Pathways to Success Flier

Pathways to Success Flier

Pathways winter spring 2018

PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS
WINTER SPRING 2018 SCHEDULE
january
Webinar: Relationships Across Cultures: The Challenges
and Benefits
Finding ways to engage in and cultivate relationships with
persons different from you in these politically polarizing
times.
When: Wednesday, January 17, Noon-1 p.m.
Where: From your home or office!
All you need is Internet access. To register:
BoulderPsychologicalServices.com/free-webinars
Presenters: Phillip Horner, LCSW &
Marcia Warren Edelman, LPCC
Finding Friendships in Adulthood
Develop deeper emotional intelligence, learn how to make
friends, and demonstrate compassion for yourself and others
When: Thursday, January 25, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library, 3 Community Park
Road, Broomfield
Presenters: Karen Eiffert, LCSW &, Phillip Horner, LCSW
Dealing With Your Middle Schooler’s Social Anxiety
Developmentally, social anxiety can often peak in middle
school. Discover effective strategies to help your adolescent
meet with social success.
When: Monday, January 29, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: George Reynolds Branch Library, 3595 Table Mesa
Drive, Boulder
Presenters: Caroline Roy, LCSW &
Guilherme Zavaschi, LPC
february
Valentines Day Webinar! From Room Mates to Soul
Mates: Enhancing Couples Relationships
Identify common obstacles and learn effective strategies to
enhance your relationship.
When: Wednesday, February 14, Noon-1 p.m.
Where: From your home or office!
All you need is Internet access. To register:
BoulderPsychologicalServices.com/free-webinars
Presenters: Brooks Witter, LPC & Kimberly Bryant, LPC
The Roots of Addiction and How to Uproot Them
Increase your understanding of why people use substances
and its impact on treatment success.
When: Thursday, February 22, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Louisville Library, 951 Spruce Street, Louisville
Presenters: Leah Kaplan, LPC & Guilherme Zavaschi, LPC
Motivating the Unmotivated
More than intelligence, motivation is key to success in
school and life. Find out how to help your child effectively
meet life’s challenges.
When: Wednesday, February 28, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Lyons Elementary School, 338 High Street, Lyons
Presenters: Caroline Roy, LCSW & Guilherme Zavaschi, LPC
march
Webinar: Yes, Your Teen IS Difficult!
Parenting teens is never easy. Learn effective strategies
when dealing with the most challenging of teen
issues.
When: Wednesday, March 7, Noon-1 p.m.
Where: From your home or office!
All you need is Internet access. To register:
BoulderPsychologicalServices.com/free-webinars
Presenters: Dan Fox, LPC, Karen Eiffert, LCSW, &
Kimberly Bryant, LPC
Help for Parents of Budding Screen Addicts
Learn about the latest research and effective strategies to
successfully parent around screen time.
When: Monday, March 12, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Horizons K-8 Charter School, 4545 Sioux Drive,
Boulder
Presenters: Leah Kaplan, LPC & Ryan Dawson, LPC
Learning Challenges and Academic Success
Develop ways to better understand your child’s learning
style and how to support their success.
When: Wednesday, March 20, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Lafayette Library, 775 Baseline Rd, Lafayette
Presenter: Charlie Wright, LSP
april
Webinar: A Frank Discussion about Depression,
Self-Harm, and Suicide Risk
Colorado has one of the highest suicide rates in the
country. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of
depression and what to do about it.
When: Wednesday, April 11, Noon-1 p.m.
Where: From your home or office!
All you need is Internet access. To register:
BoulderPsychologicalServices.com/free-webinars
Presenters: Kimberly Bryant, LPC, Phillip Horner, LCSW &
Faye Peterson, LPC
The Poison of Perfectionism
Understand the dynamics that fuel perfectionism, why
it’s unhealthy, and how to help you or someone you love
reduce the negative impacts.
When: Thursday, April 19, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Centennial Middle School, 2205 Norwood Avenue,
Boulder
Presenters: Leah Kaplan, LPC & Ryan Dawson, LPC
The Art of Aging
Discover a variety of ways to age well as you travel down
the path of life.
When: Wednesday, April 25th, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Where: Boulder Public Main Library, Boulder Creek Room,
1001 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder
Presenters: Guilherme Zavaschi, LPC &
Angelo Ciliberti, LPC

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Are We Having Fun Yet?

By: Dr. Jan Hittelman

Our priorities in life not only drive our day-to-day activities but also directly influence our life goals, thoughts, feelings, and interactions with others. For better or worse, our culture steers us towards achievement, prosperity, and material wealth. Who doesn’t want to live in a big house full of cool stuff? But sooner or later we come to realize that the old adage that money can’t buy happiness remains true. How would the quality of our lives change if we made experiencing joy and laughter a priority? The Mayo clinic reports that laughter not only feels good but also is good for your health. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, increases the release of endorphins, and improves your immune system. Laughter also stimulates circulation and enhances muscle relaxation, which reduces the symptoms of stress. Also, in addition to reducing depression, laughter can improve our ability to cope with challenges in life and relate better to others. When people are asked what they would do if they had only six months to live, most opt for doing fun things, not making more money and buying a bigger house. That’s a clue that for most of us, our priorities are out of whack. And while we likely have more than six months, our time is more precious than we realize and we would all be well-served by making joy, laughter, and fun a bigger priority in our lives.

This dynamic impacts family life as well. How much of our family time is joyous? Do we over-prioritize the small stuff like getting to bed on time, brushing teeth, and room cleaning instead? These things are important, but more important than experiencing joy and happiness as a family? Assuming we all just have six months to live, let’s make this, our last Spring Break holiday special. Let’s make our family’s joy, laughter, and happiness the priority this year. And if we are really lucky, maybe we will get to do it again next year, let alone throughout the year. Interestingly enough, if we did so we are also likely to see our achievement and prosperity increase as well. So get out there and have a few laughs and take a moment to appreciate the wonder of life and the joy of family.

Us and Them: Prejudice, Awareness and Understanding

By: Dr. Jan Hittelman

Whether we realize it or not, we are all prejudiced. That’s because our brains are wired to categorize and think in stereotypes based upon our experiences and perceptions. If we have limited experience interacting with individuals who are different than us in some way, we have to base our expectations on other information, like what we see in print and on television. That’s why the portrayal of various groups in the media is so important because it can shape our attitudes and biases. Similarly, we are all vulnerable to “Us and Them” thinking. That’s why we have gridlock in Washington, D.C. and ongoing international clashes throughout the world. Regardless of our ethnic, racial, or political views, most of us would agree that mutual understanding, respect, and world peace are important and admirable goals.

While Boulder is often viewed as a progressive, liberal bastion, the truth is that we have a long way to go in terms of our own understanding, respect, and perceptions of people who are different than us. Just ask a member of any minority group in our community about how they feel perceived by others when walking down the street or going into a store. Think about how most adult Caucasians might feel walking down an alley at night and coming upon a group African American teens. While we may not like to admit it to ourselves, all of us our vulnerable to prejudice and “Us and Them” thinking.

The solution starts with acknowledgement of the problem. Once we are aware of our prejudices we can change them by learning more truths about others to replace stereotypes, which are based on limited, distorted information. The best thing you can do for your children is to seek out diverse social opportunities for them so that they can have real experiences with folks that are different from them. Let’s shift from distrust, based on lack of knowledge and experience, to inclusion and acceptance. That way we all benefit.

Pet Loss: How to Help Your Child Cope with Grief

Pet Loss: How to Help Your Child Cope with Grief

By Jenny Key, LCSW

My earliest memories center on our lively, red-haired family member, Donovan. He was the star of our summer outings, ate too much birthday cake, and made holidays chaotic.  He was my constant companion and first adventure buddy.  I recall vividly, despite my young age of four, when I realized that Donavan was missing.  I walked into my mom’s room as she was making her bed and asked where Donovan had gone.  Like most moms, she struggled with how to tell her child the beloved family dog died.

Be Authentic

Coping with pet loss can be a difficult, yet cathartic time for families.  It is often a child’s first experience of death.  Parents struggle with if, when, and how to involve children in this process.  Instincts tell you to protect them from the pain of pet loss, while logic argues that they should understand that death is a part of life.  The grieving process is unique for each family member, but when approached with openness and patience, it provides an opportunity to become closer.

There are many factors to consider when helping children cope with pet loss.  First, remember that you are working through this together. As the parent, you are the guide and model, but it is okay to admit your own feelings of grief.  Parents often want to hide their sadness in order to keep from burdening children.  In most cases, being transparent with your emotions will give them permission to share theirs.  Be mindful that your son or daughter may react differently to pet loss than you do, or even than other children of similar age.

Age Considerations

Parents seek to understand age-appropriate ways to incorporate children in the illness and death process.  Although developmental stages are helpful, your gut will tell you how much they are ready to know.  Most children from the age of two will have a sense of grief that comes with pet loss. While they may not be able to comprehend death as a permanent state until after the age of seven, you should be transparent and truthful.

Most of you can recall a story like Donovan’s: mom panicked and said the pet went to live on a farm.  Children sense that this explanation is not plausible, which causes them confusion or perhaps more distress.  Because they are learning about the permanence of death, they wonder why a part of the family was taken away.  They also may link their actions to the pet’s removal from the house.  Reassure your children they were not the cause of the pet’s death.  For younger ages, provide enough information so they understand their friend was sick.  With older children, give more details as necessary.

Children often react in ways that seem idiosyncratic or inappropriate, but this is especially true for teens.  Some may act out or express anger in situations not directly related to the loss.  Parents want them to confront their feelings directly by talking about the death. If your child is not ready, offering patience with their emotional ups and downs will better serve them.   Refrain from having a timeframe for grief resolution.

Create a Memorial

Make your home an accepting environment for all respectful reactions to grief.  Some children may accept death readily, having no reaction.  For others, reactions may come at a later time.  Involving your children in a memorial can help them find peace.  Ask them to do something in memory of the pet, like make a collage together or pick out picture frames for a pet corner in your home.  Invite them to write a letter to your pet saying goodbye as a way of helping them express their feelings.

Finally, when your family has suffered a pet loss, allow for extra time together.  Going for a drive, taking a walk, or similar activities promote conversation naturally.  Respond to their thoughts with validation, seeking to know more. If they choose to be silent, soak up the extra moments with your family, feeling gratitude for the time shared.  A pet enters into your life for a few precious moments and teaches your children about unconditional love, but their lessons stay in your family’s heart forever.

 

 

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 also feel inherent. Despite how personal this anxiety is to you, the truth is that anxiety is surprisingly common. I witness anxiety symptoms in most people I encounter on a daily basis – clients, students, friends, and family – in the store, at the bank, even at a red light.  Anxiety is uncomfortable at best, and can become paralyzing and defeating.  And it is common…. so incredibly common.

You are at home, preparing to go to a dinner party with work colleagues. You don’t want to go, you dread it, you think of reasons not to go, fantasize about your favorite elastic-waisted pants and the flavor ice cream that would accompany the movie night you’d rather have. You finally surrender to going, but begin to notice tightness in your chest.  As you stare, hot and bothered, at your closet of ‘not quite right’ clothes, your neck begins to hurt and the pain causes even more fear. You snap at your partner, who gently reminds you that you need to get going. You ignore the texts from co-workers asking you if you’ve left your house yet. You can barely breath and you are frozen.  You are experiencing anxiety and it is profoundly challenging.

So, what are some common symptoms of anxiety? Below are eight typical symptoms of anxiety and a few ways to manage this persistent condition.

  1. You feel constantly worried, tense and on edge
  2. You are plagued by fears that you know are irrational but just can’t shake
  3. You avoid situations/activities because they cause you nervousness & stress
  4. You have difficulty thinking, speaking, and following conversations
  5. You experience pain, stiffness, tension, pressure, soreness, or immobility
  6. Your body temperature increases or decreases without external reason
  7. You feel chest tremors, pounding heart, and/or labored breathing
  8. You don’t feel like yourself, detached from loved ones, emotionally numb

Many common anxiety symptoms show up in your body. You may first experience a knot in your stomach, and then you realize you are totally freaked out about an upcoming presentation. You feel a rapid heartbeat and tightness in your chest and later notice that you are completely anxious to drive in snowy weather.  Your jaw is clenched and your breath is constricted just before you unleash the pent up worry and resulting irritability toward your child.  If you can begin to notice the signals from your body that suggest you are anxious, you may find opportunity to take pause, check in, and navigate what you need in the moment.

Here are a few body-oriented tips for how to deal with anxiety:

1.     Pause:

  1. Find pause through breath. Inhale. Exhale. Feel your belly rise and fall. Notice the air come in through your nostrils and exit out your lips.
  2. Find pause through your senses. Pause to notice what you see. What do you hear and smell? Can you feel your clothes against your body? Experience your feet in your shoes, on the floor. Can you taste the salt on your lips or the flavor from your most recent meal?
  3. Find pause through movement. Go for a walk. Put on your favorite song and dance. Shake it out. Stretch your arms wide. Spread your legs and feel your feet rooted into the earth. Put your hands on your heart or give yourself a massage.

2.    Check In:

  1. Notice what is happening with your breath, senses, movements
  2. Notice, without judgment, what thoughts and feelings you have
  3. Simply observe what is happening in your inner landscape
  4. Scan your body for tension, tightness, fear, irritability, disorientation

3.    Take care:

  1. Ask yourself what you need? Remind yourself (or have someone else remind you) that it is okay to have needs.
  2. If you are having trouble accessing what you need, take another pause, a longer pause, lie on the earth and feel it beneath you.
  3. If you are in need of support, ask for help – from a friend, a loved one or a professional.

Anxiety can negatively impact your quality of life – the way you show up for others and for yourself. Knowing the common symptoms of anxiety can help you recognize when you or a loved one is experiencing unease. When you realize you feel anxious, it can be so valuable to pause, check in and take care of yourself in the moment. Building a deeper understanding of the symptoms and an awareness of what is happening in your body can provide access to your available resources through breath, sensation and movement. When you have access to your internal resources, you can also appreciate more deeply when you need additional support and when you are able to navigate your internal terrain on your own. This self-awareness provides empowerment, freedom and a deeper sense of compassion for self and other. Most importantly, if you are experiencing significant anxiety, seek professional help. Psychotherapy can be very effective in providing relief from the debilitating symptoms of anxiety.