Iowa Blog

PMAD: The most common complication of pregnancy

By Jeanetta Nieuwsma, LISW For most women, pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby is a happy time filled with joy and anticipation. However, for some this experience is filled with worry, guilt and sadness. Around 23% of pregnant women and new mothers develop postpartum depression or another perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD) either during pregnancy or up to two years after the baby is born.   Symptoms of PMAD At first glance PMAD can look a lot like the...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 3:51 PM | 0 comments

When Grief Doesn’t Seem to End:

Understanding the Difference Between Grief, Depression and Anxiety Following Miscarriage and Infant Loss Losing a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth is an experience parents have little preparation for. The grief that follows is uncharted territory. Parents can feel blindsided as the hopes and dreams they had for their baby vanish even before there is a dirty diaper to change. The rituals of funerals and memorial services which help us heal and honor other loved ones who die often...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 12:29 PM | 0 comments

Anger: Friend of Foe?

By Jean Holthaus, LISW Living in the central United States generally means living in a culture which places a high value on “nice.” Overall, this isn’t a bad thing—we help our neighbors, treat one another kindly, and work to follow the Golden Rule. However, our capacity to be “nice” is limited and when our anger is triggered, we sometimes feel and behave like The Incredible Hulk. We view anger as an unsavory emotion to be avoided as much as possible...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 2:57 PM | 0 comments

Dealing with Pain

By Karen Cleveland, PhD Suicide is tragic. The recent death of beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams, reminded us of that fact. Crisis is often a catalyst for both awareness and action. When depression sets in for you or a loved one, here are some truths and some action steps to keep in mind. Everyone hurts. Unfortunately pain is a part of life, but you are not alone. Others have been there before, some are there with you now, and many will come behind you. There is strength...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 9:55 AM | 0 comments

A Grandmother’s Legacy

By Heidi Vermeer-Quist , PsyD Grandparents are wonderful! If you are a grandparent, don’t underestimate the impact you have on your grandkids. If you still have your grandparents around, take time to listen and learn from them. They love you more than words can express, and they have a lot of wisdom to share. Just recently, I said good-bye to my last surviving grandparent. My grandma Matilda was (and still is) a saint! She always had time for us. My grandmother played with us,...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 1:55 PM | 0 comments

Managing Back-to-school Anxiety

By Jean Holthaus, LISW August is right around the corner bringing with it the inevitabilities… going to school for the first time, going back to school, going to new schools, sending kids to college, becoming empty nesters, preparing for winter, etc. August and change seem inextricably linked just like change is inextricably linked to fear for most of us. Treating fear like a fever Frustrating as it can be, our bodies are designed to instinctively respond to change with some level...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 10:25 AM | 0 comments

Men's Health Month: Focusing on Mental Health

By Steven Runner, PsyD   Men’s Health Month is celebrated every June to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among boys and men. Often overlooked is men’s mental and emotional health, an area that can take a significant toll on the lives of men when left unattended.   It’s estimated that one in four U.S. adults had a mental health disorder in the past year. Depression and anxiety...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 1:39 PM | 0 comments

Summer Parenting Tips

By Jean Holthaus, LISW   I loved summer as a child and spent hours playing with siblings, reading, riding bike, and learning to sew and cook. It was wonderful! However, as a working parent with two children, summer could often feel overwhelming. I love my children but an entire summer of being responsible for them twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week seemed…well, daunting to say the least. I suspect many parents face June, July, and August with the same sense of fear and...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 8:15 AM | 0 comments

What do You See in the Mirror?

By Jean Holthaus, LISW Mirrors are everywhere and each one provides the opportunity for self-affirmation or self-criticism. Most men and women see their bodies as a compilation of unacceptable features. As women pass a mirror they to see big thighs, jiggling arms, protruding stomachs, and the wrong size breasts. Increasingly men are joining the ranks of those who negatively critique their bodies. While women want to be smaller, American men believe their body should have twenty to thirty...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 10:13 AM | 0 comments

Remembering with God, You're Never Alone in Your Grief

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD Remembering is a necessary and important step to good grief. People often avoid remembering because they don’t want recount past painful events. They don’t want to re-experience all of that pain again. Or they may remember and find themselves stuck back in anger and depressed stages of their grief. In his book, Finding Our Way Home, Dr. Mark McMinn encourages people to engage in “Incarnational Remembering.” Or, quite simply,...
Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 11:09 AM | 0 comments

You Complete Me

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD If you grew up during the 1990’s, you might recall one of the “hottest” romantic movies of that era— Jerry Maguire. For those of us who’ve seen the movie, who can forget the cheesy, lovey-dovey line delivered by none other than Tom Cruise? During what may be the movie’s most memorable scene, Tom Cruise enters, looks intently at Rene Zellweger, and dramatically professes his love by proclaiming, “You complete...
Posted by at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Good Grief

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD     While we are preparing for Christmas, what comes to mind when I mention “good grief”?   You may think more of Charlie Brown and his Christmas special than to a discussion dealing with grief and loss (remember, he says “good grief” quite frequently).  Speaking of Charlie Brown, that cartoon kid was almost perpetually stuck in grief.  Grief often involves the stages of Shock, Denial, Anger,...
Posted by at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

The Importance of Forgiveness

By Cal Meuzelaar, LISW   Why should we forgive? Because not forgiving makes us prisoners. Bitterness, rage and anger make us captive to lives of misery. We’re only hurting ourselves. Forgiving frees us from these chains. Just as we have been forgiven, we are blessed when we forgive others.   How do we forgive? First we make the very difficult decision to forgive. We don’t deny that we’ve been hurt and wronged, but we decide we no longer want to be...
Posted by at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

The KISS Approach to Marriage

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD   When conflicts arise, making a marriage work can seem incredibly difficult…even impossible.   Though emotions become intense, heated, sad, fearful, or even avoidant, don’t despair.  These are all clues that you and your spouse really care!   If you didn’t care, there would be very little emotion.  Many couples, however, don’t know how to work through those emotions...
Posted by at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Glistening

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD   I once worked with a young lady (I’ll call her Angie – not her real name) who struggled with intense perfectionism.  On the outside Angie looked like a well-adjusted, incredibly focused, and successful college graduate, but inside she was extremely anxious, riddled with worry, and constantly measuring herself up to unreasonable standards.    We embarked on the journey of reducing her perfectionism and developing the...
Posted by at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Mindfulness – Living in the Present Moment

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD Mindfulness is a hot topic and tool used in psychology, spirituality and popular self-help these days.  As one who often has her mind “full” of thoughts, learning mindfulness skills and helping others to practice mindfulness is joyful work.  The goal of Mindfulness is to take hold of your mind; using your whole mind as fully as possible.  A psychologist and guru in the study of Mindfulness, Marsha Linehan, encourages us...
Posted by at 2:04 PM | 0 comments

Thought Choices: Victim or Victor Thinking?

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)   I am a HUGE “Keep It Super Simple” (KISS) person, so I like to boil down thought processes into two major themes: Victim Thinking and Victor Thinking.   Victim Thinking is characterized by thinking from a survival perspective.  We all go there at times.  To some degree, we have to when we are faced with a...
Posted by at 4:11 PM | 0 comments

“Catch, Release & Replace”- A Mental Health Methodology

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD   When I was growing up, every summer my Grandma and Grandpa Vermeer took my cousins and I fishing up in Canada.  Looking back, it was quite a treat, though I often did not fully appreciate it at the time.  We would get up early every morning, usually before 6 a.m., which was “sleeping in” for my grandparents.  Sleepy eyed and chilled, we’d shuffle to the table for a hot fisherman’s breakfast.   During...
Posted by at 3:25 PM | 0 comments

Living with Healthy Boundaries: Watch out for the “O” zone!

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD I grew up in the lovely little town of Pella, Iowa. People who grow up in Pella are expected to be well-put-together, responsible, hardworking, God-fearing and independent.  As a good Dutch Reformed girl, I figured I had “boundaries” down pat.  I grew up in a church and community with lots of clear rules.  I never got in trouble.  People liked me (at the least most seemed to like me).  And I genuinely loved God and...
Posted by at 10:40 AM | 0 comments

Words Become Worlds

by Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD I did an exercise with a depression support group a few years ago.  I encouraged participants to turn to one another and take turns asking the question, “Who are you?”   One of the ladies graciously agreed to demonstrate the “Who are you?” dialogue with me.  Instead of having her ask me first (which I should have done, so as not to put her on the spot), I asked her first, “Who are you?”  She...
Posted by at 10:35 AM | 0 comments

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