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Posts tagged ‘psychology’

Caregivers Help Homeless Families Regain Independence

Dear All: Here is my latest published article through Please check it out, and feel free to leave a comment on the Patch site–I always respond.

Homelessness among children and families is a growing problem in the Tampa Bay area, and there are many opportunities to help serve this community.

Imagine being a child again. For many, this brings back memories of a simpler time, including days at school, your family home, gatherings with friends and relatives, and exploring the world from your own backyard.

Now, imagine being a child who is homeless, and think about how that picture changes.

In 2010, this was the reality of 49,886 children in Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, the most recent data collected reveal that of the 6,235 individuals who were homeless in Pinellas County, 32 percent were children, and in Hillsborough County, 23 percent of the 17,755 homeless individuals were children.

Full story:

Caregivers are heros but not superhuman

Hello All: Please check out my first published article in my weekly column on caregivers. This article coveres a bit about the roles of caregivers along with the need for self-care and detection and treatment of burnout. Help me celebrate caregiviers–true heros in our community and families! The article is published in Largo Patch and features Operation PAR Medical Director and psychiatrist Michael Sheehan:

Caregivers are heroes — they care for our community’s most vulnerable. They care for our youngest and eldest generations, provide care and support to the sick and dying, and assist those with substance abuse or mental health disorders and developmental or physical disabilities. These are the family members, friends, professionals, paraprofessionals and volunteers there for us during the most difficult and trying times of our lives.

Although caregivers are heroes, they are not superheroes. They are prone to sickness, depression, sleep deprivation and neglecting other physical, emotional and spiritual needs for themselves. They give of themselves but too often forget to give back to themselves to stay physically and mentally healthy. Self care is the most neglected and important thing a caregiver must do.   

Thought of the day: Voice

Voice is critical–when you communicate, your voice is what is remembered. Not what you said but how you said it. Your voice also will determine if your message(s) will be remembered, absorbed and if any action will be taken as part of that communication. What is voice? It is the difference between ordering someone to do something you need done versus convincing someone that they want to come on board and help you champion a shared cause. Your voice, your authentic voice, the one particular to you, is your gut and instincts combined with your inspiration and heart speaking on behalf of your head and ego. Let it sing. Your voice is you.

Thought of the day: Remain Open

Communication: Remain open. Open to receive new messages in new ways and to be openly responsive to the messages of others. Remain open to new ideas, especially if you find them challenging. Your first job is to actively listen. You can communicate back with far greater effectiveness when you first grasp then respond to the needs and messages of your audience. They will know you are communicating with them versus at them.

Neuro-addiction: Is there actually a sound argument AGAINST it?

As posted on Facebook:

I am not an addiction clinician, nor do I want to be. However, I think, erroneously, once in a while, that I know just a bit about the field. Clearly not. For if I knew anything at all about addictions, how could I not know that there was so much controversy around the brain/neuro-science theory of addiction. Frankly, now that I know it exists, and I’ve researched the argument a bit, I don’t understand the argument.

Yes, it’s true, I understand more about the complex neuro-addiction claim than I understand the argument against it. No, I’m not a scientist either. Just a writer here. Any thoughts?

My last two posts at my blog for Psychology Today – “The End of Addiction” and “End Alcoholism – Bomb Spain” — have raised some consternation. Are they supposed to be funny, or what?
Some Facebook comments on my post there:
Stacey Kauffman Peters What is not to understand? Biologically speaking alcohol (for some predisposed) is a way to “self medicate” or “normalize” the brain. Like correcting an imbalance of sorts. I see the nurture part as this: if you use alcohol in your dail…y functioning.. you are missing vital life/social skills that are not developing/maturing. Such that it becomes a coping “crutch”, because no other skills are known. Whether you are using AA or CBT models.. the life/social skills have to develop.. and something to replace the behavior.. however, the biology is still there. fall off the wagon, or move to a new wagon all together (prescription medications etc).
Moderation is a constant struggle for addicts. Which is why AA preaches abstinence.
I found the writer of the letter to be a bit of a moron, myself.
What did you think?See More
Daphne Taylor Street  Hi Stacey! I need to be a little cautious here due to the fact that I’m employed by a large substance abuse service provider, and I am not a clinician. I am a writer. Having said that, I’m concerned about the position of this Psychology Tod…ay blogger and what he is proposing. This has nothing to do with his incredibly condescending writing style. His argument is plainly weak. I am very familiar with the neuro-science position on addiction. To dismiss it as something disproved in the 80s is amazing, seeing as how we didn’t have the technology or knowledge of neurology and ability to study the brain as we do now. I’m not willing to embrace that addiction is only a direct result of perception and environmental conditioning. I have personal evidence to the contrary (though anecdotal, it’s still valid). I’m standing by the neuro-addiction position. If I will be swayed from this stance, it certainly won’t be by this weak argument posted in this Psychology Today blog. Hope all is well! –Daphne
Denise Gibbons  All I needed to read about the author of that article was that he supports the “harm reduction” model of addictions “treatment”. That’s a crock of BS. This man has a PhD and Dr. Nora Volkow is a M.D. who do you think knows more about the ne…urobiological basis of addiction? Dr. Volkow did the HBO addictions series which I have on DVD. It is insightful and I have used it in many group therapy sessions. There are many idiots out there in the addictions and mental health field. I had a professor in my Master’s program who believed you could treat Schizophrenia with “talk therapy” INSTEAD of medication. Have you ever tried to have a rational conversation with someone who is actively psychotic? Did I mention that this professor had never actually worked with anyone who had Schizophrenia. 
Daphne Taylor Street Denise–perfecto! Well stated and I couldn’t agree more.

What’s on your mind? C’mon… spill it. I dare you.

I bite my tongue so much throughout the course of a day that I’m going to need stitches very soon!

See, it goes something like this: some innocent soul asks a question, and I want to go on a 20 minute monologue on every detail about the subject that bothers me, what should really be done about it, all the barriers (usually people) that impede progress and why things will actually never change… blah, blah, blah. 

Thank fully, while my head is cluttered with this toxic stuff, I usually just spout out a short, well-thout, polite answer, and all is well. And these answers, while edited, are most sincere.  It’s just absent of all the rambling, rumbeling spontaneous chatter cluttering my head, and this is a good thing. People are happy, I communicate what’s needed, sound information is passed forward, and life goes on.

Yeeeeeeeeet, on occasion my filter is weak, and a bit of that toxic stuff comes leaking out. Sometimes it’s more than a bit–a lot more–it just flows. Then, I usually find myself standing in front of some nervous person who has no idea how to respond to the bile I’ve just puddled on the floor between us. I proceed to smile uncomfortably and try to wipe up the mess, “nothing to see here!” still leaving a bit of stain, a lingering unpleasant memory for us both that never really goes away.

Now what? I’m not in the mood for censors right now. Not mine and not yours.

SO NOW IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE YOUR SENSOR AT THE DOOR. Here is an open invitation to rant and rave about anything–job, culture, economy, politics, trends… anything!

So, what’s on your mind? No spills need to be cleaned up here. Just an open forum and interested eyes. Tell me what’s going on. I want to communicate with you about your thoughts. Any takers?

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