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Dr. David Callies, Child & Adolescent Psychologist
 

Welcome to Gyro Psychology Services!

We provide psychological testing, assessment and treatment services to children, adolescents, young adults and families with a wide variety of mental health and behavioral needs. Gyro Psychology Services is committed to providing effective and compassionate psychological care that is grounded on sound research, practice and discipline.

We’ll collaborate with professionals who are involved in your child’s health care and education so that your child can reach their full potential in all areas of their lives.

Join us! We would be honored to be your partner in the behavioral healthcare of your child, adolescent and your family.

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

Am I in a Healthy Relationship?

It's totally normal to look at the world through rose-colored glasses in the early stages of a relationship. But for some people, those rose-colored glasses turn into blinders that keep them from seeing that a relationship isn't as healthy as it should be.

What Makes a Healthy Relationship?
Hopefully, you and your significant other are treating each other well. Not sure if that's the case? Take a step back from the dizzying sensation of being swept off your feet and think about whether your relationship has these seven qualities:

Mutual respect.
Does he or she get how cool you are and why? (Watch out if the answer to the first part is yes but only because you're acting like someone you're not!) The key is that your BF or GF is into you for who you are — for your great sense of humor, your love of reality TV, etc. Does your partner listen when you say you're not comfortable doing something and then back off right away? Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands — and would never challenge — the other person's boundaries.

Trust.
You're talking with a guy from French class and your boyfriend walks by. Does he completely lose his cool or keep walking because he knows you'd never cheat on him? It's OK to get a little jealous sometimes — jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when feeling jealous is what matters. There's no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.

Honesty.
This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone when one of you isn't being honest. Have you ever caught your girlfriend in a major lie? Like she told you that she had to work on Friday night but it turned out she was at the movies with her friends? The next time she says she has to work, you'll have a lot more trouble believing her and the trust will be on shaky ground.

Support.
It's not just in bad times that your partner should support you. Some people are great when your whole world is falling apart but can't take being there when things are going right (and vice versa). In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on when you find out your parents are getting divorced and to celebrate with you when you get the lead in a play.

Fairness/equality.
You need to have give-and-take in your relationship, too. Do you take turns choosing which new movie to see? As a couple, do you hang out with your partner's friends as often as you hang out with yours? It's not like you have to keep a running count and make sure things are exactly even, of course. But you'll know if it isn't a pretty fair balance. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time.

Separate identities.
In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises. But that doesn't mean you should feel like you're losing out on being yourself. When you started going out, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc.) and that shouldn't change. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don't, or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities you love. And you also should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward.

Good communication.
You've probably heard lots of stuff about how men and women don't seem to speak the same language. We all know how many different meanings the little phrase "no, nothing's wrong" can have, depending on who's saying it! But what's important is to ask if you're not sure what he or she means, and speak honestly and openly so that the miscommunication is avoided in the first place. Never keep a feeling bottled up because you're afraid it's not what your BF or GF wants to hear or because you worry about sounding silly. And if you need some time to think something through before you're ready to talk about it, the right person will give you some space to do that if you ask for it.

Relationships can be one of the best — and most challenging — parts of your world. They can be full of fun, romance, excitement, intense feelings, and occasional heartache, too. Whether you're single or in a relationship, remember that it's good to be choosy about who you get close to. If you're still waiting, take your time and get to know plenty of people.

Think about the qualities you value in a friendship and see how they match up with the ingredients of a healthy relationship. Work on developing those good qualities in yourself — they make you a lot more attractive to others. And if you're already part of a pair, make sure the relationship you're in brings out the best in both of you.

Courtesy of KidsHealth & D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
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16 hours ago  ·  

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

5 Ways to Be More Aware of Your Emotions

As we grow up, we get better at knowing what we are feeling and why. This skill is called emotional awareness. Understanding our emotions can help us relate to other people, know what we want, and make choices. Even emotions we consider "negative" (like anger or sadness) can give us insight into ourselves and others.

Emotional awareness comes more easily to some people than others. The good news is, it's a skill that anyone can practice. Here are a few ways to become more in touch with your emotions:

Notice and name your emotions.
Start by just noticing different emotions as you feel them. Name them to yourself. For example, you might say, "I feel proud" when a class presentation goes well, "I feel disappointed" at not doing well on a test, or "I feel friendly" when sitting with a group at lunch.

Track one emotion.
Pick a familiar emotion — like joy — and track it throughout the day. Notice how often you feel it and when. Whenever that emotion shows up, you can simply make a mental note to yourself or jot it down in a journal. Notice where you are, who you're with, and what you're doing when that emotion is present. Note whether the emotion is mild, medium, or strong and if it has different intensities at different times.

Build your emotional vocabulary.
How many emotions can you name? Try going through the alphabet and thinking of one emotion for each letter.

Think of related emotions that vary in intensity.
For example, you might be irritated, annoyed, mad, angry, irate, or fuming. See how many of these "emotion families" you can come up with.

Keep a feelings journal.
Take a few minutes each day to write about how you feel and why. Journaling about your experiences and feelings builds emotional awareness. You also can express an emotion creatively. Make art, write poetry, or compose music that captures a specific emotion you're feeling.

There's lots more you can try, of course. For example, you can try identifying the emotions an artist is trying to convey as you read poetry or listen to music, then recognize how you feel in response.

The more you're aware of your emotions, the more they'll help you to know yourself and understand the people around you.

Courtesy of Kids Health & D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
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4 days ago  ·  

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

How Can I stop Cutting?

For people who cut, doing something different may be a big change. Making this change can take time because you are learning new ways of dealing with the things that led you to cut. The tips you'll see below can get you started. But a therapist or counselor can do more to help you heal old hurt and use your strengths to cope with life's struggles.

Start by being aware of which situations are likely to trigger your urge to cut. Make a commitment that this time you will not follow the urge, but will do something else instead.

Then make a plan for what you will do instead of cutting when you feel this urge. Here are a few ideas:

Do Things to Distract Yourself
Like all urges, the urge to cut will pass if you wait it out. Distracting yourself with something else helps time go by and gets your mind off the urge to cut. The more you wait out the urge without giving in, the more your urges will decrease over time.

Here are some things you can try while waiting for a cutting urge to pass:

~call a friend and talk about something completely different
~take a shower (make sure you don't have razors in the shower)~go for a walk or run, take a bike ride, dance like crazy, or get some other form of exercise
~play with a pet
~watch TV (change the channel if the show gets upsetting or features cutting)
~drink a glass of water

Find Things to Soothe & Calm You
Sometimes people cut because they're agitated or angry — even though they may not recognize that feeling. If that's true for you, it can help to do something calming when you feel the need to cut.
Even if you're not sure why you're cutting, it's worth giving these ideas a try:

~play with a pet
~take a shower (make sure you don't have razors in the shower)
~take a bath (make sure you don't have razors near the tub)
~listen to soothing music that will shift your mood
~try a breathing exercise
~try some relaxing yoga exercises

Things to Help You Express the Pain and Deep Emotion
Some people cut because the emotions that they feel seem way too powerful and painful to handle. Often, it may be hard for them to recognize these emotions for what they are — like anger, sadness, or other feelings. Here are some alternatives to cutting that you can try:

~draw or scribble designs on paper using a red pen or paint on white paper — if it helps, make the paint drip
~write out your hurt, anger, or pain using a pen and paper
~draw the pain
~compose songs or poetry to express what you're feeling
~listen to music that talks about how you feel

Things to Help Release Physical Tension and Distress
Sometimes, doing things that express anger or release tension can help a person gradually move away from cutting. Try these ideas:

~go for a walk or run, ride a bike, dance like crazy, or get some other form of exercise
~rip up some paper
~write out your hurt, anger, or pain using a pen and paper
~scribble on paper using a red pen
~squeeze, knead, or smoosh a stress ball, or handful of clay

Things to Help You Feel Supported and Connected
If you cut because you feel alone, misunderstood, unloved, or disconnected, these ideas may help:

~call a friend
~play with a pet
~make a cup of tea, some warm milk, or cocoa
~try some yoga exercises that help you feel grounded, such as triangle pose
~try a breathing exercise like the one in the button above
~curl up on your bed in a soft, cozy blanket

You Can Do It!
Cutting can be a difficult pattern to break. But it is possible.
If you want help overcoming a self-injury habit and you're having trouble finding anything that works for you, talk with a therapist. Getting professional help to overcome the problem doesn't mean that someone is weak or crazy. Therapists and counselors are trained to help people discover inner strengths that help them heal. These inner strengths can then be used to cope with life's problems in a healthy way.

Courtesy of Kids health & D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
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6 days ago  ·  

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

5 Ways to (Respectfully) Disagree

It's easier to agree than disagree. But we can learn a lot from conversations where we don't see eye to eye — if we can listen and talk rationally, that is.

Unfortunately, many us either shy away completely from disagreements or lose it when things don't go our way. These 5 tips can help keep disagreements constructive — whether you're talking to a parent, friend, or anyone else:

Don't make it personal.
If you get upset, it can help to remember you're mad at the idea or concept your parent (or friend, coach, coworker, etc.) is raising, not the person.

Avoid putting down the other person's ideas and beliefs.
If you've ever been on the receiving end of someone's tirade or put-downs, you know how valuable using respectful language and behavior can be. So instead of saying what you might be thinking ("That's a stupid idea!"), try: "I don't agree, and here's why." Resist the temptation to yell, use sarcasm, or make derogatory comments and you'll have a much better chance of getting your point across.

Use "I" statements to communicate how you feel, what you think, and what you want or need.
Using "you" statements can sound argumentative. For example, telling your mom or dad, "You always remind me about my chores on Wednesdays when you know I have a lot of homework" has a very different tone from "I'm feeling pressured because I have a lot of homework tonight. Can I do those chores tomorrow?"

Listen to the other point of view.
Being a good listener is a way of showing that you respect and understand the other person's perspective. That makes it more likely he or she will do the same for you. When the other person is talking, try to stop yourself from thinking about why you disagree or what you'll say next. Instead, focus on what's being said. When it's your turn to talk, repeat any key points the other person made to show you listened and heard what was said. Then calmly present your case and why you disagree.

Stay calm.
This is the most important thing you can do to keep a conversation on track. Of course, it's a huge challenge to stay calm and rational when you feel angry or passionate about something — especially if the person you're talking to gets heated. You may need to be the mature one who manages the conversation, even if the other person is a parent or someone who should know better.

Respect goes beyond difficult conversations, of course. Being helpful and considerate toward family members, teachers, or coaches in our everyday actions helps all of us (again, parents included!) establish a foundation for those times when we might disagree.

Courtesy of Kids Health & D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
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7 days ago  ·  

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

5 Ways to Shake Shyness

Having a shy style isn't necessarily a problem. It's perfectly OK to take time to warm up to new people and situations. But shyness blocks some people from being as comfortable or sociable as they'd like to be.

Some people want to feel less shy so they can have more fun socializing and being themselves around others. Here are some tips for overcoming shy feelings:

Start small with people you know
Practice social behaviors like eye contact, confident body language, introductions, small talk, asking questions, and invitations with the people you feel most comfortable around. Smile. Build your confidence this way. Then branch out to do this with new friends, too.

Think of some conversation starters
Often, the hardest part of talking to someone new is getting started. Think of conversation openers, like introducing yourself ("Hi, I'm Chris, we're in the same English class"), giving a compliment ("That jacket looks great on you"), or asking a question ("Do you know when our report is due?"). Being ready with a conversation starter (or a few) makes it easier to approach someone.

Rehearse what to say
When you're ready to try something you've been avoiding because of shyness — like a phone call or a conversation — write down what you want to say beforehand. Rehearse it out loud, maybe even in front of the mirror. Then just do it. Don't worry if it's not exactly like you practiced or if it's not perfect. Few of the things more confident-seeming people do are perfect either. Be proud that you gave it a go. Next time, it'll be even better because it will be easier.

Give yourself a chance
Find group activities where you can be with people who share your interests. Give yourself a chance to practice socializing with these new people, and get to know them slowly. People who are shy often worry about failing or how others will judge them. Worries and feelings like these can keep you from trying. If self-criticism plays a role for you, ask yourself whether you'd be this critical of your best friend. Chances are you'd be much more accepting. So treat yourself like your own best friend. Encourage yourself instead of expecting to fail.

Develop your assertiveness
Because shy people can be overly concerned with other peoples' reactions, they don't want to rock the boat. That doesn't mean they're wimpy or cowardly. But it can mean they are less likely to be assertive. Being assertive means speaking up for yourself when you should, asking for what you want or need, or telling other people when they're stepping on your toes.

Most of all, be yourself. It's OK to try out different conversational approaches you see others using. But say and do what fits your style. Being the real you — and daring to let yourself be noticed — is what attracts friends.

Courtesy of Kids Health & D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
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1 week ago  ·  

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