‘A Roadmap to Behavioral Health’: A Review

Navigating the mental health system to obtain appropriate care for mental illness and addictions often seems akin to trying to pilot a small airplane through a turbulent thunderstorm in the dark. It’s challenging, uncomfortable, scary and hard to safely reach your destination. In an effort to provide better guidance to find mental health and substance … Read more…

Recovery After a Suicide Attempt: ‘A Journey Toward Health and Hope’

Perhaps you (or someone you care about) have had such significant distress, depression or hopelessness that you attempted to end your life by suicide. However, if you’re reading this, I’m so glad you made it through that incredibly difficult experience. Often there is little support for suicide attempt survivors, so I’m always looking out for … Read more…

Picture a Healthier You Through Art Therapy

It’s commonly said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Art can move us, inspire us, and it can be either a satisfying hobby or a very rewarding profession for a talented few. But it’s not widely known that art therapy is an effective treatment used to help individuals with mental illness or addiction. … Read more…

20 Life-Changing Benefits of Psychotherapy

Have you ever considered seeking psychotherapy to help you manage or overcome a personal or emotional concern? Or perhaps you’re engaged in therapy currently or you have participated in the past. We know that psychotherapy works. In a previous post, I wrote about some of the considerable evidence for the effectiveness of psychotherapy. But what … Read more…

Overcoming the “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment for Mental Illness”

My most popular blog post to date is “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment for Mental Illness.” In it, I described several common obstacles and barriers which often keep people from seeking or obtaining treatment for mental illness. This post clearly struck a chord with a lot of people, including those who have had … Read more…

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 over 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 train … Read more…

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