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February 2019

Therapy with Neurofeedback

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/02/04/689747637/if-youre-often-angry-or-irritable-you-may-be-depressed My response to the above article from NPR: Depression is the word people use when they feel bad. What people in this piece are struggling to understand is that depression is not one thing or in fact “a thing” at all. It’s certainly not a useful diagnosis. DSM diagnosis constricts our understanding rather than enhancing it. Here they are struggling to understand states of...

A recent conversation I had with a well known trauma researcher:

Me: "So how would you diagnose him?" Him: Laughing briefly and ruefully, "I don't think there is a diagnosis." Although in a way this may be uniquely true for our international patient, I want to suggest that it is always true. We are never treating anything so discreet as a singular mental illness. The brain does not parcel its problems that way. It struggles with its origins, its developmental impacts and errors, its many discontents, but these are manifest as problems in circuitry, in...

The Relentless School Nurse: I Can't Be the Only Nurse at the Table

The power of social media connected me to the work of AFFIRM Research and Dr. Megan Ranney . Through months of tweeting and sharing resources, a relationship was forged that somehow broke through the anonymity of the internet and created a professional and also a personal connection. In the spring of 2018, I was asked to contribute a guest blog to the AFFIRM Research site. Here is a link to the blog: No More Empty Desks I am a school nurse being welcomed into a physician-driven organization.

California’s individual mandate: A fix for a broken system? Or a penalty on the poor? [centerforhealthjournalism.org]

When Kate Green calculated her health care costs last year, it just didn’t add up for her to stay insured. The 30-year-old worker in a real estate referral company had signed up for the lowest-cost plan possible, but it came with high out-of-pocket costs. Premiums ate up money Green had planned on spending to pay off car and college loans. The final straw: a $1,200 doctor bill for a minor knee injury. Green dropped her coverage in late 2018, and the tax penalty for not having insurance...

100 miles from the nearest shelter. The story of domestic violence in rural Iowa [thegazette.com]

For Jones County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Feldmann, responding to a domestic disturbance often brings back memories of chaos and violence. Growing up in Delaware County, Feldmann said he was primarily raised by his father, but spent roughly every other week with his mother and her abusive boyfriend. “When I was young, my mom got beat up by her boyfriend all the time,” he said. “It went on for years and happened pretty much every time I was there. (The boyfriend) was never arrested or anything...

Kids are paddled in Kentucky schools by the hundreds. Lawmakers press to vote on ban. [kentucky.com]

A bill banning corporal punishment in Kentucky schools recently got a thorough hearing by a panel of lawmakers who showed plenty of support, but it’s unclear whether the legislation will come to a vote in the 2019 General Assembly. Seventeen school districts in Kentucky still permit students to be paddled or spanked. In 2017-18 there were 452 reported incidents in the state, up from 334 the year before. Discussion on House Bill 202 was heard at the House Education Committee meeting on Feb.

Self Soothing Strategies for Parents and Kids

Learn 4 simple tools for parents and kids to calm down together. About the presenter: Joyelle Brandt is a self care coach for moms. She specializes in working with mothers who are survivors of abuse, to help them develop a personalized self soothing toolkit for stress management. As a speaker, mothering coach, and multi-media creator, Joyelle works to dismantle the stigma that keeps childhood abuse survivors stuck in shame and self-hatred. She is the author of Princess Monsters from A to Z...

Sonoma County Human Services integrates ACES science training in New Employee Orientation (NEO)

On January 30, 2019 the County of Sonoma took a significant step towards becoming a more trauma informed organization by delivering a 1 hour over-view of ACES science to newly hired staff. With this framework now embedded in NEO training we hope to give staff a solid foundation on the key concepts behind trauma informed care. We are re-focusing our efforts towards educating all staff on the link between toxic stress and health outcomes and behavior. This training is the result of...

The Healing Place Podcast - Jim Ellis & Dr. Sara Gilman Interview

James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright and reporter who owns Legacy Production, a San Diego production company that in 2012 produced the acclaimed “Indoctrinated: The Grooming of our Children into Prostitution.” An author of eight books and producer of 100 video presentations, Ellis is now working on a new educational film “Keeping The Peace” supporting law enforcement officers in their mental and emotional wellness.

Chemical Imbalance, or Just Childhood PTSD?

Millions of people -- more than 1 in 7 in the U.S alone -- are taking psychiatric drugs for depression and anxiety. It's not clear, however, that they are helpful for treating the effects of early trauma. These symptoms may include depression and anxiety, but rather than a chemical imbalance, the cause may indeed stem from brain dysregulation, which responds to a very different kind of treatment. It may also be related to shame, guilt, anger and isolation, which so often flow from early...

As the Climate Changes, Are We All Boiling Frogs? [psmag.com]

How about this weird weather we've been having? It's a common query around the Pacific Standard office, and for good reason: Abnormalities such as the recent cold and snow in Southern California capture pretty much everyone's attention. Climate change is significantly increasing the chances of more unsettling weather in the years to come, including longer and more severe heat waves. But if you're hoping the strange conditions will inspire people to realize that something profoundly dangerous...

Collateral Damage of the Opioid Crisis: Grandparents raising Grandchildren – What They Need and How to Help [communitycommons.org]

In July 2018 the “Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act” was passed with the intention of helping identify, promote, coordinate and disseminate information about resources and best practices to help relative caregivers meet the needs of children removed from the custody of their parents. That summer Christine Stankik, PhD., Senior Researcher at Altarum , began in-depth data collection on 20 Michigan grandmothers raising grandchildren and surveyed 1,015 grandparents nationwide...

Things We Don't Say When We Talk About Weight Loss [medium.com]

For the past few months, my body has been too heavy to measure. Well, too heavy to weigh on my home scale. It has a 400-pound weight limit. When I first began my own writing career last spring, my weight was ranging anywhere from 340 to 375 pounds, but swinging upwards. At some point, I gave up completely and saw my weight reach 400 pounds last fall. Obviously, that's a huge number. I know, some of you are laughing or rolling your eyes. Some of you want to vomit. Meanwhile, I have intense,...

The U.S. Teaching Population Is Getting Bigger, and More Female [theatlantic.com]

Teaching in the United States was once considered a career for men. Then the profession’s gender composition shifted dramatically around the mid-19th century, when the country’s public-school system was born. As schoolhouse doors opened to children of all social classes and genders, so too did the education profession. By the late 1880s, women made up a majority—63 percent—of all the country’s teachers (though men continued to make up most of the high-school teaching force until the late...

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