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History of Psychology

Schizophrenia Treatment: Now and Then

The first time I ever met with a team of doctors on a psychiatric unit, I was in deep schizophrenic psychosis. Rather than believing they were there to help me, I thought they were in league with others who were performing an experiment upon me. I felt more like a test subject than a patient. To my disturbed mind they came across as smug and ironic -- condescending -- rather than well-meaning, hardworking professionals. These are psychotic recollections, but they reside in my mind as the truth of my first interaction with psychiatric medical personnel.
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Celebrities

A Mental Health Counselor’s Views on Speculations About President Trump’s Mental Health

Speculations about the mental health of U.S. presidents is not new and they have sometimes been justified. After he left office, it was learned that during the Watergate crisis Richard Nixon was depressed, drinking excessively and taking Valium, and talking to portraits of former presidents in the White House. President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease after his second term, but it is assumed that he was afflicted with the progressive illness while he was still in office. All presidents have probably been called “crazy” in the colloquial sense by their political enemies. And some presidents have suffered from real mental illnesses, especially depression. For example, President Lincoln had a history of severe depression which was called melancholia in his era.
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Grief and Loss

How to Rebuild After a Break Up

Have you recently walked away from a long-term relationship?

Acknowledging the relationship was no longer working can be difficult and walking away even harder. Often, people think they're going to immediately start on a new path and jump into the next long-term phase of their lives; but both my personal experience and experience working with clients show that's not how it usually works. Normally, there's a little phase in between long-term situations, and it's absolutely critical to let this phase play out.
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Disorders

Beat Commitment Phobia by Being True to Yourself


Healthy relationships shouldn't feel like a trap.

Marilee, a client of mine, was a commitment-phobe.

"I'd love to be in a loving relationship," she told me in one of our counseling sessions, "but I'm not willing to give up my freedom. I have a great life. I love my work and my friends. I love to travel and take workshops and classes. I don't want anyone telling me what I can or can't do. I don't want to deal with someone feeling hurt because I want to work rather than be with him. It's just not worth all the hassle."

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Anorexia

The Eating Disorder Is Voldemort: On Using Metaphors in Treatment

When some patients start treatment for an eating disorder it can be emotionally and physically uncomfortable. In my work as a therapist I try to educate my patients as to why this feeling is normal. On top of the patient’s discomfort, sometimes it can be hard for loved ones to understand what someone with an eating disorder is going through while in treatment. Therapists routinely use metaphors for both of these reasons, in my opinion. The use of metaphors makes something that was previously unknown, relatable. I think it can be helpful to relate new concepts and hard topics to something familiar in order to make it easier to comprehend.
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Children and Teens

How to Cope When the Anxious Child Has a Meltdown

When our children exhibit disruptive behavior and appear to be out of control, we can feel helpless and sometimes hopeless. When we realize that their actions are no longer isolated events but have become part of a distressing routine, our mind may come up with myriad of solutions. When our children have anxiety and we know that this a contributing factor, our amazing problem-solving machine -- the mind, might also say to us, “You are a terrible parent. It’s your fault.”

This is a thought that our mind is providing to help us make sense of the situation. It is only trying to find a solution to match our distress and our child’s behavior. Those thoughts may match the situation, but it is not helpful and is simply not the case!
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Borderline Personality

Free Live Webinar: The Gifting of Borderline Personality Disorder

Do you know someone who has an intense fear of abandonment, does dangerous and impulsive acts, is unstable in relationships, and expresses extreme emotions? They might have severe depression, anger, anxiety, rage, substance abuse and even self-harming behaviors. Yet, they can be the most passionate loving people who are highly sensitive to their moods and the moods of others. If so, you might ht be dealing with a person who has borderline personality disorder. Their hot and cold interaction can be frustrating and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. Join us for this webinar and discover the gifting of this disorder.

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Friends

Digital Versus Human Communication

It’s amazing to think that less than twenty years ago, if I wanted to communicate with someone from afar, I’d have to call them on the telephone, mail them a letter, or perhaps even send them a telegram. To say the world of communication has changed is an understatement, and this dramatic transformation comes with its share of pros and cons.
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General

What It Means to Not Take Things Personally

We often hear that we shouldn’t take things so personally. But what does this actually mean?

If someone we’ve allowed into our heart says something shaming or hurtful, such as “You only think about yourself” or “How can you be so stupid?” we’re likely to feel the pain of being judged and criticized. It hurts to be viewed as an object with horrible traits rather than be seen in our wholeness.

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