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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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Kimberly Wulfert, PhDInsomnia; Causes and Solutions
By Kimberly Wulfert, PhD

Many people I help in therapy don’t get enough sleep. They present their sleep problems in different ways, and sleep problems stem from a variety of causes. It is estimated that 7-10% of adults who complain of insomnia in the U.S. are diagnosed with a circadian rhythm disorder. Women over age 40 are three times more likely to report it than men. Circadian rhythm cycles begin changing with puberty, a time of upheaval in hormones but no gender differences are apparent from youth to age 40. It comes as no surprise that the first signs of peri-menopause, indicating a shift in hormone production is underway, can begin around age 40. It’s well known that women in the peri-menopause phase of life have … See full article


Alexandria Hayes, MA, LPCCAre You Addicted? Or Is There Another Problem...?
By Alexandria Hayes, MA, LPCC

Do you worry that you have a problem with an addiction? Drink too much? Smoke pot every day? Unable to bypass the exit to the casino? Spend your whole vacation in the gift shop? Even if the answer is yes to any of these questions, does that mean you're addicted? Here's a test you can take to see whether you're addicted, or just overdoing it: Does the behavior improve your mood, make you feel better? Is your behavior out of your control? Have you tried to stop without success? Is your behavior causing harm to you or to anyone else? If you answered yes to these questions, you probably have an addiction to a substance or behavior and it's negatively impacting your life. So what does that mean? See full article


Grace Doctorow, LCSW, BCDWhat Can You Learn from Mad Men? Finding the 'Third Way'
By Grace Doctorow, LCSW, BCD

What can you learn from the hit TV series Mad Men you ask? Plenty. I just started watching the series Mad Men on Netflix. Yes, I know, I'm a little behind the times. It is in its seventh and final season this year and many of you undoubtedly know a good deal more about it than I do. Nevertheless, I am binge watching and am into the third season so I will catch up soon. It occurred to me that beyond its entertainment value, its presentation of cultural and generational images, its period view of men and women in an era before women's lib, sexual harassment, feminism, aids, civil rights, LGBT and modern technology, it offers a lot to think about regarding ourselves, our perceptions of male and female identity, our expectations in relationships that still apply today. See full article


Dr. Claire AreneHold It! Before You Say I Do
By Dr. Claire Arene

As a Psychotherapist who very regularly provides therapy to married couples I have always wondered at couples who tell me that they never attended premarital counseling sessions prior to getting hitched. By my estimation this applies to more than half of the couples I encounter in private practice. Often, when I explore with the couple to find out why, the reasons often fall into three main categories; not understanding the purpose of premarital counseling; a dislike or discomfort with engaging in counseling; and getting so caught up with planning the wedding. I must add that in recent times, I have also come to identify a fourth category, those whose reasons for not engaging in premarital counseling have to do with the fact that they feel that … See full article


Kim E. Winbery, MAHS, LPC, LCPC, NCCGrief and Loss: The Topic of Death is Too Often Ignored
By Kim E. Winbery, MAHS, LPC, LCPC, NCC

Losing someone is one of the most devastating experiences a person can go through. It does not typically get any easier after consecutive losses, and there is no way to be perfectly prepared for it even when notice is given prior to death. Just as each person leaves this world in a different way, each of you will experience each loss in your own unique way. Death is such an apparent and inevitable part of life. One way that I look at loss is by remembering that I only get to "borrow" everything and everyone. That includes my life and those around me. I try to spend each day appreciating the time I get to borrow. Giving back what we have borrowed, loved, and cherished to the unrelenting reality of death is one of the most challenging tasks in life. See full article


Kimberly Castelo, MS LMFTAResolving Conflict
By Kimberly Castelo, MS LMFTA

When some people hear the word "conflict” or "confrontation” it can immediately bring up negative feelings. Those words can make people run for the hills because it can mean that a situation can become difficult to handle. Dealing with conflict is not something people usually like to do. In fact, many people avoid conflict because it does not feel good. However, there are ways to handle conflict that can truly help make it not a bad word. Here are some techniques that can help and can be used in the workplace, with friends, and with family. See full article


Elissa Grunblatt, LCSWWhy Does My Therapist...?
By Elissa Grunblatt, LCSW

Therapy is a unique experience. Is there anywhere else you can go that offers you a stress free environment and allows you to do all the talking? Will anyone other than your therapist listen to your troubles for 45 minutes without interruption? Even your mother will change the subject after a while. Do your friends have enough patience to remain quiet and calm while you rage? Do they have enough consideration to not argue with your opinions, refrain from cutting you off or judge you? No matter how well they know you, do friends have the training to intuit what you mean, validate your feelings or say just the right thing? See full article


Cheryl Deaner, LMFTBusiness Smart, But Hurting Heart
By Cheryl Deaner, LMFT

Are you one of those people who find that their work relationships generally lead to success while personal relationships are more challenging? Perhaps you find yourself simply more competent and comfortable at work than in your private relationships. Often I have worked with people who do great things in the industry they are in, yet outside work, it is another story. In fact, they may feel that if those they work with actually knew how unhappy, confused or stuck they are at home or with loved ones, they would be seen as frauds. See full article


Jeffrey T. Day, RN, ARNP, PMHNP, FNP, AGPCNPVulnerable Populations: African American Adolescent Addicts
By Jeffrey T. Day, RN, ARNP, PMHNP, FNP, AGPCNP

Adolescents these days are faced with many challenges. These include transitioning to puberty, entering into high school, forming new relationships, experiencing love for the first time, making new friends, and establishing an identity. One might not expect that with all these new challenges an adolescent would also have to face an addiction to a chemical substance. However in America today many adolescents are doing just that especially in low income neighborhoods where African American adolescents live and go to school. An addiction to drugs crosses all age groups and all cultural identities. See full article


Kim S. Spicciatie, LCSW"I Don't Do Counseling."
By Kim S. Spicciatie, LCSW

Recently, I met with a man - a big, strong construction worker - who was the youngest of many siblings. He'd never been to a counselor for any reason but had been mandated for evaluation by his employer. I told him I would try to do my best, so he would take away a positive impression of my profession. We talked about many things during our meeting, and as time went on, he began to share more freely about his work and his family. Later in the conversation, he became tearful when I asked him about his childhood and early family life. It was difficult for him to speak, but he did. See full article


Sherry Katz, LCSWYour Therapist, the Mirror of Your Emotions
By Sherry Katz, LCSW

Have you ever wondered how therapy is able to effectively clarify emotions which had once been jumbled and foggy? How is it possible that at the onset of therapy a person felt uncertain, jumpy, frustrated, sad, dissatisfied with their particular life progress or relationship fulfillment. And that after a course of therapy, the very same person feels self-confident, is realistically aware of many more qualities than they knew about themselves before therapy, feels capable of pursuing their interests, and has more trust in their ability to bounce back and handle life obstacles? See full article


Lacy Dyke, M.MFT, LPC-SHelping Your Child with Test Anxiety
By Lacy Dyke, M.MFT, LPC-S

If you are a parent of a school aged child, you undoubtedly dealt with the rigors of preparing your child for this year’s state wide standardized tests. Get a good night’s rest, eat a banana, be on time, these are all the general recommendations for preparing your child for testing the next day, but what if your child wakes with severe nausea or headache, dreads going to school that day to the point of tantrums or calls you crying during a break? Your child may be experiencing test anxiety. Many children experience test or performance anxiety every day, but when it becomes so pervasive … See full article


Louise Sutherland, M. Ed., LMHCSelf Injury in Adolescents
By Louise Sutherland, M. Ed., LMHC

For every 100,000 adolescents, about 700 to 750 currently engage or have engaged in Self-Mutilation. 64% of these are girls, 36% are boys. What is Self Injury? Self-injury is "the act of attempting to alter a mood state by inflicting physical harm serious enough to cause tissue damage to the body.” An act of self-mutilation is usually deliberate, repetitive, impulsive, non-lethal, and, in some cases, involves an almost ritual-like pattern. Most self injurers are highly impulsive and they are often hiding an eating disorder as well, and we frequently see some form of obsessive-compulsive type behavior. See full article


Crystal Glenn, M.A., LPCC, RYTLight at the End of the Tunnel
By Crystal Glenn, M.A., LPCC, RYT

Life is constantly throwing us curve balls. Just when we think things are going smoothly, we hit a road bump. No matter how much we live a positive and healthy life through meditation, diet, and exercise, we inevitably encounter difficulties along our path. And, because everything is impermanent, including happiness, we often find ourselves going through a period of change or adjustment. Many people find discomfort when going through change, and here are some ways to keep your head up. See full article


Kim Bolen, MA, LPAWhat Makes Marriage Work? A Review of Research and Theories to Build Satisfying Relationships
By Kim Bolen, MA, LPA

Many couples are eager to improve their interpersonal relationships and question what factors make marriages successful. Fortunately, researchers have paved the way in answering this important question. Below is a review of some of the concepts and theories that can help keep your marriage strong or repair a damaged relationship. Acceptance is a concept that has become widespread in the marriage literature. When I refer to acceptance in relationships, I do not mean "liking” or "preferring” something; rather I mean recognition that some differences are inevitable. See full article


Lisa Sonin Larsen, PsyDHealth Benefits of Forgiveness
By Lisa Sonin Larsen, PsyD

Have you ever had something happen to you at the hands of another person, and not been able to let it go? Even now as you think about it, it still disturbs you – with fear, anger, confusion or sadness? Chances are that you have not fully processed this event and have not been able to truly forgive the other person for doing the perceived wrong. In this article, I would like to suggest that you forgive the person not for their benefit, but for yours. You can improve your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being by forgiving past wrongs, and truly letting them go so you can live more fully in the present. See full article


Preventing the Spread of Suicide in Teens
By Lynn Margolies, Ph.D.

Teen suicide awakens us to the pain and suffering of teens, and the risk of contagion. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults, second to accidents and homicides. Most youth suicides don’t come on suddenly but, rather, after a long period of inner torment. Many suicidal teens are preoccupied with death and suicide and talk or write about feeling hopeless and wanting to die. 90% of teens who commit suicide have expressed suicidal feelings and intent either directly or indirectly. Yet, the majority of suicidal youth are not receiving mental health services (National Institute of Mental Health, 2012). Parents with an emotion avoidant, or conflict avoidant, style may have difficulty noticing or responding to … See full article


Stephen L Salter, Psy. D.The Culture of Positivity and the Mistreatment of Trauma
By Stephen L Salter, Psy. D.

The culture of positivity, as I’m defining it, is the widespread social practice of eliminating any attitude and utterance that doesn’t have an uplifting effect on one’s mood and those around them. Such a practice is no longer helpful when we notice its underside: the unwitting oppression of trauma victims. The voices of the wounded, mistreated, and disenfranchised are essential not only to our personal well being, but also to the community as a whole. See full article


Cynthia M. Reynolds, LMSW, BCDPTSD: Helping Your Children Cope with Tragedy
By Cynthia M. Reynolds, LMSW, BCD

December 14, 2012 started out like any other day at the office, until the phone rang. "Cynthia the news is on the phone and they want to talk to you about the shooting." My immediate thought was that they were calling about the recent shooting at the mall in Oregon less than a week ago. "No, not the mall shooting. There was a shooting today in Connecticut and several children were killed." My initial reaction was pain and gut wrenching heartache for the victims, their parents and our country. I grabbed the phone and confirmed with the reporter that I would be there to be interviewed at 5:00pm. They wanted a therapist to give some tips for parents on how to cope with their stress and how to help their children process their feelings. See full article


Stephen L Salter Psy. D.Being Understood in Therapy
By Stephen L Salter Psy. D.

There's no greater gift a therapist can give than to understand you as you understand yourself. We all have blind spots and therapists are in a position to notice things we may not notice about ourselves. But ultimately, I believe we know ourselves better than anyone else. Only we have access to the particular way we see the world--our emotional landscapes, our judgments, and our greatest concerns. Investigating the worlds outside our awareness--the unconscious, the unknown, is only one part of exploration and understanding ourselves. See full article


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