Helping Your Anxious Child When School Re-Opens

For children who already struggled with anxiety, the Covid-19 pandemic has added another layer of worries. And for those kids who were not worriers, this time being home-bound may have started them on some fears that we never anticipated. For both groups, however, going back to school may have caused similar concerns. Recently, a middle-school child told me, “I can’t imagine wearing a mask for hours! At least at home, I don’t have to wear one. And when we go out, I only have to wear it for … [Read more...]

How to Communicate Better with People You Care About – Part 1

Recently I was asked to give a talk about how people can communicate better with one another.  I was searching my files and found a handout that I have used in my practice for years.  It is called The Ten Commandments of Clean Communication.  It was given to me by a former mentor, and it has no attribution on it, so I don’t know if she wrote it herself, or if it came from a book she read many years ago.  As I looked it over, I thought it was the best set of communication guidelines I have seen, … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Telemedicine

   When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I was unsure of how I would feel about seeing my clients online.  It was so nice to sit in my real office, see their facial expressions and body language, and say goodbye with a smile, or perhaps a hug.  And for the children that I treat, there was always a stuffed animal to take home or a puzzle to play with. Now that we are 5 months into working virtually, I can say that I truly appreciate the benefits of telemedicine, or telehealth as some call it.  … [Read more...]

Helping Anxious Kids During the Time of Coronavirus

Most of the time, children are resilient.  They bounce back pretty quickly.  Of course, there are always those kids who have a harder time with change or with difficult circumstances, kids that Dr. Thomas Boyce refers to as the “orchids” in the greenhouse They are the ones who are more sensitive to their environment than usual and require more attention than the average child.  Understanding the Orchid Child    Today, however, it may feel like every child is an orchid.  With the coronavirus … [Read more...]

Stress & Coping in the Time of Coronavirus

No one needs to tell us that we are stressed about the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all suffering from chronic stress – fatigue, irritability, changes in our eating habits, problems sleeping, difficulty concentrating – because of the uncertainty that this illness brings. And because it has gone on so long, the constant stress disrupts our ability to remember things and pay attention. Just yesterday, a friend put her milk in the freezer instead of in the refrigerator. Another friend called me, sure … [Read more...]

Four Sentences That Lead to Wisdom

I love to read mysteries. Perhaps that is why I like being a psychologist so much. I think of each person as a puzzle with one or two pieces missing and try to figure out how to help each client find the right pieces to become happier, more productive, have better relationships, feel less anxious, or be better at what they do. Recently, I was reading a mystery by Louise Penny and found a few sentences that really got to me. Here they are. … [Read more...]

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Self-Doubt

    One of the most interesting dialogues about women today continues to be their pervasive self-doubt, known as Imposter Syndrome.  Many women who have achieved success in business, school, or life in general, still struggle with a belief that they are frauds, that they do not deserve their success, that they have somehow managed to dupe their way up the ladder.  They focus on their failures instead of their successes and internalize negative messages they may get from others. From … [Read more...]

Empathy vs Sympathy

There are many times when we don’t know what to say. A friend’s spouse is ill, someone doesn’t get the promotion they really wanted, or someone is just having a really down day. We feel stumped and either say nothing or end up saying something we later think is stupid or wrong. In my job teaching medical residents, I work with them on empathy and how to use empathic words. Often, however, what comes out is just “I’m sorry.” When we talk about empathy, we really mean trying to stand … [Read more...]

Self-Care for the Holidays

You can feel the intensity starting about a week before Thanksgiving. People are beginning to make lists, worry about family gifts, think about how much money to spend, and stress over getting through all of their holiday responsibilities. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza, the pressure is on! Once we make it through the non-denominational Thanksgiving dinner, it is almost as if the anxiety about the holidays becomes more prominent than the holiday itself. … [Read more...]

Emotional Intelligence In Business

   Recently I attended a New Jersey Business and Industry Association Women Leaders Forum. One of the breakout sessions was called “Is Emotional Intelligence a Leader’s Secret Weapon?” While nothing that was said there is new, it is a wonderful reminder that high emotional intelligence (EI) leads to more success in all things: parenting, friendship, volunteer relationships, work success, and personal fulfillment. Why is that? There are four main reasons. • People with higher EI have better … [Read more...]