How many types of mental health professionals are there

800 Recovery Hub Blog

Admitting you need help is difficult. Seeking recovery for mental, emotional, spiritual, or relationship issues can be particularly challenging. You must also factor in your healthcare options. What services does your healthcare provider cover? Here are some options …. there are quite a few.

Psychologist

When many people think of a psychologist, the first image that comes to their mind is of a patient lying on a leather couch and telling the good doctor their feelings. While that does sometimes happen, psychologists do more than ask someone how they feel. Psychologists specialize in the science of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. Working in private offices, hospitals, schools, or other areas, psychologists treat a range of issues from relationship issues to mental illness through counseling.

Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists and psychologists often practice in the same area, but psychiatrists mainly diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders through the use of…

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Ten Parenting Practices That Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

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After jumping down from a  tree at the park my son stood up, did a little victory dance and then ran off to play on an obstacle course. It’s a pretty tricky course that requires balance, agility and coordination. It looked like it would take him a while to have it mastered.

Sure enough my son struggled for a while. I saw him fall and get stuck many times but eventually he completed the course.Then he came running to tell me about his adventures. He was excited, recalling many details, like a rope that caught his shoe and a scary moment when he struggled to clip the safety.  But one thing he said stood out to me the most.
“I almost fell down like a hundred times mom, and then I finally figured out the whole thing. It was kind of tough. But it was awesome!” 

“I saw you!” I told him smiling. It was nice to see this budding confidence coming through, especially because in the toddler years, he was often very frustrated when things didn’t really go his way.

Self-Esteem: It’s Important For Healthy Development

Children with positive self-esteem tend to recognize their abilities and feel proud about what they are able to. When a child’s self-esteem is positive and well balanced, they aren’t afraid of making mistakes because they recognize within themselves the ability to try again (or to quit because it feels right to do so).  Most of all, they are able to manage worries,  frustrations and the learning process pretty well. Especially when parents are able to encourage and support them along the way.

The way we parent and communicate with our children can certainly have an impact on their self-esteem. There are parenting practices we can strive towards that can help our children maintain (and boost) a positive sense of self.

Here are Ten parenting practices that promote healthy self-esteem:

1. Use Encouraging words: It’s tempting to shout out “You are amazing! You are so smart!” When you notice your child doing something well. But this puts all the focus on outcomes. Self-esteem is actually reinforced when children feel confident in their abilities, even when things are tough. Encouraging words help children stay the course. It might sound like:

  •  “You fell but you kept going.”
  • “You weren’t sure and then I saw you figure it out.”
  • “Not yet, it’s true, you haven’t been able to finish yet.”

2. Welcome boredom into your home: It’s really OK for kids to feel like they have nothing to do, and to feel like they are bored. When boredom shows up, children start to get creative. They tap into their inner resources, discover their interests and learn to rely on their own abilities.  Allow for plenty of (screen free) unstructured time for your child every day. Even better if you can get them outdoors!

3. Validate feelings without eliminating every obstacle: Every child will face struggles and challenges as they grow. It’s tempting to brush these off or to rescue our children to lessen their burden but this isn’t helpful at all. In fact not letting children face obstacles is worse.

Jane Nelsen D.Ed. and Author of the Positive Discipline Series reminds us of how important it is not to rescue our children from their struggles with this anecdote:

A little boy was watching a butterfly try to break out of the chrysalis. As he watched the butterfly struggle, he felt sorry for it. So he decided to help. He broke open the chrysalis and was so delighted to see the butterfly soar into the sky. But then he watched in horror as it fell to the ground, because the butterfly had not developed it’s muscles.

So, when your child is struggling, try to validate and listen. Have faith that your child will be able to feel a full range of emotions and get through their feelings. You can give them space or stay close and listen. If they are open to it, help problem solve. Just avoid rescuing or shutting down feelings.

4. Teach Self-Care skills: Children are very capable,  especially when we allow them to develop skills gradually. Without expectations that are set too high. Show your child how to care for their body, belongings and home. Allow your child to participate in tidying up the house, cleaning their rooms and helping with other life skills such as cooking, writing a shopping list and so on.  Self-esteem really starts with knowing you are able to care for yourself, so allow your child to be an activate participant in their care from the very start.

Related reading: Giant List of Self-Care Skills for Children 

5. Listen: Children need someone to listen to them so they know their voice matters. Strive to make time to be together each day so you can listen to your child talk about accomplishments, fears, worries, ideas and more.  A fun way to do this is to end each day with a game of Highs / Lows where you invite your child to tell you some of her favorite and least favorite moments of the day. You can take it a step forward and ask your child how they might change those least favorite moments if they had a do-over.

6. Acknowledge Worries: It’s pretty normal for children to have worries and anxieties. When a child feels like her worries are being understood she is better able to deal with them and move forward. So, try not to dismiss worries and instead acknowledge them. It might sound like “You aren’ t sure if you can do it? Did I understand you?” Or “This is really worrying you. Want to tell me more?” Talking about worries and feeling acknowledged is an opportunity for a child to find and use her inner resources as well.

7. Have Courage & Be Kind: Our children really are watching us and reflecting on the choices that we make. So face your own obstacles, fears and worries with courage. Be kind to yourself, don’t speak badly about your failures or general abilities. Highlight the good and how you worked things out.  Of course it’s ok to be authentic and admit defeat, but strive to do so with general compassion and kindness towards yourself.  I would encourage you to remember that what you are modeling makes a big impact on your child. You might think you are not good enough, but your child really does look up to you.

8.Welcome mistakes and imperfections: Sometimes we have to try, and try again. Chances are you and your child will both make many mistakes along the way. See these as opportunities to learn, to persevere or to know when to quit and move on. Each mistake can be a chance to learn something new, or at the very least to model what it takes to problem solve.

9. Spend time together: Play, fun and laughter are incredibly powerful ways to connect to your child’s heart and mind. Seize the opportunities that you have to enjoy each other. Children that feel connected to their parents feel good about themselves. (I know parenting is not all sunshine and rainbows  – there are many challenging moments but I cannot stress enough how important it is to make time for play and laughter. This practice has tremendous potential to reduce stress, misbehavior and increase your child’s well-being.

10. Use connected, positive discipline: When your child is having a hard time listening, following rules and not cooperating, skip blame and punishments. Focus on working together, on understanding the root of the problem, setting limits well and being present. A respectful, kind and clear approach to discipline helps your child feel secure, loved and understood. A great mix for growing up with a healthy and with balanced self-esteem.

InBrief: The Science of Neglect

Extensive biological and developmental research shows significant neglect—the ongoing disruption or significant absence of caregiver responsiveness—can cause more lasting harm to a young child’s development than overt physical abuse, including subsequent cognitive delays, impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body’s stress response. This edition of the InBrief series explains why significant deprivation is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation.

This 6-minute video provides an overview of The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain, a Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

Encouraging Children to Listen: 3 Steps to Avoid Yelling

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The other evening, dinner was approaching. I poked my head out of the kitchen and asked ever so cheerfully for my children to put away their books and toys and start getting ready for dinner. “Uhm…uhm..” Was the general answer but I saw no real action. My request was…ignored.

When children don’t listen (and by listen we usually mean cooperate or comply) it can be a button pushing moment. In that moment, when a nice request is ignored or worse even, met with some serious eye rolling, it can be extra hard to respond calmly and kindly.
Encouraging

Three Steps To Encourage Children To Listen

1. Stay Calm & Confident

When children don’t listen,  being calm and confident can take extra effort, but really it is the key to getting kids to listen. While we may want to do more yelling and demanding, children just don’t respond well to yelling. If we raise our voices we invite power struggles, back talk and more resistance. If we stay calm, our children learn to trust our guidance.

2. Connect First

Having a request ignored can be a big trigger for power struggles, yelling and conflicts. This approach to first connect, actively encourages cooperation. It also models much better communication skills for our children.

Is it all that bad to cheerfully (or at times, not so cheerfully) make a request from the kitchen? No, it isn’t. But relying on this “across the rooms” communication doesn’t help children transition very well. What’s more, if your child yelled for you across the room with a request, would your first instinct be to respond or to ask them to “stop yelling”?

Connecting first might sound like:

“Hi there, so, how is that book going, you seem to be really into it?”

“Hey, wow, can I know the story here with all these elephants and crocodiles?”

Such questions opens the door for listening to our children for a moment. And when children feel like we are listening to them, they are much more likely to give us the same kind of attention.

3. Make Kind & Clear Requests

After a moment of connection, the last step for encouraging better listening is to make a very clear request that is also kind.

“Get ready for dinner” “Get ready for bed” “Do all homework” “Clean up your stuff” “Hurry up already”

Can all be a bit unclear. Even if there is a very specific routine that the children are already used to. Children respond much better to kind & clear requests. Kindness can come in the form of flexibility and choices. You can be Clear in the way you make your request very specific, age appropriate and actionable.Encouraging (1)

So break down requests into kind, clear, actionable items.

“It’s time to wash hands. (Clear) Let’s meet in the kitchen when you finished washing hands.” (Kind)  For a young child you can even add “I can’t wait to guess what soap you used!”

“It’s time for pajamas and brushing teeth. (Clear) You can pick which you do first!” (Kind)

“It’s time to clean up. Let’s place all the blocks in this basket…..Now, let’s put the books on the shelf” (Kind and Clear)

“For homework, which assignment are you starting with? Math or Writing? I’m in livingroom reading if you have questions.” (Kind and Clear)

Suggested Reading:Twelve Alternatives to Time Out: Connected Discipline Tools for Raising Cooperative Children
Why do these three steps together encourage more listening?

When we take the time to connect first, we are helping children not only feel validated, we are modeling respectful ways to communicate and how to show interest in others. Then by making a clear and kind request, we open the door for cooperation.

When children ignore our requests all the time, or only “listen after a yelling fit” it can be a sign a child needs more connection, validation, choice, encouragement and loving guidance. Sometimes it can also just be a reflection of how we have been talking to them.

“Come on, I already asked like three times!! Pick up those toys!! Seriously, how many times!!!” Sound familiar?

I know first hand that It’s impossible to get it right all the time…communication might get rushed, requests may get loud. But…give these three steps a try. It can really make a difference. When I feel rushed, and then intentionally create calmer, connected interactions, I see my children begin doing the same. That evening when I was ignored, I walked over, chatted with everyone for less than a minute, and then made my request in a kind and clear way. Ignoring was over and I didn’t need to yell!

To encourage children to listen more, and stop yelling out “how many times” “OMG didn’t I ask you already,” and “seriously, didn’t I call for you like forever ago?” I encourage you to look at times when you need to make a request from your child as an invitation for more connection with your child. Stay calm. Connect. Then Request.

If you are still getting resistance and no “listening”? Try validating “I hear you wish you didn’t have to…” plus offer to work together “Let’s get started together, I’ll do…. and you can…”

Encouraging Children to Listen: 3 Steps to Avoid Yelling

Creating Rules in the Home for a Successful Family.

Ever had a situation in the home when you just don’t know what to do?  Maybe it has to do with your children not cleaning up after themselves or playing football in the dining area instead of outside.  Or perhaps they got up each morning on the weekend, and all they did from the start of the day to late evening is look at television, played video games or talk on the cell phone with their friends.

Oh, there we go all hands are raise.

Come on, you know you want to raise your hands.  Ah, that’s it, there we go!

Well, there is nothing simple about getting your children to do chores or go read a story book or something like that when they want to do the total opposite.  But here is something you could try to modify the behaviour of your children.

Use written rules.

  1. Be clear: If the rule is for the child to pick up their toys after playing with it in the play area, then it needs to say so.  By saying move your toys could mean to the child, kick your toys to the corner of the room in a heap.  So the written rule should speak to where you want them to put their toys and how they should arrange them as well.
  2. All must be following rules: Children learn by association, social learning, observing for instance.  If parents also have some written rules for themselves, then when the child observes the parent adhering to these, they will be more incline to follow the ones they have.
  3. Involve the child in developing rules: As adults, we all want to know that we are a part of something that pertains to us. Children are no different.  When you are making the rule for your home get their contributions.  They may think of something that you may not have thought about if you are creating the rules for them.  So get their views.
  4. Put rules in a place all can see: It is important that the children be able to have the visual benefit of the rules you make with them. So put it on a sheet of flip chart paper or wide enough so it can be easily seen by all.

So use rules in the home to see your family start building positive habits, or use these rules to reinforce what can be build upon.