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family support

Facing Family Togetherness

By Jessica Smith, BSN, RN As the holiday season approaches, I am reminded of the oft-quoted line in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Holidays have a way of bringing out both the best and worst in people. We… Read More

How to Battle Bullying

Every September for the past 30 years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has sponsored Recovery Month. This important national observance is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrating the people who get up each morning and bravely continue the journey of recovery. Read More

The Dis-equilibrating Dynamics of an Addicted Family System

Visit the living room of the average family that is “living with,” or should I say “drowning in,” addiction and you are likely to find a family that is functioning in emotional extremes. Where feelings can explode and get very big, very fast or implode and disappear into “nowhere” with equal velocity. Where what doesn’t matter can get unusual focus while what does matter can be routinely swept under the rug. A family in which small, fairly insignificant behaviors can be blown way out of proportion while outrageous or even abusive ones can go entirely ignored and unidentified. Where things don’t really get talked about but instead become shelved, circumvented or downright denied. Read More

Practical Tips for Healthier Holiday Season

Most of us consider the holidays to officially start right on Thanksgiving Day and end at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s. In actuality, they start right before Halloween and end at the buzzer on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s because the season of eating and excess starts typically with the acquirement of pounds and pounds of candy and ends over a vat of chicken wings and nachos. Read More

Codependency: What’s it All About?

The word codependency clearly touched a nerve when it first plowed its way into our common vernacular. Initially it grew out of the twelve step term co-addict, which was a way of describing the spouse of the addict; however as it didn’t really didn’t tell the right story, it morphed into co-dependent. It was a kind of grassroots way of naming the situation that a spouse found themselves in when they were connected in every way possible to an addict, married to them, having children with them and living their daily lives or trying to live them together. Read More

Relationships can be Difficult but there is Help for Healing

Relationships are hard. There’s no getting around it. Put more than one person in the same place for long enough and you’re sure to have problems. It’s as certain as death, taxes and computer problems. In his book Your Brain on Love, Dr. Stan Tatkin says that “there really is nothing more difficult on the planet than another person…nothing.” I tend to agree with him. My personal history with relationships and my work as working as a Marriage and Family Therapist seem to confirm that there’s nothing that will complicate your life more than another human. As much as we desire and need other people in our life, we simply cannot avoid the pain and conflict that inevitably comes when we enter a relationship. It’s a catch-22 of the human condition. Read More