My Writing

I’ve done a lot of writing.

Book cover 2Last year, I published a book that can help you deal with conflict, Constructive Conflict. It’s available in paperback, Kindle, and Audible from Amazon.

I also have two novels: Fate’s Janitors: Mopping Up Madness at a Mental Health Clinic and Intersections.

My blog is below. I’m currently posting two series: The Shrink’s Links once a week, alternating with a series on forgiveness, The Road to ReconciliationClick here if you would like to read this series from the beginning.

How Caretaking Can Be A Problem

The Road to ReconciliationYou may have actually said it, and it’s true. Taking care of a person with a Problem gives meaning and purpose to your life.

Your life needs meaning and purpose. It makes your life worthwhile; it indicates your existence matters. That’s important. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that keeps you going. It’s something you can be proud of.
Meaning and purpose will organize your life. You know what you have to do when you wake up in the morning. It dictates the things you do during the day. It determines the choices you make and makes those choices easy.

So, where do you find meaning and purpose? Continue reading

Shinrin-yoku and the Cost of the Placebo Effect

Bringing you the best of mental health

Any time of year is a good time for a good dose of Shinrin-yoku; but, I think, for maximum effect, autumn in Western New York is the best.
 Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese term for forest therapy. That’s getting therapy by walking in the forest, not therapy for forests. People have been walking in the woods forever; but, I am told, since the 1980s, it’s become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Researchers in Japan and South Korea have established what they call a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time in the company of trees.
 I love hiking, so I’d like to believe that walking in the woods can lower your blood pressure, lift your spirits, make you breathe easier, and be less interested in filling your mouth with junk food, your veins with drugs, your lungs with smoke, and your gullet with alcohol. It’s cheaper than Prozac and has fewer side effects than Xanax. In fact, unless you get sprayed by a skunk, eaten by a bear, or a tree falls on you, I can’t think of any side effects at all. If you’re sad, anxious, or confused, taking a walk in the woods should be the first thing you do, before you call a therapist or get a prescription for pills. As a matter of fact, there are studies that support some of those claims. In one such research experiment, volunteers were taken for a walk in the woods, or, alternatively, down a city street. Measurements were taken. The ones who walked in the woods had lower heart rates and blood pressures, reduced stress hormone production, a boosted immune system, and improved overall feelings of wellbeing.

I’ve looked at these articles, but they only cause me to have more questions. Continue reading

Feed the Person, Starve the Problem 

One Halloween when I was a kid, I came home from trick-or-treating with a plastic pumpkin full of chocolate. My mouth had been watering ever since the second doorbell but my costume prohibited taking an early snack. As soon as I got home, the mask came off and I had my first piece of chocolate. The taste of that chocolate was so exquisite that I can still recall it. If I wasn’t a kid and didn’t know anything about it, I would have said I was having an orgasm over that piece of chocolate. It was so good that I had another and another and another, until, before I knew it, or my parents knew it, the entire pumpkin was gone and I was so sick I barfed all the chocolate right back into the pumpkin where it came from. (Continue reading…)

Create Problem-Free Zones

If you’ve been hurt and the Problem has taken over your relationship, there’s plenty that you can do, other than succumb to the Problem yourself. Just because your boyfriend wants to get stinking drunk every time he goes out, doesn’t mean you have to clean him up when he comes home. If your girlfriend picks fights with everyone, it doesn’t mean you have to make excuses for her. If your husband choses to gamble away his paycheck, it doesn’t mean he has to spend yours, too. Get out a little, be healthy, let your partner clean up his or her own mess. Create a Problem-Free Zone. (Continue reading…)

Story Worth

Bringing you the best of mental health every week.

There’s a lot about your loved one you never knew: your mother’s first crush, your father’s secret dream, the time your grandfather took up the saxophone. They never thought to tell you and you never thought to ask. For $79, when it’s not on sale, Story Worth will ask. Every week, they’ll send a stimulating question to your loved one, who will be asked to respond with a written or recorded answer. At the end of the year, all the answers will be bound into a book.

You could save the $79 and ask the questions yourself. Click here for some of the questions that Story Worth uses to get your loved one going.

Where Problems Come From

Chances are, neither you nor your loved one asked for a persistent problem. Illnesses happen beyond anyone’s control. Some diseases are inherited, like Huntington’s; others are transmitted, like Ebola. Mental illness and addiction are thought to involve a multi-factor genesis called the Diathesis-Stress Hypothesis. (Continue reading…)