Archives for November, 2010
After and I wrote about Dr. Robert Epstein's interesting parenting study, he sent us a link to this online test: Are You A Good Parent? (Also, there is a fascinating Extended Childhood Disorder Test link on the same page).
We're looking forward to taking the tests...
New research by psychologist Robert Epstein analyzes the makings of a good parent. In an article in November’s Scientific American Mind Dr. Epstein identifies 10 core competencies that make for a good parent—and good parenting. The skills that good parents possess include: Ability to Give Love and Affection, Successful Stress Management, Having Good Relationship Skills (especially with the spouse/other parent), Fostering Autonomy and Independence, Stressing Education and Learning, Life Skills (which means providing for your child), Healthy Behavior Management, Practicing a Healthy Lifestyle, Support and Practice Spiritual/Religious Development, and Safety—Protecting Your Child. After examining the evidence and the stereotypes held by both the experts (and even himself!), Dr. Epstein reaches the conclusion that “… if you really want to know about an individual’s competence as a parent, you should measure that competence directly rather than default to commonly held stereotypes.” (Pretty good advice in general, don't you think?)
C.R. weighs in: Lots of interesting discussion going on here at PsychCentral about gratitude. Some don’t go in much for gratitude. Many do. Frankly, when you are suffering, it is pretty hard to feel thankful. Certainly, it’s pretty obnoxious for someone else who can’t possibly know your pain to cavalierly tell you: Hey, you should be thankful. Right?
For many, holidays are stressful. If you have bumpy relationships with family members it can cause your stress levels to sky rocket. If you’re unable to visit family for any reason or you simply don’t have family, holidays can trigger negative feelings and/or symptoms. It’s important to be prepared when it seems like the whole world (except you) has somewhere warm and loving to be. (Remember though, it’s not true—there are plenty of people in the same shoes as you).
Dear Readers, Your comments and emails about the TSA body scans and pat downs confirmed our fears. Wow. The new shape of airport security is definitely traumatic for some of you and more than a little worrisome for others. Some of you are no longer flying, some of you fly but find it traumatizing, and some of you are taking tranquilizers in order to get through the ordeal. If you fear these invasive searches and/or have emotional issues that would be exacerbated by these searches (such as PTSD), you might consider writing about your concerns to the White House and the TSA.
With all the controversy over the new airport body scans and the thorough pat downs, those who are already seat-grippers in the air have a new reason to dread flying--invasive body searches and embarrassing images taken of their bodies. Statistics show that the majority of people who have significant flying fears are women over the age of 25. Flying phobias are so common that an enormous industry has been built on the treatment of this fear! (Just Google "flying phobia").
Airport body scans are in the news and the stories (here, here, and here, for example) aren't pretty. Both men and women report feeling "violated" and "humiliated" and in addition to causing embarrassment and feelings of shame, there are also serious questions about the safety of the radiation people receive from the scans. Wewontfly.com keeps track of all the scan-related news on their blog. Last night we were talking about the scans and we were pretty creeped out by what we had been hearing from friends as well as reading in the news. Sadly, questions of modesty aren't exactly de rigueur in the West and 2010, but surely personal privacy issues are relevant to most of us. We jawed awhile and came up with some questions and not a few suppositions:
Note: This is part of the God in Therapy series. We consistently use the non-PC term “God” and are referring to God in the traditional, Biblical way. This premise has to be laid out in order to build on and explain the following concepts with integrity to the sources, so you hopefully won’t see any equivocation in the language we use—we want to avoid tiptoeing so you don’t have to guess at our meaning. People are often surprised to learn traditional Jewish meditation, dating from some of the earliest Biblical times, actually stresses concepts usually attributed to Zen. Two of these are nothingness and emptiness. However, there is a major difference between Zen and Jewish mystical teachings.
Should discussions of God and spirituality be a part of psychotherapy as they are for addiction treatment? If you are familiar with 12-step programs or other addiction treatment programs, you know that discussions about God/Higher Power take place with regularity and are integral to treatment. It's too late for us to appear unbiased. C.R. and my series God in Therapy discusses various aspects of spirituality in therapy and we have received a lot of strong feedback (and more strong feedback) - most of it positive and some of it angry! We fully acknowledge our belief that this aspect of a person's development is crucial to living a meaningful life.