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The Good Therapy Blog

Young woman thinking

‘Why Me?’ and Other Questions Your Therapist Can’t Answer

February 17, 2015

Bipolar as a mental health issue is not well understood, but it is apparently caused by a neurological chemical imbalance which can often be managed by treatment with lithium or other medication. In a workshop on bipolar or manic depression, as it is sometimes called, a psychiatrist reported that one question often asked by people who experience it is, “Why me?” He proceeded to give what he thought was the correct... Read More

 
A tired woman holds her nose

Panel Confirms Chronic Fatigue Is Real, Suggests New Name

February 16, 2015

Chronic fatigue, a syndrome that causes chronic exhaustion, difficulty with everyday tasks, and worsening symptoms during times of physical exertion, has long been the subject of medical controversy. One recent study found that doctors tend to stereotype patients with chronic fatigue, and though 2.5 million Americans struggle with chronic fatigue, only a third of medical schools offer training about this syndrome. This... Read More

 
Businesspeople Doing Side Bends

Beyond Ergonomics: Practice a Little Workplace Fitness

February 16, 2015

It’s a sunny afternoon and you’re just entering the post-lunch dip. You look out your office window and see a few teenagers whizzing by on their bicycles. You turn to your coworker in the cubicle next to you and say, “Man, it’s killing me to sit at this desk all day.” You think you’re making a metaphorical statement, but in reality you’re more right about your desk job than you may be aware. Are... Read More

 
Woman gesturing and speaking to her therapist

7 Things I Want to Tell My Therapist

February 15, 2015

Diagnosed with a mental health issues 15 years ago, first with bipolar and finally with schizoaffective disorder of the bipolar type, I’ve been in therapy off and on for that same amount of time. I’ve cycled through many therapists, some with a great grasp of what it’s like to have a mental illness, and others who didn’t have a clue. Therapists go to school for years, but how can anyone possibly understand mental... Read More

 
An Asian student studies

‘Model Minority’ Pressure’s Mental Health Toll, and Other News

February 13, 2015

A racist stereotype holds that some so-called “model minorities” are destined to succeed, in contrast to the many minority groups who face oppression that can lead to poor health, higher rates of incarceration, and a pay gap. A BU Today report details the ways in which the pressure to conform to the stereotype of the model minority may undermine mental health. The story chronicles the tragic tale of Luchang Wang,... Read More

 
aging woman meditating

Could Meditation Slow Down Cognitive Decline?

February 13, 2015

According to the National Institutes of Health, about one in seven Americans over the age of 71 has some form of dementia. Loss of gray matter in the brain figures prominently in both “typical” age-related cognitive decline and more serious forms of decline. Although it generally takes several decades for symptoms to appear, this process of brain deterioration can begin as early as the late twenties. But according... Read More

 

Three Jobs, Two Kids, One Disabled Mom, and No Hope. Help!

February 13, 2015

I have to admit that when I first read your letter I felt overwhelmed. I was a single mother myself for several years, many years ago. Your voice called up those years, and I remembered how tired I was and scared sometimes—and I had only one child at that time, not two like you. Being a mother is extremely hard work, and then you’re working hard in your jobs, too. I worked two jobs, one full time and another part... Read More

 
Waiting by the steps

Leaving Yourself Out in the Cold? Thaw with a Therapist

February 13, 2015

I saw him as I was walking in Central Park in late December. The paths were cleared, but all around the snow was deep and cold. Up ahead, what appeared to be a small family—man, woman, young boy—were trudging along when suddenly the woman loomed over the boy and began roaring at him at the top of her lungs. The boy looked scared and ran away, across the snow banks. The man shouted at him to come back. The boy ran... Read More

 
woman looking forlorn

Study Shows Veterans’ Caregivers Vulnerable to Health Issues

February 12, 2015

Between 10% and 20% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), with more than 240,000 receiving a TBI diagnosis since 2000. Brain injuries can fundamentally change a person’s personality, and these injuries may demand long-term medical and psychological care. It’s no surprise that caring for a loved one with a brain injury can be stressful, but a new study published... Read More

 
Three at the jetty

Supporting LGBTQ Teens Coming Out: It’s a Family Process

February 12, 2015

As a therapist who specializes in working with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) teens and their families during the coming-out process, I am often witness to the reactions parents have to a teen revealing his or her sexual identity. These reactions range from “We suspected for quite a while” to “We had no idea!” As I work with these families, the expectation is that therapy needs to focus on... Read More

 
Three rescue workers talking

When Helping Hurts: Trauma’s Effects on First Responders

February 12, 2015

Fred is a 40-year-old firefighter who has been working as a first responder for more than 15 years. In his first year as a firefighter, he arrived at a car accident in which three children were killed. Since then, he has been among the first to respond to the scenes of countless injuries and dozens of deaths. Although he tries not to think about the fatalities, he remembers each one. When asked how he and his colleagues... Read More

 
Brian Williams

Could Brian Williams Really Be Misremembering?

February 11, 2015

For years, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has shared stories about his life as a journalist. In recent weeks, though, his claim that the helicopter he was in came under fire in Iraq has come into question, as have his recollections of seeing a body floating in the French Quarter of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Following NBC’s announcement that it will suspend Williams for six months without pay,... Read More

 
young women enjoying sunshine

Having Trouble Getting Unstuck? Find Self-Compassion

February 11, 2015

Feeling stuck is hard. You want to move forward, but you can’t find the motivation to change. Or perhaps you don’t know how to change! Even in therapy, the very place you expect to see growth, you end up spinning your wheels. Nothing seems to be working, and you begin to wonder how you will ever make progress. What do you say to yourself when you are mired in uncertainty and disappointment? Do you call yourself... Read More

 
Two embracing loving teddy bear toys sitting on window-sill

6 Considerations for Helping Young Children through Divorce

February 11, 2015

It’s never easy to explain adult concepts to very young children. Not only do they have a limited vocabulary, but they generally have a limited ability to understand all but the simplest ideas about divorce, even at a time when they are just beginning to develop logical thinking skills. This does not mean that your children do not have emotions about the experiences they have as a result of the changes that are occurring,... Read More

 
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