Sexual Addiction and Children

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As children, 40% of men and 60% of current college age students in one study started looking at pornography before the age of 10.

One study shows that 2/3 of kids watch pornography while doing their homework and 70% continue in these behaviors and are at risk for sexually compulsive behavior.

He discusses the real changes and malformations in the brain that occur with these addictions and the chemical responses in the brain.

Dr. Patrick Carnes, psychologist, is an expert, author, and leading authority on Addiction and Sexual Addiction and has been interviewed on Oprah and many talk shows. He calls Sexual Addiction the most significant health issue impacting our country. He states that the way men and women treat each other and raise their children shapes society. He also talks about obesity. 1/3 of adults have a problem with compulsive overeating or food addiction and struggle with obesity.

Read also about the ‘cycle of addiction’ in a prior post on Sexual Addiction here.

The Power of Play

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“Over the past two decades, children have lost twelve hours of free time a week, including eight hours of unstructured play and outdoor activities. In contrast, the amount of time children spend in organized sports has doubled, and the number of minutes children devote to passive spectator leisure, not counting television but including sports viewing, has increased fivefold from thirty minutes to over three hours. The disappearance of play from the lives of our children is mirrored in the media. Television programs rarely depict children as simply playing and having a good time.” – The Power of Play

Mr. Fred Rogers on Love

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A recent movie hit the theaters this year about Fred Rogers, American television personality, puppeteer, writer, musician, producer, and Presbyterian pastor who also helped to secure millions dollars in federal funding for a new concept: Public Television. Fred Rogers passed in 2003, survived by his wife, two sons, and three grandsons. And, apparently, was survived by a distant relative named Tom Hanks also!

Inspirational Quotes can be helpful in times of stress. ‘Just do it’, for example, and ‘This too shall pass.’ Here are some quotes and words of wisdom from Fred Rogers.

“At many times throughout their lives, children will feel like the world has turned topsy-turvy. It’s not the ever-present smile that will help them feel secure. It’s knowing that love can hold many feelings, including sadness, and that they can count on the people they love to be with them until the world turns right side up again.”

-Fred Rogers

What wonderful words of inspiration from Mr. Rogers on love.

 

http://www.truelovingtherapy.org

PTSD

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: an anxiety disorder that develops in reaction to physical injury or severe mental or emotional distress.

This disorder is not just a disorder of combat veterans. In fact, there have been over fourteen different names for PTSD such as ‘shell-shock’ and ‘soldier’s heart’, and advocates of a different name for the disorder when it is seen in combat veterans. It may be helpful to differentiate the types of PTSD based on the cause of the symptoms, but the brain does put a person in a state of fear of any number of things, and the body reacts accordingly in what we call PTSD, regardless of the cause.

 

There may be some differences that can be noted, obviously the causes being just one difference, and a different name for combat PTSD may be a very helpful thing. There are different types of trauma outlined in the DSM, namely, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This type of trauma occurs when an individual experiences a prolonged period (months to years) of chronic victimization and total control by another, especially in developmentally vulnerable times in their lives by caregivers.

PTSD is seen more in women than in men. It can be caused by severe traumas such as sexual or physical abuse. According to The Harvard Guide to Women’s Health, it also can result from sexual harassment. Many people do not think of this, but when a woman is sexually harassed she may lose her job, shelter, food, ability to provide for herself, and may then be dependent upon others she does not know or trust. Her boundaries may have been violated and she may be emotionally abused and told she is not able or competent to do her job. Though the sexual harassment is often traumatizing, the retaliation and job loss is often just as traumatic. On the other hand, discrimination or slander and job loss may also be the cause of PTSD.

There are millions of different situations that can lead to reactions which result in PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

There are many things that can help a person to heal from PTSD. Some of these include therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Canine Assisted therapy, Art therapy, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and other psychodynamic therapies.  Other things that help include exercise, yoga, music, fishing, sports, art, walking, proper diet, drinking water, prayer, and spending time with family and loved ones.

Carlson, MD, Karen J., Eisenstat, MD, Stephanie A., Ziporyn, Ph.D. Terra The Harvard Guide to Women’s Health.

http://operationcompassionatecare.org/historical-names-for-ptsd/

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/history-of-ptsd-vets.asp

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd-overview/complex-ptsd.asp

https://www.talkspace.com/blog/2018/03/complex-ptsd-versus-standard-ptsd/

National Council for Behavioral Health report on Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom

Tips for Good Sleep

Sleep is so important for our mental and physical health in ways that we are still just beginning to understand as new research develops. We know there are complex interactions of neurotransmitters and functioning of the brain, spinal cord, neurons, and chemicals in the bloodstream involved in our sleep cycle. Five stages of sleep show different wavelengths of electrical activity in the brain and different areas of the brain shut down and some are still active. During stage 5 Rapid Eye Movement occurs and dreaming.

Tips

Sleeping with the sundown to sunup is better for good rest.

Set a schedule of when you sleep and stick to it as much as you can. This helps your internal clock or sleep cycle to kick in at the right time.

Exercising 20-30 minutes each day can help you to sleep. If you exercise too soon before bedtime this can make it difficult to sleep so try to exercise 5 or 6 hours before bedtime.

Do something relaxing before bed. Take a bath, do some stretching, listen to some music. You can create rituals that your body associates with bedtime and triggers your sleep.

If you can’t fall asleep then do something until you do. If you just lie there then it may cause you anxiety, leading to insomnia. Read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music.

Control your room temperature. When you are asleep your body does not regulate it’s temperature as well.

Information from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institutes of Health.

Play Therapy Jungian Technique: Fairy Tales in the Sand

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Stories and characters can help us understand our inner worlds and relationships. Here is an article written for therapists and therapy written in a Play Therapy counseling program.

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In the Jungian Analytical Play Therapy technique the therapist provides 8-10 pre-selected fairy tales for the child to choose from. The therapist reads the fairy tale the child chooses. Then the therapist asks the child to draw something in the sand about the fairy tale- one meaningful image, feeling, or figure from the tale and then creates a sand tray with scene with figures. The therapist helps the child to process the child’s creation with them by asking questions such as: (a) What were you feeling when you placed x there? (b) If this symbol (or object or person) were talking, what would they be saying and to whom? If the child is under the age of 8 the therapist may ask different probing questions such as, “Let’s talk about (the object/image/symbol) and its purpose in the drawing (or sand tray). What does (the object/image/symbol) do? Where does it live?” The therapist can then analyze what the child is doing and provide a dialogue with them to help them individuate (Shaeffer, 2011).

There are a myriad of fairytales and modern mythological stories to pull from for this activity that children may already be familiar with and identify with. Harry Potter is one example, where the main character exemplifies the archetype of the orphan child (Hunt, 2006). I also found a book review with stories that held many archetypes including the Junian archetype of the child-god Hermes mentioned in my prior discussion for this Unit and the image he holds of ‘walking backwards.’ The same issue also had a review of ‘The Shadow of the Dragon,’ and a JAPT therapist could discuss with the child the shadow side of each archetype in exploring the meaning of the images they created in the sad related to the stories read in therapy. Many children and adults have an ‘orphan child’ and can benefit from working with this image in therapy as relates to Harry Potter. There is a positive and negative and individuation can occur in bringing these images to consciousness in one’s identity. Jung’s theories of the child and what became JAPT all started with his thoughts about the archetype of the child and while going through inner conflict near the end of his own life he found healing through identifying the child archetype in himself (Jung, 2009).

Hunt, Kathy. (2006). ‘Do You Know Harry Potter? Well, He is an Orphan’: Every Bereaved Child Matters. Pastoral Care in Education, Jun2006, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p39-44. 6p.

Jung, C.G. (2009). The red book. New York, NY: Norton.

Schaefer, C. (2011). Foundations of Play Therapy. 2nd Ed. Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, New Jersey

Book Review. (2010.) Library Media Connection. Jan/Feb2010, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p69-69. 1/9p.