OK, Boomer What can we learn from college students? Rates of anxiety and depression are on the rise, the future of the planet is uncertain, and millenials and Gen Xers increasingly get a bad rap in the workplace. The classic formula of blaming the victim doesn’t help us understand what is happening with our young people and how they can best cope with the current world circumstances. How about ancient wisdom, presented by modern psychology? Making Mindful Self-Compassion Accessible A group of seasoned clinician-researchers in Norway, including Per-Einar Binder and esteemed colleagues, has been studying how age-old wisdom, delivered in modern, digestible bites, can help college students adapt more effectively to the fluid, frightening and uncertain environment which characterizes the world of 2020. Their team developed a series of three 90 minutes workshops based on Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), with manageable personal practices to transform one’s relationship with oneself … [Read more...] about 5 Lessons from College Students on Applied Self-Compassion
Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often thought of as a childhood disorder, there is an increasing number of older adults who are being diagnosed for the first time. This growing demographic makes it critical for clinicians, family members, and friends to consider the impact of such a diagnosis. The UCR SEARCH Center has had a number of calls from older adults seeking a first-time diagnosis. Though our center primarily focuses on children ages 3-12, we have seen a few older adults and have heard from them what they hope to gain from an ASD diagnosis and why it matters to them to understand whether or not they meet the criteria for ASD. Nine adults, aged 50 or older, who were recently diagnosed with ASD are the focus of a new journal article by Steven Stagg and Hannah Belcher. Why the increase? Before discussing this research paper, one important question to answer is: Why is there an increasing number of older adults seeking an … [Read more...] about What Is It Like to Get an Autism Diagnosis Later in Life?
I receive many emails from parents reaching out to me when I write posts about dependent adult children. They are typically heart-wrenching stories about adult children who are failing to thrive. Overly dependent adult children who seemed stalled-out (or in a tailspin) with little motivation can be emotionally and financially draining on parents. Common among this population, and consistent with the myriad of comments from my readers to this topic, are issues with substance misuse, depression, low self-esteem, severe financial mismanagement, and social anxiety. Parents of these dependent adult children often tell me that they feel at their wits' end. One client of mine, Rose, expressed through tears this all too common frustration: "I just don't know what to say when my adult son demands that I give him money for rent and that if I don't then he will be out on the street!" Do you … [Read more...] about Seven Words to Help Your Dependent, Stuck Adult Child
Fundamental to some personality disorders is the feeling of being abandoned. A child - aware of processes going on in the mind, and thus, of existing - has great need that its sense of existing to be echoed back - as psychologists say - “mirrored” back, to the child. Not only does the child need its being aware of itself to be mirrored back, the child needs the caregiver to mirror back - according to British psychoanalyst and theoretician Peter Fonagy - a recognizable version of the child’s sense of itself. Things can go terribly wrong when the child's caregiver does not reflect (mirror) the child’s self back to the child in a recognizable way. In today’s New York Times, columnist David Brooks commented on the kind of relationship Jewish theologian Martin Buber regarded as vital for humans, if humans are to indeed be human: the “I-Thou” way of relating, rather than an “I-It” way of … [Read more...] about Feelings Of Abandonment Versus An “I-Thou” Relationship
Most forms of therapy show equal results. The results, however, are not reliably good. For emotional regulation, most therapies rely on executive function in the left brain. But, executive function, itself emotionally fragile, falls apart just when our need for it to regulate us is greatest. When arousal becomes too high, executive function gets overwhelmed and shuts down. Neuroscience has provided us with a more reliable way to regulate anxiety. We now know that heavy duty emotional regulation depends largely on the right brain. Some therapists intuitively employ—and help their clients develop—right brain self-regulation. Unfortunately, therapists who are not relationally intuitive, apply the "paint-by-the-numbers" therapy they learned in grad school. In "Emotion Coming of Age" Leslie Greenberg writes "the field has yet to pay adequate attention to implicit and relational processes of … [Read more...] about When Anxiety Means Suffering, Can Therapy Really Help?