It is the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and often co-occurs with autism, but ...
Nothing can be more nerve wracking than applying to graduate school. Reminiscing on my application ...Read Post
It is the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and often co-occurs with autism, but a new study finds that many educators and therapists know little about fragile X syndrome.
Researchers surveyed 439 behavior therapists, psychologists, special educators and speech therapists working with children who have autism, nearly half of whom had experience with at least one child diagnosed ...
It seems to me that there are more commercials than ever before on television for all kinds of medications, including SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) which are antidepressants also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. In these commercials there’s usually a person by themselves, gazing out of the window and looking depressed. Fast forward after taking the advertised ...Read Post
The mind is often busy focusing on one concern or another. Sometimes you might be dealing with remorse about the past, and other times you might be worrying about the future. In addition, you can have thoughts of regret, resentment, and feelings of insecurity which can all be part of your mental activities. Not to mention some of your painful memories from the past or dreams about the future. ...Read Post
“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” -Japanese Proverb
When we incarnate into this human form, wouldn’t it be so much more convenient if we were provided with a guide book to help us navigate the choppy waters of life, love and loss? We would know what to expect and how to respond to any eventuality. It would tell us in an easy to understand 1-2-3 fashion the way ...Read Post
Parents have a big responsibility raising children, but they often find themselves in a quandary over how much of the truth to tell their kids.
Dr. Anita Gadhia-Smith, a Washington, D.C. psychiatrist who counsels individuals, couples and families, offers her thoughts on the topic.
No one-size-fits all.
The issue is complex. As Dr. Gadhia-Smith sees it, there is no one-size-fits-all manual for ...Read Post
As a mental health counselor for the past twenty years, I have listened to many painful stories from some of my lesbian and gay patients regarding their upbringing in a homophobic and heterosexist world. Many of my gay and lesbian patients, including a number of bisexual and transgender individuals, have shared with me that as young as age five, they felt different. They were unable to ...Read Post
The American Society of Addiction Medicine, defines an addiction as, “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other ...Read Post
Experts explain that although high-functioning children with an autism spectrum disorder often have above average intellectual capabilities, they often experience social difficulties.
The communication challenges and difficulty inhibiting thoughts and regulating emotions can lead to social isolation and low self-esteem.
A method to help these children appears on the near horizon as research ...Read Post
Humans have a basic need to learn. From navigating a busy freeway, to watching an exceptional tennis match, learning is happening all around us. And yet, the questions of just how we learn, which types of learning are best for each person, and how each specific type can be used to solve everyday problems, such as disengaged learners, is seldom addressed. With this in mind, Daniel L. Schwartz, ...Read Post
What do you do when your child suddenly disappears from your life? How do you explain it? Who do you blame? For many mothers of adult children who no longer contact them or involve them in their worlds, self-blame, doubt, fear, and uncertainty reign supreme. That’s why Sheri McGregor, a certified life coach, wrote the book Done With the Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult ...Read Post
James Phelps’ new book, A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders: Not Fully Bipolar But Not Unipolar—Practical Management, is written for professionals, not laymen. I have some familiarity with bipolar disorder and its causes, symptoms, and treatments. However, I am not a professional and this book often goes beyond my ability to comprehend. Dr. Phelps has been treating patients and studying ...Read Post
Are we raising our kids in the ways that foster the better side of human nature? While this is a question that many parents have probably asked themselves, it is also the very question that inspired Ross W. Greene’s new book, Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership With Your Child. Not only does Greene ask us to think more deeply about how we are raising our children, but in ...Read Post
In her new self-published book, You 1, Anxiety 0: Winning Your Life Back From Fear and Panic to Keep Calm in a Crazy World, Jodi Aman presents ways to get rid of anxiety, shares her personal story, and gives an overview on what anxiety, fear, and panic really do to people. She follows up with an anxiety playbook that describes the tactics anxiety uses to manifest itself in a person’s life and ...Read Post
Nothing can be more nerve wracking than applying to graduate school. Reminiscing on my application process makes my stomach a little queasy and my nails start to creep to my lips. Do I need to take the GRE and how long should I study for it? Which program will get me on the career path I want? How in the world will I ever be able to afford it?
If you are interested in pursuing psychology in ...Read Post
The following is an excerpt from The New Age of Sex Education: How to Talk to Your Teen About Cybersex and Pornography in the Digital Age.
How do you talk to your child about sex? Many parents wonder what to say, how to say it and worry if they will mess something up by saying the wrong thing. In my experience, many parents don’t actually say anything to their children or they say very little ...Read Post
New research confirms that individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have significant sensory deficits that influence social interactions.
Investigators determined the brains of individuals with ASD appear to lack feedback loops that help to process tactile information. This faulty processing results in social challenges.
Belgium researchers explain that many individuals with ...Read Post
About three-quarters of a million children witness their parents’ divorce each year. Three-fourths of them live primarily with their mothers, with dads granted what is unfortunately called “visitation.” For divorced dads (or other mothers) like you who want to stay meaningfully and lovingly involved with their kids, it’s not about visiting. You want to create a kid-friendly second home ...Read Post
“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
– Al Franken as Stuart Smalley
The fictional Saturday Night Live character was a poster child for self -love in the face of self-deprecation and co-dependence as he did a great deal of mirror work. This modality was espoused by Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, and Robert Holden, PhD, creator of The ...Read Post
Criticism can trigger psychiatric symptoms for some individuals who interpret feedback in unhealthy ways. How you handle criticism may affect your relationships with others, your self-esteem, and your opportunities for personal growth. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you have the opportunity to discover a new perspective and develop new skills to respond to criticism with a more ...Read Post
It is undeniable that most of us live a fast-paced existence that includes instant gratification and Instant Breakfast. We have fast-food communication with our family, friends and co-workers that leave much to be desired, since it lacks the interpersonal feeling of eye contact or at least voice-to-voice inflection. We spend our workdays living for the weekend when we mistakenly believe we will ...Read Post
It’s September. For kids, it’s the month of new teachers, new subjects, even, for some, a new school. For divorced parents, it often means the start of new confusion about how to relate to the new school or grade and new teachers.
Yes, some divorced parents have got this well in hand. But if you don’t have a plan that works, here are some practical suggestions that will prevent adding ...Read Post
Midway through his book, The Laughing Cure, Dr. Brian King writes, “Laughter isn’t a cure for anything, but it sure can help a lot.”
This was an unwelcome statement to read after diligently wading through the first half of King’s book. The preceding chapters were filled with personal stories, a little laughter theory, and general public knowledge about the benefits of laughter, but so ...Read Post
For those in the field of mental health, the debate about the efficacy of pharmaceutical medications has been an enduring and uncertain one, and this debate can sometimes end up complicating treatment, outcomes, and even attitudes toward what it means to be well. In his extraordinary new book, Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants, Peter D. Kramer delves into this debate, taking a rare ...Read Post
I am so grateful to the many people who have told me that my book The Human Magnet Syndrome was life-changing. Having such a positive impact on the human condition is my teenager “gonna change the world” dream come true. I couldn’t be happier!
My book was written to inspire and motivate people to understand their part in the dysfunctional dance they have been irresistibly drawn into their ...Read Post
As a graduate student in my counseling psychology program some years ago, I began my internships with agencies that taught basic counseling skills such as supporting a client, summarizing what was discussed, how to use minimal encouragers, and other important techniques for building a therapeutic alliance.
However, one of the things I, and possibly thousands of other students in my program, ...Read Post
Are you at ease in the spotlight? Do you enjoy being the center of attention, entertaining family and friends? Those qualities are the perfect setup for a career on stage — but they’re also a recipe for performance addiction.
The idea was propagated by Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli, Ed.D, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of the book Performance Addiction: The Dangerous New Syndrome and How to ...Read Post
Life is all about comebacks. Our lives ebb and flow. As both a counselor and a teacher of taijiquan, I have encountered many people with inspiring comeback stories. I have known people who were abused in all sorts of cruel ways as children but who grew to thrive. I have known people of color who grew up in the midst of segregation, when lynching was common, and even though they were surrounded ...Read Post
When we transform our life narrative from one of outdated and limiting beliefs to one of unencumbered possibilities, not only do we avail ourselves of limitless growth, we become an agent of change. This is the message behind Rosamund Stone Zander’s new book, Pathways to Possibility: Transforming our Relationship With Ourselves, Each Other, and the World.
Zander, who also co-authored the ...Read Post
As a therapist who has worked with children and adolescents who struggle with emotion dysregulation, anger management, and trauma, I found DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) helpful in conceptualizing the emotional challenges of my clients. DBT was also helpful in guiding my clients toward greater understanding, primarily when discussing the tendency to either rationalize or emotionally reason ...Read Post
A provocative new study suggests for children with autism and a class of genetic disorders, exposure to diagnostic ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy may be linked to increased autism severity.
Researchers at the University of Washington, UW Bothell and Seattle Children’s Research Institute studied the variability of symptoms among kids with autism, not what causes autism.
They ...Read Post
According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, “less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do ...Read Post
Two wheeled bicycle
waiting to be ridden
Are you something I must try,
or fruit that is forbidden?
With thoughts of falling over,
I shake and you’re unsteady
Do I climb upon your seat,
or come back when I’m ready?
Clinging to the handlebar
I pedal up and down
Shall I smile fearlessly,
or wear a somber frown?
Reassuring adult hands
appear to comfort me
Now will I lose my balance
or defy ...Read Post
A new UK study suggests autism could be diagnosed by allowing children to play games on smart phones and tablets.
University of Strathclyde researchers believe the technology could offer an accessible and less intrusive way to diagnose the developmental disorder.
Dr Jonathan Delafield-Butt, of Strathclyde’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and colleagues used fun iPad games to track ...Read Post
As a licensed marriage and family therapist and mental health writer, I am always interested in new books about mental health and the way we treat those with mental illnesses, so it was with interest that I picked up Marianne Richards’s self-published new book, Understanding Mental Illness: Comprehensive and Jargon Free 6th Edition. While Richards does give a comprehensive overview of the ...Read Post
A friend of mine recently ended an intimate relationship because she felt her beau not only misunderstood her, but that he also prevented her from being her true self. There were telltale signs of the end, as there always are, things like needing more time apart, feeling trapped during time spent together, and more. “I don’t know who I am anymore,” she confided. “I’m losing more of ...Read Post
A new study shows that the pattern of genetic factors associated with autism among siblings is a different pattern than that seen in families with just one affected child.
UCLA scientists focused on genetic changes known as copy-number variations (CNVs), which are losses or gains of normal DNA.
Previous research has linked non-inherited CNVs, which originate as defects in the sperm or egg cell ...Read Post
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
~ Albert Einstein
For some, the symptoms are more subtle — it is the child who sits gazing out the window, her mind far from the classroom where her classmates are hard at work. For others, the symptoms are more blatant — a child who cannot sit still, ...Read Post
When you experience anxiety, worry, or fear, have you ever thought about embracing it rather than running away from it? In The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety, John P. Forsyth and Georg H. Eifert present a whole new way of thinking about anxiety that is quite different from traditional treatment methods. What’s interesting is that they do not aim to teach the reader ways to ...Read Post
For any parent coping with raising an autistic child, managing the chaos that earmarks the disorder — not to mention the dizzying array of medications, treatments, and therapies — can often feel exhausting, overwhelming, and quite frequently, disheartening. autism is simply a very difficult and very complex disorder to treat. Yet, according to Janet Lintala and Martha Murphy, authors of The ...Read Post
Kat Duff’s carefully researched, engagingly written, and wide-ranging The Secret Life of Sleep is an ode to sleep. The author documents the contemporary preoccupation with productivity, alertness, and cheating sleep. She points to the many ways we are urged along on that path, from breezy sloganeering (e.g., “you snooze, you lose”) to the popularity and easy availability of stimulants. But ...Read Post
For those who suffer from social anxiety, self-help books can often feel like clinical prescriptions. Yet, Tobias J. Atkins new book, How I Overcame Social Anxiety (And You Can Too): An Introverts Guide To Recovering From Social Anxiety, Self-Doubt, and Low Self-Esteem is as useful as it is readable.
Atkins is not a clinical psychologist, counselor, or therapist; he is a professionally diagnosed ...Read Post
Chemicals banned decades ago continue to increase the risk of autism. In a new study, investigators discovered exposure during pregnancy to chemicals used in certain pesticides and as insulating material banned in the 1970s, can significantly increase the odds of autism spectrum disorder in children.
Researchers discovered children born after being exposed to the highest levels of certain ...Read Post
As an advocate for OCD awareness, I have connected with many people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder. It seems to me that most people, in particular those who are older, have some kind of story to tell about their early experiences reaching out for help. And they’re typically not positive accounts. They include details of misdiagnosis, mistreatment, or both. They are tales of being told ...Read Post
What’s the Difference between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy & Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy are both popular approaches used by a variety of mental health professionals to help individuals become more aware of their current circumstances and also how they react to these circumstances.
Both can be useful in the treatment of anxiety, depression, OCD, addictions and also everyday situations such as improving ...Read Post
There is an eye-opening article in the New York Times called “Looking for Evidence That Therapy Works.” It states that while the evidence-based treatment known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in treating many disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, the majority of therapists only use CBT occasionally, or in conjunction with other therapies. ...Read Post
Do a Google search for the words “learning styles” and you will find a large number of websites claiming they can identify your preferred learning style in a matter of minutes. Are you a verbal learner? Are you a auditory learner? Are you a kinesthetic learner? Supposedly, those with expertise in the VAK (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) classification system can answer those questions; they ...Read Post
If you occasionally have too much to drink, you’re probably not at great risk for becoming an alcoholic. But you might wonder if you’re at risk of becoming an “almost-alcoholic” — if you even know what that means.
Perhaps you’re secretly worried that your social drinking behavior might be veering into dangerous territory. Here’s how to identify if you’re an almost-alcoholic.
The ...Read Post
Teachers aren’t allowed to hug students. Often, students aren’t allowed to touch each other, either. Parents see their kids only in the mornings and evenings, and on weekends. We spend more time facing screens than we spend facing our family. And we’re seeing the results. The negative results, if it wasn’t clear.
I’m not blaming anyone. I teach my kids the same stuff. Stranger danger is ...Read Post
Developing new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease is an active area of research. Scientists are testing a number of drugs to see if they prevent Alzheimer’s disease, slow the disease, or help reduce behavioral symptoms.
There is evidence that inflammation in the brain may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and that drugs to cut down on inflammation may help. One recent study showed that two ...Read Post
When someone is diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, education is essential. Understanding what the disorder entails and how to best treat it are key components to recovery. So much to comprehend! As many of us know, however, OCD can be very sneaky, and sometimes this quest for knowledge can go awry. How can we possibly learn everything there is to know about OCD?
In this wonderfully ...Read Post
I recently heard an NPR interview with Gever Tully, the founder of the Tinkering School. He advocates letting kids do dangerous things! Oh, he’s not telling us to let our kids play with matches or meat cleavers. But he is suggesting that our growing concern about safety over the last few decades has resulted in important unintended consequences. We’ve narrowed children’s opportunities for ...Read Post
Some chronic diseases, such as heart disease, COPD and diabetes have all been linked to depression. This probably doesn’t surprise you. After all, these diseases are frightening, they are difficult to manage and can cause significant suffering and eventual death. It is for this reason that the symptoms of depression are sometimes ignored.
Research on COPD and depression has found that some ...Read Post
The couple sitting in front of me could barely look at each other. Therapy, she told me, was her last-ditch effort to get through to her husband. She couldn’t get him to understand what she needed in their relationship. Her husband agreed. I wondered if he really didn’t understand or he didn’t agree.
The history of their courting was very romantic. Both agreed that he had done everything he ...Read Post
Several years ago I was chatting with a seasoned therapist, who uses cognitive behavioral (CBT) techniques to treat OCD. He asked me, somewhat skeptically, whether I thought it possible to combine a science-backed, proven technique such as CBT, with the relatively new Art Therapy, which is not as yet scientifically proven — and have it be useful in OCD treatment.
My answer to him, was, “It ...Read Post
Life is about conflict and negotiation. We have a sense of who we are and what holds meaning for us. What is meaningful is not the same for everyone, and that causes disagreements from mild annoyance to war. There are times when someone just seems so wrong that emotions get the best of us. We shout at each other and discount each other and we don’t listen.
I know it happens to me, especially ...Read Post
Imagine one day that you are walking past an elementary school playground. You glance over at the children and, out of the blue, a thought enters your head: “Did I just look at those kids in a creepy way?” Your brain immediately begins to doubt/analyze whether your glance was creepy and you are flooded with terror: “Why would I be staring at kids?” “Do other people do this?” “Was I ...Read Post
At the time my son Dan’s OCD was at its worst, he had not eaten in over a week. He would sit in his “safe” chair for hours at a time, too terrified to move. I flew down to be with him at his college, and though he was only two weeks away from completing his freshman year at his dream school, he knew I would have to bring him home if he wasn’t able to eat. His physical health was in ...Read Post
Every month we give readers a fascinating glimpse into the professional and personal lives of different clinicians. Because how often do you get to ask a therapist about everything from what they love about their work to what they find to be especially challenging? How often do you get to ask how they cope with stress and if they’d travel down the same professional path?
We explore these ...Read Post
New research has found that the risk of younger siblings developing an autism spectrum disorder is 14 times higher if an older sibling has ASD.
The Kaiser Permanente study also found the risk level was consistent across gestational age at birth.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder defined by impairments in social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of ...Read Post
On Human Flourishing: A Poetry Anthology is a new and powerful resource for newcomer and scholar alike that, instead of branching off current discussions, actually broadens our conversations about both well-being and literature.
This anthology is a difficult one to fold into a short review. The study of poetry is and should be a complex and dynamic discussion. The study of well-being, likewise, ...Read Post
The loss of a sibling can be a life-altering experience. Not only will the event bring up questions regarding an individual’s mortality, but depending on the circumstances, the death can be preemptive to spiritual awakenings, deeper personal awareness, or dramatic life changes. When the death is one by suicide, though, the effect can come in waves over years. Such is the case with Kelley ...Read Post
Reading that caffeine can contribute to our anxiety made me feel anxious. Give up or even cut down on my coffee? Not sure I’m willing to make that sacrifice. Although that was one of the suggestions that I won’t apply at this time in my life, there were a lot of valid points in Coping with Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear & Worry. With their cited statistic of eighteen ...Read Post