Dr. Victoria Balenger

Eldercare: Choices and Dilemmas

At some point, most people are called upon to assist an aging parent or other close relative who has become less able to manage on their own. Fortunately, caregiving options for older adults have expanded so that it is no longer just a choice of living with relatives or going to a nursing home. Many…

Time Management Strategies

1. Keep a weekly activities schedule and a monthly calendar. Include scheduled appointments, time for yourself and loved ones, social/recreational events, etc. If you are trying to make something a priority, e.g., exercise, make sure to “schedule it in.” And remember that time management is not only about getting things done. It also increases your…

How To Deal With Hostile or Abusive People

1. Get clear about what constitutes hostile or abusive behavior. Examples: Sulking, passive-aggressive behavior, giving the “silent treatment” Constant criticism & blame Sarcasm or verbal barbs, put-downs, name-calling Yelling or berating you. Using things against you, social humiliation Physical intimidation (e.g., getting “in your face”) Property damage (e.g., throwing or breaking things) Direct or implied…

Assertiveness Tips

Make your own needs and feelings a priority, even with smaller or less important matters. Use your needs and feelings as a basis for making decisions for yourself and communicating these decisions to others. Just not wanting to do something is sufficient reason to say “no.” If you realize that you have failed to assert…

Mental Health Crisis Intervention

Recognizing a Mental Health Crisis For a variety of reasons, mental health issues can be difficult to recognize and address. When people live with chronic, low to moderate levels of depression or anxiety, a new “baseline” emotional state gets established and can actually start to feel normal. Many continue to function superficially well despite their…

Anger Management 1, 2, 3

1. Assessment Source(s) of Your Anger or Frustration Anger at yourself Anger at other(s) Anger at a bad situation or event Temporal Nature of Your Anger Current or recent anger Old anger *************************** Exercise: Make a list of everyone you’re angry at or everything you’re angry about. If necessary, make two lists so you can…

When “Helping” Becomes Enabling

We all want to be supportive of family and friends, especially when there is a crisis of some sort. Usually, it is sufficient to provide non-judgmental listening and perhaps some practical assistance to help someone through a difficult time. And many people are open to seeking professional help if they are experiencing serious emotional/ psychological…