When self-medication winds its way into compulsive dependence, we disappear behind a veil that leaves us in a sort of social and emotional suspended animation and, when we reemerge, we find we are right where we started.
In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about post-traumatic stress, or PTSD, and the negative effects it can have on a person’s overall health and wellness. PTSD is triggered in response to either experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, particularly if that event is life threatening
From a clinical perspective, depression is typically categorized as psychological, situational or some combination of the two. What we often overlook is the spiritual aspect of depression, which is not clinical, but existential. This subtle, cloying sense of incompleteness doesn’t so much paralyze us as haunt us, ringing hollow in our deepest heart.
The business side of private practice is something that eludes many, if not most, mental health professionals. As an outgrowth of his practice, Philadelphia-area psychologist Melvin Varghese has created an iTunes podcast called Selling the Couch, which is an on-going series of interviews with thought leaders in practice building, marketing and social media.
Creativity relies, in part, on the brain being in a state of unfocused, resting wakefulness, similar to that found in certain types of mediation and mindfulness practice. So, when you're at rest, are you actually working?
Central to every relationship is communication, and genuine communication relies on listening. Not just listening to the words that are spoken, but listening wholeheartedly to every aspect of the conversation taking place.
Grieving is not a linear process. It’s more of a spiral that leads us from our immediate broken heart, to a place of release and then, just when we think we have found some peace, sweeps us even more deeply into the tender heart of sorrow. That tender heart is the ground for compassion and acceptance, lifting us out of our sadness and into grace.
It seems nowhere are we more apt to exercise our negativity bias than when it comes to ourselves. This tendency can amplify our insecurities, drive our arrogance and keep us tethered to a past rife with regret, both real and imagined. The heart of change here is the recognition that it is our thinking—and our thinking alone—that fuels the less-than mentality.
One of the more enduring myths around marriage and relationships is that all couples fight. In fact, when a discussion escalates from a cooperative dialogue into an argument, it signals a fracture in the partnership that may be either acute, or more abiding.
A recently published study in the journal Psychological Science suggests that having a sense of purpose may add years to your life. Previous studies have also shown that purpose lowers risk of mortality, but what sets this study apart is its demonstration that the benefit of purpose does not change over diverse developmental periods or major life transitions.
When I set out to write an article on the perils of perfectionism, I didn’t realize that my own tendencies in that direction would prove to be one of my greatest obstacles. Having discovered this, it occurred to me that relating a personal narrative, rather than taking a more characteristic pedagogic approach, might be somewhat more revealing.
One of our most valuable human characteristics is the capacity to consciously evolve. Once we reach a certain point of self-awareness, it’s a small step to advancing our social, emotional, and spiritual intelligence. What happens, however, when our context—especially a significant interpersonal relationship—fails to keep pace with our self-creation?
Not only do we want to be loved, we need to be loved. This aspect of the human condition is a vestige of our primal heritage, hardwired into our brains. Because we also harbor a cognitive bias that prompts us to interpret things in a negative light, our experience of social rejection may actually be a misguided perception.
A recently published study in the Journal of Positive Psychology revealed some specific differences between meaningfulness and happiness. It turns out that a meaningful life can be an unhappy one, but momentary unhappiness is often informed by positive social contribution, and connected to a broader sense of purpose and self-value.
Enlightened Living considers psychology -- the science and study of the spirit -- and psychotherapy -- the practical application of wisdom -- through the lens of eastern thought, as well as eastern and western spiritual practice.