Psych Central

Giving and Receiving as Counterparts of Generosity

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

Giving is considered intrinsic to generosity–be it the giving of money, time, understanding, or acts of kindness.

Receiving, on the other hand, is usually simply seen as getting something.

A closer look at giving and receiving from an interpersonal perspective invites us to consider that “ giving and receiving” are not separate events. They are counterparts that are inextricably connected.  There really is no true giving without receiving and no receiving without giving.

Women Going Beyond Social Drinking: Three Overlooked Factors

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

glass of wineIt is hard to deny that a group of women gathered for a shower, a book club, a planning session or just a Thursday night over good food and drinks isn’t one of life’s pleasures.

Experts would even weigh in with the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Studies have found that a glass of wine a day is heart healthy and a study in The New England Journal of medicine evaluating 12,000 women aged 70-81 found the moderate drinkers had 23% reduced mental decline compared with nondrinkers.

It is just as difficult, however, to deny the reality that women are increasingly doing more than social drinking.

Holiday Shopping or Compulsive Shopping? A Painful Difference

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

christmas shopping blogThe Holidays bring with them the joy of giving and the need to shop for the right gift for the right person. For the some 18 million compulsive shoppers, however, the holiday is but one more trigger to an addiction that ultimately brings far more pain than joy.

Forgiving Can Protect Your Health:Evidenced-Based Strategies

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

shaking handsThere are lots of reasons that we forgive.

To err is human; to forgive, divine. (Alexander Pope)

 An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind. (Kahil Gibran)

While many reasons are ingrained in our moral fiber and cultural roots, a more recent one has been the finding that forgiveness changes our emotional state and as such our physical well-being. Forgiving is a way to stay healthy.

The Importance of Recognizing Your Resiliency: Strategies

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

person climbingI was recently in a shop with a friend when a young man in his late twenties came in to get his hair cut. Friendly and likeable he was amusing the hairdresser with some stories of his birthday. It was not until he struggled to get the money out of his wallet, that I realized his hand was quite deformed. I was so struck by this positive young man that I said to my friend, “ I love his resilience.” I was very surprised when my friend replied, “ I envy it.”

Given that she had managed a considerable amount of anxiety over the course of the year while working and dealing with family loss, I was struck that she seemed unaware of her own resiliency.

Do you recognize your own resiliency?

Parents of Our Military: Supporting Their Care and Courage

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

new soldierOne group that is often forgotten in our recognition of the sacrifices of the men and women who serve our country is their parents.

Elizabeth Stone tells us that the decision to have a child is momentous.

“ It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”

The parents of military men and women know about this in a powerful and sometimes painful way.

The Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy: Strategies for Revisiting Natural Disaster

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

tree downWe are approaching the first Anniversary Event of Hurricane Sandy. As a hurricane that spanned many states making landfall on Oct 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy killed at least 117 people in the United States and 69 more in Canada and the Caribbean.

According to a report released by the National Hurricane Center, Sandy is expected to rank as the second-costliest tropical cyclone on record, after Hurricane Katrina of 2005.  Sandy is also the deadliest U.S. hurricane outside of the souther states since Hurricane Agnes of 1972.

Well beyond the official reports are the personal memories and stories of the surge, the floods, evacuations, red cross shelters, burning homes, unclean water, mounds of waster, erased communities, devastated shore lines, and millions without power, gas or the means to rebuild.

Resonating with those who have suffered from natural disasters throughout the country and the world, many victims of Hurricane Sandy are still on a journey of recovery.

Dealing With Cyberbullying: Online and Dangerous

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

Once again cyberbullying has resulted in the suicide of a child.girl in pain

This time the victim was Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old girl who was at times “terrorized” by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts.

Despite the fact that Rebecca’s parents changed her school, she, like other victims of cyberbullying, found that there was nowhere to hide. Cyberspace had become a dangerous place and cyberbullying had become lethal.

Read Your Way to Increased Female Sexual Desire:Findings

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

bookA recent cover of the New York Times Book Review invites, “ Let’s Read about Sex.”

For the 30-40 million women who seek help for lowered sexual desire…that may be a good idea.

  • Lowered sexual desire is the number one sexual complaint of women of all ages.
  • In most cases, women remember feeling differently and enjoying sex and often feel troubled or guilty that they no longer feel desire.
  • Many women wish they had the urge but they are too tired, annoyed, self-conscious, busy or uninterested to initiate.
  • Some oblige, some avoid. Many women wish their partner had the magic words to make them feel loved and cherished–as well as “ hot.”:

How Could Reading Possibly Help?

An Unrecognized Reason That Married Men Have Affairs

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

man on benchEvolutionary theory, gender differences, stereotype, media myth and cultural expectations invite us to recognize that men have more sexual desire than women both in frequency and intensity, are wired to have many partners, have more difficulty with monogamy and that as such, married men are more likely to have affairs than married women. The reality is that while married men have more affairs than married women –The difference is not that great.

  • In the largest most comprehensive poll of its kind in 1994, Edward Laumann and colleagues found that 20% of women and just over 31% of men in their 40’s and 50’s reported having sex with someone other than their spouses.
  • Young and Alexander in their 2012 book, The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex and the Science of Attraction accept a rough estimate of 30 to 40 percent infidelity in marriage for men and women.

The other reality is that while extra-marital affairs by definition involve a romantic and emotional relationship that has a sexual or sexualized component, research suggests that sexual drive is not the primary reason married men have affairs.

Healing Together

Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP & Dianne Kane, DSW are the authors of Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. Pick up the book today!

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