Archive for the 'Child Counseling Therapist' Category

Counseling for Family and child: Behavior, Depression , ADHD, Anxiety

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Is your child Depressed, Angry, Defiant, Unmotivated, irritable, does not listen, does not do chores, does not do his or her homework, lies about his or her academics? You are not alone and behavioral issues for children and teens are on the rise in an exponential fashion. The best research approach to creating desired change is a combination of child and teen counseling mixed with parenting skills and or family therapy to created desired change. Below is information on statistics for mental health issues in Arizona and the USA.

Children throughout the United States of America and in Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona are experiencing a higher rate of neurological disorders and behavioral problems then were reported or diagnosed ten years a ago. The positive news is that children are facing fewer physical disabilities over the past ten years.

The unexpected spike could be attributed to more awareness of mental health disorders, better diagnostics and more availability for mental health care support in the USA.

Experts state that the increase in behavioral health issues and mental health disorders may be attributed to an increase in stress for children and families.

The increase in environmental exposures and poor dietary health habits for children and families in the USA.

Media news is at an all time high and this may impact pregnant women.

Higher rates of autism spectrum disorders, childhood anxiety, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression are some of the disorders that are on the rise.

Children, especially those in more socially advantaged households, may be diagnosed more readily for neurological disorders such as autism or mental health disorders, because of better access to health services and increased parental awareness of such disorders.

But environmental exposures, obesity in pregnancy and the persistent stress of the American lifestyle also help to explain the increase. During his career, Dr. Jones said, he has witnessed notable increases in autism and childhood anxiety, along with an ever-larger prevalence of ADHD and childhood depression.

Video games, media,Tv, You tube, smart phones, movies have exponentially increased: anxiety, fear, and stress. The more exposure to violence and aggression the more likelihood a child will have sleep problems, anxiety issues, academic challenges, depression , and mood disorders. Parents should limit and minimize exposure to violence and fearful media images and parents will see a shift in children’s mood etc.

Over twenty percent of American Children and teenagers have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder in America.ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) was the most widely diagnosed disorder for children under the age of eighteen.

Behavioral disorders and conduct disorders ranked second on the list of disorders among youth in the USA. Next Anxiety disorders and Depression or depressive disorders followed and next was Autistic Disorders.

Depression and alcohol use disorders were high as well as cannabis use disorders. Millions of teenagers in America abuse drugs, alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine.

Children struggle with family issues such as: grief , loss, divorce, moving schools, adoption issues, abuse, mood regulation, self esteem , social skills, healthy choices, problem solving, stress management,  ADHD, changing behaviors at home as well as at school bullying, peer pressure, addictions to electronics, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and more.

It is important to obtain support and the earlier you get counseling and psychotherapy the better chance your child or teenager has of finding balance and success. Family counseling combined with individual counseling and therapy can be extremely effective for change.

Counseling for Child Depression, Anxiety, Unmotivated, ADHD, TV Video Games? Phoenix Scottsdale

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Parents can really help shape a child’s behavior by creating an environment that sets limits on : TV, Media, Facebook, SmartPhones, texting, video games, iPods, and all electronics. To much media and TV will negatively impact your childs: Mood, anxiety, depression, ADHD, Motivation, grades, anger, aggression, and impact his or her life. You can read below and you will see that your child needs to have a balance and you are in a power position to do so and to set a great example.

A study shows that those teens that reported a higher level of media exposure had significantly greater odds of developing depression.

Time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that could be spent on social, athletic or intellectual activities that could guard against depression. Reading, exercise, healthy communication, learning new hobbies, activities that do not involve just sitting around like a potato and absorbing media like a sponge are best.

Aggression, fear, and anxiety are induced by watching TV. Is this the type of message you want for your child or teen. You can limit exposure to TV and media. set limits! Set healthy boundaries with your family. Encourage healthy communication instead of numbing out to TV and Media.

Activities that increase self esteem, social skills, and promote a sense of self mastery are helpful to fight against depression in teens and children.

A study shows that those teens that reported a higher level of media exposure had significantly greater odds of developing depression.

Time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that could be spent on social, athletic or intellectual activities that could guard against depression. Reading, exercise, healthy communication, learning new hobbies, activities that do not involve just sitting around like a potato and absorbing media like a sponge are best.

Aggression, fear, and anxiety are induced by watching TV. Is this the type of message you want for your child or teen. You can limit exposure to TV and media. set limits! Set healthy boundaries with your family. Encourage healthy communication instead of numbing out to TV and Media.

Activities that increase self esteem, social skills, and promote a sense of self mastery are helpful to fight against depression in teens and children.

study following more than 1,800 children from ages 6 months to nearly 8 years found a small but consistent association between increased television viewing and shorter sleep duration. The presence of a television in the room where a child sleeps also was associated with less sleep, particularly in minority children. Investigators from MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) report their results — the first to examine the connection between television and sleep duration over several years — in the May issue of Pediatrics.
The study participants, children and their mothers, were enrolled in Project Viva, a long-term investigation of the health effects of several factors during pregnancy and after birth. This study analyzed information — reported by mothers when the children were around 6 months old and then annually for the next seven years — regarding how much time each day infants were in a room where a television was on, how much time older children watched television daily, whether children ages 4 to 7 slept in a room where a TV was present and their child’s average daily amount of sleep.
The study revealed that, over the course of the study, each additional hour of television viewing was associated with 7 fewer minutes of sleep daily, with the effects appearing to be stronger in boys than in girls. Racial and ethnic minority children were much more likely to sleep in a room where a television was present, and among those children, the presence of a bedroom television reduced average sleep around a half-hour per day.
The study authors note their results support previous short-term studies finding that both television viewing and sleeping in a room with a television decrease total sleep time, which can have negative effects on both mental and physical health.

A recent study shows a connection between violent video games and racism and aggression . This was published in The Journal of social psychological and personality science. The violent video games perpetuate the stereotype that african americans are violent. Women and police are portrayed in a negative light and aggression may increase due to playing these violent video games.

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.

The worldwide video game industry, which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games, will reach $93 billion in 2013, up from $79 billion in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. Driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and software sales, the market is forecast to reach $111 billion by 2015. This includes: xbox, PS3, WI, Mobile devices, and computer devices as well as smart phones and gaming. I wrote an article on the negative effects of gaming in 2004 and this is research based and is listed below to support some of the potential negative impacts gaming could have on a child.

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). 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.

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.

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.

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 fdor 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.

The 20 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!

The Academy of Pediatrics suggest that children be limited to less than
two hours per day of TV and media. Research shows that media can
diminish a child’s vocabulary, math skills, and social skills. There is
a great deal of research that correlates : sleep problems, aggression,
anger, behavioral problems, ADHD, lack of attention at school, obesity
and more to children that are watching on average 32 hours of TV and
media per week. In most homes the TV is on for half the day if not more.

Children are not interacting with peers and family members. Children are
not eating dinner with families and communicating. The TV or technology
is the focus and healthy social and communication skills are eroding
exponentially. Children and teens are not exercising which is essential
for physical health as well as mental health. Children are not reading
books, playing instruments, playing with peers, joining groups and
organizations and are isolating in their rooms or homes watching media.

Obesity is an epidemic in the USA and this is no exception for children.
One out of three high school students are not involved in any exercise.
Many children and teens spend most of their time playing video games,
watching tv, or on the computer. Limiting media time is one huge piece
in decreasing weight and obesity problems among youth. Of course
exercise and healthy eating habits are important as well. The first step
is limiting media consumption.

Thousands of studies have been done on child aggression/ anger and TV
since he early 1950’s and only a couple dozen state that aggression and
TV watching frequency increase childhood aggression. TV desensitizes
children toward violence, anger, aggression, verbal abuse and more.
Children will be exposed to over 200,000 violent acts and over 15,000
murders before they reach age 18. Do you really want your children
exposed to this much violence?.

Tv research shows that exposure to alcohol and smoking increase the
likelihood your child will gravitate toward these products. This is why
advertisers spend Billions of dollars each year to increase sales and
exposure of their products.

Children and parents can learn healthy skills and tips in counseling at
LifeWorks AZ PLLC to create health and balance for a child, teen and
family. Learning healthy skills to promote health, manage mood, increase
social skills, manage behaviors in the home, increase success a school.
overcome negative thinking, address anxiety issues,increase self
esteem, manage depressed mood, increase motivation, make healthy
choices, manage anger and more.

Child Therapist Counseling Services Phoenix Scottsdale

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

I am an experienced, empathic, compassionate, therapist who focuses on empowerment, client’s strengths, and personal growth. I offer a caring and safe environment as a foundation to my private practice. I believe healing comes from gaining understanding of others and ourselves and achieving balance: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Each client’s treatment is unique. I integrate techniques that are specific to each client.

We all have pain that is unique to ourselves. It is how we cope with our pain that becomes integrated into who we are as unique individuals. I believe we must look at our past: family history, relationships, thoughts, and unconscious messages in order to understand our “programming” and therefore create the desired change.

We will work together to create positive growth and the change you desire in your life.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.