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Archives for Parenting

CBT

The ABC’S of Behavior

Most days I think about how dog training has influenced my therapeutic style. If you are a client, you have probably heard some of my favorite dog stories.

I often talk about how I forgot my training and turned my dog Sadie into a frightened mess of fur whenever a thunderstorm rolled through. It was pretty cute when she was a puppy and would cuddle up next to me for protection. I’d pet her and...
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CBT

Behavioral Intervention Plans Run Amuck

I recently ran across a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) for an elementary school girl. Behavioral Intervention Plans are often a good idea and can be used to teach students to focus better, reduce their oppositionality, follow rules more often, and become more cooperative. These plans usually emphasize positive interventions (such as rewards and attention) although they also employ negative consequences judiciously, when called for.

The original idea behind BIP’s was grounded...
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adolescents

Alleviating Kids’ Distress

Parents worry a lot about their kids nowadays. Life has become more complex and the world seems to deliver a constant stream of unpredictable stressors, challenges, calamities, toxins and traumas. Parents naturally want to help their kids overcome these difficulties and succeed in life. In other words, they want their kids to feel happy, secure, and competent.

So naturally, many parents feel quite upset when they see their...
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adolescents

Facing Fear

We have been writing this blog for a few years. When we started, we decided to call the blog Anxiety and OCD Exposed. It’s been a long time since we have discussed why we decided on that title so we thought that new readers might want some explanation.

The term “exposed” may bring up a lot of different thoughts such as:

• Finding out that a politician was cheating on his wife
• Discovering a dumping ground...
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CBT

Challenges in Behavior Therapy

I’m pretty sure that I came out of the womb as a cognitive behavioral therapist. Well, maybe a behavioral therapist—I guess I wasn’t using language those first few months. But, I’ve always been acutely aware of how rewards, lack of rewards, and thinking all interact and influence feelings and behavior.

In my early training, I considered myself a radical behaviorist. I still do pretty much. I believe that the words we use and the thoughts...
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Anxiety

When Fear Looks Like Anger

When children are afraid of something, adults often reassure them. Many kids are afraid of the dark or of monsters under the bed. This fear usually starts sometime around preschool and is a great way to delay bedtime or to keep a loved one hovering around the bedside.

Many millions of parents, with good intentions, have said to their scared kids, “Don’t worry, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

Most scared kids willingly accept their...
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adolescents

Anxiety: Three Messages to Avoid Giving Kids

Kids don’t generally develop anxiety disorders all on their own. Oh sure, genes and biology have some influence, but these factors largely just predispose kids in the direction of acquiring problems with anxiety. The wrong messages can push both anxiously disposed kids as well as otherwise normal kids in the direction of struggling with anxiety for the rest of their lives.

If you’re a parent or someone who cares about kids, you...
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adolescents

Media and ADHD

It’s report card time here in New Mexico and I am getting lots of phone calls from parents who have recently had parent teacher conferences. By far, the biggest referral I get is for kids who are suspected of having attention deficit disorder (ADD or ADHD).

Almost 20 years ago, I began collecting material for my dissertation which was about the relationship between ADHD, empathy, and perspective taking (the ability...
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children

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, Temper Dysregulation Disorder, and Medicating Kids

Like most professionals, states require psychologists to keep up with current research through continuing education. Yesterday, I attended a lecture on the differential diagnosis of ADHD and or Bipolar disorder in kids. Not surprisingly, the water is muddied by the similarity of some of the symptoms and the fact that most kids with Bipolar Disorder have other problems such as ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Opposition Defiant Disorder,...
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General

Therapy: You Get What You Pay For

Last week Chuck wrote a blog about what questions you should consider asking your therapist. He was talking about the importance of feeling mutual trust within the therapeutic relationship. Today, I want to continue a discussion of the therapeutic relationship.
The other day, I was sitting on a curb in Santa Fe waiting for a parade. Beside me were a bunch of little kids. There was a long wait and finally a few firemen...
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