Specialty Behavioral Health

Self Help Library

Understanding and Overcoming Chronic Insomnia – Part II

October 17, 2010

PART II – SLEEP HYGIENE This is part two of a four part series on understanding and overcoming chronic insomnia. Quiz 1. True or False: Raising body temperature by exercising ½ hour before bedtime can help us fall asleep. 2. True or False: Raising body temperature by taking a warm bath ½ hour before bedtime [...]

Understanding and Overcoming Chronic Insomnia- Part I

October 16, 2010

PART I – DEFINITION AND CAUSES OF CHRONIC INSOMNIA This is part one of a four part series on understanding and treating chronic insomnia. Insomnia Quiz- Part I 1. True or False: The amount and quality of our sleep can affect hormones related to craving food and satiety. 2. True or False: Animals can die [...]

Combining CBT and MI Counseling Strategies

August 8, 2010

     Among two of the most ubiquitous counseling approaches at present for helping persons with substance use problems are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI).  Last week, I had the honor to deliver a plenary talk and workshop on the topic of combining CBT and MI at the 39th Annual Summer Clinical Institute [...]

Effective Treatments for Panic Disorder

June 10, 2009

What Is Panic Disorder? Panic disorder is marked by sudden, severe, and recurrent anxiety responses called panic attacks, which seemingly occur for no reason.  Specific symptoms of panic attacks can vary, but typically include racing heart, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, sweating, heaviness or tension in the chest, numbness or tingling sensations in the extremities, nausea [...]

Cocaine Vaccine Shows Promise

March 2, 2009

Can you guess why cocaine use in major cities on the east coast is going to be rampant today?  It’s because the heavy snow storms make it very difficult for police to track and curtail the buying and selling of drugs.  I’ve always been amazed by how small details can make a such big difference [...]

A Cognitive Approach to Combatting Procrastination

February 27, 2007

One of the more common complaints I hear from my clients is “I wish I didn’t procrastinate so much.” Being stuck in a cycle of procrastination is distressing because it can suffocate us with guilt, lead to a burdensome list of tasks to complete, and worst of all, keep us from fulfilling our most meaningful [...]

Cognitive Therapy Helps Cope with Accepting Criticism

September 6, 2006

Ideally, receiving criticism helps us grow by increasing our understanding of how we can improve our relationship skills and performance at work or school.  However, for those who are especially sensitive to criticism, a seemingly slight negative remark can lead to defensiveness, depression, withdrawal, and even a fractured sense of self-worth.  The field of cognitive [...]

What is “Ecstasy” (MDMA) and What Are the Risks?

A newsletter reader wanted to know what “ecstasy” was and what the real risks were of using this substance.  The chemical name of the drug known as “ecstasy” is methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).  This drug has properties similar to methamphetamine, which is a long-acting stimulant, and mescaline, a hallucinogenic drug that alters perceptions (e.g., visual “trails”).  Users [...]

Giving During the Holidays Makes Us Happier

For many, an important part of the holiday season is on giving and receiving gifts. The giving in particular can be a significant source of stress…the financial cost, braving the stores, the desire to please others in our lives. However, there is another side to giving. Research shows that giving actually promotes a sense of [...]

Managing Your Weight During the Holidays

Considering that the average American adult consumes more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat from eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (Calorie Control Council), now is a good time to revisit some weight management tips.  Heather McCracken, RD, MPH, licensed dietitian, offers the following suggestions on the subject: Set realistic goals.  The coming months [...]