The human brain is a very complex piece of living “equipment”. The brain is constantly working, changing and updating. It’s potential is truly amazing and if you have watched and delighted in how children grow and become more clever over time, then you will know exactly what I mean.
The brain develops from a mass of very special interconnected cells, to an amazing organised network of information, sensory, emotional superhighways, but this doesn’t happen overnight. As a child grows, the networks in the brain are developing. Networks that are not used get pruned off. With pruning comes efficiency, information pathways don’t have as many options when unused sections of highway are pruned so thinking and processing information becomes more streamlined. Everything becomes less of an effort as things begin to become disentangled. With fewer pathways to choose from, messages can flow more smoothly and our brains can become much more efficient.
Worries are those thoughts we have where we predict the future – but not in a good way. We predict that something bad is going to happen and because our brain is thinking about something bad or threatening, the rest of our body can get worked up, too. So, we can start to feel quite ill and uptight as our body changes from a relaxed position, with all its parts working steadily in combination, to a position where it is ready for battle danger– tense, not digesting, breathing rapidly, heart beat rising and our brain not thinking clearly.
Indeed, some people do get “worried sick”.
How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but the light bulb has got to want to change!
Have you ever wondered why we eat the food that we eat? In an age where, despite knowing the health risk, we still have large proportions of us who are overweight and, sadly, a large number of children who are overweight, too.
Usually, humans eat for three main reasons:
At various times in our lives, for a variety of reasons, we can get too busy, too sick, too tired, too sore, too “I-can’t-be-bothered” or even, concerningly, too depressed to do the day to day pleasant things that are ever-so-important to a happy mood.
When people stop doing the things that they normally do – perhaps because they are re unwell, because they’ve had a big fright, or perhaps they are not getting along well with others – it can be quite easy for them to withdraw from the people and responsibilities around them.
The research on burnout among those who work with complex young people indicates strongly that it’s important to finish what we start in appropriate ways. We know that it’s not healthy for health service practitioners to leave things unsorted in our experience.
Here I explain why it’s so important for you (or your staff) to tie up loose ends after finishing work with a complex young person, and how this can be done so that you best serve their future as well as manage the impact on your own work life as a support worker.
When people casually enquire into what you do for a living and I tell them I’m a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, I get a range of responses. I’m proud of my title and my profession. It represents a lot of hard work. However, telling people what I do can, sometimes, change the mood of a conversation.
There are a range of questions that I’ve come to expect that can follow and I think the questions that people ask me when they meet me at functions, formal and informal, are important for everybody to know. Without proper answers to some of these questions, people may perceive barriers that may prevent them from seeking help from a psychologist if they or one of their family members ever needed help.
Too often, treatment of complex young people (especially if it is contracted out) becomes isolated from the day-to-day management and ‘real life’ of the client. When treatment drifts away from its target and becomes fragmented across the agencies and individuals involved, client outcomes are affected, case managers lose touch and stakeholders may even do things for the client that are at odds with the treatment plan.
I send my ‘Dear Team Client’ emails to:
Most of us have something that we would rather avoid. Some of the things we commonly fear are probably dangerous in certain circumstances, but we like to avoid them in all situations if we can. Spiders, snakes, heights, flying, clowns, the dark…there are a long list of things that can unsettle people from time to time.
When someone has an extreme or irrational fear of something and the fear is causing them significant issues in their lives, we call this a phobia.
When an adult wants a child to listen to them, they usually have two kinds of things they want them to hear. Either …
(A) they want the child to do something – turn something off, bring something to them, pick something up from the floor, get their lunchbox, clean their teeth, or,