Happy Spring! One year has passed since we retreated into our homes and have had to almost exclusively rely on screens and technology. Now that we are starting to re-enter into some forms of in-person activities, many parents are struggling with helping their children (and themselves!) break away from computers, phones, tv's, etc.

See if you can benefit from my top 5 tips for re-balancing the use of screen time. And please find the link below to join me for a free Zoom presentation THIS WEDNESDAY evening! I would love to "see" you!

All my best as we enter the season of birth and new-beginnings!

Dr. Pam McCaskill

McCaskill Family Services Newsletter
Term: Spring | Issue 15| March 23rd , 2021
It's time we get back to normal.....
How to put the limits back on technology usage.

Technology was already a major part of our lives. Over the past year, it has become even more relevant, (if that was even possible) as it became the main avenue for maintaining our jobs, keeping our kids in school, and keeping us connected. How thankful we are to have technology! It has provided us with so many opportunities, and getting through this past year would have been impossible without it. However, as the dust begins to settle, we find ourselves struggling on how to get our habits and families back to the way we were living pre-COVID.

"But, Mom! I need my I-Pad for school!"
"But, Dad! There's nothing else to do. I can't go anywhere!"
"All my friends are playing video games together right now! It's so fun!"

How many times have you heard this over the past year? As a parent, these comments from your kids can leave you feeling guilty, stuck, and frustrated, especially when there is some truth behind them. How should parents balance this new normal? How do we effectively integrate the increased need for technology with proper mental and physical health?

Dr. Pamela McCaskill shares her top tips on how to help your family navigate their way back to healthy tech time and social media usage. Read below!
We know that this past year has been challenging for adults, kids, families and teens! If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, please contact us. Our clinicians are trained in empirically-based techniques, and would be happy to promptly schedule an appointment in person or via tele-health. We can be reached by phone at 734-416-9098 or by email at office@mccaskillfamilyservices.com.
The Pros & Cons... Important Facts
  • The CDC recommends limiting your tech time to 2 hours per day, not including the time necessary to do homework/work.
  • Children and teens (ages 8-18) spend approximately 7.5 hours a day on technology for entertainment purposes.
  • 4-5 of these hours, on average are spent watching T.V. or Youtube videos.
  • Spending more than 3 hours a day on technology has been linked to higher rates of mental health disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, etc.)
The Pros:
  • Platform for expression & creativity
  • Immediate access to supports
  • Keeps us socially connected to others
  • Access to information/knowledge
  • Real-time life updates
  • Networking opportunities
  • Inspiration to new activities and experiences (e.g. travel, hobbies)
  • Virtual learning can more easily accommodate different learning styles
  • Potentially motivating
The Cons:
  • Can leave us feeling left out or lonely: FOMO
  • Over usage linked to mental health disorders
  • Cyberbullying and harassment
  • Expectation to always be available
  • Disrupts sleep
  • Pressure to be popular and appear perfect
  • Mindless scrolling = major time waster
  • Sedentary activity
  • Inaccurate & misleading information
Equine Therapy Groups
8-week groups begin:
April 5/6
May 24/25

Registration ends March 29th
for April Groups
Our 8-week-equine groups are back!

Join a group tailored to your mental health needs, conducted by a licensed psychologist with the help of your own Equine partner.

Teen Anxiety and Depression
Tuesday's 4:30-6pm, Ages 13-17

Emotion Regulation for Pre-teens
Monday's 4:30-6pm, Ages 9-12

Adult Mindfulness & Stress Reduction
Monday's 10:30am-12pm

Social Media Checklist for Mental Health

We "check" our social media several times a day, but when was the last time you stopped to actually "check" your content? Is it balanced? Is it accurate? Is it uplifting?

Taking a moment to analyze what you are exposing your mind to multiple times a day, could lead to some very big changes in how you feel and think about your world.

Repetition to positive content can help re-wire our brain's natural tendencies to lean towards the negative, and help us to refocus on the good!

Here's a checklist from clinician Jaclyn Rink, MSCP, LLP to help you get started.

Click below for the full & downloadable list!
Clinician Spotlight
Dr. Ellen Koch is a fully licensed clinical psychologist, who works with adolescents and adults out of our Brighton location

Dr. Koch has expertise and experience in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral modalities, such as exposure-based treatments for anxiety disorders and PTSD, and interpersonal psychotherapy for depression. 

Additionally, Dr. Koch is a tenured professor in the Department of Psychology at Eastern Michigan University, and has served as the Director of Clinical Training for the doctoral program in clinical psychology since 2007.

She's even a T.V. star! Dr. Koch's work using short-term exposure therapy for phobias has been nationally recognized on Good Morning America! She recently purchased her dream car (a self-driving Tesla) and is in the beginning stages of creating an augmented reality study for snake and spider phobias at EMU.

If you and/or someone you know could benefit from working with Dr. Koch, please contact our office at
or email us 734-416-9098 office@mccaskillfamilyservices.com.
Free Parenting Presentation
Editor's Notes
Newsletter Editor's Notes
Social media and technology are powerful constructs of our daily lives. They shape the way we see the world around us, how we relate to others and how we feel about ourselves. When we come in contact with something every single day, over and over, we want to make sure it's healthy for us. Our social media "diet" should be just as nutritious and balanced as our physical diet.

As a practicing clinician who works mostly with teens, I see the significant impact social media and technology have on their world. One reason they often struggle with insecurity is because they frequently compare their real lives to the selective moments that others share on social media. Not to mention, this content is often intentionally filtered and edited, resulting in a very misleading message. Believe it or not, people can even pay for likes to look more popular!

To balance this skewed playing field, I created the Social Media Checklist to help consumers clean up the content of their social media platforms. Download the checklist in the article above and you'll be on your way to healthier (and happier) social media consumption. Yum!

Don't get me wrong, social media has a lot to offer! Personally, I find oodles of inspiration and motivation from my scrolling. The catch is: How many hours do you spend online watching other people, saying "I want to do that!" instead of getting out there and actually doing that?! The secret to social media is to spend more time experiencing your own life, rather than watching others live theirs. Re-read that.
Active participation in your own life leads to less depression, anxiety and more joy, more fulfillment. And remember, just because you didn't post it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. Being mindful in the moment to truly enjoy the experience, is much more rewarding than finding the perfect picture to post for others. Your life is for you. Try taking a few days off from social media if you feel like you're getting too caught up in it. Studies have show that breaking away from it for as little as 7 days can boost happiness and reduce feelings of loneliness and anger.
No posting, no liking, just living. -Jaclyn
Hello everyone! I'm a masters level clinician at McCaskill Family Services who specializes in the treatment of OCD, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders for all ages. I co-run the McCaskill Family Services DBT groups for teens and adults, and specialize in psychological assessment. I am also our monthly newsletter co-editor and social media manager!

I'd like to personally thank you for staying in touch with our practice, and hope you find this newsletter inspirational and informative. If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appointment with me, please contact our office at 734-416-9098 or email us at office@mccaskillfamilyservices.com. I look forward to working with you!
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