Introducing a New Mental Health Q&A Column: Dear is pleased to announce a new question-and-answer-style column, Dear, in which members of our Topic Expert panel field and respond to reader-submitted questions.

Edited by founder and CEO Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, Dear columns are published at least four times each month as an opportunity for people to get expert feedback about a variety of mental health concerns. Possible broad topics for questions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Relationships and marriage
  • Sexuality/sex therapy
  • Depression
  • Addictions
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Eating and food issues
  • Family problems
  • Grief and loss
  • Trauma and posttraumatic stress
  • Parenting
  • Obsessive compulsion

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than one in four American adults experiences a diagnosable mental health issue each year. Relatively few of these nearly 60 million people will ever seek treatment or be diagnosed, however. And while diagnosis isn’t the point of Dear—it is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or psychotherapy—it is an opportunity for everyday people to ask questions about therapy and mental health concerns anonymously. Our therapist responders, including regular contributors Darren Haber, Lynn Somerstein, Sarah Noel, and Erika Myers, are highly experienced in addressing the issues brought forth in these questions, and can often point a person in the right direction, be it toward therapy, introspection, or otherwise.

It is our hope that Dear will provide inspiration, encouragement, and guidance to those who most need it. If you would like to ask one of our licensed therapist contributors a question about therapy or mental health issues via Dear, please feel free to submit your question here. Questioners will remain anonymous, and a “Sleepless in Seattle”-type pseudonym will be used if not provided.

© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

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  • Jeremy


    March 1st, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    I’ve been following your site for quite sometime now and I must say I am thoroughly impressed with all the information here. And this new column would be a great addition I’m sure. It would let people ask questions that they are otherwise not too comfortable asking a therapist face to face and can also act as an initial platform to heal from a problem. Great work guys.

  • warren


    March 2nd, 2011 at 4:38 AM

    i am certain that there are a lot of people who avoid seeking help because they are ashamed to ask a question or are unsure about how to go about it.something like this will be of immense help because such people can get help right at their homes and may then be encouraged to seek professional help that they have been avoiding thus far!

  • shannon


    March 2nd, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    Great idea! I look forward to reading more in these q&a issues.

  • Hannah


    March 3rd, 2011 at 5:42 AM

    Another valuable tool for the mental health community and those interested in the issues surrounding this field to utilize and learn from.

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Title   Content   Author is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on