Currently Browsing: Health and Wellness

Self Help Through Psychedelic Experiences

Many people are reading and hearing about the therapeutic use of psychedelic medicines like MDMA and psilocybin. Michael Pollan’s book on the subject has ignited an interest ..along with numerous podcasts and films celebrating the use of psychedelics to help with emotional problems. I visited a meetup group and took note of the number of people attending who had used these drugs to help themselves. I would like to add several notes of caution here. The research results that are cited are a result of careful screening; preparation for the experience; controlled conditions in a medical setting; ...

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Anxiety: Learning to manage

anxiety

The anxious brain

Anxiety...

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Retirement: A Major Transition

Retirement is a major life transition, as life-changing as having a new baby or getting married. All major life transitions, even those we have anticipated and hoped for are stressful. Leaving the world of school and student life and entering the workforce is a major life change that we may have forgotten about. We adjust ourselves to work throughout the years with a limited amount of free time and learn how to navigate the systems of our workplace, to advance ourselves and reach certain goals. Our lives are more continuous and similar from season to season. Typical planning for retirement consists...

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The Four Cornerstones of Happiness

Recently I read a theory of happiness ( based on research studies) that summarized and discussed the four most important areas that contribute to feeling happy. I have found this to be very useful in the therapy that I do and would like to share this with you. The four attributes that seemed to contribute most to feelings of satisfaction and well-being in life were the following: competence,autonomy, connection and security.

COMPETENCE: It is important to feel like a productive and competent person who has something to contribute in life. Having a talent or working hard to develop a skill...

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Does self-help work?

Many people will engage in a period of self-help before they will consider calling for a therapy appointment.
Sometimes self-help works well and sometimes it is actually harmful. The current estimate is that about 5% of people who engage in self-help endeavors end up being harmed by them. The greatest harm is done because of the following:

1. Unrealistic expectations that do not function as promised. The best-seller “The Secret” could easily encourage someone to believe that all you have to do is visualize and it will come true. A positive vision is necessary but not...

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Grief and Grieving

When you have suffered a large loss, you will begin to undergo a process that can be described as a normal grief reaction. Grief is poorly understood in our society and is often not tolerated for long periods of time. The more you are able to allow yourself a normal grief reaction, the less likely you are to have prolonged or complicated grief reactions or sink into a depression. Many people confuse depression and grief because of the overlap of symptoms like fatigue or loss of pleasure in life. One way to distinguish the two is to notice that grief is “working” through and the feelings...

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Should I Use My Health Insurance for Therapy?

When you decide to see a licensed psychologist for therapy, you will have some choices to make about whether to use your health insurance if you have coverage. If your problem is serious and you cannot get treatment without the coverage, then the down side of using insurance is less important than the help you might get on a serious issue. In order to use insurance, it must be considered medically necessary and you will receive a diagnosis. Certain kinds of issues will not be covered with health insurance. For example, marriage counseling is rarely covered by insurance and many insurers will...

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Therapy in your 20’s and 30’s

One of the most important times in your life to seek therapy is in your 20’s and 30’s.This is the time that you are making those life decisions that will impact the course of your future. Here are just some of the questions that you are busy answering:
Should I get married and to whom?
Do I want children?
What should I do for work and an income?
Where should I live?
Why is my marriage such hard work? Is this the way it is supposed to be?
How close do I want to be to my parents?How much should I stand up to them?

As you can see, these are...

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American Psych Association Mental Health Blog Day: To the Caregivers

Mental Health Blog Party Badge

Today is mental health blog day for the American Psych Association and I am here today to extend compassion and understanding to all who are loving and caring for someone who has mental illness. There is still stigma involved in acknowledging that someone you are related to has symptoms of mental illness. Many adults who have family with mental problems feel as if it brings shame onto...

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Mental Illness and Violence

Our country is the only developed country that has mass murders perpetrated by young adults, college students, high school students and even some elementary school students. After one of these incidents such as the one in Tucson, there comes an outcry about mental illness and how the mentally ill need to be noticed, contained and treated in order to prevent violence. I agree that the mentally ill need to be treated but also feel the need to point out that the rates of violence in mentally ill populations are no higher than the rates of violence in non-mentally ill populations and are sometimes...

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