Aging

Do Something Hard

It may come as a surprise to those who know me or rely on me for their emotional stability, but from time to time I too suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety. Every therapist does, just as every healthy person experiences mood vacillations. Like waves in the sea,...

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Art Therapy: What is it.

Two recent events prompted me to write down some thoughts on the growing field of Art Therapy. First came Andrea Watkins’ informative article on the Adult Coloring Craze, its benefits and its limitations. The second being the death of one of Chicago’s own, Art Therapy pioneer Harriet Wadeson. Ms Wadeson...

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Developmental Effects of Childhood Abuse and Neglect

Talking about abuse and neglect in children is such a difficult topic. Until roughly 20 years ago the professional literature including the DSM took a stance that abuse and neglect were very rare occurrences in the United States. So it is understandable that as a nation we have little...

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Handling the Tough Emotions of Alzheimer’s Disease

“ Alzheimer’s initially attacks the cognitive functions of the brain, so sufferers are said to be existing in an emotional world rather than the rational. Being confronted by reasoning that the Alzheimer’s sufferer may not understand will cause confusion and anxiety, leading to emotional outbursts.” So I say in...

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An in-depth look at dementia and music as therapy

Robert Ryan, Art Psychotherapist, Chicago; Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, neurologist at Rush University Medical Center; and Skip Landt, music teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music join Dave Hoekstra as he shares some of his own experience in caring for a loved one with dementia. Over 90 minutes...

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Surviving Grief

I did not write the following, however I post it here as I have almost never read a more heartfelt and helpful description of grief and the grieving process. The original post can be found here on reddit. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far)...

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