The Four Steps of Taking in the Good: HEAL Yourself

The Four Steps of Taking in the Good: HEAL Yourself In his insightful, practical book Hardwiring Happiness, well-known psychologist and author Rick Hanson, PhD, makes the point that even though our brains are “hardwired” to give more weight to negative rather than positive experiences and emotions, you can learn to retrain your brain to switch […]

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Embracing Vulnerability

Most of us have spent a good part of our lives trying to avoid feeling vulnerable.  But learning to instead embrace that feeling can actually bring us closer to experiences that add purpose and meaning to our lives, according to Brené Brown, PhD. Brown, author of Daring Greatly, writes that vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and […]

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Grief Counseling

Grief counseling, talking with a therapist or grief-counseling specialist about your feelings of extreme loss and sadness, can be very helpful if you feel overwhelmed by your grief and unable to move forward in your life. That grief may be from the loss of your parent, partner, spouse, child, miscarried pregnancy, friend, or even a […]

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Stages of Death

Understanding the stages of death can help loved ones and caregivers understand how to best support a dying individual in the most gentle, positive way possible. There will be changes both mental and physical, and it helps to be able to recognize those changes and prepare for them. Naturally, the stages of death will vary […]

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Stages of Grieving

The stages of grieving – first described by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her landmark book, On Death and Dying (1969) – include five specific stages through which we pass in order to deal with a severe loss. That loss may be of a friend, loved one (human or animal), or even a job that has […]

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Creating Meaning

Say you are in your 20s or 30s or 40s, and feeling depressed and hopeless. Perhaps you feel your situation is so bleak and hopeless that you are considering suicide. Now imagine yourself in your 80s. Looking back, how would your 80-year-old self tell your life story? Perhaps you have a pet that you rescued […]

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Autism Spectrum Disorders – Lecture for Physician Assistants

Autism Spectrum Disorders A Lecture for Physician Assistants (August 2013)Presented by:  Susan Hepburn, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor, Depts. Of Psychiatry & Pediatrics/JFK PartnersUniversity of Colorado School of Medicine.  e-mail: Objectives: To provide future health care professionals with a succinct overview of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including signs & symptoms at different ages and basic facts […]

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Autism and the Family

Autism is clearly a disorder that affects the functioning of the child with the diagnosis.  It also profoundly affects the entire family — parents, siblings, and the extended family.  Recognizing and coping with these effects is an important process for family members not only to care effectively for the child with autism, but also for […]

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Surviving Mental Illness

If you’ve ever wondered how to effectively deal with mental illness, Jessie Close has a lot to tell you. Her new book, Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, offers a heartbreaking, honest description of her 40 years of personal experience. Jessie, the sister of actress Glenn Close, has experienced decades of great […]

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Grief and Loss: How Can It Be Treated

Family and friends can offer emotional support during the grieving process. Sometimes outside factors can affect the normal grieving process, and people might need help from: Clergy Mental health specialists Social workers Support groups The acute phase of grief usually lasts up to 2 months. Milder symptoms may last for a year or longer. Psychological […]

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Grief and Loss: What Causes It

Grief may be triggered by the death of a loved one. People also can experience grief if they have an illness for which there is no cure, or a chronic condition that affects their quality of life. The end of a significant relationship may also cause grieving. Everyone feels grief in their own way. But […]

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Grief and Loss: Signs and Symptoms

One way to describe grief is in five stages. These reactions might not occur in a specific order, and can occur together. Not everyone experiences all of these emotions: Denial, disbelief, numbness Anger, blaming others Bargaining (for instance “If I am cured of this cancer, I will never smoke again.”) Depressed mood, sadness, and crying […]

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