Category: Psychotherapy

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What Freud called “free floating anxiety” is now known in the DSM-IV TR as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It’s excessive worry that can’t be controlled by the person who is experiencing it. Symptoms may include restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, tension, and sleep disturbances; when several of these reach the point of interfering with an important […]

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Benefits of Forgiveness and Gratitude

Lynne Shallcross, writing in the January 2012 issue of Counseling Today (a journal of the American Counseling Association), reports on research from the Stanford Forgiveness Project that shows that learning to forgive others lessens the amount of hurt, anger, and depression that people experience. She notes the work of Frederick Luskin, a director of the […]

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Dr. Stefan de Schill in his prime

Stefan de Schill Death Anniversary

It is difficult for the board members of AMHF to believe that today is seven years since the passing of long-time director of research Dr. Stefan de Schill. De Schill was one of the foremost proponents of group therapy in North America. He recognized that psychotherapy—particularly of the modality he spent a lifetime studying and […]

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Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

Elaine Aron pioneered new ground over a decade ago when she wrote the trade book The Highly Sensitive Person; this was followed up by a workbook, a book on parenting children who are highly sensitive, and even a primer for therapists. Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP), in her view (which incorporates findings from important developmental psychologists […]

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Johnny Depp thinks he is Don Juan in this romantic comedy and satire

Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Don Juan DeMarco” (1995)

Of the twenty-one films referenced in this blog, Don Juan DeMarco is the first I will discuss. Psychiatrist Jack Mickler (Marlon Brando) dissuades a would-be suicide—a 21-year-old, costumed like Zorro claiming he is Don Juan (Johnny Depp)—is held for a ten-day review in a mental institution. Mickler, who is about to retire, insists on doing […]

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Curt Schilling Reflects on ADHD, Video Games, Scheduling

Many remember Curt Schilling for his postseason successes with the Boston Red Sox, including one in which he pitched while in pain and with a bloodied sock. Schilling recently announced that he has formed his own video-game company, which will be releasing a fantasy-oriented game for gamers. The story behind the story here is that […]

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American Psychological Association Announces Guidelines for Psychologist Involvement in Pharmacological Issues

In the recent yearly “Reports of the Association” issue of the American Psychologist (December 2011), the American Psychological Association announced “Practice Guidelines Regarding Psychologists’ Involvement in Pharmacological Issues.” This report notes several factors that will make psychologists more involved in medication-management issues. One survey noted that the number of Americans using antidepressants increased from 6.7 […]

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Counsel, Don’t Just Medicate, the Dually Diagnosed

The December 22, 2011, edition of the New York Times brings out another article on the problems and abuses in New York State public groups homes where developmentally disabled persons reside. It is important to note that the focus of the NYT articles has been on “public” rather than private group homes. Many of the […]

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"The other side of the story...."

Street Drugs, Psychiatric Drugs, and Healing

In most cases psychiatric drugs are not valuable commodities on the street: antipsychotics and antidepressants with names such as Thorazine, Haldol, Resperidal, Tofranil, SSRIs, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Lithium, and others generally must build up a therapeutic dosage in the bloodstream to become effective. There is no immediate “rush” or feeling of euphoria. In acute-psychiatric illness, a […]

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The Heart Too Long Suppressed

I came across this memoir (with its compelling title, somewhat reminiscent of the work of Clarice Lispector) upon learning its author, Carol Hebald, had been awarded (six years before) the same fellowship I had been given as an undergraduate. The foreword is by iconoclast Thomas Stephen Szasz, known for his anti-traditional “anti-views” of psychotherapy. In […]

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Setting Free the Bears: Escape from Thought Suppression

What are mental bears? A person who is asked NOT to think aloud about a white bear will more often than not mention this same white bear: at least once a minute. So “white bears” have come to mean all sorts of unwanted thoughts that cause annoyance to even extreme frustration to those who experience […]

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Lindsay Blevins

AMHF Attends 51st Annual Meeting of New England Psychological Association

AMHF attended the 51st Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association (NEPA), held October 28-29 at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. After a wonderful dinner, hosted by Drs. Robin Crabtree and Susan Franzosa, deans at Fairfield, participants heard child-development expert Dr. James Garbarino speak of “Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting […]

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Lynde Kayser

AMHF Attends Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology

On Friday, October 28, 2011, AMHF attended the 17th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology. This is a group of psychologists, who teach in colleges and universities, dedicated to improving their teaching of undergraduates and graduates. Participants of the group come from a wide range of specialties and interests including developmental, […]

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Pathologizing Normal Behavior II?

I wanted to continue the discussion points Evander Lomke recently raised (following an article published by University of Toronto) regarding what may be a plethora of new categories of pathology in the upcoming DSM V. It would appear that the psychiatric profession indeed is creating labels of “sickness” for many of the woes of everyday […]

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Pathologizing Normal Behavior?

The DSM was first issued in 1952, during that liberating period that saw, for example, Kinsey’s reports on sexual behavior. The DSM in its various editions guides treatment decisions throughout North America and other continents. The original DSM listed 106 disorders. This was pretty much carried over to the 1968 revision. However, the DSM III […]

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Cautions on Psychiatric Medication in Children

Claudia M. Gold, MD, is a behavioral pediatrician who writes for the Boston Globe. She offers some excellent thoughts on the topic of psychiatric medication and children: “In the last chapter of my new book Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child’s […]

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Genetic Prediction for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Researchers, including one from Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois, where a gunman killed five students in a classroom and then shot himself, recently published research showing a genetic link to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as noted in The Chicago Tribune. This was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Archives of General Psychiatry. […]

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Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW) Offers Scholarships

One theme of Dr. Stefan de Schill’s lifework was his passion for group therapy. His own personality lent itself to work simultaneously with the fascinating dynamics that occur in a group, and he was able to communicate understanding and direction almost intuitively. In many ways Dr. de Schill was also prescient in his concerns over […]

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Peter Kramer: Antidepressants Are Effective

Peter Kramer, M.D., writing in the July 9 issue of the New York Times Magazine, responded to a number of recent articles in the media that criticize the efficacy of antidepressant medications. One of the reviews mentioned was an essay in the New York Review of Books, wherein Marsha Angell, former editor of the New […]

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Remembering Dr. Stefan de Schill

Not to become or be considered hopelessly maudlin, though I am a bit of the nostalgic sort, I am this still Sunday afternoon, as the light shines a certain way, remembering our long-time director, Dr. Stefan de Schill, in a personal way. Long before I was invited to be on the board of directors of […]

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