Do You Have To Tell Your Therapist In Person That You’re Leaving?

Dedicated, skilled, and caring therapists will, together with you, discuss the right time to end therapy. Usually they'll discuss it with you in the first few sessions so you can be prepared for about how long therapy might take. They'll share with you possible treatment time-frames, and together you'll decide how to proceed.

Your therapist and you will schedule regular progress check-ins, every few sessions or even once per session, and assess how effective the therapy is for you. If it isn't after a reasonable period of time, a responsive therapist will try other approaches with you or might even suggest a different therapist.

But suppose that you decide your therapist isn't for you and you are planning to leave therapy, either to work with someone else or because you feel you no longer need therapy—what should your course of action be?
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The Deeper Meaning Of Blame Vs. Punishment In The Brain

C. R. writes: A recent study from Vanderbilt University seems to show that blame and punishment are decided by two different parts of the brain:
Juries in criminal cases typically decide if someone is guilty, then a judge determines a suitable level of punishment. New research confirms that these two separate assessments of guilt and punishment -- though related -- are calculated in different parts of the brain. In fact, researchers have found that they can disrupt and change one decision without affecting the other.
—Vanderbilt University. "How your brain decides blame and punishment, and how it can be changed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2015.
This is both fascinating and timely!

Ten Important Days
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Goals and Objectives

7 Emotional Insights Borrowed From The Jewish New Year

The observance of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year begins next Sunday night. Although it is a Jewish holiday, we are also celebrating the anniversary of the Creation of the first human being, Adam.

We believe that Rosh Hashana has universal relevance and messages for all humankind.

Beginnings are important, essential even. How we spend the New Year influences our entire year. Here are just a few important emotional insights from Rosh Hashana.
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Is Psychology Doomed? The Problem With Psychological Research

Richard's off, C.R. writes:

"Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test."

So states a Guardian article about a recent study in the journal, Science, "which saw 270 scientists repeat experiments on five continents, [and which] was launched by psychologists in the US in response to rising concerns over the reliability of psychology research."

Why is this important and why should you care?
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Here We Goooo! The Ol’ Liberal-Conservative Debate

We're more than a year away from the Presidential election, but the debates are heating up.

No, not that kind of debate, but the debate about the psychology of liberals vs. conservatives.

Spoiler alert: We think the answer to the question of who is smarter, kinder, and more moral TOTALLY depends on the political affiliation of the one running the study or giving the answer. :)

Seven must-read posts; fun and unique insights and opinions:
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Can The Effects Of Trauma Be Passed Down Generation To Generation?

Trauma Can Change Us

There is no doubt trauma changes us. When I (C.R.) was beginning graduate studies, my main focus was on what I call "legacy trauma."

Personal interviews and experience has shown me that the children of those who are not spiritually and emotionally healed from traumatic experiences seem to be likely to pass down a legacy of trauma through the generations. This legacy affects every aspect of their children's and grandchildren's lives, from how they respond to positive or negative "news" to how they show their love for each other.

I've seen this primarily with families of Holocaust survivors and this was to be my main research, but certainly other traumatic, national and personal events (my focus was on national, ethnic, etc.), from war in places like Sudan and Syria, to the Japanese earthquakes, to the Ring of Fire Tsunami, appears to leave survivors with a broad range of reactions, ranging from feelings of helplessness to developing suddenly acquired but abiding belief in God.

But are there actual physiological changes that lead to a genetic legacy?
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Do You Really Need To Talk About Your Past?

Does therapy absolutely require you to "talk about your past?" Do you need to "go down that road?"

My answer, adapted from Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On, may surprise you.

Your therapist will, beginning from the very first session, evaluate how you cope with problems and challenges. Where your coping skills aren’t as strong as they might be, a good therapist will teach you how to strengthen them. I believe that generally, only then, should your therapist ask your permission to go ahead and explore important events in your past.
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Just as some medical doctors aren’t in tune with the importance of recommending psychotherapeutic evaluations, some psychotherapists aren’t aware of the importance of recommending medical evaluations.

Sadly, I would say this is often the case. Illnesses that should be treated medically can sometimes masquerade as emotional problems.

For example, a condition such as mitral- valve prolapse (a common disorder where the valve between the heart's heart’s left upper chamber and the left lower chamber doesn't doesn’t close properly) can cause symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations.
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