Archive | January, 2013

More about Anxiety

31 Jan

“A cure doesn’t mean the end of anxiety, it means a willingness to try new things, take some risks, and accept anxiety as an inherent part of growing and living.” (Psychotherapy Networker, 2013,37, 1, p. 45)

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Anxiety

29 Jan

“To be uncomfortable-and move forward anyway-is the way out of anxiety’s maze.”  (Psychotherapy Networker, 2013,37, 1, p. 45)

 

Habit Change

25 Jan

Want to change a habit that is getting in your way? Here are two tips: 1) Identify the trigger for the behavior and substitute an incompatible but neutral or positive behavior and 2) Break down your goal for change into small, doable steps. ( Psychotherapy Networker, 2013, 37, 1, p. 13)

Nature vs Nurture

22 Jan

This week, the magazine The Week (2013,13, 601, p.) addresses the nature/nurture debate with the latest information in the article “The ‘switches’ on your genes.” This information involves data found in epigenetic research that supports the interplay between nature and nurture instead of an either/or dichotomy.

Epigenetics supports the importance of genes to who we are and will be but also provides evidence that genes aren’t destiny. Genes have switches, called tags, that are turned on and off by environmental input that can be biological, like diet and toxins, and psychological, such as a loving home or trauma.

Interestingly, about one percent of changes from the switches can be passed on to one’s offspring and subsequently to the generations to come. Therefore, some environmental changes or acquired traits can be heritable. This recognition is a relatively new change in our thinking 

Continuing research is exploring how the switches contribute to the onset of such conditions as obesity, depression, and dementia. Hopefully this work will lead to clues as to how prevent and remedy negative epigenetic phenomena.              

 

Sleep

19 Jan

This month’s cover story in the Monitor on Psychology (2013,44,1) is called “Awakening to Sleep” by Dr. Siri Carpenter. It warns of the many serious dangers to our physical and psychological well-being of getting too little sleep. It’s message is that it is important for us all to wake up to the necessity of going to sleep at a reasonable time and getting enough sleep.

Comments literary

16 Jan

Just finished reading Women (1925) by Booth Tarkington, an Indiana writer of considerable note. He took on psychological portraits of some of the women of his time.

Many of his feminine characters were sturdy and strong, but others stumbled. One youngster saw herself through the immature eyes of her peers. She became what I’d call depressed and stayed so until she visited relatives in another town, where her age-mates reacted to her very differently and positively.

A couple of young women fell for young men because they were popular in their social set or because their parents disapproved (for good reasons). Fortunately they did mature and found men of real worth. Tarkington favored happy endings most of the time in this book.

But all did not always end well. He portrayed the subtle slights and self-interested competitions between women, which we identify today as covert bullying. Also he told a powerful tale of one woman who would not see something disturbing because it would be too threatening to her marriage, the center of her life.

What Tarkington saw in his woman of almost 100 years ago can still be seen today in some of us.

“Love after Love” by Derek Walcott

10 Jan

I would call this poem “Enjoy Yourself”:

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome

and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who loved you

all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf

the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.