If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In a new study, participants who paid attention to their physical and mental feelings showed small but meaningful reductions in anxiety, depression and pain.
Rachael Rettner, LiveScience
Tue, Jan 07 2014 at 9:20 AM
Meditation programs may help reduce anxiety, depression and pain in some patients, but may not lead to a boost in positive feelings or overall health, according to a new review study.
The review analyzed information from 47 previously published studies with a total of 3,515 participants. Each study included a group that participated in meditation (usually for a few weeks or months), as well as a control group that participated in another activity that required similar time and effort, such as learning about nutrition or performing another type of exercise.
Participants who practiced mindfulness meditation for about eight weeks to six months showed small but meaningful reductions in anxiety, depression and pain. Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation in which people learn to pay attention to what they are feeling physically and mentally from moment to moment.
Most of the improvements in pain occurred among participants who had visceral pain (pain in internal organs).
Meditation programs were not more effective than exercise or cognitive-behavioral group therapy at reducing anxiety, depression and pain, the review said.
Excessive concerns about making mistakes, pernicious self-doubt, harsh self-criticism, impossibly high standards or expectations for performance, a strong and chronic tendency to evaluate one’s performance as not measuring up to levels expected by oneself or others - these are features of maladaptive perfectionism that predict psychological distress.
In a longitudinal study across the semester of a sample of predominantly female undergraduate students, Kenneth Rice, Clarissa Richardson, and Dustin Clark from the University of Florida examined the relations between measures of perfectionism, procrastination, and psychological distress. They explored a number of different potential models that might explain the relation among these variables, with a particular emphasis on a model where perfectionism leads to more procrastination that increases psychological distress. Interestingly, this isn’t what they found. Before I tell you what they did find, let me explain a little more about perfectionism and its possible relation to procrastination.
Have you given some thought to making any New Year’s resolutions this year? The tradition of setting goals for the New Year goes back about 4,000 years to the Babylonians when once a year people made promises to the gods in hopes of receiving good fortune in return.
January 1 became the first day of the year in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar developed a new calendar, switching from a lunar one to a solar one. He named the first month of the Julian calendar after the two-faced god Janus. Janus could look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead at the same time. The Romans exchanged New Year’s gifts that symbolized good fortune, such as branches from sacred trees and, later, coins imprinted with the likeness of Janus.
Although the date for the start of the New Year is not the same in every culture, the day is a time for making promises and for setting goals for the year ahead. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about half of our population here in the United States makes resolutions each year. Popular New Year’s resolutions for Americans are: losing weight, exercising and giving up smoking.
The approach of a new year is also a good time to set some business resolutions. Think of 2014 as the year you can attain some new heights in your career. Here are six areas to examine. The specifics are up to you.
I've always been interested in the wisdom of our elders and often do a practice with students and clients when they've seemed to veer off the path of what truly matters in their lives. I ask them to project themselves forward many years from now looking back onto this very moment right now, what do they wish they would've done? Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent many years working in palliative care caring for those who were dying. She eventually published a book called the The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
Regrets can be seen as something that's good if they give us insight into what we can change today for the better. Here are the top five. Use them as a north star to help guide your actions in the days that follow toward an even more fulfilling life. Although we can veer off the path, when we notice the star, we can always come back to it.
Did you know that only a limited number of people who are referred by a physician to seek mental health services ever receive those services? Why is this?
Is it because they do not want to get well, or are there other factors? As you might guess, the reasons are many; and among them is the problem that acquiring counseling services is too difficult. Consider this. A man suffering from depression, to receive counseling must:
Overcome his apprehension, embarrassment and fear of seeking counseling
Come to terms that people in his community might find out he is in therapy
Locate and research reputable local counseling services
Make contact with a service (usually by phone) to schedule a session
Accept, if insurance is to be used, that he will be diagnosed with a psychological disorder that will go in his health record
Maintain motivation and courage while waiting for a scheduled session—the wait is often weeks or longer
Execute his intentions of arriving at the counseling appointment (which may necessitate taking time off work).
For a person struggling with even common life-issues, this is a copious series of tasks. And what’s more, we—as counselors—cannot do much to make it easier. We often have long waiting lists for new clients, slow intake processes, and business hours that conflict with client work schedules. We have no option but to allow clients to suffer social stigma, to require them to travel to an unfamiliar place; to arrive promptly and presentably, all while battling depression, anxiety, grief, or perhaps the greatest personal crises of their lives.
And still we wonder, “Why is the compliance rate so low?”
Perhaps you’ve noticed these problems. If so, you’re among a growing number of counselors who are considering taking on the challenge of providing therapy services though methods such as telephone, email, text-chat, and even videoconference. Remember though, online counseling is more than an alternative for clients who “just can’t make it in” for in-person counseling.
The table below lists many suggested benefits of online counseling, aside from convenience.
Has proven to be effective over many years of research and study
New research shows eCounseling to be effective, and sometimes more effective than in-person counseling
Has proven to be effective for building rapport/relationship between counselor and client
New research shows eCounseling is effective for building rapport/relationship between counselor and client.
A client has 45-50 minutes to tell his/her story
A client has unlimited amounts of time to detail his/her story by email.
Persons are often seen by members of their community at the counseling office
Due to the distance of the counselor , and absence of the counseling office, social stigma is eliminated
Clients can seek out the best counselor in their area
Clients can look outside their area for an excellent counselor
Client and counselor must show up during a designated time and at a designated location
Client and counselor do not meet at a designated place, and sometimes there is no designated time
Rates can be expensive, especially in urban areas
Clients benefit from lower overhead costs of counselors
Usually takes place during business hours: 9-5, Monday-Friday
Has potential for extended and flexible hours
Is difficult for the sick or immobile
Is accessible to homebound and ailing persons
There is risk of counselor sexual or social misconduct
There is less potential for counselor sexual or social misconduct
Are often client waiting lists
A counselor is always available
A counselor might not be experienced with the client’s presenting problem
Clients can search far and wide for a counselor experienced with their problem issues
Counselor may not be knowledgeable of the client’s ethnicity or language
Clients can select a counselor knowledgeable of their ethnicity and language
Client needs to overcome their apprehensions and fears of seeking counseling
Feeling more anonymous, clients with apprehensions and fears are more likely to seek counseling
Is ideal for clients who communicate well verbally
Is ideal for clients who communicate well verbally or by writing
Clients commit time to commuting, and often the ‘waiting room’ experience
Client time is spent on counseling issues
Clients feel an empty space between sessions
With email, there is no “end” to a conversation, so clients feel continually in dialog with their counselor
Clients may be intimidated by the counselor
Clients are less likely to feel intimidated by the counselor
Clients may forget their feelings, resolutions, and commitments spoken in session
Clients are able to save writings regarding their feelings, resolutions, and commitments
Clients might forget a counselor’s guidance and advice
Clients are able to save counselor’s guidance and advice, if it is in writing
Clients might not see clearly their progress
Saved text is a testament to a client’s treatment progress.
NEW YORK — Throughout life, even shortly before death, the brain can remodel itself, responding to a person's experiences. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, offers a powerful tool to improve well-being, experts say.
"We now have evidence that engaging in pure mental training can induce changes not just in the function of the brain, but in the brain's structure itself," Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told an audience at the New York Academy of Sciences on Feb. 6.
The brain's plasticity does change over time, Davidson pointed out. For instance, young children have an easier time learning a second language or a musical instrument, he said.
Exercise for the mind
The idea of training the brain is not a radical one, said Amishi Jha, a neuroscientist at the University Miami and another panelist for the discussion.
"How many of you think engaging in certain kinds of physical activity will change the way the body works? Our cultural understanding now is that specific types of activity can alter the body in noticeable ways," Jha said, adding that this cultural understanding may be shifting to incorporate the mind as well. [10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp]