Psych Central

Psych Central Blogs

Our blogs highlight different topics and concerns in mental health and psychology, bringing fresh perspectives, ideas and news updates in small, digestable nuggets. Below, you'll find an index of the most recent entries from our blogs.

Click to view the cartoonA Sign of Great Rudeness
From Donna Barstow's Quick Fix
(click on cartoon for larger image).

Are We What We Wear?
By Elizabeth Grasher, MS, LPC, LMFT-A in World of Psychology
On a hot summer day in Central Texas I exited my apartment in a linen skirt, white short-sleeved sweater, and sandals. My neighbor, who is also a friend, greeted me on this bright sunny morning with the comment “you look like such a counselor today.” At first I wondered what...
Suspicious Things Really Make Us ‘Smell Something Fishy’
By Dave and Greta Munger in World of Psychology
When we say “Fred is a warm person,” we don’t usually mean his body temperature is hotter than average. We use metaphors such as “warm”, “high”, and “clean” to describe more abstract concepts like “friendly,” “powerful,” and “morally sound.” So we mean that Fred is friendly, not that he has...
Learning to Let Go of Past Hurts: 5 Ways to Move On
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in World of Psychology
We’ve all been hurt. You can’t be an adult — or teen — alive today who hasn’t experienced some kind of emotional pain. It hurts. I get that. But what you do with that hurt is probably more important than the hurt itself. Would you prefer to get back to...

Click to view this cartoonThe Real Price of Psychiatric Medications
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
The Perfect Kiss
By Jake & Hannah Eagle in Healthy Romantic Relationships
Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 3.06.09 PMA kiss is just a kiss . . . or is it? There are lots of kinds of kisses. There are kisses for your grandma, kisses for your grandson, kisses for your best friend, and then there are kisses. Jake and I experienced the perfect kiss recently. It was very quick, but noticeably different...
Understanding Drug Rehab Success Rates
By David Sack, M.D. in Addiction Recovery
Understanding Drug Rehab Success RatesMany rehabs tout exceedingly high success rates. They declare themselves “the most successful rehab in the nation” or advertise a “95 percent success rate.” They tell addicts what they want to hear: “We’ll cure you of addiction in 30 days or less.” But where’s the evidence? Can you trust these claims? No Uniform Definition...
Can Narcissists Learn Empathy?
By Mike Bundrant in NLP Discoveries
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Surrey have attempted to find out whether patients suffering from narcissism can learn to show empathy for another person’s suffering. Their study, which is being published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, has shown that it may be possible. husband's attitudeOne of the...
On Courage And Not Loving Our Bodies
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
brave, creative joy retreat I just read this great post from Dani Shapiro on Marianne’s blog. In it she explains that we don’t need confidence to write something great. In fact, confidence gets in the way. She writes: Show me a confident writer, and in all likelihood you will also be showing me work that falls short...
Understanding Quasi Depression
By Erica Loberg in Tales of Manic Depression
Depression rears its ugly head in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes our depression isn’t obvious. You don’t have to be stuck in bed for days to be considered depressed. Unfortunately we don’t always know we are in a quasi depression until it’s over, and we look back and recall the signs that we might have missed. Hind sight is always...
Children Who Experience Family Members’ Trauma at Twice the Risk for Substance Abuse as Adults
By Richard Taite in The Science of Addiction
AbuseWe know the effects of childhood traumas like abuse and neglect on later substance abuse. But what impact does second hand trauma have? A study published in the August issue of the journal Addiction shows that when a child under age 15 is exposed to a family member’s trauma (e.g. a parent or sibling being the victim of...
Dealing with alcoholism and depression with a text message
By Christine Stapleton in Depression on My Mind
The last thing an alcoholic wants, besides a hangover, is to be reminded that she has a “drinking problem.” I know. Back in my drinking days I would avoid conversations about last night’s festivities – especially if I had been in a blackout most of the night. Which is why I think this will work: Txt message from the ER cuts binge drinking. ...
Therapist Blog Challenge #14: Feedback in Romantic Relationships
By Julie Hanks, LCSW in Private Practice Toolbox
  Therapist blog challenge #14 topic focuses on when to ask for and to consider feedback about a significant other. Headline Come up with a catchy title for your blog post.  Here are a few examples: Dating & the Peanut Gallery: What Other People Say About Your Love Life Tough Critics:...
Making ADHD Work ~ Part I
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
How to employ a winnerHow to employ a winner Last night I was at a concert. During intermission, I got talking with a friend of mine who runs a local business. I mentioned that I had a 6:30 AM deadline for my blog, and that I wasn’t sure what I’d write about. He...
Understanding and Using the Thoughts and Feelings After Divorce
By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP in Healing Together for Couples
Divorce statistics tend to obscure the emotional impact of divorce. Whether a divorce is chosen, imposed, contested, litigated or mediated, divorce is difficult. What often adds to the difficulty even after a divorce is finalized are lingering thoughts and feelings that bewilder, disturb, preoccupy and interfere with moving forward in a self-productive way.broken heart “ I can’t believe...
3 Movies That Use The 10% Myth
By Brian Kong Psy.D., C.Psych. in Psychology & Pop Culture
Lucy, which debuts July 25, follows the protagonist (Scarlett Johansson) who – through the marvels of modern science – gains  access to much more of her brain’s capacity, beyond the “normal 10%.” Subsequently, as she gains access towards 100% of her brain capacity, she becomes more and more powerful, and “interesting things begin to happen.”  Consistent with our culture’s fantasies of magic pills...
Your Body Is Not The Enemy
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
creative joy, notice, love and hearts, 2012 In our culture there is a prevailing belief that if we can’t get our bodies to look a certain way, to lose weight, to fit into an old pair of jeans, then they’re the enemy. They’re an enemy we have to subdue, manipulate and pound into submission. An enemy we need to...
Vedic Peace
By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. in 360 Degrees of Mindful Living
tat“Tat tvam asi” is an ancient Vedic mantra which means: “You are that” or “That you are.” What does it mean?  It means that Universe (Reality) is not inter-personal but intra-personal. What does that mean?  It means that when you look “outside” you are looking “inside.” What does that mean?  That means that you are seamlessly embedded...
So Very Happy
By Rebecca Moore in Bipolar Parenting
shutterstock_138284549We’re almost there! Just $50 more dollars to go till we reach our goal of $600 and we’ll be able to become tax exempt. We’ve already hit well over what we needed for the Articles of Incorporation and now we’re working on the tax exempt, 501(c)3 part of it all. It’s so exciting when you can see your dreams coming true...
My Childhood Made Me Do It!
By Will Meecham, MD, MA in Peace, Love and Childhood Adversity
The good thing about having been raised badly is that it provides an excuse for the embarrassments of later years. stoptheabuse Have you succumbed to addiction? The Adverse Childhood Experience Study demonstrates how susceptibility to alcoholism and drug abuse rises in near-lockstep with one’s burden of early hardships. Has sustaining relationships proved difficult? Data support a similar connection between numbers of romantic partners and formative adversity. Have...
The Surreal Fashion Photography of Miss Aniela
By Douglas Eby in The Creative Mind
Miss Aniela - LEGERDEMAINMost of my limited experience of fashion photography has been the occasional magazine feature or ad, and the images typically seem to me mainly designed to document the clothing. The work of London-based fashion photographer Natalie Dybisz, who works under the name Miss Aniela, is much more complex and intriguing. Writer Sarah Bradley describes some of how Miss Aniela works:...
How Living Alone Will Transform Men
By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
Writings about single life – both popular and academic – focus overwhelmingly on women. Because marriage, traditionally, is supposed to be more important to women than to men, in theory more central to their identities and their happiness, single life should be especially problematic for women. Research begs to disagree about the happiness presumption, but no matter. Angst-filled...
Should You Cyberstalk Your Teenager?
By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
This was a question that came up on my Facebook author page among some mothers who’d read my book, “Don’t Try to Find Me.”  Yes, my novel represents a very particular case but the desire to protect your kids is pretty universal. Do all teens require online monitoring?  How do you monitor?  And what do you do with what...
Chris Pine Has a Secret
By John D. Moore, PhD in Reaching Life Goals
chris pine secrets   5 Life Lessons from Chris Pine Chris Pine is one of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood and it seems folks want to know everything about him. Fans are curious about who Pine is dating, what he looks like shirtless and if those aqua blue eyes are real! This undeniably handsome male...
Why Your Potential is Unlimited and You Should Read “Your Best Self”
By Joe Wilner in Your Best Self
happy girl “What one can be, one must be!” ― Abraham Maslow I’m sure you’ve heard at some point in your life, “You have a lot of potential!” (If not, then jump on the bandwagon of potential, because you do!) We may not realize it at the time but we are all infinite potential. No matter who you...
STOP – This Blog May Save Your Life Today
By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
Take two minutes to read this blog post; it may truly be the thing today that can save your life. First before we begin, watch this surprising video below (runtime 1:47). The National Safety Council says there are currently 1.6 million accidents per year for texting while driving. How could it not be true...
Parental Alienation & Bias
By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski in Therapy Soup
517526_99507694Richard is taking a brief break. C.R. writes: You can’t get any more mainstream than Newsweek. (Does anybody even read Newsweek?) I guess Parental Alienation has finally become mainstream when a celebrity-studded article appears about it in Newsweek’s pages. Whether or not the DSM accepts that PA qualifies as a syndrome (they don’t), and whether or not other experts think it exists (many do),...
How to Parent Angry Children
By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
shutterstock_175324835Most parents feel inadequately prepared to cope with anger problems because they never had anger management training. They hate it. They are afraid of it. They feel threatened by their children’s anger outbursts. They fear that their inadequacy to help their kids “fix” their anger might be exposed. So many seek to suppress their children’s anger, not for the child’s sake...
Talk to the Doc
By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
doctorThe relationship between you and your psychiatrist is a very special one. He wields the power of medications that very well may help you. It is important to find a psychiatrist you click with. I say this from experience, having had both good and bad ones. Now, you will most likely never be as close to them as you are your...
#108 Healing Childhood Wounds
By Ellen Toronto, Ph.D. in See-Saw Parenting
shutterstock_126208985 Okay. We can admit that children are great! But treating them as equals? It’s a whole lot easier said than done. When big family decisions are being considered it is difficult to imagine that every family member should have a say. It is especially true if we as parents have never been treated as equals. If...
What it Feels Like to Be in a Body
By Shannon Cutts in Mentoring and Recovery
This painting, called "Sciencia," is on display now to honor Lassnig's passing. (Image found on painting, called “Sciencia,” is on display now to honor Lassnig’s passing. ( Right now I only get two magazine subscriptions. Birds and Blooms was a gift to my avian from his doting grandma (aka my mom). Time was...
Is there an Ultimate Destination?
By Ran Zilca in Going on the Ride of Your Life
  I’m sitting on a flight from Paris to New York, trying to pass eight long hours, and getting bored. The airplane does not have an in-flight entertainment system, and my Kindle book-reader ran out of battery, so I resort to reading anything I can lay my eyes on. First I read the duty-free catalog (twice), then the airline’s travel...
Using Polygraph Tests to Keep Sex Addicts Honest
By Linda Hatch, PhD in The Impact of Sex Addiction
Costs Benefits Choices On Signpost Showing Analysis And Value Of An InvestmentAsking a sex addict to take a polygraph seemed ludicrous to me at first. First off, it seems like something you do with a criminal, not with a patient who has come in for help with a sexually compulsive behavior. It is certainly true that addicts are world class...
What Makes Us Laugh? (Video)
By Sandra Kiume in Channel N
Professor Sophie Scott’s LaughterLab at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in the UK does neuroscience research on why and how people laugh. In a project at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2012 and the Big Bang Fair 2013, at an exhibit they...



When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt
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