Changing Language Can Change Your Life

Do you ever have those days when life is just overwhelming? When the meal preparation and clean-up, and the laundry, and the homework all need to get done, and your boss, and your kids, and your sister all need your time and attention? When you are sure there will never be enough of you to go around?  

When I have those days, I used to say to myself “I hate my life.” And when I thought “I hate my life,” everything would feel dark and heavy and endless. That heavy dark feeling led to my yelling at my kids, eating food that isn’t good for me and putting off doing the basic things that are needed to keep our lives going.

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Mindfulness: A Tool Fit for the 21st Century

What is mindfulness?

All human beings in the 21st century lead highly sophisticated lives compared to non-human animals. This is the result of having a uniquely evolved mind that allows us to perform advanced maneuvers like using language to plan, reason, evaluate, communicate, reflect on the past, and anticipate the future. These remarkable abilities have enabled us to construct a highly sophisticated society comprised of tall buildings, fast-moving aircrafts and advanced medical technologies such as hair-splitting microsurgery.

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A Week in the Life of a Camp Firefly Camper

First day of camp, Mike is quietly keeping to himself. He’s not sure of his new surroundings. Some strange lady is trying to help him put his clothes into the drawers that will hold his possessions and a few favorite objects from home for the next several days. Mike is excited about camp, but if he knew how to express it, he would say he is nervous. This is not only his first time at an overnight camp, this is his first time sleeping away from family. He did have that one sleep over at Aunt Sue’s, but she is still family.

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New Disruptive Behavior Clinic

Our list of comprehensive services for children and their families continues to expand with The Disruptive Behavior Clinic (DBC), a new program under the clinical direction of Carri Hill, Ph.D. and Pia Todras, Psy.D., members of the Psychological Services team at Jewish Child & Family Services.

The purpose of the clinic is help families with children aged 2-12 who are experiencing difficulty in managing their child's behavior, or who are concerned with emotion or behavior regulation at home, school or in public settings. Some examples of behavioral issues are noncompliance, aggression, irritability and tantrums.

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Message from the Front: JCARES Professional Training Institute Attendees Hear About Surviving Rape

A dozen times each year, the JCARES Professional Training Institute offers educational sessions to help professionals across disciplines become more effective and sensitive responders to—and advocates for—abuse  and sexual assault victims and their families.

Molly Boeder Harris, founder of Portland’s Breathe Network , was the keynote speaker at a recent training focused on a variety of healing techniques , including yoga, art therapy, acupuncture, and  massage, that can be used to help abuse and rape victims. The training promised to be an informative opportunity for Harris “to demystify the healing arts,” as she put it. 

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Tell Me a Story

It is bedtime, that moment where we put aside the day and relax into the mysterious world of sleep, but how does sleep happen? How important is sleep? Is technology really the enemy of a good night’s sleep? What sleep method is the best? Parents are swimming in advice, and sleep is important. Child sleep patterns really do affect parent mood and levels of stress. Frequently, a child’s ability to sleep well through the night has a huge impact on mood, performance, and behavior. Sleep difficulties can lead to increased parent sleep deficits and have been associated with higher risks of maternal depression.

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Come Fly With Me: Travel Tips for Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Air travel can be an exciting, yet anxiety provoking experience. This may be particularly true for a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because of factors connected to flying, including a change in routine, navigating unfamiliar environments and considerable sensory stimulation.

“Airplane travel presents many new sensory experiences including noisy environments, many visual distractions and new smells.  The inner-ear disturbances that occur at take-off and landing can impact vestibular processing disrupting how a child interprets their own body’s movements, which can be very disorienting," comments Haley Bartz, an Occupational Therapist with the Integrated Pediatric Interventions program at Jewish Child & Family Services. "Fortunately, there are numerous ways that a family can help to make air travel a less stressful experience for their child.”

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Refugees: Seeking Solace, Safety and Serenity

In 1949, my grandparents, like so many thousands of Jews at the time, arrived in Canada as refugees. They had survived the ghettos and concentrations camps of Poland and Germany and were grateful for the opportunity to build a new, quiet life in a welcoming community. With them was my mother, only two years old at the time. Though she didn’t know the same horrors as my grandparents, she did know the feeling of containment in the Bergen Belsen Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, in which she was born and spent the first years of her life. For her, my grandparents wished a bright, safe future. They wanted her to grow roots in a country that accepted her and that she could call home.  

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