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Showing posts from 2014

How to set Boundaries to Avoid the "Holiday Blues" by: Dwight Bain

A recent USA Today poll asked this question,

“Which best fits your holiday emotional state?”   Relaxed -       18%
Joyful -           31%
Stressed -      27%
Depressed -   24%
Why do people feel so overloaded with additional problems during the holidays? I believe the majority of the pressure they feel is from trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of a ‘perfect’ Christmas.   Remember Clark W. Griswald from the movie ‘Christmas Vacation?’ He is the laughable, but best illustration of a guy who tries to do everything right, only to have literally everything go wrong. (Plot Spoiler Alert)Dysfunctional relatives, one blown bulb derailing all of the decorations, the Christmas tree goes up in flames, the turkey is dry, the check for the swimming pool is set to bounce, add in a crazy cousin kidnapping the hateful boss, while the dog destroys the house chasing a rabid squirrel and a senile senior citizen sings the national anthem; basically the whole 9 yards of Christmas chaos.  
The movie ma…

Managing Conflict in the Workplace

by: Cara Griffin-Locker, IMH
We all have a desire and need for a sense of control.Having control gives us power and helps us predict and manage events in the world around us. However, the need and desire for control can be unsatisfying and eventually lead us to conflict with others. This is especially common in the workplace. How does one get control? They take it, makes decisions and then start to give commands. This is usually when conflict arises. Conflict occurs when others also seek control and the result is often a vicious cycle of fighting for power.Ultimately, the greater the desire to control, the greater the fear of losing it. Unless we live as a hermit we cannot do everything ourselves. So how do we manage control conflicts in the workplace? Here are some helpful tips that you can utilize when faced with obstacles that create dilemmas.
1)Define acceptable behavior- Having a definition of what constitutes acceptable behavior is a positive step in avoiding conflict. Create a fr…

The 4 Rules of Fair Fighting: How to Work Things Out

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

Do all couples fight? Over the years I’ve certainly seen plenty that do, and I’ve also have seen a fair share who claim they don’t or that they never saw their parents fight. It’s my proposition that pretty much all couples fight. I would wager that those who claim they don’t fight either are using a style called withdraw or alimentation as their form of fighting, or they don’t have enough of a relationship to even bother to fight. You see, fighting in marriage may be really bad stuff and may represent a road to the end – divorce is on its way. But, fighting in marriage may also represent two people who are really different, living in a fallen world, trying to get their needs met, express themselves and make their marriage work, all while under stress.
What if a lot of fighting in marriage isn’t really bad, it’s just badly managed?
What if often we aren’t really trying to be a jerk or bitch and we don’t hate the other person, but instead we are reacting to some…

Scared of School - Warning Signs of Bully Behavior and How to protect your Child

By: Dwight Bain

School should be one of the safest places instead of a scary place because of bully behavior. Yet the recent number of horrifying acts of violence from bullies toward shy and introverted kids has everyone concerned, from the President to local school and law enforcement officials. However, the most important group to take positive action to protect their kids at school is always their parents who are the most tuned in to the needs of their children. 
It is essential to know what to look for in protecting your child from the dangers of bully behavior.
Here are the classic warning signs of a child who is being victimized by bullies:
Talking about being scared to walk to schoolActing scared to ride on the school busPlead for you to drive them to school instead of ride the busDevelop a phobia about going to schoolAct sick on school morningsLie to avoid school.Skip schoolFailing in school workHave mysterious broken or damaged books, backpacks or torn clothesAlways h…

Help! My Spouse is a Bully!

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC

You don’t have to be 12 and in middle school to be bullied. It can happen anywhere, even in your marriage. But what does spousal bullying look like? You recognize the feelings of intimidation and fear after a verbal exchange but they are also mixed in with feelings of guilt and shame. This confusing mix of emotions causes you to agree to things you normally would not. How does your spouse do this? How does a simple conversation leave you feeling beaten up while they look better than ever?
The methods of bullying a spouse are far more subtle then the playground bully. By understanding their tactic, you can be better prepared for a response. Hoping they will change will not work. Instead, change your response to them.
Rage – This is an intense, furious anger that comes out of nowhere. It is intended to startle and shock you into immediate compliance. If you are a person who likes to “keep the peace,” this is a highly effective tactic. Most li…

Back to School Bullying: A 5 Part Series on Parental Guidelines for Dealing with Bullying

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
You’re all excited for the new school year – the kids and so are the parents. They’re looking forward to friends, events and who knows, maybe even learning something cool. Parents are looking forward to getting the kids out of the house and seeing their kids grow and learn new things. However, no one is looking forward to dealing with a bullying situation. And yet, it happens. And I mean a lot. The website nobullying.com reports that 90% of all students in grades 4th through 8th have reported being a victim of bullying and Dosomething.org cites that “Over 67% of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.” Bullying can be physical aggression or fighting, but also can be mocking, insults, threats, shaming ridicule, ostracizing a child, stealing from them and more. This first installment in the series will address dealing with physical and verbal types of bu…