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8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness

April 24th, 2014
If you find yourself making promises you are never able to keep, or agreeing to do things you really have no desire to do, passive-aggressiveness may have slowly insinuated itself into your life without your even being aware of it. We have all heard of the term passive-aggressiveness, but sometimes it’s not that easy to recognize ...

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: A Mother’s Survival

BOOK REVIEW.
Are you the parent of a child with aggressive and rebellious behavior? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted after homework time, reinforcing rules and boundaries, or dealing with negative school behavior?  If so, you can probably relate to Zenia Marsden, the mother of a child with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and author of Oppositional Defiant Disorder: ...

Therapists Spill: The Books I Turn to on a Difficult Day

Therapists Spill: The Books I Turn to on a Difficult DaySometimes, just reading a few words of wisdom or support can help to soothe us and give us clarity. Reading certain books can move us into a kinder space. It can inspire and empower us. Or it ...

Book Review: Best Kept Secret

BOOK REVIEW.
“Cadence didn’t sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea.” - Amy Hatvany Amy Hatvany’s Best Kept Secret is a gripping novel that explores the intricacies of a painful truth - the truth of addiction. “Cadence could be you, your neighbor, your friend,” author Kaira ...

Substance Abuse: The Power of Acceptance

The Power of AcceptanceAccepting reality enables us to live in reality. What does this mean? When life pleases us and flows in accordance with our needs and desires, we don’t think about acceptance. But when our will is frustrated or we’re hurt in some way, our displeasure ...

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Parents, It’s Time to Have ‘The Talk’

Talk Therapy Touted as First-Line Treatment for Youth with Psychosis RiskAttention, parents of tweens and teens: If you haven’t had “the talk,” it’s time. Kids need information about sex -- both its joys and its dangers -- from people they love and trust. However uncomfortable it may ...

Overcoming Test Anxiety

Overcoming Test AnxietyAccording to Wikipedia, “test anxiety is a combination of perceived physiological overarousal, feelings of worry and dread, self-deprecating thoughts, tension, and somatic symptoms that occur during test situations. It is a physiological condition in which people experience extreme stress, anxiety, and discomfort during and/or before ...

Body-Focused Obsessions: Sensorimotor Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Sensorimotor Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderThere are so many different types of obsessions and compulsions when it comes to OCD. Perhaps among the less talked about are sensorimotor, or body-focused, obsessions which involve a heightened awareness and focus on involuntary bodily activities and processes. Common examples include hyperawareness of swallowing, breathing, or blinking. Additionally, overattention to bladder and digestive processes -- indeed, any unhealthy focus on a specific body part or organ -- might also fall into the category of sensorimotor obsessions. I think these types of obsessions seem particularly brutal because they involve necessary, ongoing bodily processes. There truly is no escape, and this fact often plays into the sufferer's obsessions.

Teen Daughters Need Moms Instead of Friends

Instinctual Detection of Deceit better than Conscious Efforts“I’ve tried so hard to be her friend. Why is she doing this to me?” Ginger, the mom I’m talking to, is upset and mystified. Fourteen-year-old Jessy has been acting up. She talks back to her mom. She doesn’t do all ...

Clinicians on the Couch: 10 Questions with Psychotherapist Susan Lager

Susan Lager In our monthly series, clinicians share slices from both their professional and personal lives. They reveal everything from what they love about being a therapist to how they cope with stress to their insights for leading a meaningful life. This month we’re pleased to interview Susan ...

The Heart & Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts

BOOK REVIEW.
Can you act our your mother’s behaviors? How about pretending you’re that high school crush that broke your heart? Have you been called incompetent at work? Assume the role of Mr. Incompetence and let him speak for himself via your theater skills. Transpersonal drama therapy is a fresh approach to healing that offers transformation through ...

Trouble Is a Gift: A Story of Addiction, Recovery & Hope

BOOK REVIEW.
“But finally, there I was alone in this apartment, sitting in a chair, staring at the radiator waiting for the little guy to crawl out from behind it. Knowing the bottle was going to be empty in another minute. Wondering how I’m going to get money to buy a new one or if I should ...

Book Review: By All Means

BOOK REVIEW.
A few pages into this “Zen cautionary tale,” the dramatic stakes are set high and our attention is arrested when its main character, Edward, barely manages to extricate a piggy hand-puppet from the jaws of a neighborhood feline -- just as the interloping cat tries to slink out Edward’s side door. We soon learn that Edward ...

Better Days: A Mental Health Recovery Workbook

BOOK REVIEW.
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”  ~ Albert Ellis, PhD Mental illness is a tricky beast in which the problems in one’s life seem ...

Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration

BOOK REVIEW.
This book began as a project between author David Denborough and the creator of narrative therapy, the late Michael White. Denborough worked alongside White for 15 years, then carried the book to fruition following White’s death in 2008. He has written an excellent work that provides guidance in how to both tell and change your ...

Transforming Struggles with Kids into Parenting that Works

Transforming Struggles with Kids into Parenting that Works Kyle, a happy, active, strong-minded 5-year-old, was busy playing after dinner when he was supposed to be clearing the table. His dad called him repeatedly, trying to get his attention to come help. Kyle, seeming oblivious, did not ...

What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness

BOOK REVIEW.
Are heroes born, like Superman, or are they made, like Spiderman? Elizabeth Svoboda investigates this question in What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness. Is altruism nothing more than genetics, or can a person compile a heroic identity “like a puzzle, piece by piece, over time?” Svoboda tackles this with the craft of a journalist such ...

The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology & the Self

BOOK REVIEW.
“The moment a child is born, a mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~ Rajneesh, spiritual guru To be human is to engage in relationships with other humans, and, by these interactions, to be transformed. In The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology, and ...

One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life

BOOK REVIEW.
Regardless of whether you believe in positive thinking or view of it as a hokey concept, you almost cannot go a day without seeing or hearing some example of it. In One Simple Idea, Mitch Horowitz takes us into the history of the movement, exploring the science of it (while noting that researchers have never ...

Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution

BOOK REVIEW.
Ever been stuck in a conflict, unable to let go and unable to forgive others? Ever felt like conflict permeated everything? In Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution, Diane Musho Hamilton, a Zen teacher and priest, helps us get through these problems. Hamilton explains the benefits of conflict — even when we see ...

Six Ways to Help Your Perfectionist Child Find Balance

Six Ways to Help your Perfectionist Child Find BalanceFour-year-old Max would crumple his paper when his drawing wasn’t perfect. He would start over, and often grow angry and eventually give up. His parents noticed his rigidity, but hoped he would grow out of it. When he ...

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding Perfectionist

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding PerfectionistI once met a young man who had had many successes in his youth. He was intelligent and outgoing. He had always been the star in high school and had enjoyed the praise he received from others, but ...

Why and How to Teach Grandma to Access the Internet

Why and How to Teach Grandma to Access the InternetThe Internet offers promising new ways to end isolation and loneliness among the senior citizens we love. This is no small thing. Relationships, after all, are at the core of mental and even physical health. The 2004 Australian ...