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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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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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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Resetting Sleep

Sleep is fundamental to good mental and physical health. Sleep is the first item on our symptom checklist when you come to our office to complete paperwork. Sleep deprivation affects working memory and attention, and makes it difficult to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. I frequently hand this out to my clients and patients. When…

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Changing Irrational Core Beliefs and Improving Mood

Have you ever stopped to think about the negative messages you’ve been given in your life? Sometimes these messages are given orally and easily identified. At other times they can be hidden and harder to understand. They may be delivered through the way someone treats us or the way we see people treat each other.…

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How anxiety, irrational fear, obsessions and compulsions are maintained

How anxiety, irrational fear, obsessions and compulsions are maintained When we experience anxiety, fear, obsessions and compulsions that keep us from being our usual, charming selves, we are curious about “how we got this way?” Sometimes the answer can be obvious, for example, a trauma or the presence of a long-lasting stressful time could be…

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Facing Your Fears

Facing Your Fears Common sense seems to hold that we can best overcome fears by facing them head on. Admonitions like, “If you get bucked off, you got to get back up” encourage us not to give up due to fear. Recently, Jessica Cleveland and I presented a workshop to about forty other counselors on…

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Exposure Still Proves To Be The Best Therapy for Panic

Panic is severe anxiety with extreme fear that comes on unexpectedly and makes a person feel “out of control.”  In the latest copy of the Psychotherapy Net Worker, Dr. Reid Wilson, at the UNC School of Medicine discusses his successful exposure practice and protocol.  Counselors at Behavioral Sciences of Alabama have also found this protocol…

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