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Jane Benjamin, PhD: The Benefits of Boredom PDF Print Email

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By Jane Benjamin, PhD, Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Director, The Counseling Center of Bronxville


Mar. 15, 2017: As I rode on Metro-North into the city a few weeks ago, I looked around and noticed that not a single person was staring out the window idly watching the world go by. Most were tucked into their telephones, their computers, their iPads. Some were speaking on the phone. Some seemed engrossed in online games. But no one looked unoccupied.

This observation made me start thinking about the loss of inactivity and boredom in our modern-day lives. There is something to be said for staring out a train window as the world goes by, or looking up and seeing interesting shapes in the clouds, or even just staring into space. We are stimulated every second--with "productive" activities, multi-tasking, and goal-driven schedules. And because of the connectivity of email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, we often narrate our lives to others more than we actually experience and live within our own individual psyches. This over-stimulated existence leaves very little, if any, room for the possibility of boredom.

So why is boredom a good thing? Periods of boredom provide fertile ground at all ages. It is during these non-goal-directed, more idle times that we come up with new ideas, acknowledge problems and come up with potential solutions to them, and become aware of changes we might want to make in our lives.

For young children, the seeds of creativity take root during times of inactivity and boredom. When a child says, "I'm bored," it is a natural reaction for a parent to want to provide the child with something to do, make suggestions until something is found appealing, or to arrange interesting activities that fill the void.  This directing of children is a part of good parenting, of course. But it can be overused. It is equally important to allow the child time to flounder and come up with his or her own ideas.

Letting a child make something out of nothing helps the child in a number of ways. The child comes to learn that he or she has interesting ideas, a good imagination, independence, and creativity. And perhaps, most important, it teaches the child that the answer to this unpleasant emotional state called boredom lies within the self and does not necessarily have to be found externally.

This ability to look within for answers is a skill that will serve a person throughout life. So often, in this age of over-structured and electronically plugged-in lives, I see adolescents in my practice who excel academically, excel in sports, have become proficient in numerous extra-curricular activities, but who cannot bear to be idle and disconnected. They do not know how to fill themselves up and are perpetually looking outside themselves for answers.

Seeking relief from boredom by relying solely on external stimulation makes a person feel at the mercy of external circumstances and powerless to do anything but wait until circumstances change. Helping a child realize that his or her own creativity, imagination, fantasies, and curiosity are internal resources that are always available helps to build a vital psychological skill. 

There are times when "boredom" can be a code word for something else that may require a different kind of attention. Chronic "boredom" can signal depression for some people, a way of saying that nothing feels interesting, stimulating or worth doing. And this sort of chronic bleak outlook may need treatment.

For children and adolescents, frequent complaints of "boredom" could also indicate an attentional issue such as ADHD. The child may feel bombarded with stimuli and find it difficult to sufficiently focus enough on any one activity to alleviate the boredom. Again, this is an issue that might benefit from treatment by a mental health professional. 

It is important to make a distinction, in oneself and one's children, between healthy boredom and symptomatic boredom. But if there is not an underlying problem, then allowing time to un-focus, to daydream, to "space out," to ponder, and to imagine can be a very good thing. 

Pictured here: Dr. Jane Benjamin, licensed clinical psychologist and the clinical director of The Counseling Center. 

Photo courtesy The Counseling Center 

 

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Bronxville Doctor Jeffrey Greenfield Selected by 'Westchester Magazine' for Healthcare Heroes Award

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By Irena Choi Stern Mar. 15, 2017:  Bronxville's Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield has been selected by Westchester Magazine to receive a Healthcare Heroes Award. This honor is bestowed upon individuals who are shining examples...

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Healthcare Services Directory

ADHD

A Spiritual and Culinary Approach to ADHD

Culinary that restores the body's natural balance
Bronxville, NY
914-715-0634

EsmeraldaBFox@gmail.com

Assisted Living Facilities

Sunrise Senior Living

500 North Columbus Avenue
Mount Vernon, New York 10552
914-667-5660

www.sunriseseniorliving.com


The Osborn

101 Theall Road
Rye, New York 10580
914-921-2200

www.theosborn.org

Bereavement

The Bereavement Center of Westchester

670 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, New York 10707 
(914) 787-6158

www.thebereavementcenter.org

Chemical Dependency Services

The Maxwell Institute

The Maxwell Institute of St. Vincent's Westchester offers outpatient chemical dependency treatment and education services for adults, adolescents and their families. Treatment includes individual and group psychotherapy, couples counseling, and psychiatric evaluation and medication management when indicated. The Institute welcomes individuals and family members who are experiencing marital and/or work-related distress as a result of alcoholism and other forms of chemical dependency.

The Maxwell Institute also offers community education services through its programs in drug and alcohol prevention in the schools. For persons wishing to become credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselors (CASACS) in New York State, the "Maxtrain" program provides the 350 classroom education hours that are an important part of the credentialing requirements.

The Maxwell Institute is grateful for the support of The Community Fund of Bronxville-Eastchester-Tuckahoe.

92 Yonkers Ave
Tuckahoe, NY 10707
(914) 337-6033

www.stvincentswestchester.org/maxwell

 

 

 

 

Counseling Services

Counseling Center

Founded in 1971, the mission of the Counseling Center “is to provide a wide range of psychotherapeutic and counseling services to individuals, couples and families by a staff of highly trained, experience and dedicated psychotherapists.
Director: Virgil Roberson

The Counseling Center
180 Pondfield Road Bronxville,
New York 10708
914-793-3388

www.counselingcenter.org

Dentists

Dr. Henry A. Blom

10 Studio Arcade
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-1157


Dr. Anthony Fiore

44 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-3863


 

Joseph F. Manzi, D.D.S

At Joseph F. Manzi DDS we are strong advocates of preventative care, eco-friendly practices and patient education. We believe that when we arm patients with dental education, we empower them to make wise choices both in and out of the "chair". Our Healthy Body initiatives include advanced care that isn't optional, it's standard.

Joseph F. Manzi is a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry and has over twenty years of experience as a general and restorative dentist in Westchester. Prior to opening his practice, Dr. Manzi was Chief of Dentistry at Westchester Community Health Plan and Kaiser Permanente in White Plains, NY. As an Eastchester resident of over 30 years, Dr. Joseph F. Manzi realized the need for an advanced, eco-friendly family practice in his hometown.

Joseph F. Manzi, D.D.S

311 White Plains Road

Eastchester, NY 10709

www.josephfmanzidds.com

info@josephfmanzidds.com

Office 914-652-7333

Fax 914-652-7332


Dr. Quentin M. Murphy

77 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-1004


Dr. Michael J. Vitale

1 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-8430


Scarsdale Pediatric Dental

777 Post Rd.
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5000
Phone: 914. 472. 9090
http://www.scarsdalepediatricdental.com/


Jenny A. Kanganis
D.D.S.Guy N. Minoli, D.D.S.

20 Studio Arcade
Bronxville, New York 10708
(914) 337-6536
www.toothwiseguys.com

Dermatology

Dr. Lesa Kelly

77 Quaker Ridge Road
New Rochelle, New York
914-637-2663


Dr. Neil Goldberg

77 Pondfield Road Ste 2
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-4499

Ear, Nose and Throat

Dr. Mark Fox

ENT and Allergy Associates
1 Elm Street
Tuckahoe, New York 10707
914-961-2515

Eye Care

Bronxville Vision Care

Bronxville Vision Care offers eye examinations and same-day service on most eyeglasses and contact lens service. The center is open every day and accepts most vision plans, including VSP, Eye Med, Spectera and Pomco. John Dello Russo is the optician and Dr. Josephine Russo is the optometrist. Dr. Russo, a graduate of SUNY Optometry, has been in practice since 1996. Mr. Dello Russo, who has an MBA in finance and is an adjunct instructor at CUNY, has been an optician since 1976 and is designated a Master of Ophthalmic Optics by the American Board of Opticianry.

10 Park Place
Bronxville, NY
914-337-4440


Crestwood Eye Care

267 Columbus Avenue
Tuckahoe, New York 10707
914-395-1757

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trapp Opticians

Since 1945, Trapp Opticians has been at this location in Bronxville.  Trapp Opticians offers comprehensive eye care, exams, eyeglasses, contact lens fitting and treatment.  Staffed by owner Martin Schulman, Drs. Hemanshu Khanna, O.D., Gordon Allen, O.D., Opticians Charles "Chip" Schulman and Robert Moskowitz.

42 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-0707

www.trappoptical.com

Home Care

Lawrence Home Care of Westchester

670 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, NY 10707
(914) 787-6158
www.lawrencehomecare.org

 

Hospice

Jansen Hospice and Pallative Care

670 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, New York 10583
(914) 787-6158
www.jansenhospice.org

Hospitals

New York Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital

In July 2014, Lawrence Hospital and New York-Presbyterian Hospital established a new relationship aimed at enhancing care, improving access and lowering health care costs for residents of Bronxville and surrounding communities in Westchester County. Lawrence was renamed New York-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital.

Lawrence Hospital Center was founded in 1909 and is a 291-bed acute care facility with over 1100 employees and 400 physicians. It provides emergency care to approximately 35,000 individuals every year.   It became a designated New York State Stroke Center in 2006.  Its physicians provide expertise in virtually every area of medical specialty and include over 100 primary care physicians. And, Lawrence delivers about 2000 babies every year in the home-like setting of newly designed Labor and Delivery recovery rooms.

Outpatient services include diagnostic testing and laboratory services, ambulatory surgery options, and rehabilitation and sports medicine services. The Hospital has a Women`s Imaging Center where female patients receive diagnostic services in a private setting. Outpatient physical therapy, lymphedema therapy, speech and occupational therapy services are provided both on-site at the Hospital and at Lawrence`s satellite center, The Center for Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, in Scarsdale.

The Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Hospital is fully licensed by the New York State Department of Health. Lawrence`s laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

55 Palmer Avenue
914-787-1000 (main number)

Internal Medicine Physician

Dr. Anne Galloway

77 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-4986


Dr. Kerrianne Page

14 Studio Arcade
914-779-9066


Dr. Raymond Chow

700 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, New York
914-723-2446

Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Dr. Polly Kanganis

4 Studio Arcade, Bronxville, NY 10708
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-771-9441


 

Dr. Thomas J. Rubeo Jr. MD
Bronxville Women's Care, Pllc
One Pondfield Road, Suite 302
Bronxville, NY 10708
914-337-3715
Orthodontists

Dr. Patricia Halloran

55 Park Avenue
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-1239


Dr. Joseph Ciccio

1 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-4700

Orthopedics

Dr. Peter Rizzo

77 Pondfield Road
914-337-1118


Dr. Michael Elia

1 Stone Place
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-3976

Orthopedic Sports Medicine
TBD
Pediatricians

Westchester Health Pediatrics (formerly Children’s Medical Practice of Bronxville)
)1 Elm Street
Tuckahoe, New York 10707
914-337-7474


Scarsdale Pediatric Associates
2 Overhill Road Suite 220
Scarsdale, New York 10580
914-725-0800


Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
495 Central Avenue
Scarsdale, New York
914-725-7555

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