All About Caregiving

In a 2004 national survey, the AARP found that 44.4 million Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult, and the estimated annual value is $257 billion. To do so is a beautiful act of love and devotion, but also a great drain on one's physical and psychological resources.

Recent Posts on Caregiving

The Paradox of Modern Adulthood

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Less secure, less stable, more anxious, yet better nonetheless.

Personality Disorders Explained 2: Origins

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 24, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
Every cognitive map of the social world also defines a role for the person to play; a personality disorder implies a limited number of acceptable roles.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 1 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

What Exactly Is 'The Best Interest of the Child?', Part 2

When parents are asked about the essential needs of their children during and after parental separation, children’s emotional, psychological, social, moral and spiritual needs are seen to be of paramount importance. But what exactly are these “metaphysical” needs?

What Exactly Is “The Best Interest of the Child”?

A truly child-focused approach positions children’s needs at the forefront of “best interests” considerations, along with corresponding parental and social institutional responsibilities to these needs.

A Psychologist Views Why Moms Get Nothing Done

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in Good Thinking
Imitation is a powerful form of learning that comes on-line early in development and shapes who we become.

Discussing Illness Without Alienating the Ill

By Julie K Hersh on February 20, 2015 in Struck By Living
The arts offer an unthreatening microscope and telescope to examine stories, which we can adapt to our own healing.

Fatherhood by the Numbers

By Peter B. Gray Ph.D. on February 19, 2015 in The Evolving Father
Fatherhood lags behind motherhood, but is also rising. That's fatherhood by the numbers. Scholars also call for increased research on fatherhood interventions, including more rigorous research designs to discern what the effects of those interventions on children will be.

Ending Relationship Addiction

Relationship addictions may require going "cold turkey," as it is hard to stop smoking if you have a lit cigarette in your hand.

The Keys to Rewarding Relationships: Secure Attachment

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
If everyone could read social situations accurately, not get flooded or hijacked by strong emotions, and respond in a kind, empathetic, non-defensive and constructive manner, the world would be a more accepting and predictable place. Understanding the processes underlying secure attachment can help you get there and experience more rewarding and healthy relationships.

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

Attachment Styles Can't Change, Can They?

John Bowlby, the founding father of attachment theory, argued that the attachment style formed in early childhood often continues to shape a person’s behavior far into adulthood, permeating all future liasons. The attachment style of adults, however, need not completely reflect the child’s early interactions with a caregiver. Sometimes it undergoes a radical shift.

Lean Back, Dad

By Nanette Fondas on February 11, 2015 in WorkLife Matters
When a dad spends more time with his children, virtually everyone benefits.

Your Bad Relationship Could Make Your Hair Gray

A lot of love advice out there is nothing more than myths and urban legends. If you are an experienced myth buster, go solve some puzzles on Mensa's math site. If not, continue reading.

What the Experts Really Think About '50 Shades of Grey'

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
What relationship experts really think about the book and upcoming movie may surprise you...

Helping a Partner Who Engages in Self-Destructive Behaviors

As Valentine’s Day approaches, couples become more mindful of the ways in which they can show their love through caring gestures and gifts. However, many people are in a relationship with a significant other who is grappling with some form of self-destructive behavior. Learn the do's and don'ts that can help you navigate this difficult and emotionally charged issue.

Crucial Connections: Friendships in Older Adulthood

Wisdom may come with age, but well-being will flourish if friends are in the picture, too.

Becoming a New Parent

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on February 09, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Becoming a first-time parent can have a dramatic impact on many people, both in terms of the stress they experience and the impact that it has on marital satisfaction and emotional well-being. New parents can report considerable stress for different reasons. A new study investigates different factors than may undermine a parent's ability to handle this life transition.

Putting Mindfulness on Your Agenda

Everyone experiences stress in some way or another, and people in caretaking roles do in particular. Our communities rely on individuals who choose these paths, and yet no one has the capacity to indefinitely give. So as a care taker, taking care of yourself is essential to sustaining your own well-being. Only then can you be at your best when interacting with others.

Suicide is the New Murder in America

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on February 09, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Alienating social forces over the past decade have made suicide the new murder as frustrated and fearful Americans turn their anger onto themselves in unprecedented numbers. Suicide is a tragic and growing epidemic. However, the reality of suicide is invisible to the general public because of the all-American ideology of individualism and Protestant ethic.

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.

Irrelationship's Performer—Human Antidepressants

The song-and-dance routine of the "Performer" is driven by the need to distance himself from his own anxiety and pain by taking care of his primary caregiver (usually a parent). He will often develop into the do-gooder, caretaker, rescuer or hero, but those are roles cultivated from childhood, usually emerging from a distinct relational—or irrelational—pattern.

Children Who Kill Are Often Victims Too

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on February 05, 2015 in Talking About Trauma
Research shows that, while extremely rare, children who kill often come from chaotic and abusive backgrounds, are not fully emotionally developed and do not fully understand the severity of their crimes.

Can Therapy Dogs Help Cure Cancer?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 05, 2015 in Canine Corner
Do therapy dogs have any effect on the physical, functional, or emotional well-being of cancer patients?

The Low Legal Threshold To Say "I Do"

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on February 04, 2015 in Urban Survival
What does the law require of the mental state for marriage? You might be surprised to find out that most states require more mental capacity to sign an apartment lease than a marriage license.

8 Types of Toxic Patterns in Mother-Daughter Relationships

By Peg Streep on February 02, 2015 in Tech Support
The legacy of an unloving mother requires patience and stamina to overcome. But within the common themes, there are still important differences.

A Loving Message

By Tina Traster on February 02, 2015 in Against All Odds
An adoptive child surprises mother who gets a scary blood test

How Can I Be More Assertive?

Being assertive is easier when you have the right attitude.

Why Insecure People Make Such Bad Bosses

A sense of security is beneficial for many reasons, but particularly so when other people depend on you. Horrible bosses can be horrible for many reasons, but being insecure is arguably one of the most important. Whether it’s your boss, or the boss of your lover or friend, understanding the effects of personal insecurity can give you important insights.

"What's He Building in There?"—Anatomy of an Irrelationship

In irrelationship, we believe that we doing all the heavy lifting, either by giving, accepting or accommodating. Sooner than later, this creates smoldering resentment and distress on both sides. This disconnect is the result of each partner’s continuing as adults to play care taking roles that they took on toward their caregivers when they were small children.