are intimidating people just anxious

Are intimidating people really just anxious?

Teens enter my office for many different reasons. Most times, parents initiate the contact. Other times, it’s schools. Adults’ concerns are usually—and correctly—about the teen’s safety. So, teens who have problems with self-injury, suicidal thoughts, and aggression are often identified and sent to someone like me. Other behaviors that prompt such action include defiance, oppositional […]

Paleolithic (Caveman) Feelings, and You!

Paleolithic (Caveman) Feelings, and You!

Our bodies are made up of traits that are good for our survival and the survival of our species. Every part of us has a function, a purpose. For example, the function of eyes is to see. The function of taste buds is to determine the nutritional value of food and avoid eating poisons. Our emotions […]

Teens & Stress

Teens & Stress

Stress is how you respond to “stressors.” And stressors are most of the things in your life: parents, grades, personal appearance, falling in love, friends, prom, teachers, jobs, clubs, college applications, break-ups, mid-terms. It can seem like stress is just a natural part of teen life. People have different thresholds for stress. You probably know […]

social language group

Social Language Group

Plum Tree Child & Adolescent Psychology and Beyond Words Speech Therapy have teamed up to offer a social language group to children ages 5-8. This group will focus on helping children achieve the following skills: Managing peer conflict, Self-assertion, Sharing, Friendship skills, Reading social cues Social Language Group   For More Information: 630.549.6245 or ann@theplumtree.net

when nice words don't help

When Nice Words Don’t Help

Your daughter cries, “I wish I were pretty.” Your son mutters, “I’m stupid.” Or any variation: I’m fat / a loser / the worst player. Reflexively, you exclaim: “That’s not true! You are attractive / smart / popular / talented!” Your intentions are good. You mean it. But, instead, your compliments seem only to irritate […]

Preparing Your Child for the IQ Test

Preparing Your Child for the IQ Test

Parents want their child’s IQ tested for a variety of reasons. Some are seeking admission to elite schools, where a score in the gifted range is a prerequisite. Others want to know if their child has a learning disability (fact: most people with learning disabilities have average or higher IQ). Still other parents are curious […]

soccer

Interview with High Schoolers

Several bright and insightful St. Charles High School students recently visited Plum Tree. They’re finishing Psychology courses and had great questions for a clinical psychologist. Here’s what they wanted to know: 1. How many years of experience have you had in being a therapist? About 10 years. 2. What are your areas of expertise? Psychological Assessment, IQ Testing, […]

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Perfect Child

Many parents ask me if perfectionism is problematic in kids. It can be. It’s all a matter of adaptiveness. Does perfectionism help or hinder your child? In our fast-paced, information-saturated environments, our children need to continually adapt. But, perfectionism can be the opposite–perfectionism can be rigid and unmoving. Psychologists typically distinguish between two types of perfectionists: […]

proud

Self-Esteem (“I got this, Mom”)

Good self-esteem is the ultimate buffer in kids’ lives. It bolsters them during failure. It navigates them through social pressures. It weathers their emotional (and hormonal) storms. It keeps their negative self-statements in check. Good self-esteem encourages kids to try new things. It helps them understand other people, and treat them well. It makes life more enjoyable. Self-esteem is not something […]