World of Psychology


How to Empower Yourself When You Feel Powerless and Helpless

Lately, you’ve been feeling powerless and helpless. Maybe you’ve experienced a devastating loss. Maybe you’re going through a difficult situation, and you feel stuck. Maybe there’s always been an undercurrent of I just can’t do this. I can’t change my circumstances. This is just how it is (and maybe always will be).

Thankfully, just because you feel powerless and helpless doesn’t mean you actually are. This happens because when we get scared, we get tunnel vision, said New York City psychologist Lauren Appio, Ph.D. And it becomes “hard for us to take a step back and review our options because in this state of mind, we don’t feel we have any.”

Or, if we start considering options, we zero in on the potential threats, she said. We fear we’ll make the wrong decision, and feel deep regret.
Anxiety and Panic

Four Things We Can Learn from Meditation Anxiety

It may seem ironic that meditation -- a technique that helps manage stress -- can itself inspire anxiety. However, qualms about taking up meditation are common, and they illustrate perfectly that our automatic stress response can fire in situations which are wholly inappropriate. Misgivings inspired by meditation also show how easily stress can develop, in even the least ostensibly stressful of contexts.

Far from being useless, these kinds of worries can be transformative teachers. Engaging with them can offer you insight into how anxiety forms, before it attacks. Exploring your meditation-related concerns will equip you with new abilities to deconstruct stress-inducing thoughts in other areas of your life, before they reach critical mass.

Secondhand Drinking: Alcohol Can Affect Everyone Around You

In my vast and storied drinking career of 20+ years, the damage to others was minimal. I mean, I was never in a drunk driving accident, I never even got a DUI (stumbling home on foot from dive bars solved that problem); the drunken brawls I was in usually happened at home with my ex, and there weren’t any arrests due to my insane behavior. The only person I was hurting by getting sloppy, blackout drunk seven days a week was me.

Or at least that’s the story I like to tell myself.


Podcast: Mass Shootings and Mental Illness

It seems like every day there is another mass shooting in the news: Newtown, Parkland, Odessa, Dayton. And most of these news reports allude to the shooter having mental illness. But is this true? Common wisdom holds that someone must be mentally ill to do such a thing. But is it really that simple?

This Is How You Can Truly Help Someone in Crisis

“Let me know how I can help.” Chances are you have offered this incredible kindness to friends and family during difficult times. When my husband was arrested, leaving me and my two sons shocked, hurt, and confused, countless angels in my community suddenly emerged, offering this phrase and a supportive hug. I’ve never felt so incredibly fortunate, even while facing what felt like disaster.


Three Crucial Challenges for Today’s Fathers

Each year more information points to the connection between father involvement and positive developmental outcomes for children. Being present and parenting in a proactive way affect all domains of children’s well-being. Fathers play a unique role in their child’s life and, as times change and roles evolve, new challenges arise. 

Parenting, in general, has never been more demanding with the proliferation of choices, technology, and the loss of many family and community protective factors. While wanting the best for our families is at the forefront of our thinking, three important aspects of development will help fathers engage this vision from inside out.

Coping with Grief: The Ball & The Box

Grief strikes each person in a different way. When we lose someone we love, that loss can hit us hard, all at once. Or it might lie in waiting until weeks or even months have passed before rearing its dark head.

One of the things that might be difficult to understand is that for most people, the grief of a loss never leaves a person completely. The loss stays with most of us forever. It changes over time -- it may start off as huge and overwhelming, but becomes smaller over time.

I came across this analogy on Twitter (by Lauren Herschel) about how grief is felt by many people and thought I'd share it with you.