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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What is… Cognitive Remediation

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is cognitive remediation. Cognitive remediation (CR) aims to improve psychosocial functioning by addressing several areas of neurocognitive functioning, such as attention, working memory, and executive functioning. CR is used mostly in schizophrenia and traumatic brain injury. It’s also …

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book cover: Triumph by Trepanation by Nina Rabinowitz

Book Review: Triumph by Trepanation

Triumph by Trepanation is a short (47 page) book by Nina Rabinowitz that describes how she was able to find healing from an anxiety disorder. The book begins with her youth in a New Jersey suburb. She was expected to follow the standard “New York Jewish Roadmap” of what constituted acceptable life choices.  She describes …

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diagram of the gate control theory of pain

Gate Control Theory of Pain

What does the gate control theory of pain have to do with a mental health blog? Well, co-occurring mental illness and chronic pain are remarkably common. For example, among people with fibromyalgia, over 50% experience depression. The rates of anxiety disorders are also over 50%. People with depression and anxiety disorders are also at increased risk to …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Sleep and Dreaming

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is sleep. It’s something we all need to do, but what exactly is it? Sleep involves altered consciousness and decreased reactivity to sensory stimulation from the environment. The brain’s energy consumption drops significantly, which allows for the repletion …

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MH@H book review: Resilient by Rick Hanson

Book Review: Resilient by Rick Hanson

Resilient by psychologist Rick Hanson looks at how to build resilience given what we know about the neuroscience of learning. Despite being grounded in science, it’s refreshingly practical and simple. The book begins by identifying three basic human needs (safety, satisfaction, connection) and ways to meet those needs (recognizing, resourcing, regulating, relating). These are set …

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"Chemical imbalance": It oversimplifies mental illness, but is it still useful?

Is Chemical Imbalance a Useful Simplification of Mental Illness?

We’ve all heard of the “chemical imbalance” explanation for mental illness, and in particular, depression. While this term has supported the argument that mental illness is actually an illness, it’s also a gross simplification of mental illness in terms of what’s actually going on in the brain. I wonder if perhaps this terminology is no …

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