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Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Was Nietsche Right?
Preparing to be a “SurThrivor” before tragedy strikes By Bob VandePol For centuries, theologians and philosophers have pondered the meaning of human suffering and responses to it. Today trauma-related researchers vigorously debate the post-trauma trajectories toward recovery for individuals and organizations. Why do some of those impacted by tragedy become Victims—indelibly marred and increasingly vulnerable to subsequent traumatization? Why do...
Monday, January 12, 2015
Who’s Driving Your Money in 2015 and Beyond?
By Heidi Vermeer-Quist, PsyD Is money is driving you, or are you driving your money? It may just seem like I switched some words around in that question, but actually there is a BIG shift in perspective depending on which way you approach money. Money can be a really big deal…if we make it that way. It seems to consume much of our time and energy. When “money is driving you” it doesn’t feel like you have control of your finances, and you will feel...
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Challenge Yourself this Year
Don’t get stuck in your comfort zone By Bob VandePol "The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year." -John Foster Dulles Yes, when small children we all "defeated" our grandmothers in the game of Chutes & Ladders many, many consecutive times. Have you remained stuck there? Exchanging growth opportunities for the comfort of a sure win? Perhaps a consecutive win streak can be a sign of...
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Bring Yourself to Work
Creating Meaning and Motivation in Your Organization’s Culture By Bob VandePol Each year, the holidays trigger within me a time of personal reflective soul-searching…. a time to ask myself the questions tied to my purpose in life, values, life principles, and “what do I want to be when I grow up?” In the past, I have challenged myself to draft a personal mission statement based upon the answers to those questions. Personally and professionally, I am...
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Reflect and Prepare
The end of each year is often a time of great reflection along with developing new resolutions for the coming year. Below is a selection of blogs that may help you reflect and develop new resolutions for 2015. Bring Yourself to Work - Create meaning and motivation in your organization’s culture. Make Sure to Use Your Vacation Days - There are many good reasons for us to go ahead and use those vacation days we’ve worked so hard to earn. Taking time away from...
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions
As the ball in Times Square counts down the seconds to the New Year, many of us will resolve to do things differently…lose weight, drink less alcohol, quit drinking caffeine, exercise more, spend less money, spend more time with family, or start a savings account. We will set lofty goals around living differently in the coming year. Yet, even as we make resolutions, a nagging awareness we may not be successful will lurk in the dark recesses of our mind. So, what...
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Despite the peaceful, inspirational, or life giving meaning the Christmas season is intended to impart. Christmas and the holiday season is often a hard time for many people. Why is Christmas a rough time of year, and often filled with sadness, frustration, anxiety, and even depression for many people? Christmas can be rough because it reminds us of the loss of a loved one. The Holiday Season becomes frustrating because we can’t recapture the memories of the...
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Embracing Reality Improves Holiday Experience
For some, the holidays trigger excitement and anticipation while others experience low-level dread, anxiety , or depression . No matter how much these individuals attempt to make the holidays positive, often sadness and disappointment persists. While many factors contribute to this, a common thread exists within multiple circumstances and, when addressed, can help create a more positive holiday experience. Problem: Unrealistic Expectations For children, the holidays are...
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Taking care of Postpartum Fathers, Partners, and Children
By Nancy Roberts RN, CCE, CBC Perinatal Mood Disorders (PMD) can affect the entire family. Without effective interventions, the impacts can be lasting. However, in most cases, with proper treatment and support, a woman and her family can fully recover. Here are some suggestions that can help. Tips for Fathers and/or Partners Ask for help, information and support for yourself. Develop a supportive circle for your family. Say yes when others offer to help. Be kind to...
Monday, November 24, 2014
When Grief Doesn’t Seem to End:
Understanding the Difference Between Grief, Depression and Anxiety Following Miscarriage and Infant Loss By Heidi Warner, PhD 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...
Friday, September 26, 2014
Anger: Friend or 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...
Monday, September 15, 2014
Celebrating Recovery in September
By Jude Vereyken, LMSW, CAADC National Recovery Month is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Sponsored by SAMHSA, Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. This year’s theme, “ Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out ,” encourages people to openly speak up about mental and substance use disorders and the...
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The Truth About 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...
Monday, August 25, 2014
The Blessings of Grandparents
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,...
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Many Gifts from Robin Williams
By Jude Vereyken, LMSW, CAADC The death of Robin Williams this week has touched our hearts in so many ways. His brilliant comedic style made us laugh so hard and often that we will never forget. He was also courageously open with us about his human fragility, addiction and mental illness. In the end, the only way he could let us all see the enormity of his pain and suffering, however, was by ending his own life. We all wear masks . Some of us use humor, some...
Friday, August 01, 2014
Make Sure to Use Your Vacation Days
By Alan Harper, MA Many of us like to save our vacation days. We enjoy the feeling of always having a large “bank” of vacation days available to us. We use our days sparingly so we know they’re always there if we need them. It’s a good feeling having those days available to us, similar to having a large savings account at the bank. Maybe it feels secure. Maybe it feels like the responsible thing to do. But, is it always...
Thursday, July 31, 2014
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...
Monday, June 30, 2014
Practice Does in Fact Matter!
By Jude Vereyken, LMSW, CAADC It is hard work to make intentional changes in our lives. I’ve watched the members of my first Practice Matters! group challenged with the notion of practice. Some have had a struggle getting to group each week. Some have worked faithfully on their practice intention goals. Some are learning how to make intentional practice happen routinely in their lives. Each member has courageously accepted the challenge and is working at her/his own pace. I...
Friday, June 27, 2014
“This isn’t about my baby.”
By Kerrie Van Weelden, LMSW I recently had a mother say to me, “I have always felt close to my baby, but I don’t feel like myself. I am on edge all the time.” Another woman told us, “The doctor kept asking me, ‘Do you have thoughts about hurting your baby or yourself?’ and I kept telling him that I am not like that!” This mom was offended that thoughts about harming her baby or herself seemed to be the only question she was being asked. “It...
Monday, June 23, 2014
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...
Thursday, May 29, 2014
May is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month
Did you know that May is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month in the state of Michigan? May, 2014 has been proclaimed Postpartum Depression Awareness Month by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. For the third year in a row, Michigan law makers have officially proclaimed the month of May, Postpartum Depression Awareness Month for the entire state. For many women and their families, pregnancy and the birth of a child are times of excitement and joy–that’s what most of us envision...
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Recognizing signs of abuse in children and what you can do about it
By Vanessa Hogarth, LMSW Abuse toward children can take on many forms within the physical, sexual and emotional realms. Preceding abuse is often neglect, potentially identifying the signs can be a challenge indeed, and knowing what to do with that information when learned can be even harder. Here are some key signs that might indicate abuse or neglect is happening, however, assessing the situation for legitimacy and severity can be complex and should be left to a professional. What are...
Friday, May 23, 2014
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 fac