Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Children Diagnosed with Bipolar

Bipolar is a biochemical mood disorder. Children diagnosed with bipolar usually cannot handle changes very well. Therefore, parents must them with controlling anger and eliminating melt downs. Parents can start off by changing their children’s diet. They should avoid food high in sugar and dyes. Sugar may cause hyperactive behavior and manic mental state.

Since children diagnosed with bipolar may suffer with depression, they may have a negative self-image. As a result, they may be socially withdrawn, have thoughts of death of dying (intent), and/or maybe sensitive to rejection. They may also have anger outburst.

Children diagnosed with Bipolar may also experience a change in their sleeping patterns, psychosis (disconnect from reality), and delusion. They may become paranoid fearing that someone is out to get them. Children may also experience a decrease need for sleep especially during manic (lot of energy) episodes. They may stay up all night during manic states. They experience changes in their mood that may not be necessarily triggered by something or someone else. They may or may not be triggered.

Children diagnosed with Bipolar believe that they are right and not that they are against someone. Grandiosity and anger maybe confused with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. They may become angry and easily irritated. They can also experience mood swings within a day that can last up to 5 days. In addition with the mood swings, they may start hearing voices, have anxiety, become withdrawn, and inattentive.  The children may look distracted. Parents may have to tell them something over 5 times. Unless the parents raise their voices, the children may not hear them. If the parents yell, the children think their parents are angry with them and as a result, they may have an angry outburst. Hope this information helps. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How I Won the Battle

I’m at a point in my life here everything I want and need seems so far away, but in my mind and heart, it’s so easy to achieve. I know I have cross roads to overcome, but I want my fight back. I know I’m ready to go get it, but how do you put the fight back in yourself when sometimes you have given up on it. I have fought for everyone else and thins that they believe in, but when it comes to my fight, it seems so hard to believe in. I pray that my love for life enjoyment of living life has not given up on me, because I will not go out without a fight. So, this day, I declare that I will have victory in my life, mind, and body.  I will win over adversity. I will win over defeat, and I will make the devil my foot stool, in Jesus name.

I’m in this house fighting for myself. I want to have me back. I have thought of all the things that I have achieved by not giving up. I am a powerful woman, and I know that puts fear in some people, but as for me and mines, it has only opened my eyes to see that it’s just the beginning. Therefore, I must begin to understand that it is never over. It’s just time to get started.

I have been given so many blessing to look forward to and given the chance and opportunities to make things better in my life. Now, I have to want it badly enough to fight for it, so I don’t want to fight today and give up tomorrow. I need to continue to grow and strive for the courage to fight everyday forward. That is how I won the battle.

By: Nicole Crawford

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Riding into work this morning is always an interesting event. After battling with my kids to stop watching Spongebob and get ready for school so I can drop them off to their early morning programs, I look forward to taking the 25 minute ride to work. During this ride I either choose to listen to a sermon, the Holy Bible app on my phone, or the Steve Harvey morning show to decompress from the morning turn-up with my kids and begin to get focus and mentally ready for work. This particular morning I chose to listen to the Steve Harvey Morning Show, as I was curious about the infamous strawberry letter this morning. After listening to the letter and while hearing Steve’s usual hilarious response, something that he said really struck a chord and caught my attention. Towards the end of his response he stated, “The thing you want the most of is the thing that you are most unwilling to give!”

Later on that day an old friend from high school called me to inquire how I’ve been and how my new job was going. After having a conversation with my old friend from high school, I began thinking about my friend, Sammy Strain from the R&B group, The Ojays. We spent the summer of 2010 hanging out and barbequing a lot as I was new to the neighborhood and he was my first friend when I came to New Jersey.  As I was reminiscing, I remember he once told me that life is all about love and learning how to love everybody regardless of who they are. At the time, this was difficult for me. My experiences up to that point shaped and molded me into an individual that was very guarded and extremely protective of my heart. Dealing with trauma, failures, and disappointments made me into an individual that preferred to be isolated and reclusive. I had a hard time developing and sustaining relationships. It took me a long time to understand that my heart was affected by all of my experiences. It wasn't until I fully understood who God was and how much I needed Him in my life when I began the process of healing my heart.  When I was younger, my mother would take my brother and I to church, but honestly I couldn't stand going. Getting up out of the bed and walking to church and then having to sit there for 2 hours, honestly seemed more like a punishment. I mean the Pastor was so so and I mean so so sleepy boring that my brother and I would fall asleep constantly, but my mother would always wake us up or take us outside to get some air while opening a can of you know what! It's interesting to see how God can take your life 360 degrees full circle. Nowadays, I can't wait to go to church and hear God’s message.

After getting baptized again on October 12 2008, I began a journey that I had no idea that I was headed on. I thought going down in the water meant I instantly became what God wanted me to be. I had no idea that the journey was a direct mission to change the condition of my heart. During my conversation with my friend, I told them how God tends to shape and mold us.  I gave them an example that was giving to me about when someone prays and asks for more patience. I told them that in order to have more patience, you have to have more chaos and confusion in order to develop the skill and the trait of having more patience. What I learned and fully understand now is in order to obtain the blessings God has for us, we must be willing to be tested. Once we pass the test, in the words of my dear brother Titus, RIP, it's the heating and beating man, the shaping and molding that the test provides that allows us to truly be what and how God sees us in His vision. God said love thy neighbor like you love yourself! The hardest thing I ever had to do and I'm sure everyone can attest to, is giving my love to the difficult to love.  Isn't it funny that it's the thing we want the most of though..... Someone loving our difficult behinds!  I’m sure it’s difficult for others to love me just as much as it’s difficult for me to love them. What I’ve been unwilling to give, I’m going to pray that I can begin to give because that’s ultimately what I want. It’s what we all want! I love you all……….Be Blessed!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Enjoy Every Moment of Life

Most people in the United States have too much responsibility. Individuals’ workload has become so excessive that they do not have an appropriate work/life balance. They put in a hard days work and go home just to do it all over again the next day. There is more to life than just going to work and coming home, but that’s the type of lifestyle employees have throughout the country.  We know people have to do what they have to do in order to take care of their families, but there is a fine line between working and enjoying life. Most people just work, work, and work some more without nothing to show for it. They complain about how the bills are building up and complain about how money seems to leave their hands faster than it comes in. They get caught up in the rat race where they start chases the money and caring less about themselves. As a result, 9 to 5ers continue carry out other people’s dream and put their dream on hold. They give so much, but the companies want them to give even more. If working all the time without enjoying life is so one-sided, then why do 99%of the people do it? It is almost like society has programmed us to work. People put work first and family and self-care second, and when they make the money, they often are so tired that they cannot enjoy it. Then eventually we start getting our self-worth mix up with our net-worth which is not an effective balance. Workers, there is so much more to life than work, so go out there and live!

~Kyana Idi~

Monday, September 15, 2014

Anger Management for Children

Teach Child to have empathy for others:
Assist him with processing how people feel sad when he hits them (For example, Travis you hurt mom when you pull her hair. Mom feels sad when you do that. Show Travis a picture of a sad face.)

Teach Child how to control his anger:
Associate the anger with what happen (For example, Travis is angry because he could not go outside).

Play with and observe Child:
So that he could reveal what is making him angry.

Demonstrate appropriate anger control in front of Child:
Do not argue in front of Travis.

Find out what makes Child angry:
Frustration, hungry, pain, and embarrassed

How can parents assist Child in managing his anger?
Talk to Travis
Get him to tell you why he is angry

Help Travis process what happened

Reduce the amount of Television:
Does Travis watches a lot of TV (This can cause anger if he is watching the wrong programs.)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Managing Negative Thoughts Improve Careers

There is a quick fix to achieving goals in life, and there is a narrow but permanent fix. When receiving career counseling, quick fixes are not beneficial in the long-term. In order to really assist people in changing their life, as far as career is concern, the counselor may want to tackle the task from inside out. This may not bring about immediate change, but when changes are made, they would be more effective and long-term. In Naomi’s case (who has a hard time earning income), she has to change the way she thinks and perceive the world, because her perception is creating unpleasant and unwanted circumstances. Naomi’s dysfunctional thinking and irrational thoughts are showing her working efforts as useless and her feelings (which are the effect of her thinking) are making her discourage and confused. Therefore, Naomi has to receive some social cognitive therapy to assist her in finding the job and receiving the pay that she really wants (Zunker, 2012).

Counselor has to assist Naomi in discovering if she really wants to work at her current place of employment or assist her in discovering if she has to leave her current place of employment in order to achieve some of her long-term goals. First, Naomi must desire a better paying job to the point that she is be willing to take steps in achieving her career goals. The counselor has to assist Naomi in building her confidence and self-esteem by helping her self-efficacy and reality match. This is important, because in therapy, the counselor’s job is to assist Naomi in coming up with answers and solutions and not telling her what she must do, because Naomi has to live with the results of her decisions. Second, although Naomi may have the desire to achieve her goals, she may not have to energy and the physical capabilities to do so if she does not take care of herself. Therefore, counselor may want to encourage Naomi to change her diet by presenting the health benefits of eating a nutritious meal (Zunker, 2012).

Intervention addressing Social Economics

Third, the counselor has to address the financial issues of working pay check to pay check, because Naomi would never be able to take advantage of opportunities in her current financial situation. She may feel as though she has to stay on her current job because of financial reasons. As a result, the counselor must assist Naomi with coming up with a saving plan in order to create emergency funds. Naomi will not feel as though she is working for nothing or working just to pay the bills if she becomes financially stable. She has to come up with a behavioral modification plan where she can see herself gradually getting into a situation where financial situation changes for the better. Fourth, counselor may want to suggest or present the option of Naomi attending college online courses. Due to her financial situation, she has to continue working until she finds another job, so she has to take care of her family (Zunker, 2012).  

As far as Naomi receiving a partner, she will put herself in situations where she can meet prospects as she change and improve her life and as she expands places of employment.  Naomi can volunteer on jobs where individuals are doing what she desires to do so that she can follow behind their footsteps. When she grows and expand her world, she will meet the person of her dreams. Naomi will need to stay connected to her current resources such as church and family supports to carry out this career plan. The social norms that influence Naomi can impact her behavior and provide effects of a meaningful career (Zunker, 2012).

Building a Therapeutic Relationship

In order to establish a good working alliance with Naomi, couselor must first explain to Naomi what is expected of her and get her to agree to use the tools she will learn in therapy. The counselor has to get Naomi on board to apply the tools provided. Therefore, the counselor has to build a strong relationship with Naomi to motivate and encourage her to apply the concepts and interventions.  The counselor must create an environment based on trust, honesty, and nonjudgmental attitude. The counselor has to build a strong relationship with Naomi in order to build trust. Without trust, the counselor will not be able to encourage or motivate Naomi. The counselor must also show empathy, respect, and treating Naomi with unconditional regards.  During this time, the counselor can set expectations, and find out Naomi’s values (what really matters to her). The counselor can use Naomi’s self-reported information to develop a rapport (Zunker, 2012).


In conclusion, counselors can use the counseling theory to assist Naomi in finding a career job. For instance, there are developmental tasks in the five stages (growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement) that Naomi has to complete in order to have a successful career. In her treatment plan, counselor will make sure to include tasks that assist with developing each. However, unless Naomi is ready to take on a job in a new career, the tasks will not matter; because Naomi will not decide to go after the job. Counselors can substitute interventions for developmental tasks that can encourage and assist Naomi in accomplishing her goals. The goals must include tasks that address Naomi’s unique needs since each person is different. The counselor has to assist Naomi in developing a realistic self concept where she can see herself having her desired career job. The counselor will educate Naomi on health and financial concerns and explore alternatives to provide options for dealing with life’s unexpected circumstances (Zunker, 2012).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Golden Keys

"Don't take it from me!" You have heard it all a million times. Wake up early. Be punctual. Be organized. Set daily goals. Choose a career path. Create a plan and follow through. Chances are you already know everything you need to experience success. However, have you been a persistent, self disciplined, man or woman of action? There is no secret. Decide what you want. Choose not to settle for anything less. Most importantly, stay the course. Never give up.

Success is not rocket science. You can be successful in any industry. Success is a journey. It is not a material thing. It is not a destination. Success is a walk of life. Success is not to be confused with the rewards of success, which are material and non material (material things such as money, expensive clothes, cars, houses and non material things such as good health, a healthy marriage, well educated and disciplined children).

There are many keys to success. These keys cannot be borrowed. They cannot be purchased. Two of the major keys to success are self-discipline and persistence. Although you can buy several books on self discipline, persistence, and other keys that manifest the rewards of success, reading books will only show you how to use keys that you already have. It is up to you to use these keys.

I personally refer to Persistence and Self Discipline as "The Golden Keys".



adj. adjective
1. Refusing to give up or let go; persevering obstinately.

2. Insistently repetitive or continuous.
a persistent honking of car horns.

3. Existing or remaining in the same state for an indefinitely long time; enduring.

Self Discipline

n. noun
1. Training and control of oneself and one's conduct, usually for personal improvement.

These are not keys in which a simple turn will open a door. The road of success requires an insane amount of self discipline and persistence. Exercise and practice these keys religiously.

This is not a simple walk down the block. This is an excursion through the jungle of life. In the beginning there is no road. There are trees, dirt, rocks, animals, climate changes, and unknown surprises. Paths must be cut out with machetes. Resources must be rationed properly to meet each checkpoint. Mountains must be climbed. Dangerous animals are lurking around. Timelines are often difficult to reach. You may climb a mountain simply to find another mountain to be climbed.

Many days will be a struggle. There will be times where days will go by easily. However, always be alert. Always be prepared for challenges down the path. Business like life is cyclical. Things will not always be good. Things will not always be bad. Weather the storms. Be smart and store resources (cash, inventory) during times of abundance.

There are different levels in life. Each level is a more challenging jungle to journey through. If you have difficulty overcoming the adversities in your existing jungle, how do you intend to overcome the hard times in the more challenging atmospheres where there are greater rewards?

Do not be a complainer. Do not be a blamer. Find solutions to the problems that arise. Apply the solutions. Be a man or woman of action. Stay the course. Never give up. You will accomplish all of your goals.

written by: Chris Wiggins

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Facts about Children’s IQ

Throughout history, intelligence tests have been use for managing individuals’ IQ. When measuring intelligence, test administrators concentrate on the lower-order factors such as fluid and crystal intelligence. Psychologists have spent a great deal of time analyzing the brain in hopes to learn more about intelligence (Whiston, 2009). Psychologists have also developed test to measure individuals’ level of intelligence. However, performing an intelligence test can be very difficult, because individuals have different personalities, attitudes and beliefs (Ackerman, 2002), and their level of intelligence may exist in different areas. There are cognitive ability differences, and this is why intelligence cannot be accurately measured. For instance, studies show that boys test higher in science and physics than girls. However, girls tend to score higher in art and humanities subjects. Gender differences can create a problem when measuring the validity of test, because test results may not be consistent when compared within mix gender groups. There are emotional differences in males and females that may influence how individuals take intelligence test. Girls usually do worse on the tests than boys. Therefore, in order to gain a positive validity, most surveyors compare individuals to their own gender. This is not effective, because it allows the validity problem regarding gender to be overlooked (Ackerman, 2002).  In additional, According to Beier and Acherman (2005), age differences are also known to influence test results. Age is known to decline individuals’ cognitive ability and intellectual performance. For instance, younger adults have better memories than older ones. Therefore, when assessing cognitive abilities, counselors must consider age as well intelligence (Beier & Acherman, 2005).

Ackerman, P. L. (2002) Gender differences in intelligence and knowledge: How should we look at achievement score differences? Issues in Education, v (8)1, p. 21.

Beier, M. E., Ackerman, P. L. (2005). Age, ability, and the role of prior knowledge on the acquisition of new domain knowledge: Promising Results in a Real-World Learning Environment, Psychology and Aging, v(20),2, p 341-355.

Whiston, S. C (2009). Principles and application of assessment in counseling, Belmont, CA. Brooks/Cole. ISBN: 9780495501978.


Friday, August 8, 2014

When One Door Closes

When my supervisor called me in her office and asked me to sit down, I knew what she was going to say.  I had been hearing about it for several months.  However, I didn’t want to believe that it could happen to me.  “Alicia, you must obtain your license in order to continue working here”, she said.  Even though I knew about the bad news before the meeting, I was still shocked.  I did not say a word.  I just grabbed my things and left.   I had always discussed the signs and symptoms of depression with my clients since I had counseled children with mental health issues for over 4 years.  However, talk about learning from experience; I was depressed for months or maybe a year.  I felt as though my career was snatched away from me and had ended that day, November, 14, 2007. 

I thought about going back to school, but I hated having to sacrifice my limited time to attend school and get a degree for something I was already doing.  I felt as though the system had failed me.  I never made enough money to pay back the previous student loans, and now I have to make more bills. 

After going back and forth with the decision to attend school, I finally decided to attend.  I chose Capella University, because I still had to work and take care of my family while pursuing my degree.  Capella’s online line classes were convenient and well known.  Therefore, I did some research and found out that Capella was accredited, and some of my previous coworkers had already started the program.  So as a result of the above statements, I decided to pursue a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling.     

In my Human Development book, Thomas L. Crandell (2009) explained Eric Erikson’s development theory.  Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development was how I chose to explain my state of mine when I had gotten terminated.  When Eric talked about solving conflict and crisis, I knew this was the theory that described me.  At the time I was terminated, I just could not deal with the reality of what happened, and I could not trust the system.  In fact, I had started to hate the system.  During my depressed moments, I went back to the infancy stage, and I slowly developed to the integrity verses despair stage. I finally feel whole and at peace with how my career turned out (Crandell, 2009, pg. 41).   

You may wonder how I provided counseling without being licensed.  In New Jersey, at first, a master’s degree was sufficient enough for providing mental health therapy. Therefore, for the past five years, I worked in the mental and behavioral health field providing a wide range of services.  I serviced adults and children with disabilities: ADD, ODD, ADHD, PDD, Autism, Bipolar, Schizophrenia and various learning disabilities etc.  I had written therapeutic treatment plans and daily progress notes, and I did individual and group therapy, assessments, bio-psychosocial, and reauthorization of service letters.  I also worked as an Intensive Care Manager for adults and children, and I work as a master’s level clinician for families too. 

Furthermore, once the state board found out that clinicians were providing in-home therapy without being licensed, they were required to stop practicing immediately.  Some clinicians were able to take the license exam at that time, because they already had the necessary course requirements completed.  However, in order for me to become licensed, I needed to start school again, because I had a degree in Organizational Management and Leadership. 

After trying to get a job using my Organizational Management and Leadership Master of Science degree and not being successful, I decided to change my professional goals.  On that day, I had begun to develop new professional goals.  My new professional goals were to graduate from Capella with my Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling. 

Therefore, after graduating from Capella, my mission is to provide psychiatric services to children and their families who are battling with mental health illnesses and behavioral issues that are destroying lives.  I want to deliver quality and integrity while providing services to my families.  Now I am ready to bring about a change in the community.  I want to help broken and dysfunctional families to come together as one, and I try to make a difference in the world. My specialization will be to help children with behavioral and mental health illnesses. 

I want to help children reach their highest potential by teaching them new skills, and as a result, they can teach these learned skills to their children.  I also want to apply my knowledge in ways that bring about a greater good to make a difference and have a positive impact on society.  I want to become confident in my education and the services I provide to clients.  I want to be an asset to the Behavioral and Mental Health field helping children and families get through their past traumatic experience and to give hope back to the families.  I want to improve my skills and get the needed foundation for a great practice in the Behavioral and Mental Health field.

My future goals are to start a program that inspires, encourages and motivates young children facing obesity to make healthier choices, raise their self esteem, improve social skills and exercise daily.  Attending Capella University helps this process by helping me obtain and improve the skills needed for clinical counseling.  I want this program to become successful in order to expand throughout the state of New Jersey.  

These goals intersect with my academic interests and selected field of study.  First, it intersects with my choice of a licensure program in mental counseling, because professionally, clinicians must be licensed in order to provide counseling.  The state of New Jersey enforces the law where workers must be licensed to practice clinical counseling if employed by a for-profit organization.  The State will soon make this law applicable to the non-profit organization as well.  Also, licensed clinicians can make more money in their career. Having a license will assist me with bringing in more money.  With all of my student loans and credit card debt, I have to make more money in order to pay the loans off and save for retirement.  Also, with a license, one could better market themselves in the workforce.  When I start the after school program, I will have group and individual therapy sessions which will require me to become a licensed clinician as well.  Therefore, Capella’s program is perfect for me. 

Once I graduate from Capella University, I would then have the skills to accomplish my goals.  I would have Capella skills and my past work experience.  I worked for organization that provided continual educational training where I have received many of CEU credits: crisis management, trauma counseling, suicide prevention, CPR, sexual abuse awareness and fire safety which would help me provide child-centered, family-focused, and strength based approach psychotherapy to my clients.  

Throughout my career, I changed jobs often but the one thing that had not changed was “counseling”.  Some type of counseling seemed to always be in my job description.  I had worked as a life skilled instructor who taught adults, living with developmental issues, how to do daily activities, so they can live independently.  Then, I worked as a case manager for adults with severe mental health illnesses, and I later worked in schools as a consultation and education specialist where I counseled students and provided short term case management services.  I also coordinated meetings and served as a liaison for parents and school staff.  Later, I worked as a clinician for Adults and provided group and individual therapy.  Last, I provided therapy for children with mental and/or behavioral health issues.

Personally, I am a hard worker and self motivated.  I work well people and have great interpersonal skills, and I deal with people with different personalities every day.  I am known to have leadership skills and known to be a good team player.

Attending Capella University is a decision for me, because Capella’s program allows me to work while I care for my family.  For example, Capella’s online program is very convenient, since I can go places and do my work assignments on the computer wherever I go.  Therefore, this advance degree experience will encourage me and teach necessary skills to help me put together the missing pieces so that I can change my life and bring about a social change for communities I plan to help.



Crandell, Thomas L., 2009 Human Development 9TH edition, Mcgraw-Hill Publishing Company, pg.41

Monday, August 4, 2014

Part 1…Today’s Question?

The test I’m going through is beginning to feel more like a punishment. My wife constantly tells me that I'm being punished because of my actions. She reminds me that I’m being punished because of how horribly I treated my mother and how horribly I treat her. Maybe I am. Maybe I’ve been looking at things the wrong way. All I really wanted to do is the right thing. I think I'm a good person, but maybe I'm not that damn good. I believe my heart is good. I help and speak life to people. I express how God has changed my life. I believe I put Him first! Maybe all those things my wife says are true, I mean why are all these things happening??? It seems like I can't stop the attacks from coming. They are coming from everywhere! Besides possibly losing my home that I live in with my children and not having a full-time job, now my car is semi-broke down and I don't have the money to fix it. In addition to not having a full time job, my part time job just called me to tell me that they are deducting $360 dollars from my next check for providing too much counseling to my clients. I don't know what to do! That’s my only money supply! Why is all this happening to me? I feel like giving up. What was I thinking…. Why did I think I could raise these kids on my own! Again, what was I thinking??? I thought I was doing the right thing, but honestly I feel like I'm failing them. Sometimes I feel like a failure. Tears come to eyes because I can’t provide for them. Its summertime and we can’t ever do anything, except go to the park because I can't afford anything else. We can't go out to eat at Burger King or McDonald’s, enjoy a fun activity like bowling or miniature golf, or even buy them a toy or something from the store. The worst part of it all is that I see the letdown in their eyes. I see the disappointment on their faces. I don't want them to look at me like that. I feel like they look at me as a failure. Especially my oldest daughter! She is only here for the summer and we are stuck in the house!  I don’t know what to do anymore? What did I do so wrong to deserve this? What did I do??? Am I that bad of a person? Where am I going wrong? When is all of this going to stop? I need to know! When is it all going to end?

Please click on the link to read, TOMORROW’S ANSWER and leave your comments! I appreciate and love you all….Be Blessed! http://the4wallscorporation.wordpress.com/fallen-leaves/