Physically Abused Children Have Trouble Identifying Rewards

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

Miriam Galindo is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Irvine, California. Miriam Galindo also has served as a therapist in the Child Abuse Prevention Program at CSP, Inc., in Lake Forest, California.

A study performed by psychologist Dr. Jamie Hanson of the University of Pittsburgh indicates that physically abused children are less able to make choices that lead to rewards. Children who experience abuse often grow up in environments where punishment is always looming and rewards are rare and unpredictable. Thus, they don’t have the ability to adapt to new rules.

The researchers performed an experiment where abused and nonabused children had to choose between pictures of objects to earn points for a prize. One of the pictures was randomly chosen to award points significantly more frequently than the other. While both sets of children chose higher-value images more often as the trial progressed, the physically abused children lagged behind, choosing the correct picture in 131 out of 200 trials. The nonabused children chose the image 151 times out of 200.

Scientists posit the unpredictability and inconsistency of rewards at home may affect the decision-making abilities of abused children in social situations.

Children Communicate Complex Feelings through Play Therapy

Play Therapy pic

Play Therapy
Image: playtherapy.org

Licensed psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo has years of experience working with at-risk children and families. Today, Dr. Miriam Galindo treats juvenile patients in her work as a play therapist.

Play therapy is a growing form of mental health treatment for children of all ages, though the technique is said to be most effective for patients between the ages of 3 and 12. In play therapy, children are presented with a variety of toys designed to encourage creative fantasy play as well as toys that make it possible to demonstrate scenarios from real life.

Play therapists work to create a supportive bond with the children in a safe environment, allowing the children to feel comfortable enough to use the toys as a means of communicating their feelings symbolically through play. This mode of communication may allow the children to express feelings, fears, and ideas that they do not yet have the verbal language to explain.

Play therapy is often used to help children who live through traumatic experiences, including domestic violence, grief, disfigurement, and sexual abuse. Parents often seek the help of a play therapist when their child begins to display unusual traits or behaviors, including anxiety, aggression, social difficulties, and poor school performance.

How Co-Parenting Counseling Can Help in High-Conflict Cases

 

Co-Parenting Counseling pic

Co-Parenting Counseling
Image: psychologytoday.com

Child Custody Evaluations in California

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Dr. Miriam Galindo runs a private practice in Irvine, California, where she conducts child custody evaluations.

In California, parents who go through a divorce often have to undergo a child custody evaluation, or a 730 Evaluation. While judges sometimes order these evaluations for concerns related to substance abuse or child abuse, they also order them when parents simply cannot come to an agreement on custody.

A 730 Evaluation may be conducted by four types of professionals in California: psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. If the parents cannot agree on an evaluator, the judge either chooses one or requires the parents to submit a list of potential evaluators. The professional conducting the evaluation assesses the parenting practices and mental health of both parents in order to inform the judge’s orders related to custody and visitation.

The Importance of Culturally Informed Child Custody Evaluations

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

Dr. Miriam Galindo is a licensed clinical psychologist and social worker who earned her Doctor of Psychology from Anaheim’s Trinity College of Graduate Studies in 2007. Since 2005, Miriam Galindo has evaluated 286 child custody cases and focused her postgraduate dissertation on the subject of Religion and the Best Interest Standard in Child Custody Evaluations.

The American Psychological Association lists 14 important guidelines for conducting child custody evaluations, one of them being “Psychologists strive to engage in culturally informed, nondiscriminatory evaluation practices.” One of the most important things for psychologists when evaluating child custody cases is to be aware of their own biases – and those of others – against gender, race, age, religion or nationality. Data collection and its interpretation can be misconstrued with a lack of culturally competent insight.

Should the subject of examination possess a cultural or racial background with which the evaluator is unfamiliar, the psychologist is directed to prepare and conduct the evaluation with informed peer consultation and extensive literature review.

Family Therapy Methods and Effects on Children’s Mental Health

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

Dr. Miriam Galindo completed her PsyD at the Trinity College of Graduate Studies in Anaheim, California. Upon licensure, she began her practice in psychiatric social work. Dr. Miriam Galindo conducts family therapy sessions for the welfare of children with psychological issues.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, therapy sessions involving parents have a positive impact on children afflicted with certain psychological conditions, such as conduct disorders. This study refutes existing notions about family therapy, such as parent-blaming. According to study authors Guy Diamond, PhD, and Allan Josephson, MD, behavior family therapy (BFT) and parent management training (PMT) are effective treatments to promote positive behavior in children.

In another study by Jeffrey Wood, PhD, published in Psychiatric Times, children with anxiety disorders can benefit from family cognitive-behavioral therapy (FCBT). In addition to cognitive-behavioral techniques, FCBT also educates parents on family intervention strategies to help children regulate their anxiety.

Social, Cultural, and Economic Influences on Child Psychology

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

Dr. Miriam Galindo serves as a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed clinical psychologist. As a result, Dr. Miriam Galindo has experience with the discipline of child psychology.

A rich field of study, child psychology deals with growth and development. Its practitioners differ as to the importance of various factors in explaining a child’s personality. Although most people look to genetics and personality to account for children’s feelings and actions, several other domains also play a part.

In the social sphere, schools, peers, and families all play a role in a child’s development. Relationships play a role in molding how a child learns and thinks.

Culture is also important. Cultural identity is a factor in making assumptions about the world and sharing customs and values. It also influences children’s relationships with parents, levels of educational attainment, and standards of child care.

Additionally, socio-economic status (SES) has a strong influence on children. Its aspects include family income, level of schooling, types of jobs held, and the quality of the neighborhood. Children who are high SES typically have better access to healthcare and nutrition than children on the lower end of the economic ladder.

These three domains interact with one another. For instance, healthy relationships and a vibrant culture may compensate for a low-SES situation. Properly understood, these concepts can help child psychologists determine the best treatments for their young patients.