A Reflection for Alcohol Awareness Month by Jim Shackelford, PhD, LCP, LMFT, CADC
Recently, I spent two weeks enjoying both the men’s and women’s March Madness competitions. But it was different this year. During March Madness, I am usually on vacation in Florida and enjoy watching games at one of the local sports bars, enjoying seafood and sometimes a beer. However, COVID-19 has brought home a new reality: no large gatherings. Safety calls on us to show discretion and avoid big groups. So, I watched these games with family instead. And I enjoyed seafood of all varieties—shrimp, grouper, scallops, oysters, and calamari. Since I rarely drink, I did not miss my occasional beer. Overall, I found a way to have fun without a big group in a bar.
By John L. Cecilia, MSW, LCSW
Why would an article from Youth & Family Counseling (YFC) - an agency whose name implies a focus on children and families - discuss therapy for men? Isn't YFC concerned mostly with children's issues and the challenges that families face? The answer is yes, children and families are an important part of our work at YFC. And that is one significant reason why promoting therapy for men is so vital.
As weeks in isolation drag on, one thing is clear - the COVID-19 quarantine is taking a toll on our collective mental health. While some might find this time valuable for reflection and growth, almost all of us are experiencing increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression. And for those with pre-existing mental health conditions, the added uncertainity of COVID makes their stability even more fragile.
When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join in the chaos.” - L.R. Knost.
In a world turned upside down by the coronavirus, it’s crucial that we find ways to help our children feel safe. Sheila Ciesil, LCPC, a YFC therapist who specializes in child therapy, offers these tips for parents hoping to do just that:
First and foremost, regulate your own emotions. Children look to their parents for information about how to interpret ambiguous situations. If your children observe that you handle difficult emotions well, then it sends them a message that they can do so too.
Parenting these days is not for the faint of heart, particularly in light of the upheaval caused by COVID-19. If you’re looking for useful roadmap to better family connections,YFC therapist Marianny Arribas recommends the book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham. Read Marianny's review to learn why she describes this book as a practical guide to raising happy kids.
In her book entitled “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting,” Dr. Laura Markham describes a practical guide to raising “happy kids” based primarily on fostering connection rather than teaching new tricks and bribes to discipline a child.
COVID-19 is causing much stress and anxiety throughout our world, and you're not alone if you're feeling overwhelmed. But here's some reassuring news -- YFC will continue to offer help and support to those who need it during these uncertain times. As your community counseling agency, Youth & Family Counseling remains committed to our mission of opening doors to mental healthcare to all who need it, regardless of ability to pay.
We will continue support clients and provide treatment as best we can, and to maintain our high standards of care. Some points to share with you:
It seems wherever we turn these days, stories about the coronavirus are dominating the news cycle. Updates are ubiquitous, and the virus cacophony feels inescapable. No wonder our collective mental well-being is at risk. So how do we stay informed while protecting our mental health? Consider these tips:
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to a change in seasons. Although often referred to as the "winter blues," people can experience SAD any time of the year, though it is most often seen during the colder months, when we lose an hour of sunlight due to daylight savings.
What causes SAD? According to Mental Health America, transitioning from bright, sunny days to bleak winter ones can cause a drop in our body's natural production of serotonin, melatonin and Vitamin D. This disruption can lead to SAD symptoms such as lethargy, social withdrawal, depression, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. Less commonly, SAD can also be triggered by environmental changes, such as shifting from a first to a third workshift.
Just before Thanksgiving last year, Youth & Family Counseling (YFC) hit an important milestone. For the first time in our 57-year history, we delivered more than 10,000 counseling sessions! Since 2015, we have grown by 67% in our capacity to serve the children, teens, adults, couples and families of Lake County. But this accomplishment didn’t happen by accident.