You are hereBlogs / Marie Woods LMFT CSAT-S's blog

Marie Woods LMFT CSAT-S's blog


The WHY of Addiction?

Probably one of the most common things I hear people say in regards to addiction is, I just don’t understand why they do it.” This is typically coming from the family member or friend who cannot seem to wrap their head around why someone would continue to engage in such harmful and self-destructive behavior.  From a non-addict perspective, asking this question makes a lot of sense. The answer, however, is multi-layered and multi-faceted. There is rarely one thing that answers the question as to why individuals continue to engage in addictive behavior.

In fact, we find that in working with those struggling with addiction there are often a combination of factors that lead them to try coping with their problems or emotions with addictive substances or processes. In order to help answer the question of “Why do they do it??”, here are a couple of common reasons why people engage in addictive behavior.

A Guide for Parents: Teenagers and Technology

      In the fast moving world of digital technology, parents are frantically searching for the latest information and how to keep their children safe online. Trying to keep up with all the latest trends can feel like a maze, and leave parents feeling dizzy.  In their dizziness, they may tend to go to extreme measures trying to do away with technology or lack concrete boundaries – just hoping for the best. While the tendency to resort to either of these options is tempting, we have compiled a list of our most commonly asked questions to help parents find a moderate answer to the challenges of technology with their teen or pre-teen. We hope these questions and answers help guide parents towards designing limits for technology that are appropriate for their unique families.

How do I protect my children when they are outside the home (e.g. someone else’s house)?

 

•       Let your kids know the expectations up front and remind them when they leave home.

•       Inform the other parents of your wishes and ask for their support

•       Have a rule that devices do not go to other families’ homes

•       Be prepared to follow through with consequences if the rules are not followed.

 

Increased Intimacy Through Couples Therapy

When we talk about intimacy most people think about sex, but that’s only one part of intimacy. Couples who say they want to know each other better are also seeking intimacy. True intimacy is achieved when you are able to see and be seen by another. I’ve often heard it said that the phrase “into me you see” is a great way to remember the concept of intimacy. In my work as both a couples and sex addiction therapist, I have helped many couples improve their connection and move into deeper intimacy.  Many couples report wanting to feel closer; this is true for couples who are just starting out, and event those who have been in a relationship for a long time.  They want to know each other’s dreams and desires  - all of which is part of intimacy. By using a technique that helps couples focus on identifying and communicating their emotions, I guide them in becoming more in tune with each other. When couples feel as though they are seen and heard in a relationship, then they are more likely to share their hopes, dreams, and desires. Couples that are early in their relationship can often save themselves some heartache. And after years together, many couples develop a new depth of knowledge of each other. If you love your partner dearly, but often wish you were closer, then couples therapy focused on intimacy building could be the next step to take to get you there. Wouldn’t it be nice to share the desires of your heart with your life partner?

Children Are Not Little Adults

After attending a host of holiday gatherings over the past few months, I started reflecting on a pattern I noticed of a lack of attention that being paid towards young children at some of these events. What I noticed was not that children were being overtly neglected, but that there seemed to be some odd expectation that they would behave like little adults while the actual adults got on with more important and mature matters.

This observation inspired my thinking process, and thus this blog post, about reasonable expectations for children.  The old saying that “children should be seen and not heard” is long since a thing of the past, and we have plenty of research to show that quite the opposite is true in terms of promoting their healthy development.

  • Children are meant to play. In this process, they are meant to explore, make messes, and be spontaneous. This means that they will jump from one thing to the next without thinking, and yes, without cleaning up. This process is critical to their development. Their brains are not developed enough to complete one task at a time, clean it up, and then neatly move on to another one. (Let’s be honest, some adults can’t even do this).

How to Have Less Technology and More Engagement This Year

A common complaint among parents these days is that their kids spend too much time on technology. In fact, it’s the reason why many families call our office. Parents often notice that their child seems disengaged and less interested in other social activities, and thus prefers the tablet or video games. After arguing with their child (and sometimes even their spouse) for days and months on end, they often seek therapy out of frustration. Here are a couple of strategies we offer to help families strike a balance with technology use and family time.






1.     Avoid discounting technology all together. Taking extreme measures like banning all technology does not help teach balance. Of course there are sometimes when restricting privileges is appropriate, but those should be on a case-by-case basis.