Mental Health Library

Welcome to Psych Central's mental health library. This is our primary repository for all of our articles on mental health, relationships, parenting, children, human behavior and psychology.


4 Sets of Somatic Mindfulness Exercises for People Who Have Experienced Trauma

For many people who have experienced trauma, practicing mindfulness can bring up painful and overwhelming emotions that they don’t necessarily have the resources to deal with. The focused attention of mindfulness can send a traumatized person into a state of heightened emotional arousal, which can be disorienting and even trigger dissociation. Whether it’s from a single traumatic event, or from physical or emotional needs having been consistently not attuned to or abused, trauma...


How Discovering Your Core Values Could Prevent Discontent

I want to talk about values for a moment. Values is a small word that does not get the recognition it deserves. Its reputation is pushed aside by many, as if it is of no importance. To the contrary, however, values are the bedrock of every single action and decision we make in our lives. Without values we are aimlessly floating through life with no purpose; operating in "autopilot" mode.

Values are...


How to Recognize a Psychopath

“I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.” – Ted Bundy

We’re all familiar with the famous villains in movies and TV such as Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs,” Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller, “Psycho,” Dexter Morgan in the Showtime series “Dexter.” In real life, we’ve read about the horrific murders committed by the likes of...


Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Many drug and alcohol rehab centers use a variety of evidence-based therapies to treat individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Most often these include therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, family behavioral therapy, contingency management, and 12-step facilitation therapy.

Another beneficial yet lesser known therapeutic practice for treating addiction in a drug rehab setting is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Although it’s relatively new, this therapy has shown positive...


How to Change Goals

“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.” – Joe Vitale

Society has come a long way since British industrial psychologist Cecil Alec Mace first conducted experimental studies on goal-setting and laid out basic principles that are still in use. Indeed, today the concept of setting goals is commonly accepted as a foundation for achieving what you want in life,...


Bipolar Disorder & Finding the Right Psychiatrist

Finding the right psychiatrist is a difficult task. For me it took almost 10 years and three different doctors. It seems like finding a doctor would be a simple thing, however it’s very personal and you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position when you speak with a psychiatrist.

By the time you get to a psychiatrist you have either spoken with your primary care doctor or a therapist who have...


Accepting and Caring for Your Sensitive Soul

You’re a sensitive person, and you're not particularly proud of it. You’ve probably been told oh-so many times that you’re too sensitive and too emotional. You’re delicate and fragile, and you need to toughen up. You need to build thicker skin—or you’ll never survive in this world, or get anything done.

Maybe you grew up believing that you’re also too picky, too serious and too quiet. You’re too hesitant with making decisions. And you’re high maintenance on top...


PTSD Is Like a Ghost: On Surviving Domestic Violence

PTSD is like a ghost. Think of the scariest, most terrifying, damaging, hurtful ghost you can conjure up. He's a ghost, so obviously nobody can see him. But he hangs around you ALL the time, and you don't need to see him to know he's there. He will not go away.  

And he knows you intimately. He knows everything about you. He knows what you love, he knows who you...

Motivation and Inspiration

How Do You Figure Out Your Life’s Purpose?

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from them.” – Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Someone asked me the other day how I figured out my purpose in life. It’s a question I don’t often think about, yet it is a good one. For one thing, when I was in my...


How to Help Your Partner Through Their Depression

When your spouse has depression, you might be very worried, and feel utterly helpless. After all, depression is a stubborn, difficult illness. Your partner might seem detached or deeply sad. They might seem hopeless and have a hard time getting out of bed. They...


11 Reasons Not to Classify Perpetrators of Abuse as ‘Monsters’

For the purposes of ease of language I will be referring to perpetrators with male gendered pronouns, and victims/survivors with female gendered pronouns. This is not to deny the fact that not all abusers are male and that not all victims and survivors are female. But, simply to make things flow semantically.

As a therapist working with trauma, I sit across from clients every week who are straining to make sense...


How Do I Know if Therapy Is Working? And Other Questions About Therapy Answered

When someone outside of therapy learns that Panthea Saidipour is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, their first question is usually: “Are you analyzing me right now?” Saidipour jokingly responds they shouldn’t worry because she’s off the clock.

But this question actually reveals a common concern clients have, whether they mention it aloud or not: “Are you judging me right now?”

Judgment has no place in therapy, said Saidipour, who works with young professionals in their 20s and 30s who...

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Top Ten Lies We Tell Ourselves

“We just can’t take our little selves and the world too seriously, for they contradict the True Self we share equally with God,” writes Dr. Dana Marrocco.

The point Marrocco is making is that if we can’t find laughter in a situation and we can’t...

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