Books Articles

The Powerful Parenting Tool of Validation

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Powerful Parenting Tool of ValidationThe concept of validation comes from Marsha Linehan, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and creator of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

In her 1993 book Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, Linehan notes the essence of validation:

The therapist communicates to the client that her responses make sense and are understandable within her current life context or situation. The therapist actively accepts the client and communicates this acceptance to the client. The therapist takes the client’s responses seriously and does not discount or trivialize them.

Validation is also a powerful parenting tool.

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Carl Jung’s Psychosis

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

3 Things You Didn't Know About Carl Jung's PsychosisAs the founder of one of the most influential schools of psychological thought — analytical psychology — Carl Jung (also known as CG Jung) experienced what today we might call a form of psychosis. It probably wasn’t a complete psychotic break, because Jung still functioned in his daily life.

His psychosis began when he was 38 years old, when he started finding himself haunted by visions in his head and started hearing voices. Jung himself worried about this “psychosis” — things that today we’d might say were consistent with symptoms of schizophrenia (a term he also used to describe himself during this period).

Jung didn’t let these visions and hallucinations slow him down, and continued seeing patients and actively engaging in his professional life. In fact, he so enjoyed the unconscious mind he had unleashed, he found a way to summon it whenever he wanted.

Should You Have Weekly Meetings for a Better Marriage?

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Should You Have Weekly Meetings for a Better Marriage?Every marriage takes work. Every marriage has issues. And, over time, in every marriage your tight bond as a couple may loosen.

Having a marriage meeting — where you discuss everything from chores to challenges — can help. Psychotherapist Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW, shares the details of the four-part process in her book Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted.

A marriage meeting helps couples reconnect on a regular basis. It prevents problems from building and escalating. It keeps a household running smoothly and helps couples work as a team.

3 Tips for Reconnecting to Your Family

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

3 Tips for Reconnecting to Your FamilyIn many — if not most — of today’s households, life is hectic. The hustle, bustle and chaos starts early in the morning and continues well into the evening. School, work, errands, sports, cell phones, computers — here are many activities and objects to fill our days.

But in the midst of the madness, you might be craving to slow down, find more ease and connect on a deeper level with your loved ones.

In her book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life, life coach, speaker and author Renée Peterson Trudeau helps families identify their values and priorities, savor the present moment and really connect.

Below are three tips from Trudeau’s Nurturing the Soul of Your Family for helping you reconnect to your family.

Practicing Kindness During Difficult Times

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Practicing Kindness During Difficult TimesWhen we’re going through a rough time, many of us tend to berate ourselves and focus on what we “should” be doing. I should be grieving better. I should be more productive. I should know better by now. I shouldn’t let this bother me so much.

We judge our pain or how we’re handling it. We ruminate about our past mistakes in hopes that doing so will somehow undo them. We feel guilty. We feel humiliated. We feel angry, maybe even like failures. We feel alone. We get stuck.

The next time you’re struggling — in any kind of situation — consider practicing kindness instead.

The Most Amazing Parkinson’s Book You’ve Never Heard Of

Monday, January 13th, 2014

The Most Amazing Parkinson's Book You've Never Heard OfWhen one of the foremost online communities for neurological and brain conditions went offline without notice back in 2006, we stepped up to the plate and created NeuroTalk, now the premier support community online for these kinds of conditions.

One of the conditions we cover at NeuroTalk is Parkinson’s disease. After talking in the Parkinson’s support group for a few years, a group of patients with Parkinson’s decided that their stories weren’t being told very well by books available at the time. And that there really wasn’t a comprehensive guidebook for patients with Parkinson’s, their families, and their loved ones.

So this group of e-patients decided to create their own. The amazing result is called The Peripatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease and it is now available.

Practices for Having a Happier Day at Work

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Practices for Having a Happier Day at WorkMost of us face various frustrating challenges at work that spike our stress — everything from burnout to boredom to increasing demands to distraction.

In her latest book Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement and Peace , bestselling author and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg invites us to think of these obstacles and blocks differently using meditation practices.

“Through meditation, we can come to understand work problems as a potential source of achieving greater clarity, rather than as obstacles without redeeming value, and begin to recognize the true potential of the challenges that work brings our way.”

When You Want to Change a Loved One

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

When You Want to Change a Loved OneWe know that we can’t change others. But many of us still try.

“More people suffer from trying to change others than from any other sickness,” according to psychologists Henry Cloud, Ph.D, and John Townsend, Ph.D, in their bestselling book Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Many of us try nagging, begging, yelling, guilt trips, even throwing temper tantrums and other ploys to get through to a loved one.

Or we realize that controlling someone else is simply impossible. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do – even when that person’s behavior affects us for the worse.

Or is there?

Bibliotherapy: Do You Really Need a Doctor or Government to Tell You to Read?

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Do You Really Need a Doctor or Government to Tell You to Read?In an article that notes there are over 100,000 self-help books (I think the actual number is much larger, since Amazon lists over 285,000 in-print self-help books), apparently Leah Price is enamored at the thought of a doctor “prescribing” reading. And a government agency — the UK’s National Health Service — endorsing the idea.

The idea of a “prescription” for a book is as ridiculous as the idea that you need to be told to shower regularly to remove the stink. Reading to understand something better is a basic skill nearly everyone should have learned in grade school.

That’s patient paternalism x2: that only a doctor could be knowledgeable enough to recommend a good self-help book and that the government needs to legitimize this practice.

OCD & Living Without False Hope

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

OCD & Living Without False HopeWhen one has a breakthrough in therapy or in life, one experiences a feeling of aliveness. As a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these moments have been few and far between over the course of my 33 years.

It is natural for human beings to want to give other human beings hope. I am not trashing exposure therapy and the therapeutic process. These things work for a lot of people with OCD.

You’ve probably heard that people with OCD get intrusive thoughts. A simple question is: How many intrusive thoughts go away with exposure therapy?

Holiday Gift Guide: 11 More Powerful Psychology Books to Give

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: 11 More Powerful Psychology Books to Give Some psychology books are filled with valuable insights we can apply to our own lives. Others are uplifting. And still others make engrossing explorations into the human mind. Really, I’m not sure you can get a more meaningful or fascinating gift under $20.

Books are windows into new worlds and new wisdom. So whether you’re looking for an interesting read for a psychology buff or grad student or an inspiring book for someone going through a tough time, this gift guide may help.

This is Part 2 of a two-part holiday gift guide of books we recommend. Read Part 1 here.

Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Powerful Psychology Books to Give

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Powerful Psychology Books to Give Some psychology books are filled with valuable insights we can apply to our own lives. Others are uplifting. And still others make engrossing explorations into the human mind. Really, I’m not sure you can get a more meaningful or fascinating gift under $20.

Books are windows into new worlds and new wisdom. So whether you’re looking for an interesting read for a psychology buff or grad student or an inspiring book for someone going through a tough time, this gift guide may help.

This is Part 1 of a two-part holiday gift guide of books we recommend.

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