Accessing Articles from the New York Times
I just became aware yesterday that those of you who do not have a subscription to the New York Times aren’t able to access the articles that I include in the Friday News. Fortunately, only a small portion of the articles I mention are from the New York Times, so I may try, as an experiment, to give a little fuller summary of those articles if I think they are especially important. I’ll try that experimentally for a few weeks and see how that works.
A Brief Devotional Thought
This week I listened to an interview with a pastor from Nepal, a country where Hinduism is the predominant religion. He told how, when things go wrong in a Hindu’s life, they first mustdetermine which of 300 million deities they have offended, and then they must determine what that deity wants in order to be placated.
He compared that with the Good News that there is one God, and He has already paid the price so that our sins have been atoned for. Just one more reason to be especially thankful this Christmas season.
The Surprising #1 Trigger of PTSD
Many people think the Number 1 cause of PTSD is wartime trauma. This article by the Amen Clinic staff discusses what is the actual Number 1 cause is. Click here to reach article in full.
Richard Dawkins signs declaration opposing gender reassignment surgeries, puberty blockers for kids
Even world-famous biologist and secular humanist (author of The God Delusion) has joined the chorus of women who say gender should be determined by biology and not gender identity. He also has gone on public record opposing gender reassignment surgeries and puberty blockers. Click here to reach article in full.
Cognitive Rehab: One Patient’s Painstaking Path Through Long Covid Therapy
Many of the people who experience “long COVID” have cognitive symptoms. Here is an article about the cognitive rehabilitation sometimes given to those patients. Cognitive rehabilitation is quite different than cognitive therapy: if you read this article you may be quite surprised at how different it is. This is from the New York Times, so you won’t be able to access it without a subscription. I didn’t think it would have that great an interest, so I won’t be summarizing it in more detail. Click here to reach article in full.
A Survival Guide for Parents with ADHD: Strategies from Preschool to High School
A free resource with lots of good suggestions for parents who have ADHD who are raising children. Worthwhile. Click here to reach article in full.
Tracing a Killer’s Path to Mass Shooting
This article was written by a professor of social work and criminology who carefully traced the path a mass killer travelled before he killed several people. The story reveals some of the weaknesses in our present system that need to be changed. Perhaps one or more of you can be one of the change agents. Click here to reach article in full.
Is It OK to Claim a Religious Exemption to the Covid Vaccine?
This is a legitimate question and one ethicist’s response to that question. You undoubtedly work with individuals who have such religious objections, or you may have them yourself. I think the question and suggested answer are worthwhile considering. Again, sorry: you won’t be able to access it without a subscription to the New York Times. Click here to reach article in full.
The Rise of the Two-Dimensional Parent: Are Therapists Seeing a New Kind of Attachment?
There has been long-standing acceptance that the kind of attachment that a child experiences with their parent as they grow up usually forms a template for the kinds of attachment (relationships) they will form in adulthood. This therapist discusses a new kind of attachment he is seeing in young adults, and it is being formed by a combination of over-involvement (think helicopter parenting) combined with chronic inattention (continuous partial attention being caused by parents chronically distracted by their cellphones, etc.) leading to an attachment style which the author calls “pseudo-attachment.” I encourage you to read this article from the Psychotherapy Networker: I think he has put his finger on a very important phenomenonhappening in more and more families today. If the first part of the article doesn’t interest you I encourage you to jump to the second part: it is there that he describes how our modern culture often causes parents to engage in continuous partial attention even though they may desire to be good parents. Click here to reach article in full.
Eating disorder posts still thrive on Instagram despite claims of a crackdown
Even though Instagram claims to have cracked down on posts that glorify eating disorders, these posts are still appearing. Click here to reach article in full.
Half of Patients with Suicidal Thoughts Deny It
This researcher, reviewing 22 studies of depressed patients, found that ½ of people who have suicidal thoughts deny it when asked by a mental health professional. He also gives a suggestion for how to increase the likelihood that such patients will tell the counselor the truth about how depressed they feel. Click here to reach article in full.
Hard to imagine how, but woman survives truck crushing her car: Not just crushed but doubled over, yet she crawled out by herself
This has nothing to do with counseling, but this story, and these pictures, are so astounding that I thought some of you might be interested. The investigating trooper said that in his 14 years, he has never seen anything like it. One scary thing is that the driver of the car was following all the rules: the truck driver who squashed her car and doubled it over was completely at fault. Click here to reach article in full.
Increasing Criminalization of Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Youths—A Politically Motivated Crisis
The issue of how to best treat children, teens, and adults with gender dysphoria continues to be polarized. This article states: “A large body of research dedicated to transgender health indicates that GAC, including prescribing or using puberty blockers such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, (GnRHa), hormone therapy (e.g., testosterone or estrogen therapy), and gender-affirming surgery, is medically necessary for patients experiencing gender dysphoria.3”
For many decades psychotherapy was the accepted therapy and many children and teens with gender dysphoria (previously known as Gender Identity Disorder) entered adulthood having comfortably accepted their natal (birth) gender as their own. I think its important for therapists to be aware of the legal issues within their state to stay in compliance with the current thinking and laws that could affect them. Click here to reach article in full.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder—What Are We Missing? What Are We Waiting for?
This article discusses a disorder that first appeared in the DSM-5, but for which little research has been done. This article is basically a review of how Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder differs from other eating disorders, and probably will be of most interest to those therapists who specialize in treating eating disorders. Click here to reach article in full.
The Doctor in the Psychiatric Lion's Den— The time to prepare for patients' psychiatric emergencies is ahead of time
All of us have an awareness that some time we may have to respond to an acutely agitated and potentially violent client. This psychiatrist (now retired) worked with his staff in how to deal with and de-escalate such situations. He includes in his article two very dangerous situations, how he dealt with them, and some principles he offers for how to deal with such situations in general. He doesn’t include one method that we as Christian counselors can also use—asking God’s protection in working with such persons, but I think his ideas are wise to consider. Click here to reach article in full.
Hypomania: Recognizing Highs to Prevent Lows
Many people with bipolar disorder will have a period of hypomania before they plunge into a deep depression. The hypomania feels so good that they may resist going to their psychiatrist to get their medication adjusted. This author, who has bipolar disorder himself, relates his own experience in a way that might help convince a person experiencing a hypomanic episode to get a medication adjustment at the time it would be most helpful. Click here to reach article in full.
How Staying Physically Active May Protect the Aging Brain
I found this an especially interesting article, but it is from the New York Times, but because I think it is so important I will summarize it in a little more depth.
We have known for some time that physical exercise, especially as we age, improves memory, thinking ability, and reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s by 50%.
Most of the previous research has been correlational, showing that exercise has these effects, but not being able to explain why these benefits appeared.
Due to the willingness of a large group of octogenarians (people in their 80s) who agreed to wear activity monitors and allowed their brains to be autopsied when they died, and due to new technology developed in the last few years we have been able to discover some of the changes in the brain are occurring. Following is a summary of what three of those changes are:
Modest exercise, such as walking for an hour per day most days, causes new cells to develop in the hippocampus, which is where memories are stored. Normally the hippocampus shrinks as we get older, which is probably why we have more trouble with memory as we age. By bulking up the hippocampus, we slow this tendency to have more memory problems. Click here to reach article in full.
Family of Pastor Killed by a Drunk Driver Demonstrates Radical Forgiveness
This is the story of a family and a church congregation, who at the trial of a man who, with a blood alcohol level 3 times the legal limit, killed their husband, father and pastor, verbally forgave him. Here are just a few of the words they said at the trial:
“We have been forgiven so much, how could we not forgive you,” said church member Rick Moore.
Strenge’s daughter Jayme Nelson provided a very similar message.
“We forgive you, Mr. Nelson. As hard as it was at first, we want you to know that we have been praying for you for the past year, because we know your life has been impacted by the biggest mistake of your life,” she said. Click here to reach article in full.
Porn Harms Girls in 12 Ways
An article by Staci Sprout, who helps girls and women escape from the damage pornography has done to them. Click here to reach article in full.
The 1 Strategy When Things Go Wrong: Be Curious, Not Furious
A very practical article from the Amen Clinic for everyone about a good strategy to use when things go wrong or when you make a mistake. Click here to reach article in full.
Inspiring Quote for the day
Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control.
Aaron Beck: An Appreciation
Aaron Beck, the founder of CBT, died last week. If you’re interested in knowing more about the man, here’s a brief article in appreciation of his personality and his contributions. Click here to reach article in full.
Dominating in women’s sports as a trans athlete is fundamentally selfish
You’ve probably heard about Lia Thomas, the trans swimmer who has been breaking record after record in women’s competition. This op-ed article makes the argument that a male who waits until 20 to transition and then compete in women’s sports and break women’s sports records is ultimately selfish. Click here to reach article in full.
Study finds kids ages 9-12 sharing nudes more than doubled in 2020, researchers concerned
This study found that the proportion of young children sharing self-generated pictures of themselves nude doubled in 2020. It seems like this problem is affecting younger and younger children. Click here to reach article in full.
I hope you enjoyed the news from this week!