Tag Archive: change

Mar 25

Hope and Self Efficacy – Gina

Believing you can create change in your life is the foundation for successfully making the change. Self efficacy is the sense that you can make change and thus hope and self-efficacy are intimately connected. Often people with bipolar or depression are overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness. They feel stuck and unable to manage their moods. And yet a …

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Apr 29

Accepting the Loss

One of my patients wrote to me this morning asking if she could get a medication to help with her anxiety. She has been trying to find a good therapist for quite a while and I think she might have found someone who could really help her. But this is making her feel anxious and …

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Dec 14

Positive Change or Mania?

Positive Change or Mania?

Charlie is concerned that by being too positive he will trigger mania. He has been hospitalized once a year and the pattern always seems to be the same. He will have settled into a seemingly fixed state of depression, and then will begin to feel frustrated with that state and tried to make changes to escape …

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Sep 21

Breathing Practices for Stress Relief

Breathing Techniques One of the oldest “self help” movements is based on breathing, helping us to use our breath, and how we breathe in order to reduce stress and to achieve a sense of connection with the world around us: Prana Yoga. Prana is the Sanskrit word for “breath” and also means “life.” Therefore, prana …

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Sep 04

The Power of Daily Rituals: A Morning Walk

Morning Walk - The Daily Routine

What is the power of a morning walk? Even such a simple daily ritual can have profound effects on mood. After two years working with a young woman who is now heading off to graduate school and bright future, we were reflecting on lessons learned. “I can be a bit dense about cause and effect. …

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Aug 20

Blowing Things Up: Self-Destructive Responses to Frustration

Why do we sometimes come up with self-destructive responses to the unpleasant feeling of being trapped or the anxiety of an unhappy life situation? I talked about this a little bit in an earlier post that was based on an article in the New York Times. In that article, it was noted that many people  may find it so hard …

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Aug 08

Getting Things Done: Four Quadrants and Setting Priorities

First Things First The process of getting well, or of gaining or regaining a greater sense of confidence and control over your life can seem overwhelming to almost anyone. That is part of the reason for having someone who can be a guide or facilitator (a therapist or coach). On this page we talk about …

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Jul 24

Mood Charting Part 1

“My medications work for a while and then they just stop working…” “I have tried everything and nothing works…” “I have been in treatment forever but I just never seem to get better…” In our experience these very common concerns are often symptoms of an everyday problem in psychiatric treatment of mood disorders: it is …

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Jul 20

Self-Esteem: A Key Aspect of Mental Health

Much has been written about the topic of “self-esteem.” Sometimes the idea almost seems like one of those “buzz” words that doesn’t really mean anything. A significant amount of research points to the development of self-esteem as a key aspect of mental health. Self-esteem builds slowly and its foundation is the sense that we are …

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Jul 09

Mindfulness and Impermanency: The Practice of Acknowledging the Temporary – Arnrow

After reading this article by TV producer-turned-mindful meditation enthusiast, Mark Koberg, I have been reflecting on how my awareness of permanency, or rather, lack thereof, in my life affects my overall day-to-day experiences. In his account, Koberg shares how a medical diagnosis and a newfound indifference to the career he had been building all of …

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Jun 30

Be Mindful of Keeping Your Mind Full of Good – Arnrow

Experience-dependent neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to learn, adapt, and evolve to not only our experiences, but also, and perhaps more significantly, our reactions to those experiences. It is almost as if our brains can form habits, and the types of behaviors and patterns that it develops are dependent on how we choose to …

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Jun 26

Wholeness: Overcoming the War Within – Arnrow

I feel like there is a war within us– an internal battle between the different parts of us, tugging and pulling for control and dominance. On one side is the brain— a soldier of logic and reason, commanded to evaluate all it comes in contact with, and to calculate corresponding plans of actions. It is …

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Apr 30

Why Do We Procrastinate?

courses

Procrastination may be related to impulsive decision making. This somewhat surprising finding is based on a large study of twins. Most modern explanations of procrastination have focused on avoidance and aversion. You put off things because you are afraid of some negative consequence (doing badly, not meeting your standards, etcetera), in other words, you are avoiding a bad outcome. …

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Apr 01

Internet Therapies Generate Interest

There is increasing interest in “apps” that can support mental health (one of our most enthusiastic readers recently posted a query on this topic on the forum). Apps are rarely intended to deliver “therapy” – they are usually not written by mental health professionals (although mental health professionals may be consulted along the way). Their …

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Jan 26

Reduce Your Social Stress

Regular readers of this blog know that I really like the writings of Rick Hanson (he has a wonderful email list called “Just One Thing” and a new book that is an excellent resource for personal transformation called Hardwiring Happiness). For the last couple of months, however, his posts have seemed a bit repetitive. Just …

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Jan 09

Reinvigorate Your New Year’s Resolutions: Connect Change with Your Values

The celebration of a new year is frequently accompanied by hopes, wishes, and goals for the coming year, which take shape in the form of New Year’s resolutions. I will start exercising. I will spend more time with family or friends. I will get a hold of my finances. I will start volunteering. New Year’s …

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Nov 08

Bipolar Treatment: The “Quick Fix”

A young woman came in to see me today. She was in a hurry. She wanted to make a change in her medication, and she wanted to make that change now. She told me that medication she was taking for bipolar was making her sedated and sluggish. She said she thought the medication was a …

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Oct 23

Hardwiring Happiness

Sometimes it is simple ideas that resonate the most powerfully with our psyches.  This week I have found myself, again and again, thinking about the fairly simple but quite elegantly described ideas in the book Hard Wiring Happiness. I should probably admit that I’ve only gotten about half way through the book, but even so, …

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Sep 10

Dual Treatment: Medications and Therapy Work Together to Treat Depression

A review in the prestigious journal JAMA Psychiatry suggests that there may be a clear biological explanation of how medications and psychotherapy work together to treat depression. The authors note that recent, unexpected, research findings suggest that antidepressant medications reactivate the brain’s ability to relearn old lessons. The medications allow the brain to modify old …

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Aug 23

Cluelessness: Getting Stupid

Late on a Friday afternoon,  I found myself with two patients (back to back) who were yawning and seemingly drifting off during the course of our conversation. Now, that could have meant that I was being particularly boring. But, in this case, it was the manifestation in the office of something that had been going …

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