A doctoral researcher of Psychology, Claudia Buntrock, at Leuphana University in Lueneburg, Germany found in her examination the effectiveness of online psychotherapy or Web-based Counselling Services in treating depressive episodes.
The analyst considered both male and female participants who were suffering from depressive symptomatology. They were provided with online treatment by a web-based mentor. Another category of participants was just given access to self-help manuals and guidelines about how to deal with depression. The second group of participants had no access to an online mentor. All of the participants who were part of this experiment were interviewed after one year. Interesting findings were obtained through the research. The group of individuals having no access to online counselling showed a significant increase in depressive symptomatology despite having access to written material on self-improvement while those receiving online help were less likely to develop depressive episode. This experiment has opened new boulevards for internet-based treatment services.
The creator of this study has recommended that an online self-help program is only effective when guided by an online counsellor. This kind of treatment not only helps to deal with depression effectively but also prevents the onset of the depressive episode.
The implications of findings suggested that individuals who simply encounter even minor depressive manifestations, for example, low mood, lack of interest in activities, fatigue, appetite disturbance, lethargy, absence of hope, absence of enthusiasm, self-blaming, suicidal ideation and so forth can approach an online specialist and therefore keep an outbreak of depressive episode.
Hence, it is an alarming sign for the individuals who are at the edge of mental illness while here is uplifting news for the individuals who have lost any trust in online treatment. You can now certainly profit from online psychological services to turn away your depressive manifestations. The sooner you look for online help, the better results you will get.
Senior Psychologist/ Online Psychotherapist/ Chief Editor
A way to boost your self-esteem
Optimism is a term which means being positive about the outcomes going to happen in our future. Many theorists in psychology consider optimism as a personality trait. Research in psychology relates optimism with positive mental and physical health outcomes. Researchers show that optimistic people are less likely to have depression and other mental health problems. They have low chances of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other medical diseases. They use effective coping strategies to deal with stressful life circumstances. They have better adaptability and high quality of life. They adopt a healthy lifestyle and protect themselves from engaging in harmful behaviours such as smoking and other risky outcomes (Conversano et. al. 2010).
If optimism is supposed to be such a useful factor in life, then the question arises here is: How to develop optimism in your personality. Here I’m giving you some tips which you will use and enjoy the positive outcomes in life.
- Think Positive: This is something easy to say than do it. How can you make it easy to do? You just need to get over your past (particularly those negative memories which could have been hurtful for you). Focus on your present life circumstances and you will find a way to make your future better than today.
- Every day, take some time for yourself when you do something creative or helpful. It can be listening to music, doing a relaxation exercise, helping someone, enjoying cycling/exercise or anything which you consider pleasurable.
- Keep eye on what’s going on in your life. There might be stressful times in your life but the effective tool here is, you understand your life stressors and find ways to come out of them. Don’t make you stuck on one point. Always push yourself to move ahead and work out problems.
- Take some time to show gratitude. Think of the blessings you have in life, the positive qualities you possess, and achievements you got in career/family/professional/social/community life.
- Take care of your self-talk: We all communicate to ourselves in the form of thoughts, images, or words. If your thoughts are positive, you will experience positive emotions, and then your behaviours and life outcomes will be positive because there is a link between thoughts-emotions-behaviours. An easy way to do this is: write down positive affirmations for yourself and refer them every day.
- Keep yourself in a company of positive people because you are a reflection of the people with whom you spend most of the time. You always have a choice to include and exclude people in your life. Positive people will leave a positive impact and the negative ones will affect you adversely. Therefore, plan ahead of the time what consequences do you want in your life. Make friends who are likeable, easy to get along, and match with your positive self.
- Develop problem-solving skills: problems and stress is a part of everyone’s life. What optimistic people do is plan ahead of the time before the problems take over them. There are always ups and downs in life. If you understand this fact, you will be able to take responsibility for your life and hence own your problems. You will find yourself in a better position to deal with problems and find solutions.
- Set your goals and priorities in life: this is the secret of how optimistic people get more success in life. How they look positively towards their future is through goal planning. They have a very clear idea where they want to go in life. They give themselves easy steps toward success. Such as, they make to-do-list of every day so, every day they spend becomes useful in some way. They also have long-term planning for their career, family, social, and professional life and “to-do-list” helps them every day to cover one step of stairs to success.
If you start developing above mentioned skills and practice each in real life circumstances, definitely you are making your way easy to optimism. And, now you know how optimism is going to make your life outcomes so positive and healthy just as you want.
Conversano, C., Rotondo, A., Lensi, E., Vista, O.D., Arpone, F., & Reda, M.A. (2010). Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health, 6, pp: 25–29.
Mehwish Mursaleen (PhD, Clinical Psychology)
To set your sleep timings, you need to understand the process working behind it. Your internal biological clock sets your sleep timing. Once the sleep cycle is regularized at a particular timing, it takes some time to change the already set sleep pattern. Initially, when you try to change this natural sleep cycle, you may face difficulty but once your biological clock gets harmonized and it is adjusted to your daily routine, you can re-schedule your sleep time.
A client with difficulty to set a routine sleep timing approached me who was unable to initiate sleep at night. At morning timing, he felt sleepy and hence needed to complete his sleep. This pattern was so disturbing for him because he couldn’t perform daily life activities. His schedule became so upset that his educational, family and social life was at stake. All day he remained worried about his sleep problem, his life going nowhere, and what will happen in the future if the same pattern continues. He was observing himself being tense, anxious and depressed.
Mr X was psycho-educated about the sleep cycle and how the biological clock sets a person’s sleep schedule. He applied this fact to his condition. For instance, he started waking up before 10 am (or whatever timing he felt suitable for him) by setting the alarm or telling someone to wake him up. He was committed to waking himself up whatever it takes him to do. Gradually he started feeling sleepy before 2 am to complete his sleeping hours. Initially, he felt difficulty, but with regular practice, it became his routine.
The case mentioned above was initially a simple sleep-wake cycle problem which then was about to convert into more severe problems like depression and anxiety. Generally, people who work at night shifts, face difficulty to initiate sleep at night when they are at vacations. Sleep-wake cycle issue is commonly seen among adolescents who prefer late night stays among friends’ gatherings and among those students who consistently prefer working or studying late night. When such a pattern is followed over a longer period, then it becomes automated in a person’s internal biological clock. Those who work in alternate shifts or those who have developed sleep-wake cycle issues may try some additional strategies to cater their difficulty to initiate sleep before it converts into depression/anxiety.
Here I’m advising you a few techniques to help you initiate sleep at a suitable time.
1. As you have trouble in initiating sleep, do relaxation exercise/ deep breathing to calm you down and initiate sleep. Do it in a sitting position just before you go to bed or you can do it while you are lying on the bed.
- Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and focus on the air going in and out.
- Correct breathing pattern: inhale through your nose, fill the air in your stomach just as you fill in a balloon, hold it for 5 sec in the belly, and then exhale the air slowly from your mouth
- Focus on your head muscles and relax them, focus on facial muscles and relax, similarly relax every group of muscles in neck, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, legs, and foot. From the hairs of your head to the tip of your foot fingers you are relaxed now.
- While focusing on your breathing and air going in and out, imagine something positive.
- Do this exercise daily. You can also do it during the day time because it will help you relax and reduce your tension, so you can improve your focus/concentration over your work/daily tasks.
2. Everyone has positive experiences in life. Try to imagine those moments when you are having disturbing thoughts. (Don’t ruminate upon your negative past experiences or ponder on unseen future happening. It will do nothing positive to you but increase your anxiety/tension/depress feelings for sure which may be the reason behind your sleep problem).
3. When you are stressed, instead of overthinking, just do problem-solving to overcome life problems. Sit calmly and think about how you can solve the problem at hand. Find as many solutions as possible no matter small or big. Then pick up the best solution and start working on it to solve your problem gradually. If you can’t focus, take a piece of paper to write down problems and solutions.
4. Learn time management skills. Make a schedule and strictly follow it. Set your daily goals and set your priorities by focusing on what’s most urgent and what can you delay without bad consequences happening. Make a daily to-do-list and mark the tasks you have completed so that you stay focused on those tasks you are planning to do further.
5. Include some pleasurable activities in your daily schedule. It can be anything you enjoy. For example, listen to music, walk/exercise, read books, eat a favourite food, wear a favourite dress or aromas, go out with friends, etc.
Do seek professional help when things are not working on your own. It’s never too late. Getting help from a psychologist is no more stigma in an educated and sober society.
Dr Mehwish Mursaleen
PhD in Clinical Psychology
The term “psychological problem” is defined as any kind of mental state in which a person feels distressed or disturbed. The psychosocial functioning of the person gets affected such as academics and job performance is not up to the mark, the friendships, social contacts, and family relationships become troublesome and person’s daily life is messed up. This upsetting condition last for longer durations let’s say more than a week or a month. There are different kinds of psychological problems for example depressive state is associated with mood, anxiety relates with worries, adjustment issues are related with long-lasting stress and psychotic disorders are a kind of perceptual disturbance in which person has extrasensory experiences e.g. hearing unusual voices or seeing weird things which others can’t experience.
A variety of psychological treatments is now available for the management of psychological disorders. Behavioural therapy, psychodynamic approach, client-centered treatment, and cognitive behavioural therapy are some of the treatment options one can avail from a psychologist. Among this variety of treatments, cognitive behavioural therapy is proved to be the best treatment for most of the psychological disorders.
Recent researches by clinical psychologists suggest the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy in the long run. Cognitive behavioural treatment in some cases is supposed to be more effective than pharmacological treatments. For example, a study conducted by clinical psychologist Mehwish Mursaleen along with Dr Uzma Ali associate professor at Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi shows the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural treatment for quick recovery of Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia. They had a client with severe symptoms of anxiety and panic. The client was unable to move out of home due to the fear of sudden anxiety attacks. Her life was limited to the bedroom and she even feared to drive or travel a car. She had not travelled through a plane for a long time. The client had three to five panic attacks per day. She had constant nausea and anxiety. With increasing severity of the panic disorder, she also developed symptoms of depression. All these symptoms started after an event of an emergency situation raised during her travelling through an aeroplane. She also had one of her uncles died of heart attack during plane travel. Before the development of psychological problems, she had a very social and active life but after such incidents, she had confined herself inside her room and she couldn’t run her home due to which all of her family life was disturbed.
She had all her medical test reports showing normal results while she was suspecting to have any heart disease. As recommended by medical professionals, she approached to a psychological clinic where psychologists treated her with cognitive behavioural therapy. She was provided with therapeutic interventions including cognitive restructuring in which thought processes were altered to create healthy thoughts/beliefs. De-catastrophizing continuum offered normal perceptions regarding travelling, minor bodily symptoms, and her ability to control the symptoms. Systematic desensitization was useful in regulating her anxiety through graded exposure, imagination, and relaxation.
With the completion of treatment within four months, she became perfectly all right and started managing her daily tasks effectively. She had two to three plane travels from Pakistan to abroad and within Pakistan without any single moment of anxiety. She was even able to handle her life situations in a more efficient manner than it was prior to the development of her anxiety symptoms.
With this case study, the researchers showed the effectiveness of CBT in a clinical setting. There are many other instances of treating mental disorders with the help of cognitive behavioural techniques. Psychological management is becoming first-line treatment nowadays, whether it is a hospital, rehabilitation, private clinic or community setting. Therefore, our mental health professionals are acclaimed to include psychological strategies and be committed providing the best services to our people.
Latest Research Regarding the Use of “Ignoring Strategies”
Up till now psychologists focused more on the emotional domain of person’s disturbed state and changing those disturbing factors to adopt new healthy ways. This is true for the cognitive behavioural approaches to psychotherapy which is a widely used approach in mental health treatments.
New research conducted by Doctor Noga Cohen showed intriguing findings. She conducted a study on a group of German participants in order to find out the effect of ignoring irrelevant information on the brain areas which deal with emotions. The researcher engaged participants in two kinds of tasks. One which involved emotional kind of activity in which they had to ignore negatively charged emotional pictures. Other task involved simply notifying the pointing of an arrow to either left or right side while ignoring its direction to any side. The participants were trained in this activity and while performing the tasks both groups of participants were tested through fMRI showing activity in different areas of the brain. The researcher found that participants who were trained in ignoring emotional stimuli exhibited less activity in their amygdala which is responsible for producing negative emotions like depression, anxiety and anger etc. compared to the other group which was trained in ignoring simple things like direction of the arrow. Moreover, the intense training group showed more activity in brain connections to frontal cortex which is responsible for effective handling of emotions.
This study showed that if we train our patients suffering from a psychiatric illness about how they can ignore irrelevant emotional situations, they can better manage their psychological problems. This study has developed new ways for cognitive behavior therapists who can modify new strategies to treat their patients.
An Overview of Disease Concept
Addiction can be of any kind, chemical or non-chemical. As far as chemical addiction is concerned, which involves the use of psychoactive substances, it can have a profound effect not only on a person’s health but on his life in general. It’s a chronic, relapsing ‘brain disease’ that is characterized by compulsive use of and searching of an addictive substance despite knowledge about its damaging consequences. It is considered as chronic-disease because the brain shows distinct changes after substance use that can persist long after the use of that substance has been stopped. Unfortunately, it cannot be cured, but it can be managed with pharmacotherapy and counseling interventions.
Psychoactive substance use continues to be a global problem. With reference to a survey report presented in 2012 by Office of United Nations dealing with Drugs and Crime—UNODC, it was documented that 162-324 million people between ages 15 and 64 used illicit substances at least once in the previous year. A significant number of people who use psychoactive substances develop Substance Use Disorders.
People start using psychoactive substances for a variety of reasons, which includes; curiosity because friends are doing it, to feel good, to celebrate, to feel better and to do better. Moreover, some people use the substance to lessen the feelings of depression, stress or physical pain while others utilize it to enhance attention, to experience spiky, or to achieve the superior athletic feat. No matter what a person’s motive is to start a drug, no individual ever plans to become addicted! People who use psychoactive drugs generally start for the sake of trying one time. Every person who has a substance use disorder starts out as a rare consumption which initially appears as a voluntary act and a controllable decision. As time passes and the use continues, a person can go from voluntary use to compulsive use.
There are four main types or classes of drugs; stimulants, opioids, depressants, and hallucinogens. These substances are based on the substance’s primary effects on CNS. Stimulants like cocaine, amphetamine, nicotine, and caffeine increase the activity of the CNS. They tend to increase heart rate and breathing and offer a sense of euphoria. Opioids e.g. Heroin, Opium, Demerol, selectively depress the CNS, these analgesics reduce pain and tend to induce sleep. Depressants e.g. Alcohol, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, decrease the activity of the CNS, they tend to decrease the heart rate and breathing and offer a relaxed, sometimes sleepy, sense of well-being or euphoria. Hallucinogens like Ecstasy, Mushrooms, and LSD produce a spectrum of vivid sensory distortions and markedly cause changes in mood, temper and thought patterns. The above-mentioned classification has been provided for a general guideline, not all drugs fit neatly into four classes, for example, Cannabis and inhalants don’t fit into any of these four classes.
Moreover, studies have demonstrated that women are more sensitive to the consumption and long-term effects of drugs that are men. For example, women who drink are at greater risk than men for developing cirrhosis and other medical problems.
In a nutshell, addiction is both an individual and a family disease. When one of the family members has an addiction problem, the whole family suffers. The social stigma associated with addiction leaves the person and his family nowhere.
Neuropsychology Center Pakistan
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Therapy is a term most people are either unfamiliar with or assign wrong meaning to. I am here today to clear some misconceptions people have when they approach a therapist or think about starting therapy.
First, I will like to talk about the stigma attached to it. Therapy is a process through which you heal and it is not something to be ashamed of. When you fall ill, you take medicine. If you have a fever you don’t hear people say “don’t go to the doctor, what will the society say?” and even if you do hear them, does that stop you from getting the treatment you need? Or if a loved one is ill, do you stop their treatment based on how people will react once they get to know that you went to the doctor for it? No, you don’t do that because doing this is in no way helpful for you or your loved one. Similarly, mental disorders or psychological issues are a problem you are going through. Hear me clearly please, it’s a problem YOU are GOING THROUGH. YOU are not the problem, rather you are GOING THROUGH. Please remind yourself or anyone you know who is going through something.
So basically, therapy is a type of treatment that you need to resolve that problem. Let’s focus on two questions first;
- Why do I need medication?
- Why do I need therapy?
You need medication because in some psychological disorders therapy alone doesn’t work. Psychological stress is a real thing and it can and it does alter the chemical balance of our brain. When that happens, the first step is always to restore that balance. And that is why we need medication. Simply take the example of blood pressure. When someone is suffering from chronic high blood pressure, changing their lifestyle or diet is not going to help them immediately. What they need at that time is medication, to control the blood pressure. And once it’s under control that when the doctors tell them to manage their diet, have a healthy lifestyle etc.
That’s why therapy is also important. Therapy is a process that involves you realizing your problem, you realize the changes that need to happen and you implement those changes. One might ask, then why do we need a therapist when all the work is based on us? And that’s a good question. A therapist is fully educated and trained on how to help you realize all these steps. Most of the time people come to therapy based on some basic issues like anger, communication difficulty or stress. However, over the course of therapy, they become aware of what exactly is the root cause of these issues and then they along with their therapist discuss strategies and techniques to resolve those root cause issues. That’s why you need therapy, so you can actually resolve and change. Your therapist will listen to all your thoughts, they will help you realize your difficulties and help you on the way to recovery. Therapy is a safe zone, secure and without any judgment. All your details are confidential. It’s a binding pact with your therapist
Disclaimer: Your therapist is not going to act like a friend or a caregiver. They are there to treat you and heal you. They are not there to judge you. They are not there to gossip with you. They are professionals, your doctors.
Most of the time people start therapy with the idea that it’s going to be about them sharing and their therapist will help them by listening. Well, that just one part of the whole process. Therapy is about slowly and gradually removing all the layers of your personality. You will come to face yourself in a secure environment. I don’t want to sound scary because that’s not really my purpose here. What I want is to let people know that after the sharing part, comes another phase; a phase where you actually have to put in the effort to change. Think of it this way, you travel through specific routes to reach a certain destination, right? How do you expect to change your destination if you never change the route? So yes, in order to take help and get better, you need to put in the real effort to change as well. Change your unhealthy route to a healthier one and reach a better destination.
The change part is tough and needs constant motivation but you can do it. As humans, adapting to change is in our nature. But sometimes, it becomes a struggle. And it requires patience. You cannot expect to change after a week or two. No, it took ages for you to develop some unhealthy habit. You cannot expect to change it in a minute. Be patient with yourself and the process. Motivation and patience are two really important rules in therapy. Always remember that everyone has their own pace. Just because someone did something in half the time, doesn’t make them superior. Take your time but remember to put effort, even the slightest effort counts.
Another important thing is your outlook on your own self. When things are constantly going wrong and your issues are not getting resolved, it’s very easy to come up with a perception of yourself which isn’t that good. As a client, people tend to slide into the “victim” role. They keep on dwelling on the “why did this happen with me?” part. See, this is a spiraling trap. One in which we all fall from time to time, but if you become comfortable here, that’s when the problem starts. Because if you keep thinking that “why this happened or that happened?” or “why bad things only happen to me?” then you are portraying yourself as a victim who lacks control over themselves. This is very far from the truth. You are the only part of your life which you can actually control. You can’t control your situation; you can’t control your family or friends or work life. But you control your own self. Your reactions, your behaviors, your thoughts, and your own well-being, that is all up to you. Another important part of therapy is to realize this control.
Disclaimer (Part Two): if you are someone who has become very comfortable in the victim role, this part will not only be hard to absorb but also hard to work on as well.
Because it’s relatively easy to say that I am helpless and people need to do this and that for me. It’s easier to say that I have no control than to actually start taking responsibility for yourself.
Therapy is a whole process that will help you and heal you for the better. It’s not life won’t have problems once you are done with therapy or there won’t be challenges. But you’ll be stronger mentally and emotionally to deal with all the difficulties in a way that doesn’t leave you reeling but rather makes you look forward to things in life. It’s a treatment like any other treatment for any other medical issue that someone might take. The stigma that people have attached to it makes people not want to take it. But you need to realize that mental health is important and so so so crucial for spending and living a happy, healthy, satisfied life. Your mental well-being or your any of your family member’s well-being is more important than people’s point of view. Sometimes, we are not even aware of this stigma but trust me it’s those little thoughts like “I don’t need therapy”, “it’s not that serious a problem” and “I can handle this on my own” that show that yes there actually is an issue and yes you are actually stopping yourself from taking treatment due to stigma. I am pointing this out because the stigma is a very real and very huge deal. And it’s not easy to stand up to it, but please put yourself and your family above the opinions of the society or your own fears. Take the proper consultation before the problem gets bigger.
I really hope that this article cleared up some misconceptions about therapy. If there are any other questions, please let me know.
TIPS FOR COPING WITH DEPRESSION
Connect and remain associated:
Look for help from individuals who influence you to feel safe and tended to. Converse with one individual about your sentiments.
Do things that influence you to rest easy:
Spend some time in nature, Watch a clever motion picture or most loved TV appear.
Go ahead, Get Moving:
Exercise is something you can do at the present time to help your mindset. Its Increase your vitality levels and enhance rest.
Eat a solid, sorrow battling diet:
Don’t skip suppers and Cut out the garbage nourishments as feasible for sound feel.
Get a day by day measurement of daylight:
Sunlight can help support serotonin levels and enhance your temperament. Along these lines, open yourself to the sun for no less than 15 minutes per day.
Test negative reasoning:
Ignoring positive occasions and concentrating on the negative. Trusting that the way you feel reflects reality (“I feel like such a washout. I truly am no great!”)
Take full breaths:
Inhale and breathe out gradually.
A great chuckle goes far.
Count to 10 gradually:
Repeat, and tally to 20 if important.
Keep up an uplifting state of mind:
Make a push to supplant negative musings with positive ones.
In this technological era, where the roles are adapted on the basis of cultural demands, adolescent developmental milestones are achieved quite late during the twenties, therefore, the period of adolescent psycho-sexual and psycho-social development could be considered from age 13 to 20. It starts with the onset of puberty where a sexual orientation and differentiation is introduced through bodily changes.
If an adolescent doesn’t successfully pass puberty it may cause psychological problems such as difficulty in accepting one’s gender, for instance, may result in poor body image. Another trend which is now seen increasingly in adolescent girls is to adapt tomboyish look. If we find in-depth reasons, it connects with primitive experiences, such as a girl in childhood living among many brothers, observing gender discrimination, watching that her brothers gained more favours from parents and society, or listening to gender-based comments such as boys are stronger than girls. If adolescent forms such kind of perceptions and ideologies, the sense of self and identity becomes distorted. In extreme cases, they may develop gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder. During an adolescent crisis, dissatisfaction with one’s own genitals may further lead to sexual difficulties or psychological impotence.
Keeping recent trends in mind it is also evident that some adolescents who don’t feel satisfied with their gender attempt to change their gender by undergoing surgeries as we see many transgenders who deliberately choose this style of life. Other traumatic or early sexual experiences along with difficult puberty may also lead to sexual disorders in adulthood such as hypoactive desire disorder, sexual aversion, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and many others. Regarding career choices, an adolescent who couldn’t successfully attain the developmental tasks may acquire occupational choices other than gender suitability such as adolescent boy becoming more interested towards female fashion designing fields.
Some deviant career choices with this particular sexual identity crisis can include those sex sellers or prostitutes. Other abnormalities with respect to adolescent psycho-sexual and social attainments may include simple role confusions such as a female adopting dominant role in a family, going for a job while husband remains at home to take care of children. This could be primitively related to adolescence stage where a female felt inferior to males and to compensate this inferiority complex she adopts a powerful role in future. Similarly, an adolescent boy who observed a more dominant role of a mother compared to an inept father, he later in life may adapt female roles or may remain submissive just like his father was.
All of such issues are those requiring clinical attention. The period of youth is important in many regards. Youth is the period on which a person’s future is based. It is the period where an adolescent requires support and proper guidance. It is the alarming sign and it is the time to cater all of the above-mentioned issues related to the adolescent crisis before it’s too late.
During the adolescent period if parents observe any of these signs in their children then they must take steps. They may approach health workers, psychologist, psychiatrist, or any relevant professional to take proper guidance regarding how to deal adolescents with such issues. They may refer a child for psychotherapy where a therapist can help deal with such cases. Online counselling is now available to guide parents and adolescents regarding such issues. You can approach our trained professionals of this field by registering yourself for online counselling.
Dr Mehwish Mursaleen
PhD Clinical Psychology
Parental guidance is one of the crucial steps in treating children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) symptoms. Without parental training, a child cannot be treated fully. If you are taking a therapeutic treatment for your ADHD child from a clinical psychologist you would be aware of this fact. Because parents are the first institution, a child learns many things from them, which is apparent in their life ahead. If parents treat their child appropriately in initial childhood years there are reduced chances of developing attention deficits and hyperactivity. Even if the child has developed symptoms, appropriate parental handling can create a difference.
Therapists treating children with ADHD give particular instructions to their parents for how to deal with behavioral issues. However, some of the necessary steps parents can take are mentioned here.
Child’s daily functioning would improve if he/she is provided with proper home base training for instance, train the child regarding mannerism and following rules such as how to sit quietly in a classroom or while studying at home, listen attentively to what is being taught, how to behave with other children, refrain from picking up other’s possessions etc.
Develop your child’s friendship skills e.g., teach the child how he/she needs to behave if he/she wants to make a best friend. Involve the child in play activities or games which require sitting quietly and following rules such as, Ludo, Carom board etc. Tell the child clearly about the consequence when he/she doesn’t wait for the turn. Teach the child how to initiate and end conversations with people if he/she wants to get a friendly response.
Parents must help and encourage their child to practice and develop above-mentioned skills and do provide the child various opportunities so that he/she can acquire a better quality of life.
Encourage the child when he/she does well on tasks and give feedback immediately after completion of a task. It will develop your child’s abilities and help him/her understand the link between his/her own efforts and success.
Some of the helpful tactics parents can apply during their home base training are as follows:
- Create a to-do list of homework and household chores for the child so that he/she can follow it.
- Give your child simple and clear instructions. For example, if you want the child to do homework then Instead of saying “Finish your homework”, you can say what specific things you want him to do such as, “Finish your English lesson. Then write down in a paragraph what you have read. Finally, do your maths sums”.
- Organize your child’s clothes and school work so that they are always in the same place and easy to find.
• Get into a routine. Having a sense of order and routine helps inattentive children stay focused. Follow the same schedule every day. Such as wake-up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed, put on your uniform etc.
- Paste the schedule in a central place, such as the main hallway of your house.
- While doing homework, turn off the TV, computer, radio, video games or other distractions.
- Give the child a reward for finishing his/her homework or other responsibilities. You might offer the child to take a trip to the zoo or may offer a chocolate etc.
Do utilize these strategies in your daily routine if you are dealing a child with ADHD. For expert opinion regarding specific behavioral problems of children and guidance on how to deal the specific issues, you can contact us directly.
Dr. Mehwish Mursaleen
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology