It is said that at least 1 in 4 Americans have a mental health diagnosis at any point during a year, and yet there is still so much stigma around mental illness.
Whether you or someone you love struggles from Post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts, cutting behaviors, an autism spectrum disorder, or any other kind of mental health problem, they are in good company.
A recent survey done by the American Psychological Association shows us that we are more stressed than ever. Anxiety is the most common mental health problem. If you can relate and find yourself wrangling with anxious thoughts and worries, you may be interested in 7 simple tips to manage stress.
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, now is as important as ever to get the word out about mental health and how to achieve it.
If you're interested in achieving greater mental health for yourself, you may be interested in learning how to find a therapist.
Further, more and more research is being added to the growing body of literature that shows we are as strong as our social connections. In fact, an emerging field of Interpersonal Neurobiology studies just that: Our identities and wellness as we relate to others.
While you're at it, please help spread the word to take the stigma out of mental illness, as we raise mental health awareness for all.
Thanks as always for reading!
Truly being in touch with yourself and knowing what's important to you is crucial in order to live your best life. If that requires a little time out and putting your own needs before others, some may consider that to be selfish. If that's the case, I'm all for selfishness, and wrote a piece on the importance of selfishness. Once you're in touch with your needs and desires, you'll be better able to express them to others, and will enjoy more authentic and meaningful relationships as a result. Just don't be a jerk while taking time out for yourself, and then selfishness may not be such a dirty word.
Related to the importance of being selfish, I share a little bit about my experience as a couples therapist on three common mistakes that so many people in relationships make. While these mistakes may be innocent in nature, they can have devastating effects on your relationship and keep you stuck in common patterns of disconnect.
My advice of the day for a better life is therefore to get more selfish, express your truth to the important people around you, and stop making these 3 common mistakes in your relationship.
Let me know your thoughts and how being a little more selfish works for you!
Celebrated by the Autism Society since the 1970s to spread awareness about autism and now autism spectrum disorders (ASD), April is National Autism Awareness Month.
Have you wondered about what early warning signs for autism are? Researchers are finding that screenings can be done earlier than previously believed, and a simple questionnaire can help identify children at-risk for autism as early as at their first birthday. This article discusses 7 red flags of autism and provides information about this easy questionnaire as well.
The good news is that earlier screening leads to earlier intervention. Because children's brains are so malleable when they are young, the earlier that services are introduced in a child's life, the better. Early intervention services for children with ASD can be very helpful and can reduce the negative outcomes that ASD has on someone's life. Read more about early intervention services by clicking here.
As a psychologist trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, I happen to see couples all of the time who are struggling with one of the common problematic relationship patterns in which one partner tends to shut down and withdraw.
I also see a lot of women in my practice who complain that their partners are shut down, and they start the process of psychotherapy not knowing how to reach them.
I imagine there are many folks out there who are not in psychotherapy, but who also experience the frustration of having a partner who withdraws. For those people struggling in their relationships, I am happy to share a quick article with some tips on how to get your partner to open up.
Of course, no cookie cutter recipe will work for everyone, but I'm hopeful that this article may help those of you struggling with a shut down partner look at your relationship in a new way. I'd love to hear your feedback if you have any.
I remember listening to a radio interview about luck with Richard Wiseman over 10 years ago, but I didn't catch his name at the time.
Wiseman has been named "arguably the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today," by a Scientific American columnist. His work and research is wide ranged, but today, because St. Patrick's Day is around the corner, I want to share his 4 ways to improve your luck.
Let's all start practicing these principles so that we can get luckier today!
There is so much great information out there on how to have a healthy relationship, it's hard to keep up with it all! This is good news for all of us.
In addition to all of Sue Johnson's work and her latest book, Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships, I'm excited to share with you a book that has been around for a bit longer, but is still as worthwhile to read as it was when it was first published.
John Gottman's The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a book based on his years of research on relationships and what makes them work. In my article on this book, I share a summary of each of these seven principles, so read the article to get your relationship on track today!
A lot of my work revolves around helping people with their relationships, so naturally I like to write articles about relationship health. After all, strong relationships are so important to our health, and it's recently been shown that healthy relationships even change the way our brains respond to pain and distress. I believe that your primary relationship with your significant other is your best asset, and it's up to you to make sure it thrives.
If you feel like your relationship is in trouble, it would be worthwhile to learn about the work of Dr. John Gottman, a renown psychologist who has been studying relationships and predictors of marital success and failure for over 40 years. Are you worried that your relationship may be headed for divorce? Read about 6 of his predictors of divorce.
John Gottman offers a specific form of couples therapy known as Gottman Method Couples Therapy, which many couples have found to be helpful. It is based on helping people learn the skills and qualities of healthy and happy marriages, so that they can be happy and healthy together. If there is anyone I would trust learning about what makes for a happy relationship, it would be John Gottman, as he has devoted his entire career to learning just what that is.
Dr. Gottman's work is also complementary to Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). In fact, he has named the creator of EFT, Dr. Sue Johnson, "the best couples therapist in the world." That says a lot, especially coming from someone who has spent over 40 years of his career researching relationships. (And even though I haven't even lived 40 years, after seeing her brilliant work with numerous couples, I completely agree.) EFT helps couples in trouble understand which of 3 killer patterns their relationship is suffering from. Then, the EFT therapist helps them stop this pattern and develop 3 key qualities for healthy relationships, and be more emotionally open and authentic with each other, creating a stronger connection between them.
Despite how effective EFT is, many couples cringe at the thought of having to see a couples therapist every week, or one partner refuses to go. A solution to that is to attend a weekend workshop based in EFT and Dr. Sue Johnson's widely acclaimed book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. These workshops are structured, educational, and involve couples doing exercises together.
If you are considering attending one of these weekend workshops, I strongly encourage you to. I have led these workshops in the past - at a college and once for the public - and have found them to be incredible. They are also great for couples looking for pre-marital relationship enrichment. The feedback is consistently positive and couples learn a lot about themselves and each other from these workshops. One person even said it was more effective than 6 months of intensive couples therapy. WOW!
The point of all of this is to say that if you are facing relationship distress, you are not alone. Relationship distress is an epidemic at least in the U.S., but the good news is that there is a lot of good help out there, and more and more psychotherapists, counselors and coaches are being trained in effective ways of helping couples through it to the other side of relationship difficulties. Don't give up on each other and get some help.
One last thing - if you are interested in the new science that is being discovered about love and what love is all about, be sure to check out Sue Johnson's 2013 book, Love Sense: The Revolutionary Science of Romantic Relationships. It is amazing!
Be well, and thanks for reading,
Have you been thinking about seeking therapy? Therapy can be a wonderful and life changing process. It can be intimidating to find a therapist, so when you're looking, make sure you know the surprising most important factor in choosing the right therapist for you.
Also, what happens if you fall in love with your therapist? It happens all the time in TV and in the movies, what happens if it happens to you? Here's what to do if you fall in love with your therapist.
Is this the longest winter ever?
Here are 7 great tips that you can implement to beat the winter doldrums.
If you're going stir crazy or worry that spring will never arrive, check out these 7 tips so you can make the most of the remaining days of winter and preserve your sanity!
The American Psychological Association conducts an annual survey about Stress in America.
Some of the results from 2013's Stress in America survey are not surprising: Americans continue to struggle with stress.
Of note, however, is the concerning fact that teenagers are taking on as much, if not more, stress as adults.
Click here to read more about the Stress in America survey as well as what to do about it for you and/or your teenager.
Stress is connected to all kinds of health problems - make sure you know how to get a handle on it!