Derek Bok, lawyer, professor and former president of Harvard University once said, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” I have to wonder if Mr. Bok had ever heard of Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil in Switzerland. At over $100,000 US per year for tuition, it is the most expensive school in the world. After throwing in another $80,000 US plus for fees and expenses, the school costs parents over $200,000.
Date Posted: August 10, 2012
Categories: Academic Issues, Child and/or Adolescent Issues
For years there has been a controversy surrounding the question of a causal link between exposure to violent media and aggressive behavior. At least as far back as 1986 when the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released, the public has been divided over whether not such media has a detrimental affect on the psychology of game players.
Vice City engaged players in gunplay to resolve an inter-ethnic gang war in a fictionalized representation of Miami, Florida. Similarly, Final Fantasy VIII caught a lot of attention in the year 2000, when Jose’ Rabadon Pardo, claiming that he was executing a mission from the game’s Squall Leonhart character, murdered his father, mother and sister with a katana. There are several reports which present convincingly and unconvincingly information to support correlations between violent media and aggressive behavior.
Date Posted: July 28, 2012
Categories: Aggression & Violence, Child and/or Adolescent Issues
Asian Americans are the least likely of all Americans to be obese. That is what a Gallup poll, released a few days ago on July 17, 2012 in America reported. After reading about that report I decided to do a bit of thinking on the topic of weight-related issues, especially child obesity. I read on the website of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that the “rate of diagnosed diabetes in Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders over 18 years of age is 9.1% compared to 7.6% of Caucasians.”
Date Posted: July 23, 2012
Categories: Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Parenting
I like to think of medicine from a biopsychosocial perspective, which focuses on the bi-directional relationships between body, mind and environment. Note that I did not reference a brain-body, but instead a mind-body relationship. The 33 billion or so cells which serve as the command center of our nervous system is what we refer to as our brain. Our mind however is the complex of faculties enabling us to have subjective consciousness and intentionality toward our environment. That is to say, at a minimum, our mind affects our body and vice versa.
Date Posted: July 19, 2012
Categories: Health / Illness / Medical Issues
“If you've never eaten while crying you don’t know what life tastes like.”
I came across this saying by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe the other day and thought that it would be a nice starting point to talk about the subject of crying. It’s not that Goethe cried a lot; however, during the 18th and 19th centuries he wrote in the genre of theology, literature and drama, we can assume that he was familiar with the ranges of human emotion. Goethe, like so many others, was telling us that it is useful and even necessary to cry. But, is it better to cry in private or public? A new study by the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ehime Prefectural University of Health Sciences in Japan examines the effects of adults crying in public settings and the effect it has on the crier and the witnesses.
Date Posted: July 13, 2012
Categories: Empathy, Grief, Loss, Bereavement
In my years of practice as a psychotherapist, I have come to know that people can actually heal, not just cope better—the best hope current cognitive-behavioral therapy models offer. Depending on the difficulty of their problems and the degree of self-examination they are willing to do, people can truly heal—leaving behind old patterns of behavior, as well as their attendant thoughts and feelings.
My orientation is psychodynamic, meaning that I believe in helping people get to the root of the issues that trouble them. A person’s history or narrative, and the unconscious (thoughts and feelings not in awareness) are keys to this process. My goal in this kind of therapy is integration—to view the many different components of one’s personality with love, compassion, and honor, and to understand that we all have some tendencies we don’t like that can be tempered by the positive ones. It is unnecessary to deny these tendencies, which can leave people feeling inauthentic. What some call the shadow side must be acknowledged and embraced, not split off almost like a separate person. My book will not tell you how to cope with these feelings, but will encourage you to see yourself as a whole person—though maybe one with some feelings you have been running from—and set you on the path to healing.
Date Posted: June 29, 2012
Categories: Control Issues, Self-Criticism, Shame
"The joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days" ~ Ecclesiastes
Positive Psychology is an exciting and relatively new area of psychology. It aims to study scientifically what makes us humans happy and how we can improve our general level of happiness, well-being, and health. Traditionally, the field of psychology has mainly focused on the negative aspects of mental health and how to treat them.
Date Posted: June 19, 2012
Categories: Positive Psychology, Self-Care / Self Compassion
The condition now called Asperger’s syndrome (AS) was first recognized in children in the mid 1940s (Kanner 1943; Asperger, 1944). Since that time, children have been the main focus of attention by mental health workers so that most children with AS have been detected and diagnosed in childhood usually in elementary school settings.
It is only in the past decade or so where awareness has increased that AS persists into adulthood. Consequently many adults with AS have gone unrecognized as having AS even though they are experiencing significant difficulties in life due to the condition. The purpose of this post is to provide a description of AS as it manifests itself in adults, to explain the benefits of obtaining a diagnosis, and to provide some up-to-date resources for adults.
Date Posted: May 28, 2012
Categories: Asperger's Syndrome
Over 200 years ago, William Wordsworth alluded to the idea that nature has the power to restore our weary hearts and minds. In his poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798”, he eloquently describes how the beauty of nature can provides us with tranquil restoration.
These beauteous forms, Through a long absence, have not been to me As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, In hours of weariness, sensations sweet Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind With tranquil restoration.
Date Posted: May 4, 2012
Categories: Spirituality, Stress Management
Most of us worry about the possibility of getting physically sick at some time in our life and that is why insurance coverage of medical diseases is so common. However, how many of us even think about developing a psychological illness let alone get insurance coverage for it?
Yet a recent and very reliable survey in the United States (US) concluded that about half of the population will experience a mental disorder of some kind, at some time in their life (Kessler et al, 2005; Appendix).
Date Posted: April 16, 2012
Categories: Adult ADHD, Agoraphobia, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar, Depression / Bipolar, Drug Addiction, Obsessions & Compulsions (OCD), Oppositional & Defiant Behavior in Children & Teens, Phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD