Archive for November, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, 2011

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

It’s the last Thursday of November, so here in the States that means our annual rite of giving thanks to our forefathers for “discovering” America …

A Dangerous Method Movie Starts Today

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

What happens when history collides at the intersection of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung over a woman (who also happens to be Jung’s patient)?

Find out today with the release of the new David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) flick, A Dangerous Method. It’s opening in New York at The Sunshine and Lincoln Plaza and in LA at the Arclight Hollywood and The Landmark.

The movie centers around the relationship between Jung and Freud after the young Dr. Jung (Michael Fassbender) takes on a new Russian patient, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). But Jung and his more experienced teacher, Dr. Freud (Viggo Mortensen), both fall under the spell of Sabina, driving a wedge between the two men.

9 Ways to Have a Simpler but More Satisfying Holiday

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Let’s face it: We tend to over-complicate the holidays and put a lot of pressure on ourselves (and possibly others) in the process.

“People often have an image of how the holidays should be,” according to Darlene Mininni, Ph.D, MPH, author of The Emotional Toolkit, who works privately with individuals and speaks nationally on topics related to emotional health and well-being.

And those shoulds usually translate into pursuit of the perfect holiday. We try to find the perfect presents or plan the perfect parties, said Master Certified life and career coach Kristin Taliaferro. And since perfection is impossible, all we end up doing is getting disappointed and stressing ourselves out.

Keeping things simple this holiday season can help you stave off stress and focus on what counts. Each person may have a different idea of what a simple holiday looks like, depending on your traditions, family life and financial situation.

8 Writing Tips from Flannery O’Connor

Monday, November 21st, 2011

8 Writing Tips from Flannery OConnorNovember is National Novel Writing Month. I’ve never participated in the official month, but I did follow the excellent system proposed by Chris Baty in his book No Plot? No Problem! to write a novel in a month. I’m a big believer in creativity boot camp as a way to spur ideas and to get things done, and it turns out it is possible, and quite exhilarating, to write a novel in a month.

So, in honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m posting these eight writing tips from one of my favorite writers, Flannery O’Connor. Her work isn’t for everyone, but I love it.

In fact, I love it so much I can hardly bear to read it — does that ever happen to you?

6 Mindful Ways to Minimize Holiday Stress

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Just thinking about the holidays may be stressing you out. While it’s a beautiful time of year, the holiday season is filled with extra activities that people need to fit into their already demanding schedules, said Dr. Jeffrey Brantley, M.D., director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke Integrative Medicine and author of True Belonging: Mindful Practices to Help You Overcome Loneliness, Connect with Others, and Cultivate Happiness with Wendy Millstine. And all that doing can diminish downtime, leaving us with little time to relax and regroup.

High expectations are another source of stress, Dr. Brantley said. We yearn to be happy during the holidays and tend to create idealistic expectations. We think that the typical dynamics, disputes and clashes with our families will just disappear.

We also might underestimate the time needed for tasks like shopping, cleaning and cooking. Other stressors include money problems and the usual holiday hoopla like traffic, long lines and lack of parking, he said.

So how can you cope with stress amid the holiday hustle? Mindfulness can help.

8 Tips To Help Console a Grieving Friend

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

8 Tips To Help Console a Grieving Friend This guest article from YourTango was written by Kate Evans

When a friend is grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s easy to feel helpless. Sometimes we think we’re doing the right thing by trying to cheer them up, pointing out the positives or letting them know that they should try to move on. Well-intentioned as we may be, those efforts tend to put pressure on them and leave them feeling invalidated.

So here are eight ways to help you support your friend in times of need.

What You Do Every Day Matters More Than What You Do Once In a While

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

What You Do Every Day Matters More Than What You Do Once In a WhileOne of my Secrets of Adulthood is: What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. I’ve been surprised how often this “secret” comes in handy.

Exercising — I have a friend who thinks she’s a regular exerciser because every several weeks, she goes to the gym for two hours. Nope!

Having enough time to read — I used to think, “I love to read, it’s my favorite thing to do! Of course I make time to read.”

But when I really examined my schedule, I realized I needed to clear out more time to read; day after day, it was getting shoved aside.

12 Depression Busters for the Unemployed

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

12 Depression Busters for the UnemployedThe unemployment rate today has skyrocketed to approximately 10% and is forecast to stay above 9.5 percent for the rest of 2011. For the first time in American history, more women are working than men because close to 80 percent of the people laid off in the recent recession were men.

According to a recent study published in the “International Journal of Epidemiology,” unemployment is a major risk factor for depression, even in people without previous vulnerability. Because my husband is an architect — the housing market is dead, remember — whose work has slowed down substantially, I have an invested interest in this topic and wanted to know what I could do to help him stay physically and emotionally healthy, since, theoretically, one of us should be.

Here, then, are 12 steps to bust your depression when you’re unemployed.

The History of Nude Psychotherapy

Friday, November 18th, 2011

The History of Nude Psychotherapy It all started in 1933 with a paper by Howard Warren, a Princeton psychologist and president of the American Psychological Association, who spent a week at a German nudist camp a year earlier.

According to Ian Nicholson, Professor of Psychology at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Warren’s article, “Social Nudism and the Body Taboo,” “was a qualitative and largely sympathetic consideration of the social and psychological significance of nudism.”

Warren “described nudism in therapeutic terms, highlighting the ‘easy camaraderie’ and lack of ‘self-consciousness’ in the nudist park, in addition to a ‘notable improvement in general health,’” along with the principal perspective to return to nature.

Soon after, other articles were published in psychology journals that highlighted the benefits of nudism in contributing to healthy, well-adjusted kids and adults.

Best of the Blogs: November 18, 2011

Friday, November 18th, 2011

There are so many ways we can better ourselves. Formally, we can seek help through therapy, books, retreats and from the tutelage of teachers of workshops and graduate programs. But perhaps the best way to learn life’s greatest lessons is by confronting the things in our lives that we’re most afraid.

It’s something that occurred to me recently. That even after years of counseling courses, I have barely made a dent in the school of learning and that some of the biggest, most difficult challenges still await me.

Part of the reason why I bring this up is that Thanksgiving is next week. For some, the upcoming holiday is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to surround themselves with love, good food, good friends and family. But just because your life is far from the perfection of a greeting card, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you too.

Sometimes forcing ourselves to confront what’s hard is good for us even if it doesn’t feel like it. Maybe this year it will be about carving out your own holiday or confronting a relative that’s been hurtful to you. It might even mean creating boundaries, taking time out to take care of yourself or revisit some of the painful past memories you’ve tried to runaway from. This is your chance to do it. I hope our posts this week will bring you the courage and motivation you need to get through it. And if you need an extra boost, check out our Coping with the Holidays Guide and our new e-book for help on managing family and the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Mental Health Hope Symposium: Do Not Cut Mental Health Care

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The Mental Health Hope Symposium: Do Not Cut Mental Health CareConsider these alarming statistics:

* By 2020, behavioral health disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.

* Of the more than 6 million people served by state mental health authorities across the nation, only 21 percent are employed.

* More than half of adolescents in the United States who fail to complete high school have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.

* Between 2009 and 2011 states cumulatively cut more than $1.8 billion from their budgets for services for children and adults living with mental illness.

* In 2009, there were an estimated 45.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with any mental illness in the past year. This represents 19.9 percent of all adults in the U.S.

*Serious mental illnesses cost society $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

* The annual total estimated societal cost of substance abuse in the U.S. is $510 billion.

* In 2008, an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 and older in the U.S. has a serious mental illness.

With our economy still in the toilet, states and federal government threaten to cut even more dollars in mental health funding, which would result in less or no access to mental health treatment and services for countless Americans. Ultimately the cuts steal the one thing that keeps those of us struggling with chronic mood disorders alive: hope.

6 Ways to Overcome Your Painful Past

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

6 Ways To Overcome Your Painful PastThis guest article from YourTango was written by Faith …

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