Here are a few signs that you would benefit from additional professional support: You can’t shake the distressing thoughts and emotions brought back by the year mark. The distress triggered by the year mark starts to interfere with your everyday life. If you notice others are encouraging you to seek professional help, this too may be a good indicator that you should reach out to a professional. Lastly, if you find yourself thinking about harming yourself or someone else, then call a mental health professional or 911 right away. … [Read more...] about 7 Years After Sandy Hook: Coping With Difficult Milestones
Are too many youth volunteer activities focused on the “result” at the expense of the “why?” Are we fostering self-centeredness in children when we make volunteering easy and fun instead of meaningful? External rewards, like prizes, parties, and good times, come at a sacrifice to the internal rewards that shape character. When meaning is missing, we not only risk producing future generations of children with declining levels of empathy, we risk the future of civil society itself. … [Read more...] about Does Volunteering Foster Narcissistic Kids?
One year ago this week started a series of pretty stressful events in our family. On one day early in January, I got a call from my son that he walked into a flooded house with alarms ringing. A pipe broke and water flowed all day causing major damage to both floors of our house. Over the next few months our whole downstairs had to be gutted and rebuilt. The same day this happened, I got a text from my sister informing me that my mother needed emergency surgery. A few days later, I flew to my home town to help out for a few days. A couple of weeks later, Seattle had one of our unusual snow storms that shut down the city. It wreaked havoc on my carefully timed waitlist control study that was ongoing. And then my daughter contracted Salmonella and was home from school for 2 weeks, followed by falling down and getting a concussion that kept her out of school for another 2 weeks. Through it all, we were dealing with a terrible contractor fixing our house. It was stressful. But we … [Read more...] about A Bioecological Model of Resilience
When we think about resilience, we tend to think about characteristics about a person that helps them weather difficult times. When I asked at a recent presentation what resilience is, people said things like "grit," "determination," "positive attitudes," "fortitude," all characteristics within a person. We don’t usually think of the support and resources it takes to have those characteristics. Sometimes they are “built-in” to the person through their temperament. But usually, those characteristics develop when a person experiences having basic needs met, being free from the threat of violence, and having safe, stable, nurturing relationships in our lives – even just one. Research on resilience points to a variety of “intrapersonal” factors – things within the person, and “interpersonal” and contextual factors that support resilience in contexts of stress or adversity. … [Read more...] about A Bioecological Model of Children’s Resilience
Another patient was a man in his early 50s with a history of marital conflict and alcohol abuse. In treatment with me, the patient successfully moderated his alcohol consumption but continued to report a high level of discord with his wife. I noticed that in arguments with his wife, the patient would respond in an intellectual manner that the wife felt was invalidating. She complained that he didn’t care enough and wasn’t meeting her emotional needs. Over time, I helped the patient understand the subtext in his wife’s words and to effectively listen before responding with his perspective. I explained that with a little bit of effort and compromise, men and women can learn to support each other without having to subjugate their true nature. I reminded him that it is in their sex differences that men and women can find both balance and synergy. … [Read more...] about Reviving Romeo