Why Choose a Psychologist?

When you’re looking for help with a psychological difficulty, it can be overwhelming to sort through the many options available to you. There are psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and now hundreds of psychotherapists and life coaches. So how do you choose?

I would say that this choice is particularly hard because it’s not really clear what differentiates the different types of therapists. So I thought I would take a moment in this post to delineate the reasons to choose a psychologist.

  1. Training: So, in my opinion, one of the strongest reasons to choose a psychologist is that we are very highly trained in psychotherapy. Registered psychologists (with few exceptions) have PhD’s, which means we completed four years of undergraduate training in psychology, then two years in graduate school completing a Master’s degree, then another 5-7 years of graduate school completing a PhD, and finally another year of supervised practice before we are fully registered as psychologists. During this training, we are supervised closely, and we learn a wide-range of therapeutic techniques as well as the ability make our clients feel comfortable and understood. To my knowledge, no other group of practitioners goes through this level of supervised training before they are licensed practitioners. Trust me, it’s not always an easy process to be constantly under observation as one is honing his/her skills, but it leads to individuals that are highly and consistently competent at the end of the day.
  2. We’re Effective and Efficient: We are trained to quickly assess and diagnose an individual’s difficulties (in fact, psychologists and psychiatrists are the only groups providing psychotherapy who are able to offer diagnoses to their patients), which means we are equipped to help you both understand and treat your problem quickly. Our sessions may cost more on average than other psychotherapists, but anecdotally, I have had many clients finally come to see me after having seen unregulated psychotherapists for years without getting anywhere. They often say that it was nice talking to the person, but it felt more like talking to a friend and they just weren’t being given the skills to actually change things. In my practice, I find that my patients experience significant improvement within the first two or three sessions, even those who have spent years with other therapists not improving. So it likely that, although we may cost more each session, you will probably spend less overall because your problem will be treated efficiently and effectively. As well, our services are often covered by extended health insurance plans so some patients receive full courses of treatment without paying anything out of pocket.
  3. Research Ability: As we hold PhD’s, all clinical and neuropsychologists are academics in addition to being clinicians. We complete at least two massive independent research projects (a Master’s thesis and a PhD Dissertation). As well, we are involved in other research studies throughout and often beyond our training. What does this mean for you? It means your therapist will be not just interested in keeping up-to-date with the current research being published on psychological issues and improvements in treatment options, but s/he will also be able to critically assess this research and synthesize it so that s/he can transmit the important findings to you, either directly (by explaining new findings) or indirectly (by using new techniques to help you improve faster). She will also be consistently evaluating your progress in therapy (whether formally with self-report measures or informally through observation) and tweaking things so that you improve as quickly as possible.
  1. How We’re Regulated: Often to the frustration of some of us sometimes, our regulatory body (or the people who decide what we can and can’t do if we want to continue to call ourselves psychologists), is extremely strict. In order to be able to practice in a specific area (for example, with children, or families, etc.), we have to demonstrate an intense amount of course work and supervised experience working in that area. So unlike other professions who can decide on their own if they want to start seeing couples, for example, we need to demonstrate to our college that we have the training AND the supervision (which often requires a year of supervision in addition to all the supervision we received during our graduate school careers). What does this mean for you? It means that if you see a psychologist or you send your child or adolescent to see one, you are guaranteed to know that that person has the skills and experience to be able to work efficiently and effectively.

I could go on further, but I don’t want to make this list too long. I hope it has been helpful in terms of at least giving you an idea of who psychologists are and what we do. Please feel free to post or email any comments or questions.

Songs for Good Mental Health

Often, during the course of therapy with my clients, I will refer them to a song to express something that we’ve been working on. As I think most of us can relate to, music is such a powerful medium to express emotion, and often the lyrics combined with an emotion-inducing melody not only can best capture an individual’s experience, but it also has the potential to move them forwards. Somehow it can just make everything click into place. I’m sure many of you can think of difficult times in your life where a particular song just resonated and somehow got you through.

Earlier this morning, I was listening to the radio and a song came on that reminded me of one of my clients. I quickly emailed her the song and my reasoning behind the suggestion, and I thought, I should start keeping track of these songs to help other clients in the future. And what better way to do that than to incorporate it as a blog post, right?

So here it is… or at least the start of it as these are the songs that came to mind off the top of my head as being useful in a mental health context. Not just because they are great songs, but because I feel they capture something truly therapeutic within them. I’d love to hear any reactions to these or suggestions of other songs that have been particularly helpful in tough times.

Just as an aside, I’ve included youtube links to videos because that’s the only way I can think of for you to hear the whole song for free, but unfortunately in most cases the videos don’t really relate to the lyrics, so I’d recommend listening without watching the videos.

 

Songs for Good Mental Health

 

  1. Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It – Stars. I work with so many clients who struggle with jealousy or trust issues in their relationships. In so many of these cases, the client is actually in a wonderful relationship with a very trustworthy partner, but s/he is caught up with doubt and fear that the other person will leave. So s/he is constantly seeking reassurance that the partner is not out doing something that will lead the partner to leave, but this only makes him/her feel more and more untrusting and more and more cautious about giving him or herself to the other person. The hardest thing for these clients to realize is that love is faith in the other person and that there are no guarantees with faith. I think this song captures so nicely the feeling of falling in love. Even in that expression, we “fall” in love, we let go, and we hope that the other person doesn’t let us crash. And we do sometimes crash, but we can only keep letting go with the next person. That’s the beauty and danger, but it’s worth the risk. There really isn’t any alternative. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9PYiIGAsM8&feature=kp

 

  1. Obsessions – Marina & The Diamonds. I love the way this song captures the back and forth voices in the head of someone struggling with obsessions or OCD, and the way emotions shift. You can especially feel the indecision when the singer is in the supermarket trying to choose what crackers to buy (punctuated even by whispers in addition to the main voices), and eventually giving up because the pressure is too much and the “crackers were probably bad luck anyway.” Really excellent. If Marina Diamandis does not have OCD herself, she intimately knows someone who does. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np3QLrHJmRA&feature=kp

 

  1. Set It Free – Sarah Slean. I remember recommending this song to an smart, funny, likeable client I was working with who was having so much trouble moving forward through his depression and anxiety. No matter how much evidence we collected against his negative beliefs about himself, he was just mired by his negative core beliefs that he was a failure and no one anyone would like to be around. Because he still engaged in the behavioural strategies we talked about, it got to the point where his life was actually going really well, but he just couldn’t see it.   He really needed to set the thoughts and feelings free. This song seemed to capture that perfectly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TZYa_0yJeA

 

  1. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of – U2. This one personally helped me through a tough time in my early twenties. Reading the lyrics again, it’s not the kindest voice (haha, he does refer to the other person as a fool), but it helped put things in perspective for me at the time. Negative emotions are tricky because they have this ability to convince us that they’re here to stay, but if we can realize that we’re just “stuck in a moment,” we can allow them to be and they really do dissipate. Especially if we can also stop doing all those behaviours to fix things that really just make the situation worse. I didn’t know about mindfulness meditation at the time, but this is so relevant to that now, and no wonder I started feeling better soon after I realized that “this time will pass,” as Bono sings. Great song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emFUtuotHL4&feature=kp

 

  1. Oh Sailor – Mr. Little Jeans. On a similar note, this song talks about feeling alone but realizing that even when hope seems lost, there’s still so much opportunity to improve things. It reminds me of a point that Andy Puddicombe (@andy_headspace) makes in his Headspace guided meditations that calmness and clarity are always with us the way the sky above us is always blue. It just that sometimes we can’t see the blue sky because there are clouds in the way. This song makes the same point. “And if you’re tired of them breaking you into two, I hope you know that you can sail right home. I hope you know you’ve got the ocean blue.” Even when we feel completely stuck, we can still move. It’s incredibly hard to remember, and believe, that during intense times, but the more we recognize it, the easier it can be. Even if it just allows someone to stick it out for a few moments longer, that gives the opportunity for that emotion to shift and for them to have the change to feel better.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b88da_W9U7o&feature=kp

 

  1. Oh Father – Madonna. This is a blast from the past, but I think it’s a great song to capture some of the experience of past abuse and the way it can continue to affect an individual throughout his or her life. So much of the healing from past trauma is to be able to realize that you have escaped it, that you’re no longer in that threatening situation. This is the one video that actually relates to the lyrics (and as a disclaimer, it’s not the easiest video to watch), and in it, Madonna extends the song lyrics to show the common scenario where a child who was abused becomes an adult in another abusive relationship. But in the end she leaves with dignity. Recovering from trauma (and not repeating it) is no easy task, but it is absolutely possible, especially when we can see the strength we have and the options we have to move forward and grow in our lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvVvN0QvzTk&feature=kp

 

  1. Waiting on a Sunny Day – Bruce Springsteen. Okay, so I thought I would end this list on an uplifting song. This is a great example of lyrics and music coming together to make one feel that there is hope, even if it seems like it’s raining. The lyrics refer to another person who helps the singer feel better but, again, I also read it as someone just holding out the hope that life will improve. As Springsteen sings, “Hard times, baby, well they come to us all. Sure as the ticking of the clock on the wall. Sure as the turning of the night into day,” but the weather will change eventually. We just have to stick it out. And the more that we can recognize that a rainy day is part of life and not indicative of us having done something “wrong” that needs to be corrected, the quicker that storm will pass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvVvN0QvzTk&feature=kp

Worry (Part 3)

Worry (Part 3)

We left off the last post talking about identifying worries as current vs. potential problems and focusing only on the problems that are currently in our control. If you’ve been able to do that, that’s wonderful and I expect that you’ve probably found your worry has decreased a lot. However, as simple as the advice might sound, it’s actually really difficult to put it into practice and I would venture a guess that you haven’t always been successful just targeting your worry thoughts. Indeed, what happens to most of us is that worry behaviours start to get in the way.

Now, as I stated in the previous post, I consider worry itself to be a behavior, and we need to learn to limit the amount we engage in it. We’ll learn how to do this using mindfulness meditation techniques in a future post.

However, before we go there, I think it’s helpful to target some of the worry behaviours that are more outwardly noticeable (because other people in your life can actually help you work on these).

So, if you remember from where we left off, our worry tree has grown large and we find ourselves trying to problem-solve every worry we think of. How do we go about trying to do this? Well, ultimately what we’re most scared about in the worry scenarios is probably not the actual event happening, but the uncertainty about whether it will happen. Indeed, people who tend to worry a lot also tend to be very uncomfortable with uncertainty in general. If I don’t like uncertainty, and it causes me anxiety, I will try to get rid of it by reducing uncertainty, right?

So I might start double-checking things to make sure that I’ve done them correctly, and maybe as I do that, I’ll start questioning whether I’ve really checked accurately, so I recheck…and recheck…and maybe people start getting frustrated with me because I’m taking a lot of time to leave my house (“Did I lock that door?” “Did I turn off the stove?”), or I’m asking them the same questions of them over and over (“You’re going to pick up the kids from school, right?” “You won’t forget?”).

Along those lines, maybe I start asking for reassurance wherever I can get it. So if I’m waiting for test results from my doctor, maybe I’m asking my family members over and over whether or not they think things will be okay, or what it means that the doctor has/has not called. And while they’re telling me everything is okay, maybe I’m spending all my time preparing for the worst by googling (one of the worst things anyone can do if they’re feeling anxious, by the way), because it’s not enough to hear from one, two, or a hundred people. I need to keep seeking the reassurance.

Speaking of preparing (and overpreparing), maybe I’m planning a dinner party and want things to go perfectly, so I try to plan things down to the minute and I create contingency plans for every possible emergency that could arise. Maybe things do go well, but I might not enjoy it the way I’d like because a) I’m already exhausted, and b) I have to be on edge in case something goes wrong at any second.

Already you can see that things get tough when there’s uncertainty, so maybe I don’t just engage in behaviours that reduce uncertainty when it’s here, but maybe I actually preemptively start to avoid situations that could cause uncertainty in the first place. So that means avoiding traveling, because there’s so much to plan. Avoiding applying for a new job, even if I’m not so happy in my present one because “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Maybe I don’t even bother to get involved in romantic relationships because what if it doesn’t turn out in the end?

Along these lines, people who worry also tend to procrastinate a lot. This might seem counterintuitive, given they also tend to overprepare and overcheck things, but it’s actually completely in line with these: “I just don’t have the hours (or the energy) it’s going to take to get this project completed, so I’ll wait to start it.” Of course, the longer one waits to start, the more pressure is on the task, the more worry and uncertainty, and the more one wants to put it off.

Do any of these sound familiar to you? The first thing I’d like you to notice about them is that they make sense, if one’s effort is to reduce uncertainty/anxiety and feel slightly better. Each time a person checks their front door and sees that it’s locked, s/he feels a rush of relief.   When s/he gets reassurance from others s/he feels better. When s/he avoids a challenging or uncertain situation, s/he sighs a breath of relief. So the behaviours work in the short term, and that’s part of the reason we keep doing them.

However, we also keep doing them because the behaviours actually sustain themselves. Every time a person overchecks or overprepares, they actually reduce their confidence in themselves and their ability to handle uncertainty. Every time they check that front door again to make sure it’s locked, they are telling themselves that they can’t be trusted to take care of that task. Whenever they overprepare and things go well, they say to themselves it was only because they did so much preparing in the first place and they reduce their belief that they would have been able to pull it off even if they winged some of it. Every time they seek reassurance from someone else, they are doubting their own instincts. All of this leads to a belief that they couldn’t handle something that came out of left field (which would be something uncertain), and they are more and more driven to try to control things to avoid catastrophe, and more and more likely to envision worst-case scenarios in advance so that they can prepare for them (i.e., worry).

See where I’m going with this?  The worry leads to behaviours that try to reduce uncertainty and deal with the worry, but they just lead to lower confidence in your own instincts and abilities and more tendency to worry as a result. Not a great cycle.

So how do we break this? Well, as difficult as it can be, we need to stop the worry behaviours. They might seem like they’re helping in the moment, and granted, they will likely give momentary relief, but in the end, they will only perpetuate the problem.

What would this look like? Well, the first step is to notice and write down your worry behaviours. I would recommend taking a week and just paying attention to the things you do when you’re worrying. You don’t have to change them at this point. When you’ve got a good sense of them though, experiment a little with not engaging in them and see what happens. Likely you will experience more anxiety at first, as you’re not doing the thing that you believe will reduce the anxiety and, therefore, not only are you possibly fearing that the something terrible that you’ve been envisioning is now more likely to happen, but you also may be just scared of the feeling of anxiety and feel like it will never go away unless you act on it. Truly, in my opinion, most of our psychological distress comes from this: a desire and effort to not experience negative feelings. And this is where mindfulness techniques are extremely helpful. Through them, we can learn to be more tolerant of our negative feelings and not fight so hard to get rid of them. Somewhat ironically, the less we fight our feelings, the less we tend to have them. But that is for a future post…

For now, have a look at what you’re doing, and if/when you can try to stop yourself from doing it and see what happens. If you prepare a little less for the meeting at work, and things still go fine, what will that do to your confidence in yourself and your ability to attend a meeting successfully? Would you be as likely to overprepare for the next meeting? If you don’t engage in worry behaviours and you have a little more anxiety for an hour, but then it goes down on its own, what will that start to say about your feelings and how much they need to be controlled?

Give it a shot and let me know how you’re getting on!

 

(By the way, I was just about to read through this post again to check for typos, spelling mistakes, etc., but then I thought, maybe this is a good opportunity to just assume it’s probably good enough and leave it as it is. It’s uncertain, but I’m pretty sure it will work out in the long run).

Worry (Part 2)

So, because we tend to have positive beliefs about worry, when we experience a negative trigger (either internally (ex: a thought or a physical feeling) or externally (ex: an email from work)), our brain subconsciously says, “Hey, we need to worry here” and that starts that worry tree I described in the previous post. And what is worry? Ultimately, I see worry as a mental behavior that arises as a result of envisioning all the worst-case-possible scenarios that could come up. Since these scenarios are pretty scary to be facing (or that we believe we may be facing), our brains try to do what they normally do when we’re facing a problem that’s causing anxiety: they try to problem-solve. If you think about it, this is a pretty normal reaction for us in regular life. If you don’t like the colour of your bedroom walls, you figure out what colour you like and you paint it. If you’re stuck in traffic coming home, you decide to figure out a detour. Solving problems is something your brain is good at. Unfortunately, in the case of worry, we’re trying so hard to problem-solve that we lose sight of whether the problem is even something that could be solved. So here we are trying to come up with solution after solution to fix the “problem,” but, almost by definition, this is a problem that can’t be solved because it’s often so far in the future that we have no control over it currently. If the problem was actually facing us or was happening in the very near future, we would see that as a current problem (the trunk of the worry tree I talked about in the first post), and that would be a time for us to use our problem-solving skills to figure out what to do. In this case, I wouldn’t even consider the behavior as worry.

However, worry occurs when we’re trying to problem-solve potential problems, or the branches of the worry tree. For instance, in the example I gave in my previous post, the individual worrying about getting the project finished the next day could actually plan and problem-solve to make that go as smoothly as possible. It is a current problem that he or she has some control over. However, it is not possible (or useful) to prepare for potentially losing his or her job and then not being able to find another. That hasn’t happened yet, and it is only one possible outcome out of a virtually infinite number of possible outcomes. People who don’t struggle with worry may have these possible outcomes cross their minds, but they usually let them go, saying, “I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it.” Unfortunately, for those of us who worry, that problem becomes just as important as the project that needs to get done tomorrow. So our brain starts to think about what we would do if that happened, but that just gets us into more and more worry, as we envision worse scenarios, and we keep trying to problem-solve those. Instead of just letting these worry thoughts go, we engage with them and give them importance, and they are kept front and centre in our minds.

So now envision this scenario: your brain is now crowded with terrible potential future events that it feels it needs to fix, but almost all of them are out of its control. That’s going to bring on some pretty terrible anxiety, right?. And even though the real way “out” of this is to focus on the problem that can be solved (the trunk of the worry, or in our example above, finishing the project the next day), we have so many other “focuses” that we’re really ending up very unfocused. Imagine your brain is a laptop and you have a bunch of programs running all at once. How effective is that computer? Unfortunately, that experience of being slower, more confused, etc. only serves to make us more anxious that we can’t think clearly or figure out a solution. Not a great scenario, is it?

So what do we do? In a future post, we’ll talk about the behaviours that usually come next (e.g., reassurance-seeking, over-preparing, avoidance, etc.) and how they are usually helpful in reducing anxiety in the short-term but cause more problems in the long-term. But for now, let’s focus on the worry tree again, to get a sense of where we can steer ourselves back on track. If one of the major problems with worry is that we are focusing on problems that may never happen and that we don’t have control over anyway, we need to start to recognize when we are doing this and redirect our attention to what we can do something about. Going back to the computer analogy, we want to close some of the other applications that we shouldn’t have open at the moment so that things run more effectively.

The best way to do this is to first write your worries down. This alone can be extremely helpful because when worries are bouncing around in our heads, we not only have very little control or focus on them, but our brains also have a tendency to run important things over and over in our minds so we don’t forget them. For example, if you go to the grocery store to get a number of items but you don’t have a list, what do you do while you’re in the store? You repeat that list over and over in your mind. Once you get to the bottom of the list, your brain will automatically think of the top of the list again so that it reassures you that you remember what you need to get. But what happens when you write that list down? Now your brain no longer cycles through it over and over because it knows that things won’t be forgotten. In the same way, writing worries can tell your brain that this potential problem that it thinks might happen is in your awareness, it’s written down, and you will solve it eventually. That can actually allow the brain to stop ruminating on the worry a little bit.

But just writing worries down won’t solve everything, of course. The next step is to take a moment with each of the worries that you’ve written to categorize them as either a current or potential problem. Remember, current problems are problems that you have some ability to solve within the next day. Anything else is a potential problem. This is actually deceptively simple, as our brains are very good at convincing us that our potential problems are really current problems. So if I was worried that I might end up getting cancer in the future, my brain could try to tell me that this is in fact a current problem because I could start exercising today, and eat a lot of antioxidants, and cut stress from my life, etc. But getting cancer is not in my control and it’s not something that would be valuable for me to problem-solve right now. So remember, from my perspective, any worry that we can actually do something about in the next 24 hours is a current problem. Anything else is a potential problem.

So what do we do with this now? Well, the current problems actually need to be problem-solved. We need to focus our attention and great ability to figure out solutions on this issue that actually can be, and needs to be, resolved. What about those potential worries that were getting in the way? Those we need to learn to let go of. We need to learn to say what non-worriers say: “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.” In future posts, we’ll talk about how worry behaviours rob us of our confidence in ourselves, which makes it tougher to believe that we’ll cross that bridge safely. And we’ll also learn techniques like mindfulness meditation to let thoughts go. But for now, just practice labeling the thoughts as current or potential. And as much as you can, direct your focus on to the current worries. When you notice the focus drifts to a potential worry, label it as that and turn again to the current worry. The more you do this, the more your brain will get in the habit of first questioning whether a thought is useful to engage with, which will make it easeier and easier to focus on what you can do well.

Good luck with this phase and I’d love to hear how it’s going!

Worry (Part 1)

Why Worry?

So one of the biggest things people struggle with is getting caught up in thoughts. We’ve all been there at one time or another, where we have a distressing or scary thought and we just seem to replay it and the possibilities that (could) stem from it over and over in our minds. “What if I can’t complete that project I’m working on. What if I get a bad review? What if I end up losing my job from it? What would happen to my family? My marriage? My kids and their futures?” etc. I call this a worry tree. It starts with the trunk of the tree, which is usually an actual problem that needs to be, and can be, solved (e.g., “I need to finalize the analyses on my project tomorrow.”). Unfortunately, if we have any worry tendencies, that worry will branch into unsolvable, “potential” problems (e.g., “What if I can’t complete the project and I lose my job?” “What if I’m an embarrassment?”) and each of these thought branches can spawn new worry branches (e.g,, “If I’m fired, I’ll never get another job.” “I won’t be able to afford to educate my children.” “My wife my leave me.”). And I think it’s important to notice that these worries usually run laterally, existing sometimes all at the same time in our minds, with our conscious awareness bouncing from one to the next.

So why is this happening? Well, there are a lot of levels to this answer, but the first piece is that we tend to see worry as pretty helpful. For example, we may think that it allows us to be prepared for the worst-case scenario happening. Or maybe we think it protects us from bad things happening. Or we may feel that not worrying about something would mean we don’t care about it or the people potentially involved in it.  Finally, worry also serves to try to decrease the anxiety that comes along with whatever bad thought started this cascade of thoughts in the first place. We’ll get back to this, but it’s important to realize that, although worry feels like an emotion at times, it’s actually a behavior meant to distract away from anxiety. Funny enough, people who tend to suffer the most worry are the ones who tend to have the most positive beliefs about why worry is helpful.

Before reading on to the next part of this series, ask yourself about your own beliefs about worry.  Why do you do it?  What kind of dangers could arise if you didn’t do it?  What would not worrying say about you as a person?

And over the next day or so, have a look at whether your brain is creating any worry trees. We’ll learn more about those in the next part.

Please feel free to share your answers or thoughts about the post in the comments.

The Beauty of Therapy, for Both the Client and the Therapist

In a recent yoga class, I was speaking to one of the other students who I had just met. She asked me what I did for a living and when I said I was a psychologist, she said that must be an interesting job, but it must be so hard as well, since I must be burdened by having to listen to people’s problems all day long.  I’ve been reflecting on this conversation ever since.  Yes, it’s absolutely true that this profession can be “heavy” in terms of the subject matter I work with.  But I’ve been doing this for ten years and I don’t think I’ve really ever thought of it as a hard job.  In fact, I would say that I’m more uplifted by my work with clients than brought down by it.  Why?  Because people don’t stay down for long!  And it is truly a pleasure to watch as people, who first arrived in my office in pretty tough situations, learn about how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours have all been interacting to perpetuate their circumstances.  And then the beauty and courage they show as they change up these thoughts and behaviours and become more accepting of their emotions is all the more inspiring.  Truly, in a given day, I would say that no more than 30% of my clients are typically in really dark places.  And even when they are, I don’t feel discouraged or brought down because I know that I will be able to help them find the way out, and I hold that hope for the both of us.  So although I can completely understand why one would think this would be a really tough job, it’s really quite the opposite most of the time!

In thinking through this, I was inspired to finally start this blog (which I’ve been meaning to start for quite a while).  I thought that through it, I could share some of the insights and strategies for dealing with the wide variety of issues that walk through my office door in any given year.  In my opinion, mental illness is not an issue of kind, but rather of degree, so I hope that you can find something useful in the posts, even if you aren’t struggling with clinically significant difficulties.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, reactions, or suggestions for future posts.  You can post them as a comment or send them to me directly at drcarmenweiss@gmail.com.

And thank you for reading.