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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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Nancy Bortz, M.A.Separation Anxiety and Codependency: Causes and Cures
By Nancy Bortz, M.A.
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

Lisa Jordan, LCPC, NCCManaging Holiday Stress
By Lisa Jordan, LCPC, NCC
Overbooked lists...traffic...what tops your list of stress this holiday season? Common stressors may ebb and flow throughout the year, but the winter holiday “hustle” seems to stoke the flames in a way that is unique. Make it a priority to attend to your own physiological needs. Eat a balanced diet, stay physically active and hydrated, and get adequate sleep. It sounds like common-sense, and it is–but it’s often the first thing to go when demands escalate right around the holidays. Good self care also includes attending to your emotional and mental health. Mindfulness and … See full article

Suzanne Goodwin, LMSW, LPHow To Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children
By Suzanne Goodwin, LMSW, LP
As a psychotherapist and mother of four, I am familiar with wanting to be the best parent we can be, to raise children who are resilient and compassionate. In my work as a therapist, I draw upon attachment theory and current research findings in neuroscience. Research in the area of child development has demonstrated that a child’s security of attachment to parents is very strongly connected to the parents’ understanding of their own early history. I call this ‘mindful’ parenting. How you make sense of your childhood experiences, positive and negative, has a profound effect on how you parent your own children. See full article

Jeanine Roddy, MA, CCC-SLPChildhood Benefits of Yoga for ADHD
By Jeanine Roddy, MA, CCC-SLP
Recently my friend’s daughter came home from kindergarten and announced, “I can do yoga.” “Are you learning that in gym?” she was asked. “No, we have yoga videos in our classroom!” In recent years many schools have turned to yoga as a useful tool to enhance learning and discipline. And now many doctors and therapists are finding yoga can be especially helpful for active children and those with ADHD. Research supports the inclusion of yoga in ADHD treatment plans. As published in ISRN Pediatrics, researchers in India assigned 69 schoolchildren with ADHD to a once or twice weekly yoga program for one year. Following that therapeutic yoga based curriculum … See full article

Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RNOn Black Boxes, Brains and Being at Our Best after Trauma
By Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RN
If Captain Jean Luc Picard gets a little jumpy every time he sees a black cube, you have to forgive him. As the only person who has been assimilated by the Borg and lived to tell, we can assume he has some residual trauma symptoms, as would we (see "Star Trek, The Next Generation", the last episode in season three and the first in season four, "The Borg"). With greater trauma, the residual symptoms are likely to be worse. If Picard had been taken multiple times for a longer duration, he might start seeing black boxes where they didn't exist, dream about them endlessly at night and end up with an impulse to turn the ship around whenever he sees … See full article

Allison Davis Maxon, M.S., LMFTChildren Learn What They Live
By Allison Davis Maxon, M.S., LMFT
Children learn what they live. This includes anger, hostility and aggression. The primary method of early learning is imitation (Gruber and Voneche, l977). Children imitate what they see, what they hear, and what they experience. They typically do not do what they are told to do, but rather, do what they are shown to do. Effective parents realize the power they have in being able to model decision making skills and healthy coping strategies. Being a parent who can model increased emotional intelligence while juggling the daily stressors and demands of parenting, career and home life - is no easy task. See full article

Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RNBeyond Wishin' and Hopin'
By Dylan Mariah, LMHC, RN
By the time you get to about 40, you start seeing what everyone who went before you already warned you about. Things start repeating. People who vowed to never, ever be like their father are looking in the mirror at his "spitting image." People who swore they would never choose a relationship like their parents look over at their partner and say with chagrin, "Yep. I married my mother." We see repeating patterns in our relationship and work decisions as well as our food, dress and living choices. What may seem even worse is that we see ourselves repeating what we feel are negative behavioral patterns. No matter how hard we try not to, we self-sabotage. See full article

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

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