How Are Things Down on the Ranch?

A couple weeks ago I received an e-mail from a person representing a drug and alcohol treatment center out in the rural South. He wanted me to put a link to his program on my website. I thought I’d share part of the request and explain why I would not agree to do that (for anyone who is interested in how I look at such things).Continue Reading How Are Things Down on the Ranch?

 
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Concern about Employees Means More than “Canned” Tips on a Website

McDonald’s has come under fire in recent weeks for a series of posts on an employee web portal (now deleted) which struck many people as insensitive at best and hypocritical at worst. The “tip sheets” included a health page from a university-based group of authors that cautioned readers to limit their consumption of fast foods. Other tips included financial advice to sell unused items if money is short, and at the other extreme, what to tip your au pair for the holidays. Given the company’s largely low-wage workforce –  an issue that has been receiving unflattering attention (including some strikes by workers) lately – these suggestions struck many as insulting. Some were appalled that a website for a fast-food company offered suggestions about applying for food stamps.Continue Reading Concern about Employees Means More than “Canned” Tips on a Website

 
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Welcoming a Family Therapy Colleague to Downtown Chicago

I would like to encourage you to visit the website of Meg Coyne, LCSW, and Coyne Counseling. Meg is an experienced and skilled couple and family therapist who trained at the program of the Chicago Center for Family Health, under renowned family therapist Froma Walsh, Ph.D. Coyne Counseling is located at 22 W. Washington, Floor 15, #78, Chicago, IL 60602. This is in the Block 37 building at State and Washington, and is convenient to most areas of the Loop. Meg accepts Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurance and has a sliding scale for those who do not have (or do not wish to use) insurance coverage. She has a training partnership with the Adler School of Professional Psychology, for which I am most appreciative.

Coyne Counseling’s website is www.coyne-counseling.com.

Meg has special interests in helping couples with issues of intimacy and sexual problems, child behavior and parenting, divorce, and co-parenting. She will be running a parenting education group in the near future, so please contact her if you are interested in learning more about the use of encouragement, and logical and natural consequences, in parenting both young children and teenagers.

 
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October 22, 2013 Rally for Illinois Marriage Equality

Rally in Springfield

October 22 2013 rally in Springfield

I traveled to the Illinois State Capitol this week with a busload of faculty, staff, and students from Adler School of Professional Psychology, for a rally and march in support of SB 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which passed the Illinois Senate earlier this year but did not pass in the Illinois House. The hope was that it would be taken up by the House during the veto session, and would overcome the perceived resistance of some religious groups, particularly of traditionally African-American churches. Continue Reading October 22, 2013 Rally for Illinois Marriage Equality

 
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A Tough Uncle: On “Being Losers”

In the latest example of what are becoming all-too-frequent acts of unspeakable horror, homemade bombs killed three people and seriously wounded dozens more at the beloved Boston Marathon this week. The act itself seems to fit the definition of terrorism perfectly: an indiscriminate strike at ordinary, innocent people in a moment of national celebration, forever tainting the memory of the event, and forever changing the lives of thousands or millions of people who had to witness it, even apart from those directly impacted.

Now that (as of the moment) one of the suspected bombers has been killed, and another is still at large, the media have seized upon any story they can find. In doing so, they spoke to the uncle of the suspected bombers, who gave the reporters his unvarnished opinion about the crime (this from an Associated Press story):

Asked what he thought provoked the bombings, Tsarni said: “Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine of. Anything else, anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it’s a fraud, it’s a fake.”

Continue Reading A Tough Uncle: On “Being Losers”

 
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Interviewed for Addiction Professional Magazine

I was interviewed for an article in Addiction Professional magazine, on the subject of “Training for New Settings.” The author also spoke to my colleague, Dr. Joseph Troiani, who is the director of the Substance Abuse Certificate Program at Adler School of Professional Psychology. The article examined new developments in treatment and the implications for training new professionals. Here is a link to the article:

Training for New Settings

 
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Unspeakable Horror

In the aftermath of the horrific shootings in Sandy Hook Elementary School, we see (as we do after each of these increasingly common incidents) many pieces in news media and from mental health experts (including the American Psychological Association) on how to talk to children about such tragedies. Unfortunately, we adults also need help in figuring out how to talk to each other – and ourselves – about such events.Continue Reading Unspeakable Horror

 
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March of the Generations

Whenever I’m at a family event – especially a wedding, christening, or funeral – I find myself recapturing a feeling that things are right and proper. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the event is a happy one or a sad one; it’s the fact that family members are together and we’re re-affirming our connection over time and distance.Continue Reading March of the Generations

 
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The Stupidity of Selfishness

I’m ready to rant. I suppose that my participation in the 60th Anniversary celebrations and commencement at the Adler School of Professional Psychology has crystallized my feelings about the current state of our nation and world.

This will definitely be a TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read”) entry if you’re the type of person put off by length. But try to bear with me. Continue Reading The Stupidity of Selfishness

 
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Advances in Addiction Treatment – 2012

I recently attended a training workshop presented by Gateway Foundation at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. The presenter, David Mee-Lee, M.D., was one of the editors of the criteria used by substance abuse counselors to guide placement into treatment. His “take-away” message was that treatment professionals need to become experts at meeting clients “where they are”… Aligning their treatment plan with the actual goals that motivate the client, rather than focusing on getting the client to accept the counselor’s idea of what is needed. This can be a little bit controversial, because the nature of addiction makes it hard for people to see their own situation clearly, even when they know they need to do something about the problems that alcohol or drugs are causing in their lives. Counselors have become used to having to work hard to break through layers of “denial,” as it’s popularly viewed.

Most people think of “rehab” when they hear of someone whose substance use has gotten out of control and is causing problems in their life. We hear of celebrities “going into rehab” – sometimes over and over again. The model program for this was a 28-day residential treatment setting, such as the type of residential treatment used at Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center. These programs evolved over the past 40 to 50 years, and are characterized by being rooted in the 12-step traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Continue Reading Advances in Addiction Treatment – 2012

 
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