World of Psychology


Empowering Youth to Protect Themselves from Dating Abuse 

I was in college the first time I remember anyone mentioning patterns of domestic violent behavior to me. We had a guest speaker give a presentation about her personal experience of becoming involved in an abusive relationship where control dynamics were the central player. She described in retrospective reflection the early days of her relationship. She mentioned her partner ordering for her at a restaurant. 

"That's sweet." I thought. I did not recognize the early signs of control she was foreshadowing.

How Connection Saves Lives and How Policymakers Need to Understand That

Over this past weekend, I participated in my first outreach event for Mental Health America at the NBC4 Telemundo 44 Health and Fitness Expo in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Martin Luther King said that people “fear each other because they do not know each other.  They do not know each other because they do not communicate with each other.”  Here is what I learned at the event: it is easy to communicate with people about mental health because the topic is accessible across culture, race and age. In addition, talking about mental health is especially important to those with mental illness.
Children and Teens

Parental Awareness Tools that Reduce Childhood Trauma

Since we are living in a time of extremely high statistical occurrences of childhood anxiety, depression and even suicide (which is happening at even younger ages), we need to look at the causes that are behind these difficult challenges that children, teens and young adults are facing today. Whether it be parental influences, interactions with abusive outsiders, school bullying, or something else, mental illnesses are growing at a rampant rate. 
Anxiety and Panic

Two Ways to Help Other People Understand What You’re Going Through

What are you going through? Do you have health issues that are invisible to other people? Have you wished for a way to communicate how friends and family members can help you? Wish granted. In this article, you will read about two ways you can let people know what you need and when you need it. Choose the one that suits you best, or use both at different times. It may be that these ideas prompt new courses of action that can heal misunderstandings between you and those you care about most.
Children and Teens

The Effects of Positive Attention on the Impulsive Child

We’ve all heard the parenting proverb that a child who is acting out may actually be exhibiting attention-seeking behavior. And why not? We can understand this need because children are smaller, with less ability to command the attention of an adult or even other peers. They are just beginning to figure out what captures and sustains other people’s energy and attention, without much evaluation yet as to whether or not that attention is positive or negative. 

But young children also seek another important resource: power. According to Erik Erikson’s theory of development, from ages eighteen months to three years old, the child is working out the conundrum between autonomy and self-doubt. They are learning that they can do many things and discovering whether or not they can do these things by themselves.
Children and Teens

Active Shooter Drills at School: How to Do Them Right

Threats to school-aged children are not new. From the 1940s through the 1980s, children in primary schools participated in bombing preparation drills, in case their school came under a bombing attack. After the mass shooting at Columbine by a pair of disaffected youth, the drills shifted from bombing to active shooter.

No longer did children sit in the hallway with their heads between their knees. Instead, teens and kids were taught how to lock the classroom door and shelter in place.

Unfortunately for too many children these days, well-meaning school administrators have taken it upon themselves to make an active shooter drill more "real," sometimes by even using prop weapons. These efforts are misguided, and at worst, instill a sense of dread and anxiety in children who look for their school to provide a safe learning environment.


Podcast: Anxiety and Anger: A One-Two Punch

Do you struggle with anger? Did you know that some of our most hot-headed moments are actually rooted in anxiety? In today’s podcast, Jackie openly shares her own fuse-blowing moment when her husband’s keys were (gasp!) missing from the hook, and now she must face being late for therapy and perhaps even lie dying on the side of the road. How did she handle this catastrophic situation her mind so graciously forewarned her about?


The Psychology of Staying Put: Why Mobility in the U.S. Has Been Declining for Decades

Do you think that, over time, the U.S. has become an increasingly mobile nation? Is it your sense that people pick up and leave far more often than they did in the past? That’s part of our conventional wisdom, propped up by declarations in prestigious newspapers, scholarly journals, and popular culture. Remember those Carole King lyrics? “So far away / Doesn’t anyone stay in one place anymore?” 

There is one big problem with our belief that mobility in the U.S. has been increasing: It is exactly wrong. Sociologist Claude Fischer has shown that American mobility has been declining for well over a century. Because of improvements in data collection, evidence is clearest for the past 70 years.