“No one is educated who knows only one side of an argument.”
John Stuart Mill
“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
See all human behavior as one of two things: either love, or a call for love.
CDC Details Deadly Aromatherapy Outbreak
In case you have clients who use aromatherapy or if you recommend it yourself as part of therapy you probably will want to read this article. Click here to read full article.
Heavy Pornography Use Shows Changes to the Brain Mirroring Those of Drug Addicts
Since the authors of the DSM-5 decided not to include pornography addiction as a psychological disorder, the authors of this study use the term “compulsive sexual behavior” to describe it. They found that those who have heavy pornography use have changes in their brains like those of drug addicts. They also have sexual changes (increased problems with Erective Dysfunction, lowered sexual desire for their partner) that might be used to motivate them to reduce their use of pornography. There is a second research study of the effects of pornography use a little later in this compilation of articles. Click here to read full article.
Teen Addiction Expert Reacts to TV Show ‘Euphoria’
This talk, from an addiction expert, gives some accurate information about how difficult it is to go through the process of stopping opiate use once you have become addicted to these drugs. I have not watched this show, but those who have reported explicit full frontal nudity, sex and alcohol and drug use on the show. Click here to read full article.
If Your Kids Are Secretly Watching HBO’s ‘Euphoria,’ You Should Be Worried
A second article that gives you more details about what is being shown on this increasingly popular show among teens. Click here to read full article.
Brain Volumes Shrink with One Daily Drink
Previously it was believed that light alcohol drinking was healthy, but recent research has found that even light drinking has deleterious effects. This latest study, with about 36,000 subjects, found that even one-half a glass of beer daily aged brains the equivalent of 2.5 years, and greater alcohol consumption aged it even more. This even occurred when other habits, like smoking, were statistically corrected for. So the scientific evidence suggests that no amount of alcohol daily is healthy for the brain. Click here to read full article.
Alcohol Abuse and Teens
There is a belief among some parents that it is best for teens to learn about drinking in their own homes. Here is a good article from Mark Gregston about this practice. Especially considering the growing body of literature than any level of alcohol consumption has negative consequences (see above), let’s consider giving young people the information that even “responsible drinking” is not wise. Click here to read full article.
Is America Systemically Racist, and is it Becoming Even More So?
When I heard the conclusion of this speaker—that America is systemically racist and is becoming even more so—I was inclined not to listen to this five-minute talk, since the Americans I know are committed to treating everyone with equal respect without regard to skin color. However, I decided to hear what she had to say and why she came to that conclusion. I’m glad I did because I think she is making some good points. I encourage you to listen to her five-minute talk and see what you think. Click here to read full article.
Bipolar Depression & Struggling to Get Out of Bed
When people with bipolar disorder have a depressed episode, they often have enormous difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. Here is how one person has discovered to help herself get started on such mornings, ideas that probably could be helpful to many others who may not have bipolar disorder themselves but who sometimes find that depressive thinking makes it difficult for them to get started in the mornings. Click here to read full article.
Naturally Acquired Immunity Versus Vaccine Acquired Immunity
Earlier in the COVID pandemic the CDC encouraged even those who had contracted COVID to be vaccinated and boosted anyway. As we have learned more it appears that natural immunity is equal or better than vaccine-based immunity and is longer lasting. Click here to read full article.
Is Meditation as Safe as We Think?: The Risks We Don’t Talk About
This article, from the January/February 2022 issue of the Psychotherapy Networker, is a well-researched compilation of the studies that have been done on negative symptoms that sometimes follow meditation exercises. The Cheetah House, which has been a leader in studying negative effects following meditation, has identified 59 of them. Cheetah House says that at least ¼ of regular meditators experience one or more of them. In the 40-some years I had been teaching counseling I had never heard of this, but apparently this is an issue of which counselors should be aware. Click here to read full article.
7 Famous Historical Figures with Bipolar
This is an interesting compilation of figures from history who probably had Bipolar Disorder. Many of these figures lived before the time when bipolar disorder was a diagnosis so their diagnosis was hypothesized based on historical records. Click here to read full article.
‘Trusting in God’: Couple Wed for 75 Years Share Their Secret to a Long-Lasting Marriage
Not an article about counseling, but a heartwarming story of a couple married for 75 years, their love for each other, and what they think has made it possible to have such a good marriage and life together. Click here to read full article.
The Nigerian Schoolgirls 8 Years Later
Some of you may remember how, eight years ago, Boko Haram terrorists captured 276 teenage girls in the middle of the night and took them away. The Muslim girls were married off to Muslim men. The Christian girls were given a choice: they could convert to Islam and likewise be forced into a Muslim marriage, or they could refuse and endure forced labor, assault, and deprivation. The Christian girls chose the latter. Their story is a remarkable story of courage and their Christian faith. For more details, see their story below. Click here to read full article.
Bingeing porn makes men lousy — and women rule — in bed: sex study
This is a well-done study that included men’s and women’s porn habits and did interviews at the beginning of the study, one year later, and two years later. It found something similar to previous studies—that men who consumed large amounts of porn had problems with erectile dysfunction, lost their sexual desire for their real partner, ended up with lower sexual self-confidence, and became poorer sexual partners to their real-life partners. For females (in this study) who watched porn the results were quite different: women who watched porn were more likely to increase in sexual competence, functioning and satisfaction. The authors of the study believed that part of the reason for this difference is that women were more likely to watch soft-core porn while men were more likely to watch hard-core porn. However, other studies I have read have concluded that women who watch porn were more likely to lose sexual self-confidence (when they compare their bodies with the bodies of female adult performers), were likely to believe they could never satisfy men (because they were unwilling to engage in some of the behaviors of women in adult films participated in) and were likely to feel twice the amount of shame as men who watched porn. One other possible reason for the differences: the other studies I have cited above were done here in the U.S., where this study was done in France. Here is a summary of the study itself. Click here to read full article.
“What I Love About My Wife with ADHD”
There are a lot of articles about how to live with (or how to divorce) a partner with ADHD. Here is a humorous essay by the husband of a woman with ADHD. I think it’s a good reminder that love, and a willingness to look on the bright side of things that can be frustrating, can be a wonderful way to approach life. Click here to read full article.
Brain Changes Seen After Mild COVID Infection
This British study of more than 700 people who had mild COVID did find that there were some detectable brain changes. My wife and I both had what was probably mild COVID and I found some of these changes (especially the loss of smell) seemed to parallel my experience. If the subject interests you (or you might use this information with clients) you’ll probably find this article worthwhile. Click here to read full article.
Florida’s LGBTQ Bill Is Being Wildly Misrepresented. Here Are The Facts
Probably you have heard some criticism of a bill before the Florida legislature. This is an article clarifying what is in the bill. Two of the major prohibitions are that sexual orientation and gender identity are not to be mentioned in kindergarten, first and second grade, and that LGBTQ lifestyles are not to be advocated by teachers. Click here to read full article.
Marissa Streit: Why I Dedicate My Life to Saving America
This is another video in the “This Is Us” series. It’s ten minutes long, but I think Marissa could be an excellent role model for young adults, and could confirm to us that the work we are doing as counselors is worth it. Click here to read full article.
Psychiatrist Found Guilty in $110 Million Fraud Scheme
Palm Beach County psychiatrist Mark Agresti, M.D., was found guilty of committing $110 million of healthcare fraud for billing for unnecessary urinalyses. Click here to read full article.
Does Practicing Gratitude Help Your Immune System?
This researcher did two studies. While she says more research is necessary to clarify what she has found, her hypothesis is that while gratitude attitudes are helpful, the most important ingredient is when gratitude spurs caring behaviors. Another good illustration of the truth of Jesus’ statement that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Obviously there are lots of ways this finding can be included in our counseling. Click here to read full article.
What Is Auditory Processing Disorder? Symptoms, Comorbidities, and Exercises
This is an exceptionally important article to read because this disorder could affect children, teens and adults and often is misdiagnosed as something else. The article also gives several exercises that could be used with clients who have this disorder. Click here to read full article.
My Child’s Doctor Got It Wrong
This article is written by a medical doctor whose son was diagnosed with ADHD but it was later found to be a misdiagnosis. She makes the point that most children will have a temporary improvement in attention from stimulants, even though they do not have ADHD. (Improved behavior when given stimulants is often taken as a sign that the ADHD diagnosis is correct.) She discusses some of the diagnoses that are often mistaken for ADHD. Even though this article is written about children with ADHD, some of these diagnoses could also affect teens and adults. Worthwhile for all counselors to read. Click here to read full article.
Deep learning identifies robust gender differences in functional brain organization and their dissociable links to clinical symptoms in autism
This technical language may be difficult to understand. The bottom line is that neuroimaging revealed consistent differences between male and female of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Click here to read full article.
Trigger warning: Empirical evidence ahead
More and more colleges are now making lists of words that cannot be used on campus because they might cause trauma to some students. This research study examined the effect of being given a trigger warning before a student read some academic material. What they found was that (1)” Trigger warnings increase peoples' perceived emotional vulnerability to trauma,” (2) “Trigger warnings increase peoples' belief that trauma survivors are vulnerable,” and (3) “Trigger warnings increase anxiety to written material perceived as harmful.”
If the goals of a college education are to expose students to a variety of ideas, teach them how to recognize what is a valid fact or conclusion versus what is not, and prepare them to have the resilience to function in the real world, this modern trend in higher education may be counterproductive to accomplishing those goals. Click here to read full article.
Do You Know These 10 Signs of Post-Concussion Syndrome?
In the last few months the importance of understanding concussions has been much in the news because a beloved comedian had what seemed to be a minor concussion, went to bed, and never woke up. Here is a brief article from the Amen Clinic on 10 symptoms that frequently follow a concussion. Click here to read full article.
Lightning can heat the air to 50,000° F — five times hotter than the surface of the sun.
1. Some of you may know Randy Alcorn, a wonderful Christian writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His wife Nancy has been battling cancer for several years, and is now in hospice.
2. Doug Rosenau, author of Celebration of Sex, which I used as one of my textbooks in Human Sexuality class, has just been diagnosed with Kreutz-Feld Jacob disease and is in very serious condition in the hospital.
3. And of course, the people of Ukraine.