Alcohol: How much is too much?


Drinking to excess puts individuals at significant risk. Heavy drinking risks their health and can bring on illness and difficulties for family and friends. The “Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test” (AUDIT) was developed by the World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence. It provides health care providers a valid method of conducting…

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Amputee on a Scooter


Waiting to pull into traffic I thought I saw a man with high tech prosthetic legs riding a motor scooter. When I was able to pull out, I felt compelled to speed up a bit and verify what I saw. Initially, I thought this looked risky. What happens when he puts a foot down at…

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CAN YOU POSSIBLY CHANGE YOUR MIND?


“I am who I am. I say what I think. You have to accept me for who I am. With me, what you see is what you get. I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade.” When you hear somebody present themselves in this manner, do you admire them for being forthright? Do you…

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Avoidance: A trap that makes anxiety worse


Events such as a rude remark, speaking in public, joining a group for the first time, using a pubic toilet, or taking a math quiz aren’t dangerous or emergent. When we avoid or quickly leave those situations because we feel anxiety, we strengthen the avoidance response.   Years ago, I came upon a bear foraging…

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Doubts and Indecision


David Barnhart, EdD What evidence supports and refutes a position? This technique bears similarity to a pros and cons list, but is qualitatively different because it seeks evidence. Here is how it works. Start by writing out a claim such as: “I should marry John or Mary” “I should take the job offer from ABC Company”…

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UTILITY ANALYSIS OF THOUGHTS & BELIEFS* PLUS COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING = MORE RATIONAL AND FUNCTIONAL THINKING


David Barnhart, EdD Emotional and behavioral change begins with improving self-awareness. Self-awareness is a component of emotional intelligence that can be improved through a process of monitoring and analysis. What triggers stress? What are the emotions we feel? What thoughts or beliefs are associated with the trigger? Thoughts include what we remember, what we imagine,…

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References for Huntsville Hospital Psychiatric Presentation 9/25/2015


Boswell, J. F., Farchione, T. J., Sauer-Zavala, S., Murray, H. W., Fortune, M. R., & Barlow, D. H. (2013). Anxiety Sensitivity and Interoceptive Exposure: A Transdiagnostic Construct and Change Strategy. Behavior Therapy, 44(3), 417–431. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2013.03.006 Chu, B. C., Colognori, D. B., Yang, G., Xie, M., Lindsey Bergman, R., & Piacentini, J. (2015). Mediators of Exposure…

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—The Basics


  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) is a type of therapy that helps teach people how to think rationally and appropriately about situations in order to help them improve their mood. The three basic components of CBT are thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Emotions are never right or wrong, and we often have very little control…

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Overcoming Anxiety is Like Learning to Ride a Bike


Bicycling magazine published a really helpful article on teaching children how to ride a bike many years ago. Forget the idea of running alongside your kid holding on to the seat while she freaks out yelling, “Don’t let go! Don’t let go!” Lying you say, “I’ve got you. I won’t let go.” At some point…

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Am I Ugly?


Am I ugly? Is a question most of us have asked ourselves at least once? A few years ago there was a YouTube explosion as teens around the world were filming themselves and asking the opinion of public viewers. Some say it was an attempt to get attention, others say it comes from low self-esteem,…

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