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Confrontations vs. Conversations

January 23rd, 2015
A reader asks: "I think my wife is cheating on me. She comes home from her office hours later than usual. She checks her phone constantly. Should I confront her?" Another writes: "My husband is just home from Afghanistan. He has huge anger issues. In the last ...

What is Toxic Shame?

What is Toxic Shame?When shame becomes toxic, it can ruin our lives. Everyone experiences shame at one time another. It’s an emotion with physical symptoms like any other that come and go, but when it’s severe, it can be extremely painful. Strong feelings of shame stimulate the ...

Writing for Health

Writing for HealthI hate to admit it but it’s true: I’m terrible at keeping a journal. I probably have half a dozen notebooks lying around, each one with no more than 20 entries before I got caught up in other things, made excuses, didn’t have the ...

How Parents Can Help Teens Under Academic Pressure

Overcoming Test AnxietyWhen grades are slipping and teens don’t seem to be taking action, it’s easy to react from from frustration and helplessness. Under pressure, parents can fall into common traps without realizing it. Doing so unintentionally adds to kids’ anxiety and discouragement, which saps motivation ...

Are You a Target of Workplace Bullying? Here’s What to Do about it

business man and woman in the officeTargets of workplace bullying typically make three major mistakes. These have a significant impact on their mental health. They also make a favorable outcome unlikely. It is probable, not just possible, to get a great outcome as a result of being ...

Scrupulosity: When OCD Targets Your Religious and Moral Values

OCD The Enemy or an Unwanted GuestWhenever Marian was exposed to religious issues, she felt overwhelmed by doubt, guilt and anxiety. She had been steadfast in her devotion since childhood. Lately, though, she’d try to avoid anything or anyone that triggered her spiritual obsessions. Her loved ...

Workplace Stress

Workplace StressStress has been endemic for centuries, with the term conjuring images of frantic, hyper-aroused or solemn, withdrawn individuals. While the study of stress and its effects date back to the 1900s, its popularity in both academic and pop culture settings has been rapidly flourishing. Over ...

How I Conquered Binge Eating Disorder

How I Conquered Binge Eating DisorderI developed binge eating disorder when I was 26 years old, after spending countless hours and mental energy on dieting, eating perfectly, and obsessing about my body and weight. Of course, I didn’t actually realize I had BED right away. Instead, ...

Parents Who Have OCD

Parents Who Have OCDBecause my son Dan has obsessive-compulsive disorder, my articles often focus on a parent’s perspective. But what if you are the child, and your parent is the one struggling with the disorder? Of course, the issues children and their families face will differ depending ...

Why You Shouldn’t Undermine Your Partner’s Parenting

Why You Shouldn't Undermine Your Partner's ParentingWhile writing my upcoming book on divorce, I have reviewed a lot of research on the terrible effects of parental alienation (described there by Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from ...

Problem-Solving the Solution-Focused Way

Problem-Solving the Solution-Focused WayIn the past few decades, a strength-based movement has emerged in the field of mental health. It offers an alternative to problem-focused approaches that have organized prevailing treatments. In particular, solution-focused counseling highlights what is working in people's lives rather than emphasizing their ...

Clinicians on the Couch: 10 Questions with Therapist Helen Nieves

Helen Nieves, LMHC Every month we turn the tables, and ask clinicians to share a slew of tidbits about themselves and their work. They reveal everything from the trials and triumphs of conducting therapy to how they personally cope with stress. They also share their insights ...

Just One New Year’s Resolution

Just One New Year's ResolutionIt’s January again -- the time when many of us feel expected to make promises to ourselves that we probably won’t keep. In fact, almost 60 percent of us don’t make resolutions. Of those who do, almost 80 percent break theirs within ...

How Do Smartphones Affect Childhood Psychology?

How Do Smartphones Affect Childhood Psychology?Have you noticed what seems like an epidemic of people who are glued to their smartphone’s soft glow? Unfortunately, you are not alone. Over 1.8 billion people own smartphones and use their devices on a daily basis. Some studies estimate that an ...

The Power of Positive Confrontation

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times a week do you check your own body language or think over how you’ve said something to a coworker or acquaintance? For Barbara Pachter, a business coach, author, and adjunct at Rutgers University, it’s important to be in tune with not only your body language but tone of voice, word choice, and gestures. An ...

Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens

BOOK REVIEW.
For many of us, large department stores like Macy’s can lead to sensory overload. We walk in and are assaulted by bright lights, crowds, noisy customers, colors everywhere, and the smell of very strong perfume. For me, personally, I know that if I stay too long I can begin to feel trapped, frustrated, or overwhelmed. You might also ...

4 Psychological Tactics for Overcoming Social Anxiety

4 Psychological Tactics for Overcoming Social AnxietyFor over a decade, social anxiety put my life on hold. My inability to relax around people and feel free to live in the moment was holding back my relationships, my job prospects and my enjoyment of life. The beta ...

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes

BOOK REVIEW.
“To the thousands of kids out there who are a little bit different, a little bit scared, a little bit unpopular: this one’s for you.” So writes Jodi Picoult in the acknowledgments section of Nineteen Minutes, a novel that thoroughly dissects a school shooting. In the book, Picoult surfaces empathy in unexpected places — empathy for the shooter and empathy ...

Three Proven Ways a Simple List Can Revolutionize Your Love Life

big stock Intelligent young woman writing in a hardback notebookTake a moment and write a list of everything you desire and need in a life partner. Take several moments, in fact. Put in everything -- in detail, in color. Dream big. Then separate that list into must-haves ...

Your Inner Will: Finding Personal Strength in Critical Times

BOOK REVIEW.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” That’s according to Mahatma Gandhi — one of many famous speakers on the amorphous concept of the human will. The notion that we have control over our mind and its actions may be intangible, but we’ve all had experiences that test it: finishing a marathon, studying ...

A New Treatment for Depression

A New Treatment for Depression For six months, clinical psychologist Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D, had been working with a man who was struggling with depression. He was having a hard time shifting his negative thinking, and kept talking about his bleak circumstances. In one session, Vilhauer asked him: ...

Psychopharmacology Problem Solving: Principles & Practices to Get It Right

BOOK REVIEW.
A longstanding debate in the field of psychology is whether or not psychologists — specifically, PhDs and PsyDs who serve in a clinical capacity — should, like psychiatrists (who have MDs), be able to prescribe medication. At present, two states permit prescriptive authority for appropriately trained psychologists: New Mexico and Louisiana, with more states on the horizon ...

What the Fork Are You Eating? An Action Plan for Your Pantry & Plate

BOOK REVIEW.
Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are. —Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin What’s in your fridge right now? Your kitchen cupboards? Go ahead — open the door and take a peek. I’ll do the same. Some of it I’m happy to share publicly. The fridge is filled with a variety of vegetables and fruits — apples, ...