January 13, 2022

Celebrities with BIPOLAR Disorder

I’ve heard this story so many times before; of  lives blown apart by Bipolar Disorder. I see it over and over again in my practice. All the talented, charismatic, beloved people whose lives careen out of control.  We often hear about singers, actors and comedians speaking openly about their diagnosis. It is rarely spoken of […]

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October 15, 2021

Never Too Late? Dating For Seniors

We are living longer, healthier and more active lives and that frequently means that those who lose a partner later in life through illness or divorce are willing to give romance a go. In fact, these relationships can be wonderful as older people truly are wiser, know themselves better, are less apt to sweat the […]

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October 14, 2021

The Lies Our Brains Tell Us

We all have our perceptions of the world. Our experience, our education, the teachings of our families and mentors all enter in to how we view the world. We make decisions based on those perceptions. What many people do not realize is that our brains can lie to us. Mental illness is, at it’s core, […]

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October 14, 2021

Alcohol, Weed and Self Medication

What do we mean by “self-medication”?  The term gets thrown around a lot but I think it’s actually pretty apt. People use all types of drug to modify their moods. For people with troublesome mood problems; those with anxiety or depression, the risk of getting in to trouble with drugs is more likely as people […]

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October 14, 2021

Setting Boundaries in Your Relationships

We talk a lot about boundaries but defining them is a little trickier. They are an essential element of a healthy relationship.The first challenge is defining what those boundaries are; what we will and will not tolerate in our relationships. We don’t always start off knowing.  At first we may not mind when our husband […]

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April 11, 2020

The Power of Friendship

Humans are social beings. For the most part, we crave the company of others. Not all the time and not in all situations. There are people who require a great deal of solitude and who may prefer to be alone much of the time but if they are well balanced and healthy, they will still […]

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December 18, 2019

How To Have Not So Horrible Holidays Or Relax Already- OCD Alert!

Danger alert for perfectionists-holiday ahead!  If there is anything that brings out the misery for perfectionists (also known as Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) it’s planning a holiday. Perfectionists live their lives with intense self-inflicted rules. There are so very many things they feel obligated to do and holidays, with their internal voice always telling them […]

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April 16, 2019

Perfectionism-The Losing Quest

One of the saddest conditions I work with as a psychologist is perfectionism. At it’s core perfectionism is about setting standards for oneself that are impossible to meet.People who suffer from it tend to be anxious, depressed, irritable, impatient with others and chronically dis-satisfied. Perfectionism can truly strip any joy from life, turning it in […]

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December 31, 2018

When Holidays are Painful

The holiday season has begun and many people will find this a difficult and painful time.  This reaction has received more attention and awareness in recent years but is always worth revisiting.  This year, those who struggle will have the added pressure of the recession.  Many Americans have lost  jobs or even homes making a […]

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July 23, 2018

Alone in the Garden of Good and Evil-When People You Love Hurt You

Wouldn’t it be great if life gave us threatening, warning music when we met someone who might not be good to us?  Movies, TV and literature lead us to think that good and evil do not exist in the same person.  Characters in fiction are generally one or the other, fundamentally good or primarily villainous. […]

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June 8, 2018

Suicide on My Mind

I deal with thoughts of suicide all the time.  Not my own-but those of the people I treat in my work as a psychologist.  I suspect a large percentage of the people who seek help for their mental health do so because of depression.  A substantial proportion of those with depression admit having thoughts that […]

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August 1, 2015

What we can learn about child sex abuse from the Bill Cosby scandal.

Bill Cosby is not accused of  child sexual abuse but the reaction to the allegations gives us an excellent window into the experience of survivors of sexual abuse who try to tell others about what was done to them. We are outraged. We can’t believe a trusted person could have possibly committed this heinous crime. […]

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June 6, 2015

Hetero, homo, bi. Does it Really Matter?

The culture wars have truly shifted and homosexuality has found increasing acceptance in our country. A study long ago showed that attitudes toward homosexuality improved for individuals who knew someone personally who was homosexual. When gay men and women came out of the closet in greater numbers in the 1970’s many of us discovered that […]

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February 10, 2015

Arguments Spoiling Your Relationship? Learn How to Manage Conflict Now.

All couples have disagreements and different ways of doing things. It’s inevitable. We are different people. Arguments are not necessarily lethal to a relationship and many very happy and successful couples argue a lot. In fact, I worry more about a couple who says they never argue or disagree-that’s a lot of sweeping under the […]

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January 28, 2015

Overwhelmed All the Time? This One’s for You

One of the most common complaints I hear as a psychologist is, “I’m so overwhelmed!” When my client lists their problems I am likely to hear, “I am under so much pressure at work…my desk keeps piling up…there is so much to do for the kids…my house is a mess and there is no time […]

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January 21, 2015

Can Couples Therapy Work for You?

Couples with serious problems often wait until things are beyond repair to seek help. Far too commonly, people wait until it’s too late. A typical situation I see is where one person has been begging the other to go see a psychologist together and it is not until this person gives up and says that […]

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December 17, 2014

How To Have Not So Horrible Holidays Part 3- NO STRESS Allowed.

The holidays can put a lot of pressure on a lot of us but it really should be something that brings us pleasure. The holidays will be much more enjoyable if we remember that the goal is to make something pleasant and special for ourselves and our loved ones, not to make ourselves stressed and […]

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November 24, 2014

How to Have Not So Horrible Holidays : Letting Go of Grudges

We all want our families to be a source of refuge, comfort, support and love. For many of us, that is not always the case. At holiday times, strained relationships in our family are particularly hard to handle. Holidays are meant to be a time of celebration and unity. When there are estrangements, grudges and […]

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September 6, 2014

Addicts and Their Families: How to Talk to Your Kids About Addiction

How many of you grew up with an addict in the family? Do your remember Dad getting drunk and more and more mean to you or your mother as the evening wore on? Did Mom nod off in the middle of the day while your father made up stories about Mom being sick or tired […]

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August 25, 2014

Addicts and Their Families-How Spouses Can Get Help

Are you in therapy because you are married, in love with or living with an addict? Many people enter therapy trying to cope with the stress of living with an addict and they are always asking, “how can I get her to stop”, “what can I do to make him change”. That’s great! You’ve taken […]

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August 2, 2014

Bipolar Disorder-Developing a Strong Relationship With Your Therapist

Living with Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a challenge. For a lucky minority, symptoms are fairly easily managed but for most people it’s on an ongoing process that can be tedious and frustrating. Because BD is not age related and can affect even people who are quite young and otherwise healthy, those who are recently diagnosed […]

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July 20, 2014

How to Talk to Your Psychiatrist About Depression

I am a psychologist. I am a doctor but not a medical doctor and I provide psychotherapy, not medication. Still, I refer many patients with depression to MD psychiatrists to provide medication to help with depression. Modern anti-depressants can truly be life saving medications. While many (mistakenly, I believe) get prescriptions from their family doctor, […]

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June 9, 2014

Caring for Elderly Relatives-Conflict Among Caregivers

How do we make decisions when a loved one is no longer capable of making those decisions themselves? What happens when family members can’t agree? A recent news article on the famous DJ Casey Kasem and the fight about his care illustrates a problem that is likely to become more and more familiar as the […]

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May 9, 2014

Good Relationships Need Good Sleep!

When it comes to the subject of sleep, I am a fanatic. I’ll admit I am biased. I have always needed a lot of sleep — nine to 10 hours! — so it’s easy for me to notice the impact of a poor night’s sleep; I get short and irritable. Still, it seems people can […]

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April 4, 2014

The Military and Mental Health

The tragic shootings at Fort Hood put the media spotlight, once again, on mental health issues. The shooter may not have left sufficient clues around to his mental state but clearly this was a very disturbed person who took the lives of three others as well as himself and injured many more. There have been […]

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March 31, 2014

Online Dating- It’s The Modern Way To Meet People

Online dating continues to grow in popularity but many people still are reluctant to try. They are missing out on the easiest way to find an eligible pool of singles in modern life. Yes, there are pitfalls, as there are in any dating approaches but there are many advantages. A recent poll by Pew Research […]

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December 20, 2013

Can Gay Parents Be Good Parents?

The research says yes. As society becomes more accepting of gay marriage are we ready to feel comfortable with gay couples raising children? In fact, we have all known children raised by gay parents. Sometimes the children never knew. Read my full article on Your Tango, http://www.yourtango.com/experts/dr-robin-goldstein/gay-parenting-any-different-homosexual-parenting.

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December 17, 2013

Actions, Not Words are What Matter in a Relationship

THREE CONCEPTS OF LOVE We think of love in three different ways in the context of our intimate relationships: 1.Words 2. Feelings 3. Actions The differences in the manifestations of these three concepts cause a lot of confusion and often misery in our lives. How often have you heard a friend describe her difficult and […]

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September 28, 2013

Women Don’t Always Think Of It As Rape-But It Is

Rape has received a lot of attention in the media in the last year. The questions about “legitimate” rape, the military reports of rape of all drawn attention. Rape usually doesn’t have witnesses although in the age of Facebook people are publicizing behavior some time that they don’t even perceive as problematic. Trials often require […]

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September 17, 2013

Paranoia-Greatly Misunderstood and Surprisingly Common

“Oh, he’s so paranoid” is an expression we hear tossed about casually.  It is mistakenly used to describe fearfulness as in, “she’s paranoid about driving by herself”. Paranoia is also incorrectly used to describe worry that is excessive such as “he’s paranoid he’ll lose his job.” What paranoia truly represents is a negative distortion in […]

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September 6, 2013

Loving Someone With A Mental Illness

Whether the issue is addiction, depression, anxiety or Bipolar Disorder, the challenge is still the same-how do I help my loved one, how do I take care of myself? Read more http://www.yourtango.com/2013192188/individual-vs-couple-mental-illness-counseling.

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August 6, 2013


The headlines are full of men behaving badly. Everyone asks, “why?!” “How could he be so stupid! Anthony Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner have a lot of us wondering what makes people behave this way.  Continue reading the full article here: What’s With These Men? Is It Sex Addiction?

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July 27, 2013

Effects of Divorce on Children

Men and women contemplating divorce worry about the effect on their children. All caring parents should. Answering how divorce affects kids is as complicated as answering how marriage affects children. Good marriages are great for kids! Bad marriages can be incredibly destructive. Bad divorces as well can cause significant harm but a good divorce can […]

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July 18, 2013

How Porn Can Harm Your Sex Life

The internet has greatly increased use of and access to porn. It’s a regular fixture of modern life for many but there are risks involved.  While many find ways to use porn to enhance their sex lives, there are also ways in which it can interfere. Read more….http://www.yourtango.com/experts/dr-robin-goldstein/how-porn-can-wreck-your-sex-life-men-and-women

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June 28, 2013

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

How much time should you invest in a relationship before deciding it’s time to move on? This is always a difficult question. Give up too soon and you may miss out on something that could be really good. Stick around too long and you feel foolish for investing so much time and energy in someone […]

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May 11, 2013

Thoughts for Mother’s Day

Parenting has greatly changed in the modern world. Throughout human history people had children because of biological urges and unreliable methods of birth control. It was one of the natural developments of life and not one where much choice was involved. In the middle ages, children were a way to protect wealth, status and property […]

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April 12, 2013

Suicide and Guns

The headline this week about Pastor Rick Warren’s 27 year old son committing suicide brings the tragedy of suicide as well as the connection between guns and suicide to our attention. The Warren family, like the grieving families of Newtown have tried to use their anguish to advocate for social change concerning guns as well […]

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April 8, 2013

Rutgers Firing-Are Sports and Abuse a Natural Combination?

The firing of the Rutgers basketball coach for abusive behavior brings to mind the headlines about Penn State and the cover up of Jerry Sandusky’s even more egregious behavior. Both of these situations show the incredible value our society places on sports and the corruption it can cause-trumping safety, morals and basic human decency. Full […]

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April 6, 2013

Are We Over-Prescribing Psychiatric Medications For Children and Teens?

A recent editorial in the New York Times, “Diagnosis: Human” by Ted Gup attracted much attention and controversy. Gup writes about a concern that is discussed frequently; a fear that psychiatry is over-diagnosing and pathologizing normal human experience. His recent article criticizes the use of medications for ADHD arguing that we “rush to medicate” that […]

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April 4, 2013

Post Partum Depression

Postpartum depression is a serious problem that affects up to 15% of women following the birth of a baby. This difficult and often disabling condition is frequently denied by women who are experiencing it or dismissed by their loved ones as insignificant. Joy is the anticipated emotion after the conclusion of a planned and healthy […]

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March 14, 2013

Insomnia : Why do we put up with it? And should we?

Anyone who works with me knows I am a fanatic about sleep. How well do you sleep? How much do you sleep? Do you have any trouble sleeping? I am always surprised by how inarticulate many people become when trying to answer this question. I hear things like, “I get enough” or “last night I […]

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February 22, 2013

When Good Kids Get Bad Grades

I work with teenagers and often, when a parent brings their son or daughter to consult with me it’s because of a battle over bad grades. A common story is that Mark was a terrific student until middle school or sometimes high school. The parent tries threats and punishments that don’t seem to help, the […]

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February 17, 2013

How to Help a Perfectionist

Being a perfectionist is stressful but it can also be very hard on the people in the life of the perfectionist as their demands on themselves often leak out and have a great impact on those who are involved in their life-spouses and partners, children, co-workers and employees. The perfectionist feels like they have failed […]

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February 10, 2013

When a Child is Sick

  Every parent anticipating the birth of a child has great hopes for the health, happiness and well being of that child.  Most women who have gone through a pregnancy will admit to having had nightmares that something is wrong with the baby they are carrying.  For some parents those nightmares come true and their […]

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February 5, 2013

Is Everyone Bipolar?

Bipolar has entered the common lexicon as in, “he’s so bipolar!” When people use the expression in a casual way they are usually referring to some one who is moody or temperamental, who gets upset easily. The part that they have right is that Bipolar Disorder, a serious mental health condition, is related to extremes […]

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January 27, 2013

Manti Te’o and the Search for Intimacy

We are understandably fascinated and shocked by the story of the young Hawaiian football player Manti Te’o and the discovery that the death of his “girlfriend” was a hoax. There was no woman by the name he knew and she did not die. Most shocking is the revelation that the young man never met this […]

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January 20, 2013

Don’t Panic!!

Panic attacks (also referred to as anxiety attacks) can be terrifying and often cause people to rush to the emergency room because they think they are having a heart attack, suffocating or about to die. It can be disorienting to be told it’s “only”anxiety which is not a true physical threat but leaves you wondering […]

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January 18, 2013

Guns and Mental Health

There are, on average, 30,000 firearm related deaths in the United States every year. Of those, about two thirds  were suicide and roughly one third are homicides. Obviously a very significant majority of gun deaths are suicide.Mental illness and/or substance abuse is present in a large percentage of those cases.  Since many people who commit […]

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December 25, 2012

Grief, The Mourning After

Grief and loss are part of the human condition.  The price of loving is loss.  The only people who do not experience grief are those who are incapable of love.  If we are caring humans we always risk the tragedy of losing those we care about.  The recent events at the Sandy Hook school and […]

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December 11, 2012

Sex and Teenagers

  Many parents worry about whether their teenager is sexually active. How can we talk about this? How can I protect my son or daughter from experiences for which they are not yet prepared? Will my teenager share my sexual values? Don’t let anxiety or fear about this topic keep you from talking about sex […]

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November 13, 2012

Infidelity vs Loyalty: The Human Dilemma

A new sex scandal has dominated the media and rocked the nation. While most of us accept human frailty and the risk of infidelity it is especially shocking to discover it in David Petraeus, a man of legendary self-discipline and accomplishment. Many in the nation feel a sense of betrayal from the actions of a […]

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November 11, 2012

Symptoms of Depression-Am I Depressed?

Most people think depression is obvious and often when I make a diagnosis of depression in a patient, they are surprised.  Typical responses are, ” but it’s just when I think about my money worries” or “I feel really great when I’m at work” or “she’s always happy when she’s with her friends”.  When someone […]

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November 3, 2012

Is Being a Little Bit Depressed Like Being a Little Bit Pregnant?

I always tell my patients, “a little bit of depression goes a long way.”  In the USA there is a lot of emphasis on managing problems by yourself.  Even people who are struggling with serious problems such as the loss of a loved one, a major medical problem or financial difficulty will frequently apologize for […]

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October 30, 2012

Diagnosing Dementia Early

    None of us wants to think that we or our loved ones are losing mental capacity.  It’s a frightening thought to anyone and one we avoid.  Still, scientists continue to try to identify dementia as early as possible, when there is the greatest hope for developing successful treatment.  This is true for most […]

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October 28, 2012

Speaking of Rape

There has been a lot of public conversation lately about rape.  Unfortunately, it is primarily from a political point of view, not a mental health point of view.  What the news makes clear is the incredible lack of knowledge, awareness and understanding by much of the public.  Any focus on this “pervasive public health” issue, […]

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September 19, 2012

Understanding The Signs of Depression-First You Must Recognize It

I feel very passionate about this subject.  Depression is an enormously common disorder that destroys many lives and diminishes even more.  Many people who have it don’t even recognize the problem. Among those who do realize they are suffering, many do not seek treatment or realize that treatment for depression is widely available and highly […]

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September 15, 2012

Depression-The Silent Killer

Yes, depression kills.  People do commit suicide.  I am thinking instead about the many sufferers who live their lives so much less fully than they might because depression saps them of vitality, enthusiasm and pleasure.  Many more people experience debilitating depression than seek help because of continued lack of knowledge, understanding or appreciation of the […]

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September 7, 2012

Effects of Suicide on Family Members-The Mourning After

Suicide is a devastating loss for families, unimaginable to most of us for whom life is precious.  We cling to life and fight to relish and enjoy every possible moment.  The pain and suffering that cause someone to end their own life is unfathomable to almost everyone.  For the loved ones left behind, part of […]

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September 4, 2012

Suicide and Teenagers

School is back in session and the problems of children and teenagers come to greater attention for parents.  The myth of childhood being a carefree and universally happy time has largely been disproved.  Parents have grown more aware of the difficulty, especially of the teenage years.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death for […]

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August 15, 2012

Cyberbullying: What Parents Can Do To Help Teenagers and Children

Teenagers live a lot of their life online.  Texting is the preferred mode of conversation, exceeding talking on the phone for today’s teens.  While parents may feel frustrated by the amount of time their kids spend on computers and texting on mobile devices,  it can help to remember that they were probably harassed by their […]

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August 4, 2012

Gabby Douglas Shows What a Teenager Can Accomplish

America’s new hero is Gabby Douglas.  She is only a petite 4’11” but she is composed of pure steel. She helps us see the strength and courage a sixteen year old can demonstrate.  She is full of confidence, determination and purpose to a degree that most adults lack but she can remind us that we […]

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August 1, 2012

Back to School-Is Your Teenager Terrified?

For many young people the approach of fall is a time of enormous apprehension.  School can be a very difficult environment full of overwhelming pressures for teenagers who are often insecure about who they are and their place in the world.  It’s easy to lose sight of the fears teenagers have in a world where […]

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July 22, 2012

Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

The nation is once again riveted by the horror of a mass murder.  Viewing the tragedy in the national media coverage, talking about it on Facebook, Twitter and other internet venues is  how we come together in modern society to share our anxiety and our grief.  Prominent in all the discussions is the question of […]

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June 23, 2012

Sandusky in the News

The trial of Jerry Sandusky and his sexual abuse of young boys has dominated headlines during the trial of the past weeks and in prior months.  For many who have experienced sexual abuse, reading and hearing about the abuse of others can be intensely distressing and re-traumatizing to some extent.  This is true of all […]

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June 16, 2012

Thoughts for Father’s Day

About 25% of American children live in single parent households according to the most recent US census statistics available.  84% of those custodial parents are mothers so a very large number of children under 21 (approximately 20 million) do not live with their fathers.  These statistics do not include children living with a step-parent as […]

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April 24, 2012

Symptoms of Depression? Is He Depressed?

Is your wife (or child or mother or boyfriend) depressed?  This can be a harder question to answer than you might think.  Depression can be elusive to recognize and assess.  Often it is obvious.  The person cries easily, talks of wishing they were dead, doesn’t want to go anywhere or do anything.  They say, “I […]

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April 8, 2012

Teenagers and Sex. What’s Love Got to Do With It?

I work with teenagers as a psychologist.  I have my ear to the ground and hear their most intimate secrets.  I listen to the struggles of both young men and women.  When therapy works, it is a safe place where even the most intimate fears and behaviors can be disclosed.  Sex is one of the […]

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March 13, 2012

What’s Happening to our Soldiers

Terrible news  came from Afghanistan today about an American soldier slaughtering civilians. This is a tragedy for the victims, a tragedy for this soldier and his family and an event that will have an impact on the Sergeant’s unit, his commanders and the American military and public. Stories continue to come out of the military […]

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February 28, 2012

Insanely Beautiful

Stop it! I can’t take any more!!  I think this is all going in the wrong direction.  What happened to Women’s Liberation that was supposed to free us from constraints and stereotypes?  What happened to the good old days of women going without bras and shaving our legs?  For a very brief time a significant […]

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February 11, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

Will this Valentine’s Day be a happy one for you?  It seems to me that holiday pressure keeps mounting and I’m not sure why.  Perhaps as American families become more fractured through divorce and increased geographic distance intimate family celebrations and ritual become less common and cultural ones are filling that gap.  A generation ago […]

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January 22, 2012

It’s Not Easy Being A Teen

There is a vast generational difference today between teenagers and their parents.  With modern technology the pace of change is always accelerating and the world which teenagers inhabit today is so different from the one in which their parents developed that communication can be challenging.  Centuries ago little changed from one generation to the next […]

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January 15, 2012

Perfectionism or What’s Wrong with Being Too Good?

One of the most challenging issues I confront in people who seek my help is perfectionism. These are people with very high standards who continually work to meet their goals-admirable qualities most would agree. When it is extreme, however, the relentless pursuit of achievement can lead to a great deal of misery for the individual […]

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January 6, 2012

New Year, New Emotions

    How about challenging yourself in the New Year to learn how to manage difficult emotions better? Are there really any other developments that could make this a better year for you? The big three are anxiety, depression and anger.  All three can be very healthy and appropriate but when they are excessive or […]

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December 24, 2011

Anger and Depression

Depression is a greatly misunderstood condition that affects millions of people.  A better understanding of depression can help people to recognize and take action as early as possible.  The longer someone suffers from depression the more entrenched the condition can become, making treatment and recovery more difficult.  The most common picture most people have of […]

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December 18, 2011

The Secret of Good Relationships

What is the essential ingredient to a relationship that keeps us content and happy? It isn’t something exotic or unusual or hard to identify. I believe the most important human quality necessary to sustain a relationship is KINDNESS; the ability to feel and express empathy to another person, to care about their feelings. This is […]

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December 8, 2011

Psychotherapy. What’s Childhood Got to Do With It?

One of the stereotypes about counseling and psychotherapy is that you have to rehash your past and go back to your childhood. In fact many problems are not related significantly with childhood. People with very stable and happy childhoods develop problems for which they seek help later in life such as overcoming shyness, dealing with […]

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December 1, 2011

Coping with the Holidays

The holiday season has begun and many people will find this a difficult and painful time.  This reaction has received more attention and awareness in recent years but is always worth revisiting.  The effects of a poor economy continue to affect many families in our country.  Many Americans have lost  jobs or even homes making […]

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November 20, 2011

Media Coverage of Sexual Behavior

Two issues of sexuality have received a great deal of prominence in the media in the last weeks-the Penn State child sex abuse grand jury indictment and former charges of sexual harassment aimed at the Republican front runner Herman Cain.  The accused behaviors are not comparable but they focus our attention on issues of sexuality […]

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November 17, 2011

The Power Of Anger In Relationships

Is anger dangerous?  Is it a “bad” emotion?  Anger is at the center of many problems in relationships.  Anger itself is really not the source of the problem.  Anger is a normal, healthy, necessary emotion that protects us from being hurt by others.  It’s how we express it- or, just as importantly, fail to express […]

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