Category: MENTAL HEALTH

What is Trauma? What is its Impact and How Do You Treat It?
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
What is Trauma? What is its Impact and How Do You Treat It? | Brittany Starrantino

{3:30 minutes to read} People who come into the office saying they are experiencing anxiety and/or depression often have environmental traumas that have impacted them over time. Trauma can be anything perceived as “traumatic” to an individual. This could be the death of a pet or family member, an abusive relationship, a car accident, etc.

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Governmental Benefits and the Special Needs Child
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Authored by , re: Family, Family & Divorce, on .
 Governmental Benefits and the Special Needs Child | Susan Ingram

{2:48 minutes to read} In my next blog I will be discussing the various financial issues that affect the parents of a special needs child who are divorcing. Before doing that, however, I first need to describe the basic framework of governmental services and benefits that are provided to children and young adults with disabilities.

Click here to read Susan Ingram's entire article...

Decision Making Anxiety
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
Decision Making Anxiety | David Zerella

How to Decrease Outcome Based Thinking

{3:06 minutes to read} I have a small chalkboard in my office which I use to write motivational quips. I change it periodically, and most of my clients are familiar with it. It can be a great source of ideas within a session. Recently, I updated it to read, “There is no failure; we either succeed or we learn.” This idea summarizes my clinical approach on treating decision making anxiety.

Click here to read David Zerella's full article...

How to Mitigate the Non-Constructive Results of Confrontation: Tips for Professionals
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
How to Mitigate the Non-Constructive Results of Confrontation: Tips for Professionals | Jeff Zimmerman

{Read in 2 minutes} Confrontation is often interpreted as an attack. In counseling scenarios, regardless of what the professional therapist or mediator is confronting (feelings, ideas, logic, etc.), the client’s response is generally to do one of three things: fight, flee, or freeze.

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Relax and Go On Vacation—The Work Will Wait for You!
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, Wellness, on .
Relax and Go On Vacation—The Work Will Wait for You! | Don Sinkov

{2:42 minutes to read} Here I am, about to leave on a ten-day vacation abroad—something I haven’t done in a really long time. I’m experiencing some trepidation, but not just about taking a long flight. I tried to finish all the work I had, but that is nearly impossible since it comes in every day.

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Looking Up From the Screen
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Wellness, on .
Looking Up From the Screen | Vickie Adams

Look up from your phone…. I’m right over here! Don’t worry. This is not another article about cell phone dependence. It’s about this author and my observations and decision-making process. This New Year’s eve I found myself in a beautiful restaurant surrounded by beautiful people. I looked over to the bar packed with men in tuxedos and women in fabulous dresses waiting to be seated. For one crazy minute, almost frozen in time, I noticed that every one of them was looking down at their phone and not one single person was facing another human’s face.

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Taking Care of Yourself During Divorce
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, Wellness, on .
Taking Care of Yourself During Divorce | Jeff Zimmerman

{Read in 1:30 minutes} Often in divorce we feel that we’re very depleted—as if our emotional bank accounts are overdrawn.

Self-care in general is a relatively new concept in divorce, and it’s usually one of the last things that people pay attention to. It’s understandable, when you consider all of the changes that occur during the process.

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Divorcing Parents and Their Special Needs Children
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Authored by , re: Family, Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, Parenting, on .
Divorcing Parents and Their Special Needs Children | Susan Ingram

{3:12 minutes to read}  I just finished a mediation session with a divorcing couple who have a special needs child, in addition to two typically-developing children. While divorces involving special needs children are often complicated and involve more issues than the “normal” divorce, I find helping these families to be especially rewarding.

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Start With Yes
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Wellness, on .
Start With Yes | David Zerella

{3:30 minutes to read} Several years ago, I was on a cruise where The Second City Improv Group performed. As an avid fan of comedy, I thoroughly enjoyed the show but was even more thrilled to participate in an Improv 101 seminar they held the following day. The primary concept they taught us was “start with yes.”

“Start with yes” meant agreeing unconditionally; no matter how absurd the concept, outrageous the suggestion, or ridiculous your co-stars sound: always agree. This unconditional agreement in improv keeps the skit flowing; in conflict management, it keeps the conversation going in a healthy, productive way.

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OCD and Intrusive Thoughts
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, on .
OCD and Intrusive Thoughts | Brittany Starrantino

{5:06 minutes to read} Have you ever experienced obsessive thoughts and/or compulsions to act out rituals to relieve anxiety? Better yet, have you had a thought that was not truly yours but made you question yourself and why you had such a thought? You are not alone. The Diagnostic Manual 5, Grant (2013) defined Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as persistent, chronic, recurrent thoughts and compulsions brought on by anxiety or environmental stress.

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Curated: 5 Blogs and Podcasts That Help Me Be a Better Lawyer and Mediator
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Wellness, on .

{3:56 minute to read} As a family law attorney and a mediator who is committed to helping my clients stay out of court and resolve their issues with as little animosity as possible, I’m very interested in studying positivity, resilience, and ways to build on people’s strengths. In addition to always having a book or two going on one of these topics, I subscribe to a number of podcasts and blogs that I can rely on to provide me with new ideas, inspiration, and tools to achieve the right mindset to be the best mediator and lawyer I can be.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's full article...

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Tying Emotions to Situations to Actions to Coping
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Tying Emotions to Situations to Actions to Coping | Brittany Starrantino

{4:00 minutes to read} Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in that you are meeting with someone who is very defiant and stuck in their way of coping. The difference is that DBT is a softer approach. In the beginning, I have someone do a type of chart which may reveal that they:

  • Have a lot of anxiety;
  • Don’t understand what they’re feeling; or
  • Feel a lot of anger and can’t stop acting out on it.

Click here to read Brittany Starrantino's full article...

Harm Reduction: Addressing Behavior Realistically
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Authored by , re: Addiction, MENTAL HEALTH, on .
Harm Reduction: Addressing Behavior Realistically | Brittany Starrantino

{5:48 minutes to read} Harm Reduction. It sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? Actually, it is just a strategy to reduce negative consequences for someone. If an individual is involving themselves in high-risk behavior, like drug use or adolescent defiance, harm reduction is used to kind of reel that person in, but in a realistic way.

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Parenting for Transparency
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Authored by , re: Family, MENTAL HEALTH, Parenting, on .
Parenting for Transparency | David Zerella

{3:00 minutes to read} I provide therapy for many teenagers and their families who are dealing with a wide array of diagnoses and clinical issues—from oppositional defiance to anxiety to familial challenges and transition. In my practice, I emphasize family attendance and participation in order to maximize transparency.

Transparency is developing an open, honest relationship between parents and children in which conflict is not avoided but discussed candidly. As with all of my work, unconditional self esteem is the cornerstone for successful transparency. Therefore, I help families to understand and remind each other that, although they may not like one another’s behavior, they can still accept (love) each other.

Click here to read David Zerella's full article...

Divorce: Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, Marriage, MEDIATION, on .
Divorce: Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em | Rachel Alexander

{5:36 minutes to read} Recently, a young man, Dave*, called the office, reeling from the discovery of his wife’s infidelity and, even more so, from the lies she told to cover it up. As a divorce mediator and family law attorney, it’s not unusual to receive a call from someone experiencing painful emotions. This young man wanted to schedule an appointment as soon as possible and begin an action for divorce. Dave was shaken, triggered and emotionally hijacked. He was in crisis and aiming to push through it into action.  

Click here to read Rachel Alexander's full article..

 

Children Becoming the Parents of Their Parents
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Authored by , re: Family, on .
Children Becoming the Parents of Their Parents | Bob Bordett

When we were young we thought our parents were indestructible. They played with us in the yard and on the floor. They climbed ladders and would clean out the gutters every fall. As we grew older, we became more indestructible and watched as our parents became more cautious and careful. Then we started having our families and children (their grandchildren), and we started realizing we were not so indestructible either.

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Challenges and Opportunities
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Authored by , re: Therapy, on .
Challenges and Opportunities | David Zerella

{2:48 minutes to read} Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on how beliefs or thoughts about events lead to behavior. When the behavior is maladaptive (unsuitably adapted or adapting poorly, causing and maintaining emotional problems), we don’t look to just change the behavior, or hope to change the event, but rather actively work to change the belief. This process is referred to as cognitive reframing.

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Changing the Other vs Leaving Them Alone
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Authored by , re: Marriage, MEDIATION, on .
Changing the Other vs Leaving Them Alone | Rachel Alexander

Things would work, if only s/he would change {7:36 minutes to read} Many relationships seem to have to do with how the other person needs to change in order for the relationship to work. One spouse would be happy if only the other would return to work. The other spouse would be happy if only the other would be more sensitive and expressive. If only

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I’m Not Sure I Could Spend the Rest of My Life Alone, If It Comes to That
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, on .
I’m Not Sure I Could Spend the Rest of My Life Alone, If It Comes to That | Laura Bonarrigo

I’m not going to lie; it’s not easy facing the future without a husband or a wife or a theoretical life-long partner. There are days when the loneliness is really difficult. For me, it verges on depression; I get this overall feeling that I really don’t want to do anything and I’m a person with a lot of things going on, so when I get like this, it’s the pits for me. You may have a different scenario going on, but when I’m low, I cry. I want coffee and I want to crawl back into bed once my kids walk out the door for school.

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Self-Rating
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Authored by , re: Therapy, on .
Self-Rating | David Zerella, LMSW

{4:42 minutes to read} Most of my clients are familiar with my rants on conditional self-esteem. Maybe I’m being dramatic when I call it an epidemic, but it does seem to be a widespread, cross-cultural issue. Countless individuals, when disclosing how they perceive themselves, reveal a very conditional-based understanding. A simple example would be “I am good because I do good.” There may not appear to be anything destructive with that statement and it could be considered beneficial to recognize our strengths and appreciate our achievements, but it can be destructive to view ourselves based solely on our behavior. That is, when we think and say things like “I am good because I do good,” the reverse must also true: “I am bad because I do bad.” Unfortunately, this is a common way of thinking that leads to self-rating.

Click here to read David Zerella's full article...

The Child-Parent Observation: A Vital Tool in Custody Evaluations
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
The Child-Parent Observation: A Vital Tool in Custody Evaluations | Alberto Yohananoff

{4:50 minutes to read} Child-parent observations are a cornerstone of the custody evaluation. A good parenting assessment cannot be made without an observation of the parent and child who will live together. In conducting child-parent evaluations, the evaluator will report on what he or she observes about the behavior between the parent and the child, then make inferences from those behaviors. Some of the dimensions assessed include:

  • The quality of the bond between the parent and the child
  • How the parent and child communicate with each other

Click here to read Alberto Yohananoff's full article...

Uncomfortable Territory
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Authored by , re: Therapy, on .
Uncomfortable Territory | Brittany Starrantino, LMSW, CASAC

{2:42 minutes to read} As a therapist, it is extremely important to address conflict and uncomfortable moments that may come up in a session. If we ignore these moments, we are missing out on an opportunity for great work with the client and our own self-awareness. Recently, one of my clients made a comment in passing that they had thought about becoming intimate with me. Development of an attraction to the therapist is a common and natural consequence of the therapeutic alliance because the therapist is validating feelings and providing a safe, supportive space. When this happens or is brought to the therapist’s attention by the client, it is important to address it and incorporate it as part of their work together.

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The Survivor Mentality
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Authored by , re: Therapy, on .
The Survivor Mentality | David Zerella

{2:54 minutes to read} One of the things I enjoy most about my profession is the opportunity to meet with incredibly strong individuals, who have endured tragedy, trauma, and abuse. Unfortunately, many of the individuals I work with don’t recognize their inner strength, or their ability to endure hardships and challenges. As a result, in the early stages of therapy, they may take on a victim mentality. A victim mentality is when an individual perceives him/herself as the target of the trauma, tragedy, abuse, etc. to the point where it negatively affects his/her well-being. Victims often identify with negative, self-defeating emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, resentment, etc. A victim mentality promotes self-defeating thoughts such as:

Click here to read David Zerella's full article...

When Is It Appropriate to See a Family in Family Therapy?
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Authored by , re: Family, Therapy, on .
When Is It Appropriate to See a Family in Family Therapy? | Brittany Starrantino

{2:54 minutes to read} Have you ever thought to yourself, “My family is crazy,” or “My family makes me crazy?” Well, if you have had that thought, it is not an unusual one, and there is even some truth to it. It is natural that the family unit plays a large role in our individual lives and emotions. In a majority of cases, when the family identifies one individual in need, the other individuals in the family are also in need.

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Be an Active Participant, Not a Passive Recipient
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Authored by , re: Therapy, on .
Be an Active Participant, Not a Passive Recipient | David Zerella

4:06 minutes to read}  As part of the human experience, we all have our “bad” days:

  • Typical daily tasks appear more menial and frustrating than usual.
  • Added frustrations or unexpected difficulties arise which we couldn’t have foreseen.
  • Other people get on our nerves more often.
  • We are facing changes or transitions we don’t like.
  • Not thinking, feeling, or looking our very best.
Sound familiar? These types of days happen to all of us.

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Lost in Silence
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Authored by , re: Elder Care, Family, on .

As mediators we know there are two kinds of silence: The first is tactical.  During a mediation, we may remain silent while one party to a dispute wrestles with how to respond to a proposal, or maybe comes up with an alternative offer.  This tactic can lead to a settlement.  I don’t use it often, but when employed at the right time, it can move the process forward and eventually yield agreement.

Click here to read Sig Cohen's full article...