Can Pets Help Children Feel Less Anxious?

The benefits of owning pets and spending time with animals are increasingly well-documented and established within psychology research. Pets have a range of beneficial effects on the mental health of their owners. Adults who own pets report experiencing more social interactions, reduced stress, and an overall improved quality of life.  For children, pets are often thought of as a positive influence, but the specific benefits are just beginning to be… Continue Reading

How Does Sleeping Impact Your Memory?

By now we know many reasons why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping helps promote mental and physical health and well-being in myriad ways, including improving mood regulation, attention, and energy level, to name a few. Now researchers have added another benefit to the list: helping you better remember things. Scientists have known for some time that sleep aids memory, based on studies done with animals. Up… Continue Reading

Autism and Disrupted Sleep

Sleep is an essential yet underrated aspect of human functioning. It is just as important as good nutrition, exercise, and staying hydrated. Sleep is a time of intense neurological activity-a crucial period of memory consolidation, brain and neurochemical cleansing, and cognitive maintenance. Sleep affects our mental health just as profoundly as it does our physical health. Sleep deprivation has been found to have a strong association with almost every mental… Continue Reading

Can Playing Interactive Games Have Positive Psychological Effects?

A few months ago you could hardly take a step outside without seeing people staring with intense concentration at their phones as they tried to catch a rare Pokémon. The popular Pokémon Go game was often referred to jokingly as a distraction and a cause of trespassing as people strained to “catch ‘em all.” Yet, several graduate students at the University of Wisconsin wondered whether there might be some positive… Continue Reading

The Stress of Scarcity

Recently I heard a brief news radio report on the scarcity mindset and its impact on decision-making and behavior. The radio story focused on the work of Eldar Shafir and Sendhil Mullainathan and their book Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives. These authors researched the connection between the stress of having limited resources and the day-to-day choices we make. While parts of their… Continue Reading

What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

Intelligence is often referred to as being synonymous with someone’s IQ, academic performance, SAT scores, or some combination of the above. Within psychology, there are several different theories about what constitutes intelligence and whether there are types of smarts not measured by traditional tests. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is a particularly compelling way of describing talents and strengths. In a seminal book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of… Continue Reading

Steps to Overcoming Social Anxiety

Those who struggle with social anxiety find themselves inhibited and anxious in many types of social situations, including public speaking, meeting new people, using public spaces, or eating around others. People with social anxiety fear that others will notice their anxiety, and that they will feel humiliated. One of the most common pitfalls, in terms of overcoming social anxiety, is that most people who struggle in this way choose to… Continue Reading

Tips on Choosing the Right Therapist

Many of us go through times when we feel overwhelmed or stuck in one or more areas of our lives.  During these times, outside help and guidance from a trained, licensed therapist can be incredibly helpful.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 30 million Americans need help dealing with feelings and problems that seem out of their control.  Examples of issues that commonly lead people to… Continue Reading

Recent Research Highlights Ways to Reduce Excessive Worrying

Anxiety is one of the most common reasons why people seek mental health treatment. Fortunately, anxiety is one of the most treatable psychological disorders, and therapeutic interventions for anxiety have a strong research base. In a recent review article in Biological Psychology, Dr. Graham Davey and colleagues reviewed more than 50 studies on anxiety to better understand what causes and perpetuates excessive worrying.  Decades of research have shown that anxiety… Continue Reading

Five Ways to Reduce Reliance on Social Media

It’s no secret that many of us spend much of our day on social media. We often talk about ways to reduce technology and media consumption for children and teens, but adults are just as likely to get pulled into the allure of Facebook and Instagram. Many of us want to pull back and spend less time on our phones in order to be more productive at work and present… Continue Reading