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Anxiety and Your “What If Calculator”

5.21.18

View original article published in Psych Central– Some universities provide a “what if calculator” to help students project possible grades. It provides the percentage they need on each test to get their desired grade at the end of the course. Based on what they would like their final grade to be, they can decide how much work and effort to put into studying for their final exam. If we all had a what if calculator to forecast our future, life would be so much easier! We could say we all are in a possession of a what if calculator. For many of us, that amazing thought-making machine works overtime. The problem is that though our mind means well, its calculations are not entirely accurate most of the time. Quite often, the predictions are wo

How Can I Get My Children to Listen and Obey?

4.26.18

View original article published in Psych Central– When children misbehave and disobey, it can be difficult to stay calm, especially if the negative behavior has become routine. Parents can often feel agitated, stressed, and helpless. There can be so many reasons for a child’s disobedience. Both the parent and child may feel stuck, as if on an uphill treadmill and unable to get off. The parent-child relationship also suffers and a void is created. Parents may yearn for the good old days when their children behaved nicely and there was peace in the home. Other parents may say, “We don’t even know what that’s like!” Being a parent is one of the most difficult roles humans experience in their lives. Despite the challenges, there is one activity

Is the Anxious Mind Spreading FUD in Your Life?

3.9.18

View original article published in Psych Central– In the cryptocurrency world, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is something investors don’t want to experience. When FUD spreads, the value of the coin will drop, and those who invested will be unsure of what to do and wonder when the pain will stop. FUD is also something that people with anxiety don’t like to endure. They avoid and seek reassurance in order to be sure that FUD (fear, uncertainty, or doubt) is not part of their lives. Yet, they forget that FUD is part of the human condition. When we perceive danger, our survival built-in mechanism warns us, and fear sets in so we can escape or fight the danger. This is a good thing. Otherwise, our ancestors would not have made it, and we w

Why Won’t Anxiety Go Away?

2.21.18

View original article published in Psych Central– If you were walking through the woods and noticed a bear walking towards you, you would probably either run for your life or be so scared that you freeze. On the other hand, if your friends told you to watch out for a person dressed as a bear scaring people in the woods, you might initially get startled but would otherwise remember it was just a person. This heads up would make all the difference in your reaction. Life is like a walk through the woods. We know that anxiety is going to manifest itself because it is a part of life. At one time or another, all of us will experience mild or severe anxiety. But what happens when anxiety shows up? Many individuals report that they hate it. They wi

When Therapy Changes a Life

2.12.18

By Nancy Larsen, MSW, LCSW View original article published in Psych Central– There are many forms of art that can be used in therapy. Finger painting is one of the mediums that is fun and entertaining as clients explore their emotions through paint. While art does not always require a prompt, it can often serve as a means for helping client’s see their progress in therapy. One theme that can be used is before and after.Clients are asked to paint a picture of what their anxiety felt like before they began therapy. Most often they are experiencing a lot of distress. They often feel like something is wrong with them. They feel shame and/or embarrassment that they are unable to handle life’s challenges. They are struggling with anxious thoughts

How to Cope When the Anxious Child Has a Meltdown

1.22.18

View original article published in Psych Central– When our children exhibit disruptive behavior and appear to be out of control, we can feel helpless and sometimes hopeless. When we realize that their actions are no longer isolated events but have become part of a distressing routine, our mind may come up with myriad of solutions. When our children have anxiety and we know that this a contributing factor, our amazing problem-solving machine — the mind, might also say to us, “You are a terrible parent. It’s your fault.” This is a thought that our mind is providing to help us make sense of the situation. It is only trying to find a solution to match our distress and our child’s behavior. Those thoughts may match the situation, but it is not h

Give Your Kids the Best Christmas Ever—No Gifts Required by Siobhan Colgan – SPARTAN LIFE

12.24.17

Published at SPARTAN LIFE–  Blame Santa. Christmas is a time for giving, but you’d never know it listening in on one of Kringle’s conversations. For this reason, many kids see December 25 as a day to top up their toy box. And parents encourage it. Holiday sales account for 20 percent of all annual retail spending, with Americans generally shelling out over $600 billion on the festive season. That’s a problem, says Annabella Hagen, a psychotherapist and clinical director at Mindset Family Therapy in Provo, Utah—but not an insurmountable one. “In this era, it can be nearly impossible to create a family culture that does not include giving gifts to our children,” she says. “However, how it’s done makes all the difference.” Here’s your four-st

Scrupulosity OCD and the Sin of Certainty

12.5.17

View original article published in Psych Central– When religious and faithful individuals are told that the unremitting thoughts that they are trying to get rid of are due to their OCD, they have difficulty accepting it. They may remember how and where their symptoms began, and may attribute their sinful thoughts to Satan or being cursed somehow somewhere. They may eventually acknowledge the symptoms as OCD but continue to doubt their worthiness. As they question their thoughts and actions, uncertainty persists. They believe they may find surety if they make a more exerted effort. For example, they may say, “If I pray longer, the intrusive thoughts will stop. Perhaps I didn’t confess all my sins. I must go back and do better. My service to

How to Help Anxious Kids Adapt to Change

11.15.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Nico loved having the same routine every day of the week. When his routine changed, he would get upset. His emotional meltdowns and rigidity were trying on him and his family. When changes occurred and he was tired, hungry or stressed, his ability to cope was absent. Nico’s parents began to notice that his behavior was also affecting his younger sister. She had begun to show rigidity and unwillingness to try new things as well. All parents do their best to help their children feel happy, learn about life, and cope with change. However, there are some children who may show less flexibility because of anxiety or other mental and emotional difficulties. Some children are not able to self-sooth

Just Right: OCD and Kids

10.10.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Landon was a bright intelligent child. He had excelled academically and also enjoyed sports. However, OCD appeared to be getting in the way of his life. There were times when he could not get out of bed because the thought of having to get dressed overwhelmed him. His socks needed to feel just right as well as his shirt and pants. He would repeat the behaviors until he felt just right about it. He seemed to be late to school every day. Things in his room had to be just so. He would be angry and become aggressive when he noticed someone had been in his room. New belongings were challenging as well. When his parents bought him new items such as a backpack, shoes, or clothes, he refused to use

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