Anger

Office Space: When the Nine to Five Feels Longer

Welcome to the grown-up version of the principal’s office.

“Matt, in here now. We need to talk. Immediately,” my supervisor barked.

Sheepishly, I shuffled in. Fearful of my supervisor’s explosive temper, I cowered in his corner office.

“Sit down,” he grunted. I braced for Hurricane Reid. Moodier than your favorite Hollywood starlet, Reid’s face would contort into a blazing fury before unleashing his latest tirade. My only question: Would he drizzle me with spittle this time?
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LifeHelper

Use Your Clean Record to Your Advantage

I don’t want to call down the evil eye, but I’ve never been arrested, and I’ve been issued one traffic ticket in my whole life.

I remember the ticket vividly. It was 1992. I was living in a small town in Pennsylvania, the kind with one traffic light, a movie theater, a church, a college and a couple bars. I was driving around the lake, coming home from a friend’s house. Suddenly, a policeman sounded his car siren and flashed his lights. “Was he after me?” I thought. I hadn’t done anything.
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Habits

Can You Cheat at Mindfulness and Self Compassion?

I have a client who laughingly says she loves to "cheat the system" -- find a short cut, an easier way, a faster route and get “more bang for her buck."

She remembers doing it as a child at school. When she was supposed to be learning how to touch type she got so frustrated with how slow it was she peeked under the hand-guard and typed faster by looking at the keys.

When she was studying and working in the corporate world she became addicted to multi-tasking -- if she could possibly get two or more things done at once she would definitely feel like she was “cheating the system”, saving time and getting more done.
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Depression

Where’s Maslow? A Lifelong Search for Security

Since the late 1980s, I have seen dozens of therapists due to depression and low self-esteem caused by financial distress.

One of these therapists once told me that everyone deserves a certain level of comfort. Whether this is factually accurate has been subject to much debate -- both in philosophy classrooms and in politics.

Regardless, if you do have the intellect to debate this subject, then you have likely had at least one course in basic psychology.

Upon sitting through a semester of Psychology 101, you know of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs -- developed by the American psychologist, Abraham Maslow. In short, this hierarchy addresses human needs -- everything from the need for food and job security to the need for love and self-esteem.
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Anxiety and Panic

5 Times to Embrace the Power of Negative Thinking


Yes, REALLY.

My whole life I have been told to embrace the power of positive thinking. This was something a lot of adults said to me, a negative, nervous little girl, riddled with anxiety.

Well, that and "stop worrying or you'll give yourself an ulcer."

Thanks, Mrs. Nicholson! Ulcers don't work that way! Anxiety is more than something other than an annoyance for you to deal with from 9 to 3! Fourth grade was a living nightmare and also I hate you!

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Depression

True Story: One Father’s Struggle with Postpartum Depression


Dads get the “baby blues” too.

People might not realize this, but, after the birth of a child, both women and men can encounter symptoms of postpartum depression. I’m speaking from experience here.

After the birth of my daughter, which endures as one of the happiest moments of my life, I found myself struggling with unexpected waves of anxiety, fear, and depression.

It was horrible, and what made it worse, was that I was very uncomfortable talking about it.

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General

Dealing with the Looming Cloud of the Possibility of Early Death

Five years ago, I had breast cancer. To rid myself of it, I had chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy.

Flash forward five years. One day, I noticed a strange, bright red splotch on my breast, the breast where the cancer had been. The doctor did a biopsy of it, and the results came back malignant. It was an angiosarcoma, and the suspected cause was the radiation treatment I’d had five years before. This was a very rare form of cancer that, again, results sometimes from the radiation itself. That which was meant to heal me, made me ill.
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ADHD and ADD

What to Expect When You Love a Woman with ADHD

"We are stronger and smarter than our reactive selves." I wrote this in an article shared on elephant journal, and I was referring to our intellectual self -- versus our reactive self. I received many questions and comments about this statement, so I took some time to reflect and dig further about what this means to me. And as a woman with ADHD (inattentive subtype), it is a daily struggle to control my impulses from reacting quickly.

I trust my "intellectual self;" she has solid judgment, but my reactive self can be stronger. Almost as though my mind and my body are in constant conflict.
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Mental Health and Wellness

America Needs Talent

Need a talent?

Try doing nothing.

Whaaat?

In our hyperkinetic society, we scan our inbox, check our cell phones, and -- for good measure -- refresh our inbox. The average Americans checks his email 46 times per day.

Was the latest GroupOn coupon that crucial?

Riding the bus to work this morning, I observe my sleep-deprived busmates fidgeting in their seats. As the bus rumbles downtown, my busmates are Twittering, Snapchatting, and Facebooking away. Some are feverishly working -- engrossed in the latest project. Me? I am hunched over my iPhone, scanning my mind’s recesses for a catchy intro. We are all busy, running on life’s treadmill. But is the ceaseless need for productivity sapping our mental equanimity? Averting our eyes from our overflowing inbox, we both know the answer.
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Bullying

Why Are We Still Labeling Children as ‘Emotionally Disturbed’?

I'm not perfect at my job, but I know my presence makes a world of difference

I proudly landed my first school counseling job at a public school in New York City. I had been warned by fellow counselors we can never be fully prepared to take on the enormity of our role.

I admit to feeling intimidated upon hearing the label given to children of whom I would be working. The term, "emotionally disturbed (ED)" also intrigued me, but painted a picture before I even met a single child on my caseload. Not learning specific special education classifications in graduate school, I read up as much as I could about this identification. The image my mind had created included children appearing older than their natural age, possessing negativity and a toughness about them; similarly, to the many Hollywood movies about inner city kids, and contrary to the children whom I grew up with in suburban schools. And then I arrived to work on my first day, wide-eyed and with a tough exterior of my own that I anticipated I would need.
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Celebrities

Finding Empathy Across the Political Divide

No one can figure it out. It is a mind-boggling mystery.

"Who ARE these people who support Trump?" "Who ARE these people who like Hilary?" "Who ARE these people who are planning to vote for a third party candidate?"

Well, "these people" are our neighbors. Our dentists. Our airplane pilots. Our children. Our old friends from high school.

These people are us. We are all members of the community of the United States of America. Yet so many of us feel like we are living in a totally different reality from ‘these people.’ We cannot grasp how anyone can think about things SO differently from how we think about them.
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