Brain and Behavior

My Intention: Shifting Into Neutral and Being in the Present Moment

I have myriad personal and professional goals that I want to achieve. I made a personal goal sheet that I hang on my refrigerator door. Each morning, when I open the refrigerator door and grab the creamer for my morning cup of coffee, the goal sheet silently stares back at me. I am reminded of the goals waiting to be accomplished, waiting to be achieved. It is a memo to self of all I have to do and have yet to accomplish.

At times this goal sheet can leave me feeling depleted and worn; it is a daily reminder of what I have not done. So I am making a conscious effort to increase my daily intentions, my deepest wishes for myself and the world that align with my authentic self.

Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Introducing Childhood Emotional Neglect

I'm pleased to introduce a new blogger to Psych Central, Jonice Webb, Ph.D. who will be blogging on the topic of childhood emotional neglect (CEN). Here's how she describes becoming interested in this topic:

During twenty years of practicing psychology, I started to become aware of an invisible factor from people’s childhoods which weighs upon them as adults. I saw that this factor quietly sapped their joy, and caused them to question the meaning and purpose of their lives. It made some feel empty, and others feel alone. It caused problems in relationships, and made people angry at themselves. It caused unnecessary guilt, low self-confidence, and a sense of being deeply, personally, flawed.

Continue Reading
Comment Announcement


The ‘Weakness Factor’: Men and Depression

I've found that it's much easier for women to say, "I'm depressed," than it is for men. This has more to do with what I call the "weakness factor," in which men struggle to admit something's wrong with them or acknowledge something they perceive as a sign of weakness.

Men get depressed just as women do. The biggest difference between the sexes is that men typically won't admit to themselves, or anyone else, that they're feeling down.

Asking for help? As Anthony Soprano would say, "forget about it."

Continue Reading

What to Know about Children’s Nighttime Bedwetting

Toilet training can be a stressful process. This is particularly the case for children who achieve daytime dryness but continue to wet themselves -- and the bed -- overnight. It may leave you wondering what’s normal and what you can do to help your child.

Nighttime wetting is one of the most common urologic conditions in childhood. The vast majority of cases are not related to a physical cause. Most commonly, nighttime wetting happens in children who are very deep sleepers; their brains and bladders aren’t communicating as they should while they sleep. It is not your child’s fault.

Continue Reading


Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic World

We live in a wired, fast-paced world. We’re constantly plugged in -- checking email and social media sites from all of our devices. We’re trying to meet ever-increasing expectations and demands, juggling careers and school, raising kids, managing our homes, entertaining, and much more, says Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

“For the adult without ADD, it’s a tough situation to keep their heads above water. But for an adult with ADHD, it’s almost an impossible task.”

“The brain can just ‘shut down’ due to feeling overwhelmed,” said Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, NCC, a psychotherapist and ADHD specialist. Adults with ADHD can become paralyzed because they don’t know where to start, she said.
Continue Reading


Couples You Meet in Counseling: Mr. Perfect and His Crazy Wife

“What is her problem all the damn time? Why can't she just chill out? We don't have problems, she has problems. I have to get back to work.”

The man who comes into counseling with this sort of mindset we will call Mr. Perfect. This high-achieving specimen of masculinity is usually in some field requiring an excess of education or on-the-job training. He is successful in his career and receives a lot of positive feedback.

Not just competent at work, he can also take the kids for an afternoon on his own because he is calm, cool and collected in all situations, even those involving toddlers and poop. His friends consider him a good guy. He is attractive and well-spoken. In an emergency, he is the person you want around. What a guy, right? (Don't swoon just yet.)

Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 29, 2015

It is the unknown that scares us most. Pain, anguish, hurt can be grounding. They can prepare us for future challenges. Armed with their knowledge, difficulties can direct us toward action. They can remind us of a sad familiarity from our past. They can be an unconscious justification for victimhood and evidence that life is unfair. They are much better than the unknown with its mysteries, potential for worst situations and fear.

It's the reason why we settle for jobs, relationships, lifestyles and beliefs that no longer serve us. It's why we choose to stay quiet. It's why we stay stagnant instead of choosing to grow.

But the unknown is imbued with hope, growth, and change. It's in every butterfly and open bud. It's in the changing seasons and in our every effort to try. And try again.

You may be enduring emotional pain, worrying incessantly about what ifs, ruminating about the hurtful thing someone you love said. Maybe you're feeling pressured to be successful or feel unworthy, unneeded, undervalued. If so, keep reading below.

Life is scary in its mysteries of the unknown. It's easier to stay where you are than to venture into what you don't know. But every difficulty you've ever endured had its purpose. There is, in fact, beauty in your scars. There is hope in your wars. Strife, pain, and even uncertainty can redirect your life. Maybe it won't take you to the life you dreamed of, but to the one you were meant to live.
Continue Reading


Think You’re Not Guilty of Verbal Abuse? Think Again

Never speak badly about yourself.

It’s a simple statement, one many of us would agree with in concept. But do you follow it’s advice? Probably not. Because our inner critic speaks to us in a voice so familiar we rarely notice it’s presence.

Recently, I had a friend say out loud with absolute conviction: “God, I’m such a (expletive) idiot.”

She said this more than once, and I was taken back to my childhood where this type of mental patterning was more commonly accepted. I used to say this out loud to myself all the time. Now, I just say it internally.

Continue Reading