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Featured Articles

» Mental Health Library » Featured Articles
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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

Debbie Bauer, LMFTDiffusing the Tension with Tots & Teens
By Debbie Bauer, LMFT
There are several key survival tips that work well in raising both toddlers and teens. Developmentally, these stages can be quite similar in that both age groups are striving for independence yet wanting to hold on to the security currently in place. If parents do a good job through the toddler years – navigating the teen years may well result in a smoother than ordinarily expected transition. Having set the groundwork for a mutually respectful relationship significantly reduces the likelihood of oppositional power struggles in the future. Some suggestions follow... See full article

Garth Mintun, LCSWCouples, Relationships and "Fix"
By Garth Mintun, LCSW
Work solutions aren’t necessarily transferable to “fix” relationship problems. What you do on the job does not necessarily mean it will work at home. For example, if an engineer, attorney, clerk or technical person tries to fix the relationship with his/her intimate significant other, the results may not be what he/she wants. At our employment we are trained to fix problems and are paid to be “problem solvers.” The problem solving method usually works like this: Isolate the problem and find what is “not working”; Rationally figure out what the problem is and try to fix it; Minimize the bad effects of the problem; Plan a pro-active solution to the problem. See full article

Dr. Laurel A. Sills, Licensed PsychologistDivorcing: Battle of Roses or Gavels?
By Dr. Laurel A. Sills, Licensed Psychologist
Making the decision to leave a marital relationship is very difficult for most people. Aside from letting go of the promise to stay together “through better or worse, sickness and health,” one has to face losing the family unit as it has been, losing marital assets and learning to be alone. In the best of circumstances, the husband and wife both will override their emotional hurt with sound intellectual reasoning. Each partner recognizes that being with someone either whom does not love you as a spouse or whom you do not love fully is not healthy emotionally for either partner or for your children. No matter how much pain divorce causes, the truth is that if the marriage cannot be brought back to a respectful, loving, faithful commitment, it may be best to dissolve the marriage. See full article

Janice C. Feuerhelm, LPCLiving with Chronic Pain
By Janice C. Feuerhelm, LPC
Chronic pain affects millions of people worldwide. Chronic pain is different than acute pain. Chronic pain is pain that continues long after the original cause. Chronic pain also has a psychological component that affects every area of one's life. The challenge of living with chronic pain can create depression, difficulty with family/friend relationships, loss of job, financial losses and a loss of self-worth. During my counseling experiences with individuals living with chronic pain, I have discovered that there are key healthy attitudes that help someone learn how to cope and live with chronic pain. I teach persons' with chronic pain how to adopt these attitudes and have had the pleasure of witnessing many reclaim their life again, in spite of chronic pain. See full article

Peter Suski, Ph.D., MAC, CASACReflections on Anger
By Peter Suski, Ph.D., MAC, CASAC
Any person at any moment on any given day can be found at different stages of their struggle with anger. More than any other emotion, anger is at the root of a person’s anxiety, stress, dysfunction, and general misery. Because of the invasive quality of this emotion and its impact on treatment issues, counselors must seek a clear understanding of the precipitating expectations that lead to anger, an expression of these feelings, and an acceptance that anger is a “normal” emotion. Anger is a basic human emotion. It is frequently first manifest at birth. From the safe, warm environment of mother’s womb to a brightly lit and chillier room, surrounded by strange faces wearing masks, the first response to breathing air is typically a loud wail. This display of emotion is traceable to the most immediate needs for survival being denied (Gelinas, 1988). See full article

Patty Muller, LPC"Shoulding" All Over Ourselves!
By Patty Muller, LPC
Whenever I’m working with someone on self-care, self-love and self-approval issues, a part of me is always waiting for the first "should" statement to come out–and I usually don’t have to wait very long. Most of us are riddled with "shoulds", "oughts" and a multitude of other ways to express to ourselves what actions we need to take in order for us to be good people, parents, spouses, employees, etc. And therein lies the unpleasant truth hiding in the heart of every "should" statement we make to ourselves: the unspoken beginning of every sentence that contains the word should within it is, "in order to be a GOOD person, I should...." just fill in the blank with the directive of the moment. Which means that every time we use a should on ourselves, we’re reinforcing the harmful idea that we are NOT good enough, just as we are. See full article

Cynthia Horacek, M.S., M.F.T.EMDR and the Brain: How We Think it Works
By Cynthia Horacek, M.S., M.F.T.
Although EMDR has been in use by therapists for treating trauma, phobias, anxiety and a variety of other "disorders" since 1989, the vast majority of people have no idea what it is, what it does or how it works. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. And even though the words "Eye Movement" are part of the name of this truly amazing technique, eye movements are not necessarily a part of its success. But allow me to explain… See full article

Sherry Katz, LCSWRelationships in the Alzheimer's Dimension
By Sherry Katz, LCSW
No disease brings much good news with it; the combination of medical management, life style changes, possible economic and daily functioning routines that are affected by prioritizing optimal health for as long as possible, are time consuming and life altering foci. Unique to Alzheimer’s disease is that in addition to the above description, it presents the challenge that basic communication, judgment, decision making, memory, planning and expressiveness each will gradually diminish. These losses very soon become problematic for anyone wanting a sensible conversation with the patient, and most especially so for those who have regular contact, emotional involvement, and responsibilities toward this patient. If the patient’s abilities to interact have changed, then it follows that those who elect to communicate or maintain their relationship with the patient, must also change their habits of relating to the person. See full article

Sue Waldman, MA, LPC, CECRemember, "Anything Is Possible!"
By Sue Waldman, MA, LPC, CEC
At some point in our lives, we all suffer loss; some more than others. Yet few of us are prepared for the anguish, sadness, aloneness, and overwhelming devastation that follows. Loss of any kind can be a life-transforming experience in every person’s life that changes us, reclaiming who and what we are. Loss can take place in many forms: death, divorce, loss of positive childhood experiences, an office or home, a career, a sense of safety, and loss of one’s experience of being happy. Any loss may awaken the divine self within. However difficult it seems, the journey through grief is neither endless nor impossible. It can be an opportunity for self-discovery. As the grief process unfolds, there lies a loving, unexpected peace. See full article

Michael E. Jones, LMFTLiving in Spite of OCD
By Michael E. Jones, LMFT
Perhaps you suspect you are one of the 3 million American adults affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Or maybe you or a loved one was just diagnosed with this condition. What next? As a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of OCD and related disorders, I have compiled the following suggestions to help you make wise treatment choices. (1) If you have not been formally diagnosed with OCD, do not assume you have it because your friends told you so, or because you double-check your door locks, or because you sometimes have “inappropriate” thoughts. The fact is that OCD causes significant distress for those afflicted by it. Some people double-check their door locks every time they leave the house; someone with OCD may have to check it forty times every morning. While almost every one of us have some strange thoughts cross our minds, an individual with OCD can cling to just one for days, worrying why they had the thought. See full article

Dr. Sara Denning, Ph.D.Summer Vacation - Time Off May Reveal Executive Exhaustion
By Dr. Sara Denning, Ph.D.
Beginning with Memorial Day weekend, The Fourth of July, until Labor Day, Summer will provide officially sanctioned “down time” for those who are secretly suffering from burnout. Subconsciously they may dread every day but their behavior continues to look as though they are performing as usual. Why are they putting on such a show? – Because they feel completely trapped and haven’t a clue as to how to get out of their slump. A common secret in many companies and firms is that a few executives and partners have worked themselves into exhaustion. They must continue to create new billing opportunities, expand the business, and manage aggressive clients. The results of this malady are not really well-hidden but covered up by staff and colleagues. No one questions their work. After all, these people are partners, presidents, and vice presidents; they comprise the core of the company. See full article

Dr. Sara Denning, Ph.D.Fatigue and Impending Client Crisis
By Dr. Sara Denning, Ph.D.
Fatigue and Impending Client Crisis – Some top performers never take a break they just fall apart. Theresa G. could get clients to agree to almost anything once she got to know their needs. Her tenacity, which was known throughout the industry, was behind each promotion throughout her career. On this particular Monday she was making her battery of calls and sending e-mails. Theresa had worked for six months to get every detail right. She had everything she needed. There was just one problem: she no longer cared. Over the past six months the joy of the pursuit had slowly but surely disappeared. Each night her head rang with incoherent dreams keeping her from getting the sleep she so desperately needed. Her meals were tasteless. The support staff in the office had teased her about weight loss until it was no longer a joke. Her secretary looked at her with concern each time she appeared. See full article

Sherry Katz, LCSWWhat is Family Systems Therapy?
By Sherry Katz, LCSW
Family Systems Therapy is talk therapy for individuals, couples and families that uses a theoretical model focused on the interactions of two or more people. The therapist listens to both behavioral and emotional habits and ways the patient typically relies on, yet feels frustrated or unhappy with the results. A therapist trained in the family systems model will often thoughtfully question the patient's relationship goals; this way the patient can more clearly start to see whether their actions are bringing them closer to the emotional satisfaction they want. See full article

Dan Bernard, M.A., L.P.C.Relationship as a Mirror
By Dan Bernard, M.A., L.P.C.
Interacting with our partner, we experience any number of feelings: joy, sadness, contentment, frustration, etc. These feelings say a lot about us, who we are and where we’ve “been” in life. They also say something about our prior relationships. It is in this way that our current relationship can be considered a mirror. Looking into it or not is up to us. Of course, it’s easier to see our partner as the source of our feelings. On this path, we’re likely to believe that they’ll have to change before we’ll feel the way we’d like to. We might even go so far as to consider changing partners as a means of changing or improving our feelings. (I acknowledge that, after ample personal and relational work, this sort of change may remain the only viable option.) See full article

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