Category Archives: My Notes

From a personal point of view and experience

Can eBates help you to save money on your eBay purchases?

Just recently I saw an eBates commercial and went to check out their website. They can offer you from 1 – 5% cashback on your eBay purchases, Amazon purchases, and so on. With all the holiday shopping, I guess that can really add up.

I am wondering if anybody used it and what their feedback would be about this platform. I personally wouldn’t sign up because I think I may be thus biased in how I make my online purchases.

Here’s how they describe themselves – “… is the pioneer and leader of online cash back shopping.  … pays members cash back every time they shop online as well as provide them with the best coupons and deals online. Sign-up and start earning towards a giftcard.”

There seems to be a Canadian version too in case you live in Canada just like me. My first impression was that the site is new, but now I see there are reviews online from people who used it for over 5 years.

There is an option to shop at  a store IN PERSON and get cash back as well. Now there are 22 stores that are affiliated with Ebates and offer cashback  IN PERSON if you link your credit card to eBates. I saw some cool Wolford tights for example at one of the American stores through the eBates search. As far as I know, there is none of this in Canada yet.

 

How to explain to a teenager why it is important to study?

I’ve got a teenage relative visiting. She doesn’t want to study. If I ask her about it, she says “I don’t need it”. OK, so according to her she doesn’t need foreign languages, doesn’t need to know geography of her own country, doesn’t need to read books assigned by her school curriculum, doesn’t need to know about nutrition and health… Can someone help me to explain to a 15 year old girl why it is important to study? The best thing I can come up with is “no study means no money”, but I don’t know what else to really say here. I always enjoyed studying, so I really can’t relate.

Bereavement experienced by older persons after loss of their spouse

The loss of a spouse is one of life’s dramatic events that occur in older persons frequently, at the same time being one of the most stressful and difficult events in life. Research has shown that bereavement affects the health and well-being of old age adults, also affecting the social networks of each individual.

We will follow the steps of a scientific research study made on widowed person with a minimum age of 65. A majority of reviewed studies suggested that daily activities and routines were disrupted during bereavement and different coping strategies were suggested for the individuals to help them get past with everyday life. It is difficult for older persons to get back to their daily routines because of the new identity as widow in a social context.
According to previous studies, there is a big percentage of widows who maintained a connection with their deceased spouse.    An important feature of bereavement is the battle for independence in everyday life activities and routines disrupted by the death of a spouse.   Previous scientific studies have clear results that widows are characterized by a consistent age in the modern western population, women being affected by spouse loss at a younger age and for a longer period of time than men. There has also been proven a certain dependency of others in older widowed population and also a decrease in physical health and well-being of these certain individuals.    Newer studies for understanding bereavement have found that grief is an individualized and universal experience that has to be integrated in the meaning of the person’s life.    Newer studies like the one we are going to excavate show that many old persons who had suffered a spousal loss experience disruptions in their daily routines and activities and try different tactics to live with their loss. They experience feelings of loneliness, health concerns and fluctuations in grief intensity.    Older persons have to reconstruct their identity and regain their independence in a social context via relationships with family, friends and other persons and continue their relationship with their deceased spouse in a number of ways. According to reviewed studies, grief is an existential experience that disrupts normal flow of life and involves an ongoing relationship with the deceased persons although they are not physically present at the time.    Many individuals experience widowhood at around the age or 65-70 years, women being affected more often at a younger age due to genetic patterns. Spousal loss happens frequently at an advanced age and bereavement is challenging for older persons because of multiple loses that pose many emotional challenges and living with an increased need for support is a key factor in maintaining social connections.   The aim of the study we will excavate is to synthesize ulterior studies made on the characteristics of bereavement in widowed old individuals aged 65 or more and to contribute in clinical practice. The study follows the experience after spousal death, the meaning of the loss, everyday activities following the loss, and strategies used to continue life with the loss.   Managing the data and aid the analysis, studies were grouped into four thematic areas developed in response to the included studies: experimental aspects, everyday activities, coping strategies, and grief reactions.   Nineteen studies presented findings in the sector of everyday life of older widowed persons and showed that these persons started using diverse activities and different strategies to cope with the loss of their spouse and consisted mainly in filling their time with activities or involvement in diverse routines like for example bingo games, going to church, visiting of their spouse’s grave, gardening, reading etc.   Studies revealed that involvement in church activities or practice of one’s belief or religion have helped grieving old persons, who lost their spouses, to cope with their loss. Many individuals who took part in these studies have stated that they have to deal with unexpected emotions, seeking peace and being thankful is a solution that helps coping with the loss but also they stated that they had to learn to live with the pain that disappears over time but never goes away.   During these studies, it was found that old people who lost their spouse have increased their social contacts, in particular visiting friends or relatives, there were also remembrance activities used by them and the most frequent remembrance activities were talking to others about the deceased, displaying photographs, spending time with people who were close to the deceased, and revisiting places with special memories.   Although they used different strategies and activities that were helpful the fact is that older widowed people experience times in a day, month or year that are very difficult for them, like for example mealtimes, bedtime, anniversaries, or different events which were accompanied by their spouses. These times are challenges that are difficult to deal with but a solution is planning life day by day, having a plan for the next day, or planning different events that eventually are accomplished are very helpful in passing the time.   Emotions reported by researchers in old widowed people have a universal feeling of loneliness in their daily life after the loss of their spouse. There has been proof that widowed older adults experienced a continued engagement with their lost partner as a source of comfort although physically their life companion wasn’t present. This engagement included conversations, sensing the presence of the other, reliving the past through memories and dreams, being together through previously shared activities or by taking up an activity of the deceased or having tokens of remembrance in the home, like a particular chair or fresh flowers.   Health problems during bereavement were also reported by widowed old persons. The most frequent health problem was sleep deprivation which lasted until two years of the death. Physical health problems like fatigue and lack of energy were also reported. A smaller number of people also reported nausea and loss of appetite leading to weight changes.   Psychological changes during bereavement were also reported and the most common were depression and distress. These symptoms are the most common and are due to grieving over time.   These symptoms were found to decrease over a time period of 30 months while mental health increased over a period of approximately 18 months. There was found that personal strength like for example feeling a stronger person, increased self-confidence, has increased over the years.   Coping with the situation depends on various factors like grief resolution, health dysfunction or social support. These studies show that coping type and effectiveness, and not the amount used, is positively associated with grief resolution and good health function.   The reviewed studies provided evidence about widowed person’s participation in various activities and use of certain strategies in their life to live with the loss, these findings can be conceptualized as practices. These practices arise as persons engage in their everyday life through activities, relations, routines and concerns.   There is a certain breakdown of a familiar world during bereavement and this leads to challenges in filling the time, and the need to develop strategies to handle unexpected confusion and live with a sense of loneliness and the emotional overthrow of loss. There were also changes in relationships with others during bereavement and new relational practices are developed to continue the relationship with the deceased.   There is no evidence that grief decreases over time for widowed old persons because of the usual routine with their spouses.   Clinical practices for old people, who lost their spouse, consist of sustaining everyday relational practices. This involves maintaining old or developing new practices, to learn to live with difficult emotions and times and also negotiating relationships. It is necessary for close family or health care professionals to identify needs and concerns, to conduct evaluations and discuss strategies to manage symptoms and health problems such as sleep deprivation, fatigue and exhaustion, lack of appetite etc.   Grief effects can decrease over a long period of time but there has not been evidence of totally fading away because of the constant reminders of the spouse via everyday activities.   In conclusion this review suggests that everyday life is disrupted and relationships within the family are changed. These studies have proven that changes in the social network of the person, is a key aspect in the bereavement of old persons. Health concerns, threats to independence, change of social identity and a universal sense of loneliness identified in older widowed persons are challenges following the loss of their spouse and shape the ability to manage everyday life.

 

References  

Attig, T., 1991. The importance of conceiving of grief as an active process. Death studies 15 (4), 385-393.   Attig, T., 1996. How we Grieve: Relearning the World. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.   Balaswamy, S., Richardson, V., Price, C.A., 2004. Investigating patterns of social support use by widowers during bereavement. The Journal of Men’s Studies 13, 67-84.   Benner, P., Wurbel, J., 1989. The Primacy of Caring: Stress and Coping in Health and Illness. Addison-Wesley, Menlo Park.   Bennett, K.M., 1997. A longitudinal study of wellbeing in widowed women. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 12 (1), 61-66.   Bennet, K.M., 1998. Longitudial changes in mental and physical heath among elderly, recently widowed men. Mortality 3 (3), 265-273.   Byrne, G.J.A., Raphael, B., 1997. The psychological symptoms of conjugal bereavement in  elderly men over the first 13 months. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 12, 241-251.   Elwert, F., Christakis, N.A., 2008. The effect of widowhood on mortality by the causes of death of both spouses. American Journal of Public Health 98 (11), 2092-2098.   Sable, P., 1991. Attachment, loss of spouse, and grief in elderly adults. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying 23, 129-142.   Stelle, C.D., Uchida, M., 2004. The stability and change in the social support netorks of widowers following spousal bereavement. The Journal of Men’s Studies 13, 85-105.

How to cope with a death of a friend

This article is from a Romanian psychologist, he is not the author of the ideas, but he researched it. I would like to post it in the memory of my dad’s and uncle’s classmate who died in a terrorist act on the Russian filght from Egypt. I am very sad about this Airbus A321-200 operated by Metrojet plane crash.

Death of a friend  – Coping and Insight

Young men tend to have not such a good relationship with grief, because of the masculine ideals that dictate men to be stoic in the aftermath of loss which makes men express their sadness and despair as anger. Because of this alignment to such masculine ideals there has been few research in exploring young men’s grief, the way young men think about loss, and the responses and describing of identity after a tragic loss.   For a better understanding of the processes young men go through after a loss we will closely analyze a study made on 25 men aged 19-25 who grieved the accidental death of a male friend. The study was conducted from April 2010 to December 2011.   The causes of death were diverse, and included motor vehicle accidents, adventure sports, drug overdoses and fights. The results will reveal men’s predominant grief responses as emptiness, anger, stoicism and sentimentality. Participant’s description of their grief responses illustrated the ways in which they struggled to reconcile feelings of vulnerability and manly ideals of strength and stoicism.   Insight into men’s grief practices revealed the way they aligned with a post-loss masculine identity.   The result of the study offers insights to men’s grief and identity work that may serve to affirm other men’s experiences as well as a guide to counseling services targeted to young men.   Grief is a challenging experience that disturbs social processes and practices. There has been a responsible attention paid to grief and its links to health and illness, gender analyses are absent and studies examining connection between masculinities and grief among young men.   Western men grief, invoking stoicism, anger, and rationality which is explained as flowing from socially sanctioned masculine ideals.   Emotional outpourings, such as crying, expressed by western women in grief are conceived of as typically feminine behaviours. In the specific context of bereavement induced grief, review of the literature revealed that men experience significant mental and physical health impacts following the loss of a spouse due to accidents, lung cancer and heart disease and this is due to the tendency for men to have fewer social support networks than women do. In contrast it was found that many men recover from grief more quickly than women do. Noelen-Hoeksema (1997) suggested that men’s “problem solving” approaches to grief can reduce their potential for developing reactive depression.   Expressions of grief are deeply gendered and are strongly policed and men who grieve in ways that do not embody socially assigned masculine practices, like stoicism and rationality, feel judged or alienated.   Social practices around men’s grief are contrary to crying or seeking support, and imposes a form of toughness.   This aspect is especially evident among young men who aspire to embrace manly virtues of competitiveness and self-reliance and risk taking following the loss of a significant other have referred to such practices as choice disability, arguing that gender restraints can constrain men’s expressions and perhaps experiences of death related grief.   In this article we will be exploring young men’s grief experiences and how they express a masculine identity following the accidental death of a male friend.

Young Men and Death:   In western countries the cause of death for most young men, between 19 and 24 years, is accidental injury. Many young men are killed in motor vehicle accidents of which cause is often connected to recklessness, excessive speed and impaired driving. Other leading causes of mortality include sport related events and workplace deaths along with unintentional substance overdose.

There have been sex based explanations that have posited evolution, hormones and brain physiology as biological drivers for men’s risk taking, violence and involvement in extreme sports. There have also been arguments that male adolescents are not developmentally mature enough to understand the consequences of actions with a high risk factor.   In recent studies, attention has been paid to how social constructions of gender influence a multitude of men’s health practices including risk-taking. Masculine performances are categorized as complicit, subordinate and marginalized, complicit masculinity sustains leadership or hegemony by enacting social practices that approximate or reproduce men’s leadership status in the social hierarchy.   Many young men are complicit in sustaining hegemonic masculinity by engaging in high-risk activities and practices which result in many preventable accidents, injuries and death within the sub-population of men. Subordinate forms of masculinity are associated with failed leadership for example a lack of authority, weakness and domesticity and are often associated with femininities such as emotionality and dependency.   Marginalized masculinities are liked to de-privileged race, class and ethnic markers and include men who are excluded because of their deviation from white western men standards of idealized masculinity.   In this current study, subordinate masculinities may be assigned to young men who express their grief through crying and/or who become careful and conservative rather than risk-reliant because they fear future injury.   First we will detail men’s accounts of their grief in response to the news that a male friend had unexpectedly died. Second, these accounts of grief are examined in the context of how they reflect particular masculine identities in the aftermath of that loss.   Many men have described feelings of emptiness in the time immediately following their friend’s death.    There were expressions of shock and uncertainty on how to react so men’s emptiness emerged both as a byproduct of their male friend’s death and an inability to be action orientated in their immediate response.   Participants in a study described an intermediary period between hearing of the death and an emotional response in which they experienced immobility and passivity. An example of a true story is of a young man named Damien:   “Damien and a few close friends were on their way from a pre-party to a school sponsored grade 12 graduation celebration. Neither wanting to pay for a taxi or drive intoxicated, the friends opted to hitch a ride in the back of a van. When the van stopped, Damien’s friend jumped out to run across the street to the event. In his haste, he did not see the bus intersecting his path. The teenager was struck and killed in front of Damien and his twin sister as well as the other young party goers across the street. Damien recalled being taken home in a taxi at midnight following hours of courthouse interviews, his friend’s sister screaming hysterically beside him.”   In the study, Damien was shown some photographs and was asked to pick one to illustrate how he felt in the days and months following the accident, and he chose a picture of an empty bucket motivating his choice saying that he felt empty and hollow inside and he didn’t really know what was going on.   Due to this emptiness men understand that it will make them vulnerable to uncontrolled emotions that can emerge as un-masculine expressions of grief such as crying and irrational thoughts and speech.   An example was that of Joe, a 22 year-old man whose friend had died when he fell through a skylight while climbing on the roof of a house during a party. He recalled a desire to be strong during the tragedy but was unable to embrace such masculine ideals.   Joe chose photograph 2, an image of a house as a frame with half built walls and an open roof, as a comparison of how he felt during his friend’s death. He stated that he chose this photograph because he felt like a sort of protection comes off exposing uncontrolled feelings and reactions.   This vulnerability that Joe and other participants in the study have referred to suggests that manly virtues of strength, decisiveness and self-regulation are disabled during sudden losses in ways that felt many men unable to publically align with such masculine ideals. These stories and other several highlight the dominant social ideals about how western men grief. There have been statements, of participants in the study, regarding hiding from society or avoiding social participation because of concerns about being seen less of a man. In order of regaining control as to what could be seen or judged by others this isolation is necessary for sorting through un-masculine feelings of sadness and despair privately.   Another example is that of Shawn, a 19 year-old who had lost his friend due to a motorcycle accident. Following a pre-graduation party, his friend boarded his brand new motorcycle impaired and drove towards home. Hitting a patch of gravel next to the highway, he lost control of his bike and struck a telephone pole. Reflecting on the aftermath of the accident, Shawn went onto explain that he, like most men, is unable to cry. He stated that he felt something terrible inside but as terrible as it was it did not make him cry, stating that “that’s just how guys are”    Nathan, a 22 year old man recalled hearing the news about his friend’s death. While detailing how his friend was stabbed in a fight outside of a bar that night, Nathan provided assurances that men’s control over a tearful response goes beyond biological impulses.    In response to this norm, most participants in the study agreed that “manning-up” was best embodied by taking actions towards controlling their affect. For example, Nathan argued that men need to “fight through it” and Dylan, a 21 year-old explained the need to “turn it down” while Damien was referring to another photograph, photograph 4 (a tap with a valve) that made him compelled to “turn it off”.   All the men’s narratives and photographs lead to the notion that stoicism and emotional restraint could afford some self-protection. While masculine norms informed many men’s responses and actions, there are concerns that feelings, felt or expressed, could lead to dangerous levels of introspection which strays away from strength-based masculine ideals to which they subscribed.   Some participants in the study described being enraged by the loss of their friends and such affective reactions were contextually dependent. An example would be one of Aiden and his group of friends which reacted strongly to a friend being shot by police intervening in a domestic dispute. Aiden responded violent and concludes that anger was a legitimate masculine way of dealing with the preventable death of his friend.   Aiden had developed an interest in avenging the death of his friend, as a form of acting out, stating that men do actually take that course of action in the heat of the moment. Anger is a loss of control that men are afforded as a manly expression so Aiden’s angry talk, not aimed towards violent action, was an acceptable manly way to contest authority and injustice in the context of losing his friend.   Anger is experienced differently from one individual to another. Ben, a 20 year old who lost his friend in an accident, explained that his anger was not targeted towards the situation but over the circumstances, his friend consumed alcohol before riding his motorcycle.   For Ben, anger over his friend’s death focused on the hopelessness of a preventable death, while Aiden’s anger was less controlled and directed towards the perpetrators (the police).   Both examples conclude that anger is an emotion men legitimately experience and express.   Sadness is also a strong emotional response that has been described by most of the participant men in the study and was cataloged as a site of vulnerability. Emotional feelings expressed by men are remains of unfinished business with the deceased person, and wishes of things that could have been done to prevent the death of their friends. Participants in the study were over smothered by regret, wondering what they could have done differently.   Alex, now 25 was 23 when his friend died after driving his truck over an embankment. He heard news of the death while he was at work and remembers going to his car and spending the night in the parking lot, unable to drive away. He stated that he felt horrible inside, like unable to breathe and he had been unable to shake of that feeling. He felt that way because in the past they had a disagreement and they both became estranged. Alex always thought that they would have eventually repaired their friendship.   The connections between masculinities, culture and grief suggest that, among this sub-group, it may have been more acceptable to express their sadness directly.   Statistics show that in the US and Canada there is a “dangerous demographic” consisted of young men between 15 and 25, because of the elevated mortality in this group, as a result of death due to car accidents, reckless behaviors and violence. This study summarized above displays an array of reactions and masculine identities that emerge in and around the tragic losses that sometimes occur among young men.   There is obvious vulnerabilities flowing from their profound unexpected losses and beside the interviews with the participants in the study, there was also a collage of highly revealing photographs.   In conclusion, outpourings of emotion do not necessarily foster a better experience of grief most men who participated in the study spoke of crying, as a public outpouring of grief, as a feminine activity that would be unacceptable to their status as men. This gender policing of grief, socially dictated has consequences for men. Restricted options for processing and expressing grief led men to engage in activities in an attempt to mask feelings or make them go away.   References: Archer, J. (1999), The nature of grief: The evaluation and psychology of reactions to loss. London: Routledge Barth, W. (writer). (2001). The dangerous demographic Cobb, N. J. (2004). Adolescence: Continuity, Change and Diversity (5th edition). New York: McGraw- Hill Connell, R.W.(1995). Masculinities. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press De Visser, R., & Smith, J. (2006), Mr. in-betqween: a case study of masculine identity and health-related behaviour. Journal of Health Psychology, 11, 685/695. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1997). Rumination and psycological distress among bereaved partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Rieker, P.P., & Bird, C.E. (2000). Sociological explanations of gender differences in mental and physical health. The handbook of medical sociology, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall. Stroebe, W., & Stroebe, M.S.(1993). The mortality of bereavement: a review, Handbook of bereavement: Theory, research and intervention (p 175/195) New York: Cambridge University Press.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Prolonged Grief in Children

Based on recent events in United States, mass shootings in particular, I’d like to draw attention to how to comfort children when they lose a parent. I have this article from a Romanian psychologist.

       Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Prolonged Grief in Children

In the psychological research field there has been shown a growing recognition of a syndrome in adults referred as Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) also referred as Complicated Grief. Prolonged grief disorder has several symptoms like for example separation distress, preoccupation with thoughts about the deceased person, a sense of purposelessness about the future, bitterness, numbness, difficulties accepting the loss and difficulties moving on with life without the deceased person.    Symptoms of Prolonged Grief Disorder have very distinct forms compared to those of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are closely associated with persistent mental and physical health problems and a lowering of life standard or quality of life.    The difference between Prolonged Grief and normal grief is that people with PGD are stuck in a state of chronic mourning and symptoms of acute grief continue to interfere with normal function far beyond the first half year of bereavement.    Researchers had shown that PGD can also occur in children and adolescents confronted with the loss of someone dear. In a study among 11 to 23 year old friends or close acquaintances of suicide victims, found that adolescents can experience a traumatic grief reaction that is similar to that of adults and is associated with increased ideas of suicide, depression and Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).    Studies have shown that PGD in children is distinct from depression, anxiety and normal grief and is associated with impairments in health and quality of life. Despite these facts, effective interventions for bereaved children and adolescents are hardly available. More recent research has countered some of the pessimism about the efficacy of interventions for bereaved children.    There is a program named the Family Bereavement Program, composed of 14-session (12 group, 2 individual) that targets family-level and child-level variables that promote optimistic outcomes.    This program has been found to reduce immediate as well as long term grief problems in children confronted with parental loss. Despite these positive findings, more work on the development of grief intervention for children and adolescents is still needed.     The family bereavement program is focused on parentally bereaved children and has no effective treatment for children confronting other losses. The FBP uses a group-based format and the effects of individual treatments are still undergoing studies.    Clinical significance of childhood PGD and associated problems on limited knowledge about effective interventions, it is important to further develop and test psychotherapeutic interventions for children with PGD. As part of a larger project on childhood PGD, there is a nine-session cognitive behavioral treatment of children with PGD which will be presented in this article also there will be presented a baseline study of six bereaved children with elevated PGD to explore the feasibility and efficacy of this relatively new treatment.      Theoretical Basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Childhood PGD      The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for children is mostly based on adult Prolonged Grief Disorder so this model is in harmony with the PGD symptoms developed under the influence of three interrelated processes.    The first process is insufficient integration of explicit knowledge about the irreversibility of the separation with preexisting knowledge about the self and the relationship with the deceased person stored in the autobiographical memory.    This deficit of integration leads to a sense of shock about the loss and a sense that the separation is reversible, which leads to yearning and an urge to restore proximity with the lost person.       The second process has the predisposition to engage in persistent negative thinking.    Negative thoughts about the self, life and the future, and drastic misinterpretations of one’s grief are signals of control loss and insanity that are harmful. It is assumed that thoughts about the self, life and the future contribute to a persistent preoccupation with what has been lost, either it’s misinterpretations of one’s grief reactions and emotional distress.    The third process includes fear-driven anxious and depressive avoidance of stimuli that remind of the loss , because depressive avoidance drives to avoidance of activities that could maintain adjustment, driven by pessimistic cognitions that one is unable to carry out or to enjoy such activities.    Anxious avoidance maintains prolonged grief disorder by blocking elaboration and integration of the loss. Depressive avoidance is prejudicial because it maintains negative cognition and isolation also interfering with constructive actions that help nurture adjustment.    First, therapy aims to promote integration of the loss with preexisting knowledge so different interventions can be applied including imagery exposure ( telling the story of the loss, zooming in on the most painful aspects), in vivo exposure (visiting the scene of the death), and confrontational writing (writing a letter to the lost person, explaining what is missed most).     After this intervention, negative cognitions are altered using cognitive restructuring techniques. Exposure to avoided stimuli can be used to target anxious avoidance, and behavioral activation to turn the vicious cycle of depressive avoidance.    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Childhood PGD – Treatment Protocol     The treatment consists of nine 45 minute sessions planned with 1 or 2 week intervals. The treatment is described in a therapist manual and in an illustrated workbook for the children.    As any treatment it starts with the formulation of specific goals of the treatment (what do we want to achieve over the next sessions) and after the ninth meeting, how did the person notice and profited from this treatment.    Each treatment is divided into five main parts, all described in the children’s workbook. In the first part of the treatment (titled “who died?”, the child is invited to talk about the facts of the loss and things he or she missed and wishes to share with the lost person. The accompanying chapter in the workbook includes verbal assignments but also creative assignments that can be used to promote expression of thoughts and feelings. An aim of this part is to encourage confrontation with the reality and pain of the loss and, for the therapist, to gather information about thinking and behavioral patterns that will be addressed later in the treatment.    The second part of the treatment, titled “What is Grief?”), a task-model of grief is introduced and explains tasks that bereaved children are faced with and processes that may block achievement of these tasks.    Summarized Content of Sessions    Session with child    Session      Treatment part                             Content     1-2              Who Died?                               Encouragement of expression of thought and feeling about the                                                                                                          loss using verbal and creative assignments; therapist gathers                                                                           information about thinking and behavioral patterns.        2-3             What is Grief?                           Education about tasks of grief and processes that may block                                                                                               achievement of tasks. Homework: writing first letter, inviting                                                                           child to write about thoughts and feelings about loss.    4-5           Cognitive                                       Explanation of how persistent negative thoughts block                     Restructuring                              achievement of tasks of grief; Homework : cognitive diaries,                                                                            behavioral experiments and writing second letter,                                                                            articulating positive thoughts about the self, life and one’s                                                                            grief that supports adjustment.      6-7-8         Maladaptive                                   Targeting “anxious avoidance” through social sharing of                      Behaviors                                      emotions and (in vivo or imagery) exposure; targeting                                                                              poor problem solving by distinguishing between problems                                                                              one can vs. cannot solve addressing maladaptive                                                                              responsibility thoughts and teaching problem-solving skills;                                                                               Targeting depressive avoidance using behavioral activation.                                                                               Homework: behavioral assignments promoting healthy                                                                               coping.   9             Moving forward                                 Summarizing skills learned, making plans for continued                   After Loss                                          practice and troubleshooting. Homework: writing third letter                                                                               with summary of behaviors and activities that foster coping.                                                                                 Session with parent(s) Session                                                                      Content                                              1                                                                           Psycho-education using part 2,3 and 4 of treatment                                                                            workbook focused on the tasks of grief and maladaptive                                                                            thinking and behavioral patterns that could block                                                                            achievement of task. 2                                                                            Increasing the positive quality of parent-child relationship                                                                             Discussing and practicing specific assignments focused on                                                                             spending more quality time with the child (doing things                                                                             together), improving communication skills (active listening)                                                                             and sharing thoughts and feelings about the loss within the                                                                             parent-child relationship 3-4                                                                        Teaching ways to support children in achieving tasks of                                                                             grief (by supporting them with cognitive diaries and with                                                                             exposure, problem solving and behavioral activation                                                                             assignments and by providing rewards). 5                                                                           Summarizing skills learned, making plans for continued                                                                             practice in maintaining the positive quality of                                                                             parent-child relationship.   The model provides a framework for interventions applied in ulterior sessions. The first task (Facing the reality and pain of the loss) describes that reviewing the implication of the loss in crucial for adjustment and that some children avoid doing so because they fear the intensity of the pain that will appear.    The CBT model is important because of the integration of the loss and how anxious avoidance can interfere with the process in the first task.     The second task (Confidence in self, other people, life and the future) describes how a loss destroys positive thoughts, and induce negative thinking.    Regaining a positive outlook oneself, other people, life and the future is important for recovery. This task introduces the role of negative cognitions in maintaining prolonged grief disorder symptoms.    The third task (Focusing on own problems and not only those of others) describes that after a loss children tend to focus on the problems of others more than on their own problems. The third task also explains how to distinguish between problems that children can and cannot solve and also what skills are useful in solving the former ones.    Task 4 (Continuing activities that they use to enjoy) describes that the interruption of social activities such as recreation, school related activities is normal during a loss but at the same time this interruption blocks adjustment. This task also explains how depressive avoidance blocks the recovery from the loss and continuing activities nurtures recovery.     In the third part of the treatment, cognitive restructuring is introduced. Negative cognitions that are central to the child’s problems are identified using information form the intake interview for example a brief questionnaire analyzing recent emotional episodes. In addition behavioral experiment need to be applied to examine the validity of particular negative predictions of the child, using specified assignments.   Based on the gathered information, the initial negative cognitions and their more positive and rational counterparts are summarized on index-cards.   The fourth part of the treatment (titled “Maladaptive Behaviors”) targets maladaptive coping behaviors. The first subsection of this part is in connection with anxious avoidance.   The child is encouraged to speak with others about the loss because when exposure to reminders of the loss is applied, avoided stimuli like places, people, pictures, thoughts are identified. In the second subsection of this part, problem solving (linked to task 3 of the model) is addressed. The child is helped to distinguish between problems that he/she can solve (“I spend too little time with friends”), and those that he/she cannot solve (“Dad is having trouble at work since Mum died”).Cognitive restructuring targets maladaptive thoughts about responsibility (“I should take every effort to help my father as good as I can”) and one’s own problems (“ My own problems can wait, those of others can’t”).    The third subsection of this part targets depressive avoidance using behavioral activation that requires a 2-week daily registration of activities and mood (to experience how activity improves mood), making a list of pleasant and meaningful activities, and gradually planning and conducting such activities.    The fifth and final part of the treatment (“Moving forward after loss”) involves reviewing skills learn during treatment and planning for continued practice of skills including what the child should do if his or her emotional problems increase. As an additional component of treatment, the child writes three letters to an imaginary or real friend. The first letter follows Part 2 of the treatment and invites the child to write about the loss and thoughts and feelings about the loss.    The second letter follows Part 3 of the treatment and instructs the child to write down positive thoughts about the self, life, and one’s grief that nurtures adjustment. The third letter asks the child to report about behaviors and activities that help him/her to better cope with the loss.    These writing assignments are meant to facilitate consolidation of the learning process and to make a document of skills learn that can be consulted after treatment.    There is evidence that childhood PGD is a clinical significant condition, however there is limited knowledge about effective treatment interventions for children confronted with loss. This newly developed nine-session CBT for children aged 8 to 18 years who suffer from Prolonged Grief Disorder  symptoms and other emotional problems following the death of a loved one, draws from existing treatments for childhood depression and anxiety.    As a result of a study of the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the method is well-received and potentially efficacious treatment for childhood PGD and associated symptoms. Also the present findings indicate a potential effectiveness in adult PGD. References   American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC; Author.  American Psychiatric Association, (2012). Proposed revision for adjustment disorder. Retrieved May 16, 2012 from http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=577   Achenbach, T. M., & Recscorla, L.A.(2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms and profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont.   Boelen, P.P., & van den Bout, J. (2008). Complicated grief and uncomplicated grief are distinguishable constructs. Psychiatry Research, 157,311-314. doi:10.1016/jpsychres.2007.05.013   Boelen, P.A., van den Hout, M., & van den Bout, J.(2006). A cognitive-behavioral conceptualization of complicated grief. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 13, 109-128. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2850.2006.00013.x   Boelen, P.A., Van den Hout, M., & Van den Bout, J.(2012). Prolonged Grief Disorder: Cognitive behavioral theory and therapy. In M.S. Stroebe, H.Schut, & J. vand den Bout (Eds.), Complicated grief. New York: Routledge.    Boelen, P.A., De Keijser, J., Van den Hout, M.A., & Van den Bout, J. (2007). Treatment of complicated grief: A comparison between cognitive-behavioral therapy and supportive counseling. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 75, 277-284.  
 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I want to take time out during this busy season to express my gratitude for being in the company of such passionate, creative and inspired people as I’ve come to know in the Passion, Purpose & Profit community.

 

It’s an honor, privilege and delight to share the journey – our dreams, struggles, accomplishments and transformations over the past year.

For those I’ve spoken with, either personally or by email, know that I’ve been touched and changed by your stories, vulnerability and daring.

 

If I could give you anything this Christmas season, I’d want to give you your heart’s deepest desire.

I want to give you the gift of inspired vision, unstoppable motivation, meaningful relationships and true prosperity.  I want to give you a fresh page to write a new, wildly fulfilling story for 2016, and the quiet courage and deep confidence to step into it daily.

 

I invite you to take time this season to stop and see the beauty, love and abundance that is already there in your world.  As Lynne Twist, one of my inspirations, says “What we appreciate, appreciates.” 

This time of year calls to us to reflect, savor, celebrate and claim the ground we’ve taken.  I’m sending a little gift, my favorite questions for savoring, celebrating and claiming the successes of the year.

Let go of pressure, anxiety and worry for a little while and think about the people in your life who love you, the creative spirit that moves through you and the unique ways you’ve contributed to others in the past year.

 

As this year draws to a close, I wish you all you a wondrous holiday season and an amazing new year.

Review of Philips Pasta Maker

I have recently tried a pasta maker by Philips. Never in my life before I would even think of making my own pasta until now. It’s actually really easy. Eggs, water, flour.

I made spinach-flavoured, carrot-flavoured, and beet-flavoured pasta.

Pasta maker is a neat gadget, but there are some serious disadvantages.

  • cost
  • size
  • lots of clean up
  • technical issues at times

Fear of Making Money

It sounds almost impossible, but it’s true – some people are afraid of making money. They hide behind numerous excuses and find crafty explanations for their empty bank accounts. To them there is a certain kind of comfort in not having much.

There are many foolish associations that we grow up with, like let’s say that money makes us greedy, or evil. Money is a form of power and sometimes people abuse that power.

There is even a name for this fear – chrometophobia. This fear is based on emotion and not on any fact. Such fear can bring stress and anxiety.

So naturally we ask, if someone has a fear of money, how do you get rid of it? Let’s get down to the very root of the problem. Where did this fear come from? Usually it stems from our childhood, something that we heard our parents say. Closer examination of that may actually lead to the solution.

This blog is for sale!

Traffic Steed wordpress blog website and Twitter

I am selling trafficsteed.com domain and all the written content on it. Twitter and FB fanpage are also included.

Traffic Steed is a perfect platform to optimize for Google Adsense or other affiliate networks like Amazon, Youtube, and Clickbank.
There is lots of earning potential!

Do you want to know how well this site performs?
Please check Alexa and Majestic SEO sites.

Stable source of organic traffic, lots of edu and gov backlinks, original non-spun content on various topics.

I will also give you @TrafficSteed Twitter account that has almost 3000 real followers plus a Facebook page that has 64 likes already.