General Articles

Is Brain-Training a Hoax?

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Is Brain-Training a Hoax?In a society that glorifies brain-related companies such as Lumosity, it’s important to note that while their goal is moral, their process is inherently flawed.

As an Integrative Neuroscience major at Binghamton University, I can understand why parents and children alike fall for the tempting ways to enhance your brain’s functioning. After all, it’s no secret that as we begin to age, our memory and other senses begin to fade gradually and sometimes rather abruptly. Nevertheless, the market for these brain-training websites is alive and thriving.

Lumosity prides themselves in being able to “enhance neuroplasticity” through games and other tasks. While their mission statement is not incorrect, it’s not the only route to mental clarity.

5 Helpful Practices for Families

Friday, January 16th, 2015

5 Helpful Practices for FamiliesIn his book The Secrets of Happy Families author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler turns to various fields and individuals — the military, Silicon Valley, sports coaches and Green Berets — for insights into creating stronger, more connected families. He also tries out these tips at home with his own family, which includes his wife and twin daughters.

In the book, Feiler shares all kinds of tools for teaching kids values, creating a more peaceful household and having more fun as a family.

Here are five tips and tools from The Secrets of Happy Families, which you might want to adopt for your family.

New Research into Anxiety Disorders

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

New Research into Anxiety DisordersNearly one in five Americans have been diagnosed with some form of anxiety disorder. These range from panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder to social phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants can curb symptoms that interfere with day-to-day life. And these drugs are big business. In 2013, Americans filled 48 million prescriptions for the benzodiazepine drug alprazolam (Xanax). Patients also picked up 27 million prescriptions for sertraline (Zoloft), an antidepressant drug that also helps some people with anxiety.

6 Tips for Building Emotional Muscle When Life Gets Tough

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Woman outdoors holding flower smiling

If your emotional muscle is damaged from the past, it’s up to you to build it back up.

The scenario happens so often, it’s practically cliche:

A woman or man in an “unhappy” marriage meets someone new. Instantly, there’s a powerful connection, and maybe even an affair occurs; and, instantly, this person thinks she or he now knows how to be happy again.

Top 10 Bipolar Blogs of 2014

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Top 10 Bipolar Blogs of 2014Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood, from mania to depression, which are different from the ups and downs experienced in day-to-day life.

A person’s energy and activity levels reflect their mood. Mania is a period of euphoria, where a person may be unable to sit still or stop talking. During a manic phase, a person may be super-productive and filled with new ideas, but they may also engage in reckless behavior, such as risky sex or gambling. At the other end of the spectrum, during a depressive phase, a person may feel listless, hopeless and worthless, sometimes struggling even to get out of bed.

These blogs have been selected to show the differences in functioning across the disorder and together demonstrate the complexity of the disorder and its treatment. Along with the stark, poignant honesty of personal stories, they offer intelligent reflection and discussion on what science has to say over a condition which is far from easy answers.

Why Doesn’t Kaiser Care About Californians’ Mental Health?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Why Doesn't Kaiser Care About Californians' Mental Health?I’m not sure why, but the healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente appears not to care about the people whose lives it covers in California. That’s the only thing that could logically explain why it has continually failed to fund and staff its mental health services in the state to the level necessary to provide timely and adequate care to its residents.

Kaiser failed so badly to provide this bare minimum care that the state ended up fining it $4 million for systematically putting revenues before the care of its customers who have mental health needs.

In any other system, when a company so poorly fails to live up to its responsibilities, that company would be fired. But in the wonderful U.S. mental health system, Kaiser is given chance after chance to do the right thing. So do they?

I’m Not Psychic: The Cold, Hard Truth about Catastrophizing

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

difficluty-making-decisionsThere’s something about the year rounding out and a new year begun that makes me feel there are endless possibilities in the coming year. As exciting as that is, it also feeds the beast of anxiety inside me. While personal history has taught me that change usually brings joy and happiness to my life, my anxiety says it’s going to be a disaster and that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

That’s my anxiety. It’s not based on reality, experience, probability or usefulness and yet it comes to mind and runs the show. It makes me hesitant and tightly wound. I’m so busy waiting for the bottom to fall out when I do something new that I miss a lot of the great things happening right in front of me.

The Reasons We Ruminate and How to Reduce the Cycle

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The Reasons We Ruminate And How to Reduce the CycleWhen we’re ruminating about something, we’re really obsessing about it. We overthink it. We blow it up in our minds. We review a situation over and over. And over.

Therapist Melody Wilding, LMSW, compared our ruminating minds to a broken record. Typically we ruminate about the past, including perceived mistakes and missed opportunities, she said.

Ruminating is “characterized by overwhelming self-criticism and negative self-talk about one’s failures and shortcomings.” We think that if we’d just done something better or had been better, the outcome would’ve been more positive, she said.

What It Really Means to Be in the Present Moment

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

medication-adhd-treatmentThese days we often hear touted the importance of being in the present moment. We’re told that the “now” is all that exists and if we’re not here “now” then we’re not really living.

This makes a great deal of sense to me. Oftentimes, I find myself distracted by thought about the future. Or, I replay past experiences in my mind, often unproductively.

Being in the moment frees us to experience life more fully, which is a good thing. But might this edict have a shadow side? Like any rule or declaration, it has limitations and is prone to misunderstanding.

Why Compliments are Powerful

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Why Compliments are Powerful

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread. ~ Mother Teresa

Psychologist John Gottman most likely agrees. His widely respected research found that in good marriages, compliments outnumber criticisms by more than five to one.

My book, Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love:30 Minutes A Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted, tells exactly how to hold a successful marriage meeting. They are short, gently structured conversations with your spouse which fosters romance, intimacy, teamwork, and smoother resolution of issues.

Introducing the new Blog, Of Two Minds

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Introducing the new Blog, Of Two MindsAuthor Mike Hedrick has been writing for us since May of last …

Working Out of a Creative Slump, Literally

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Working Out of a Creative Slump, LiterallyMore often than not the advice I’m given when I hit a creative slump is to do more creative things. Make a collage. Write in my journal. Draw or doodle. Read a book or watch a movie. Find a new way to reorganize or rearrange my workspace.

But when I’m not feeling creative, creative fixes don’t sound appealing. The more things fail to sound appealing, the less I do and the bigger the slump. It seems like it will never end, and I start to wonder if maybe I’ve already had all my best ideas.

Hitting a creative block leaves us lost and bored. It can make us doubt our abilities, our choices and our livelihood. You just don’t feel like yourself.

Recent Comments
  • Divorcing: My wife became depressed and negative after our child died. It started the day after, when she exploded at...
  • Joseph: My family think im crazy when i tell them that i smell bad everyday. Whenever im at school or in a public...
  • Kristina: I liked the way you worded the title to grab attention of your readers. While I agreed with most of what...
  • Piniewski MD: Well said. Regardless of our positions on this topic, the behavior :using Dr Google is unlikely to...
  • Starfate: I’m 61 and trying to determine the “best” way to tell my AS spouse that I’m leaving...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 11460
Join Us Now!