World of Psychology


Adults Can and Do Have Tantrums

When we hear the word tantrum, we picture a 2-year-old lying on the floor kicking and screaming. Very rarely do we use it to describe an adult having an outburst. In reality, adults can have this kind of outburst at any moment in time.

We don’t typically refer to an adult as having a tantrum. We refer to them as being angry or “just blowing off some steam.” However, when their behavior becomes cyclical, predictive, or problematic the impact of their behavior should be assessed and addressed.


Podcast: Don’t Just Survive PTSD – Thrive!

Nearly all adults in the U.S. have experienced a traumatic event in their lives. Up to 20% of these will go on to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is not a condition exclusive to veterans (although they do experience it at a higher rate than the general population). There are several methods used to address PTSD in therapy. Our guest this week presents a new type of treatment, one that promises to do more than just treat the symptoms, but get to the root of the problem. The goal is not to just survive PTSD, but to thrive in spite of it.


3 Ways to Keep Hope Alive in the Face of the Unknown

Turn on the radio, open your emails, or flip on the tv and you’re sure to get barraged with bad news. Even meeting a friend for tea the other day left me feeling like I wanted to bury my head in my arms and have good cry. Life can get us down, but there are ways to keep hope alive.

The news from climate research tells us that we are in a bleak place. Exploding populations, thinning ozone layers, and rising seas are merely the tip the rapidly melting ice-cap. There is a temptation to shut down -- it’s a lot to take in after all.

Children and Teens

The Antidote to Father Absence from the Home

“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the couple with the baby carriage.” -- That was a school yard chant when I was in elementary school -- usually used to tease a couple of kids caught holding hands. That was in the 50s, in some ways a much more innocent time.

These days, the love-marriage-parenting progression has been blown apart. Babies happen before marriage, to cohabiting couples, and to women who are not emotionally connected to the father. Love may not have anything to do with it. In fact 40% of children born in the U.S. are born to unmarried mothers. According to the U.S. Census, 43% of children under age 18 live without fathers. That’s over 24 million kids growing up without a dad in the house.


Recognizing Depression in Your Partner

Depression is a difficult illness in any circumstance. The repercussions for untreated, long-term depression can be wide ranging and potentially dangerous. And when you are dealing with a depressed spouse the problems affect every aspect of the relationship and family, and can have devastating consequences on everyone involved.

How do you know if your partner is depressed?


Could Baby Teeth Hold the Key to Autism?

A study published in June 2017 found that baby teeth taken from children with autism contain more toxic lead and less of the essential nutrients zinc and manganese compared to teeth from children without autism. Scientists studied twins to control genetic influences and focus on possible environmental contributors to the disease.

The findings suggest that differences in early-life exposure to metals, or more importantly how a child’s body processes them, may affect the risk of autism. These differences were most evident during the months just before and after birth.


Suicide Is Not an Event: Action and Allyship After the Loss of Spade, Bourdain

“Oh god, he sounds suicidal,” I whimpered, curling into my partner. “I can’t watch.”

It was the Sicily episode of Parts Unknown. After a harrowing day of disappointment, floating amongst frozen octopi, Anthony Bourdain was in a full on existential crisis. His narration always hit home; a surlier, snarkier recording of my own inner monologue. The familiarity of his commentary on rigor mortis sinking seafood as a metaphor for the meaninglessness of life, however, was frankly soul-crushing.

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: June 12, 2018

I've been listening to Sounds True's free online sessions called The Healing Trauma Summit. As with all of their online summits, this one is riveting, and eye-opening bringing light to a difficult topic. If you haven't registered, I encourage you to do so while it's still free. It's for therapists, and anyone interested in learning more about trauma.

In Session 16, entitled, "Becoming a Healing Presence in the World," Bonnie Badenoch, for example shares it's not the event, but the experience of feeling alone that embeds...

Brain Blogger

Childhood Amnesia: Why Can’t We Remember the Early Years?

Although early experiences are important for personal development and future life, as adults we recall nothing or very little of those early formative events, such as making first steps or learning first words. In fact, when adults are asked about their first memories they usually don’t recall events before the age of 2-3, with only fragmented recollection of events that happened between the age of 3 and 7. This phenomenon is often called childhood or infantile amnesia. It represents an inability of both children and adults to recall episodic memories (i.e., memories for particular events or stimuli that occur in a particular context) from infancy and early childhood, before the age 2-4.


What My Dog Taught Me about Grief and Loss

I remember my Mum taking our family cat, Tiger to the vet to be put to sleep. He was old and sick. I don’t remember my grief, but I do remember my Mum crying a lot, and my Dad getting angry because Mum had taken Tiger to the vet. Here were two very different responses to loss, but ultimately, both of them were hurting a lot.