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Cultivating happiness and seeking relief from stress, anxiety and depression

An excerpt from this piece written by the Dalai Lama on stress and cultivating happiness: "A great Tibetan teacher of mind training once remarked that one of the mind’s most marvellous qualities is that it can be transformed. I have no doubt that those who attempt to transform their minds, overcome their disturbing emotions and achieve a sense of inner peace, will, over a period of time, notice a change in their mental attitudes and responses to people and events. Their minds will become more disciplined and positive. And I am sure they will find their own sense of happiness grow as they contribute to the greater happiness of others. I offer my prayers that everyone who makes this their goal will be blessed with success." Read More

Summary of counseling and therapy

Excerpt from an article describing therapy and counseling: What is therapy? Therapy and counseling are types of treatment to improve your mental well-being. These treatments can help people who are experiencing emotional or behavior problems, or people who have a mental health disorder. Therapy is sometimes called psychotherapy (say: sike-o-ther-apy) or talk therapy. If you are taking medication for a mental health disorder, therapy will usually improve the results you are get from the medicine. Different types of therapy use different techniques. In most kinds of therapy and counseling, the person receiving treatment will talk with a professional therapist. However, therapy is more than just talking about your problems. Therapy can teach you new ways to think about the situations that bother you and help you cope with your feelings. It can help with feelings of anger, fear, anxiety, shyness and panic. It can also give you tools to help fight low self-esteem and depression, for example. Read More

Explore therapy at goodtherapy.org

This website provides some answers to some basic questions about therapy and counseling. If you are interested in learning more about getting help, it is a good place to start. Read More

Side Effects May Include

Excerpt: Lane was troubled by what he found: evidence of drug-company influence, especially in the promotion of “panic disorder” by Pharmacia & Upjohn, maker of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. He also uncovered extensive evidence of questionable research (sometimes involving just one patient), sloppy thinking, dismissal of nonmedical approaches to psychiatric problems, and a degree of inventiveness with terms and symptoms that struck him as playing fast and loose with the facts. All of this served as the basis for Lane’s 2007 book, Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, in which he observes that behaviors once understood as reactions to one’s environment and upbringing are increasingly seen as innate conditions of brain chemistry, resulting from problematic levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. He suggests that because of the open-ended language in the DSM and the wide range of behaviors it pathologizes, anyone who is shy, as he was as a teenager, now risks being diagnosed as mentally ill. The new disorders were “obviously music to the ears of drug companies,” he says, “insofar as they massively increased the market for their products, which the media greeted with incredible enthusiasm.” Read More

Schizophrenia, cultural marginalization, and dissocation of the body:  An application of Ernest Becker's work to psychotherapy

Schizophrenia, cultural marginalization, and dissocation of the body: An application of Ernest Becker's work to psychotherapy

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Schwartz's recent paper on schizophrenia. Click "read more" for the link to the summary/abstract and contact him if you are interested in a copy of the paper. Ernest Becker highlights the experience-limiting function of culture. Without such restriction, life, in all of its mystery and terror, is just too much for the self-conscious animal to bear. Culture has developed as a result of a need to minimize the force of life and anxiety associated with the inevitability of death. Successfully socialized individuals can envelop themselves in a death-denying and life-directing and limiting symbolic order. Read More