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A New Big Five for Psychotherapists (Part I) Psychotherapists should not think in terms of paradigms, but five systems of character adaptation: 1) habits; 2) emotions; 3) relationships; 4) defenses; and 5) justifications.
Today I Love Here And Now Today I love here and now because when you get right down to the grit of this life thing, all we have is now and all we can do is … ...
Love it or hate it: Marmite may affect brain function A potential link between eating Marmite and activity in the brain has been identified by researchers, through the apparent increase of a chemical messenger associated with healthy brain function. Participants consuming a teaspoon of Marmite every day for a month, compared to a control group who consumed peanut butter, showed a substantial reduction of around 30 per cent in their brain’s response to visual stimuli, measured by recording electrical activity using electroencephalography (EEG).
Discovery of 'mini-brains' could change understanding of pain medication The human body’s peripheral nervous system could be capable of interpreting its environment and modulating pain, neuroscientists have established, after successfully studying how rodents reacted to stimulation. 
Surgery for Psychopaths? The possibility that there are people around us who more or less look and act like us but don’t feel empathy like us is enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies. What if we could make psychopaths feel like us too, though? If we could “fix” psychopaths, should we? A pair...
How to Listen Mindfully in Sessions As it turns out, therapists, just like everyone else, tend to have wandering minds, emotional triggers, personal biases and urges to escape uncomfortable moments that arise between two people. Even during therapy sessions. Mindfulness is a skill that we tend to practice individually, but it … ...
Uncovering Your Hidden Genius Through Curiosity Inside every human being is a burning desire to learn and understand the world. And in today’s age of seemingly unlimited information, this thirst for knowledge has never been more important or relevant. Yet, after trying to fit our fingers in electrical outlets, experimenting with … ...
Nine Ways to Help Siblings Get Along Better Science has shown that forgiveness—intentionally letting go of angry feelings toward someone who has harmed you—is good for the health and well-being of the forgiver. If you’re raising siblings, you can probably guess at another benefit: harmony at home. Forgiveness is critical for healing conflicts between siblings and nurturing a lifelong, trusting bond, says leading forgiveness researcher Dr. Robert Enright, educational psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the founder of the International Forgiveness Institute. A study of more than 260 adult siblings offers evidence that the sibling relationship in childhood predicts their closeness as adults. Siblings that lack trust in each other in their early years will likely have a similar relationship with one another as adults; if their relationship was positive as kids, it will likely be strong in adulthood. Besides helping them get along better, teaching kids how to forgive in the context of the sibling relationship prepares them for dealing with hurts they’ll inevitably encounter in life, says Enright. “At home, in a lower-stakes environment where kids are hurting each other, but not gravely, that’s the perfect training ground for how to forgive.” We asked forgiveness researchers and experts for their advice on helping your kids let go of their hurts. Simple? Not at all. But, luckily, it’s a process with lots of built-in rewards along the way. 1. Don’t force forgiveness This is one area where “fake it ‘til you make it” doesn’t apply. You can’t force forgiveness by going through the motions. “Reducing forgiveness to a formula makes the process brittle and forced,” warns Enright. “It really is the call of the one offended to offer forgiveness when they’re ready.” So rather than insisting that one child apologize and the other accept the apology, acknowledge the hurt that happened. If the hurt party is suffering from lingering angry feelings, ask them if they’re ready to consider forgiving the offending party. Make sure they know it’s okay not to be ready—they can take all the time they need. And, during that time, if the problem resolves itself, says Enright, there’s no need to force forgiveness. “What the science shows is that forgiveness matters when the hurt isn’t going away. When it stays with the child and is uncomfortable for them, that’s when you need forgiveness.” 2. Start small In the heat of the moment or when the stakes are high—while bumps are being iced or a beloved broken toy is being cleaned up—forgiveness is likely to be a tough sell. Enright says the best time to begin teaching forgiveness to kids is when they are not so hurt and angry, ideally over small conflicts. In this way, he says, kids will build up their “forgiveness muscle.” Eventually, when there is a more serious conflict, parents can ask, “Do you remember when you practiced forgiving each other before, and it worked? Do you think you can consider extending forgiveness now, in this more difficult situation?” 3. Teach forgiveness in a just context One of the misconceptions about forgiveness, researchers say, is that it negates or excuses wrongdoing. Forgiveness isn’t saying the behavior is okay, and it isn’t a substitute for pursuing justice. When harm is caused, it is not sufficient to simply ask the offended child to forgive without addressing the offense. Minor hurts are par for the course. But bullying by siblings, while attracting less attention than bullying by classmates, is real—it can cause depression, anxiety, self-harm, and increased risk of psychopathology, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics. Other studies suggest this kind of behavior is common among siblings and vastly overlooked. Address the hurt-causing behavior in a just way and make sure the injured party knows forgiveness isn’t saying what the other child did is fair or good. Rather, it’s saying, “I am deciding to let go of my hurt and angry feelings toward that person even though they hurt me.” 4. Make it unconditional Both parties may not be on the same timeline when it comes to making peace, and that’s OK. A child can offer her sibling forgiveness even if the other remains angry and does not apologize, claims Enright. And no magic words are necessary. Forgiveness can be demonstrated through a kind word or action, a smile, or an offer to play. 5. Be a model forgiver When parents express bitterness over hurts they endured months, years, or decades ago, they are teaching their kids to harbor similar long-term hatreds and enduring feuds, says Dr. Fred Luskin, senior consultant in health promotion at Stanford University, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, and author of Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness. Luskin believes it is crucially important for parents to model forgiveness toward each other in front of their kids, particularly in the case of divorce. Research indicates that kids notice when there’s a lack of forgiveness between spouses. If parents—whether or not they’re together—consistently express forgiveness toward each other in their words and actions, this example will be ingrained in their children. 6. Practice forgiveness in your relationship with your child Likewise, points out Luskin, it is crucial that parents avoid modeling non-forgiveness when they are angry with their child. Parents who continue to scold children for behavior that occurred months or years earlier are demonstrating resentment; they are role-modeling an inability to forgive. And it works both ways. In a heated moment or after a hard day, parents can hurt their children with harsh or hasty words and actions. Admitting you did something you regret and asking for forgiveness can be difficult and painful. Enright says that when a parent genuinely apologizes and asks their child for forgiveness, they’re offering them a gift and modeling an important lesson at the same time. 7. Call out examples of forgiveness in books and on screen Stories are a great opportunity to show kids that conflicts always arise, but there are many ways a person can react to unfair treatment. “Parents can read stories with their child about forgiveness, whether from religious sources or from more generally available sources. They can point out heroes of forgiveness and hold them up to the children as exemplars,” says forgiveness researcher Everett Worthington of Virginia Commonwealth University. Using television, advises Enright, is also an excellent, non-threatening way to teach kids how to forgive. If there is a conflict between siblings on a show, parents can pose questions such as, “What if each of them keeps anger in the heart over this? Will either be happy? What if the writer of the show changed the script so the two forgave each other—how would that make them feel? How would they interact with each other?” Children can learn, by watching scenarios of conflicts they aren’t involved in, that forgiveness leads to peaceful relationships and happiness. 8. Write a note When angry feelings linger and simmer, taking up pen and paper may help ease them. In The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, author Sonja Lyubomirsky suggests asking kids to write a letter to the person who hurt them. Giving the completed letter to the offender is optional, she says; what’s important is that kids describe how they felt hurt at the time, and how they feel now, especially if there are still negative feelings. The letter can include what your child wishes the offender had done instead, and—if they feel it—end with an expression of forgiveness and understanding. 9. Be patient When you’re refereeing squabbles big and small, raising siblings who forgive each other might sound like a utopian dream. Take heart—it takes time. Worthington and Nathaniel Wade conducted a meta-analysis of research measuring the impact of forgiveness interventions and found that the amount of time spent trying to forgive is related to the degree of forgiveness that results. Other studies show that we become more willing to forgive as we grow older, though kids show the least inclination to forgive between the ages of 11 and 14. If it seems like your brooding middle schoolers are destined not to get along, hang in there! Improved happiness might be right around the corner, for both you and your adolescent. This article was originally published on GreatSchools. Read the original article.
10 Common Behaviors Of The Abuser Do you think you were abused as a child or know someone who was? If you had to identify the behaviors that would be categorized as abusive could you identify … ...
Idaho Becomes Fifth State to Allow Psychologists to Prescribe Medications Law will increase access to care, APA says
How Should Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Differ? In my last post, I talked about how trauma-informed care (TIC) is legislated in some states. And I promised information and ideas on how it should differ. Now I’m not … ...
Distracted driving: Urging companies to crack down Science shows the brain can't do two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time, and that includes talking on the phone while driving.
Reduce Burnout by Receiving the Gift of a Thank You Being a healthcare professional can be stressful and I went through a phase where I questioned if what I did in the world made any difference. I started to get discouraged, and I was headed toward a self-diagnosis of burnout. Not to mention my work … ...
Study finds: Some memories are more vulnerable to dementia than others New research indicates that some autobiographical memories are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than others. The study examined 11 patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease and 13 patients with frontotemporal dementia. Another 23 healthy older adults were recruited as controls. Repeated testing and brain imaging revealed that more recent autobiographical [...]
Study links prenatal progesterone exposure to bisexual orientation in later life New research suggests that exposure to progesterone in the womb is linked to bisexuality. “These findings reveal that prenatal progesterone has been an underappreciated factor in human psychosexual development (as are the actions of fetal testosterone or externally introduced endocrine disruptors),” the researchers wrote in their study. “Our findings suggest that natural perturbations in endogenous [...]
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20 Quotes on Courage to Help You with Your Depression Living with depression — and especially coping with chronic depression — demands courage over any other virtue: the courage to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned from the past in our strategies for better health in the future; the courage to ask for help when we need it, … ...
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