Monday, November 7, 2011

Improved sleep for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

I thought I would share this interesting article from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. There is a high rate of sleep difficulties reported by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), also known as pervasive developmental disorder (which includes Asperger's Disorder) These sleep problems include difficulty falling asleep as well as maintaining sleep. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trouble sleeping?

We have all experienced difficulty sleeping from time to time. Insomnia due to travel or a stressful event can be easily treated with medication (prescription or over the counter); however, when the sleep problems last more than a few nights the underlying cause needs to be addressed. Long term use of sleep medication can lead to dependence, next-day drowsiness, and when discontinued there is an increased risk of rebound insomnia. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Social Anxiety and Body Image

Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with a defect in appearance which is either imagined or a slight physical anomaly.  I recently read an interesting article about this subject. I must admit that I have noticed anxiety symptoms (although sometimes subclinical) in my clients with eating disorders or body image issue. The authors of this article address the treatment of social anxiety symptoms in the successful treatment of body dysmorphic issues.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Parenting styles and adolescent anxiety

When a parent contacts me to arrange counseling for their adolescent, I explain that there will be times that the parents will be a part of the counseling session. It’s always difficult to talk with the parents about parenting styles. There’s plenty of guilt when it comes to parenting in general; therefore, guilt and a little defensiveness is understandable when your child’s counselor says, “we need to talk about parenting.”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Non-suicidal self injurious behavior

Self-injurious behavior is prevalent in our society. It is estimated that approximately 7% of preadolescents, 12-40% of adolescents, and 17-35% of college students have engaged in non-suicidal self-injury. I just searched “cutting myself” on YouTube and found almost 5,000 hits! Self-injury is described in books, the news and now you can watch it happening on YouTube!  I never heard of such a thing when I was a kid. Why is it so common now? Some have argued the theory of contagion. Many kids tell me they learned about self injurious behavior from a friend. Having heard about it, they then try it when in distress. For those who feel some relief after the behavior; a seriously bad, dangerous habit is born.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, marriage and family counselor; which is right for me?

Counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, marriage and family counselor; which is right for me?

When I first entered the mental health field, I had no idea how many different types of licensed mental health professionals existed. I thought it might be helpful if I give you a break down by provider and a short explanation. You can find a detailed description of the different mental health professionals on the state website, which I have provided at the end of this blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

“Winning is a habit.  Unfortunately, so is losing.” Vince Lombardi
There are many ways of addressing mental health issues. In graduate school we learn about Sigmund Fraud, Carl Rogers, Alfred Adler, Carl Yung, just to name a few. Each of these psychologists created a psychological theory of why people act the way they do and using their theory explain how to affect change. For example, I could approach depressive issues from any of these perspectives and then begin treatment. I personally utilize Cognitive-Behavioral Theory. Why? Because CBT makes sense to me and is very effective. Let me assure you that other theories are also effective, so if your therapist does not utilize CBT-don’t worry. Research has supported the efficacy of all these approaches to mental health issues.