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Recovery is the Voice that Tells Your Future

It’s 6:30 a.m. in Germany, and I am underwater, pulling my body through the cool water’s drag. I’ve ridden my bike to the swimming pool (das schwimmbad), and have lost my location amid the winding streets. I only know that I must exercise. That is enough to pull me from sleep at dawn and push me through the unknown streets while my heart clanks like a rocket in my chest.

I will risk venturing into unknown safety to exercise. The compulsion scares me. Not appeasing it scares me more.
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Children and Teens

How Mindful Analogies Can Help Kids in Therapy

School-aged children (6 to 11 years) often wonder why they are sitting in your office for therapy. Many thoughts and emotions are associated with coming to a mental health provider’s office, including curiosity, anxiety and even fear. In order to help kids deal with whatever may be bringing them to therapy, it’s important that they understand why they may need such a service.

Kids are most receptive to messages that are age-appropriate and stated in ways that they can make sense of and understand. For elementary school-aged children, a mindful analogy is often an excellent tool to employ. Analogies help children make sense of concepts that often aren’t easily explained.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: October 31, 2014

Today is Halloween.

Why is this dark holiday so popular with adults, not just kids?

I think dressing up offers the opportunity to: 1) shed our seriousness for the night by being someone else 2) wear our shadows on our sleeves and 3) make fun of what scares us.

Someone who is shy, quiet and anxious can, for example, play the role of a bold, gregarious character.

A people-pleaser may be an evil villain.

A perfectionist who is always in control can make fun of herself in a silly costume.

Playing someone else for the night gives us a chance to remove our masks and display the parts of us we don't normally want people to see.

If you feel like an outcast because you feel deficient in some way, Halloween offers the chance to be something weird, terrifying or humorous and feel accepted, even admired for it.

Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, I hope you'll take the time to embrace your inner Lady Gaga and accept those dark shadows, characteristics, and difficulties that you often try to hide. For those filled with self-doubt, shame, or are burnout, accept our mixed bag of top posts as our sweet treat to you. Happy Halloween!
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5 Tips for Changing Negative Self Beliefs

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”
- Robert Gary Lee

A year ago, I began to accept that I was depressed, and had been for a long time. It was scary. I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of almost three years, quit my job, and though I didn’t want to, I moved halfway across the country to move back in with my parents.

I was a wreck; all of the feelings that I had been suppressing for years, some literally since childhood, came flooding back. My only defense in the past had been to ignore these feelings, though I did so quite poorly and ended up being an emotional basket case most of the time anyway.

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The Uproar Over the New Samaritans Radar Twitter App

Ed: We invited Mark Brown (@markoneinfour) to share the perspective from the Twitterverse on a new Twitter app released yesterday by the UK charity, the Samaritans, meant to help people who express suicidal words on Twitter. We also asked the Samaritans for their response to the concerns expressed within this article, but they did not respond to our request.

People are raising concerns about the Samaritans Radar Twitter app launched in the UK on 29th October are coming at it from 6 main angles. At present, the guidance from the Samaritans says that, "Unfortunately, we can't remove individuals as it's important that Radar is able to identify their Tweets if they need support."

The charity has responded by releasing three 1-minute videos to address the concerns, stressing that 'tweets are public'.

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Overcoming the Stigma of Couples Therapy

The word "therapy" carries unfortunate negative connotations in our society. Couples therapy provokes its own particular brand of stigma.

Many couples keep the fact that they go to couples therapy private, out of fear of being judged by other couples, or seen as dysfunctional. Many are ashamed themselves of having to seek therapy. More still choose to not seek out help in the first place, believing that therapy is unnecessary or means that there is something wrong with them.

It’s impossible to receive help when you are closed off to it, and when you yourself have misgivings about the process. Therapy is most fruitful when one has an open mind and lets the course of healing unfold. To do so, overcoming the stigma is essential.
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Can a Better Romantic Relationship Lead to Better Parenting?

Do you believe your partner should come before your kids?

I read this quote recently:
“The best thing a society can do for itself is to promote and support healthy couples, and the best thing partners can do for themselves, for their children, and for society is to have a healthy relationship.”
- Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want

Seriously? The "best" thing we can do for our kids is to have a good relationship with our partners? That's fine in theory, but what if our relationship is just okay, or good sometimes with long periods of mediocrity, or mostly bad with occasional moments of happiness? What then?
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5 New Theories on the Cause of Depression

I grew up thinking depression was as simple as one little transmitter getting lost somewhere on his way from one neuron to the other, much like I do when I venture farther than five miles from home. It’s an easy explanation -- a chemical imbalance in the brain -- one that pharmaceutical companies have adopted to craft creative commercials like the Zoloft egg not chasing the butterfly.

But depression is so much more complex than that.
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Anxiety and Panic

Finding the Source of Your Fears

Knowing what is causing your fear and anxiety can go a long way toward finding the solution. Below are some suggestions.

1. Self-evaluation. A person can find the source of his or her own fears by doing some self-evaluation and also by talking to a professional. Asking yourself questions such as: “Why am I afraid?” or “What is causing my anxiety?” will lead you in the right direction.

2. Determine a solution. Once you find the...
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