Presentation on theme: "HELPING CHILDREN CHANGE SERIES: Presents"— Presentation transcript:
1HELPING CHILDREN CHANGE SERIES: Presents No More Worrying!!! What Science Tells Us About Helping Children Be Less Stressed and HappierScarsdale LibraryMarch 7, 2014Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
2Goals of the TalkReview the latest research in HELPING CHILDREN CHANGE (workshop 1).Discuss strategies to help children be 1) LESS STRESSED and 2) HAPPIER.
3A Little Bit About Me Before After I feel very passionate about this topic from both a professional and personal level.As a psychologist I am often asked to “fix “ kids by parents. Teachers, and even kids themselves. However, as anyone who has ever tried to change – change is hard and I am often struck by how kids will say all the right things in my office but when it comes to the playground or with that teacher all is lost.On a personal level, I have always struggled with my weight. I had tried to change and wanted so badly to change my eating habits but couldn’t do it despite trying to change.I then decided everything I could read on change and apply this knowledge to my work with the kids I treat and to myself. I do think my clinical work has benefited and I have lost 25 pounds and maintained this loss for almost a year and a half. My goal today is to share this knowledge with you.I actually had the privilege of studying with Dr. Albert Ellis one of the founders of cbt therapy and I am supervisor in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral psychology. I use cognitive behavioral strategies in my work both at Harrison where I work as school psychologist and in my private practice.My thinking was if cbt therapy could work so well with my patients to change their habits, couldn’t it help with mine?
4Review of Workshop 1: Helping Children Change It all starts with a positive relationship.There needs to be an agreement on the goal(s).Understanding where your child falls on the cycle the of change (pre-contemplative, contemplative, planning, action, maintenance).Developmental considerations (e.g., frontal lobe, black and white thinking, poorer emotional control).Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
5Review of Workshop 1: How We Change Even when we want to change- we are ambivalent about change; our hearts and minds often disagree. There is often a tug of war between our rational (long-term) and emotional (impulsive) brain.Make it a habit.Need to change our thinking, behavior/ emotions, and shape the path to our benefit.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
6“The Yerkes-Dodson Law of Arousal” Performance increases with arousal, but only to a certain point. When levels of arousal become too high, performance will decrease.What we know is that there is a relationship between stress and performance. Being in the middle is best. This being in the middle is a challenging concept for children because by nature they are black and white thinkers but this is where you as parents can be helpful.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
7Is Stress and Worry Good, Bad, or Something In Between? My first question to you isIs stress and worry good, bad or something in between?Some stress is appropriate as you can see with this picture of a bear and the man. If a bear came into this room it would be adaptive to have dear and worry. It would be appropriate to be focused and be ready to fight or flee.But as you see in this comic strip. Too much stress or more specifically getting stressed about small stuff, nursery rhymes is problematic.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
8Why Are Children So Stressed? Pressure to SucceedNeed to Be Good at EverythingPlay Dates, “White Van”, and Helicopter ParentsInternet/ Access to InformationLet’s spend a moment to discuss why kids are so stressed today. It used to be that ADHD kids were the bread and butter of a psychologist’s practice. This is not true today. Most of us deal with anxious kids.Pressure to succeed- race to nowhere.Parenting and childhood have changed. Children have interpret this change as that the world is less safe.Internet and access to information.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
9When Should One Be Concerned About Their Child’s Level of Stress? Behaving Differently From UsualAvoids Activities That He/SheUsed to Enjoy.Significant Change in School Performance.This is an important question- parents ask me all the time when should I be concerned about my child? All kids have a little stress and learning to deal with stress is good but these are the 3 red flags to look for.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
10How Can Children Turn Their Worry Into an Appropriate Level of Concern To Feel Better? Psycho-Educational(3) Changing One’s Behavior(physiological and avoidance)(2) Changing One’s ThoughtsNo?Yes!When I work with families I share with them that there are 3 components of effective treatment. Each are equally important. I will go into each component in more detail.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
11Understanding Stress and Worry Nervous SystemsGenetic PredispositionWorry as a Bad HabitChoose a Different PathBy understanding what causes stress you will be more equipped to handling it.Our body is like a machine. Our heart is part of this machine. So is our lungs. Another thing that our body has is a nervous system. The nervous system is in charge of handing what happens when we are nervous. We actually have two nervous systems. One of these systems is activated when we are in a dangerous situation. The other one works when we are calm. When we are calm and relaxed all the blood is in our major organs and brain, but when our body perceives danger all the blood leaves our major organs and moves to our feet and hands so we can fight or flee a dangerous situation. As a result, the food that was in your stomach can’t be as easily digested so your stomach may hurt and you may sweat from the adrenaline that runs through your body, and you may feel short of breath. It is good that all the blood is in your feet and hands in a true emergency so you could flee or fight. However, if that is what you are doing to yourself all the time, for every day stressors, it can make you feel sick and it is not the best for your body.Worry runs in family. However, that doesn’t mean you are stuck with it.See becoming worried as a bad habit. It is important to try to change it like you would any other habit. So instead of giving in to worry and avoiding stuff that makes you afraid you need to face your fears. By facing your fears and not fearing fear or the physical symptoms you may be having, worry will go down.Choose a different path- we all experience feeling startled or fearful. However, what separates those people who worry vs. those who do not are what they do afterwards. By facing ones fears, thinking rationally, and breathing slowly you are picking a path that will move you away from worry.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
12Changing One’s Thoughts How One THINKS About A Situation Affects How One Feels.The next thing that is important in reducing stress is learning the connection between how you think and how you feel. To demonstrate this I want to do a few experiments with you.“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” -- ShakespeareDr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
13Experiment 1What Do You See? Look around the room and try to find all the examples of RED you can see.What have you spotted?Experiment 1 – What do you learn from this? That what we focuses on expands, but what we don’t focus on goes into the background. How is this related to stress and worry? When we worry, we over think all the things that can go wrong. For example, when people are scared of bridges they over think all the possible things that can go wrong. However, if you are not afraid you just don’t think about it.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
14Experiment 2Picture yourself in the following situation: You are standing in line at the bank. There are about 50 people around. A robber enters and fires his weapon. You get shot in the arm, but no one is hurt.Would you consider yourself lucky or unlucky?Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
15Experiment 3 Florida Old Lonely Orange Bingo Conservative wrinkle WorriedFloridaOldLonelyOrangeBingoConservativewrinkleExperiment 3: What comes to mind when you see these words? Old age, nursing home. When these words were shown to college students they actually walked slower from the experiment as compared to being shown other words. This experiment demonstrates the power of thought and how it can influence one’s behavior.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
16Expecting the Worst ……Worrying So I hope that I demonstrated thatWhat we focus on is prominent in our minds.That we always have a choice in what we think.That thinking is profound and that it can affect something as basic as our gait.Core thought associated with anxiety is expecting the worst.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
17Changing Ones Thoughts Step1: Identify Negative Thoughts.Look for Expecting the Worst.Step 2: Question and Challenge Thoughts.Where is the Evidence?Is it Helpful?Step 3: Come Up With More Realistic and Optimistic Thoughts to Feel Better.1)There is no evidence…2) Worrying won’t help……Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
18Step 1: Identifying Negative or Irrational Beliefs/Thinking Traps Demandingness – SHOULDS/ MUSTSAwfulizing – It Is Terrible!Low Frustration Tolerance – I Can’t Stand It!Global Rating of Self/Others. Self-Downing.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
19Step 2: Question and Challenge Thoughts Where is the evidence that what I am expecting will happen?Is it helpful how I am thinking?Would I think the same way if a friend presented this issue?Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
20Step 3: Develop Rational Beliefs/Thoughts Wishes/ PreferencesLiving in the GrayI Can Stand ItTotal Self AcceptanceDr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
21Mom, I’m Worried! Test Anxiety Expecting the Worst I am going to fail! It is going to be terrible!I will need to repeat the grade.If I fail I am a bad person!Let’s look at a common anxiety- test anxiety- what thoughts do you think people have when they worry about tests?Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
22Mom- I’m Confident! Confident Test Taker Realistic and Positive ThoughtsThere is no evidence that I will fail. I haven’t failed previous tests.Even if I fail, I am exaggerating how bad the results will be. Nobody gets left back in 7th grade because of one test.Worrying is a waste of energy. It is really the worst thing I can do. Since when I worry, I am not paying attention fully to the test.What does the thoughts of a confident test taker look like?Get a volunteer to demonstrate how negative thoughts interfere with performance.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
24Irrational vs. Rational RATIONAL BELIEFSPreferencesLiving in the GrayRealizing That They Can Stand ItNot Judging ThemselvesSelf AcceptanceIRRATIONAL BELIEFSDemandingness – SHOULDS/MUSTSAwfulizing – It Is Terrible!Low Frustration Tolerance –I Can’t Stand It!Global Rating of Self/Others - Self Worth Tied to 1 Behavior or Action. Self-DowningDr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
25Changing Behavior: Where Do I Feel Stress in My Body? Heart PoundingBlushingChillsFeeling FaintDizzinessShortness of BreathButterfliesShakyHeadacheTightness in the chestWhen dealing with stress and worry, just as important as changing you thoughts, it is important to change your behavior. The first step in changing ones behavior is figuring out where in your body you may feel stress. Some common places are listed on this slide. It is important to recognize that the pain you are feeling is real, but that it is not coming from bad food or a virus, but rather from stress.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
26Cus D’Amato, Boxing manager for Mike Tyson Quote“The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do that matters.”Cus D’Amato, Boxing manager for Mike TysonDr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
27Changing Behavior: Physical Sensations Be A DetectiveUse your symptoms as clues to knowing when you are feeling worried.Think of fear not as a signal to RETREAT, but rather consider it a CUE to go forward.Once you know where you feel stress in your body, you can use your symptoms as clues. Use these symptoms/clues to knowing when you are feeling worried. Once you know you are worried you can then change your thinking and your behavior so you can feel better.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
28Changing Behavior: Physical Sensations Spell Your Name with Belly BreathsDeep Muscle RelaxationGuided ImageryOne of the most important ways to calm yourself down is through breathing. It sounds so simple, but your breath is powerful. One easy way to relax is by spelling your name with belly breaths. Let’s try. Two other ways are deep muscle relaxation and guided imagery.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
29Changing Behavior: Don’t Avoid Facing One’s Fear or StressManageable and Hierarchical MannerFear ThermometerSuccess Breeds SuccessAlso, as was mentioned before- don’t avoid your fears it just makes it worse. Instead face them. By facing them you get used to them. Give pool example.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
30Coping Cat- FEAR Plan F = Feeling Frightened? E = Expecting Bad Things to Happen?A = Attitudes and Actions that can Help.R = Results and RewardsFEAR Ladder or Situation CardsDr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
31What Works and Doesn’t Work to Decrease Stress and Worry? DOES NOT WORKWORKSPossibility vs. Probability.Productive vs. Unproductive Worry.Role Model: Mirror Neurons.Give Worry a Name.What’s the Best, Worst, Most Likely Outcome?Write Down a Story With a Better Outcome.Developing a Growth vs. a Fixed Mindset.Separate Thinking from Action. I am simply having the thought….Can’t Tell Someone to Relax/Calm Down. The Person Needs to Get There Him/Herself.Don’t Fight Pink Elephants.
32It’s Not Enough Not to Be Stressed It’s Not Enough Not to Be Stressed. How Can We Help Our Children to be Happier? The Psychology of Happiness
33Happiness FormulaH = S + C + V H = Happiness S = Set point C = Conditions of your life (e.g., relationships, sense of control) V = Voluntary activities (where you can intervene most, e.g., finding flow)
34V (Voluntary Activities) = Ways to Increase Happiness Journal the PositiveSend an AppreciativeGrateful ActivityIdentify Your Strengths and Talents/FLOWRandom Acts of Kindness, Even Smiling HelpsHave You Filled A Bucket Today?
37Rule 1: Be a Bucket Filler You can fill a bucket by acts of kindness to yourself and/or others.When you fill a bucket you feel good as well as the other person.
38Rule 2: Don’t DipWhen you dip into someone else’s bucket, you dip into your own. If we do dip, and we all do dip sometimes, sincerely apologize. Disagreeing and getting grounded are not dipping.
39Rule 3: Use Your LidProtect Your Own Bucket - guard and protect the good thoughts and feelings inside your bucket with your lid.Remember the person who is dipping is the one with the problem.Your lid controls how much you let out of your bucket.Use your lid to protect other people’s buckets.
41Some Last Thoughts Don’t Forget the Lesson from the Red Experiment. Live in the Moment.Remember those Mirror NeuronsWhen We Individually Choose to be More Positive We Don’t Just Affect Ourselves We Affect Our Whole Community!Change Challenges to Opportunities
42From Challenge to Opportunity After SANDYSeeing it as an OPPORTUNITYDr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
43Shawn Achor - The Happiness Advantage for Children
44CBT Worksheet Situation What is the feeling associated with the Situation?How are you thinking about the situation?Challenging those thoughts1. What Is the Evidence?________2. How Is It Helpful? ________New more helpful way of thinking.New Feeling.Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist drbaruchfeldman.com
45What Did I Learn? Feedback for Me a. What did you find the most helpful?b. What is one thing you can take away from today’s talk and add to your life?c. What do you still have questions about?Now on the back of the index card please indicate one new thing you learned about decreasing stress and increasing happiness and 1 thing from today’s talk you will use in your own life.Also, I would appreciate if you could also fill out an index card for me. Can you list something that was valuable that you learned and one thing you wish we had more time for.
46Come Hear Workshop #3 at the Scarsdale Library WORKSHOP 3 - April 4th at 12 - “MY CHILD IS NOT WORRIED ENOUGH” Workshop focuses on helping children be more concerned, responsible, and future oriented.