Archive Page 2

Mental Health Awareness Week 2013

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week; Mental health advocates across the country join with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.  I think this is so great to support others and spread the work that people may be suffering and it’s okay and there is nothing wrong with it.  It normalizes it for them so the individual may feel more comfortable to seek the help they may need whether from a family member, a friend, and/or a professional.

I recently heard of a friend from high school who was suffering and did not get the help she needed.  My heart goes out to her family and friends who she touched. People who are suffering don’t realize how much they impoact others and I think it is so important to acknowledge that everyone means something to someone.

“Knowledge is power.” Francis Bacon

 

1393892_628702920514871_2098455794_n

Taking Care of Oneself

It is always important to take care of oneself.  Many times we spend money on our physical beauty: hair, nails, clothing, etc… However, it is sometimes a bandaid for what is going on for the emotional self.

How are you taking care of your emotional self?  How are you eating?  Are you working out?  Are you expressing yourself or holding things in?  Are you going to the doctor regularly?  All of these are ways to take care of yourself.  Many times people get busy in their life and they become neglectful; neglectful to themselves.

Regular doctor checkups aren’t a priority, excuses are made about going to the gym and/or finding a way to exercise, fast food becomes more convenient, weight is put on, emotional barriers are layering.  I have heard and seen this cycle many times.

When do you get ahold of your life to say:

  • I want to be happier
  • I want to be healthier
  • I want to feel better

When is the question?  Are you going to start today or put it off for tomorrow?

Make your life and your happiness your priority.  Spend the extra money to go to the gym, spend the extra money to make better food choices, spend the extra money to go to the doctor, spend the extra money to get the help you need to get your life in the line you want and need it to be, to be happier.  In the end, the extra money will increase your quality of life and will make it more enjoyable.

Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy| Therapy Dog in Broward County

I was just walking Bowie when someone asked me more about Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT).  I love explaining the benefits animals provide.  He was amazed at how well Bowie was adjusting to him and he asked a lot of questions.  I always welcome the questions because “knowledge is power” and AAT is a unique form of therapy that not everyone knows about or would consider a part of therapy.

Image

Here are some benefits of AAT:

  1. Clients are able to feel more at ease having an animal around, it brings anxiety levels down, therefore they are able to express themselves better.
  2. There is an outward focus bringing individuals out of themselves; animals can help individuals with low self-esteem focus on their environment.
  3. It helps develop a sense of nurturing with the animal as it promotes growth and development.
  4. It helps build rapport much quicker with both the therapist and the animal, building a relationship of mutual trust or a feeling of connection or bonding.
  5. There is a feeling of acceptance and approval; an animal’s acceptance is nonjudgmental, forgiving and unconditional.
  6. It helps with socialization by enjoying the company of others and establishing “likes” and “dislikes.”
  7. It provides mental stimulation, the presence of animals serves to brighten the atmosphere, increasing amusement, laughter and play.
  8. People desire physical touch and comfort and an animal provides that.
  9. There are physiological benefits in that many people are able to relax, showing a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, when animals are present.
  10. Research has found that therapists are more approachable and/or likeable when there’s an animal in the room. This helps clients, especially teenagers, to be more motivated and invested in the treatment process.

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby| Talking to Your Child About Sex

A popular Facebook page with a large following posted this:

“A mom fan has a question ” How can I talk to my tween daughter about changes to her body? Also, what is a good age? She is 10 now.”

The truth is, as children/tweens start to develop they will have a lot of questions.  It is important to be honest about the changes happening to their body and what will happen in the future.  It is not about being uncomfortable and thinking about yourself but looking at the facts of development.  Many times, your child will come up with more questions to ask.  Some questions may even seem silly but it is important not to laugh at them or they will not feel comfortable to ask again when they are curious about things in the future.  If your child does not feel comfortable to talk to you about these topics, they may ask someone else, or explore on their own.  It is very important that you normalize these changes as we all experience puberty at some point in our life.

You could always go to your local bookstore and get a book on changes of development and take the opportunity to read nightly with your child.  It is a great bonding experience and it will help give you a format and answer questions as you go along if you are unsure of where to start with the conversation.  Be brave and good luck!

 

Neurofeedback & Sleep Problems

I received an email from someone:
“My husband suffers from sleep apnea.  Can you help?”

Yes, neurofeedback can help with sleep apnea.  Sleep is central to the natural repair and restoration process that maintains each part of our mind and body. Neurofeedback helps the Central Nervous System (CNS) to release old and unhelpful patterns. This allows sleep to renormalize. When sleep renormalizes, your memory will work better, energy increases, and overall functioning improves. You will have better attention, focus, and concentration.

What can Neurofeedback do for sleep?

Neurofeedback returns irregular sleep patterns to normal, improving both sleep quality and quantity. Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis provides many benefits.

Problems with Sleep:

Sleep can become disrupted and unproductive in many ways. The occasional interrupted sleep, does not have lasting effects. Problems occur when the disruptions are repeated or chronic.

Repeated difficulties  with sleep will compromise your physical health, immune system, and brain functioning. Using caffeine, sugar, and other chemicals to help you stay awake night after night will make the situation worse.

People are often awake against their will. Such problems include insomnia, chronic pain, restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement, myoclonic twitches, acute injury, bereavement, stress, and certain psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Panic, apnea, and other breathing-related disorders will also interfere with sleep.

Functions of Sleep:

Learning, declarative/factual memory, and emotional processing happen during REM sleep (which happens at the end of each sleep cycle).
Maintain cognitive vigilance – the ability to notice and gather new information.
Maintain the ability to learn – to integrate new information into the old.
Immune system restoration and surveillance. This happens during the earlier parts of each sleep cycle.
Body growth and maintenance. Your metabolic (energy system) and your somatic (physical body parts) are repaired and developed during the nonREM parts of your sleep cycles.
Sleep is primarily a physiologic process that restores both somatic (overall body) and neuronal (nerves, brain) integrity. You are essentially getting a “tune-up” when you get your required number of sleep cycles.
As sleepiness rises, awareness of poor performance declines. There is a decrease in prefrontal cortex activity, which is where our executive functions occur.

These include:
Working memory
Inhibiting responses to distracting stimuli
Connections with hippocampus to help create longer term memory
Interactions with other parts of the brain to produce cognition (thinking)
Attention
Mood regulation
Help understand social situations
Strategic planning
Seeing the big picture while noticing the details
Being aware of one’s situation

If you have any further questions about the benefits of neurofeedback, please contact me at 954-217-2444 x17.

Singles Support Group in Coral Springs: Week 1

Tonight was the first night, of a 6 week program, of the Singles’s Support Group in Coral Springs.  The group meets on Monday nights at 7pm and is for women to talk about their struggles, anxieties, and overcome their barriers relating to dating.  By having a group, it helps people relate to each other and normalize their daily struggles.

Each week will have a different topic and theme.  Tonight’s group was about looking at routines and evaluating how it impacts one’s love life.  A lot of times people get stuck in a routine and they don’t understand where it started.  By being able to identify were the difficulties are and how to change them is most important.

If you would like to attend next week’s group, please contact me at 954.217.2444×17 or email.

 

Therapy- dating postcard2

Coping Skills for Children| Breathing Techniques

Many times people are told to breath slowly and count to ten when stressed.  Unfortunately, children have a difficult time remembering to stop, breath slowly, and to the count ten at the same time.  However, blowing bubbles is a great way to slow down their breathing.  It takes their mind off of the stressor and helps them to physically and emotionally calm down, and it’s fun.

I used this technique with a child in my office and watched her from being slightly anxious to calm, as well as her speech was clearer.  Throughout the bubble blowing her demeanor had changed drastically; she started trying to catch the bubbles at the beginning and as she progressed she asked if she could continue blowing sitting down as she was physically calmed.  It was great to see how such an easy technique could help so much.

children-and-bubbles