Archives for November, 2010

God in Therapy

Parenting Experts Say No to Religion, Spirituality

New research by psychologist Robert Epstein analyzes the makings of a good parent.

In an article in November’s Scientific American Mind  Dr. Epstein identifies 10 core competencies that make for a good parent—and good parenting.

The skills that good parents possess include: Ability to Give Love and Affection, Successful Stress Management, Having Good Relationship Skills (especially with the spouse/other parent), Fostering Autonomy and Independence, Stressing Education and Learning, Life Skills (which means providing for your child), Healthy Behavior Management, Practicing a Healthy Lifestyle, Support and Practice Spiritual/Religious Development, and Safety—Protecting Your Child.

After examining the evidence and the stereotypes held by both the experts (and even himself!), Dr. Epstein reaches the conclusion that “… if you really want to know about an individual’s competence as a parent, you should measure that competence directly rather than default to commonly held stereotypes.” (Pretty good advice in general, don't you think?)
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5 Tips for Getting Through Thanksgiving

For many, holidays are stressful. If you have bumpy relationships with family members it can cause your stress levels to sky rocket. If you’re unable to visit family for any reason or you simply don’t have family, holidays can trigger negative feelings and/or symptoms.

It’s important to be prepared when it seems like the whole world (except you) has somewhere warm and loving to be. (Remember though, it’s not true—there are plenty of people in the same shoes as you).

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Readers Write: Airport Body Scans and Pat Downs

Dear Readers,

Your comments and emails about the TSA body scans and pat downs confirmed our fears. Wow. The new shape of airport security is definitely traumatic for some of you and more than a little worrisome for others.

Some of you are no longer flying, some of you fly but find it traumatizing, and some of you are taking tranquilizers in order to get through the ordeal.

If you fear these invasive searches and/or  have emotional issues that would be exacerbated by these searches (such as PTSD), you might consider writing about your concerns to the White House and the TSA.
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Fear of Flying Poll: Frustrating and Scary

With all the controversy over the new airport body scans and the thorough pat downs, those who are already seat-grippers in the air have a new reason to dread flying--invasive body searches and embarrassing images taken of their bodies.

Statistics show that the majority of people who have significant flying fears are women over the age of 25. Flying phobias are so common that an enormous industry has been built on the treatment of this fear! (Just Google "flying phobia").

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Flying Phobia

Airport Body Scans: Can They Traumatize?

Airport body scans are in the news and the stories (here, here, and here, for example) aren't pretty. Both men and women report feeling "violated" and "humiliated" and in addition to causing embarrassment and feelings of shame, there are also serious questions about the safety of the radiation people receive from the scans. keeps track of all the scan-related news on their blog.

Last night we were talking about the scans and we were pretty creeped out by what we had been hearing from friends as well as reading in the news. Sadly, questions of modesty aren't exactly de rigueur in the West and 2010, but surely personal privacy issues are relevant to most of us.

We jawed awhile and came up with some questions and not a few suppositions:
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God in Therapy

Nothingness and Emptiness in Kabbalah

Note: This is part of the God in Therapy series. We consistently use the non-PC term “God” and are referring to God in the traditional, Biblical way. This premise has to be laid out in order to build on and explain the following concepts with integrity to the sources, so you hopefully won’t see any equivocation in the language we use—we want to avoid tiptoeing so you don’t have to guess at our meaning. People are often surprised to learn traditional Jewish meditation, dating from some of the earliest Biblical times, actually stresses concepts usually attributed to Zen. Two of these are nothingness and emptiness. However, there is a major difference between Zen and Jewish mystical teachings.

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