Monday, November 25, 2013

Four Ways to Keep Your Teen Busy During Winter Break

Teenagers everywhere anxiously await the annual winter break from the daily grind of school, homework and tests. But for parents, going into an extended break without a plan vastly increases the chances that your teens will use their free time to get into trouble.

Here are a few ways your teens can make productive use of their winter vacation:

School’s Out! (Uh, Oh) Tips for Avoiding Family Conflict During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a wonderful opportunity for families to reconnect, and for both parents and children to spend a bit of leisurely time together away from the stresses and pressures of work and school.

But as every parent of a teenager knows, an excess of free time isn’t necessarily such a good thing – especially when it comes to keeping your child out of trouble and your family out of conflict.

The following are a few tips for increasing the odds that your holiday season will be free of raised voices, slammed doors and other symptoms of family conflict. 

Seven Steps for Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays are supposed to be a time of family, togetherness and joy. Instead, many of us end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed and fatigued. To make matters worse, we often respond to that stress by overeating or otherwise abandoning our healthy diet. 

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. The following are a few tips for managing your stress over the holidays (and the rest of the year, too, for that matter):

Beating The Holiday Blues

The holidays are here. It’s the happiest time of the year, right? For some, the answer is a resounding “yes.” For others, the holidays bring into sharp focus how desperately unhappy they feel.

Depression isn’t just about feeling sad. It’s a clinical disorder that warrants medical attention and can affect physical health. Without help, it’s like a car getting stuck in the mud, spinning its wheels to get out, and instead, only getting in deeper. What’s more, once someone suffers a bout of depression and has managed to get past it, the depression may return, making it even more difficult to find a way to move past the new set of challenges.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Are all psychiatric drugs just avoidance that make the problems worse?

Nils Nilsen Clinical Psychologist

In working with anxiety patients, I see that there is one element that is behind all anxiety problems: Avoidance of psychological distress. The typical case is a person who feels anxious going to shops. She gets Valium or another benzodiazepine and takes this in order to do her shopping.

She avoids the anxiety by taking the drug. She never goes to the shop without taking the drug, so she has no opportunity to see that she would have been able to do it, and that she would get better every time she tried.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Quote of the Day:

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
- Carl Rogers

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Three: The Paradoxical Experience of Being—Isolation & Meaning

Isolation vs. RelationAs I began to make conscious efforts to be more present with myself and how I live my life, my heightened sense of self-awareness also led to the increased awareness of my sense of aloneness—the life anxiety that Otto Rank (cited in Yalom, 2008) warned us about. In coming to the Bay Area, I experienced first-hand, rather than just understanding the concepts intellectually, that no matter how close I am to my loved ones, I am ultimately alone—alone in my search for my identity and meaning in life. “Each man is at once a part of all other men and yet he is apart from all others” (Bugental, 1976, p. 102).

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Two: The Paradoxical Experience of Being—Freedom & Death

As I immerse myself in “the work” and struggle to seek a new way of experiencing and being, I was able to appreciate the meaning of the four important paradoxical concepts of our human existence Irvin Yalom described in his book Existential Psychology (1980) from a whole new perspective.

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being--Part One: Being on a Continuu

These series of blogs are written by a courageous Malaysian student and her journey into her own existence, JoAnn Loo. Inspired by the great existentialist psychologists including Yalom, Bugental, and May, she made the challenging decision to take one year off from her work and further her studies in existential psychology by relocating to the US on her own and pursuing the Certificate Program at Existential Humanistic Institute in San Francisco. JoAnn, like many people know that existence cannot be postponed and that if they are to grow and enter further into their own beings, they must emerge from the crowd, create their own paths and heed the responsibility for their own creation.





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