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How to Prepare for Adoption 

How to Prepare for Adoption 

Every prospective parent has to undergo a pre-adoption evaluation known as ‘home study’, before they can be approved for adoption. A home study operates as a record that lists aspects of your life such as your health and financial information, family history, parenting plan and personal background. It also consists of undergoing a series of interviews, a psychological test and home visits from a social worker. Naturally, prospective parents view the home study process as being nerve racking. Fortunately, we compiled a list of tips to consider to ensure that you can prepare adequately for adoption.

1) Prepare Your Home 

During your home study, a social worker will evaluate your residence to determine if it’s a safe environment for a child to live in. Therefore, most experts suggest that prospective parents should declutter and clean their homes. In fact, consider the possibility of hiring a professional cleaning contractor such as a maid. Social workers will go through each room, but they usually spend less than 10 minutes looking at the safety features of each room. Additionally, ensure that: 

  • Swimming pools are fenced and covered.
  • Weapons are stored in a locked gun safety box.
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in the main living areas of the building.
  • Use short window drape cords.
  • Household cleaners and pesticide should be stored in cupboards with child proof locks.

2) Treat Your Social Worker Like A Friend 

One of the things that can help to alleviate the stresses that are associated with the pre-adoption evaluation process is to think of the social worker as a guest, as opposed to an authority figure. Meaning, conversations should have a friendly tone and similarly to a guest, you should offer them tea or coffee. The point of doing this, isn’t to gain favors per se, but to make them feel comfortable. After all, the point of a pre-adoption evaluation is to determine if you can provide a safe and comfortable environment for the child. 

adoption3) Prepare For Your Interviews 

To a certain extent, your interview is akin to a secondary psychological test. Your assigned social worker will conduct an interview to evaluate your intentions, your history and suitability. Some of the general topics you’ll have to discuss include: 

  • Finances
  • Health history
  • Reason as to why you want to adopt
  • Relationship/Marriage history
  • Stress management techniques
  • How you plan to discipline a child

It helps to become aware of the topics you’ll be discussing so that you can provide an accurate, well thought out answer.

4) Gather Necessary Documents Beforehand

The last thing you should do is to rush through the paperwork you’ll be given. This can be tempting as you’ll be given an abundance of paperwork to fill out, as well as to submit multiple documents. But, by becoming aware of the type of paperwork you’ll be filing out, you can get the necessary documents together to expedite the process of filling them out. To prepare for adoption, some of the type of paperwork you’ll be completing includes: 

  • Personal references
  • Employer references
  • Financial statements
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage license
  • Adoption education requirements
  • Background checks
  • Health statements

 

If you need assistance with an adoption evaluation. contact us here. 

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spring hope

Spring can Give us New Hope 

Spring can give us new Hope 

Spring brings us back to nature, calms our tired bodies, lifts up our spirits and fills up our sail with warm winds. Spring and hope are entangled in the soul. Mind, and body, during spring, nature combine with psychology and biology to sparkle the basic wants which inspire hope: mastery, attachment, spirituality and survival. Seasons can go with the reward of hope which greets us during the spring.

Descriptions of hope in the spring season

Here are some examples of hope in metaphors

A Healing property

Hope is flaunted as the best medicine. The hope of a patient is a secret weapon to the doctor. Hopeful patients are believed to be the secret weapon to whichever prescription they are given for their disease. Hopeful feelings have a true and quantifiable impact on health. Just like spring, hope is a powerful helper in maintaining health as well as recovering from diseases. People who were more optimistic were not as much likely to ignore doses of medicine and were rated as more dedicated to maintaining their health.

A bridge

Spring offers a bridge from the desolate winter darkness to the dazzling warmness of summer. Hope is equated to a bridge which can transport a person from darkness to light, from enslavement to liberty, and from wickedness to salvation. The curative potential of spring is indisputable, from the reduction of Seasonal Affective Disorder to the rise in Vitamin D production. 

Light and Heat

Spring comes with additional light and heat also, at times it comes after a dark and cold day. The increased light results in a lot of indirect and direct effects, which helps in elevating our mood and bring about hope. Increased exercises, as well as the bodily related but psychologically different activities of farming and gardening, are some of the indirect outcomes of spring on elevating our mood.

A havenspring

Hope can as well refer to as safe harbor or refuge. The Oxford English Dictionary had the original meaning of hope “a secluded island in the center of a desert”. Therefore, the very least we can do in this life is to discover what our hopes are. Additionally, the most we can do is to stay in that hope. Don’t admire hope from far; live just inside it.

Mind descriptions

Metaphors can disclose the interior structure of personal feelings. For instance, when we talk about “high hopes”, we try to reveal something regarding the phenomenology of experiencing hope, which is “cheerful”, “inspiring”, even “energizing.”

The world awakens during the spring season. Having been still, grey, and frosty throughout the winter season, there are new noises, things to see, flavors, and smells all coming from the natural world.  There comes a call to action, commitment and motivation to a fresh beginning in each of us. It is very simple to relate the spring day feelings to the positive features of hope.

 

If you find yourself needing help in this season, contact us. 

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ptsd navigate the silent scream

PTSD, Known as the Silent Scream

What is PTSD? Is it a Complex Disorder?

Why is PTSD referred to as a silent scream? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is basically an anxiety disorder related to the stress that people undergo after experiencing some form of trauma. It develops after a person experiences some form of trauma that causes intense mental and emotional symptoms, often unseen, PTSD is a silent scream. Common symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, social withdrawal, and insomnia. Some common causes of trauma include natural disasters, war, accidents, and violence. It’s different how it affects men and women, and a qualified professional will be able to help navigate this silent scream.

As previously mentioned, many people who have post-traumatic stress disorder have developed negative coping skills that make them avoid thinking about painful memories and stressing over the fears they feel. The avoidance process prevents victims from dealing with their emotions. When people with PTSD learn how to deal with their emotions, their coping skills improve. As a result, their PTSD improves, as well. IF you are looking for help determining how it affects men and women, a professional will be able to assist.

So how do you know if you are experiencing post-traumatic disorder? If you experience persistent and exaggerated flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and stress after a traumatic event, then you may have PTSD. There are two forms of PTSD, acute and chronic. In the acute form, victims are often able to deal with their fears in the spur of the moment; however, victims’ symptoms become so intense that they interfere with their lives in the chronic form.

How is post-traumatic stress disorder treated? The treatment for PTSD depends on its severity. For minor trauma, the treatment ranges from conventional medications (antidepressants, tranquilizers) to psychotherapy. Severe trauma requires medical intervention and mental health treatment.

ptsd navigate the silent screamWhat are the symptoms of PTSD?

The most common symptoms of PTSD silent scream include intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, and increased anxiety. Some sufferers develop physical symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, and nausea. Some develop psychological symptoms such as irritability, depression, and even years of self-destructive behavior.

Navigating the Silent Scream

If you suspect that you suffer from complex PTSD, your first step should probably be to go to your doctor and get a complete physical and mental health evaluation. If you do not feel that this level of professional help is necessary, then consider seeking support through local support groups, like the Trauma Recovery Team or VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). These groups can provide you with the emotional and practical support you need to feel better and begin to work on your road to recovery from your disorder. If all else fails, then consider seeking an alternative healing method, such as psychotherapy, to treat your symptoms and reduce your stress level.

 

For urgent matters in the Indianapolis area, please contact us.

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winter blues

Overcoming the Winter Blues

Overcoming the Winter Blues

When days become shorter, cloudier, and colder, the “winter blues” set in for many people. This condition is known as seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.).

What is S.A.D.? It is a form of depression that usually begins in fall and lasts through winter. Less commonly, symptoms may begin in spring and last through summer.

It affects about 10 million Americans (80 percent of whom are women), with another 10 to 20 percent experiencing milder episodes. The age of onset is typically between ages 18 and 30.

What are the Causes?

The precise answer to the question “What is S.A.D.?” is unknown, but experts believe that winter S.A.D. is related to reduced sun exposure, creating:

  • Lower Vitamin D levels and internal body-clock disruption
  • Reduced serotonin, a natural mood-elevating brain chemical
  • Increased melatonin, a natural sleep-cycle elevating brain chemical

What are the Symptoms of the Winter Blues?

The following indicators might begin mildly but increase in intensity as winter progresses:

  • Depression throughout most of the day
  • Reduced energy, fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Sleeping too much
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in appetite, especially craving sweet or starchy foods
  • Feelings of hopelessness or sadness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Irritability
  • Decreased physical activity
  • Feelings of heaviness in limbs
  • Suicidal thoughts

winter bluesWho is at Risk?

Anyone can experience winter blues, also known as S.A.D., but it is most common in:

  • Women
  • Those with (or having family members with) other mental health issues
  • Those living far from the equator

What Treatments are Available?

Self-care is highly useful for the prevention and treatment of S.A.D. Try doing these things: 

  • Engage in physical activity. This improves physical fitness, sleep patterns, and raises endorphin and serotonin levels for increased self-esteem.
  • Spend time outdoors. Sunlight elevates Vitamin D levels. But, even if it is cloudy, get outside! Natural daylight is still helpful.
  • Maintain an awareness of mood and energy level. Try to approach the cold weather positively. A good attitude makes a big difference.   

Beyond self-care, treatment options include:

  • Light therapy. Broad-band light therapy engages artificial light as an alternative to natural sunlight. This involves the use of a light-box or visor for a designated period of time each day.
  • Psychotherapy. Speaking with a licensed professional is a proven effective method of treatment.
  • Medication. Your mental health provider can make recommendations including traditional antidepressants prescribed for similar diagnoses.

If left untreated, seasonal affective disorder can lead to problems at school or work, substance abuse, eating disorders, or other issues affecting quality of life.

You are not alone, and help is at your fingertips.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms or suicidal thoughts, contact a medical professional immediately.

Contact us to see how we can help.

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Psychological Evaluation and Bariatric Surgery

Psychological Evaluation and Bariatric Surgery

Psychological Evaluation and Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a type of surgery that is performed on individuals who are obese and whose Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeds the healthy level. There are many reasons who an individual may reach obesity, some of which include hereditary factors, natural body type, psychological problems leading to overeating and chronic stress. When performing bariatric surgery, the practitioner will often complete a psychological evaluation for the patient prior to the operation. This is because before treating the issue of obesity it is necessary to evaluate the underlying psychological factors contributing to the issue of obesity itself.

Causes of Obesity

For some, the state of obesity is simply caused by hereditary factors or the individual’s natural body type. These individuals may find it necessary to have repeat procedures in order to draw out the fat from the body. Still, others may be obese because they have an underlying psychological issue, such as food addiction or impulsive eating, or the lack of getting any exercise.

Psychological Evaluation and Bariatric SurgeryWeight Loss Surgery

There are various different types of weight loss surgery that can be performed in order to decrease the amount of fat weight that one holds in one’s body. One of these procedures is the Gastric Sleeve procedure. This involves removing up to 85% of the stomach in order to decrease the sensation of hunger. This can result in losing up to 70% of body weight within two years. There is also a procedure called the Gastric Bypass. This results in up to 60 – 80% of body fat lost in under two years and helps to cure Type 1 Diabetes. It reduces the size of your stomach organ and also reduces the absorption of the food you eat.

Another type of bariatric surgery is Hiatal Hernia Repair. Sometimes the cause of obesity is actually a hernia. The hiatus is the passageway between the esophagus and the stomach. In the case of a Hiatal hernia, this stomach bulges up into the chest through the hiatus. These types of procedures are often free of cost when performed in addition to standard weight-loss surgeries, as they help to ensure the health of the patient.

There are many different reasons why the individual may experience increases in weight, including hereditary factors and lifestyle choices. Individuals may gain weight because it is within their ancestry, they are naturally heavy, they are eating to treat mental health ailments or they are practicing impulsive eating. Whatever the reason may be for gaining weight, there are psychological evaluations that can aid in diagnosis. Many bariatric surgeries exist in order to drop weight including the Gastric Sleeve, the Gastric Bypass, and the Hiatal Hernia Repair. These procedures can help restore the individual to full health.

We can help with your psychological evaluation in preparation for this surgery.  Give us a call or click today.

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adoption and young families

Adoption And Young Families

Adoption And Young Families

When adopting a child, it will be no surprise that they may start asking you questions about their adoption. Many parents are aware of how important it is to talk to their adopted child about how and why they embrace them. Adoption and young families is something that is more common than we think. Talking with children about adoption should always be done carefully but with love and understanding.

You and your adopted child can always try to bond when these uncertain questions come about. Get advice from assistance before you are ready to talk to your child about their adoption. You will want to make sure that your child understands this process and what it means to you as a family that they are now part of your lives.

Any conversation you have about your child’s adoption should be encouraging and an experience for your family to gain a loving relationship for years.

Give Your Child A Welcomed Feel Right From The Start

A bond to have your child being part of the family with an open discussion should start on your first day home. Parents who adopt their children should be honest about why they are now in your life.

Have a normal conversation about their adoption. It will help discover that your child has a new life that they never thought would be imaginable due to circumstances they never knew.

Be Sure That You Are Truthful About Your Story

Children will be curious about where they came from and figure out what happened to their birth parents. Talking with children about adoption should always be truthful, but never take their questions to heart. Give your child the courtesy to answer any questions they want to know, but never lie or change the subject to make yourself feel more significant.

Never be private if you feel you will end up hurting your adopted child. Being open and truthful about your child’s adoption will help them understand who they are and never feel ashamed about what they may never know in the first place. As your child gets older, he or she can discover things about their birth parents and may become angry with you for not telling them what they should have known years earlier.

adoption and young familiesShow How Happy You Are To Your Child That They Are Loved

Not all children are proud of being adopted. They can feel neglected by their birth parents or bullied in school. When you tell them about their adoption, show how happy you are that they are part of your life. They need to feel loved, but make sure your child understands how unique the entire process was when you wanted to adopt them since family and love are valuable gifts.

Adoption Is A Chosen Treasure!!

 

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boost mental health

Boost Your Mental Health Right Now

How to Boost Your Mental Health Right Now

Mental health is about your general psychological state. It determines the way you perceive yourself and how you handle daily challenges in your life. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of many individuals. With the lockdowns and loss of jobs, many individuals have suffered mentally. Whereas seeking professional help is necessary, there are ways you can boost your mental health right now.

Here are habits to boost your mental health right now.

1. Exercise

Studies have shown that the human body produces stress-soothing and mood-lifting endorphins before and after you exercise. For this reason, exercises are considered a powerful tool against depression, anxiety, and stress. Create some time to have simple exercises daily to boost your mental health.

nutrition2. Eat Healthy Foods

The food you consume plays a major role in nurturing your body and brain. Consuming carbohydrates in low quantities boosts serotonin, a substance that has a soothing impact on your mood. Taking foods rich in protein boosts tyrosine, norepinephrine, and dopamine that make you alert. Ensure you also consume vegetables, fruits, and foods rich in Omega-3 as they enhance mood and revive the brain cells structure.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Studies have revealed that lack of enough sleep has a negative impact on your mood. Make it a habit to go to sleep at a specific time daily, and ensure you switch off lights to get better sleep. Avoid habits that can hinder you from getting enough sleep, such as drinking coffee before going to bed. Getting enough sleep means your brains will function properly and thus boost your mental well-being.

4. Think Positively

The way people think about themselves has a big impact on how they feel and behave. If people think and perceive their lives negatively, they will have experiences that align with their thoughts. Therefore, having positive thoughts about yourself can boost positive energy and help you boost your mental health.

Overly, it is your responsibility to take care of your mental health. Even though life is difficult at times, developing positive habits that boost your moods and feelings is necessary. Always create time to exercise, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and think positively about life. In the end, you will boost your feelings and your mental well-being.

 

If you still need more help, contact us today

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Ease Irritability

Tips to Ease Irritability

Must-Know Tips To Ease Irritability

Irritability not only disrupts your mental balance, but it also escalates to other areas, eventually reaching everything and everyone around you.  It’s best to stop it as it surfaces. Mild cases often require little habitual changes such as fortifying your diet or assimilating exercise. Here are some ways you can casually ease irritability in your life.

· Address the source

The best way to ease and treat irritability is to address the underlying cause. The majority of persons experience irritability in one way or another through external factors such as drugs, medication, or stressful environments. However, the genesis of annoyance may initiate from other bodily reactions like infections and hormone misalignment. Often, once the underlying cause is addressed, irritability dissipates, and only a minuscule amount of supportive treatment is needed. Denial sneaks in, and acknowledging the actual cause may go amiss from time to time, so it’s best to be honest with yourself. Take some time to assess, address, and then seek help if necessary.

· Declutter your environment

One way to get stress out of mind is to address the mess out of mind. It’s subtle, but cleaning your environment offers a session of micro-therapy and can often uncover a lot of entanglements hidden beneath your physical and mental space.

· Exercise

It is no secret that irritability and boredom can stem from a lack of movement. Rigorous movements alleviate mental pressure, balances the hormones along with cleansing the body of unwanted matters. Exercise kicks your endorphins into gear, allowing this ‘feel-good sensation’ to circulate your biological structure for some time. So one free solution to your annoyance is scheduled exercise, get out and get moving to ease irritability. 

irritable 1· Reduce caffeine or alcohol

Any form of stimulatory substance overuse damages the immune system, compromises the nervous system, and can cause mental disturbance over time. For example, caffeine affects the body and generally causes irritability after the stimulation has ceased, even in the substance’s absence (withdrawal symptoms). Alcohol compromises the immune system, starves the brain of essential nutrients, and dehydrates the body but makes you feel good while doing it. You stem to gain more natural strength when you reduce caffeine or alcohol dependence. 

These are trying times as well during COVID-19, one could see how much more irritable they are due to the constant ups and downs of this pandemic.  Give yourself grace and know that we will get through this.  If you need any help, we are here.

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difficult behavior

How to Help your Child with Difficult Behavior

How to Help your Child with Difficult Behavior

Children are amazing. They are inquisitive, learn quickly, and are constantly changing throughout each stage of their development. However, their behavior can be challenging and difficult at times. It can be hard to know how to deal with this. Use these three simple tips to help your child to overcome their difficult behavior and make your lives a lot easier.

1. Learn the Warning Signs

A lot of challenging behavior can be the result of your child feeling strongly about a thing and not knowing how to express it. Every feeling that your child experiences is valid and should never be downplayed or discounted.

Help your child manage their strong emotions by speaking to them and actually listening to what they have to say. Use reassuring words and never threaten your child. Encourage them to speak about how they feel.

difficult behavior2. Reinforce Self-Control

Self-control is an important skill that will help a child throughout their life. A lot of difficult behavior can be traced back to a lack of self-control. Teach your child how to control their emotions and learn to deal constructively with how they feel.

Model the correct way to deal with strong emotions. Children learn best by seeing examples of how they should act. Many parents believe that self-control cannot be taught, but that is not supported by evidence.

3. Do Not Rely on “Negative Reinforcement”

While negative reinforcement can be useful, it is ultimately damaging to the development of a child. By instituting a negative outcome (punishment or oppressive nagging) you are training a child to do what you want out of fear.

Negative reinforcement can be useful for children’s behavior when it is not instigated by you. For example, a child will put away their belongings so that they do not lose them. This is a better teaching opportunity than putting them away because “Mom is nagging me to do it”.

Dealing with difficult behavior in a child is always challenging, but by using these three tips you can teach them to learn better behavior and become more developed as a human being.

 

For more insight, check out our blog.

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Distance Learning

Distance Learning’s Impact on Mental Health

Distance Learning and Mental Health

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on mental health for virtually everyone in the world. The main goal for everyone in the world in the last six months has been health and taking the proper precautions. When it comes to schools, the mantra of keep kids safe has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind for the end of the 2019 – 2020 school year and is now a non-negotiable item for the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year. However, it is notable that the focus of all of these actions has been physical health. The hidden toll that coronavirus has taken on mental health should be taken just as seriously. If you want to keep kids safe by creating a distance learning environment there also needs to be a focus put on the social and mental impacts of distance learning on your kids.

Technology and Distance Learning

It is easy to forget in this world of technology that kids can be easily overwhelmed mentally throughout the day by being on screens for the majority of the day. Distance learning is only possible through technology and this type of learning puts the emphasis on being logged onto a computer. Research has consistently shown that the use of technology by kids actually rewires developing brains and if the use of technology is not limited it can cause long-term impacts of technology on kid’s health and limit its use outside of distance learning time.

Distance Learning

This is not to say that distance learning is inherently bad or worse than in-person learning in this unprecedented time. It is just important to recognize the mental health impact of distance learning on your kids. As long as the weather cooperates, going outside and getting fresh air during downtimes or after school is a great way to help health both mentally and physically. There is also no substitute for creative free play that allows kids to be off of screens and developing social skills. These are two simple ways that you can combat distance learning’s reliance on technology. It will help keep that balance in your kids life that is vital for proper development.

 

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