World of Psychology

Brain and Behavior

Dopamine Fasting Probably Doesn’t Work, Try This Instead

A behavioral brain fad called "dopamine fasting" (#dopaminefasting) has been floating around the internet for the past year. The idea is that by restricting most of your pleasurable daily activities -- from social media, to watching videos, gaming, talking, or even eating -- you can "reset" your brain. The idea also plays into people's simplistic beliefs about how the brain works.

Can you have conscious control over discrete dopamine levels in your brain? Let's delve into the science behind one of your brain's most important neurotransmitters, dopamine.


An ODD Diagnosis Doesn’t Make Your Child “Bad”

In recent years, I’ve encountered a growing number of parents in my therapy practice who come to me fearing that their child has oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). According to the American Psychiatric Association, the primary signs of ODD are angry and irritable mood, argumentative and defiant behavior, and vindictiveness.

Often these parents will share that a teacher or doctor told them their child may have ODD, and that when they looked up the condition online, they recognized some of the symptoms in their child’s behavior. As a parent myself, the worry and confusion on my clients’ faces and, in their voices, simply breaks my heart.

Podcast | Abandoned: Loss of Friendships

The feeling of abandonment can span through all types of relationships and in this episode, we focus on friendships. Have you ever had a close friend abandon you or have you ever exited a friendship without notice? The emotions and actions surrounding the abandonment of friends can be complex and hurtful, but they are very real and can hurt deeply. 

In this episode, Jackie recounts friendships that were very important to her and how she’s handling the loss of them.


6 Lesser-Known Ways to Beat Burnout

Lately, you’ve been feeling fatigued and frustrated. Emotionally and physically. You’re wondering where the heck your energy and motivation went.

Work feels like one big slog. You feel like you can’t meet the demands and deadlines. In fact, you dread even walking through the office doors. When you do get home, all you want to do is sit on the couch and veg out.

In other words, you’re likely burned out.

Handling College After a Loss to Suicide

The swirl of moving away from home for the first time, making new friends, and mastering higher level academics is tough enough for anyone, but young adults who must make this transition or return to classes after losing a parent, sibling, friend, or significant other to suicide are being asked to tackle new surroundings and heavy course loads at the worst possible time.

Dr. Ann Phillips, who worked in the counseling field for over 40 years, shared how the University of West Georgia (UWG) in Carrollton, Georgia, helps students, faculty, and parents cope.
Anxiety and Panic

How Anxiety Was My Greatest Weakness and Now My Greatest Strength

According the famous mythologist Joseph Campbell, the hero’s greatest weakness, problem, or challenge is what will ultimately become that hero’s greatest strength. Campbell notes that stories across cultures and time (even many modern movies and novels adhere to this concept of the “hero’s journey”) follow this theme.

Likened to a roadmap for self-improvement, the hero’s journey includes distinct stages in which the protagonist battles with the awareness of what her problem is, gains increased realization along her path, at a certain point faces a reluctance toward change, overcomes this reluctance through her own self determination and with the help of mentors and allies, commits to change, experiences both improvements and setbacks from her attempts to change, and finally learns to master her problem -- and in the end becomes a stronger person for it. 

Fair Fighting Rules from a Marriage Therapist

Resolving conflict requires a unique set of skills; the ability to listen, communicate without blame and manage difficult emotions. While everyone gets into conflict, it is the ability to stay calm that dictates the health of your argument.

In this article, you will learn how to fight fair and save your relationships from destructive arguments that really hurt.