Singing the Praises of Music Therapy

We’ve probably all had the experience of hearing a favorite song and how it immediately brings back thoughts, feelings and memories, both happy and sad. Music really is the universal language, and it has the power to move us deeply. But did you know that music therapy is a well-established treatment now often used to … Read more…

A Dozen Tips for the Safe Use of Psychiatric Medications

Many individuals receiving care for mental illness or addiction are prescribed psychiatric medications as an important part of an overall treatment plan which often includes psychotherapy, other therapies and suggested lifestyle changes. In the treatment settings where I’ve worked, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with many highly experienced prescribers, including psychiatrists and nurse practitioners. I’ve … Read more…

Learning About Mindfulness

A Conversation with Dr. Ruth Baer, Ph.D. I recently had the opportunity to talk with my colleague Dr. Ruth Baer, a clinical psychology professor and internationally recognized expert on mindfulness. I asked her a few questions to help us better understand what mindfulness is and how it can help with a variety of mental health … Read more…

Fighting Opioid Abuse and Chronic Pain

Guest Post by Amanda Merchant, Ph.D., Lisa Willner, Ph.D. and Jonathon Cole, Ph.D. Psychologists who treat those with chronic pain are well aware that living with daily pain for months or years on end can take a significant toll. Being limited in daily activities due to pain can lead to loss of job and livelihood, … Read more…

It’s National Recovery Month!

Each September, SAMHSA, the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors “National Recovery Month” to increase awareness of mental health and substance use issues. Key themes include: 1) mental health is essential to overall health; 2) prevention works; 3) treatments are effective; and 4) recovery is possible. The Recovery Month theme for 2016 is “Join the Voices … Read more…

Psychotherapy Works!

Chances are good either you or someone you know has participated in psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, you and a trained mental health professional work together to help you reduce distress, feel better and work toward achieving your personal goals. But how well does psychotherapy work? I still run into folks who question whether psychotherapy is really … Read more…

7 Myths about Physical Restraints in Psychiatric Facilities

We’ve probably all seen movies such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (starring Jack Nicholson), where an individual with a mental illness is placed in a straitjacket in a psychiatric hospital due to being aggressive or out of control. These images are often disturbing and hard to forget. Further, they perpetuate the myth that … Read more…

Thinking Outside the Box to Treat Serious Mental Illness

Not long ago, I attended an educational program on cognitive enhancement therapy, or CET. Chances are you may not be familiar with this type of treatment. It’s a rehabilitation-focused approach which has been shown to improve thinking, memory, attention and other brain functions among individuals with schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses such as severe depression, … Read more…

Anger Management for Voters?

Guest Blog by Joan Cook, Ph.D. It’s hard not to feel all the anger spilling out at presidential election campaign rallies, particularly from the fans of Donald Trump. As a psychologist who’s spent a lot of her professional life working with combat veterans, I’m very comfortable with intense trauma-related anger. But the causes and effects … Read more…

Take the “What Do You Know About Mental Health Medications?” Quiz

Perhaps you or someone you care about takes medication to help manage a mental health condition. There’s a whole alphabet soup of such medications, from Abilify to Zyprexa and everything in between. There’s also a lot of inaccurate information out there about these types of medications. How savvy are you about the basics of mental health … Read more…

Benefits of University-Based Mental Health Training Clinics

For the past 20 years, a significant part of my job has been to direct a university-based mental health center. Our center is affiliated with the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. The center’s mission is to provide effective and affordable mental health services to the community and to provide a site to … Read more…

Psychiatric Advance Directives: A “Living Will” for Mental Health Treatment

It’s likely you’ve heard of a “living will,” a legal document that outlines one’s preferences for their medical treatment in the event of a serious or terminal illness which renders them unable to express their wishes. But did you know there’s something like a “living will” for mental health care? It’s usually called a “psychiatric … Read more…

How to Support Someone During a Psychiatric Hospitalization

If someone you care about has been hospitalized related to a mental health condition, you may have found this situation confusing and overwhelming, and you may have felt you weren’t well-equipped to handle it. This can be even more stressful if it’s the first time you’ve ever faced this challenge. I’ve worked for many years … Read more…

8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment for Mental Illness

It’s probably no big surprise that many people with mental health issues don’t readily seek treatment for their concerns. But how widespread is this pattern? A 2004 report by the World Health Organization reviewed rates of psychiatric treatment usage across 37 research studies. The findings are unbelievable. Between 30 and 80 percent of people with … Read more…

%d bloggers like this: