Family Articles

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?Researchers believe that society is more willing to report, talk about and act on allegations of the abuse of vulnerable adults. Over the last two years, the number of reports of abuse has risen by almost two percent, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds, England.

Although it is impossible to determine whether this marks a real increase in adult abuse, or simply an increase in reporting, there are reasons to suggest that the latter may be more likely.

When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy (But Needs To)

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy (But Needs To)Going to therapy is hard enough for adults. Stigma stops many of us from picking up the phone and making an appointment. Plus, therapy is hard work. It often requires revealing our vulnerabilities, delving into difficult challenges, changing unhealthy patterns of behavior and learning new skills.

So it’s not surprising that kids might not want to go either. This resistance only escalates when they misunderstand how therapy works. “Many children are afraid or nervous to go to therapy, especially if they have the belief that they are in trouble or because they are ‘bad,’” said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

7 Ways to Deal with Family and Friends Who Don’t Get it

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

mentalhealthforparentsIf “I believe you” are the three most powerful words you can say to someone with an invisible illness. Four of the hardest or most painful words to absorb — whether they are said directly or communicated indirectly through insensitive behavior — are “I don’t believe you.” And yet, people who live with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders hear them over and over and over again from family members and friends.

Childhood PTSD: Spanking Is Not ‘About Love,’ It’s About Rage

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

early-start-for-kids-with-autismMy first memory is of being spanked. I was 3 years old, and I didn’t know what I had done wrong. All I know is that it made me terrified of my father and forever doubtful of my safety in my home.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was recently suspended after he was charged with reckless or negligent injury of a child after allegedly spanking his 4-year-old son with a switch. Peterson’s mother Bonita Jackson told the Houston Chronicle that spanking “is not about abuse”:

Before & After: Learning to Fit Yourself Back into the Schedule

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Before & After: Odd Days, I Do Everything I Can for Mom. Even Days, for Me.I’m writing my next book, Better Than Before, about how we make and break habits –  an issue  very relevant to happiness. Each week, I post a before-and-after story submitted by a reader, about how he or she successfully changed a habit. We can all learn from each other. If you’d like to share your story, contact me here.

5 Ways Autumn Boosts Our Spirits

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Five Ways Autumn Boosts Our SpiritsIn autumn we can succumb to transformation. We can be fickle like the temperatures outside; we can embrace uncertainty and welcome transition, the unknown.

“I think fall evokes feelings of coziness and warmth and is such a multifunctional season,” says Anna Solo, a wellness blogger for freshtheblog.com.

I recently wrote about summer activities that can boost our mental health, and in light of the new season, here are some of autumn’s charms that are good for the soul as well.

Suggestions for Parents with Children in Therapy

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Suggestions for Parents with Children in TherapyI greet you in the waiting room, and ask if you need to let me know anything before I bring your child back to my office.

You usually say “no,” and likely wonder what is going on behind that therapy wall for the next 50 minutes.

Yes, parent of my patient, it is my job to keep you involved while still maintaining your child’s confidentiality. Achieving that balance often requires me to offer you general suggestions on the basis of my experience and research as opposed to explaining to you what your child has revealed in therapy.

Can Handwriting Foster Emotions and Relationships?

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Hand Writing On a Notebook

I have a treasure chest, well ok — a suitcase — in my office of old handwritten letters from friends, ex-sweethearts and family. Every now and then, I open this old-fashioned suitcase and pick out a letter or two reminding me of a great love, a wonderful experience, a heart that touched mine, or vice versa.

The letters from my family members have become especially treasured, as several of them are no longer living.

As I look through them, I can’t help but notice that the letters recount my history up to a certain point in time, about twenty years ago, and then they stop.

Is Depression an Addiction?

Friday, September 19th, 2014

photomedic.netOne of the chapters of my memoir, Beyond Blue, is called “The Least Harmful Addiction.” I explain that willpower is, regrettably, a finite thing. We have a limited amount, so we must preserve it for the most harmful addictions we have (i.e., when desperate, we should inhale chocolate truffles over getting wasted on vodka). In that chapter, I list all my vices in order of most threatening to least threatening: depression, alcoholism, toxic relationships, workaholism, nicotine, sugar, and caffeine.

Someone in Group Beyond Blue, the online support group I moderate, was reading my book and was confused why I would list depression among my addictions. “Is depression really an addiction?” she asked. Her query inspired an interesting conversation in the group.

The Many Factors that Trigger Depression

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

The Many Factors That Trigger Depression Depression is a debilitating, devastating illness. In Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, author William Styron perfectly captures the pain of depression:

“The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes.”

Taking Care of Mothers: A Necessity, Not a Luxury

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Taking Care of Mothers: A Necessity not a Luxury

“Be still and heal.”

 – Thich Nhat Hanh,

Vietnamese monk

How that insight could have helped me as a new mom … if I’d had even an inkling of the value of being still.

No one prepared me for the unrelenting demands of motherhood. The realities of a 24/7 responsibility that left no time for myself. That lonely time after the front door closed behind my husband each morning, and I felt like I had to cope and should be happy about it.

9 Tips for Getting Kids with ADHD Organized for School

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

9 Tips for Getting Kids with ADHD Organized for SchoolWhen it comes to school, we expect all kids to be organized. But we don’t realize just how complicated this really is, according to Elaine Taylor-Klaus, an educator and parenting coach. For kids with ADHD, getting organized is a big challenge.

In fact, ADHD affects the very skills that are required for success in school. Kids with ADHD have difficulty getting started, prioritizing, planning, managing their time and emotions, staying on task and focusing, she said. It’s the nature of the disorder, which impairs the executive functions of the brain.

Plus, each school year typically requires new systems, new habits, new books and new lockers, said Laurie Dupar, a trained psychiatric nurse practitioner and ADHD coach.

It’s important for parents, kids and teachers to realize just how difficult school-related tasks are for kids with ADHD. Fortunately, there are many strategies that help. Here are nine insights and techniques to try.

Recent Comments
  • NotEasy: I had a similar experience to that described above (10years) and then took your approach (that s hubby...
  • Cathy B: hi, was searching for ways to fix myself when i am broken and i am very broken and read your post. the...
  • samphd87: People either ignore scientific evidence, or they believe everything they read. Especially the...
  • mary: I’ve tried to write this several times, so I think I’ll just say this….I was a child to this...
  • sonali: its very heartening to read the discussion above on plus n minuses of neurofeedback. i have a 10 yr old...
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