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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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Terry Tempinski, PhDDepression Doesn't Lie: What are the Causes of Depression?
By Terry Tempinski, PhD

One of the things I continue to be impressed with despite my 30 years of practice is how harsh we are toward ourselves when we are struggling in some way emotionally. It is really striking when you stop to think about it. Our response to our struggles is much kinder and wiser when we encounter physical problems. When we have a toothache, we swiftly get ourselves in to see the dentist. A bad cold? We try to get some antibiotics, drink fluids, and lay low. But depressed? Oh my!?! I am well aware that no one goes to see a psychologist without many months of trying to overcome whatever is ... See full article


Joan E. Shapiro, LCSW, BCDCutting & Self Mutilation
By Joan E. Shapiro, LCSW, BCD

Cutting refers to an odd behavior characterized by self mutilation by razor blade, knife, stapler, or some similarly sharp object. The wounds are usually not life threatening, and can be, for example, fine shallow cuts where blood is produced and physical pain is felt. Cutting is usually practiced alone and secretly. Depending on the patient, the cuts are either left to heal, or may be renewed. Cutters, usually young females, will attempt to hide the practice by wearing clothing over the cuts. See full article


Nancy Colier, LCSWAnd not But: Celebrating Contradiction in Relationship
By Nancy Colier, LCSW

Nature abhors a vacuum, or so they say. Similarly, it seems that human beings abhor contradiction, particularly in the context of intimate relationships. People attempt to package their feelings as positive or negative, believing that contradictory feelings cannot and should not co-exist. In approaching their relationships, people use the word but to connect their contradictory feelings, as if the positive wipes out the negative and vice versa. In fact, for a relationship to succeed, and not but must be the approach we take when linking the inconsistent feelings that are at the heart of all relationships. See full article


Dr. Lynn MargoliesDoes Your Teenager Want To Get Caught?
By Dr. Lynn Margolies

Travis was 15. He'd always been a good kid – no trouble – unlike his brothers. His parents saw him as the perfect child. That's why it was jolting and perplexing to his parents that this semester he started breaking rules, getting into trouble, and seeming downright provocative. Travis was recently caught drunk after being at friends' houses – and engaging in risky and dangerous activities. He recently remarked to his father, "I can't wait to get my dirt bike. Then I'll be able to go anywhere I want and go scary-wild!" Travis' dad was shocked by this comment and angry that Travis seemed to be purposely and intentionally rebelling. What should his parents do? See full article


Louise Fleischman, LCSW-CThe ABCs of Emotional Health
By Louise Fleischman, LCSW-C

People often equate emotional health with happiness or satisfaction in life. Consequently, we think if someone is not generally happy, that this person is not emotionally healthy. Adoptive parents are especially alert to their children’s emotional wellbeing because adoption involves significant loss and gain. However, emotional health is better defined as: A – Awareness and acknowledgement of feelings in oneself and others, B – Belief that feelings are shared among all people, and C – Capacity to manage one’s emotions appropriately. See full article


Rob Scuka, Ph.D.Recovering from Infidelity
By Rob Scuka, Ph.D.

Infidelity is one of the most difficult challenges that any marriage or committed relationship can face. Infidelity is almost universally accompanied by a deep sense of betrayal and a profound loss of trust. The reason is that the one partner experiences the infidelity of the other partner to involve a violation of explicit agreements or implicit assumptions about the nature of the relationship, and a violation of what is regarded as acceptable and unacceptable behavior relative to preserving a sense of safety within and commitment to the relationship. Infidelity can take many forms, and is not limited to sexual intercourse or other forms of sex. In addition to sexual infidelity, there is emotional infidelity and financial infidelity. See full article


Mandi Mader, LCSW-CWhat is Self Talk?
By Mandi Mader, LCSW-C

You play a bigger role in determining your own happiness and self esteem than you think. How you “think” about yourself is often not true. You may have believed for years that you are not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty or handsome enough. Cognitive therapy looks at how people talk to themselves (and yes, we all talk to ourselves). You may not be aware of it, but all through the day you say things to yourself, and often they are not very nice things. I have worked with people who constantly, silently, criticize themselves, doubt themselves, call themselves stupid, a failure, etc. It can be subtle, or not so subtle. If you begin to monitor your self talk, you may be surprised at what you hear. See full article


Gwen Gruber, LCSWThe Art of Parenting Adolescents
By Gwen Gruber, LCSW

I intend to explore some aspects of the parent-adolescent relationship, especially the unique dynamics of an adolescent's striving for independence. As a parent and a psychotherapist, the parenting of adolescents I would have to say is one of the most difficult jobs I've ever had. At the same time, it is also one of the most rewarding. Oftentimes, the only thing predictable about adolescents is their unpredictability. It is difficult for adolescents to deal with a turbulent emotional environment because of their new and sometimes raging hormones coupled with peer pressure and the demands of school and parents. Regardless of where or when you grew up, adolescence is commonly a time filled with doubt and insecurity contrasted with ... See full article


Vicki M. Leopold, LCSWWhat Me Worry? Recognizing Anxiety in Children
By Vicki M. Leopold, LCSW

Everyone worries. Worrying is a protective response and keeps us safe from potential harm. It has its beginnings in our history and in our genes. It’s part of our warning system. When the "worrying" takes on a life of its own and stops us from doing and going places that most others are able to, it is excessive and it's called anxiety. Anxiety no longer serves to protect us but in fact, it diminishes our lives. Anxiety disorders occur in children and teens much as they occur in adults. When our minds perceive an imminent danger, our bodies rush to provide us with sufficient adrenaline to elicit the proverbial "fight or flight" response. We often hear in the news how someone in danger reacted in an incredibly strong and swift way. Recently on television was the story of ... See full article


Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFTFood, Family and the Holidays
By Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFT

If you tend to struggle with food, weight and body image, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be particularly challenging, because they revolve so much around food and mealtimes. For the food addict*, it can feel like there is no escape. Unlike other addictions food is not something you can simply go cold turkey (pun intended) especially this time of year. Following are some tips for dealing with the food, family and holidays dilemma... See full article


Jaslyn Singh, LCPC, CH, CPMHave a Happier 2009 by Connecting With Yourself
By Jaslyn Singh, LCPC, CH, CPM

It's the new year. And you want to make sure that this year you focus on making it a peaceful year for yourself. Maintain your boundaries and strengthen your own sense of self. When you focus on the "he said, she said" business, you begin to take away from yourself, and then your focus will be more on the negative energies surrounding you. Make a pact with yourself this year to focus on maintaining a more positive atmosphere for yourself. Ask yourself these questions to get a better idea on how you connect with yourself ... See full article


Jaslyn Singh, LCPC, CH, CPMTherapy, The Real Chicken Soup for the Soul!
By Jaslyn Singh, LCPC, CH, CPM

Therapy is a beautiful thing. Many of my clients absolutely love therapy. There are several reasons why. Many people think that if you are experiencing major issues such as depression, alcoholism, anxiety, panic attacks, fears or trauma that you should be getting therapy. Well, from what I see, therapy is just not for those experiencing these types of issues. Therapy is and can be good for everybody. We all have some type of sorting out to do in our lives. It could be disappointment, angry or hurt feelings experienced at your place of employment, your neighbor not being supportive, or your friend betraying you. Or it could be a big argument or a spat with your loved one or a family member telling you how you should do things and so on. See full article


Dr. Dahlia MannStress No More: A Parent's Guide on How to Have Anxiety Free Children
By Dr. Dahlia Mann

When Max started kindergarten, he began to have trouble falling asleep at night. He often complained that his stomach hurt during the day. His parents attributed his behavior to irritability. But in fact, Max was showing the classic symptoms of stress. A five year old exhibiting stress? The idea runs counter to the popular conception of kindergarten as a time of fun and games. But in fact, children today do experience stress at a very early age. Why so much stress? Think about it from a child's perspective. Children today are carefully taught not to talk to strangers and about "good touching" and "bad touching." A child's activities are often organized on an hourly calendar because "it's not safe" to simply send children out to play. Parents are even uncomfortable letting children walk around the block unsupervised. See full article


Dawn Kravitz, L.M.F.T.Communication: The Root of Relationships
By Dawn Kravitz, L.M.F.T.

It is said that a relationship is the hardest job you will ever have. Predominantly, our “jobs” are pretty methodical and repetitious. Relationships are not. Rules are established in a relationship and come from our style of communicating with each other. “Communication” is the exchange of information or, in different terms, the articulation of sending a message. Today we have the ability to send the “message” in various ways: speech, texting on cell phones, and/or by email. How we send the message we are trying to convey will assist in how that conversation will end, whether with a reasonable solution or with anger or defensiveness. Behaviors that result in negative communication, often ending a conversation abruptly without a healthy solution, include: defensiveness, blaming; criticizing; personalizing issues; acting entitled; refusing to talk; being demanding. See full article


Vicki M. Leopold, LCSWIs My Child Okay? Understanding Teen Depression
By Vicki M. Leopold, LCSW

Adolescence is a time of great changes and living for the moment. Yesterday is history and tomorrow never comes. Dramatic physical, emotional, intellectual and social changes all occur within a short period of time. Change, even if expected, even if good, causes stress. Many teens cope with stress with little difficulty while others may develop depression. It can be difficult to discern normal teenage angst from a depressive disorder. It becomes even more difficult to identify child/teen depression because the symptoms such as sadness, lethargy and feelings of hopelessness communicated by adults may not dominate the mood or expression of children. See full article


Dr. Lynn MargoliesIn the Doghouse...again: Male and Misunderstood
By Dr. Lynn Margolies

Why do men so often find themselves in the doghouse with women? They try to please. They try to say the “right” thing. They do favors, buy gifts, work hard, and aim to live up to their responsibilities as a man. The story is familiar. Adam has been married for 10 years. He goes out of his way to be agreeable. So when his wife wants her family to visit the week before his bar exam, he tells her it is okay. He wants to make her happy and keep the peace. Though secretly hurt and irritated that she didn’t consider him, he can live with it. When his in-laws arrive, he is late coming home from work, cordial and dutiful, though aloof. He finds himself inexplicably getting into political debates with his in-laws. His wife gets angry at him, accusing him of being unfriendly, distant, and argumentative. See full article


Gwen Gruber, LCSWHarm Reduction Giving New Hope
By Gwen Gruber, LCSW

As a clinician, I have been tremendously inspired by Patt Denning, PhD, and her groundbreaking book: Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: An Alternative approach to Addictions, (2nd ed., 2004. Guilford Press). Prior to learning about “Harm Reduction Psychotherapy,” I felt frustrated with the rigid and “black and white” way that addiction has traditionally been viewed by our society. From my observations, there seemed to be something punitive in the manner that addictions were perceived and treated. Consequently, I saw a large number of people falling through the cracks of our mental health and substance abuse systems. This was especially true of people that were dual diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder as well as an alcohol or substance abuse problem. See full article


Sherry Gaba, LCSWMiddle Aged Baby Boomers and Addiction
By Sherry Gaba, LCSW

A woman enters my office disheveled, thin, mid forties, with hollow eyes. It is as if the sparkle in her eyes ceased to exist a very long time ago. She tells me she has been drinking and is using methamphetamines. I am not surprised to hear this because lately my practice has been filled with middle aged baby boomers seeking help for their serious addictions. Whether it is alcohol, cocaine, crack, methamphetamines, pain killers, heroine, or smoking marijuana, many have crossed the line into addiction. Their lives have become unmanageable and they have lost their ability to control their use. Some believe they can just cut down, but as addiction specialists, we know it is impossible once you have crossed that invisible line into dependency. One of their defense mechanisms is “denial” so they can still continue their love affair with drugs or alcohol. See full article


Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Psychotherapist and Life CoachCelebrity Worship: Adolescents New Addiction
By Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Psychotherapist and Life Coach

A frantic mother of a 15 year old daughter of a local suburban neighborhood tells her therapist that her daughter has quit the cheerleading squad, no longer dreams of college and becoming a lawyer, and her childhood friends have been replaced with friends she has never met. Her daughter has been isolating, reading all the latest celebrity gossip magazines, and becoming more rebellious at home. Clearly her daughter is pulling away which can be one of the hallmarks of addiction, depression, or an adolescent trying to form an identity. When you think of addiction, you think of drugs, alcohol, or even an eating disorder. What about the newest addiction teenagers are being struck with called “Celebrity Addiction.” One third of Americans are being struck with this phenomenon which is linked to depression, anxiety, body-image problems, and addiction. See full article


Maggie Vlazny, MSW, LCSWWomen and Self Esteem
By Maggie Vlazny, MSW, LCSW

What do you like about yourself? Are you proud of yourself? If these questions make you feel uncomfortable, or you cannot answer them, chances are that you have a problem with self esteem. Why is that? Why do so many of us basically dislike ourselves? Why are we embarrassed to "esteem" ourselves? Before answering this question, we must first define self-esteem. Self esteem comes from the inside out. It means that a woman is not dependent upon anyone else to make her feel good about herself, because she already knows she's fine just the way she is. She is confident and aware of her strengths and abilities. She wants to share them with others. See full article


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