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The Power of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Using Meditative and Mindfulness Practices to Redefine Emotion

Ryan Howes • 5/1/2015 • 2 Comments

We Americans believe profoundly not only in the pursuit of happiness, but in our unalienable right to obtain it. Despite roughly 5,000 years of written evidence to the contrary, we believe it isn’t normal to be unhappy. But according to Steven Hayes, the creator of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), it’s suffering and struggle that are normal---and not the reverse. Furthermore, dealing with our inevitable psychic struggles by trying to get rid of them doesn’t work and may actually make them worse. In this interview, he explains the origins of ACT and what he sees as its future.

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The Chemistry Behind Couples Therapy

Pat Love Explains the Science of Effective Sex Therapy

Pat Love • 12/30/2014 • No Comments

Our culture speaks of "falling" in love. Other societies have compared infatuation to divine revelation, and to psychosis. We often say, in jest, that this experience of hurricane-force passion is "like a drug." But that oft-quipped analogy may turn out to be no joke. Some scientists now believe that the frenzied euphoria of romantic love may well be a bona fide, altered state of consciousness, primarily brought on by the action of phenylethylamine (PEA), a naturally occurring, amphetamine-like neurotransmitter. And if our desire problems are at least partly innate, then maybe we don't need to feel quite so ashamed and despairing about the muddle we're in.

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Sleepless in America

Making it Through the Night in a Wired World

Mary Sykes Wylie • 10/26/2014 • No Comments

Insomnia. Almost everybody has it at one time or another. Some poor souls live (or barely live) with it. It's hard to know exactly how widespread it is—prevalence rates are all over the map. As many as 30 percent of the population, or as few as 9 percent (depending on the source of the statistic, or how insomnia is defined, or what impact it has), suffer from some form of it at least some of the time. What's undisputed, however, is that sleep is as necessary to physical and mental health as air and water, and that, without it, we suffer—often severely. So, those annoying world-beaters, who brag about needing only four hours of sleep a night (the better to forge multimillion-dollar start-ups and do their Nobel Prize–winning research) are perhaps not being entirely candid.

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Revolution on the Horizon

DBT Challenges the Borderline Diagnosis

Katy Butler • 9/14/2014 • 1 Comment

DBT was no walk in the park: it required team treatment, including weekly individual therapy, a year-long "skills training" class, telephone coaching and supportive supervision for the therapist. But it offered clients and therapists alike a way out of chaos--a systematic clinical package that integrated the technical and analytical strengths of behaviorism, the subtleties of Zen training, the warmth and acceptance of relationship-centered therapies and the often undervalued power of psychoeducation.

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