Thursday, December 27, 2007

How I learned to stop 'stressing' about arguments with my son

Until recently, I worried a lot about coming home and finding my son sitting in front of his computer. This is where I usually find him, and the reason I worried was because we would almost always get into a fight about it. I started to anticipate the arguments, and so I didn't even want to go home!

When I realized this was what I was doing, I started to observe how I felt when it was time to go home. I paid attention to the things I said to myself. I paid attention to the ways I was creating distractions and finding excuses to stay away from my house. I was amazed at how talented I had become at this skill.

Then I started to talk with people close to me about my worry. I did a lot of brainstorming about how to address the problem(s) at different levels. There is the problem of me avoiding dealing with the problem. There is the problem of fighting over the problem. There is the problem of him sitting there!

Talking about each part of the situation calmly with people who offer me some perspective helps me to let go of the worry, anxiety and fear of coming home to a young man wasting his days gaming instead of moving forward with his life. I remind myself that I can only control my actions/reactions and not those of another person. I make sure to do my meditation each day. I do as many things as I can to improve my physical and therefore my mental health. All of these actions have greatly reduced my anxiety levels and let me stop stressing about and start dealing with a difficult situation.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fear of Shopping

A friend of mine used to suffer from panic attack symptoms on a regular basis. She was so scared of shopping in an enclosed shopping center that she had to buy all her food at outdoor booths. She doesn't like to take medicine if she can avoid it. Even though she suffered from the anxiety of the panic attacks, she wanted to treat them naturally. She wanted to find a way to overcome panic attacks without medication.

She went in search of a cure for panic attacks. What she found was the Think Right Now audio program for Dissolving Panic & Anxiety. She told me the other day that after just 2 nights of listening to the CD, she was able to buy food in a real shop and even stand in a line without problems! I was pretty impressed that the CD could work that quickly and effectively.

What's really cool is you don't have to suffer from panic attacks, senseless worrying or compulsions anymore. There really are products out there, like Think Right Now, that help you move through those old patterns - and you DON'T have to take drugs! I encourage you to learn more about overcoming panic attack and anxiety HERE.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Could It Really Be That Easy?

My son just recently took the GED. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the test you take in the US to get your high school ‘equivalency’ if you don’t finish high school. Basically it’s what lets you move on to the next step in life and it's something that can cause people a lot of anxiety - even lead to a panic attack.

He had studied some for it, but he’s always done pretty well on standardized tests like this, so he wasn’t too worried about if he could pass it or not. But taking the test was a pretty important event because of what it stands for in his life, especially since he struggles with depression.

The morning of the test, he woke up with a killer stomachache. He was miserable. He had no idea what he was going to do because he couldn’t miss the test. He tried a couple of home remedies including eating some chicken noodle soup, but the stomachache wouldn’t go away.

A couple of friends suggested he ‘just try to relax’. Sounds like an easy thing when it’s someone else, but not so much when it’s you who has to do the relaxing!

Well, he got to the test. He looked at the test. He started to review the contents of the test. He told me later, that about 30 seconds after he realized how easy it was going to be, his stomachache was almost completely gone! He had been holding in that tension; that anxiety so strongly that he had caused himself actual, physical pain.

He was really lucky to have a concrete way to get rid of the stress even though he didn’t know it until it happened. It’s not always that easy to let it go, especially if you don’t know what you’re anxious about.

Sometimes you just need some ‘reprogramming’ so you don’t need to know exactly what’s going on – sometimes you have to get relaxed a little just to be able to figure out what’s going on. Luckily, one of the ways you can do that is with the use of Think Right Now programs. I've been using the Think Right Now! for Windows product for years and it's a really cool way to send yourself 'subliminal' messages of encouragement and positive energy - relaxation, whatever you want more of. Click here to learn more about these products and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Importance of Sleep to Brain Function

Panic is a state created by a person's brain, and the more tired your brain is, the fewer resources it has to combat anxiety and panic. Here is an executive summary of the article entitled, "Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer" A Conversation with Harvard Medical School Professor Charles A. Czeisler ============================================================ Companies today glorify the executive who logs 100-hour workweeks, the road warrior who lives out of a suitcase in multiple time zones, and the negotiator who takes a red-eye to make an 8 AM meeting. But to Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, this kind of corporate behavior is the antithesis of high performance. In fact, he says, it endangers employees and puts their companies at risk. In this interview, Czeisler describes four neurobiological functions that affect sleep duration and quality as well as individual performance. When these functions fall out of alignment because of sleep deprivation, people operate at a far lower level of performance than they would if they were well rested. Czeisler goes on to observe that corporations have all kinds of policies designed to protect employees—rules against smoking, sexual harassment, and so on—but they push people to the brink of self-destruction by expecting them to work too hard, too long, and with too little sleep. The negative effects on cognitive performance, Czeisler says, can be similar to those that occur after drinking too much alcohol: “We now know that 24 hours without sleep or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1%. We would never say, ‘This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!’ yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work.” Czeisler recommends that companies institute corporate sleep policies that discourage scheduled work beyond 16 consecutive hours as well as working or driving immediately after late-night or overnight flights. A sidebar to this article summarizes the latest developments in sleep research. Read complete article

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

More Resources

Web MD's Anxiety/Panic Disorders Health Center is a wealth of information from the medical community about this difficult condition. Anxiety and panic disorders affect an estimated 2.4 million Americans. Panic attacks are twice as common in women as in men. Find in-depth articles here about anxiety, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and effective treatments.

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Stress Tips

Stress Tips

By Bill Reddie Anxiety and stress rob us of valuable energy. Many of Bill's tips for relieving anxiety, worry and panic are very helpful. Even if you're not struggling with anxiety, these relaxation methods help to bring more calm and perspective into your life. Developmental Support Associates, LLC ========================= 26 ways to minimize and manage the unhealthy effects of stress, anxiety and burnout. No doubt about it - we live in an increasingly competitive and stressful world. In many subtle and not so subtle ways it affects us all and it's not unusual for people to lace their conversation with phrases like 'Stressed out', 'Anxiety syndrome', 'Panic attack', 'Burned out', and more. That's today's reality. The question is, how do we go about dealing with that kind of world? What can we do to minimize the prolonged, unhealthy effects of a stressful environment? How can we prevent stress, anxiety and burnout from becoming a way of life? Well, first we need to take a good hard look at what exactly is stressing us out and perhaps do a bit of repair work on our perspective of the situation. A good way to do that is by reviewing some very basic and constructive advice that has always been available but is often forgotten in our daily scuffle to get ahead. For the most part, the advice is based upon common sense and can often provide clarity and guidance in stressful situations. That said, study the list below to see if it contains something that will work for you. At first glance, these suggestions may appear deceptively simple but each will, nonetheless, require dedicated effort and discipline. 1. Don't try to please everyone. It's impossible, debilitating and very stressful. 2. Stop living your life according to the beliefs, opinions and prejudgments of others. Its your life, not theirs. 3. Create dependable friendships with people who can be counted on to support your effort to change, learn and grow. 4. Try to make changes gradually. Doing so will help you to maintain a more positive outlook as you progress. Attempting to change too much too soon often leads to disappointment. 5. Establish priorities that are consistent with your own values. 6. Examine your beliefs and goals. Are they unrealistic or unattainable? 7. Accent the positive and learn from the negative. 8. Focus on the present. The past cannot be changed. The future hasn't arrived yet. That leaves you with now. Now is the time to create the future you desire. 9. Are you a workaholic? If so, try to create a more balanced lifestyle. By so doing, you'll minimize a lot of stress too. 10. Choose a goal that you can be proud to work toward and which enhances and maintains your self-respect. 11. Don't forget to take short breaks throughout your workday. 12. Think ahead. Always have a plan B in case plan A does not work. 13. Mistakes happen. If it's your fault, admit it and don't waste time and energy with excuses. 14. Take the time to exercise regularly. Exercise is a good stress-buster. 15. Improve your relationships. Give up those that lead nowhere and drain your energy. 16. Pace yourself. Know your limits. If you feel you can go the extra mile and it's a worthy goal, then go for it...but don't obsess or overdo. Sometimes, less is more. 17. If a situation or workload appears overwhelming don't panic. Instead, analyze the problem and divide it into smaller, more manageable parts to be completed in an orderly manner. 18. Trying to be king of the hill is ok so long as it remains a game. When it becomes a stressful, obsessive and competitive desire to win no matter the cost, you've got a problem. 19. A little humor can often diffuse a tense situation. 20. Don't take yourself too seriously. Lighten up...your friends and co-workers will appreciate it and you'll feel better. 21. Continual worry or guilt solves nothing. Take action by changing what you can, ignoring the rest and concentrating your effort on creating a better future. 22. Choose work that: (a) you enjoy (b) you are capable of (c) produces results that are helpful to and appreciated by others. 23. Get plenty of sleep and rest. Sleep deprivation is a major cause of burnout, stress and anxiety. 24. Listen to soothing, relaxing music that provides the space you need to pause, reflect and regenerate. 25. Unreasonable deadlines can be very stressful. Try to establish a schedule that is realistic and manageable. 26. If a problem or situation is too complex for you to handle, seeking the aid of a qualified professional counselor or doctor may provide the help and guidance that you need.
Copyright © 2003-2005 Channel 1 Records All rights reserved
ef and stress management since 1972. Further information regarding the beneficial effects of music and its potential for relieving stress, anxiety and burnout may be found at: http//


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Social Anxiety - Are You Just Shy?

by Pam Triick

Most people unfamiliar with anxiety see it as just a simple case of the nerves. Those of us who live with anxiety know it is much more than that.

Anxiety is similar to fear, yet very different. Let me explain. Fear is a rational emotional response to a real threat. Anxiety is an irrational emotional response to an imagined threat. However it feels very real to those of us who suffer with anxiety on a daily basis.

Example: Imagine you are walking down a dark deserted road and you turn around to see a man coming at you with a gun. This is real... this is fear.

Now imagine you are walking down a familiar street in broad daylight and you imagine some disaster is about to happen, to you, and without warning. There is no visual threat, it is all imagined, though very real in the mind of a person suffering anxiety. This is imagined... this is anxiety.

Social anxiety or social phobia is often misdiagnosed. Often, you are just labeled as being shy.

“Oh, you are just shy?” Are you sick and tired of hearing that? Are you wondering what is wrong with you? Do you feel like no one understands? You are not alone!

I lived with “shyness” all my life. Everyone told me to just “get over it.” I wanted to scream! Something is wrong with me! I can't just get over it!

Then I got older. The problem with my “shyness” got worse. Other symptoms started to arise. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and many others.

If you are still wondering if you are just shy, or if it is something more, maybe this will help.

Do you worry for days, weeks, months about an event you have to attend?
Do you immediately start coming up with excuses not to attend an event?
Do you have an extreme fear of being judged by others?
Do you have extreme fear of talking to strangers?
Do you find it extremely hard to post in forums, newsgroups, use an instant messenger, or any form of conversation online?
Do you find it almost impossible to use the phone?
Do you panic when someone knocks on your door? Do you even get nauseous and not answer it?
Do you avoid going to the store?

Some of these you may do, some you may not, and there may be other things you do or avoid that is not on this list. It should give you some points to ponder. Notice a couple of key words in the examples above. Extreme and Avoid.

Someone who is shy may blush when meeting someone new. Someone with social anxiety may also blush when meeting someone new. However, this person may also feel nauseous, light headed, and tremble. Their heart might race, they may sweat excessively, their mouth and throat may get extremely dry, they may have panic feelings and want to find the nearest exit.

It is imperative for anyone with these kinds of feelings seek professional assistance.

I have been living with Social Anxiety all of my life, though misdiagnosed until late adulthood. I now share my daily struggles in hopes to help someone along the way. My blog is here


Note from editor of this blog:

The author of the article above views it as imperative that anyone with any of these symptoms of anxiety or panic seek professional advice. I would argue that feelings of panic and anxiousness serve a purpose. The time to seek help is when panic or anxiety are getting in the way of your ability to conduct your life the way you would like to. Anxiety and panic are only a 'problem' if they impair your functioning.

Developmental Support Associates, LLC

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Obesity Linked with Mood and Anxiety Disorders

July 3, 2006

Panic Attack - Obesity Linked with Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Results of an NIMH-funded study show that nearly one out of four cases of obesity is associated with a mood or anxiety disorder, but the causal relationship and complex interplay between the two is still unclear. The study is based on data compiled from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative, face-to-face household survey of 9,282 U.S. adults, conducted in 2001-2003. It was published in the July 3, 2006, issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

The results appear to support what other studies have found—that obesity, which is on the rise in the United States, is associated with increasing rates of major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder and other disorders. However, in contrast to other studies, this study found no significant differences in the rates between men and women. In addition, it found that obesity was associated with a 25 percent lower lifetime risk of having a substance abuse disorder. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more.

Social and cultural factors appear to influence the obesity connection with mood and anxiety disorders, according to the study. The association appeared to be strongest among non-Hispanic whites who are age 29 and younger, and college educated.

The causal relationship between obesity and mood and anxiety disorders continues to be debated and studied. Both likely contribute to the other, but they may be linked through a common environmental or biological factor as well. Lead author Gregory Simon, MD of the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Wash., suggests further study into how the two conditions intersect.

Other study authors are Michael Von Korff ScD, of the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative; Kathleen Saunders JD, of the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative; Diana L. Miglioretti PhD, of the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative and the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine; Paul K. Crane MD, MPH, of the University of Washington School of Medicine; Gerald van Belle PhD, of the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine; and Ronald C. Kessler PhD, of Harvard Medical School.

Simon GE, von Korff M, Saunders K, Miglioretti DL, Crane PK, van Belle G, Kessler R. Association Between Obesity and Psychiatric Disorders in the U.S. Adult Population. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2006. 63: 824-830.

Panic Attack

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Occurence of Anxiety Disorders

Here is some basic information from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research to help you understand what anxiety and panic attacks are all about.

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric conditions, affecting between 15% and 20% of the adult population at some time in their lives. They often result in severe emotional distress and impairment in social, occupational, academic, and leisure functioning. Anxiety disorders are also associated with increased medical problems. For these reasons understanding the nature of anxiety problems, and how best to treat them, is very important.

Anxiety Disorders Clinic (Abramowitz Lab)

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The Difference Between 'Panic Attack' and 'Anxiety Attack'

One definition to try and tease out the distinctions is From "Anxiety Disorders and Phobias - a Cognitive Perspective" by Aaron T. Beck. M.D. and Gary Emery, Ph.D. with Ruth L. Greenberg, Ph.D. (1985):

"When a person has anxiety he experiences a subjectively unpleasant emotional state characterized by unpleasant subjective feelings, such as tension or nervousness, and by physiological symptoms like heart palpitations, tremor, nausea, and dizziness... Panic is an acute state of anxiety associated with other dramatic physiological, motor, and cognitive symptoms. The physiological correlations of panic are an intensified version of those of anxiety - that is, rapid pulse, dizziness, cold and profuse sweating, and tremor. In addition, one has a sense of impending catastrophe, pervasive inhibitions, and an overwhelming desire to flee or get help."

(pp. 9-10).

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Panic Disorder, A Real Illness

Panic Disorder, A Real Illness Does This Sound Like You?

Do you have sudden bursts of fear for no reason?

Do you feel awful when they happen?

Check the statements that apply to you during these sudden bursts of fear.

  • I have chest pains or a racing heart.
  • I have a hard time breathing.
  • I have a choking feeling.
  • I feel dizzy.
  • I sweat a lot.
  • I have stomach problems or feel like I need to throw up.
  • I shake, tremble, or tingle.
  • I feel out of control.
  • I feel unreal.
  • I am afraid I am dying or going crazy.
If you put a check in the box next to some of these problems, you may have Panic Disorder.

Panic disorder is a real illness that needs to be treated.

It's not your fault if you have this illness, and you don't have to suffer.

1. What is panic disorder?

Panic disorder is a real illness. It can be treated with medicine or therapy.

If you have panic disorder, you feel suddenly terrified for no reason. These frequent bursts of terror are called panic attacks. During a panic attack, you also have scary physical feelings like a fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, or dizziness.

Panic attacks can happen at any time and any place without warning. They often happen in grocery stores, malls, crowds, or while traveling.

You may live in constant fear of another attack and may stay away from places where you have had an attack. For some people, fear takes over their lives and they are unable to leave their homes.

Panic attacks don't last long, but they are so scary they feel like they go on forever.

2. When does panic disorder start and how long does it last?

It usually starts when people are young adults, around 18 to 24 years old. Sometimes it starts when a person is under a lot of stress, for example after the death of a loved one or after having a baby. Anyone can have panic disorder, but more women than men have the illness. It sometimes runs in families. Panic disorder can last for a few months or for many years.

3. Am I the only person with this illness?

No. You are not alone. In any year, 2.4 million Americans have panic disorder.

4. What can I do to help myself?

Talk to your doctor about your fear and panic attacks. Tell your doctor if the panic attacks keep you from doing everyday things and living your life. You may want to show your doctor this booklet. It can help you explain how you feel. Ask your doctor for a checkup to make sure you don't have some other illness.

Ask your doctor if he or she has helped other people with panic disorder. Special training helps doctors treat people with panic disorder. If your doctor doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.

Get more information. Call 1-866-615-6464 to have free information mailed to you.

You can feel better.

5. What can a doctor or counselor do to help me?

The doctor may give you medicine. Medicine usually helps people with panic disorder feel better after a few weeks. Talking to a specially trained doctor or counselor who can teach you ways to cope with your panic attacks helps many people with panic disorder. This is called "therapy."

Therapy will help you feel less afraid and anxious.

Here is one person's story:

"One day, without any warning or reason, I felt terrified. I was so afraid, I thought I was going to die. My heart was pounding and my head was spinning. I would get these feelings every couple of weeks. I thought I was losing my mind.

"The more attacks I had, the more afraid I got. I was always living in fear. I didn't know when I might have another attack. I became so afraid that I didn't want to leave my house or other safe places.

"My friend saw how afraid I was and told me to call my doctor for help. My doctor told me I have panic disorder. My doctor gave me medicine that helps me feel less afraid. I've also been working with a counselor learning ways to cope with my fear. I had to work hard, but after a few months of medicine and therapy, I'm starting to feel like myself again."

Remember - you can get help now:

Talk to your doctor about your fear and panic attacks. Call 1-866-615-6464. It is a free call. You will get free information about panic disorder mailed to you.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the Federal government. NIMH conducts medical research to find new and better ways to prevent and treat mental illnesses. NIMH also provides free information about mental illnesses.

To get free information about other mental illnesses, write to

NIMH at:

National Institute of Mental Health 6001 Executive Boulevard Room 8184, MSC 9663 Bethesda, MD 20892-9663 Phone: 301-443-5413 or 1-866-615-NIMH (6464) toll-free TTY: 301-443-8431 TTY: 866-415-8051 FAX: 301-443-4279 E-mail: Web site:
You can also find free NIMH information online at:

For information on panic disorders, go to MedLinePlus®, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health at the following website:

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Does Size Really Matter?

The subject of penis size is the topic of so much discussion and concern that I wanted to include this article about anxiety related to the issue. The author describes the vicious cycle of worrying about size which can actually make it smaller: ". . . the real joke is that the more anxious one becomes about penis size, the more it is likely to shrink." Give a man six inches and he'll want a …

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Raising Superkids? Parents Show Stress

Poll Shows Many Parents Are Anxious About Their Children's Academic Success
Aug. 10, 2006 (New York City) -- Today's parents are stressed out about their children's academic success and believe starting early is the key to achievement, according to a new poll. In fact, 54% of parents of children aged 2 to 5 said they had anxiety about their child's academic performance and 38% felt that their child was in competition with other kids. The new findings come from a telephone poll of about 1,000 parents of children aged 2 to 11 conducted in July 2006 by the National Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) in New York City, and the Public Broadcast Service (PBS) Parents. More than 90% of all parents polled said that they believe that starting early to prepare their children for academic success is key. When the findings were broken down by income status, low-income families had significantly greater concerns about education and were three times more likely to think that they are not as able to help their child prepare for school as their richer counterparts. Read the full article here Panic Anxiety

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Panic Attack - it's real

There are lots of resources out there to learn more about and to help those suffering from panic attacks and other anxiety-related difficulties. Here is information from one of those web sites called DRADA which stands for Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association. DRADA is a community organization; we serve individuals affected by a depressive illness, family members, health care professionals and the general public. We are committed to our mission to alleviate the suffering arising from depression and manic depression by assisting self-help groups, providing education and information, and lending support to research programs. DRADA understands the need to eliminate the stigma that is attached to mood disorders, and we are constantly striving to promote public knowledge of signs, symptoms, and resources available to persons affected by these illnesses.

DRADA - Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association

Did you know about the website devoted to teenage depression?

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What Do They Mean By 'Panic Disorder'?

Lots of health-related sites give more information to aid in your understanding of what panic attacks are all about. The University of Michigan Health System web site has this to say about it:

Panic Disorder

What is panic disorder? Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder. When panic attacks occur repeatedly, without warning, it is called panic disorder. These attacks can happen many times every day or every week. People with this disorder might worry about having these attacks throughout the day. It can interfere with work and personal life.

How does it occur? Panic is a "fight or flight" reaction. It is an adrenaline surge that goes wrong. How it happens is not known. Scientists know that certain parts of the brain and nervous system cause the emotional and physical surge of fear. A panic attack is very scary, but having one attack doesn't usually mean that you are developing panic disorder.

Panic disorder usually begins when you are a teenager or a young adult. Sometimes it begins after age 30, but almost never in middle age or later. It tends to run in families. Studies of identical twins suggest a genetic link to the disorder. However, one half or more of people with panic disorder do not have a close relative with the same problem.

Many people with panic disorder also have agoraphobia, which means you avoid going places or doing things because you are afraid you will panic and have no help. It is common to have depression along with panic disorder.

What are the symptoms? read the whole article here

Adult Health Advisor 2005.4: Panic Disorder

Copyright © 2005 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Don't Tell Me About Your Childhood

To many of us, this isn't really 'news' but I suppose there are a lot of folks that still retain the old stigma about working with a therapist or a counselor. Hopefully, some of you will use some of the information in this article as a stepping stone to seeking help if you haven't already. ========================================= COGNITIVE THERAPY The Bay Area embraces a 'here and now' approach to psychotherapy with surprising results by Suzanne Leigh, as published in The San Francisco Chronicle It used to be that seeing a psychotherapist involved delving deep into the past: Our narcissistic mothers and controlling fathers came under microscopic scrutiny as we grappled with gaining insight into our tarnished lives. Underthe therapist's prolonged probing we chewed over our "stuff" and "baggage" and family "dysfunction" and relationship "co-dependency." And the next week we came back for more. But that scenario has gradually shifted. Many psychiatrists and psychologists in the Bay Area no longer encourage patients to languish in the past. Instead they propel them into the here and now with a powerful tool: cognitive therapy.

Read the complete article: COGNITIVE THERAPY / Don't Tell Me About Your Childhood / The Bay Area embraces a 'here and now' approach to psychotherapy with surprising results

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