Motivation and Inspiration Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

The Mood Repair Toolkit: Proven Strategies to Prevent the Blues from Turning into Depression

February 25th, 2015
As a therapist who specializes in treating depressed adolescents, I find that parents often challenge me. They cannot understand why their teen is helplessly depressed, or why their child isn’t motivated to engage in activities that their peers find enjoyable. “She has nothing to be depressed about — she has a great family and good grades, and is smart and ...

Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction & Discover the Power of Intimacy

BOOK REVIEW.
The advice that you have to love yourself in order to find love is a little shopworn — so oft repeated that it’s hard to feel its wisdom. But in Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy, psychotherapist Ken Page takes that wisdom and drills into it, helping us ...

Counter the Psychology of Pessimism

faq-adults-adhdWe all do it. We get a stellar performance review at work but there is one area our boss says "needs a little improvement." What do we focus on? The mildly negative comment. Our partner tells us that we are oh so wonderful that it’s impossible to ...

Book Review: Man’s Search for Meaning

BOOK REVIEW.
In a 1991 survey for the Library of Congress, readers were asked to name a book that made a difference in their lives. Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning was among the top ten. It is a daunting task to review such a book. It goes without saying that Frankl’s seminal text is well worth reading ...

Book Review: How to Deal with Adversity

BOOK REVIEW.
Although the title sounds very self-help,  a serious text in which Christopher Hamilton — philosopher, author, and senior lecturer in philosophy of religion at London’s King’s College — uses his scholarship to push the reader. His is not a simple recitation of how to act when faced with difficulties — not a “do this, then do this” type of read. Those books ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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: ...

Being Grateful Despite Challenges

recognizing-dealing-with-stressThere 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 ...

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 ...

The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life

BOOK REVIEW.
Surrendering to a simpler life can be frightening or stressful — even inconceivable.  Consider an average day. Multitasking and over-performing are more a requisite than an ideal, as is maintaining competitive advantages just so you can pay your rent. Competition is everywhere we look, in fact, making it seem almost reckless, at least counter-intuitive, to stop ...

How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain

How to Tell If Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive BrainDecisions can be motivated by thoughtful consideration from our higher mind (frontal lobe/ executive functions), or fear-based survival instincts (amygdala, impulses) from a more primitive mind. When decisions are informed ...

You Can Worry and Be Happy

anxious_worrySome time ago, there was a popular song by Bobby McFerrin that urged us “Don’t worry. Be happy.” The lyrics suggest that worrying and being happy are contradictory feelings. They’re not.

When

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Book Review: Living Independently on the Autism Spectrum

BOOK REVIEW.
Lynne Soraya grew up in a world that did not always make sense. She did learn to make her way through, but it was difficult. As an adult, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome — then life began to make much more sense. Soraya’s book, Living Independently on the Autism Spectrum: What You Need to Know to ...

7 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

7 Steps to Changing a Bad HabitWe all have them -- bad habits that we wish we didn’t have but feel pessimistic about changing. Maybe you know you really have to spend less time on Facebook or playing online games. Or perhaps you’ve tried a dozen ...

Healing from Neglect: When Those We Love Don’t Love Us

BOOK REVIEW.
It is an emotion that has inspired the rise and fall of empires and that influences the very foundation of our development. But how you approach love is dependent on your past and present associations with it. The belief that love is a many-splendored thing falls away when we step back and evaluated the collateral ...

Therapists Spill: The Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned from My Clients

Therapists Spill: The Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned from My ClientsClients no doubt learn a thing or two from their therapists. They may learn to cope with painful emotions. They may learn to set boundaries. They may learn to accept themselves or to build healthier, more fulfilling ...

Rethink How You Think: How to Create Lasting Change Today

BOOK REVIEW.
For a science-informed book on self-improvement, Rethink How You Think can be both illuminating and confounding. The primary reason is its splicing of science and religion: two camps perennially at odds. However, this is not the kind of book that has been somewhat in vogue the past few years, a pop-science look at religiosity versus ...

Book Review: Emotional Life

BOOK REVIEW.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions, I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” That quote from Oscar Wilde is how psychologist Doreen Davy kicks off Emotional Life: Managing Your Feelings to Make the Most of Your Precious Time on Earth. Whether an experience is good or bad ...

Feeling Loved: Finding Happiness in an Overstressed World

BOOK REVIEW.
We have been writing about love for millennia. From the earliest surviving love poem dating from around 2030 BCE to the work of philosophers like Lao Tzu to the sonnets of Shakespeare, countless tomes have been written about seeking love, finding love, feeling love, and all the possible variations on the theme. In the modern ...