Ask Maria

January 3, 2019

Family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. Members of the family are intensely connected emotionally.  What affects one, affects all in the family system.  For ...

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Learning that your partner has cheated on you is one of the worst betrayals you can experience.  Finding out about this betrayal during the holiday season is even more devastating especially when there are children involved. How can one cope with such a betrayal when the holiday season is geared ...

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Family get-togethers are not always easy. Many of us dread having to participate in some of the social events that take place during this time. We may begin to experience stress knowing that our gathering will involve some relatives or immediate family which we really do not like.  We may feel ...

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The return of the college student during the holiday season is a very exciting time.  Many of our youngsters have been away at school for the first time and are eager to come home to visit with their family and friends. College students who return home are usually not the high school graduate ...

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Learning how to set personal boundaries and how to implement those boundaries is a topic that can either make or break a relationship.   According to the dictionary a boundary is defined as “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.” In psychology, personal boundaries do just that.

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Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. Most of us are not prepared for the long journey of grief which is sometimes devastating, frightening, and often lonely. We may think, do, and say things that are very unlike us. There seems to be no respite, no end to the intense ...

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We often think that others are responsible for making us feel guilty. This is not true. Others may try to manipulate us by saying certain things to make us feel guilty and at times they are very effective in causing us self doubt. However, the reason that manipulators are able to make us feel ...

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Codependency is usually associated with the term “enabling.” Enabling is doing something for someone that they can or should be doing for themselves. It is taking responsibility for others. I often hear people say “I like helping others”, “It makes me feel good,” and “I am a good person.” Many ...

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Any activity, substance, object, or behavior that becomes the major focus of a person’s life to the exclusion of other activities or has begun to harm the individual whether it be physically, mentally or socially is considered an addictive behavior. A person can become addicted to anything whether ...

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October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Most children who are bullied keep quiet about it and do not tell an adult or parent. It is embarrassing for the child to admit that they are being bullied. Some signs to look out for include doing poorly in school, having low self esteem, being ...

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The first stage of dating begins with a sense of excitement and eagerness to learn about each other. Many of us enter into a relationship with the hope that this “may be the one.” There are many internet dating services that make promises of finding the right partner for you. This can certainly ...

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Family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit.  Members of the family are intensely connected emotionally.  What affects one, affects all in the family system.  For ...

Read more »

September is suicide prevention awareness month and pain awareness month. Both are very much related. Patients with chronic pain are vulnerable to depression and may present with higher risk for suicide. According to the American Chronic Pain Association, patients with chronic pain are twice as ...

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The new school year has arrived. Back to the routine of getting up early, school assignments, sport activities (which means more driving), early breakfasts, meal planning and overall more activities. Oftentimes as parents, we begin to take on a lot of the responsibility for our kids going “back ...

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The new school year is quickly approaching us. The unofficial end of summer is Labor Day and we are back to the routine of getting up early, school assignments, sport activities (which means more driving), early breakfasts, meal planning and overall more activities. Now is a good time for us to ...

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It is that time again when our children are preparing to leave for school or in some cases leaving for the first time. It is a new phase in life for us and them that represents transition and change. Watching our children step into a separate world can be very challenging for us.  We care about ...

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Learning to trust again after trust has been broken takes time, healing and work.  Trust can be broken in many ways including being cheated on, betrayed, lied to, left out, or a break-up. When someone breaks our trust, we no longer trust anyone.  This leads to isolation, loss, depression and ...

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EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life. Emotional eating is ...

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In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental ...

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Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child.  This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry ...

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The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously.  Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases ...

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Q: My son's best friend's mom just passed away. I am concerned for my son and don't know what to do for him. He is distraught. How can I help my son?  Response: Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. No two people grieve the same, even in the family. I am certain ...

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