Batman and Dora the Explorer Help with Homework

A recent study using self-distancing a psychological technique was performed to discover if the technique could increase perseverance and determination in young children. Perseverance is developed at different stages for different individuals such as early school years, teen years, and young adult. On the other hand, some individuals struggle with this their entire lives. Perseverance is the ability to regulate one’s self, keep distractions away, and stay on target with intentions and goals.
The earlier this skill is developed the better. On the other hand, children that are young are easily distracted therefore perseverance can be difficult for them to master.
A recent study showed that using self-distancing, a psychological technique children between the ages of four and six were able to keep going for a much longer amount of time especially if Dora the Explorer and Batman were added to the self-distancing technique.
The Reason Why
Self-distancing is done by thinking of oneself as if they were an outsider and using the point of view of a third person. The shift to this third person idea is not only a cognitive one but can also relieve us from our emotions at the moment which allows a better ability to self-regulate which is very important for keeping on track and having perseverance.
During the study, the children were given a sorting task on a computer that was boring. When they became bored they were given the chance to have a break and play a game on an iPad. The reason in allowing a break was to see how long the children would stay on the task instead of taking breaks to play a game.
The children were placed into three different groups. The control group was told to ask themselves one question while doing the task which was, “Am I working hard?” For the children in the third person group, the question was using their name in the same question instead of using I. The last group was allowed to use Rapunzel, Bob the Builder, Dora the Explorer, and Batman in place of I or their name.
The children that used their name stated at the task longer than the ones that used “I”, while those that used the name of one of the characters lasted even longer.
The results of the study showed that by distancing themselves from the task at hand allowed the children to be a bit disengaged in distractions, temptations, or negative emotions. Allowing children to dress up while doing tasks or homework will give them a boost of confidence.
Of course, parents or even therapist that wish to work with young children must ensure that the child identifies with the character and the character is one that shows perseverance.
Working with a Bentonville therapist can help your child learn how to study in a progressive manner without all the distractions.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Family Breakups and Cutoffs

One of the most painful situations in which individuals often find themselves is being cut-off from family members. There are several different reasons that this occurs, however, for the person that has been cut off, there are often many different feelings that can often lead to depression. Individuals that are cut off often feel confused, shame, and stress. Many times the person that has been cut off has no idea why they are being shunned which may only last a few years or for their entire life.
For those that are in this situation, the following reasons are often the most common, however, there can be other reasons. Being cut off from a family member or from your entire family can be devastating for many.
We often act in the manner we have seen our parents act. If one of your parents has cut off one or more family members when they become angry, upset, or disappointed in their behavior, you may react the same way as a teenager or adult. We all learn how to react and respond to what we see as we are growing up and often follow the same behavior.
Everyone knows that in their family there are dominant individuals that often cut off others to show their power. This is a type of bullying whereas if a family member does not agree or will do as expected by the dominant member, then they are often cut off. Many children learn this bullying behavior at home when they watch how one individual in the family bullies others to stay in control.
Fed Up
In some cases, family members just get tired of the drama of one family member and just cannot take the negative vibes any longer. This could be due to the family member suffering from addiction and will not seek help, only come around when they need something or some other action that places family members in situations that make them feel uncomfortable. Each person has a tolerance level and when it is reached, for their own peace of mind they cut off the other person.
Keeping the Past in the Past
Many of us have things in our past that we do not want to remember as we have healed and gone forward. There are often family members that dwell on these past memories and only remind us of the bad times. By cutting off this family member, we can move forward and sort of ignore the bad memories so we can carry on with our lives in a more positive manner.
Choosing One Family Member Over Another
Too many times, there are conflicts that arise that make you choose your spouse over your child from a different marriage or your spouse over your parents. This can also occur when siblings are at odds and you must choose one over the other. This can be devastating, but it is very common. Not only will the one you cut off have confusing feelings as to what went wrong, but you will also have issues as you still want that person in your life.
Breakdown in Communication
There are times when communicating with others there is misunderstanding, this also occurs with family members. The problem is that if no one discusses the issue the words that were misunderstood will fester and grow until there is a breakdown. This breakdown will often lead to avoiding the family member instead of trying to work things out.
Money is one of the biggest issues in many families. Whether is loaning money to a family member or as large as a family inheritance. Trying to deal with late payments on a loan or squabbling over the inheritance will often place family members at odds which can lead to being cut off from the family.
Caring for Aging Parents
As we age, we often have to rely on our children and grandchildren to help us. The problem here often occurs when one family member is taking on the majority of the care. Some families will work out a schedule so each person can help with the care, doctor’s visits and more. On the other hand, some individuals may not be able to help as they live far away or have a full-time job and family. The one that takes on the responsibility, may cut off the other siblings that are not helping, feeling as if they do not care about the parents.
Physical or Mental Abuse
When a person has been mentally or physically abused by a relative, the person that caused the abuse will be cut off. Of course, this is important for the health and well-being of those that were abused.
No matter the reason you may have been cut off from your family, counseling can provide you with the necessary tools to cope with the situation. A Bentonville Arkansas therapist can help you not only cope with the issue but in many cases, help you connect with your family once again.

No matter the reason you may have been cut off from your family, counseling can provide you with the necessary tools to cope with the situation. A Bentonville Arkansas therapist can help you not only cope with the issue but in many cases, help you connect with your family once again.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Major Questions Asked to Diagnose Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a very confusing ailment that according to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 5.7 million adults in America suffering from every year. The report shows that both men and women suffer from a bipolar disorder, however, 3 times more women have at least four or more episodes every year. The mood episodes shift and cause patients to be unpredictable in their actions, have impaired judgment, have irrational actions, and in some cases feel so depressed they do not want to get out of bed.
A recent study by Psychiatry estimated that nearly 69% of individuals are misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder as it can be difficult to distinguish between clinical depression and bipolar disorder. With bipolar disorder, the mood swings from mania to depression may not be seen at first but the extreme depression is often noted. There are according to studies conducted specific questions that will determine if the individual has clinical depression or bipolar disorder. The questions are as follows:
1. For several days in a row, have you had an elevated mood or the emotions of feeling “too good”?
Even if an individual answers yes to this question. A counselor will need to go a bit more in-depth to learn if the mood swing was manic or if the feeling was due to something great happening in their life. In order to learn the answer, a therapist needs to determine if the mood was manic and if during this time, the individual has more confidence, energy and even a bit more agitated than normal. During manic moods, those with bipolar disorder will often experience reckless behavior, increased self-confidence, decreased need for sleep, and will have more energy.
2. During the elevated mood, did you sleep less but still felt energetic?
During manic moods, individuals with bipolar disorder can sleep fewer hours than normal and still feel energized and refreshed. Keeping track of an individual’s sleep matter can aid in determining the diagnosis.
3. During the elevated mood episode, did you experience great ideas or feeling like your brain is working double time?
This one is a bit more difficult as racing thoughts can also be attributed to anxiety, however, many individuals with bipolar disorder do not experience racing thoughts but do have clear, precise and deep thoughts. In most cases, the thoughts even though they are precise the individual may have trouble keeping up with their thoughts or ideas.
4. Are you more conversational during the elevated mood?
Even though being more talkative can be a sign of anxiety a therapist must ask more specific questions regarding the way in which an individual carries on a conversation during the elevated mood episodes in order to determine bipolar disorder.
An individual that has bipolar disorder may feel like they are speaking a mile a minute or have problems following what they are saying. In most cases, the individual does not know they are thinking, speaking or acting differently. Most individuals with anxiety realize they are feeling like they are everywhere at once, while a patient with bipolar disorder does not distinguish these feelings, meaning they have no insight and feel like they are acting normal.
5. During the elevated mood, do you take on more things than you can actually accomplish?
During manic episodes, those with bipolar disorder often take on more than they can handle as they tend to be more goal-oriented. This can be taking on more projects at work or even volunteering at their child’s school. In most cases, the extra load will cause them to suffer as they cannot keep up with all they have on their plates, but the individual does not recognize it as a problem. However, the therapist but determine if the extra workload is due to others saying the individual is not participating or are slacking off at work, or it is the elevated mood that is causing the behavior.
6. During the elevated mood are you a bit risky?
Individuals that are suffering from bipolar disorder are often more impulsive and usually act rash in decision making which is not their normal behavior. This can include shopping extensively, having several sexual partners, and even driving recklessly.
7. Do you feel more confident, more optimism, sexier, or smarter during the elevated mood episode?
Individuals that suffer from bipolar disorder often have a feeling of grandiose. Individuals may even state they are going to quit their job even though they do not have a plan in mind for the future. This is due to the individual not having any insight to realize their actions are out of their normal behavior.
By answering these questions, a therapist can better determine if a person has bipolar disorder, clinical depression, or anxiety.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

New Study on Teenage Depression

As parents, we all know that during puberty and the teen years we need to be on the lookout for symptoms of depression. Teenagers are going through all kinds of changes and are trying to “fit in” with their peers, society, and trying to figure out where they belong in the scheme of things. The problem is that we may not be watching soon enough.
A new study on the mental health of children in the United States was recently published that is quite scary and alarming. The study showed that depression started at age eleven in many children. When the child reaches the age of seventeen, 13.6% males and 36.1% females had been depressed or are now struggling with depression.
The numbers published are quite a bit higher than any estimates to this date. Teachers, parents, and all caregivers need to understand that the risk of depression is very important during this time due to the link of severe issues with relationships, school, and of course suicide to do with depression episodes.
Researchers have discovered through various studies that depression is higher in adult women than men but now we see that it is the same with girls and boys, however at a much younger age than believed.
The study used information from interviews that comprised of 100,000 children during 2009 and 2014 that took part in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. The data was recently published in the Journal Translational Psychiatry using the information compiled from the annual survey to represent a portion of the United States population.
The questions used in the survey were standard including such topics as irritability, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, and feelings of guilt. Once this information was gathered, the researchers used the data to diagnose the ones that participated using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Using the survey, helped reach more children than would be possible than using data from those that are receiving treatment.
From the study, Joshua Breslau, the lead author of the study explained what the data revealed. Even at age 12, there was a significant gap between girls and boys with girls suffering from depression symptoms more than boys. Girls reached a peak at age 15 and then began to taper off but were still quite a bit higher than boys when they reached the age of 17. What this indicates is that the origins of depression begin earlier than previously believed.
It may be difficult to believe but through research, scientists have discovered that children at the young age of 4 or 5 can suffer from depression.
At this time, more research needs to be conducted to learn why some individuals can come out of depression without help and others need help. Adults need to learn the signs and symptoms of depression in order to ensure that children are receiving adequate help when they become depressed. The longer a person suffers from depression, the stronger the symptoms can become and too many times ends in suicide.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Test for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Traumatic events in your life can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder; however, just because you have experienced such an event does not necessarily mean you have the disorder. Along with this, PTSD is not a disorder that is experienced only by soldiers that have been in combat. There are many different events that can bring on such a disorder from child abuse to seeing another person harmed.

If you are wondering if you could be suffering from PTSD, this test may help you come to a conclusion. Of course, this test is just a first step and does not mean that you have the disorder. A professional counselor is the only one that can determine if you actually are suffering from PTSD.

Answer each question below honestly. Think about each answer carefully before answering with a yes or no. Once completed the instructions for scoring are at the bottom of the test.

  • Are you worried by an experience or one that you witnessed that brought on horror, the feeling of helplessness, or extreme fear?
  • Do you relive the event in either repeated dreams or disturbed memories?
  • Having flashbacks of the event or feeling as if it is happening again?
  • When you are around things that remind you of the event, do you experience extreme pain or become emotionally upset?
  • When you are reminded of the event do you avoid talking about it or thinking about the event?
  • Do you steer clear of people, places or activities that remind you of the event?
  • Do you go blank on significant parts of the event?
  • Are you losing interest in many activities you once enjoyed?
  • Do you feel that you are detached from others?
  • Do you feel your emotions are being restricted?
  • Do you feel like you will not be able to have children, get married, have a career, or live out your life?
  • Do you have problems sleeping?
  • Do you feel irritable or have anger outbursts?
  • Do you have issues concentrating?
  • Do you have the feeling you have to be watching out for danger?
  • Do you have an inflated response to being startled?
  • Have you noticed a change in your eating or sleeping habits?
  • Do you have more days of sadness than happy?
  • Are you not interested in life?
  • Do you feel guilty or worthless?
  • Has the use of drugs or alcohol caused you problems with family, school, or work?
  • Has the use of drugs or alcohol caused you to be in a dangerous situation?
  • Has the use of drugs or alcohol caused you to be arrested?
  • Have you continued using drugs or alcohol even though it is causing family problems?

Every question that you answered yes to shows that you have a likelihood of the disorder. For those that answered yes to at least thirteen questions, you should seek counseling. Even if you answered yes to less than thirteen but are still worried that you may have a mental disorder, it is always best to seek medical or mental help.

The only persons that can diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder is a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or your physician. Bentonville Arkansas Therapist has a caring staff that is ready to help.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Marital Counseling for a Healthy Relationship

Every couple when they first get married believes they will live in bliss for many years to come. Any relationship can be difficult to sustain happiness 24 hours per day, seven days per week. There are different reasons that a relationship can become stressful for both partners. In many cases, having a third party to help you deal with your stressors and learn how to communicate can help save your marriage. Of course, not every marriage can be saved but if both partners desire to stay together, the result can be wonderful.

The main reason that many couples begin to have problems at home is often due to outside stressors such as workload, responsibilities to other family members like older parents, social events, and even the daily routine of taking the kids to school and after-school practices. With all the things that must be done at work and at home to keep a roof over the family’s head, there is little time left for couples to enjoy each others company. This is often where the trouble begins.

Once couples are married, issues often arise that may not have been discussed prior to saying, “I do”. These can be having children, whether one partner will remain in school, money, and caring for other family members. After a couple is married for a time, all of these issues begin to surface. It can be difficult when couples do not agree on having children, discipline, education, and religion. Finding a middle ground may not be possible especially if one wants children now and the other one wants to wait.

Intimacy is more important than many believe. In order to have a happy marriage, couples must spend time together. This is when you bond as one. Many times, individuals begin to feel neglected which will bring on disagreements and arguments instead of the closeness your marriage needs.

Money is often the root of many issues in everyone’s world. Married couples often do not agree on how the money they have should be spent which also causes friction between the couple.

Strains on your marriage can be handled once you learn how to communicate with one another instead of the arguing and yelling that often occurs.

Marital counseling can aid in helping couples work together and be close once again. By having a third party in the room while you talk about your differences, it will aid in stopping quarreling and help you resolve the issues. A marital therapist will help guide the session as they will help the couple look at the issues objectively and not become offended. With counseling, couples can grow emotionally together, develop a commitment toward their marriage, and understand how to have a healthy and happy marriage even with all the ups and downs that come their way. Just having another person that can guide you through the issues that are causing problems in your marriage is a great way to start saving your marriage. Bentonville Arkansas Therapist are here to help.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Understanding Life Adjustments

Life changes are inevitable, throughout these milestones in our lives, we must be ready for the changes to achieve a smooth transition. In several cases, coping with these life adjustments can be difficult especially if you are not ready for the change to occur.

A counselor that has experience with helping others prepare or deal with the changes that occur in our normal life, can actually help you accept the changes in life, help you set principles, values, and standards that can help stay focused on your goals, help you make the right steps in order to cope with the changes in life while reaching your goals, help you understand what you are going through, help you accept the emotions and feelings that are occurring, and help you from using drugs or alcohol to escape reality.

A therapist is a wonderful guide that can help you learn how to accept and cope with all the changes in life while aiding in building a support system with not only your counselor but your family to help you stay on track.

Every milestone in our lives is letting us know that change is coming and we have to be ready. Learning how to accept these life stage adjustments effectively will help us with each phase of our lives.

All living beings have a live cycle. Every cycle, of course, begins with small adjustments to cope with severe stressors, cultural, economic, and social adjustments. The stages of the adjustments are listed below.

From birth to age two, there will be changes in your schedule including routine, bedtime, and strangers which can cause anxiety.

From age three to nine the most common life adjustment is separation anxiety due to children starting school. Along with this, they begin developing relationships and social skills.

From age ten to nineteen, puberty begins which brings on learning their identity, romantic relationships, and peer pressure. During this life stage, teens may be risky in behavior and have severe reactions emotionally.

From age twenty to twenty-nine can bring on stress as in this stage, young adults are starting jobs, starting college, beginning a family, and moving out on their own which places them out of the environment that has been their comfort zone.

From age thirty to thirty-nine, individuals are still growing their career while taking care of their family which leads to more responsibility and often more stress.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Test for Anxiety Disorders

If you believe that you are worried or anxious all the time and wonder if you have an anxiety disorder, our quiz may shed some light.

Just answer every question below, honestly, yes or no.

Anxiety Disorder Quiz Part 1

Are you worried about being overcome with fear or feeling intensely uncomfortable without any reason or are you afraid of having a panic attack again?

Do you have insistent images, impulses, or unfitting thoughts like aggression, concerned about the order of different things, cannot get your mind off germs, or sexual desires?

Do you have a fear of being around strangers?

Do you worry for no less than six months about activities or upcoming events?

Do you have a fear of being trapped someplace without a way to escape such as at a mall or in an elevator?

Do you have bouts of your heart racing or shortness of breath for no reason?

Are you afraid of specific situations or objects such as heights, flying, go to the store, etc…?

Are you afraid to travel alone?

Do you spend more than one hour a day doing such actions as checking on things, counting, washing your hands, etc…?

Have you experienced a serious injury, deadly event, or life threatening event?

Anxiety Disorder Quiz Part 2

Do you feel restless the majority of the time?

Do you feel tired or distracted easily?

Do you feel irritable?

Do you have problems sleeping or are your muscles tense?

Is worry or feeling anxious causing problems with your daily routine?

Anxiety Disorder Quiz Part 3

This section deals with other issues that can cause more problems with anxiety disorders such as substance abuse, depression, or other mental health problems.

During the last year, have you had changes in your eating or sleeping routine?

Do you feel like you have more sad days than happy days?

Do you feel that most days you are not interested in life?

Do you feel guilty or worthless most of the time?

Has drugs or alcohol caused you to have problems with family, school, or work?

Has drugs or alcohol put you in danger such as out at night alone, driving, or other activities?

Has the use of drugs or alcohol caused you to be arrested?

Are you still using drugs or alcohol even though it is causing issues with family?


Count the number of yes’s and no’s. If you have more yeses on the first part of the quiz, you may have an anxiety disorder. If you have more yeses on parts 2 and 3, you may have an anxiety disorder that may cause more problems with the disorder like alcohol abuse or depression.

No matter what section, if you have more yes answers than no, you may have mental health issues and need to seek help from an experienced counselor. Finding the right help can help you cope with the symptoms so you can live a fuller and happier life.

Remember, this is only a quiz and does not imply that you have an anxiety disorder. You should contact a therapist that specializes in anxiety disorders to discover if you need help or if your worries are nothing more than the average.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, and Treatments

Schizophrenia is a serious behavior and brain disorder that affects the way a person acts, feels, and thinks. Those that suffer from this disorder can have problems knowing the difference between fantasy and reality, expressing their feelings, and making decisions. In some cases, the way the brain processes thoughts can cause the individual to be less motivated and disorganized. Many also hear voices and things others want to hurt them, are plotting against them, or can read their minds.

The social stigma concerning schizophrenia is completely biased in the believe that those suffering from this disorder have split personalities and will hurt other people. The truth is that these individuals do not have more than one personality and suffer the symptoms alone. They may seem angry and withdrawn but often harm themselves. Around 10% of individuals with schizophrenia commit suicide within the first ten years of developing the disorder.

Even though schizophrenia is a lifelong disorder and there is no cure, medication and counseling can aid in providing help so the individual can improve their lives and manage the symptoms.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Every person is different and the symptoms can be different according to the way the disorder reveals itself, the way it progresses, the age it develops, the severity, and how long the symptoms last. However, the symptoms have been placed into specific categories which include cognitive, negative, and positive. Each of the categories shows that there are brain function issues. Individuals with this disorder will have times where they are better and then get worse and then get better again, often in cycles.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems
  • Attention problems
  • Organizing and planning

Negative Symptoms

  • Loss of emotion
  • Loss of motivation
  • The ability to make plans is reduced
  • The ability to speak is reduced
  • Reduction in finding pleasure in life
  • Has a hard time staying on a schedule
  • Withdrawals from society

Positive Symptoms

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Thought Disorders

Subtypes of Schizophrenia

  • Paranoid schizophrenia
  • Disorganized schizophrenia
  • Catatonic schizophrenia
  • Residual schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder

Age of Schizophrenia Development

In the majority of cases, both men and women suffer equally with schizophrenia and all ethnic groups. At the age of between sixteen and thirty delusions and hallucinations begin. Men, on the other hand, develop symptoms earlier than women. However, after the age of forty-five and prior to the teen years, schizophrenia is not seen.

Treatment for Schizophrenia

Even though there is no cure, it can be treated and managed through medicine and behavioral counseling. For those that are having serious symptoms such as suicidal thoughts may need hospitalization.

The most common medication used are antipsychotic that aid in relieving the delusions and hallucinations.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy can then help “retrain” the brain once symptoms are reduced.

Counseling helps individuals with schizophrenia improve their motivation, personal hygiene, and communication. Learning how to cope with their disorder will help individuals live a productive life and normally have fewer relapses. Family counseling can also help all family members understand schizophrenia and help the person with the disorder live a better life.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

The Effects of Bullying

Awareness of mental health has soared over the last few decades. As our society begins to comprehend the illnesses that plague so many, we become more aware of the ramifications of our actions. Actions such as bullying in school can lead to long-lasting emotional damage for the victims who experience it. In the short term, a child may exhibit symptoms such as anxiety, depression, anger, lower grades than their peers, suicidal thoughts and feelings, and even illness occurring more often. If your child has exhibited some or all of these symptoms, you should consider seeking a therapist to help work through the trauma before it becomes deeper rooted and becomes detrimental in the long-term. When left unchecked, bullying can lead to self-esteem problems, increased desire to be alone, interpersonal difficulties such as fear and avoiding new social situations, difficulty trusting people, lingering feelings of bitterness and anger, and even reduced occupational opportunities.

There is an increasing body of research supporting the link between bullying and long-term emotional damage. A victim does not even need to be physically harmed in order to suffer the lasting harm. In fact, the primary wound that victims of bullying endure is the damage to their own identities. Bullying attempts to create fear and self-loathing. One who is a target of bullying has their ability to view themselves as a capable, desirable, and effective individual is damaged. Being bullied repetitively forces the person to contemplate their lack of control over the bullying process. After repeated scenarios of the bullying, they will come to believe they can’t do anything to change this situation, which then sets them up for hopelessness and depression.

The anxiety and depression that can result from the experience of being bullied are truly crippling. Panic attacks, moments of intense fear that seem to have no real trigger, can develop and cause a person to become even more secluded and upset with their own state of mind. This can then lead to the development of agoraphobia, the fear of leaving the house. Being too scared to leave the house, coupled with the fear of having another panic attack, can lead to an increase in depression. You can imagine how frustrating it must be, feeling like you can’t leave the house and not understanding why. This is backed by the self-esteem issues that a bullied victim faces. The fear and frustration associated with agoraphobia and panic attacks only compound onto the already damaged self-concept. This is where it can become a cycle of anxiety and depression that is very difficult to break out of. If you are suffering from these symptoms yourself, it would be very beneficial to contact a qualified counselor that specializes in kid therapy. There is hope for you, you just have to take the first step.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment