General Articles

3 Ways to Answer Kids’ Questions about School Violence

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

3 Ways to Answer Kids' Questions about School ViolenceExtreme school violence continues to be a major problem in the United States. As such, stories about school violence are frequent on news programs. No matter how much a parent may try, children may see and hear instances of school shootings.

A study out of my research lab four years ago (McDonald, Leahy, et al., 2010) found that 80 percent of kids exposed to trauma often ask their parents about that trauma. So parents need to be equipped to answer these questions in helpful ways.

Our research has uncovered three helpful tips to guide your discussions about school shootings and violence.

6 Ways to Beat Homesickness at Christmas

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Ways to Beat Homesickness at ChristmasIt’s a Christmas thing. Even if you find yourself in the most beautiful corner of the Earth, you’ll still feel a little lonely. After all, there’s nothing like a festive season spent with one’s friends and family.

Fortunately, there are some ways in which you can manage this sense of nostalgia. Here are some tips for beating homesickness when you’re far away from home during Christmas:

You Can’t Please Everyone

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

a lightbulb on a book showing ideas from inspiration and educationI’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve been talking to an agent about a book proposal. The book is already written, but in talking to the agent I’ve come to realize that in order for him to take me on as a client, I would need to entirely rewrite the book. I gave his suggestions a shot with a few pages the other day and he still wasn’t happy. This is after a series of rejections about another book proposal with the same agent.

I kind of have the feeling that no matter what I do, no matter how I rewrite the book, there’ll be parts of it he’s not satisfied with.

Lessons Our Emotions Can Teach Us — and How We Can Learn

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Lessons Our Emotions Can Teach Us – And How We Can LearnMany of us dismiss our emotions. We think of them as capricious and inconvenient. We think they stall problem-solving. We think they take too much time to process, and we don’t have the luxury of simply sitting and stewing.

If we grew up in a home where emotions were vilified or regularly suppressed, where good girls didn’t get angry and good boys didn’t cry, we might’ve adopted the same views and habits of repressing ourselves.

Top 10 Anxiety Blogs of 2014

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Mindfulness and Anxiety DisordersIt is natural to feel anxious in certain situations. We’ve probably all felt nervous before an exam and experienced the accompanying physical sensations: lying awake the night before, sweaty palms, racing heart. For some people, though, anxiety affects and interferes with their daily life.

Anxiety disorders take several forms, from an all-pervasive form known as generalized anxiety disorder, to panic disorder (which includes panic attacks), to social phobia and more specific phobias. Symptoms express themselves as much in the body as in the mind, with shortness of breath, palpitations, and an upset stomach being common complaints.

Suicide, Grief and the Time Machine

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Salar de Uyuni by Patrick NouhaillerAt some point someone has been asked that playful question: If you had a time machine and you could go back and change one and only one thing, what would it be?

When suicide has touched your life, there is only one answer to that question. No more thoughtful musings on how you would’ve minored in philosophy or not gone home from space camp early or had the courage to speak to that beautiful woman you saw waiting for the F train.

There’s only one thing you could do. You would go back before the suicide and make sure to tell that person how much you cared about them, what they meant to you.

Addicted to Affluence

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Shoe shoppingMany people mistake affluence for self-worth. You can buy what you want to buy. Live where you want to live. Own what you want to own. You’ve made it! What a worthy, wonderful person you are!

So how come you’re still feeling that it’s not enough? You bought what you wanted to buy. You feel great. Yet, a day later, rather than feeling pleased, you’re bored.

So, you rack up additional purchases on your favorite digital device. It’s so easy to shop these days. Or, tired of shopping, you plan another trip. You create another social event. And still it satisfies only for the moment.

Leaving a Written Legacy

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Leaving a Written Legacy There are photos and videos that capture certain moments. Birthdays. Anniversaries. The everyday. There are stories that get retold to every generation. But largely when a family member dies, their stories die with them.

This holiday season a beautiful gift you can give to a loved one is a glimpse into your personal history. Because that history also is a history of them. Because photos rarely capture the thoughts we were thinking, the emotions we were feeling.

Healing My Inner Child

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Healing My Inner ChildDear Inner Child,

You’ve been through so much and I am not sure how you coped. Your strength inspires me with every memory I recover. I know you are the reason we are alive today. And I thank you for all you did to keep going. Sometimes, others ask me how I lived through it and I don’t know the answer.

You carried that burden. And to some extent, you still do.

6 Common Obstacles in Couples Therapy

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

6 Common Obstacles in Couples TherapyCouples therapy can help couples improve their relationship in many ways. For instance, it helps couples resolve conflict, learn how to communicate effectively, better understand each other, enhance their emotional connection and strengthen their bond.

Naturally, couples may face obstacles in therapy that stall their progress. They may have inaccurate assumptions about how therapy works, which can keep them stuck. Or they may delay seeing a therapist in the first place, which only deepens their problems.

We asked two relationship experts to share the most common obstacles along with what couples can do to overcome them.

CIA Torture Report: A Sad Day for Psychologists

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

CIA Torture Report: A Sad Day for PsychologistsThis week marks a low point for U.S. psychologists. Two psychologists were responsible for devising the CIA program that uses “enhanced interrogation techniques” — what the rest of the world calls torture — on certain detainees after 9/11.

It also took the American Psychological Association years to clarify its ethical policies on how psychologists could be involved in the torture of suspects. (In contrast, the American Psychiatric Association — representing U.S. psychiatrists — simply invoked an outright ban for its members from being a part of any torture interrogation.)

One of the two psychologists — who were paid handsomely ($81 million) for their program development — even had the audacity to defend his work to the Associated Press yesterday.

The Surprising Facts about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The Surprising Facts about Seasonal Affective DisorderA cup of hot chocolate. A funny movie. A snowball fight. These are all things that can cure the winter blues. It’s easy to feel gloomy or un-energetic on dark and windy winter days. But it’s often equally as easy to pick yourself with a little physical exercise or a happy movie.

But what if the things that normally make you feel better don’t help?

If you find yourself feeling unhappy for days at a time or losing interest in the activities you once took pleasure in, you may be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

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