Partners in your child’s wellness

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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Am I pretty? What Moms, Daughters Really Think About How They Look

“Mom, you're beautiful." That's what the vast majority — about 90% — of girls surveyed by KidsHealth had to say about their mothers. And the feeling is mutual: Just about as many moms tell their girls that they're beautiful.

On the flip-side, though, only 41% of girls would call themselves "pretty" or "beautiful." Among moms, 60% say they're beautiful and 40% say they're not. More than half of moms say they've criticized their own appearance, many in front of their daughters. Of those who were self-critical, 76% said they complained out loud that they needed to lose weight. And roughly 50% of both moms and daughters don't like the way they look in a selfie.

Like Mother, Like Daughter
In the survey, we heard from 2,400 moms and 11,500 daughters, many of whom had mixed feelings about the way they look. Finding so many similarities between how they view themselves makes you wonder: Like mother, like daughter?"

A mother's self-image greatly influences how her daughter views herself," says D'Arcy Lyness, PhD, a child and adolescent psychologist and behavioral health editor at KidsHealth. In the survey, many girls reported worrying about their looks a lot throughout the day, sometimes "constantly."

"All that concern over looks erodes a girl's self-esteem," Dr. Lyness says. "When girls are hard on themselves about how they look, it makes it difficult for them to love and accept themselves — and this prevents them from being and doing their best."

Be a Role Model
If you want to help improve your daughter's outlook, start with your own. Avoid criticizing how you look or how others look. Treat yourself well by eating right, exercising, and taking it easy on yourself. No one can live up to that unattainable image of beauty that many of us hold — but all of us can strive to feel mostly good about our looks most of the time.

Talk about it.
Talk to your daughter about the pressure to be pretty and thin. If there's something you or she would like to improve upon on the outside, find healthy ways of making that happen. Doing yoga or running together aren't just great ways to stay fit — they also can help strengthen that mother-daughter bond.

Take pride in your appearance — but not too much.
Show your daughter that it feels good to take care of yourself, but also emphasize the deeper qualities about a person that matter more.

Don't make negative comments.
Focus on the positive things about your looks and your daughter's looks. Instead of griping about how big your legs are, talk about how they're strong enough to help you run a 5K. Love your body — and your daughter will love hers, too!

Tell her she's pretty, but also talented.
Let her know you think she's beautiful, but also compliment her on the things she's good at and enjoys. Saying things like, "You have a beautiful singing voice" or "Great endurance out on the field!" will help build your daughter's confidence and convince her that she can do great things.

When girls (and moms) don't put too much focus on their looks, they can enjoy the more important parts of life that really count.

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

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Dads' Depression Linked to Kids' Behavior Problems

Depression in fathers is strongly linked to behavioral problems in their children, a new study suggests.

While 6 percent of children with non-depressed parents had behavior problems, 11 percent of children with a depressed father did, according to the study.

"There are countless articles on the effect of depression and other mental health problems in mothers on children, but this is virtually the first paper that we are aware of that has looked at similar effects in fathers," said study author Dr. Michael Weitzman, of New York University School of Medicine.

To be sure, the researchers also found that 20 percent of children with a depressed mother had behavior problems, and the number rose 25 percent if both parents were depressed.

"Despite all the progress in the past generation, and facilitating women's presence in the workplace… we find no attention to similar efforts to enhance the effects of fathers in raising their children," Weitzman said. "I think that depression is one of the greatest and least addressed public health problems in the nation, if not the world."

A Growing Problem
Weitzman said that in the coming years, world events could lead to an increased rate of depression among adults, and a corresponding problem for the next generation.

"The recession, unemployment, returning veterans," may all affect adult’s mental health, and therefore affect children," Weitzman said.

The researchers examined data on 22,000 children living in two-parent households (biological, adoptive and step parents were all included). The data were collected during the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a government study conducted from 2004 to 2008 in which trained interviewers visited homes and asked an adult about the health of the household.

It's unclear exactly how depression in parents and behavior issues in children interrelate, and the study was not designed to tell if the two have a cause-and-effect relationship.

And children's behavior problems can cause stress, and affect the mindset of the parents.

"Psychology recognized years ago that you really need to have the arrow going in both directions," said Sherryl Hope Goodman, a professor of psychology at Emory University.

Treat the Parent, Help the Child
While the study sheds light on what might be a neglected area of therapy, it had some limitations, Goodman said. The study did not connect specific behavior problems in children with depression in fathers, she said, and there may have been some reporting bias on the part of parents.

In 2002, Goodman reviewed existing research that compared psychological issues in mothers to those of fathers, in terms of the effects on children.

"The bottom line conclusion — I strongly agree. We need to be concerned with children whose fathers are depressed, [although] there's less concern than if the mother is depressed," Goodman said.

"The importance of [the study], to me, is what it says to clinicians who are treating adults. It's important, whether it's the mother or the father, to consider the impact of the parent's challenges on the development of the child," said Raymond Firth, policy initiatives director for the University of Pittsburgh's office of child development.

Still, Firth cautioned: "This study doesn't mean all children with fathers with mental health problems are going to have problems themselves. Far from the truth."

Another important issue, he said, becomes whether insurance companies would recognize depression as a risk factor for the rest of the family.

"The insurance company needs to see the work of that therapist as prevention for the children, and to think about it from a preventive perspective rather than waiting for the child to present with an emotional problem," Firth said.

Courtesy of LiveScience
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1 week ago  ·  

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Tips for adjusting to a new school

Whether your child is moving to a new neighborhood or making the leap to middle or high school, the first few weeks may be filled with anxiety as well as excitement. These tips will help your child make a smooth transition to his or her new school.

Make it a team effort.
If you're choosing between a few schools, talk with your child about what each one has to offer. When it comes time to select specific classes, make sure your child is part of the process.

Keep a positive focus.
As the first day draws near, begin talking to your child about her expectations, hopes, and fears for the upcoming school year. Reassure her that other children are having the same feelings and that she's sure to have a great year. Present school as a place where she'll learn new things and make friends.

Encourage school involvement.
Though you don't want your teenager to become over-committed, it's important to encourage participation in one or two activities that particularly interest him. He's more likely to engaged academically if he feels connected through a school activity, club, or sport. Talk to him about his goals for the school year and how he might like to be involved in school outside of the classroom.

Get enough sleep.
If your child has enjoyed a vacation of late nights and lazy mornings, getting him up for school on the first day can be difficult. Help make this transition easier by starting his school-year sleep routine a week or two in advance.

Take a trial run.
Take some time before the start of school to make sure you and your child know where to go and what to do on that first morning. Show your child where the bus stop is, or, if she walks, map out the safest route to school, avoiding vacant lots and places where there aren't a lot of people. Warn your child to always walk with a friend and scout out safe houses to go to in case of emergency. If you can find out what classroom your child will be in, visit the classroom ahead of time so she knows exactly where to go in the morning. You may even want to call the school in advance to find out about any special first-day procedures.

Stock up on supplies.
On or before the first day of school, make sure you or your child finds out what school supplies and materials are required. Most schools should provide a handy list for the lower grades, but if not, take it upon yourself to ask and then purchase the items as soon as possible. Middle and high school students should bring a notebook and pen or pencil on the first day.

Prepare the night before.
To avoid the morning rush, organize what you can the night before. Lay out clothes, make a lunch and assemble any supplies your child may need. Be sure to get everyone up extra early so you'll have plenty of time to calmly get ready and get out the door on time.

Get a healthy start.
Encourage your child to eat a good breakfast and pack a healthy snack to help her get through the day.

Accompany your little one.
Even if your elementary school child will be riding the bus regularly or walking to school, you may want to take him yourself on the first day, particularly if he seems nervous.

Introduce yourselves.
Young children are often shy with a new teacher. If you take your child to school on the first day, you might want to go into the classroom and introduce your child to the teacher. Let the teacher know about any special interests or challenges that your child has.

Read up about school.
Reading books together about school is a good way to establish the reading habit and to start conversations about school excitement and fears.

Courtesy of the GreatSchools Staff
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1 week ago  ·  

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Nobody Likes Me: Helping Children Make Friends

It’s a heartbreaker. Your child comes home one day and says he doesn’t have any friends and that nobody likes him - the dreaded words no parent wants to hear. You’ve been there; you know how cruel it can be and how quickly friendships seem to come and go throughout life. You want to wrap up your little guy and protect him from the world and most of all, you want to ensure that he has plenty of friends.

As much as you’d like to step in, you simply can’t make friends for him. You can, however, give him the tools he needs to be social and to be a good friend. Every child is born with an innate need to attach or be in a relationship, but how he goes about forming those relationships depends largely on his temperament. Children can start to develop real friendships around the age of four or five. When everything goes smoothly, it can be exhilarating and great. But when you see your child hitting some bumps in the road you can help.

According to Denise Salin, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Parent Educator, you don’t want to push. “Some children, especially younger elementary school age ones, need help developing social skills such as empathy, problem-solving, negotiating, cooperation and communication skills” before they are comfortable making friends. “If an elementary aged child does not seem to want to make friends, it’s important to try and get an understanding of what may be going on.”

To support the development of friendships in your child’s life, try some of these techniques:

~Offer a variety of opportunities for play and socializing.
Host friends over for play dates or lunch. See if you can participate in a carpool and sign-up your child for group activities such as art, drama or dance. Exposing him to different areas of play will help him learn to socialize. “Giving children lots of unstructured time to play is important because they learn the social skills they need so they can keep playing and have fun,” says Salin. Additionally, you can include your child when talking to people out of his normal range of peers. Take him to visit a neighbor, or bring him along to the dry cleaner. The more he is exposed to interacting with all kinds of people, the more he will learn to do the same.

~Provide support to your child.
This may seem easy, but how often do you really listen to your child? Pick up on her social cues by listening to what she says happened on the playground. Support your child’s choice of friends and welcome them to your home. Try getting to know her friends and their parents.

~Stay balanced when things are hard.
Go ahead and empathize with your child’s pain, but keep it in perspective. Making friends is a lifelong process and will of course have its ups and downs. Pain, unfortunately, is a part of it. According to Salin, “all children will experience some form of ‘normal’ social pain in their friendships. We can support them by listening and acknowledging their feelings.” Talk about your concerns with other adults who can support you -- such as a coach, teacher, friend, or family member. You never want to share your anxiety with your child, so find someone who can help offer insight about your child or consult with professionals.

~Perhaps most importantly, you need to show your child how to be a good friend and make friends.
The best way is to model the behavior you would like to see.

According to Boys Town Pediatrics, there are several ways you can accomplish this at home:
~Help your child realize his own strengths.
~Have a sense of humor about yourself and your shortcomings.
~Listen to your child without criticism.
~ Be kind, give compliments, wave to a friend, open the door for someone.
~Be understanding of what others are going through by showing empathy.
~Don’t complain. Instead, teach your children to accept what can't be changed by working hard to change the things that can.

Learning to build friendships is one of the ways children develop into well-rounded, emotionally healthy human beings. “I’ve worked with many adults who have achieved tremendous success in terms of college, career, money, etc. and yet they are sad and empty because they have great difficulty in their relationships,” says Salin. By giving your child the skills he needs to be confident and compassionate, you increase the likelihood that friends will eagerly come into his life. And friends will give his life a richness and happiness he will always treasure.

Courtesy of Lisa M. Cope
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1 week ago  ·  

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Suicide: A Major, Preventable Mental Health Problem

Some common questions and answers about suicide:

How common is suicide in children and teens?

In 2009, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15–24. In this age group, suicide accounted for 14.4 percent of all deaths in 2009.

While these numbers may make suicide seem common, it is important to realize that suicide and suicidal behavior are not healthy or typical responses to stress.

What are some of the risk factors for suicide?

Risk factors vary with age, gender, or ethnic group. They may occur in combination or change over time. Some important risk factors are:

~Depression and other mental disorders
~Substance-abuse disorder (often in combination with other mental disorders)
~Prior suicide attempt
~Family history of suicide
~Family violence including physical or sexual abuse
~Firearms in the home
~Exposure to suicidal behavior of others, such as family members or peers

However, it is important to note that many people who have these risk factors are not suicidal.

What are signs to look for?

The following are some of the signs you might notice in yourself or a friend that may be reason for concern.

~Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
~Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
~Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
~Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
~Talking about being a burden to others
~Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
~Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
~Sleeping too little or too much
~Withdrawing or feeling isolated
~Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
~Displaying extreme mood swings.

Seeking help is a sign of strength, if you are concerned, go with your instincts, get help!

What can I do for myself or someone else?

If you are concerned, immediate action is very important. Suicide can be prevented and most people who feel suicidal demonstrate warning signs. Recognizing some of these warning signs is the first step in helping yourself or someone you care about.

If you are in crisis and need help: call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline , a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about and all calls are confidential. You can also visit the Lifeline's website at .

Courtesy of the National Institute of Mental Health
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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