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 cartoonWill That New Electronic Device Shrink Your Brain?
From Donna Barstow's Quick Fix
(click on cartoon for larger image).

Want to Break that Good Habit Just Once? 5 Tips to Avoid Backsliding
By Gretchen Rubin in World of Psychology
I’m working on Better Than Before, a book about how we can change our habits. The most fascinating subject ever. In it, one thorny question that I tackle is: How can we make an exception to a good habit, without disrupting that good habit altogether? After all, sometimes we do want to break a...
How to Sit with Painful Emotions
By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. in World of Psychology
Feeling painful emotions, not surprisingly, can be painful. This is why so many of us don’t do it. Instead, we ignore our emotions, or dismiss them. We try to numb the pain with a glass of wine or three. We isolate ourselves. We cut or burn ourselves, or engage in...
Best of Our Blogs: September 30, 2014
By Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A. in World of Psychology
Every difficult person, the rude cashier, the ungrateful relative, and the draining friend could be excuses for your bad day, maybe even an unhappy life. But they could also be like the sound of your fan blowing in the background-simply white noise. What you choose to zoom in on and...

Click to view this cartoonSymptoms of Bipolar Disorder: Suicidal Ideation
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
Do You Punish the People You Love?
By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
Jack couldn’t see why he shouldn’t be “hard” on his wife and kids. It was for their own good. “I’m no harder on them than I am on myself,” he would say, as if his self contempt justified his brutalizing of others. In reality, no good could come of his barbaric approach to personal improvement. Jack only wanted...
“An App To Diagnose Bipolar Mood Swings By How People Talk On The Phone”
By Erica Loberg in Tales of Manic Depression
Recently an article published at Co.Exist.com, a site that focuses on groundbreaking innovation, published an article entitled “An App To Diagnose Bipolar Mood Swings By How People Talk On The Phone.” It discusses a system that detects early signs of a bipolar patient slipping into a manic episode. After reading the article, I thought about how my voice on the...
The Horse is Technology, But the Rider is on Auto-Pilot
By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
You wake up the morning and before saying hi to anyone in the house you say hi to your phone. Walking on the way to the bathroom you make sure to grab your phone toonline check any messages on the way. Slowing down at the stoplight in the car is an invitation to see if you have any messages and...
Essentials of Constructive Communication
By Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. in Psychoanalysis Now
shutterstock_209680222Destructive communication is what many couples—and many people—engage in. They don’t do so purposely; they often intend to work things out, but their emotions get the better of them and it comes out all wrong. Destructive communication often happens when we try to manipulate a partner rather than share and discuss. Quarrels are the byproduct of destructive communication. Quarreling generally involves...
How long until the California Legislature Gets It:
What’s Wrong with SB1283

By Richard Taite in The Science of Addiction
How long until the California Legislature Gets It: What’s Wrong with SB1283 Yet again, the California legislature makes a terrific blunder with SB1283, showing the electorate that they have no idea how to deal with the dangerous problem of synthetic drugs, in this case, synthetic marijuana and speed. Known as Spice, K2, or by a myriad...
How to Start Bridging the Gap Between Where You Are and Where You Want to Be
By Joe Wilner in Your Best Self
bridge “The biggest emotion in creation is the bridge to optimism.” - Brian May Sometimes we get so caught up in problems that we lose of a better future. Instead of envisioning a future with happiness, health, and success, we become pessimistic and lose hope. We stop striving to improve ourselves and our situation because we don’t notice...
7 Simple Ways You Can Get Involved in Your Community
By Alicia Sparks in Your Body, Your Mind
Jacob Moyer | CCJacob Moyer | CC I spent last Saturday at a local music and arts festival – and when I say “local,” I mean LOCAL. Organizers held the venue in my city’s park, all food vendors were from “mom-and-pop shops” around town (no national chains), artists from around the area displayed...
 
3 Ethical Fears of Being a Therapist Online and How to Resolve Them
By Julie Hanks, LCSW in Private Practice Toolbox
Every therapist knows that ethics is a critical component of working with clients. Once you add social media into the mix, things can get even more complicated. I’ve noticed that unfortunately, some in the profession are resistant to embracing technology and building an online presence related to their practice because...
Facing The Factors That Fuel Domestic Violence
By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP in Healing Together for Couples
The recent media attention to domestic Violence in the NFL epitomized by the September 8th video of Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée in an elevator and Commissioner Goddell’s delayed reaction, bring to the forefront the reality of domestic violence and the factors that fuel it. Football players are not the only men who succumb to domestic violence and they are not the only ones whose behavior...
Easy Anxiety Relief in a Mindfulness Meditation Video (Video)
By Sandra Kiume in Channel N
A mindfulness guided meditation video to help you overcome anxiety and fear. In this simple 15 minute video, a calm male voice leads you through a breathing exercise, and repeating a series of mantras that focus on creating a sense of inner peace.   ...
Fostering Health & Wellness in the Introverted Child:
Part 3:
3 Healthy Habits

By Heather Gilmore, LLMSW in Reflections from a Children's Therapist
Healthy habits for kids As for everyone, having good habits is very beneficial for children who are introverts. Being an introvert tends to come with a higher need to have predictability, routine, control over one’s own life and environment or at least an ability to know what to expect in most situations. Habits are important for introverts because not...
Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen, and Mindful Smoking to You!
By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. in 360 Degrees of Mindful Living
smokesomovThin mists and light clouds waft imperceptibly; The friends who have gathered here pass the pipe around. I know that there is no constancy in what is possible and what is not, Yet I do not believe that fire and ash are only fragments of time. —Wang Lu, a Japanese seventeenth-century “gentleman smoker” (quoted in Smoke: A Global History...
Quit making jokes about mental illness!
By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
bipolar jab It is shit like this that aggravates me. This was posted on Facebook by “Support Bipolar Awareness!” So far it has been liked 86 times and shared 40. You see, I am not a joke. I am not some party-time-personality-changing-trick. I have a mood disorder so, thus, yes, you could say I am moody by definition. But I...
The 7 Layers of Good Therapy
By Sara Staggs, LICSW, MPH in After Trauma
  Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 6.14.27 PM                   Continued from last post: therapy is exceedingly complex, and a good therapist is able to juggle and integrate all 7 of these layers. The client’s content This is the surface of the therapy. It’s the story...
Domestic Violence and Celebrities -It Affects All of Us
By Laura Bzowy in Celebrity Psychings
We Aren't Always Able to LeaveWe Aren’t Always Able to Leave   Ray Rice, the NFL, and CBS has gotten me so angry, that I have not been able to write. I have been trying to write this post for weeks. In actual fact, I haven’t been able to write a word of any kind, because...
Are You Being Emotionally Abused?
By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
shutterstock_86748793With so much (rightful) attention being paid to physical abuse and domestic violence, I wanted to also shine some light on emotional abuse, which can be just as psychologically damaging.  But it is also, in some ways, easier to rationalize.  People who are being emotionally abused might downplay their own victimization by comparing themselves to people who are being physically abused:...
The Problem Isn’t Neural, It’s Spiritual
By Will Meecham, MD, MA in Peace, Love and Childhood Adversity
VariousPills“You’re taking a lot of garbage.” Those words, spoken to me by a psychiatrist newly evaluating my case, changed my life. At the time I was on two antidepressants, two mood stabilizers, and an atypical antipsychotic. I had also been prescribed Oxycontin for the neck disease and chronic pain that had ended my surgical career. Between 2000 and 2006 I...
3 Ethical Fears of Being a Therapist Online and How to Resolve Them
By Julie Hanks, LCSW in Private Practice
fear: ethics Every therapist knows that ethics is a critical component of working with clients. Once you add social media into the mix, things can get even more complicated. I’ve noticed that unfortunately, some in the profession are resistant to embracing technology and building an online presence related to their practice because of fear of the potential ethical...
You Can Give Yourself Permission to Love Your Body
By Shannon Cutts in Mentoring and Recovery
On the days it feels harder to love my body, I surround myself with mentors who have no trouble seeing and admiring their own prettiness!On the days it feels harder to love my body, I surround myself with mentors who have no trouble seeing and admiring their own prettiness! The other day, a...
Handling Fears:
Three Ways Fear Is Your Friend, 1 of 2

By Athena Staik, Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Relationships
images-248When we get triggered by an event, it’s tempting to follow the accompanying thoughts down a rabbit hole to the useless world of doubts and negative forecasts, and other “oh no’s and “what if’s.” Doing so is usually counterproductive however and likely to intensify fear instead to the point of activating defense strategies, and other stuck, harmful patterns. When thoughts intensify fears...
The Proof Is In The Pudding – Er Baked Goods
By Laura Bzowy in Celebrity Psychings
      Photo Source - Chris O' Sullivan via FlicrtPhoto Source – Chris O’ Sullivan via Flickr   Thanks to a short but fantastic blurb by Lindsay Lowe on the Parade website, I discovered a remarkable pop-up bakery called Depressed Cake Shop. A place where you can buy dozens of grey...
ADHD & Low Self-Esteem:
Helping Kids with ADHD Improve Self-Esteem

By Heather Gilmore, LLMSW in Reflections from a Children's Therapist
Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. education or healthcare co According to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., Associate Editor at Psych Central, children with ADHD can experience low self-esteem. Some of the staple characteristics of ADHD include not being able to focus, not being able to complete tasks especially not in a timely manner, being distracted easily, and being impulsive. All...
#118 When is a Mom Not a Mom??
By Ellen Toronto, Ph.D. in See-Saw Parenting
shutterstock_119235895The dilemma for women who are mothers is about how much time and energy they will give to their children and how much they will keep for themselves. Though more women are working outside than they were way back in the 70’s, the questions still remain. How much do we give away and how much to we keep? Before the...
How to Attract Wealth Instantly in 7 Simple Steps!
By John D. Moore, PhD in Reaching Life Goals
attract wealth Why do some individuals seem to effortlessly attract money while others almost repel it?Do the folks who have the cash know something that the rest of us don’t? What’s their secret? If you are like most people, you probably have a life goal of achieving financial independence. Yet finding the pathway to wealth can seem...
7 Prompts that Initiate Healing from the Inside Out
By Mike Bundrant in NLP Discoveries
ladderthroughkeyholeIt’s the one principle that all spiritual and non-spiritual disciplines share: Healing occurs from the inside out. But how do you do it? The hardest part is squaring yourself what the fact that you’ve got issue. This is difficult for all of us. Our ego gets in the way, neck-deep in denial, and, well, say goodbye to any transforming insight....
I Was Wrong About Online Therapy (With A Caveat Or Two)
By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski in Therapy Soup
1260785_84481055Some years ago I was interviewed by a popular science magazine about what I thought of online therapy. At that point, online therapy wasn’t exactly new, but it wasn’t spreading like wildfire either. I said that therapy in person could be supplemented by online therapy, but that a therapist can learn a lot about a patient by meeting in person. Body...
Caring about Children and Their Future:
Is It a Parent Thing?

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
shutterstock_161985149In the lead-up to the Climate Change Summit, a famous actor (I don’t remember who; I’m not good with celebrities) was asked why he was so committed to the cause. He said it was because he had children and he cared about their future. I’ve heard those kinds of comments repeatedly, and not just around the topic of climate change....
There Are No Mistakes
By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. in 360 Degrees of Mindful Living
  9781572247567I did my best… I did my best! Dane Cook, comedian The phrase “to make a mistake” implies purposive, conscious, planned action. That’s utterly inaccurate: there are no intentional mistakes, no one consciously sets out to fail. When we fail on purpose, when we make a mistake by design, we are actually succeeding with some kind of covert...
If You Thought You Had ADHD …
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
Blue socks? Why not?Blue socks? Why not? … and you were right, it was one of a billion thoughts you had that hour. When we human beings wake up in the morning, we think, “Ah, time to get up. I’ll get dressed, have breakfast and get ready for the day.” Those of us...
 

 

 


People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.
-- W. Somerset Maugham
 
 
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