My Blog

Are we staying younger longer?

We have heard that 60 is the new 50 and that 70 is the new 60. And, in some ways, it is true that we are or will be healthier than our grandparents were in their older years. Wallis (2021) reported confirming research in the Scientific American. Studies have shown that there have been some physical and cognitive improvements when cohorts born in different decades have been compared. Read More

Free Time?

Angela Haupt (2021) presented research on leisure time in her article in the Washington Post. She reported studies that showed that a person's sense of well-being increases with more free time but only up to a certain point. If there is either too little or too much free time, feelings of well-being decrease. Read More

Aging and Memory

As we get older, many of us worry that our capacity to remember will diminish. Indeed there is some decline associated with normal aging, and there are additional concerns about dementia. The good news is that there are measures to take that are preventative. Read More

Long-term COVID-19 Patients

In the July/August, 2021 Monitor on Psychology there is an article on COVID-19 long-haulers. It reported that many are experiencing the residual symptoms of COVID-19. There are a variety of such symptoms, which can include brain fog, fatigue, breathing difficulties, memory deficits, sleep disruptions, anxiety, and depression, For some the long-hauler symptoms are more debilitating than the actual illness itself. The long-term effects of COVID-19 can impact relationships, jobs, future plans, and mental health. Read More

Postpandemic Re-entry Anxiety
Loosening restrictions, vaccinations, and lower transmission rates are encouraging us to enter again into our communities. But to what degree and for how long, given the proliferation of variants? There are many questions about re-entry. How, where, and when will we get back to a more normal life? Will we return to the lives we had prepandemic, or will there be "a new normal"? What might the new normal look like? Who knows? No one has the answer. Read More

COVID-19 and Re-entry
We are all struggling with how much and how quickly are we ready to reduce some of the restrictions we have imposed on ourselves in response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beth Fineberg, PhD brings to light questions you should be reviewing to help gauge when the best time is for re-entry Read More

Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic
The March 2021 issue of the Scientific American contains an article by the contributing editor M. W. Moyer entitled Coping with pandemic stress (pp. 46-51). In the article she recognized that there are no foolproof ways of handling the COVID-19 pandemic threat to mental health. Nevertheless, she set forth some ways of coping, even though "no one knows when the pandemic will end or whether the future will look anything like the past" Read More

Stress & COVID-19
Stress abounds from COVID-19. Many factors contribute. The possibility of getting it, actually contracting it, and the sickening and loss of loved ones are major factors. Also making large contributions are the disruption of social ties, economic instability, and sudden changes in daily routines. Read More

Update on Therapy Partners
On my website is the page entitled Therapy Partners. This update is meant to provide the most extensive and current evidence on the importance of therapist and patient's becoming therapy partners. For the third time, the American Psychological Association Division of Psychotherapy commissioned a task force to explore  the empirically supported impact of the psychotherapy relationship on treatment outcome. Read More

Time-out as child discipline
A recent article In the American Psychologist by Dadds and Tully (2019) offered a thorough review of  a form of discipline under recent criticism: time-out from positive reinforcement, referred to here as time-out. Their definition of time-out was "any procedure that reduces unacceptable child behavior by the child experiencing an enforced reduction in available reinforcement for a brief period contingent upon an unacceptable behavior" (p. 796). Time-out can be accomplished by a variety of measures, such as a caretaker's brief withdrawal of attention, the child's going to a chair or a corner in the room, and a child's being sent to a segregated area like a bedroom.Read More

A Psychologist General?

Recent surveys show that the state of mental health in the U.S. is in peril. These surveys provide data supporting alarmingly high rates of anxiety, depression and opioid use, especially among young people. There are increasing rates of suicide, hate crimes and mass shootings. Yet, there is a marked lack of mental health services for our population.Read More

False Information
A special issue of the Scientific American (September 2019) focused on its titled concerns: Truth, Lies, & Uncertainty. A particular article, "Why we trust lies,"made what I consider to be some important contributions to understanding how we are all too easily duped by false information.Read More

Co-parenting After Divorce
Jeffrey Zimmerman in the 2019 Journal of Health Service Psychology dealt with the issue of co-parenting by high-conflict divorced parents. I thought some of the points he made were worth sharing, as follows. After divorce, the children remain, now as part of a splintered family. Their parents remain as people who need to co-parent, although they may not get along and probably have been at odds for some time.Read More

All By Myself
The insurance company Cigna did research on 20,000 U.S. adults and found that nearly one half said that they always or sometimes felt alone. Almost as many reported that their relationships were not meaningful and that they saw themselves as isolated.Read More

Don't Hit Your Kids
The American Psychological Association (APA) has warned about the danger and ineffectiveness of physical discipline. This warning arose from a sound foundation in psychological research that found that physical discipline does not bring better behavior but instead is associated with emotional, behavioral, and academic problems.Read More

Prolonged Grief
What can be for some a healthy and normal grief reaction instead for others grows into an all-absorbing preoccupation that can go on for years. In the Monitor on Psychology, Weir (2018) reported that this condition will soon be included in the International Classification of Diseases as prolonged grief disorder. Its critical characteristic is a pervasive and extended longing for the one who has been lost. Read More

Parenting Advice
The clinical neuropsychologist William Stixred gives parental advice in an interview in the Monitor on Psychology. He sees the fundamental responsibility of parents as helping their children to learn to run their own lives rather than solving their problems for them. Read More

Fake News?
Moyer (2019) wrote an interesting piece in the Scientific American called "Why we believe conspiracy theories." She proposed some reasons why and some remedies. I thought her material was worth a blog entry. As she observed, conspiracy theories have always been around but are now more prominent. Researchers have determined that more than one quarter of Americans believe in conspiracies. Read More

Patel and Hughes (2019) reported on hoarding in an article in the Journal of Heath Service Psychology . I thought  that their reportage was interesting and worth sharing. After all, most of us like getting and keeping our stuff. However, like with many good things, going too far can bring trouble. Read More

Therapy Partners Updated
On my website is the page entitled Therapy Partners . This update is meant to provide the most extensive and current evidence on the importance of therapist and patient's becoming therapy partners. For the third time, the American Psychological Association Division of Psychotherapy commissioned a task force to explore  the empirically supported impact of the psychotherapy relationship on treatment outcome... . Read More

Novel Comments
William Landay's (2013) Defending Jacob has been a popular read for book clubs. No wonder! This novel is a well crafted legal thriller... Read More

Linking Memories
As a topic, memory fascinates me primarily because the past impacts, either directly or indirectly, our present lives. Our past experiences and our lessons learned help color and shape our everyday thoughts, feelings, and actions... Read More

I recently read an interesting report about research on the intersection between power and leadership in the April, 2017 issue of the Monitor on Psychology by K. Weir. She called it "Powerplay."... Read More

Novel Comments - The Color of Water
I finally read James McBride’s The Color of Water (1996/2006). The author is the eighth of twelve children of a born and raised white Jewish Mother and a Christian black father... Read More

Novel Comments - Raising the Barre 
 Raising the Barre (Lauren Kessler, 2015) was given to me because of my interest in ballet. I am sharing my thoughts about it because this is the time of year for the Nutcracker.... Read More

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