Helping Anxious Kids During the Time of Coronavirus

Most of the time, children are resilient.  They bounce back pretty quickly.  Of course, there are always those kids who have a harder time with change or with difficult circumstances, kids that Dr. Thomas Boyce refers to as the “orchids” in the greenhouse They are the ones who are more sensitive to their environment than usual and require more attention than the average child.  Understanding the Orchid Child    Today, however, it may feel like every child is an orchid.  With the coronavirus … [Read more...]

Stress & Coping in the Time of Coronavirus

No one needs to tell us that we are stressed about the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all suffering from chronic stress – fatigue, irritability, changes in our eating habits, problems sleeping, difficulty concentrating – because of the uncertainty that this illness brings. And because it has gone on so long, the constant stress disrupts our ability to remember things and pay attention. Just yesterday, a friend put her milk in the freezer instead of in the refrigerator. Another friend called me, sure … [Read more...]

Four Sentences That Lead to Wisdom

I love to read mysteries. Perhaps that is why I like being a psychologist so much. I think of each person as a puzzle with one or two pieces missing and try to figure out how to help each client find the right pieces to become happier, more productive, have better relationships, feel less anxious, or be better at what they do. Recently, I was reading a mystery by Louise Penny and found a few sentences that really got to me. Here they are. … [Read more...]

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Self-Doubt

    One of the most interesting dialogues about women today continues to be their pervasive self-doubt, known as Imposter Syndrome.  Many women who have achieved success in business, school, or life in general, still struggle with a belief that they are frauds, that they do not deserve their success, that they have somehow managed to dupe their way up the ladder.  They focus on their failures instead of their successes and internalize negative messages they may get from others. From … [Read more...]

Empathy vs Sympathy

There are many times when we don’t know what to say. A friend’s spouse is ill, someone doesn’t get the promotion they really wanted, or someone is just having a really down day. We feel stumped and either say nothing or end up saying something we later think is stupid or wrong. In my job teaching medical residents, I work with them on empathy and how to use empathic words. Often, however, what comes out is just “I’m sorry.” When we talk about empathy, we really mean trying to stand … [Read more...]