Visit our homepage...

Learn more at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can Divorce Take A Toll ?

Some current findings about marriage and the effects of divorce might be quite revealing. Tonight we will look at some research conducted in July of this year that relates to the effects of divorce—and it’s not just centered on broken hearts and broken promises.

Tell us a little about the findings.

• University of Chicago study reveals that those who divorce are at risk for long-lasting effects on mental and physical health
• Johns Hopkins study found that divorced or widowed people have 20% more chronic health issues (diabetes, cancer, heart disease), than married people
• Divorced people have 23% more mobility limitations such as climbing stairs or walking down the block
• People who are divorced have a poorer rate of health than those of the same age

Recent statistics suggest that over half of all marriages end in divorce, so it seems this could be a dramatic effect on most of the American population?
• We know divorce is extremely stressful and can be emotionally, physically and financially devastating
• But we also know some important trends that may explain some things. People who are married tend to check on each other’s needs and go to the doctor, dentist or deal with medical issues more quickly (colonoscopy, flu shots, etc)
• Divorce may effect financial status which may effect access to health care and stress related illnesses

You’ve mentioned some dramatic effects of divorce, are there some things we can do for ourselves if we ARE facing a divorce?

• Seek professional counseling to deal with divorce adjustment issues (loss, grief, adjustment financially, self esteem etc)
• Reach out and stay connected. Relationships are key to good mental and physical health. This is not the time to isolate
• Focus on the basics: Eat healthful foods, get plenty of sleep, exercise, make time for leisure
• Make a commitment to see this as a time to care and nurture yourself. Take time to discover a new path and a healthy lifestyle plan

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Letting Go of Your College Freshman

Walking a fine line between interest and intrusion? The last two weeks have marked the transition of college students leaving their homes and moving to college campuses across the country. For many parents this is the first exposure to “letting go” not only psychologically but also physically. It is the time for many of us to learn to guide and support our sons and daughters from a distance.

Recently journalists have focused on some of the concerns parents of college students--and most specifically freshmen. Are there are notable trends?

· Parents frustration about their inability to gain access to information from colleges. (Note the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of l974)

· Colleges are keeping parents in touch with newsletters, sending newspapers to parent’s residences, trying to get them involved in college events, setting up web sites for commonly asked questions and answers.

We have talked about tips of getting ready for sending your son or daughter to college-- now that they are on campus any suggestions for parents?

· Help your child with problem solving (now is the time to use key phrases like “it sounds like you have some concerns, what are you going to do about it” “What ideas do you have to address this problem?” “Perhaps you should try working on it for a few days and if you can’t find a solution we could talk about it in a couple of days”
· State your concerns (it is important that you be honest and tell your child your concerns, whether it is about their lack of studying, or concerns with them drinking or partying. It is important to make a point without lecturing and state your concerns openly.
· Don’t overburden with your emotions (the transition is difficult for them also-- it is important to find someone to discuss your feelings with and let them know you care, but not that you can’t survive without them
· Take advantage of e-mail (what a wonderful way to dialogue with your child. You can both connect when you find free time and it is much cheaper than phone service, and of course, much faster than snail-mail)
· Find a time to connect (but for those of us who love hearing our child’s voice it is great to find a mutually agreeable night for calls. Many parents typically use Sunday nights as check-in nights)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can the way you put paper tell you something about relationships?

Here’s our self-discovery question. You have a single sheet of paper and a pair of scissors. You are asked to cut the paper… which way would you cut the paper?
1. A clean cut straight down the middle

2. A line curving back and forth several times

3. A jagged-edged cut

4. A single gently rounded curve.

Cutting of a relationship is somewhat like cutting a piece of paper. Some cut things off and some people choose to be creative and don’t choose the clean cut.

1. A clean cut:
When you end things in a relationship, you really end it. You believe this is the best way to handle endings and you apply this strategic precision to all parts of your life

2. Line curving back and forth.
You have a hard time with decisions and worry about people getting hurt or angry. Putting off the decisions makes it more difficult for you.

3. A jagged edge.
When you end a relationship you tend to tear it to shreads. You don’t burn bridges… you blow them up.

4. A single gently rounded curve.
You are a romantic and an optimist. It’s hard for you to end the relationships.

How accurate are these projective self-discovery inventories?

· These self-discovery tests are a way to learn a little bit about yourself and some are more accurate than others.
· Generally, those of us in the mental health professions use projective inventories that have been tested by great numbers of people to insure their accuracy.
· Therapists view these inventories combined with other information or other to ensure their accuracy.
· But, these projective self discovery inventories are an interesting beginning point for discussion and insights.

Could a Pet Help Your Health?

Techniques such as play, art, and music therapy have been recently added to therapist’s toolbox to work with clients facing depression. But now, four-legged friends have been added to many therapy offices, nursing homes, and hospitals in an effort to aid patients and clients.

Research shows that pets are great for seniors. One study looked at blood pressure related to pet owners—explain.
· A study of health patients showed that people over 40 who own pets had lower blood pressure than people who did not have pets.

· Another study showed that talking to pets decreases blood pressure.

What are some of the benefits of pets for seniors?
In a study of over 1000 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owners in the study had 21 % fewer physician contacts than non-dog owners

What are 6 major reasons for seniors to have pets?

· Pets give us unconditional support, undivided loyalty and devotion, acceptance

· Sense of security (trust someone is always around)

· Pets are friends (helps with loneliness)

· Pets ease loss ( people with pets are less likely to experience deterioration in health following stressful events)

· Seniors become more active (seniors go for more walks and generally more action than those without pets

· Take better care of themselves (generally seniors take better care of their pet and themselves when they have something to care for) Additionally, those seniors who have pets, tend to have higher self esteem than those who do not own pets.