider this, what is your family’s culture regarding how conflicts is handled. How does the family offer general respect and taking responsibility for ones actions? Honesty, hard work, dependability ….all of these are part of a family’s culture. Just like if we were running a company, we always want to keep an eye on the norms and policies of or family system.

Rules and ritual (more on rituals later) help form and guide a systems culture. Parents determine “Family Rules” and the rewards (praise) and consequences associated with compliance. Because I a firm believer in structure, I tend to think that having clear and “real” rules is more important than an endless list of expectations. Obviously, having too few or unclear rules prevents the guidance of the desired family culture.

Parents, just what are your values and what culture are you trying to create within your family system. It’s your job to establish and maintain the family’s culture. Don’t expect the kiddos to do this for you.

I’ll write more on his in he future, but for right now I want to encourage our readers to establish 3 basic “Family Rules” that cover most issues. They may sound broad, but with the proper implementation, they cover most family interactions.

Bill Strong’s 3 Family Rules

1. We Are Kind To Each Other
2. We Are Honest
3. We Do Our Jobs

Post these rules in a common family area. Follow them and expect your children to do the same. Keep in mind that as parents we need to model what we expect. Kindness is number one for a reason. Let’s expect that from each other and our children.

I think you and you children will like the results!


William Strong, lcsw

Hello Parents and Patients at Paramount Health Directions!!!

introducing our new monthly blog feature

In our efforts to provide the most up-to-date psychiatric care in Denver, Colorado, we want to keep everyone up to date on current issues in mental health and psychiatry. We also want to add some helpful info for families when you need it for talking points with your kids.

This is Elizabeth Huff, a nurse practitioner at Paramount Health Directions. I recently came across an article in The Lancet Psychiatry this month about the effects of cannabis, or marijuana, use on the adolescents brain. Dr. Edmund Silins et al. found that the more frequent use of cannabis highly correlated with adverse events in an adolescent’s development. The negative outcomes were independent of socioeconomic factors, indicating that economic status does not protect adolescents from the adverse effects of daily marijuana use. Adolescents who used cannabis prior to the age of 17 had decreased rates of high school completion or college degree attainment, other illicit drug use, cannabis dependence (yes this is a real thing!) and suicide attempt. All of these outcomes were dose dependent, meaning that the more an adolescent smokes, the more likely he or she is of experiencing these negative outcomes. Daily users had up to a 63% decreased rate of high school completion than those who had never used cannabis. Daily users also experienced an 18 fold increase in cannabis dependence, 8 fold increase in other illicit drug use, and 7 fold increase in rates of suicide attempt. We can infer from the data that limiting exposure to cannabis use may prevent, or minimally, decrease the risk of these negative outcomes. It goes without saying that we as healthcare providers and you as parents can partner together to deliver a message of caution with marijuana use in your children while providing education about healthy brain development and future successes!

Please fee free to contact me at Paramount Health Directions if you have any questions!  Please come visit our new remodeled office in Cherry Creek.


Elizabeth Huff, PMHNP-BC


Silins, E. et al. (2014). Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1(4), 286-293. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70307-4