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 cartoonHe Said, She Said
From Donna Barstow's Quick Fix
(click on cartoon for larger image).

When Conflict Gets Dangerous
By Harriet Pappenheim, LCSW in World of Psychology
All couples fight. It’s perfectly healthy and normal. Disagreements are a natural part of relationships, and even if you’re deeply in love, some level of conflict is inevitable. In fact, avoiding conflict does more harm than good. Letting anger and resentment build up is a surefire recipe for trouble. However,...
Introducing Women’s Wellness Corner
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in World of Psychology
Sometimes women’s issues get a short shrift — both in psychology and society. How women cope with stress, treatment strategies, and life can be very different than how men cope. Yet all too often researchers and clinicians clump the two genders together. Women lose out. That’s why I’m pleased to...
The Secret to Living with Treatment-Resistant Depression
By Therese J. Borchard in World of Psychology
You’d never suspect this by listening to pharmaceutical ads, but only one-third of people with major depression get better after trying an antidepressant. The others go on to try different drugs, or combinations of medicine and psychotherapy, and usually seven in 10 achieve remission. The other third? They are labeled...

Click to view this cartoonParadoxical Service And A Self-Contradictory Therapy
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
Who is at Fault:
It’s a matter of Perspective

By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
From time to time, you may have had thought if you did X then a person would react in a predictable, desirable, anticipated way. This reminds me of a client I was seeing. One day she brought flowers from her garden. This client took enormous pride in her prize winning roses and spent a great deal of care...
Lunch With No Hot Sauce
By Erica Loberg in Tales of Manic Depression
shutterstock_78443332Well, I started taking a new medication for depression. So far, so good, until bam, lunch with no hot sauce. I was at lunch with a new coworker and was trying to put hot sauce on my sandwich and my hands started shaking. Everyone at work knows I’m bipolar which causes me to be paranoid to begin with. Now I have...
Girl Declared “Brain-Dead”, Jahi McMath, Is Alive And Responsive
By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski in Therapy Soup
1152277_90340870Sam Schmid‘s is a college student who returned from a “brain-dead” coma. Cases including that of Steven Thorpe, a teen who “came back” after being declared brain dead by four medical experts, as well as Terri Schiavo and Karen Quinlan who were both pulled off life support (and in Terri Schiavo’s situation, that life support consisted of...
How I find serenity while staring depression in the eye
By Christine Stapleton in Depression on My Mind
Sometimes, it is the juxtaposition of the acutely mundane and profoundly sad that makes “it” all the more painful. The folding of the laundry, inserting the key into the ignition or even eating seems so ridiculous when it is stacked against immense sadness and grief. It is going from one absolute extreme to another at the speed of light that takes the wind out of you, mentally and physically. Frankly,...
Guest Post:
Tips for Writing Notes Part 3 – Putting It All Together with a Template

By Kelly Higdon, LMFT in Private Practice Kickstart
Blog 1Guest Post by Dr. Maelisa Hall. This is part 3 of a 3 part series on clinical documentation. Now that we’ve covered the mindset needed for good clinical notes, let’s get to the technical part- templates. I recommend every therapist pick a template they...
What Life Has In Common With An Ultra-Marathon
By Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT in Leveraging Adversity
shutterstock_155742908Recently, while traveling to Greece with my husband who competes in the grueling 153 mile race known as the Spartathlon every year, I began to wonder if the runners who compete in this race every year — and there are several who consider this race a yearly tradition — share some set of superhuman characteristics. They are, after all, an extreme,...
This Is What Depression Feels Like
By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
depressed girlToday I am depressed. It started yesterday – the fatigue, the extreme irritability. I just thought I was crabby, but then I woke up this morning and my old friend, Depression, was lying in bed next to me. I got up and took care of the dogs (as I always do despite my many moods). Then I went back...
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...
Self-Care Sunday 10.19.14
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
Unrepeatable quote, BN, october 2014 In this new series I share links to all kinds of posts, which explore taking kinder care of ourselves — from appreciating our bodies to getting to know ourselves better to expressing our creativity (which goes hand in hand with self-discovery) to feeling our feelings to saying no to saying yes to savoring supportive,...
Getting Grit
By Linda & Charlie Bloom in Building Relationship Skills
amesjumpThis is the second installment of our two part series on “Grit”, defined by Webster as “indomitable spirit; resourceful courage and daring in the face of difficulty.” In case you’re wondering about what in the world would be sufficiently challenging to require such great strength of will and intention, the answer, which probably won’t surprise you, is “Relationships”....
A Common Sense Definition of Common Sense
By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. in 360 Degrees of Mindful Living
shutterstock_121574566I’d like to offer you, arguably, an uncommon definition of common sense.  A definition that I myself refer to as “a common sense definition of common sense.” Common sense is (literally) what can be commonly sensed. Not thought or felt but sensed.  If you and I are both sensing (seeing) a sunrise, that’s something that we are commonly sensing (by way...
Pushed to Excel
By Douglas Eby in The Creative Mind
“I push people beyond what’s expected of them. I believe that is an absolute necessity.” Whiplash-movieHow much does forceful mentoring help students achieve excellence, and when does it become abusive? Those issues are part of the movie Whiplash, apparently named after the jazz standard by Hank Levy. The quote above is by acclaimed teacher Terence Fletcher...
Hope for Anxiety
By Donna M. White, LPC/I, CACI in Women's Wellness Corner
I remember my first anxiety attack like it was yesterday. Convinced I was dying, I asked my husband to call 9-1-1. EMS arrived shortly after, monitored me for a while, and told me I would be okay. At the time I wasn’t sure if they were idiots, or just liars. The next time it happened, I was at work. I...
5 Ways To Discover Your Inner Truth
By Mike Bundrant in NLP Discoveries
hugs from a young womanWhen you live with awareness of your inner truth, you are living your best possible life. It’s a shame that we so often overlook what’s deep inside of ourselves, in pursuit of external validation. We crave possessions and worldly success. We crave validation from others. Our attention is ever diverted away from what’s going on inside....
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Coupled with Bipolar Disorder
By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
ocd manChecking the locks. That is the new thing. Lock the door. Walk away. Walk back. Wiggle the handle. Move on. Not only am I beautifully bipolar, but I live with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as well. I can’t describe to you how good it feels to wash my hands. Sometimes I start and I just can’t stop. It feels...
Want To Be Mentally Tough? Stop Doing These Five Things
By Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT in Leveraging Adversity
shutterstock_216767203There are a lot of ways to get stronger. Adding more resistance, adversity, or stress is one way, learning how to adapt to the challenge is another, and adopting dialectical thinking (see blog post 9/23/14) is another. Yet for all of these ways to get stronger, without removing the obstacles in our own approach to adversity, we will see little gain....
20 Ways You Might Be Punishing Yourself
By Mike Bundrant in NLP Discoveries
self -punishmentMany issues we face would make much more sense if we simply admitted up front that we feel we deserve to be punished. And our various problem behaviors and feelings serve that purpose. Seriously. At least we’d be starting from a practical and productive place. Instead, most of us start to solve personal problems by complaining. Then we play an...
The Critical Ingredient to Success in Your Career, Relationships, and Your Life
By Linda & Charlie Bloom in Building Relationship Skills
Creative Commons License Jackie Martinez (#31103)mark sebastian via CompfightMy friend Tony had always wanted to be police officer.  Even as a child Tony’s dream was to wear the uniform, and proudly serve the community.  The only...
Feeling Bad? Maybe Your Boundaries Are Being Crossed
By Cherilynn Veland, LCSW, MSW in Psychology of Women
Boundaries are imperative for leading a well-balanced life. If you’re feeling the squeeze of boundary pushers and crossers, it might help to try what I call the 167909146_bdb8682d54_zFirewall Strategy. Build your own firewall — a strong mental boundary.  A firewall separates your stuff from someone else’s malevolent intentions. Computers use a firewall to protect against virus attacks. It works much...
Pushed to Excel – Part 2
By Douglas Eby in The Creative Mind
Lang LangContinued from Part 1 What does creative excellence take? In his article How to Win American Idol, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman refers to research by Rena Subotnik and Linda Jarvin, who “interviewed over 80 top students at different stages of their musical careers and identified the traits important to succeed at every stage on the...
An Atlas of Angst
By Will Meecham, MD, MA in Peace, Love and Childhood Adversity
Diego-homem-black-sea-ancient-map-1559Continuing the theme of societal expectations and my failure to satisfy them, I write today from a more detached perspective. At the moment, it doesn’t seem to me like everything ‘they’ tell us is wrong, but I do believe society hands out a map for life that is supposed to lead us to contentment but instead points us toward...
#121 Communicating Outside the Box
By Ellen Toronto, Ph.D. in See-Saw Parenting
shutterstock_130843658Remember those ghosts in the nursery I was talking about? Well, those who have gone before us have an uncanny way of remaining with us. We pick up their mannerisms, their walk, their likes and dislikes—all without any words being spoken. Okay. So how does this happen? It happens because human beings are always communicating with other human beings. We...
Making the Most of Your Hospital Stay
By Lisa Keith, Psy.D. in Bipolar Lifehacks
  159 by "Me and the sysop"159 by “Me and the sysop” Taken by Ambulance Let’s be frank: to be 5150’d or to check yourself into a mental health hospital is one of the scariest things to do to save your life. But when done, it will make the difference between living and dying.  ...
Bullying Starts in Families and Spreads Like Cancer
By Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. in Psychoanalysis Now
shutterstock_165173336Often these days the subject of bullying comes up in the context of prejudice. For example, during the last Presidential election former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was accused of bullying a fellow student during his youth, a student who was perceived to be different and possibly homosexual. When bullying is seen in this context, it becomes a simplistic victim syndrome....
Candidates as Wedding Dresses:
Why Does Only This Ad Get Mocked?

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
shutterstock_109777886Single women are not evenhanded when it comes to their political preferences. They vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Republicans have noticed, and in an attempt to attract more of them to the GOP, they created a series of ads. I wonder if they thought long and hard about what kind of message would appeal to single women voters. What they came up...
The Autumn Of An ADHD Life
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
Life is starting to feel matured ... even if I'm notLife is starting to feel matured … even if I’m not I have no idea if I’m in the autumn of my life, in ways it really feels like I am, but in other ways it still feels like spring for me. It’s...
You’re Only Hurting Yourself
By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
shutterstock_188024033People do self-destructive acts all the time.  Sometimes it’s because they don’t realize they’re doing it (self-sabotage, where your unconscious is driving the car) or because they don’t see an alternative (cutting, for example, releases endorphins and offers immediate relief from pain.)  Here are some questions to ask yourself, in order to recognize your patterns and begin healing.1)  Do you...
Are You an Invisible Hero?
By Jonice Webb in Childhood Emotional Neglect
  InvisibleThe world is full of Invisible Heroes. People who are changing the world. People who do not realize how courageous they are. Quiet, unsung Emotional Warriors, who avoid the spotlight, even though they should have it. How do I know this? I meet them every day. The truth is you may be one yourself. Maybe you’ve never saved anyone...
Could Everything ‘They’ Tell Us Be Wrong?
By Will Meecham, MD, MA in Peace, Love and Childhood Adversity
Bonneville_Salt_Flats_001Why should I let others define what’s important for my life? Do they know better? Or if they know better, does what they know apply to me? More and more, I’m thinking not. I’m thinking that what society values is not what I value. I’m thinking that what our culture considers a successful life doesn’t apply to my own trajectory,...



In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
-- Albert Einstein
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