Articles

Fox Valley Institute believes that education is important for one’s personal growth. Below you will find a list of articles that we have compiled or have been written by Dr. Laura Bokar.

Featured Articles

Setting Boundaries Can Bring A Family Closer
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It’s important that if you want someone to stop doing something you replace it with something else. And you need to be clear on your expectations. Change is hard enough. But not understanding what the other person wants can make things even harder.

StepFamily Life
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You might be thinking that your own blended family looks like a chaotic group of people all dancing to a different tune, stumbling over one another and out of step. It can feel like your partner keeps stepping on your toes. You glance at the kids and find that one of them is drifting away from everyone and lost to their own rhythm, another one is a wallflower who refuses to dance, and yet another child resembles a whirling dervish.

New Year, New You
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Often the biggest reason a goal isn’t achieved is that it isn’t detailed enough. For instance “I want to spend more time with my kids,” lacks specificity. How much time? Where? Doing what? When? I suggest you write down your goals and refer back to them regularly.

A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way
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If you and your spouse write down how a quarrel looked to you after the anger has dissipated, chances are your transcripts will read like this. A good way to diffuse arguments can be to try seeing things from your partner’s point of view. The problem is that in the heat of the moment, it’s often hard to see things clearly.

Emotional Unavailability
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When we commit to a relationship, we usually expect that our partner will reciprocate with roughly the same level of emotional involvement that we put into it. Many of us hope to find a soulmate, a partner who can share and understand our feelings and ways of thinking on an intensely personal level.

Attention Deficits – Living with ADD and ADHD
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Most people with Attention Deficit Disorder don’t know they have it. Indeed, the disorder was not recognized until the 1980’s, and it was not until the 1990’s that the recognition of adult ADD was established. However, it is a condition that can have a significant impact on the way a person functions in the world.

Punctuality – Getting there On Time
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Some of us have a pattern of being late for appointments, social events, classes, and project deadlines. No matter how hard we try, no matter how strong our resolve to be on time, it just doesn’t happen. We are always late. Researchers estimate that 15 to 20 percent of the population is afflicted with chronic tardiness. Thankfully, with some self-examination, motivation, and practice, people who suffer from this affliction can deal with it successfully and learn to be on time.

Manipulation in Relationships
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We are all vulnerable to being manipulated in relationships, whether between romantic partners, friends, parents, children, employers, coworkers, or neighbors. When we allow another person to manipulate us, we are colluding with their desire to control our feelings, motives, and even our thoughts through deceptive, exploitative, and unfair means.

Stress and Anxiety Disorders
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Stress is the body’s reaction to an event that is experienced as disturbing or threatening. Our primitive ancestors experienced stress when they had to fight off wild animals and other threats to their survival. Now, in the contemporary world, we are more likely to feel stressed when we face overwhelming responsibilities at work or home, experience loneliness, rejection, or the fear of losing things that are important to us, such as our jobs or friends.

Looking For Love In All The Right Places
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Although some people prefer to remain single throughout their lives, most people strive to connect with and live in partnership with one special person. There are many obvious advantages to finding a relationship partner – physical, economic, social – but there is another significant advantage in that working through the ups and downs of a relationship allows us to come to terms with many of our own personal issues.

Understanding Personality Disorders
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All of us have our own unique ways of feeling and thinking and expressing ourselves. Most of the time, our uniqueness is seen simply as an individual difference – or something special about each of us. In fact, this is what brings interest and variety to the people in our lives. This is a positive thing. One of the healthiest things we can do is to achieve a fairly objective understanding of just how we are unique or different from other people.

Grieving – Our Heartfelt Response to a Major Loss
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Grieving comes to most of us at some point in our lives. In fact, statistics show that each person can expect to experience the loss of a loved one once every nine to thirteen years. The resulting sadness may be the most painful of life’s experiences. Because it is painful, however, our eventual adaptation to the loss can bring meaning and integrity to our lives – and this, ultimately, is a gift to us from the one we have lost. It is a reminder to us that the circle is unbroken.

Adult Children of Substance Abusers – Dealing with a Legacy of Family Dysfunction
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Countless millions of adults in this country had a parent with a drinking or drug problem. A brief look at some of the history of the last century can clarify this phenomenon. Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and this tended to validate, or at least give some justification for, the consumption of alcohol by the World War II generation. Alcohol was associated with good times and the good life for what is now sometimes called the drinking generation, those folks who lived through WWII, the survivors of whom are now entering the latter stages of the life span. Their children, the Baby Boomers, who are now in middle age, tended to use not only alcohol but drugs as well.

Enhancing Your Emotionally Committed Relationship
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Emotionally committed relationships bring excitement and passion into our lives, especially when they are new. Over time, however, we come across roadblocks based in personal issues that can distance us from our partners. When we first enter into a committed relationship, we may think that we have found the answer to life’s problems, that we have a partner to share in daily turmoil, that we will never be alone again, that it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

Social Anxiety – Overcoming Shyness
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Ask people what they fear the most and many of them will answer, “speaking in public.” In surveys that ask people about their fears, about one person in five reports an extreme fear of public speaking. Shyness and other forms of social anxiety are common – and they prevent people from fully experiencing life.

Attention Deficits – Living with ADD and ADHD
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Researchers used to think that what they called “hyperactivity” was a condition found in childhood that was outgrown during adolescence. We know now that about one-third of children with these symptoms outgrow them during adolescence, and the other two-thirds continue to show symptoms into adulthood.