Social Work Programs

December 2, 2013

Meditation, Yoga and Breathing for Depression and Anxiety

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:33 pm

I give local workshops on using meditation, yoga and breathing for stress, anxiety and depression and have created an online, home study course that mental health professionals and nurses can use use to gain 3 CEU credits. You can read about the online course here. I have a number of case studies with clients where I illustrate the sequences of poses, breaths and meditations that were used in our sessions. It is so wonderful to see someone grow, gain insights and make changes from states of anger, sadness or agitation into deeper harmony and inner peace.

I find that clients often will quickly say that breathing or meditation doesn’t work because their minds are always spinning various emotions and thoughts. I think a lot of people have tried taking deep breaths and then give up. Please don’t give up if you or clients didn’t have initial success taking a few deep breaths. (more…)

July 9, 2013

What Support Is Available For Dementia

Filed under: dementia support — Tags: , — admin @ 2:29 am

dementia The number of people worldwide living with dementia is currently estimated, by the World Health Organization (WHO), to be about 36 million. By 2050 this number will most likely have tripled, making the number of people with dementia slightly smaller than the current population of Mexico. Quite a scary prospect.

Alzheimer’s Research UK believe that 25 million of the UK population have a close friend or family member with dementia. That’s about three times the population of London. As you can see, when it comes to dementia, we’re talking huge numbers.

The word dementia is used to describe a set of symptoms, including memory loss, mood changes and problems with communication and reasoning. Dementia often gets confused with the natural ageing process. However, it’s actually caused by diseases of your brain, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)

June 23, 2013

Reducing Stress With Natural Remedies

Filed under: anxiety treatment — Tags: , — admin @ 7:40 pm

There is an aisle at Whole Foods that has lots of natural remedies for stress, insomnia and anxiety. Clients often come to the mental health clinic where I work and ask about L-Trytophan or Calms Forte for sleep problems plus other items they see at the health food stores. Be aware that if you are taking a prescription antidepressant medication, it is important to ask your physician about any supplements you may wish to add. In addition, if you are taking medication for high blood pressure or a health condition, discuss any interactions with alternative approaches with your doctor. One thing also to be aware of with L-Tryptophan is that it’s an amino acid and if you have a tendency to get cold sores, it is a good idea to also increase L-Lysine when you take it to keep the amino acids balanced.(This is also a good idea in case you love peanut butter too as the L-Arginine content can cause an amino acids imbalance). (more…)

June 11, 2013

Busting Myths and Misconceptions About Depression

Filed under: depression counselling — Tags: , — admin @ 4:54 pm

depression picture
Challenging – and busting – these myths and misconceptions is crucial if a person is to develop real insight into their depression – and be empowered to take action to recover.

We’ve all heard some of the untrue, and often hurtful beliefs around depression. As a helping professional, I’ve had many a person tell me they often believe some of these myths. Because myths can be powerful and misconceptions can be disempowering, it’s important to challenge their perceived veracity. As we know, if something is said for long enough, it tends to take on the status of a truism, even when it’s not true. (more…)

June 9, 2013

Psychotherapy In The Summer

Filed under: personal change — Tags: — admin @ 1:00 pm

summer psychotherapy Are problems less intense during the summer? Because a lot of people look forward to the summer and feel a sense of disappointment that it’s not necessarily changing their mood, I wanted to discuss this. First of all, I just set up a facebook page that has quotes and inspiration for staying balanced so please feel free to like it and make comments here. I think there is a lighter sense when the weather is warm and one can enjoy outdoor exercise in through jogging or swimming plus get to parks. However, this initial mood change can wear off after a few weeks and then some of the chronic problems surface once again. Insecurities, caring about others’ opinions and other longstanding issues can persist without breaking through to the root of the problem. (more…)

May 31, 2013

Is It Okay To Snoop On Your Kid

Filed under: parenting,working with kids — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:54 pm

family trust It’s difficult to know what to do if you are unsure about whether your teen is hiding something in his room. There may be questions about drugs and sadly in today’s society even weapons. What role does trust and privacy have in this situation? Is the child or teen’s age relevant?


Anna Kaminsky has written an interesting article about this dilemma.

As a parent it’s hard to determine when you are snooping on your teenager and violating his privacy rights and when you are dealing something that’s okay. Privacy is important to all teenagers and they do not expect their parents to be prying into their personal stuff when they aren’t around. There are times, however, when parents feel that they need to know more about things than what they are being told and the only way to find out for sure is to look through their child’s private belongings.

Snooping may not be the right word for it either. Snooping around means putting your nose into something where it shouldn’t be. Would it be right to call looking through your son’s personal belongings for signs of drugs or alcohol snooping when you highly suspect that he may have taken a turn towards these substances?
Perhaps it would be better to say that you are merely checking on things to make sure that everything
is fine. After all, you are looking based on your child’s best interests and only have their health and safety in mind.

It’s hard though because even though you can justify this type of snooping/checking behavior, you are still undermining the trust that the child has given you as a parent. Though your child may have violated your trust, is a right to then violate your child’s trust? It’s a tricky question, that’s for sure.

If you go into the child’s room and find nothing you may be ridden with guilt. If you don’t do anything and don’t check the room and find out later that your child has been rushed to the hospital with a drug situation, you’ll feel guilty.

Guilt is a big part of parenthood and one that you’ll quickly have to get used to. When you boil it all down, every parent is going to have to act according to their own feelings, suspicions and integrity. If you honestly feel that your child’s life could be in danger, however, that should be viewed as an emergency situation and appropriate action taken. If you smell gas in your child’s room, you certainly wouldn’t hesitate to move things around to find the source of the odour.

Basically you’re going to have to make the best decision you can and then decide that you are not going to feel guilty about the decision you have made. That’s all we can do as parents in the long run – do our best to produce a child that is ultimately happy and productive in society. Someday you’ll be a grandmother or grandfather and will be able to relax and enjoy your grandchildren without having to deal with problems with guilt ever again.

Author Bio: Anna Kaminsky just completed her bachelor’s degree in educational psychology at the University of Toronto and now works as an intern at Richmond Hill Psychology Center helping with psycho-educational assessments and play therapy. Anna plans to continue her studies and to become a child psychologist.

October 28, 2012

Working With Kids

Filed under: working with kids — Tags: — admin @ 12:09 pm

kids yogaI’ve worked with someone recently who is 11 and has problems OCD around germs. He has a complicated family situation and his parents are divorced. Every other weekend he goes to his dad and it is strained because his dad is impatient about his food phobias. For instance, he won’t eat out at most restaurants due to fears of foods making him ill. One thing that my patient does love is wrestling. In fact, he isn’t concerned about germs at all in that context of close contact. I introduced to John, some simple breathing techniques to help with stress. I also gave him a mantra to use during the day which was introduced by Yogi Bhajan in a lecture using the Victory Breath.

He said, “One thing you cannot escape is challenge. Whether you challenge the challenge or you give in to the challenge, that is what decides your spirituality.” (more…)

October 16, 2012

Quotes on Perfection

Filed under: what is perfection — Tags: — admin @ 12:53 pm

Several clients I saw last week at the clinic spoke about their inner sense of “not being good enough”. We explored self-criticism and if the inner assumption revolves around the concept of perfection. Here are some quotes to ponder:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
? Immanuel Kant

The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
-Goethe

Everything is perfect in the universe — even your desire to improve it.
-Wayne Dyer Quotes

This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfection.
St Augustine

Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson Quotes

I don’t like these cold, precise, perfect people who, in order not to speak wrong, never speak at all, and in order not to do wrong, never do anything.
-Henry Ward Beecher

We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.
-Albert Camus

The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.
-George Will

What are some ways to reflect these various perspectives? (more…)

September 16, 2012

Yoga And Meditation For Mental Health Issues

I’ve been reading an excellent book that discusses and illustrates meditation techniques and poses that can be helpful for mental health problems as diagnosed by the DSM IV-TR. These include protocols for OCD, Major Depressive Disorders, PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorders. David Shannahoff-Khalsa is the author of Sacred Therapies: The Kundalini Yoga Meditation Handbook for Mental Health and incorporates his studies with Yogi Bhajan, spiritual relationship with Guru Ram Das and research and clinical trials with OCD patients and other studies. His credentials are impressive and include many years as a researcher at the Salk Institute, presentations at the American Psychiatric Association Conferences regularly and his work as Director of The Research Group for Mind-Body Dynamics at the BioCircuits Institute, University of California, San Diego (UCSD). I am glad that this work is available now as a reference and practical guide for psychotherapy clients, psychotherapists and the general public. There are also meditations in relation to dealing with grief, chronic fatigue syndrome and addictions.

(more…)

August 6, 2012

The Untethered Soul And True Freedom

Filed under: untethered soul — Tags: , — admin @ 2:00 am

I have been fortunate to attend a number of Michael Singer’s talks over the years and he was interviewed today by Oprah. He discussed on the show, some of the points in his book, The Untethered Soul. I recommend this to all my clients as a way to really get to the root of inner disturbances. The discussion on the video is about how we can deal with a thorn that disturbs us by protecting it and trying to get the world to not touch it (usually through various forms of manipulation). Or we can pull it out. When we are honest, we admit that so many times we have tacit agreements with others about things that they shouldn’t mention about us and that we reciprocally will never mention about them in terms of our various sensitivities. However, this then means that we build our lives around not ever getting rid of these underlying issues (more…)

July 22, 2012

Asperger’s Syndrome And Counseling

Filed under: aspergers syndrome and counseling — Tags: — admin @ 4:19 am

aspergers and counseling For adults and children with Asperger’s syndrome, each day can be a struggle. Often there are complicated social interactions, repetitive behavior patterns and restricted social interests that seriously limit one’s life. Family members, friends and relatives usually can find connecting challenging and it can lead to interpersonal stress and tension. However, increasing awareness of this condition has resulted in easier diagnosis and improved treatment procedures. There is also more public awareness and programs in the schools available than in the past.

There are mild cases as well as those with multiple symptoms. Parents may notice the symptoms first in the form of avoiding eye contact, aloofness from other children, social withdrawal, distance from siblings, refusal to acknowledge names, repetitive behaviors, fear any change, and show lack of interest in playing with others. There is a lot of variance in symptoms and some children are more interactive with others. Advances in the field of medicine and psychiatry have led to simplified diagnoses procedures and treatment protocols. (more…)

June 14, 2012

Managing Stress Between Sessions

Filed under: managing stress between sessions — Tags: — admin @ 1:15 am

stress problems We lead very hectic lives today, despite having many conveniences. Most of us rush from work to the store to complete shopping after work, care for kids, cook and then rush back again to work the next day. No one really has the time to relax and unwind it seems because of both the practical necessities and our responses to them. This will eventually lead to fatigue, body aches and a range of health problems. Many people will try to periodically see a masseuse, take yoga or have chiropractic treatments that help to reduce the stress and stress-related health problems. However, many people can’t afford to do so and classes in south florida for yoga are seventeen dollars a session often.

In between regular appointments, many people feel that they lapse back into unhealthy eating, tiredness and stress. They come back to the chiropractor saying, “Oh, I felt so good just after one session but it was a bad week and now everything is aching again.” This can be very frustrating for the practitioner as well as the patient. (more…)

June 7, 2012

Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder And Medication Management

Filed under: adhd and medication — Tags: — admin @ 1:40 pm

adhd picture ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome is a condition characterized by hyperactivity and attention problems that can start when children are quite young. About 3-5% of children are affected worldwide. For more than 30%-50% of these children, the symptoms persist into adulthood resulting in a range of emotional and mental problems. According to the latest estimates, more than 4.7% Americans live with ADHD and the condition is more common in males than females. Research has shown that the condition can be managed with effective medication, behavioral management, lifestyle changes and counseling. Most researchers believe that a properly calibrated regimen of counseling and medication can control ADHD.

The most common medications for ADHD include stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall and non-stimulant medications like atomoxetine. Both groups of medications are relatively safe but they do have side effects. Ritalin increases the amount of dopamine in the brain soothing the symptoms of ADHD. Adderall contains a mix of amphetamine salts like dextroamphetamine saccharide, and dextroamphetamine sulfate and it is also used to control ADHD but it is considered to be Schedule 2 Drug( only provided on prescription.) Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant medication that is used for ADHD but it does cause a range of side effects like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, abdominal pain and nausea. However, many children and adults are able to control problematical behaviors and concentration issues through the use of medications that are monitored carefully. (more…)

June 4, 2012

Tuition And Costs For MSW Programs

Filed under: tuition for msw programs — Tags: — admin @ 1:41 am

msw tuition Getting into a MSW program a great accomplishment but the cost for the masters in social work school can be very expensive. Due to rising costs, most colleges and universities have hiked admission fees, tuition costs, accommodation fees and a range of other incidentals that can easily bring the cost of education to an eye-watering amount. Many employers prefer to hire trained MSW graduates over those with the BSW degree so this makes the degree valuable.

Tuition fees of almost every college are high but if you have a good GPA, do well on the graduate record examination, have relevant work or volunteer experience, letters of recommendation and industry experience you may be eligible for a range of aid programs. Students who enroll at private institutions will have higher costs than attending a state school. In addition the area where you live is another factor. If you go to school in Manhattan, the costs of rent, restaurants and other expenditures can be much higher than in a rural area. Do not lie about your state of residence in order to try to get in-state tuition. (more…)

May 20, 2012

The Relation Between Drug Use And Mental Illness

Filed under: drug use and mental illness — Tags: — admin @ 11:10 pm

drug use and mental illness1 In 2002, it was noted that more than 4 million adults in the US had a serious drug addiction along with some form of mental condition. Researchers noted that existing undiagnosed mental condition could result in a patient into using drugs due to poor mental coordination and disorganized emotional processing. It was also noted that long term use of drugs along with contributing genetic and environmental factors could result in physical and psychological changes that manifest as mental illnesses.

Almost every drug has some side effects. Researchers already know that prolonged or long term use of psychostimulants will alter the state of the mind especially in patients who have undiagnosed bipolar disorders. The drugs can exacerbate the symptoms resulting in dangerous behavior in the individual. A large range of recreational drugs are also known to cause a similar problem. Drugs that are known to induce states such as paranoia or possible hallucinations include amphetamine, cocaine, cannabis, LSD and ketamine. (more…)

May 3, 2012

A Career In Nursing Or Social Work

Filed under: nursing or social work career — Tags: — admin @ 8:01 pm

nursing or social work careerChoosing a career is never easy. Aptitude testing was considered to be one of the ways of assessing your skills and choosing a job but times have changed. There are so many different jobs and professions, that it is difficult to guide a student on to a particular career. As a result, we do suggest that you do as much research as possible about any career you are interested in right from high school. If you are interested in the helping profession or human services, there are a number of ways to volunteer. To learn about the profession, volunteer or ‘job shadow’ a professional in the field to learn more about it. If you’re interested in nursing or social work in particular but cannot make up your mind, this article should be able to provide you with a better perspective on both professions. Many people want to be in involved in helping others to improve their lives but are unsure of which way to go.


Currently, the nursing profession is considered one of the best in the US. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession is expected to grow by as much as 26% from 2010 to 2020. On an average, nurses also get paid anywhere from $64,690 to about $95,130 depending on profession and education. The job does have its pros and cons though. Most nurses have to study for 4-5 years before they get their degree. After completing their degree, most states have a mandatory certification exam and a licensing exam that has to be cleared. These exams are repeated every year or every two years for recertification. (more…)

April 29, 2012

NASW And Code of Ethics

Filed under: nasw and ethics — Tags: — admin @ 8:16 pm

nasw code of ethics At 150,000-plus members strong, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization for professional social workers worldwide. It serves as a governing body, support system, educational resource, and guide for its members in their professional career. One of the ways the NASW guides its members is through their distinguished Code of Ethics. It provides guidelines and standards for the successful social worker to live by, and these standards are generally accepted by social worker boards and governing bodies worldwide.

The NASW Code of Ethics was created and approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 1999 NASW Delegate Assembly as changing times, technologies and policies required. The Code was meant to show social workers in the organization, as well as social workers around the world, how to conduct themselves professionally and ethically. Adherence to the Code of Ethics is a requirement to become a member of the NASW. The Code is available in two languages (English and Spanish) and is made up of four primary sections. (more…)

April 22, 2012

Valium And Anxiety

Filed under: valium and anxiety — Tags: — admin @ 1:28 pm

valium and anxiety There are many opinions on Valium. When I was a teenager, it was the common tranquilizer prescribed. There is the addictive side of Valium, but many say it helps them and they do not take it irresponsibly. Imagine living a life of anxiety and then all of the sudden, a certain medicine helps clear it all up. Some use it for sleep issues and feel that without it their minds would race without getting a wink of sleep. This particular prescription can also help those who have back problems and need their muscles relaxed. Only a doctor can prescribe Valium and other medications prescribed for anxiety include Xanax, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Ativan and Klonopin. There are various anxiety disorder such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Emotional Features, Agoraphobia, Panic Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.


There is a downside to Valium and that downside is that it can become addictive. This prescription drug is prescribed as a short term solution and not for people to take for years and years. Some patients are dependent on it and not necessarily addicted. Talk to your doctor if you think you might be addicted and not just dependent on the drug. It’s natural to become dependent on a drug that eases your mind and takes away pain. In reality, some people cannot function without some sort of pain reliever or anxiety reducer. However, may people can develop relaxed states through relaxation techniques, yoga and even the iPad program called Exhale which helps to relax the breath. (more…)

April 14, 2012

Social Worker Salaries And Teacher Earnings

Filed under: teacher and social worker salaries — Tags: — admin @ 10:42 pm

social workers and teacher salaries Teachers and social workers both play important essential roles in society. Teachers are responsible for influencing new adults and a completely new generation of people who will be the future of our world. Social workers also are very influential on future generations through their work with children and families. On an average, teachers get paid more than social workers even when they have the same educational qualifications and experience. However, the actual salary may vary depending on several factors including whether or not a social worker has an administrative position or works in private practice. Also, states differ in pay and whether one works for a county or government agency is also a factor. Jobs at correctional facilities or drug rehab centers can also be higher paying.


Most social workers have a bachelor’s degree in social work, but they might have a related degree in psychology or sociology. A high number of social workers get the MSW or masters degree. After completing the master’s degree, candidates may opt for a license with their local state boards. Teachers also complete the bachelor degree, may continue their education with a masters in education and they may also opt for a doctoral program. In this comparison, teachers with a bachelor’s degree and experience get paid between forty to forty six thousand dollars, while social workers with a similar background get paid a median salary of $36,400. Teachers with a master’s degree get paid in the range of forty four thousand to forty eight thousand dollars. Social workers with a master’s degree in social work often earn between forty five thousand and forty seven thousand dollars. However, keep in mind that if someone see clients on the side privately or is in a group private practice, the earnings can be higher. Teachers also can make more money if they have a specialization such as reading or do tutoring on the side. (more…)

April 9, 2012

Can A Social Worker Be In Private Practice

Right away, there is one thing you need to know. Private practice is like a business of your own. At a day job, you can work during set time periods and you do get paid for it. Along with a salary, you may also get health insurance, a pension or retirement fund along with a host of other benefits. Private practice as a social worker does not offer all that.

When you set up your own clinic or a partnership, you are essentially committing to a fulltime 24-7 business which will be your daily bread. So can you work at a private practice just like a psychologist? Yes you can but there are several points you have to remember before you start out. There is more freedom than an nine to five job, but also it is not for everyone because of the independence and possible lack of security. (more…)

April 7, 2012

Veterans And Illegal Drug Issues

Filed under: veterans and illegal drugs — Tags: — admin @ 12:34 am

veterans and illegal drugs Tragically, veterans are often among the forgotten and overlooked members of our society. They have toiled and served their country, sometimes fighting in wars to defend this nation, only to find themselves worse off than when they left. Life as a returning civilian can be quite challenging and disappointing, to say the least, and many veterans’ lives after returning from military deployment change for the worst. People who experience acute stress like newly returning veterans face are vulnerable to drug use and eventual abuse. Acute stressors like job loss, the death of loved ones, physical injury or illness, divorce or separation, and financial distress are quite traumatic and oftentimes the triggers that lead to drugs.

Marriages, long under stress from prolonged military separation and loneliness, often fold under the pressure. Families fall apart when deployed soldiers return home physically, psychologically and emotionally damaged. Employment isn’t as readily available as they might like, so even finances may suffer. Their daily lives of constant activity and danger dwindle down to calmer days, idleness, depression and boredom. To cope, many veterans turn to drugs and alcohol and other addictions, which lead to further problems. Without a good support system, veterans may consequently even find themselves incarcerated or homeless. (more…)

March 18, 2012

CEU Credits For Social Workers

Filed under: ceu social work requirements — Tags: — admin @ 5:43 am

social work ceus Virtually no career is exempt from the process of learning, improving and advancing. It’s how we project excellence, serve best, and stay at the top of our game. The field of social work is no exception. Licensed social workers have various rules for license renewal depending on the state. In addition to filing for renewal, licensed socal workers must have record of continued education and training (CE/T) in their chosen field to stay up to date with changing times, evolving practices and client needs. Continuing education units (CEU), or continuing education credits as they are sometimes called, are the primary measures by which requirements are met for renewal. Just as colleges and universities issue credit hours for each course completed, so are CEUs issued when social workers complete training in a specific area.

Conveniently, there are schools and organizations that allow online or distance education courses to earn CEUs or one may choose to study in a regular physical classroom setting. Nevertheless, it is the social worker’s responsibility to investigate and verify that the programs meet the requirements set forth by their particular licensing board. States vary in terms of the number of credits that can be taken online or via home study. (more…)

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