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Repairing the Father-Daughter Disconnect

Five Principles That Build Engagement and Trust on Both Sides

Cara Brendler • 5/11/2017 • No Comments

By Cara Brendler - Bridging the gap between fathers and daughters is one of the great challenges for family therapists. The most familiar dynamic we see is estrangement: fathers and daughters orbiting in separate worlds, each invisible to the other. Here are five approaches that I’ve developed and used throughout the years that have proven to be effective in many situations like this.

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Busting the Myths of the ODD Child

The Surprising Technique That Turns Opposition on Its Head

James Levine • 4/29/2017 • 1 Comment

By James Levine - Children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) inspire many myths. School personnel and even parents believe that these children enjoy frustrating others and are impossible to teach. But children with chronically oppositional behavior typically are unaccustomed to articulating their needs, wants, and experiences in problem-solving ways. Here's how a collaborative approach to therapy can make all the difference.

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Reframing the "Burden" of Caretaking

Why Accepting Help is Empowering for Those Receiving and Giving

Barry Jacobs • 4/25/2017 • No Comments

By Barry Jacobs - For those who've spent their lifetimes taking pride in giving generously to others, suddenly being on the receiving end of care because of illness or age-related infirmity can be tormenting. For many, rejecting help is regarded as a measure of one's courage and determination in battling family crises brought on by old age or disease. Here are some ways of overcoming this common tendency to refuse help.

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Has Helicopter Parenting Gone Too Far?

The Truth About Risk and Responsibility

Michael Ungar • 4/13/2017 • No Comments

By Michael Ungar - What I'm finding through my clinical work and research is that families that bubble-wrap their children may prevent their healthy maturation. Helping parents look back and explore their own narratives challenges the need for excessive control of their child. The parent's role shifts from emphasizing protection to becoming a facilitator of experiences that build capacity, common sense, and positive relationships.

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A Late-Life Lesson in Love

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Jeanne Folks • 4/13/2017 • 1 Comment

By Jeanne Folks - It's difficult to describe my shock as my mother opens the front door and ushers me into the house of my youth. She's aged-shrunken, with poorly dyed blond hair and the familiar rigidity in her hands and body. Her once beautifully straight teeth are crooked, and one tooth is missing. It's been eight years since my last visit.

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The Healing Power of Play

Helping Traumatized Kids Feel Safe and Happy Again

David Crenshaw • 4/11/2017 • No Comments

By David Crenshaw - When children are too anxious, afraid, or traumatized to play, they can't utilize this natural resource of childhood to relieve a painful emotional state. Instead, they must use their energy to compartmentalize the trauma, keeping it out of direct awareness. Child therapists can help children reclaim this vital feature of emotional self-regulation by teaching, modeling, and setting the stage for the child to play.

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Therapists Answer The Millennial Question

Are Today's Young Adults on the Brink of Crisis?

Chris Lyford • 3/17/2017 • 1 Comment

By Chris Lyford - A recent interview with leading TED speaker and business consultant Simon Sinek has gone viral, with more than 5.7 million views on YouTube. But is its core message—that Millennials are facing a mental health crisis of mammoth proportions—really true?

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Inside the Mind of a Child with Asperger's

Using the "Social Stories" Exercise to Help Children with Asperger's Fit In

Diane Yapko • 3/16/2017 • No Comments

By Diane Yapko - Aaron, who has Asperger's syndrome (AS), has great difficulty intuitively understanding the intentions or feelings beneath the literal meanings of words. To him, the world is a baffling place. But teachers and parents who understand how AS affects children can use small behavioral interventions throughout the day to help them learn new skills and adapt their own rigid desires and expectations in order to be more flexible and likeable to peers.

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The Tantrum

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Jo Ann Miller • 3/8/2017 • No Comments

By Jo Ann Miller - A wise grandmother, recalling the trembling fury of her own childhood, weathers a grandson's tantrum.

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When Depression Runs in the Family

Being Haunted Isn't the Same as Being Cursed

Martha Manning • 2/9/2017 • No Comments

By Martha Manning - My family is haunted by depression. My mother can trace it back in her family at least six generations. When it hits, it hits hard. My own battle with depression has focused on developing an understanding of the commonalities I share with my mother and grandmother, appreciating aspects of our shared legacies as some of the things I most valued in myself. Being haunted is not the same as being cursed.

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