Because the process of separation and divorce leads to the end of a nuclear family, family therapy for divorcing families strikes many as an oxymoron. What would be the purpose of helping a family communicate and function better if the family is ending? But while loss and endings are inherent in separation and divorce, the process is also one in which families families reorganize, establish new patterns of relating, and find new roles and tasks for individual family members. Family therapy can be a powerful tool for families to attend to these tasks. [Read more…]
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
As the incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have exploded in the last 15 years, much progress has been made in understanding this complex developmental syndrome. People with ASDS are now recognized as a diverse group with a variety of diagnoses who vary widely in abilities and functioning levels. The defining features of those on “the spectrum” include difficulty with social skills and problems with reciprocal communication. People with ASDs may also engage in excessive rituals, have difficulty regulating their impulses, or display intense and focused interests. Many people with ASDs are either oversensitive or undersensitive to stimuli such as touch or sound. Some have particular talents, or “splinter skills”, and most are good visual learners. [Read more…]
Parents who seek therapy for their child or adolescent usually have serious concerns. Their child may be exhibiting moodiness, oppositional behaviors, poor social skills, or signs of experimenting with substances. Parents know that these concerns can significantly impact a child’s life and future development. By the time they begin the search for therapy services, parents may have tried several methods of remedy, and may already have consulted with a professional such as a pediatrician or school counselor for guidance.
Poverty can have a devastating effect on children and families. Rates of domestic violence, family break-up, and substance abuse are all high in poor communities. But affluent children and families have a number of difficulties as well. Recent studies have found that, beginning around middle school, both boys and girls whose family income exceeds $120,000 suffer from higher rates of depression and anxiety than those from middle-income families. Affluent girls from the pre-teen years onward suffer from higher rates of eating disorders than the general population, and affluent teen boys are at higher risk for abusing drugs and alcohol. Children from more affluent families demonstrate higher levels of social aggression and rule-breaking than children in the general population, and may suffer from higher levels of psychopathology in adulthood (Luthar and Latendresse, 2005). [Read more…]
The teenage years can be a demanding time for both youth and their families. Adolescents face increasing academic responsibilities and new social pressures, even as they grapple with rapid physical, cognitive, and emotional changes. While some thrive in the face of these challenges, other teenagers begin to experience difficulties. Depression, anxiety, poor school performance, eating disorders, substance abuse problems, and conduct issues all may manifest themselves during the teen years. Conflict within families may increase as teenagers alternately reject adult direction, demand more privileges, and engage in risky and irresponsible behavior. [Read more…]