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Neuroplasticity: Hope and Cautionary Tale

Neuroplasticity offers hope. It has to do with our brain’s ability to reorganize connections in response to learning. Cognitive behavior therapy can help us reduce stress to life’s most challenging circumstances. One of the things I get to do about every couple of months or so is to talk with a group of women surviving…

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HOW AFFAIRS CAN HELP YOU CONTINUE TO MAKE BAD DECISIONS

Stories or movies containing scenes of people making mad, passionate love activate brain structures releasing chemicals that make us feel good. Movies can also expose us to scenes that scare us a bit and stimulate the release of cortisol that doesn’t overwhelm but stimulates us just enough to be excited. As a rule, if movies…

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Will my kids become addicts or dropouts?

Kids involved in athletics, music, dance and scouts are less likely to become dropouts, get pregnant early, more likely to attend college, and less likely to become drug addicts. Parents fear negative outcomes and want to do all they can to see that their children have bright futures. Kids are signed up for athletics, music,…

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GOLDEN RULE and Parenting

Religions share variations on the Golden Rule. Having learned them, we often cite the Golden Rule when explaining to children why they should treat their siblings or playmates with kindness, share, and, in general be respectful of others. As an adult, at times, I find it challenging to reign in a smart remark to rudeness…

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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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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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