SCo Psychotherapy, PLLC
Offices in Colorado Springs and Pueblo
 

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Articles
Depression

Depression is a disorder that can consist of many symptoms, some of which include low or irritable mood most of the day nearly every day, lack of energy, loss of interest or pleasure in most activities, significant weight loss or gain, sleep difficulties, feelings of worthlessness, and concentration difficulties.  Depression can also become serious, with thoughts of death or suicide.  Obviously, these types of symptoms could significantly interfere with one’s ability to carry out daily tasks and adjust to changes in life that might occur. 

 

The professional assistance found in therapy and/or in consultation with a psychiatrist for medications can be very helpful, and should absolutely be sought if there are thoughts of suicide or other signs of risk.  There may also be some steps one can take outside of professional help or in between sessions.  Many believe that depression can be caused if not continued by patterns of thinking.  Along these lines, it might be valuable to look at what you are saying to yourself about life situations.  Has a mental leap been made from some setback you have had to thoughts of being a complete failure?  For example, has the loss of a job become mentally equal to being worthless?  Looking at the illogical nature of these beliefs and challenging them when they come to mind can be helpful.  Therapy can be very helpful in challenging some of these automatic thoughts.  There are also numerous self-help books and some of these might also be helpful in addressing problems in thinking.  Such books can be used as an addition to therapy as a way to maximize your time and financial investment in your improved mental health.



Divorce in Families 

Helpful terms for Parents Navigating Child Custody


Child's voice

The child's voice is a term used to describe the real involvement of children involved in the case. This might mean that the child is interviewed by a professional to obtain his/her/their view. It might mean the child is invited to speak to the judge.


Mature minor

Colorado recognizes the concept of a “mature minor”, meaning a youth with enough maturity to represent their own wishes


In-camera

When used in child custody cases regarding children, this term typically refers to the judge interviewing the child privately, either in the judge’s chambers or without attorneys and parents present in the courtroom.


Parental Responsibility Evaluation

When parents or other parties are going through a child custody dispute and cannot come to agreement on an issue or multiple issues, there is the potential for the court to order either the appointment of a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) or a Parental Responsibility Evaluation (PRE) .


Third party

Third party is a term that refers to a non-parent in a child custody case. This might be another family member (e.g. a grandparent) or an outside party a child has been placed with.

A divorce in a family is a time of significant transition and change, and it can be a very difficult time for children. Children often feel that the parent who has moved out has left the entire family, not just their other parent. They may also be angry at the parent who they primarily live with, feeling that it is that parent’s fault. Children may blame themselves, feeling that they have done something wrong. They might also fear that their remaining parent might also leave.


It is important that no matter what lead to the divorce (e.g. an affair) that parents demonstrate respectful communication with one another in front of their children. While parents are often hurt and angry regarding their previous partner, they need to remember that their child still has strong identity with that person, and that the other person will be their child’s parent for the rest of the child’s life. Your child shares half of their genes with that parent. They may resemble them in looks and personality. If you demean or disrespect your former spouse, you are indirectly insulting your child and their identity. If you frame your former spouse as a bad person or flawed in some way, your child may identify themselves also as bad or flawed in similar ways. If there are obvious problems that your child knows about (e.g. drinking, abuse, etc) and that your child initiates discussions about, then it is important to frame these as problems that your former spouse will hopefully work on, rather than as character flaws.


All of this can be difficult to navigate, especially when you are hurt and angry. Professional counseling for you, the family, or specific children in the family who are struggling to adjust may be helpful. Such counseling can provide additional resources in the form of books, a supportive ear, and an objective perspective to help you and your family successfully navigate through this difficult time.

Suicide Prevention

If you suspect that someone you love is suicidal, it is very important to ask THE question and get them help.   One way to broach the subject is to say something that validates that suicidal thoughts happen, and you are wondering if that is what is going on. For example, saying “Sometimes when people have to deal with what you are dealing with, they think about ending it all by dying or killing themselves. Is that something you are thinking about?” Be careful not to frame the question in such a way that tells the person that you really can’t handle it if they tell you that they have thought about killing themselves. So for example “You wouldn’t kill yourself, would you?!” communicates to the person that you need to hear that they are not thinking of suicide, no matter what the real answer is.

Also be aware of resources. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-237-8255) is one such resource. In a true emergency, 911 or an emergency room can also be utilized. There is also an online resource designed for men (and also for the women who love them) that has an online questionnaire (framed humorously as an 18 point head inspection). Check out http://mantherapy.org/#/center.