Children and Teens

A Child Therapist’s Perspective on Spanking

So I came across this post on Facebook the other day (I always get good blog ideas when something on Facebook rubs me the wrong way), and it was one of those little e-card pictures that are everywhere. On the picture it said, “I was spanked as a child and I now suffer from a psychological disorder known as ‘respect for others.’” I am sure that this was somewhat tongue-in-cheek and probably a response to all the anti-spankers out there, but it stirred up some anger in me.

One of the most basic rules of statistics is that correlation does not prove causation. Just because you are super awesome, spanking was not the variable that led to you being awesome.
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Can You Treat Depression with an App?

With the proliferation of health tracking apps, it's no surprise to see dozens being offered to help treat people with depressive symptoms. (No app has been FDA-approved or scientifically proven to actually treat depression.)

The New York Times asks four experts and researchers in this area whether you can treat depression with an app in their latest Room for Debate. It's an interesting discussion worth the read.

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Brain and Behavior

Are You A Mystic? A Call To Participate In Mystics Anonymous

Traditional doctors say I'm a mystic.  I don't deny it. ~Bernie Siegel
On August 1 and 2, 2009 I had an extraordinary experience while sitting on a beach. It was as though I was having a low-grade seizure. I vibrated as if I were somehow a piano, guitar, or violin string being tuned to a tuning fork. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was by no means a joyous event. I couldn’t stop, not could I explain the quivering. I sat on the edge of the beach and watched the rhythmic waves of the ocean slap the shore.

I didn’t know exactly what was happening, but I knew it was extraordinary. I was hyperalert -- in awe -- being nudged into a type of anticipatory readiness.
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Complaining Can Be a Way to Show We Care

It is often said that no one likes a complainer. Of course, many complaints are petty and offer no solutions to the issue. However, effective complaining can be useful and healthy.

Practical complaints can lead to change or maybe a better process, such as making a complaint to customer service. In our personal lives, when our complaints are about our workplace, friends, family or relationships, sometimes it is because we really care about our job or the relationships we have with others and want to make things better.

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Free Webinar: Stop the Chaos! Everyday Management Tips for Moms with ADHD

Join Psych Central host Zoë Kessler for a conversation with Terry Matlen, ACSW. Ms. Matlen is a psychotherapist, consultant, writer, and coach, specializing in women and moms with ADHD. Terry is the author of two books: "The Queen of Distraction” and "Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD" and is the founder of She also runs, an online coaching program for women with ADHD. A nationally-recognized expert and speaker on ADHD, she served for many years on the board of directors of ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association).

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How Criticism Can Save Your Marriage

A love without reproof is no love. ~ Rabbi Yosi ben Chanina (1)
Reproof is defined as rebuke or criticism. You may feel safer by seething silently when irked by a potential or actual marriage partner’s behavior. But sometimes speaking up, with kindness and respect, at a time when both of you are calm, is the best thing to do.

Keeping a grievance inside can result in distancing behaviors and grudge holding. Calmly bringing up a matter you find disconcerting can clear the air and renew good feelings that cease when knots are tying up your insides

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The Art of Receiving: What It Takes to Let in Good Stuff

We’re taught that giving is superior to receiving. Valuing giving is a helpful corrective to human narcissism. Seeing what others need to be happy is a beautiful act of kindness, which also fulfills us as nothing else can.

But receiving is an equally noble endeavor. When someone extends their attention and caring toward us, how deeply do we let it in? Can we allow ourselves to be nourished by another’s act of kindness? Receiving deeply not only nurtures us, but it also honors the giver. It makes them feel that they made a difference in our life.

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Anxiety and Panic

An Overthinker’s Nightmare

A few years ago I remodeled my kitchen. Having to make that many decisions is an overthinker’s nightmare. If you’ve ever remodeled, you know that it’s one decision after another -- fixtures, appliances, countertops, paint. Do you even know how many models of faucets are made?

People who overthink feel like their brains won't turn off. They are constantly questioning, second-guessing, and evaluating to the extent that they create analysis paralysis, or the inability to make decisions.

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Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health issues now are the leading cause of illness in the workplace. A study conducted by the American Institute of Stress in 2014 showed that job pressure was the leading cause of stress in the U.S. The annual cost to employers in health care and missed work topped $300 billion.

Ignoring mental health in the workplace doesn’t make good business sense. Research shows that companies in the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index (FTSE 100) that prioritize employee engagement and well-being outperform the rest of the FTSE 100 by 10 percent. We know that work performance and effectiveness largely is dependent on mental health and well-being. With as many as one in four of us experiencing mental health problems in the course of a year, organizations understand that this is an important issue for them and their staff.

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5 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care This Week

There are all sorts of views on what self-care is and what it looks like. (For instance, in this piece, several clinicians share their diverse thoughts.) According to art therapist Kim Ottinger, LPC, “self-care is anything that allows you to take a moment to appreciate yourself and your life.” Self-care sustains us when we’re stressed, she said.

It might “manifest in the form of an activity, an attitude towards yourself or others, a belief, or an action.”
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