Top 10 Questions To Ask When Looking At A Treatment Program

Top 10 Questions To Ask When Looking At A Treatment Program
No family wants to ever entertain the option of sending their child to a psychiatric program.  At the same time, running a 1 bed residential program out of your home is never what parents envisioned for their son or daughter.  Families can torture themselves with questions.  Have we tried everything?  What did we do wrong?  How are other families raising their kids?  Could we actually send our kid to a program?  There is typically a lot of sadness, shame, guilt and exhaustion even raising these questions, much less actually heading to an internet search to learn more, making the first call or having that first conversation with family members.

Educational consultants can often provide a wealth of information as to how to have that first conversation, what programs offer and what residential treatment program might provide the best match for a family.  However, most parents want to do some of their own research to ensure that they have all of the 'mom and dad' questions answered first hand.  Here is a list of questions that can be helpful resources for families looking to psychiatric programs.....


Why Our Brains Get Turned On By Compassion

The more we do something, the better we get at it. Our brains don't really know the difference between playing more guitar then becoming a better musician and practicing judgments and getting better at being judgmental. It only knows that when we practice something, we lay down new neuropathways and we improve that skill.  Our brains do not discriminate:  we get better at doing things that are better or worse for us the more we practice them.  It is not surprising, then, that thinking and acting in a compassionate manner will inherently increase our compassionate thoughts and behaviors.

What is compassion and why does it matter?

While practicing compassion will certainly wire our brain to think and act with more kindness, we are also helped by the fact that the brain is wired toward compassion and we are more susceptible to learning and behaving compassionately. In short, human compassion is instinctual.  Being compassionate is a simple four step process.  A person recognizes suffering, is instinctively drawn to experience care and concern, generates the desire to relieve the person’s suffering and has a willingness to respond.  A practiced, compassionate individual will find it much more natural to generate the desire to relieve suffering and have an increased willingness to respond to help someone who is hurting.


Five Steps For Parents Planning A Great Summer Vacation

June Parent:  "Wait until we get through the end of the school year, then there will be less stress."

August Parent:  "Wait until school gets started and there is more structure, then there will be less stress."

Who is correct?  If you answered "both", you are very correct!  The academic, social and extracurricular strains of school and the lack of structure and responsibility to academics each bring their own set of struggles and stresses for parents and adolescents alike.  The balance in finding summer activities, jobs and responsibilities that allow for summer freedom and structure is a tricky equation for families to achieve, sometimes having to vary that balance for each child or adolescent.  Here is a quick guide to help families striving to find that balance....

13 Reasons

Having “The Talk”: The Importance of Parents Discussing Suicide

It is extremely likely that your adolescent knows someone who has thought about suicide.  Why aren't we talking to our kids about the 2nd leading cause of death for America's youth?

It will never affect my kid:  We know that approximately 1 in 5 adolescents consider suicide in the United States and about 1 in 11 will actually make an attempt.  While 80% of adolescents may not consider suicide, they will more than likely know someone who is thinking about taking their own life or has actually attempted suicide.  The most common and lethal method of attempt and completion?  Firearms.  Approximately half of all suicide attempts are completed by firearm and, wherever your beliefs lie around access to guns, the prevalence of intentional deaths by firearm outnumber all other methods combined.


Top 10 Reasons Parents Should Admit Their Mistakes

We all know the adages...."nobody is perfect"and "everyone makes mistakes".  Yet, as parents, we push ourselves toward perfection and the teaching point for our kids is that they should expect perfect parenting when we forge ahead with parenting faux pas and omitted apologies.  At the same time, parents often push their kids for apologies, particularly when emotional or physical injury has taken place to the person receiving the apology.  Kids and adolescents rate parent apologies as extremely important, which makes sense as parents who are able to be transparent around their mistakes have kids that demonstrate lower levels of anxiety and depression.  So let's explore the importance of parenting apologies....


A Parent’s Capacity To Choose & Teach Kindness To Their Kids

Kindness, compassion and gratitude are three of the most impactful, least pharmacological interventions that guarantee a positive effect on our neurological functioning and emotions. We have an enormous breadth of research on how and why kindness has the capacity to not only positively alter the mood of others and also has a drastic impact on the person that initiates an act of kindness toward another. Practicing and teaching kindness can...

13 Reasons

13 Reasons Why: A Parent and School Guide

Parents, schools and clinicians are bracing themselves for the second installment of 13 Reasons Why, the wildly popular and controversial series documenting high school students and a number of events including bullying, rape, self-injury and suicide.  The first installment of 13 Reasons Why was lauded for highlighting issues that continue to affect high school students at an increasingly prevalent rate as well as preteens (who have the highest increase in successful suicide rates in the United States, an increase of more than 300% over the last 15 years).  The series was also condemned because of the sensationalized manner in which some of the topics were portrayed and the lack of discussion or resources provided by the creators of the series or Netflix itself.  Schools reportedly took different avenues in addressing conversation around the series, from banning any mention of 13 Reasons on school grounds to advising parents to utilize Netflix parental controls to avoid preteens and adolescents from watching the series.  Other schools have taken a more proactive approach by moving their health and wellness curriculum that discusses suicide from high school to middle school.  For parents and clinicians looking for resources to discuss or support their children who may be intrigued by the series or who are interested in viewing it, here are some resources that may help.


Teen Social Media Use – #WhatDoWeKnow


What the heck is my teen doing on social media!?  Teen social media usage has been deemed both a compelling education resource and outlet to an uncensored medium that can have immediate interpersonal consequences to deferred academic costs.  While adult’s consumption of social media has nearly plateaued over the last 2.5 years, teen use has increased faster than any other age group.  As a result, adolescents have become the most studied collection of people regarding the positive and negative effects of social media use through both the amount of social media use and the platforms that are leveraged.  The costs and benefits are well documented and can be persuasive indicators as to whether a preteen’s or teenager’s time on social media can be productive or problematic.  Let’s explore both sides.


The Six Steps To Integrating Mindfulness Into Effective Parenting

The marriage of mindfulness and parenting seems like a great theoretical union and, in practice, can be difficult to achieve.  The idea that we can mindfully stay in the moment and balance the hundreds of tasks and events that involve professional, academic and social demands on top of parenting responsibilities can seem counterintuitive.  While mindfulness has had profound clinical and practical applications across hundreds of child, adolescent and adult domains, mindfulness in parenting has been a relatively neglected focus in research in spite of its popularity in a number of different fields.  We do, however, have a dynamic study evaluating the six components of parent mindfulness that can have a significant impact on parenting effectiveness and adolescent emotional health.

Listening to your child with full attention
Compassion for your child
Non-judgmental acceptance of parent functioning and deficits
Emotional non-reactivity in your parenting
Emotional awareness of your child
Emotional awareness of your self