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Our Elusive Memory

From the category Fast Facts

Greg Markus, from the University of Michigan, conducted a ten year study by asking close to 900 parents and their children their points of view on issues like gender equality, marijuana legislation and civil rights. A decade later he asked them the same questions again. Unanimously, they wrote down that their current beliefs were consistent with what they believed ten years prior, even when they weren’t. In other words, the subjects rewrote their history using the brush of their present-day beliefs to paint over any previous contradictions. Continue Reading

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Self Esteem: Losing it, Finding it, and Keeping it

From the category Five Minute Articles For Your Consideration

Self esteem does not exist in the external world; it is purely a construct of the mind.  We cannot see self esteem, only evidence of it.  It is a completely subjective and internal experience.  In nature you do not see animals with self esteem issues.  If a dog doesn’t catch a ball there is no self-recrimination.  That judgment is reserved solely for humans.  A dog doesn’t tell itself that it is a bad fetcher.  Dogs just live to fetch another day.  We, on the other hand, come up with all sorts of stories about how good or bad we are, all of which affect our self esteem. Continue Reading

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Is it a Symptom or a Syndrome? Psychology’s Struggle for Legitimacy

From the category Five Minute Articles For Your Consideration

Creating an effective and accountable standard of measurements to determine the efficacy of psychotherapy is a perplexing task made even more confusing by the DSM itself.  The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the sourcebook of diagnostic criteria for mental health professionals and the basis of all insurance reimbursement.  The biggest problem with the DSM is that you can’t define a mental disorder using the manual. Continue Reading

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Placebo! Much Ado About Nothing

From the category Five Minute Articles For Your Consideration

Latin for “I shall please,” the Placebo Effect was first scientifically documented in 1955 by Dr. Henry Beecher who found that 30% of the soldiers in World War II who were unwittingly given saline solution for pain, instead of morphine, reported an analgesic effect.  That is, they got something from nothing.  It’s the Seinfeld of the medical world, a show about nothing that offers something very significant to everyone who watches it.  Continue Reading

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Children of Divorce

From the category Two Minute Articles for Parents

Divorce, like anything else that is unsettling, has a direct affect on the lives of millions of children in the United States.  Many people see divorce as a moral dilemma.  Some view it as an epidemic.  Others simply see it as a routine part of American life.  No matter what the view, however, divorce creates issues of adjustment for all involved. Continue Reading

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How to Identify and Deal with Bullies at School

From the category Two Minute Articles for Parents

The idea of childhood bullying has gone mostly unnoticed until the current events at Columbine and Santana High School brought this childhood dynamic to the forefront.  It is now receiving widespread attention and is recognized as a serious problem throughout elementary, middle and high school.  Some reports state that at least two thirds of all shootings involve kids who say they were bullied in school.  The following is a good definition of bullying: A negative situation that occurs regularly and repeatedly perpetrated by an aggressive student who is trying to control a weaker or more vulnerable one.  The act of bullying involves an implied threat of physical harm and also some form of intimidation.  To deal with bullying requires parents to both recognize when their child is being bullied, and when their child is being a bully. Continue Reading

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Teaching Your Children Well

From the category Two Minute Articles for Parents

Parenting is not an easy job, but we take it on with a commitment and passion that is unrivaled.  We bring our children into the world with all of our heart and soul.  We embrace them, love them, shelter them, and snuggle them so they will feel safe and secure as they begin their journey in the world.  As our children get older much of our time is spent making sure they are provided for.  We shop, cook, clean, work, and save for their future.  We put boundaries around them so they begin to understand right from wrong, good from bad, and get them ready to move toward whatever their destiny demands of them.  In all of the demands child-rearing places on parents one thing that often gets overlooked is teaching them how to make the world around them a better place.  Continue Reading

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