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Archive for the ‘grief’ Category

Heart for Mental Health Event

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Speaking Event

Christian Family Institute is honored to take part in the Heart for Mental Health event Friday, March 10, 2017.

Come support efforts to educate, raise awareness, learn about resources, and experience training in mental health.

Register your attendance with Dr. Roddy of Advanced Eye Care, Inc. 

Participating partners:

Southern Hills Baptist Church – Celebrate Recovery

Bright Tomorrows

Hope is Alive Mentoring Homes

Teen Challenge

Heart for Mental Health flyer

Disaster Mental Health Response in Moore, Oklahoma

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

CFI’s Dr. Tim Doty volunteered last week with the American Red Cross in Moore as a Disaster Mental Health responder. This blog post is reposted from www.DrTimDoty.com

As you have all seen from the pictures, videos, news reports, etc., the devastation is immense and fierce…but so is the spirit to rebuild.  I had two different assignments while on the scene.  The first was to accompany an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV)into the field to give out hot meals and cold water to people who haven’t had power or access for days.  I was assigned to a team of two nurses and two disaster mental health volunteers to help triage wounds, both emotional and physical. We talked to people who had lost everything…in fact some people had lost everything more than once.  They also survived the May 3, 1999 tornado.

Photo May 22, 10 10 38 AMPhoto May 22, 10 10 33 AM

In Disaster Mental Health, our role is to encourage, support, promote healthy coping strategies and to help identify those who need help immediately (like psychosis or suicidal/homicidal). There has been media coverage about who was let into the disaster areas and who was not (as in some residents) during the search and rescue and search and recovery phases of the disaster response.  Red Cross was given access on Wednesday, so we were among the first to be delivering food and water since Monday.  People were gracious.  They have been through incredible events.

Yesterday (Thursday) I had the honor of assisting with the reunion of the Briarwood elementary school that took place at Bonds elementary in Moore, just down the road from the destroyed Briarwood.  Again, as a Disaster Mental Health volunteer for the Red Cross, 8 psychologists were sent (4 each) to Briarwood and Plaza Towers reunions. It was a touching and powerful event.  Students and teachers reconnected.  Parents and family members were able to hug one another and actually close out their school year, which they were otherwise unable to do since the school was destroyed Monday. Some of the students were telling one another “I saw you on TV, so I knew you were ok.”  In fact, one father did not know that his son was alright until he viewed his son on TV as well.

The work through the Red Cross is emotionally challenging, but very rewarding when you can help encourage healthy coping strategies and help families predict the kinds of emotions and responses they are likely to encounter in the days and weeks ahead.

Our prayers continue to be with the survivors as they rebuild.

Dr. Tim headshot

Tim Doty, Psy.D.

twitter: @DrTimDoty

 

How to Talk to Your Kids About News and Tragic Events

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The following is reposted from our CFI Facebook page:

man listening to childIn light of the tragedy at the #bostonmarathon today, please be cautious how much of the news you take in around your children. We advise that children who are not of age to understand violence and tragedy (and really, who among us does understand it), can be insulated from the news as long as parents and caretakers shield them from the information. Obviously, at the speed of communication, many of our teens, pre-teens, and adult family members will have seen/heard about the violence and we should take care to console one another in the face of tragic events. For younger kids, there is no need to watch/listen to reports of violence in front of them. If they hear about the tragedy, take time to explain with child-appropriate wording. We will post resources ASAP.

Here are the resources we linked to on Facebook:

If you, a family member, a loved one, or a child are experiencing difficulty in response to tragedy in the news, we have staff available to help you manage traumatic stress reactions.  Give CFI a call to set up a time to meet with one of our professional therapists. 

 

Holiday Family Challenges

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The holidays are stressful in many ways.  The increase in activities, shopping, travel, and extra costs are only the beginning of the list of stressors.   Holidays are also filled with increased family stressors, such as:

–       Increased family expectations to spend time together

–       Pressure to conform to family traditions

–       Seeing family members who may be kept at arms-length during the rest of the year

–       Reminders of family members who have died

–       Exposure to increased alcohol consumption among some family members

–       Children spending time out of school and at home

–       Reminders of family hurts and disappointments

–       Increased dealings with extended family and in-laws

Even the healthiest of families contain personalities and family members whose personal values clash, or where some family members’ behavior is difficult to be near. These pressures contribute to breakdowns in communication and increased conflict.

We strive to establish comfortable levels of distance and boundaries during the year.  This often collapses around the holidays when we change our routines and increase contact with our extended family.  Intrusions and offenses increase.  Occasionally, these gatherings result in conflict that includes unpleasant escalations and hurtful words.

Though it is probably impossible for most of us to eliminate family stresses and conflicts altogether, there are some ways to reduce stress.  Consider some of the following options:

–       Parents, prior to making holiday plans, can reconsider and re-negotiate what is best for their family, rather than simply doing the same things that have been expected in the past.

  • When visiting conflict-prone family members, make visits shorter
  • When traveling out of town, consider motels rather than cramming large numbers of people into small spaces.  This also allows for some private times to de-stress.
  • Some family confrontations are predictable.  It’s okay to intentionally plan to avoid unproductive and vulnerable situations.
  • When stressors and conflicts are building during a visit, go for a walk or a drive with safe people to decompress.

–        When unresolved conflicts with family members can be identified in advance, be pro-active.  Consider your best conflict-resolution skills and plan to use them in advance of holiday get-togethers.  When you have made your best effort to seek peace with problem family members and it hasn’t worked, consider consulting an expert on family conflict.  They may be able to suggest tools you may not have considered, or they may be able to mediate civil conversations (at CFI we frequently mediate conflicts over the holidays and any time during the year.)

–       If you have lost a significant family member recently, make time to celebrate and honor that person.  Do it in a way that is most meaningful to you.

–       Make the reason for the season central to your family get-togethers.  Christmas is about Christ and His great gift of His life to us through his birth on earth.  Even when surrounded by others who may not share your faith, renew your own celebration of Christ with those who do share your faith.  Pick out verses from scripture that speak to your situation and that assist you to have a fresh perspective and renewed mind, such as:

  • Regarding Christmas:
    • The Christmas Story from Matthew 1
  • The importance of married people setting limits with family:
    • Genesis 2:24 (NIV)  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
  • Dealing With Anger and Conflict:
    • Proverbs 15:1  (NLTSE)  A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
    • Proverbs 18:13 (MSG)  Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.
    • Romans 12:18 (NIV)  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
    • Proverbs 22:24 (NIV)  Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered,
  • The Goal To Love:
    • Ephesians 4:15 (NLTSE) Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
    • I Tim. 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
    • I Cor. 13:4-8 (NIV) [4] Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. [5] It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. [6] Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [7] It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.[8] Love never fails.
  • We, like Jesus, need time to reflect, refresh, and pray:
    • Mark 1:35 (NIV)  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
  • Finding Peace in Even the Most Stressful  Circumstances:
    • Phil. 4:4-8 [4] Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! [5] Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. [6] Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.[8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. [9] Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Merry Christ-mas!

Dale R. Doty, Ph.D.

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Monday, October 15th, 2012

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  We wanted to share this meaningful quote as an encouragement to reach out and help those who have lost a child.

“If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who’s important to them, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn’t forget they died. You’re not reminding them. What you’re reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that’s a great, great gift.” -Elizabeth Edwards

To learn more about this awareness day and to seek ideas of how to help, take a look at: http://www.october15th.com

Amanda Harrington, Ph.D.

 

Dr. Tim Interviewed by FOX23 About OKC Thunder

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Dr. Tim Doty was interviewed last month by FOX23’s Adam Paluka about fans’ reactions to OKC Thunder losses.

Here’s an excerpt:

Tulsa psychologist Dr. Tim Doty says the way many people in Green County felt when the Thunder lost Game 3 of the NBA Finals Sunday night is called a “shared grief reaction.”

Dr. Doty says because there is just one big league team in the entire state of Oklahoma, this communal feeling of disappointment and frustration with the result of Game 3 is hitting Okies harder than usual.

Grief in Bleak Midwinter

Monday, December 14th, 2009

If you have lost a loved one in the last year, then you will likely find this holiday season to be painful. Instead of celebrating, you may find yourself feeling very sad, angry and wanting to isolate. People often find the first holiday after a significant loss to be the most difficult. You may be asking yourself “How am I going to get through this Christmas?” Here are a few suggestions for working your way through:

1) Set realistic expectations for yourself. The most realistic expectation may be that you just get through this season. Hosting parties and spending time and energy on special gifts may be too much to accomplish this year. Make sure you talk with your family about any changes you need to make.

2) Make sure you take care of yourself. Grief takes a lot of energy. You may not be able to do all (or any) the holiday activities. One of the best self care acts: get enough rest.

3) Keep on grieving. Be careful about allowing yourself to be distracted from grieving by the activities of this season.

4) Keep talking. This holiday season is not the time to neglect your thoughts and feelings. In fact, now more than ever you may struggle with deep sorrow, crushing anger and devastating loneliness. These are experiences to talk about to trusted friends and family. If you have a therapist, make sure you make an appointment before Christmas, even if you do not think you need it.

5) Do something to honor your loved one. Light a candle during Christmas Eve dinner or attend a Longest Night Service ( www.shbc-tulsa.org find information on the events page in the November newsletter). Find something meaningful to mark your loved one’s place in the family.

Grief can be a difficult and complicated process and a holiday season will often add to the struggle. If you feel you need extra help and support during this time, please call The Christian Family Institute at 745-0095. Any of our therapists can help you through your grief.

Jill Butler, MS, LMFTWebsite photo of Jill2