Blog & Video Archives

Past Bridge Street Mental Health segment with accompanying text.

Bursting Some Myths About Trauma Related Memories

The media coverage of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court has exposed just how ignorant and insensitive many Americans are about the reality and consequences of sexual assault particularly as it pertains to memory. What we are witnessing in this political struggle is a contest between traditional views and modern science concerning the way traumatic memories are stored and recalled. The responses made in defense of the nominee, have inadvertently revealed our culture’s prejudice and disbelief regarding sexual assault. Criticism of accusers have also exposed an astonishing level of insensitivity and even hostility toward victims. In that context, here are three serious misconceptions that need correction.

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Tips for Coping with Disturbing Headlines in the News

Many folks have been shaken by the intense media coverage of recent stories concerning things like the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, political wrangling, and , worst, the devastating force of hurricane Florence. Fortunately there are several effective tools anyone can employ to reduce the disruptive effects of disturbing stories and decrease your vulnerability to a panic reaction. Here is a brief list of things to try:

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APPRECIATING THE DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE OF LABOR DAY: The importance of leisure and self care

Beyond being an end of summer long week-end and its significance for more humane public policy, Labor Day is also a symbolic reminder that there is more to life than work. Likewise , modern research has shown that taking time off from work and having time for leisure activities is not a luxury but is an essential part of physical, emotional , social and spiritual health. Unfortunately, due to religious and cultural influences a negative prejudice against leisure prevents some from including leisure into their self-care routines. Here is why leisure is so important.

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Psychotherapy as Detective Work: Tips for uncovering what’s really bothering you

Our last segment (8/5/2018) discussed how anger was often misplaced and dumped on individuals who were not really the source of our problem. I want to expand on the notion that the source of our dysphoric feelings aer often hidden and needs to be uncovered. Further, there are some clues to help you solve the case and resolve difficulties in your life. One way to understand psychotherapy is to see it as a process of emotional detective work wherein you (or you and your therapist) work together to solve the mystery of your unhappiness and discover more positive and constructive options.
Indeed understanding psychotherapy as emotional detective work is a helpful way to grasp this sometimes mysterious science.

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Emotional Dumping: How to avoid displacing undeserved anger on your mate

Emotional dumping or displacement is when a partner gets angry at his/her mate and unfairly unloads frustration on him/her even though s/he is completely or mostly innocent. Misplaced anger is a common problem married folks often experience. The resentment caused by it can build up and over time, lead to ever more serious relational strife. Fortunately, a couple the basics of psychological dynamics can go a long way to prevent and avoid emotional dumping. Here are some tips for both the “dumper” and the innocent victim.

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How Pornography Can Harm Your Marriage: It’s Not What You Think !

In recent years, the term “porn addiction” has become a common and colloquial way of referring to a compulsive behavior related to the viewing pornographic imagery.
While the term porn addiction neither meets the medical criterion for an addiction nor is it a recognized diagnostic category in the DSM 5, there is no doubt that in recent years pornography has become the source of a serious and growing problem in many marriages. Unfortunately, many approaches either minimize or condemn the issue without really understanding or healing the damage using pornography can do to a marriage.

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Good News: NYS Mandates Schools to Teach Mental Health

A new New York State law mandates that public schools to teach mental health in physical education and health classes. As a mental health counselor, I am overjoyed and want to explain why this long overdue directive is so vitally needed. Historically, mental illness has been feared and avoided in the public mind. ven more important than, the specific information that the classes will provide is the modeling of open discussion which breaks the silence which has long surrounded mental health issues. Fear and ignorance are perpetuated by the absence of discussion where in sharing feelings, questions and concerns is acceptable. Having programs which explicitly address not only facts but also feelings and cultural attitudes can go a long way to normalize and make comfortable talking about things which were heretofore implicitly forbidden or, at least, very uncomfortable.

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Couple’s Consciousness: The Key to a Happy Marriage

One of the most important achievements a successful marriage can attain is COUPLE’S CONSCIOUSNESS. That is to say, each person in the relationship transforms his or her fundamental self-understanding from being an individual to being a part of a greater whole in a coupled partnership. If you feel that your marriage hasn’t attained a robust couple’s consciousness, here are some tips to assist you get there:

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Updating our Understanding of Suicide

In the wake of two celebrity suicides, the media is filled with commentary regarding why people , especially successful people, do it. It is unfortunate that the public eye only turns to this tragedy when it involves a famous person. Indeed, the suicide rate is climbing at an alarming rate in America. Also troubling is that a death of someone like Anthony Bourdain demonstrates, even when it looks to others like an individual has everything in the world going his/her way, no one ever really knows the inner turmoil or demons with which folks struggle. Having inner turmoil is one thing but obviously everyone who has turmoil doesn’t kill themselves. Do you have to be crazy to kill yourself ?

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The Importance of Remembering our Losses

Memorial Day can be an opportunity to remember those important people in our lives who have sacrificed for us and died. It also can be a time to revisit and review the pain and losses in our own lives and place them into a broader perspective. Looking back can be a powerful way not only to ease the pain of grief but also to discover the transcendent meaning and purpose in our lives which may have been lost in the wake of death and tragedy.

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Tips for Coping with Mother’s Day for those whose Moms Weren’t so Hot

Mother’s Day is a time to honor and express our love for our moms. For many it is a time to remember and give thanks. For others, however, whose mothers abused, neglected or abandoned them, this holiday is a painful occasion. If your mom wasn’t so hot, here are some tips to help you cope with this difficult holiday and to discover and appreciate a deeper and more profound meaning of motherhood which is not tied to any one person. In addition to being a special day for individuals, it is also an important symbol which expresses the universal human need for emotional and physical nurturing and kindness.

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Redefining Mental Health: The Struggle to be Reasonable

May is Mental Health Awareness month . While progress has bee made in public awareness, misleading myths persist. The outdated medical model has created confusion and unnecessary fears with the sharply dividing categories of healthy and sick. Seeing mental health on a continuum which ranges from rational to irrational is a better way to understand both emotional well being and being emotionally disordered.

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NAME CALLING: Why we do it and how to stop

Name-calling is one of the most destructive human tendencies. When name-calling happens frequently between partners in marriage, however, the emotional consequences can be devastating and the lasting effects ruinous for the relationship.
Fortunately, there is a process by which individuals and couples can learn to stop name-calling . Here are the basic steps that, with practice, can transform hurtful arguments into intimacy building, constructive discussions:

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Tips for Freeing Yourself from a False Sense of Obligation

Feeling a false sense obligation is a common problem with which many of us struggle.
Sometimes, our obligations are real. At other times , however, we may feel obligated or have a sense of guilt when there is no rational or logical reason. Here are some basic questions to help you detect a false sense of obligation and to help you discover viable options when you feel trapped or guilty:

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2016

2015

Rekindling Passion: Part Two – The Secret to Re-igniting the Fames of Desire

 

2012

Flirting with Your Spouse

 

2011

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Blog & Video Archives

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