Psychotherapy Articles

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?

2 Essential Ingredients of Authenticity

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

unhappy couple at homeWhen couples enter my office, they often report that they have a communication problem. This may be true, but more importantly, they are often having difficulty being authentic — both with themselves and with each other.

The foundation for healthy and vibrant connections is forged through authentic mutual sharing of what each person is experiencing inside, along with how they communicate their experience to each other.

The Power of the Written Word: Healing Through Journal-Writing

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The Power of the Written WordAt the age of 18, I was sexually molested and exploited by my coach’s husband. This was a very traumatic situation in my life, and I was faced with having to deal with the pain even after being taken out of the situation.

Once I came back home to my parents’ house, I felt so much negativity within that I needed an outlet. I became stressed, irritated and impatient with those close to me. I realized that if I continued to use my pain by getting mad and upset with others, I would live my life as a prisoner.

One day, I had had enough and decided to write my emotions and fears in a journal. This was the beginning of a very therapeutic journey of recovery.

Coping with Anxiety

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Coping with AnxietyAnxiety happens to everyone. It can occur in new situations, testing or assessments, performance evaluations, competition and even asking something of another. Some may continue to feel anxious even after the nerve-wracking activity has ended. It can manifest as a “gut feeling” or as physical symptoms, such as sweating and rapid heartbeat.

It is important to have techniques available which will allow you to cope with your anxiety. Coping techniques can help soothe anxiety mentally and physically by training your mind and relaxing your body. A few techniques include:

Cutting National Healthcare Costs Through Broader Mental Wellness Access

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Cutting National Healthcare Costs Through Broader Mental Wellness AccessIn 2010, over 6.4 million emergency room visits involved treatment for mental health conditions or substance abuse. That number is up 28 percent from just four years earlier. Though many of these cases may be due to serious illnesses or related injuries, too many are preventable with ongoing mental wellness management.

These visits cost America’s already overburdened emergency rooms millions each year. In 2003, mental health visits cost hospitals $20.3 billion. By some estimates, that number will nearly double to a whopping $38.5 billion in 2014.

In The Wake of a Suicide Epidemic, Inaction Speaks Louder Than Words

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

In The Wake Of A Suicide Epidemic, Inaction Speaks Louder Than Words“It shouldn’t have happened to her.”

“She had so much to live for, she led such a lucky life.”

19-year-old Madison Holleran’s death shocked and frustrated her community. These comments I have heard not only signify a grieving community, but speak volumes toward how little is known about suicide.

While I’m not faulting those who spoke them, I am highlighting the necessity of education about suicide and mental health.

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