Parenting event: "How Family Stress Affects Your Child's Behavior"
Join us for a talk with Dr. Marilyn Wedge on how family stress affects your child's behavior. Her book, Suffer The Children; The Case Against Labeling and Medicating and an Effective Alternative is described below. Book signing to follow...
“Magnificent . . . I highly recommend this book to doctors, mental health professionals, educators and that most beleaguered of groups—parents.”
—Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia
With more than five million American children currently diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and other psychiatric disorders, taking a child to a psychiatrist—and giving him medication to curtail his symptoms—has become as common as taking a boy or a girl to soccer practice. But, disturbingly, a great number of children experience dangerous emotional and physical side effects from psychotropic medications. How can parents know if pharmaceuticals are the right decision for their child? How can they avoid the shaming labels that often accompany a diagnosis, or extreme measures that feel like a “quick-fix”? What other choices are there?
Marilyn Wedge’s SUFFER THE CHILDREN: The Case against Labeling and Medicating and an Effective Alternative [W. W. Norton & Company; March 28, 2011; $26.95 hardcover] presents parents of troubled children with a much-needed alternative: child-focused family therapy. Wedge, who has practiced family therapy for more than twenty years, explains that instead of immediately viewing children’s symptoms as biologically determined “disorders,” psychiatrists and counselors should first consider the child’s environment. A child’s stress or sadness, school problems or aggressiveness, anxiety or compulsive behaviors should be considered by looking at the child’s social context. Unlike many other forms of therapy, family therapy includes meeting not only with the child’s parents, siblings, and at times extended family, but also with teachers, school psychologists, and counselors. Wedge presents creative strategies that encourage parents and other therapists to treat children’s problems not as biologically encoded limitations, but as responses to relationships in their lives that can be altered with the help of a therapist.