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Mindset Family Therapy

Anxiety: Why Humans Experience Anxiety

11.15.13

Below is a funny little video I found about Mindfulness.  When I show it to my clients, they just smile because they know the “science guy” is talking about them.  Some of us think and worry too much about the future.  Some of us indeed can start a “fight-or-flight” response just sitting in our living room.  It is a good idea to plan and prepare for the future; however, it’s not a good idea to worry about things we cannot control. Check it out:

Be yourself!

11.4.13

I love this quote.  I found it recently by reading Brené Brown’s “The Gift of Imperfection.”  She quotes E.E. Cummings and she talks about the need to be authentic and how we need to embrace who we are.  She says: Choosing authenticity means: Cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; Exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and Nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough. She goes on by saying:  “Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving—even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the

Mindset Family Therapy

CBT Trumps Antipsychotic for Augmentation, Amending Current Guidelines

10.31.13

An Update from the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health): Exposure / Ritual Prevention Therapy Boosts Antidepressant Treatment of OCD This is another study that confirms Exposure and Ritual Prevention (a specific form of cognitive behavior therapy) makes a significant difference in treating OCD. Read the article here.   

OCD & Perfectionism

10.18.13

[View original article published in Psych Central here] Patty was feeling frustrated and depressed. No matter what she tried, she felt she was stuck. As a young child, she remembers she would come unglued if anyone walked in her room and messed up her belongings. She would arrange and rearrange things until they felt just right. When going to school, she remembered asking her mom if her hair looked perfect. Her mom would say, “You look beautiful!” Patty didn’t believe her. She would ask her mom to fix it better, or she would try to do it herself until it felt right. She wanted to be the best at everything she tried, but when things didn’t go as she expected, sadness and depression ensued. Her all-or-nothing thinking was getting in the way

Mindset Family Therapy

If you have a mental illness, don’t be embarrassed!

10.11.13

October 10th was designated as Mental Health Day.  Every day is a mental health day for me when I see my clients try to make their life better despite their suffering. If you suffer with a mental health illness, don’t hesitate to share your struggles.  You may be surprised that your friend, boss, best friend’s daughter or spouse may also be experiencing emotional and mental pain.  Successful men and women with a mental illness can be an example to society and can contribute to the idea that a mental disorder does not define the person. Society needs to understand that a person can be “normal” and still have mental health challenges. I love Kevin Breel’s Ted talk.  He is right on with his message. Let’s stop intolerance and

How to Make Stress Your Friend

9.23.13

I recently discovered a talk given by Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist.  Her topic was stress.  I felt validated as I have been telling my clients who experience stress to make it their friend.  I usually teach them skills to change their attitude towards stress or anxiety.  It is their attitude that will make the difference. McGonigal reports that for the past 10 years she has been teaching that stress makes people sick.  However, she changed her approach towards stress after reading a study.  She discovered that indeed, stress is harmful, but only when people believe it’s harmful.  Below are the most relevant points in her talk. 1.  If we believe that the physiological sensations and feelings we experience when we are stressed are h

Some Quick Parenting Lessons for the Duchess of Cambridge

8.29.13

[View original article published in Psych Central here] I imagine that even Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge in England’s monarchy) will experience her son, Prince George, throwing temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way or is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do. The prince, despite his royal heritage and training in comportment, might even be bossy with other children his age. Do you sometimes feel like you’ve tried everything, and aren’t sure if your child will ever attain self-control? Being a parent is challenging; when you have a strong-willed child it can be a source of serious stress and conflict. Here are some suggestions to help: Awareness. It’s been said that before you can change a behavior, you must first be

7 Ways to Help Your Anxious Child

8.27.13

When children are afraid about the unknown (new school, new grade, new house, etc), how do you handle it?  Do you reassure them and say, “it’ll be okay, don’t worry about it” or do you try to help them process their thoughts and feelings?  Our children need to know we understand how they feel.  Don’t try to fix the worry or dismiss it; instead, validate their feelings and empathize with them.  Here are additional ideas to help you with this process. 1.  Read: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to get your child thinking about caterpillars and butterflies. 2.   Invite your child to draw a caterpillar, a cocoon, and a butterfly. 3.  The other day I was helping one of my young clients with her fears.  I decided to use my caterpillar/butterfly puppe

Anxiety in the United States

8.12.13

Take a quick look at America’s state of mind:  Most likely you know more than one person who is suffering from anxiety. Are they doing anything about it?  Are they getting the right help? Show them this infographic from OnlinePsychologyDegree.net and encourage them to seek help. There is no reason to suffer in silence.

Got anxiety? Don’t relax!

8.6.13

As Sophia came into my office she said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but in the past few days I’ve been feeling miserable. My arms and legs are tense, my fingers and toes are numb, my stomach is in constant pain, and I feel like two walls are crushing my head on each side. My face feels like a dripping faucet of sweat and my heart is ready to jump out of my body anytime.” As I spoke with her, it was evident she was experiencing a severe anxiety episode that was lasting too long. She said she didn’t understand why it was happening; she denied having negative thoughts and was having a difficult time speaking. I had previously taught her some basic Mindfulness exercises and suggested we do them right then. We began with deep breathing as she

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