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Being Grateful Despite Challenges

November 19th, 2014
There are times when we may feel like we cannot be grateful about anything in our lives. Losing a job or feeling burned out can contribute to one’s negative attitude. Experiencing financial losses or not being able to make ends meet can hurt deeply. Enduring physical ...

Living with an Alcoholic

Living with an AlcoholicLiving with an addict can be a living hell: unpredictable and dangerous, yet sometimes exciting and romantic. We never know when we’ll be blamed or accused. We can't dependably plan social events. As the addict becomes more irresponsible, we pick up the slack and do ...

5 New Mom Myths

secure_attachment_to_babyThe letters keep coming to our advice column on PsychCentral. New moms wonder if there is something wrong with them if they aren’t over the moon about their little one every minute of every day. Others worry that they aren’t doing it right or that the ...

Anger and Anorexia

Anger and AnorexiaIt took an eating disorder to finally teach me how to get angry. Many people with eating disorders are like me in that they feel reluctant -- even downright refuse -- to express anger. This is by and large a learned behavior. I grew up in a ...

Children, Rituals, and OCD

Children, Rituals, and OCDWhen my older daughter was about 2 or 3 years old, she had a bedtime ritual where she lined up 10 of her dolls and stuffed animals on the floor. They had to be in the right order, at the right angle, touching or ...

Living with Binge Eating Disorder

Living with Binge Eating DisorderIf you have binge eating disorder, please know that you’re not alone. Binge eating disorder (BED) is actually the most common eating disorder. It affects about 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men. You’re also not weak, wrong or crazy. BED “is ...

You Are a Key Member of Your Treatment Team

You are a Key Member of Your Treatment TeamHowever much the pharmaceutical companies would have us believe it, taking a pill or even a cocktail of pills probably won’t make your diagnosis of mental illness go away completely. Recovering is a verb -- a series of ...

The Compass of Now

BOOK REVIEW.
Many books on the healing power of meditation belabor the importance of breathing and focused practice. In her new book, DDnard — the popular name of a spiritual guru in Thailand — concentrates instead on Buddhist parables. As DDnard explains in The Compass of Now: How One Woman Became Financially Free, Healed Wounds, and Inspired Millions of ...

Alien Landscapes? Interpreting Disordered Minds

BOOK REVIEW.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, psychiatrists were called alienists. That archaic term is given a nod in the title of philosopher Jonathan Glover’s new book as he describes the often foreign-seeming terrain of a disordered mind and the ways that we have historically analyzed it. A professor of ethics at the School of ...

Clinicians on the Couch: Interview with David Silverman

David Silverman photo Every month we turn the tables on clinicians and ask them a variety of questions -- everything from what it’s like to conduct therapy to how they personally cope with stress. They also share the biggest myths about therapy along with their ...

Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams & Nightmares of Childhood

BOOK REVIEW.
My younger brother and I are in the back seat of our family’s van, parked on a steep hill. At the base of the hill is a lake or some other body of water. The ocean? My mother has stepped out of the car and she is at the top of the hill. She is ...

Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption & Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
We make a lot of fuss over book covers, don’t we. Whether they look cheesy or slick. Whether the publisher is trying to get us to purchase something old repackaged as something new. And, of course, whether we should judge by them or not. About titles, though, there’s less discussion. Which is why I was surprised that ...

The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients

BOOK REVIEW.
"What about my pain?" Sandra asked, her brow furrowed. "It's my back. My primary care doctor says I need more meds." "You can ask the nurse for Tylenol or ibuprofen," I said, trying to maintain my composure seated across from Sandra on the inpatient psychiatric ward, "or I can add some naproxen, if you would like." "But ...

Each Day I Like It Better: Autism, ECT & the Treatment of Our Most Impaired Children

BOOK REVIEW.
Say "shock therapy" to most people and what comes to mind? For many, it is some version of Jack Nicholson’s experience in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: a patient writhing on the table as a crazed doctor sends waves of electricity through his brain, all with disastrous consequences. Even during my psychiatry clerkship as a ...

Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children: Family Therapy & EMDR

BOOK REVIEW.
Meltdowns are common in young children of a certain age. But did you know that meltdowns and emotional outbursts are even more common among children who struggle with attachment issues and traumatic pasts? Many parents — and even some mental health professionals — are uninformed about the particular effects that traumatic experience can have on ...

The Anger Management Workbook: Use the STOP Method to Replace Destructive Responses with Constructive Behavior

BOOK REVIEW.
The Anger Management Workbook is not for sissies. It is a complete manual to help you evaluate whether or not you have an anger problem — and then, to learn about different types of anger and how they surface, ways to analyze one’s own anger experiences, and methods to bring about change to stop them. ...

Book Review: The First Interview

BOOK REVIEW.
“Hi. I’m Dr. Riddle,” I say, pulling a chair up next to the gurney. “I’m one of the psychiatrists in the emergency department this evening. Would you have time to chat for a few minutes?” The young woman on the gurney tries a half smile. I take that as consent. “What brings you into the ...

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?“Mommy, I don’t know what love is.” Many parents who have children with Asperger’s Syndrome experience devastating moments like this and are uncertain as to how to reply. Love seems such a natural part of our lives. ...

Put Your Phone Away and Pay Attention to Your Kids

Put Your Phone Away and Pay Attention to Your KidsThis psychologist is worried. It seems that everywhere I go a sizable number of the parents are ignoring their kids. At the grocery store: Mom is pushing one child in the cart. Two others are hanging onto the sides ...

Affair Recovery: Jealousy, Forgiveness and Building Trust

Affair Recovery: Jealousy, Forgiveness and Building TrustWhat warrants a permanent breakup? What set of rules has to be breached and how badly, for two people, formerly attached to each other, to decide to part for good? The answer is different for every couple, but the only other emotional ...

OCD and Values

OCD and ValuesWhen I talk or write about my son’s journey through severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, the topic of values often arises. Values are the things that are very important and meaningful to us. Examples include the people whom we love, our favorite activities, important experiences, and guiding ...

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life Story

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life StoryWe grow up with certain beliefs about ourselves and our lives and expectations that things should work out a certain way. Then, we change, our lives change, and we start to realize that things aren't going as we had expected. This ...

When You Don’t Like Your Teen’s Friends

When You Don't Like Your Teen's FriendsWhen I was in high school, I found a friend my parents couldn’t stand. Shy, introverted, studious, and fashion-impaired, I found someone as opposite to myself as my folks could imagine. My new best friend knew the fashion trends, wore her sweaters ...