Self-Help Library


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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 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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: ...

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, ...

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the HolidaysDo the holidays stress you out? You’re not alone. It’s a hectic time of year for many people, maybe even most people. Nothing about our usual daily life goes away. The holidays add a layer of activities and responsibilities, both ...

Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts Down

Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts DownRelationship researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, was the first to apply the term “stonewalling” to couples, said Kathy Nickerson, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships in Orange County, Calif. Gottman defines stonewalling as "when a listener withdraws from ...

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderPeople with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience obsessions, compulsions or both. “Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses that an individual experiences over and over again,” said Andrea Umbach, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders at Southeast Psych in Charlotte, N.C. They’re ...

How to Be Alone

BOOK REVIEW.
I often spend at least twelve hours a day being very much in the presence of others. Caring for patients, discussing cases with attending doctors, interacting with nurses and social workers, and then going back to talk with patients again, my day is spent in a series of often intense human interactions. Add to the human ...

More Transforming Negative Self-Talk: Practical, Effective Exercises

BOOK REVIEW.
“I can’t believe you just did that. How could you have said something so stupid? I mean, seriously, how could you be such an idiot? Where did you graduate from again? Did you graduate? You shouldn’t be here. You’re dangerous.” It was my second shift as an intern in the ER and I was telling ...

Therapists Spill: What I’m Grateful For

Therapists Spill: What I’m Grateful ForIn our regular monthly series therapists spill all sorts of secrets, including how they deal with difficult times, their biggest mistakes and key lessons they’ve learned from their clients. This month, in the spirit of the holiday season, we asked clinicians to share ...

In Recovery and Surviving the Holidays

empty-chair-holiday-tableHere come the holidays. In American cultural myth, it’s a time for good food, good company, and good times. If you are struggling with recovery from alcoholism, it’s also a time of stress and challenges. Alcoholic beverages often make an occasion feel celebratory. How do you ...

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 ...

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 ...