How to Make New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

January 15, 2017 in Psychology

By Dr. Jennifer Richardson - - Every year we get swept into the excitement of the potential a new year can bring. All the changes we want to make in life somehow get shelved until this annual turning point—New Year’s Day. If you long to make changes in your life but find that you never follow through with your lofty January goals, I’d like you to consider a new way of implementing change. Let’s look at three common New Year’s Resolutions, how they usually fail, and what you can do to make them actually succeed.


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TUNING IN THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS

February 27, 2016 in Holiday Coping

TUNING IN THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS By Dr. Jennifer Richardson With the holidays nearing and reunification with family and friends fast approaching, there is much to look forward to and prepare for. However, as the kids and we are shuffled from city to city and holiday party after holiday party, there are ample opportunities for the holidays to become a source of stress. Staying in tune with how we are feeling, what we are thinking, and what we need for ourselves and from others is especially important during these times. While spending time reconnecting with family and friends can be rejuvenating and fun, it can also start to feel a bit overwhelming or exhausting if too much is piled into our schedules all at once. Maintaining a balance of quality experiences versus quantity of experiences may be important to consider as the holiday party RSVP’s are coming closer.


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Coping With an “Empty Nest”

November 12, 2014 in Parenting

By Dr. Jill Langer You’ve spent years preparing for this moment: Your child is going away to college. Congratulations on a job well done! This transition often comes with many mixed feelings for both you and your child. Some Normal Feelings You Might Have: Anxiety and worry: You child is leaving the safety of home for the first time and it is instinctual that you feel compelled to protect them from all that could go wrong.


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Radical Acceptance

January 15, 2017 in Stress and Coping

By Valerie Siegman - - Radical acceptance was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan in her quest to answer the question; why do some people get destroyed by suffering and other people grow through suffering? Dr. Linehan studied and researched saints, holocaust survivors, survivors of torture in South America and people who had experienced abject rejection. Those who grew despite adversity somehow seemed to find a way to radically accept that suffering had come. They seemed to accept whatever moment they were in. She named this learned ability “Radical Acceptance” because it had a deep, committed quality to that acceptance.


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Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Rest

February 27, 2016 in Stress and Coping

Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Rest By Dr. Richardson Are you someone who frequently tosses and turns for hours at a time trying to get to sleep? Or, are you someone who falls asleep quickly and then wakes up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep again? Individuals who have struggled to get a good night’s rest over a lengthy period of time can attest that lack of sleep really affects how you function and feel the following day. Oftentimes, those who do not get enough rest, experience decreased energy, fatigue throughout the day, increased irritability, decreased focus and concentration, and sometimes increased feelings of depression and/or anxiety. The good news is that there are several strategies you can learn to help you rest and get the sleep you know is so important to your well-being and optimal daily functioning.


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Get connected with your spouse!

November 12, 2014 in Couples

by Dr. Jeanne Peterson. Summer is such a fun time for families, but as we get back to the routines of the school year, it’s a good time to get back in touch with our partners. Many people report that they have let the bonds with their spouse lapse and that some of the intimacy they once felt is fading. Those key relationships require time and attention. A well-nurtured relationship can offer you deep satisfaction and happiness, so maybe now is the time to make some new habits in the relationship realm.


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Mindfulness

January 15, 2017 in Stress and Coping

By Dr. Jenn Tickal - - Mindfulness involves acceptance and awareness and is useful in many areas of life. One can learn types of meditation and learn how to focus on a specific object, sound, movement, etc. For example, looking around the room that you are in at this moment, find one object and continue to visually explore this object for several minutes...thinking only of the object and its various qualities.


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Adult coloring books: What’s the all the hype about?

February 27, 2016 in Stress and Coping

Adult coloring books: What’s the all the hype about? By Dr. Gina Zuccolo Adult coloring books have gained much attention and popularity within the past year or so. A quick internet search will yield numerous options available for purchase that include intricate, delicate, and sometimes complex patterns and drawings awaiting the addition of color. So what do we know about coloring and its impact on adults?


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Dealing with Your Child's Anxiety

November 12, 2014 in Parenting

by Dr. Chris Berrios By now your child has probably settled into his or her back-to-school routines. In most cases, the anxiety that comes with starting a new school year has dissipated and your child is in the trenches of the school year. In some cases however, anxiety can persist past what is considered to be normal and can impact your child’s academic potential, as well as his or her happiness. Here are some tips for understanding and responding to your child’s anxiety.


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What Do Five Decades of Research Have to Say About Spanking?

June 14, 2016 in Parenting

By Dr. Gina Zuccolo - - Spanking, defined as an open-handed hit on an individual’s behind or limbs, is sometimes a form a discipline used by parents in attempts to correct a child’s behavior or increase the child’s compliance to rules. A recent analysis of 50 years of research on spanking has shown that spanking actually has the opposite impact on children than what parents hope or intend.


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Humor and Coping

February 27, 2016 in Stress and Coping

Humor & Coping By Dr. Jeanne Peterson It seems like humor is an invaluable aid to maintaining our mental health. It’s popular theory that having a good sense of humor and being able to laugh about life’s ups and downs is good for our souls if not all our major bodily organs and our social lives. But why? And what about bad jokes – is all humor created equal?


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Grief and Loss - Children and Grieving

May 07, 2014 in Grieving

by Gina Zuccolo, Psy.D. The first experiences of loss in a child’s life that can lead to grief and bereavement may have nothing to do with death at all. Children may grieve when


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The Benefits of Exercise in Reducing Depression

June 14, 2016 in Women and Wellness

by Dr. Jennifer Richardson - - In a research study by Lynette Craft and Frank Pertna (2004) that was published in the Primary Care Companion Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the benefits of exercise for individuals who were clinically depressed was reviewed across 37 independent studies


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Eat Like You Mean It! The Secret to Using Food to Enhance Your Health

February 27, 2016 in Women and Wellness

Eat Like You Mean It! The Secret to Using Food to Enhance Your Health by Dr. Jill Langer I’d like to share with you a powerful skill that will impact your health and well-being virtually the moment you begin using it. It will cost you nothing but your time, attention, and patience. I know, that last one can be a real challenge! But as with all things, practice is the key to developing positive changes. The skill is mindful eating. It entails bringing our attention and awareness to the process of eating.


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Women and Wellness: Developing Self-Compassion

April 26, 2014 in Women and Wellness

by Jill Langer, Ph.D. What comes to mind when you think of this word: Compassion? How about this one: Self-compassion?


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Improving Mood By Building Experiences of Mastery

June 14, 2016 in Stress and Coping

by Dr. Jennifer Richardson - - Are you someone who is struggling to find enjoyment in your day to day routine? Or perhaps you may be someone who feels increasingly “stuck” or unhappy? Maybe your energy level and motivation has decreased and you find that you have become increasingly isolated from friends and family whom you used to enjoy spending time with? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions and have felt this way for a few weeks or longer, then keep reading and follow these suggestions to begin to improve your mood.


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She Just Likes to Daydream

February 27, 2016 in Parenting

She Just Likes to Daydream By Dr. Chris Berrios Consider the following scenario: Jane is a bright well-behaved 4th grader whose academic work is just about on grade level. She chooses to sit in the back of the classroom and much of the time she’s doodling in her notebook. When asked to complete a written assignment, Jane works diligently at first, but then she becomes easily distracted by noise outside the window and loses track of her assignment. The unfinished work then gets stuffed into her messy backpack and is rediscovered several weeks later. Now take Johnny, a bright 4th grader who has trouble remaining seated. He is always fidgeting with his pencils and anything else on his desk. He shouts out answers and constantly interrupts his teacher with comments and requests to go to the bathroom. Johnny’s academic work is less than expected for his age and capabilities. Who do you think is more likely to be referred for an evaluation?


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Anxiety - Coping with and Conquering Fears

January 23, 2014 in Stress and Coping

by Jennifer Richardson, M.A. Studies have shown that individuals who experience frequent anxiety often misperceive a situation or possible event as being more dangerous or likely to occur than it really is. For example, imagine you’re boarding an airplane and find your heart starts pounding, your palms become sweaty, and your breathing rate has increased. As you make your way to your seat your mind starts to focus in on a story you saw on the news about a plane crash. You briefly overhear another passenger talking about a storm headed in the direction where your plane is going. You sit in your seat and start to feel a sense of panic and want nothing more at that moment than to get up and flee from the plane to solid ground and safety. During such an experience it can be difficult to consider all the available facts.


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Adjusting Your Lens

June 14, 2016 in Psychology

by Dr. Jenn Tickal - - Are you often finding yourself thinking thoughts such as “I have to be right all the time or else I am a failure?” or “I did a good job… I guess I just got lucky?” Sometimes our thoughts can play a key role in how we interpret events, our emotions, and even our behaviors. Understanding these often “automatic” thought patterns can be an important piece that allows us to look at the lens through which we view the world. If you find your lens is a bit “Eeyorish,” then maybe it is time to start looking at things a bit more objectively. Here are some tips to help transform those thoughts from stifling to inspiring.


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WHAT'S THE BUZZ ABOUT STRESS?

July 03, 2015 in Stress and Coping

by Dr. Jeanne Peterson Since 2007, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual nationwide survey as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign to examine the state of stress across the country and understand its impact. We include here some excerpted highlights from the report.


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Silence and Lack of Communication in Teens - What to Do With It

September 27, 2013 in Parenting

by Anisha Hume-Keaton, MA and Dr. Jeanne Peterson Even when teens seem not to understand the importance of maintaining positive family relationships, parents know that keeping a healthy relationship with their teen is crucial for the teen’s sense of self, for his or her overall development and for the teen’s learning on how to build relationships with others. To help foster a fruitful level of engagement between you and your teen, here are two ways to keep your teen talking to you


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The Quiet Power of Acceptance

June 14, 2016 in Stress and Coping

By Dr. Jill Langer - - A wise mentor once told me “People come to therapy when they have an unsolvable problem that must be solved.” Can you relate to this dilemma? At one time or another in our lives, we all struggle with something that causes us difficulty or suffering and that does not yield itself to being solved, at least not in any way we can find. Common struggles include our relationships, family, career or school, health, weight, feelings, anxiety, and insomnia, to name a few.


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Could You Be Stressing Your Kid?

July 03, 2015 in Stress and Coping

by Dr. Chris Berrios If you’re a parent, you may experience stress on a regular basis. Some of us are better at managing stress than others. Either way, stress can be normal as it is the result of the demands placed on us and our ability to meet them. These demands often come from outside sources, such as family, jobs, friends or school. Stress can also come from within us, often related to what we think we should be doing versus what we’re actually able to do. For kids, who are like sponges, stress can be naturally felt in difficult circumstances or it can be a learned response. In fact, research suggests that beyond a child’s disposition, a parent’s stress level can affect a child’s very makeup, including his or her risk of mood disorders or addiction, and can affect symptoms in those with disorders like ADHD and autism.


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Silence and Lack of Communication in Teens - What It Means

September 27, 2013 in Parenting

by Anisha Hume, MA and Dr. Jeanne Peterson Often times, parents feel alone or disconnected from their teenager as their teen shifts from being a talkative child to a silent and withdrawn adolescent. Much of this behavior is typical of normal adolescent development and parents may see their once friendly and cuddly child now try to avoid any interactions with them. Experts on adolescent behavior have highlighted some reasons for the lack of communication


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Coping with Holiday Stress

February 27, 2016 in Holiday Coping

Coping with Holiday Stress By Dr. Jill Langer While the holidays are something many of us look forward to and enjoy, they are also a source of increased stress and anxiety. The challenges of managing time, family obligations, expectations, and money are all heightened under the hopes and pressures of celebrating the season.


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Stress related to test taking - The impact on children

July 03, 2015 in Stress and Coping

by Dr. Gina Zuccolo School, quizzes, tests, after-school activities, homework…the list of children’s responsibilities is vast when it comes to their education and development. These tasks in themselves can be stressful for children, but what happens for children when standardized testing is thrown in the mix? In the state of Florida, the FCAT has been the most recognized name as the required standardized testing implemented via the No Child Left Behind legislation. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, the state began administering the FSA to replace the FCAT. Although there is a different acronym, a similar principle exists. For example, the standardized testing impacts not only evaluation of student performance and passage to the next grade (in certain circumstances), but also impacts teacher evaluations and overall school performance evaluations. With this increased focus on standardized testing performance, how are children coping with the pressure?


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Healthy Living through Mindfulness

September 18, 2013 in Stress and Coping

by Jennifer Richardson, M.A. In today’s fast paced world, it can be difficult to “stop and smell the roses” or for that matter even notice the roses at all. As we struggle to juggle the demands of a career, intimate and family relationships, children,and household chores we may end up sprinting over the roses while simultaneously walking the dog, texting, and scarfing down our breakfast before dropping the kids off at school and arriving to work on time.


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Plan Ahead to Avoid Holiday Stress

February 27, 2016 in Holiday Coping

Plan Ahead to Avoid Holiday Stress By Dr. Susan Rarick The holiday season is upon us. While these can be fun times with lots of nostalgia and quality family interactions, they can also be filled with stress. One of the best ways to cope with this is to take a preventative approach. For example, if you experience stress about whether or not to buy a gift for someone, why not ask the person ahead of time if you will be exchanging gifts with each other? Or better yet, try making a suggestion about what you could do to celebrate the occasion and honor your relationship.


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The Importance of Social and Emotional Support

July 03, 2015 in Stress and Coping

by Dr. Jill Langer “I’m so stressed!” We say and hear this so often, being stressed can seem inevitable and we forget the dangerous effects brought on by poorly managed stress. The American Psychological Association has long recognized the importance of understanding and mitigating the impact of stress on our emotional and physical health. They have published research on stress each year since 2007. This research has shown both a strong relationship between stress and negative impacts on our health as well an important factor that affects both: Social and emotional support. The APA survey findings show that having someone in your life who you can ask for emotional support is correlated with having lower stress levels.


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Engaged for Success - Start with a Great Friendship!

July 29, 2013 in Pre-marital

by Dr. Jeanne Peterson Many engaged couples dream of finding the secrets to a successful engagement and a long and happy marriage. Several books and scholarly research articles suggest that there are a few habits couples can form while they are dating that will later contribute to a satisfying marriage and reduce the chance of their union dissolving


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Can There Be Forgiveness in the Wake of Betrayal?

February 27, 2016 in Couples

Can There Be Forgiveness in the Wake of Betrayal? By Dr. Jeanne Peterson When a loved one has deeply hurt us, it is sometimes difficult to imagine that forgiveness can take place. Hurts within intimate family relationships can take many forms - such as relapsing in an addiction after promising recovery, having an emotional or physical affair outside the relationship, lying about substantive issues, stealing or using money without consent, emotionally neglecting a partner in a moment of critical need, and many more.


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Finances and Couples - A Frequent Source of Stress

July 03, 2015 in Couples

by Dr. Jeanne Peterson. Money and the management of finances is a frequent source of stress for couples and one I often hear about when couples come to see me. When couples argue about how to spend or whether to save, they are not only fighting about money. They are also speaking about their greatest anxieties – sometimes even fears of which they are not aware. Fights in this arena can become intense as each person’s deeper feelings and needs show up in these discussions.


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The So-Called “Stages” of Grief and Loss

July 16, 2013 in Grieving

by Dr. Jeanne Peterson Facing the loss of a loved one can often be one of the most challenging and difficult things we face in life. Unfortunately, it is an experience that we all encounter at some point. Our understanding of grieving has also shifted


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Could Your Older Loved One Be Addicted To Their Prescription Medications?

February 27, 2016 in Psychology

Could Your Older Loved One Be Addicted To Their Prescription Medications? By Dr. Chris Berrios When you think of drug addiction, seniors are not the first age group that comes to mind. Even for medical providers, older adults do not fit the picture of a drug abuser. So more often than not, providers don’t suspect an addiction problem and may give seniors easy access to prescription drugs. Over time, it is possible to develop a tolerance to certain drugs and require more of that drug to achieve the same effect. Many seniors take a large number of prescription medications. In most cases, prescriptions improve the lives of elderly people - from lowering blood pressure to easing chronic pain. However, due to many different factors (multiple doctors, cognitive impairments, lack of family supervision, multiple medical conditions, frailty, and many more) seniors can develop a dependency on their prescription medications.


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Tips for Helping Children Complete Homework

November 12, 2014 in Parenting

by Dr. Gina Zuccolo Many factors can influence children and teens’ ability to complete homework. For instance, fear of failure, anxiety regarding not being “smart enough,” comparison of their academic abilities to peers, and previous negative feedback from teachers and/or parents can often hinder children’s self-esteem, motivation, and desire to complete homework assignments. However, parents can help children establish an after-school routine to make the task of completing homework more structured and consistent.


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