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Mental Health

Anxiety, Get Thee Behind Me

One of the most common experiences that leads people to seek therapy is anxiety. Which makes sense. Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling you’re having, maybe along with worries you can’t shake, so why not look for help from someone whose job it is to understand anxiety and to know what to do about it? I treat a lot of different presentations of anxiety, and one of the first conversations I have with a client on this topic will be: What’s the goal of our work on anxiety? This might sound like an unnecessary question. Isn’t the obvious answer, to get Read More →

Mistakes and Fallibility

“I can’t believe I did that. I’m a screw-up. How can I ever be proud of myself again?” I know how much it can hurt when we look back and realize that we’ve made a mistake — particularly a large one. And a painful truth is: No one (at least so far) ever gets access to a time machine. So we don’t get the chance to go back and fix mistakes in the past. How, then, do we live in a world where we did that ill-advised thing, and that we can’t change that it happened? But here’s the thing: Read More →

Presentation: Counseling Internet and Online Issues

I’m presenting a program on “Counseling Internet and Online Issues” at the 2nd Virtual Conference on Counseling — in Second Life! I’ll be talking about historical context, basic psychological features of cyberspace, and applicable examples of situations. It’s next Wednesday, 9/15, at 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern, at the Counselor Education in Second Life center SLURL Port Dervon 44, 65, 26. It’s free. Please stop by!

Time Online: How Much Is Too Much?

There’s a new survey released by Rasmussen Reports — most commonly known for their political polling — that describes peoples’ perceptions of online use. The bottom-line statistic is that 23% of adults surveyed believe that they spend too much time online. Drill down the numbers, and it gets more interesting.

Cyberchondria: An Example of Misplaced Focus

Among the daily multitude of news coverage discussing the psychological and social impacts of the Internet comes an article describing “cyberchondria“: But what really ails me? Cyberchondria, loosely defined as the baseless fueling of fears and anxiety about common health symptoms due to Internet research, or, as I like to think of it, Googling oneself into a state of absolute, clinical hysteria over every last pain, itch and strange freckle on your body. It’s easy to lose our bearings on a phenomenon like this and blame the Internet itself as the new social hazard that gives rise to this condition. Read More →