Abuse

How Fear Affects Your Family Life

How Fear Affects Your Family Life

This week, Imagine Hope is honoring Halloween by discussing the different ways that (real) fear can have a negative impact on our lives.  

How does fear potentially impact our family system?

What is Sexual Abuse? Using Forgiveness and Spirituality to Move On

What is Sexual Abuse? Using Forgiveness and Spirituality to Move On

This week's blog is a very emotional and devastating one-- sexual abuse.  Many people grow up holding all in of the pain, shame, and fear that sexual abuse has caused them.  Our hearts go out to you if you are one of the many who struggle with the internal dilemma of disclosure and healing.  Today we will discuss Forgiveness, Spirituality and Resolution.

What is Sexual Abuse? Remembering and Believing

What is Sexual Abuse? Remembering and Believing

This week Teri and Tamara have helped us understand what Sexual Abuse is and how to begin to heal.  Healing from wounds can happen at various times and at different rates for many people.  The most important part is knowing what you are healing from.  Healing from Sexual Abuse takes time, the desire to want to heal, hope, patience, and the ability to ask for help.  Sexual Abuse creates deep wounds that are often ignored, masked, or buried.  But they will be there until they are addressed and properly healed.

What is Sexual Abuse? The Emergency Stage

What is Sexual Abuse? The Emergency Stage

As we talk about healing from sexual abuse this week, if this starts to stir up emotions for you, please talk to someone with whom you trust and feel safe. Beginning to deal with memories and suppressed feelings can throw your life into chaos. Remember this is only a stage and it won't last forever. This emergency stage is a natural part of the healing process and there will be a time when the sexual abuse isn't what you think about all the time (we promise!!!).

What is Sexual Abuse?

What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual Abuse unfortunately is an issue that is more common than most think. Here at Imagine Hope we help people heal through the pain to get to a place of freedom from this horrible victimization. This week we will educate our readers on the stages of the healing process so that you or a loved one knows what to expect when embarking on this journey. Please make sure you get help for yourself or a loved one if you have been a victim. Getting professional help to guide you is important even if it has been 20 years since the abuse occurred. We see clients often who experience healing at all points in life. You deserve to heal from this pain- it wasn't your fault.

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions Part 1

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions Part 1

When most people think of "trauma", they think of how it's defined in the dictionary: "as a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident". Many people do not think of or recognize the impact that emotional trauma has on ones life. We hear stories of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other major traumas, but rarely do our clients recognize the significance that trauma plays in a person's day to day lives. This week Imagine Hope is helping you understand trauma from a new perspective and connecting how emotional trauma can impact your life- even in the simplest ways.

Ways to Protect Your Kids from Predators Part 1

Ways to Protect Your Kids from Predators Part 1

As a parent, one of my main concerns is my child's safety. Part of my job is to be the "safety patrol" and teach them how to catch on to what is safe and what is risky behavior. As school is ending and summer break gets into full gear, we thought it would be good to remind you of helpful tips to protect your kids, whether it is in the yard, at the park, or on the computer.

What To Do if You Are Loving Too Much Part 4

What To Do if You Are Loving Too Much Part 4

Whether it's a friendship or a romantic relationship, each person in that relationship must be capable to have healthy intimacy for it to work out.  Sometimes, we try to change other people to get our own needs met, so realizing that someone else might not be capable of what you are asking for, is important.  This can help you let go of changing them and work on changing yourself and your expectations instead.  Remember, you are worthy of the best that life has to offer!

Child Abuse Part 5

Today, we will finish up our series on child abuse.  Many people think that child abuse only happens in lower socioeconomic families or situations, or see it as a cultural issue.  This is a dangerous assumption to make.  Child abuse has other risk factors, including: Having a history of abuse in your family of origin with you or your spouse.  Going through abuse as a child, particularly if you haven't worked on the issues that abuse creates, or haven't processed your own pain from growing up in an abused family, has the potential to make you more vulnerable to child abuse.

Not understanding the needs of a child or appropriate childhood development.  When you understand what to expect at different stages of childhood development, it makes it a little easier to make sense of your child's behaviors and what is developmentally appropriate.  This also includes understanding effective discipline strategies for each stage of development.  Many times, our children can stir up unresolved feelings from our own history if we aren't aware of them.  It is also common for us to carry the "thumbprint" of our own family rules and expectations (most of them unspoken or unwritten) into our own family systems if we aren't conscious of this.

Substance abuse or mental health issues in your family, particularly if they are not being actively addressed.

Having a child under the age of 4.

Having a child with special needs, or any particular need that increases the stress or caregiver burden (e.g., chronic physical illness or disability, developmental disabilities).

Having transient caregivers in the home, such as a boyfriend of a single parent, an extended relative or friend.

Having a history of domestic violence in your marriage or relationships.

Having parental thought processes that support inappropriate treatment of a child or that justify maltreatment of a child and others.

Not having an adequate support system as a parent.

This is just the tip of the iceburg for risk factors for child abuse.  We encourage you to do your own research on this topic, especially if you fear that you are bordering on abusive behavior or if other's have commented that they are concerned about how you interact with your kids.

The most important part:  knowing that help is available.  If you suspect child abuse or actually see a child being abused, remember that we are all mandated reporters.  It's better to be safe then sorry.  A child doesn't have the resources or ability to protect themselves... as adults, we must do this for them!  The child abuse hotline is: 1-800-4ACHILD.  You don't have to be the investigator or determine if what you are seeing is truly abuse.  When you call the hotline, that is what they do.   If you are concerned that you might harm your child in any way, please contact a professional counselor to help you learn better coping skills, to work through whatever feelings you are having, and to learn be a better parent.

Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

 

 

 

Ways To Protect Your Kids From Predators 1

As a parent, one of my main concerns is my child's safety. Part of my job is to be the "safety patrol" and teach them how to catch on to what is safe and what is risky behavior. As school is ending and summer break gets into full gear, we thought it would be good to remind you of helpful tips to protect your kids, whether it is in the yard, at the park, or on the computer.

  • Be Open- When you are open with your kids about what the world is really like, it helps them not live with a naive mindset. I'm not saying to instill fear in them, so a balance of how much you tell them is important based on their age. But if you know from the news that there is a warning of a man in a red car driving around lately trying to get kids to come in his car, tell them to be on the look out for a red car and review stranger danger tips (Joleen will cover more on these later in the week). Kids need to not live in a sheltered bubble, otherwise, they won't be prepared if danger strikes.
  • Teach kids that a "bad guy" might not look like a bad guy. Most bad guys or gals don't have a specific look to them.  Stereotypes are all wrong when it comes down to perpetrators. Statistics say that 95% of perpetrators are people that victims love, know, and trust already. They might not even be adults either. Many times they are teenagers and same-aged kids. Make sure you teach your child about how to build trust people and what type of people are safe for them. Also help them understand that it is ok to say "no" to any one who asks them to do anything or go anywhere that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Keep reading all week for more specific tips to protect your kids! The world can be a hurtful place. Let's do our best to proactively protect our kids!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Types of Passive-Aggressive Behavior 1

How do you know if someone (or yourself) is passive-aggressive? They (or you) might display some of the below behaviors: Incongruent Behavior

Someone who is passive-aggressive generally says one thing but actually means another. A passive-aggressive person has poor communication skills and leaves those in conversations confused and perplexed. A passive-aggressive's actions don't match what they say and vice versa. Generally, how a passive-aggressive acts (not what they say) is what they are really trying to communicate.

Postponing or Delaying

A passive-aggressive person generally does things on their own schedule without regard for deadlines or other people's schedules. Procrastination runs rampant in this person's life, but they've decided it's everyone else who has to deal with it, rather than change this unhealthy behavior.

Purposefully "Forgetting"

When a passive-aggressive person feels hurt by someone (loved one, close friend, etc...), instead of saying "I'm hurt", they will "forget" to do something for that person or forget an important event with that person coming up. For example: they may "forget" to pick up the cake for a family birthday party, or they may "forget" to tell their spouse that their boss called and needs a return phone call. For the passive-aggressive, this serves as their way of communicating "You hurt me", yet this message never clearly makes it through to the other person because it's indirect. What it ends up doing is create more distance, hurt and rejection.

These are just three behaviors seen in passive-aggressive individuals. There are many more we have to discuss with you. Please check back in tomorrow for more discussion on passive-aggressive behavior. Thank you for reading.

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Passive Aggressive Behavior- What Is It?

Ever interact with someone who is passive aggressive? You might walk away from an interaction with them feeling emotionally bruised and confused about why.
Passive aggressive behaviors are a form abuse....they just don't look like it! The person isn't actually hitting you to control or threaten you, but they are manipulative in a way that still hurts and controls you. You may walk away feeling upset and confused, but then second guess yourself and your feelings because it might "seem" like everything was fine.
 When a person isn't able to express their emotions in a healthy way, the emotions tend to bubble out in unhealthy ways. When people have underlying resentment, pain, anger etc., they will often let passive aggressive behaviors slip out. They might say a sarcastic jab, blame everyone, severely withdraw, become a victim, or procrastinate.
This week we will dig into more detail about these unhealthy passive aggressive behaviors in order for you to be on the look out. Being in a relationship with a passive aggressive person can be difficult and make you feel crazy. As you read this week, you will learn about ways to deal with a passive aggressive person.
Check in tomorrow for more!
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.

Warning Signs of Child Abuse

We continue this week to talk about child abuse, hoping that we can educate you in case you ever see or hear anything suspicious. Under Indiana state law, anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect is considered to be a “mandated reporter”. So how do you know when it’s time to make the report? Warning Signs

Some overall warning signs of any kind of abuse/neglect include the child withdrawing or isolating from friends or activities, a lack of parent supervision, attendance problems at school, severe changes in mood or personality, depression or anxiety, defiant behavior, running away, suicidal thoughts or plans. Another huge warning sign is when a child does not want to go home from school or daycare.

Physical- The most obvious signs of abuse are going to be bruises, scratches, burn marks, broken bones, black eyes, etc. Oftentimes the stories of how the child attained these wounds don’t match up with the injuries. The child may have made multiple trips to the ER in a short period time, or may have injuries that have not been treated. An additional note: Corporal punishment that leaves bruises or marks can be considered a form of child abuse, and is reportable.

Sexual-Sexual abuse can be harder to see. You may notice an increase in inappropriate sexualized behavior from the child (for example, knowing words they shouldn’t, wanting to show more skin, acting more sexual). The child may have blood in their underwear, complain about pain in their genitals, or have trouble sitting or walking. They may try to perform sexual acts on other children, such as inappropriate touching, humping, oral sex, etc. A few other signs to look for include an increase in bedwetting, nightmares/night terrors, and being scared or anxious.

Neglect-Neglect can be difficult to see as well. The child may have poor hygiene and consistently battle lice, bed bugs, etc. They may hoard food or steal things. They can have severe emotional mood swings or be completely indifferent. Often, they have a poor attendance record at school. They may have an odor from not bathing, not washing their clothes, or from animals in the home.

**PLEASE NOTE: It is not your responsibility to question the child or to decide if you have enough “evidence” for an investigation! This can be very traumatizing to the child and may also impede an investigation. It is only your duty to report what you’ve seen or heard-the Department of Child Services or local Law Enforcement Agency will do the rest. When in doubt, report!

Continue to read this week as we talk more about the effects of Child Abuse and also provide some resources.

*Source: Mayo Clinic www.mayoclinic.org

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.