Family Articles

Ways Winter Can Boost Our Mental Health

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Ways Winter Can Boost Our Mental HealthSome have an aversion to winter, and can you really blame them? There’s chatter surrounding possible storms or blizzards. There’s loneliness, depression and anxiety that may be coupled with the holiday season. And then there’s the chronic cold that dares people to pack their bags and book a tropical getaway. (Or at least think about making a great escape for warmth.)

However, winter can rejuvenate our spirits. Here are several ways this chilly season can boost our mental health:

Hang On, It Does Get Better: On Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide Note

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Leelah Alcorn Transgender TeenBefore dawn on Dec. 28, 2014, a transgender 17-year-old in Ohio allegedly wrote a suicide note on her blog, walked to Interstate 71 and stepped in front of a tractor-trailer.

“Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in … because I’m transgender,” Leelah Alcorn wrote on her blog.

Leelah’s story has gained worldwide attention with Twitter users under the hashtag #LeelahAlcorn calling for acceptance and an end to the stigma surrounding gender nonconformity. But there is another group out there, the younger members of the LGBT community who need to know definitively that life does get better. It will get better.

At Social Events, Don’t Ditch Your Date

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

At Social Events, Don't Ditch Your DateYou’re visiting your spouse’s family. They’re working on a house project with their sibling while you’re inside taking care of your baby. Not only do you already feel awkward but you’re hurt that your partner doesn’t check on you or try to include you.

You’re attending your spouse’s work party. They’re outgoing, but you’re shy and self-conscious. They’ve become the life of the party, while you’re standing in the corner devising your escape plan.

Maybe you’ve experienced this kind of ditching. Or maybe you’ve done the ditching yourself.

You Might be Codependent If…

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

You Might be Codependent If...While there are many features of codependency, here are some top ones. See if these apply to you.

1. You are preoccupied with others’ feelings. A friend to whom I was talking years ago about my worries of having upset someone asked if I felt responsible for others’ feelings. I immediately thought to myself, “Well, yeah. I mean, aren’t I?”

Looking back now, I understand what my friend was getting at. His idea was that we each are responsible for our own thoughts, feelings or actions.

Helping Someone with Asperger Syndrome Bridge the Gap between Cognitive and Emotional Empathy

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Helping Someone with Asperger Syndrome Bridge the Gap between Cognitive and Emotional EmpathyEmpathy is a controversial subject in the field of Asperger Syndrome/neurotypical relationships. The theory of mind postulates that people with Asperger Syndrome have some degree of mind blindness, or an inability to fathom the motivations and feelings of others. Aspies don’t seem to read the social clues that tell NTs (neurotypicals) what is going on.

For example, Aspies are notoriously poor at recognizing complex emotions in others. They struggle to understand that someone may be stretching the truth for emphasis or as the punch line to a joke. They are confused by irony, pretense, metaphor, deception, faux pas, white lies and so forth. This is why NTs find Aspies to be clueless in social situations and why there are all types of curricula on the subject of teaching Aspies how to navigate the social world.

Before Children, After Children

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Before Children, After ChildrenYou can be so smart. You have a college-educated pedigree. You are a mature person with sophistication and depth. You know what you want out of life. You know how to maintain a loving relationship. You have well-thought-out ideas about how to raise your children.

You surely must be living in the B.C. (before children) era, for you are blessed with ignorance. Lucky you!

Now that it’s the A.C. (after children) era, you acknowledge that things have gotten more complicated than you ever imagined. But you have learned a lot.

3 Tips for Staying Present with Your Kids

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

3 Tips for Staying Present with Your Kids Being present with your kids is fundamental to connecting with …

8 Surprising Habits that Might Prevent Authentic Happiness

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

finding-happiness-cartwheel

“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” – John Dryden

This may look good, sound good, and maybe even feel good at first, but it’s not serving you well in the end!

I’d hear this thought in my head over and over and still not believe it. But it had persisted ever since I started questioning the status quo in my life. And I don’t mean a loud, in-your-face, obnoxious line of questioning; rather, a gentle curious whisper that asks: Well, why does it have to be this way, if I may ask?

Questioning the status quo is not a novelty in our modern society, but here’s the thing: I was questioning the good stuff, like great habits that I grew up with and ideals that are the foundation of my value system.

I’d Never Tell Anyone This, But…

Friday, December 19th, 2014

I’d Never Tell Anyone This, But…I was 12 years old when my 16-year-old cousin got me alone in a room and started feeling me up. I remember being so shaken and scared. I didn’t know what to do.

When I came home, I told my mother. I shall never forget what she said to me: “Stop making up stories. Your cousin is a good boy. You know that. Why would you want to say bad things about him? What’s wrong with you?”

I froze. Could I have imagined the whole thing? Could it not have happened? Could it have been my fault? I ran up to my room and never mentioned the incident again.

What 2 Little Words Can Have a BIG Impact on Your Relationship?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

What 2 Little Words Can Have a BIG Impact on Your Relationship?

No one — including your partner — has to do anything for you. Remember that.

“Thank you.” Two simple words that feel SO good to hear.

So, why do so many couples use them so infrequently?

William James, the great American psychologist, said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

How to Approach the Holidays When You’re Depressed

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

How to Approach the Holidays When You're DepressedIt’s a myth that suicide rates skyrocket between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The truth is that the month of December has the fewest number of suicides than any other time of year (Karr, 2012). What is interesting to note, however, is that there is a significant increase of suicides right after Christmas — a 40 percent increase.

From the studies that have been done on depression, suicide, and the holidays, it seems that the winter holidays insulate many from suicide, but there is a sort of rebound effect that occurs once the holidays have passed (Karr, 2012).

How to Lower Your Holiday Stress

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

How to Lower Your Holiday StressIt’s holiday time. In addition to everything else you have to do, you now have shopping, decorating, wrapping, entertaining, organizing, cleaning and cooking to tend to.

Why does life have to be so hectic? Why can’t the celestial stars align in a more efficient way? With perfect timing, you know you’d get everything done with joy and smiles, like a greeting card.

But no. The holiday has to come when the kids are off from school, the weather is nasty, the house is disorganized, your pants don’t fit, your bills are piling up, the traffic is horrendous and you feel exhausted.

Family &
Parenting



Recommended Books

  • Tending the Family Heart
  • Connecting Your Family in Disconnecting Times, a parenting e-book by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
  •  
  • Purchase Child Psychology and Development for Dummies now!
  • by Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. and Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.
  •  


Latest Articles


Recent Comments
  • Pearliegirl: Amazing! And thank you to all of you bold enough to share a piece of you. I’m an author of this...
  • Jeannie: I am almost 65 and have ADHD Adult……I did not out grow it, but though out my adult life, I have...
  • Rockybdc: What’s prompting me to write was your inclusion of the serenity and third step prayers. I am an...
  • Ellie: Where did you get all this information about Sparks from?? Can you provide a bibliography please!!
  • melvin: Hi Jonah, I agree with you that managing behavior responded to anger works well in terms of avoidance of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12130
Join Us Now!