Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Stuph File Program

Dr. Wendy Coping with Fear and Tragedy in an Over-connected World

http://www.transitioningmovement.com/default.aspx?CN=389D393ACDDFCoping with Fear and Tragedy in an Over-connected World

by Sonie Guseh
http://adayinthelifeskg.blogspot.comSeptember 11. Superstorm Sandy. The Boston Marathon bombings. The shooting in Aurora. The massacre in Sandy Hook. In the midst of so many tragic, harrowing events around us, it can be difficult to stay positive and optimistic in life.For each event, you may be able to recall a series of looped images and messages displayed across your television screen for hours on end—perhaps it’s the repeated video of the second airplane crashing into the World Trade Center in 2001, or the image of bloodied runners barely crossing the finish line just two months ago.There’s an addictive danger in replaying those looped images repeatedly, according to Dr. Wendy James, a psychologist. It’s important to find healthy coping mechanisms to combat what could turn into more severe illness down the line. Now, with a world so interconnected through the Internet, television, and other media, local tragedies have turned into shared emotional turmoil across the country and, in many cases, worldwide.According Dr. James, it’s important to distinguish between a legitimate fear and an irrational one. “If, indeed, the explosions at the Boston Marathon were the result of either domestic or foreign terrorists, their goals are the same,” she wrote. “Those goals are to attempt to translate irrational fears into false, rational fears by the example of a single event.

This is not unlike the fear and panic generated by the Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter of innocents. Both are rare occurrences, which, due to national media coverage, bring these events into the homes of all Americans.”
These days, we’re all impacted by a tragedy that happens regardless of where we are located, as long as we can see the images on our screens or hear about the events. Watching coverage of sad events can become an addictive behavior, leading to widespread fear.

Some communities seemed to have a legitimate immediate danger, such as potential threats on New York—but the general public? “It’s not going to happen to you 300 hundred miles away. People are afraid and they don’t need to be,” she continued.

Still, in a digitally connected world, mass fear does happen. Following such tragic events, it’s important to be available for loved ones, offer support to family and friends who may have trouble coping, and to recognize warning signs of someone having trouble dealing with loss, stress, anxiety, or fear.

Key warning signs to look out for in loved ones include any change in behavior, not functioning as they normally would, and a decrease in activities they normally engage in, said Dr. James. It’s important to lend an ear and offer advice, but many times, professional help is needed.

“It’s easier for women to seek counseling than for men to,” offered Dr. James. She suggests the following script for women trying to help a friend, brother, husband, boyfriend, or other loved one: “Please. For our relationship, for our family, I really would like you to get help. I know you’re coping as best as you can.”

She also recommends seeing a physician to run blood work. Because depression is caused by a drop in the hormone serotonin, a visit to the family doctor (instead of to the psychologist or social worker) can also be a productive first step.
Moreover, be careful not to project your fear onto others, especially children. Instead, “talk to your children and explain it to them,” Dr. James said.

In a world that is so digitally connected, it is important to extend that connection to those physically in our midst, and to be more vigilant and aware of our surroundings.

 

 

 

Dr. Wendy – Fox News Magazine – Article: Could telling your daughter she’s pretty get ugly?

http://magazine.foxnews.com/love/could-telling-your-daughter-shes-pretty-get-ugly

 “Don’t tell your daughter she is beautiful, parents told”

The title and the article indicate parents should never tell their daughter she is beautiful.  As a psychologist, parents need to tell their daughter she is beautiful.  The daughter beams and is proud and it develops confidence in her esteem.   Girls that have confidence show it in business and the way they present themselves and develop their own style and flair.

Today, for a daughter to recognize she has many more options then just her looks is important.  She can succeed in business in any field, marry and have children if she so desires.

Psychologically, the healthiest women are those that have a purpose; work, charity, artistic talent combined with looking good, eating right and realizing they can pursue their dreams and be feminine at that same time.  Today, in the marketplace there are equal numbers of men and women in pre-dominantly male fields; such as women CEO’s, CFO’s, Physicians, and Lawyers to name a few.

Therefore, both, confidence in your abilities and in your looks are psychologically critical to success.

It is better to praise children for their abilities rather than their looks? Why or why not? 

It is better to praise children for their abilities rather than their looks. As parents, they need to guide their children to accomplish tasks and find their unique talent and abilities.

This means introducing children to a variety of activities; challenges at school, providing an environment where they are exposed to different sports, art, and music. The goal is to find one or more talents that they are successful at and gets them excited and challenged.  I do believe all children need to realize you win and you lose.  This is real life!

Children know who are the best students, the best musician and the best at a sport.  Someone always wins and you learn and grow from winning and from losing.  It gives the child the ability to find their talent and know when they win it is great.  Yet, if she loses, she will learn to deal with failure.

Winning and losing prepare a child for the real life situations.  As parents, our motivation is to make sure our children find their abilities to succeed in the workplace as productive adults.

Now, let’s talk about looks.  There is nothing wrong to praise a daughter for her looks.  It is important for parents to take their daughter shopping and help them pick out clothes and jewelry and make-up.  Dads who take their daughter out shopping provide the confidence with a male figure on shopping and what to wear.

Mothers need to take their daughters shopping and spend time with them prior to their first date or dance to help them with their make-up and talk about boys and dating.

Does telling children one thing or the other have a lasting impression on their confidence?

Yes, abilities gain confidence in their talents and they strife to please their parents by succeeding.  Most parents want their children to succeed in school because it gives them more choices in life and decision in what they pursue.

Parents need to make sure their children eat healthy, control their food intake by providing healthy eating habits as a child because those become the habits they will perform as an adult.

Today, overweight and obesity is a major concern.  How children eat and weigh is determined by their food choices by their parents and the exercise or lack of it.  In addition, overweight and obesity can cause health problems and result in lack of esteem, and inability to pursue interests.

How impressionable are children when it comes to hearing praise about their looks vs. their abilities?

Children are always impressionable when hearing praise about their looks and praise about their abilities.  Both are important!

Praise about your abilities may help you overcome insecurities about your looks.  As a result, over time as you become an adult you may remember yourself as the unattractive geek.  Yet, now you are successful and have the confidence in your abilities and thus your looks!

As daughters, if you have looks and no abilities you could end up a “top model” based on the look of the season.  Actresses have a talent and many also looks.  It seems actresses are the ones getting the modeling contracts in magazines.

Psychologically, balance of having both “abilities and looks” result in an emphasis to success!

Psychological aspects of a prolonged recession resulting in job loss and loss of esteem

As a Psychologist, I am concerned with the current number of workers dropping out of the work force, giving up hope of finding a job, becoming discouraged and failing to seek training to obtain the skills for a job position that will provide them with a job future.

Psychological studies indicate a link between unemployment and increase in mental health issues.

The 1938 studies in the Great Recession, the 1957 studies of the Middle Recession and the most recent studies of the Modern Recession focus on the mental health issues of the unemployed. They targeted on those who were out of work for more than 2 years.

All studies indicated that there was an increase in depression.

Breadwinners, usually men, were torn from their traditional roles as providers, while other family members were forced into non-traditional roles to provide the income for the family to survive.

First, in a well-functioning family, everyone sacrifices to weather the bad times, assuming that the primary breadwinner will again be employed in a relatively short period of time.

The problem arises when joblessness is extended for a long period of time. It can cause increasing stress on interpersonal relationships and may result in a breakdown in traditional roles and the fabric of the family.

Differences in men and their response to this situation

The tradition family role is for men to be the breadwinner. They always assumed they would be able to provide for their wife and children.  It is their responsibility and duty to do so.

When the man is one of the long-term unemployed, women’s option to stay at home and raise the children is no longer an option. They must seek employment, changing the dynamics of the traditional family, causing tension from unrealized expectations and unusual sacrifices.

As mentioned, long-term unemployment and the egocentric loss of family position as “breadwinner” can result in depression.

The depression can be so severe that the tasks of performing domestic chores, house work, cooking, laundry and dropping off and picking up the children at school and their activities to help out the family is beyond them.

The entire family fabric may become completely unraveled, when the woman begins to ask herself, “If my husband can’t contribute to the family finances, why do I need him?”

What to do?

Anyone out of work for extended periods of time is susceptible to bouts of mild to severe depression.

Spouses and family members need to realize the signs of depression, i.e. unusual sleep patterns, lack of energy, alcohol abuse and other forms of aggressive behavior.

Spouses and family members need to realize the signs of depression, i.e. unusual sleep patterns, lack of energy, alcohol abuse and other forms of aggressive behavior.

    • Spouses and family members need to realize the signs of depression, i.e. unusual sleep patterns, lack of energy, alcohol abuse and other forms of aggressive behavior.
    • The family members must encourage their spouse to get a full physical and seek the help of a psychologist to focus on specific coping skills. It may take a combination of a pharmaceutical and therapeutic approach to properly address depression.
    • Convince and support the spouse to enter training programs and develop the skills necessary to work in growth industries that offer opportunity for employment.
    • To have the entire family agree, if necessary, to relocate to states that have low unemployment rates.To have the entire family realize the value of keeping the traditional family intact.

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Dr. Wendy response to “Don’t tell your daughter she is beautiful, parents told”

The title and the article indicate parents should never tell their daughter she is beautiful.  As a psychologist, parents need to tell their daughter she is beautiful.  The daughter beams and is proud and it develops confidence in her esteem.   Girls that have confidence show it in business and the way they present themselves and develop their own style and flair.

Today, for a daughter to recognize she has many more options then just her looks is important.  She can succeed in business in any field, marry and have children if she so desires.

Psychologically, the healthiest women are those that have a purpose; work, charity, artistic talent combined with looking good, eating right and realizing they can pursue their dreams and be feminine at that same time.  Today, in the marketplace there are equal numbers of men and women in pre-dominantly male fields; such as women CEO’s, CFO’s, Physicians, and Lawyers to name a few.

Therefore, both, confidence in your abilities and in your looks are psychologically critical to success.

It is better to praise children for their abilities rather than their looks? Why or why not? 

It is better to praise children for their abilities rather than their looks. As parents, they need to guide their children to accomplish tasks and find their unique talent and abilities.

This means introducing children to a variety of activities; challenges at school, providing an environment where they are exposed to different sports, art, and music. The goal is to find one or more talents that they are successful at and gets them excited and challenged.  I do believe all children need to realize you win and you lose.  This is real life!

Children know who are the best students, the best musician and the best at a sport.  Someone always wins and you learn and grow from winning and from losing.  It gives the child the ability to find their talent and know when they win it is great.  Yet, if she loses, she will learn to deal with failure.

Winning and losing prepare a child for the real life situations.  As parents, our motivation is to make sure our children find their abilities to succeed in the workplace as productive adults.

Now, let’s talk about looks.  There is nothing wrong to praise a daughter for her looks.  It is important for parents to take their daughter shopping and help them pick out clothes and jewelry and make-up.  Dads who take their daughter out shopping provide the confidence with a male figure on shopping and what to wear.

Mothers need to take their daughters shopping and spend time with them prior to their first date or dance to help them with their make-up and talk about boys and dating.

Does telling children one thing or the other have a lasting impression on their confidence?

Yes, abilities gain confidence in their talents and they strife to please their parents by succeeding.  Most parents want their children to succeed in school because it gives them more choices in life and decision in what they pursue.

Parents need to make sure their children eat healthy, control their food intake by providing healthy eating habits as a child because those become the habits they will perform as an adult.

Today, overweight and obesity is a major concern.  How children eat and weigh is determined by their food choices by their parents and the exercise or lack of it.  In addition, overweight and obesity can cause health problems and result in lack of esteem, and inability to pursue interests.

How impressionable are children when it comes to hearing praise about their looks vs. their abilities?

Children are always impressionable when hearing praise about their looks and praise about their abilities.  Both are important!

Praise about your abilities may help you overcome insecurities about your looks.  As a result, over time as you become an adult you may remember yourself as the unattractive geek.  Yet, now you are successful and have the confidence in your abilities and thus your looks!

As daughters, if you have looks and no abilities you could end up a “top model” based on the look of the season.  Actresses have a talent and many also looks.  It seems actresses are the ones getting the modeling contracts in magazines.

Psychologically, balance of having both “abilities and looks” result in an emphasis to success!

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40% of mothers are now the family breadwinner – Dr. Wendy

The Pew Research Center indicated that 40% of women are the family breadwinners.  Interestingly, 63% are single women and 37% are married women.

The study did not indicate the type of positions the women occupied. The share of married mothers, who out-earn their husbands, quadrupled from 1960 to 2011 to 15%.  Share of single mothers has tripled in 1960 to 2011 to 25%.

Another survey indicated that mothers but not their fathers are raising a growing number of lower-income children.  The effect shows more damage to sons than to daughters.  Sons were less likely to go to college and single mothers spent less time with their sons.  Therefore, the suggestion is that a two-parent household is more beneficial to the children.

The survey did show ambivalence about mothers working. The survey asked the question “should mothers work”?

-75% indicated working mothers predicted it was difficult to raise children and that it was bad for marriages
-50% thought it is better, if mothers stay home
-8% thought it is better, if fathers stay home
-80% indicated they did not want to return to the traditional role of the 1950s

The traditional male role, as breadwinner, is changing due to a number of factors and reasons for this change.

-Increase of births to single moms
-Increase in divorce rates over 50% and growing
-Recent recession and layoffs occurring more often to men at an earlier age
-Women are obtaining more college degrees and graduate degrees compared to their male counterparts

Psychologically, women and men are wired differently.  Organizational psychology has always indicated the masculine aspects of business focused on aggression, assertiveness, directness, confidence and independence.  This represents the traditional hierarchy structure of a corporation.

The feminine traits are described as intuitive, cooperative and collaborative and less hierarchy structure in a corporation. Therefore, creating a more team based approach focusing on communication and team leadership.

Interestingly enough, one study indicated that only approximately 1% of women reach positions as CEO’s, CFO’s CIO’s and Presidents.

Today, women have choices.  They can have careers, marriage and children.

This may lead to conflict.  Men had always assumed the traditional family role as the breadwinner.

Men have not changed over the generations in that they have always focused on providing for their wife and children. It was their sole responsibility and duty to do so.

Most women marry men who are as successful or more successful then they are.  I found in my research very few executive women wanted the man to stay at home and raise the children.

First, in a well-functioning family, everyone sacrifices to weather the bad times, assuming that the primary breadwinner will again be employed in a relatively short period of time.  The problem arises when joblessness is extended for a long period of time.  It can cause increasing stress on personal relationships and may result in a breakdown in traditional roles and the fabric of the family.

When the man is one of the long-term unemployed, women’s option to stay at home and raise the children is no longer an option.  They must seek employment, changing the dynamics of the tradition family, causing tension from unrealized expectations and unusual sacrifices.

Long-term unemployment and the egocentric loss for men, as “breadwinner”, can result in depression.

The depression can be so severe that the tasks of performing domestic chores; housework, cooking, laundry and dropping off and picking up the children at school and for their activities to help out the family is beyond them.  This may lead to the wife becoming resentful of her husband staying home.  In addition, the mother may have “guilt” feelings about not being there for her children.

The entire family fabric may become completely unraveled.  A woman may begin to ask herself, “If my husband can’t contribute to the family finances, why do I need him”?

All rights reserved