Adapting to Change at Any Age

As the old adage goes, the only constant in life is change.   Whether it’s trying something new, going to a new school, or adapting to life changes, change can be both feared and welcomed, anxiety producing and exhilarating.  As summer ends and the seasons change from summer to fall, JCFS clinicians share insights on change at different stages of life.

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Tween Girl Drama: 7 Ways to Support Your Daughter

Parents of 9 to 12 year-old girls know “Tween Girl Drama” even if they cannot define it.  They see it in the struggles their daughters have negotiating friendships, their changing bodies, and their growing desire for independence.  They experience it in the moodiness and seeming over-reactions to the littlest of things. Here are 7 tips for supporting your daughter (or even your son) as she navigates these challenging years:  

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JCFS Launches New Divorce Specialty Center

Sarah, a 44 year old mother of two, is finding herself back in the job market after 15 years, as she and her husband begin the divorce process.  The prospect of finding a full time job in a very different job market than the one she knew, and concern for how the children will cope with the changes, has her feeling anxious and overwhelmed.   And, with 53 percent of marriages ending in divorce in 2012 according to the Centers for Disease Control, Sarah is not alone.

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Friends of Virginia Frank: Reconnecting

Sunday morning came fast, like the rain falling in sheets out the window heralding an early Fall. I had heard about the Friends of Virginia Frank group and knew some of those involved in the group, but I had never attended an event hosted by them. To me, JCFS’s Virginia Frank Center is where I go to do my current job. Virginia Frank Center serves families with young children, providing a wide away of mental health, consultation, and supportive case management services to families who are often encountering difficulties for the first time. I’ve lived many hours within these walls over the past 5 ½ years and hopefully have helped families along the way make positive changes in their lives.

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Pediatric Therapy Stories: Living with Rett Syndrome

“Just before her first birthday we started noticing that Zoe wasn’t reaching the milestones,” said Mike Prask of his daughter, Zoe. “We have an older daughter, and we weren’t comparing the two because every child is different… but we knew at some point that Zoe wasn’t where she needed to be in terms of crawling or talking. If we held out our fingers for her, she would reach out but couldn’t grab them. She wasn’t attempting to pull herself up to stand. We knew something was going on.”

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Graduation: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Graduating from high school is a momentous occasion for both teens and parents.  I would like to first address the parents who are reading this blog.  I want you to give yourself a pat on the back and breathe a sigh of relief!  You have successfully gotten your teen to the age of 18 and graduating with a high school degree!  While your teen may brush this off and say you didn’t help with much, you and I both know that you played a large role in where your teen is today!  Someday down the road, probably when they’re 30, they will thank you for all your hard work!

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Responding to Grief, Loss, and Mourning in Loved Ones

We have all been there.    A family member, friend or close work colleague experiences the death of a loved one.  Now what? What do we say or do?  We may attend the funeral or Shiva and assume we have done our part in being a support, but the mourning process takes longer than most people think.  We may feel overwhelmed with our own feelings and be confused with what to do.  How can we be there for someone who is bereaved?  Although the grief and mourning process is unique to each individual, there are some ways you can be of help.  

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Clinical Value In Spiritual Practices: Judaism, Health & Healing

The adage goes that in life, you never know what’s just around the bend. As an organization committed to healing, helping, and supporting over 26,000 children, adults, and families, JCFS  understands that some of those surprises just over the horizon are hard to prepare for, and can leave unexpected craters in their aftermath. These events—illness, the death of a loved one, addiction, etc—can leave an individual feeling defeated or alone, and that’s precisely when they need support the most.

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Violence Against Women Act Signed Back into Law

As a country, the US has made much progress on the way to ending domestic violence. But—like with most good work-- there’s always more work to be done. On Thursday, March 7 President Barack Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) back into law. While Congress failed to reauthorize VAWA in 2011, this time it made it through the House with 286 votes for it, and 138 against. There are more than a few reasons to feel pretty great about the bill’s passing.

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How Do I Know if it's Really Bullying?

Mischa comes home crying because the kids “bullied her” during lunch again. Luke is upset that “the bullies” wouldn’t include him in basketball after school. The principal called because your angel Tom pushed another student down in the hallway. Is it bullying?

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