Counseling CEUs

Repeated head impacts associated with later-life depression symptoms, worse cognitive function

Scientists have long believed that a single traumatic brain injury (TBI) earlier in life may contribute to problems with memory, thinking and depression later in life. In most previous studies, however, research failed to examine the possible role of having a history of exposure to repetitive head impacts, including those leading to “subconcussive” injuries, in these later-life problems. In the largest study of its kind, an association has been found in living patients exposed to…

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Does Bedtime Media Use Harm Children’s Sleep? Only if They Struggle to Self-Regulate Behavior

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one concern for many parents has been the impact of additional TV or computer screen time on their children and their already disrupted sleep habits. According to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science, media use in the hour preceding bedtime impacts the sleep only of children who struggle to self-regulate their behavior. Frequent media use before bed in these children predicted later bedtimes and less sleep, but it had little…

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Pioneers, Mentors, and Diversity in Animal Behavior Science

Mentors and awards can really make a difference. That’s one lesson from a new paper by Dr. Danielle N. Lee (Southern Illinois University) that looks at the history of diversity within the Animal Behavior Society. Another finding is of the important contributions made by under-represented minorities to the field of animal behavior. Amongst early contributions highlighted in the paper are those of Charles Henry Turner (1867–1923) who, in 1907, was the first African American to get a Ph.D. (in…

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Who Uses Drugs and Why?

Psychologists have long been interested in understanding what factors influence whether a person takes recreational drugs. Personality traits are well known to influence many areas of a person’s life, and drug-taking is no exception. Several studies on the subject have looked at the Big 5 personality traits: openness to experience, which relates to the breadth and complexity of a person’s mental life; conscientiousness, which relates to organization and self-discipline; extraversion, related both to sociability and pleasure-seeking; agreeableness, related to cooperation and consideration for others; and neuroticism,…

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Poor sleep significantly linked with teenage depression

In a paper published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, researchers analysed self-reported sleep quality and quantity from teenagers and found that there was a significant relationship between poor sleep and mental health issues. The team, based at the University of Reading, and Goldsmiths and Flinders Universities found that among the 4790 participants, those who experienced depression reported both poor quality and quantity of sleep, while those with anxiety had poor quality of sleep…

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Depression associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease

A new study co-led by Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Scott Lear provides further evidence of the link between depressive symptoms and an increased risk of heart disease and early death. The global study tracked 145,862 middle-aged participants from 21 countries and found a 20 per cent increase in cardiovascular events and death in people with four or more depressive symptoms. The risks were twice as high in urban areas — where the majority…

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The Supreme Court Rules In Favor of LGBTQ+ Workplace Rights

On June 15th, 2020 the Supreme Court ruled that gender identity or sexual orientation are protected characteristics under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The President of the Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, referred to this ruling as a, “landmark victory for LGBTQ equality.” In addition to improving workplace rights, could this historical event also help to improve LGBTQ+ mental wellness? Gender and sexual minorities are more than twice as likely to experience a serious mental health concern. Ilan Meyer highlighted that a key reasoning for…

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Can Repetitive Negative Thinking Speed Up Cognitive Decline?

In a 2015 paper, “Cognitive Debt and Alzheimer’s Disease,” Natalie Marchant and Robert Howard, who is a professor of Old Age Psychiatry at University College London (UCL), proposed a novel concept called the “cognitive debt hypothesis,” which posits that repetitive negative thinking (RNT) might be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, a follow-up study led by Marchant investigated the association between RNT and various markers of Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) in a cohort of 292 people…

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Counselor considerations for disclosing LGBTQ+ identity

The question of what is appropriate to disclose about ourselves to clients is one that all counselors face, whether it be about an upcoming vacation, an emotional reaction to a client or how our own past struggles may parallel those of a client. Beyond these more common self-disclosures, we also may choose to disclose aspects of our identity that are not inherently visible, such as our sexual orientation, gender identity or even religious beliefs. These…

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How Dreaming Helps the Brain Consolidate Memories

The past century of “sleep and memory” research has established that sleep facilitates the retention of memories in both humans and animals. However, the exact brain mechanisms that help mammals consolidate memories while they sleep was unclear to neuroscientists until recently. Since the 1950s, neuroscientists have suspected that dreaming facilitates memory consolidation during the rapid-eye-movement (REM) stage of sleep. In 1957, William Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman of the University of Chicago published a landmark study (Dement & Kleitman, 1957)…

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