Archives for Trauma

Addiction

Are Our Emotions Cranked To 11?

Have you been watching "Downton Abbey" like the rest of us?

Think about the Dowager Countess of Grantham, marvelous Maggie Smith. When she doesn’t like something, she gets a face like a cat that’s smelled something bad. And you get the message.

If you read authors like Edith Wharton and Jane Austin, you know there’s not a lot of bellowing and stomping around. Hearts are broken, fortunes lost, people became ill, or bereaved, despondent...
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Cognition

When You Can’t Stop Thinking About It

A friend was recently robbed at gunpoint on a dark street. She’s a little bruised from being pushed around, but she's generally OK. However, she says, she can’t stop thinking about it and wishes she could.

Not unusual. In the psychological literature, that’s called repetitive thought, and it can be a bad thing except when it’s a good thing.

As you probably already know, trying to suppress a thought is pointless—that old “don’t think about a...
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Friends

Worshiping at the Shrine of a Really Good Shrink

I put myself into psychotherapy for the first time when I was a teenager, and have returned at various times over the years when I’ve been overwhelmed by whatever.

But when a friend compared my attitude about therapy to a fundamentalist’s attitude towards religion—implying that it is unyielding and intolerant of questioning—my feelings were hurt.

Eventually, though, I had to concede that she had a point.

My belief in therapy, as long as the therapist is worth a...
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General

How Can Psychologists Help Immediately After Trauma?

Along with everyone else, I have been watching with horror and heartbreak the news from Japan. The images grow increasingly startling: cars, trucks and buildings swept away by the powerful wave, people on roofs watching, stunned, as the water rises, an elderly woman being rescued after days trapped in a car.

But I am stopped by a photograph on the CNN website of a young woman wrapped in a pink blanket and standing amid rubble. (You...
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