Sunday, September 30, 2012

News for Conflict Phobics

As a little girl I can remember the heart palpitations and sweat pouring out of me any time someone in my home became angry. I think it started when I was almost three years old. My parents had some kind of angry, shouting argument that resulted in my father leaving us. My mom, un-educated with three children under the age of five to support, fell completely apart. She had what proved to be her first "nervous breakdown". I can remember standing next to her trying desperately to get her to stop crying and take care of us kids. Anger, it seemed to me, had dire consequences.
From that point on I became the Rescuer in my family. It was my job to make sure that no one got too upset. Any hint of anger sent me into anxiety. As a result, I was the most favored child in our family. I was the peacemaker, the one capable of resolving any problems between siblings or other family members. I knew how to be cute and distract, or take all the blame to avoid someone being angry with me. It didn't matter what the cost was to me personally, as long as no one became too angry.
All of my friendships then, took on a shallow quality. When you go into relationships without daring to face any conflicts between you, then you are forced to behave in shallow ways with those you interact.
This especially included my romantic relationships. Any time there was a problem with a guy I was seeing, I simply swept it under the rug or broke up with him. If I were really crazy about the guy, I would overlook even major flaws.
Once I was married, every argument took on an intensity and sense of threat that went way beyond the current situation. It always resulted in my charging outside and walking away from the scene of the argument. It was too scary for me to stay in the room.
My girlfriends never saw me angry. I might speak up that I didn't want something a certain way, or that I would prefer we did something differently, but I certainly wouldn't challenge them or do anything that might start a real conflict.
Being a conflict phobic meant that I managed my world in such a way as to never have to deal with my or other people's anger, or even potential anger. I was perceived as an easygoing person.
The downside is that no one knew me. I hid my real self from everyone. Without even being consciously aware of it I never let anyone see the real me.
I now know that this is because underneath the people pleasing behavior was a sense that I was not good enough, that if they saw who I really was, they would reject me...walk out on me as my father had.
This is what underlies conflict phobia. We are terrified someone will reject us or even hurt us if we show our true self. We think that who we are is not going to measure up and we will be punished or rejected.
We fear that closeness will bring rejection, so we settle for a kind of limbo. We find ourselves locked into shallow distant relationships rather than risk discovering that we will be rejected.
Conflict phobia is really intimacy phobia. The roots of the word "intimacy" means literally, "in to me see". We don't' want anyone to see into us. We don't think that they will accept us and rather than risk that rejection, we avoid anything that will reveal who we are (i.e. conflict). We anxiously avoid any threat of conflict and anyone who expresses anger, is in our mind, dangerous. And, since conflict is unavoidable in life, we find ourselves locked into an underlying anxiety that never goes away.
The good news I promised? Well, the good news is that our fear is unfounded. Our fear is based on our child self's view of the world. We are capable of being seen and accepted for whom we are, in spite of how we may feel.
The other good news is that conflict is not a bad thing. It doesn't have to include anger and it doesn't have to include rejection. Conflict, in actuality is how we get to know someone, and how they get to know us.
It's only by letting other people know where we are, what we like, and what we don't like that anyone can know who we are. That means standing up and saying our truth.
It's important to know that by letting people know what feels good to us and what doesn't we are letting the other person know where they stand. Without that information they could be doing the opposite of what we want, without even knowing it! My husband was married for almost 20 years to a woman who never said what she really wanted. They rarely had conflict because she wouldn't say what she wanted and so he just made guesses. Apparently he guessed wrong because eventually she threw him out. I can't say that I'm sorry, after all I ended up with him, but it certainly seems a waste.
Yes, some times people won't like what you say or agree with you, but that really isn't bad news. I am certain that if I had been able to say what I felt about things with my ex-husband, I may not have ended up married to him in the first place. And yes, that would have been better for all of us.
That's the thing, when we don't tell our truth and we "go along" we find ourselves not being true to ourselves and eventually something has to give. In my case, it meant divorcing my husband of nine years. I personally think it would have been better if I had saved us all a lot of trouble and said what I thought from the beginning.
So there is the real good news, conflict phobics, conflict helps us express who we really are and keeps us out of bad situations. We are the only person in the world who can really know what is best for us and what feels good to us. If we don't risk telling those things to those who are closest to us, then we are bound to end up getting what we don't want.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Web Based Educational Opportunities

When listing "most-prized possessions," few people might first think of education. After all, it's not a possession in the sense of something you can hold and touch. However, delve a little deeper into it. Education makes you who you are. It's usually the reason for your interests and perhaps even your way of life. It opens doors to jobs and opportunities. It can improve your quality of life. Perhaps best of all, it's always with you and never has to be packed up and moved.
With its value in mind, it makes sense to try and ensure that you are always adding to your education: learn something new every day. For those times that we need more than what we can pick up in day-to-day life, we turn to schools or classes. Today one of the most convenient ways to do that is online. With a DSL, cable, or satellite broadband internet connection, it's possible to take classes online, enroll in degree programs, or just learn a little bit every day. The web can add value to your education.
Online classes are popular, especially for mid-career professionals or people trying to fulfill a few qualifications before a new job or grad school. They are easy to enroll in and can be done from anywhere. Someone with a mobile satellite internet connection could even take a class while riding the train to and from work every day. Perhaps your job is beginning to require certain computer skills that you never learned in school. Taking an online class is the perfect way to brush up your tech skills, while doing it in a technological way! Or for someone thinking of going back to school, an online class can be a way of firming up prerequisites and feeling prepared for the upcoming class load.
It's even possible to complete a full university degree online, from an accredited university! Online classes and seminars are packed with students from all over the world. That degree might be the deciding factor between candidates when applying for a job later on in life. As more and more people go to college, the importance of having that degree continues to rise. Even people who are told they can't get broadband access via cable or DSL can still use satellite internet and get the same connection speeds, a perfect solution for rural towns and communities. Of course, it's always important to do research before enrolling in a program. Make sure that it's not just a degree mill!
One of the great pleasures of the internet is surfing the web. We can learn new things every day reading news sites, technology blogs, and even You can do some armchair traveling online, seeing what different parts of the world are like. Maintain and develop new interests through web groups. Maybe even submit some writing to an online magazine.
Taking advantage of online educational opportunities is a great way to boost your education. Using any high speed connection, be it DSL or satellite internet, you can tap into the biggest network of information that has ever existed.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Education 'Is Not Reaching Young People'

Large numbers of young people are getting into debt situations from which it is difficult to recover, the latest research suggests. Commentator iva, a firm which helps to organize individual voluntary arrangements, has released results from a survey which indicate that as many as one in four people aged between 18 and 24 are struggling under the weight of various debts. At the same time, as many as 1.2 million children currently still in the school system will find themselves in the same difficult debt cycle within the next five years.
The figures from the personal finance commentator suggest that in excess of one in five people aged between 18 and 24 will find themselves insolvent before they reach the age of 30. Rather than saving or opting for low rate loans, such groups may be building up significant debts on credit cards and uncompetitive products. However, they are not alone - according to's figures some 16 per cent of the UK population have debts for which they cannot service monthly repayments and are in excess of 10,000 pounds. The firm is calling for updated financial education in schools to help pupils understand personal finance contracts which they buy into. For instance, improved education could help the demographic to better identify the best loans and the difference between low rate loans and other borrowing options.
Last week the company held a meeting between industry professionals such as personal finance specialists in order to discuss matters pertaining to keeping people out of debt. The Debt Education Debate focused on the fact that borrowing was now an accepted part of modern life but that consumers would be better informed to prevent them falling by the wayside. James Falla, managing director of debt consultancy Thomas Charles, told the assembled commentators: "We aren't going to be able to change a changing culture that has happened over the last 20 years in five minutes. We must embrace the fact that people are going to take credit, but then educate them."
Meanwhile Anne Kiem, a spokesperson for the ifs School of Finance, remarked: "A lot of people are turned off by jargon. There are a lot of people out there who are frightened of finance, either because they think it's very complicated, or because they think it's terribly dull and doesn't relate to them. We must educate young people about things that engage them, such as mobile phone tariffs." The organising body used the forum to unveil its new pamphlets which are designed to educate people about different kinds of debt.
The money news from supports earlier research from Lloyds TSB, which established that young people in the UK are becoming increasingly concerned about debt. A survey conducted by the bank found that money worries were driving as many as a third of people due to have started at university in recent weeks to live at home to minimise their debts. While 80 per cent stated that they considered it an easy way to save money, around a quarter specifically noted that it should help them to keep debt under control.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Education For The Learning

I'm easily shocked at times. I open the newspaper, I read articles about child abuse, the mentally ill, the shortcomings in our education system, and I feel things along the lines of torment and anguish. But it doesn't stop there. It actually goes on, manifesting itself in a dozen minor ways. Maybe in a dozen major ways, if you're one who believes in the magnitude of advocacy, of standing up to make sure that your voice can be heard over all the loud chatter and backtalk.
For years, I've been investigating the atrocities that are taking place in our schools each and every day. I've been sending letters to our Presidents, our Senators, and our Congressman, pleading for them to be the change they so vehemently declare they are. But words are useless. We need Action. For what can mere words really do, when so many mentally-challenged students are struggling to keep up in an education system that is unapologetically incongruent to their ways of thinking and learning?
For the past 50 years, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has been increasing among our schoolchildren. In fact, 12 percent of today's school-aged children are affected by it, which is up from 3-5 percent in 1998. That can only mean that we are lacking in solutions to this problem. Or perhaps it means that we are not taking the time to implement these solutions.
When a child with ADHD is confined to a regular classroom, with no special guidance or attention, it's unbelievably troubling. Not only is it difficult for them to keep up, but the amount of mental frustration they experience is immeasurable. So many teachers are not equipped to handle these children. They don't understand the disorder, nor do they have the desire to. With this lack of empathy, they cause even more destruction in the children's lives, punishing them for falling asleep or not paying attention, when the children have no control over these things whatsoever.
To be punished as the result of a painful handicap is blatantly unfair to and disconcerting for the child. So many of us wonder why the drop-out rate is so high. We wonder why our kids are turning to drugs. Stealing. Killing. We think, in many cases, "kids will be kids," then we turn our backs and look the other way. We yell at them to do better, to make us proud one of these days, to stop playing so many video games. As if tossing out the old X-Box will focus their attention on the classroom.
In some cases, there are children who do lean too heavily on television and video games, pushing aside their homework with a shrug of their shoulders. This is something that parents have the ability to keep an eye on and control. However, students spend the majority of their time at school, and the classroom not only has a huge impact on their day-to-day lives, but also on the ways in which they will eventually function as adults in the so-called "real world." And if education cannot equip each and every one of them with something as basic as functionality, what is school really doing for our children?
You may wonder why this hits such a personal nerve with me. This is why: I have been blessed with eleven beautiful grandchildren. Two of them have been diagnosed with ADHD, two others with panic disorder and agoraphobia. The battle that they have to endure during each day of class breaks my heart. When they return from school, I see the relief on their faces, the gratitude of finally coming home and ducking away from the judgments of their teachers, and in some cases, even their fellow students. I also see the depression in their eyes. I ask them how their day was, and they reply that it was "okay," but I know that the matter goes much deeper - painfully deeper - than that.
Back in 2001, one of my grandsons suffered a mental breakdown in his middle school classroom. I took him to see a psychiatrist at the Child Guidance Center. We discovered that he was suffering from severe Depression and Phobic Anxiety. He was very unhappy in his new Mainstream Literature class and couldn't face the ongoing judgments and name-calling that his classmates were dishing out. He would come home from school despondent, refusing to eat. He would just crawl into bed and sleep until the next day. He started to wear a blanket over his head, refusing to take it off, fearful that he was ugly to everybody. (All the name-calling in school had lead him to this conclusion.) He even started having nightmares about being at school. And then there were the voices in his head; voices that spoke in loud, sharp tones, criticizing him and debilitating his sense of self. It was eating away at him. And me, as well.
I was determined to get him the help that he needed. I pleaded with the Individualized Education Program (I.E.P.) at school, telling them that the Mainstream Literature class was ruining my grandson's life. They heeded my words and removed him right away. This actually relieved a lot of his torment, but then all the Phobic Anxiety and Depression seeped right back into his life again, as forcefully as it had before.
Trips to the Psychiatrist became frequent.
Resperial and Paxil were prescribed to bring some sense of balance into my grandson's life. He ultimately had to be pulled out of school. I promised him that he would be home-schooled until he was successfully treated, which I assured him would be soon.
The most disheartening thing about this situation, aside from my grandson's mental condition, was the obvious lack of attention shown by the teachers and I.E.P. Team. When he transferred back to high school in California, the school was given all the proper materials to fully prepare themselves for my grandson's condition. I made sure to give them access to all his medical reports, which clearly noted his learning disabilities. I even made sure to enclose a letter from his previous teacher, who wrote of his difficulty in regular classes and his need for special attention. All of this obviously went "in one ear and out the other." Perhaps they didn't even bother to look at a single piece of documentation?
I wonder, of course, whether my grandson's condition wouldn't have worsened so rapidly if the teachers had given him the attention that he needed. Unfortunately, the disorders would still be there, but if they weren't exacerbated by all the neglect, it is likely that he would've been able to function at a higher capacity.
There are a handful of things that can be done so that children and their parents (and don't forget their grandparents) don't have to live with this gnawing frustration. The most obvious one is to create special classes for students with learning disabilities. These classes would be run by specially-trained teachers who would give them all the care and guidance that they need. Also, the classes would be smaller. The pace would be slower. The punishments would be a thing of the past. Children would actually have an opportunity to learn, and finally feel a sense of self-worth, a sense that somebody was giving them the time that they so desperately need.
To be sure, a huge budget is required to implement a plan of this nature. It's no small task. So let's talk baby-steps. Let's make sure that teachers don't receive their credentials unless they're armed with training that prepares them to teach learning-disabled children. Every time a student with A.D.H.D. comes into a classroom, let's see to it that the teachers are alerted to the special situation at hand. Maybe that way, kids like my grandson, who had a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, won't feel ashamed and angry at themselves for not being able to learn in school.
Patience and understanding are important factors on the road to making these children feel centered. Teachers, principals, school boards - they all need to put one foot forward and make the choice to care and look out for each and every student that we entrust them with. And this does not simply apply to children with learning disabilities.
I remember reading a news article a while ago about a 13-year-old student, in Southern California, who ended up collapsing and dying on campus one day. Somebody called 911, and within five minutes, the paramedics were on the scene. Disturbingly enough, when they got there, they noticed dozens of students and school officials, standing around, not doing a single thing to help the girl. In fact, she was still facedown on the ground when they found her. Nobody made an effort to turn her over and revive her. Upon assessing the student, the two paramedics found that she had no pulse and was not breathing.
Now, I would like to believe that the entire student body's lack of participation in this unfortunate circumstance had to do with the fact that they were not acquainted with any life-saving techniques, which left them feeling unequipped to help her. Even if this is true, though, it alarms me that not one person stepped in to try and revive this girl, even without the proper knowledge. Sometimes care, concern, and fortitude can take the place of technique. Something as simple as human compassion can often yield major results.
I recall reading about another tragedy. This one happened back in 1999. After overexerting herself during a high school physical education class, a 14-year-old girl died from an asthma attack. The substitute teacher in charge denied her request for permission to stop running, even after her breathing became labored. The girl's friends noticed that her lips were turning purple. But the student did as she was told, and kept on running. A little while later, during her next class, she became so ill that she passed out, only to die after 20 minutes.
Apparently, the girl's family had provided the school with all the pertinent medical forms, which fully explained her breathing problems. They did everything right, yet still, their daughter was forced to run much longer than her lungs could possibly endure.
Her normal physical education teacher was aware of her problem and gave her the special attention that she needed, excusing her from class whenever she had any difficulty breathing. So why did the school not make the substitute aware of her condition?
On top of all this, even after the girl passed out, nobody in the classroom tried any CPR or life-saving techniques while awaiting the paramedics. CPR is a basic skill that our school officials should really emphasize. Shouldn't we feel confident and secure when we send our children off to school? Shouldn't we be allowed to go about our days, comforted by the fact that they are in good hands?
I also have three daughters with learning disabilities. Neglected in the classroom, they developed severe panic disorder. One was even diagnosed with agoraphobia. As a result of this, two of them were left unable to work or drive.
It's hard to put your child onto that bus every morning and have to worry about the potential negative encounters they will have to deal with throughout the day. In the beginning, when I didn't understand their disorders as much, I practiced politeness and passivity. I gently asked questions, trying to encourage the teachers and my children to meet each other halfway, not wanting to upset anybody in the process.
As I got more involved and came to learn more about their learning disabilities, I hit the ground running and never looked back. I attended all the school meetings and made certain that my voice was heard, loud and clear. I sent out letters every week, passionate letters, written to inspire immediacy and resourcefulness. I made time for my children and my grandchildren, always giving them the attention that they needed, knowing how important it was for them to feel wanted and safe. If they weren't feeling those things at school, I would see to it that they felt them at home. My late husband and I always made sure that they had everything they needed, and that they could express what was inside them and not have to worry about judgment.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Education and Credentials

Find Chinese medicine doctor programs in the United States and Canada. Chinese medicine doctors offer health and wellness services that are often used as an alternative or complementary medicine. In order to practice in the field, Chinese medicine doctors must have received adequate training and education to fulfill necessary requirements in becoming a professional practitioner. Preferably, qualified Chinese medicine doctors will have graduated from one of several accredited oriental medicine schools, and will have become certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and licensed* in the state where they reside. *(Licensure depends on individual state requirements for practice.)
In addition to acupuncture, Chinese medicine doctors will often provide services in physical therapy (Tuina), shiatsu, nutritional advice, Chinese herbology, and other associated practices. Chinese medicine doctors in America must be either licensed or certified, and may be considered a primary care physician if they are licensed as acupuncture physicians. Common titles that are often noted for this profession, include D.O.M. (Doctor of Oriental Medicine), L.Ac.,C.Ac.,R.Ac., or O.M.D.
Generally speaking, Chinese medicine doctors, much like that of conventional medicine practitioners, have dedicated a fair amount of time and energy toward educational training in becoming a professional healthcare provider. Chinese medicine doctors will have attained much knowledge and essential skills in TCM theories (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and history. Other comprehensive education and preparation in becoming Chinese medicine doctors will include clinical and practical training in acupuncture points, needling techniques, herbal medicine, moxibustion, Qigong, Tai Chi, pathology, botanical medicine, Western medicine, physiology and anatomy.
In addition to ethical and business practices, Chinese medicine doctors are gaining lead way in modern America: for example, did you know that acupuncture (as a complementary medicine) has grown tremendously over the last two decades? According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM); an "estimated 8.2 million U.S. adults have used acupuncture." That's promising news for prospective Chinese medicine doctors. And for candidates that are working toward becoming Chinese medicine doctors, it is even more promising knowing that there are several Chinese medicine and acupuncture schools from which to choose.