Articles from the Week of September 1, 2023
"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn"
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Fascinating Facts (from InterestingFacts.com unless otherwise noted)
Baby red kangaroos at birth are less than an inch long and are about the size of jellybeans. They will spend the next six months in their mother’s pouch. Kangaroo mothers are unusual mammals in that they can produce two kinds of milk, one for their newborn babies, and another type for when the babies are more mature. These babies will increase their size about 100,000 times by the time they are adults.
The estimated number of kangaroos living in Australia in 2019 was 42,756,617.
Oxford University is older than the Inca Empire. Oxford University started offering classes in 1096, although these initial classes were focused on specific subjects and technical skills. Over the next few centuries schools resembling our present colleges and universities developed.
The Incas inhabited the Andean region of South America from the 13th to 16th century. Although started much later than universities in Europe, the Incas built sprawling road networks and reliable postal systems — they even had skilled brain surgeons.
“The voice actors behind Mickey and Minnie Mouse got married in real life. Given the sweet feelings their famous characters consistently displayed to one another, it's not surprising that that fate befell longtime Mickey and Minnie Mouse voice actors Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor. Long before Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor were making eyes at each other in the recording studio, it was Walt Disney himself supplying the voices for what became the Magic Kingdom's first couple.”
Written Exposure Therapy vs Prolonged Exposure Therapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial
A week ago I mentioned a new therapy for PTSD—written exposure therapy. Now an RCT with a large group of veterans with PTSD found that Written Exposure Therapy (WET) produced comparable results as Prolonged Exposure Therapy and was quicker and had fewer dropouts. If you work with PTSD clients and haven’t learned how to provide this therapy, it would probably be wise to take a little time to learn about it. This article will give you the details of how to provide WET.
Click here to read the full article
Transgender Surgeries in US Nearly Tripled in 3 Years
Even though transgender surgeries are being scaled back in several European countries until more research has been done, in the U.S. their frequency has tripled in the last three years. In addition to the medical complications of some who have the surgeries, a study in Sweden found that those who had the surgeries were 4.9 times more likely to have suicidal impulses than controls, and 19 times more likely to commit suicide than controls. Transgender activists often tell parents that it’s important to let children have gender-affirming treatment or their children may commit suicide. These statistics seem to tell a different picture.
Should We Distinguish Depression That Begins During Pregnancy from Depression that Begins Following Childbirth?
Currently the DSM-5 classifies any new depression that occurs during pregnancy or during the first four weeks after delivery with the same diagnosis—perinatal depression. But the authors of this very thorough Dutch study argue that these two depressions should be distinguished, both by diagnosis and for treatment. If you read this article you will see the reasons they make this assertion.
Customers are satisfied even though 37% of them get the wrong order
One restaurant in Tokyo is demonstrating the quirks of living with dementia. All of the waiters have dementia, which all of the customers know. 37% of the time the orders are incorrect, but 99% of the customers say they are happy.
School Board Director Runs A “Safe Sex” Workshop for 9-Year-Olds
The Director of a school board in Washington state is offering a safe-sex workshop for children as young as nine years old.
The Young People Who Believe They Can Change Their Race
The latest craze in changing one’s identity is abbreviated as RCTA, which stands for changing one’s race to another. Proponents assert that by listening to subliminal messages while one sleeps it is possible to change one’s race. In case you have a client coming in believing this here is a short Breakpoint article that explains a little more about the process.
How Puberty Aggravates ADHD Symptoms
This brief video and article explains how puberty affects ADHD symptoms. The effects often differ for boys and girls.
Family Adopts Lonely 82-Year-Old Widowed Neighbor as Their ‘Honorary Grandpa’
Not a counseling article, but a heart-warming story of the mutually-beneficial relationship that a family developed with one of their neighbors. An idea that perhaps more families could adopt and benefit from.
Marijuana, Hallucinogen Use, Binge Drinking at All-Time High
Statistics from 2022 found that use of marijuana and hallucinogen, and vaping of nicotine and marijuana, are higher than ever among young adults ages 19 to 30. Binge drinking — defined as having five or more drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks — has also been on the rise for the last several years. For further details see the article.
Reframing Setbacks and Finding Strength in Tragedy
If you read this article I think you’ll find this woman has experienced more traumatic experiences than almost anyone you’ve ever known or read about. You will hear the approach she’s developed to get through those experiences and come out a stronger person.
How Our Work Partnership Survived My Bipolar Hypomania
Many, if not most relationships do not survive bipolar disorder. But here is a person with bipolar disorder and her podcast producer who explains some of the decisions she and her producer have made that have allowed their relationship to survive through many years, including some mood episodes. If you are counseling with someone who has a bipolar spouse this article would probably be very helpful to them, and if they implemented some of these boundaries themselves, would probably increase the likelihood of their relationship surviving.
One habit can reduce dementia risk in older adults
Caution: This headline might attract readers, but I think it is an oversimplification of a more multifaceted problem for reasons I give below.
One observational 7-year study of approximately ¼ million older adults in Great Britain found that those enrolled in an adult education course had a 19% lower risk of developing dementia than those who did not. However, there are several other factors that came into play. Those who took those courses had to enroll, had an opportunity to interact with other students, had to read and study for tests, etc., all of which could have factored in the development of dementia. Also, there is the possible factor that those who willingly enrolled in such classes might have had a different likelihood of developing dementia than those who did not. The authors of the study wisely caution against drawing conclusions from an observational study like that done. It also is possible to keep cognitively and interpersonally active in other ways than taking an adult education class. So this research adds to our cumulative understanding that staying active interpersonally and cognitively is healthy, but there are other factors, such as genetics, diet, and life-stress that also contribute to the development of dementia.
How foster kids are being damaged by a lack of home care facilities
This is a carefully-researched article of a nation-wide problem here in the U.S. in meeting the needs of foster children, especially those with more complex psychological problems. Even though you may not be working in the foster care system, I encourage you to read this article and then pray about the solutions we as a country must come up with.
Robbers Announce They Will Have to Leave San Francisco Because Everything’s Been Robbed
Fun headline from the Babylon Bee
Sleep Health and Bipolar Disorder: 7 Steps to a Better Mood
Although getting enough sleep helps almost everyone have better mental and physical health, it is especially important for those with bipolar disorder. Tanya Hvilivitzky has found a set of 7 sleep steps that would probably be helpful for anyone with sleep problems, whether or not they have bipolar disorder, to try.
Stress Is a Choice: Here’s How to Choose Calm
Although this title might seem overly-simplistic, I think this writer does give 10 suggestions that could help those who view themselves as stressed to reduce their level of stress. If your client is also a believer, you could add at least two more important tips (e.g., trusting God’s promises that He cares for us and He won’t let anything happen in our lives unless He knows it can be for our good) for helping them to reduce stress.
Is the Goliath in Autism Research About to Fall?
The incidence of autism spectrum disorders has been rapidly rising in recent years, and researchers have been looking primarily for genetic causes. However, genetic causes are unlikely to account for such a rapid increase in certain illnesses. Recent research has been suggesting that it may be something in the mother’s gut microbiome that is the cause, and changes in microbiomes could more rapidly change as cultures change their diets. This was based on a meta-analysis of several studies, so isn’t based on a single study. Stay tuned as more research comes out.
Another Treatment Strategy for Suicidal Clients
A woman who has struggled with suicidal thoughts intermittently for years checked herself into a Canadian psychiatric hospital for protection. When she talked to a counselor, the counselor asked her if she’d considered Medical Assistance in Dying, even though the initiation for this program in Canada for psychiatric illnesses has been postponed until 2024.
Recognizing Impatience as a Subtle Symptom of My Bipolar Mood Episodes
This author describes her bipolar episodes in an entertaining way, but the point of this article is that she has recognized that when she is impatient it is often a warning that she is about to enter a manic or hypomanic episode. Helping bipolar clients recognize what the precursors to their episodes are might be a way of helping them contact their doctor quickly and helping them prevent a full-blown episode.
If you have a client who is having trouble motivating himself or herself to stop smoking, these facts might help
Continuing to smoke increases the likelihood of (1) developing cataracts, (2) damage to the optic nerve, and (3) macular degeneration.
America Has Reached Peak Therapy. Why Is Our Mental Health Getting Worse?
This is an interesting article, and I agree that it gives some answers as to why people’s mental health seems to not be getting better, even though more and more people have access to counseling and psychiatric care. However, I think it misses important answers from the standpoint of Christianity—sometimes people feel uncomfortable with their lives because they’ve incorporated unhealthy or unrealistic goals (e.g., money, fame, status, power or pleasure) will make me satisfied, when none of these things will produce more than temporary satisfaction. And that unless one can resolve relationship issues with God and with their loved ones, they’ll never have complete peace. See what you think after reading the article.
Taking Jesus to the Strip Club
Fascinating article about some Christian women who have started a ministry going to many of the strip clubs in their city to minister to the girls working there.
I Have Recently Been Falsely Accused of Sexual Misconduct, and I Am Not Sure What to Do
This occasionally happens, and clients may not know what to do. Here are four suggestions from someone who appears to have good advice if someone has this happen to them.
I hope you have an enjoyable Labor Day!