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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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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


Is There an ADD Epidemic?
By Dr. Lynn Margolies

Do you procrastinate? Do you have trouble with self-discipline, focus and motivation? Are you sometimes forgetful? If the answer is yes, then join the club! Most of us recognize these as some of the symptoms of ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. (OMG – maybe we all have ADD.) But these struggles are not the exclusive domain of ADD. Difficulty getting things done and falling prey to distraction, a wandering mind and temptation is a reality for most of us at times. And, of course, it’s all compounded by the constant lure of digital distractions. With ADD, however, overcoming these obstacles is not simply a matter of choice. Here, lack of capacity can trump the best intentions to use will-power and self-discipline to stay on track. See full article


Katerina Spei, PsyDReflections on Therapeutic Processes
By Katerina Spei, PsyD

We are a kaleidoscope of experiences. They are so diverse that they cannot fit easily into a single picture. Because we are pulled into so many directions, in order to maintain a sense of internal coherence, especially when intensity is significant, we tunnel our visual field. We focus on a segment of our internal world, sometimes on the dullest part and sometimes on the most exciting one. Its value, whether negative or positive, becomes absolute, while at the same time inhibits us from discerning anything else. In this process, we miss and disown important parts of ourselves that do not fit in, while other times we get haunted by one memory, one emotion, one thought, one behavior that represents the leftovers of ourselves. We find security in attaching to a familiar self image … See full article


Jill Rosen, MFTThe Rules Of Engagement: How To Have Civil Disagreements and Fair Fights
By Jill Rosen, MFT

From congressional sessions to hockey matches, there are rules to protect adversaries from each other and ensure productive, civil outcomes. Imagine a tennis match or court proceeding without rules and you'll have a good idea of what a bad couple fight looks like - people talking over each other, name calling, threats, anger all around and no solution. Here are 8 rules that will help you disagree fairly … See full article


Elana Chasser, LCSWLife After Divorce
By Elana Chasser, LCSW

Divorce has turned your life upside down, and maybe you're wondering if and how the dust will ever settle. It will! And there is much you can do to help turn things right-side up. Although the hardest part of going through your actual divorce is—or will be—behind you, the future may seem overwhelming and starting anew may be daunting. Signing the divorce papers does not bring emotional closure or healing. Now is the time to mourn the loss of a life and marriage you had once dreamed of and hoped for. Although you may now be mourning the loss of the friendship you once had with your ex-partner, that friendship might have drifted long ago. You may find yourself in disbelief, wondering "How did we get here? When did it get so bad? How has it come to this?” See full article


Elana Chasser, LCSWHow to Discuss Divorce with Children
By Elana Chasser, LCSW

The conversation in which you tell your children that you are getting a divorce will be one they never forget. It is a moment that changes lives forever. That you and your spouse are breaking up is the new reality. How you speak to your children and address their emotional needs through all stages of your divorce gives you a lot of power to cushion the emotional impact that this stormy time has on them for the rest of their lives. Human beings need to feel a sense of safety, security and love. Children must believe they are important and belong in the world, and this belief is created at home with their parents. Divorce can undermine that. "Home” and "family” as they know it are changing. Rocking the safety boat can be emotionally devastating for them but doesn't have to be. See full article


Dr. Elizabeth MacGregorTop 5 Relationship Hazards
By Dr. Elizabeth MacGregor

It’s easy to get pulled in by the daily distractions of life. It’s hard enough to make time for ourselves, let alone our loved ones. Nurturing your relationship takes effort to keep it from going stale. While working together to cross chores off the to-do list brings a sense of partnership to the relationship, it does not do much in keeping romance alive. It’s important that each partner make a conscious decision to spend enough time together doing activities that are enjoyable. Making the commitment to keep your appointments with each other also builds trust. Regularly neglecting your partner for interests or preoccupations outside of the relationship is a sure-fire way to erode it. See full article


Jill Rosen, MA, MFTAn Abusive Family In The News: A Familiar Cast Of Characters
By Jill Rosen, MA, MFT

A federal judge is secretly taped berating and savagely beating his 16-year-old daughter with a belt while his wife chimes in, aids and abets. The video was posted six years later by his daughter, capturing the attention of the nation. The cast of characters is familiar to most abusive families. The abuser, when confronted, says he "did nothing wrong," justifying his actions as "disciplining his child;" trivializing the beating as a "spanking" that "wasn't as bad as it looked." His wife blames her participation on "brain washing" rather than acknowledging that her wish to stay in her husband's good graces trumped motherly instincts to protect her child. See full article


Elke Zuercher-White, Ph.D., ABPPThe Joys and the Blues of the Holidays: 10 Tips
By Elke Zuercher-White, Ph.D., ABPP

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year, this time of the year is heavily loaded with big holidays, one after the other. These are joyous times, holy, fun, a time for families, relatives, and friends to come together. Families are expected to bond again, one member to appreciate the other, to relax, to share these important days, to eat, and be merry. However, when the expectation of how "a family should be" takes precedence over how your family actually is, the more likely that it turns into a big disappointment, if not a fiasco. The image of how it "should" is thus not helpful. See full article


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