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Entries from April 2007

Contest Results: It's a tie!

Thank you to all of the participants that submitted feedback in the "Want to be a Shrink" contest posted last month. We selected a winning "problem" (see post on April 4th) and received advice from various readers. Our participant selected among the entries and picked two winners (who wish to remain anonymous).

One winner is a sales trainer and suggested that our participant may have some "hidden beliefs" that tell him that he will not find love if he is sensitive and caring. They go on to suggest that he uncover his fears and replace them with a new belief that a sensitive and caring man can have "even better, truer love with a woman." He said that rang true for him and was moved by the insight. Congratulations! We'll see how it works for him.

The other winner that tied was chosen because they advised reading a book to help our participant replace fears with improved beliefs (sounds like the same advice, huh?). The book, Attracting Genuine Love, is by Drs. Kathlyn & Gay Hendricks and has an enclosed CD with various exercises to help unlock fears and unconscious beliefs by re-programming emotions and thoughts. The co-winner is a nutritionist and spiritual healer.

My thoughts on the feedback? It's solid. We often create our own reality through our thought processes and belief systems. It reaches to the deepest core and often gets passed down through generations. Think about your work ethic. Do you believe you only get rewarded if you work really, really hard? Do you have conflicts about child-rearing, where part of you says to nurture children while another part (sometimes hidden part) believes children should obey, be seen and not heard? These conflicts are abundant and pervasive. They also tend to be at the heart of a problem when difficulties arise in life. Taking an inventory of your beliefs and looking back on past experiences in your life when those beliefs were reinforced can be powerfully transforming. Counseling or coaching can help guide you through the process...or self-help books like Attracting Genuine Love.

I'll post feedback on our participant as he goes down his journey of love-discovery. Please feel free to try this out at home...and post your comments to share how it's working for you! You can also email me directly at Kimberly@EncompassWF.com.

Thank you again & CONGRATULATIONS to our winners!!

Talking to Children about School Shootings

The Virginia Tech shooting is devastating. As such, it will fill the air waves this week. Reports of prior shootings will also be discussed and our fear will be heightened. It’s important to remember that these stories are even more alarming and frightening for our children, so here are some tips from the American Psychological Association (APA) on talking to your children about school shooting tragedies.

Talking to your children about the recent spate of school shootings

Few events hit home for children and families like a school shooting. When children see such an event on television or on Web-based news flashes, it is natural for them to worry about their own school and their own safety, particularly if the violence occurred nearby or in a neighboring city or state.

Talk to your children
Psychologists who work in the area of trauma and recovery advise parents to use the troubling news of school shootings as an opportunity to talk and listen to their children. It is important, say these psychologists, to be honest. Parents should acknowledge to children that bad things do happen, but also reassure them with the information that many people are working to keep them safe, including their parents, teachers, and local police.

Young children may communicate their fears through play or drawings. Elementary school children will use a combination of play and talking to express themselves. Adolescents are more likely to have the skills to communicate their feelings and fears verbally. Adults should be attentive to a child's concerns, but also try to help the children put their fears into proportion to the real risk. Again, it is important to reassure children that the adults in their lives are doing everything they can to make their environment—school, home, and neighborhood—safe for them.

Parents, teachers, and school administrators also need to communicate with one another not only about how to keep kids safe, but about which children might need more reassurance and the best way to give it to them.

Limit exposure to news coverage
Parents should also monitor how much exposure a child has to news reports of traumatic events, including these recent school shootings. Research has shown that some young children believe that the events are reoccurring each time they see a television replay of the news footage.

Know the warning signs
Most children are quite resilient and will return to their normal activities and personality relatively quickly, but parents should be alert to any signs of anxiety that might suggest that a child or teenager might need more assistance. Such indicators could be a change in the child's school performance, changes in relationships with peers and teachers, excessive worry, school refusal, sleeplessness, nightmares, headaches or stomachaches, or loss of interest in activities that the child used to enjoy. Also remember that every child will respond to trauma differently. Some will have no ill effects; others may suffer an immediate and acute effect. Still others may not show signs of stress until sometime after the event.

CONTEST ENTRY: Can You Help this Man?

I received a flood of emails from interested people wanting to help someone out after posting the "Want to be a Shrink" contest last month. Thank you for all of your interest! However, it was a little more difficult for people to submit an issue to receive help. That doesn't completely surprise me. People need to feel trust before they can open up and they're just not sure who they're opening up to on this blog. Nonetheless, we have a submittal from someone willing to take a chance with your help. Ready? Here goes...

We have a Latino heterosexual male in his mid-40's who is a professional that is highly educated and lonely. As part of his professional and personal growth, he has done a lot work on developing emotional sensitivity and awareness through the course of his adult life. He is strong, passionate, readily shares his feelings, and communicates with empathy. The issue is that he's lonely. He's been divorced for about 10 years and has one grown child. He has dated, but feels he scares the people he likes away. In addition, he has expressed feeling that some women only tend to reach out when they want emotional help and guidance. This frustrates him because he feels he has worked so hard at shedding a lot of his former macho male behavior that he believed kept him from achieving true intimacy with a female, yet now the women seem to run away from him. What should he do?

Please respond to this post directly in the comments section below this entry and/or email me directly at Kimberly@EncompassWF.com with "CONTEST HELP" in the subject line. Deadline is April 20 for your entry. His choice of help will be posted on April 27 with regular feedback results posted over the following weeks.