Beyondpondering's Weblog

Northwest Arkansas Therapy

ADHD and Holidays December 21, 2008

Aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, visitors and guests………..

Sights, sounds, lights, and laughter……

Music and song,  fireplaces and snowfall, presents and parties…….

So many activities and high hopes….that this years everything will go without a flaw….

But wait…there’s more….. School is out, fun is in.

Holidays are filled with activites and expectations.  Gifts picked out with special care hoping to convey the right sentiments.

Family comes in or you go there.    Perhaps you have not seen a particular set of relatives for years.  You want everyone

on your side of the family put their best foot forward, have on their best behavior, and be especially courtesy and kindness.

 

Different house rules, or perhaps none.   Squeals of joy and running here and there.   Too much sugar and a too much Egg Nog & Rum.  Someone can’t stand someone else’s brat kids.    A child brakes another child’s toy.  Someone’s child won’t

share.  Crying and commotion.   The pie burns while you are trying to put out the fires among the children.  

Spitting and spankings.   Ho Ho Ho…..MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

 

Parents in all their good intentions sometimes shoot themselves in the foot.   Many weeks or months their child has been on ADHD medication.  They understand the need to have the child sit in class and learn.  They understand how distracting school can be.  Medication is a necessary evil in their minds.  They are willing to put up with it to help their child have a better experience with school.  Now since school is out for the holidays,,,,certainly this is the perfect time to let “Little Billy” have a Medication Holiday.

Think about it for just a moment.  Does ADHD take a Holiday?  Does ADHD take a vacation?   No, it doesn’t.

The very time when family harmony is stressed out the most,,,,,

The very time when feelings can be the most sensitive……………

The very time when families needs more peace and calm……is the same time parents want Little Billy to be off his meds.    Is it helping or hurting family relationships?   Is it helping or contributing to family stress? 

You know….The ADHD child already has difficulty feeling good about him or herself,  why contribute to their negative feelings by purposefully pulling them off their meds at the very time it is needed the most?   Allow positive family relationships to develop.  Allow Little Billy to gain warm feelings about himself in relationship to their close relationships.  Do you want to help or hinder family harmony during the holidays?   ADHD does not take a holiday.  The risk of  a child having negative behaviors in the long term is related to how they feel about themselves today.  An  ADHD child can be frustrating.  Yet try to imagine how frustrated he is with himself.  Try to imagine how that child feels as he is constantly criticized, punished, or consequenced for what he has little control over.  Does the risk  of medication  really out weigh the seriousness of  long term side effects of poor self esteem or negative self image?

ADHD does not take Holidays.

 

Relationships During These Hard Times December 10, 2008

“All we need is love. All we need is love, love………Love is all we need” (Beatles).  Is this true?  Really?

“I love you,,,,,,but I am not In Love, with you.”  “I love him but I don’t like him.”  What ?

“I’ll just die if I can’t have those jeans !”  Hugh ?

So, …..what then, do you need?

Time and patience for a start. How about giving honesty, dependability, determination, kindness, fairness, courtesy, cooperation, trustworthiness, and generosity? All of these can help sustain us during these financial hard times, as well as, help build meaningful long-term relationships.  Let’s take a look at things. Society has made so many improvements. Life is more convenient: Fast foods, drive thru’s, microwaves, dishwashers, and the like. We are so accustomed to “convenience”, we lose our patience if we have to give a little extra time at a restaurant. No wonder we get such a big surprise when we have to give time to another; or be patient

with another person’s like or dislikes; or even be patient with another person’s imperfections.We have never really had to wait, save up, or do without. Delayed gratification is almost a thing of the past. Perhaps the great benefit of today’s economy is that we are forced to realize that “relationships” are the only meaningful and lasting thing……… if we look at life Existentially or Spiritually. However, because life is so much easier than even a decade ago, many people have not learned to “press on” during times of momentary difficulty, as our historical counterpart once did. No I do not want to go back to the “good old days” when it comes to convenience. However, there are valuable principles which are worthwhile to carry with us from the past into posterity.

I was surprised when researchers came up with the term: “Benign Deprivation”. It is the idea of allowing oneself or one’s children to do without something, if that something, is not critical to sustaining life. In other words, if doing without an item, has a benign effect, it is okay to do without it.

The idea of “Benign Deprivations” still makes me chuckle because I have made it a point to do without a lot of stuff. My husband had to force me to get a cell phone. You see, I grew up around my grandparents. They lived through the Great Depression. Consequently they were fugal, never used credit, and saved tin foil. I did get caught up in materialism and conspicuous consumption when I was younger, but later sought out meaning and purpose.

We really have to ask ourselves if something is truly a need, as compared to a want. True, we may think we are going to die if we can’t have a particular pair of shoes. We may even tell ourselves….our children need a particular pair of jeans to fit into that popular crowd. Nevertheless, is it really life threatening to do without it? Maybe we need to count our blessings?

An over abundance of things can make ourselves and our kids greedy, spoiled, and demanding. Generosity and kindness can be lost unless we refocus back to positive character values.

Will we, as a society, allow material goods to replace character? Is “Benign Depravation” a new way to reminding us not to spoil ourselves and our kids with material goods? Is it a reminder for us to still value old fashioned character such as honesty, dependability, determination, kindness, fairness, courtesy, cooperation, trustworthiness, and generosity?

Relationships are necessary for life. Therefore, promoting, nurturing, and tending to the growth of quality character in ourselves and our kids, is beneficial for love and lasting relationships. Time is what our kids really want from us anyway. You too, probably.

These economic tight times need to be embraced and valued as a time to reinforce those things which are more lasting than temporal materialism. It can also bring out the best in us. Love, honor, dependability, determination, kindness, courtesy, trustworthiness, generosity, and meaningful long-term relationships will sustain us during these financial hard times.

About our RAD kids……………….time and patience is even more important.Not reacting to the fears they stir up in us is also critical. Our calmness can soothe their scared souls.

No matter what age they are. The younger they are,,,probably the easier it is to not react.Nonetheless, it is the older children who probably need it even more because they have gone without longer.

If we are going to catch ourselves before we over react, then we must be introspective and try to figure out why.

Why does a particular thing bug us?  What happened in our background….. which stirs up those irritable feelings, when our

kids bug us?  My father was a pathological lier, so when my child said anything which might resemble even a “half truth”,

my nerves were set on fire.   He might have been telling the truth yet I was already predisposed to expect the worst.

Therefore, I got paradoxical results.   I helped create the very thing I thought I was trying to prevent.

This is when I should have stopped myself. But I was not aware yet. Everyone does the best they can with what they know.

I am so glad to have a better understanding.

 

It is time to stand up June 16, 2016

Filed under: counseling,Therapy — beyondpondering @ 7:33 pm
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I have now come to an even “greater” conviction that there is only one way to prevent the exploitation of ourselves as therapists; and to prevent the exploitation of our clients. “That” way (as I see it) is for trained, ethical, hard working therapists to gather enough strength, stand up, and open their own practices. (Or, at least diversify, and have a side practice as a safety net for themselves.)

Stand up and walk. Walk to a destination beyond our comfort zone. We also need to learn. Sure we are scared because collage only taught us to work for someone else and not for ourselves. Yes, sometimes we need to move beyond our comfort level. Sometimes we also have to get mad enough, depressed enough, and “shocked” enough; we take our negative energy and do something different. We need to muster up courage.

By mustering our courage, even if it means channeling negative energy, we must learn how to run our own counseling practices. By running our own counseling practices, we are no longer contributing, perpetuating, or reinforcing the sociopathic system, which exploits us. Opening our own practice is a form of protest and self-protection. Furthermore, when we do muster our courage and open our own practices, we provide options for our clients.

Our clients (or perspective clients) are also tired of contributing, perpetuating, or reinforcing the sociopathic system. However, sometimes our clients are smarter than we are. They already know they are being exploited but they cannot find options. We still believe we are contributing to the “greater good”; meanwhile we are going down. We drown in our desire for altruism. Sure, we are scared but we cannot help people if we get our spirit, confidence, energy and life force is sucked out of us.

Interestingly enough, besides our clients, nature often possesses wisdom we do not. A mother bird always saves a few worms for herself. This is because nature’s wisdom automatically knows the mother cannot help her babies if the mother is dead. Similarly, we cannot help others if our life force is dead. Stand up. Learn. Move out of your comfort zone. Prevent the exploitation of yourself and help others.

At the risk of sounding elitist, I will sound elitist!

If you are an Arkansas LAC, LAMFT, LPC, and/or LMFT…you have passed some of the highest credentialing in the nation. You are more than just another spoke in the wheel. You are more than just another cog in the counseling industry…

You are “Crème Du La Crème”, the cream of the crop. You are part of an elite group of mental health therapists who have fulfilled Arkansas’ high credentialing. So have faith in yourself and stand up.

 

Beyond Scared March 26, 2015

I found this somewhere else, but so clearly expresses the same point of view.  Susan

Beyond Scared.

by:  Deborah A. Novo

surviveTeenYears (2)It is natural to feel apprehensive and scared navigating through some of life’s challenges and expectations. Much of the time, we can do this with confidence and competence. However, scared doesn’t begin to identify the depth and breadth of the feeling that is experienced when our children with Reactive Attachment Disorder anticipate or perceive abandonment. The feeling could be more accurately described as panic and terror.

People outside the child’s inner circle may find it hard to believe the degree of distress and impairment that is observed and the myriad of triggers. One of our sons purposefully failed a school year so he wouldn’t have to graduate. His belief was that if he graduated he would “be deserted and on his own.”

Our other son and his girlfriend break up and he is in terror mode feeling like an infant again with no one to care for him. Despite their innumerable breakups they have never been “broken up” more than minutes as he frantically begs her not to leave.

When our children were younger triggers included me leaving the house to get groceries, them standing in the outfield during their baseball game, feeling rejected by classmates, spending respite at their grandparents among many, many other examples.

It is essential that mental health professionals, teachers and others involved understand the scope of emotion that real or perceived abandonment can provoke. Fearing abandonment on a chronic basis changes your brain and has significant, potentially life long, implications in creating connection and stability in relationships, academic success, sustaining employment and keeping oneself emotionally regulated and happy.

As parents, it is important to be prepared and respond appropriately. I have learned, through the years, that the best support you can give is a consistent, calm and empathetic response during these, often volatile, reactions. Anything else fuels their panic. There are tools that our family uses with the intention of balancing and healing their whole being so they can learn to soothe themselves and use their reasoning brain. Strategies such as yoga (free online yoga classes for all ages and levels at www.doyogawithme.com), Emotional Freedom Technique (free and easy instruction at www.emofree.com) and doing Brain Gym exercises are a few fun and very effective examples. When our sons were younger we would leave notes with the respite provider, to be given periodically, while we were away from our home. The notes had simple phrases that said, “we believe in you” and “you are safe and loved.” We still do this, but we now text these messages. I have placed Power Ranger stickers on my youngest son’s chest prior to his baseball games to remind him of the “power” within him. We recently resurrected his favorite stuffed version of that Power Ranger to help this now older teen. We continue to engage in quiet activities such as drawing, board games, Reiki and lots of hugs to minimize their intense reactions and promote their attachment, safety and self worth.

I have discovered that every experience, ultimately, has its benefits. For me, I have developed infinite compassion, advanced problem solving skills, articulate boundaries, self care and advocacy skills for my family. When parenting our special children there is no shortage of opportunity to practice growing in wisdom and love!

 

 

SO SO TORMENTED BY THE RECENT NEWS March 7, 2015

I am so tormented be the recent news from my state.

I am so sorry for the child.

I am also so sorry for the adoptive parents who, undoubtedly, must have felt so helpless and hopeless.

No adoptive parent adopts a child with the intent of sending that child away to be sexually abused.

I would say for the most part, adoptive parents adopt out of a deep longing to help a child.

And there really isn’t help “out there” for parents after the adoption.

I have said before, and will say again…

That other adoptive mother,,, who sent her adoptive son back to Russia, probably came to the conclusion that that action was the most merciful; send him back to his own language, own culture, to the food he understood,to the things with which he was familiar…..

and she could not find the help she needed.

 

MENTAL HEALTH THERAPISTS “STAND UP” February 24, 2015

Filed under: counseling,Therapy — beyondpondering @ 5:12 pm

Why do Qualified, Ethical, Licensed; Mental Health Professionals Not Open Our Own Private Practices?

  • We are afraid of failure
  • We lack knowledge about running a business
  • We don’t know how to get on insurance panels
  • We don’t understand how to bill for services
    We are uncomfortable asking clients for money
  • We don’t want to be perceived as greedy
  • We don’t believe in our own worth
  • We don’t value the service we have to offer
  • We don’t know about marketing
  • We feel uncomfortable with marketing ourselves
  • We feel we should be helping people not charging
    them money
  • We feel timid about seeking out referrals
  • We don’t know where to find referrals
  • We are afraid we won’t have any clients
  • Others have discouraged them from starting a practice
  • Others have told them how hard it is to get started
  • We don’t think we can afford the start-up costs
  • Sociopathic agencies have sucked the life out of us

Therapists, stand up on you own.

Do not allow yourself to be just another cog in the INDUSTRY OF THERAPY,

in some “Sociopathic Agency”.

Prevent yourself and your clients from being exploited.

YOU ARE TOO GOOD FOR THAT !

MENTAL HEATH THERAPISTS “STAND UP”

 

Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) January 24, 2015

I would like to elaborate on this using knowledge of biology as to what happens when we experience fear; THEN LET US CONSIDER OUR FOSTER OR ADOPTED CHILDREN.

When we are faced with a tiger, or we encounter any kind of trauma, grief, rejection of a loved one and so forth, the body floods the system with adrenaline, the hormone of strenuous action and fear or fight. This hormone helps us to deal with the ‘danger’.

Adrenaline activates the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) which is a sub-branch of the Autonomic Nervous System.

It controls specific bodily organs to prepare us for fight or flight. These reactions are BEYOND THE CONTROL OF OUR CONSCIOUSNESS. These unconscious reactions can be responsible for weird physiological symptoms.

The SNS dilates pupils of our eyes, shuts down the digestive organs, increases heart palpitations, relaxes the smooth muscles of bronchi and bronchioles, leading to “breathing problems”.

The smooth muscles of the digestive tract are inhibited, so peristalsis stops, sphincter of the bladder also contracts and the bladder wall relaxes. This may lead to involuntary defecation, also known as encopresis.

HMMMMMMMMMM. So some of the problems our kids have are subconscious?

Maybe we need to consider the “CONTROL” concept.  Maybe they are not out to control us!

Are they trying to control us or is something happening beyond their control?

 

A mother’s heart: posted on Facebook December 29, 2014

(She speaks from her hear and says things I have said myself – She writes about hurt children, sincere parents, tragic events and medications.)

By Annie Martin:
“Someone shared this and the comments it received made my heart ache.”

(Article: You’ll Never Guess What Every Mass Shooting Has In Common, And It Isn’t Weapons…
Read more at http://universalfreepress.com/nearly-every-mass-shooting-has-this-one-thing-in-common-and-it-isnt-weapons/)

“Everyone immediately sees a link with medication and these unfortunate events – but what I see is parents trying to seek help for their children, and children who are out of control and may not even know why.

God creates everyone beautifully, but events happen that change children, many times events that are beyond anything most people would comprehend and events that aren’t the fault of the child. Sometimes it’s their perception of the world around them or how they are treated by others. Sometimes it’s actual abuse, neglect, or even loss. We can give our children loving guidance but there comes a point of exhaustion when parents desperate for answers and help reach out.

Until you’ve been the mom of a child that cries out in genuine pain because he isn’t “like everyone else” and you hear his pleas to God in his prayers to “just make him normal” you don’t realize how deeply children hurt and that they see their differences as “bad”. Parents can hug, love, pray, read scripture, and mold their children. That doesn’t replace their need for outside help.

No one would ever think of asking someone with high blood pressure not to take their medication. Ever.

I’ll be the first to admit sometimes medications are over-prescribed, but that’s at EVERY level and every kind of medication.
There isn’t one common denominator of medication in any of these cases that I can see from this list (several of the medications are for depression, several are stimulants, and still others are anti-psychotic, and so on) — the common denominator is parents that were seeking out help for their children. The biggest issue here is the lack of quality mental health services with doctors that stay in place and monitor these children appropriately. Watching doctors and counselors come and go at Behavorial health facilities is so hard when with every change you have to start at the beginning, AGAIN!

This is not about parents that didn’t care, but likely parents that were struggling too. No one wants to be the parent of a child and say “I have no idea what to do…I don’t know how to help him anymore”
Yes, maybe this list shows that these children were all on medications…but it also shows parents asking for help, kids who were hurting too, and families that needed love and support, not criticism for seeking out help! The mental health system is broken, like so many other systems out there. We need to fix it so that children and families can truly get the help they need to prevent these tragedies.”

 

Why are there no support groups? November 24, 2014

……asked one mother of a RAD kid….

I quickly retorted….Because there is too much embarrassment and shame….No adoptive parent adopts with this in mind……

They are too embarrassed because their child is always a perfect angel at someone else’s house…

No one knows about the anger directed towards you; the yelling, screaming directed towards you; and pain involved.

They are too ashamed because they get so many critical looks reflecting that they should “just spank the kid”;

or give more consequences.

Or they get looks and comments which communicate that something must be something WRONG WITH YOU, as a parent, that you can not control your child.

Or just the opposite…..

They get too many looks or comments which communicate…

you are too hard on him; or all he needs is love;

but she is always so polite at my house…you just misunderstand him…..

 

I communicated to the mom to not be ashamed nor embarrassed for we are dealing with the one percent of the children which nothing seems to work.

But there is hope if you are willing to try something different…and I would bet you are…or you would not be calling me now.