/psychAMA

How people change

How people change [/psychAMA]

If you want to know how people change, read this post. Change your mind, change your mood, change your life. What follows combines two of my favorite subjects: the psychology of belief and the need for radical civility in political discourse. Doesn’t sound all that sexy, I admit. But understanding why we hate ambiguity is the key to understanding how people change – or don’t. It’s also key to how we got where we are in the state of political discourse.…

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Finding the right shrink – Part 2

As a psychologist, one of the most common questions I get – right up there with the ever-popular “oh, so are you analyzing me?” – is some version of, “how do I go about finding the right shrink?” In part 1 I wrote about the idea of fit, and the importance of the relationship. The person with whom you choose to work has to match your problem, your expectations, and your needs. S/he also has to have the skill set…

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Finding the right shrink: Part 1

On August 7 I asked, what do you think of shrinks? Totally unscientific, probably the wrong question, and interesting as hell anyway. Unsurprisingly, the answer comes down to, “it depends.” But it raises another, more important question: how do you go about finding the right shrink? The results Most people – 92% – thought they are at least sometimes helpful, and a slim majority thought they are usually helpful or downright miracle workers. On the other end of the scale,…

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How to overcome anxiety [/psychAMA]

On day 5 of the Problogger challenge, a post to answer one of the questions that came up a lot when I askied for things you’ve always wanted to ask a psychologist: how to overcome anxiety. First, you are not alone I wasn’t surprised that anxiety was a common theme. Anxious feelings are extraordinarily common and takes a lot of forms. If I asked, 90% of you would say that you sometimes feel anxious, and the rest of you either didn’t understand the question…

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Why don’t psychologists answer the f@&king question? [/psychAMA]

Today on Facebook I asked, “What’s a question you’d like to ask a psychologist,” and I asked friends to share. Four hours later I have 36 questions and 13 shares, and I expect the list to grow. The questions are truly a delight. Some are funny, others serious, some clearly deeply personal. The intensity of response led me to a conclusion: I’m going to start a series of posts under the Reddit-style heading /psychAMA (ask me anything), because they are…

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Mental health month happens in May

Did you miss mental health month? It’s not too late. Ever. Mental health is about being who, what, when, and where you are. “Why” doesn’t really have much to do with it. I learned, when hit by loss, to ask the right question: ‘What next?’ instead of “Why me?’  – Julia Cameron What say you? Dr Les Kertay

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Live long and happy, and think about death

Yesterday I published About Aging Gracefully.  That same morning two things showed up on my social media timeline that together said, “Maybe bullshit was too strong a word.”  That said, “You want to know how to age gracefully?  Here you go.” First up was a November 2015 TED talk that showed up on a friend’s timeline.  In it, Robert Waldinger, the fourth and current director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, reminded me – yes, again – that only one thing determined above all else whether…

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Because Parenting Is Not for Wimps

Geckos. Next time let’s raise geckos. We don’t mean it, but sometimes we think it. Every parent thinks it. Well, probably not exactly that, because that whole “let’s raise geckos instead” thing is a pretty strange way to say it. But some version of it. Every parent thinks some version of it. Because, parenting. Because parenting is not for wimps. Like most parents, I have experienced joy and triumph and satisfaction beyond anything that I ever thought I could possibly…

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A Heart as Good as New

My eyes open. My first thought is, Maddie and Flaun will be worried, I’ve been gone so long. Then the thought, How could I possibly know it’s been a long time? I have no idea what time it is. I look up and see a nurse. He is typing fast and diligently looking at a computer. His eyes are locked on the screen. Please see me, I think, for I have not yet found words. I’m here. I’m alive. Can…

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Aging by the Numbers

I have a theory of development by decades, about how we develop and what we do with our neuroses. But I turn 60 tomorrow, and I don’t know what happens next. I’m pretty sure that at a certain age you’ve earned the right to be as neurotic as you want to be, and no one cares anymore. Personally, I can’t wait. But what about 60?

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