Understimulation and humanity

Understimulation and humanity

by Debbie Quackenbush, Ph.D. Several years ago, I started noticing that zoo animals had seemingly random objects in their enclosures.  I recall asking a zoo employee about them and was informed that even animals get bored and have ill effects from under stimulation.  Putting toys and novel objects in their cages was a way to prevent them from becoming depressed.  Of course, it makes perfect sense, on reflection, that an animal in ten square meters of space would become bored…

Procrastination

Procrastination

by Heidrun Hoppe When I was a young Psychology student there was one new word I got to learn before many others. Procrastination. I remember sitting in one of those first lectures, along with a bunch of newly enrolled young students, eyes sparkling with motivation, while my statistics professor introduced us to a phenomenon we would soon experience ourselves. Only few mental health issues are downplayed as much as procrastination, which might be an explanation for why it is so…

Why We Should All Go to the Park More Often

Why We Should All Go to the Park More Often

By Heidi Hoppe, Little White House intern When was the last time you have been at the zoo? Do you remember, how it was divided into different climate zones, equivalent to the different parts of the world the animals would naturally inhabit? You would have the lions, giraffes and elephants running around in huge enclosures that are supposed to imitate the African Savannah – with big rocks, sandy grounds and native plants. The penguins and polar bears would have settled…

Losing the grip on who we are as we move abroad

Losing the grip on who we are as we move abroad

By Claudia Carrara, Ph.D., M.Sc. Psychologist Your friends, your sport club, your favorite restaurant, your family, your home. As we move to a new country, we leave behind many of the core elements that shape our identity. And the shift is rarely painless. In 1995, I moved from Italy to Denmark: I was 26 years old, had both professional and academic accomplishments on my back, and my plan was to move my life in the new country. With hindsight, my…

The Little White House Masters level Psychology Internship

Internship positions are open every semester at The Little White House.  In conjunction, we run a ‘student clinic’ that provides low cost therapy to individuals in the community.  Find more information here. We typically select two students per semester after application and interview. The internship is for people proficient in English, and consists of total immersion in an international private practice setting including having 2-3 therapy clients, participating in individual and group supervision, and staff meetings. Interns will also have signifant…

Divorce and breakups

When individuals meet and fall in love, most people do not imagine that they will ever break up.  Yet, statistics show that fifty percent of first marriages eventually end in divorce.  Divorce is typically an extremely stressful and painful time for families and may require the help of a professional to get through. I have many years of experience working with families going through a divorce transition, in the US.  I conducted numerous custody evaluations, and have had psychotherapy with…

Maintaining relationships with aging parents on another continent

It has become clear to me over the last few years that being an expat means having your heart in two different (at least) places.  For me, I have my family, including my oldest son, and parents and sisters, in the States and my spouse and newer friends here.   Skype works relatively well, but I always feel I am dividing myself between two different continents in the connections I am trying to form and maintain.  To add complication to this,…

Final review of ‘8 Keys to Forgiveness’ by Robert Enright

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think that the topic of forgiveness is so very important both in mental health, but also for a grander version of world peace.  Imagine if the Israelis and Palestinians could forgive each other (in fact, there are people working on that.  Click here for more information)!  In general, I will say that I liked, but did not love this book.  I had to work at reading it, more than I usually do. …

RIP Rebel Princess for reducing mental health stigma

Carrie Fisher in her iconic role as Princess Leia RIP Carrie Fisher, the openly Bipolar, addicted actress who brought us one of Hollywood’s first, strong female role models in her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars series.  She was only 60, when she died.  In her books, she chronicles her struggles with mental illness and addiction.  I write about her, because the Star Wars series has figured prominently into my life (I was 11 years old when the…

Final Review of ‘Authentic Happiness’ by Martin Seligman

I finished reading Seligman’s ‘Authentic Happiness’.  Overall, I quite enjoyed it and it was a good reminder for the coming New Year, to take stock of one’s strengths, and to design a good life for oneself.  I think that many of us in the Western World are lucky in that we no longer have to expend energy on basic survival; instead, this book reminds us that we can construct a pleasant, meaningful and related existence. Here are some pros and…

Second book of the month– ‘Authentic Happiness’ by Martin Seligman

When I went to graduate school in 1988, we were educated in psychological testing, statistics and research design, and psychopathology.  At the heart of psychology was the treatment of psychological ills and the removal of suffering.  Since that time, there has been an emergence in the field of ‘Positive Psychology’—psychology that is strength based and focuses on promoting happiness, as opposed to relieving suffering.  My other book that I will be reviewing at the end of the break is Martin…

Some light reading for the holidays

So occasionally I read and review a self-help book to use in my practice.  Feel free to read along with me if you would like.  The one I have been recently reading is about forgiveness.  It’s called “8 Keys to Forgiveness” by Robert Enright, and can be found here on Amazon.  It’s available as a kindle book, as well.  Before I bought it, I specifically looked for something that was not spiritual in nature.  In my initial search, I found that…

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