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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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Love Yourself, Be Healthy

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Education, Family, News, Relationships, Self Esteem | 0 comments

Love Yourself, Be Healthy

It’s Valentine’s Day. That day when we show those we care about how much we love them. Do you ever stop and consider taking time to show yourself a bit of love, too? Keeping ourselves fit and healthy is the best gift we can give to ourselves – and to those we love. Healthy body, healthy mind Loving yourself means caring for your needs in body and mind. Some ways to do that are: • Stay – or become – physically active. Do you have a desk job? How often do you get up to stretch your legs? Do you have a physically challenging job? How often do you take time to stretch or relax in a nice bath? Movement and stretching are helpful to keep your body healthy. Try wearing a pedometer to monitor your daily steps; add yoga or pilates to your daily routine. • Get quality – and quantity – sleep. Are you getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night? If your mind won’t let you relax, try turning off all screens an hour before you go to sleep: phones, tablets, computers and televisions. Read a book (not on a tablet!), listen to music or try a sleep machine lull you to slumber with white noise or nature sounds. • Healthy diet. Take a look at what you are eating. Use a log to track what you eat every day. Are you making good choices? Is your plate full of lean meats, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits? Do you keep the sugary snacks to a minimum? The foods we put in our bodies fuels our minds; choose wisely! A chance to win a prize for your health journey At Agor Behavioral Health Services, Inc., we believe in the connection between good mental health, physical fitness and a healthy diet. To help you on your healthy journey, comment on this blog post below and share it on Facebook for a chance to win a FitBit Zip, a sleep machine or an Amazon Gift Card; winners will be randomly chosen and announced on March 10, 2017. Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services can help you make the connection between good mental health, physical fitness and a healthy diet.  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 message....

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Agor Behavioral Health Services Welcomes Darrell Troupe, MD

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in News, Psychiatry, Staff Profiles, Therapists, Therapy | 0 comments

Agor Behavioral Health Services Welcomes Darrell Troupe, MD

Welcome, Darrell Troupe, MD! Dr. Darrell Troupe believes the best doctors allow themselves to learn something from their patients, colleagues and family members. A psychiatrist, Dr. Troupe has over thirty years of experience and works with patients ages 3 and up. He is accepting appointments at the Naperville location beginning February 9, 2017. Whether directly or indirectly living with a mental illness or condition, Dr. Troupe believes education and proper treatment may extend one’s potential beyond one’s perceived limitations. To achieve a mutual goal, the patient, their family, clinician and psychiatrist work together to combine compassion, education and medication to address the chemical, biological, emotional, psychological, and social imbalances of mental illness. As part of the staff at Agor Behavioral Health Services, Inc., Dr. Troupe’s professional goal is to offer every patient safe, effective medical treatment in coordination with the care of a compassionate therapist. Schedule an Appointment To schedule an appointment with Dr. Troupe please call 630-621-5824 or visit www.doctoragor.com. Dr. Troupe is taking appointments at the Naperville office, located in the Tamarack Medical Center, at 24024 Brancaster Drive. About Agor Behavioral Health Services, Inc. Since 2005, Agor Behavioral Health Services, Inc. has specialized in mental health services for people of all ages. From therapy to specialized testing services, the practice takes an open and unique approach to treatment that works for each patient. The goal is to create a new beginning for each client and bring an opportunity for change with the guidance of understanding and caring therapists. Agor Behavioral Health Services has two locations: 24024 Brancaster Drive, in Naperville, Illinois and 24402 W Lockport Street, Suite 224, in Plainfield, Illinois. Schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a...

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3 Ways to Relieve Holiday Anxiety

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Anxiety, Depression, Holidays, Social Anxiety, Stress | 0 comments

3 Ways to Relieve Holiday Anxiety

Why are the holidays, especially the Christmas season, loaded with stress? Doesn’t it seem that the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, scrambling to find that perfect gift, cause more people to be anxious? Can you find natural remedies for anxiety that really work during this time? This article will outline three problems of the holidays and natural ways that you can handle the symptoms of stress and reduce anxiety so that your holiday season will be peaceful and enjoyable. That being said, if you have a serious medical condition that requires prescribed medicine, make sure to follow your doctor’s orders. Three Reasons Anxiety Surfaces During the Holiday Season 1. High Expectations of “The Perfect Gift” Let’s face it. When Christmas becomes commercial, it is easy to base your self-worth on the opinions of what others think. You can do that in two ways – the gifts that you expect from others and the gifts that others expect from you. Both of those expectations cause stress and anxiety in shopping and wondering what to get your close friends and loved ones. The natural remedy is to let go of the big dollar expectations and give a gift that money can’t buy. Give your time, your love, a special handwritten note – a priceless gift that comes from the heart. Your gift will be remembered long after the wrapping paper is recycled. 2. Busy, Busy Busy The Christmas shopping season starts in earnest the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Yet, shopping is only one of the holiday traditions. Add in Christmas cards, Christmas baking, holiday parties with friends, neighbors, at work. If you go to Christmas concerts or volunteer with charity projects, more and more of your time is involved. It feels like you’re running a non-stop marathon for 30 days! A natural remedy is to slow down, and accept that you can’t do everything. It is okay to say “No” to outings or events that you don’t want to attend. Savor the season by just being. 3. Sleep Deprivation High expectations and staying busy take a toll on your body. This leads to more stress and tiredness. Just when you need more energy to enjoy the holiday activities, you may find yourself burned out, depressed and fatigued. A natural remedy is to get high quality sleep, deep REM sleep where your body can recover from the stress. Without deep sleep, you can become irritable and miserable during one of the most joyful times of the year. To help get that much-needed sleep, get in a walk and perhaps settled down at the end of the day by listening to favorite music or reading a favorite novel. A Quick Recap Problem 1: High expectations. Remedy: Give something personal that is from your heart. Problem 2: Busy, Busy, Busy. Solution: Slow down and say “No.” Problem 3: Lack of good quality sleep. Fix: Use exercise, relaxing music and a favorite novel to relieve stress and settle into a long winter’s night sleep! Enjoy this Holiday season with greater peace of mind and serenity. Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services can help you through holiday conflicts. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your situation. Schedule an appointment...

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Teens vs. Drugs

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Teens, Therapy | 0 comments

Teens vs. Drugs

Alcohol and marijuana have been the two most widely used substances among teens for quite some time. According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey, a University of Michigan study that tracks drug use trends among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students, 15.5 percent of 8th graders, 31.1 percent of 10th graders and 51.4 percent of 12th graders have smoked marijuana in their lifetime. Alcohol is even more prevalent among teens. According to Monitoring the Future, 26.1 percent of 8th graders, 47.1 percent of 10th graders and 64 percent of 12th graders have drank in their lifetime. Despite the high rates of use of these substances among teens, there are considerable negative consequences to using marijuana or drinking. Academic achievement in particular suffers as a result of weed and alcohol abuse. Marijuana Marijuana use has been linked to poorer academic outcomes among teens. Evidence from around the world supports this notion. In 2004, researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom reviewed 48 studies relating to student marijuana use and its effects. Results showed that marijuana use is associated with reduced educational attainment and increased use of other illicit drugs. These findings were supported by a 2014 study that analyzed data from three adolescent marijuana studies in Australia and New Zealand. The analysis found that people who used marijuana daily before age 17 were less likely to finish high school or obtain a degree than their peers who never used marijuana. Marijuana-using adolescents also had a higher chance of developing cannabis dependence and attempting suicide. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a multitude of studies link heavy marijuana use to lower income and lower satisfaction with life. It is also linked to criminal behavior, greater dependence on welfare and unemployment. Alcohol A plethora of studies show that alcohol use during adolescence increases the likelihood that a student does not finish school. A study by researchers from the University of Miami and the Universidad de Montevideo examined the effect alcohol use has on student GPAs. The study found that increasing alcohol intake by 100 drinks per month will reduce a male student’s GPA by 0.07 points and cause him to skip 0.72 days of school. The study also found that increasing drinking frequency by one day per month can reduce a male student’s GPA by 0.005 points. For every one additional drink per episode, GPA falls by 0.004 points. Improving Substance Abuse Awareness Students rarely hear research-based facts about substance abuse. School substance abuse programs too frequently rely on scare tactics and overinflated myths to reinforce the idea that drugs are harmful. Improving education and awareness of the effects of substance abuse through facts and research is important to giving youth the tools they need to stay sober. An increasing number of drug prevention programs are tailoring their content to students in a way that truly connects with them. In order to prevent the future generation from a life of drug abuse, prevention programs need to give kids the truth and not just try to scare them away from substances that students commonly abuse. Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services can help you through holiday conflicts. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your situation....

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‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly?

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Holidays, Stress | 0 comments

‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly?

With Thanksgiving Day a distant memory, the Christmas season is fully upon us. How can we cope during “the most wonderful time of the year”? The key may be to take the time to do some planning! Read on for a few suggestions! Make a list, check it twice! A bit of time spent planning will bring organization to the holiday season. Make a list of events and tasks to do – either on paper or electronically. Set reminders for yourself on your electronic calendar. Easy does it on the wallet The pressure to find the “perfect gift” for everyone on your list does not have to make you lose sleep. Take the time to plan a budget for shopping; take the list with when shopping – and keep it next to your computer for online shopping. Suggest that family and friends do a grab bag. Consider giving the gift of time, rather than an item you may not be able to afford. Ditch the stress Choose carefully which parties and other events you would like to attend. Create a schedule now to help eliminate the need for last minute decisions. Do not forget to schedule some self-care during these next few weeks. Take a walk or do other exercise every day. Perhaps this might be the time to try some meditation or yoga! Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services can help you through holiday conflicts. 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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Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Mar 5, 2016 in Alzheimer's/Dementia, Anxiety, Counseling, Elderly, Family, News | 0 comments

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic and progressive disorder that mainly affects memory and retaining power of the brain. As the disease progresses, it interferes with everyday tasks, social skills and ultimately starts degenerating brain cells and tissue. It affects intellect, daily chores, social interactions and memory of the most basic learned activities. It is a part of a group of disorders known as dementia, and all of them cause problems with memory, intellect and social behavior. Although there is no known cure for the disorder, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of its onset. Signs and symptoms to look out for Alzheimer’s disease Although each patient is different and reacts differently to changes in the brain, there are some symptoms that are common to most Alzheimer’s patients. Confusion and forgetfulness in day to day activities. Trouble following numbers and working with simple calculations. Forgetting recent information like appointment dates, new chores or names of new people. Recent memories are affected the most at first. Inability or difficulty in performing daily regular chores and activities. Seeming suddenly lost in a place, not remembering where they are or no memory of how they got to the place. Mood changes – depression, confusion, suspicion, anxiety – for no particular reason. Problems with social interactions and withdrawal from such social situations. Inability to form sentences, organize thoughts and communicate clearly. Forgetting familiar routes near the home and getting lost frequently in known surroundings. Inability to make logical and rational judgments about daily finances and other activities. Understand that a lot of these changes may also occur due to age. The difference between age related problems and symptoms of the disorder is that these symptoms may occur suddenly or within a short period of time. If the problems are due to age, the patient may be able to communicate that or remember forgotten information later on, both of which do not usually happen with Alzheimer’s patients. What to do once you recognize symptoms It is highly unlikely that you would recognize these symptoms in yourself. It is usually a disorder that is observed by someone else. If you notice any or all of these symptoms in someone you know, it is important to take steps. If the person is a close family member, talk to the rest of the family and then to the person about the issue. If it is someone known to you, speak to their family. Diagnosis by a medical professional and treatment are two immediate and essential steps in this process. Need more help? The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services can help your family deal with issues related to Alzheimer’s Disease. 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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