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Bullying

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught: How to Explain Hatred to Your Children

With world events occurring at lightning/frightening speed, adults who may be bewildered themselves, may feel at a loss to answer the questions their young ones may have about topics they see broadcast on television or hear about on the school bus. In the wake of the virulent rally in Charlottesville and those that have followed since, it is an even more important topic for parents to address. Children will ask questions and it is crucial for answers to be available and not brushed under the rug, as it might seem easier to do.
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Alzheimer

Psychology Around the Net: August 26, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Can you believe it's the last weekend of August? I know summer doesn't technically end as soon as August is over, but...where did the summer go?!

Well, before you head out to enjoy the weekend, take some time to catch up on the science of spirituality, why having a best friend as a teenager helps develop a sense of self later in life, how winning the lottery will contribute little to your level of happiness, and more.

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Depression

Therapist Grief

As a therapist, many people come in with issues with grief. For years I have tried to help clients figure out the well know Elisabeth Kubler Ross Stages of Grief and what stage in their grief they are in: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It has been sad to watch clients suffer and deal with grief. I have wished many times that I could...
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Holiday Coping

IMAlive: A Global Crisis Chat Service

IMAlive.org is an online crisis counseling service that uses an instant message (IM) chat interface instead of phone or SMS texting.

I maintain Online Suicide Help, a global directory of services which are usually restricted to one country or even one small town. This has meant that most countries in the world could not access any services. Recently I learned that IMAlive changed its service area from US and Canada to be the first crisis chat service available worldwide, and I emailed to find out more about this change. John Plonski, IMAlive's Director of Training and Developer of its Helping Empathically As Responders Training (HEART) program, kindly wrote back to share more.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: August 19, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Guess what? I'm going "off the grid" this weekend. Well, maybe not in the strictest of senses (I'll still have my computer and phone) but in the sense that...well, let's just say I've been neglecting my own personal interests -- things I enjoy and feel help my personal growth -- and it's hurting my mental health. I feel unfulfilled. I have to figure out a way to stop that.

Starting today.

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Celebrities

Psychology Today Promotes Its Own Trump Fake News

No matter what your political view, it is disconcerting when we run across news online that is not factually correct. President Trump refers to such news stories as "fake news" -- but also includes in this category any news story he simply doesn't agree with.

Earlier this month, Psychology Today ran an article titled, "60,000 Psychologists Say Trump Has 'Serious Mental Illness'."

The problem with this headline? It wasn't true. But that didn't stop the editors at Psychology Today from publishing it on their web site for four consecutive days, before they were called out on the issue on Twitter for its inaccuracy.

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Children and Teens

Want Happy and Healthy Kids? Just Say “NO!”

When asked what they want for their kids, many parents respond, “I just want them to be happy and healthy.” Such a simple, harmless, laudable goal!

And yet, such an orientation frequently results in parents giving their kids too much stuff, too many experiences, at too early an age. The upshot: These kids become more harpy than happy. Rather than feeling grateful for what they’ve been given, they feel resentful that their every whim is not being satisfied.
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Children and Teens

Educating Teacher and Students about OCD

As many of us are well aware, obsessive-compulsive disorder is often misunderstood.

Though I do believe progress is being made (albeit slowly) there is still a serious lack of understanding surrounding OCD. Most upsetting to me is when I come across professionals such as doctors, social workers, therapists, and teachers, who have little to no knowledge of what OCD entails.
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Anxiety and Panic

Personal Foul

College football: bucolic settings, pulsating stadiums, swooning cheerleaders. And, yes, hyperventilating coaches. From an enraged Woody Hayes to a shrieking Jim Harbaugh, apoplectic coaches are more common than Natural Light on university campuses. And, at times, even more biting.

As I Netflixed my way through a Saturday night, I stumbled onto the latest “Last Chance U” documentary. “Last Chance U” takes us into the college football netherworld, specifically Scooba, Mississippi. Here we are introduced to the inimitable Buddy Stephens, the red-faced East Mississippi Community College head-coach/full-time tyrant.
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Personal

On Seeking Counseling Before You Need To

Many clients I see here in private practice in the Midwestern area of Illinois are often very stressed. They come in appearing very calm and as soon as I get to the point on my questionnaire about what brings them their they tell me, often with tears and a sense of shame about how long they have been struggling due to their busy lives, lack of self-care and fears of the judgement might have about them. We talk about the stressors they have been having throughout their lives and although they often say none at first, the more we talk the more profoundly amazed I am that they are doing so well holding all their emotions in for so long.

I often find myself asking, “why didn’t you come to talk about all your stress earlier?” ... and “why now?” They often give me a list of reasons for not coming in sooner are: that they believed that God could get rid of their anxiety if they prayed more and or their fears if they truly admitted they were stressed/anxious it might get a lot worse.
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General

TAO Connect: What if a Computer Could Help You with Psychotherapy, Alter Your Habits?

Computer-mediated training and psychotherapy -- that is, a computer program (whether an app, a website, or a piece of software) helping you learn something new, especially with regards to your thoughts, behaviors, and habits -- has been with us a long time. One of the pioneers in this space has been Australia's MoodGYM, first launched in 2001. It now has over 1 million users around the world and has been the subject of more than two dozen randomized clinical research trials showing that this inexpensive (or free!) intervention can work wonders on depression, for those who can stick with it. And online therapy has been available since 1996.

I like technology backed by science, because scientific data should drive developing new tools to help us change our thoughts, behaviors, and habits. It shouldn't just come from some random developer's pop psychology understanding of human behavior. Research data demonstrating a new intervention's efficacy is the best answer to countering the placebo effect, which we know is very strong for novel techniques and treatments.

That's why I also like what TAO Connect is doing, because it's based upon research and work pioneered at the University of Florida.

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