Three Universal Questions To Ask Ourselves During Rosh Hashana

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Earth_Eastern_HemisphereThis Wednesday night through Friday, Jewish people the world over will observe the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, literally translated as the Head of the Year.

The Jewish New Year is quite different from other New Years—though there are festive meals rich with tradition, Rosh Hashana is primarily spent in lengthy prayer, meditation, and self-reflection.

Many people take upon themselves a day or two of limiting or even refraining from trivial conversation, in order to better connect with the spiritual potential inherent in these days.

But whether we limit chatter or not, self-reflection is something every New Year observer is encouraged to engage in. But, self-reflection can feel static unless it involves the process of questioning and answering.

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Good Vibrations: Relaxing Music & Sound Therapy In Addiction Treatment

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

122910_8053Dr. Harry Henshaw discusses the powerful relaxation effects of music and sound therapy:

Less Anxiety, Better Decisions

When those in recovery from addiction learn how to reduce stress and manage anxiety, their ability to make better decisions increases.

Being able to make better decisions helps addicts in recovery stay in therapy that’s working. It also helps them put in place the support systems they need to help them prevent relapse. A range of relaxation techniques is an important part of addiction treatment.

For several years, I’ve been using an extremely effective method of helping clients reduce anxiety—music and sound therapy.

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For Men: Old-School Tips For A Happy Marriage

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Wedding_ringsOld fashioned and out of touch?

Then, how come when many women confide, they often say what they want is a little old-fashioned love and old-school values?

If you want your marriage to last and be happy, it requires a lot of work. But the rewards are eternal.

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7 Picture Books That Can Help Adults & Teens Talk About Their Feelings

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

899943_11533756For many adults and adolescents, picture books are a way to connect with the children in their lives.

For others, the picture books they loved as children feels nostalgic, moving them to wistful remembrance.

But sometimes, picture books can be a helpful tool.

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Can Vaping & E-Cigarettes Lead To Drug Abuse And Addiction?

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

InventorSVMichECE-cigarettes have many fans—apparently, with good reason. As reported at PsychCentral News, “vaping” seems a boost to quitting smoking.

But some evidence seems to show that the smokeless e-cigarettes may be in some ways just like regular cigarettes—in effect, what researchers call a “gateway drug.”

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12 Ways To Help Your Child’s Back-To-School Jitters From A Pediatric OT

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

5istock_000010621773smallColleague and friend, Occupational therapist Miriam Manela of, offers 12 helpful suggestions to help your child deal with back-to-school fears and anxiety. (Number 8 is my favorite).

Back-to-school fears and anxiety can occur at any age, especially when children are transitioning to a new school or new school building. Help your child cope with his or her fears with a variety of simple strategies.

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Letter To A Former Guru, Circa 1986

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Dirt Road with Maple Trees in Winter SunriseShared recently:

I’ve been reading a lot about depression and buddhism (especially zen) on Psychcentral and other places.

It prompted me to write a letter to my former buddhist meditation teacher (circa 1986).

Dear G,

I remember what you said:

That we must buckle down and accept that life has no intrinsic meaning.

That we should just experience and seek bliss because that’s the only valid experience of enlightenment.

That the body is an illusion.

That the soul is an illusion.

That money and ownership were illusions, too.

You said you were above greed, but you weren’t.

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Consciousness Moves To Another Universe At Death

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

670217main_image_2314_800-600A God In Therapy conversation…

Is science catching up with Jewish mystical wisdom?

Quantum theory proves that consciousness moves to another “Universe” at death, say scientists.

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The Incredible Brain-Gut Link & Your Diet

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

570271_58049039By now, we all know that our digestive tracts are packed with beneficial and not-so-beneficial bacteria that form part of our inner habitat.

What you may not know is that these bacteria act on and influence a range of seemingly strictly-mental functions.

The latest: A new study, reported here on PsychCentral, shows that the bacteria in our guts actually influence which foods we choose to eat. These bacteria outnumber our own cells as much as 100 to one,  and scientists believe they send out signal molecules, telling our brains what they prefer to munch on.

“Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” said Carlo Maley, Ph.D., director of the UCSF Center for Evolution and Cancer and corresponding author on the paper.

“There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not.”

“The good news is that it goes both ways, and the bacteria is easily altered. We can influence the compatibility of these microbes by deliberating changing what we eat,” Maley said, “with notable changes within 24 hours.” (Source:

Is it possible that our guts influence our brains in unexpected ways? A while back we blogged about a possible link between diet and nosebleeds. And we have often blogged about diet and mental health, such as this post on diet and schizophrenia.

You can read about autism expert, Dr. Martha Herbert, who believes that the brain-gut is very involved in autism and that deciphering its messages are essential to finding a cure.

Your Diet

Mind, body and soul are important in the treatment of any health issue, whether it be mental or physical—staying aware of this can be a challenge. Doing your own, personalized test is one way to determine if what you eat is related to your symptoms.

Trudy Scott’s original gluten-free challenge helps you determine if gluten is causing symptoms such as anxiety, exhaustion, mental-fog or even depression. But, you can test for any other food or nutrient using the same method.

1. Get rid of one suspect food from your diet and avoid it in any form for a period of one to two weeks.

2. Add that food back in for two meals in a row. Chart reactions over the course of 48 hours.

3. If you have a reaction, go off the food again.

Sometimes, just staying off a symptom-increasing food for a month or so may prime your body to be able to accept it in small doses in the future.

Advice About Therapy, Religion, And You

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

961731_57760319“…higher levels of belief in God were associated with greater psychological well-being,” reports PsychCentral professional blog on a study about belief in God and treatment outcomes.

“Religious affiliation (eg, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish) had no impact on treatment response, and neither belief in God nor religious affiliation were correlated with the level of symptoms prior to treatment; in other words, belief in God did not “protect” against more severe psychiatric symptoms.”

It was belief in God in general that showed improved treatment outcomes.

I’m not surprised.

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by Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

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