Clinician Insight

Family Conflict: An Opportunity for Growth and Change for All

by David Lipschutz, LCSW, Director of Adult, Child and Family Services

Conflicts happen at school, at work, and in homes. Arguments, big and small, occur in all families. There are many causes for these conflicts. The pressures on families are endless. Financial, cultural, traumas, school, employment, and relationships are some examples of stressors that families face on a daily basis. All these stressors create a complex environment for raising children in our society. This article highlights the potential for growth and change by acknowledging that verbal conflicts occur in families and looks at ways to be less reactive in these conflicts.

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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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Gender Stereotypes – What’s A Parent to Do?

By Tracey Lipsig Kite, LCSW, Educator and Trainer, Jewish Child & Family Services

“Do girls abandon our bodies because that’s where we’re shamed and boys abandon their emotions because that’s where they’re shamed? Little boys: Don’t feel. Little girls: Don’t hunger.” Glennon Doyle Melton in Love Warrior

Our culture today (often unconsciously) pushes girls and boys into separate boxes, and handicaps them emotionally. Despite our efforts to the contrary, we continue to tell girls, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, that being nice, beautiful, smart and successful are expected; expressing anger is not OK. We tell boys that being tough, strong and a leader are important, and the only emotion that is OK for them to express is anger. To further complicate things, most people aren’t aware of having taken in those messages, so we may be passing them on to our kids without meaning to. Two JCFS parenting sessions of particular interest over the past two years are: Girl Drama and Raising Emotionally Healthy Boys.

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Keep Your Child Happy and Healthy This Winter

By Ingrid Kenron OTR/L, Integrated Pediatric Interventions at JCFS

The colder air and gloomy winter skies can sometimes cause children to be temperamental.  An inconsistent schedule due to holidays, weather delays and school closings may also spike anxiety and onset challenging behaviors. Occupational therapists can help create tools such as social stories and visual supports to help children understand these changes. Here are some simple ways to keep your child happy and healthy this winter season.

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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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Tips for a Sensory Friendly Holiday

by Rachel Goode, Occupational Therapist
Integrated Pediatric Interventions at JCFS

The holiday season can be frustrating and confusing for a child with common sensory sensitivities.  Bright lights, loud music, new foods, crowded rooms, gift giving and different expectations can cause meltdowns and other disruptive behaviors.

We have some tips to help prepare your child for the excitement of the season, and a joyful December!

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Help Your Child Prepare for the Holidays

by Jennie Marble, M.A., CCC-SLP, Assistant Director of Integrated Pediatric Interventions at Jewish Child & Family Services

The holidays are often a time to gather with friends and family to share a special meal, but for children with eating challenges a change in routine and environment, along with the sights and smells of new foods can be overwhelming. 

Preparation for the holidays is helpful for any child, but is particularly important for children with feeding and swallowing disorders. Talking about what to expect during the family visit, and looking at pictures of food and exploring scents beforehand can go a long way.

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We're All in This Together: Six Phrases More Important Than 'I Love You'

by Marc Bermann, JCFS Foster Parent Recruiter and Support Specialist

1)  "I Appreciate You"......We often take friends and family for granted, especially when things are going well and we're not in a crisis. Where our children are concerned, both bio and foster, it's important to catch them doing something good and acknowledge how good we feel about that. Nothing makes children feel better than knowing they are appreciated by the people who are caring for them.

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