Play Makes Children Smart, Happy and Prepared for the Future

This blog is about the myriad benefits of play for children. Too much cerebral focus and too little spontaneous thought can be damaging for creativity, intellect and overall wellbeing.

12 Tips for Greater Psychological Health

Six personal qualities are considered "mature defenses" and can contribute to a happier and healthier life. This blog outlines these traits and some suggestions for how to develop them.

How Technical Devices Influence Children's Brains

Guest blog by Dan Riseman, president of Riseman Educational Counseling, covers children's brain development. Here are some dos and don'ts regarding devices.

Should I Listen to the Advice of Celebrity Docs?

The debate about whether Dr. Mehmet Oz should resign from his position at Columbia for "quackery" continues. Questions about doing no harm, doing good, forgiveness, public shaming and responsible medicine are addressed in this blog.

When a Sociopath Is Hell Bent on Destroying You

Sociopaths (anti-social personality, psychopath) can decimate a life. The mental, emotional or physical trauma can be stunning. The aftermath of sociopathic is unique because the assault instills a dim world view, a shaky sense of safety and a feeling that one has been visited by evil. Here are 16 points of focus to begin recovery.

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

Humiliation, Recovery and Monica Lewinsky

Public shaming, online harassment and cyber-bullying are ubiquitous but they were not always. This blog examines the heart wrenching plight of one woman and how she overcame humiliation to become a tour-de-force and an agent for public good.

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

When Not Talking About Past Trauma is Wise

Though self expression is often healing, sometimes it is better not to tell your tale of woe. For some people repeating the story re-ignites the trauma. Learning to re-direct the thoughts can be more therapeutic. Here are some suggestions.

The Psychotic Family

This blog explores the meaning and impact of the psychotic family and offers suggestions for maintaining mental health in a pathological situation.

"Why Don't I Love My Body?"

Many people struggle with body image and the ability to feel comfortable in their own skin. In this blog, my client Brianna discusses her personal struggle as well as the idea of inner and outer beauty. She found her way.

Tensions at the Thanksgiving Table

For some, returning to family of origin at Thanksgiving is a pleasure. For others it is a mixed bag, and for several it is a source of stress. Here are eight tips for managing tensions that might arise and for holding on to your own zen mind.

College Admissions, Authenticity, Creative Minds and Success

Creativity is becoming the new form of excellence according to education experts. Ruthless college pursuit and academic overload has been causing monumental stress in children, parents and teachers, too. It has created a process that actually harms rather that enhances our children's minds and mental health. The game appears to be changing.

Happy Families Are Not All Alike

A strong, positive family experience can bolster psyches and make individuals able. However it can be a challenge to achieve with current stressors or past traumas. Some families of origin did not model well or still create strife. There are ways to move on. Here are 19 suggestions for a harmonious home and moments of happiness. Do it your way.

Does 2+2 Still Equal 4?

The controversy about The Common Core, a new teaching and testing method, is raising serious questions. Some express concern that it was not properly vetted before implementation. Classic and current research on how intellect develops in children and calls the approach into question. About 65% of NY children did not pass the state math test.

"Lightheartedness" Helps You Cope

"Lightheartedness," involves a Buddhist approach to dealing with emotional stress. By integrating serious concerns with a sense of buoyancy, one can move through taxing situations with greater equanimity. Research shows that such meditative practices decrease stress significantly.

"I Thought I Would Never Get Over It"

Sometimes the idea of losing someone or something, such as a place or a position, is very frightening. We dread the idea and fear it might be catastrophic or disastrous, but when the loss occurs, one can be far more resilient than one dreamed. One can feel far better than one imagined.

I Am Afraid to Say No

This blog examines why it is hard to say no, the risks of saying yes and how to choose.

I Wish I Could Concentrate But I Get Interrupted

Deep concentration is a pure form of pleasure but can be easily compromised by demands, distractions, daily life and lack of desire for the task. Developing the capacity to concentrate can alter one's life in a big way. Here are some tips and thoughts about the issue.

If You Are The Target of Narcissistic Abuse

A certain psychological position and understanding can help one weather, manage and recover from narcissistic abuse. What is so damaging about narcissistic abuse is that it can take a toll on identity, world view, confidence and hope. This kind of difficulty of the ego or the self can impact many aspects of life, but it can be turned around.

Six Virtues, a Successful Life and a Comparison

This blog addresses whether a certain level of narcissism is necessary for success.

The Pros and Cons of "Connecting" to Everyone

Downtime or Mind Rest is essential for wellness because it serves spontaneous thought. When we are plugged in at all hours we sacrifice moments of nothingness when much can arise. Unplanned thought processes are a source of creativity, joy and discovery. When the mind is relaxed, deeper matters, solutions and authentic leanings surface.

What Happened to the Internal Life?

A research study showed that being left alone think for a few minutes was a difficult task for the subjects. Yet,some people thrive on the pleasures of an internal life wherein imagination and daydreams run free. If the culture values or demands excess extroversion as a way of life it can hamper innovation and cause hyper-stimulation. Something to think about.

Why Is It Difficult to Make Decisions?

Many people have difficulty making decisions. Sometimes an untreated depression or anxiety can be the root of the problem. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques can help with clarity and the ability to act.

Meaningful Conversation Makes Things Better

Meaningful conversation is an important part of wellness. It fosters true connections to others, productivity and even happiness. Technology can help us deepen contacts but it can also serve as an inadequate substitute for real relationships we truly need. Connecting to everyone may be connecting to no one. How does technology enhance or detract from meaningful crosstalk?

Are Overly Driven Kids Devoid of Empathy and Compassion?

It appears that overly driven, highly programmed children who are deprived of play can come up short on empathy and compassion for others. Lack of meaningful connection can lead to despair, loneliness and burn out. Down time is key for healthy cognitive, emotional and psychological development.

"Happiness Depends on Contrast"

A moment of happiness can come when you least expect it, from a strange situation or even in the midst of pain.

Food and Mood

Research suggests that certain foods are linked to better moods. Take a look.

"How to Live Like a King on Very Little"

Thor Harris, a musician, and Stacy Yates, a social worker, offer sixteen rules for better living.

"Could Smoking Pot Change My Friend's Personality?"

Recent research suggests that chronic pot smoking over a long period of time can lead to alterations in the brain. Brain changes can have an impact on personality. In this case, one woman was heartbroken over a dear friend who, after years of cannabis, became a frightened, accusing person. She wondered if the drug or something else caused the change in her friend.