March Update

This month Julia Fedotova recognized our site as the “Online tool for depression treatment” in her school research.  Julia is taking “Psychological Treatment Research” class at Harvard University this semester and finishing her Master’s degree in Psychology. This class is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of basic concepts in psychotherapy research, including the history of psychotherapy, basic methodological issues in studying therapeutic change (group and single-case designs, measuring change, reviewing progress), major approaches to psychotherapy (for example, CBT, psychodynamic, experiential), and psychotherapy with special populations. Prerequisites: introductory psychology and abnormal psychology. (4 credits) PSYC E-2455 Psychological Treatment [...]

Anatomy of an Epidemic (Part Five)

Many of the people on SSI or SSDI that I interviewed spoke about how they felt they were caught in the tangles of a business enterprise. “There is a reason we are called consumers” was a comment I heard several times. They are right of course that the pharmaceutical companies wasn’t to build a market for their products, and when we view the psychopharmacology “revolution through this prism, as a business enterprise first and a medical enterprise second, we can easily see why psychiatry and the pharmaceutical companies tell the stories they do, and why the studies detailing poor long-term [...]

Anatomy of an Epidemic (Part Four)

In his book Anatomy of an Epidemic Robert Whitaker talks about best practices from around the world in treating depression and other mental disorders. One of them is from Finland: The Turku psychiatrists decide on treatment based on case specific, but most important, they settled on group family therapy – of a particularly collaborative type – as the care treatment. Psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and others trained in family therapy all served on two- and three-member “psychosis teams”, which would meet regularly with the patient and his or her family. Decisions about the patient’s treatment were made jointly at those meetings. [...]

Anatomy of an Epidemic (Part Two)

Psychiatry has now three classes of medications it uses to treat affective disorders – antidepressants, mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics – but for whatever reason, an even greater number of people are showing up at Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance meetings around the country, telling of their persistent and enduring struggles with depression and mania. Patients get diagnosed with manic-depressive illness, informed that they suffer from a chemical imbalance in the brain, and put on Haldol and Lithium. Then comes a cocktail of drugs to counteroffer the side effects of the first two. All of this physiology – 100 billion [...]

Synchromy in The Russian Hall

Often we resist the unknown, inconvenient and different. Last Friday I resisted going to the concert in Hollywood my friend invited me to. “How bizarre, a concert in a Russian Church.”- I thought, but I still went without any expectations. Here is what happened in the next two hours after we arrived… The concert started with Raison d’Etre by The Vientos Trio– three instruments Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon. It was very playful and meaningful. Three musicians were challenging common definitions of the performance and what it is for, reasons to love and play musical instruments. To me they spoke about [...]

Beliefs Old and New (Part Two)

There are four types of belief systems: Type one contains mostly dogma, indoctrination, and controlling beliefs. The intention is to be right, I’m right and they are wrong. This is the intention behind war and strife. You will be pursued based on emotions making you right or wrong. Type two contains common sense beliefs. You already know without looking, more certainty instead of remembering. How many times you need to repeat an action before you know. No effort is involved in believing in them, you just know. Intention is to conform and act rationally. You appeal to their sense of [...]

Beliefs Old and New (Part One)

Two weeks ago I had a great one-on-one phone session with Ariela from Avatar about my beliefs. I realized that without changing your old not working beliefs you will never get what you want. “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting”. The objective of the session was to explore and understand the relationship between my beliefs and my experiences. First, I read more about beliefs: “The mission of Avatar in the world is to catalyze the integration of belief systems. When we perceive that the only difference between us is our beliefs and that [...]

2012 Global Happiness Conference Call

Edwin Edebiri, Chief Happiness Officer at I Am Happy Project, organized 2012 global conference call today. There were 5 presenters: Marci Shimoff – Author, Teacher, Speaker She is a celebrated transformational leader and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. In addition to authoring the worldwide bestsellers, Love for No Reason and Happy for No Reason, she is the coauthor of six of the top-selling titles in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a featured teacher in the international movie and book sensation The Secret. Dr. Bob Nozik, M.D. – Physician, Professor, Author The author of Happy 4 [...]

Amazing Grace

There are many truly amazing inspirational movies and Amazing Grace about William Wilberforce is one of them. As a matter of fact, it is my favorite movie and I would like to share several quotes from it with you. Enjoy! When people stop being afraid they find their compassion. -It’s God. I have 10,000 engagements of state today but I would prefer to spend the day out here getting a wet arse, studying dandelions and marveling at… bloody spider’s webs. -You found God, sir? -I think He found me. You have any idea how inconvenient that is? How idiotic it [...]

The How of Happiness Book

I recently finished reading The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirskiy, who is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. I would like to share book’s highlights with you. She introduces the concept of happiness as a pie with three slices of different sizes: set point – 50%, life circumstances -10% and intentional activity – 40%. This representation clearly states that it is all in our hands to change our happiness fortune and become happy if we learn how. It is learnable. First, you need to find happiness activities that fit your interests, your values and your [...]