Sep-18-2014

Taking a look at the facts of domestic violence/intimate partner violence

Taking a look at the facts of domestic violence/intimate partner violence

The world has now seen intimate partner violence splashed all over their television screens. Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked his fiancée unconscious in an elevator outfitted with a camera. Most people reacted with outrage to what they saw. But I have heard some say, “Well, she hit him first. She deserved it.” Others are very confused about why she has not left him. So let’s look at some facts.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.

Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

85% of domestic violence victims are women.

Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.

30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence …[Read More]

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Sep-16-2014

Managing your emotions during your child’s transition to college

Managing your emotions during your child’s transition to college

This strange thought occurred to me when I was making a list of all the stuff I was going to need to send my son off to college: where’s the college shower?

When a child comes into this world there is the baby shower, where experienced parents and a caring circle of friends pile on the onesies, the diapers, and the advice  in preparation for his or her arrival.  But when that very child (now young man or woman) leaves the nest for college there is no communal ritual preparation.  The, now, older parents really don’t have a clue about this transition either, even with the “equipment list” on the college website.

Why focus on the STUFF of college anyway?  Because everything else is out of your control.  Let me repeat: Parents, you are not in control, and the glare of our sons’ and daughters’ independence is oh, so blinding.  So, we compensate by focusing on the supplies as though their lives depended on having the perfect …[Read More]

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Aug-22-2014

It’s OK to talk to your children about suicide. Here’s how:

It’s OK to talk to your children about suicide. Here’s how:

None of us want to talk about suicide, but lots of us are thinking about it. A 2009 study by SAMHSA found that 8.3 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. That’s a lot of people–and it’s just for one year. The study also found that 2.3 million American adults made a plan for suicide in the past year. And 1.1 million actually attempted to kill themselves. Anyway you cut it, lots of people have suicide on their minds.

So, just like sex and drugs, suicide is something we need to be talking about with our kids. And just like sex and drugs, it’s probably something we should talk about early and often.

I don’t mean to say we need to bombard 5-year-old with the gory details of death by suicide, but emotions, mood and how they affect behavior are totally appropriate topics–even for our youngest kids.

Some tips for talking to your kids about suicide:

Keep it …[Read More]

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Aug-18-2014

Coping with conflicting emotions and grief after a suicide

Coping with conflicting emotions and grief after a suicide

Shock.  Disbelief.  Numbness.  Anguish.  Despair.  Loneliness.  Abandonment.  Grief.  Anger.  Guilt.  Emptiness.  Helplessness.  Devastation.

These are only a few of the intense emotions often experienced after a loved one, friend, colleague, or anyone you admire is lost through suicide.

You are not alone in experiencing a range of potentially conflicting emotions.  They may come and go in waves and change over time.

It is important to know that there is no “right way” to feel and these emotions are normal reactions to an unexpected, untimely death.  There is also no specified timeline to follow: People grieve in their own way and at their own pace.  You are not alone in the whirlwind of emotions that might be washing over you; most of us experience these intense feelings when we lose someone we care about.

Often, it is more difficult to talk about a loss when it occurs through suicide.  The situation might seem so overwhelming that we get consumed …[Read More]

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