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Child Counseling Social media Phoenix Arizona Scottsdale Arizona Arcadia and Biltmore.

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Child teen counseling is vital due to smartphone and screen time addiction… it is like Disneyland in their hands. Do you want your child to be entitled and entertained 24-7 with Disneyland in their hands? Well that is what is happening with smartphones you buy for children. Smartphones and video games and social media are creating electronic addiction and manipulating your child’s neurotransmitters to the point their brains do no understand the importance of: family, chores, grandparents, church, temple, communication, social skills, homework, academics, adequate sleep, exercise and more. There phones have become the most important element in their life and it is destroying families and child mental health as well as fueling a lot of behavioral and emotional and mental health issues.

It is a huge problem and parents setting limits and firm boundaries is the only solution

Many have minimized the problems smartphones and 24-7 access to media is having on children’s brains. I have been writing about these issues based on research for over twenty years and there is a giant connection between screen time and your child or teens mental health in my expert opinion as well as from many experts world wide in hundreds of studies!

Teens and children that are spending more than an hour a day on screen time are more unhappy,  obtain less sleep, have poor self esteem, have increases in loneliness, depression, anxiety and much more. Children and teens that are spending an excess of time on screens are not performing well in school and academics are suffering as well as interpersonal and social skills. 

There is a direct correlation to depression and almost 10 percent of teens are depressed according to research done in 2017. Research shows most of us need to feel connected and screens and social media do not do so. Deep connected relationships and empathy are the core of human connection and this can not be done by playing call of duty while you are shooting soldiers or any other video games, or social media.

Children and teens feel left out on instagram and snapchat posts as well as bullying online is an epidemic. Children and teens hide behind the screen to victimize other children and teens causing great damage. Children are suffering greatly. Children and teens feel pressure to impress others and keep up a certain image always posting something new and exciting and this creates anxiety and low self esteem and more.

Study after study from Research journals and medical experts show that limiting social media is important for children and teens mental health. Researchers have looked at the relationship between social media and : Grades at school, family communication, social skills, Depression, Anxiety, and Self Esteem and much more.

Reductions in depression and loneliness were seen in a recent study with just a thirty minute reduction in social media for adolescents and children. Research shows a reduction in social media actually helped reduce loneliness and anxiety.

A huge research study in the UK using over 1500 youth showed negative impacts of social media: poor sleep habits, comparing self to others, low self esteem, poor self image, increase in anxiety and more.

Your child will have more balance is their lives if they spend time with family members communicating face to face, communicating with peers face to face, playing sports or involvement in physical activities or sports,  joining clubs and organizations, altruistic clubs, after school extracurricular activities and more.

Children and teens are spending a majority of their time on : instagram, snapchat, online, Video gaming, texting and watching tv and movies. It is not against the law to be doing so however in my office I find most children are out of balance.

Your child has the potential for more mood disorders: depression and anxiety. Your child is learning about violence and anger in most video games that reinforces violence and that is frequent and intense. Your child has the potential for sleep disorders and lost sleep due to too much use of electronic media. Your child is exposed to unhealthy behaviors. Your child is not learning about exercise or learning social skills and interactive skills that are needed for life and for employment. Your child is not doing a lot of homework or is avoiding studying because they have an entertainment center 24-7.

There are many things parents can do o create balance in a child and teens life and one is limiting exposure to the above at a very high level. Below is more info on children and social media.

Children and teens are using social media to express their deep feelings and fears at times and even let people know they are planning suicide. Parents and friends should not assume they are posting for attention. Recently two teens killed themselves in Colorado after posting suicide plans on their social media accounts . It was to late and they passed.

Children and teenagers need a safe and supportive individual to discuss their daily lives, stress, and problems. www.lifeworksaz.com

has been working with youth and families for over 15 years in Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona. The trauma is great for a teen who loses a friend to suicide.

Social media has created more connections with a click as an alleged friend however it has created fewer relationships that are real where a child or teen can talk to a real loving and supportive advocate.

Children and teens are communicating through : instagram, snapchat, Face book, and more and many times they want people to know how they feel and so they post it.

Child and teen depression is real. Many children and teens have taken their lives due to depression.

Children feel : sad, lonely, and have pain and stress just like adults, however, many children do not have the skills and maturity or the tools to cope with depression.

Experts state social media does not bring people together and many times it simply isolates youth and young adults. Using more than two hours of social media per day doubled the chances a youth or young adult would fill lonely or isolated.

Many children and teens are depressed or have signs of depression. Many children and teens are struggling with : family issues, divorced families, academics, blended families, low self esteem, poor social skills, peer pressure, hormonal changes, grief and loss. Many times teens will stuff their thoughts and feelings . Some teens hide in their room and avoid communication. Some teens are on their Smart Phones, TV, Netflix, and Video games. Too much of anything is not ok and parents can ask themselves is my son or daughter in balance or out of balance with their habits? Below is a story of a Tempe Teen that was depressed and it ended tragically. The good news is there are signs of depression and the sooner one gets help the better. After the article there is a list of some red flags your child may be depressed. There are experts in treating child and teen depression through counseling and therapy and other treatments.

I have worked with thousands of teens with depressed moods and depression. Moving to a new school, change, academic pressure, not getting along with mom or Dad, negative thinking, low self esteem, social dynamics, past challenges are being carried around by children and teens and these items need to be addressed to create health and balance.

A tragedy happened at a Tempe, Arizona High school yesterday . A student athlete committed suicide at a Tempe High school not far from Arizona State University.

Teen and child depression is on the rise and can not be ignored. Depression is not an adult disorder . Millions of children and teen adolescents feel depressed and there are a slew of reasons today that impact a child or adolescents mood.

A child or teen does not have to have had a traumatic childhood in order to be depressed . A teen can have loving parents and spiritual parents and feel depressed.

Setting limits and boundaries and requiring family interaction is vital . Spending one on one time with your teen is important and will help find out what is going on in their lives . Make it a requirement before they use their : video games , computers , smart phones etc . Schedule one on one time with each child and this lets them know they are important as well as they are more likely to share information with you than in front of the whole family . Most children will not share their true pain or depressed mood in front of the whole family or at dinner .

I find wonderful children and teens that have very negative thought processes about.

The best approach is to have someone who works w children and parents guide you to help create balance and learn tools to manage depression , anxiety , self esteem, family issues and more .

Teens face a myriad of pressures , from changes in development to questions about who they are and where they are going w peers, school, and their future. The natural transition toward adulthood can bring parental challenges and conflict as the adolescent teen pushes for their independence .

It is not simple to differentiate between depression and teen mood swings . Some teens that are depressed are not sad or withdrawn . Many depressed teens are angry , full of rage , defiant, and irritable and this may be depression.

Some signs of depression in teens are: sadness , hopelessness , irritability , anger , hostility , frequent crying or tears , withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest in activities , change in eating habits or sleep habits , agitation, restless , guilt, worthless feelings , concentrating issues , thought of death, suicidal thoughts and more.

It is best to have a professional assessment from a professional who has expertise in teen and children .

There are many signs that may indicate your teen is down or depressed or is suffering from depression.

Some red flags that should not be ignored are: sadness , crying, tearfulness, hopelessness, a decrease in activities , inability to enjoy activities that were enjoyable.

Low energy, isolation, poor communication and a lack of connection w family and friends is a sign that something is going on that needs attention. Increased irritability and anger and rage are common w depressed children and teens.

Physical complaints : stomach aches , pain , etc are signs your teenmay be depressed. Changes in sleeping habits and or eating patterns is a red flag as well .

Self destructive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, self harming, drug andalcohol abuse are signs your child need help asap!

Parents should seek professional help if any of the above are going onas soon as possible. Depression is a very serious condition that impacts : thoughts, mood,

and behaviors. Teen depression can be treated .

Teens face many stressors and pressures. Transitioning from child to an adult. Figuring out who they are and what they want to do with life . Hormonal changes and wanting to fit in socially are just a few. Teens with depression do not always appear sad. Many teens display anger and irritability and aggression. Long lasting changes in mood, behavior, personality are all huge red flags that your teen needs professional help.

Some common symptoms for teen depression are: hopelessness , sad, blue, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from friends and family , crying and frequent tears, changes in eating , changes in sleeping, agitation , restlessness, little motivation , lack of energy or excitement , fatigue , difficulty concentrating , thoughts of death , suicide or self harm.

There are many excellent counseling tools to help elevate mood and treat depression. CBT therapy looks at unhealthy thoughts that have no facts to support them and how these thoughts impact mood. DBT has a few elements: awareness/mindfulness, distress tolerance/mood regulation, interpersonal effectiveness. These are all research based and evidence based counseling techniques that have been used for decades with positive results. There are many other effective techniques that can be used to create health and balance for your child or teenager.

www.LifeworksAz.co  has a specialization in child and teen depression counseling and therapy, child adolescent counseling, family counseling, family therapy in Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona and serves valley wide

www.lifeworksaz.com

Family and Child Counseling, Therapy, Specialist Phoenix Arizona

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

There are a number of ways to address a slew of child and teen mental health issues and I will not mention them all in this blog however it is not a cookie cutter approach that works best per research as well as in my opinion. I use many therapies and teach many coping skills to parents and youth in order to facilitate desired change. Each family and child and teen are unique and finding the best match is essential to create desired change. Some of therapies may be: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, DBT, Mindfulness, Talk therapy, Art Therapy, Play therapy, journaling, parenting tips, behavior modification, Family systems, Reward based behavior systems, Life skills, Healthy life habits, meditation, Visual Motor Behavior Rehersal,, progressive relaxation, Hypnosis , and more to find balance in their lives .

Many parents I have seen over the past 15 years have concerns about there children and teens. The concerns are numerous: physical health, mental health, anxiety, ADHD, ADD, academic issues, social issues, self esteem issues, anger, communication issues, behavioral issues at home and at school, Depression, Defiant disorders, Autism spectrum disorders, Bullying at school, Screen addictions, video game addictions, poor life choices, using alcohol, smoking marijuana, vaping, not listening, disrespect, challenging family issues, trauma , grief and loss and much more.

Parents are the eyes and ears of the child and teen and are the adults that have more life experiences than the child and this is why involvement with the parent and weekly updates on all aspects of your child’s life is vital in counseling and psychotherapy. The parent knows what is working and what is not at home with the child. 

I gather a great deal of information from each parent at the initial assessment. If there are behavioral or emotional issues I find out details and examples at home and at school of these emotional and behavioral issues so I can address them with the child as well as figure out best strategies for parents to create a win win with their child or teen.

I look at genetic pre dispositions and find out if other family members have had a history of the issues presenting be it: addiction, anxiety, depression,etc. I also obtain medical history and legal history and birth history.

I spend time looking at the relationships of the client with each parent as well as other family members. How much time is spent together? How do family members communicate with each other? Is the dialogue positive or mainly negative? What tone is used when comunicating. Is the time spent together focused time or are electronics getting in the way: TV, Smartphones, video games, Netflix, social media.

In my assessment I look at your child or teens academics as well as his interactions with peers, social skills, study habits, quality of friendships, activities your child or teen is or is not involved in.

I discuss with parents what activities your child or teen is involved in after school. I want to know what he or she is doing from the time they come home till bed time. Many youth are addicted to their screen time and are completely out of balance as far as taking time for homework and studying.

I also look at what time your child or teen goes to bed? How are there sleeping habits? How many hours of sleep they are obtaining. I look at there eating habits and frequency of foods eaten as well and the quality of the food they are eating.

I look at your child’s self talk and dialogue. What messages is he or she telling himself daily. ..Good messages or negative defeating messages. I also look at what messages parents are telling themselves about their child this is important as well.

I look at your child’s mood be it : angry, anxious, depressed, and more and will help your child manage his mood issues in a  variety of ways.

I look at your child or teens social skills and if they need to be improved work with them on ways to do so.

I gather information regarding your child’s self esteem and help your child build there self esteem through various techniques.

www.lifeworksaz.com has been working with families and youth for over 15 years. The more involved the parent is in counseling the better!

Child ADHD Counseling and Family Counseling Phoenix Arizona

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Parenting defiant, angry, passive aggressive, ADHD, ADD, and developmentally and emotionally off balance children and teens can be challenging to the point a parent wants to pull their hair out and scream on a daily basis as well as cry. The good news is there support for your child and you can play a role in changing your child’s behavior. Many times we blame ourselves or we personalize our child’s inappropriate behaviors, however, it is vital to keep in mind many times it is about their own pain, their own stress and their own challenges that are spilling out onto their beloved family. As parents we can learn skills to manage and balance our relationship with our children and teens to create harmony and peace and best outcomes. David w Lifeworks AZ has been working with children and family issues for over fifteen years and you can read more about what people are saying about him at www.lifeworksaz.com.

A majority of parents tend to misinterpret their child’s behavior and end up feeling irritated , frustrated, annoyed, angry and sad.

Many children have stress and traumatic events that can be family fighting, emotional issues, abuse of any type, neglect, changing schools, divorce, bullying etc that cause so much stress it would be considered trauma and your child can not cope with the stress and this looks like negative behaviors, however, it is simply that your child is overwhelmed and can not regulate his mood, emotions, or behaviors. 

Young children can be impacted greatly by trauma since they can not discuss and verbalize the memory and this can impact their well being into adulthood.

Repetitive traumatic events ( stressors) have ore impact on a child then one isolated event according to most research .

Having a positive relationship with ones caregiver is important in recovering from trauma and stressors as a child or teen.

Children that have strong coping skills and high self esteem can be more resilient and recover more rapidly from stressful events.

Parenting a child that has had trauma at home will likely impact your child’s behavior and it is important to look at your child as a good child that is in great pain and has had difficult challenges in his or her life instead of looking at your child as a “ bad kid” this is HUGE!!!!!!!

Children with stress and trauma backgrounds may become aggressive , defiant, and may disobey or lie and many other behaviors  due to lack of trust and more. Many times there behavior is a learned response to stress and it will take time to unlearn the unhealthy way of coping stress. Children and teens can learn healthy ways to cope with stress and so can parents. There are many techniques and strategies. Some of the strategies and skills are listed on my web site: www.lifeworksaz.com , however, there are hundreds of techniques and skills that can be helpful for a child as well as a parent.

Some behaviors that can come from stress and traumatic events include: inability to pay attention it may look like ADD or ADHD, being withdrawn, difficulty going from one activity to the next, fighting with peers or adults, change in school performance, eating more or less than peers, getting in trouble at school and at home, body aches, refusal to follow the rules at home or at school, sleeping all the time, being tired all the time, risky behaviors, not wanting to be with peers, use of illegal substances: drugs, alcohol and getting in trouble with the law. as well as nightmares.

Many mental health disorders and diagnosis for children can overlap with a child’s past trauma ( their perception of safety and fear etc is what is important).

Disorders such as : ADHD, ADD, ODD, Intermittent explosive disorder.

Parents can become aware of the child’s triggers. Parent’s can learn to be more emotionally and physically available. Parents can learn to stay calm and empathize with their child. This is very important in managing behaviors. Allow your child to feel his or her feelings without judgment.

Parents can learn to be consistent and predictable in calm manner without raising ones voice and should avoid any physical punishment.

Children and teens can learn to manage their anger and mood and stress. Children and teens can learn healthier thoughts to manage stress. Your child and teen can learn to communicate in healthy ways. Your child and teen can learn from you as well.

Teen Counseling Phoenix: Depression, Anger, Anxiety, ADHD, Screen time.

Friday, September 13th, 2019

I have been writing about the negative impact of media ( social media, Tv, Video Games, internet, and screen time) for over 18 years. I did a graduate essay on video games and violence toward woman that was published online. It is all about balance , however, most children and teens spend more time on media and electronics than they do: studying, spending time with family, and exercising or interacting face to face w peers.

One of thousands of studies on children and teens and exposure to media( video games, snapchat, instagram, you tube, Tv, Netflix, screens) by the American Journal of Psychiatrists state that youth that use media over three hours a day are more likely to develop mental health issues including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, anger, aggression, and anti social behaviors. Mood and behaviors are impacted by media input for children and teens according to a plethora of research. The three hour study is an estimate of time in that for some two hours a day may create mental health problems. The best advise is moderation , however, youth should be studying and exercising daily, as well as interacting in social groups face to face for best outcomes later in life.

Below is another study as well some parenting tips to move your child or teen off the screens and into other activities.

A study was completed with over 50,000 children and the results showed that almost twenty percent of the youth had are struggling with a mental health disorder. Less than fifty percent of the 20 percent were obtaining treatment for their mental health disorder. This study was done by the American Journal of Medicine and pediatrics.

Parents can maintain an active lifestyle and role model exercising. There is a huge connection between life style and mental health disorders.

Diet and eating habits also play a huge role in your child’s mental health. Eating vegetables and proteins and having a balanced diet throughout the day is vital.

Limiting screen time is very important. There are many dangers on the internet as well as the blue light impacts sleep. There is a correlation between time on screens and your childs mood, behavior, anger, agression and more. One huge reason to limit screen time is so you can spend quality time with your child and this is essential for your child’s behavior, mood, and mental health.

Here are a few risk factors that your child is having mental health issues: Regular disputes and fights between parents, being bullied at school or elsewhere, a physical illness, exposure to substance abuse, grief and loss or death of a loved one or animal,.

Mental health disorder as a child is confusing and tormenting in equal amounts. Hence, parents’ need to be the wind beneath their kid’s wings and the anchor.

Below is another behavior that is contributing to children and teens being out of balance : mood, behaviors, sleep, family, academics and more.

Too much time spent on Screens : I-pads, Smartphones, Video gaming, and watching television  is linked to heightened levels of anxiety and depression in children as young as two years old.

Children were seen to have less emotional stability, lower senses of control, greater inability to finish a task or follow directions and a lower sense of psychological well being among children, teens ,and adolescents  in another research study published in Prevention Medical Reports.

Those in the study that spent less than one hour on screen time vs those spending 3 hours on screen time were fifty percent less likely to suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders in a giant research study that used 40,000 plus youth data and reports.

Preschoolers that had more screen time than one hour (4) had more temper outbursts and forty six percent of pre school children were NOT able to calm down.

Curiosity diminished among youth eleven through thirteen with the more screen time. The more screen time above one hour correlated with less and less curiosity in life.

Studies show that time spent on screens is linked to poor shifts in brain connectivity compared to say reading. Studies show that screen time is connected to poorer language cognition as well as  poorer levels of behavioral or self control.

Changes were seen in the reward circuits of children and teenage adolescent brain, in the ratio of the neurotransmitter GABA to other neurotransmitters. Research shows social media taps into the brains addictive pathways.

Here are some more negative results of screen time for your child or teen whose brain is developing. Screens negatively impact children’s sleep. This is huge because sleep is connected with mood and performance and much more ( academic performance).

Screen time use is an identified factor in childhood obesity and teen obesity. Screen time can undermine learning for young children and babies.

Night time exposure to screens and LED devices : smart phones, Ipads, Video Games, computers etc suppresses melatonin and disrupts sleep!

Your child’s brain is in hyper mode and moving very rapidly when interacting with screens and video games and computers and smart phones. When your child or teenager is taken off their devices their brains are still moving a million miles a second. It will take your child a significant amount of time for his or her brain to adjust. Your child may be bouncing off walls in his unconscious attempt to find stimuli that is moving as fast as his brain.

Research shows a child’s vestibular system gets thrown off with screen time which is responsible for calmness and mood.

Our child may be great at playing video games however you must look at how their interpersonal relationships look like, their sports and music and other aspects of their life.

http://www.lifeworksaz.com  has expertise working with children , teens and families to create health and balance and success in all aspects of life. David helps children, teens and parents with : Parenting, self esteem , social skills, mood regulation , anxiety management, anger management, Behavior Modification, depression management, sports mental training, and much more. http://www.lifeworksaz.com

Teen Depression Counseling in Phoenix Arizona, Biltmore, Arcadia, Paradise Valley .

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

I have worked with thousands of youth over the past fifteen years and I can tell you that there can be many factors that impact a depressed mood and there can be many pieces in the puzzle for a child or teen with a depressed mood or what looks like depression or what meets the criteria for depression. Depression should be addressed by a mental health professional who specializes in children and teens and families.

I have had clients that are using substances to deal with pain. There pain can be many things. One example can be grief and loss or not having a beloved parent or family member in their life. Many children and teens feel like they wish a parent was more involved in their life and many feel sad that they do not know their Biological parent. Of course some parents are not psychologically and are not emotionally available for their children however a child or teen does not understand all of this like an adult does he or she is still developing and so is their brain.

I have had clients that feel socially left out at school or outside of school and very much would like friends and struggle with why they are having trouble making quality friends or holding onto quality friends. Their negative self talk about themselves takes a hold of their emotions and mood and they do feel very depressed. I have had many children and teens who show signs of depression whom have broken up with a beloved friend in what they consider a romantic relationship and are devastated when the break up or disharmony spills out. 

There are many children and adolescent teens I work with that are depressed due to their struggles at school and lack of motivation to get good grades or do homework or attend class. Most of the children have negative self talk and they do not believe they can do well in class and therefore sabotage themselves and fail or do poorly. Through CBT and other forms of counseling and mental health support as well as working with parents giving them tips your child can overcome the depressed mood. 

There are many children and teens that struggle with family communication and mood regulation. The child or teen is angry and irritable and does not know how to communicate thoughts and feelings in a healthy way . What the parent sees is explosive rage and yelling and maybe avoiding the family as well as many other behavioral issues stemming from family relationships and this too can look like depression or qualify as a depressed mood in many youth and children.

I have worked with children and teens who have been abused as well as who have been bullied at school. Since school is a huge part of a child’s life it has a severe impact on them and their self esteem and psychological well being. Many children are afraid to tell their parents they are being bullied because they perceive it will get worse and are afraid. These children can have anxiety and depressed mood as well as other challenges due to their emotional pain.

I have worked with many children and teens with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Aspergers ( past diagnosis) as well as learning disabilities , ADHD, conduct Disorders, Oppositional defiance and more. Managing these disorders is vital in your child or teens mental health so they can feel happy and balanced in their lives. If not addressed many will feel depressed or down and will have negative thinking that negatively impacts their mood as well as their behaviors. The negative mood and thoughts can be addressed via CBT counseling and there are other counseling skills to help elevate your child and teens mood so they are not feeling depressed.

Many parents seek medication from a provider. Research shows that children and teens should have counseling for best results if on medications.

My approach is working with each unique child to help them find balance in all areas of life as well as work with parents for best outcomes.

www.lifeworksaz.com specializes in working with youth and families in Phoenix AZ and valley wide for over 15 years.

ADHD CHILD COUNSELING THERAPY Behavior Modification Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Recent studies show that ADHD ( Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder ) is a very common childhood diagnosis for children and teens ages 3-18 years old in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona and the USA. Some features are lack of focus and lack of concentration. Research in this recent study shows that the drug Concerta and Ritalin or drugs that have Methylphenidate may be impacting the development of white matter in your child’s brain. Many children take this ADHD drug and continue to take the drug well into adulthood according to experts on ADHD.

White matter in a child’s brain is involved with learning and overall brain functioning in children and teenagers.

Children and teens in the study took the Concerta or Ritalin for sixteen weeks. After sixteen weeks they had an MRI using fractional anisotrophy. FA looks at : nerve fiber density, size, protection through coating of the white matter in the child’s brain. An adult group also took the medication for 16 weeks and the same MRI and analysis of white matter was completed for the adult group.

In the adult group FA white matter changes were not present after the study was analyzed in the adults.

The results were that Metylphenidate ( Concerta or Ritalin) influences the brain structure of children and teens.

The team and Doctors on the study state that parents decision with doctors to prescribe above medications should not be taken lightly . The research was written up in the scientific journal of radiology.

Below is how counseling a child and working with parents can help with ADHD or ADD behavior in your child to create desired changes.

I have worked with children and teens with ADHD and ADD from age five to eighteen over fifteen years. Many of the children came to me and were already on medication for years with limited positive results according to the parents.

Research on ADHD and ADD show that best results include counseling in conjunction with any medication per medical research and psychological research.

It is challenging for a child or teen to sit in their seat and focus on school work that they find boring or something the child finds difficult to learn. Even the best teachers in the USA have challenges keeping children excited and interested in the subject matter they are teaching. 

It is fascinating to note that a child with ADHD diagnosis can sit for 1-4 hours on there computer and play video games without getting up. You might ask why? Well playing games and the stimuli visually and kinesthetically and sounds keep your child or teens interest. If you ask your child to sit at the table and do vocabulary words for 1-4 hours you might find it is very challenging.

The BOTTOM line is this behavioral counseling and behavior modification therapy help retrain your child and teens thoughts and no medication can change your child’s thought’s. Children and teens have 1,000 of thoughts a day and sometimes per hour according to researchers.

Furthermore I work with parents to give them tips and advise on how to solidify the good behaviors of : listening.\, following directions, staying in ones seat etc so your child or teen can manage his or her ADHD or ADD behaviors.

I also look at all areas of your child’s life that need improvement and help them obtain balance . This may include: electronic habits, social skills, self esteem, healthy communication, motivation for obtaining employment, exercise, sports, extracurricular activities and more. There are many small things that can impacy ADHD and ADD behaviors. This is a part of behavioral therapy.

There is a great deal of research on medicating your child for ADHD. Medication will not change your child thoughts. It is important that your child learns to modify his or her behavior. Your child can learn how to manage his ADHD symptoms. Your child can learn how to problem solve. Your child can learn how to focus and do homework. Your child can learn to focus on tasks. I have worked with thousands of children with ADHD and emotional and behavioral problems and I see huge changes in my office reported by parents, children , teenagers, and moms and Dads.

Taking the time to train your child’s brain and modify behavior does not have to be a long drawn out process. There are many techniques that can help your child build success and build his or her self esteem so he or she can excel in academics and in life. Behavior modification therapy and CBT therapy are research based for positive reults.

I work with parents with behavioral therapy and CBT as well as the child to accomplish goals and empower your child. I believe counseling and behavior modification is vital to manage ADHD and create success for children.

Your child has many strengths and may need to work on a few areas to find happiness and success at home and at school and socially. Counseling can help your child and family get back into balance. Your child may have behavioral or emotional issues and may struggle in school and at home. I do not label your child because I believe this can create a negative stigma rather I help your child empower themselves to create and reach desired goals at home and at school.

Over one million children are mis diagnosed with ADHD each year. This is concerning since many are put on stimulant medications and long term impacts of stimulants is not known for youth.

Children with ADHD have issues above and beyond : hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness. Poor academic performances and poor behaviors at school, challenging relationships with peers and family members, difficult relationships with teachers and parents.

Children and adolescent teens that get along with parents and peers, have success at school academically, and parents with effective parenting skills are those with ADHD that have the best chance of adult success.

Behavioral therapy teaches children and parents skills to manage and master the three mentioned areas: healthy relationships, academic success, and teaching parents effective tools to address an ADHD child.

Psychosocial counseling and therapy for ADHD children and teenagers is called behavior modification or behavior therapy .

Best approaches in counseling is called a multi-modal approach. What this means is best results have been shown for ADHD children and adolescents when : parents, Psychotherapist with expertise with ADHD and youth work as a team. Incorporating behavior programs with this school can also show a team approach. Many schools are busy and overwhelmed with behavior issues and limited funding and teachers have so many students the child can not receive as much support as a parent or one on one counseling can provide .

Tailoring a specific program for your child or teen adolescent is essential. Each child with ADHD has his or her own personality and temperament as well as unique family dynamics and environmental dynamics. A unique program is vital for your child’s success in modifying behaviors. It is best to start behavioral therapy as early as you can . The longer a parent waits for counseling the more time it will take to modify behavioral habits.

Parents can learn to reach behavioral goals, stay consistent, provide a reward based/consequence system, identify small goals that are manageable and not overwhelming to your child.

The first step is meeting with a counselor that works with behavior modification. Developing rapport and learning about the child and family dynamics is essential. Obtaining a history of behaviors that are working and behaviors that are not working is vital for treatment of ADHD and child behavioral issues.

Many Medical doctors believe that a child should not be on medication alone to address ADHD issues and should have behavioral therapy and counseling.

Many children are diagnosed with ADHD because they are young and immature and they do not have ADHD. Many children are simply emotionally immature and or intellectually immature. Many ADHD diagnosis are driven by behaviors at school. Teachers are overwhelmed and they do not have the resources to take time to manage a child’s behaviors with many classrooms having a 30:1 ratio . Teachers really need many more assistants and if they did the suggestion of an ADHD diagnosis would disappear most likely.

Children and adolescent teenagers that experience stress and trauma are more likely to have an ADHD diagnosis. Psychosocial issues are rarely looked at by pediatricians according to recent ADHD studies. Children with ADHD may display: disruptive behaviors, impulsivity, issues with organization, issues with memory, challenges with problem solving and more.

ADHD like symptoms are often found in children and teens that have family stressors and or environmental stressors. Family discord and divorce are some examples where ADHD like behaviors are likely to be seen. Research shows that environmental stressors may increase levels of stress to a high toxic level. This level of stress may impair a child or teens brain development, behaviors, and overall it may impact their physical health as well as their mental health.

When environmental stressors like divorce or family stress is not looked at many practitioners may diagnose a child or teen with ADHD and are at risk of overlooking a child’s past trauma or current trauma as well as environmental factors that are the triggers for the behaviors like Impulsivity, disruptive behaviors, challenges with focus or problem solving etc.

Financial hardships, domestic violence, divorce, mental illness in families, incarceration of parents, discrimination death, grief and loss must be looked at in depth before one gives a child or teenager a diagnosis of ADHD.

Intensive research on ADHD medications show that it masks symptoms and makes your child docile, stunts growth, however does not teach your child: life skills, stress management, motivation, ability to overcome negative thinking, mood management, better family respect, improved family communication, improved social skills, improved self esteem, behavior management skills and more. There is not a magic pill it will take extra family effort and time according to many experts in the field of ADHD and Psychology. 

Dr. Carl Hart is a neuro-psycho-pharmacologist at Columbia University and states that ADHD Adderall is very similar to Crystal Meth. Thousands of Experts in Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Psychology report similar research studies.

Children can learn ways to mange behaviors and moods. Parents can learn tips to assist in healthy behaviors at home and at school through child therapy and family counseling from a professional who specializes in these areas. www.Lifeworksaz.com provides fifteen plus years of experience working with : ADHD behaviors, ADD behaviors, behavior modification, child ADHD counseling and Teen ADHD and ADD counseling.

Child Counseling: ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Exercise, and play Phoenix Arizona.

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

I have worked with children and teens with ADHD and ADD from age five to eighteen over fifteen years. Many of the children came to me and were already on medication for years with limited positive results according to the parents.

Research on ADHD and ADD show that best results include counseling in conjunction with any medication per medical research and psychological research.

It is challenging for a child or teen to sit in their seat and focus on school work that they find boring or something the child finds difficult to learn. Even the best teachers in the USA have challenges keeping children excited and interested in the subject matter they are teaching. 

It is fascinating to note that a child with ADHD diagnosis can sit for 1-4 hours on there computer and play video games without getting up. You might ask why? Well playing games and the stimuli visually and kinesthetically and sounds keep your child or teens interest. If you ask your child to sit at the table and do vocabulary words for 1-4 hours you might find it is very challenging.

The BOTTOM line is this behavioral counseling and behavior modification therapy help retrain your child and teens thoughts and no medication can change your childs thoughts. Children and teens have 1,000 of thoughts a day and sometimes per hour according to researchers.

Furthermore I work with parents to give them tips and advise on how to solidify the good behaviors of : listening.\, following directions, staying in ones seat etc so your child or teen can manage his or her ADHD or ADD behaviors.

I also look at all areas of your child’s life that need improvement and help them obtain balance . This may include: electronic habits, social skills, self esteem, healthy communication, motivation for obtaining employment, exercise, sports, extracurricular activities and more. There are many small things that can impacy ADHD and ADD behaviors. This is a part of behavioral therapy.

There is a great deal of research on medicating your child for ADHD. Medication will not change your child thoughts. It is important that your child learns to modify his or her behavior. Your child can learn how to manage his ADHD symptoms. Your child can learn how to problem solve. Your child can learn how to focus and do homework. Your child can learn to focus on tasks. I have worked with thousands of children with ADHD and emotional and behavioral problems and I see huge changes in my office reported by parents, children , teenagers, and moms and Dads.

Taking the time to train your child’s brain and modify behavior does not have to be a long drawn out process. There are many techniques that can help your child build success and build his or her self esteem so he or she can excel in academics and in life. Behavior modification therapy and CBT therapy are research based for positive reults.

I work with parents with behavioral therapy and CBT as well as the child to accomplish goals and empower your child. I believe counseling and behavior modification is vital to manage ADHD and create success for children.

Your child has many strengths and may need to work on a few areas to find happiness and success at home and at school and socially. Counseling can help your child and family get back into balance. Your child may have behavioral or emotional issues and may struggle in school and at home. I do not label your child because I believe this can create a negative stigma rather I help your child empower themselves to create and reach desired goals at home and at school.

Over one million children are mis diagnosed with ADHD each year. This is concerning since many are put on stimulant medications and long term impacts of stimulants is not known for youth.

Children with ADHD have issues above and beyond : hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness. Poor academic performances and poor behaviors at school, challenging relationships with peers and family members, difficult relationships with teachers and parents.

Children and adolescent teens that get along with parents and peers, have success at school academically, and parents with effective parenting skills are those with ADHD that have the best chance of adult success.

Behavioral therapy teaches children and parents skills to manage and master the three mentioned areas: healthy relationships, academic success, and teaching parents effective tools to address an ADHD child.

Psychosocial counseling and therapy for ADHD children and teenagers is called behavior modification or behavior therapy .

Best approaches in counseling is called a multi-modal approach. What this means is best results have been shown for ADHD children and adolescents when : parents, Psychotherapist with expertise with ADHD and youth work as a team. Incorporating behavior programs with this school can also show a team approach. Many schools are busy and overwhelmed with behavior issues and limited funding and teachers have so many students the child can not receive as much support as a parent or one on one counseling can provide .

Tailoring a specific program for your child is essential. Each child with ADHD has his or her own personality and temperament as well as unique family dynamics and environmental dynamics. A unique program is vital for your child’s success in modifying behaviors. It is best to start behavioral therapy as early as you can . The longer a parent waits for counseling the more time it will take to modify behavioral habits.

Parents can learn to reach behavioral goals, stay consistent, provide a reward based/conseq system, identify small goals that are manageable and not overwhelming to your child.

The first step is meeting with a counselor that works with behavior modification. Developing rapport and learning about the child and family dynamics is essential. Obtaining a history of behaviors that are working and behaviors that are not working is vital for treatment of ADHD and child behavioral issues.

Many Medical doctors believe that a child should not be on medication alone to address ADHD issues and should have behavioral therapy and counseling.

Many children are diagnosed with ADHD because they are young and immature and they do not have ADHD. Many children are simply emotionally immature and or intellectually immature. Many ADHD diagnosis are driven by behaviors at school. Teachers are overwhelmed and they do not have the resources to take time to manage a child’s behaviors with many classrooms having a 30:1 ratio . Teachers really need many more assistants and if they did the suggestion of an ADHD diagnosis would disappear most likely.

Children and adolescent teenagers that experience stress and trauma are more likely to have an ADHD diagnosis. Psychosocial issues are rarely looked at by pediatricians according to recent ADHD studies. Children with ADHD may display: disruptive behaviors, impulsivity, issues with organization, issues with memory, challenges with problem solving and more.

ADHD like symptoms are often found in children and teens that have family stressors and or environmental stressors. Family discord and divorce are some examples where ADHD like behaviors are likely to be seen. Research shows that environmental stressors may increase levels of stress to a high toxic level. This level of stress may impair a child or teens brain development, behaviors, and overall it may impact their physical health as well as their mental health.

When environmental stressors like divorce or family stress is not looked at many practitioners may diagnose a child or teen with ADHD and are at risk of overlooking a child’s past trauma or current trauma as well as environmental factors that are the triggers for the behaviors like Impulsivity, disruptive behaviors, challenges with focus or problem solving etc.

Financial hardships, domestic violence, divorce, mental illness in families, incarceration of parents, discrimination death, grief and loss must be looked at in depth before one gives a child or teenager a diagnosis of ADHD.

Intensive research on ADHD medications show that it masks symptoms and makes your child docile, stunts growth, however does not teach your child: life skills, stress management, motivation, ability to overcome negative thinking, mood management, better family respect, improved family communication, improved social skills, improved self esteem, behavior management skills and more. There is not a magic pill it will take extra family effort and time according to many experts in the field of ADHD and Psychology. 

Dr. Carl Hart is a neuro-psycho-pharmacologist at Columbia University and states that ADHD Adderall is very similar to Crystal Meth. Thousands of Experts in Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Psychology report similar research studies.

Children can learn ways to mange behaviors and moods. Parents can learn tips to assist in healthy behaviors at home and at school through child therapy and family counseling from a professional who specializes in these areas.

www.Lifeworksaz.com

provides fifteen plus years of experience working with : ADHD behaviors, ADD behaviors, behavior modification, child ADHD counseling and Teen ADHD and ADD counseling.

Child Counseling: ADHD,ANXIETY, DEPRESSION,Family Counseling in Phoenix AZ

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

In 2019 a majority of professionals are so quick to give a child or teen a diagnosis. Many children throughout America have not even reached kindergarten and are diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Early prevention and treatment is essential however not sure the child needs to have a label on him or her.

The DSM the bible for psychology, psychiatry, counseling, and mental health professionals is taught in Graduate schools to give a child or an adult a Diagnosis if criteria are met, however, this requirement is for insurance reimbursement and can have a very negative stigma on your child or teenager. Many children and teens believe there diagnosis means that they have a disability and a dysfunction and carry this label with them daily into adulthood. The DSM at one time was only a few pages long and now it is almost one thousand pages long with almost 300 mental health disorders listed. Many of the DSM writers are paid by the pharmaceutical company’s and many of the diagnosis are associated with a prescription in the medical model.

I have been working in the field of mental health for over 20 years and I avoid labeling children and teenagers and giving them a diagnosis. I look at all aspects of the child and teens life and look at areas that need balance or improvements in for example: stress management, social skills, self esteem, healthy communication, anger management, managing anxiety, managing mood when feeling down, grief and loss, relationship issues, managing emotions and behaviors, organization and motivation, as well as parenting tips.

IF I was required to hand out a diagnosis based on the DSM the child might have : Conduct Disorder, ADHD Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorders, ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder and many others. Many times parents do not want a label placed on their child or teen they just want their child to learn life skills like: compassion, team work. Social skills, interviewing skills, mood management, stress management, organization skills, boundaries, healthy communication skills, self esteem skills, social skills, focusing skills, motivation skills, parenting skills and more.

Many times when I meet new client’s and their families they have a few areas that need to work on: behavioral issues, emotional issues, unhealthy anger, self esteem , healthy communication skills, Setting boundaries, healthy sleep patterns, lack of exercise, lack of balance in their life, poor social skills, poor study habits, and more. 

All of these need to be worked on and one pill will not change your child or teens thoughts and habits. Changing habits and behavior requires effort to make changes however anything worth while in life requires effort be it a relationship or a career one enjoys etc.

Teaching children and teens to express their thoughts and feelings is vital for a healthy relationship.

Helping children and teens look at their thought process and unhealthy thoughts that become their programming for life is very important. Many young children believe they “ are Bad” “ “unloveable” “ failures” and much more. The reality is that none if it is true or supported by any facts or research in fact many times the opposite is true yet it is vital to break the daily negative self talk to create desired change. CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a research based evidence based therapy and it involves looking at thoughts and how they impact feelings and behaviors. I use CBT as well as many other techniques that plant seeds for desired change in your child or teens life.

www.lifeworksaz.comhas been working with children and teens and families for over fifteen years. Some of the areas David Abrams MAPC LPC Advanced Graduate Specialties in child and Family works with in counseling therapy: ADHD Disorders , ADD Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Addiction, Autism Spectrum Disorders Video game addiction, Behavioral Disorders, Depression, Anger management, Social skills, self esteem, grief and loss, Conduct Disorders, Mood Disorders, social skills, self esteem, Parenting tips and more. You can go to his web site and read more about his expertise and testimonials from parents and professionals in the mental health and medical field.

Teen Counseling: anger, Aggression, Violent Video games, TV, Media, Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona

Monday, August 5th, 2019

There are many things that can contribute to mass shootings. There has been research since 1966 to see what factors the shooters have or had in common in these mass shootings. It is not one thing there are some commonalities.

One common factor was childhood trauma at a young age as well as exposure to violence at a young age.

The nature of the violence exposure varied however there were many types of violent exposures like; physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, severe bullying, domestic violence, parental suicide.

The traumatic events occurred prior to any mental health diagnosis or concerns. The trauma occurred before they became depressed, or had anxiety or were suicidal .

The Victimizers typically had a grievance between a week to months before the shootings.

Most of the shooters seeked validation for their motives to kill.  Societal fear and fascination with mass shootings partly drives the motivation to commit them. Perpetrators study other victimizers and seek validation from others that there murderous acts are justified.

Once the perpetrator decides life is no longer worth living and that murdering others is proper revenge the only thing that stands in the way is the means do it. Over 80 percent of school shootings the victimizer used weapons ( guns) from family and obtained the guns from family .

Making weapons more difficult to obtain is one area that may help. 

Starving perpetrators of notoriety and publicity is a way to take the oxygen out of there game.

Limiting and reducing how we: consume, produce, and distribute violent content is very important according to researchers since 1966.

Research from 1950s show that children and teens that watch violent tv programs and children and teens today that watch violent Tv and play violent video games are more prone to: anger, aggression and violence. There are 100s of studies that support this however it is not just games it is a combination of factors that build up over time like the things mentioned that reach a breaking point and then it is too late and tragedy spills onto innocent bystanders and this is tragic for all.

Most mass public shooters are mentally ill and suicidal and we must help those who are in emotional pain and mandate they receive care otherwise it will continue to ooze out and kill innocent children and adults.

Being proactive at early age is vital in identifying children in need of intense mental health services. Schools can do assessments and Physicians can do assessments, churches, and colleges and grade schools, employers as well. Mandating resources that can help provide long term support that is covered by the State is important to help those in great need.

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 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.

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 93 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.

www.lifeworksaz.com

David R Abrams MAPC, LPC CAGS

MAPC, LPC, CAGS

Lifeworks AZ  Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona, Child and Teen and Family Counseling.

Teen Counseling adolescents and therapy in Phoenix Arizona

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

There is a tremendous amount of research on love and acceptance in relation to creating change in children and teens and adolescents. I have worked with youth and adults for over 18 years and I can tell you that I have seen great changes with simply showing love and acceptance. Many adults never received unconditional love and acceptance and have been telling themselves negative messages about themselves since early childhood. It is changing these messages and action that can elevate mood and empower our children and ourselves for desired change. It is vital to rewrite these stories on a daily basis in order to manage anger, mood, anxiety, depression and much more. Thoughts of feeling : unloved and not valuable and critical and judgmental thoughts does not create peace love or harmony in life in any way shape or form.

I have children in my office that are telling themselves negative stories about themselves that are not true and are not supported by facts however they continue to repeat theses unhealthy thoughts each day and it is negatively impacting their behavior and mood and emotions at home and at school. Depression, anger and anxiety are very common with children and adolescents I see in my office on a regular basis and the same is true with the adults.

In the book toxic Psychiatry DR Peter Breggin an expert on Medication and its impact on humans brains and bodies states that Psychiatry has shifted since the 1980s to leave out counseling and psychotherapy in 95 percent of all medication providers. Psychiatry has moved to a medical model that is about a diagnosis and a medication for the “disease”. Once a child or adult has a disease he now has the stigma of being disabled and having a dysfunction in which medications is the go to solution.

Many experts believe that children and teens with diagnosis of ADHD or simply bored children that are not interested in the dull school work or the manner the teacher is interacting with the students. Many Professionals further see that children and teens should feel highs and lows and should not be medicated as the first move when mood is tied to specific negative events like grief and loss and relationship breakups etc. If a child or teen is in danger of imminent harm to self or others this is a different diagnosis and must be addressed and safety is paramount via a professional . One can call the crisis line 602 222-9444 in Phoenix Az. 24hrs a day for assistance or bring a child or teen to the emergency room or call 911 if danger or safety concerns are present.

Many medical professionals believe the children and adolescent teens are being lobotomized by medications and numbed out. DR. Breggin has numerous published books where he has documented many physical as well as mental side effects due to use of many different medications.

It’s clear that neurotransmitters play some role in depression, but much less is known about how these changes come about. It’s also clear that biochemical changes alone cannot explain all we see about depression, and that other factors are at work as well. There is a great deal we do not know about the brain and depression and much more research needs to be done.

There are many counseling life skills youth and adults can learn to create balance in their lives. Some evidence based tools beyond talk therapy are : EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, DBT Dialectical Behavior Therapy and many more like VMBR visual motor behavioral Rehersal, Progressive relaxation, and play therapy.

Great changes are common when parents are positive about counseling and believe in the process and are dedicated to working together as a team to create change. The same can be said about children and adolescents. If we are open to new behaviors and new skills change will follow most of the time. Connecting with your practitioner is also important and believing that he or she has expertise to help you and accepts you is vital to creating desired change in children, teens and families.

www.lifeworksaz.comhas worked with children, teenagers, families and adults for over 15 years. David R Abrams MAPC LPC a Licensed Mental Health Counselor has an advanced graduate specialty in Children and Family counseling as well as in other areas. He has worked with :Anxiety, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Behavioral Disorders, emotional Disorders, Depression, relationships, social skills, self esteem, Family issues and much more.

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