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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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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

Dr. Resa Fremed, LMFTIs Your Spouse Your Best Friend? How to Keep the Fun in Your Marriage
By Dr. Resa Fremed, LMFT
When was the last time you went on a date with your spouse? According to new research from the University of Denver the more couples invest in having fun, friendship, and being there for your partner, the happier and stronger the relationship will be over time. According to relationship expert Dr. Resa Fremed, couples that play together, stay together. "In the years that I've worked with couples, I see over and over how they neglect planning time together and sharing the activities they once enjoyed. It comes as no surprise that they become glum about the state of their marriage and overwhelmed by their responsibilities. But it’s vital for the marriage and the entire family that they set aside time during the week to enjoy each other by enjoying an activity together.” See full article

Amy Levine Clayton, PsyD, LCSWTaking Care of Mom: A Step Toward Warding Off Perinatal Mood Disorders
By Amy Levine Clayton, PsyD, LCSW
Can Going to the Hair Salon Help You Get Back to Your Roots? Why is it we seek out the experience of going to a hair salon? Is it the thrill of taking a moment in this fast paced world to pay attention to ourselves before we merge back onto the expressway of "need to's" and "should haves"? As soon as you step out of that nail salon, that beauty parlor, or day spa, you are slapped with that list of never-ending responsibilities, and if you are a new mother trying to cope with parenthood, that list can be your ticket to a host of perinatal mood disorders. See full article

Cheryl Deaner, Marriage and Family TherapistLiving Well While Being Single
By Cheryl Deaner, Marriage and Family Therapist
Becoming single, either by design or by circumstance, can be an extraordinary turning point in your life. Having the time and space for a more self-reflective relationship with yourself instead of having to be constantly mindful of a partner can make you a more independent, flexible and interesting person. Especially if it has been a long time since you have been single, your new state of being can truly be a gift. Being single changes the tenor of your relationships with others. It gives you the time to be more sensitive and aware of the impact of your interactions with others. It can positively affect the quality of both your work and your play. And if you decide to partner again, it can help you to do so with an enhanced self-knowledge of who you are and what works for you in a relationship – which is basic to being able to give and receive love and respect. However, becoming single can also be a bit of an adjustment. See full article

Keith Miller, LICSWTen Things You Can Do Now to Improve Your Relationship
By Keith Miller, LICSW
If you want to improve your relationship, you don't have to wait. Take a look at the following suggestions I have that can make major shifts in your relationship. Before you try to put these ideas to work, make sure to be patient with yourself in the process. Change is possible in any relationship, but it requires dedication and persistence. If you have trouble implementing these principles on your own, consider investing in marriage therapy. Marriage and relationship improvement isn't always linear or clearly observed. Since the unconscious agenda of committed relationships is to help us finish growing up, don't expect it all to happen overnight. It is a life-long journey. This being said, you can make a conscious choice to start on this path, and I hope some of these ideas may lead the way. See full article

Dr. Lynn MargoliesWho Said It’s Not Your Affair? - Part 1
By Dr. Lynn Margolies
Every time a politician makes headlines for having an affair, people take the moral high ground. Though affairs of ordinary people do not make front page news, the truth is that any marriage can be vulnerable to an affair, even in upstanding communities. In fact, infidelity happens in 30-45% of marriages. What does causes good people to stray? There are different types of affairs. They may be motivated by the need for: excitement, sex, escape, feeling desirable, emotional connection, or a vehicle to leave a legitimately flawed marriage. See full article

Dr. Lynn MargoliesHow Can You Mend a Broken Marriage? - Part 2
By Dr. Lynn Margolies
When you hear that another politician cheated on his wife, your first thought may be “It doesn’t surprise me.” Followed by, “How can she stay with him?” But no marriage (or gender) is immune, and up to 45% of marriages know this. In fact - most marriages not only survive, but even thrive beyond affairs. Crisis forces us to mobilize - or face even greater pain, and thereby offers newfound opportunity for growth. When marriages approach destruction, the painstaking work of self-evaluation and behavior change seems worth it. Nevertheless, even after wounds are healed, trust violations leave behind a crack in the foundation of the relationship with the potential to reopen. See full article

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