Healing for the Mind, Body, and Spirit

An ongoing series of informational entries

Parenting Strategies

July 2019

Parenting can be the most reward job in the world, but it can also be the toughest job in the world.  When parents bring their to see me for whatever reason, I also make it very clear with parents that they (the parents) are also my client.  There is no way that a therapist can work with a child without also working with the parent to help the parent learn skills to add to the skills that they maybe already using.  At JCFS we use Triple P to enhance your parenting skills. I am a certified Triple P provider for both children and teens. With Triple P the parent is an active participant and the therapist is there as a guide.  I help parents learn to monitor their child's unwanted behaviors and their response to the behaviors.  Then once those behaviors and responses are recorded I help parents to develop rules, a plan, and consequences.  

Many families have benefitted from going through the Triple P program.  It is a short 4-5 week program and is spread out over time to give parents time necessary to apply what the parents are learning.  If you need help with parenting give us a call.  We are here to help.  

Kids and Technology!  Is it really such a good thing?

June, 2019

Parenting can be one of the most rewarding but unfortunately one of the most difficult jobs you will ever do.  Many parents find that they are competing with more stuff today than ever before.  It used to be that kids got older and their friends became more important than their family, but now some don't even have a lot of physical friends, their friends are virtual.  Many don't even want to leave the house for fear that they will miss a video game time, a television show, or will not have access to the internet. If they do go out, they have to have some form of technology to occupy them.  Kids are becoming addicted to technology.  Since 2011, the percentage of kids that own their own tablet devices had increased by 5 times in October 2017.  It is probably more by now.  Kids under 8 years old have gone from 15 minutes per day screen time to 48 minutes per day staring at a mobile screen based on October 2017 data.  No wonder kids have lost the ability to tell reality from fantasy or to recognize social cues of real people.  Parents are finding themselves in a lose-lose, because they give in and give the kids technology devices and then they lose by having to constantly monitor, take it away as consequences, and figure out what to do when their kids are obsessed with technology.  

Below are some facts about kids and technology taken from the TechAddiction website and written by Dr. Brent Conrad.

In a typical day, children consume just over three hours of media. This includes computer use, cell phone use, tablet use, music, and reading. Two thirds of this time is spent with “screen media” (TV, computers, the Internet, etc.) while reading is less than 20 minutes per day.

The time spent with on screen media dramatically increases from the toddler to preschool to school-age years. Children under two have a screen time average of 53 minutes per day. This increases to almost two and a half hours per day among two to four year old and almost three hours for kids in the five to eight year old range.

Although the use of computers, the internet, and electronic devices are steadily increasing among children, television remains the type of media that children spend the most time with. Sixty-five percent of children under eight years old watch television daily. On average, they spend about an hour and a half (100 minutes to be exact) watching TV every day.

As a group, children under eight spend an average of 25 minutes per day playing video games.

66% of all children under the age of two have watched television.

Television watching typically begins at 9 months of age.

Compared to watching television, playing video games starts later, but nearly half of all two to four year olds have played video games. This increases dramatically just a few years later – 81% have played video game console games and 90% use computers.

10% of children under eight years old use educational software and 6% use a computer for homework.

11% of children under eight years old use a cell phone, iPod, or iPad / tablet.

Listening to music actually decreases from birth to age eight. Children up to a year old spend an average of 39 minutes per day listening to music, 30 minutes at ages two to four, and just 23 minutes at ages five to eight.

By age eight, 96% of children have watched TV, 90% have used a computer, 81% have played console video games, and 60% have played games or used apps on a portable device (cell phone, handheld gaming system, iPod, or tablet).

Happy Mother's Day (Not)

May 14, 2019

Mother's Day can be a hard time for a number of reasons. One of the most common is because a person maybe spending their first Mother's Day without their mother. It might be that it's not the first year but it is still a difficult time of the year for those of us who's mothers are no longer here.  

Mother's Day can be tough for those who have been trying for years to become a mother and have not yet gotten their heart's desire.

Lastly, and the least thought about situation is those who have a mother who is still living, however their relationship with their mother is either very strained or nonexistent due to a traumatic childhood at the hands of their mother. It might be that their mother has mental health diagnoses, substance abuse issues, or a number of other situations that we just don't think of during this time of year.   We often forget about how much celebrating a holiday can affect others in such a negative way.  

Even though Mother's Day is over, I want to encourage those of you who have a mother and had a great Mother's Day to remember those who did not.  Maybe you can be a support, offer a kind word, show empathy, be a good listener, or something that would elevate the mood of the person suffering.   This can be done at any time of the year.  Just being cognizant that sometimes there are others who do not feel the way most of the world feels on holidays. This can help the person feel better.  All we have is each other and the kindness and respect we give.  


DECEMBER 26, 2019

Do you find yourself experiencing a depressed mood when the winter season begins?  There might be a reason for this.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sometimes called Winter Blues is a disorder that more than 3 million people experience each year.  It is a type of depression that is related to change in season and begins and ends about the same times every year. Symptoms of SAD may include feeling depressed most of the day and nearly every day, losing interest in things that you usually enjoy, low energy levels, sleep issues, weight gain and/or appetite changes, feeling tired and/or aggravated, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, or in severe cases suicidal thoughts.  (Seek professional help if your symptoms are severe.)

It is not known what causes SAD, however some factors might include that circadian rhythms might be disrupted due to reduced sunlight.  Serotonin, which is a brain chemical that affects mood, might drop due to reduced sunlight, and melatonin level balance might be disrupted due to reduced sunlight.  

Risk might be increased due to family history of SAD, having major depression or bipolar, or living far from the equator.  

SAD can be diagnosed by a physician and/or mental health provider.  Treatment might include things such as Psychotherapy, light therapy, yoga, meditation, guided imagery, music and/or art therapy, outdoor activities, and if symptoms are severe your physician might prescribe medication and/or psychotherapy. 

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms try some of the treatments listed and if your symptoms are severe seek professional help from your physician or a mental health provider.  

Information taken from:  ​www.mayoclinic.org

New Year, New You

January 1, 2020

Many people, including me, tend to make resolutions or set goals, and unfortunately they do not last.  It becomes a vicious cycle of setting new goals every week.  

Well, this year I have decided to do things a little differently.  I am going to set some goals, but I am going to do 2 things.  First of all, I am going to make a plan based on 4 quadrants: spiritual, physical, mental, and financial.  Second, I am going to give myself permission to take it very slowly, to make errors, and last but not least, to ignore any naysayers.  I plan to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help myself overcome any negative thoughts and to help me remind myself of the positive reasons that I am doing this.  I am going to remind myself that it is not a must or should, but a want to and need to in some areas, so that I will gain the benefits of a holistic and healthy life.  I am going to remind myself to have fun and enjoy every moment of the precious time that I have been blessed with in this new year.  

Maybe you are like me and many others, you make resolutions and set goals only to find yourself back to where you were before the new year.  Maybe you need to really stop and take some time to figure out what it is you want to accomplish for a holistically healthy life.  You might need the help of a mental health provider to help you address all areas in your life.  You might need help learning to manage negative thoughts and feelings.  You might need help changing the way you manage your overall life.  If you want to achieve changes seek professional help to accomplish your goals.  

2020 Vision

January 2020

Every year so many people set resolutions, but research shows that most people are over them by February.  Resolutions don't normally work.  So what does work?