Month: April 2014

Effects of Divorce on a Child

It is an unfortunate fact that no matter the circumstances and age of a child, divorce has a profound effect on them.  A child’s parents are the basis for their emotional stability and once the union between them is dissolved, it leaves them vulnerable to a long list of potential emotional difficulties.

Fortunately, the lasting effects of divorce on a child can be lessened, or even eliminated, with the proper care and behavior from parents and other important figures in a child’s life.  In a divorce, so much depends on the parents’ effort to put their differences aside and do what is in their child’s best interest.

Prevent Negative Effects of Divorce on Children

What is key for the child, in making a smooth transition through divorce is:

  •  Age-Appropriate Communication – Consider their age in their ability to cope with stress or change in general, the nature of the divorce, and how you typically communicate as parents with your child.
  •  Consideration of Their Individual Personality – look at the child’s relationship with you, your partner, their siblings, extended family, and circle of friends.  A solid system of support through the divorce is an important factor in emotional health in any circumstance.

What Parents Can Do to Limit the Effects of Divorce on Children

Your task as a parent is to:

  • Help Them Cope with The Changing Circumstances.
  • Talk to Them and Listen in Return.
  • Never Force Them to Choose One Parent Over The Other.
  • Observe Their Behavior – Expect
    • Angry Outburst
    • Confusion
    • Even Changes In Eating Habits And Other Behaviors
    • Ask Questions About Their Thoughts and Feelings
    • Maintain Structure and Stability In Every Area of Their Lives You Can
    • Constantly Reassure Them of The Love Both You and Your Partner Have, and Will Always Have, for Them

Though divorce is never easy, by following some of these suggestions, you can protect your child and their emotional well-being and limit the effects of divorce.

What is Depression?

Creativity and Depression

Some of the most famous celebrities have struggled with Depression. The list of these celebrities includes Jon Hamm, Owen Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Princess Diana, Angelina Jolie, Zach Braff, Sheryl Crow, Anne Hathaway, J.K. Rowling, Hale Berry and Jim Carrey. In addition, many of the greatest artists and writers were also thought to have had Depression. They include: Michelangelo, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Rothko, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky, T.S. Eliot, Paul Gauguin, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway.


Symptoms of Depression

Despite the clear relationship between creativity and mood disorders (a topic for another article), Depression is an illness that affects millions of ordinary Americans every day. At any one time, 5% of the American population experiences Depression and about 12% of men and 20% of women will experience Depression at some point in their lives.
The most common symptom of Depression is a deep unwavering sense of sadness. Symptoms also include:

  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in sleep patterns (either increased sleep or insomnia)
  • Feelings of fatigue and loss of energy
  • Changes in appetite and eating
  • Feelings of irritability and restlessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness and unjustified guilt
  • Difficulties with concentration and ability to think
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide.


What Causes Depression?

Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, and doesn’t always emerge as a result of negative life situations such as losses, deaths or other adverse events. From a biochemical perspective, Depression is closely associated with deficits in the neurotransmitters of Serotonin and Norepinephrine. Personalities that are easily overwhelmed by stress, have low self-esteem or that are pessimistic are also at risk. Depression does have a genetic component and those with a family history are at greater risk.
It is important to remember that Depression is not the same as sadness. Sadness is a normal, healthy human emotion. Sadness turns into Depression when the above-mentioned symptoms appear and the feelings begin to cause a disturbance in a person’s daily functioning.

To meet the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (The ‘Bible’ of mental health disorders) the symptoms must persist for at least two weeks and five of the above-mentioned symptoms must appear nearly every day during that time. In addition, the feelings of sadness must appear for most of the day every day of the two weeks to be considered Depression.

While some of the specifics appear to be haphazardly constructed (a growing criticism of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), what emerges is that the feelings of sadness become Depression when their frequency and length increases, they branch out into more mental and physical disturbances and they begin to interfere with a person’s day to day life.
Depression is a real clinical disorder that has been studied comprehensively. The good thing is that there are incredibly effective treatments.

If you or someone you know is suffering with this, give us a call today @ 800-378-9354.

Choosing a Family Therapist in Boca Raton, Florida

These days, families come in all shapes and sizes.  Gone are the days of the traditional nuclear family with a mother, father and 2.5 children.  There are two parent families, single parent families, blended families, families with multiple generations under one roof, families with one child or 8 children…you name it!  Even though there are so many different types of families, they have a few things in common.  There will be times of happiness and times of struggle for every family out there.  When the struggles become overwhelming to the point where the function of that family begins to break down, a family therapist in Boca Raton, Florida can be a positive step to rebuild and strengthen.

South Florida, and specifically Boca Raton, is home to a large number of therapists and therapy centers.  This gives the average family the benefit of choice among mental health specialists in the area, but makes it difficult to decide who will be the right family therapist in Boca Raton, Florida for them.   At Proliance Center, we hope to make that choice easier for you by giving you a few hints to streamline the process.

Finding a Qualified Family Therapist in Boca Raton

When choosing a family therapist in Boca Raton, Florida, tap into your available resources.  Who are you most comfortable asking for a recommendation of a family therapist in Boca Raton, Florida?  Often sources such as family members, close friends, physicians, school counselors, or religious advisers can provide you with a great deal of knowledge and personal reference.  The Internet has also become a valuable resource for researching and evaluating family therapists.  You may also contact professional organizations for recommendations such as the Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.   Wherever you decide to start, take your time and compare your options to find a good fit.

As the list of options narrows, it is imperative to consider the education, experience and credentials of the family therapist in Boca Raton, Florida.  A graduate degree in the field and state licensure are essential to the list of qualifications for a family therapist in Boca Raton, Florida.  It is also important to ask questions of the family therapist by phone or email to ensure they have experience working with the needs of your family.  Once a Family Therapist in Boca Raton, Florida has been chosen, the final step is to schedule a family therapy session to best evaluate whether that individual is the right fit for you and your family.

Improve Self-Esteem

One of the most common issues I address with my patients is how to improve self-esteem. Though most patients come to therapy with other struggles as their prime concern, self-esteem is usually a significant contributor to the issue or is a result of the issue.

This becomes a challenge as an individual progresses through therapy because their lack of self-esteem can be a road block to success in treatment as they don’t feel that they are capable of making improvements to their lives or they feel they are not worthy of the happiness they hope to achieve.

Many people feel that if they take the time to love themselves enough or recite complimentary mantras, they will see an improvement in their self-esteem.  Others feel that by surrounding themselves with those who will praise or inspire them, they will feel less insecure and more comfortable with themselves.  Unfortunately, none of these approaches will do the trick because they are based on empty praise unrelated to merit.

How To Improve Self-Esteem

The most effective way to improve self-esteem is to experience success.  This can be success of any kind, large or small.  Take the time to think about the self-improvements you can make, a new skill you could commit to, a relationship you’d like to improve, or a personal or professional goal you’d like to accomplish.  Often the smaller the goal, the better and faster the result will be.  With one success comes another and the feeling of accomplishment it brings fuels an increase in confidence from within.   Rather than getting empty compliments or words of encouragement from others, you’ll be acknowledged for your merit in working to make a change, which tends to go a long way.  Unless you take action and step up to a new challenge, you simply won’t get the results you desire.  So, let this be the day that you make that small change and imagine how much better you will feel about yourself when you make it happen!


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