In the news

The Iowa Caucuses and the Psychology of Impatience

If there’s one thing a democracy needs to get right, it’s an election. And, in that respect, Iowa failed Monday night. Due to an apparent software problem, the nation did not get the results of the Iowa Democratic caucus Monday night, as planned. Nor did they get the results Tuesday morning. It wasn’t until Tuesday evening that any results were released — and even then only 60% of the votes had been tallied and a…

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Why Don’t More Asian Americans Seek Mental Health Services?

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA/PI) community is the fastest growing racial group in the United States, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that AA/PIs had the lowest rates of mental health utilization compared to every racial group. One study found that only 28% of Asian Americans sought mental health services compared to 54% of the general population. Because AA/PIs have been known to delay or rarely seek out help…

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Children’s mental health is affected by sleep duration

Depression, anxiety, impulsive behaviour and poor cognitive performance in children is affected by the amount of sleep they have, researchers from the University of Warwick have found. Sleep states are active processes that support reorganisation of brain circuitry. This makes sleep especially important for children, whose brains are developing and reorganizing rapidly. In the paper ‘Sleep duration, brain structure, and psychiatric and cognitive problems in children,’ published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, 11,000 children aged 9-11…

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ACA Celebrates School Counselors

The American Counseling Association celebrates professional school counselors and their work in schools across the nation, in recognition of National School Counseling Week, Feb. 3 – 7, 2020. School counselors have a profound effect on the future of the United States. In the current school year, they are mentoring 56.6 million learners enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. and 19.9 million students attending U.S. colleges and universities. Professional school counselors focus…

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Straddling two worlds

Because immigrants often feel like they are straddling two worlds — their origin country and their new one — identity development is complex and critical for this population. Immigrant clients often tell Sara Stanizai, a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Prospect Therapy in Long Beach, California, that they have one foot in each culture and don’t fully fit into either one. When people feel like they don’t fully belong to any one community and…

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Brain Connectivity Fluctuates Based on Exercise Intensity

A new study reports that low-intensity exercise (walking on a treadmill) stimulates brain networks associated with cognitive control and attention. In contrast, the researchers found that high-intensity exercise (running on a treadmill) activates brain networks involved with emotional processing. Both low- and high-intensity physical activity (walking or running) on a treadmill are associated with an uptick in positive mood, according to the researchers. These findings (Schmitt et al., 2019) were recently published in a special issue of Brain Plasticity dedicated to “exercise and cognition.”…

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Deconstructing anxiety

I have always found it tremendously frustrating that our rational minds can’t convince us that most of our fears and anxieties are nothing to be afraid of. Many of my clients express the same frustration. As philosopher Michel de Montaigne said, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” Sadly, this is true for many of us, and no amount of positive thinking, affirmation or even cognitive transformation will touch…

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It May Be Time for You to Do a Body Image Checkup

As a component of people’s identity, body image forms a central focus. Body image is defined as your internal representation of your physical self, and includes such features as self-perception of your height, age, weight, attractiveness, and functionality or your body’s ability to perform actions of importance to you. Along with these cognitive components are the emotions attached to these internal representations. Do you feel too heavy, old, unattractive, and weak or are you happy with most aspects of…

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Ricky Gervais teaches Hollywood what speaking truth to power really means

If you had “host Ricky Gervais becomes a conservative darling” in your office Golden Globes pool, congratulations, because you must have won a bundle. The rest of us will continue our slow, astonished blink as we contemplate the fact that this year’s most talked-about speech slammed not oil companies or gender inequality, but Hollywood hypocrisy: “You say you’re woke,” said Gervais, “but the companies you work for — I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started…

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Poor mental health ‘both cause and effect’ of school exclusion

Children with mental health needs require urgent support from primary school onwards to avoid exclusion, which can be both cause and effect of poor mental health, new research concludes. The research, led by the University of Exeter, and published in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, concluded that a swift response is needed, finding that young people with mental health difficulties were more likely to be excluded and also suffer ill-effects from exclusion. The research, which was…

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