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Winter and Depression

Posted by on Nov 8, 2018 in Anxiety, Depression, Holidays | 0 comments

Winter and Depression

Earlier this month it was time to fall back and set our clocks back an hour. The shortening of days, the change in temperature and the lethargic changes that come about with the emergence of the autumn and winter seasons can bring bouts of depression and stress to those suffering from depressive disorders and other mental health conditions. There are many factors that come into play which can trigger depressive episodes during this season. Some of the major factors include: the shortened number of daylight hours, genetic predisposition and various brain chemicals. With winter depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, one of the major factors that affect its onset is the availability or lack of light. The changes in routine brought about by seasonal changes and gloomy nature of the weather puts stress on those suffering from depressive disorders. Studies have shown that people affected by winter or seasonal depression are able to cope better with their problems after exposure to bright lights. Due to the reduction in the time period of available sunlight, artificially generated, bright illumination helps in improving mood and general productivity. Seasonal depressive disorders are caused by a “shift in the phase” of the body clock or the circadian rhythm. With the change in seasons there is a change in light and temperature. Even when our physical clocks show that its time to wake up or work, our body clocks remain stuck in the resting phase. Adapting to this change of phase puts stress on the mind which can lead to various kinds of depressive episodes. Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder Excessive sleeping or oversleeping Cravings for carbohydrates and unnatural weight gain Excessive fatigue during working hours Heaviness in arms and legs Decreased interest or enthusiasm in socializing or enjoyable activities such as watching movies Social withdrawal (hibernating) Strategies for coping with seasonal depression Get additional therapy from the routine therapist Discuss with your provide the appropriate dosage of antidepressants in order to manage the mood swings and loss of energy better Travel to warmer and more active destinations and Illuminate the house with proper lights during the winter season. Combined, these steps can help people suffering from severe depressive disorders survive the winters without major mood swings or depressive episodes. While the winter is tough on patients with mental health complications, these simple steps can make life easier. Need more help? Schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a message. Other Resources about Seasonal Affective Disorder Mayo Clinic – Symptoms and causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder National Institute of Mental Health – Seasonal Affective Disorder What Do I Do About Seasonal Affective...

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Tips to Avoid Post-Holiday Blues

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Anxiety, Counseling, Depression, Health and Fitness, Holidays, News, Self Esteem | 0 comments

Tips to Avoid Post-Holiday Blues

Many gatherings with family and friends filled your time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. The holidays – and all of the fun (and stress)  they brought – are now past. Schedules were busy.  It’s now January 2nd. Back to real life! The return to regular life after all of the festivities can sometimes throw you off balance. Here are a few tips to make a smooth transition into the New Year. Find your regular routine The holidays are a time for extra treats – sweets, rich meals, an extra glass of wine or other favorite beverage. Staying up late, sleeping in and other activities that are not part of your usual routine can make it difficult to return to work. The sooner you can get back on track, the better you will feel. Cultivate some new interests Did you learn something new over the holidays? Take some time to explore more about it by reading a book about the subject or perhaps take a class at your local library, park district or online. Plan a few things to look forward to over the next few months Take a 1 – 2 – 3 approach to this. Plan a small thing to do today: a cup of tea with a friend, call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, research a new restaurant to try and make that reservation! Look a little further ahead and plan a date night with your significant other or perhaps plan a weekend away to somewhere you have always wanted to visit. Plan that “big something.” Perhaps it’s that week long hiking trip or a vacation to a favorite resort. Decide and make the arrangements. Start – or add to an existing – exercise routine Exercise relieves stress, helps regulate moods and helps you to sleep better. Sign up for a new class at the gym. Grab a friend – or your dog – and hit the trails of the nearest nature center (they are beautiful in winter, too!).  Schedule your exercise for a time you know you will do it. Make a date with yourself and keep it! Need more help? Schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a message....

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A Simple Project for the New Year

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Depression, Holidays, News, Self Esteem, Therapy | 0 comments

A Simple Project for the New Year

As the holidays are come to a close, here is an idea to keep you focused on the good things that are to come in 2018. A simple way to focus on the positive Find a jar, a vase or some other decorative container. At the end of each week, write down something good that happened to you during the week. This simple act can help keep you focused on the positive and good things each week. At the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve, empty the jar and read through the wonderful things that you experienced. Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services are ready to help you live a positive and happier life. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your situation. Schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a...

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Holiday Season & Depression

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in Depression, Holidays, News, Therapists, Therapy | 0 comments

Holiday Season & Depression

  Christmas is past and the New Year is days away. Even with all of the celebrations happening, not everyone finds the holiday season one to be joyful about. The holidays can be depressing for some people. Some people have lower moods during this time for various reasons. Other people have a lower mood due to the shortening of the daylight. 11 Ways to fight holiday season depression This list is not to minimize those feelings at all. Rather, it is to acknowledge that the holiday season can be difficult for many and some may want to try to lift their mood in a healthy manner. A suggestion before looking at this list is to look at your feelings and acknowledge them; do not try to dismiss them. Set aside some time in the day to think about your feelings so that you do honor them. Then take a look at this list and choose one or two things you can do each day to lift your mood. Gratitude. Start off each day with 5 things you are grateful for. This could be your home, your dog, your ability to read, write, walk, etc. Be creative. Appearance. Have the best appearance you can. Wear your good clothes, your good shoes, shave, get a new hairstyle, put on some makeup,etc. Exercise. Go for a walk if you live in a climate where that is possible, or exercise indoors. Exercise raises the endorphins and thereby your mood. Surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude. Avoid people who are negative. Think positive thoughts. Positive thinking can really help with self-esteem. Check in with your attitude. How positive is it? Pay other people sincere compliments. Compliment them on how they wear their hair, their clothing, their pets, how they keep their desk and more. Do a good deed. For example, find out if your neighbor who is home-bound needs an errand, or arrange to visit someone in an assisted care facility. Let someone in traffic go first or let someone behind you in line at the store go in front of you. It could start a ripple of good deeds happening, you never know. Volunteer. If you are of service to someone they will likely appreciate you. You will feel good doing it too. There are many volunteer organizations that could use your help. In some areas there is a Volunteer Center which helps place you in a volunteer position if you don’t know what it is you want to do. Invite someone out to see a funny movie. Laughter is the best medicine! It’s good for the soul and good for your mood. Invite someone over or out for a cup of tea and bring the comics from a newspaper to laugh about. Smile as much and as often as you can, even at strangers (even when you don’t feel like it). Then people are likely to smile back at you. Listen to upbeat music, not necessarily holiday music, but music that makes you feel like you want to dance. Music can touch your soul. Dance with it! Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services can help you through holiday season depression, as well as ongoing depression. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free 20...

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No Time for Therapy? Try Virtual Therapy!

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Counseling, News, Therapists, Therapy, Virtual Therapy | 0 comments

No Time for Therapy? Try Virtual Therapy!

Virtual Therapy, also known as Tele-Therapy, is a great option for those who have busy schedules, parenting demands, health issues or commuting struggles. You can receive regular, ongoing therapy support from the comfort of your own home! Lisa Eaton, MSW, LCSW, CADC, has offered Virtual Therapy to Agor Behavioral Health Services, Inc. clients since earlier this year. Lisa introduces herself in the first video on this blog post. In the second, she explains further about the benefits of Virtual Therapy. A video introduction to Virtual Therapy Benefits of virtual therapy Lisa does offer a free consultation to help you determine if Virtual Therapy will be a good fit for you. Need more information? Ready to schedule an appointment? Click here for more detailed FAQs on Tele-therapy. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a...

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Finding Peace Amid Holiday Stress

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Counseling, Holidays, News, Stress, Therapy | 0 comments

Finding Peace Amid Holiday Stress

As the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays quickly approach, it can be easy to get swept up in the hustle, bustle and whirlwind of work parties, family gatherings, bursting budgets and a seemingly endless to-do list. With radio stations playing Christmas carols for over three weeks, you may not be feeling jolly or peaceful. How can you even think of a “silent night” when you are trying to work, clean your house, buy presents (and wrap them, too?), bake cookies and prepare meals for all of those holiday festivities? It becomes easy to lose your joy – and every sense of peace – during the many celebrations. Suggestions to find peace Here are a few suggestions for taking a moment – for finding peace amid the holiday stress – to take care of yourself: Take a few minutes to quiet your mind – close your eyes or look at a soothing image, take a few deep breaths. There are many guided meditations available online for free. If you are finding it difficult to relax, try this guided meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X_lpeaJF8Y. Grab your warm coat, hat and mittens and take a walk outside. Even a 10-minute daily walk can refresh and renew. Tune out to tune it: set aside your phone, e-reader, tablet, computer and other electronics for an hour each day. Listen to some favorite music – it could be anything that relaxes you. Check out this selection to get started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77ZozI0rw7w Get organized. Many times stress is caused by having too many things on the to-do list that resides in your head. Put it to paper and then decide what is truly important. Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services can help you through holiday stress. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your situation. Schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a...

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Social Skills Groups Begin September 17, 2017

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Autism, Children, Counseling, News, Parenting, Resources, Self Esteem, Social Skills, Teens, Therapy | 0 comments

Social Skills Groups Begin September 17, 2017

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are invited to join one of our Social Skills Groups, which will begin a 10-week session on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at the Naperville office. The Social Skills Groups will provide: Evidenced-based interventions that will teach a specific skill each week utilizing various teaching modalities Evidenced-based interventions that will teach a specific skill each week utilizing various teaching modalities Curriculum based on Michelle Garcia Winner’s approach to teaching social skills Individualized goals for each child to develop and practice within the home and community A foundation for developing friendships with same aged peers Three age-appropriate groups are available: Elementary Social Skills Group will meet from 11:00am until 12:00pm Middle School Social Skills Group will meet from 1:00pm until 2:00pm High School Social Skills Group will meet from 2:30pm until 3:30pm Bi-weekly parent training opportunities will also be available. Groups will be facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Stafiej and will meet at the Naperville location, 24024 Brancaster Drive. Fee is $90.00 per student. More Information For additional information on the groups, please contact Dr. Stafiej at jstafiej@doctoragor.com or...

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Social Skills Strategies for Children

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Autism, Children, Counseling, Family, News, Social Skills, Therapists | 0 comments

Social Skills Strategies for Children

Why are social skills such a challenge? Social skills can be a challenge for children because there are several components that go into socialization.  The following is a list of skills boys and girls utilize on a daily basis to socialize with others: Theory of Mind refers to understanding that others have a different perspective or opinion than yours and recognizing others have feelings. Executive functioning involves taking the initiative to make plans with others, following through on finishing tasks, organizing materials needed to carry out plans, remembering what others say to carry on a conversation and filtering  ones own thoughts before impulsively sharing everything. Interest and motivation to socialize with others. Reading and picking up on social cues by visually to paying attention to facial cues and body language of others. What strategies are helpful to strengthen social skills? Emotion recognition. Children need to be able to identify their own emotions. as well as others, in order to perform well in social situations.  Their skills can be strengthened by playing charades, pointing out how people feel and why when watching a movie or television show or when reading a favorite comic book Emotion regulation. Children need to be able to manage their emotions in social situations regardless of their skill level.  This can be accomplished through calming exercises, recognizing how intense their feelings are and doing something about it.  Calm, relaxing activities work best for mild-moderate anxiety or anger.  Physical activities work best for high levels of anxiety and anger. Technology. Headspace is an app that helps kids work on mediation and mindfulness by being more in the moment rather than being caught up in their emotions. Breaking down social skills. It is helpful to break down individual skills into smaller steps so the child can focus on one skill at a time. Some of these might include utilizing the buddy system at school to help the child work a particular skill; developing a power card that represents a high interest character/person the child identifies with to help the child model the same prosocial behaviors their character or person also exhibits; and creating social stories that focuses on a specific skill If you would like more information on how to promote positive social skills for your child or are looking for a social skills group, contact Dr. Jennifer Stafiej at Agor Behavioral Health Service at at 630-621-5824 or email...

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Now Offering Tele-Therapy Sessions

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in News, Therapists, Therapy, Virtual Therapy | 0 comments

Now Offering Tele-Therapy Sessions

Lisa Eaton, MSW, LCSW, CADC, now offers Virtual Therapy  Sessions, also known as Tele-Therapy sessions, for Illinois residents. Phone or video sessions are available.  Tele-Therapy Sessions are a great option for those clients who struggle to make it in for regular office appointments, due to busy work schedules, commuting times, frequent business traveling, weather conditions, parenting demands, or health issues.  Imagine receiving the benefits of regular therapy support from the comfort of your own home!  Tele-Therapy allows the client to avoid taking time off of work for appointments, finding childcare, commuting to the office, and waiting in waiting rooms. Lisa structures her Tele-Therapy sessions in the same way she structures her in-person sessions. For example, during a Tele-Therapy session, Lisa explores a client’s current concerns and feelings, and teaches skills and proposes solutions in the same ways she would during an in-person session. If at any point a client feels like the Tele-Therapy sessions are no longer a good fit, Lisa will recommend a local therapist at Agor Behavioral Health Services, Inc., that she feels would be a good fit, so in-person sessions can be resumed. How does it work? Contact information will be exchanged with Lisa in advance of your scheduled appointment. Lisa will contact you at your scheduled time, and sessions are structured the same way as in-person sessions. A plan to handle disconnected calls and crisis emergencies will be discussed at your first appointment. Lisa has a legal and ethical duty to ensure confidentiality on her end, so she holds Tele-Therapy sessions in a secure and confidential office space. Clients’ records are also maintained with the same confidentiality safeguards as the records of clients who are seen in-person. Are these real appointments? Yes. In fact, recent research has shown that Tele-Therapy sessions are just as effective as in-person sessions for many presenting concerns. In addition, similar research found that some clients report feeling more comfortable and more open during Tele-Therapy sessions. While Tele-Therapy is not the right fit for everyone, many clients find they enjoy the benefits of being able to receive therapy support from just about anywhere, without having to commute to an office. Need more information? Ready to schedule an appointment? Click here for more detailed FAQs on Tele-therapy. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a...

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Autism Social Skills Groups Forming Now

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Autism, Children, Counseling, News, Other Resources, Parenting, Self Esteem, Social Anxiety, Social Skills, Therapy | 0 comments

Autism Social Skills Groups Forming Now

Social skills are an important part of every child’s development. The formation of these skills is often key to developing meaningful relationships as well as a contributor to academic success. What are social skills? Social skills are learned behaviors which promote positive relationships and interactions with other people. Some of these skills are: Communicating with others Negotiating Problem solving Showing empathy Being helpful Expressing generosity Participating in group activities. Why social skills groups for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders? Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders – and other disabilities – often lack social skills. Learning how to communicate effectively – both verbally and non-verbally – with peers can boost self-esteem, combat loneliness and help lay a foundation for a successful academic and social experience. Social Skills Groups at Agor Behavioral Health Services, Inc. We invite children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to join one of our social skills groups which will provide: Evidenced-based interventions that will teach a specific skill each week utilizing various teaching modalities Curriculum based on Michelle Garcia Winner’s approach to teaching social skills Individualized goals for each child to develop and practice within the home and community A foundation for developing friendships with same aged peers Two age-appropriate groups available: Elementary Social Skills Group Middle School Social Skills Group Bi-weekly parent training opportunities Register your child for a Social Skills Group For additional information or to register your child for one of the groups, please call Dr. Jennifer Stafiej at 630-621-5824 or email jstafiej@doctoragor.com. Social Skills Groups meet at the Naperville office, located in the Tamarack Medical Center, at 24024 Brancaster Drive. Click here to download Social Skills Groups information...

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