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Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

You Can Feel Safer

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Feeling safer is a tricky subject, with complications that can be both personal and political.

Yes, there are real threats out there, but evolution and other factors have left a lot of us walking around in a kind of paranoid trance. I’ve been there myself, and the results include feeling less peaceful and hopeful, and more worried and cranky, than is right.
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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

Anxiety: Friend or Foe?

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Dr. Terry Tempinski

We have all known the experience of being anxious, worried, and even panicked. While these symptoms can become overwhelming and debilitating, the good news is, generally speaking, anxiety is not difficult to treat. Let me explain.

No one likes to be anxious. I am here to help you appreciate your anxiety as a very good friend who is trying to call your attention to a source of inner turmoil. Typically, anxiety is not difficult to treat because it is only a symptom. Its exploration in the course of psychotherapy offers clues as to the source of the problem, and once that cause is understood, and the work of resolving the underlying cause begins, the anxiety tends to remit.

If you are feeling anxious, panicky or consumed with worry to the point of not being able to focus, concentrate, sleep, or comfortably interact with others, please don’t get caught up in what I call identifying with a diagnosis such as “anxiety disorder” or “panic disorder”. Diagnoses are merely tools mental health professionals use to describe a cluster of symptoms. Symptoms of anxiety are much like a fever, which we know indicates that we have an infection of some type.

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Dr. Tempinski is a clinical psychologist with more than 25 years experience treating adult individuals. She is fully licensed in the state of Michigan. Her solo private practice has been designed with the goal of maximizing client confidentiality. Dr. Tempinski works with the philosophy that most emotional difficulties stem from inner turmoil that can be understood and resolved. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory

Terribilities: Exploring the Origins of Anxiety

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Mauri-Lynne Heller

The very unstable economic surround in which we now find ourselves has unleashed an epidemic of anxiety-related complaints. Stomach upsets, irritability, sleep disturbances, hives and rashes and unpleasantly intrusive thoughts or mental imagery have become increasingly common even among the usually serene and composed.

It is undeniably true that we face very complex concerns that demand acknowledgement and realistic adjustments. Yet emotional responses, particularly anxiety, speak of feelings rumbling deep beneath the surface of an outer constellation of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Simply treating a symptom may bring temporary relief but will do nothing to achieve more permanent emotional stability. Anxiety can be used as a vehicle for visceral growth only when its dynamics are understood.

A patient who’d just been pitched into the disequilibrium of a panic attack recently observed that most of the things about which he worries do not actually transpire, yet awareness doesn’t diminish his anxiety. His worries unfold like choppy waves battering the beach: he’ll be laid off; he’ll crash his car and be unable to buy a new one; he’ll end up on a breadline, barefoot, singing a charmless version of “Buddy can you spare a dime.” He won’t even be able to do that, because he doesn’t actually know the lyrics to “Buddy can you spare a dime.” His humor cannot dispel the very real emotional disquiet he faces daily.

My patient is flooded with distressing images of himself and helpless feelings about these images. His body reacts with its own flood of stress hormones, muscle contractions, irregular breathing and heart rhythms. He identifies this convergence of mind-body dysregulation as anxiety and attributes it to the economy. While the economy does represent a palpably immediate context, the vulnerabilities of infancy constitute the real source of his anxiety.

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Mauri-Lynne Heller is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Psychoanalyst in private practice in Southern California. A graduate of Newport Psychoanalytic Institute and member of Newport Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, she is also an active member of the Writing and Research Task Force. A regular contributor to the online Health and Fitness Pages of the Orange Counter Register, her column "Inside Out" appears twice monthly. She is also a supervisor to clinical interns and a writing/editorial consultant. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory

Stress No More: A parent’s guide on how to not produce anxiety ridden children

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Dr. Dahlia Mann, Ph.D.

When Max started kindergarten, he began to have trouble falling asleep at night. He often complained that his stomach hurt during the day. His parents attributed his behavior to irritability. But in fact, Max was showing the classic symptoms of stress.

A five year old exhibiting stress? The idea runs counter to the popular conception of kindergarten as a time of fun and games. But in fact, children today do experience stress at a very early age.

Why so much stress? Think about it from a child’s perspective. Children today are carefully taught not to talk to strangers and about “good touching” and “bad touching.” A child’s activities is often organized on an hourly calendar because “it’s not safe” to simply send children out to play. Parents are even uncomfortable letting children walk around the block unsupervised.

This alone would tend to create stress in children who, by nature, clamor for freedom. But along with a loss of freedom comes a barrage of upsetting information. Children at an early age begin hearing about and seeing world disasters as they are instantly beamed into the home. Worse, parents often have no time to process their own anxiety to decide what is appropriate to tell children.

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Dr. Dahlia Mann, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist in New Jersey. She is a solution focused therapist working with individuals, couples and families. They work together developing options to solve problems such as stopping the fighting fighting with better communication, coping with "after the affair," dealing with stress and anxiety, parenting issues and mid and late life transitions. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.