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Archives for August, 2014


Letter To A Former Guru, Circa 1986

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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...
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The Incredible Brain-Gut Link & Your Diet

By 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...
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Advice About Therapy, Religion, And You

"...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."
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Contrary Mary & Denial of Mental Illness

Mary D., an incredibly intelligent, former high-school teacher, is in her early 50s and has been variously diagnosed with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and anti-social personality disorder.

My evaluation showed that she indeed had a significant number of symptoms of schizophrenia, enough to warrant two previous diagnoses.

But Mary denies that she is mentally ill. And, she can, at times, convince others, even doctors, that she is fine, especially on what she will admit to are "good days."

Several years ago...
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Cliff Hangers & Therapy Don’t Mix

*No matter what happens during a session, whether or not you resolve an issue, as the end of the session approaches, your therapist should “check in” with you and make sure you are feeling okay.

He may ask you to summarize your session by talking about your progress, discussing the accomplishments you made during the session, or exploring what you have achieved over the course of therapy so far. He may also summarize the session himself....
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Something’s Holding Me Back In Therapy…

*Sometimes, a patient will feel apathetic about therapy. Assuming the patient is working with a good therapist, and one who is right for him, the feelings of apathy could be a cover for feelings of anger and fear.

Sometimes uncovering your problems and seeing yourself more objectively can be scary. You might unconsciously quash these uncomfortable feelings by feeling, or convincing yourself that you feel, apathetic.
If you find yourself feeling
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