September 16th, 2015

 

I was talking to a parent who has a teen that plays video games a majority of his day and his statement was that we do not know the long term impact of video games on children. The reality is we do know the long term impact of video games and violent video games on youth.

We know that youth that are playing video games more than one hour per day have social and interpersonal communication challenges.

Research shows huge increases in aggressive behavior from playing video games that are violent.

Tv Research over the past fifty years supports the above mentioned.

Medical research states that youth that play video games more than one hour have challenges with : sleep, insomnia, anxiety disorders, depression and more.

Research shows teens that are playing more than one hour of video games per day show poor performances in academics.

Research shows that teens that are playing video games more than one hour per day are not spending enough time exercises and the risk of diabetes and health issues increases significantly.

Scientists have known for years that playing violent video games causes players to become more aggressive. The findings of a new study provide one explanation for why this occurs: the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression.

Teens show an increase in lack of empathy and are desensitized by habitual use of video games. Many video games push and promote imagery that is marketing tobacco use to youth as young as 6.

Spending too much time within the virtual world of violence may prevent teens from getting involved in different positive social experiences in real life, and in developing a positive sense of what is right and wrong.

Research on Video game and TV watching over the past few decades show that their is a correlation between the time playing video games and watching TV and aggression. Thousands of research study show that the more TV viewing and the more video game the more aggression displayed. Eliminating video games and smart phone games and TV is almost impossible however , setting limits each day on electronic is essential to your child’s success. Children and teens need time to develop: social skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, conflict resolution, listening skills, problem solving skills, mood and stress management skills, physical exercise and more. It is clear that their is an imbalance in healthy activities for youth in America.

Diabetes and obesity are sky rocketing. Mood disorders are on the rise. Anxiety, depression, and substance dependence are on the rise. Social skills are on the decline. Insomnia is on the rise. Violence and aggression in youth and conduct disorders are on the rise.

Most parents view video games as” entertainment.” their content is not taken as seriously as that of the passive act of watching TV. After all, most adults today grew up playing pong, pac man, asteroids, space invaders, or defender. Nevertheless, what many parents might not realize is that the challenge for many players today is to rack up points by killing prostitutes after having sex with them. Video games have not only become more violent, the characters have become more real, and the effects that they are having on society, specifically women is shocking. Video games have engaged the “once spectator” to actively participate in addictive violence. Recent studies have undoubtedly concluded that the violence and negative reinforcements in video games have not only successfully promoted violence against women by desensitization, but they have also increased aggressive behavior in children and teenagers to a level that has devastated the lives of many.

Many people are shocked to discover that the video game industry is larger than the film industry. The Interactive Digital Software Association reported that video games are “the fastest growing entertainment industry in America, surpassing books, records and movie box offices combined” (Berger 2002).The video game industry projected sales for 2015 will be  128 Billion dollars annually .In 1997 the video and computer game industry generated 16 Billion dollars in economic activity, this does not include computer and video game hardware sales. In the year 2000 it became a 20 billion dollar industry and is still growing considerably (Berger, 2002). IDSA also reported at the time sixty five percent of all Americans age six and older, or about 145 million people, play computer and video games (Berger 2002). The video game industry has increased exponentially since 2002. It is stated that video games, many times is the initial experience that children have with the computer/ technology world. So, if boys tend to be the primary target of the industry, which, they are, what effect does it have on girls. In 2014 the video game industry generated over 103 Billion dollars in one year.

If a child’s interest begins with games. most common computer games involve violence and aggressive themes have the effect of turning girls away from the computers in general. This is one way of keeping women out of power. After all, these are male dominated industries. Since computer literacy is essential in most jobs, people who are exposed to computers earlier in life have an obvious advantage. The boys who outnumber the girls in gaming, will be the men who out-number the women in the business world. This may lead to the girls becoming less interested in the world of computers as a career. Girls are not the only ones who are not enamored with video games. Parents are unaware of the violence that is being reinforced hundreds of thousands of times in their child’s brain.

Teenagers report that 95 percent of the time their parents do not check the ratings or the content of video games being purchased. Ninety percent of parents do not set limits on how much time their child can play video games.

We have seen an alarming increase in violence and school shooting. Shootings at Paucah, Kentucky, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Littleton, Colorado were all cases where the shooters were students who habitually played violent video games. The bloody game Doom was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s favorite game ( they wounded 23 and killed 13). Two studies examined violent video games effect on aggression related variables. The first study found that real-live violent video games are positively related to aggressive behavior and delinquency. the second study showed lab exposure to a violent video game increased aggressive thoughts and and behaviors. The results are in line with the General Affective Aggression Model, which predicts that exposure to violent video games will increase aggressive behavior in both the short term and the long term ( Calvert, Jordan, Cocking 2000)

A study of about 329 children and media violence was done over a 21 year period by L. Rowell Huesmann at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Girls and boys participated. This was one of the few studies that followed children into adulthood, which enabled researchers to gauge the long term effects of televised violence. Men in the top twenty percent on childhood exposure to violence were twice as likely as adults to have pushed, grabbed or shoved their wives. The women who scored in the 20 percent were twice as likely to throw something at their husbands. the study concluded that both girls and boys exposed to a lot of televison violence have a greater risk of spousal abuse and criminal offenses, no matter what they were like as children( Ritter, M., 2003). This study was based specifically on violence, however, most video games today are also including very graphic sexually violent images, which are destroying women and the morality of society as a whole.

The effects of viewing sexually violent images was researched and discussed by Ed Donnerstein, Dean and Professor of Communications at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  In his study, young adults ages 18-20 were shown a one hour documentary on battered women. After watching the film, the viewers showed less empathy toward the victims. They lowered their evaluation on the level of injury that the women received. They also under estimated the level of pain that must have been experienced. Both men and women were more likely to display indifference toward the victims. many blamed the rape on the ladies and believed that the women brought it to themselves. It is clear that watching these images are negative, however, the video game industry uses reinforcement tactics to hook children, teens, and adults making the game, not just interactive but addictive. Violence in America and against women has increased since the rise of video games across the country. These games are highly addictive and use many psychological reinforcement principles to hook children to wanting to continue to play. Many youth are playing video games 40 hours a week.

Violence was declared the number one health problem for women in 1992, sadly, recent studies have concluded that the problem is not decreasing ( Violence, Women, and  the Media, 2000). For example , consider the following statistics: the single major cause of injury to American women is domestic violence, exceeding gang violence, muggings, murders, and accidents ( The Commonwealth Fund, 1993). In the US, one women is raped every two minutes (National Crime Victimization survey, 1996). One in every seven women has been raped in her life time (Daily News, November 18,1998). Also, In America a woman is physically abused every nine seconds ( The Commonwealth Fund, July 1993). In emergency rooms more than one third of American women have suffered physical or sexual abuse ( Sternberg S. 1999) And a staggering thirty percent of women murdered in the US are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends ( national Crime Victimization Survey,1996). Researchers have found that the way the media depicts women influences how women are viewed and treated in society( Violence, Women, and the Media, 2000). For example, many video games are very degrading and often depict women as victims of violence. Also many video games also portray women as sex objects.

In the year 2000 half of the top selling video games contained negative images about girls according to (Children, Now 2000). For example unrealistic body images, high pitched voices,fainting, violence, and provocative sexuality is promoted.

Twenty eight percent of games in a study show women as inferior and powerless. In games like Grand Theft Auto boys are taught women can be treated brutally and this is reinforced in the video game.

Players of Grand Theft Auto get rewarded if they kick and kill the prostitute to death after they have sex with her. Sounds shocking, but it is true and is one of the most popular video games among children and teenagers in the US. After playing for 4-8 hours a day, these acts of violence begin to seem normal.

In the recent shooting at UCSB the 22 year old male stated many phrases in his you tube video regarding slaughtering women and others. He also stated that video games were a way for him to avoid: rejection, loneliness, humiliation, depression, and pain from not having a girlfriend and not having what he wanted sexually and in  relationships. The UCSB shooter mimicked many specific phrases from the video game World Of War Craft relating to specific violence and rage. The UCSB shooter also played: Diablo, and Halo as well as many other video games.

Anders Breivik, the right-wing extremist who has confessed to killing 77 people during a murder spree in Norway last summer, played the violent computer game World of Warcraft nearly seven hours a day for several consecutive months before his attack, prosecutors say.

Breivik, 33, already known to have a long history with the online role-playing game, was particularly absorbed by it between November 2010 and February 2011, when he played for an average of 6 hours and 50 minutes per day, according to prosecutors.

Two decades of research had shown that repeated exposure to violence blunts emotional reactions and makes people less likely to help others in need ( Levine, 1996). Perfectly normal people no longer recognize violence because it is so prevalent in the media. People grow numb to violence with repeated exposure via media. People become less responsive to human pain and begin to lose awareness of what it means to be human.

Before the Vietnam War, fewer than 20 percent of soldiers on the front lines would actually fire at the enemy, however, with games such as Doom used as conditioning tools for the soldiers, the US military kill rate increased to (0 percent in Vietnam. With video games, our military scientifically overcame the soldier’s innate resistance to killing ( game Over, 2000) Violent video games are the mental equivalent of putting an assault rifle in the hands of every American child. By sitting mindlessly, killing countless thousands of fellow members of their own species without any ramifications or repercussions, operant conditioning concepts transfer immediately when the individual gets a real weapon in their hand and are being taught violence. The recent school shootings in 2008 and 2007 serve as an example of a link between video games and heightened aggressive behaviors.

For the video game child/ teenager or gamer, beating a previous high score, or winning a free game, or having sex with a prostitute is all part of Skinnerian reinforcement. behavior that is followed by reinforcement will increase in frequency. In short, video games that make a child or teen or adult feel good will be played again and again. A partial reinforcement schedule will lead to behavior that occurs more often with and is more resilient to extinction than does a continuous reinforcement schedule. These two effects of partial reinforcement produce what is considered addictive behavior. These irregular schedules of reinforcement are in part, what cause these video games to be so exciting and desirable. Tis kind of reinforcement, which causes addictive behaviors can explain why their is an increase in the video game industry as a whole.

The AMA states that anywhere in the world where TV appears, 15 years later the murder rate doubles. Ten thousand murders per year, 70,000 rapes, and 700,000 assaults. We must consider the impact of violent video games on the minds and behaviors of our society. The evidence is clear violence breeds more violence in the majority of situations.

Many children are having challenges sleeping at night and have great anxiety. The children report that their nightmares are specific to the video games they are playing. Research shows a lack of sleep impacts: mood, anger, depression, and behavior as well as performance.

The 128 Billion dollar Video game industry must be taken seriously. It must start with education and healthy parenting. It must come with boundaries and limitations. It must come with healthy communication and listening to children and teenagers. It must come from healthy role modeling from parents. The video game industry is no different than access to violence on TV or on the internet. Violence and abuse physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually is not ok!

There are 100’s of violent video games out there one is: Call of Duty Black Ops:This gritty, extremely violent military first-person shooter (pictured above) involves constant killing using realistic weapons, with blood and gore pouring across the screen during more intense scenes. Cinematic sequences can be even more dramatic and graphic, with soldiers and civilians alike dying in horrible ways, including graphic melee kills, people burning to death, civilians killed in crossfire, torture, and a shipping container filled with rotting corpses. In one scene, the player steps into the shoes of a villain and goes on a murderous rampage against soldiers, the screen turning red with blood rage as he takes damage. This M-rated game also has frequent profanity, some sexual themes, and drug use.

Do you want your child assaulting woman? Killing prostitutes? Raping people? This is what is going on in many video games above and beyond brutal violence.

Do we really want our children actively involved and engaged in violent games daily; the same type of games that the US military uses to increase kill rates at war? Garbage in garbage out. We must find healthy activities that create health and balance for our youth and violent video games is not the solution.

 

 

 

 

 

teen counseling social media: anxiety, depression, insomnia

September 15th, 2015

Teens may face a higher risk for depression, insomnia, and anxiety, new research suggests. A British study was done with over 450 teenagers in relation to social media use.

The research states that the more teens engaged with social media and the more they were emotionally invested in site participation, the greater the risk for impaired sleep, poor self-esteem, depression and/or anxiety.

Numerous research studies show that use of social media, electronics, video games, and TV before sleep and for extended periods of time have a negative impact on quality of sleep. Insomnia is connected with computer use and tv use as well as video games in teens as well as adults.

We know that too much of anything is not healthy. Too much social media, TV, Video games is connected with: poor sleep, poor moods, aggression, anxiety, and depression going back ten years as well as studies on TV going back 40 plus years.

 

Poor psychological functioning is tied to using social media more than 1.5 hours per day. Many studies link a correlation to depression, anxiety, poor self esteem, body image issues, and more. Insomnia issues has scientifically been connected to excess social media use as well as excess electronic use before bed time.

 

The key is finding a balance in everything in life. Too much of anything is unhealthy. If one is a workaholic they may excel at work however, family and friends may suffer. If a teen is on social media more than 1.5 hours a day they may suffer from poor academics, limited social skills, lack of exercise( physical Health), limited family communication and healthy family relationships.

 

Over three fourth of all adults online use a social networking site, social media has dramatically impacted the world in both positive and negative ways. It has left many people to wonder how and if social media can mentally affect people. Interactions with people have become very impersonal.

Cyber-bullying is a great example of how social media communication differs from face-to-face conversations. A girlfriend’s alleged friend got together with her ex boyfriend and is able to post items that attack or victimize their friend and it is not done face to face. Research suggest that it takes place in a more extreme way over social media because the writers feel no accountability and are detached sitting in their room or on their smart phone etc.

In recent years, there have been several instances where teens and adults have committed suicide because of being bullied over social media.

 

Many teens would not engage in bullying activity if they were face- to-face because of the consequences if they were caught in person by authority at home or at school or by police.

Socials skills are eroding and children and teens that can type via technology do not have the confidence or verbal skills to apply for a job, interview for a summer job, meet new friends, join new organizations because they are holed up in their room with an inanimate electronic device that does not help them with social skills or interpersonal interactions. Children and teens avoid face to face communication and electronics is a big wall they can hide behind if parent’s do not set firm boundaries.

Children are sexting and do not realize that they can go to jail and it is against the law to forward indecent photos of peers . Many yourth have been charged with child pornography and other offenses.

There’s no doubt that when social media is used in place of real connections, that it can mentally cause : depression, anxiety, boredom etc.

Many people are talking about an addiction to social media and that people have become dependent on it. It has brought on anxiety and has made some people feel nervous or worried when they can’t access it.

There is a correlation between social media use and a decrease in the quality of life. People need physical interactions and cyber interactions do not fill that void. Spending two hours interacting on social media is much different than two hours face to face.

 

There are benefits to social media and being able to connect and share information however there are risks re: privacy as well as addictive issues that can come with technology use.

The key is finding a balance in using technology, social media, electronics, video games, twitter, facebook etc.

 

Parents can make sure their are strict limits on: social media, TV, Video Games, etc. Parents can mandate no electronic times and can make sure the family discuss it’s day at dinner and at meals. Parents can schedule one on one time with each child and spend quality time listening to children’s thoughts and feelings on  a regular basis.

Parents can role model healthy behaviors for their children. Parents can bring their children to the gym to work out. Parents can take their children on hikes especially when the weather cools down. Parent’s can sign youth up for: Boy Scout’s, Brownies, Yoga classes, karate, and a variety of activities that will get the child out of the home and off their devices. There are many groups children can get involved in that do not involve electronics and will allow your child to develop social skills.

 

Parents can teach: empathy, team work, active listening, understanding others point of view, problem solving, conflict resolution, boundaries, negotiating skills, starting a conversation, manners, introductions of self and others, giving compliments, apologizing , being able to express thoughts and feelings in healthy ways, understanding others thoughts and feelings.

 

 

Over three fourth of all adults online use a social networking site, social media has dramatically impacted the world in both positive and negative ways. It has left many people to wonder how and if social media can mentally affect people. Interactions with people have become very impersonal.

 

Cyber-bullying is a great example of how social media communication differs from face-to-face conversations. A girlfriend’s alleged friend got together with her ex boyfriend and is able to post items that attack or victimize their friend and it is not done face to face. Research suggest that it takes place in a more extreme way over social media because the writers feel no accountability and are detached sitting in their room or on their smart phone etc.

 

In recent years, there have been several instances where teens and adults have committed suicide because of being bullied over social media.

 

Many teens would not engage in bullying activity if they were face- to-face because of the consequences if they were caught in person by authority at home or at school or by police.

Socials skills are eroding and children and teens that can type via technology do not have the confidence or verbal skills to apply for a job, interview for a summer job, meet new friends, join new organizations because they are holed up in their room with an inanimate electronic device that does not help them with social skills or interpersonal interactions. Children and teens avoid face to face communication and electronics is a big wall they can hide behind if parent’s do not set firm boundaries.

 

Children are sexting and do not realize that they can go to jail and it is against the law to forward indecent photos of peers . Many youth have been charged with child pornography and other offenses.

 

There’s no doubt that when social media is used in place of real connections, that it can mentally cause : depression, anxiety, boredom etc.

 

Many people are talking about an addiction to social media and that people have become dependent on it. It has brought on anxiety and has made some people feel nervous or worried when they can’t access it.

 

There is a correlation between social media use and a decrease in the quality of life. People need physical interactions and cyber interactions do not fill that void. Spending two hours interacting on social media is much different than two hours face to face.

There are benefits to social media and being able to connect and share information however there are risks re: privacy as well as addictive issues that can come with technology use.

The key is finding a balance in using technology, social media, electronics, video games, twitter, facebook etc.

 

Finding balance with your child means: healthy diets, adequate sleep, daily exercise, reading daily, doing homework and studying, spending time with family, helping family, doing altruistic deeds, using the creative mind and more.

medication child? Counseling Phoenix

September 14th, 2015
There are many side effects to a child=
‘s developing brain however millions of children are being medicated.

The medications mentioned  below are not FDA approve=
d for children however have been prescribed to them for over twenty five yea=
rs . 
These medications are only tested for 6-=
8 weeks on average however children are on them for decades if not a life ti=
me .
Many children have physiological withdrawal of=
taken off the medications and many are given a cocktail of medications maki=
ng it harder to get off them .
The list of horrendo=
us side effects on a child is eye opening if not shocking . Some report more=
suicidal thoughts and behaviors .
The article belo=
w states that meditation and exercise and omega 3 has had positive results c=
ompared to these meds.
 

Increasing Use of Anti=
psychotic Medications

Mark Olfson and colleagues have been monitoring the use of a=
ntipsychotic medications for the treatment of children over many years.&nbsp=
; Since the mid-1990s antipsychotic medications have been increasingly presc=
ribed for children, adolescents, and adults (Correll & Blader, 2015; Lit=
trell, 2015).  In the most recent report, Olfson, King, and Schoenbaum (=
2015) find a small reduction in the use of antipsychotics for younger childr=
en from 2006 to 2010, but an increase in use for older children from 2006 to=
2008.  According to the report, =E2=80=9CThe percentages of young peop=
le using antipsychotics in 2006 and 2010, respectively, were 0.14% and 0.11%=
for younger children, 0.85% and 0.80% for older children, 1.10% and 1.19% f=
or adolescents, and 0.69% and 0.84% for young adults.=E2=80=9D (p.867.)

Antipsychotics Are Primarily Used for Behavioral Con=
trol in Young Children

In an editorial discussing the Olfson et al. publication, Correll a=
nd Blader (2015) indicated that antipsychotic drugs have received FDA approv=
al for only schizophrenia, bipolar mania, irritability associated with autis=
m, and Tourette syndrome in children.  Correll and Blader noted that mo=
st of the prescriptions of antipsychotics for children reported by Olfson et=
al. were for conditions which had not been approved by the FDA (called off-=
label use).  Olfson et al. reported that for younger children those rec=
eiving antipsychotic medications most often carried a diagnosis of ADHD with=
aggression and/or disruptive behavior disorders.  For adolescents, mos=
t carried a diagnosis of depression.  Less than 25% of the children bei=
ng treated with antipsychotics were receiving any type of talk therapy or fa=
mily instructions on behavioral control.

Horrend=
ous Side Effects of Antipsychotic Medications

Antipsychotic drugs all share the property o=
f blocking dopamine receptors.  They have very significant side effects=
.  Their use has been questioned for even the conditions for which they=
were initially designed to treat (see below).

Antipsychotic drugs, particularly the secon=
d generation antipsychotics such as risperidone, olanzapine, Seroquel cause w=
eight gain that does not plateau.  They induce diabetes and increase fa=
ts in the blood such that risk of heart disease is greatly increased.  C=
hildren are much more sensitive to these effects (Correll & Blader, 2015=
)
Antipsycho=
tics induce breast development in boys (references in Chapter 6 of Littrell)=
Antipsychot=
ics induce hormonal changes associated with osteoporosis (decreased bone str=
ength) (references in Chapter 6 of Littrell)
Some second generation antipsychotics induc=
e cardiac arrhythmias that are associated with risk of sudden death (referen=
ces in Chapter 6 of Littrell)
Antipsychotics induce the expression of more dopamine rece=
ptors to which dopamine will bind more avidly such that after removal reboun=
d psychosis might ensue (Grace, 2012; Seeman et al., 2005)
Antipsychotics induce dystoni=
a or involuntary movement disorders which can make walking and locomotion al=
most impossible; dystonia occurs immediately upon antipsychotic initiation i=
n about 15.7% of persons (Ballerini, Bellin, Niccolai, Pieroni, Ferrara, 200=
2); antipsychotics also can induce a second type of motor problem which is s=
imilar to the motor problems seen in those with Parkinson=E2=80=99s disease,=
although second generation antipsychotics are less likely to induce these e=
ffects (See Chapter 6 in Littrell, 2015)
Antipsychotics have been shown in primates to r=
educe the volume of the brain by significant amounts (Dorph-Petersen et al.,=
2005; Konopaske et al., 2007).  Brain volume reduction has also been s=
hown in people as well (Fusar-Poli et al., 2013; Ho, Andreasen, Ziebell, Pie=
rson, & Magnotta, 2011).  In terms of mechanism through which antip=
sychotics might reduce brain volume, recent research suggests that these dru=
gs induce activation of white blood cells in the cortex (Cotel et al., 2015)=
.

Concurrent Use of Antipsychotics with Ot=
her Medications

According to the Olfson et al. (2015) report, many children prescribed an=
tipsychotic medications were concurrently prescribed other classes of medica=
tion in addition to their antipsychotics.  For small children, 58.7% we=
re also receiving stimulants; for older children 68.7% were receiving concur=
rent stimulants; for older adolescents, 59.1% were receiving concurrent anti=
depressants.  Poly-pharmacy is alarming because drugs are evaluated for=
safety individually.  Little information is available regarding the sa=
fety of various drug combinations.

Not only is poly-pharmacy an adventure into the land o=
f the unknown with regard to safety, but knowledge regarding the mechanism o=
f action of various drugs introduces wonderment over the rationale for the c=
ombinations being used in the treatment of children.   The current comb=
inations of drugs being used to treat children are totally irrational. &nbsp=
; Stimulants increase the release of dopamine, while antipsychotics block do=
pamine receptors that will receive the dopamine or serotonin message.  T=
he purported mechanism of action of antidepressants is increasing the availa=
bility of serotonin, which will be countered by the action of the atypical a=
ntipsychotic, which block serotonin receptor (Loy et al., 2012).  Again=
, it makes no sense to increase a neurotransmitter and then block its action=
.

Rather than=
having a theoretical basis for the use of antipsychotics, the current use o=
f antipsychotics is based on the limited findings from 8 studies that they d=
ecrease aggressive behavior.  The Cochrane Review (Loy et al., 2012) co=
ncluded that

=E2=80=9CThere was some evidence of limited efficacy of risperi=
done in reducing aggression and conduct problems in children and youths (age=
d 5 to 18 years) with disruptive behavior disorders in the short term (four t=
o 10 weeks) from a small number of studies in which there was some risk of b=
ias of overestimating the true intervention effect=E2=80=9D (p. 19.)

Irony that Antipsychotics Are Being Questioned for Use=
in Those Who Have Psychosis

Antipsychotics are able to significantly reduce auditory hal=
lucinations in those with psychosis.  However, even for those with psyc=
hosis, antipsychotic use is being questioned.  Long term studies find t=
hat those who are not medicated have better long term functional recovery (e=
mployment and social relationships) than those who are medicated (Harrow, Jo=
be, & Faull, 2012; Wunderink et al., 2013, see discussion in Chapter 6 o=
f Littrell, 2015).  It=E2=80=99s ironic that while antipsychotics are b=
eing questioned for the population for which they were initially named, they=
are being extended for use in new populations.

Alternatives to Antipsychotics for the Treatment of Aggression/Disruptive B=
ehavior in Children

Physicians may feel compelled to prescribe because they are motivated=
to decrease the distress in families who are raising difficult children. Ho=
wever, alternatives to antipsychotics, without the horrendous side-effects, a=
re available.  Omega-3s have been shown to improve aggressive behavior i=
n children (Raine, Portnoy, Liu, Mahoomed, & Hibbein, 2015).  With r=
egard to the older children treated for depression with antipsychotics, omeg=
a-3s, exercise, and meditation all ameliorate depression (see Chapter 4 in L=
ittrell, 2015).

Perhaps, today=E2=80=99s physicians need to remember the admonition: =E2=80=
=9CFirst, do no harm=E2=80=9D?

David@LifeWorksAz.com

David Abrams 

=

MAPC, LPC ,CAGS
602-575-4030
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE
The information=
transmitted is intended solely for the individual or entity to which it is a=
ddressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged medical information.=
Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of or taking action i=
n reliance upon this information by persons or entities other than the inten=
ded recipient is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in err=
or please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.

=

Teen Sports Mental Training Phoenix AZ

September 11th, 2015

 

 

The number one Tennis in player in the world discussed his mental training for why he is the number one tennis player in the world. Novak Djokovic has won 8 Grand Slam Championships. Djokovic states he was not born a champion. The tennis star states: exercise, diet, yoga, meditation, visualization, and the law of attraction. Novak believes in positive thinking and imagery to create success in his life in a NY Times article from Sept 11, 2015. He states the most important element that contributed to his success is his attitude. His mental attitude was attributed for his tennis greatness!!!

Sports performance and mental errors plagued Arizona State this weekend against Texas AM in Houston Texas. Coach Todd Graham looked angry and incredulous when his team failed to make standard tackles that caused the Devils 14 plus points. The team dropped many passes that most 10 year olds would catch. The team fumbled the ball five times. Texas AM did have a solid pass rush however their were at least 20 mental errors that sabotaged Arizona State football.

Jordan Spieth winner of he Masters and US open stated that mental weakness impacted him and he missed the PGA Deutsche Bank cut. Spieth stated “ normally my mental game is a strength of mine and it is something I feel like I have an advantage over other players on. “These past two weeks it was a weakness for me.”

Your body is relaxed and you do not feel tight or have tension. You are mentally focused. You are in the moment( not thinking about the score, your last shot, you are empty without thought). You are enjoying the experience and not thinking about results.

I was listening to Sports radio and Jordan Bachynski Arizona States seven foot two basketball center was being interviewed after a close win over Utah on 1-23-2014. The team played better on defense and offense with many players contributing to the win.

Jordan spoke to radio personalities  Gambo and Ash about his game and discussed using a sports mental training expert. Jordan stated he shot thousands of free throws in the summer however his free throw percentage did not improve. He further stated he is using visualization and sports mental training techniques that are helping him improve his shooting percentage.

There is decades of  evidence research showing sports mental training is as essential if not more important in elite performance in sports. Jordan shared a story about a man who was a prisoner of war for years who practiced his golf game in his head and upon release after not touching a club for years had his best performance. What does this tell you?

 

 

Here are a few tips in sports mental training that can help a child, teen, or college or pro player:

 

Here are tips to help you build new motivation, confidence and major breakthroughs in your sport, exercise, and performance.

When your are exercising, use your positive mental images called imagery and visualization throughout your workout to create feelings of speed and power. Use visualization before, during and after your training to build confidence and new motivation. Imagery and visualization will rewire your brain so performance is smooth and natural. Seeing a video of your performance in the first person from warming up till you win or complete your goals.

 

Make positive self-statements continually. Negative thinking is common; everyone has an inner critic. Become aware of these thoughts early on. Don’t fight with them; simply acknowledge their presence, and then substitute positive power words. When you’re thinking: “This is painful, I want to stop”; say to yourself: “This feeling is helping me improve and get healthier or stronger.

 

“Be mindful.Practice being in the present moment. Remind yourself to stay in the here and now. Instead of replaying past mistakes, or stressing about the future, let past and future events fade into the background. Be right on, right here, right now. Do not think of your past errors, do not focus on the score, do not focus on poor referee calls. Stay in the moment and breath and focus on your breath and staying focused yet relaxed so your performance will be at it’s peak.

Pay close attention to your tension level and training form. Do a body scan while working out and relax your tight muscles frequently. Ask yourself: “Are my neck, arms, shoulders , head, relaxed; how does this pace feel; how much energy is left in my legs?”

 

If you have “good pain,” the pain of effort, that is not seriously damaging your body, just shift attention to your breathing or cadence of movement, and let the discomfort fade into the background. You can also use the pain as feedback. Register it not as pain but as effort level. Say: “Now I know exactly how hard I’m working. I know how this pace feels. My body is doing what it should be doing.”

Look only at what you need to do right now; your final time, place, team work, rebounding, breathing, relaxing, the score will take care of itself.

 

Be aware of distractions. Breathe out unwanted thoughts with your next exhale and re-focus your attention instantly on what is important right now, at this moment.

 

Diaphramatic breathing is vital throughout your performance. If you are not breathing deeply than your performance will be impacted in a negative way.

Enjoy and appreciate your fitness and strength. When you exercise, relax and let your body do what you’ve trained it to do. Remember that your goals are realistic. All you need to do is perform up to your capabilities. Be thankful and grateful that you are active and enjoying exercise and you will improve with time. Be patient and practice the mental piece and you will see great improvements.

 

Sports mental coaching NFL Aaron Rodgers Greenbay packers.

 

Aaron Rodgers is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL . He threw for four touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals and recovered a fumble during a scoring drive that gave the Packers a 14 point lead in the second quarter .

His passion for the game showed and his mental toughness when he dove for a ball in a pile of players . He mixed it up in the midst of a violent fight for the ball,

Rodgers stated he visualized himself mentally recovering the football in his mind and sure enough it happened in the game .

 

NBA PLAYER on Sports Psychology and sports mental training and coaching.

 

Kendall Marshall was the 13th draft pick in the 2012 draft. The Suns roster is loaded with guards. On Oct 31, 2013 the Suns have a deadline to exercise their option on rookie salary contracts and the first two years are guaranteed for all rookies in the NBA. Kendall Marshall is shooting thirty seven percent overall from the field and thirty one percent from three point range.

 

Marshall states he has done a lot of work on improving his shooting and athleticism in the off season. He states ” a lot of this game is mental for me-just having the confidence to go out there and know that I am good enough to help my team win. “I think that’s half of where my shot was, the other half was just putting in the work, constantly being on the court, putting up shots and building that confidence.”

 

Coach Jeff Hornacek states he spoke to Marshall about the arc of his shot and getting it up higher.” Marshall states his shot will not change overnight, however, research shows that working on the mental piece is just as important as the physical piece if not more important. Change can happen by using sports mental training techniques daily to improve: shooting, arc, form, and performance. The mind body connection is huge and we must get both aligned so we can perform at our peak performance level.

 

Sports mental training will prime the mind with the body. It creates a pathway connecting mind and body. It is a dress rehearsal for the big game. As the mind and body become fused their is flow. The mind and body begin to work together in a productive manner. Athletes can learn to relax and control anxiety. Sports participants can learn to build confidence that flows into their performance. Improve concentration and focus. Manage unhealthy thoughts that are impacting your performance in games.

 

Sports mental training is the science of success. Studies show that within a group of athletes of equal ability physically, those who receive mental training outperform those that do not receive sports mental training almost every time. Sports mental skills just like physical skills need daily practice.

 

Arizona Cardinals Sports Mental Training

 

 

The Arizona Cardinals signed Chandler Catanzaro as their kicker and his rise to fame can be attributed to sports mental training and psychology and a desire to learnvia one of the best NFL kickers of all time Morten Anderson. Catanzaro was searching for help after his freshman year at Clemson and Sports mental training elevated his self esteem, techniques, and above all performance according to Catanzaro.

 

After working with Anderson for a few years he not only won a scholarship at Clemson but finished the Clemson program as the all time leading scorer with 404 points!

Anderson used his experience and incorporated sports psychology and mental training to Catanzaro’s daily routine. It included: visualization skills, positive reinforcement skills, and a workout program. He practiced visualization and imagery skills that envisioned himself running onto the field being engaged on the sidelines and thinking about kicking the gain winning field goal. Anderson states with enough repetition mentally he would reach kicker nirvana.

Anderson states an important sports psychology concept which is focus on what you can control. You can not control the wind, the surface of the field, the score. Simply have faith in your mental and physical training and trust yourself and be relaxed yet focused and do your thing.

Catanzaro was 2 for 2 in the Cardinals Monday night win over the San-Diego Chargers.

 

 

 

The mental piece of sports is as big if not bigger than the physical and athletic piece according to research. Creating a positive attitude and a glass half full mentality is vital toward peak performance.  Athletes must view their sport and performance as an opportunity to grow and compete against one’s self. Sports athletes must learn from set backs and perceived failures and look at them as an opportunity to improve in the next present moment. Peak performance athletes must realize that criticism and judgment will not help performance in fact it will inhibit performance. Athletes must realize that perfection is not ever attainable and striving for perfection will only create paralysis of peak performance.

 

Athletes must understand that creating a healthy balance is essential. Creating a balance between: athletics, relationships, family, academics, sleep, diet, fun, and other activities is a balancing act but is essential for victory. Sports athletes must realize that they will learn many things about themselves as human being through sports. Some life lessons are: teamwork, overcoming challenges and set backs, overcoming an injury, friendship, fellowship, respect, discipline, manners, delaying gratification, self growth, self reflection, and more.

 

Great athletes set short term and long term goals. These goals must be realistic an must be able to be measured. Athletes must be able to assess daily performance and be able to learn from mistakes as well as to work on new specific goals and techniques to reach desired goals. Sports athletes must stay focused and committed to their daily goals. Training daily and assessing goals is vital for improvement.

Mental toughness, self confidence and positive self talk is essential for peak performance in sports at any level. Using self talk to manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors is vital for a win.

 

Imagery and visualization are huge components for success. Athletes can use visualization incorporating: visual, auditory, olfactory, and kinesthetic components as well as using cues to anchor in successful performances.

 

Managing anxiety and stress are huge. Athletes can use Imagery, Progressive relaxation, diaphramatic breathing, meditation, stretching, music and other tools to stay focused and not distracted as well as to eliminate anxiety that inhibits peak performance.

 

Sports mental training takes practice , however, most elite athletes use it to maintain focus, bounce back from poor performances, stay focused, be in the moment, and achieve success in sports.

 

Olympians Sports Mental Training

 

 

Olympic Teen Archer Brad Ellison has been practicing in his mind for the 2008 olympics.

 

He is practicing imagery of him winning the gold and feeling like he won the gold medal already with visual pictures in his mind.

 

“Your brain can not tell the difference between something you imagine in your mind versus any event that actually happens.” states olympic gold shooting medalist Lanny Basham.

Visualization and imagery are huge components for peak mental performance in sports.

College counseling depression Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

September 10th, 2015

Many seniors in High School are excited that they will be graduating, however, with graduating comes many other stressors for teenagers. Teens are applying to a variety of Colleges, taking SAT and ACT college entrance exams, thinking about college or another path like the military etc. Teens are still working hard on their current academics, balancing friends, family, sports, and other activities.

The transition to college can be overwhelming for adolescents. A new environment is a huge stressor. New roommates and new peers socially is a huge component for teenagers transitioning to college.

College academics are a huge stress related challenge for teen students. Students have new Professors and new subjects and the academic demands increase as far as studies and as far as the challenging information students need to absorb. Managing increased study time and knowing that parents are not around to enforce rules and limits as far as sleep, studies, etc is a huge challenge for most teenagers in college. Managing social activities and work with studies is a huge challenge for most college students.

Many teens struggle with finding a major or a path of study that they enjoy and that they can see themselves using in their careers.

College students have many adjustments and stressors while living away from home. Managing money and being self sufficient as far as meals and obtaining needed daily life supplies is a new concept for most teenagers.

College students struggle with balancing: sleep, social, healthy diet, exercising, and academics. Many feel depressed or sad, lack interest in activities, feel lost, suffer from poor concentration, and use substances to address their stressors.

Depressed moods need to be addressed. Research shows their is a genetic component to depression and the longer it goes un treat the worse the depression may become. Studies show that stress and trauma make teens more susceptible to depression, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders. It need not be a major trauma; stress at home from divorce, emotional abuse, bullying, grief or loss can create pathways for mental health disorders such as: anxiety, depression and Substance abuse. Neurological factors such as low levels of neurotransmitters impact emotional stability can lead to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse or dependence.

The good news is their are many evidence based researched counseling therapies that can address the above mentioned issues as well as other treatments.

Teen marijuana use on the rise

September 9th, 2015

College students are smoking more marijuana “weed” than college students smoked thirty five years ago according to recent research studies.

Daily marijuana use was reported at 6 percent according to a University of Michigan study. There is a perception that marijuana use is not dangerous and their are great benefits that are gained from marijuana use. A majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Over 70 percent of individuals researched in the USA believe that marijuana poses less risk than alcohol consumption. Twenty one percent of college students have used marijuana in the last thirty days and over thirty four percent of college students have used marijuana in the past year.

Over sixty five percent of all college students in the research study state they have had an alcoholic drink in the past thirty days.

Many have concerns for younger children and the acceptance in the USA of marijuana use. The stigma to using marijuana is declining with states legalization combined with medical marijuana use for pain, headaches and more. Marijuana is being used for nausea and many other reasons among the medical community. Marijuana is more and more available with over fifty percent of all marijuana coming in through The Arizona borders and being distributed throughout the USA.

Drinks laced with marijuana, brownies, vape pens sold at every drug store, vape shop, or gas station that are used not only to smoke nicotine but to smoke marijuana . Marijuana brownies and breath mints make the drug more and more accessible and begins to normalize use instead of seeing it as a danger or a drug that has negative consequences to health.

More than thirty five percent of all seniors in the United States of America used marijuana in the last year and more than 15 percent of children in 8th grade reported smoking weed in the past year. Sixty percent of youth in a annual survey viewed smoking marijuana in a negative way or view marijuana use as harmful.

Research throughout the world have shown abnormalities in three regions of the brain from extended marijuana use. These regions of the brain may help form a sort of mental notepad, called working memory, that allows teens and adults to solve puzzles, remember a telephone number or quickly process other bits of information needed for everyday tasks at school or at work. Working memory is also a strong predictor of academic achievement in adolescents and young adults.

Teen counseling College; Phoenix Arizona

September 7th, 2015

Many college students are going through huge transitions with college. College can be exciting however change is a huge stressor that must be addressed. College stressors include: finances, more challenging academics, new peers, potentially a new living environment, being home sick, less structure, less of a support system.

Many college students turn to Drugs: alcohol, marijuana extra to help cope with stress, depression, and anxiety as well as stressors. These are obviously not health coping mechanisms. College students need to learn life skills, mood management skills, social skills and more to find balance and health as well as success.

Depression is a human response to pain in life. It is not a disability unless we stay stuck in it and can not pull ourselves out of the depression and it begins to impact our lives in a negative way. Depression will not sustain itself when one gets on the right path for life and sees the glass half full instead of half empty.

A loss of a dog or cat can cause many to feel a sense of depression. As life circumstances change so too will an individuals mood. While watching ASU Arizona State or any sports event one can cycle from euphoria to a sense of hopelessness and then continue to swing up and down many times during the game.

Depression many times is lifted by: making new friends, a new job, learning a new skill, travel, finding a passion, or through the passing of time.

Research shows that an individual whom is depressed many times is wrestling with guilt, and negative cognitions of blame. The best therapy is having good rapport with your therapist and someone who uses a variety of approaches. Many experts state that psychotherapy is the key to alleviating depression. A caring psychotherapeutic relationship is huge according data and research on depression.

Empathy is vital to heal from depression. Empathy a loving concern for others connects people. Some medications blunt empathy and make people feel indifferent. Research shows neurotransmitters that get invlolved in frontal lobe reactions are impacted and can rob us of self awareness, empathy, and sensitivity.

Love and instillation of hope I healing opportunity possible everyday) is crucial in the triumph over depression in children, teens, and adults.

Below are some symptoms you may observe in a depressed child however it is not limited to these alone:

Below is a list of SOME possible symptoms of child depression it is not inclusive just some things to look out for and to always seek professional advice on this matter.

One very common childhood depression symptom is an irritable mood.Children and adolescent teens who are irritable may be rude, disrespectful, and may refuse to do what you ask. They are less likely to follow the rules at school or at home and frequently talk back to parents and teachers. They are defiant at times as well.

A child who is bored may bother you, follow you around the house and demand that you entertain them. This may be because they are feeling down and blue.

They no longer like to do things they used to think were fun this is a red flag as well.

A child who is experiencing this childhood depression symptom will stop enjoying the activities they were the most interested in.

They may display changes in eating patterns or appetite. A child may eat more or eat less or very little as far as eating habits.

Children who experience this childhood depression symptom may seem particular or complain about their food. They may not want to get up or go to bed. The child may complain about the food when in the past they did not complain.

Children may sleep more or less than normal. Behaviorally this can translate into refusal to go to school or to go to bed. A change in sleep is a huge red flag. Sleep will impact mood in a very negative manner besides school performance and interpersonal communication and social interactions.

Depressed children and teenagers may complain of feeling tired and lack the energy to complete the tasks they need to do at home and school. This childhood depression symptom often causes children to behave in a way that can be misinterpreted as lazy. If parents or teachers describe a child as lazy I am immediately suspicious that the child is depressed. They have thoughts of worthlessness or guilty feelings. Low sense of self esteem is apparent and the child is not feeling good about his or her life at this time.

Children and adolescent teens who are depressed will often make negative self statements. Most parents often miss these statements or may be irritated by them. Younger children won’t attempt to complete tasks or activities because of fear that they are not good enough to do so. Kids with this childhood depression symptom may also blame themselves for things that they have nothing to do with.

Other symptoms include unpleasant behaviors such as tantrums, inability to handle frustration, complaining or crying. At school depressed children may be hostile or aggressive, display a drop in school performance, or may frequently go to the school nurse. Physical symptoms not wanting to go to school, suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, cutting, self harm are other red flags stating your child needs professional assistance.

If you think your teen or child is exhibiting these symptoms it is very likely that your child is depressed.

Teen and child Depression Anxiety Counseling and Therapy Peoria Arizona, Chandler Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Children and teens are every bit as stressed as the adults around them per a survey in  the USA that offers a snapshot of youth and their stressors.

Adolescent youth routinely say that their school-year stress levels are far higher than they think is healthy and their average reported stress exceeds that of adults, according to an annual survey published by the American Psychological Association.

Three out of ten children reported feeling depressed in a large survey taken  in 2014. Teenagers stress level was reported higher than the average reported for adults.

Children are feeling the intense pressure of: schoolwork, homework, family stress, social and interpersonal stress, and a culture that focuses on performance more than passion. A culture that pushes consumption and accumulation of “things” as vital when an inanimate object truly can not bring a foundation of happiness to our lives.

Our society is seeing a huge increase in child and teen anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, poor social skills, and more. Children today are connected to 5-6 electronic devices that are distracting and impact: sleep, school performance, mood, relationships and more.

Teens need a support system as well as structure and tools to cope with stress and distractions that are painful and challenging.

Parents, counselors and other adults can help young people resist stress and learn to manage it better. They can set limits and firm boundaries for reasonable sleep and screen time and point their teens toward stress-relieving activities, such as exercise. Creating a balance is key to managing life for a teen. Helping a child manage his or her time, eat healthy foods, minimize electronics and video games, obtain adequate sleep, balance school with family and peers.

Lifeworks Az has expertise in helping each unique child with creating balance in all aspects of their life. Lifeworks Az also works with each parent to modify the family dynamics to create the best outcome for the family as well as the child. The research in counseling and psychotherapy shows that a combined integrative approach is the most effective and gets best results. Lifeworks Az works with: boys and girls ages 5 and up as well as with teens and parents to create desired change. Lifeworks Az looks at the child’s unique gifts and strengths and uses this  as a foundation for change. Lifeworks AZ does not label any child because a label will become used as a reason a child can not succeed and change and we have children making huge changes daily. Labels creating a feeling of being defective or disabled, or having a deficit and Lifeworks AZ focuses on the child as half full not half empty.

 

Teen counseling Marijuana Vape

September 7th, 2015

Many teens are using marijuana “weed” via vaping . Vaping allows teens to smoke without the smell of smoke on their clothing and less visual side effects . Many also may think their teen is smoking tobacco versus marijuana .

Thirty plus percent of teens that use marijuana are vaping according to a national study .

Pot use can be hidden through vaping . Vaping uses liquid and it is not easy to detect when vaping . The usual smell of weed disappears via vaping .

Vaping has increased over 300 percent in the past few years for teen adolescents .

Vaping can cause many health problem stir adolescents and teens. The teenage brain is still developing and many big problems can impact teens that use marijuana or Vape.

Decreased sperm count , slow learning , lack of motivation , lung damage , short term memory loss , emotional development stunted and much more.

Many teens and children are smoking and vaping to cope with teen issues : stress at home , stress at school , anxiety , depression , pain , peer issues , social issues , academic stressors and more .

Finding healthy life skills and tools for youth is vital for a healthy and balanced teen and adult success .

David@LifeWorksAz.com
David Abrams
MAPC, LPC ,CAGS
602-575-4030

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Teen Counseling: electronics, Insomnia: Anxiety Depression Mental Health

September 7th, 2015

Screens including: computers, video game screens, smart phones, cell phones, LED screens are causing damage to retinas and are causing children and adults problems sleeping. There are hundreds of studies world wide that state limiting screen time is vital to sleep for children and teens and adults. Insomnia and sleep problems are on the rise with all countries that spend a lot of time on electronic screens. Poor sleep is correlated with mood problems: depression, anxiety, anger, and ability to focus and concentrate is diminished.

BERLIN AP article Below:

As it gets harder to tear our eyes away from smartphones, televisions, tablets or computers, concerns are growing over a blue light emitted by their screens, blamed for harming the retina and causing interrupted sleep.

Electronics giants are turning crisis into an opportunity — quickly declaring that their latest products feature “safe” screens.

At the IFA mega consumer electronics show in Berlin, Dutch company Philips is showcasing a new technology for its computer screens called “SoftBlue,” which it claims is gentler on the retina.

“We are shifting the harmful blue light frequencies, which are below 450 nanometers, to above 460 nanometers,” said Philips’ marketing director Stefan Sommer.

Other brands like Asus and BenQ, along with American firm ViewSonic, have also seized on “safe” screens as a new selling point.

“We’ve been told from a very early age by parents that too much screen time, in front of a TV or a computer, is bad. So a ‘safe’ screen might resonate with consumers,” said Paul Gray, an analyst at IHS Global Insight.

Because it generates a relatively high intensity of light from just a low amount of energy, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used to light up smartphones, televisions or computers.

But the problem is the blue ray emitted at the same time, which is feared to pose potentially serious health consequences.

– Beware of ‘overconsumption’ –

It is all scare-mongering or scientific fact? Serge Picaud, a researcher at the Institute of Sight in Paris, has a more measured take on it.

“We should not be so afraid that we bin all our screens,” he said.

Picaud carried out a study in 2013 in which he exposed sample retina cells from a pig — similar to those found in humans — to different wavelengths of light, and showed that those between 415 and 455 nanometres killed the cells.

In other words, deep blue light, which is close to ultra-violet light, is particularly harmful to eyes.

Nevertheless, the scientist says, “that must be taken in proportion as the light intensities produced by our screens are still relatively weak compared to sunlight”.

“Those who worry about harm caused by screens, do they also wear sunglasses at the beach?” asked Picaud.

Vincent Gualino, an ophthalmologist at a French hospital also believes that “we should not be afraid of the screens”.

“The real problem is over-consumption,” the specialist on retina illnesses said, warning people against spending more than six hours in front of their screens.

Children’s eyes are most vulnerable, as their retinas are clear and they “will be exposed over 40 or 50 years”.

For those who cannot help but stay glued to screens, Gualino prescribes special glasses to filter out the blue light.

Such glasses are widely available in Japan, while in France, lens maker Essilor offers special lenses that screen out the harmful rays.

Sports Mental Psychology: Spieth, Arizona State Phoenix Arizona

September 6th, 2015

 

Sports performance and mental errors plagued Arizona State this weekend against Texas AM in Houston Texas. Coach Todd Graham looked angry and incredulous when his team failed to make standard tackles that caused the Devils 14 plus points. The team dropped many passes that most 10 year olds would catch. The team fumbled the ball five times. Texas AM did have a solid pass rush however their were at least 20 mental errors that sabotaged Arizona State football.

Jordan Spieth winner of he Masters and US open stated that mental weakness impacted him and he missed the PGA Deutsche Bank cut. Spieth stated “ normally my mental game is a strength of mine and it is something I feel like I have an advantage over other players on. “These past two weeks it was a weakness for me.”

Your body is relaxed and you do not feel tight or have tension. You are mentally focused. You are in the moment( not thinking about the score, your last shot, you are empty without thought). You are enjoying the experience and not thinking about results.

I was listening to Sports radio and Jordan Bachynski Arizona States seven foot two basketball center was being interviewed after a close win over Utah on 1-23-2014. The team played better on defense and offense with many players contributing to the win.

Jordan spoke to radio personalities  Gambo and Ash about his game and discussed using a sports mental training expert. Jordan stated he shot thousands of free throws in the summer however his free throw percentage did not improve. He further stated he is using visualization and sports mental training techniques that are helping him improve his shooting percentage.

There is decades of  evidence research showing sports mental training is as essential if not more important in elite performance in sports. Jordan shared a story about a man who was a prisoner of war for years who practiced his golf game in his head and upon release after not touching a club for years had his best performance. What does this tell you?

 

 

Here are a few tips in sports mental training that can help a child, teen, or college or pro player:

 

Here are tips to help you build new motivation, confidence and major breakthroughs in your sport, exercise, and performance.

When your are exercising, use your positive mental images called imagery and visualization throughout your workout to create feelings of speed and power. Use visualization before, during and after your training to build confidence and new motivation. Imagery and visualization will rewire your brain so performance is smooth and natural. Seeing a video of your performance in the first person from warming up till you win or complete your goals.

 

Make positive self-statements continually. Negative thinking is common; everyone has an inner critic. Become aware of these thoughts early on. Don’t fight with them; simply acknowledge their presence, and then substitute positive power words. When you’re thinking: “This is painful, I want to stop”; say to yourself: “This feeling is helping me improve and get healthier or stronger.

 

“Be mindful.Practice being in the present moment. Remind yourself to stay in the here and now. Instead of replaying past mistakes, or stressing about the future, let past and future events fade into the background. Be right on, right here, right now. Do not think of your past errors, do not focus on the score, do not focus on poor referee calls. Stay in the moment and breath and focus on your breath and staying focused yet relaxed so your performance will be at it’s peak.

Pay close attention to your tension level and training form. Do a body scan while working out and relax your tight muscles frequently. Ask yourself: “Are my neck, arms, shoulders , head, relaxed; how does this pace feel; how much energy is left in my legs?”

 

If you have “good pain,” the pain of effort, that is not seriously damaging your body, just shift attention to your breathing or cadence of movement, and let the discomfort fade into the background. You can also use the pain as feedback. Register it not as pain but as effort level. Say: “Now I know exactly how hard I’m working. I know how this pace feels. My body is doing what it should be doing.”

Look only at what you need to do right now; your final time, place, team work, rebounding, breathing, relaxing, the score will take care of itself.

 

Be aware of distractions. Breathe out unwanted thoughts with your next exhale and re-focus your attention instantly on what is important right now, at this moment.

 

Diaphramatic breathing is vital throughout your performance. If you are not breathing deeply than your performance will be impacted in a negative way.

Enjoy and appreciate your fitness and strength. When you exercise, relax and let your body do what you’ve trained it to do. Remember that your goals are realistic. All you need to do is perform up to your capabilities. Be thankful and grateful that you are active and enjoying exercise and you will improve with time. Be patient and practice the mental piece and you will see great improvements.

 

Sports mental coaching NFL Aaron Rodgers Greenbay packers.

 

Aaron Rodgers is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL . He threw for four touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals and recovered a fumble during a scoring drive that gave the Packers a 14 point lead in the second quarter .

His passion for the game showed and his mental toughness when he dove for a ball in a pile of players . He mixed it up in the midst of a violent fight for the ball,

Rodgers stated he visualized himself mentally recovering the football in his mind and sure enough it happened in the game .

 

NBA PLAYER on Sports Psychology and sports mental training and coaching.

 

Kendall Marshall was the 13th draft pick in the 2012 draft. The Suns roster is loaded with guards. On Oct 31, 2013 the Suns have a deadline to exercise their option on rookie salary contracts and the first two years are guaranteed for all rookies in the NBA. Kendall Marshall is shooting thirty seven percent overall from the field and thirty one percent from three point range.

 

Marshall states he has done a lot of work on improving his shooting and athleticism in the off season. He states ” a lot of this game is mental for me-just having the confidence to go out there and know that I am good enough to help my team win. “I think that’s half of where my shot was, the other half was just putting in the work, constantly being on the court, putting up shots and building that confidence.”

 

Coach Jeff Hornacek states he spoke to Marshall about the arc of his shot and getting it up higher.” Marshall states his shot will not change overnight, however, research shows that working on the mental piece is just as important as the physical piece if not more important. Change can happen by using sports mental training techniques daily to improve: shooting, arc, form, and performance. The mind body connection is huge and we must get both aligned so we can perform at our peak performance level.

 

Sports mental training will prime the mind with the body. It creates a pathway connecting mind and body. It is a dress rehearsal for the big game. As the mind and body become fused their is flow. The mind and body begin to work together in a productive manner. Athletes can learn to relax and control anxiety. Sports participants can learn to build confidence that flows into their performance. Improve concentration and focus. Manage unhealthy thoughts that are impacting your performance in games.

 

Sports mental training is the science of success. Studies show that within a group of athletes of equal ability physically, those who receive mental training outperform those that do not receive sports mental training almost every time. Sports mental skills just like physical skills need daily practice.

 

Arizona Cardinals Sports Mental Training

 

 

The Arizona Cardinals signed Chandler Catanzaro as their kicker and his rise to fame can be attributed to sports mental training and psychology and a desire to learnvia one of the best NFL kickers of all time Morten Anderson. Catanzaro was searching for help after his freshman year at Clemson and Sports mental training elevated his self esteem, techniques, and above all performance according to Catanzaro.

 

After working with Anderson for a few years he not only won a scholarship at Clemson but finished the Clemson program as the all time leading scorer with 404 points!

Anderson used his experience and incorporated sports psychology and mental training to Catanzaro’s daily routine. It included: visualization skills, positive reinforcement skills, and a workout program. He practiced visualization and imagery skills that envisioned himself running onto the field being engaged on the sidelines and thinking about kicking the gain winning field goal. Anderson states with enough repetition mentally he would reach kicker nirvana.

Anderson states an important sports psychology concept which is focus on what you can control. You can not control the wind, the surface of the field, the score. Simply have faith in your mental and physical training and trust yourself and be relaxed yet focused and do your thing.

Catanzaro was 2 for 2 in the Cardinals Monday night win over the San-Diego Chargers.

 

 

 

The mental piece of sports is as big if not bigger than the physical and athletic piece according to research. Creating a positive attitude and a glass half full mentality is vital toward peak performance.  Athletes must view their sport and performance as an opportunity to grow and compete against one’s self. Sports athletes must learn from set backs and perceived failures and look at them as an opportunity to improve in the next present moment. Peak performance athletes must realize that criticism and judgment will not help performance in fact it will inhibit performance. Athletes must realize that perfection is not ever attainable and striving for perfection will only create paralysis of peak performance.

 

Athletes must understand that creating a healthy balance is essential. Creating a balance between: athletics, relationships, family, academics, sleep, diet, fun, and other activities is a balancing act but is essential for victory. Sports athletes must realize that they will learn many things about themselves as human being through sports. Some life lessons are: teamwork, overcoming challenges and set backs, overcoming an injury, friendship, fellowship, respect, discipline, manners, delaying gratification, self growth, self reflection, and more.

 

Great athletes set short term and long term goals. These goals must be realistic an must be able to be measured. Athletes must be able to assess daily performance and be able to learn from mistakes as well as to work on new specific goals and techniques to reach desired goals. Sports athletes must stay focused and committed to their daily goals. Training daily and assessing goals is vital for improvement.

Mental toughness, self confidence and positive self talk is essential for peak performance in sports at any level. Using self talk to manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors is vital for a win.

 

Imagery and visualization are huge components for success. Athletes can use visualization incorporating: visual, auditory, olfactory, and kinesthetic components as well as using cues to anchor in successful performances.

 

Managing anxiety and stress are huge. Athletes can use Imagery, Progressive relaxation, diaphramatic breathing, meditation, stretching, music and other tools to stay focused and not distracted as well as to eliminate anxiety that inhibits peak performance.

 

Sports mental training takes practice , however, most elite athletes use it to maintain focus, bounce back from poor performances, stay focused, be in the moment, and achieve success in sports.

 

Olympians Sports Mental Training

 

 

Olympic Teen Archer Brad Ellison has been practicing in his mind for the 2008 olympics.

 

He is practicing imagery of him winning the gold and feeling like he won the gold medal already with visual pictures in his mind.

 

“Your brain can not tell the difference between something you imagine in your mind versus any event that actually happens.” states olympic gold shooting medalist Lanny Basham.

Visualization and imagery are huge components for peak mental performance in sports.