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

OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
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To qualify as obsessive-compulsive disorder, the person recognizes that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. They cause marked distress, are time-consuming (taking up at least one hour per day), and significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine, work or school functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.

Sleep and the Sleep Disorders
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The National Sleep Foundation tells us that nearly half of us don’t get enough sleep. In modern-day society, because of night work, television, computers, and the profound stress we experience in everyday life, our sleep is often disrupted. Sleep is a basic biological need, like hunger and thirst. When we don’t get enough of it, our bodies let us know that there are consequences.

Truth and Honesty in Our Relationships
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The long-term success of any relationship depends on the ability of the two partners to achieve intimacy through their communication. When the two partners feel isolated from each other and blocked in their ability to achieve the closeness they once felt, it is time to work on expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings to each other.

Breaking Up – It’s Hard to Do
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The person who was once your best friend and your companion for life, the one who knew you better than anyone else, has now in some ways become your enemy. You cannot believe that this has happened. How could that love have been destroyed? The breakup of a relationship is one of life’s most emotionally painful experiences.

Enhancing Your Self-Esteem
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One of the things that therapy does best is to address issues of self-esteem. Many of us are wounded, in one way or another, by the way we were treated as we grew up. As adults it is our responsibility to put closure on the damage inflicted on us by others and to move on with our lives in a healthy way.

Friendship and Social Support – The Laws of Attraction
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Spending time with a good, supportive friend will calm us and uplift our mood. We feel better when we talk things through with a trusted friend. When we hear ourselves talk, we can often get to the root of what is bothering us without the listener’s having to say a word. Social support validates us.

Working on Your Relationship – By Yourself
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While it is ideal for the two partners to agree mutually that there is a problem that needs to be confronted and to show an equal amount of motivation in solving the problem in relationship therapy, this goal is not always achievable. The reality of the situation is that one of the partners may not be ready to work on the problem – and the reason for this may be perfectly valid.

Grief Does Not Have to Hold Us In Its Grip, We Can Move Through It
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In order to understand the process, let’s look at three stages of grief: Shock, Suffering, and Recovery. The duration of each stage is different. The complexity is in the pattern of behavior in each of the stages. You can and probably will vacillate from one stage to the other. This can be scary for the survivor and for those who really want to help him or her but the stages are necessary and healthy.

Staying Together – How to Create a Healthy Committed Relationship
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When we make a commitment to our partner, our usual expectation is that our relationship will last for life and that our love will see us through the inevitable hard times. Yet, when reality sinks in, we have to acknowledge that while love is one of the components of a relationship’s longevity, it really takes more to make it through the long haul.

A Roadmap For Putting Your Marriage Back on Track
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Become a student of your spouse. Learn what your partner likes and dislikes. Try to understand his or her unique personality, needs and desires. One book I suggest to help you better understand your spouse is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It explains how to communicate your love depending on your spouse’s love language.

Depression in Men
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The incidence of depression in our society seems to be on the rise. Recent estimates suggest that as many as one in three of us will experience some form of depression within our lifetimes. Others claim that depression may even represent a symptom of our times which are characterized by alienation, lack of strong community bonds, and hopeless economic situations for many.

Dealing With Holiday Stress
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You’re not alone. ‘Tis the season to be stressed out.

The major cause of holiday stress is expectations. Those expectations usually revolve around family and financial issues. And to top it off, time crunches often bring the stress to the surface.

What About Depression
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Everyone feels sad from time to time. It’s only natural. Most people go through blue days or just periods of feeling down, especially after they experience a loss. But what experts call clinical depression is different from just being “down in the dumps.‚” The main difference is that the sad or empty mood does not go away after a couple of weeks – and everyday activities like eating, sleeping, socializing, or working can be affected.

The Two Faces of Anxiety
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If you determine that your responses to the daily stressors present in your life have become problematic, fortunately, therapy has proven to be a very effective way to address this issue.

A Regular Checkup Is Good for the Mind as Well as the Body
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About a quarter of American adults suffer from some type of mental health problem each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and 6 percent suffer severe ailments, like schizophrenia or major depression. When left untreated, mental health illnesses are more likely to lead to hospitalization – something that could mean time lost from work.

Make The Stress Of Mothering Less Smothering
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Some men who want to be helpful just jump in and end up getting in the way. It’s a better idea for a man to ask what he can do. Chances are his assistance will be more on-target and more appreciated if he just gets direction.

And even better than reminding his wife to make time for herself, he can help her make time. He can offer to watch the kids while your she jumps on the treadmill or runs out shopping with a friend. Surely, she’ll return the favor.