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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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Cynthia Shaw, M.A., LMHCMaintaining a Happy and Healthy Relationship After Parenthood
By Cynthia Shaw, M.A., LMHC
The challenges couples face after becoming parents are varied and complex. One of the primary challenges is adapting to the all-intensive care-giving role of being parents while preserving the relationship and also maintaining some semblance of self-identity. All couples deal with these challenges differently. For some new parents the impact is more negative and shakes up the relationship: the workload at home increases; the parent with more child-care duties may resent the new burdens; communication between partners can diminish; sex may all but disappear; new financial stressors can cause tension; and partners can become polarized as to their values of child-rearing and family. Yet for other couples the relationship survives these challenges and actually thrives. See full article

Helen Boy, MSW, LICSW, LADCChildren and Grief
By Helen Boy, MSW, LICSW, LADC
Grief is a natural response to loss. Children, like adults, grieve when someone close to them dies or they experience other types of loss. Children also may grieve when they lose a friend or a pet, move to a new home or school, or experience sexual abuse. The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each child. With support, children usually have the capacity to integrate grief in their lives if the environment provides acceptance, compassion and safety. See full article

Julie A. Levin, MA, MFTNaming Your Anxiety
By Julie A. Levin, MA, MFT
When anxiety takes over, it can feel like you're possessed. You may become paralyzed and unable to make decisions. You may question your every move. You may find yourself playing that tired old song, "What-if…" over and over till you get a headache. If you suffer from anxiety, there are lots of tools you can use to feel better. Meditation, relaxation techniques and positive self-talk are some examples. But it can also be helpful to externalize your anxiety – to see it as something separate from your essential self. See full article

Carolyn C. Martin, M.S., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.Should I Divorce?
By Carolyn C. Martin, M.S., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.
Marriage is a lot of work sometimes. And, even though you may have worked hard to make things go well in your marriage, there sometimes comes a point in time when you have to make a decision — the decision between staying to fight for your marriage, or moving away from the marriage to find happiness and peace. In order to make the decision, you may need more information or someone to help you process what you're going through. Gathering information from books, magazines, the internet, etc. can help. Talking to a friend or relative may help. Or seeing a professional may be helpful. See full article

Michelle Miller Bohls, MA, LMFTStill Stressed in January
By Michelle Miller Bohls, MA, LMFT
Twenty minutes earlier than Joan expected, the doorbell rang. As she took a brief survey of the situation her heart rate sped up. Her adrenals went to work shooting adrenaline into her blood stream while a checklist ran through her mind: dinner was almost ready, the wine is breathing, guestroom and bathrooms are clean…. The list suddenly stopped when she noticed the long, white dog hair on the dark couch. Moving quickly from a sense of accomplishment and pride to a self-abusive shame, Joan could feel the panic in her stomach spread quickly up to her flushed face. She may have noticed her muscles tense and her pupils dilate, but she was completely unaware of her adrenal glands exhaustive work to keep up with her demands for perfection. Would her guests judge the cleanliness of the house? Her cooking? Will they like the gifts she chose? See full article

Becki A Hein, MS, NCC, LPCHealthy Mind, Healthy Body: Mood, Food, and Attitude
By Becki A Hein, MS, NCC, LPC
When asked about the best way to stay healthy, you might say that diet and exercise are essential. You also might say that taking vitamins and certain herbs can enhance health and well being. You could even suggest activities such as meditation and yoga. However, another very important component to health that more and more people are learning about is the mind-body connection. Your thoughts and feelings influence your body through the nervous system and the circulatory system. Your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. Scientists are discovering that every thought, emotion, and experience influences the immune system's ability to function. See full article

Martin W. Murphy, J.D., LMFTMediation for Families
By Martin W. Murphy, J.D., LMFT
Marital separation and divorce can be a confusing and troubling time in the life of marriages. Families, including children of all ages, can experience emotional anxiety and psychological stress at a time when major changes are happening in their lives. Although, about one-half of all marriages end in divorce this experience in an adult's or child's life does not have to be acrimonious or permanently damaging. A process and an approach called family mediation can substantially mitigate the anxiety and stress of marital divorce. This collaborative process, under the guidance of a professional mediator, can comprehensively address and resolve the issues that must be settled when a marriage ends. See full article

Martin W. Murphy, LMFTWhen the Honeymoon Ends
By Martin W. Murphy, LMFT
The honeymoon always ends. The romantic phase of an intimate relationship eventually wanes and dissipates. The joy and excitement of a new relationship with all its hopes and expectations eventually gives way to the routine of every day life. The euphoria of planning a life together for the newly engaged or married couple with all its dreams of everlasting excitement and love gives way to the reality of the difficulty of life and marriage. But, the ending of the honeymoon phase is actually a good and necessary phenomenon because it allows the real work of love to begin. See full article

Andrea Miner-Isaacson, PhDThe Search for Love
By Andrea Miner-Isaacson, PhD
In the search for love, many of us worry about wasting our time. A not uncommon story involves going out on a date and knowing within moments whether he or she is "The One." In fact, a young man once told me that if a women wasn't physical with him by the third date it was a lost cause. What is this about? Why are we in such a rush to find love, often making important decisions in a matter of moments. Part of this push for quick decisions is based on our belief about what love is and how people "fall in love." Many of us believe love is an overwhelming feeling, an irresistible chemistry that sweeps us off our feet. Most of us have proof of this in the form of stories from married friends who state that "I knew I would marry him the first time I saw him." See full article

Colette Dowling, LMSWWhen Depression Hits the One You Love
By Colette Dowling, LMSW
Little is more disconcerting than the peculiar twilight zone of a conversation with someone who's depressed. It can be like dangling expectantly at the top of a seesaw while the other person sits at the bottom, refusing to budge. You call out, you wave your arms, but there he sits, grim-faced and noncommunicative. Why is he angry? You wonder if you've done something wrong, but there's also something infuriating about the situation. "Whenever we talked I would get the feeling that I was disappointing John," said Ellen, a woman my daughter and I interviewed for our book, You Mean I Don't Have to Feel this Way?: New Help for Depression, Anxiety and Addiction. Ellen was describing her experience with her husband before she learned of his depression. "There would be these gaps in the conversation. I would try to fill them. I thought, 'Is it me? What's going on here?'" See full article

Dr. Lynn MargoliesUnderstanding Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
By Dr. Lynn Margolies
The essential psychological effect of trauma is a shattering of innocence. Trauma creates a loss of faith that there is any safety, predictability, or meaning in the world, or any safe place in which to retreat. It involves utter disillusionment. Because traumatic events are often unable to be processed by the mind and body as other experiences are, due to their overwhelming and shocking nature, they are not integrated or "digested." The trauma then takes on a life of its own and, through its continued effects, haunts the survivor and prevents normal life from continuing until the person gets help. See full article

Dr. Lynn MargoliesMen's Issues
By Dr. Lynn Margolies
There are aspects of men's experiences that are particular to being male. In working with men, it is important for a therapist to understand the differences in men's experiences, what men need, and how to best help them achieve their goals. For men, psychotherapy can promote success in careers and relationships by teaching better communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills. Therapy can improve men's relationships in general, at home and at work, by fostering greater self-awareness, self-confidence, and empowerment .. Therapy can also help men with issues of mid-life crisis, affairs, anger management, fear of entrapment in relationships, sex addiction, performance anxiety, social anxiety, and difficulties in relationships with women, e.g., understanding what women want from them. See full article

Dr. Lynn MargoliesRelationship Issues
By Dr. Lynn Margolies
Relationships and the ending of relationships are one of the most common reasons people come to talk to a psychologist. When relationships end, many people find themselves overtaken by powerful feelings. It is not uncommon to experience painful feelings such as: loss, grief, depression, anxiety, guilt, death wishes, numbing, confusion, regret, and anger. During such difficult times, therapy can provide support and help in coping with painful and overwhelming feelings. In addition, therapy can help people make sense of what happened and, ultimately, restore a sense of equilibrium. See full article

Cynthia Peikoff, LCSWFor the Lonely Hearts on Valentine's Day
By Cynthia Peikoff, LCSW
Psychologists say that to be happy, one must be emotionally independent. But tell that to a lonely man or woman on Valentines Day. Why is it that when you’re lonely during the month of February, everywhere you turn you see hearts and romance? And why should it clutch at your heart the way it does? How do you maintain your emotional independence when all you want is someone to love? Doesn’t love mean depending on another human being for getting what you need? According to psychiatrist, William Glasser, author of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, love is a genetic need built into the human genome, like blue eyes or blond hair, you are born with a set point of how much love you need. This is a controversial idea. Is it possible that some people are born with the need for more love than others? See full article

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