Dr. Miriam Galindo
Miriam Galindo has built a two-decade career based in reaching out to help individuals and families heal from challenging and traumatic life experiences. Formerly a professional social worker in Santa Ana, California, she now directs her own private practice as a licensed psychologist. Based in Irvine, Miriam Galindo additionally provides the Orange County Superior Court with expert advice in family court cases.
In a notable case in 2014, Dr. Galindo served the court by providing a 730 evaluation of the parenting practices and mental health of Tamra Barney, known to TV viewers for her participation in the reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County. Ms. Barney was at the time involved in a custody dispute with her ex-husband, Simon, and planned to put the couple’s three children in front of the cameras for the series.
Based on Dr. Galindo’s recommendation, a judge ruled that the Barneys’ children should not be permitted to appear on the show. Ms. Barney did not contest the court’s decision.
The participation of children in reality shows has become a controversial issue. Many experts and members of the public have commented that the associated stress and the pressures to perform in front of an audience are detrimental to children’s mental health. Professionals have additionally noted that the sudden fame that comes with being on a reality show can just as suddenly evaporate, leaving children frustrated, depressed, and with little other means of defining their self-worth.
As a privately practicing psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has offered counseling in co-parenting to many families as they go through divorce. Dr. Miriam Galindo has also worked with the court system as a custody evaluator and co-leads family reunification and co-parenting courses through the Families in Transition program.
Co-parenting can be both emotionally and logistically difficult, as it requires two people to put aside a challenging and potentially intense history to make important decisions together. To succeed, the two parties must commit to open communication that is focused entirely on the children. This means finding a different outlet for frustrations about the other parent, particularly in conversations that the children may encounter.
When children are in earshot, parents must be careful to speak only in positive ways about the other parent. This guideline is applicable when speaking to the children as well as to the other parent, who is likely to be more receptive to parenting discussions if he or she does not feel accused or put down.
Meanwhile, it is important for co-parents to keep rules and expectations consistent across households. This provides the children with a crucial sense of stability and keeps them from taking advantage of what they may perceive as an unstable parenting situation.
Children will, however, be aware that things are different. Parents should answer their questions as freely as possible, when it is age-appropriate, and reassure them about things such as when they will change houses and whether the family dog will change houses with them.
California resident Dr. Miriam Galindo serves as a private practice psychologist and licensed social worker. Serving families and children who are at-risk, she provides co-parenting and reunification therapy services, along with art and play therapy for children. Over the years, Miriam Galindo has helped families manage such childhood problems as aggression.
Although everyone feels anger sometimes, children can struggle with controlling these emotions. As a result, they display their anger through aggressive behaviors, such as biting and kicking. Below are a few ways parents can manage their child’s aggressive behavior:
Be firm and consistent – As children age, they must be taught that some behavior is acceptable and some is not. Whenever a child behaves aggressively, adults must reprimand the child immediately and explain to them why their behavior is wrong. Further, adults must remain consistent when it comes to deciding when and what to say to scold a child.
Remove children from the situation – Certain situations may produce aggressive behaviors, such as refusing to buy a child candy or sweet cereal at the grocery store. In these situations, adults should tell their child that they have to alter their behavior or they will have to leave the environment. Assuming the child does not stop, they should be removed from the situation to help them control their emotions.
Teach them alternative ways to handle anger – Instead of using their bodies to express anger, children should be taught alternative methods for channeling their emotions. Each time a child opts for nonviolent behavior, adults should praise them. Further, children should be shown that conflicts in the home are resolved peacefully to help them understand that violence and aggression is not needed.
Depression in Children
Over the course of her career as a psychologist Miriam Galindo, Psy.D., has gained extensive experience treating abused and neglected children. Prior to establishing her own practice in Irvine, California, Dr. Miriam Galindo spent time working in an outpatient counseling agency where she assessed and treated children who had experienced sexual abuse.
To some, depression may not seem like a condition that affects young children. However, there is a clear distinction to be made between the ordinary growing pains and mood swings that define childhood, and clinical depression, a serious illness faced by young individuals as well as adults.
Although it can vary in many ways from child to child, childhood depression can generally be characterized as either masked or typical depression. A child masking his or her depression will often lash out at others and frequently demonstrate anger and irritability rather than episodes of anxiety or melancholy. Typical depression in children, on the other hand, is similar to adult depression and can be characterized by sadness and other low moods.
There are a number of signs that can help parents and other caregivers identify depression and separate the illness from normal psychological developments. Sudden changes in sleep patterns, for example, can be a warning sign. As children grow they require more sleep, but excessive sleeping (or, by contrast, symptoms akin to insomnia) are less common. Fatigue and low energy are further signs of childhood depression, particularly in regard to events and activities the child previously enjoyed. Finally, repeated social withdrawal can be attributed to depression, especially if the child refrains from participating with other children due to fear of rejection.
In addition to serving as an approved child custody evaluator for California’s Orange County, Miriam Galindo has experience providing family therapy. In particular, Miriam Galindo works with families that are dealing with difficult situations, such as a divorce.
A divorce is not only very stressful for parents, but also for any children in the family. However, there are a number of things parents can do to help minimize the stress and make the experience easier for children.
For example, parents should give children opportunities to express their own feelings about the divorce in an honest and open way. Parents should listen and let the children speak about the situation without admonishing children for how they feel or dismissing their feelings. Children often want to avoid serious discussions, but it is important for them to be encouraged to share how they really feel.
If children have difficulty verbalizing their feelings about the divorce, parents can help them by encouraging them to open up when they appear upset. If parents are unsure of how to navigate the divorce with their children or feel that children could benefit from speaking with a professional, meeting with a counselor or therapist is often very beneficial.
A former California social worker, Miriam Galindo, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and registered child play therapist. Dr. Miriam Galindo currently provides counseling services to families and children involved in high-conflict divorce cases through her private practice in Irvine. She regularly works with the Family Law Division of the Orange County Superior Court and was recently sought after to complete a 730 evaluation for a case involving the filming of children for the show Real Housewives of Orange County.
Ensuring the best interests of the child, a court traditionally enforces a 730 evaluation to determine if child or substance abuse is occurring or whether the mental health of a parent may prohibit proper care of a child. Additionally, a judge may request a 730 evaluation if the child’s upbringing is in question.
In the state of California, a custody evaluator, appointed by a judge or selected by a judge from a list submitted by members of both sides of the custody case, is called upon to complete the analysis. A custody evaluator may hold the title of psychologist, psychiatrist, qualified social worker, or marriage and family therapist. He or she provides to the court insight into potential issues regarding parenting or mental health by conducting a psychological test, interviewing parents and family members, observing interactions between the child and parent, and completing home visits.
In the resulting report, which is submitted to the court, the custody evaluator addresses parenting characteristics and the quality of the parent-child relationships. Further, the professional addresses how the parents perceive their child, as well as the pressures placed on him or her.
Dr. Miriam Galindo, a licensed social worker and licensed psychologist, currently maintains a private practice with her husband in Irvine, California. With a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies, Dr. Miriam Galindo provides psychological counseling to children in high-conflict divorce situations.
Divorce is a stressful and confusing experience for children, so it is important that parents help their kids through the process by maintaining stability at home, attending to their children’s needs, and being positive. At first, discussing the situation with children is often a difficult task, but telling the truth, addressing the changes that will be happening, and telling children often that they are loved help alleviate the pain and confusion. Parents should explain in a simple way why the divorce is happening and emphasize that, while things may change between parents, both parents will always love their children.
It is also important that parents do not blame their spouse, as difficult as it may be. Speaking badly about one another and quizzing children on what happens at the other parent’s house makes the situation more stressful for the children. Sometimes, getting help for one’s own painful feelings helps with staying positive and supporting the children.
Parents should also allow children to express their feelings about the situation. By allowing children to be honest about what they feel, parents are able to learn the best way to support and help them through the process. Any misunderstandings that come up should be calmly addressed so that the children understand what is happening. Finally, a consistent message of reassurance and love is an important part of the divorce process for children.