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Emotion-focused Coping

According to Lazarus and Folkman (1984), there are two categories of stress management techniques. The first is called problem-focused coping. Problem-focused coping targets the causes of stress in practical ways and reduces or eliminates them directly. Emotion-focused coping involves trying to reduce the negative emotional responses associated with stress such as embarrassment, fear, anxiety, […]

By |May 7th, 2016|Psychotherapy|0 Comments

Questions about Alcohol Use

Q: How much is too much drinking?
Excessive alcohol use includes heavy drinking and binge drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “at risk” or “heavy” drinking is defined as more than 4 drinks/day or more than 14 drinks/week for men, AND more than 3 drinks/day or more than 7 drinks/week […]

By |May 7th, 2016|Substance Use|Comments Off on Questions about Alcohol Use

Diaphragmatic Breathing

There are two branches of the body’s peripheral nervous system — the sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic branch. The sympathetic branch controls the body’s fight-flight response. This is the response that occurs when we are stressed. The parasympathetic branch, in contrast, is like the braking system on the stress response. It brings the body […]

By |December 12th, 2015|Complementary and Alternative Medicine|Comments Off on Diaphragmatic Breathing

How long does psychotherapy take?

How long should you continue in treatment? This depends on a number of factors. Some disorders yield more quickly to treatment than others, so there is variability across conditions (Lambert et al., 2006). Response rates also differ based on treatment goals (Maling, Gurtman, & Howard, 1995).

Research shows that the more psychotherapy one gets, the […]

By |December 11th, 2014|Psychotherapy|Comments Off on How long does psychotherapy take?

What does the education of a psychologist look like?

To become a clinical psychologist, you have to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology and then get licensed in your state. I will try to outline the process starting with entrance to graduate school and ending with licensure.

Here are all of the prerequisites for entering a doctoral program in clinical psychology:

Undergraduate degree
Certain undergraduate class […]

By |November 23rd, 2014|Psychotherapy|Comments Off on What does the education of a psychologist look like?

How effective is treatment for mental health issues?

A good review of the research on the effects of psychotherapy can be found in Lambert & Archer (2006). Here were some of their conclusions:

75% of people who enter psychotherapy improve (Lambert & Ogles, 2004).
Smith, Glass, & Miller (1980) showed that the average person who entered psychotherapy was better off than 80% of those […]

By |November 20th, 2014|Psychotherapy|Comments Off on How effective is treatment for mental health issues?

What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?

If we break apart the word psychodynamic we get psycho (from the Greek psykhe, meaning mind) and dynamic (from the French dynamique, meaning force producing motion). Therefore, psychodynamic therapies are ones concerned with the patterns of the mind — specifically, our patterns of thought, emotion, motivation, and behavior. As an insight-oriented therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy believes […]

By |November 20th, 2014|Psychotherapy|Comments Off on What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Does psychotherapy work?

The evidence for this is unequivocal. The average person experiencing mental health problems is much better off going to psychotherapy than not. How much an individual will benefit from treatment depends on many factors. One of these factors is treatment approach.

My primary approach to treatment is a psychodynamic approach, and research has demonstrated its ability […]

By |November 18th, 2014|Psychotherapy|Comments Off on Does psychotherapy work?

How common are mental health problems?

Based on the research of Kessler & Wang (2008), psychological problems are very common. About one-half (46.4%) of the US population will experience an anxiety disorder, mood disorder, impulse-control disorder, or substance disorder at some point in their lives. The most prevalent class of disorders is anxiety disorders (28.8%), followed by impulse-control disorders (24.8%), mood disorders (20.8%), […]

By |November 18th, 2014|Psychotherapy|Comments Off on How common are mental health problems?

What is mental health?

Mental health is the goal of any good psychotherapy. This is obvious. What’s not obvious is what is means to be mentally healthy. Jonathan Shedler (2010) defines a mentally healthy individual as someone who:

Is able to use his/her talents, abilities, and energy effectively and productively.
Enjoys challenges; takes pleasure in accomplishing things.
Is capable of sustaining […]

By |November 18th, 2014|Psychotherapy|Comments Off on What is mental health?