House Calls Herald 09 – September 2010

Back to School: How to Handle Separation Anxiety with Kids
By Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal

Every year, the scene plays out in classrooms across the nation. A child clings to his mother, tears welling in his eyes as he pleads with her to stay a few moments longer.

The first day of kindergarten is an exciting time for parents and children, but it can also be stressful, especially for kids who have never spent significant time away from Mom and Dad. The good news is that psychologists say separation anxiety is generally short-lived and there are time-tested methods to help reduce everyone’s tension.

The root of the problem
Experts say separation anxiety can be spurred by biology and environment.
“What’s known about separation anxiety is there’s not really one single cause for it,” said Wendy Bravo, a marriage and family therapist based in Reno “If the child tends to be more anxious, you know, anxiety-prone, there are certain things in the environment that will trigger it.”

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Dyadic-Development Psychotherapy: What It Is and What It Isn’t
By Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D.

There are many misconceptions and fictions about treatments for trauma-attachment disordered children. Is treatment dangerous and deadly? Is it a miracle cure? What, exactly, is attachment therapy? First, some truths. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is the only form of treatment that is effective with trauma-attachment disordered children. It is the only “evidence-based” treatment, meaning that there has been research published in peer-reviewed journals. In an on-going follow-up study we found that 1.1 years after treatment ended, there were statistically and clinically significant reductions in aggressive, delinquent, avoidant, and other symptoms. It is important to note that over 80% of the children in the study had had over three prior episodes of treatment, but without any improvement in their symptoms and behavior. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is primarily an experiential-based treatment, designed to facilitate experiences of safety and security so that a secure attachment may grow. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, as with any specialized treatment, must be provided by a competent, well-trained, licensed professional. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is a family-focused treatment.

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Benefits of Busy Parents Practicing Self-Care

Working parents may find themselves “running on empty” if they don’t take time out for self-care. They run the risk of falling into a rut if they never give themselves a break and keep working until they are exhausted. Since parents, in particular single parents, are the foundation for the family, it is critical that they take time to focus on their own well-being-to practice self-renewal-in order to have the strength to meet the demands of work and family life.In this workshop, Eugenia L. Reeves, LCSW, an outpatient counselor at the Carle Pavilion in Champaign, Illinois, facilitated parents in exploring techniques for keeping themselves performing at peak levels at home and on the job.

What is involved in self-care?

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Kids Who Get Hugged Grow Up to Be Well-Adjusted Adults
By Randy O’Brien

An affectionate hug or quiet time with a parent can have positive psychological benefits that stretch far beyond a person’s childhood. Results from a recent study that tracked nearly 500 infants into their 30s, found babies who receive above-average levels of affection and attention from their mothers are less likely than others to grow up emotionally distressed, anxious, or hostile as adults.

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