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 cartoonHow Taking Action Can Change Your Future
From Donna Barstow's Quick Fix
(click on cartoon for larger image).

How to Lower Your Holiday Stress
By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D in World of Psychology
It’s holiday time. In addition to everything else you have to do, you now have shopping, decorating, wrapping, entertaining, organizing, cleaning and cooking to tend to. Why does life have to be so hectic? Why can’t the celestial stars align in a more efficient way? With perfect timing, you know...
Gone but not Gone: Robin Williams’s Legacy of Love, Not Sadness
By Sarah Newman, MA in World of Psychology
Robin Williams died long before the winter chill settled in, but there is a new movie coming out this Christmas that will feature him once again. When I saw the trailer for “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” with Robin Williams playing Theodore Roosevelt and being his usual...
7 Ways to Manage Mixed Emotions During the Holidays
By Eve Hogan in World of Psychology
As the holiday season is now in full swing, I can’t help but observe the swing of emotions — mine and that of those all around me. On one hand, there is the child-like delight of magical holiday lights and decorations. Regardless of a “bah hum bug” mindset, it is...

Click to view this cartoonSuicide: Treatment for Suicidal Thoughts
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
It’s Jesus’ Birthday, But What About Mary? (A Postpartum Depression Discussion)
By Kelley Smith in Mixed Bag of Mental Health
mangerIf there was ever a prime candidate for a postpartum depression poster child, Mary (as in “Jesus’ mommy”, which is how my kids describe her) would be at the top of the list.  Whether you regard the biblical story as fact or as fantasy, you’ve got to admit: Mary had all the cards stacked against her.   Mary didn’t choose to become...
The ONLY Commitment Strategy You Will Ever Need!
By Andrei Nana in Commitment Strategies
no exit photoPhoto by ell brown We all have different goals we wish to reach in life. Some of the goals are to be attained at some...
A Guide to Practicing Self-Acceptance
By Dr. Larry Berkelhammer in In Your Own Hands
SisyphusSisyphus For those of us who have spent a lifetime rejecting our inner experiences, it’s not easy to change. When we form long-term habits of doing that, it can seem like a Sisyphean task to change and start practicing healthier responses. But experts in the field have found effective ways to accomplish this. Countless people have...
7 Tips on How to Survive Christmas Dinner
By Erica Loberg in Tales of Manic Depression
I’m just gonna cut straight to the chase. Christmas dinner can be ROUGH. Once you sit down with your loved ones, it is game time. Here are seven tips to help get through the Christmas feast, or fiasco, or whatever you want to call it: One: Being put on the spot When a conversation that you are not...
5 Year-Ending Questions to Ask Yourself
By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
As one year ends, it’s important to take stock. That New Year’s resolution will never stick if you don’t.   So here are some questions to ask yourself about your mental health, your relationships, and your future.  Ready, set, go! (as my almost three-year-old loves to say.) 1)  What’s my baseline mood state? On a typical day, are you feeling reasonably...
NFL Injuries Leading to Medication Abuse
By Richard Taite in The Science of Addiction
NFL Injuries Leading to Medication Abuse Many people addicted to prescription medications do not think that they have a problem. These addictions often begin as an injury. Few realize how quickly dependency can spiral out of control. NFL injuries are treated with pain medications by team doctors. Are the players being responsibly medicated? Are they treated in ways that are...
How to Tell If Your Therapist is Impatient
By Sara Staggs, LICSW, MPH in After Trauma
DSC06685Monday’s post described how perfectionism can prevent clients from getting the most out of therapy. But the drive for results affects therapists as well. I remember spending many supervisions explaining why a client wasn’t improving quickly enough, only to have my supervisor remind me to be patient. When sitting with someone in pain, who hasn’t wanted to...
The Power of Online Presence: Facebook Brings Australian Parenting Expert Elly Taylor International Opportunities
By Julie Hanks, LCSW in Private Practice Toolbox
  Discover how some very successful mental health professionals use blogging, social media, and other technologies as powerful tools for their therapy practices. Elly Taylor, AARC, is an Australian Relationship Counsellor, Parenthood Researcher and advocate for emotional health. She teaches parents and professionals about the eight stages of early parenthood following pregnancy so...
A Review of a Review of Paul Brunton’s Book on Meditation
By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. in 360 Degrees of Mindful Living
Paul Brunton - a British philosopher, mystic, traveller - a mind to learn fromPaul Brunton – a British philosopher, mystic, traveller – a mind to learn from With a few minutes to kill before the day starts, I go to Amazon to post a review of Paul Brunton’s very excellent “Notebook 4″ on meditation (which...
How Trauma Work Best Occurs in Addiction Treatment (Part One)
By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S in Sex and Intimacy
How Trauma Work Best Occurs in Addiction Treatment (Part One)What Is Trauma? My esteemed colleague, Dr. Christine Courtois, provides a brief definition of trauma in her new book, It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You, writing: “Trauma is any event or experience (including witnessing) that is physically and/or psychologically overwhelming to the exposed individual.” She then notes...
6 Ways Helping Others Helps Addicts Recover
By Linda Hatch, PhD in The Impact of Sex Addiction
helping othersAddicts are afraid of other people. Sex addiction has been aptly described as an intimacy disorder, a disorder resulting from an avoidance of intimacy and a compartmentalization of one’s life and one’s sense of self. and their early life experience typically makes them feel unlovable and unable to be themselves around other people. Addicts deal with this dilemma by...
Understanding Movement Disorders:
What Are Dystonias?

By Támara Hill, MS in Caregivers, Family & Friends
  sad woman photoPhoto by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ Severe mental illness can be one of the most difficult situations for both the victim and the family to cope with. There are a host...
Three Weight Loss Obstacles You’ve Probably Never Considered
By Mike Bundrant in NLP Discoveries
weight loss obtacles   Making plans to lose weight is the easy part. Applying those plans consistently is what really matters. The primary obstacles to consistently applying your plan to lose weight aren’t about knowing what to do. They’re emotional. Read on to discover three obstacles you should consider as you implement your weight loss plan. Weight Loss Obstacle...
16 Things To Do When You Finish Your Screenplay
By David Silverman, MA, LMFT in Hollywood Therapy
1.  Celebdomrate.  Finishing a project like this is a huge deal in your life.  It’s emotionally exhausting. Take time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished.   Celebrate with someone close to you who understands how important this event is.  Reward yourself.  Fly to Paris. 2. You may want to register your script with the Writer’s Guild, or copyright the project.  You’ve got...
How fear destroys creativity and what to do about it.
By Diana C. Pitaru, M.S., L.P.C. in Unleash Your Creativity
How fear destroys creativity We are all born creative, to various degrees. The innovations and inventions past and present have been brought to life by people like you and me. Well, maybe not entirely like us, because our unique environment and experiences always set us apart and change our perception of the world. So why is it that even...
Uncovering Happiness:
Four Questions that Can Transform Your Life

By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
When it comes to our self-critical thinking, Byron Katie has created a brilliant set of four questions to free us from our negative depressive minds. For example, if you say, “I’m such leavesinhandcrpd an idiot,” we ask 1) Is it true? 2) Is it absolutely true? 3) What happens when you believe that thought? and 4) Who would you be without...
Passing the Cemetery
By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
dandelionsNot too far from my house is a cemetery, less than a mile. I don’t normally see it, trees block it from the main road, but when I come home the “back way,” I pass it. I look out my driver’s side window at all the colorful flowers. Sometimes there will be an awning up because that particular day is...
A Reflection of Our Actions

By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly,his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” To his surprise, hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?” Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!” He...
Creating A Supportive Daily Ritual
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
pomegranate candle from mama, november 2014 When life gets busy and overwhelming and hard, it’s the simple and small rituals that can ground us. That can serve as an anchor. That can remind us of what is important. Of what is us. Rituals become familiar actions, gestures we can lean on. They can calm us. They can help us...
How to overcome feelings of guilt
By Diana C. Pitaru, M.S., L.P.C. in Unleash Your Creativity
Overcoming guilt I have an issue with how we use the word “should”. I’ve been battling with its’ influence for over 10 years consciously, and have struggled with it for most of my life. Maybe you too have been in the same boat, if not consciously then unconsciously. In the moments I was feeling frustrated I would say that...
How To Divorce A Narcissist (Dr. Karyl McBride)
By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski in Therapy Soup
will-i-ever-be-free-of-you-9781476755694_lgC.R. writes: In Will I Ever Be Free Of You, Karyl McBride, PhD, author of the national bestseller Will I Ever Be Good Enough, has created the compact but thorough guide to successfully handling and surviving a divorce—if you’re married to a narcissist. Those whose lives have been helped with Karyl McBride’s previous book will not be surprised...
Go Away Winter Blues
By Cherilynn Veland, LCSW, MSW in Psychology of Women
winterimage “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” ~ Victor Hugo I used to hate the winters here in Chicago. I still talk about them like I hate them because it makes for good comedy, me being from the Deep South where I did not even own a wool sweater!  I am cold here...
Are You Letting Joy or Stress Dictate Your Holiday Season?
By Joe Wilner in Your Best Self
candy cane heart “Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell Sometimes holiday stress overrides our joy. We get caught up with decorating, buying gifts, and the plethora of other overwhelming holiday expectations. We miss out on the daily pleasure and joyful opportunities all around us because stress is taking precedence....
How Mindful Children React Differently to Challenges (Illustrated)
By Renee Jain, MAPP in Stress Better
Growing up, I was a firecracker. I reacted quickly to situations and never hesitated to express my “passionate” opinions. This often led to hurt feelings. I remember once, after a heated discussion with my brother, he asked my parents to put a coffee filter over my mouth to “keep the yucky stuff inside.” My dad later took me aside and said, “Renee, you need to think before you speak. You’re going to hurt people...
Learn to Let Go This Holiday Season
By Alicia Sparks in Your Body, Your Mind
ChristmasOrnaments.jpg For some reason, this holiday season hasn’t been the best for my family. Frankly, we can’t seem to get our sh*t together. Who’s going where? Who’s cooking what? Did we finally decide what to get Mom? ARE YOU SERIOUSLY GOING TO A FOOTBALL BOWL GAME THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE?! Of course, deep down we...
UN-Resolutions for 2015
By Lisa Keith, Psy.D. in Bipolar Lifehacks
Photo by Sarah J on FlickrPhoto by Sarah J on Flickr Reflecting As the year comes to an end, I pause to reflect on things: work, writing, church, family and life in general. What am I doing, and what does it all mean? What’s next? Is this all there is?   Those of us with...
How Marriage Undermines Equality Among Harvard Faculty
By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
In my last post here, I critiqued a study published in the Harvard Business Review on the ever-popular topic of why fewer women than men reach the positions of greatest power in the workplace. My problem was that the article only addressed the experiences of married people, especially if they were married with children. Around the same time, Harvard...
Human Growth Hormone Therapy and Potential for Abuse
By Jerry Nelson in One Sober Life
  Human Growth Hormone With the recent announcement that the National Football League and the player’s union have reached an agreement on improvements to existing policies, human growth hormone (HGH) use is back in the news. The agreement will allow for testing of HGH and provide for neutral arbitration for appeals. Besides allowing for testing of HGH, the agreement also...
ADHD, It’s A Wonderful Life
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
You say ADHD is wonderful?You say ADHD is wonderful? It’s that time of year again. Wild spending on food and decorations and gifts for people to help celebrate whatever it is you and your family celebrate. And traditions, oh the traditions. Dishes to prepare, songs to be sung, visits to share, stockings to...



I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
-- Pablo Picasso
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