Tips for the Holidays from UBH Denton

14 December, 2012 (16:47) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

 Article submitted by Jerry Mabli, PhD 

The holidays are stressful for most of us. Indeed they can be overwhelming for some people. We have gifts to buy, social obligations to meet, cards to send, cooking, cleaning, putting up the tree, etc. etc.—all in addition to our regular duties. But the holidays can be made more pleasant if you handle things right.

So to the extent you can, to maintain your emotional stability (and even physical health) TRY TO:

  1. Get enough sleep. Eight hours. Take a nap if you need it. You’ll be in a better mood, and be more alert and efficient.
  2. Stay in your regular routine as much as you can. Eat regularly even if it’s a small (healthy) snack. Avoid fast food. Carry fruit or veggies on your shopping trips.
  3. Delegate. The kids (and hubby) can help even if you may have to relax your high standards for e.g. gift wrapping, table setting, tree-trimming. You already have a “chores” list for each family member over age two, right?
  4. Plan your shopping and social activities efficiently. Combine and make fewer trips. Do less, better! Online shopping can avoid the stress of traffic and crowds as well as save time and effort.
  5. Get some exercise daily even if you can only do some jumping jacks in the living room at night.
  6. Include a few minutes of “Quiet Time” each day (Prayer and/or meditation). It will be well worth it in its benefits to you in terms of tranquility/equanimity/groundedness.
  7. Avoid or minimize contact with toxic people. (Yes that just might include your mother.)  Focus on the people you like/love/care about most.
  8. Say “NO” to some of your less important social obligations. You might even choose to see the “other side” of the family right after Christmas or visit different relatives on alternate years.
  9.  Be choosy about what and how much you eat at all those office parties. The good news is that most people do NOT gain the ten or twenty pounds they believe they put on during the holidays. They gain on the average (only) about six. The bad news is that over the course of the next year they only lose about five of it. Net gain = about a pound or two (PER YEAR, however).
  10. Prioritize your activities, and then eliminate some “traditional” activities that are too burdensome-less important. E.g. writing too many Christmas cards, putting up that second tree.

Calm down, slow down and make this year a truly



Reis’s Pieces: Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia is announced!

29 February, 2012 (13:49) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

Just received an email from one of our great mental health friends, Karen Schwartz. We wanted to share the exciting news about another great book by Karen.

Dear Friends:

 I’m very excited about the upcoming release of my new novel: Reis’s Pieces: Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia. The release date is May 1st! I love the cover my publisher designed!

 Check it out:–%2BReis%2527s%2BPieces%2B–%2BCover%2BDesign.jpg

Meanwhile movie development of my debut novel: Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? is moving forward.

I’ll send you updates for both as we get closer.

Hope you’re all doing well!

My best,


Children of Alcoholics

8 February, 2012 (09:39) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

Written by  Nishendu Vasavada, MD to raise awareness for National Children of Alcoholics Week, February 12-18

Recently a lot of attention has been paid to the “addicted brain”. One recent study done at Cambridge reports that persons with cocaine addiction show poor impulse control and low impulse control. 

What is even more interesting to note are the stories we hear from our clients who grew up in alcoholic families. Many of these are not alcoholics or persons with addiction. Many of them are not even clients, apparently functioning very well in their lives. In her book “Adult Children of Alcoholics” by Janet Woititz several interesting behaviors are observed that are common to these adult children.

Some are super responsible and some are super irresponsible. Some show both tendencies in different parts of their lives. A person can be a great businessman but may not be a responsible parent. Adult children of alcoholic parents often find themselves being fiercely loyal in obvious situation where loyalty may not be in person’s best interest. Such children will continue to work for a boss who is abusive even when they are able to find another job. Some stay married to an abusive spouse when it may be best to leave. Adult children of alcoholics often do not have a sense of normalcy. They often do not know what is “normal” in families. They often grow up never quite knowing who their alcoholic parent really is. The parent may be angry and hostile for no obvious reason at one time and at another time very loving and generous. They often assume what normalcy is and try to “act normal”. On surface their behavior looks “normal” but this lack of normalcy often translates into lack of intimacy even thought they may be going through all the right motions in relating to their spouse or significant other. In my experience with clients I find that Adult children often judge themselves and others mercilessly. This behavior appears to be a result of inconsistent parenting. Their self esteem and view of others tends to be very negative. They are often condescending and have difficulty accepting failures real or otherwise. When desired results are not achieved, finding fault becomes more important than looking at the situation in a realistic fashion. Sometimes they only judge others and not themselves in a merciless fashion. 

In working with these clients a therapist has to be mindful of these behaviors and confront them often.

Children of alcoholics often work in various healing professions and other professions where they are taking care of others. They are good at helping others although some times they can act in a very self centered fashion. Workaholism is a common trend among the more successful Adult children.

Often when I point out the effects of growing up in an alcoholic family, the client often experiences a great deal of relief. Some times they feel a lot of sadness and anger over being robbed of normal childhood, whatever that may be!

Best way to prevent problem in this population is to help children who are growing up in alcoholic families by helping their parents and the children early when they are still growing up. drug and alcohol prevention programs can be very effective in helping them grow up as functional adults.  

For more information please visit the below websites

Veterans re-entering the Workplace

7 February, 2012 (08:58) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

2012 has flown in, we are sure you agree.

We at UBH Denton would like to take time to reflect and show our thankfulness for the contributions our troops have made to this country’s freedom. We continue to welcome home troops from across the country.

Employers are looking forward to veterans returning, whether as new employees or those resuming the job they had before they deployed. With 22,000 troops alone returning to Fort Hood, employers in Texas must be ready. In order to best serve these veterans, employers are asking how they can best support these veterans in the workplace and make the readjustment process as smooth as possible.

Education and awareness are paramount for employers to be effective leaders to our returning Veterans. As troops look to their commanding officers for leadership in the war zone, they will look to managers and Human Resources staff for leadership in the workplace. As leaders:

  • Know the common reactions to trauma and what problems to watch out for.
  • Understand the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
  • Be aware of the resources to help and how to access them.
  • Ask returning Veterans what they need. Remember, returning Veterans want to resume being productive employees. Different Veterans will need different assistance during the readjustment period. Keep in mind that some may have received treatment before returning to the workplace and have learned specific coping strategies for the workplace for which they may need their leader’s support.


When working with Veterans, some workplace accommodations that benefit all employees:

  • Give veterans meaningful work, or work with them to find meaning.
  • Provide opportunities for veterans to utilize their enhanced leadership skills and other special training and knowledge gained in their military experience.
  • Develop a mentoring program: Veterans who have made the transition from the war zone to the workplace are valuable mentors.
  • Increase frequency of professional development meetings with returning Veterans: they are coming out of a highly structured environment where they received training daily.
  • Reduce the stigma around mental health issues in your workplace: educate that mental illness is an illness that can be treated.


For more information, here are some helpful web resources:

We all have an important role in the recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration of veterans not only in the workplace but their communities. We are integral in providing support to those who need help. Our troops have served this country with honor, courage, and commitment. Now, let us do so in return.

The Doom, the Gloom and Your Agency

20 September, 2011 (11:18) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee


Whats your take on all this talk of doom and gloom overtaking our society?  Everywhere, radio, tv, newspapers, friends and family tell us how the economy is crapping out.  How the entire system will come crashing down around us.  Am no economist although I do know that that self talk, thoughts we harbor and self-suggestions are very powerful.  As individuals we actualize our predominant thoughts.  Therefore as a society it stands to reason that our collective self-talk of doom and gloom is not a good thing.  We must change the trend.

With your permission I suggest we practice what we preach – restructure our thinking.  It’s amazing to me we apply excellent thought restructuring approaches when we work with clients in our care, and yet see no need to address our own thinking.  If there was ever a time to begin it is now.

It’s no question we have issues to address.  Funding is not what it used to be.  We have to do more with less than we did in the past.  We are having to lay people off, or adjust work days and hours to keep staffs employed.  No doubt these are trying times.  

Nonetheless, it is not the end of the world.  We are simply faced with problems that need to be solved.  Like any other problem, this one needs us to find solutions.  Problems themselves have been characterized as seeds that grow new and rewarding opportunities – if you look closely enough.  

So enough of the doom and gloom.  Step back and smell whats really there.  As leaders we owe it to our agencies and staffs to solve these problems.  This is what we are paid to do.

I offer these 3 simple steps for how you might do this;

1. Extricate yourself from the doom and gloom bandwagon.  Decide today to NOT accentuate how bad things are or will be.  Spend the time asking what the specific problem is and how it impacts your agency.  Determine which you can control and which you cannot.

2. Spend your time and effort now aggressively planning and devising how to address what you can control.  Work with resources around you, staff, stakeholders, technology, information, etc.

3. Then take action to implement solutions you and your resources have devised.

I wont pretend this will be easy particularly if everywhere you turn people talk about how the world is coming to an end.  Heck even you saw Lucy at Goodwill the other day.  Must be she cant afford Macy’s anymore!  Incidentally Lucy has always shopped at Goodwill anyway, you just didn’t know it.  Incidentally Goodwill offers very nice merchandise and employs people too.

At any rate stick with the plan.  I assure you the gloom will bloom again!  I know, its a a corny line I just couldn’t resist.

Have a great rest of your week.

 Sobem Nwoko
 Joyfields Institute

Great Book-Where are the Cocoa Puffs

12 August, 2011 (15:22) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

Recently I read several reviews on a book dealing with BiPolar by Karen Winters Schwartz. Believed this book it is worth sharing with you. Below is the synopsis.

As eighteen-year-old Amanda spirals into mania, her father, psychiatrist Dr. Jerry Benson, sees the realization of his worst fears: his daughter is not just moody, but truly ill. With his words, his diagnosis—manic depressive illness—his world and that of his family is forever altered. Carol, Amanda’s mother, struggles with the guilt and shame of having raised a “crazy” daughter. Christy, Amanda’s fifteen-year-old sister, denies the illness; after all, my sister’s a bitch is so much easier to accept.

Meanwhile, the Bensons’ extended family offers up everything from unconditional support to uncomfortable scrutiny as Amanda careens between bouts of frightening violence, cosmic euphoria, and suicidal despair. Then there’s Ryan, an architecture student who is initially ensnared by Amanda’s manic sexuality, but is ultimately captured and held throughout the chaos by the force of love and strength of family.

Where Are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family’s Journey Through Bipolar Disorder follows a family through the tragedy of bipolar disorder, but it’s not tragic. It’s funny, sad, and thought provoking—and as real and as raw as mental illness itself.

For more on the author and the book visit her website at:

N ational PTSD Day June 27th

23 June, 2011 (09:01) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

The Psychiatric Evaluation

12 June, 2011 (16:38) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

Free 3 Hour CEU offered by UBH Denton
This workshop will look at making good clinical diagnosis– history of illness, medical history, family history and symptoms.  The identification of Causes including biological, inherited, genetic, chemical, social, psychological.

Lastly, a in-depth discussion of the treatments of mental illness including medication and psychotherapy.

Reserve your space today at

Date:  July 8, 2011, 9 am till noon

Location:  Haven Counseling

 4099 McEwen, Suite 600 Dallas, TX 75244


Dawn Report: Trends in Emergency Department Visits

30 May, 2011 (15:47) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

Mental Health Awareness

5 May, 2011 (11:13) | Uncategorized | By: Michele Lee

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This national event was established to recognize those who have suffered and to educate persons on mental health. Many are unaware of the developments in science in regards to mental illness. Utilizing positron emission tomography (pet scans), scientist and physicians alike are able to see depression in the brain. Mayo Clinic has published amazing pictures of the differences in the brain.

You can view these pictures at

Through research new medications are being developed that help persons effected with mental illness function normal lives.

Several organizations such as National Association of Mental Illness and Mental Health American are a wealth of information on mental health, the latest research as well as reducing the stigma.

UBH Denton is proud to work with Herschel Walker, Heismann Trophy Winner and Dallas Cowboy Running Back on a campaign called Real Men, Real Problems. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage those suffering to seek out help.

In support of National Mental Health Awareness month, join with UBH Denton in promoting mental health. Let’s make people aware that 1 in 4 American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition and the fact that they can go on to live full and productive lives.