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Our Mental Health Blogs

EMDR Therapy: Self-Help Techniques for Trauma Relief

EMDR Therapy: Self-Help Techniques for Trauma Relief

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is primarily used as a treatment for PTSD. Discovered and developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., EMDR uses eye movements, taps or tones to reprogram trauma victims’ thinking. The end result can be relatively fast relief of PTSD symptoms, including the re-experiencing of the trauma and other symptoms resulting from horrific events like rape or combat. EMDR also helps with “little t” traumas having to do with beliefs about ourselves formed during childhood and other mental health disorders.

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Breaking the Cycle of Dysfunctional Living

Breaking the Cycle of Dysfunctional Living

The cycle of dysfunction – you grow up in a significantly dysfunctional family and it has an impact on you. Now you have kids and the cycle of family dysfunction continues. Without recognition and positive change, the family dysfunction is passed from generation to generation.

What is a Dysfunctional Family?

The Free Medical Dictionary defines dysfunctional family as a family with multiple ‘internal’ eg sibling rivalries, parent-child– conflicts, domestic violence, mental illness, single parenthood, or ‘external’–eg alcohol or drug abuse, extramarital affairs, gambling, unemployment—influences that affect the basic needs of the family unit. (read: Roles in Dysfunctional Families)

Dena FomanFor our guest, Dena Foman, the family dysfunction definition fits her life to a tee.

“I have spent the better part of my life wearing a mask to disguise the childhood pain that followed me into adulthood. I was born into a poor family that had virtually no education. Later in life, my father became an alcoholic, just like his father. I am proud to say he has been sober for over 13 years. My mother left when I was 11 years old and turned to a life of drugs. I quit high school at 17 and had a child at 19.”

Dena had never been taught the skills of parenting or shown how to be loving. She says her son, later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, got little in the way of nurturing, loving attention… and this, mixed with a mental illness, is deadly. He has attempted suicide twice and Dena says “I’ve spent more time than I want to remember planning his funeral.”

Against all odds, Dena ends up going to law school and while there, gets into therapy to figure out where it all went wrong.

Breaking the Cycle of Dysfunctional Living

In this edition of the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show, Dena shares the story of her childhood, of neglect and abandonment that led to a life of dysfunction for many years, and how she’s learned to make peace with herself and her family. Take a look.

All HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show Videos and Upcoming Shows.

Dena chronicles her journey in “Only I Can Define Me: Releasing Shame, Growing Into My Adult Self.” Her website is: www.releasingshame.com

Share Your Experiences with Dysfunctional Family

Did you grow up in a dysfunctional family? How has that affected you? Have you passed it on to your family? We invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experiences and insights. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

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Effects of Child Abuse Impact Adult Survivors

Effects of Child Abuse Impact Adult Survivors

If you’re a child abuse survivor you’ve no doubt heard “get over it” on more than one occasion. But I hope no one ever gets over child abuse. The fact that child abuse hurts kids really ought to be enough to garner everyone’s attention. Beyond that nasty reality, there’s the fact that the effects of child abuse are often lasting, continuing to impact survivors and by extension their friends, families, and co-workers throughout their adult lives. Like it or not, child abuse impacts everyone in one way or another.

Understanding the issues facing adult survivors of child abuse can help all of us see the gravity of the problem, and change our attitudes from “get over it” to “what can I do to stop child abuse?”

How the Effects of Child Abuse Impact Adults

Adult survivors of child abuse often struggle with a wide range of issues, with varying degrees of severity. They may suffer:Child abuse can impact victims throughout their entire lives. Dr. Ana Lopez discusses issues facing adult survivors of child abuse.

Physical Symptoms

Behavioral Symptoms

Emotional Symptoms

Serious Psychological Disorders

About Dr. Ana Lopez

Dr. Ana Lopez works with child abuse survivors and their families. She joined us to discuss the unique difficulties facing these adults.

ana-lopez

Unfortunately, our videos are no longer accessible.

Dr. Lopez founded Guardian Angel, Inc. a non-profit organization to help children in 2006. She is the founder and clinical director of a mental health private practice in Iowa. Her areas of specialty include abuse and neglect, divorce and family disruption, pregnancy-related matters, and immigration-acculturation related issues. She provides counseling services and conducts psychological, forensic, and educational assessments. Dr. Lopez serves on the Iowa State Board of Education and, as an advocate for children’s welfare, has also served on the Board of Directors for the Child Abuse Prevention.

Share Your Child Abuse Experiences

Are you an adult survivor of child abuse? How do the effects of child abuse impact your life today? We invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experiences and insights. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

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A Narcissist Explains Workplace Bullies

A Narcissist Explains Workplace Bullies

According to the  Workplace Bullying Institute, 35% of the U.S. workforce – an estimated 53.5 million Americans – report being bullied at work. If you’re one of them, you’re already well acquainted with the dread and anxiety that goes along with being a victim of chronic psychological violence. But how well do you know your tormentor? Is she a narcissist, driven by a grandiose sense of her own importance? Is he a psychopath, devoid of compassion and empathy? Arming yourself with information about workplace bullies and their methods may help you find ways of coping with them.

How do Workplace Bullies Operate?

sam-vakninWho better to shed light on the minds and motives of workplace bullies than a self-proclaimed narcissist? Sam Vaknin has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and is the author of the best-selling book, Malignant Self-Love – Narcissism Revisited. Sam joined us on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show to share his perspective on workplace bullies. He discusses:

  • The difference between a narcissist and a psychopath.
  • How to spot narcissists and psychopaths.
  • The tactics workplace bullies use in different environments.
  • How narcissists and psychopaths choose their targets.
  • What you can do to protect yourself.

Video on Narcissistic Workplace Bullies

Watch our video interview with Sam for more information about the narcissist, psychopath, and how you can make working with them easier on How to Cope with Narcissistic and Psychopathic Bullies in the Workplace.  And here’s the table of contents for all mental health video interviews from the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show.

Share Your Experiences with Workplace Bullies

Have you been a victim of workplace bullying? Are you the target of a narcissist or psychopath? We invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experiences and insights. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

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Silence Behind Male Sexual Abuse

Silence Behind Male Sexual Abuse

Male Survivor of Rape Speaks Out

From Keith Smith, our guest on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show:

My name is Keith Smith. At the age of 14, I was abducted, beaten, and raped by a stranger. It wasn’t a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivist pedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quiet suburbs of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

keith-smithOver the past 35 years, I’ve been haunted by horrible, recurring memories of what he did to me. He visits me in my sleep. There have been dreams – nightmares actually – dozens of them, sweat inducing, yelling in my sleep nightmares filled with images and emotions as real as they were when it actually happened. It doesn’t get easier over time. Long dead, he still visits me, silently sneaking up from out of nowhere when I least expect it. From the grave, he sits by my side on the couch every time the evening news reports a child abduction or sex crime.

Despite what happened that night and the constant reminders that continue to haunt me years later, I wouldn’t change what happened. The animal that attacked me was a serial predator, a violent pedophile trolling my neighborhood in Lincoln, Rhode Island looking for young boys. He beat me, raped me, and I stayed alive. I lived to see him arrested, indicted, and murdered. It might not have turned out this way if he had grabbed one of my friends or another kid from my neighborhood. Perhaps he’d still be alive. Perhaps there would be dozens more victims and perhaps he would have progressed to the point of silencing his victims by murdering them.

men-in-my-town-front-cover2Breaking the Silence behind Male Sexual Abuse

Out of fear, shame, and guilt, I’ve been silent for over three decades, sharing my story with very few people. No more. The silence has to end. What happened to me wasn’t my fault. The fear, the shame, the guilt have to go. It’s time to stop keeping this secret from the people closest to me, people I care about, people I love, my long-time friends and my family. It’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other survivors know that they’re not alone and to help survivors of rape and violent crimes understand that the emotion, fear, and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience.

My novel, Men in My Town, was inspired by these actual events. For those who suffer in silence, I hope my story brings some comfort, strength, peace, and hope.

Video on Men Sexually Abused as Children

Watch our male sexual abuse video interview with Keith Smith on Male Survivor of Rape Speaks Out.

And here’s the table of contents for all mental health video interviews from the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show.

Share Your Male Sexual Abuse Experience

Are you a survivor of sexual abuse or rape? We invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experiences and insights. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

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PTSD: What’s It Like Living with PTSD?

PTSD: What’s It Like Living with PTSD?

The general public used to associate PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder with soldiers in war zones. Now we know that anyone who has been in or witnessed a consistently highly stressful, traumatic or life-threatening situation can develop PTSD. And in so saying, life for Melissa has been anything but kind. Exposed to all types of abuse since the age of five, Melissa finds living with PTSD a living hell. But she’s taking positive steps and getting treatment for PTSD.

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Getting the Strength You Need to Meet Life’s Challenges

Getting the Strength You Need to Meet Life’s Challenges

Getting the Strength You Need to Meet Life's Challenges

I’m reading the Bipolar Vida blog, and wondering “how much can one person take?” Cristina, admittedly, had a bad childhood which, she says, probably triggered the bipolar disorder she now lives with.

In the months since she started her bipolar blog here at HealthyPlace.com, Cristina has endured depressive episodes, hypomania, and everything else bipolar disorder can bring your way. Yet, in almost every blog post, she mentions that she’s doing everything she can to keep her bipolar recovery on track.

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PTSD and Trauma in Your Life

PTSD and Trauma in Your Life

Drs. Lichtman and Goldberg explain PTSD symptoms, causes and impact of PTSD and how you can deal with trauma in your life. Take a look.

PTSD is an extremely challenging condition and people with post-traumatic stress disorder face the added stress of nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, rage, intrusive thoughts and more on a regular basis.  This week, on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show, we’ll explore the causes and impact of PTSD and how you can deal with trauma in your life with Drs. Rosemary Lichtman and Phyllis Goldberg. You can read more about them at the bottom of this post.

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Sex After Sexual Abuse

Sex After Sexual Abuse

Effective healing techniques now exist to help sexual abuse survivors overcome the sexual repercussions caused by abuse. Sex therapist, Wendy Maltz, explains.

Sexual abuse–whether by a loved relative or a violent rape by a stranger—is an attack on a person’s sexuality (The Damage Caused By Sexual Abuse). It’s no wonder that many survivors of incest, rape, and molestation report that they suffer from problems with sexual relating and intimacy.

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Surviving Satantic Ritual Abuse – Jan. 12

Surviving Satantic Ritual Abuse – Jan. 12

Starting at age 3, Anne Johnson Davis was drugged and forced to endure hours of ritualistic torture as a symbolic sacrifice for devil worship. Watch her story on HealthyPlace Mental Health TVFor Anne A Johnson Davis, the physical, sexual, and psychological abuse started at the age of 3 and continued on until she was 17 years old.  She was tortured by her parents, relatives and other cult members — all in the name of Satan.  The details of this satanic ritual abuse (SRA), as well as her recovery, are laid out in her book “Hell Minus One“.

Does Satanic Ritual Abuse Really Exist?

Satanic ritual abuse is controversial in that many police authorities and psychology experts don’t believe it exists. This stems from the fact that many of the people who claim to be victims of satanic ritual abuse who come forward don’t have any evidence to back up their claims, therefore law enforcement looks at these as unsubstantiated stories. Others have “recovered memories” of ritualistic abuse through psychotherapy techniques that are now long discredited.

Proof of Satantic Ritual Abuse

What makes Ms. Davis’ story unique is that her parents confessed, both verbally and in writing, to detectives in the Utah Attorney General’s Office.  The confessions came in the 1990’s when Ms. Davis was already an adult in her 30s … and after she had undergone therapy to find out what was behind repeated episodes of often uncontrollable bouts of rage. That’s when the memories of abuse began to unfold. But unlike other victims of satantic ritual abuse, those graphic confessions by her own parents put to rest claims that Ms. Davis was a victim herself – of false-memory syndrome (memories suggested or implanted by a therapist or other person).

Ms. Davis will be joining us for our first tv show of the new year,  Tuesday, January 12, to share more of her story, how she recovered, and to offer words of encouragement to other victims of ritualistic abuse or any kind of child abuse.

About the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show

The HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show airs live every Tuesday night at 5:30 pm PST, 7:30 pm CST, and 8:30 pm EST. Our guest will be taking your personal questions.

If you miss the live show which can be viewed on our site, you can always click the “on-demand” button on the player and watch the show at your convenience.

Share Your Thoughts or Experiences with Satantic Ritual Abuse

We also invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experience with SRA or thoughts about it. Or maybe you’re a non-believer. Call and tell us why. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

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