Fighting with your ex-spouse is all too common in our world today. This is sad because, as a rule, more contact with both parents is better for children. But only if the parents’ conflict is contained. If fighting with your ex is uncontrolled, children may do better to see one parent less — and be exposed to less fighting as a result. More contact with each parent may mean sharing time with the children equally; but that arrangement is the exception, not the rule.
Aging and the problems that it brings are an area that requires special skills and a special person. We are committed to helping to improve the quality of life for all of our clients and we are pleased to announce a staff expansion to help us do that for this growing area of our population. We want to welcome Mary Brodland to our South Hills Pittsburgh PA-based practice. Mary is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides services for adults over the age of 60 for many types of difficult situations they may face. A great way to get a feel for the type of person that Mary is is to watch her interview with me on Coffee with a Counselor.
Caring for a loved one can be a very rewarding experience. You are able to give back to a loved one in their time of need, however the stressors involved can lead to damaging symptoms and caregiver stress or burnout. The demands of caregiving can feel overwhelming at times and if left unchecked they can take a toll on the caregiver’s health, relationships and mental wellbeing. Even the most resilient people can feel the strain of caring for a loved one in need.
Childhood anxiety is a normal part of growing up. All children will experience anxiety at some point in their development. Different phases of development can lead to temporarily increased levels of anxiety. But sometimes it isn’t just a phase. When do we know if a child needs help with managing anxiety symptoms?
“Why does my teenager cut themselves? How can my child cut themselves? What does cutting mean? Is my child suicidal because they are cutting? How can I help my teenager to stop cutting?”
I open my eyes and see the popcorn ceiling with its dimpled surface. The bed under me might be comfortable to most, but I have “Arthur” (arthritis) bad in my back and nothing has felt comfortable for quite some time. I turn my face slowly to the right and am met with a deflated sheet; plain and cold looking. I used to tear up each morning when I looked that way because for fifty-one years, that now empty flat sheet was filled with my warm, best friend and love of my life. It’s been 5 years now, and no, I’m still not “over it.” Hell, I’m not even in our home; the home we paid off, painted, gardened, and raised our family in. I’m here in this popcorn ceilinged square called apartment 202, in the “wisdom wing.” Clever.
“I hate my ex, but I love my kids!”
Conflicted divorce. Research makes it very clear. The more parents fight with each other the more psychological problems their children experience. This is especially true when children witness or overhear the conflict. Or when they are put in the middle of a dispute. Even very young children feel tension, torn loyalties, and mixed messages when their parents are struggling. Obviously, disagreements are expected between divorced partners. Different philosophies about raising children can become difficult to manage. And old hurts and new jealousies can create many reasons for anger and pain.
I feel like she is just so clingy!
We have all seen solid examples of shyness in children many times over. But when is a child’s shyness a problem? Being a shy child isn’t necessarily an issue! Shyness in children is a natural temperament sometimes called a slow-to-warm-up temperament. The shy child adapts slowly to change. They do not often express negative emotions initially and can seem withdrawn, cautious, or avoidant. If the child is pushed to join a social situation, their mood will escalate. And they may turn to tantrums, crying, or shutting down. A shy child may also exhibit inappropriate expressions of emotions or irregular patterns of sleep or elimination.
Children change everything. So does infertility. More and more couples are struggling to become pregnant nowadays. This can lead to feelings of stress, guilt, brokenness, resentment, and failure. Depression and anger increase and leads to more frequent, biting arguments that make being intimate even more difficult. Walls get built, tears are shed, dreams seem further and further away. Infertility is hard enough to deal with in a marriage, but it does not have to lead to irreversible damage.
A few good men. Where are they? Do you find yourself attracted to the same types of men? Are you looking back and seeing each relationship you’ve had repeat the same patterns? Do you feel like you are stuck in the Twilight Zone with no hope ever to find the man of your dreams? You are not alone and this is definitely something you can fix!