Archive | Family Systems

The Act of Letting Go… Sending a Child in Recovery off to College

It was a sweltering August day in Washington D.C as I walked through the campus of American University side-by-side with my first child who was embarking on her freshman year of college. I was trying to slow our pace as I knew the inevitable goodbye was about to come. Brewing were the same emotions I […]

When It’s Not About the Nail – Thinking About Effective Communication

Effective Communication for Change: Recognize Problem. Identify Cause. Dispense Solution. Rinse, lather, and repeat. For a lot of people, myself included at times; this process is automatic for the brain. Someone you love has a problem, you can identify that problem, and you feel the need to fix the problem or tell them how to […]

The Family Effect: Advice for Dads Affected by Substance Abuse

In May we looked at Mother’s dealing with Substance Abuse in loved ones. In June, we are turning focus onto the unique challenges Fathers face in the world of recovery a share similar advice.  Being a Dad and having to deal with a child or loved one with addiction is a challenge on many, many […]

From Mother to Mother, Having a Child with Substance Use Disorder

There are certain “things” you can’t understand until you experience them. Being a mother is one of them. Having a loved one who suffers from Substance Use Disorder is another. The combination of the two was absolutely devastating. It occupied my every thought; it clouded my ability to enjoy normal activities and caused me to […]

The Family Effect: Advice for Moms Affected by Substance Abuse

In May, we are turning focus onto the unique challenges mothers face in the world of recovery.  Being a mother and having to deal with a child or loved one with addiction is a challenge on many, many levels.  In the spirit of Mother’s Day we will examine some advice for Mothers who have loved […]

“Spring Cleaning” for Recovery: What to do about summer?

As March turns to April in New England, one day we are watching the news anticipating a blizzard, and the next, the birds are chirping and the Red Sox start playing at Fenway Park. This seasonal change happens fast! Just as suddenly, summer will be here. Students look forward to their summer breaks, families prepare […]

Treating Eating Disorders: The Importance of Self Care

Clinicians who work with eating disorders are highly dedicated professionals. Since eating disorders revolve around some very fundamental human experiences—eating to survive and how we feel about our bodies and ourselves—the work can stir up one’s own personal feelings about eating, body weight, and self-esteem. Taking time for physical and psychological self-care can be overlooked […]

Families in Crisis: Unable to See the Forest for the Trees

I hate when my mother is right. She has been a wonderful role model, and remains one of the kindest people I know. She possesses one characteristic that cuts both ways – a well-honed level of skepticism, a “spidey” sense when someone is lying or something is wrong. It drove me crazy in high school […]

The Hurdle of Entitlement

Joe is a charming 30-year-old man who after graduating from college, returned to his hometown and began working for his family business. Unbeknownst to his parents, he returned with an addiction to opiates and for the last several years he has held his family hostage to his disorder. He rarely goes to work, yet expects […]

Is My Child Ready For College?

Every year at this time high school seniors await news from college admissions departments. Parents are almost as worried as their children after the months, sometimes years, of college preparatory activities. Focusing on the academic demands and extracurricular activities that appeal to college admission departments may cause parents to avoid looking at their child’s readiness to navigate […]