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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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Cynthia Peikoff, LCSWStaring at the Cracks in the Ceiling
By Cynthia Peikoff, LCSW
Are you feeling like a rat caught up in the rat race? As a counselor I see clients in my office for one hour of their busy lives per week. They come to me with worries, dilemmas, in moods of all type. What amazes me about them is how accomplished and hard working they are. Most enjoy their chosen work. Many have lovely homes in beautiful Orange County, California. A lot of them workout regularly. On weekends, their productivity continues by taking care of shopping, cooking, cleaning, making house repairs or driving to Costco to save money buying in bulk. See full article

Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RNUsed To Be
By Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RN
There's this great song by Gotye that describes the shift in a relationship from feeling current and connected to someone, to seeing their "ex" as "just someone they used to know." It's called "Somebody That I Used to Know." There is a version of it you might enjoy performed by Walk Off The Earth. The musicians are incredible; creative in their use of one instrument between the 5 of them and in their sharing of the vocals. Sometimes those shifts in a relationship are exquisitely painful because we are not always on the same page. One wants out and the other doesn't. After the break, for whatever reason, our identity changes completely; from someone who was in relationship, to someone single. See full article

Diane Thorp, MSW, LCSWIs Anger Ruining Your Relationships and Even Your Life Overall? Try This instead...
By Diane Thorp, MSW, LCSW
The key to having what is actually ‘healthy anger’ is that it requires self-awareness, open communication, and the ability to self-soothe. When you can identify and then separate your thoughts and feelings, you’ll be much more receptive towards alternative perspectives, which will lead to your ability to problem-solve. What unfortunately often happens is your anger remains bottled up which in turn can make you feel as though you are losing control, seeing red, and even scare those that you love. This can stop you dead in your tracks from moving forward and developing a deeper intimacy with those that you care about; friends, family, and others. See full article

Lynn Margolies, Ph.D.How to live with your (newly returned) “grown-up” child
By Lynn Margolies, Ph.D.
Relationships between parents and their “grown up kids” typically improve when kids go away to college, becoming more cooperative and equal. Of course it’s easier to get along when living apart. But also, when parents have limited say over/access to what their young adult kids are doing, struggles around autonomy and control become irrelevant and the power structure changes. Parents let go, and teens no longer feel the need to push them away to exercise independence. But what happens to this developmental achievement when kids return home for an extended time? See full article

Leah Elvitsky, LMFTHow To Cope with the Stress and Anxiety Caused By Covid-19
By Leah Elvitsky, LMFT
If you're like most people, you are doing your best to stay calm during COVID-19 pandemic. But that can feel incredibly difficult at times. When not worrying about friends and loved one's health, there's also the conflicting information provided by the media and the economic ramifications of the virus that have people on edge. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, but most will exhibit some of the following signs: Changes in sleep or eating patterns; Difficulty concentrating; Worsening of chronic health problems; Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. If you are experiencing significant stress right now, here are some ways you can cope … See full article

Sherry Katz, LCSWWhat Was Hidden Behind Your Pre-Coronavirus Mask?
By Sherry Katz, LCSW
Each day we see a fragmented and chaotic response in many major systems responding to the serious, fundamental, and thorough breakdown of areas we considered reliable and steadfast. These larger scope flaws and inadequacies are serious enough to show there were weaknesses in certain systems for a long time prior to now. Essentially the medical masks we wear for protection against coronavirus replaced the everyday masks we used for many years to hide from uneasy questions about systems in our shared lives. One level of system examination available to all and each of us, is the search within the deep areas of our identity, values, daily living priorities, … See full article

Dr. Leonard GallagherSocial Distancing Impact
By Dr. Leonard Gallagher
Do we like change? Sometimes. Do we like change we do not create? No. Whew! What a month March was. It started like most every other March for us. Anticipating spring, spring break and warming temperatures was normal. None of us knew what was coming. We did not know a new normal was coming. Social distancing has altered our life as the new normal. Perhaps we work from home. Perhaps we are not allowed to work. Perhaps our kids or us were in school. No one is attending school, not in person anyway. We no longer go to movie theaters, concert venues, band concerts, school activities or sporting events. When we buy groceries, we must carefully consider … See full article

Robert C. Ciampi, LCSWThe "Invisibility" of Mental Illness
By Robert C. Ciampi, LCSW
Physical illness and disease has always been viewed differently from mental illness. With physical illness, many have pointed out, there is a quantifiable or measurable aspect in that a physician can see, with the right instrumentation, bodily processes that are impinged, torn, broken, swollen, invaded by a mass or tumor, penetrated by accident or violence, and other observable abnormalities to the body. Children understand from an early age that if they get a “boo boo” such as a scratch, cut, or scrape it can easily be remediated by a caring parent and with a simple band aid and a hug. In the case of a more severe trauma, we are taught that the skill of our doctors, nurses, and … See full article

Dr. Michael J. Salas, PsyD, LPC-SBreaking Out of Denial and Into Resilience During the Coronavirus Crisis
By Dr. Michael J. Salas, PsyD, LPC-S
Over the past week, I've seen it multiple times--that shell shocked appearance after the seriousness of the COVID-19 crisis set in. Many of us thought that this would be a passing storm where we can distantly feel sympathy for someone else's crisis. It just didn't seem that real that the crisis would become our own. If you look around, others are still struggling with that acceptance. Young people are playing around on beaches during spring break. You might have a friend who is viewing this as a nice time to travel and wait until this all passes. We felt it in our therapy practice too. We love meeting with our clients in person. However, as the weight of the situation became … See full article

Jordana Nolan, LMHCI Don't Want to Go! A Practical Guide for Dealing with Social Anxiety
By Jordana Nolan, LMHC
Have you ever felt this way? I wasn’t always this way. In fact, I remember being somewhat extroverted in college. I would jump at the chance to go out at night, see my friends, go to parties. My anxiety crept up on me slowly, like honey in a jar. It didn’t help moving from the city to the suburbs where it felt extremely isolating. There would be days when I would see nobody on the sidewalks. In my defense, my anxiety seemed to also be a product of my environment. I knew I had to make a change for fear of becoming someone who would become agoraphobic. If you feel similarly, it’s time to make a change, … See full article

Jonathan Lebolt, PhDDealing Directly in Our Relationships: 21 Tips
By Jonathan Lebolt, PhD
At a time when people in our country are polarized, it's important that we learn how best to communicate in our relationships. This article will help you communicate more directly in your relationships with partners, friends, family members, and close colleagues. There are three “people” in a relationship: ourselves, our partner, and that invisible third “person:” the couple. When there’s a conflict, we need to be aware of the feelings and needs of (a) ourselves, (b) our partner, and (c) the relationship. In a healthy relationship, our partner will be working on this awareness, too. Sound hard? It is—so first, let's focus on … See full article

Walter J. Matweychuk, PhDFinding Happiness and Meaning Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
By Walter J. Matweychuk, PhD
Many people if they are honest, will tell you that they are not as happy and satisfied with their lives as they would like to be. At an earlier time in my life, I counted myself among the ranks of the dissatisfied. Through hard work, I no longer am disappointed with my life. I solved my dilemma by using REBT philosophy to guide my way to living a rewarding and meaningful life. My goal is to help you to improve your life satisfaction and the meaning you derive from the one life you are ever likely to have to enjoy. The question is, how do you go about doing this? See full article

Nancy Bortz, MASeparation Anxiety and Codependency: Causes and Cures
By Nancy Bortz, MA
Do you find it difficult to be alone for even a short period of time? Does even the thought of being alone cause your palms to get sweaty and your knees to get weak? Separation anxiety and codependency can impact a person's day-to-day life dramatically. What are the causes of these problems, and are there any cures? First, let's make the distinction between separation anxiety and codependency because they are not synonymous. Separation anxiety is the general fear of abandonment from another person, place, thing, or even an idea/concept. This fundamentally differs from codependency in one particular nuance; … See full article

Alan W. Levy, Ph.D.Growing Beyond Anger Problems
By Alan W. Levy, Ph.D.
Watching TV news on a daily basis, it’s easy to be left with the impression that folks are angrier than ever, and even putting their rage into action more often. Road rage is but one instance of this hostility epidemic. Referred to euphemistically as aggressive driving, anger-based distraction and extra pressure on the gas pedal contribute to a large portion of the almost 7 million automobile crashes each year in the U.S. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Transportation Agency and AAA, 13,000 people have been injured or killed by aggressive driving since 1990. See full article

Allison Davis Maxon, M.S., LMFTThe Lingering Effects of Childhood Trauma
By Allison Davis Maxon, M.S., LMFT
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) are stressful or traumatic events, like abuse, neglect and trauma. They may also include family dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. ACE’s are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s lifespan, including those associated with substance abuse and addiction. Adverse Childhood Experiences include: Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Emotional abuse, Physical neglect, Emotional neglect … See full article

Jeanine Roddy, MA, CCC-SLPReasons Children Need to Spend Time in Nature
By Jeanine Roddy, MA, CCC-SLP
In his book, “Last Child in the Woods,” Richard Louv identifies a societal disorder resulting from less green space and outdoor play for children as “nature deficit disorder.” Most researchers agree with him that time outside in natural settings results in smarter, happier and less anxious children. As the American population has become less rural, sports have become more structured and playgrounds more structured, kids are experiencing fewer opportunities for free play and exploration in natural green settings. Here are some of the benefits your children may gain from time exploring nature … See full article

Dr. Deborah HeckerHow Will I Benefit From Divorce Counseling?
By Dr. Deborah Hecker
Ask anyone who has been through a divorce and they will tell you it rocks the foundation of your being, leaves you feeling lonely, flawed, undesirable, enraged, and hopeless, to name a few emotions. During my divorce twenty-seven years ago, I was in desperate need of a roadmap to help me to better understand what went wrong – for myself as an individual as well as for my marriage. Without developing that insight I knew I would have difficulty healing and having successful relationships in the future. I sought out professional help. At the time, I was living in a major U.S. city where there were many … See full article

Karen Ognibene, MA, LPCRecovery for Adult Children Raised by a Narcissist
By Karen Ognibene, MA, LPC
The term narcissist has become more familiar to us all; we may work with them, see them in politics or even in our own family. But, what if it’s your mother or father? There’s a sadness that swallows you at times, but has no label, right? That is what happens when you are raised by a parent that lacks empathy and unconditional love. Understanding that your parent has a mental illness is a much-needed validation to truly believe that you are not at fault. Acceptance of this truth means that you understand the narcissist parent has limited capacity to love and only loves with conditions. See full article

Dorit Atar, MS, LMFTMindfulness Practice to Increase Your Happiness
By Dorit Atar, MS, LMFT
One of the most important ingredients of happiness is gratefulness. Feeling and being grateful for the people and the things you have will pave your way for experiencing true happiness. One way to help integrate gratefulness into your life is adopting a very simple exercise. Every morning when you wake up, before you get out of bed, think about 5 things or people you have in your life for which you are grateful. When you recount them, close your eyes and visualize them. If these are people, imagine their face and their smile. Tell yourself what it is you are grateful for, and how they have … See full article

Allison Davis Maxon, M.S., LMFTAttachment and the Developing Child
By Allison Davis Maxon, M.S., LMFT
The most complex organ in the universe is the human brain. It is now clear that what a child experiences in the first few years of life largely determines how his/her brain will develop and how he/she will interact with the world throughout their life (Ounce of Prevention Fund, l996). What we have learned about the process of brain development has helped us understand more about the influence of both genetics and environment – the nature versus nurture debate. It appears that genetics predisposes us to develop in certain ways. But our interactions with our environment have a significant impact on … See full article

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