Therapy Essential Reads

Can Improv Comedy Treat Social Anxiety?

By Jon Fortenbury on August 02, 2015 in NeuroProgress
People are increasingly turning to improv comedy (theatre made up on the spot) to reduce social anxiety. The reason it's working for some and not all is simple, but powerful.

Putting Humanity and the Humanities Back Into Medicine

By Allen J Frances M.D. on July 28, 2015 in Saving Normal
The relationship between medical art and science is changing rapidly, with the science now overwhelming the art. Doctors more and more function like technicians, not healers. A knowledge of the humanities is crucial if doctors are to treat patients, not lab tests.

Should We Talk About Religion in Therapy?

Although therapists recognize the importance of talking about religion, they're still uncomfortable inviting spirituality into the room.

Psychotherapy vs. Medications: The Verdict Is In

Both psychiatrists and psychologists devote their careers to helping people with mental health issues. As promising as neuroscience may be for helping researchers find clues to the brain, the real key to treatment lies in therapy, not drugs. Your best bet is to explore all options when you or your loved ones seek help.

The Tendency to Smugness in the Culture of Psychology

I hope your first thought about overt anger is that something unjust has happened and not that someone is too emotional or being mean.

A Service Dog Stops an Autistic From a Self-Harming Meltdown

A remarkable video shows a service dog coming to rescue a woman from an autistic self-harming experience

The Magical Healing Power of Caring & Hope in Psychotherapy

By Allen J Frances M.D. on July 06, 2015 in Saving Normal
Psychotherapy works at least as well as drugs for most mild to moderate problems and should be used first. A good relationship is much more important in promoting good outcome than the specific psychotherapy techniques that are used.

7 Ways to Beat Self-Doubt

Are you struggling with self-confidence? Learn how to overcome negative thinking and live to your fullest potential. Here are seven tips to mitigate self-doubt and create a new path to renewed confidence.

Why We Use Drugs: The Power of Addictive Tendencies

Addictions are a hotel; they are not home but can remind people of home so powerfully that they won’t easily abandon them without knowing where their real home is and how to get there.

The Secret Behind Panic (and How to Escape It)

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 25, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
The catastrophes we fear aren't real.

23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs

By Brad Waters on June 24, 2015 in Design Your Path
Going behind the scenes with 23 mental health professionals to gain insight into the pros and cons of the industry.

Sibling Incest in the News

Having worked in the child sexual abuse field for 30 some years, I am continually struck with a sense of sadness when yet another family comes forward with admissions of sibling sexual abuse. Rather than judgment it is important to be aware of treatment and healing options. Jumping to quick labeling without understanding the help needed is dangerous.

Tackling the Emotions in Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder have one of the most challenging psychological problems to treat. Furthermore, if you or someone you know is in a relationship with someone who has this disorder, you know how difficult it can be to live with the disorder. Mentalization-based therapy, focused on emotions, may provide an important new approach.

What Makes You So Special? It's Time You Found Out.

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 10, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
Why do we treat ourselves worse than we'd treat an enemy? We can learn to be more compassionate with ourselves.

Do Warning Signs Apply to Parents of Kids With Autism?

Many parents of children with autism find themselves becoming accustomed to routine discomfort, and, as a result, may not acknowledge typical warning signs as an indication to seek outside support.

Is Evidence-Based Treatment All It's Cracked Up To Be?

Evidence-based treatment sounds great. There's just one problem: if the evidence is faulty or irrelevant, so is the claim based on it.

‘Empathy’ Is a False God

‘Empathy’ has been revered as the emotional analog of wisdom. I’m here to say that it is vastly overrated. It can even be a form of narcissism. ‘Responsiveness’ is the real source of the resonance of feeling between people.

Positive Psychiatry: The Next Chapter for an Evolving Field

It’s time for psychiatry to move towards being true physician experts in mental health, not just mental illness. This means going beyond psychotherapy and medications treatment by incorporating validated wellness strategies in the day to day work with patients and families.

How to Fix Broken Sleep

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
What works for insomnia might surprise you--and your doctor.

Expanding the Mental Health Workforce

By Guest Bloggers on June 01, 2015 in Brainstorm
A guest post by Chirlane McCray, the First Lady of New York City.

Happiness versus Success

Over the decades - as both a psychiatrist practicing in Silicon Valley and a civilian living here locally - I have witnessed so much success and yet so little happiness. In our valley of material riches and natural beauty, the two are regrettably too often in opposition.

Apps – The Evolution of Therapy

Apps such as Candy Crush provide entertainment and “kill” time when waiting on line, traveling, or taking a few minutes to unwind. But now, people have the option to use this time to establish calm and improve their sense of well-being with other, more nutritious apps – apps that can improve their lives; apps like AETAS.

Traumatic Consequences of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994

Our project aims to listen to the ways in which individual Rwandans interpret their own lives and to examine posttraumatic growth in the context of post-genocide Rwanda.

What You Didn't Know About that Mad Men Encounter Group

In the last episode of Mad Men, Don Draper's personal growth experience has deep roots in the human potential movement, humanistic psychology, and J.L. Moreno's psychodrama.

What Happens When the Whole Family Plays with Food?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in Singletons
What to make for dinner? What will the kids eat? How to get everyone to the table for dinner in spite of packed schedules? Challenges worth meeting. Family therapy can be helpful, but family dinner is transformative.

Gender Pathology

If we constructed a society in which life’s roles were as bifurcated by ear lobes as they are in our culture by genitals, then the first thing parents and grandparents would want to know at birth would be attached or unattached, not boy or girl.

Mind the Gap

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
We can train our minds to avoid going off track.

The Mindful Geek

The last 50 years have seen an explosion of anti-smoking campaigns as public health officials realize that smoking is a chief cause of cancer, cardiovascular illness and a host of other diseases. To some extent these campaigns have worked: We are seeing a dramatic reduction in smoking among younger generations. Good progress, but frankly it isn’t enough.

Metaphors in Therapy

By Ilana Simons Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in The Literary Mind
A short animated video about how words change us.