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Helping Your Child Reduce Self-Harming Behavior

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Helping Your Child Reduce Self-Harming BehaviorSelf-harm, or inflicting physical harm onto one’s body to ease emotional distress, is not uncommon in kids and teens.

In fact, according to clinical psychologist Deborah Serani, PsyD, in her book Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, about 15 percent of kids and teens engage in self-harm.

There are many forms of self-harm, including cutting, scratching, hitting and burning. Many kids and teens who self-harm also struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, physical abuse or other serious concerns or psychological disorders.

These kids “don’t know how to verbalize their feelings, and instead, act them out by self-injuring,” Serani writes. Kids might self-harm to soothe deep sadness or other overwhelming emotions. They might do it to express self-loathing or shame. They might do it to express negative thoughts they can’t articulate. They might do it because they feel helpless.

3 Tips for Bringing Out the Best in Your Relationship

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

3 Tips for Bringing Out the Best in Your Relationship Imagine getting into a cab and when the driver asks you where you’d like to go, you say, “Not here.”

That’s the analogy couples therapist Elliott E. Connie, MA, LPC, used when explaining that the traditional approach of focusing on how to remove problems isn’t helpful. “[I]f you don’t like where you are, the most logical solution is to figure out where you’d like to be, and figure out how to get there.”

When we focus on fixing what’s wrong, we focus on the problem. When we focus on the problem, all we learn about is the problem, he said. “Whatever we focus our attention on will inevitably grow.”

A Strategy to Help You Support Your Anxious Partner

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

A Strategy to Help You Support Your Anxious Partner Our thoughts are powerful architects of our anxiety. For many people, just the thought “What if?” can trigger a slew of anxious ruminations and nervous reactions.

What if I get jittery? What if I trip? What if I have a panic attack? In public? What if I miss my stop and get lost? What if I’m not good enough? What if I screw up? Everything?

Many people who struggle with anxiety don’t even realize they’re having these thoughts. Before they know it, they’re worried, worn out, sticky and overwhelmed.

5 Lessons for Living a Creative Life

Friday, October 11th, 2013

5 Lessons for Living a Creative LifeIn her book Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life author Dani Shapiro weaves together deeply personal stories from her past and present with insights on the creative process and the trials and triumphs of being a writer.

Shapiro is the author of several memoirs and novels, including: Devotion: A Memoir, Black & White, Slow Motion and Family History: A Novel.

Here are several insights and lessons from Still Writing, which may bolster your own creative process, regardless of your tool of choice, and whether this is your profession or pastime.

How I Create: Q&A With Author & Consultant Todd Henry

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

How I Create: Q&A With Author & Consultant Todd HenryI was excited to interview Todd Henry for this month’s “How I Create” series, because he knows a lot about creativity.

Henry is the founder of Accidental Creative, a company that helps people and teams generate brilliant ideas.

He’s also penned two books on creativity: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day and The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant At A Moment’s Notice.

In The Accidental Creative Henry gives readers practical strategies for supporting your creative process, especially when you need to produce bright ideas on a regular basis (and the muse is on vacation).

Why You Should Let Your Baby Be Frustrated

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Why You Should Let Your Baby Be FrustratedAs a new mom and a recent MSW graduate, I can’t help but analyze, question, and sometimes fear the ways in which my parenting choices will affect my son.

During the few months I was home with my baby, I joined a moms group. Now that the babies are three or four months old, the conversations sound like “my baby will not sleep in the crib,” “my baby wakes up every three hours,” “my baby needs to be held all day.”

From a recommendation, I read Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting when I was pregnant. The 2012 book is written by Pamela Druckerman, an American mom raising her baby in Paris.

At first glance, I thought the book was a witty tongue-in-cheek story about neurotic Americans and cool Parisians. On second glance (and a second reading after I birthed the child), I realized this book unlocked the secrets of raising a happy, resilient adult.

4 Things Introverts Do that Makes Them Effective Leaders

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

4 Things Introverts Do That Makes Them Effective LeadersToday, when we think of great leaders, we typically think of people with charisma, booming voices and big, bold personalities.

Since the turn of the 20th century, it’s these qualities that have garnered praise, while qualities like being quiet and introspective have been seen as subpar, writes author Susan Cain in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

Our culture has dictated that great leaders and employees must be extroverts who are able to not only sell their companies, but also sell themselves.

Revisiting Glasser’s Controversial Choice Theory

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Revisiting Glasser's Controversial Choice TheoryWhen I was in graduate school, I took a course on Dr. William Glasser’s controversial choice theory. I had never heard of the man before I signed up for the class and had no idea that he was a psychiatrist with some controversial ideas.

Until recently, when I read that Dr. Glasser had passed away, I had completely forgotten about choice theory and my experience in the class. After I read Dr. Glasser’s obituary, I started to think about what had been covered in my course and how I had initially reacted to it.

The first thing I learned about Dr. Glasser was that he did not believe in mental illness. He believed that everything was a choice — that we choose everything we do (even to be unhappy or mentally ill).

What Does Your Coffee Reveal about You?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

What Does Your Coffee Reveal about You?The type of coffee you order may reveal more about your personality than you think.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula recently conducted an observational study of 1,000 coffee drinkers. The survey assessed numerous common personality styles and psychological traits including introversion and extraversion; patience; perfectionism; warmth; vigilance; sensitivity; and social boldness, among others.

What did the survey reveal about different coffee drinkers’ personalities?

7 Persistent Myths about Introverts & Extroverts

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

7 Persistent Myths about Introverts & Extroverts Myths and misunderstandings about both introverts and extroverts abound. Introverts don’t like people. Extroverts are shallow. Introverts are snobby. Extroverts are awful listeners.

These are just some of the fictions surrounding these types. So what are the facts?

“The introvert gets their energy from within, while the extrovert is charged up by people, places and stimuli outside of them,” according to Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D, a certified speaking professional, executive coach and author.

A Simple Exercise For Improving Your Relationship

Monday, September 9th, 2013

A Simple Exercise For Improving Your RelationshipI regularly write about relationships for Psych Central. And one of the most important themes or tips I hear from relationship experts centers on appreciation.

Focus on what’s going well in your relationship. Focus on what your partner is doing right. Tell your partner what you love about them. Thank each other.

That’s because in the midst of the everyday — with its rigorous routines and small and significant stressors — you forget the good stuff. You especially forget the good stuff if you’ve been together for many, many years.

The Mysteries of Sleep Explained

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

The Mysteries of Sleep ExplainedWe know we need it. If we don’t get it, we’re cranky, have trouble concentrating, tend to overeat and are more likely to make mistakes.  Yet, with the crush of demanding schedules, bad habits, or sleep disturbances, we don’t always get enough.

So what is happening during those precious hours when we’re asleep?  Is it really a time of restoration for our brains?  And is it possible that it’s more than that?

What happens in our brains while we’re asleep is a question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer.

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