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Friday, August 15, 2014

#FF 8/15/2014 Wonderful Weekend Review: Robin Williams, Depression,Michael Brown, Songs for the Soul, and Sunday's Comics

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Thought for the Day: It has been a very difficult week beginning with the tragic death of Robin Williams bringing mental illness, suicide and then Parkinson's Disease to the forefront of the news. I have chosen a few articles which look at this difficult psychological issue with sensitivity and compassion. Jimmy Fallon fought off tears and then used humor and shared Williams first appearance on the Tonight Show. His daughter touching words as she faces this enormous loss is also a testimony to his caring parenting. An article in the Huffington Post by Katie Hurley, psychotherapist and a survivor of a father's suicide, makes it clear how little most people understand about suicide which she says "Suicide Is not a Selfish Act." She makes suggestions of how to help people when they are struggling with the suicide of a loved one.

I also shared some wonderful music that I was able to hear last week as part of Saturday's Songs for the Soul from Lincoln Center Out Of Doors. I hope you enjoy Rosanne Cash, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, and the Lone Bellow and The Campbell Brothers.

Finally there are Sunday's Comics. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: Robin Williams, Mental Health, Prevention & a Guest Post

Thought for the Day; I was called to Boston for a critical incident and did not have time to write a post. While in Boston, I was saddened to hear of yet another death of a great entertainer, philanthropist and human being, Robin Williams. Sadly he appears to be yet another fatality related to depression and the drug and alcohol epidemic that plagues our world and the entertainment industry (I have written posts in the past following Whitney Houston's death and more recently, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and will add links later to those posts, but want to get this out nowsince I have been away since Sunday night.) I would like to see a safety net of creative psychological programs across the nation to help families and people suffering from mental illness to try to reduce the numbers of suicides. One creative program in Houston Texas seems to have been a life saver for the guest blogger today. When will the insurance agencies and society pay more attention to both preventative mental health and treatment of these diseases?

Here's Tuesday's Psychology Tip which arose from hearing about Robin William's tragic death:
Mental health has been the step-child of conventional medicine for too long. Physical health is directly related to emotional health. Psychotherapy should be affordable to all.
Juast about a day ago, I saw a tweet from a new follower: @StidmaFighters suggesting that I read an article. I said I would & after I read it asked if I could use it as a guest post here on my blog. It certainly fits with my Tip and will make up for my not writing yesterday's Motivational Monday's post.  Here's the bio of the writer, Twitter: @MindyOggMH who happens to live in Houston TX where I grew up:

Mindy lives and thrives in Houston, Texas. A mental health advocate and consumer, her interests include writing, daydreaming, new age and classical music, sci-fi, technology, and humor. Butterflies signify hope. After her mother died in 2004, a miracle happened. Searching for precious treasures of her mother’s in the house where she lived, Mindy found butterfly-related things, one after another. The search led to a piece of stained glass her mother made that was unknown to Mindy; but she guessed it existed before it was found. And don’t you know? It was of a big beautiful butterfly. Mindy sensed her mother’s presence which led her to a path of spirituality where she had none before. Now she has courage. Now there is hope.

Read on to see why Dreams are for Everyone...

Friday, August 8, 2014

#FF Wonderful Weekend Review: Psychology. Music, Comics & More

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Thought for the Day: Another wonderful week has passed and it's time to share some great finds. There are two great articles from the field of psychology. The Brain and Creativity Center at the University of Southern California is doing very interesting research on the impact early intensive training in music versus sports on brain development of children. They are also doing studies of the brains of accomplished musicians. The article includes some videotapes and should be a great summer read. I also found some sage advice on on how to help if someone you know suffers from bipolar disorder. News of professionals heading to Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak is also admirable, interspersed with some great inspirational quotes.

     I jump-started Saturday's Songs for the Soul section of this magazine when I shared some of my impressions from Wednesday's Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Americana Music Festival's NYC's 1st event with  +Emmylou Harris & +Rodney Crowell on Thursday. 
     Today, I was able to make up for my iphone recording challenges and to share some videos of three songs they performed that I loved. "Red Dirt Girl" and "The Rock of My Soul," are hauntingly beautiful semi-autobiographical songs that brought tears to my eyes. I grew up in a very different part of Houston from Rodney Crowell, but was fascinated by how he has incorporated some of his tough early life experiences into his music. The 1st two songs were recorded recently, while "Till I Gain Control Again" is an interesting studio recording session of Harris and Crowell from earlier in their careers. 
     You can also stream Wednesday's concert by going to Lincoln Center Out of Doors' website. This weekend there is an awesome lineup of performances which will be streamed live online if you are not in the New York area, tune in to hear Cassandra Wilson on Friday, +Rosanne Cash on Saturday +Buddy Miller and more on Sunday! 

Finally, there are inspirational photos and quotes, fun animated GIFs and comics for your enjoyment!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: If You Have Chronic Pain You Should Know This...

Thought for the Day: On Tuesdays I have been sharing Psychology Tips. Often the tips come from my 100 character Tip Taps on HealthTap with some additional advice related to the short tip. Recently, there I took part in a competition between HealthTap's over 62,000 doctors nationwide. In preparation for the launch of an expanded site with new features including primary care skype consults, all the doctors were asked to write additional Tips. The doctor who posted the most tips would be invited to a retreat in California. I decided to put my thinking cap on and wrote tips daily for the month of June. I'm proud to announce that I won the competition and will be going to California in September. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet the doctors who have developed this cutting edge service that is helping millions of people every day. In addition, I am proud to have again placed as the Top Psychologist nationwide on HealthTap.

I wrote so many tips, that when I received a thank you note from a 49 year old woman who was helped by the tip, that I had forgotten writing it! I decided to share it here today, since many people may not know the benefits of hypnosis for pain management. The tip in the image above is:
"If you have chronic pain, you should know this.,,you can control it better with hypnosis."
Often, when someone is suffering from chronic pain, their doctors try all the procedures and medications they can, only to tell their clients that they need to learn to cope with the pain. Sometimes they refer them to clinics for chronic pain. Unfortunately, many physicians do not know that hypnosis can help. Here's a brief overview of how and why it can be worth pursuing...

Friday, August 1, 2014

#FF Wonderful Weekend Review: Psychology, Music, Dance, Photography, Comics & More

Thought for the Day: This morning as I went through my various social network sites' feeds, I found a song by +Mary Gauthier, a great singer songwriter who attended several of my songwriting retreats many years ago, before she sold a small Cajun restaurant in Boston and decided to devote her life to her music. When I tried to find the post using flipboard. I could not find it, but found many other great songs, photos, videos and articles to share with you today. Be sure to check out +Sarah McLachlan's rendition of  "The Rainbow Connection,"and LIGHTS singing "Drive My Soul." A great video showing how 3 musicians surprised a homeless man. There are two dance videos, one that may help change the trend in the dance world to turn away dancers who don't fit the image usually required for professional dance troupes. Keep reading to find an article on ways that hiking is good for your mental and physical health and another on how to motivate yourself to do things you don't want to do. My heart is heavy each time I hear the news from the fighting in Gaza and Israel. I chose a few things about how to make peace and helping others in need. Sadly, it does not look like the efforts to attain a cease fire are holding.
Read on to listen to "Oh Soul" Marry Gauthier's new song...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tip & Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Every Challenge in Life Is an Opportunity to Grow Don't Let Depression Blind You

Thought for the Day: I am again playing summertime catchup. Today's Psychology Tip is combined with some Words of Wisdom.

Every challenge in life Is an opportunity to grow: Don't let depression make you lose sight of the opportunity.

Depression is like a thief. It invades your body and drains the energy, joy and vitality from it's victims.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Motivational Mondays: Yes You Can and Here's How

Thought for the Day: Political campaign slogans can make or break an election. The "Yes We Can" campaign and poster may have been the single most influential element in Barack Obama's presidential victory. It captured the attention of a nation weary of inaction and searching for hope for a better future. Whether the nation has seen the progress that they had hoped for is another question. In fact, the slogan may have in some ways backfired. People may have expected change to happen quickly.

As a psychologist, I know that change takes time. Although psychotherapy empowers people to overcome adversity and make changes in their lives, they need to be patient. Change takes hard work and perseverance if it is to become real and lasting. In a society which thrives on fast food restaurants, smart phones and computers with immediate answers at our fingertips, many people have lost hope on the political arena and "Yes We Can," may now feel like an empty promise. History and time will tell whether actual changes began to occur during this presidency. However, I can help you and clients with challenges facilitate change in their lives and the slogan for you to remember is: "Yes You Can."

Here's some advice on how you can, based on things I have learned over the years in my clinical practice...