What to Do When you need to tell your Child you’re Getting Divorced

By: Caroline Leary

In this day and age, divorce is no longer something that is frowned upon by society. Even so, one very difficult aspect of divorce is discussing it with your children. Communicating with your child throughout divorce is imperative to making sure they understand that the divorce is not a result of their actions or behaviors.

Many parents who are getting divorced choose to have a therapist present when telling their children they are getting divorce. The purpose of the therapist’s presence is to listen to how the child reacts to the unfortunate news and mediate the conversation in a way that both the parents and the child are able to express what they need to say in the best way possible. Having a therapist present may alleviate the anxiety the parents have when telling their children about the divorce.

If the child does not take the news well, it may be best to continue seeing a therapist. Family therapy can be beneficial for children going through divorce because it is good for children to see their parents cooperating with each other. Family Therapy also shows your child that although the marriage has not worked out in the best way, both parents still love the child and want him or her to be happy. It also may be beneficial for the children to see a therapist alone so they will not worry about hurting the parent’s feelings.

Overall, talking through issues as a family is a great way to understanding how everyone perceives situations differently while also promoting communication within the family.

If you are having difficulty in discussing divorce with your child, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

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The Neurological Benefit of Having Friends


By: Ellie Robbins

There are many reasons why it is important for people to have friends. These benefits can be both physical and mental. In a study about endorphins, researchers found that people with more friends have a higher pain tolerance. The researchers monitored endorphin activity by tracking pain tolerance. They were able to do this due to the brain opioid theory of social attachment. This theory claims that “social interactions trigger positive emotions when endorphin binds to opioid receptors in the brain”. This is one explanation of why people are happy to be around their friends, and those with larger social networks have more endorphins, so they have a higher pain tolerance. Friends are a better painkiller than morphine!

It is interesting to note that the endorphin system can be disrupted in some disorders such as depression, which may explain why those who struggle with depression may be socially withdrawn. Another interesting note is that people who are more fit are shown to have smaller social networkers. The researchers theorized that since exercise gives an “endorphin rush”, those who work out frequently do not need to rely on friends to get their endorphins.

Research on social networks and friendships is important to learn more about our health. The many benefits of having friendships have been verified through various studies. Having many friends can even lead to a longer life! Currently, the focus of social networks in psychology has to do with combatting the use of technology that impairs sociality. Hopefully, as more studies published on the importance of being social, people will make more of an effort to be with one another instead of sending texts. So put down your cell phone and go see some friends! It may help ease some pain and extend your life.

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Treating Teen Addiction with Cognitive Based Therapy

By: Caroline Leary

In the past few years, there has been a huge influx of young adults seeking treatment for substance abuse. Many of these young people are not even legally of age to consume alcohol, yet are diagnosed as alcoholics. Other than alcohol, painkillers, opiates, and narcotics have become increasingly popular drug choices for young people. The popularity and accessibility of these drugs is leading to an increase in American teen addiction, overdose, and mortality.

Addiction counseling includes several forms of therapy that have been effective in treating teen addiction. These effective treatment therapies focus more on the teen as a whole person as opposed to just the symptoms of the addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT for short, does just this. CBT targets reasons for behaviors as well as the behaviors themselves with the goal of helping the teen understand why they developed the addiction. This newfound understanding through CBT, combined with other approaches such as AA/NA, may help the teen overcome the addiction.

After the teen learns the principles of CBT, he or she will be able to pin point what initially triggered his or her poor behavior and handle it in a more positive way.

If you are a teenager in need of addiction counseling, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

Comments are welcome

ADHD in the Summer: How to Keep Structure for Your Child

Children running

Children have plenty of free time during the summer once the school year ends. With all this time and nothing to do, children find themselves becoming bored or getting into trouble. Those with Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) may find that their symptoms are more noticeable during this time. Since the summertime often lacks a schedule, children with ADHD are quick to try to find ways to stimulate themselves by being active. Although summer often calls for playtime, having structure in a child’s schedule helps them to stay out of trouble and continue to exercise their body and mind. The best way to help children with ADHD stay healthy and happy in the summer is to establish a schedule. Try some of the following to keep your children occupied this summer:

  • Create a daily schedule with explicit times so that your child knows when each activity starts and ends.
  • Keep a morning and bedtime routine.
  • Encourage children to step away from their electronics for the day and play outside – at least while it’s light out.
  • Maintain regular meal and snack times.
  • Pre-plan activities for your child – whether it’s arts and crafts, a family trip to the beach, or even some simple chores around the house.
  • Have your child keep a reading log and encourage reading before night time. You can offer a reward for reading a certain amount of minutes. This will provide incentive for your child to partake in an activity that will help them wind down for bed time.
  • Allow your child to try new things. Summer is a time for creativity and fun, so urge your child to pursue a new hobby or skill (with your supervision and permission, of course).
  • If your child is on the older side, allow them to create their own schedule for the day. They will feel more independent and more willing to stick to it.

Summer is every kid’s favorite time, so be sure to do all you can to ensure your child has the best summer ever!

Comments are welcome

Written by: Ellie Robbins


Structure Summer Days for ADHD Children

Anxiety in Our Nation: Election 2016

2016 USA presidential election poster. EPS 10

Every four years, our nation goes through a period of time where everyone seems to have an opinion about everything, especially the election. This upcoming presidential election seems to be especially provocative to our nation’s citizens, and even seems to be a contributor to some people’s anxiety. DC Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Stephen Holland reports “probably two-thirds to three-quarters of our patients are mentioning their feelings about the election in session” (TheAtlantic.com). This is most likely caused by the uncertainty of the election’s outcome as well as some of the extreme policies certain candidates would like to enact if they are elected. Anxiety is also escalated by social media which enables people to see the many different opinions of friends and friends of friends. When they see opinions that they strongly disagree, anxiety is induced. Another source of anxiety could also be the pressure of making the ultimate decision of which candidate to vote for. It seems most people are supporting their candidate solely because they don’t want someone else to win. What we must all do is make sure our anxiety does not cripple us and that we ultimately make the decision that we think is best.

Comments are welcome

Written By: Caroline Leary