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Recent blog posts
What Type of E-Leader are You?

What kind of leader are you or how do you lead yourself in virtual environments? I ask you this question and not simply what kind of leader you are because at this point and after years of tsunamis of theories and talks about coaching and leadership, surely you have already identified with the charismatic leader, the authoritarian, the democratic, the inspiring ...

But suddenly, a global pandemic arrives that does not seem to end and if it does it will be after a technological sprint and having turned our work environments into virtual environments. With this new board and new rules, we are forced to redefine our leadership style, both with our teams and with ourselves.

Perhaps redefining is not the exact word but ADAPT, adapt to the new digital ecosystem, and adapt those factors of our leadership that gave us identities such as social skills, empathy, teamwork or ways of providing feedback. 

Pandemic Fatigue: 8 Keys to Overcome It

It has already been a year since the beginning of the health crisis caused by COVID 19. What was originally going to be just two weeks of confinement gradually became an almost endless situation. Months of confinement, locked up at home, with fear and uncertainty. And we still didn’t know what we were facing. Is there an actual risk? Is this just mass hysteria? Meanwhile, the news bombarded us with overwhelming information about risks, safety measures, social distancing, numbers and more numbers about the pandemic evolution, the “new normality” and its phases, and a long etcetera that we were listening to and trying to integrate into our everyday life. 

And when it was over, what did we found? Restrictions, fears, social distancing, curfew and more uncertainty. A contradictory socio-political environment that we couldn’t understand and a return to life very far from normality. Who would have guessed that more than a year later, the word “PANDEMIC” would still have such strength, and that we would have dealt with not one or two, but three waves, and thinking about a fourth?

Homesickness in Times of Pandemic

"You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That's is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."

Mirim Adaney defines very well in this couple of sentences the difficulties of being an expatriate or living far away from our family and friends. All of us who have gone through this experience know how enriching and challenging it can be at the same time.

But what happens if we add to the difficulties of living away from home (often in a new culture and with a different language), the social distancing measures, and the restrictions due to COVID? Sounds complicated, doesn't it?.

 

It is, and it is primarily for two reasons:

  1. These measures are making the process of adapting to the new culture and the new place of residence very complicated, since they make it impossible or difficult to establish new social relationships and maintain regular routines such as going to the gym or attending language classes in person (places that foster the creation of new friendships and relationships as well as the establishment of routines that help us feel "at home").
  2. It is much more difficult, and in some cases impossible, to visit or return home to take a break, rest, and connect with our roots.

     

Does Dyslexia Come & Go? Tips for College Students with Literacy Difficulties

QUESTION:

I have an 18-year-old daughter who started college this year. She called me a few days ago worried because she mixing up letters and writing words incorrectly, asking if she should go to a specialist; since when she learned to read she often confused the "d" and the "b" when reading or writing.

My question is, can dyslexia appear and disappear in evolutionary periods?

Could we have missed a Dyslexia diagnose?

How will it affect her learning?

 

ANSWER:

Dyslexia is a learning disorder of neurological origin, and people who suffer from it have it throughout their whole lives. The severity of dyslexia can vary from one person to another, or even in the same person, so the same person may have learned techniques to compensate for their dyslexia during their education, either with the help of a speech therapist, teacher or by themselves, but have periods when their difficulties with reading and writing are more present.

Language Stimulation in Babies

Today, the vast majority of children who live in large cities, such as Madrid, begin Early Childhood Education before the age of 2, some even at 4 or 5 months of age, due to their parents' return to work. It is true that by starting education so early, many gain great benefits, such as learning to socialize with other children, not depending so much on their parents, to be more independent or to develop a more complete vocabulary. Babies are like sponges, and although we do not immediately see everything they are learning, little by little they show us all the skills they are acquiring thanks to the stimulation that we give them both actively and passively. Babies listen to us speak since they are in the womb, and they are able to recognize their mother tongue, showing more interest towards it, from the day of their birth.

 

From the beginning of this school year, children who go to school at such an early age, or who are even in the care of people other than their parents, may have one of the disadvantages of the use of masks: not being able to observe the articulation of who is speaking to them. This has a negative impact on the development of their language, since they need, in addition to listening to other people speaking, to see how their lips and tongue move when they speak. So now, more than ever, our babies are going to need extra language stimulation when we're at home to get much-needed visual support.

Stammering: Tips for Children and Adults

The way we speak and communicate is part of our personality, and even our identity. When it comes to speaking, there are people who have fluent and appropriate speech, with very occasional mistakes, and people who tend to make mistakes more frequently, or to repeat some syllable or word of their speech. We can all go from being more to less fluent depending on the moment, whether we are focused or have a prepared speech, presenting good fluency; or that we are tired or nervous, and we are more clumsy when it comes to speaking. Even so, there are people who tend to have poor fluency in speech on a chronic basis, presenting constant repetitions of syllables at the beginning of a sentence, taglines, or even gestures associated with when they get stuck in a word.

 

What is stuttering?

Stuttering, also called dysphemia, is a speech disorder. The speech of people who stutter is characterized by repetitions or prolongations of sounds, syllables, or words. Their speech can also present interruptions in the flow of speech, called blockages, have associated expressions or movements (spasms) and muscle tension in face and neck.

 

Stuttering often appears in children as part of language development, in the same way that it tends to disappear. It is more common in boys than girls, and approximately 25% of children will stutter when they start to speak. Still, only 1% of people who stutter in childhood continue to do so into adulthood. 

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Love at a Distance

"Long-distance relationships have a 48% failure rate." Almost one in two long-distance relationships fail as a result.

It is clear that globalization and new technologies have brought us closer to the point of forming multicultural families and couples. Thus, we create more diverse, enriching, and creative environments. 

 

But it is also true that more and more couples have long-distance relationships because they belong to different countries or because work or study circumstances make them live separately. 

 

We all know short distance relationships (neighbouring cities or a few kilometres), medium distance (different locations in the same country or nearby countries), or long-distance (in other continents and time zones) but who was going to tell us just ago a year that we could have a long-distance relationship being so close because we are confined to our homes or that we would have to change plans and plane tickets three, four or even five times. 

 

Of course, 2020 has left us many things, but one of them is the constant challenge to our ability to adapt and in the romantic sphere it was not going to be different. 

How to Take Care of my Child's Emotional Health in Times of A Pandemic

 

Since the beginning of times, human beings have been grouped into social entities, which has allowed them to defend themselves, reproduce, learn, and interact with the environment. Society and culture are fundamental aspects of human identity. Social interaction goes beyond mere genetic transmission, it is enriched in communication and cooperation between its members, which allows them to transmit knowledge and behaviors through learning. This is how culture is formed.

 

Culturally, social interaction occurs under: 

  • A close physical contact, 
  • Dates to go to the movies, eat or exercise; 
  • Birthdays and Holidays are highly celebrated surrounded by a ton of people
  • Big parties to celebrate weddings, Christmas or holidays traditions passed from generation to generation.  

All of them have in common the accumulation of people in closed or open spaces, with close proximity interactions.

Posted by on in Artículos y entrevistas
Panic Attacks

“I was on my way back from work on the subway, when I suddenly found it really hard to breathe. I was sweating, clutching at my tie desperately. I could feel my heart racing, and my knees felt very weak. I was terrified -I honestly thought I was going to die!” Have you ever experienced anything similar? 

 

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is much more than experiencing anxiety. Although it involves anxiety symptoms, such as palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, feeling weak, chest pains, trembling; it also includes the feeling that something terrifying is happening to you, such as losing control, going crazy, or even having a heart attack. This is why when someone suffers from a panic attack they desperately try to escape from the situation, and might even go to ER to check that they’re not dying. 

 

What can happen after a panic attack

After having experienced a panic attack, some people can then develop frequent panic attacks and/or worry constantly about having another one. This is what is known as Panic Disorder, where you’d constantly be worrying about having another panic attack and its consequences (losing control, fainting, etc). In other cases, people fear being in a place where it would be hard to get out of if they did have a panic attack, and therefore begin to avoid certain places (supermarkets, public transport, the cinema, etc), leading them to isolate and even struggle to leave their house.  

The Four Horsemen Romantic Relationships and How to Manage Them

When does love end and become friendship?

Is there a time limit or happily ever after?

Why do some couples seem unaffected by the passage of time?

Why do other people repeat the same patterns in different relationships?

 

These topics are probably nothing new; most of us have discussed the secrets and obstacles of dating relationships on multiple occasions.

It is not surprising that it is one of the topics with the highest demand within psychology sessions or that it is something that worries us and in which we want to work and learn more.

We are social beings and dependent on the group (even for our survival) and probably due to the way we have articulated our relationships throughout the history of humanity, the romantic relationship is the chosen group in which we spend the most hours and in which that more projects we share.

Studies that try to discover which are the variables related to greater happiness, well-being, and even longevity have shown that, above aspects such as economic, labor, or social class, what most influences our subjective well-being are the relationships we have with other people and more specifically with close family.

How can we not worry about our romantic relationships then? How not to try to learn more about building and maintaining a healthy, exciting, and long-lasting relationship? But above all, how can one not be aware of difficulties and learn to navigate them?

Mental Health During Corona Times

The Corona pandemic is a difficult period for many. The changed everyday life can affect well-being and mental health.

 

Anxiety about the risk of infection, along with isolation and distance, can lead to loneliness and symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.

 

The corona pandemic wears on the psyche of many-from the young people who miss the parties with friends, to the lonely elderly people who feel extra alone when corona restrictions lead to cancellation of activities and events on a strip.

 

Loneliness fills a lot – especially for those that their social circle are people out in the city. It also affects people who normally invest a lot socially in their jobs, but now sit alone at home.

 

The disease also causes concern in many people: some fear being infected or infecting others with corona. Others stress that the pandemic does not have a known expiration date, with ’everything’ becoming normal again. Financial problems triggered by corona can also knock people off their feet.

Diary of a Global Therapist Part 4

It has been three months since the last post in which I shared my experiences working with expats from different parts of the world.

 

Three months of uncertainty, of continuing to hear very different stories, and of working hand in hand in managing difficulties.

 

They have also been three months marked by many changes, some due to the COVID-19 pandemic and others to social movements. But of course, a time in which we have not stopped working and learning.

 

From Sinews (and I imagine that from anywhere) we have been aware of two important and relevant changes in the day-to-day life of international companies and institutions, on the one hand teleworking and on the other the importance of respecting and empowering diversity.

Emotional Well-being in Children and Teens

Due to "Children’s day" I was asked to write this article about emotional well-being. As I thought about it, I realized that the concept of "emotional well-being" is commonly used but when looked at carefully its not clear what it actually is, it has become a "junk drawer" for almost any topic that includes emotions.  

 

Bearing this in mind, I hope this article helps you understand what it is and how we can help our little ones to develop a state of well-being that helps them in their personal growth throughout their life.

 

What is emotional well-being? 

It could happen that when I hear the words “emotional well-being”, I believe that it means a constant state of peace and contentment. This would be our first mistake, emotional well-being involves acceptance of the emotions that arise, no matter if they are positive or negative. In other words, our goal is not that our children don´t feel sadness, loneliness, anguish, etc. We take for granted that these emotions will arise, but the goal is to be able to feel these emotions and allow them to run their course, without getting stuck in them.

False Myths About Bilingualism

In many countries and in some regions of Spain, being bilingual, or even speaking more than two languages, is considered the norm. But in other regions of Spain, learning a second language is something for new generations, especially learning English as a second language, and many parents wonder if this is the best option, since sometimes they can worry about whether bilingualism is going to cause language development delay, or if it is advisable if your child has special needs. At the same time, they may worry about whether their child will be fully capable of working life if she or he only learned one language.

 

In this article, we are going to dismantle some false myths about bilingualism, and, based on scientific evidence*, explain why bilingualism, in any case, brings benefits in the cognitive development of people.

...

Posted by on in Artículos y entrevistas
Winter Blues

Winter blues is not a diagnosis but a general term and it means feeling sad and down, melancholic and unhappy and it´s related to the shortening of daylight hours and Autumn or Winter approaching. They are often linked to something specific, such as stressful holidays or reminders of absent loved ones. 

On the other hand, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of affective disorder related to changes in seasons. The symptoms usually start in Autumn and continue into the winter months, and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. The symptoms may include: 

  • Feeling depressed
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Low energy
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having thoughts of death

Winter blues are usually temporary and the symptoms disappear, while Seasonal Affective Disorder can last for several months. 

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On Children and Gratitude

 

How many of us can think back to our childhood days and remember our parents, grandparents and even early-years teachers urging us to say thank you when we were presented with a gift, a nice gesture or a helping hand? I certainly remember that showing appreciation and being thankful was tremendously important for the grown-ups around me. With time, I understood that people felt good when I said thank you to them, but before empathy entered the picture, thankfulness felt like one of those things I had to do, one more rule to go by: Saying thank you was equivalent to being polite.

Politeness was and continues to be a highly valued quality among humans. One to make sure our children possess and carry with them. After all, if we stop to really be honest for a moment, we can agree that politeness speaks well of the child that practices it, while also singing hidden praises to the caregivers responsible for that child. We could agree that it is a social skill that opens doors. A win-win all around. But in this case, politesse is merely one small part of a much bigger stance: Gratitude. And if we were conscious about the psychological weight of gratitude as general value, we would be less concerned with mere politeness. Harvesting gratitude would then become a must (something just as important as promoting mathematical dexterity, if not more).

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Learning the practice of mindfulness, by Vicente Simón

To anyone who wishes to live the present moment more fully, escape the “automatic pilot mode” and experience emotional fulfillment, we are introduced to the practice of mindfulness by psychiatrist Vicente Simón.

 

The closest definition of “mindfulness" would be "full attention or awareness". Which means: paying close attention to the present moment with full intent and passing no judgement over what is being experienced. Or in other words: being aware of our experiences while they are being experienced. According to the author, mindfulness can  also be described as “the universal and basic human ability of being aware of our mind’s content moment to moment”. 

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Hooked to New Technologies

When we talk about addiction to new technologies, it is frequent that, automatically, we bring to our mind the image of a boy or girl with any electronic device. It is not uncommon nowadays to take a look around a restaurant and see parents slow down their children's activity through a device, be it tablet, mobile or other. The effectiveness of this technique is unquestionable. As a sedative for children and parents, keeping children absorbed in digital activity reduces their activity, as we have been saying, but also our involvement in managing their behaviors. However, the victims - yes, victims - of this strategy are not only children, but also adults, the subject on which this article will focus.

In summary, we could describe addiction to new technologies as the excessive use of electronic devices, added to the need to use them when we have been a long time (or not so long, in some cases) away from them, and with a powerful calming function and / or pleasant sensation that is, sometimes, difficult to recognize. In the era of hyperconnectivity, it is expected that many of our activities will be done through new technologies like meeting our friends, getting informed about something quickly or buying a product in a matter of seconds. The utility is more than evident. However, the dark side of this utility lies in the immediacy of the reward, reinforcement or satisfaction. We feel calmer when we get a response from our partner in the moment instead of waiting to see each other. We feel especially recognized when the “likes” grow like foam and we can observe this very satisfactory phenomenon in real time. We feel more in control being able to go immediately to information that solves a question of the moment. Ultimately, the promptness of the response takes on a strong tint of reward. This of course is far from being harmless.

 

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How To Protect Your Voice In Mask Times

For a few months and due to COVID-19, mask use is mandatory whenever we are outside our home. Although the mask serves as a protective shield when communicating with others, so we don’t share bacteria or viruses with other people, it can have some negative consequences, such as having our voice damaged. The mask reduces the volume of our voice and distorts the sound of the words we use, so we are often forced to speak louder when we are using it. This continuous increase in the volume of the voice can cause the vocal cords to become irritated, and, if we do not take the necessary care, it can end in aphonia or dysphonia. 

 

When we speak of aphonia, we mean to lose the voice completely; while dysphonia refers to the alteration of our vocal quality, pitch or volume. Some examples of dysphonia are hoarseness or the inability to speak or sing in the range that one is used to, and it can be secondary to different disorders, such as nodules.

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Why does my therapist ask me about my childhood and the relationship with my parents?  The importance in psychotherapy of exploring early childhood relationships

Usually, when we decide to start therapy it is because we have a problem in the present that generates discomfort or pain, and we do not have enough resources to handle the situation adequately. Sometimes the problem may have been in our life for some time (months, years); other times, something sudden happens which makes us seek help immediately. Regardless of the time we have been living with the problem, when we decide to start therapy is when the problem starts to interfere significantly with different areas of our lives (personal, family, work, academic, couple, etc.).

 

During therapy, our therapist will ask questions to understand how the problem manifests (symptoms), how long we have been living with the problem and how it impacts different areas of our life. Our therapist will also ask questions about our childhood, adolescence and adulthood, but especially, he/she will want to deepen in early childhood experiences with our parents or people whom we grew up with.

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