Tag Archive: psychology

Jan 28

Interpersonal Effectiveness and DEAR MAN

For many people with depression, it can be hard to find an assertive, but not hostile, way of dealing with conflict. Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) addresses many practical problems such as this with straightforward answers. This comes from the “Interpersonal Effectiveness” module of DBT. The acronym to remember is DEAR MAN: Describe Describe …

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Sep 24

Living Alone and Depression

living alone and depression

“I just really want to live in my own home with my own garden and without having to deal with all of those jerks.” A young woman living with several roommates told me that she was thinking of moving to a house in the country. The idea seemed very appealing to both of us, since we …

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Jul 02

Mindfulness for Depression -Research Update

Mindfulness has received a lot of attention recently as an approach to improving mental health in a number of conditions. But is it really effective as part of a strategy for treating serious depression? And, if so, how can we best incorporate it into treatment, given the great difficulty that many people with depression have …

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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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Apr 05

Secrets are Dangerous

A young, attractive, and very successful man who recently got married came in to see me the other day and told me that he was in recovery from sex addiction. That caught my attention and, I have to admit, living as I do in a very mental health oriented world, made me wonder if this …

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Jan 12

Breaking Up without Depression

Breaking Up - Couple Arguing

Some people seem to find it much easier to weather the breaking up of a romantic relationship than others. Sure they may feel sad, they may worry about what it means that their relationship ended, but relatively soon they’re able to move on. Others get mired in doubt and find it hard to reenter the dating …

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Dec 06

Awe Reduces Inflammation

Awe Reduces Inflammation

What if you knew that the experience of awe could measurably improve your health, would you approach the world differently today? At the most recent TEDMED, psychologist Jennifer Stellar presented evidence that the experience of a number of positive emotions (joy, pride, contentment and awe) was associated with reduced levels of interleukin – 6 (IL6) …

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Oct 18

Sleep Deprivation in Western Society

Sleep Deprivation in Western Society

In February the National Sleep Foundation announced the publication of new guidelines for the amount of sleep that we should be getting based on a rigorous review of the literature. The guidelines suggested that adults should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep. The results were widely distributed and commented on. It was noted …

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Oct 17

Self Affirmations by Songify

Songify Self Affirmations

A good friend and colleague suggested a new technique for “self affirmations.” A technique which makes something that can seem ponderous, but is also a powerful technique for positive change, seem like a lot more fun… Self affirmations are things that you tell yourself about yourself and the world. In psychological terms, they are about …

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Jun 21

Sense of Purpose and Health

sense of purpose and health

Might your sense of purpose and motivation in life decrease your visits to the hospital? – a blog post by Eric Baron Many of us share a consistent notion of what it is to be healthy. We might think of living a longer life, spending less of that time holed up at home and surrounded …

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Jun 18

Work to Home Transition

work life transitions

It has been a very busy time for me professionally, perhaps for you as well. Certainly it seems as though people in the Bay Area are moving faster and faster with less time to relax. After working with a number of tech professionals at companies which talk about the importance of a work life balance, …

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May 13

Hypomania and Success

Hypomania and Success

During the 1990s clinical psychologist John Gartner was planning on writing a book about religious movements started by manic profits, but he began to be distracted by the energy and excitement swirling around him as people became immersed in the Internet “bubble”. He decided instead to write a book about the relationship between hypomania and success …

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Apr 14

Western Medicine and Mental Health – Lyndsey

Western Medicine and Shaman

True Story:  A shaman visited a mental hospital and was appalled by the way patients were treated. It’s not that the conditions were shabby or the medical advice outdated.  To the contrary, the hospital was renowned and the staff more than competent.  What shocked the shaman was not the facilities but the viewpoint.  In his …

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Apr 09

Mentalize

Sometimes a word just seems to show up everywhere.  This past week the word “mentalize” has come up in conversation a number of times.   A colleague who is looking for a referral for therapy says that she needs someone who can “mentalize well.”  One of my patients who just completed a DBT-based treatment program says that …

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Apr 04

Romance and Depression

Romance and Depressin

Jack is a delightful older gentleman who loves sailing and beautiful women, but who has also been wrestling with depression for a year or more. We recently had a fascinating conversation about how romance and depression relate to each other in his life. He has a loving girlfriend who’s been very supportive to him during …

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Mar 23

Attentional Bias Modification Prevents Depression

Attentional Bias Modification

A middle-aged nurse wrestling with depression said she want to do “everything” that she possibly could to improve her mood. She doesn’t have access to therapy through her insurance, and she’s already vigorously pursuing mindfulness practice, but her request reminded me of an article I recently read on Attentional Bias Modification as both a possible …

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Mar 02

Spock is Dead

spock is dead

Spock is dead. Leonard Nimoy passed away this past Friday at the age of 83. I have to date myself by saying that reruns of the original Star Trek series were a very important part of my adolescence. And I loved the character of Spock. Of course, I was a nerd at a time when …

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Feb 19

Performance Anxiety is Good

performance anxiety

Although I have given thousands of presentations to professional audiences over the course of my career, when I was beginning that career I had severe dread of presenting. I would hardly sleep the night before a presentation and was visibly trembling as I went on to the stage (at least that’s how I saw it). …

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Jan 24

Boredom

boredom

Boredom is one of the most common negative emotions, and yet relatively little explored in the psychology literature. A woman, Kate, wrote to me recently – “I am bored all time.  I have very few friends.  I can’t get motivated to do anything to move my life forward. I don’t know what to do except mess around on my …

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Jan 21

Lucky Marriage

Lucky Marriage - Ivan

What is a lucky marriage? Last week we were talking to a man who has had a year of challenges in his marriage. Ivan is a thoughtful and articulate man we have been seeing for about a year, and during that time the subject of his marriage has come up many times. He suggested that …

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