General

Why We Can’t Accept Ourselves — and Small Steps to Start

There are all sorts of obstacles that stop us from accepting ourselves. For starters, it might be a combination of scarce self-knowledge and wounds from our past, said Alexis Marson, LMFT, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with individuals, couples, families and children.

We often lack knowledge and awareness about our emotions. And the most damaging past wounds tend to stem from our caregivers. Marson shared this example: You feel angry and interpret your parents as disconnecting from you. You do everything you can to dismiss or ignore your anger so you can maintain the connection. “If we've cut off our ability to feel anger, we aren't aware of that part of our self. You cannot accept something you don't even know is there.”
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Brain and Behavior

Brain-Savvy Dieting: Count Joy Points Not Calories

The command central for weight loss is not the the thinking part of our brain, the part that learns what we should eat. It’s the emotional brain, the part of us that unleashes strong emotional drives to overeat. The breakthrough in a brain-based approach to weight management, emotional brain training (EBT), is to take control of our emotional brain to turn off those drives, so we can eat less because we want less food.

If you hold your ears with your fingers splayed, your holding your
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Depression

Why Self-Care is Essential

Most of us will suffer from depression at some point. It could be triggered by a traumatic event, such as a relationship breakup, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. Or it could take the form of experiencing a gradual decline in your enjoyment of life, and a general feeling that things will never get better.

When we sink into the black hole of depression, it can sometimes be hard to get out again. Our waking life may seem so bleak that we seek refuge in sleeping in late and staying in bed all day. But the more we give in to the dark side of depression, the harder it can be to overcome it. Being severely depressed for long periods of time is a terrible way to live. So what can you do if the black dog has got you down?

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General

Equine Assisted Therapy: An Interview with Anna Mott

Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential treatment modality used to help a person's psychological health through directed interactions with a horse. While the idea may seem a little silly on first blush, it actually has a growing research base to suggest its potentially beneficial effects for those who engage in it. You can learn more about equine assisted psychotherapy here.

In this interview with Anna Mott -- owner of Alo Horses, an Equine Gestalt Coach, and a Karuna Reiki Master -- we learn more about a form of equine assisted therapy called the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method.

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General

7 Ways to Honor Yourself Every Day

We can think of honoring ourselves in many different ways. Therapist Lisa Neuweg, LCPC, defines it as “accepting all parts of ourselves: “the good and bad, the perfect and imperfect, the disappointments and triumphs.” According to somatic psychotherapist Lisa McCrohan, MSW, given our current culture, it means living our lives around what’s most sacred or important to us -- instead of based on “the time on the clock.”

For self-acceptance and self-love coach Miri Klements it means being honest with herself and acknowledging what is true for her. It means treating herself with compassion, understanding, gentleness, acceptance and love.
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Mental Health and Wellness

When Everyday Is Game Day: How to Manage Distressing Thoughts

Thank you, Lee Corso.

Lee Corso, for the football uninformed, is the doddering analyst for ESPN’s College Gameday.

Specializing in well-worn cliches -- with the occasional insight, Corso raptures poetic about grit, tenacity, and toughness.

“Wow, they really wanted it,” Corso gushes about a ballyhooed team. As the ESPN highlights roll on, an ebullient player appears on your plasma screen. He barks into the camera, “We just wanted it more. We were flat-out tougher!”
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Family

There’s No Such Thing as a Simple Question

You would think that a simple question would be met with a simple answer. On occasion, that is true. But often, a simple question stirs up a barrage of emotional baggage. Here are two examples:

He says: Do you know where the flashlight is?
She says: You never put anything away and then you expect me to find it. How am I supposed to know?

She says: It’s raining; will you drive carefully?
He says: Get off my back! I’m not an idiot!

Communication is not what you say; it’s what the other person hears you say. And when you have a history with that person, a simple question can conjure up a frenzy of emotions.
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Family

When You Rely Too Much on What Others Think

Caring what others think is totally normal. It’s also adaptive. “[V]aluing other people’s thoughts and opinions is what helps us build relationships [and] integrate socially into society,” said Ashley Thorn, a LMFT, a psychotherapist who works with individuals, couples, and families on improving their relationships. “[It] keeps us respecting and following rules and pushes us to think and challenge ourselves.”

Caring what others think becomes a problem when we hyperfocus on their opinions -- and let them override our own. When we do this regularly, we send “a message to our brain that says we can’t ‘look out’ for ourselves or self-protect.” Which triggers self-doubt and insecurity.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 17, 2016


Before you run off to enjoy the last weekend of summer, take some time to enjoy the seriously random mix of mental health news and stories I've found for you this week!

Read on to take a look at data on how psychiatric drug advertising affects prescriptions, a study related to how writing down your dreams and goals increases your chances of achieving them, reviews on various self-help books for pet parents (you read...
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Psychotherapy

Who Can Benefit From Individual Therapy?

If you're thinking of meeting with a psychotherapist, you might have a general feeling that you want to try therapy but not be sure exactly what a therapist is going to do for you. You might even wonder, "Can I really get that much out of talking to a therapist?"

The short answer is: yes. Everyone stands to gain from reflecting on their lives and improving their coping skills.

But there's one group of people who have a problem that is an especially good for therapy. I'm talking about people who feel they need another perspective.
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