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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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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

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, Ph.D.Finding Happiness and Meaning Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
By Walter J. Matweychuk, Ph.D.
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, 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

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