Posts Tagged ‘loss’

Divorce – A Child’s Perspective

Written by sharon on . Posted in Blog


Divorce is an incredibly complex issue for children and teens to understand. A critical factor when considering how children and adolescents might be impacted by separation or divorce is their egocentricity. What is meant by egocentricity is that children and teens look to themselves, almost always, as the cause of problems that arise in the family and this can provoke great stress and anxiety for them, especially in the case of divorce.
No matter how much you as a parent might try to assure your children that they are not the cause of the break up, none the less they tend to believe, consciously or unconsciously, that they are in some way the cause. They may contemplate thoughts like, ‘If I had been a better kid or a smarter kid, this wouldn’t have happened.” I once had a young adult client whose parents had separated several years earlier, right after a baseball game in which he played poorly. A part of him still felt his inadequacy at the game had somehow tipped the marriage, which ended, over the edge. Added to children’s thoughts of blame is usually the enduring hope that the family will come back together again. This hope may span many years. Assurances by parents that kids are not to blame and the reasons for the break up must be consistent and repeated over time as must the fact that the family has changed permanently. Children’s self blame can manifest in behaviors such as acting out, tantrums, bed wetting, sleeping issues and depression. For adolescents, drinking and the use of drugs or other substances are symptomatic of painful feelings they cannot tolerate because they lack the needed coping skills.
Sadness and loss are normal reactions for all of those in the family affected by divorce. However, if your child or adolescent is exhibiting behaviors that concern you, consider whether the help of a therapist might be appropriate—both for them and for yourself. Whether you’re contemplating separation or divorce, in the midst of one, or dealing with the aftermath, I encourage you to reach out for support. Don’t struggle through this difficult time alone.

Dealing with the Holiday Blues?

Written by sharon on . Posted in Blog, Therapy

As we move past Thanksgiving and into the December holiday season, you may be among the many folks who find these celebrations stressful and anxiety provoking. That’s right, despite all the hoop-la and decorations, for many people the emotional intensity of the holidays may seem overwhelming.

Perhaps one of the following sounds familiar:  Reminders of loss? Challenging family reunions? Fears of overeating?  Financial distress? Isolation and loneliness? If you know you’re prone to the holiday blues, take heart in knowing you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to help you feel more in control and transition through this challenging time.

Check List:

  • Socialize or volunteer through a church or community center where you can be with others. Not only will this help you feel more connected, helping others raises our own sense of purpose.
  • Exercise every day – either outdoors or at the gym. Working out is the best way to increase the natural endorphins that make us feel happier.
  • Teach yourself some meditative belly breathing to center yourself when anxiety arises.
  • Minimize your TV time and choose programs that are uplifting and make you laugh.
  • Enjoy holiday foods but make sure you eat plenty of greens and fruits as well.
  • Maximize self care – do things that make you feel good about yourself.
  • Remember your friendship and kindness are the most important gifts you can give to others.

The good news is that in allowing ourselves to feel and share difficult feelings, we can move through them and live a more authentic and meaningful life. This is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves.