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FoxNews.com Celebrity child molesters: Is their fame a factor?

“Sons of Guns” star Will Hayden was arrested on Wednesday on charges of aggravated rape for allegedly sexually abusing a minor “almost daily.”

Former “Cake Boss” cast member Remy Gonzales is currently serving 9 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

Lostprophets rocker Ian Watkins was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison after he was found guilty of multiple child sex abuse charges, including trying to rape a baby.

Of course only a tiny fraction of those committing this kind of heinous crimes are famous, but experts say fame can be a factor with celebrities who prey on children.

“Of course every situation is unique, but today when we look at the stars… we hear it all the time, that they begin to abuse their positions,” said Dr. Wendy James, who focuses on the early diagnosis and treatment of psychological issues. “As a society we tend to glorify stars…and society sees them as doing no wrong and a lot of time I see the frequency of narcissistic behavior in stars.”

She said that can lead to stars acting out in sexually inappropriate ways, with child molestation being an extreme situation.

“We allow stars to start to feel like they are above the law or above certain behavior,” she added.

Dr. Fred Berlin, the director of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behavior Consultation Unit, said there is no definitive statistic that shows pedophiles are more prevalent among Hollywood’s elite.

“I don’t know of any evidence that it’s more common among celebrity than others,” he told FOX411. “I think we pay more attention to it and are sort of more surprised in many ways because we think [we know these people based on what we see on TV].”

So does their a celebrity’s status simply bring their awful behavior into the limelight?

“They are scrutinized if something is found out,” said James, while Berlin noted that celebrity abuse cases get much more attention than the average sex crime.

“Most of these cases get a certain amount of attention, and the public is rightfully concerned and when people are arrested in their local community,” he said. “It becomes a bigger, national story when someone is arrested who is a celebrity.”

And the stars mentioned above are not the first to be accused of sexual misconduct against children. Here are five more celebrities slammed with sex abuse allegations:

  • Peter Yarrow of the musical group Peter, Paul and Mary was convicted of taking “improper liberties” with a 14-year-old girl in 1970. Yarrow, who served 3 months in jail was later granted a presidential pardon in 1981 from former President Jimmy Carter.
  • A mother who appeared on TLC’s “Cheer Perfection pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sexual assault and engaging a child in sexually explicit conduct. Andrew Clevenger received a two 10-year prison sentence and two 10-year suspended sentences for her sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy.
  • Comedienne Paula Poundstone was charged with three counts of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a girl under the age of 14 in 2001. She was found guilty of a felony child endangerment charge for driving while intoxicated with children in the car. She pleaded no contest to avoid jail time as part of a plea that placed her on probation for 5 years.
  • Once a judge on “America’s Best Dance Crew” and a choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Shane Sparks was charged with six counts of a lewd act on a child and two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16. His attorney called the claims “extortion” and claimed Sparks’ accuser of only coming forward due to Sparks’ fame. He pleaded not guilty in 2010 and again in 2011 on a single felony count of having unlawful sex with a minor. He eventually accepted a plea deal which sentenced him to 270 days in the country jail, five years of provation and 52 sessions of sex-offender counseling.
  • MTV’s “Jackass” spin-off “Viva La Bam” star Vincent “Don Vito” Margera was found guilty on two counts of sexual assault on a child in 2007. Margera had been accused inappropriately touching one 14-year-old and two 12-year-olds at an autograph signing at a Colorado mall in August 2006.

POV – Constant Bullying may have a Mental Health and Academic Affect on Children over Time

Previous surveys on bullying indicate 70% of middle and high school students experience bullying. Most of us have been bullied. 20-40% report having bullied or been part of bullying during the school year.

First bullying in schools is unacceptable. As a psychologist and former high school teacher, bullying is serious. The difficulty is focusing on children’s social life of rejection by peers, group recognition, few friends, when bullying is aggressive and constant. There is no doubt constant bullying may have a mental health and academically affect children over time.

The research from Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the few longitudinal studies on bullying and mental health. This study is significant in that it followed 4300 children over a five-year period with computer generated questions in the home in 5th, 7th and 10th grade. The results found 30% had been bullied.

This study indicated bullying is more likely to result in deterioration in poor mental health and often leads to poor academic performance in the student bullied.

What is the definition of bullying? As children, we all experience bullying as a normal part of growing up. How often it occurs is part of studies, which define bullying.

The limitation of this study is in the lack of definition for bullying and there is no causal relationship that directly links bullying and mental health problems.

Peer Harassment is an issue. If it is physical contact, it is threatening behavior. If it is verbal only, it is contingent on the child’s perception of the situation of the “bullying” that occurred.

The worst effect is continuous bullying.

As a psychologist, the question arises in regards to the definition of bullying. What is the relationship related to the psychological effect on the child who is being bullied? Could it be the psyche of the victim? Therefore, are esteem, confidence and mental health affected? Does bullying lead to mental health issues, particularly in depression, and suicidal thoughts?

In a normal process of growing up, most of us experience bullying. We all have an experience that we remember and learn from. It stays with us.

Yet, it does not have long-term effects on our mental health and academic achievement. Many normal children learn to find and form their supportive peer groups.

The question is why does bullying for some children have a devastating effect and does not enable them to handle the rite of passage pre-teens go through?

First, there is no profile of who will be a bully. Sometimes they are regular students.

Bullying has become more prevalent over the years. Suicide has occurred in a small minority of those, who are bullied. With the text messages, Facebook and cyber-technology, bullying is a bigger problem. If it becomes personal, threatening and approaches physical abuse it is serious.

This study indicates that continuous bullying may cause serious mental health issues, low esteem, anxiety, depression, and lower academic success in the object of the bullying.

The difficulty is there is no “cause and affect” linkage. The bullying and school climate are linked. It is necessary to continue research and have programs to acknowledge the seriousness of bullying, while developing clearer definitions and defined psychological aspects of what, how and why bullying leads to overwhelming behaviors on those being bullied.

POV – The Changing American Family

A report just out by the New York Times indicates our traditional family is changing. Today, blended family is encompassing husbands, wives and children from various marriages and ex-spouses and ex-partners in varying degrees.

First, the report indicates “families are more ethnically, racially, religiously and stylistically diverse than half a generation ago – than even half a year ago”.

America is about diversity; Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, and Lesbians & Gays to name a few groups are part of what we have grown up with today. The fastest growing immigrant groups to American are not Latinos but Asians.

Asian Americans are exceptionally stable, “they are less likely to be divorce than Americans in general” (16% infants out of wedlock, compared to 41% over all and 80% raised by two parents versus 63% overall; Pew Research).

As a psychologist, I find that we are in a society where diversity is accepted and unlike a generation ago we have grown up with all ethical, racial, religious, and stylistic diversity. What is troubling is how it affects our children and our life.

There is often a debate whether this is a positive or negative change. Yet, the decline of the two-parent household has affected the income of single parents. New York Times study indicated 63% of children live in a household with two parents. The majority of single parents are single mothers. There is evidence that sons raised by single mothers “appear to fair particularly poorly”.

A few more statistics in this study:
-More than 40% of American babies are born to unmarried women, most in their 20s and 30s
-The traditional family of stable married parents with their children is educated elite
-Believe in romance – yes – hearing the word “family” answers were Love, Kids, Mom, and Dinner
-72% of adults under 30 view the ideal marriage as husband and wife both work and share in childcare
-28% of married women are more educated than their spouse
-Divorce is declining and the decline is for middle and upper middle income couples with college degrees
-Increase in out of wedlock births has occurred for all but the highly educated woman
-Men and women are waiting later to marry (men 28, women 26-27)

In summary, go to college, build finances, marry, build more finances, have children does build confidence in yourself and the ability to survive and to succeed.

POV: How to Deal with Toxic People

Overview

As a psychologist I deal with “toxic” people. “Toxic” people can be due to addiction, depression, grief and loss, and loneliness. The difficulty for family and friends is how to deal with “toxic” people. First is to realize we need to help those with depression receive the treatment they need and having friends and family acknowledge their concerns will help.

As a relative, it is important to recognize your family members and friends that need to be directed to seek psychological, medical or counseling care.

Today, we are finding an increase in depression due to chronic stress, loss of jobs, importance of two income families, isolation due to loneliness, lack of face-to-face interaction and the reliance no social media, texting, sexting and the increased use of video games.

There are healthy ways to deal with your depression and addictions by learning how to use coping skills to deal with your issues to become happier, healthier and more confidence in yourself.

How do you deal with a toxic relationship?

  • When friends and/or family become toxic to you it may cause exhaustion of you mentally. Friends that are toxic may become unhealthy to you and your life.

Here are some points to recognize when this occurs:

  • Do you give more to them then they give to you?
    • If so then, there may be a lack of balance.
    • Balance is never 100% it is never 50-50. Yet, it has to over time result in 100%. It has to be with a person that enhances your life as you enhance theirs. It may be 20-80, 70-30, 100-0 yet, it always has to be a loving and caring relationship. In summary, both in a relationship have to give.

A major area of knowing the person is toxic is asking yourself are they a “Giver or Taker”?

  • When there is a lack of balance in a relationship between giving and taking it does not work.
  • For a giver, who takes nothing in a relationship, this lack of balance can result in feelings of isolation, alienation, emptiness and loneliness.
  • If you are a “giver” you have control over, whom you seek as friends and as lovers. You get to decide which people will be your friends and reject others.
  • Takers have no power without a giver.
  • We choose those with whom we want to have a relationship.
  • We can choose whether to have relationships that consist of too much taking and not enough giving. At any point, if we are unhappy or unfilled, we can decide to severe the relationship.

In a toxic relationship how do you fix it and when to you decide when to end it?

  • First you need to make sure you have made the effort to be caring and supportive in the relationship. Sometimes “toxic” is the lack of communication and ability to focus on building the relationship. This can be accomplished by recognizing your differences and seeking ways to be together that are healthy, try to plan activities that both of you enjoy. Get out and experience a new adventure. Take yourself out of your “normal” routine and do something fun and spontaneous.
  • Often, I find relationships feed on negativity and it affects the confidence of both individuals. One person whom you spend an enormous time can affect your confidence in yourself. When this occurs, then you need to end the relationship. This is difficult, a person in a toxic relationship may be unable to severe the relationship due to the belief they deserve no better and continue in a cycle of negative and destructive relationships.
  • The good news is the cycle can be broken if you learn to be aware of what you do and what you want and need from a relationship.

Why are there more breakups around the Holidays?

Psychological studies indicate 80% of Americans are stressed during the holidays to the point that according to a recent study one in five will inquire about divorce in January.  In addition, those with children have higher rates of stress.  Stress has a negative influence even on the most loving relationships.

 

There is “guilt” factor added in the time where it is suppose to be about celebration and joy.

 

A major cause of stress is drastic change in daily patterns due to over-indulgence; in buying, eating and drinking.

 

Psychological research indicates that “normal daily routines” and “rituals” are important to our family and health.  Rituals are defined as holidays and are important for the family structure.

 

Why does this occur during the holiday season?

 

Stress is in all areas of our life, relationships and financial situations are the prime factors. We are conducting our normal life schedule of work and family with the added stress of giving and providing more at the holiday season.

 

Psychological studies indicate that perfectionism is related more to anxiety than depression.  Perfectionism may lead to anxiety due to a fear of failure and the attainment of high standards.  At the holidays, we are dealing with normal daily routines coupled with an additional responsibilities and “guilt” of reaching the goals of making the holidays “perfect” for our family and friends.

Men with attractive wives report higher levels of marital satisfaction, new study finds

This study comes as no surprise.

 

It confirms the evolutionary theory of sex gender based on the survival of all species in the reproductive system.  The concept of sexual selection is that all species, humans included, will reproduce to continue their species.

 

Ancient man, in order to have his choice of available females needed to have superior hunting skills.  Women of that same era looked for a man who would allow her the resources to carry her child to term and support the child to maturity.

 

Therefore, the concept of attractive wives is part of the evolutionary theory into our current generation.  Today, men still seek the attractive female.   Vying for and winning the hand of an attractive wife translates into a happier marriage.

 

This is further supported by the social role theory that relates to the division of labor between men and women.  Our need for basic survival, as a family unit, has changed.  Modern women can get jobs and support themselves and their young without a man.

 

Today’s women can have it all.  They can have a career, marriage and/or children.

 

Yet, women still want a man who can provide and protect them.  Women continue to want to attract a male provider, even when she can provide for herself.

 

Today, we have added psychological variables to the basic survival instincts of procreation.

 

Women continue to compete for the attention of men.  It is still a prime driver for women to find a suitable mate, conceive and have children.

 

Just remember attraction is in the eye of the beholder.

Violent Video Games and Isolation

How are these games affecting our kids?

 

To quote Dr. Ferguson, Clinical Psychologist “statistically it actually would be more unusual if a youth delinquent or shooter did not play violent video games, given that the majority of youth and young men play such games at least occasionally”.

 

And “occasionally” is the key word.  Psychological studies indicate that playing video games more than 13 hours a week may lead to isolation.  As a psychologist, I like longitudinal studies, one study looked at exposure to violence in children at the age of 10-12 and then tracked them in their 20’s and found these children more aggressive and violent as adults

 

First is the importance of socialization of children is what is needed. We learn in school that yes, we will be accepted in certain circles and will be rejected by certain groups.  We learn that is a normal part of life and prepares for dealing with rejection and acceptance as adults without becoming psychologically devastated.

 

 

How do you talk to your kids about violent video games?

 

Parents make sure the child is playing the video games in the family room.

 

Limit the amount of time your child plays video games over 13 hours a week is not good.

 

Play the video game with them, this way you know what they are playing and you can talk to your kids about the game.  Guess what you may just have fun!

 

Make sure your child is socializing at school and in activities to find their interest.  That means having them involved in sports, music and the arts to develop their interest and make sure they have activities to socialize.

 

 

Should we be concerned about the growing prevalence of violent games in our society?

 

We are not going to change the Internet, video games or technology.  It is not the playing of a video game that is the problem.  It is the amount of time they play the video game, the lack of socialization skills and the isolation of the child.

 

Violence is acceptable and desirable in the rules of video games. In isolation some children develop the “mental health and depression issues” where the lines are blurred between what is a game and what is a reality.

 

In society, we need to be aware that “mental health” issues are not normal.  We need to make sure that we notice children and adults that are isolated and exhibiting “abnormal behavior”.  As a psychologist, we need to recognize children early so we can help them develop normal socialization and coping skills in society.  Parents, friends, our schools and our community need to attempt to get “help” for those with “mental health” issues.  Therefore, isolation and lack of socialization is a mental health problem.

Feds boosting mental health access, treatment

Dr. Wendy James – POV – Feds boosting mental health access, treatment

 

As a psychologist, I agree with Dr. Lieberman, president of American Psychiatric Association statement, “up to now, the law has not been complied with…companies have only sort of adhered to it”.  Private insurances need to comply.

 

  • There is a stigma attached to mental illness
    • Americans are reporting they have a problem with a person with mental illness
      • Assume they are more violent, do not want to be friends, do not want then in their workplace or to marry into their family (Journal of Health and Social Behavior)

 

  • The stigma of mental health results in those with mental health issues that need to be treated; refusing treatment, not taking their medication and not dealing effectively with their mental health problems.

-It also affects our Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Veterans in defense industry often lose their clearance if they seek psychological treatment

  • We tend to ignore it in our community and fail to recognize that the person needs help.   Fear of violence results in no action until there is violence

 

  • 1 in 4 adults have a diagnosable mental illness (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Seek help early and get treatment.
  • Family members, schools and communities need to be aware of those they know need help and help them seek treatment

 

  • Concerns
    • Less psychiatric hospitals, less stay in a hospital or facility for treatment
    • More isolation from social interaction, increase in physical problems and fear of stigma results in fear to seek treatment.
    • Result downward spiral

 

 

  • Psychologists need to diagnose and develop a treatment plan.  The goal to help them be responsible and productive members of society and our workplace

 

 

 

What does your Halloween costume say about you?

It’s that time of year again when adults in weird outfits come out of the woodwork! The time of year you show up to Halloween parties and your jaw hits the floor when you see some people’s outfits. You begin to wonder, “This is the second year in a row Joe dressed up as a woman, do you think he has a tendency to cross dress?” Or you scowl at Cindi’s outfit, “Oh yeah, here she is again in her perfect little body dressed as a cheerleader! Did she not outgrow that in high school?”

Psychologist and life consultant Dr. Wendy James says, “Your Halloween costume is a great opportunity to let your creativity flow without boundaries. Any individual who doesn’t necessarily exert an abundance of power or influence in their daily lives can become a spectacle on Halloween and scare, thrill, or make hundreds of others laugh. A great costume can make you the center of attention. I think many people love Halloween because it’s a hall pass away from your own life for one night and an opportunity to engage in a world of total fun & fantasy. Halloween can a mentally stimulating and healthy event for many people.”

Dr. James shares some insight about what your Halloween costume really says about you:

The Pimp
Likely worn by an insecure man who’s acting out his fantasy of dominating women. It’s really not an original costume and is often a choice for the uncreative types.

Celebrity
Outgoing individuals tend to dress up like celebrities because it almost guarantees they’ll get lots of attention.

Gross / Scary
Horror is popular in pop culture and if a person goes for the gross and scary costume, chances are they will be low key individual who don’t seek the limelight.

Disney / Cartoon Character
This is a safe choice that is G-rated for all audiences. It’s a people pleaser and often worn by someone who doesn’t prefer to rock the boat.

Super Hero
Kind hearted individuals tend to flock to these costumes as they wish to help others and be seen as making a difference

Funny / Original
When you see a costume that make you look twice of three times, chances are the wearer of that costume is an A-type personality and highly creative individual who probably spend the past 9 months creating their costume.

Congress Costume
Considering how unpopular congress is today, anyone who would dress up like them probably enjoys being scorned and reviled. People who dress up like members of congress this year should probably seek professional counseling.

No Costume
Likely a choice of people completely out of touch with their inner child or those who feel they are “too mature” to be dressing up in costumes. They have the potential to bore people physically to death.

Article from http://www.examiner.com/article/what-does-your-halloween-costume-say-about-you

“Nearly 1/3 of recent U.S. military Veterans have considered committing suicide”

America and the Federal government have a responsibility to provide for our mentally ill Veterans.  It is appalling that we are failing to provide the counseling and mental healthcare for our military, often due to bureaucracy.  They have honorably served our country!

First returning Vets may be unaware of the mental health services available to them.

Second, there are a high percentage of returning Vets suffering with PTSD. The definition of PTSD is “…painful guilt feelings about surviving when others did not survive or about the things they had to do to survive…resulting in psychic numbing or emotional anesthesia after a traumatic event…Avoidance patterns may interfere with interpersonal relationships and lead to marital conflict, divorce, or loss of job”.  Therefore, the very support system of family, they need, to reduce emotional feelings leads to diminished responsiveness to the external world.

Third, the increase in suicide is not surprising given the fact that there is a high percentage of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that when untreated may result in depression and suicide without counseling or psychological help.

Another evidence-based treatment for PTSD is via Telemental health and is indicated to be as effective as face-to-face-therapy (National Center for PTSD).

Life Consultants Tele-health system offers access of healthcare professions to work with individuals or groups of up to eight online through their home computer, laptop or IPad who share similar situations in mental heath disorders. This offers the patient the benefit of accessing a psychologist or mental health professional at the time they are experiencing depression or anxiety in the privacy of their home without having to make an office appointment.  It is particularly convenient for those living in rural areas.

The advantage of group therapy is the ability to talk to people, who also have been through trauma and PTSD.  Sharing your story with others may help the individual feel more comfortable talking about their trauma. This can help them cope with their symptoms, memories, and other parts of their life. “You learn to deal with emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, rage, and fear. Sharing with the group also can help you build self-confidence and trust. You’ll learn to focus on your present life, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the past.” http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/treatment-ptsd.asp

 

Coffee does it cause or decrease depression?

OK, all you coffee drinkers get excited but not too excited and do not increase your current consumption of more than 2-3 cups of coffee a day routine.

Let us talk about the recent studies, “Coffee and Depression: Coffee as an Anti-depressant? “Coffee may prevent depression scientist say”.

Sounds great.  Good news!

Now for the Bad news! There are just as many studies that say, “The hidden dangers of caffeine: How coffee cause exhaustion, fatigue and addiction”, “Coffee and depression – a cause and also a remedy”.

The recent study from Harvard indicates that coffee “acts like an anti-depressant by accelerating the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline”. But in simple terms they refer to the hormones in your brain that keep you energetic, happy and healthy.

It affects your neurotransmitters. It provides a burst of energy and increases your serotonin, which anti-depressants increase if you are low in this hormone.  It also increases your endorphins’ to push yourself through the day, although exercise also has this affect.

Watch out. There is a crash coming in a few hours later and temporarily ends the burst of energy. It can lead to exhaustion.  Coffee consumed too late in the afternoon may lead to the sleep problems and depravation.

The good new! A Harvard longitudinal study from 1988-2008 with over 200,000 men and women and a previous study of about 130,000 nurses in 1993, found that coffee drinkers were 1/3 less likely to commit suicide having an anti-depressant affect.  Another Harvard study, hoping to dispute the study on nurses found the aforementioned to be true.

Psychiatrists point out depression is a serious medical issue and cannot be resolved by simply by drinking coffee.

Coffee drinkers, of which I am one, can drink our coffee just drink it in moderation.  It does have a mild anti-depressant effect on our neurotransmitters.

It’s a Boy! What Challenges will Prince William & Kate Middleton’s Royal Baby Face Under the Microscope of the Public Eye?

This child will never be raised as any normal child would be and he should not be.

This child is the third in line and will most likely become the King of England.  Everything in this child’s life will be highly regulated, as it should be because at one time in his life he will be King.  Every minute of his life will be documented and scrutinized by his future subjects through the media from his first presentation to the public until the day he dies.

The good news for this child is that British royalty has had centuries to perfect the raising of a Monarch whose purpose in life is to lead and serve his subjects.  He will never have the choice of being a doctor, lawyer, social worker, there is only one career path for this child and that leads to the throne, to serve in the armed forces of Britain and be King.

This child will never be able to determine his own fate in the world it is set in stone.

The reason the world, the whole world is watching and interested is because this is one of the longest benevolent, constitutional monarchies in the world.

Although the royal family has married non-titled commoners, such as Kate and Diana, the people of Britain don’t want their King to be common, but extraordinary and, above all things, royal.  William was trained, as will be their son, to care about his subjects. He has inherited a responsibility to do so, and thus so will be his destiny from today forward.

No psychologist can determine the psychological effects of royal training on a child, because the royal family is secretive in nature and would not submit to psychological testing. There is not a statistically significant pool to allow psychological analysis; therefore I would not presume to do so.

Sex on Campus: She Can Play that Game, Too

I was taught not to talk to strangers, now we have girls having sex with strangers.

First let me give you the facts of a study I conducted with executive women in Fortune 100 and 500 companies in a variety of industries. The topic of my doctoral dissertation was “Perspectives of Executive Women: Life Choices and Balancing Career with Marriage and Children”.

The women, I interviewed were in their 40s – 60s because it takes a 8-10 years for any junior executive, male or female, to gain the experience to move up the corporate ladder to earn a top executive position.

These executive women did it all.  They were married and had their first child in their 20’s, the majority having 2 -3 children.  Most remained married to their first husband.  Their husbands helped them with the children, jointly addressing scheduling priorities while pursuing their individual careers.

The women handled career, marriage and children by employing prioritization, time management skills and being the best employee, the best mother and the best wife, they could be.

Relationships are important and we learn to experiment and learn to build them in college, while studying, learning and developing skill sets for our future careers.

In a male dominated society women have always been a mystery.

We like it that way.

It is that irresistible allure that we, as women, have developed and perpetuated for millennia. That mystery has always helped us to level the social/sexual playing field, solidifying our place of power in society.

What is the long-term benefit for women when they engage in unemotional sex?  Women are, by nature, nurturers, enjoy being pursued and who control how men treat them.

Virtue is important and is what we should be teaching our daughters.  To get respect you must earn respect, in relationships and at work with your male co-workers.

Our relationship with men is the means by which we enhance our esteem, our confidence by which, along with our intellect and skills, we achieve our success.

Women need not only sex but also love and romance.  We want to be the only woman in our man’s life.  We want a man that loves and adores us as we love and adore him.

We can have it all!

 

The Psychology of Mob Mentality and Violence

One dog may bark at you but it’s more likely that a pack will attack you.

We are not exempt from that behavior because we are human and not canine. As evidenced by dogs operating in a pack environment, human society is based on group dynamics.

As humans, we have instinctual responses that are exacerbated by group influences.

What we might not do as individuals we may do as part of a group.  People may lose control of their usual inhibitions, as their mentality becomes that of the group.

You have never heard of a peaceful riot.  Riots are by definition violent in nature.

All a riot is, is violent group behavior. The larger the group the greater the amplification of that group behavior.  If the group behavior is peaceful, exemplified by Martin Luther King and Ghandi, the group behavior is peaceful and orderly.

If the group behavior is violent, the larger the group the more magnified the violence.

A mob mentality phenomenon has occurred throughout human history, whether witch burning, religious zealotry, political protests or reaction to perceived racial micro aggressions.

Three psychological theories address crowd behavior.

First is Contagion Theory, proposes that crowds exert a hypnotic influence on their members that results in irrational and emotionally charged behavior often referred to as crowd frenzy.

Second is Convergence Theory that argues the behavior of a crowd is not an emergent property of the crowd but is a result of like-minded individuals coming together.  If it becomes violent is not because the crowd encouraged violence yet rather people wanted it to be violent and came together in a crowd.

Third is Emergent-Norm Theory that combines the two above arguing that a combination of liked-minded individuals, anonymity and shared emotions leads to crowd behavior

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!

All rights reserved©

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”?

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Mother’s Day: 10 ways to Connect and Grow Closer to your Mom

Mothers and daughters have a unique relationship bonding over the years.  As teenagers, we attempt to be different. Then we become adults and realize we are raising our daughters.  It gives us a greater appreciation for mom.

As women, we own “guilt” It is passed down from generation to generation by our mothers!

Mothers teach their daughters how to become women and the value of virtue in their lives.

Do something special with your mom, as we honor them Mother’s Day.

  • Find a picture of you and your mom and frame it for her on Mother’s Day.
  • Take her shopping.  Take her advice on an outfit and wear it, just for her, on Mother’s Day!  She will remember.
  • Ask her to tell you about her mother and when she was growing up and let her share the memories and pictures!
  • Let her share, pictures of you, yes, even the ones you want to hide.
  • Ask her advice and listen to it, even if you have already decided what you are going to do.
  • Let her do something special for you and then remember it and do the same for her on Mothers’ Day!
  • Prepare dinner in her house that’s her domain.
  • Spend the afternoon with her with no interruptions; turn off the cell phone. This also means no reading, watching TV or looking at magazines. Just spend quality time with her!
  • Invite, her mother, her sisters, her friends to spend an afternoon getting to know them – just the girls.
  • And last, yet most importantly, hug her, kiss her and tell her you love her!