Conquering Anxiety - Ten Strategies to Teach Your Kids

Did you know that anxiety is contagious? Well, not in the germy way like a bad head cold. It's contagious in the teaching/learning way. Your children learn it and you can guess who they are most likely to learn it from. Yes, they learn it from their best teachers, their parents. "But our whole family has it", you say....more

Art as a coping tool

   As a therapist, I am helping clients find emotional management skills through acquiring coping tools to use in times of emotional distress or un-comfort.  You can figure out what coping tools help you the most as there is a variety to choose from; meditation, mindfulness, reading, journaling, counting, or art work.  Having emotional management skills means having the ability to monitor your feelings to feel better as opposed to feeling the emotion for an extended period of time.  The ability to ma...more

Wellness Work

I'm having "One Of Dem Days". Remember that song by Monica? Her first album Miss Thang was pretty good. You may or may not, depending on your age. I haven't thought about that song for years, until I was thinking about the title for today's blog....more

5 Steps for Handling Criticism Constructively

I can tell you -- for a fact -- that there is probably nobody who struggles with criticism more than I do.  In fact, if you were to ask any of my former employers, they would all probably say that "being defensive" was the one quality about me they struggled with the most.Nobody likes criticism....more

Trigger Warning: Trigger Warnings

What is a trigger warning?Let's start with a more basic question. What is a trigger?Just as a literal trigger activates a gun, a figurative trigger activates your mental disorder. It's a stimulus that sets off either a manic or depressive phase, or a bout of PTSD.Triggers are usually unique to the individual. What sets you off may not affect me at all....more

I Chose Fat Over Misery

I was a skinny kid who grew a lot less skinny.Do my bipolar meds have something to do with that?Probably.Do I care?No.I've noticed a lot of people with bipolar disorder panicking over the topic of weight gain. "I know I need meds, but I'm afraid of weight gain." "What meds can I take that don't cause weight gain?" "I tried X med but I quit because of the weight gain."...more

Am I Ready to Stop Therapy?

I got my first hint that I might be ready to stop therapy when I realized how little I was going. Over the years I have scaled down from weekly sessions to biweekly.Then I noticed that, effectively, I've been going only once a month. I've been forgetting appointments, showing up on the wrong day, oversleeping, feeling poorly physically, or having too much freelance work to do.Of course, those could be signs that I'm in denial, that I'm resisting therapy, that we've hit a bad patch of difficult issues and I just don't want to deal with them....more

The Depression Diet

It seems that Target (and other stores) can now send, well, targeted ads based on previous purchases. For example, someone who buys a home pregnancy test will start receiving coupons and discount offers on diapers and strollers. Image via Shutterstock ...more

Dental Health and Mental Health

I still remember one of my earliest episodes of panic, which happened in a dentist's waiting room. As I said in the uncomfortable chair, surrounded by Highlights for Children magazines that I had already read, I felt dread moving up my body from my toes. It crept up my legs into my hips and on into my abdomen. I was convinced that when the feeling of terror reached my heart, I would die. I was called into the doctor's office before that happened....more

Self-Harm Revisited

If that title isn't enough of a TRIGGER WARNING for you, I don't know what is.Not long ago I saw on the web a video with the title "Is scratching self-harm?" Well, of course it is, I thought. The video agreed with me.It seems like the low end of the spectrum, not as extreme as as what most people think of as self-harm, but a form of it nonetheless. Scratching, pinching, hair pulling, and the like are probably considered subclinical next to cutting and burning. But they are still problems. They can escalate into worse self-harm....more