The majority of psychological research is focused on helping those who are already suffering with mental health issues. Stress is often seen as a trigger or significant factor that leads to emotional struggles. While it is worthwhile to understand the mechanisms of how stress affects mental health and leads to struggles, even more might be learned from looking at those who deal with the same adversity and for some reason are still able to thrive. At the center we believe in a strength based approach in helping every individual overcome their unique challenges. One of our core values is that through effective therapy people can learn to adapt and grow despite hardships. Life presents with many environmental stressors, our histories and prior experiences, and even genetics may present roadblocks that at times feel impossible to face, but none of these are enough to extinguish the hope for change. We all have the potential to grow and to develop resilience in our lives and become increasingly fortified to deal with life stressors.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can severely affect a child’s social, academic, and emotional functioning. In an opinion article on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/01/opinions/adhd-pills-for-children-drexler/index.html) Peggy Drexler, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, discusses the vital importance of utilizing behavioral and psychological interventions in treating ADHD, and how medication alone often does not suffice. In the article she shares results from recent studies showing that children who started to receive social skills training alongside basic behavioral approaches fared significantly better than those who began treatment with medication.
What is the secret to living a happy and healthy life? It could be that the answer is as simple as having warm, trusting relationships with significant others, family, friends, and community. In fact, in the link below is a brief video in which a researcher whom has followed more than 700 people over the arc of their lives found that the major determining factor in which people grew happily and healthily into their 80’s was having good relationships. In his words, “social relationships are good for us, loneliness kills”.
Over the past 25 years there has been extensive research into the benefits of living a more mindful life. What is mindfulness exactly? It is a state of active, open attention on the present. If this sounds pretty simple then, well, it is, but it also has very important implications for our mental health. It comes down to this – a wandering mind is not a happy mind. In fact, the more we ruminate on the past or worry about the future the higher levels of stress and anxiety we end up feeling. And the addition of multiple distractions in our lives (computers, cell phones, television, etc…) only makes this worse as we are more and more disconnected from the world immediately surrounding us. However, the benefits of mindfulness don’t end with reduced stress and anxiety. Practicing mindfulness also has the potential to address problems with impulsivity and focus, which are the core issues of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. This is exactly why we are incorporating this approach into our work here at The Kahane Center. Below is a link to some easy mindfulness exercises. Why not give them a try and see what kind of difference they make?
How many parents struggle every day to get their kids to eat healthier? Undoubtedly this is one of the major battles taking place at the dinner table on a nightly basis…a battle many parents feel they are losing. It seems pretty well established that forcing a child to eat broccoli before they get ice cream just ends up making broccoli even more hated and ice cream that much more loved. And how is such a power struggle going to ever encourage children to make healthy choices for themselves? I think the informal data is pretty clear – it doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean we should give up hope! Children are not destined to give salads the stink eye or stick their tongues out at spinach. In fact, there are plenty of children and adults who appreciate and even love to eat healthy foods.