What is procrastination?
Procrastination is the act of putting something off that you really should be doing. Procrastination is very common! Most people procrastinate occasionally. We’ve all postponed tasks until the last minute, like writing an assignment the night before it is due. Procrastination can be annoying, but is usually fairly harmless. However, chronic procrastination can become a source of constant distress for some people. Procrastinating habitually can be a source of anxiety, low mood, stress, tension, guilt, and/ or shame.
Why do we procrastinate?
Often we procrastinate tasks that we expect to find boring or difficult. Doing more interesting activities (e.g., watching TV, scrolling through Instagram, online shopping) can provide a temporary relief from that discomfort we expect. However, the key word there is temporary. Often our feelings of guilt will continue to build, despite attempting to distract ourselves. Procrastination can occur because of several reasons, such as:
Is procrastination treatable?
Yes! While procrastination can often feel chronic and simply a part of your personality, the research shows it is treatable. In fact, people can change their behaviours and these changes can be maintained over long periods of time. Treatment for procrastination basically aims to bridge the gap between your intent to complete a task and taking action to complete the task.
How is procrastination best treated?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, has shown to be the most effective treatment for procrastination. This therapy has three key approaches for procrastination.
1. Develop your self-regulation skills.: This involves developing work habits that prevent procrastination. Some examples of strategies are:
2. Build your sense of self-efficacy: Remember, self-efficacy in the sense that you feel you can achieve the task.
3. Organise social support: One of the best ways to achieve a goal is to tell people you are working towards this goal! This helps you feel that you are not alone, and that there are lots of people who believe in you.
Is this something my Psychologist could help me with?
Definitely! Procrastination is very common, but this doesn’t mean it has to stick with us for life. Your Psychologist can help you tailor these strategies to best suit your needs. Feel free to Contact Us for more information.
For further reading:
Rozental, A., Bennett, S., Forsström, D., Ebert, D. D., Shafran, R., Andersson, G., & Carlbring, P. (2018). Targeting Procrastination Using Psychological Treatments: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1588. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01588
van Eerde, W., & Klingsieck, K.B., (2018) Overcoming Procrastination? A Meta Analysis of Intervention Studies, Educational Research Review, 25, 73-85 doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/ j.edurev.2018.09.002
You may have found this blog post because your child has been referred for a “psychoeducational assessment” and you're wondering what does that actually mean? This is a type of assessment that measures your child’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioural functioning (“psycho”) and their academic skills (“educational”). Your child may require this type of assessment if they are struggling academically, socially, emotionally, or behaviourally. At Lifespan Health we can complete these assessments to help find out if your child’s difficulties can be explained by the presence of a neurodevelopmental disorder, like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, an Intellectual Disability, or a Specific Learning Disorder (e.g., dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia). Understanding what may be underlying your child’s difficulties can help us figure out how to best support them at home and at school.
This can be a confusing or stressful time for families, as the whole process may seem very complicated or you may be feeling anxious about the potential outcome of the assessment. At Lifespan Health we try to make this process as smooth as possible. In my experience I have found that usually parents have a sense of relief when we discuss the results of the assessment, as they feel they have a much better understanding of their child and a clearer idea of where to go from there. So what should you expect when your child is coming to Lifespan Health for a psychological assessment?
Children may be referred for an assessment in several different ways. Parents may self-refer a child, a school may have suggested the assessment, or you may have been directly referred by a medical practitioner (e.g., a GP, Paediatrician, or Peadiatric Psychiatrist). Our friendly admin team can help you book in your assessment and explain our prices. Generally an assessment will take 2 to 4 weeks to complete from start to finish.
2. The initial intake session
Within this session you will meet with you Psychologist. Generally, most of this session is spent with parents, as your Psychologist will be asking questions about your child’s early years and current functioning. Depending on your child’s age, they will usually wait in waiting room during this time, and are welcome to play with our toys or colour in. The Psychologist will then often meet with your child too. This helps your child feel more comfortable with the Psychologist, helps your child become more familiar with the testing environment, and gives your Psychologist a chance to start to get to know them. Within this session your Psychologist may provide online questionnaires for yourself and for your child’s classroom teacher to complete.
3. The testing sessions
Your child will usually attend 2 to 3 sessions of testing, depending on what we are assessing. These sessions will usually go for 60 minutes. For younger children we generally suggest having these sessions on separate days as it can be quite tiring. Older children or adolescents can often be tested on the same day, with a break in between their session. Our Psychologists are engaging and try to make the sessions as enjoyable as possible Often short breaks are offered during the session, to help keep your child motivated. Activities may include things like solving puzzles, listening tasks, reading, or writing.
4. Report feedback
A Report Feedback session is provided once testing with your child is completed, the parent and teacher questionnaires are returned, and your Psychologist has written the report. This usually occurs about 2 weeks after the testing sessions. Within this session your Psychologist will explain the results of the assessment, any diagnoses given, and recommendations following the assessment. Recommendations may include having the report reviewed by a paediatrician, tips for home and school, engaging in therapy for further support, or a referral to a different specialist (e.g,, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist) for an assessment or therapy. We welcome you to ask as many questions as you like in this session as it is important that you feel you understand the report. There are no “silly” questions!
5. After an assessment
We encourage you to go home and re-read the report. It can be a lot of information to take in. If you have any further questions you are welcome to contact our team. You may have discussed coming back for therapy after the assessment, for help with things like social skills, anxiety management, or behavioural management strategies. Our admin team can help you with booking this in.
Please feel free to Contact Us if you would like any further information.
It is completely normal to have emotional ups and downs in life. We all have our good days and our bad days. However, you have probably noticed that since hitting puberty your teenager seems to be having more frequent and extreme ups and downs. Adolescence can be a tricky time. Teenagers are dealing with changes in their body, their friendships, their school demands, and their increasing independence from you. It can feel that your young person seems to go from feeling frustrated to feeling sad to feeling overjoyed in a matter of minutes. Often these mood changes seem to come from nowhere and can certainly be confronting for parents to deal with.
Why do teenagers experience mood swings?
The research says that mood swings can occur for a number of different reasons. Firstly, when your teenager hit puberty they started producing sex hormones. That is, estrogen and progesterone in girls and testosterone in boys. This means that increased feelings of irritability, sadness, and frequent frustration can be related to chemical changes in their bodies. Your teenager's brain is also going through a major change, as it rewires itself to become a functioning adult. Often the last part of the brain to develop is the pre-frontal cortex. This part of the brain helps your young person control their emotions, manage their impulses, and consider the consequences of their actions. This part of the brain is the last section to develop! So while your teenager may be starting to look more and more like an adult, at times their abilities to manage their strong emotions is more like that of a younger child.
On top of all that physical change, your teenager is having to deal with a range of new pressures. They might be starting high school, making new friends, having to complete more complicated assessment tasks, or they might be starting a new job. Often they are also developing their identity, which can involve wanting to be accepted by their friends while also becoming more independent from their parents. All of these competing demands can be very overwhelming for your young person.
When are mood changes more serious than a mood swing?
While mood swings are to be expected in teenagers, sometimes it may feel like there is something more serious going on. Depression is the most common mental health problem treated in young people. Some signs of depression can include:
When should I seek help?
You might consider seeking help for your young person if these signs are:
You can start by talking to your GP about whether your young person may benefit from psychological therapy. At Lifespan Health we are able to provide psychological treatment for mood disorders and general management of strong emotions. Feel free to Contact Us for more information.