Woman Looking Out Window - Understanding Depression

Understanding Depression Beyond Biology

by Allison Abrams, LCSW-R

A multitude of factors contribute to the development of clinical depression. Originally published on Psychology Today When it comes to the etiology of clinical depression, the question most often asked is: Is it biological or environmental? The answer to this question, according to Dr. Myrna Weissman, professor of epidemiology in psychiatry at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center is: “yes.” Depression isn’t simply environmental or biological. It is both. “There are a number of factors involved.” Says Weissman. “Temperament, personality traits, self-esteem, negative outlook, early losses, genes, family history, changes in brain structure, medical problems, certain medications, hormones, all contribute.” …

People talking and having coffee

Maintaining Confidence Throughout the Dating Process

by Allison Abrams, LCSW-R

10 steps to a healthy relationship Originally published on Psychology Today In my last post, “The Psychology of Modern Dating,” I describe some of the challenges that come with dating in a digital age and their effects on fundamental interpersonal processes. Despite the potential pitfalls, it is possible to take the pain out of dating. Below are some steps you can take to preserve your sense of worth and emotional well-being as you embark on the journey to love. 1. Know your worth. Self-worth refers to the value you attribute to yourself as a person, across situations and independent of …

Woman looking at cellphone

The Psychology of Modern Dating

by Allison Abrams, LCSW-R

How online dating is changing our fundamental interpersonal processes. Originally published on Psychology Today Navigating the modern dating world can be a venture rife with disappointment and disillusionment. On the other hand, dating can lead to a lifelong partnership. Sadly, for many it is more often the former. From dating fatigue to the sting of rejection, even the most confident daters are not immune to the negative effects of dating on psychological and emotional well-being. And for those who struggle with self-worth, these effects can be especially harmful. Online shopping for mates According to social researchers, “Online dating has produced …


Forgiveness, Healing, and the Power of Compassion

by Allison Abrams, LCSW-R

By letting go of grudges, you’re not simply letting the other person off the hook— you’re taking a step toward a healthier mind and body Originally published on Goodtherapy Forgiveness: one of those necessary evils in life. The stubborn, self-righteous child inside of you will do anything to avoid it; but, as the saying goes, to not do so is to slowly poison yourself while secretly hoping the other person dies. By holding on to grudges and hurts, the only one you are poisoning is yourself. The poison being hatred and anger, two dangerous emotions that haven’t been known to …

Why Some People Get Depressed After Surgery

Why Some People Get Depressed After Surgery—Even if They’ve Recovered Just Fine

Originally posted on • by Shabnaj Chowdhury • February 06, 2019 Postoperative depression is a common complication of surgery, though it’s rarely talked about. In November of last year, after having surgery to remove abnormal cells from her cervix, 27-year-old Emma Wolf felt, well, depressed. The surgery, though invasive, was a minor one. In fact, her doctor told her a day of rest would be all she needed to feel like herself again. She wasn’t warned, however, about the lingering emotional effects that would last for weeks. “I felt disconnected from my own body,” Wolf tells Health. “I had a sense …

The Psychology of Modern Dating

How to Choose a Partner Who Will Value You

by Allison Abrams, LCSW-R

How self-compassion leads to healthier relationships. “To attempt to love someone who cannot benefit from your love with spiritual growth is to waste your energy, to cast your seed on arid ground.” —M. Scott Peck, M.D., The Road Less Traveled. On the sometimes-painful road to self-compassion, there are many lessons to be learned along the way. Some of the most valuable often come in the form of relationships. If you struggle with self-worth

The Ugly Dance of Contempt by Jett Stone, Ph.D

The Ugly Dance of Contempt

by Jett Stone, Ph.D

Eye rolls, sighs, snorts and tongue clicks, lip curls, sarcasm, trolling tweets and silent treatment. These are the sights and sounds of contempt. The lopsided sneer makes for the only asymmetrical human facial expression, and is cold heartedly clear in its message to recipients: I’m up here. You’re down there. Contempt is a display of smug superiority over an unworthy person or party. Contemptuous people exclude and dismiss others as irreconcilably inferior or flawed. Marriage researcher John Gottman and his University of Washington team famously found contemptuous communication between couples to be the biggest predictor of romantic relationship collapse. Gottman …

The Upward Spiral by Afshan Mohamedali, Ph.D

The Upward Spiral

by Afshan Mohamedali, Ph.D

A patient once said at the end of session that he felt like he was going in circles. He was exasperated and couldn’t see the progress he was making because he had seemingly ended up right back at the beginning. Rather than let this comment linger and unfold naturally in the next session, I felt pulled to mark the progress that I could see and was also a part of. I reframed his comment, observing an upward spiral, involving “going in circles” but moving in some direction. The upward spiral became a metaphor in the remainder of our work together. …

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd Product Credit: Model on left: Kate Spade dress, Current/Elliot denim jacket, Jennifer Fisher earrings, H&M bag, Smoke x Mirrors sunglasses, Freda Salvador shoes. Model on right: Banana Republic sweater, Vince shirt, Levi’s jeans, Vince shoes.

What It’s Like to Be Married to Someone With Anxiety

Originally posted on POPSUGAR • by Jenny Sugar “Can you deal with me?” It’s been more than 14 years since my husband said those words to me when we first started dating. I now know he was talking about his anxiety. I fell in love with his warm, caring, funny, and joyful personality, but having anxiety can make him the complete opposite. Without any warning at all, he can go from happy and easygoing to irritable, cranky, and mean, complaining and nitpicking things I do or don’t do, and can be quick to get annoyed or angry. It can be absolutely unbearable, …

Putting Back Together the Pieces of a Broken Heart - Bleeding Heart Flower

Putting Back Together the Pieces of a Broken Heart

by Allison Abrams, LCSW-R

Losing a loved one through a separation such as a breakup or divorce can feel as devastating as losing someone through death. You will likely feel denial, angst, sadness, loneliness and a whole mix of emotions. Whatever you are feeling, others have likely felt it before. Just as those before you made it through, you can come out on the other side of pain. Here are some suggested steps you can take toward healing: 1. Find forgiveness and meaning. Forgiveness is often an essential part of the healing process, whether it is for yourself or the partner who may have “wronged” you. Everything ends, including …




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