Investing in your mental health for a better future

Though the field of psychology has grown in the last 50 years, psychotherapy or counseling is still seen as more a place for the mentally ill and those in crisis. Due to this assumption, investing in mental health has gone underutilized. We continue to invest in our bodies for good health, but the mind goes untapped. Investing in your mental health has the potential to create change in your every day life and those you love, by transforming the way you think and how you approach your life. Just like you would contact the local gym to start your training; contact us today and invest in a deeper change.

How We Love

You continually ask your husband to spend more time with you and he schedules a day to wash the car, clean the garage, and sweep the yard. You make breakfast for your wife every morning and she grabs a bagel instead and heads out the door always saying "thank you" but never leaving a kiss goodbye. 

At the end of day; you are both left feeling unloved, devalued, and misunderstood. And yet, you didn't argue and things were accomplished. Anyone would look in from the outside and say, you both seem happy, and yet there's a disconnect.

How we love one another goes far deeper than the concept of "I like affection" vs. "I'd rather you just say I love you" or "I like when we go hiking" versus "I'd rather just sit on the couch and look at you all day."  Yes, these are ways of loving and we all have preferences, but if it's just a preference, why do we feel deeply wounded when this preference isn't met?

Milan & Kay Yerkovitch share this personal journey of frustrating patterns that lead to deeper and deeper wounds dating back to early attachment. In their book, How We Love, they define various "love styles" and how these interlace with your spouse. It's more than just defining how you love but learning where your desires truly stem from and how your spouse can meet those needs while they have desires of their own. We highly suggest you take a look at Milan & Kay's work. Start out by taking a little quiz and see how the results may relate to what you've been sensing. If your marriage has been going around in circles for years, then please know, that one, you are not alone, and two, there is something you can do to change that.

Milan & Kay Yerkovitch - "How We Love"

How We Love Quiz

Understanding Childhood Anger

Identifying angry, defiant behaviors (ODD)

The first step in addressing anger in children is a careful history of the child that is helped by evaluating the degree of active and passive-aggressive anger, the degree of selfishness and the number of ODD behaviors.

Please identify the symptoms of ODD in your child by identifying the behaviors listed in the DSM IV-TR for this diagnosis:

  • Often losing temper
  • Often arguing with adults
  • Often actively defying or refusing to comply with adults’ requests or rules
  • Often deliberately annoying people
  • Often blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviors
  • Being often touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • Being often angry and resentful
  • Being often spiteful or vindictive.

The child must demonstrate at least four of these symptoms for at least 6 months to establish the ODD diagnosis. In our view a number of these behaviors are an indication of selfishness in the child. These include:

  • Often actively defying or refusing to comply with requests or rules from adults
  • Often deliberately annoying people
  • Regularly blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviors
  • Regularly becoming touchy or easily annoyed by others.

Based on over 35 years of clinical experience I believe that the following symptoms of the covert (sneaky) or passive-aggressive expression of anger should be added to the description of ODD symptoms.

Identifying Covert/Passive-Aggressive Angry Behaviors

  • Failure to respond when addressed
  • Refusal to cooperate with teachers at school
  • Refusal to do home work
  • Deliberate lateness
  • Refusal to keep order in the home or in bedroom
  • Provocation of siblings
  • Unwillingness to be sensitive to others.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is the most common psychiatric disorder seen in children. Epidemiological data have indicated that by the age of sixteen 23% of children will meet the criteria for a behavior disorder, most frequently oppositional defiant disorder, 11.3% (Costello EJ, et al., 2003.)

As every parent knows, acts and words of defiance in direct or covert ways can begin at an early age. Unfortunately this anger often is not properly identified, understood and addressed by busy parents, family members, educators and mental health professionals. The failure to identify and address this anger has serious consequences for the child, the parents and family, schools and society.

Oppositional behaviors occupy a central position in the development of emotional and mental illnesses.  ODD can lead to the development of a conduct disorder in which children manifest intensely angry and even violent behaviors. This disorder in turn can lead to the development of a sociopathic or criminal personality disorder. Also, there is a substantial overall between ODD and ADHD. 

The wide range of association of ODD with other disorders is also reflected in the finding that it is one of the most common precursors for most psychiatric disorders in adolescence and young adulthood (Kim-Cohen, J. 2003 and Nock, MK, 2007.)

A major study estimated that children with ODD were 17 times more likely to have a depressive or anxiety disorder than children without ODD (Boylan, K, et al, 2007.)

Our professional experience indicates that if defiant and angry behaviors are dealt with effectively in young children the emotional and mental health of the child and the family can be protected and strengthened. The serious problems that develop if children do not learn how to control their angry impulses can be prevented.

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