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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFTCan Food Really Be About Pleasure? Try Something Different This Holiday: Mindful Eating
By Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFT

Mindful eating is about paying attention to what you eat. Actually focusing on the flavors, textures and subtleties of what you are putting in your body. It is not about eating while you are thinking of your bills, the kids, how many calories, watching TV etc. For most of us this is a tall order. There are so many distractions and people, places, things pulling on us, who has time to really pay attention to what they are eating? What is even the point? The point is pleasure. When we are really present with what we choose to put in our body we experience the subtleties of what we taste. We experience the food more intensely. We allow it to nurture us more deeply. See full article


Tamra Hughes, MA, LPCNurturing a Partnership
By Tamra Hughes, MA, LPC

Finding balance between maintaining oneís individuality and independence and yet fostering connected, loving relationships can be a difficult task for many of us. We are raised in a society that encourages independence, yet too much independence in a relationship can lead to trouble. In an age of internet access, corporate travel, and two career households, it is important for couples to take the time to put equal energy into nurturing their partnership. Taking the time to connect with each other and truly listen to what is going on in your partnerís life is vital to keeping the marriage alive and healthy. See full article


Elena Makarova, MA, MFTSeven Tips for Coping with Difficult Feelings
By Elena Makarova, MA, MFT

I have found that many of my patients benefit from using the following seven tips to cope with difficult emotions and situations. When you are feeling overwhelmed or just wish to keep at bay the accumulation of emotional stress, you too may find these tips helpful. However, many of these tips take time to learn to use effectively and their effectiveness will be somewhat dependent on the degree of your self-knowledge and psychological well-being. 1. PROCESS - Set up some time to reflect on what happened, process your situation, and determine how it is impacting you currently. With time, you will be able to step back and gain some perspective. You will also regain your composure and level-headedness that will allow you to focus on what can be learned from the situation so that the next time it occurs, you will be able to apply this knowledge and save yourself additional heartache. See full article


Dr. Jeanette RaymondSelf-blame and Self-silencing are Linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
By Dr. Jeanette Raymond

Penny woke up often through the night with abdominal pain and cramping. During the day she often felt bloated and uncomfortable. It messed with her appetite and eating routines. The constant tenderness in her gut made her afraid of going outside her home and work place. She worried about being near rest rooms. She was embarrassed about leaving events frequently to visit the rest room with no apparent relief. She never told anyone and pretended all was well. See full article


Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.Is Anger Keeping Your Past on Life Support?
By Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

In a split second Max fell off a ladder, shattered a lumbar disc, ruined his prospects for marriage, and derailed his career. He was livid. His angry energy was absorbed by interminable doctor's visits, surgeries, and fights with his insurance company. A law suit conveyed his fury at the negligence of his employer in complying with workplace safety codes. Max was bathed in support and sympathy from his family, fiancťe and friends. They rallied around and helped him get through the first year of struggle for recovery. Together with his pain medications and physical therapy, the network of people caring for him acted as buffers against his volcanic fury. Cocooned in this chrysalis his outrage and resentment swelled into a festering reservoir of hate, waiting to explode. See full article


Florence Rosiello, PhDSymptoms of Alcohol Dependence
By Florence Rosiello, PhD

There are people in our community who drive their car when theyíre in an alcohol-induced black out. For those individuals who drink excessively and there are many, many people in Arizona who do drink to extreme, itís not unusual to spend a few evenings a week, drinking for hours until the bar closes, and then drive home. There is a societal peer pressure in our area to get as drunk as you can; itís almost a romantic quality to macho drinking in the old west where you can belly up to the bar and drink a series of shots. However, in the old west you just got on your horse and it drove you home, maybe you fell off the horse if you blacked out, but that is a lot less dangerous than being affected by and driving in an intoxicated state. There are different types of alcoholic symptoms, some that donít look like symptoms but just look like being social. See full article


Michael E. Jones, LMFT, BCPCOCD: It's a Family Affair
By Michael E. Jones, LMFT, BCPC

Fifteen-year-old Jeremy sat across from me, postured rigidly upright in his chair as he attempted to discreetly pick at the scabs on his hands. The sores were the byproduct of over 30 daily hand washes. He watched me with a vacant gaze as his mother appealed to me for help, her voice faltering every few sentences. I had just finished reviewing the results of my initial assessment of Jeremy ó including the Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scaleówith mother and son. My conclusion: Jeremy had severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder requiring intensive outpatient therapy. A psychiatrist had reached a similar conclusion about this young man just a month prior, but his mother, fearful that "the doctor just wanted to make him a zombie with drugs," came to hear my opinion. Now that they heard it, his mother wanted to know only one thing Ö See full article


Cheryl Deaner, MS, LMFTCodependency "Who Am I Without Others?"
By Cheryl Deaner, MS, LMFT

When you find yourself obsessed with someone, walking on eggshells to keep someone you care about from leaving, or trying to figure out how to keep someone safe from themselves, you may be experiencing signs of codependency. Codependency is an uneasy kind of love where one's own true feelings and needs become secondary to someone else's. It often results in unhappiness, frustration and exhaustion instead of closeness and understanding. What is the difference between codependency and just caring a lot about someone? I define codependency as the habit of avoiding oneself by focusing on another person. When one is having a codependent relationship, healthy love, respect and trust are compromised. If a codependent pattern has gone too far, establishing an important relationship on better footing may seem almost impossible. See full article


Keith York, MFTThe Easy (And Cheap) Way To Save Your Marriage
By Keith York, MFT

One of the biggest killers of a great relationship is something called "Emotional Distance." I know, it sounds like a very pop psychology phrase, so let me break it down for you: You know those couples who seem to work so well together? Those couples who never fight? Maybe you're secretly jealous of them. Maybe their relationship is strong. But don't jump to the Jealousy Card too soon, because there's a chance they're suffering from Emotional Distance - no fighting, no loving, no happiness. No kidding. Emotional Distancing is the phenomenon when a couple is so quick to squelch an argument, bring up a touchy subject, or ask for something they want, they end up neglecting constructive communication entirely. The result is a truly unsatisfying relationship. See full article


Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFTAdult Depression and Childhood Abuse
By Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFT

Over the years I've discovered that a significant proportion of adult clients who present with depression have a history of childhood abuse. The abuse may have been sexual, physical and/or emotional. At first I attributed this to the fact that I specialize in abuse and many clients who come to me saying they are depressed are using that as a presenting issue because they aren't ready to discuss the abuse. But what I now understand is that most adult survivors of childhood abuse do suffer from some form of depression. An article in Psychology Today published in 2003 stated that, "In almost every case of significant adult depression, some form of abuse was experienced in childhood, either physical, sexual, emotional or, often, a combination." See full article


Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFTPower and Sexual Arousal in the Abusive Relationship
By Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFT

When we think of children who have been sexually abused, we think of fear, anger and violence. Most sexual abuse survivors talk of the terror and disassociation surrounding the abuse. Many still feel that way as adults and don't enjoy sex now, even in a loving relationship. But there are those who have a more complicated story to tell. These survivors may have hated their abusers but experience an unspeakable shame over the fact that their bodies responded sexually to the abuse. They cannot live with the knowledge that they were sexually stimulated even as they were being raped. Now they are not only healing from the abuse but from the additional belief that they were partially responsible for the abuse - and that they may even have deserved it. See full article


Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFTEmotional Abuse: What it is and why it is so important to recognize
By Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFT

Sticks and stones may break my bones but Ö bullying and name-calling can emotionally scar me forever. Not the original ending to the classic verse, but probably the more accurate one. It seems that broken bones will heal far more quickly than a battered soul. Does this sound overly dramatic? Not according to a study conducted by Florida State University and published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. It states that verbal abuse has been shown to produce 1.6 times as many symptoms of depression and anxiety among adults as those who have not been verbally abused. And those adults were twice as likely to have suffered a mood or anxiety disorder over their lifetime. See full article


Susan Wolfson, LCSWThe Anger Trap - Rapid Resolution Therapy to Break Free From Anger
By Susan Wolfson, LCSW

Getting angry may seem like a normal reaction to frustrations in life. When you get stuck at a red light, or when the credit card bill is higher than expected, of course you get angry. Doesn't that make sense? You may know that your angry reactions don't change the situation, but what choice do you have? It's not that you choose to get angry, it just happens. You often think that the events that go on around you cause the anger. But when you realize that two different people can have two completely different responses to the same situation (think of the guy who yells at the waiter for serving him cold soup, while the guy at the table next to him simply asks the waiter to heat it up), we can see that it's something much deeper than the situation which is causing the anger. See full article


Maxine Sushelsky, LMHCLawyers and Depression
By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

Do you neglect your own needs in the service of your work? Do your personal relationships take a backseat to obligations of the job? Do friends and family complain that conversations with you feel more like cross examination? Practicing law requires time, effort and dedication. It is easy to lose track of your self and your life. Lawyers, as a profession, are at a high risk for depression, suicide and substance abuse. The behaviors required for success in the law can be contrary to those that contribute to mental health, a sense of well-being, and satisfying interpersonal relationships. In broad terms, legal work often calls for suppressing oneís emotions, involvement in relationships imbued with conflict; pressure to perform coupled with unrealistic self-expectations; and repeated exposure to the crisis and tragedy of others, all behaviors that tend to contribute to depression, isolation, stress and anxiety. See full article


Terry Tempinski, PhDThe ABC's of Psychotherapy
By Terry Tempinski, PhD

Deciding to pursue therapy, finding a therapist, making that first call and keeping that appointment are, from my perspective, huge and courageous steps. Moreover, these initial steps are usually taken partially in the dark, so to speak. You do not know this person, you have no clue as to whether they can help you, and here you are deciding to lay out for them intimate details about your personal life and struggles! People typically have all sorts of questions and concerns in beginning psychotherapy. Here I will attempt to address some of these. See full article


Sandra W. Froese, Ed.D, LPC-SHelp! My Teenager Has Gone Wild!
By Sandra W. Froese, Ed.D, LPC-S

After listening to the litany of complaints by parents these days, one would think that our teenagers are never going to grow up and take responsibility by getting an education and a good job to provide for a future family. Our culture reinforces the ideals of freedom, but rarely do we talk about the need for "freedom with responsibility" or about consequences for our actions or lack of action. So how do we raise todayís youth in a culture that is bombarded with sex, violence, drugs, and financial irresponsibility? I am here to tell you, it isnít easy! Here are some suggestions to help you get through the difficult times... See full article


Rachel Fleischman, MSW, LCSWSlow Down and Be Here Now
By Rachel Fleischman, MSW, LCSW

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today, today is a gift. That's why we call it the Present. ~Babatunde Olatunji. Studies have shown that Americans are more miserable now than ever. With the challenges that we face economically, it can feel as though we are just hanging on by a thread. This is not so. We all underestimate our need to slow down. If we are not careful, we live as if our schedules are our lives. At the end of the day, we havenít necessarily been present to our own experience. Mary Pipher, psychologist says: "I have never seen people as rushed and distracted as we are now. We have become a nation of multitaskers." I am incredibly fortunate to work with my counseling clients. Seeing such a rich and intimate side of people has helped me identify what elements are essential to slowing down and being here now. See full article


Susanne M Dillmann, Psy.D.Common Reactions to Psychological Trauma: Understanding Avoidance and Other Reactions
By Susanne M Dillmann, Psy.D.

Reactions to trauma follow a cyclical and often perpetual pattern, flowing from intrusive and arousal to avoidance reactions. Intrusive and arousal reactions bring the traumatic experience into oneís awareness. But being exposed to elements of the trauma is frightening, overwhelming, terrifying and at times socially embarrassing. Therefore, one often tries to bury anything connected with the trauma. These attempts at erasing aspects of the trauma are called avoidance reactions. All avoidance reactions prevent an individual from integrating the traumatic event into her or his life and thereby impede healing. Avoidance reactions can take on many unique forms; however there are several common ways by which people attempt to avoid elements of their traumatic experiences. See full article


Katy Golbar, MFTDon't Panic... It's only Panic
By Katy Golbar, MFT

Have you ever felt as though you are suddenly losing control and the only way to escape this horrible feeling is to run away and get as far away as you possibly can? Your heart is racing, you can't catch your breath, you don't know what you're running from and you don't know where you're running to. It's a horrible feeling that everyone can relate to, and it's called a "panic attack" or "anxiety attack." What is a panic attack? In simple medical terms, it is a period of intense fear or discomfort, typically with an abrupt onset and usually lasting no more than 30 minutes. The classic symptoms of a panic attack include shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pains, chills, and an overwhelming fear that one's life is in dire jeopardy. Many people who suffer through panic attacks frequent the emergency room--only to learn that they are perfectly healthy and have just experienced a panic attack. See full article


Jennifer Lehr, MA, MFTTelling the Truth in Relationships
By Jennifer Lehr, MA, MFT

Sometimes it is hard to tell the truth because: We don't trust our perceptions; We are afraid of hurting the other person; We are afraid we will make them angry or they will reject us; We don't realize that relationships are about relating; We have been taught to take care of others by not being ourselves; We assume that we are 100% responsible for the relationship; We are afraid of being transparent, real and seen; We are afraid of our power. If we don't tell the truth, the other person has no way of knowing who we are, how they are impacting us or what we are thinking or feeling. We assume (perhaps unconsciously) that they do not have the ability to navigate through their own feelings in response to us. By not telling the truth, we rob them of the opportunity to rise to the challenge of relating to who we are, of having a truly authentic relationship with us. See full article


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