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» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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Sherry Katz, LCSWYour Anxiety and The Wizard of Oz
By Sherry Katz, LCSW

Do you remember the curtained stall in which the Wizard of Oz stood and tinkered with gadgets so he'd sound scary? Did your fear significantly dissapate once you realized his scary, overpowering voice was artificially made to sound that way, that there was not any fearsome creature behind the curtain? Similar to the feelings of being threatened, anxiety traps our emotions, accelerates our thoughts into unproductive loops, and always arrives at a worst case scenario. Many people would like the feeling of anxiety to simply go away as quickly as possible. In some specific situations … See full article

Michael Zone, LCSW, MS, MEdCan Therapy Really Help Me Achieve My Full Potential?
By Michael Zone, LCSW, MS, MEd

A familiar story: You’ve decided, “this is it!” I’m finally going to confront the obstacles in my life, overcome my fears and become the person I was meant to be. You enter therapy with optimism, hope and excitement. Perhaps, you even cry tears of happiness that you are going to put the years of failure, negativity, loneliness, and insecurity behind you. You begin the therapeutic relationship and it feels good for a while. After all, you are taking action. Doing something. Taking control of your life. Some progress is made, to be sure. But . . . But, you have not made the significant changes you were expecting … See full article

Allison Davis Maxon, LMFTMaking the Case for Adoption Clinical Competence
By Allison Davis Maxon, LMFT

Families built through adoption, foster care and kinship care have unique needs and challenges throughout each developmental phase of their family’s life cycle. Unfortunately, the complexities of adopting a child with a history of neglect, trauma and/or multiple attachment disruptions can quickly overwhelm even the healthiest of family systems. Without specialized, adoption/permanency competent mental health supportive services too many children and youth will disrupt from their newly formed families. For youth in foster care ages 12-17, the disruption rate is 25%. Each subsequent move furthers the child’s … See full article

Tracey Ashcraft, MA, LPCIs Your Relationship Toxic?
By Tracey Ashcraft, MA, LPC

The definition of toxic is poisonous. We don’t want to ingest poison so why do we absorb it in our relationships? Toxic relationships are not just the romantic kind; they can show up in parent/child relationships, with co-workers, members of groups, employees, friends, relatives. Here are some signs you may be in a toxic relationship: You feel drained after spending time with someone; You barely can get a word in during the conversation; The person is critical of you and may even call you names; You feel like you need to ask permission to do something; You feel like you are walking on eggshells around this person … See full article

Aviva Chansky Guttmann, LMSWRebirth and Renewal in Relationships
By Aviva Chansky Guttmann, LMSW

Nature is not the only place to notice rebirth and renewal. We associate spring weather with new romances and the lightness we feel after winter's weight and coldness. Often we are so glad to shed damp winter dreariness that we develop the colloquial spring fever. It's a wonderful feeling of expanding boundaries and openness, and since many people around us are equally intoxicated so many things feel just right. Although rebirth is most noticeable in spring the truth is we can experience a rebirth in our relationships and sense of personal identity at any time and it's not contingent upon the weather. See full article

Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RN, E-RYT, RMTRunaway
By Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RN, E-RYT, RMT

You may recall the song, "My Little Runaway", by Del Shannon. Even though it's a peppy song with a strong beat, it's a bit sad. A guy whose girlfriend ran away without explaining is upset and wondering why. You can check out the song at YouTube. Another favorite that speaks to how it feels to be affected by people who run away is Laura Nyro's "He's a Runner," a warning to other women to stay away if they don't want to be hurt. If you have ever cared for someone who takes off (for a while or forever) when emotions become intense, or when they started caring too much, you will be able to relate. See full article

Amy I Rozett, LPC, RPT, NCAC IIIs Play Therapy Right for My Child?
By Amy I Rozett, LPC, RPT, NCAC II

As a parent, you may be wondering how to get the best help for your child’s emotional and/or behavioral issues. You want what is best for your child. You want to give them every opportunity to succeed in life, to make the pain stop, and the problems go away. You want to get the best possible help, but which treatment option is best for your child? Play therapy is a method of treatment specifically designed for the unique developmental needs of children and adolescents. Research on brain development has confirmed what parents already knew…that children think, feel and behave differently than adults! See full article

Barry Herbach, LCSWDoes Your Daughter Suffer From Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
By Barry Herbach, LCSW

Does your daughter suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD)? Having a daughter with BPD will not only effect your child but also affects you and everyone who cares about her. Women with BPD have difficulty controlling or regulating their emotions and behavior. This difficulty can take a heavy toll on parents, partners, family members, and friends. Parents who have children with BPD can tell countless stories of instances in which their daughter was beginning to function better or to take on more responsibility and then suddenly went into crisis. See full article

Christina Szarka, MSW MSTLBuilding Mental Toughness in our Young Athletes
By Christina Szarka, MSW MSTL

Does your young athlete’s self confidence rely on their coach’s feedback? It is often said an athlete’s performance is based largely on their mental state, in reality it may be as much as 90%. Competitive coaches often do not have the time to focus on each player’s individual success. Their role is to build a team that will win. This can be a problem if your child is involved in youth sports and their confidence in their abilities is formed from the beliefs of coaches, teammates or even parents. See full article

Christina Szarka, MSW, MSTLThe Long Term Impact of Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS)
By Christina Szarka, MSW, MSTL

Many factors contribute to healthy development in young people. However, children who have suffered through a divorce must try to maintain strong family relationships with both parents. A strong component to children thriving through a divorce is being shielded from parental conflicts. However, in many cases parents cannot separate their angry and negative feelings from their spouse and end up manipulating their children in an attempt to bolster their own importance and parental identity. This creates situations where children feel pressure to choose sides with one parent or the other. See full article

Julie A. Levin, MA, MFTLoving Yourself
By Julie A. Levin, MA, MFT

There is a lot of talk about self love. But if you don't feel it, the words have no meaning. And if you've been judging or blaming yourself for not being enough or being too much, then the idea of loving yourself might even seem wrong. Yet, self love is an essential part of having a good life. When you feel friendly, kind, appreciative and tender toward yourself, you have a buffer against depression, anxiety, trauma, rejection, loss, and bad relationships. I often tell clients, "You are the roommate who will never leave." Do you really want … See full article

Daniel A. Linder, MFTBreaking-Up
By Daniel A. Linder, MFT

Note: The following article, “Breaking-up,” is best suited for those in the throes of a ‘bad’ relationship, who know it’s ‘bad,’ may want to get out, but feel stuck and are looking for an exit strategy. Mindfulness is a running theme. “Breaking-up” is about understanding what you are trying to accomplish, what you need to and what it takes to get there. It’s intended as an instructional map that shows you the way out of unhealthy relationships and into healthy, emotionally nourishing ones. It’s empowerment through awareness, understanding and action. See full article

Dylan Mariah, RN, LMHC, MA, E-RYTSimple Strategies for Sailing Through the Holidays
By Dylan Mariah, RN, LMHC, MA, E-RYT

You have to wonder sometimes why the winter holidays can’t be spread out more evenly over the year. From the end of October through after the New Year, it seems that we barely recover from one holiday and the next one is upon us. It doesn’t help that we start receiving Christmas and Thanksgiving sales promotions in October or that stores put out the next holiday’s items so early. Even with that, there is a lot to celebrate from late October through January! We have less than a month between Halloween and Thanksgiving with Veteran’s Day in between them. We have a month between … See full article

Sophia Greenberg, LMFTThe Back to School Blues
By Sophia Greenberg, LMFT

So, you spent the last few weeks checking off items on the back to school shopping list, buying new backpacks and new school clothes- all the fun stuff. It has been a long, hot summer and you have been looking forward to sending your children back into the loving arms of their teachers, right? Maybe not. In theory, after a long summer of having young children run around at home with limited structure and routine, the thought of the routine of the school day sounds appealing. But who does it really appeal to, … See full article

Karen Kingsley, Ph.D.What Really Matters?
By Karen Kingsley, Ph.D.

What is truly important to you? If you give yourself a few moments to imagine looking back on your life from an advanced age, what do you want to see your life as having been about? The question can sometimes feel too big and broad to answer, yet investing the time and effort to clarify your values as an ongoing practice can not only protect you from being disappointed in your future answer to that ultimate question, but can also help you to maximize your experience of meaning and fulfillment here and now. See full article

Dylan Mariah, RN, LMHC, MAFrom Purging to Pausing
By Dylan Mariah, RN, LMHC, MA

If we have a home with a yard we may want to cut away the underbrush when bushes are overgrown and choking off new life. We cut back the trees at the end of the summer to allow a fuller expression of their beauty the next year. We do a clean sweep of the lawn before winter so that the leaves don’t prevent the grass from “breathing” and strengthening their root systems. We say “Just get rid of it!” when we are cleaning out our basements and see that we have been hanging on to things we should have thrown out long ago. See full article

Dylan Mariah, RN, LMHC, MAHow Long It Takes to Grieve
By Dylan Mariah, RN, LMHC, MA

I was talking to someone recently about grieving after the death of a loved one. I’ve had these discussions quite a few times. With people grieving the loss of a loved one years after they have died who worry that they “can’t get over it.” With people who are feeling impatient with someone else’s grieving process and wondering if they are “hanging on” to the sad feelings. See full article

Karen Kingsley, Ph.D."Accept my difficult emotions? What does that even mean?"
By Karen Kingsley, Ph.D.

In mindfulness-based approaches to therapy we often talk about "acceptance" of difficult or painful thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), one of the newer cognitive-behavioral therapies that incorporates mindfulness as well as values clarification, promotes acceptance as a vital part of developing psychological health and flexibility. Unfortunately, many people’s initial reaction when they hear that is: "That's not what I want; I want to get rid of those feelings!" and, … See full article

Dr. Amy Austin R.N., Psy.D., LMFTLetting Go of the Past
By Dr. Amy Austin R.N., Psy.D., LMFT

How many times do we catch ourselves thinking, ruminating, trying to change and wishing for a do over regarding our past histories? We are triggered by an old song, certain definable smell, movie, or anything that rouses our senses and takes us back to that suspended moment in time. Usually, the thought tends to lead to guilt and/or shame which our critical self hones in on like a bee to a flower. And, there we are. Not connected to the present moment, living life unconsciously, and unaware. See full article

Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFTFamilies With Abuse
By Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFT

Abusive situations in families do not happen in isolation. It is neither bad luck, nor is it the fault of the victim of abuse. Abuse happens within a culture of abuse. That is, there is something that is handed down over the generations that encourages those who abuse and allow those around the abuser to ignore what is happening. While the abuser is certainly responsible for his/her actions, there are other family members who are complicit by their passivity or inability to recognize the signs. See full article

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