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).

7 Tips to Make Healthy Eating Habits Easier
By Gretchen Rubin in World of Psychology
Many people were very intrigued by my interview with behavioral scientist Brian Wansink and his ideas. He studies eating behavior and consumer habits, and has a book that just came out: Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life. I asked him for some of his top tips, and he gave me...
Psych Central Community Connection a Winner in Text, Talk, Act Contest
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in World of Psychology
Psych Central and our affiliated non-profit organization, the Psych Central Community Connection, have partnered with the National Dialogue on Mental Health, the White House initiative started in 2013 to help increase the national discussion about mental illness, treatment and general mental health. Creating Community Solutions, who is also part of...
The Power of Kindness
By Michael Hedrick in World of Psychology
The last few months have been hard for me. I’ve had some issues with depression and paranoia. Living with schizophrenia is a rollercoaster and even little blips can turn into crises. This depression, though, has had me feeling a deep sense of loneliness. The paranoia makes me feel ostracized from...

Click to view this cartoonParadoxical Service And A Self-Contradictory Therapy
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
With 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...
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...
In Defense of Pessimism:
It Really Can Be a Good Thing

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
Happiness 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
ADHD On Standby
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
Am I under control?Am I under control? My stereo has three modes, on, off, and standby. When it’s off, it is right off. When it’s on, and when I manage to have the right combination of controls in the right place, it plays music, news, sports, and weather for me. When it’s on...
Top 5 Myths about Mindfulness Meditation
By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
Do you know the myths about mindfulness and what is true or false about this swelling revolution? Take a look at what I think are the top five myths about Note: There are plenty more, but I thought these top the charts. Myth #1: Mindfulness if for taking a time-out from life, quieting the mind and reducing stress. ...
Coping with Fear and Uncertainty

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP in Healing Together for Couples
Something very different happens to us when we face an epidemic as opposed to a natural disaster.cemetery When a natural disaster hits, there is anxiety, and traumatic loss but such events have a clear beginning and end. Natural disasters are devastating but there are few unknowns. With the collective loss, there is often collective care and support. In the aftermath...
Coping With A Mental Health Crisis:
Using Effective Skills

By Támara Hill, MS in Caregivers, Family & Friends
crisisPhoto Credit: BartekAmbrozik Crisis. What comes to mind when you hear this term? Do you think of natural disasters such as hurricanes, national health concerns like the Ebola virus, personal struggles such as a divorce or failed relationship, or...
Who is at Fault:
It’s a matter of Perspective

By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
shutterstock_121017127From 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 and...
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...



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