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EmeighTherapist’s Corner…
Mental Health—There’s an App for That!

     In the burgeoning technology age, it seems like there is an app for everything! From list-making and social media, to yes, even mental health, technology use continues to expand. Although many mental health apps have yet to be tested for effectiveness, there may be something that could be helpful for you! Here are a few apps you may want to check out*:

- This app can help teach the user meditation and mindfulness that can be helpful for reducing anxiety and stress. The app is free and offers in-app purchases. It is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Stop Breathe & Think
- This app allows you to rate how you are feeling and then offers meditation exercises that are tailored to your current emotional state. It is free to download and use, and is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores.

- The Calm app offers guided meditations and breathing exercises and can assist with anxiety/stress management. In-app purchases provide access to additional meditation exercises. The app is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores.

CBT Thought Record Diary
- If you’re familiar with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, this app provides a handy thought diary on which to record your automatic negative thoughts. Best used in conjunction with outpatient therapy, this app can be a great tool for recording your thoughts on the go! This app is free to download and use, and is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Mood Tools
- This app, created to assist with depression, offers several different tools including a thought log, safety plan, and activity and mood trackers. The app is free and is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores.

- MindShift is a great tool for teens and young adults who struggle with anxiety. The app offers the ability to check in about your anxiety levels and symptoms, tools to assist with managing anxiety, and tools tailored to different situations that trigger anxiety. The app is free and is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores.

- This app allows you to enter all of your medications and be reminded to take them. You can track any doses you have missed and can even be reminded to order refills! The app is free, and offers in-app purchases. Available on both iTunes and Google Play stores.

*These apps are great tools for assisting with mental health and wellbeing. It is always encouraged that you discuss your use of any aids with your counselor or doctor. Using these apps is not a replacement for mental health treatment. Keep in mind that many of these apps have not been tested in mental health trials; use discretion in downloading and using apps.

~ April Emeigh, Therapist

Hoyt DaveTherapist’s Corner…
Summer Routines Are Important

     How many times have you heard that kids need a routine? Your doctor, your mother-in-law, your child’s teacher, your best friend, your child care provider-- all these people may have mentioned to you or your partner the importance of routines in your child’s life. So what’s the big deal? Are routines really that necessary for children? Simply put, yes. Routines involve repetition. Repetition involves predictability. Predictability involves stability. Stability involves security. Kids crave routines because routines make kids feel safe and secure. On a very basic level (keeping in mind that is how young children function) routines reassure children that their needs will be met. Routines also provide opportunities for children to experience success in what they are doing, which then promotes self-control and self-esteem.
     As adults, we have the advantage of controlling many aspects of our lives. Often we are able to arrange things (work schedules, child care, friendships, appointments, etc.) to enhance convenience and reduce hassle, making life just a little bit easier and probably a bit more enjoyable. How would you feel if you had no idea what to expect in your day? What if you didn’t know why you were leaving the house, where someone was driving you, when you were going to eat next, where you could go to use the bathroom, or when you were going to get back home again? 
     Children don’t have the privilege of arranging their days the way adults do; they have very little control over their environments. Consequently, children try to find ways to control their surroundings, often resulting in undesirable outcomes, such as tantrums, defiance, and other inappropriate behaviors. Routines and schedules help kids make sense of their day--morning, noon, and night--and know what to expect. This reduces anxiety and apprehension, and allows for more time for kids to enjoy and learn from their surroundings instead of stressing out about them.
     When the school year ends, structure often does too, at least for many children. Summer allows more time for kids to relax and explore through fun and play. However, maintaining a routine throughout the summer will provide boundaries for children to know what is expected of them. Having regular meal times and sleep times, and even regular chores (which instill a sense of responsibility), will continue assuring children they can trust and count on their parents (and other adults) to care for them and meet their needs.
     Dr. Laura Markham, on her website outlines the following “benefits for using routines with your kids:”
1. Routines eliminate power struggles because you aren't bossing them around. This activity (brushing teeth, napping, turning off the TV to come to dinner) is just what we do at this time of day. The parent stops being the bad guy, and nagging is greatly reduced.
2. Routines help kids cooperate by reducing stress and anxiety for everyone. We all know what comes next, we get fair warning for transitions, and no one feels pushed around.
3. Routines help kids learn to take charge of their own activities. Over time, kids learn to brush their teeth, pack their backpacks, etc., without constant reminders. Kids love being in charge of themselves. This feeling increases their sense of mastery and competence. Kids who feel more independent and in charge of themselves, have less need to rebel and be oppositional.
4. Kids learn the concept of "looking forward" to things they enjoy, which is an important part of making a happy accommodation with the demands of a schedule. He may want to go to the playground now, but he can learn that we always go to the playground in the afternoon, and he can look forward to it then.
5. Regular routines help kids get on a schedule, so that they fall asleep more easily at night.
6. Schedules help parents maintain consistency in expectations. If everything is a fight, parents end up settling: more TV, skip brushing teeth for tonight, etc. With a routine, parents are more likely to stick to healthy expectations for everyone in the family, because that's just the way we do things in our household. The result: a family with healthy habits, where everything runs more smoothly.

~ Dave Hoyt, Therapist

LenzTips from Our EAP...
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing

     Our staff recently participated in a mini-training on Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Several of our therapists are certified in CISD, while others are familiar with the process.
     CISD is a small-group crisis intervention process. It is not a substitute for psychotherapy. Simply put, it is a supportive, crisis-focused discussion of a traumatic event. The aim of CISD is to reduce distress, impairment, or dysfunction, and increase group cohesion and performance.
     CISD is made for small groups, although our therapists have encountered large group settings, due to businesses’ circumstances. It is a structured story-telling process, combined with education to help members understand and normalize reactions to a critical incident. CISM is called upon when peoples’ normal coping methods are overwhelmed and they are showing signs of distress.
     CISM has three main objectives:
1) decrease the impact of the traumatic incident
2) Facilitate normal recovery processes and adaptive functions
3) Identify those who may need additional support services or referrals
     CISM is evidence-based in reducing distress, and when combined with other interventions the results are stronger.
     Family Resources offers CISD to our EAP businesses. Please feel free to contact us for more information regarding the process, our therapists, and steps your business can take to facilitate employees’ health should your business be touched by tragedy.

~ Lana Lenz, EAP Coordinator (resource: Mitchell, Jeffrey T., Critical Incident Stress Debriefing)


Seanne presents

Seanne Emerton, along with co-author Geri Henderson, recently traveled to Rhineland of Germany to present on “Assisting Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma” for chaplains, psychologists, social workers, and support staff in the U.S. Army Europe. Pictured are Seanne and Geri with Dr. Grace Yueull and Dr. Rebecca Powell, Religious Education Directors for U.S. Army Europe.

Also, to provide the best care and reduce interruptions to services to our clients, our providers are participating in voluntary trainings offered by Nebraska Total Care, one of the organizations now managing Nebraska Medicaid. The online trainings include treatment request forms, SMART goals, and ICD-10 for mental health providers. We are also scheduling future in-person trainings. We want the best for our clients!



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