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 cartoonWhen a Voice Wakes You Up in the Middle of the Night
From Donna Barstow's Quick Fix
(click on cartoon for larger image).

6 Ways to Survive Your Teen’s Eating Disorder
By Alison Pelz, LCSW, RD in World of Psychology
If you have a teen who is struggling with an eating disorder, you know it can be overwhelming, frustrating, lonely, scary, and sometimes feel like a full-time job. Your teen may be reacting angrily one day and the next day melt on the floor in tears. Eating disorders can disrupt...
Psychology Around the Net: October 25, 2014
By Alicia Sparks in World of Psychology
Still afraid you’ll contract Ebola? Ever thought about how your city affects your happiness? What about reverse psychology–does that really work? Read up on all this and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net. Quiz: How Does Your City Affect Your Happiness?: TIME has compiled 13 questions to help...
10 Introductory Questions Therapists Commonly Ask
By Dennis O'Grady, PsyD in World of Psychology
Therapy is about the fine art of asking directive questions. So what should you expect from your first appointment with a counselor, social worker or psychologist? The answer is simple: You should expect easy, brain-expanding questions, questions and more questions. A “change map” (often called “treatment goals”) is then created...

Click to view this cartoonArt therapy: A Grieving Process “and death will be no more”
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
Doubt Is Healthier for the Mind than Faith
By Will Meecham, MD, MA in Peace, Love and Childhood Adversity
Untitled This post’s title may sound like a call to skepticism, but it’s not. In my experience, skepticism gets exercised when I critique someone else’s beliefs, but seldom when I consider my own. Doubt, on the other hand, is indiscriminate; I’m as likely to doubt myself as anyone else. Although this can become excessive, to the right degree it’s...
A Creative Way to Explore Your Emotions
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
glitter, washi tape, creativity, 2014 All of our emotions, whether negative or positive, are welcome. We get into dicey territory when we try to avoid them or stuff them down or judge ourselves for having them (why are you upset about the world’s smallest thing?!). The best thing we can do with our emotions is to process them. The...
Lessons from the Maestro
By Linda & Charlie Bloom in Building Relationship Skills
Tony-Bennett-PhotoAnthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3, 1926 in Astoria, Queens, New York to parents of Italian ancestry. His mother was born in America and his father emigrated from Italy in 1906. Like most of the children of emigrant families, who grew up during the depression, Anthony had a first-hand experience of poverty. Due to health problems related to...
When Depression Strikes
By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
lightning and shipAs per my last post, I dealt with some major depression this week. I probably slept more than I was awake. It was rough, to say the least. I appreciate each and every comment that was posted but wanted to address a few for all readers now. I have what is defined as “rapid-cycling” (or even “ultra-rapid-cycling”) bipolar...
Top 5 Self-Sabotaging Habits to Stop Right Now
By Mike Bundrant in NLP Discoveries
More than 150 people and counting have taken at least one of our new email coaching programs. Hope and I have learned a lot about the self-sabotaging habits that people tend to struggle with. woman knock outI’d like to share the top 5 self-sabotaging habits with you, with a few key insights about each. First, a self-sabotaging habit...
Helping the Emotional Child; Part 2:
Managing Feelings in the Here-and-Now

By Heather Gilmore, LLMSW in Reflections from a Children's Therapist
emotions-36365_640 Children need to be able to learn how to behave in emotionally-charged situations. When a particular feeling is experienced, children may react in many different ways. Simple Kids describes children with good emotion regulation skills and children with not so healthy emotion regulation skills. (The following descriptions are authored by Simple Kids.) Children with good emotional...
Three Ways To Get Stronger Mentally in 30 Seconds (or Less)
By Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT in Leveraging Adversity
shutterstock_895091While any kind of strength — especially the mental kind– is not built overnight, is does begin with a few crucial shifts in the way we approach challenging situations. While we all can feel knocked down and kicked in the ribs when life throws us a curveball — or maybe even a fastball aimed right between the eyes — we may...
Choosing the Right Electronic Health Record (EHR) for Your Private Practice
By Julie Hanks, LCSW in Private Practice Toolbox
The key to running any company smoothly is to keep meticulous and clear records, and psychotherapy private practices are no exception. Virtually all businesses today operate with an electronic data-keeping system; paper files don’t cut it anymore. More and more private practitioners are moving toward a paperless practice, which includes...
In Defense of Pessimism:
It Really Can Be a Good Thing

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
shutterstock_190562153Happiness and related experiences such as optimism and positive thinking get tons of good press. Americans, especially, seem to find it hard to imagine that anything but good feelings should rule the day. I’m guilty myself. I jump right into that fray whenever someone claims that getting married makes people happier – I critique their claim by examining the original research...
Want to join a networking group?
By Kelly Higdon, LMFT in Private Practice Kickstart
Diversify Your Marketing in Private PracticeRelationships are a foundation to successful business. One of the common ways to build relationships when you are starting out is through networking, often done in groups. While I say you should first tap into the people you already know and see how you can be of service to them, when you are ready to...
Shhh! Don’t Tell!
By Lisa Keith, Psy.D. in Bipolar Lifehacks
My Secret Identity by Thomas R. StegelmannMy Secret Identity by Thomas R. Stegelmann How and When to Disclose   I’ve disclosed having bipolar disorder in many, many ways: at work, church, on local TV, in articles and here at Bipolar Life hacks. I’ve also studied mental illness and the stigma of disclosure in my doctoral...
Is Your Pleasure Principle All Jacked Up?
By Mike Bundrant in NLP Discoveries
shrug1The pleasure principle suggests that people seek pleasure and avoid pain. It’s the theoretical motivation behind human behavior. 

It makes perfect sense. Or does it? Why do people make choices, then, that lead to pain? For example, a woman has been dating a guy who has shown all the red flags. He won’t admit mistakes. He shows little interest in...
Questions to Ask Ourselves for Practicing Self-Care
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
flowers and candle at home, CROPPED This morning I was reading Mara’s newsletter (I highly recommend subscribing, which you can do here). In it, she mentions the simple question we can ask ourselves when practicing self-care: What do I need? It’s a question we ask every day, several times a day. I love this because sometimes we...
Why A Good Complex Trauma Therapist is Hard to Find
By Sara Staggs, LICSW, MPH in After Trauma
DSC00185I recently heard from two former clients that they have not been successful in finding new therapists since I moved. They’ve tried new therapists, of course, but they have found that what “qualifies” the trauma therapists they’ve met is the fact that they’ve treated trauma. But doing something over and over again doesn’t mean I do it well, it just means that...
Two Invaluable Concepts to Help You Be More Empowered
By Joe Wilner in Your Best Self
empowered “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”― Henry Ford There are two perspective people have on life. They either take the perspective of an “owner” or a “victim.” The owner is accountable, confident, and resilient. The victim is helpless, powerless, and cynical. There are probably people you know who come to...
The Day I Realized I’d Stopped Eating (& What I’m Doing About It)
By Alicia Sparks in Your Body, Your Mind
nataliej | CCnataliej | CC So, I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last two weeks. Don’t congratulate me; I wasn’t trying. You see, I’ve been a freelance writer and editor for the past decade and, as such, I juggle several clients and a variety of projects during any given day. Having been at...
How to Study:
5 Basic Practices for Academic Success

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS in Always Learning
Fall is the time when first-quarter grades come out, and many students would like to improve.Fall is the time when first-quarter grades come out, and many students would like to improve. Many students complain that they don’t know how to study, so I’ve compiled this short and sweet page of the basics. Perhaps now, as the...
How to Connect With Your Passion So You Can Be At You Best
By Joe Wilner in Your Best Self
medium_13460264693 “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou An uninspired and passionless life can start to feel exhausting. Without pursuing our passions, existence becomes lifeless and dull and we get stuck in a tedious rut of predictability. That is why we...
The Beast Is Back:
Depression Part II

By Erica Loberg in Tales of Manic Depression
shutterstock_200321435It has almost been over a week on my new antidepressant and it’s getting easier to open the pill box and take it. Not perfect, but I’m trying. I skipped a couple days which I know is bad but I waffled on taking the whole thing to begin with so I needed to take baby steps. However, this week I was...
Hope for Anxiety – Part Two
By Donna M. White, LPC/I, CACI in Women's Wellness Corner
shutterstock_96974582In my last blog I stated that I’d learned to become less anxious about having anxiety.   In order to this, the first thing I had to do was accept that I was anxious. If you read part one of this two part blog, you can probably guess this was not an easy task for me. After all, I was the person...
Do You Make Demands or Offer Choices
By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
shutterstock_119493124Think about how the words ‘should’ and ‘must’ are used in language. These small, single syllable words limit options and creative problem-solving by fostering rigidity. If you ‘should’ or ‘must’ do something one way, then it rules out all the other ways a thing might be accomplished. So rather then using the words ‘should’ or ‘must’, let’s try using...
ADHD Has Been Good To Me
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
Well, it builds strong character ...Well, it builds strong character … Yes, ADHD has made me the success I am today. Without it I’d be … well, I’d not be me. I’d be someone else. And who that person I might have been is, I will never know. The question is, would I...
Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Screenplay? 9 Tips
By David Silverman, MA, LMFT in Hollywood Therapy
1. Don’t compare your writing with Quentin Tarentino’s.  perfectIf you fall into the category of so-called “neurotic perfectionists,” (and I feel that all writers share some of these traits), you may be thinking in black and white.  That is  like, “I’m either a total success or a complete failure. There’s nothing in between.” Don’t start off...
As Seen on TV:
Advertising’s Influence on Alcohol Abuse

By Richard Taite in The Science of Addiction
As Seen on TV: Advertising’s Influence on Alcohol Abuse Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. and responsible for one in every 10 deaths. The statistics that describe the ways in which we drink ourselves to death are staggering. A study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found that nearly 70% of...
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
shutterstock_149934155With a new diagnostic manual out (the DSM-5 replacing the DSM-4TR), I’ve been thinking more about the dangers of diagnosis.  It’s just human nature that if you’re holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So the way a therapist sees a client is shaped by the diagnostic criteria available, and that can influence how clients see themselves (“I’m a depressive...
How to Tell Emotional Neglect From Emotional Abuse in a Relationship
By Jonice Webb in Childhood Emotional Neglect
2445981396_6c10f67ab0_zLet’s face it, relationships are complicated. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me, “Is this normal?” about their relationship. One of the most confusing gray areas is the difference between emotional abuse and Emotional Neglect. Since neither is physical, both are difficult to perceive at all. Even more difficult is telling them apart. Even...
7 Strategies To Deal With The Winter Blues NOW, Before Winter Begins
By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski in Therapy Soup
Dirt Road with Maple Trees in Winter SunriseFor those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting shorter and darker. Snow flakes, fireplaces, and cozy sweaters will be making their appearances in the near future. For some, it’s a time of growing darkness and despair. Every year we blog about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, as...
How to Have a Great Day:
5 Simple Steps for Daily Happiness!

By John D. Moore, PhD in Reaching Life Goals
how to have a great day   So you came here looking for more information on how to have a great day? Good on you! Let’s face it – in our 24/7 non-stop world of deadlines, accountability and stress, great days can be hard to come by!  But what if you could change that? I’ve written about the...
Mentoring – a Proven Resource for Extra Recovery Support
By Shannon Cutts in Mentoring and Recovery
mentor connectMentorCONNECT is the first global nonprofit eating disorders mentoring community – and the subject of a 2010 Texas A&M-sponsored research survey into the efficacy of mentoring for eating disorders recovery. If you’ve been following this blog for longer than five minutes, you already know I’m a staunch champion of mentoring (plus the blog title...



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