Posts tagged with "psychology"

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Dr. Ahron Friedberg – Through a Screen Darkly

Through A Screen Darkly Details Pandemic Mental Health Struggles

Dr. Ahron Friedberg’s Book Offers Context on CDC & KFF Data 

In his latest book, Through a Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During the Pandemic, New York City psychiatrist Dr. Ahron Friedberg portrays a range of individuals dealing with mental health issues related to the pandemic, providing context for these harrowing recent statistics:

The average share of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depression almost quadrupled from January 2019 to June 2021

  • 36% of adults report difficulty sleeping, 32% cited eating problems, and 12% reported increase in alcohol and substance abuse
  • Communities of color and essential workers are suffering disproportionately
  • Young adults, more likely to lose jobs and / or be in lockdowns, are also suffering disproportionately
  • Suspected suicide attempts have increased in teenagers, especially girls

Commenting on the statistics, Dr. Friedberg stated: Stress has physical as well as mental consequences. It weakens the immune system and increases the incidence of major depression as well cardiac and pulmonary issues.

Friedberg continues: I coined the term Post-COVID Re-entry Syndrome to describe the stress that people suffer as they re-enter the workforce, reconnect with friends and family, and attempt to resume some semblance of a normal life.

To manage this anxiety, Dr. Friedberg recommends: 

  • Taking a walk outdoors
  • Connecting with friends and family – safely
  • Self- Reflection

If symptoms become severe, he recommends consulting a trained mental health professional. Primary care physicians and clergy can also provide resource and emotional support.

The ultimate goal is to bolster your resilience, states Dr. Friedberg. In my experience counseling patients through the pandemic, I found that they had greater capacity for resilience than they realized. Deploying this resilience was their pathway to successfully managing their mental health.

Through a Screen Darkly offers practical examples of how patients coped with these conditions and (in many cases) found the resilience to get past them.

In addition to Through a Screen Darkly, Dr. Friedberg wrote Psychotherapy and Personal Change: Two Minds in a Mirror with Dr. Sandra Sherman. With Dr. Jack Hirschowitz, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, he wrote Flashing Seven: Seven Essential Skills for Living and Leading. With his father, Dr. Eugene Friedberg, he wrote Between Us, A Father and Son Speak. 

Through a Screen Darkly is available for purchase at amazon.com.

ABOUT DR. AHRON FRIEDBERG: 

Dr. Ahron Friedberg, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Manhattan. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Friedberg served as Co-Chair of the Psychiatry Advisory Board and has helped develop and lead several academic and teaching initiatives including their Innovations in Psychiatry Symposium. Dr. Friedberg also directs the Symposium, a national meeting held annually at Mount Sinai. He has participated in clinical research as part of the Department’s Mood and Anxiety Program, which focuses on translational neuroscience and understanding resilience.

Dr. Friedberg has served twice as national President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. He was named first Executive Editor of International Psychoanalysis.net, a highly regarded online psychoanalytic resource. In addition, he is an Acquisitions Editor of International Psychoanalytic Books, Book Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry, Editor of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis Academy Forum, elected chair of the International Council of Editors, Psychoanalytic Journals, as well as a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including The Psychoanalytic Review, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Neuro-psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Dr. Friedberg’s writing focuses on the treatment of anxiety and trauma, clinical technique, and the concepts of resilience, consciousness, and desire in psychoanalysis. He has received awards for excellence in writing, in addition to originality and scholarship.

For more information on Dr. Ahron Friedberg, visit his site.

Britney Spears illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Britney Spears Breaks Her Silence

“I Just Want My Life Back” 

Britney Spears Breaks Her Silence 

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen 

Conservator 

con·ser·va·tor | noun 

  • a person responsible for the repair and preservation of works of art, buildings, or other things of cultural or environmental interest.

Britney Spears. We have heard her name countless times over the years in regard to her career, however, more recently regarding her conservatorship. A conservatorship is a legal arrangement that gives a court-appointed individual, known as the conservator, the power to handle the financial and/or personal affairs of another adult who has been deemed incapacitated.

In this case, James Parnell Spears is Britney’s father and conservator. Mr. Spears was appointed conservator in 2008 after Ms. Spears was taken to the hospital twice by ambulance for involuntary psychiatric evaluations in the midst of a series of public struggles and concerns around her mental health. 

The recent documentary on Britney Spears on Hulu, “The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears”, gives a lot of insight into how the conservatorship first came into play. Ms. Spears was failed from the very beginning, unfortunately. She had one request over the conservatorship- for her father not to be the head of it. She was adamant that he was not in charge of herself or her finances. She did not want her father making the decisions on her medical care and treatment as well as her finances.  

Essentially, Britney’s entire life was about to be dictated by people other than herself, against her will. The conservatorship enabled them to control who could and could not visit Britney and retained security guards for her twenty-four hours a day. They had the power to access her medical records and communicate with her doctors. They could take control of her house and even cancel her credit cards. They could make television deals and recordings for her and were able to be overly involved with her finances. In addition to the conservatorship, Spears had also lost the ability to see her two children, whom she shares with ex-husband Kevin Federline. A few weeks after the temporary conservatorship started, she was able to regain some visitation rights.  

On October 28, 2008, the conservatorship over Britney was made permanent. That was thirteen years ago. Thirteen. Since the conservatorship was placed over Britney, she has gone on to release albums, go on tour, and even held a Las Vegas Residency at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Britney claims that her father had her put on lithium against her will and forced her to keep an IUD in so that she would not have more children. Which leads us to this question: Why is she still under the conservatorship if she is able to work and perform to the absolute best of her ability? A conservatorship is for someone unable to make those decisions for themselves along with not being able to provide for themselves. Britney Spears has shown the entire world over and over again that she is able to function and run her own shows quite successfully.  

If you take a moment and look through Ms. Spears’ Instagram account, you will catch a glimpse of the real Britney. She is a breath of fresh air that is full of life and love, but held back by so many things out of her control. She’s a forty-year-old victim in a conservatorship that is no longer needed. Social media users have taken the internet by storm with the hashtags of #freebritney and you quite literally see it everywhere. There are millions of supporters that have followed her journey and are hoping their voices are heard as well as Britney’s to ensure her freedom.  

Additionally, Jaime Spears has been living off of Britney for the last 13 years. Ms. Spears says “Considering my family has lived off my conservatorship for 13 years, I won’t be surprised if one of them has something to say… I just don’t like feeling like I work for the people who I pay.” According to Forbes, Ms. Spears has paid her father a monthly salary, provided office space, and given him a cut of her celebrity. Jaime Spears was paid at least $5 million before taxes since 2008. Britney also has to pay the entirety of the legal fees for both herself and her conservators. Her father has also made money off of her residencies and tours, which you can read more about here.

More recently, there was a hearing where a twenty-four-minute statement against the conservatorship was aired. You can hear the audio here. Ms. Spears met virtually with Los Angeles probate judge Brenda Penny claiming she wants to sue her family and that she has been “abused” by a previous therapist, among other multiple accusations. 

Additionally, Samy Dwek has also shared an opinion on the matter:

WHOOPS, THEY DID IT AGAIN! FATHER’S CONSERVATORSHIP CONTINUES FOR BRITTANY SPEARS – AND IT SHOULDN’T

By Samy Dwek, Founder and CEO, The Family Office Doctor and White Knight Consulting

I would address something that’s been a major press story – the guardianship of Britney Spears.

In California, they use the word “conservator” – someone who looks after the affairs of a person, such as their finances, or after them as a person, their estate, their properties. In Florida, we use the word “guardianship” of the person or of the property.

For the last 10 years, Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, has been her conservator, her guardian, overseeing both her finances and her personal property, her career, et cetera. Following some very public issues, the court ruled that Bessemer Trust can come in to look after her financial affairs. I think is a very sound decision, based on the father’s background. Bessemer probably has a lot better experience in managing money.

However, the father retains the power as a guardian of the person, looking after her estate and her personal affairs, her personal care, medication, et cetera, which remains a point of contention.

I have to agree with Brittany Spears that her father should be replaced. Let me be very clear that if I were to have someone look after me, I would prefer there to be a person who is impartial, not a family member who has potentially an axe to grind, especially when my bank account would have $60 million in it, and someone who is not trained in these matters.

As parents, we care for our kids, but it’s a very different thing to deal with when the child has some kind of mental trauma or health issues. At that point, I think bringing in a professional who is an expert guardian and does this for a living would probably make more sense.

And I think there’s a lot more to play out here because I believe that Brittany was not aware of the fact that she can cancel the guardianship. She could actually ask for an end to the conservatorship. I think that would be a bit of a drawn-out process that would involve psychiatrists and others to prove that she has the mental capacity to take control of her life. And that would be something that would need to be proven to these practitioners and then presented to the court.

Given the opportunity, I would push for the implementation of a professional guardian whilst these issues are ironed out. Not all parents are good parents, hence we have CPS. A trained professional under the supervision of the courts is a more prudent solution.  

LINK TO LEAKED HQ AUDIO 

LIGHTLY EDITED TRANSCRIPT FROM AUDIO:

SPEARS: I just got a new phone, and I have a lot to say, so bear with me. Basically, a lot has happened since two years ago, the last time – I wrote this all down – the last time I was in court.  

I will be honest with you. I haven’t been back to court in a long time, because I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court the last time. I brought four sheets of paper in my hands and wrote in length what I had been through the last four months before I came there. The people who did that to me should not be able to walk away so easily. I’ll recap. I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do… My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney –  

JUDGE: Ms. Spears, I hate to interrupt you, but my court reporter is taking down what you’re saying, so you have to speak a little more slowly.  

SPEARS: Oh, of course. Yes. Okay. The people who did this to me should not be able to walk away so easily. To recap: I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do… My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney, and by contract, my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour. He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary. And with the conservatorship, I couldn’t even get my own attorney. So out of fear, I went ahead, and I did the tour.  

When I came off that tour, a new show in Las Vegas was supposed to take place. I started rehearsing early, but it was hard because I’d been doing Vegas for four years and I needed a break in between. But no, I was told this is the timeline and this is how it’s going to go. I rehearsed four days a week. Half of the time in the studio and a half of the other time in a Westlake studio. I was basically directing most of the show. I actually did most of the choreography, meaning I taught my dancers my new choreography myself. I take everything I do very seriously. There’s tons of video with me at rehearsals. I wasn’t good – I was great. I led a room of sixteen dancers in rehearsal.  

It’s funny to hear my managers’ side of the story. They all said I wasn’t participating in rehearsals, and I never agreed to take my medication – which my medication is only taken in the mornings, never at rehearsal. They don’t see even see me. So why are they even claiming that? When I said no to one dance move into rehearsals, it was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere. And I said no, I don’t want to do it this way.  

After that, my management, my dancers and my assistant of the new people that were supposed to do the new show all went into a room, shut the door and didn’t come out for at least forty-five minutes. Ma’am, I’m not here to be anyone’s slave. I can say no to a dance move. I was told by my at-the-time therapist, Dr. Benson – who died – that my manager called him and then that moment and told him I wasn’t cooperating or following the guidelines in rehearsals. And he also said I wasn’t taking my medication, which is so dumb, because I’ve had the same lady every morning for the past eight years give me my same medication. And I’m nowhere near these stupid people. It made no sense at all.  

There was a week period where they were nice to me, and I told them I don’t want to do the – they were nice to me, they said if I don’t want to do the new Vegas show, I don’t have to because I was getting really nervous. They said I could wait. It was like lifting literally two hundred pounds off of me when they said I don’t have to do the show anymore, because it was really really hard on myself, and it was too much. I couldn’t take it anymore. 

So, I remember telling my assistant, but y’know what I feel weird if I say no, I feel like they’re gonna come back and be mean to me or punish me or something. Three days later, after I said no to Vegas, my therapist sat me down in a room and said he had a million phone calls about how I was not cooperating in rehearsals, and I haven’t been taking my medication. All this was false. He immediately, the next day, put me on lithium out of nowhere. He took me off my normal meds I’ve been on for five years. And lithium is a very, very strong and completely different medication compared to what I was used to. You can go mentally impaired if you take too much, if you stay on it longer than five months. But he put me on that, and I felt drunk. I really couldn’t even take up for myself. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad really about anything. I told him I was scared, and my doctor had me on six different nurses with this new medication, come to my home, stay with me to monitor me on this new medication, which I never wanted to be on to begin with. There were six different nurses in my home, and they wouldn’t let me get in my car to go anywhere for a month. 

Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it. Anything that happened to me had to be approved by my dad. And my dad acted like he didn’t know that I was told I had to be tested over the Christmas holidays before they sent me away, when my kids went home to Louisiana. He was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing. 

Over the two-week holiday, a lady came into my home for four hours a day, sat me down and did a psych test on me. It took forever. But I was told I had to. Then after, I got a phone call from my dad, basically saying I’d failed the test or whatever, whatever. “I’m sorry, Britney, you have to listen to your doctors. They’re planning to send you to a small home in Beverly Hills to do a small rehab program that we’re going to make up for you. You’re going to pay $60,000 a month for this.” I cried on the phone for an hour, and he loved every minute of it.  

The control he had over someone as powerful as me – he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it. I packed my bags and went to that place. I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking. Making anyone work against their will, taking all f their possessions away – credit card, cash, phone, passport – and placing them in a home where they work with the people who live with them. They all lived in the house with me, the nurses, the 24-7 security. There was one chef that came there and cooked for me daily during the weekdays. They watched me change every day – naked – morning, noon and night. My body – I had no privacy door for my room. I have eight vials of blook a week.  

If I didn’t do any of my meetings and work from eight to six at night, which is ten hours a day, seven days a week, no days off, I wouldn’t be able to see my kids or my boyfriend. I never had a say in my schedule. They always told me I had to do this. And Ma’am, I will tell you, sitting in a chair for ten hours a day, seven days a week, it ain’t fun… and especially when you can’t walk out the front door.  

And that’s why I’m telling you this again two years later, after I’ve lied and told the whole world” I’m okay and I’m happy.” It’s a lie. I thought I just maybe if I said enough maybe I might become happy, because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, fake it till you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth, okay? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.  

And the reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t think how the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing — just hire, with my money, another person and keep my dad on board. Ma’am, my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me when I said no — ma’am, they should be in jail. Their cruel tactics working for Miley Cyrus as she smokes on joints onstage at the VMAs — nothing is ever done to this generation for doing wrong things. 

But my precious body, who has worked for my dad for the past fucking 13 years, trying to be so good and pretty. So perfect. When he works me so hard. When I do everything, I’m told and the state of California allowed my father — ignorant father — to take his own daughter, who only has a role with me if I work with him, they’ve set back the whole course and allowed him to do that to me. That’s given these people I’ve worked for way too much control. They also threaten me and said, If I don’t go, then I have to go to court. And it will be more embarrassing to me if the judge publicly makes the evidence we have. 

You have to go. I was advised for my image; I need to go ahead and just go and get it over with. They said that to me. I don’t even drink alcohol — I should drink alcohol, considering what they put my heart through. Also, the Bridges facility they sent me to, none of the kids — I was doing this program for four months, so the last two months I went to a Bridges facility. None of the kids there did the program. They never showed up for any of them. You didn’t have to do anything if you didn’t want to. How come they always made me go? How come I was always threatened by my dad and anybody that participated in this conservatorship? If I don’t do this, what they tell me to enslave me to do, they’re gonna punish me. 

The last time I spoke to you by just keeping the conservatorship going, and also keeping my dad in the loop, made me feel like I was dead — like I didn’t matter, like nothing had been done to me, like you thought I was lying or something. I’m telling you again, because I’m not lying. I want to feel heard. And I’m telling you this again, so maybe you can understand the depth and the degree and the damage that they did to me back then. 

I want changes, and I want changes going forward. I deserve changes. I was told I have to sit down and be evaluated, again, if I want to end the conservatorship. Ma’am, I didn’t know I could petition the conservatorship to end it. I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn’t know that. But honestly, but I don’t think I owe anyone to be evaluated. I’ve done more than enough. I don’t feel like I should even be in room with anyone to offend me by trying to question my capacity of intelligence, whether I need to be in this stupid conservatorship or not. I’ve done more than enough. 

I don’t owe these people anything — especially me, the one that has roofed and fed tons of people on tour on the road. It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through. And that’s the main reason I’ve never said it openly. And mainly, I didn’t want to say it openly, because I honestly don’t think anyone would believe me. To be honest with you, the Paris Hilton story on what they did to her to that that school, I didn’t believe any of it. I’m sorry. I’m an outsider, and I’ll just be honest. I didn’t believe it. 

And maybe I’m wrong, and that’s why I didn’t want to say any of this to anybody, to the public, because I thought people would make fun of me or laugh at me and say, “She’s lying, she’s got everything, she’s Britney Spears.” 

I’m not lying. I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested. Again, it makes no sense whatsoever for the State of California to sit back and literally watch me with their own two eyes, make a living for so many people, and pay so many people, trucks and buses on the road with me and be told, I’m not good enough. But I’m great at what I do. And I allow these people to control what I do, ma’am. And it’s enough. It makes no sense at all. 

Now, going forward, I’m not willing to meet or see anyone. I’ve met with enough people against my will. I’m done. All I want is to own my money, for this to end, and my boyfriend to drive me in his fucking car. 

And I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you. I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them. I want to be able to be heard on what they did to me by making me keep this in for so long, it is not good for my heart. I’ve been so angry, and I cry every day. It concerns me, I’m told I’m not allowed to expose the people who did this to me. 

For my sanity, I need you to the judge to approve me to do an interview where I can be heard on what they did to me. And actually, I have the right to use my voice and take up for myself. My attorney says I can’t. It’s not good. I can’t let the public know anything they did to me and by not saying anything, is saying it’s OK. 

It’s not OK. Actually, I don’t want an interview — I’d much rather just have an open call to you for the press to hear, which I didn’t know today we’re doing, so thank you. Instead of having an interview, honestly, I need that to get it off my heart, the anger and all of it that’s been happening. 

It’s not fair they’re telling me lies about me openly. Even my family, they do interviews to anyone they want on news stations. My own family doing interviews and talking about the situation and making me feel so stupid. And I can’t say one thing. And my own people say I can’t say anything. 

It’s been two years. I want a recorded call to you actually, we’re doing this now — which I didn’t know that we’re doing this. My lawyer, Sam (Ingham), has been very scared for me to go forward because he’s saying if I speak up, I’m being overworked in that facility of that rehab place, that rehab place will sue me. He told me I should keep it to myself. I would personally like to — actually, I’ve grown with a personal relationship with Sam, my lawyer, I’ve been talking to him like three times a week now, we’ve kind of built a relationship but I haven’t really had the opportunity by my own self to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself. And I would like to be able to do that. 

The main reason why I’m here is because I want to end the conservatorship without having to be evaluated. I’ve done a lot of research, ma’am. And there’s a lot of judges who do end conservatorships for people without them having to be evaluated all the time. The only times they don’t is if a concerned family member says something’s wrong with this person. 

And considering my family has lived off my conservatorship for 13 years, I won’t be surprised if one of them has something to say going forward, and say, “We don’t think this should end, we have to help her.” Especially if I get my fair turn exposing what they did to me. 

Also, I want to speak to you about my obligations, which, I personally don’t think at the very moment I owe anybody anything. I have three meetings a week I have to attend no matter what. I just don’t like feeling like I work for the people whom I pay. I don’t like being told I have to, no matter what, even if I’m sick. Jodi, the conservator, says I have to see my Coach Ken even when I’m sick. I would like to do one meeting a week with a therapist. I’ve never before, even before they sent me to that place, had two therapy sessions. I had a doctor and then a therapy person. What I’ve been forced to do illegal in my life. I shouldn’t be told I have to be available three times a week to these people I don’t know. 

I’m talking to you today because I feel again, yes, even Jodi is starting to kind of take it too far with me. They have me going to therapy twice a week and a psychiatrist. I’ve never in the past – wait, they had me going, yeah, twice a week and Dr. Gold, so that’s three times a week. I’ve never in the past had to see a therapist more than once a week. It takes too much out of me going to this man I don’t know. 

Number one, I’m scared of people. I don’t trust people with what I’ve been through. And the clever setup of being in Westlake, one of the most exposed places in Westlake, which, yesterday, paparazzi showed me coming out of the place literally crying in therapy. It’s embarrassing, and it’s demoralizing. I deserve privacy when I go and have therapy, either at my home, like I’ve done for eight years. They’ve always come to my home. Or when Dr. Benson — the man that died — I went to a place similar to what I went to in Westlake which was very exposed and really bad. Okay, so where was I? It was like, it was identical to Dr. Benson, who illegally, yes 100% abused me by the treatment he gave me, to be totally honest with you, I was so — 

JUDGE: Ms. Spears, excuse me for interrupting you, but my reporter says if you could just slow it down a little bit, because she’s trying to make sure she gets everything that you’re saying. 

SPEARS: OK, cool… And to be totally honest with you, when [Dr. Benson] passed away, I got on my knees and thanked God. In other words, my team is pushing it with me again. I have trapped phobias being in small rooms because of the trauma, locking me up for four months in that place. It’s not okay for them to send me — sorry, I’m going fast — to that small room like that twice a week with another new therapist that I pay that I never even approved. I don’t like it. I don’t want to do that. And I haven’t done anything wrong to deserve this treatment. 

It’s not okay to force me to do anything I don’t want to do. By law, Jodi and this so-called team should honestly – I should be able to sue them for threatening me and saying if I don’t go and do these meetings twice a week, we can’t let you have your money and go to Maui on your vacations. You have to do what you’re told for this program and then you will be able to go. But it was a very clever thing, one of the most exposed places in Westlake, knowing I have the hot topic of the conservatorship, that over five paparazzies are going to show up and get me crying coming out of that place. I begged them to make sure that they did this at my home, so I would have privacy. I deserve privacy. 

The conservatorship, from the beginning, once you see someone, whoever it is, in the conservatorship making money, making them money, and myself money and working – that whole statement right there, the conservatorship should end. I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people — it makes no sense. The laws need to change. What state allows people to own another person’s money and account and threaten them and saying, “You can’t spend your money unless you do what we want you to do.” And I’m paying them. 

Ma’am, I’ve worked since I was 17 years old. You have to understand how thin that is for me every morning I get up to know I can’t go somewhere unless I meet people, I don’t know every week in an office identical to the one where the therapist was very abusive to me. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive, and that we can sit here all day and say oh, conservatorships are here to help people. But ma’am, there is a thousand conservatorships that are abusive as well. 

I don’t feel like I can live a full life. I don’t owe them to go see a man I don’t know and share him my problems. I don’t even believe in therapy. I always think you take it to God. I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated. In the meantime, I want this therapist once a week. I just want him to come to my home. I’m not willing to go to Westlake and be embarrassed by all these scummy paparazzi laughing at my face while I’m crying, coming out and taking my pictures as all these white nice dinners, where people drinking wine at restaurants, watching these places. They set me up by sending me to the most exposed places, and I told them I didn’t want to go there because I knew paparazzi would show up there.

They only gave me two options for therapists. And I’m not sure how you make your decisions, ma’am. But this is the only chance for me to talk to you for a while. I need your help, so if you can just kind of let me know where your head is. I don’t really honestly know what to say but my requests are just to end the conservatorship without being evaluated. I want to petition basically to end the conservatorship. But I don’t want to be evaluated and be sat in a room with people four hours a day, like they did me before. And they made it even worse for me after that happened. 

I’m honestly new with this. And I’m doing research on all these things. I do know common sense and the method that things can end – for people, it has ended without them being evaluated. So, I just want you to take that in consideration. 

It also took a year, during COVID, to get me any self-care methods. She said there were no services available. She’s lying, ma’am. My mom went to the spot twice in Louisiana during COVID. For a year, I didn’t have my nails done — no hairstyling and no massages, no acupuncture. Nothing for a year. I saw the maids in my home each week with their nails done different each time. She made me feel like my dad does. Very similar, her behavior and my dad, but just a different dynamic. 

The team wants me to work and stay home instead of having longer vacations. They are used to me sort of doing a weekly routine for them. And I’m over it. I don’t feel like I owe them anything at this point. They need to be reminded they actually work for me. 

I was supposed to be able to — I have a friend that I used to do AA meetings with. I did AA for two years. I did three meetings a week. I’ve met a bunch of women there. And I’m not able to see my friends that live eight minutes away from me, which I find extremely strange. 

I feel like they’re making me feel like I live in a rehab program. This is my home. I’d like for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car. And I want to meet with a therapist once a week, not twice a week. And I want him to come to my home. Because I actually know I do need a little therapy. (Laughing.) 

I would like to progressively move forward, and I want to have the real deal, I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby, I have a (IUD) inside of myself right now, so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the (IUD) out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children – any more children. So basically, this conservatorship is doing me waaay more harm than good. 

I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two-to-three-year break and just, you know, do what I want to do. But I do feel like there is a crutch here. And I feel open and I’m okay to talk to you today about it. But I wish I could stay with you on the phone forever, because when I get off the phone with you, all of a sudden all I hear all these no’s — no, no, no. And then all of a sudden, I get I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied, and I feel left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so. 

And that’s all I wanted to say to you. And thank you so much for letting me speak to you today. 

JUDGE: Ms. Spears, you’re quite welcome. And also, I just want to tell you that I certainly am sensitive to everything that you said and how you’re feeling, and I know that it took a lot of courage for you to say everything you have to say today, and I want to let you know that the court does appreciate your coming on the line and sharing how you’re feeling. 

For Women Under Conservatorship, Forced Birth Control Is Routine

In June, Britney Spears spoke publicly for the first time about her conservatorship. She told a Los Angeles judge she has been forced to perform, forced to take medication she did not want, and, perhaps most shocking to the general public, forced to use contraception. Last night, Spears reiterated many of the claims she made in June, adding that in addition to major abuses like being forced into a residential psychiatric facility, she was subjected to a number of petty ones.

Journalist Sara Luterman, who focuses on disability politics, reports that a lot of people were shocked by the allegations that Britney Spears is being forced to wear an IUD. After looking into how common the practice is for other people under guardianship, she’s not going to lie: It’s bleak.

For Women Under Conservatorship, Forced Birth Control Is Routine

No one with knowledge of conservatorship Luterman interviewed was surprised by any of Spears’s allegations, including the ones around reproductive choice. Advocates say forced birth control and sterilization are still routine in the United States for women under conservatorship. Tom Stenson—the deputy legal director of Disability Rights Oregon, a federally funded protection agency—said he has never seen a case involving a man’s family seeking birth control or sterilization of a son. “I’m sure somewhere out there, there’s somebody trying to get their son or brother with a disability sterilized. But I’ve had a number of these cases arise, and they are, in my experience and so far, all women.”

Read the full article here

Children illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Oxford Method

The Oxford Method Puts Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion

The Oxford Method, a tutoring community, is on a mission to help underprivileged students around the country

The pandemic changed how education was delivered for millions of students. While just about everyone was impacted, it has been especially difficult on minority students. According to McKinsey & Company, the disparities among student groups grew over the last year. It reports that when it comes to learning, the pandemic took a heavy toll on Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities around the country. It found that students of color had fallen 3-5 months behind, while white students were 1-3 months behind. One company, The Oxford Method, is out to help bridge that gap and bring those students up to speed.

“There must be a spotlight put on diversity and inclusion because the achievement gap has widened in the last year,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “We are taking steps to help those students so they can get caught up and have the foundation they need to succeed.”

The Oxford Method is an online learning community made up of educators who help to provide tutoring to those in need. It provides a full range of tutoring services, covering all types of subjects, and has experienced educators who can work with all levels of students. They help students who are gifted, special needs, traditional, and from rural and urban areas around the nation.

The educational community helps underprivileged students in a variety of ways, including by:

  • Providing free computers and high-speed internet. With that, it provides free instruction to the students, including those who are special needs and gifted. 
  • Working with students who are in urban and rural areas. These are areas often overlooked and that fall short in the technology category.
  • Having instructors from all socio-economic, psychographics, demographics, and geographic areas. The community of educators not only has a mission of helping those who are in diverse categories, but they are a group that is diverse.

“We have helped many students who would otherwise have a difficult time getting assistance,” added Florence. “We look forward to helping even more to finish this school year strong, get caught up over summer break, and be able to go into the new school year feeling confident.”

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. It offers online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Its tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The Oxford Method works with its nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving it 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of the instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

The Oxford Method believes that education is the great equalizer and the best gift you can give the next generation. Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test-taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the Oxford Method website.

Why More Young People Are Turning to Online Therapy

Therapy can help with a huge range of mental health complaints from stress and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and more. There are many reasons to consider therapy, and with the internet now creating new avenues for accessing mental health treatment, it’s no surprise that online therapy has become a popular choice for young people who are seeking mental health support. Due to the COVID19 crisis, online therapy has become an even more popular option over the past year in order to help ensure that people who need additional support for their mental health and wellbeing are able to access it safely when needed. So, why is online therapy becoming a more popular option?

Added Convenience:

Online therapy is usually done from home, meaning that the client has the additional convenience of getting therapy from the comfort of their own place without having to go and visit the therapist at their office. This can be a better option for people who have busy lives or commitments like kids that might be difficult for them to work around when they get professional help. Online therapy can be done from your kitchen or living room, meaning that there’s no need to rush after finishing work for the day or find a sitter for your kids while you go for your appointment. 

Find a Suitable Therapist:

For people who live in remote areas where the choice of therapists available is not always the best, online therapy can be an ideal alternative. Online therapy offers more choice to people who live in remote or rural areas where there are limited mental health resources available to them in the local area. It provides clients with the option of finding a therapist that might be a better fit for them without being confined to the local area only or faced with the need to travel long distances to visit a therapist on a regular basis. 

More Accessible:

Another reason why online therapy is becoming more popular among young people is that it provides more access to these services for people who have physical limitations. People who are housebound or disabled might find it difficult or even impossible to go out and visit a therapist in person, while online therapy can be done from wherever is most comfortable for them. 

Less Overwhelming:

Going to therapy can be a huge step to take for somebody who has been struggling with mental health issues that they struggle to talk about. Often, the internet makes getting therapy easier and more accessible for people in this situation who might feel comfortable talking about physical health issues with family and friends but will struggle to open up about their mental health. Since online therapy can be done from home, or another environment that the client is comfortable and familiar with, it can be easier for clients to overcome the stigma that has long been attached to mental health issues and feel more comfortable asking for help. 

Familiarity:

Today, young people have been born into a world where the internet is used for pretty much anything. From applying for jobs to online grocery shopping, many young people are used to tapping into their phones or laptops when they want to get something done, so it’s no surprise that getting online therapy tends to come naturally to them. In a world where a lot of communication with friends and family is done online and there are more online services than ever before available, it makes sense that young people who are used to this way of doing things would prefer to get mental health support online too. 

What to Consider When Choosing an Online Therapist:

There are several apps that have made finding an online therapist easier, and many therapists that will typically practice from an office or their own home have also started offering online services, many as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. If you are considering online therapy as an option for yourself, there are several things to consider before you start including:

  • The type of therapy that you want – do some research into different types of therapy such as CBT, DBT, and holistic therapy to find one that seems suitable for you. If you are not sure, a good therapist can help by talking through your options and providing you with more information on what might be suitable. 
  • Insurance coverage: Bear in mind that many states don’t allow out-of-state therapists when it comes to insurance coverage, so check the location of the online therapist before you begin since they will need to be licensed in your home state. 
  • Therapist experience: It is important to choose a therapist that is experienced in and knowledgeable about the specific issue that you are looking to get help with. 

Today, online therapy has become a popular and viable way for people to access mental health services more easily and from the comfort and safety of their own home. 

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Education Tips For Children

7 Ways to Ensure Your Child Gets a Good Education

The Oxford Method, a tutoring community, offers tips to help your child be successful in school

Over the last year, during the pandemic, there have been many kids who have struggled academically. This is in part due to the millions who have had to do online learning and find the setup difficult. Whether children are learning online, in person, via classroom, or through a combination of the three, there are things that parents can do to help them be more successful. Knowing what to do can help make a world a difference and reduce the struggling.

“Many parents are aware of the way their kids are struggling with school over this school year,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “Rather than let them fall behind, it’s a good idea to take action and do what you can to help them keep up and even pull ahead.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93% of households with school-age children report that their kids have engaged in some sort of distance learning during the pandemic. They also report that the vast shift in the way kids are learning has also caused digital inequality because some kids don’t have access to computers and/or the Internet. Whether students are learning online or in class, there are things parents can do to help them get a good education.

Here 7 ways to help ensure your child gets a good education:

  1. Sleep. It’s crucial for a child to get enough sleep each night, which will help them to be more focused, as well as improve their behavior, quality of life, and mental and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that children ages 6-12 should get 9-12 hours of sleep per night, and teens ages 13-18 should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Teach value. It usually starts at home whether or not a child values an education. Parents who want their kids to get a good education should instill a love of learning in their children and teach them to value the education they are getting.
  3. Get them help. If your child is struggling, you may be able to help them, but there also comes a time when kids need a tutor to step in. A good tutor can make a world of difference in ensuring that a child gets a good education. They can help ensure that students will not fall behind and that they will get the foundation they need to move on in a subject.
  4. Show them how. Oftentimes, kids don’t know how to effectively study for a test or to take notes when they are in class. Take the time to show them how to do it effectively, as well as how to stay organized with their schooling. When students are organized, they are more likely to succeed.
  5. Ask them questions. Be sure to ask your kids how it is going, if they got their homework done, if they need any help, or if there’s anything they need to be more successful. They like to know that you are interested in how they are doing, so it’s good to show an active interest.
  6. Get involved. It’s always a good idea if you can get involved with the school and have good communication with the teacher. That way you will be aware of what is going on and know how to help your child more. Teachers love it when parents take an active interest in their child’s education.
  7. Praise your kids. Help kids to know what they are doing is right or what they are doing is wrong. Praising and encouraging the kids builds their confidence and helps them to succeed as they grow.

“Just about every parent has the ability to help kids succeed with their academics, even if it’s ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed,” added Florence. “We help parents be successful, even those who don’t have the funds to pay for a tutor. Our mission is to help as many students to achieve as we can.”

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, Ph.D., and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

The Oxford Method believes that education is the great equalizer and the best gift you can give the next generation. Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test-taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

Oprah Winfrey illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Creating A Limitless Life

Creating A Limitless Life”

Register for free on their website.

Chopra Global, the leading whole health company founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra, today announced the final release of the wildly popular 21-Day Meditation Experience titled “Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life,” led by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. March 2021 marks one year since the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed daily life, with many people remaining “stuck” at home. The free, 21-Day program begins today and will help participants cultivate presence, tap into potential and unlock creativity to release stagnation and improve mental health.

Registration also includes access to an exclusive talk with Deepak Chopra reflecting on these challenging times and offering meditation and tools for cultivating mindful awareness. The program and talk are designed to help people tune into the power of the present and find joy and fulfillment in the everyday.

“Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life,” offers a 20-minute audio meditation each day and a series of thought-provoking reflection questions designed to anchor the teachings with a centering thought and mantra. The meditations are easily accessible from a tablet, computer, or Chopra Global’s new Meditation and Well-being App available in the Apple App Store and on Android.

“For the past eight years, Oprah Winfrey and I have joined forces to offer the 21-Day Meditation Experience programs. Now, we invite you to join us one last time to develops tools to guide you through these challenging times and create a limitless life in mindful awareness,” said Deepak Chopra.

“Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life” follows “Creating Peace from the Inside Out, which was re-released in November 2020. The 21-Day Meditation Experience series featuring Deepak and Oprah Winfrey first launched in 2013, and has since become a global phenomenon, with millions of participants and meditation groups around the world. The franchise currently features a catalogue of 18 different programs and features beautiful soundscapes, mantra-based meditations, and centering thoughts. For a limited time, the full library is still available for purchase at chopra.com/oprah.

Below is an overview of what participants can expect throughout this experience:

Week One: Creative Living is Here and Now

Week One will focus on expanding awareness of living in the present moment, which, in itself, is a renewal that brings new possibilities to the surface. By actualizing the present moment, the eternal “now,” we see ourselves in the limitless place where thought, feeling, and action can emerge in unique creation.

Week Two: Activating Your Creative Potential

Week Two is about expanding our participation in being alive by expanding our daily awareness of our own existence. The expansion of awareness holds the key to living from the creative source. Instead of struggling to change your life, you allow a growing awareness to create the change you want to see.

Week Three: Living the Complete Spirit of Creativity

The third week focuses on allowing newly awakened creativity to impact our lives at every level. Then, having awakened our fuller potential, we share the spirit of creative awareness – and spread the energy of “getting unstuck” to the people around us. The key is closing the gap between the self we see in the mirror and the true self. When those two are merged, anything becomes possible.

About Chopra Global

Chopra Global is a leading whole health company that is empowering personal transformation for millions of people globally to expand our collective well-being. Anchored by the life’s practice and research of Dr. Deepak Chopra, a pioneer in integrative medicine, Chopra Global’s signature programs have been proven to improve overall well-being through a focus on physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Chopra Global has been at the forefront of health and wellness for more than two decades with a portfolio that includes an editorial archive with more than 2,000 health articles, meditations, masterclasses, teacher certifications, live events and personalized retreats. By providing tools, guidance and community, Chopra aims to advance a culture of well-being and make a healthy, peaceful and joyful life accessible to all. For more information, interact with the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Deepak Chopra, M.D.

DEEPAK CHOPRA™ MD, FACP, is founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and of Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 90 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. For the last thirty years, Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution and his latest (and 91st) book, Total Meditation (Harmony Book) helps to achieve new dimensions of stress-free living and joyful living. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.” To learn more, visit his website.

What Keeps Men From Picking Up Their Household Mess

By Andi Simon, Ph.D.

For many of the women I have been working with during the pandemic crisis, the biggest complaint has been: “Why doesn’t my husband help pick up the mess?” “Don’t men even see the toys all around them, the dishes in the sink, the clothes needing folding?” And when they finally lend a hand, it is hardly neat or “the way I would have done it.”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the cultural dilemma is upon us, exaggerated during the current stay-at-home, work remotely era caused by COVID-19. What wives, moms and girlfriends might have silently dealt with in the past has become a major issue when both partners are now at home together. Differences are more apparent, irritations closer to the surface.

As an anthropologist, and a wife, and a mother, I know all too well how difficult it is to change habits in adults. Once we learn our habits, they take over and drive us. My husband is a wonderful teammate but loves to leave his cabinets open, his clothes folded but not so smoothly, and his office … well let’s not discuss that. I do confess, at times my office is as big a mess as his, which is OK as long as each of us stick to our own disorderly worlds.

In a recent Atlantic article, “The Myth That Gets Men Out of Doing Chores,” Joe Pinsker writes about how these male-female differences originate partly from how boys and girls are raised, and partly from how men and women simply see things through different lenses. While some contend that boys are naturally messier than girls, there is little research to support that. If anything, boys and girls (and men and women) can both make a mess in the bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen — indeed, making messes comes naturally to both sexes. Cleaning them up, less so.

The issue is that boys and girls are taught differently what it means to be “neat” or “messy.” There is nothing inherent in either of those words. We learn what they mean as we grow up, and the ones teaching us play a major role in handing down those cultural values about what we should or should not be doing to create order in our lives.

What matters is how we “believe” that we as humans create and manage our physical and social order, at home and outside of it. Watch boys at a sporting event — lacrosse, soccer or anything — and they learn quickly how to pack their sports bag and keep their equipment in good shape (or be yelled at by the coach). Girls do the same. In the office, men can be very neat, or not. I have had bosses with horrible office order and others who were so immaculate that it was weird. The same has been true of male or female bosses.

The question then becomes: Why do we think women should pick up the toys, fold the laundry and close the cabinets, while the guys watch their ballgame and drink their beer with a mess all around them? Humans are culture-creating and culture-living creatures. As children, we learn from parents, teachers and friends what is valued and for whom. If boys are allowed to have messy rooms because, well, they are just boys, they will quickly learn that boys can be messy, ignore the mess, and not be expected to restore order to it. If girls are told that they must clean up their rooms before they can do something they want, they learn other rules and other norms.

It really is true that what we see our mothers and fathers, and others, doing is what we mimic, in business and in life. It becomes embedded in our psyches, sometimes without our even realizing. If girls and women repeatedly hear that cleanliness is next to godliness, they will learn that making the bed, tidying the kitchen and cleaning up messes are positive reinforcements for how good and acceptable they are. Boys don’t learn this. In fact, if a boy neatly picks up his toys and then is called a sissy, what value judgement is that passing along?

So then, if you have a man in the house who repeatedly ignores the kids’ mess on the floor, think hard about what both of you are teaching your kids about personal responsibility, beyond neatness and messiness. You might during this at-home period be able to change their futures by providing them with unbiased values and beliefs about what men and women see and do. Remember, it is easier to change the kids than the guy. I would advise, though, that in your corrections to the latter, tread carefully but quickly, before the opportunity evaporates.

About Andi Simon

Andi Simon, Ph.D., author of the book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, is a corporate anthropologist and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants. A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy®, Simon has conducted several hundred workshops and speeches on the topic as well as consulted with a wide range of clients across the globe. She also is the author of the award-winning book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon has a successful podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, that has more than 125,000 monthly listeners, and is ranked among the top 20 Futurist podcasts and top 200 business podcasts. In addition, Global Advisory Experts named Simons’ firm the Corporate Anthropology Consultancy Firm of the Year in New York – 2020. She has been on Good Morning, America and Bloomberg, and is widely published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Becker’s, and American Banker, among others. She has been a guest blogger for Forbes.com, Huffington Post, and Fierce Health.

Mina Tocalini illustration for mental health article inside 360 magazine

Non-Immigrant Kids Respond Differently When Immigrant Children Are Bullied

A recent study finds that, while youth think all bullying is bad, non-immigrant adolescents object less to bullying when the victim is an immigrant. However, the study found that the more contact immigrant and non-immigrant children had with each other, the more strongly they objected to bullying.

“We know that bystanders can play a key role in stopping bullying, and wanted to better understand bystander responses to bias-based bullying,” says Seçil Gönültaş, first author of the study and a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University. “What role does a victim’s background play? What role does the bystander’s background play? Are children more or less likely to intervene if they come from different backgrounds?”

To explore these questions, the researchers conducted a study with 179 children, all of whom were in either sixth grade or ninth grade. Seventy-nine of the study participants were of immigrant origin, meaning that at least one of their parents was born outside of the United States. Researchers categorized the remaining 100 participants as non-immigrants for the purposes of this study, meaning both of their parents had been born in the U.S.

Study participants read three different scenarios and were then asked a range of questions to assess what they thought of the interactions in each scenario and how they would have responded in each situation.

In the first scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies an immigrant child because of his or her immigrant status. In the second scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies another non-immigrant child for being shy. And in the third scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies an immigrant child for being shy. Social bullying involves verbal or emotional abuse, rather than physical abuse. Immigrant youth in the fictional scenarios were born outside of the U.S.

“In general, the kids thought bullying was not acceptable,” says Kelly Lynn Mulvey, co-author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. “But non-immigrant youth thought bullying immigrant peers was more acceptable than bullying of other non-immigrant peers. Immigrant origin youth thought bullying any of the kids was equally wrong.”

“On a positive note, we found that there were two things that made a difference,” Gönültaş says. “First, we found that the more contact children in one group had with children in another group, the less accepting they were of bullying and the more likely they were to intervene to stop the bullying. That was true for immigrant origin and non-immigrant youth.”

“We also found that children who scored higher on ‘Theory of Mind’ were more likely to intervene,” Mulvey says. “Theory of Mind is an important part of understanding other people’s perspectives, so we suspect this is likely tied to a child’s ability to place themselves in the victim’s shoes.

“Ultimately, we think this study is valuable because it can help us develop more effective anti-bullying interventions,” Mulvey adds. “For example, these findings suggest that finding ways to encourage and facilitate more positive interactions between groups can help kids to understand that all bullying is harmful and to encourage kids to step in when they see it.”

The paper, “The Role of Immigration Background, Intergroup Processes, and Social-Cognitive Skills in Bystanders’ Responses to Bias-Based Bullying Toward Immigrants During Adolescence,” is published in the journal Child Development. The work was done with support from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues’ Grants-In-Aid Program.

Abstract

This study examined how intergroup processes and social-cognitive factors shape bystander responses to bias-based and general bullying. Participants included 6th and 9th graders (N=179, M=13.23) who evaluated how likely they would be to intervene if they observed bullying of immigrant-origin and nonimmigrant-origin peers. Adolescents’ grade, intergroup attitudes, and social-cognitive abilities were evaluated as predictors of bystander responses. Nonimmigrant-origin adolescents reported that they expect they would be less likely to intervene when the victim is an immigrant-origin peer. Further, participants with more intergroup contact and higher Theory of Mind were more likely to expect they would intervene in response to bias-based bullying. Findings have important implications for understanding factors that inform anti-bullying interventions that aim to tackle bias-based bullying against immigrants.

Kelly Fuhlman in 360 MAGAZINE.

BE THE HERO AND RESCUE YOURSELF

Have you ever wished a superhero would come down and rescue you in those chaotic life moments of life? The easiest thing to do is wait for someone more qualified to come along and fix what has been broken for so long. What if I told you that hero was you?

Each one of us has an evolution that occurs over time. Are we who we were a decade ago? From dyslexia, drug addiction, and trauma, there were many times when Kelly Fuhlman, author of the new book Be the Hero and Rescue Yourself: Creating the Inner Courage to Wear Your Own Cape (Clovercroft Publishing) didn’t think she would make it. Even in times when it felt better if she didn’t. The truth is the only person who can save each of us is ourselves. Through her journey, Kelly shares how to seize back your life from waiting for the hero to becoming your own. No matter what the condition of your life, or your heart, she invites readers to journey together with her to see proof that no matter how far you fall, you can get back up. Life is not built on ten easy steps. Learn to invest in yourself and surround yourself with great people who can support you and give you that swift kick when need it. You can be courageous and Be the Hero and Rescue Yourself. It’s time to dust off your cape, and step into your purpose and healing as your own hero. In the end, it takes grit, perseverance, purpose, and hard work. We are all just working our way through this life hoping to make an impact.


To learn more, visit: https://kellyfuhlman.com/

Books are available online.

About the Author

Author, Speaker and strategic planning expert, Kelly Fuhlman has been helping Fortune 500 companies, working for universities and Disney Institute, sharing best practices in leadership, marketing and business development. Equipped with an MBA and Bachelor in Communication, she helps create strategy and relationship building within companies and teams. She has increased revenue through branding and marketing, giving companies an edge over their competition. As a speaker, Kelly helps youth and adults recognize the hero within and how to change their own story to empowering them to become their own hero. She lives in Texas with her husband and son as she continues to build a legacy around family, faith and a commitment to excellence.

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PRAISE FOR BE YOUR OWN HERO

“I found Kelly’s book to be completely honest, forthright, and soul bearing. Being a male it is always fascinating to see what it is like growing up as the opposite sex. Kelly’s journey has been difficult and I commend her for her perseverance and guts. Her life has not been easy and she decided to bare it all, warts and everything. I am proud to call her a friend. Well done.
– Clint David, Fox Rothschild LLP

“Kelly Fuhlman is the mentor and leader everyone needs. Her new book, Be the Hero and Rescue Yourself, not only tells an amazing and honest story about Kelly but gives women and men the courage to find strength and growth in difficult change, no matter how hard it can be.” –Tiarra Tompkins – Writer/Editor

“Great book and great message! Thank you for sharing such a deep and personal stories. Even as a guy I can relate to many situations you present and valuable lifelong lessons to be learned.” –Jan Klodner, Board Member at Fidelity AG, Inc., JMAR Technology Services, LLC