It’s time to arm teenagers with knowledge of psychology

by Michele Arnold March 4, 2014

The American Psychological Association (APA) has a psychology course for high school students. All the lesson plans, except “Emotion,” are locked because only Teachers of Psychology in Secondary School (TOPSS) can open them. The “Emotion” lesson looks comprehensive (it includes a section on neuroscience); I just hope the teachers who use the APA course infuse […]

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What if we REALLY got rid of shame about suicide?

by Thomas Ellis, PsyD, ABPP March 1, 2014

De-stigmatization seems like such a no-brainer. Stigma, whether associated with an affliction like AIDS, or (in our case) mental illness, is a bad thing. It brings suffering to victims above and beyond that inflicted by their illness. At its worst, it brings with it such shame that people often don’t obtain the care they need. […]

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Does reframing mental illnesses as brain disorders reduce stigma?

by Jon G. Allen, PhD February 26, 2014

Psychiatry is moving gradually toward characterizing “mental illnesses” as “brain disorders.” This movement is consistent with increasing understanding of the contribution of brain functioning to psychiatric disorders. This biological contribution includes genetic factors as well as alterations in brain chemistry, activity and structure. But research in neuroscience also shows that genetic makeup is not destiny: […]

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Are the best days in mental health services behind us?

by Thomas Ellis, PsyD, ABPP January 30, 2014

In a compelling story in a recent episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes, Virginia state Senator Creigh Deeds tells the wrenching story of losing his 24-year old son to suicide, shortly after his son had attacked him with a knife. This occurred the day after Deeds had taken his son to an emergency room, only to be […]

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It’s Good to be Good: Love Your Neighbor

by Stephen G. Post, PhD January 17, 2014

So long as you draw some boundaries and don’t get overwhelmed, it’s good to be good and science says it’s so. Basically, love your neighbor and be a bit happier and healthier. Is there a definition of love that pretty much everyone out on an American highway can connect with from experience? I found one […]

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The promise of lasting change: 5 tips for achieving New Year’s resolutions

by John O'Neill, LCSW, LCDC, CAS December 30, 2013

Oscar Wilde once stated, “Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.” Are you writing checks that your body cannot cash? Are you the person who develops five New Year’s resolutions on December 31 only to drop them by January 2? Most of us have probably developed […]

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The universal power of stories to heal, challenge and create meaning

by Elizabeth Newlin, MD November 27, 2013

On a recent trip home from Boston, I experienced one of those random but sort of wonderful encounters that you don’t soon forget. I had the hotel arrange for a car and driver rather than renting a car since I am not really great with directions, and I am just not the best driver. Anyhow, […]

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The case for encouraging spirituality in an age of instant gratification

by Leah A. Richardson, EdD, CPRP October 24, 2013

In an era of instant gratification, the speed at which we get our curiosities met increases with each technological advancement and reform in the way modern man lives life. Finding a personalized space in this world where you feel centered and at peace can serve as a preserving and sustaining agent and as a harbor […]

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Attachment to God and the implications for psychotherapists

by Jon G. Allen, PhD October 11, 2013

The U.S. is an exceptionally religious country, where the vast majority of individuals believe in a personal God. Those who experience a personal relationship with God are likely to form an attachment, the essence of which is relying on a caregiver for a feeling of comfort and security in times of distress. Research has shown […]

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Inspiring hope in the face of depression and hopelessness

by Jon G. Allen, PhD September 27, 2013

Thanks in part to Karl Menninger’s writing, hope has long been prominent in thinking about treatment at The Menninger Clinic. Inspired by this tradition, my colleagues and I have incorporated hope into patient educational groups for many years. In these group sessions, we start with a general discussion about our understanding of hope. After the […]

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