Psychotherapy Articles

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a Therapist

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a TherapistKnowing when a child needs to see a therapist can be tricky. Naturally, young kids don’t have the emotional or communication skills to verbalize what they need and how they’re feeling.

Therapy can be incredibly helpful for kids. It teaches children healthy coping skills. It teaches them how to understand, articulate and express their feelings instead of acting out behaviorally, said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

Couples You Meet in Counseling: Mr. Perfect and His Crazy Wife

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Couples You Meet in Counseling: Mr. Perfect and His Crazy Wife“What is her problem all the damn time? Why can’t she just chill out? We don’t have problems, she has problems. I have to get back to work.”

The man who comes into counseling with this sort of mindset we will call Mr. Perfect. This high-achieving specimen of masculinity is usually in some field requiring an excess of education or on-the-job training. He is successful in his career and receives a lot of positive feedback.

Not just competent at work, he can also take the kids for an afternoon on his own because he is calm, cool and collected in all situations, even those involving toddlers and poop. His friends consider him a good guy. He is attractive and well-spoken. In an emergency, he is the person you want around. What a guy, right? (Don’t swoon just yet.)

What Does Your Therapist Think About You?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

What Does Your Therapist Think About You?Psychotherapy can sometimes be a little frustrating. You sit in an office, share your life with your therapist, but get only a small window into what your therapist thinks about you. They share their insights in little dribbles that come out from time to time.

When what we really want is the whole kit and kaboodle.

So an interesting experiment at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston is raising eyebrows — giving patients electronic access to their mental health notes.

Young Adults and Suicide

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Young Adults and SuicideSuicide is a mental health problem affecting the lives of young adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites suicide to be the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. In order to prevent suicide of young adults, families need to talk about it.

Suicide is a choice that can be hard to understand and approach without judgment, and discussing the risk of suicide with young adults may feel uncomfortable. Since young adults tend to bottle up their feelings and avoid expressive conversations, parents may be unaware of the risk of suicide or unsure of how to communicate with their son or daughter regarding mental wellness.

Introducing Reflections from a Children’s Therapist

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Introducing Reflections from a Children's Therapist

There are a lot of interesting developments in the world of children’s psychology and childhood development. Being a children’s therapist brings a lot of challenges — but a lot of insights that can be beneficial outside of the office too.

What are good, effective child therapy practices in today’s world? What’s new in the world of play therapy and what new interesting research is coming out?

What are some of the most effective treatment techniques that may help you with your child clients?

Defeating Depression with a Pill

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Defeating Depression with a PillThere was literally a time when patients suffering from depression used to talk about their problems. But times have changed and now talk therapy is becoming a rarer form of treatment in favor of psychotropic drugs.

A pair of studies, which ran from 1998 to 2007, tracked the use of antidepressants versus psychotherapy to treat depression among inpatients. Both were a followup of sorts to similar research done a decade earlier which saw a doubling in the amount of outpatients treated with antidepressants for this population. From 1987 to 1997, the percentage of patients prescribed antidepressant medication rose from 37.3 percent to 74.5 percent.

3 Signs Your Relationship is in Trouble

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

3 Signs Your Relationship is in TroubleIn all relationships there are ebbs and flows; times when you feel closer and times when you feel more distant. You may go through periods when things are going well, and then find yourselves stuck in conflicts and misunderstandings.

Recognizing that there are problems is the first step toward finding out what you need to do address these problems and nurture your relationship out of troubled waters. Below are three significant indicators that your relationship is in trouble.

The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Psychology of Elliot RodgerI’m a bit scared to admit that I actually wasn’t shocked when I watched Elliot Rodger’s now-infamous YouTube video. I was horrified, to be sure, but not surprised.

You would think that it’s unnatural not to feel shock when watching a video of an intelligent, articulate young man relish describing his plan to “slaughter” all of the “girls” in the “hottest sorority.”

But these types of desperate, vengeful fantasies have become familiar to me in my line of work. I have, with some frequency, sat in my therapy office and listened to similar sentiments expressed by more than a few patients over the past several years. There are many more Elliot Rodgers in our country than we’d like to believe.

Can a Classroom Lecture Treat Depression?

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Can a Classroom Lecture Treat Depression?For all of the treatments available for clinical depression, no single one reliably works for everyone. One person may improve on Wellbutrin, while another finds relief from a therapist. It’s a maddening, time-consuming trial-and-error effort.

Worse yet, most people don’t even bother seeking out treatment for their depression. They stumble through life in depression’s gray haze, trying to make the best of things by using whatever coping skills they’ve got. Friends. Alcohol. Work. Video games. Exercise.

But what if simply listening to someone teach you about depression — like in a classroom — could actually help treat it?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Why Some Delusions Can Be So PersistentA single text message from my brother nearly sent me into an identity crisis. He was trying to persuade me to sign up for an extreme sports event which includes running up steep hills, wading through mud, scaling walls … getting mildly electrocuted.

If you haven’t heard of this and think I’m describing something out of Abu Ghraib, it’s actually a popular event these days. But I haven’t been all that sporty in a while (and I’ve never been electrocuted on purpose).

Getting to the Good Part in Therapy

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Getting to the Good PartWhen I was young, my mom would drive me to the airport for my return flight to California after a visit. The trip to the airport was about 20 minutes.

Inevitably we would get into an intensely personal conversation where I would share whatever fears and insecurities I felt. At that time in my life, I was troubled and confused.

What is Anger?

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

What is Anger?Are you angry? What does your anger feel like? Are you in control of it, or do you allow it to control you?

Or perhaps, a better question: What is anger?

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