Getting Through the Holidays During Divorce or Separation

by Tami Sollo LCSW, Divorce Specialist

When a family is going through a divorce, everything changes, including the comfortable tradition of how they spend the holidays. Thanksgiving may have been celebrated with one side of the family, and Hanukkah or Christmas with the other, or a blending of the two families. That very first holiday season is the most difficult. Often the divorce does not just affect the immediate family, but may include extended family and friends as well. If there are children, it is very important to find a way to establish a new sense of normalcy. This can be complicated by the loss of one side of the family, or the children having to spend different holidays with a different parent.

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Dance/Movement Therapy: A Healing Art

By: Shawna L. Solsvig, M.A., LPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA
Doctoral Clinical Psychology Extern, Psychological Services

At the intersection of science and art resides the ever-evolving field of dance/movement therapy. Dance/movement therapy uses body-language and non-verbal communication to support growth. Many people have heard of traditional talk therapy, or psychotherapy. Dance/movement therapy is a form of psychotherapy that, in addition to talking, values and incorporates the organic and authentic movement, or “dance” of an individual.

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Dealing with Grief & Loss

BY ROSALIE GREENBERGER, LCSW JEWISH CHILD & FAMILY SERVICES

When a loved one dies, the effects of loss are as varied as our loved ones. Our feelings of grief are influenced by our relationship with the deceased, the circumstances of death and the timing of the death. At times, grief is manageable. We may be sorry that our loved one has died and feel sadness, but overall, the death will not have a large impact on our lives going forward.

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Leveling Up What Gaming Means for You and Your Child

By Amelia Yu, M.A., Pre-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Intern, Psychological Services

Children and adults have been playing games since recorded history. With advances in computer and mobile technology, and the widespread availability of Internet access, electronic gaming has become an increasingly mainstream leisure activity for children and adults alike. This meteoric rise of gaming popularity has generated mixed reactions from parents who are concerned about the impact that gaming can have on children.

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Just Keep Moving!

by Mark Lecker, Pre-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Extern, Psychological Services

While a nutritious diet is an important facet to a healthy lifestyle, it is also important to exercise your body. Many people seem to think that exercise must happen within the walls of a gym or along a track. However, you can get exercise nearly anywhere there is room and it is safe. Sometimes it’s easiest to have a workout partner or a physical trainer to help with motivation, encouragement and to prevent injuries.

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Promoting Self-Care for New Mothers

by Elizabeth DiMaggio, Pre-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Extern, Psychological Services

Having a new baby is an exciting time in a caregiver’s life. There is a brand new person to love and care for. While it can be an exciting time, becoming a new mother can be difficult and potentially draining. Focusing on a new infant might lead to the mother putting her own needs aside. While focusing attention on a new infant is extremely important, it might cause a mother to ignore her own self-care and signs from her body to take time for herself.

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Sibling Relationships

by Erica Aten, M.A., Pre-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Intern, Psychological Services

Although parents are typically a child's first source of human connection, sibling relationships are also an important factor in development. As of 2010, 82.22% of youth lived with at least one sibling(1). Sibling bonds are unique in that they often last a lifetime and are typically people’s longest relationships in life(2). Sibling relationships are influential in many ways.

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Caring for a Bipolar Child

by Talia Rudkin, B.A., Psychological Services Diagnostic Extern

Pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) has been given a considerable amount of attention in recent years.  Even though pediatric bipolar disorder has yet to find its individual place in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), there has been a recent influx in the number of children and adolescents being diagnosed with bipolarity.  This can be an alarming diagnosis for parents, as it is one that is often given to adults.  In fact, bipolar disorder is so much more common in adults that the DSM-V does not distinguish adult-onset from pediatric-onset symptoms of bipolar, despite clinically significant differences in the presentation and duration of symptoms(3,5,6,7).  However, a growing interest in this topic has led to an increase in research and treatment options for how to best care for a bipolar child. 

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The Road to Healing—During and After Divorce

by Tami Sollo LCSW, Coordinator of the Divorce Specialty Center

I encounter many couples experiencing the early phases of divorce. Marked by the tearing down of comfortable routines, fear of the future and its unknowns, and sadness over the loss of a familiar way of life—no matter how unhappy it may have been—the early stages of divorce are chaotic and emotionally overwhelming. Like any time of grief or great loss, recovering from divorce is a process. How quickly couples move towards healing depends upon several factors:  how well spouses work together to co-parent or make decisions for their separate futures; the level of conflict between the couple; the couple’s financial situation; how well developed the couple’s psychological coping skills are; and the external support systems of the soon-to-be ex-spouses.  

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Raising Mental Health Awareness

Fifteen year-old Anna lounged on the sofa in Robin Stein’s office, sinking into the cushions with her legs folded beneath her. Though her features remained stoic, the cell phone she cradled shook in the palms of her hand as she rapidly swiped at its surface with her thumbs. “Here,” Anna said, and held the phone out to Stein, a licensed clinical social worker at Jewish Child & Family Services. The screen displayed a somewhat pixelated selfie of a very young girl with a gun pointed at her temple. “She talked about dying all the time.” Anna was in grief therapy with Stein; the girl holding the gun was Anna’s younger sister, Sarah, who had taken her life the year before, ultimately overdosing on a relative’s sleeping pills. Sarah was only 10.

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