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The Family Center Blog


Getting Ready for College

While many students are busily shopping and packing in preparation for their return to college in a few weeks, there’s one item that’s often forgotten in the flurry of activity:  mental health.  Whether it’s freshman year or senior year, college is an especially trying time for young adults.  In recent years, experts have been tracking

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Alternatives to Meditation

Meditation is frequently recommended as a method of stress and anxiety reduction because it can be very effective and relatively easy to learn. However, many people express frustration with process or claim that it’s not for them.  I will admit even as a psychologist who promotes the benefits of meditation, I often find it difficult

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Childhood Anxiety by Dr. Alison Dunton

Headaches, stomachaches, school refusal, rigid thinking, perfectionism, irrational fears, panic……….these are just a few of the most common symptoms of anxiety in children. For many youngsters, these symptoms can be quite debilitating and lead to a decrease in academic performance, social isolation, and disruption of the entire family system. Parents often struggle to determine whether

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The Importance of Sleep in Howard County: 3 Potential Health Risks

The importance of sleep hasn’t been publicized as much as other health concerns in Howard County, Maryland. But according to a new National Geographic documentary, sleep deprivation could lead to a host of chronic health conditions for adults, adolescents, and children. The Importance of Sleep: 3 Potential Health Risks According to National Geographic, the average

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Help for When You Feel You’re Losing Control

The fear of losing control is common nationwide – and also among many Howard County residents. It can lead to anxiety-like symptoms, including a heightened state of daily stress. What are some signs that you could be feeling as though you’re losing control? Ignoring your friends, getting upset over small things, and struggling with school or

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3 Tips to Relieve Your Child’s MSA Stress

Even if your child is academically prepared for the MSA (Maryland School Assessment), it shouldn’t take a clinical child psychologist to tell you that he will still feel stressed. Test-taking logistics can be as taxing as the questions themselves. As a parent, it’s your job to help your child feel calm and confident every day.

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3 Ways to Reduce Your Child’s Academic Anxiety

As specialists in family therapy and child therapy, we’ve taken our fair share of tests along the way to earning advanced degrees. We understand the anxiety your child feels when preparing for a big test – even at the elementary and middle school levels. If your son or daughter attends 3rd-8th grade at a Maryland

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Did you know that negative thoughts can lead to negative feelings which can then lead to negative actions? If this negative thinking is not interrupted it can lead to a person being caught in a vicious negative cycle where the negative thoughts, feelings and actions feed continued negativity and can lead to issues such as

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How to Manage Your Stress: Part Two

In the first blog post of this series, we discussed two of the three steps of stress management: (1) identifying the sources of your stress and (2) identifying your unhealthy coping mechanisms. This blog post will discuss the third step of stress management: identifying healthy ways to manage your stress. There is no one easy solution

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How to Manage Your Stress: Part One

For many people, the idea of managing stress seems like an impossible task, especially if your worries seem to stem from external stressors that are out of your control. Stress management, though, is all about taking charge of your internal processes: your thoughts, your feelings, and the way that you cope with your problems. In

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5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Mood This Spring – By Dr. Nicky Lankerani

1) Start an outdoor exercise regimen–it will increase your seratonin, adrenaline, and Vitamin D levels, to improve your mood and lift depression. Try walking with a friend, neighbor, or family member to build relationships and maintain motivation. 2) Pick up a new hobby — gardening, crafts, painting, baking, carpentery, bird watching, photography. 3) Unclutter your

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7 Steps to Staying Sane During the Holidays by Dr. Alison Bomba

Staying sane during the holidays isn’t always an easy task.  Here are 7 tips to help you keep your sanity intact. Prioritize you! Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, be sure to prioritize yourself. Take care of yourself first, schedule “me time,” and delegate tasks to others in your household. Just

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10 Tips for Reducing Stress by Sylvia Hanna, M.S.

Our 10 tips to reduce stress in your life are a place to start when you can’t sleep, feel overwhelmed or are tensed out. Give them a try! Make a “to do” list. Going through our mental “to do” list is what keeps us awake at night. If you write it down instead, you won’t be

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Why is My Child So Angry? By Dr. Nicky Lankerani

One of the most common reasons parents seek a psychiatric evaluation is that their child is having “anger problems.” This can range from mild irritation and poor frustration tolerance, to screaming/yelling/crying, to full blown rage episodes involving destruction of property and physical aggression. Although most people associate excessive anger with bipolar disorder, anger can also

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