Archive | Social Issues

Why Recess May be the Most Important Part of the School Day

By: Dr. Jan Hittelman There’s a big difference between skills and abilities. While we are born with certain natural abilities, skills are learned and require practice to develop. It is important to remember that our children are not born with good social skills, but learn these skills through modeling and practice. There are numerous research […]

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Hot Under the Collar

8 Common Anxiety Symptoms and a Few Ways to Begin to Cool Off By Rachael Bonaiuto, LPC When you have anxiety, it’s easy to feel like others don’t understand what you’re going through. Anxiety itself can make you feel as though you’re suffering from symptoms, worries and concerns that are not only pronounced – they […]

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Structured Activity Rewards: Clinical Case Studies

When I first introduce the idea of using a type of behavior modification, parents often dismiss it by saying, “We’ve already tried that and it doesn’t work; what else have you got?”  This is because there are several common pitfalls that will effectively sabotage a behavior modification approach with children.  These pitfalls include: using an […]

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What I say before I even open my mouth:

The value and importance of understanding non-verbal communication By Rachael Bonaiuto, LPC ”The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” –Peter F. Drucker  Why Non-Verbal Communication? The World English Dictionary defines nonverbal communication as “those aspects of communication, such as gestures and facial expressions, that do not involve verbal communication but which […]

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Helping Your Teen Have a Successful Summer

Q; How can I help my adolescent have a fun, productive, and safe summer? A: Summers can be a unique challenge for parents of adolescents. On the one hand we want to honor their desire for making more of their own decisions regarding summer activities, as the shift to independence is a key developmental task […]

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Leading Teens to Counseling

By Dr. Jan Hittelman Q: How do I get my unwilling teenager to talk to someone, such as a therapist? Sign me, Concerned Mom A: The pivotal challenge in creating getting your teen to meet with a counselor is getting them to willingly attend the initial session. Who wouldn’t be uncomfortable with the prospect of […]

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Exercise and the Brain

By Jan Hittelman Over the last 40 years, researchers have confirmed the many benefits of physical exercise as it relates to overall health. In the 1970’s we learned that regular exercise has a significant benefit in reducing the risk of heart disease. Subsequent studies expanded this finding to a wider range of physical health issues […]

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Think Again… The Power of Cognitive Therapy

By Jan Hittelman When we experience feelings like anger, depression, and anxiety in response to situations that we encounter, we typically assume that those feelings are the result of those situations. Furthermore, we blame those external events for our resulting mood. What most people don’t realize, however, is that there’s an intervening variable that actually […]

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Mentoring: The Power of One

 By Jan Hittelman In the counseling field there are numerous schools of thought regarding the most effective therapy techniques. While the specific strategies utilized are of great importance, the success of any therapeutic approach is primarily a function of the underlying relationship between client and therapist. More specifically, the client knowing that the therapist genuinely […]

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What’s on the Mind of Middle School Youth?

By Jan Hittelman We often assume that the pressures and risk factors that impact youth begin in high school. The truth is that they begin in middle school, when youth are typically 11 to 14 years of age. Boulder County Healthy Youth Alliance partners, a collaboration of local youth-serving agencies and groups, conducted “youth summits” […]

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The Between Years

By Jan Hittelman Most parents see adolescence as their greatest challenge. Until then, we assume we can comfortably rely on the parenting strategies that have worked in the past with our younger children. This faulty logic often leaves us unprepared for the challenges of the teenage years and results in our parenting approach being more […]

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Starting with a Good Assessment

By Jan Hittelman Last month’s column on teen depression highlighted the importance of a good initial assessment. Several readers questioned exactly what an assessment is, let alone a good one. You may be surprised to know that even within the mental health field there are a range of definitions regarding a psychological assessment. It is […]

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High Tech Rehab

 By Jan Hittelman An increasing concern for parents is the amount of time their children are spending recreationally on the computer and/or playing video games. The challenge for parents is determining what’s appropriate and how much is too much. As more people engage in high tech recreation, there are increasing concerns regarding the effects of […]

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The Magic of Mentoring

 By Dr. Jan Hittelman Adolescence is a turbulent time and as parents our high school and middle school children constantly challenge us. While we know it’s a time of experimentation, we want to keep our children safe from drugs, alcohol and other risk behaviors. Even though they may lack focus at times, we want our […]

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Adolescent Social Development

 By Dr. Jan Hittelman Social skills are tools that we use to interact with and understand others in our social environment. These skills are not innate, but are learned through our interpersonal experiences. Unlike “abilities”, which we are born with, “skills” can only be learned through practice. For example, some people are born with the […]

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Healthy Social Development

By Dr. Jan Hittelman Social skills are tools that we use to interact with and understand others in our social environment. These skills are not innate, but are learned through our interpersonal experiences. Unlike “abilities”, which we are born with, “skills” can only be learned through practice. For example, some people are born with the […]

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Technology’s Affect on Child Development

By Dr. Jan Hittelman In the fast-paced world of ever-evolving technology, it is difficult for parents to keep up. Children are spending more time in the virtual world resulting in less time for old-fashioned activities like having a face-to-face conversation, playing outside, or going for a bike ride. We have yet to see what impact […]

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