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We say no to bullying on 'National Day Against Bullying'

Posted on March 14, 2013 in Uncategorized - 0 comments - 0

National Day Against Bullying- Friday 15th March 2013

miranda_mullins_-_clinical_psychologistIn her 17 year professional career Clinical Psychologist Miranda Mullins has seen many cases of bullying and the serious effects that it can have on children, however in more recent years there has been a rise of a more powerful form of online bullying.

“Bullying can trigger anxiety, feelings of loneliness and even anger. It can impact on a child’s self-confidence, concentration at school and enjoyment of day-to-day activities.

Sometimes it triggers feelings of shame and distress that prevent disclosure to those who can help. Sometimes the impact on a child’s beliefs about themselves and their relationships with others can have long-term effects” Miranda says.

In recent years the accessibility of the Internet and social networking has increased the opportunity for bullying, extending its reach beyond the schoolyard into the home.

“New technologies are rapidly changing our social interactions and can result in home no longer being a safe haven for those being bullied” she says.

Online social networks, like Facebook and Twitter and the accessibility of mobile phones can be a key source of emotional distress for a child or teenager who feels excluded or victimised.

Recent research sited from Kids Helpline website suggests that due to the more covert nature of cyber bullying and the ability to reach a wider audience, it may induce a more severe reaction in children and adolescents than traditional bullying.

For example, cyberbullying can involve the public humiliation or embarrassment of a child across a wider audience, plus the bullying behaviour can be more invasive as the bully can infiltrate the victims’ home and privacy through the use of the Internet and the mobile phone.

An online survey conducted by Kids Helpline (2013) revealed that most cyber bullying occurs in late primary school, focusing on appearance and is experienced slightly more often by girls.

“There are some complex aspects to online interactions that can lead to specific challenges but there are many effective tools to deal with it, which will depend on the specific situation” Miranda says.

Miranda shares some professional advise for parents and teacher dealing with traditional and cyber bullying:

  • Encourage open communication about school and social experiences and be aware of changes in your child’s behaviour or emotions.
  • Supervise internet and phone use where possible, this will be more difficult with older children and teenagers so developing boundaries and rules surrounding this technology might help
  • Be aware of any reluctance to go to school, reports of stomach aches or other physical symptoms and an increase in irritability can all be signs of bullying (but can indicate other worries and sources of stress also).
  •  In some instances damaged or missing possessions and scrapes and bruises can be indicators.
  • Responding calmly will help the child to feel supported and safe. Explain what bullying is and that verbal attack via email, social media or phone is not acceptable.
  • Make it clear that any type of bullying is unacceptable, is not their fault, and that you are available to help.
  • Help them think of different coping strategies and consider what might work best.
  •  Encourage and support reporting the bullying.
  • The awareness of bullying when it is occurring and the message that it is unacceptable are the best antidotes, so education in the classroom and development of an anti-bullying community is essential

To discuss strategies for dealing with bullying, contact Miranda Mullins on (07) 3395 8633.

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We say no to bullying on ‘National Day Against Bullying’

Posted on March 14, 2013 in Uncategorized - 0 comments - 0

National Day Against Bullying- Friday 15th March 2013

miranda_mullins_-_clinical_psychologistIn her 17 year professional career Clinical Psychologist Miranda Mullins has seen many cases of bullying and the serious effects that it can have on children, however in more recent years there has been a rise of a more powerful form of online bullying.

“Bullying can trigger anxiety, feelings of loneliness and even anger. It can impact on a child’s self-confidence, concentration at school and enjoyment of day-to-day activities.

Sometimes it triggers feelings of shame and distress that prevent disclosure to those who can help. Sometimes the impact on a child’s beliefs about themselves and their relationships with others can have long-term effects” Miranda says.

In recent years the accessibility of the Internet and social networking has increased the opportunity for bullying, extending its reach beyond the schoolyard into the home.

“New technologies are rapidly changing our social interactions and can result in home no longer being a safe haven for those being bullied” she says.

Online social networks, like Facebook and Twitter and the accessibility of mobile phones can be a key source of emotional distress for a child or teenager who feels excluded or victimised.

Recent research sited from Kids Helpline website suggests that due to the more covert nature of cyber bullying and the ability to reach a wider audience, it may induce a more severe reaction in children and adolescents than traditional bullying.

For example, cyberbullying can involve the public humiliation or embarrassment of a child across a wider audience, plus the bullying behaviour can be more invasive as the bully can infiltrate the victims’ home and privacy through the use of the Internet and the mobile phone.

An online survey conducted by Kids Helpline (2013) revealed that most cyber bullying occurs in late primary school, focusing on appearance and is experienced slightly more often by girls.

“There are some complex aspects to online interactions that can lead to specific challenges but there are many effective tools to deal with it, which will depend on the specific situation” Miranda says.

Miranda shares some professional advise for parents and teacher dealing with traditional and cyber bullying:

  • Encourage open communication about school and social experiences and be aware of changes in your child’s behaviour or emotions.
  • Supervise internet and phone use where possible, this will be more difficult with older children and teenagers so developing boundaries and rules surrounding this technology might help
  • Be aware of any reluctance to go to school, reports of stomach aches or other physical symptoms and an increase in irritability can all be signs of bullying (but can indicate other worries and sources of stress also).
  •  In some instances damaged or missing possessions and scrapes and bruises can be indicators.
  • Responding calmly will help the child to feel supported and safe. Explain what bullying is and that verbal attack via email, social media or phone is not acceptable.
  • Make it clear that any type of bullying is unacceptable, is not their fault, and that you are available to help.
  • Help them think of different coping strategies and consider what might work best.
  •  Encourage and support reporting the bullying.
  • The awareness of bullying when it is occurring and the message that it is unacceptable are the best antidotes, so education in the classroom and development of an anti-bullying community is essential

To discuss strategies for dealing with bullying, contact Miranda Mullins on (07) 3395 8633.

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Eating Disorders Learning Group- a skilled-based program for those caring for a loved one with an eating disorder

Posted on February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized - 0 comments - 0

Eating disorders can dramatically affect families and the way they function and communicate. The Eating Disorders Learning Group was developed to help parents and carers foster a healthier relationship with their loved one as they help them on the road to recovery.

“I thought I was a good parent, but when this eating disorder came into our daughters life, my wife and I felt so alone and out of our depth. This group helped us to connect with other parents and learn and practice techniques to help our daughter.”Anon

Psychologist Cathy Dart

Psychologist Cathy Dart

Eating Disorders specialist and Psychologist Cathy Dart of Psychology Consultants, facilitates the six week program held at Rosemont campus at Windsor, Brisbane.

The program costs $130 per person and may help you:

  • Understand more about eating disorders and ways to support recovery
  • Learn and practicing helpful communication skills
  • Develop positive coping strategies
  • Foster a healthier relationship with your loved one.

Download the Eating Disorders Learning Group brochure for further detail or call our friendly reception team for information on start dates: (07) 3356 8255

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The flood clean up has begun….but how are the children coping?

Posted on February 7, 2013 in Uncategorized - 0 comments - 0

littleboy_webJanuary 2013 saw Queensland once again hit by natural disaster with cyclone and flooding affecting thousands of families across the state. We talk to Clinical Psychologist Dr Stan Steindl about what to expect from children who have experienced or witnessed trauma or natural disaster.

Knowing the signs and how to appropriately react will greatly assist in how your child copes with the situation. Here are some possible reactions for various age groups.

Preschoolers

Children aged 1 to 5 will need the most parental support, as they have not yet developed their own coping mechanisms. You may notice regressive behaviour in areas where they have been competent such as toileting and dressing themselves.

Some children may develop a fear of the dark or experience nightmares.

Changes in sleeping and eating habits are also symptoms to watch for.

Speech difficulties, hyperactivity and aggressive behaviour are more severe reactions. If you find this behaviour is not manageable your child may benefit from professional help.

Primary School age children

Children aged 5 to 11 may react in a similar way to preschoolers displaying regressive behaviour, new fears or insecurities. They may cling to parents and experience separation anxiety. School performance may also be affected.

Withdrawing from social circles and extracurricular activities is also a possible reaction for children of this age.

Adolescents

Teenagers who have been affected by the floods should be closely monitored; this is a volatile age where opinions are important and they seek normalcy. Watch for high-risk behaviour like experimenting with alcohol and drugs.

Withdrawal from friends and family is a common reaction for teenagers along with rejecting authority figures and exhibiting disruptive behaviour at school.

Teenagers may find normal household chores and school responsibilities, like homework overwhelming during this time.

Some tips for parents and carers

  1. Talk about it! Open communication without dwelling on the negatives will help children of all ages.
  2. Let children express their emotions and fears in their own way, for example, drawing, writing, play dough, role-play with dolls and soft toys.
  3. Set some positive goals for the year and ways each member of the family can help achieve them.
  4. Talk about how great the community support has been.
  5. Give children, especially youngsters, lots of physical affection and attention.
  6. Try to resume a normal household and daily routine if possible.
  7. Accept short term changes to school performance.
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Is your new years resolution to get better sleep?

Posted on January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized - 0 comments - 0

Our Towards Better Sleep program could have you catching a few more zzz’s!

First group recommencing April 2013

Clinical Psychologist, Kathryn Smith of Psychology Consultants and Sleep Specialist and Psychiatrist Dr Curt Gray are recommencing the highly successful   sleep program designed to help people suffering from insomnia and sleep disorders.

Towards Better Sleep is a group program held in small groups of 9 people or less at Psychology Consultants Morningside practice.

The program treats people suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders in a group setting and provides practical ways to manage sleep issues on an ongoing basis.

If you are interested in participating in the group or you are a doctor referring a patient, please contact reception (07) 3395 8633.

The friendly staff at reception will provide you with information regarding the next group session.

CountingSheep

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