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Podcast: What’s Online Counseling Really Like?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss online counseling. Joining them is Haesue Jo of, which offers online counseling and is also the sponsor of The Psych Central Show.

In addition to answering specific questions about Better Help, the conversation discusses how online counseling differs from in-person therapy, what types of issues are (and are not) good fits for this type of counseling, and what someone can expect from this kind of service. Also discussed is why some people are still skeptical of online therapy (or other types of virtual medical services) and why they shouldn’t be. 

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When You’re Scared of Feeling Your Feelings

Experiencing sadness, anger, anxiety and other “negative” feelings can be hard. In fact, many of us just don't do it.

Because we're afraid.

We've “been taught that [negative emotions] are ‘not OK,’ that there is not a way to address them, or that they are not valid feelings,” said Britton Peters, a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington.

Maybe when you cried, your caregivers told you to be quiet and get over it. Maybe they sent you to time-out. Maybe they told you to stop whining and be strong.
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Anxiety and Panic

Challenging the Stigma of Counselors with Mental Illness

My small Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum class gets out twelve minutes early. I strain to catch the eye of my classmate and friend on the other side of the room, a tall Indian woman with her hair in a sagging bob and sympathetic eyes locked on another classmate. I turn impatiently towards our classmate, who favors red lipstick and dramatic retellings of her life events.
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ADHD is Real (Like All Mental Disorders Are)

I recently came across an unintentionally funny op-ed piece by John Rosemond, a family psychologist known for his controversial views on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other childhood behavioral issues. In the piece, he laments how he was disinvited from a recent speaking engagement because of his views.

In short, he says, "Those facts include that ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and bipolar disorder of childhood are not realities; rather, they are constructs."

Yes they are constructs. But so is nearly everything we've created to navigate human existence.

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Dealing with Disappointment

You didn’t do everything on your to-do list. You let a loved one down. You yelled at your spouse, or your six-year-old. Or both. You still haven’t gotten over your ex. You thought someone else would make you happy but they didn’t. You received a bad performance review. Your Thanksgiving dinner didn’t turn out the way you planned. Nothing has turned out the way you planned.

And you’re disappointed in yourself. You’re disappointed in your circumstances. Deeply disappointed.
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Is Your Internet Use Killing Your Productivity and Making You Depressed?

We’ve expanded our minds. It’s no longer contained inside our heads -- it now includes our devices, social media, and essentially anything digital. While the connectedness available to us today has opened a number of doors, it’s not always a good thing. We no longer have time to think and create our own ideas. In fact, too much digital connectedness can be a bad thing -- for our mental health as well as our creative ventures.

Constant surfing and intake of bite-sized information crowds out time for contemplation. Because of neuroplasticity (which is the ability for our brains to change), the more we use the web, the more we train our brains to be distracted. As a consequence, we then rely even more on the net because we have trouble remembering. We don’t need to recollect anything. Most people are constantly attached to a smartphone, which has become a portable brain.
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4 Ways to Fight Back When Family Questions Your Career Choices

With the holidays around the corner, dinner table conversations about work are bound to come up.

It’s common to feel anxiety at the thought of explaining what you do for a living to a skeptical audience, especially when your job title can’t be summed up simply or straightforwardly.

Don’t panic yet.

It may seem difficult to get Aunt Sue to understand what the heck a Digital Strategist is or to convince Dad that you’re able to support yourself
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20 Sweet Ways to Make Someone’s Day

Even the smallest compassionate gestures can have significant impact. A kind act can do everything from make someone smile to turn their day around to instill a sincere sense of hope—an emotion they might not have felt in a very long time.

Plus, kindness often has a domino effect: When people see you performing compassionate acts, they feel inspired to be kind, too. And in today’s fast-paced, go, go, go society, this is powerful. It is precious, and it is needed.
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Navigating the Holiday Hustle and Bustle as a Highly Sensitive Person

The holidays are often a meaningful time for highly sensitive people (HSPs). But they also can be tough. For starters, there’s the overstimulation, according to marriage and family therapist Joy Malek: “overcrowded shopping, dazzling displays, and aggressive commercial advertising. HSPs take in more detail about their environments than most people, and while this can be overwhelming at any time, the crowded atmosphere of the holidays can be particularly fatiguing.”

The world also moves quicker during the holidays, Malek said. There’s more traffic, and people are more impatient. There are more tasks, more errands, more shopping trips. “We are in a constant state of nervous system arousal, running on adrenaline. Since HSPs have more responsive nervous systems than the general population, we feel this stress more acutely.”
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Brain and Behavior

Do You Know the Signs of Stress?

“Stress is an alarm clock that lets you know you’re attached to something that’s not true for you.” – Byron Katie

As a run up to the holidays, doesn’t it seem like everyone’s rushing around trying to cram too much into too little time? Crazed to find a parking space in an overcrowded lot, racing to get into the elevator before the door closes or hitting the door-close button so no one else can get in, exhibiting uncharitable, rude and potentially unhealthy behavior when trying to snatch the last sale item and so much more are all signs of stressed-out individuals.

Is it any wonder the commercials for antacids and headache pills proliferate this time of year? But what about really acknowledging you're stressed and doing something about it? Here are telltale signs to pay attention to:
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Mental Health Stigma: A Doctor Who Has Been in Your Shoes

Your doctor may relate to your mental health concerns more than he or she can say.

Imagine you are sitting with your primary care doctor sharing your symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, or anorexia. Imagine in that difficult and lonely moment, your doctor makes the decision to disclose that she not only understands your symptoms from a professional standpoint, but also personally as someone who also struggles with a similar diagnosis.

What would you think?
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