Self-Help Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Marital Rape

September 22nd, 2014
As an advice columnist, I receive too many letters like these (names have been changed): Anna is a woman in her 40s. She has been in a conflicted marriage for years. Her husband insists on morning sex, even though he knows it will make ...

Change How You Feel: Change How You Breathe

MeditationEmotions add flavor to life. Joy, love and contentment make living a pleasure. Anger and fear act as warning signals telling us when to protect ourselves. Most of all, emotions are the glue that binds us to family and friends. But those same emotions can be so ...

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

Diabetes Drug Makes Brain Cells Grow in MiceDecisions 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 by our higher mind, they are more likely to lead ...

Book Review: How to Be Alone

BOOK REVIEW.
I recently took a 10-day solitary road trip through Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. A few stops to promote a new book required interacting with other people, but otherwise it was just me and my car and miles and miles of glorious prairie. I put about 2,000 miles on my car on that trip. I drove ...

Therapists Spill: Their Favorite Books on Therapy

Therapists Spill: My Favorite Books on TherapyBecause it’s done behind closed doors, therapy can seem like a mystery. How do therapists actually conduct therapy? How do they treat disorders such as depression and anxiety? What if you could be a fly on the wall during a ...

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 ...

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 ...

Attachment Panic, or Why You Can’t ‘Just Chill Out’

Attachment Panic, or Why You Can’t 'Just Chill Out'All over the world, in many different languages, at this very moment (accounting for time differences), there are couples having a conversation that goes kind of like this: Woman: Why didn't you call me when you were going 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 ...

6 Obstacles to Building a Healthy Marriage

weddingNewly wed is such a warm and promising term. It means that you are newly launching into another stage of life. You are now married. It’s a shift in a relationship even if you’ve been together for years. How you treat each other in the next few ...

OCD and Mindfulness

mindfulnessWe hear a lot about the concept of mindfulness these days. Simply put, mindfulness is the act of focusing on the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. It involves noticing and accepting what is. If you or a loved one suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, I’m wondering if ...

Therapists Spill: When You Have a Bad Therapy Experience

Therapists Spill: When You Have a Bad Therapy Experience It takes courage to seek therapy. Therapy is a vulnerable act, as you entrust a stranger with your innermost thoughts and feelings. So it can be especially disappointing and distressing when you have a bad experience. It ...

Clinicians on the Couch: 10 Questions with Therapist Casey Radle

Casey Radle HeadshotEvery month a different clinician gives readers a glimpse into how he or she works and lives. They share everything from what it’s like to conduct therapy to how they cope with stress. They also reveal the biggest myths about therapy, what they wish ...

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 ...

Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide

BOOK REVIEW.
"I never imagined that I would have a child who talks back to me and thinks she’s the boss of everyone. How did that happen, and what am I supposed to do now?" So asks Brice, a psychologist and parent of a 7-year-old child, in Rona Renner’s Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your ...

Conquering Shame & Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

BOOK REVIEW.
“I had found the enemy — and it was me.”  So writes Darlene Lancer in Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You. Sometimes there are true external foes that we must fight and defeat. But quite often, when we take a hard look at a situation, we are indeed our own worst enemy. ...

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 ...

Are You in Denial?

Are You in Denial?We’re all in denial. We’d barely get through the day if we worried that we or people we love could die today. Life is unpredictable, and denial helps us cope and focus on what we must in order to survive. On the other ...

Don’t Ask Your Partner to Erase the Past

marriage_communication5I’ve received dozens of letters to the Psych Central advice column with the same problem: The writer has married a man or woman who is divorced and is upset because the new spouse wants to keep old pictures or items from their former marriage. For the spouse, ...

Book Review: Reconcilable Differences

BOOK REVIEW.
If you’re searching for one useful self-help book for couples, versus an entire bookcase of them, the second edition of Reconcilable Differences may be your answer. Through this revised text, readers committed to mending a relationship rife with serious recurring conflicts may find more clarity, conflict resolution solutions, and routes to greater acceptance of their ...