The Latest

Does My Child Have ADHD?

When we think about ADHD in general, we tend to label it as a disorder commonly associated with children. While the effects of this disorder can carry into adulthood if not properly treated, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder typically does show signs in younger people. It’s a mental health disorder that can affect your child’s success, relationships, and growth.

Unfortunately, symptoms can often be customary on an individual basis. It takes a doctor’s diagnosis to officially determine if a child has ADHD. Far too often, the symptoms go unnoticed and an official diagnosis is never given. Most children aren’t diagnosed officially until they are into their early teen years, even if they exhibit symptoms and behaviors earlier.

To help your child cope with the effects of ADHD, it’s important to recognize possible symptoms. Again, everyone may express these symptoms in a slightly different manner. But, knowing the overall signs can help you to determine whether or not you should take your child to a doctor to be diagnosed. Keeping your eyes open for some of these signs can be beneficial for your child if it gets them the treatment they need.

They are Only Focused on Themselves

It’s sometimes hard for children with ADHD to consider the needs of others, or think about other people’s feelings. This can lead to things like frequent interrupting during conversations, or difficulty waiting their turn. They are very self-focused and self-driven, and don’t typically understand why everything can’t be about ‘them’ all the time. Obviously, this can lead to trouble in forming friendships and healthy relationships.

They Can’t Sit Still

This is one of the most common symptoms people associate with childhood ADHD. Fidgeting, or the inability to sit still for long isn’t necessarily uncommon in most children. But, a child with this disorder will find it nearly impossible to stay in one place for any length of time, for any reason.

They Have Trouble Focusing

Another symptom people commonly associate with ADHD is a child’s inability to focus. We don’t expect our children to have extremely long attention spans, but this lack of focus is different. If they have trouble paying attention even when someone is talking directly to them, it could indicate a problem.
Furthermore, this easily distracted behavior often leads to things like daydreaming, making frequent mistakes after being given specific instructions, or even forgetting something they were just told. They may also avoid any task that requires sustained effort, mentally. This could unfortunately include things like paying attention in a classroom setting.

They Showcase Symptoms Regularly

While these are just a few of the common symptoms, it’s important to pay attention to them at home as well as school. If your child’s teacher brings up any of these signs, consider their behavior at home. A child with ADHD will show symptoms almost everywhere, not just in one specific location or during a specific circumstance. If they aren’t focused in school, are they focused at home? If not, it might be time to get an official diagnosis.

The sooner you are able to get a diagnosis, the sooner a treatment plan can be put into place to help them deal with the symptoms and inconveniences of this distracting disorder.

Marcy M. Caldwell, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment and assessment of adult ADHD Psychologist Philadelphia.

 

Hearts Don’t Bounce, or Rebounding After a Breakup

Jumping into a new relationship too quickly after a breakup is known as “rebounding”.

It’s a fairly big word that describes an emotional quagmire in which the grieving party (or parties) find themselves when what was once pledged as “forever” turns out to be closer to 2.6 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

It’s a time for sorrow. A time for regret. In some ways, it’s like mourning the death of an old friend, and no one can tell you how long you should suffer, how sad you should feel, or how quickly you ought to “just get over it and move on”.

In this time – best simply called “after” (after the love, after the dreams and plans, after a part of life ends) – you may have more than one rebound. You may also buy a Porsche, dye your hair purple, find relief in an ashram, or take up bungee jumping. It may all seem like avoidance strategy – who even wants to feel emotional pain? – but in fact you are growing up, and here’s how you can tell.

Seeing your former significant other (SO) with a new partner doesn’t kill you, because you now realize that, just because he/she wasn’t happy with you doesn’t mean they can’t be happy with anyone else. But you might want to block your Facebook page.

When rebounding lines you up with someone who thinks they were put on earth to rescue you. Don’t go there: the only person who can rescue you from impossible expectations and fantastical presumptions is you.

The truth about most rebound relationships is that they fail, and for a very obvious reason. You got into the relationship to distract yourself from your pain. But when the glow fades and the grownup games end, you’re pretty much back to square one and asking yourself the ultimate question. If you could not tolerate a certain behavior in your ex, how are you going to put up with it from your rebound?

Finally, beware the drama queens of either sex, who simply need another pair of ears to listen to their endless tale of sorrow and woe. These people really can’t stand life without crises. They have to be the center of attention, and when they aren’t they pout and take revenge in ways that suggest arrested development.

In some ways, these needy people come across as emotional refugees. In others, they skirt the edges of borderline personality disorder, or BPD. This is a serious form of mental illness characterized by instability – in moods, self-image, behavior, and relationships.

Couples Counseling Boulder, by Therapist Christy Weller, Psy.D.  Also specializing in Psychotherapy and Psychological Assessment Services.

What can therapy do for me?

Psychodynamic therapy works for at least 80 percent of individuals, including the very young and the very old.

How young, and how old? One very successful psychotherapist in California, when asked, said that his youngest patient was 9 and his oldest patient 82. In fact, psychodynamic therapy delivers a number of psychological benefits, all of them integral to the patient’s unconscious, and all of them related to the conflict between conscious and unconscious thoughts and wishes.

Therapists using the psychodynamic therapy form of psychoanalysis are responsible for teaching patients how to recognize, reveal, and correct unconscious influences over conscious behaviors. In addition to that, therapists provide a level of support not found elsewhere in the patient’s life, teaching patients how to cope with anxiety, depression, stress, self-destructive behaviors, and psychosocial dysfunction associated with borderline personality disorders.

In some instances, a therapist can even help a patient resolve a creative block stemming from the conscious suppression of unconscious desires. In fact, psychodynamic therapy in particular is strongly oriented toward reshaping the psychological underpinnings of various personality disorders.

Therapy for the real world

Individuals who do not have a major psychological disorder can also benefit from therapy. Conflicts may be as mundane as finding a home for an angry, aging parent, deciding whether to take that high-stress job offer; or how to tell an old friend that he or she is out-of-bounds when it comes to offering marital advice.

In these instances, the therapist offers a unique point of view, perhaps one that the patient never even considered. This may also lead to unexpected solutions. The best part about this, and almost every other exchange between patient and therapist, is that the therapist is bound to your privacy – unless therapy reveals ongoing child abuse, violence against another person, or a legal matter in which the patient’s mental status is involved.

For most people struggling with the ordinary trials and tribulations of life, psychodynamic therapy – which deals with the unconscious motivations of conscious behaviors – can offer insights and solutions that are not only “outside the box” but inherently life-changing. These may include revealing one’s true vocation, changing a lifelong – and self-defeating – behavior pattern, enhancing self-confidence, or helping a patient identify the childhood source of adult problems (like spending too much, eating too much or too little, or other addictions).

What if I’m managing on my own?

You have this really fantastic friend who is always there when you need him or her, listens without interrupting, and always offers the best advice you have ever had.

But if you don’t, and that is where a good therapist comes in.

Even if you have been in a loving relationship for two decades, there are some things that can’t be revealed, and you are just smart enough to know when you could use a helping hand. Or ear. In fact, psychodynamic therapy is ideal for individuals who are perceptive enough to realize when they have gotten in over their heads, psychologically speaking.

How can I tell if therapy will help?

Getting into therapy is like sailing across the Atlantic. The journey is more important than the goal. The more you immerse yourself in the process, the greater your understanding – not just of yourself, and your real needs, but also the hopes and needs of those around you.

The only time that therapy “fails” is when you go in with preconceived notions about what ought to be. As John Lennon so presciently pointed out, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”

Carolyn Ehrlich LCSW, CGP specializes in Relationship Counseling NYC

Why Communication is Key for Couples

“The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply…” Roy T. Bennett wrote in his book “The Light in the Heart “.

This, perhaps more than any other facet of a relationship, is the key to staying married, staying partners, even staying friends. True listening, listening to understand, is a passive suspension of disbelief, and one of the few times when passivity is a positive response.

To achieve this passivity – this openness to impressions, opinions, and ideas – we need to do several things. First, we need to become completely calm. If we have been fighting, we need to step away from each other and find a “safe” place where we can let our heart rate drop below a certain threshold (90 beats per minute for females, 82 beats a minute for males). Anything above this and the body’s defense systems will kick in for the fight-or-flight (or freeze) response.

This reaction, also known as the acute stress response, triggers all kinds of hormones, none of them useful unless you are being attacked or inside the house when a fire starts. In fact, it is only when your heart rate drops below this threshold that you can access the logical portion of your brain – the only area worth connecting unless you want an instant argument.

It will likely take you about half an hour to access this calmer, cooler you. Once you have reached stasis, or emotional equilibrium, you are no longer in danger of having the stress function of your brain overcome the logical function. Only then can you resume communication without having to worry about saying something hurtful.

The second step is not to sweep all those negative emotions under the rug and hope they won’t crop up again, because they will – again and again, until the relationship is truly beyond repair. Instead, focus on the issue that brought on the storm. Most times you will find it is a small thing – someone forgot to turn off the alarm on the weekend, or failed to reactivate the cell phones.

Once you have identified the “trigger” issue, talk about it, but in a blameless way. Say something like “We need to have our cell phones ready at all times, in case one of us is hurt or in trouble.” Always use the word “we” and always make it a joint issue.

Once you have explained your frustrations, you can move on to other topics. Silence may be golden, but not in a relationship. On the other hand, communication doesn’t always have to be about problems. Throw in some praise, or memories of good times, to balance the more negative problem areas. Because once couples settle into a relationship, the rapture begins to unravel – as it must over the long term if that relationship is to survive.

Finally, never have a conversation when one person seems solely focused on a project, a program, or a promise. If she has a girlfriend over fitting a dress, if he is watching the NBA playoffs, or if only one half of a couple remembers the time you both agreed not to have “company” on Sunday, turn the anger off. Not every interaction requires a winner or loser. Or, as a wise woman once said: “Pick your battles, but remember. Winning the battle is not the same as winning the war.”

Written by Kin Leung, MFT, providing Couples Therapy Burlingame

Depression and Addiction – How Are They Linked?

Depression directly affects millions of people. It’s one of the most common psychiatric disorders people suffer from. Substance abuse is typically viewed as a different issue altogether. However, the two may be more connected than many people realize. Because of their close connection, we are often left with a ‘chicken or the egg’ type question, in determining what causes what: Does depression lead to addiction, or does addiction lead to depression?

Many common addictions are actually called ‘depressants,’ such as alcohol. Alcohol can trigger feelings of sadness and make you feel lethargic. However, many people use alcohol as a crutch when they are feeling low, to lift their spirits for a short time. As you can see, It’s not always easy to differentiate the two problems. They are so connected, in fact, that the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has reported that 1 in 3 adults who struggle with some type of addiction also suffer from depression.

What are the Warning Signs of Addiction?

Depression can easily open up an individual to addiction. Again, many people who become addicted to a substance initially reach for it to stop feeling so depressed. This isn’t to say that having a glass of alcohol or trying a different substance automatically will lead to addiction, but there are some important warning signs to look out for. Some of the most common signs of addiction include things like a heavy tolerance for the substance, and withdrawals if the substance is taken away.

Withdrawals are nothing to take lightly if addiction and depression are linked. Individuals who have abused a substance for too long can actually become even more depressed if they are deprived of it. Unfortunately, the substance is often used as a ‘blanket’ to cover depression, and that psychiatric state only shows up with the substance is removed.

When these two problems are linked, it’s important to treat them both. Trying to treat one without the other typically ends in failure, and it’s not common for the individual struggling with the problems to simply ‘give up’ on the process.

Treating Depression and Addiction Together

To treat depression and addiction together first requires a dual diagnosis, which is why it’s so important to know the warning signs of addiction in the first place. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests an integrated approach to treatment of these two conditions, including things like:

  • Guiding the individual to discover the source of their depression
  • Understanding that a full recovery from both conditions is completely possible
  • Finding motivational techniques the individual can use to make changes

Changing and redirecting addictive behaviors

The most important thing to remember is that help is available. The most important resources a person struggling with addiction and depression can have are support and encouragement from friends and loved ones. A dual diagnosis is never easy, especially when you have two conditions that can depend on each other so strongly. But, with the right support, a willingness to get help, and the right techniques, beating both conditions is not impossible. If you, or someone you know, is dealing with this type of connection, know the warning signs, and know that with a dual diagnosis, it’s possible to finally find relief.

Dr. Jeffrey Ditzel is a Psychiatrist in New York City and specializes in issues involving Anxiety & Depression.

Managing Life Transitions

Life transitions are inevitable. From the moment we are born, we are transitioning mentally, emotionally and physically. Life transitions are necessary for individual and collective evolution. Here is a beautiful quote from philosopher and architect, R. Buckminster Fuller:

“I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing – a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.”

We are a fluid evolutionary process. In the midst of change, we must manage life transitions in order to maintain sound footing in the present and a watchful eye towards the future. Our mental, emotional and physical health depends upon it. Our ability to live happy productive lives depends upon the thoughtful grounded manner in which we manage life transitions.

Some people are able to successfully rise above intense crisis, see a silver lining and move towards a deeper more meaningful life. Other people unsuccessfully crumble from a minor stress. Some people seek out challenges and are invigorated and enriched from the bumps in the road that risk taking inevitably presents. Others avoid any new experience. Psychologists and researchers who study the human condition continue to seek answers as to why some people successfully manage transition while others do not.

William Bridges, PhD in his bestselling book Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change makes a point of separating the two notions of change versus transition. Bridges explains that with change, a person focuses on the outcome that the change produces. He uses an example of moving from California to New York City; moving across the U.S. then learning to navigate in New York City. People understand the basic change and how they will be affected by it. However transition is quite different. Transition includes not only managing change from a starting point, but accepting the fact that one will have to leave the old situation behind; in other words, letting go of an old reality and embracing a new reality. Feelings of loss are surely generated in transition, and unless those feelings of loss are properly managed, change cannot successfully occur.

Self Efficacy in Changing Societies features the work of Matthias Jerusalem and Waldemar Mittag (edited by Albert Bandura). World famous psychologist Albert Bandura defined self efficacy as our personal belief in our ability to succeed in specific situations. Our sense of self-efficacy plays a major role in how we approach goals and challenges. In simpler terms, self efficacy defines how much or how little faith we have in ourselves. People with perceived high self efficacy trust their own capabilities to manage change along with new environmental demands. These people have a tendency to interpret demands and problems more as challenges instead of uncontrollable events outside their scope of control. They face stressful situations with confidence. A strong sense of self, one’s ability to navigate change and transition, buffers distress and fosters strength. Conversely, people with low perceived self efficacy are prone to self doubting and anxiety. Coping is replaced by worry, lack of self confidence and any feedback from others is interpreted as criticism of personal value. They feel more responsible for failure than for success.

When facing a significant life change, here are a few practical suggestions to make the transition more successful:
• Do not criticize yourself if you feel anxious or slightly depressed. Most likely these feelings will pass as you ground yourself in positive self regard and strength.
• Visualize your new situation with positive regard.
• Allow yourself time to let go of your old reality and see the new reality as an opportunity; a naturally positive occurrence in life’s path.
• Be realistic about the time and resources needed to adjust to your new environment.
• Most importantly, if you need help adjusting, get help. A professional licensed therapist will be able to help you navigate through change and make the most out of your new situation.

Polly Sykes, Registered Psychotherapist, MEd, RP, is a Toronto Psychotherapist with extensive post-graduate training and experience in the treatment of Trauma, and the use of Emotion-Focused Therapy for both Individuals and Couples. The support of an experienced and highly-skilled Psychotherapist can be a powerful tool to help you face the challenges of life with more hope, more self-acceptance, and stronger relational bonds.

Tallae Counseling & Wellness Center

Dwan Reed, Ph.D., LCSW, DTM

I am a certified facilitator for Prepare/Enrich (couples counseling), and a certified Anger Resolution Therapist. I am a yoga and natural health enthusiast. I have been married for twenty-five years and am the mother of two young adult children. I enjoy church ministry, traveling, playing with my pets, and watching investigative crime shows. Dwan Reed, PhD, LCSW, DTM, of Tallae Counseling & Wellness Center is a therapist specializing in Depression Counseling in Spring, TX

Tallae Counseling & Wellness Center
Dwan Reed, Ph.D., LCSW, DTM
Therapist & Prinicipal Owner
Tallae Counseling & Wellness Center
6302 Laver Love Dr.
Spring, TX 77379

832 263 1907

Psychotherapy

Sometimes life can be awfully lonely and anxious. Perhaps you don’t have the sense of fulfillment or connection in life that you want. This work is about far more than symptoms, it’s about the deeper place of who you are. It’s from this place that connection and lasting change will come. It can be vulnerable, but so very brave, to seek help. I offer a safe, comfortable space to process your feelings, and begin moving toward change. Relationships have the power to hurt us, but it is also within relationship that we can be healed.

Therapy is most effective when you feel like you can be yourself. With all the anger, melancholy, and anxiousness. It is from this place that your greatest relief and change comes from. You’re not alone in this work and it is something that we do together.

Colin B. Denney, Ph.D., Psychologist Honolulu

Colin B. Denney, Ph.D., is the Director of the Pacific Psychology Services Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, he is a Child Psychologist Honolulu.

Pacific Psychology Services Center
Honolulu, Hawaii

I provide individual and family therapy with children, adolescents, adults, families, and couples. I also have extensive training and experience with children and adolescents who are struggling in school.

Disorders with which I have particular expertise include Anxiety Disorders, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) and Related Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depressive Disorders, and Tic Disorders (including Tourette Syndrome).

I also have a special interest in interventions focused on parent-child relationships. I have received formal training in several well-validated treatments of this kind, including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Positive Parenting Program (PPP), and Child and Adolescent Relationship Enhancement (CARE).

Drew Tillotson, PsyD., Clinical Psychologist Specializing in Sex Addiction Therapy in San Francisco

Drew Tillotson, PsyD., Clinical Psychologist Specializing in Sex Addiction Therapy in San Francisco

Drew Tillotson is a clinical psychologist with over 19 years experience in the mental health field. He is in private practice in the Lower Pacific Heights area of San Francisco and treats adults in both individual and couples therapy. He specializes in treating sex addiction therapy in San francisco and provides a safe and confidential environment for business professionals, doctors and lawyers who are looking for help. He uses a non-pathological approach to sexual behavior, helping patients understand what causes them to use sex as a way of coping with emotions, stress, fears and insecurities.

Palo Santo Sticks

Frankincense, Myrrh and apparently, Palo Santo wood. From a tree indigenous to the Americas, these burning sticks calm the senses and help you find center when modern life becomes overwhelming.

Confetti Uncut

What is it about tiny pieces of paper being thrown up in the air that makes us so happy? D. Graham Burnett dissects the ticker tape phenomenon. Now we just need something to celebrate…

Come Sunday

What makes a ‘spiritual’ a spiritual? Hundreds of years being sung in the church or maybe just the combination of Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson? Written by Duke for his symphony ‘Black, Brown and Biege,’ this song is at once the most mournful and most hopeful thing you’ll ever hear.

Borobudur Temple

The 9th-Century shrine to Buddha is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, but its history is shrouded in mystery. Who built it, and why, cannot be agreed on to this day.

On High

Photographer Humza Deas climbs the buildings of New York to get unbelievable images that make even the most mundane views seem otherworldly.

Mix-and-Match Spirituality

Young people are approaching religion from a highly individualistic view. What does that mean for faith and religion in the 21st Century?

The Places In Between

Rory Stewart’s incomparable memoir of his walk across Afghanistan in 2002 is at once lonely, engaging, frightening, funny, humbling and transcendent. There’s no better example of the simplicity of humanity.

Blackwork

Roxx channels something from somewhere else to create an interesting hybrid of traditional and personal art.

Top of Red Rock

Since we have found ourselves in the era of the bucket list, add Red Rocks Amphitheater to yours. The view seems to make sad songs sadder, anthems even bigger, and everything sound better.

To Build a Home

Sometimes you want music that feels as viscerally big as it sounds. The Cinematic Orchestra lives up to their name with this anthemic song that feels as large as the Universe, yet with a message that is as simple as coming home.

Me and the Universe

Cartoonist Anders Nilsen explains wear he fits between the Big Bang and the Apocalypse, and makes even the most complex evolutions easy to understand.

Survival Tale

Terry Anderson was held captive for almost 7 years in Lebanon. In this video, he describes the emotional toll of that experience and what he held onto so that he might survive.

The Book of Strange New Things

An eye opening novel about the Bible, extraterrestrials and life on Earth when your husband is in space. Faber questions love, theology, space travel and end times.

Pale Blue Dot

An early unpublished version of Sagan’s most quoted passage shows his process and that even he could not deny the power of anaphora.

Comet McNaught

Robert McNaught has discovered hundreds of comets (including the biggest in human history), and yet, he never stops searching the night sky for something else.

Deep Dark Down

Hector Tobar tells the horrific and inspiring story of the 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine for 69 days. It says volumes about the human spirit.

SoulPulse

Who knows if you can track such a thing, but this app, at the very least, makes you aware of how you think about spirituality in your daily life.

An Astounding Fact

Neil De Grasse Tyson tells an astounding fact of the Universe and explains how we are not only connected on this planet, but through space and time.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Mortician Caitlin Doughty has a unique perspective on the death industry and what we could do to improve it as well as our experience when our loved ones pass away.

Islam, Judaism, Christianity

An scholar discusses the relationship between Islam and the other two ‘universal’ religions…and finds both similarities and shared imperfections.

Religion for Atheists

Alain de Botton explains why you don’t have to be a believer to gain something from the complex organizations that have formed around the world’s thriving religions.

Silence

Hans Zimmer wrote this piece for the film The Thin Red Line. It is impossible not to feel both the sadness and the hope in it (that might be why it’s in every over dramatic trailer since).

The Empties

Row writes, “None of the old endings played out, did they? So we have to imagine new endings. Hence the possibility for hope.”

God’s Funeral

A.N. Wilson ponders the different thinkers, philosophers and famous figures whose findings and theories began to dismantle religion.

We Feel Fine

Harvesting the Internet for people using the phrase ‘I feel’, Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar have created an artwork that lives and breathes, and makes even a cynic feel a part of something.

Candide

Voltaire skewers everyone from priests to philosophers in this short and brilliant tome for doubters. It’s a comfort knowing that people are questioning everything as much as you may be.

Is That All There Is?

Maybe you just don’t know why you should care anymore, maybe you never have. Any way you slice it, Peggy feels exactly the same way.

Yearbook

McGinley’s latest gallery show entitled Yearbook includes this shot of a man beautifully lost in the moment.

Be Better

The Superior Person’s Book of Words seems like a gag gift you might get for Christmas, and yet, there are few moments more victorious than employing one of these words properly.

Our Own Truth

The second act from an episode of This American Life illuminates an important difference between perception and reality. It turns out that you can create an origin story for yourself without even knowing it.

A True Broad

No one ever accused Ellen Barkin of playing the part of a shrinking violet…and the world is better for it.