Weston Psych Care Blog

Practice Makes… Better: How to Help Kids Improve in Home, School, and Life

Practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent. Coaches demand constant repetition until their players execute without error. The same goes for teachers, tutors, directors, musicians, and any other professional whose role is to shape their students’ habits. The hardest part of change happens in the beginning. Brains like to keep the status quo. Once those neural connections are made, it takes a bit of effort to break them or create new ones. However, neuroplasticity research has taught us that brains can improve and change with effort, consistency and motivation.

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Helping Teens Build Better Habits

You'll hear lots of different opinions about how many days it takes to change a habit or make a new habit stick. Regardless of how long it will take, we can all agree that it takes work. This new generation gets a bad rap about how they are "entitled" or don't have to work as hard as we did when we were their age. It's hard to think of how we would handle the the amount of overstimulation and overschedulding if we were teens today. To quote a favorite radio personality and sports writer, "Back in my day"....we'd go to school, hang out with friends, have a part time job watch t.v. and movies, sneak out and still have time to talk to our parents once in a while.

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How to Make a World Of Difference in a Different World

Don't watch the news! If you do, it can be disheartening, disappointing and toxic. Our world has a history of ebbing and flowing between peace and chaos which has only been exacerbated by the invention of nuclear weapons, advanced technology and "fake news". It's much less stressful to ignore the atrocities of daily life and focus on cute pet or baby videos. However, one easy way to feel more empowered and purposeful is to take action. This can be true for any age group. Below are some quick ways you can make a difference today:

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Can Psychological Treatment Assist With and Treat Overweight Individuals?

Research indicates that our society is becoming progressively more overweight, in part due to the availability of more calorie dense foods and a decreased need to physically exert ourselves. What once required us to take action in order to accomplish tasks are now easily done in the comfort of our chair. Isn’t it ironic that as you read this page, you  are evidencing this phenomenon?

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Food Mood and Holiday Stress

Here we are in the middle of the holiday season. As Charles Dickens famously said, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” We all have expectations for the holidays. We tend to think of all the things we hope for such as taking time off, being with our families or with our friends. We have fantasies of how the holidays will be. Many of us start to think about what we are going to do differently in the New Year.

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Preventing Gun Violence in Schools Right Now: How we can teach our kids to ensure their safety while the long process of change take place

It is hard to stay objective on such an emotional topic such as gun violence in schools, but if we have learned anything since the Columbine shooting almost 20 years ago it is that changes are slow and we don't have time to waste. Our children are asking for help and we have idly sat by depending on our elected officials to make common sense changes for the safety and well being of our children. They are learning that there will always be obstacles in this country and change will come, but it may take a generation or two. In the meantime, here are ways they can ensure their own safety until then:

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It's OK to not be OK

If you've been following trends in mental health over the past few years, it's been hard to ignore the numbers. Increased rates of depression, anxiety, toxic stress and suicide have flooded news cycles and with good reason. The numbers don't lie. One subgroup that is experiencing an increased number of mental health disorders is our teenagers. It's hard to look at the numbers and not point to things like social media, technology, greater demands on high school classes, lack of social interaction and poor self-care as the root causes for these numbers; however, until we change some of these practices (which may take a generation or two), let's help our teens right now. Here are a few things to start with:

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Don't Act Like Your 8-Year-Old

If you look around it's hard to miss that the many adults aren't winning at the whole "adulting" thing. To me, positive parenting practices are under this umbrella along with working, paying bills and taking care of your physical and emotional health. In fact, parenting is the most important job we have. Whether you watch the news or listen to how parents talk to their children when you are out in public, you're likely to hear words and voice tones that are more similar to a child than adult. This can have lasting negative side effects for years to come. When did using "if you're not going to be mature and act like an adult, then I'm not going to either" become a useful method to change behavior. Here are several tips to remember when disciplining children:

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The Role of Pediatric Neurological Assessment in Primary Care Practice

As medical practitioners, physicians are typically the first clinical professionals to evaluate a child. In addition, physicians are one of the few clinicians who maintain an ongoing, consistent relationship with children and their parents. In contrast, pediatric neuropsychologists typically serve as consultants who work with children for a brief, circumscribed period of time. The purpose of the present article is to provide an overview of pediatric neuropsychological assessment and outline the ways in which pediatric neuropsychology contributes to the practice of primary care physicians and the care of children.

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Differences between meditation and hypnosis

In my practice I frequently use relaxation techniques, mindfulness skills or hypnosis. A majority of people are familiar with meditation or relaxation. Unfortunately, there are misconceptions about hypnosis and how it works. A frequently asked question is: what is the difference between meditation and hypnosis?

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