Here's How a Therapist Coaches Couples Who Decide to Have Sex With Other People


“I very rarely see that rules create security in these situations. How can we possibly anticipate all the possibilities? It’s an attempt to control, but it might make people feel more out of control,” he said. He told us that in his work with couples practicing CNM, he kept the focus on their attachment bond and let them come up with the rules without getting too involved in that himself. In his experience, he said, the rules might change or even fade out in time if the relationship security is sufficiently strong. “My job is to help people who have decided not to be monogamous keep turning back to each other if they feel insecure or flooded with fear. That way a negative becomes a positive. What might weaken or sink a relationship strengthens it.”

Source: ncsf

The Road to Resilience

Do you ever get stuck in a funk?  

You feel miserable. The unexpected has happened. Too much is expected of you. You can’t keep up. So what do you do? You crawl back into bed (either literally or figuratively), telling yourself, “I can never keep up; I’ll always be stuck in this misery.”  Not only do you feel miserable; you keep obsessing about the “fact” that you feel miserable.”

If you have ever felt like this, I want to tell you that the first thing you need to do to feel better is to get rid of the words “ALWAYS” and “NEVER.”  Throw them in the junk pile. Kick them in the trash. Delete them from your vocabulary.

Then, substitute the words “right now.” “Right now, I feel miserable. Right now too much is expected of me. Right now I can’t keep up.”

Go ahead, say those sentences out loud. Notice the difference in how you feel compared to when you use the words “always” and “never.” No, changing your words won’t solve all your problems, but they do set you firmly on the road to resilience.

Resilience — it’s a familiar word. But what exactly is it?

It’s your ability to bounce back from distressful, even traumatic events. Being resilient doesn’t mean you don’t have difficult, painful, stressful moments. It doesn’t mean that you don’t feel sad, mad, scared. It does mean, however, that in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, relationship, workplace or financial stress, you’re able to surmount your difficulties and get back to normal — though normal may be somewhat different from the way it was.

Can you do anything else to build resilience besides changing your choice of words? Certainly! Here are a few guidelines for you:

  1. Seek out people who are good for youSurround yourself with people who are supportive and knowledgeable about the difficulties you are facing. Share your concerns with those who will listen with understanding. Though there is a time to be alone, be sure you don’t isolate yourself with your troubles.
  2. Normalize your life as soon as you can. Returning to your daily activities (though not necessarily all of them) is an indicator that you’re  reclaiming your life. Control what you can. There are routines in your life that you can continue to do, no matter how you are feeling.
  3. Do what you can to make yourself feel empowered. Often this takes the form of doing simple things like caring for your body, taking care of your home, caring for the important people and pets in your life. Once you accomplish the simple tasks, you’ll feel more empowered to take on complex chores and reclaim an optimistic outlook.
  4. Monitor your exposure to the media. It’s harder to bounce back to normalcy if what you see on TV and what you read in the paper throws gasoline on the fire. Hence, use the media for entertainment, not to depress or upset you.
  5. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. As you emerge from tough times, you might recognize for the first time how strong you really are. I wouldn’t be surprised if you develop a greater sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality, more loving relationships and a heightened appreciation for life.

Sooner or later, life will burst your bubble. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad but it may clobber you with unexpected blows. At these times, it’s essential to be resilient, to bend — but not break.  To be your own best friend. To relinquish blame. To put things in perspective. To remember your resources. To hone in on what works. And give yourself time to emerge as a stronger, wiser, more resilient human being.

©2018 Linda Sapadin, Ph.D. 

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R. Crumb Illustrates Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea: Existentialism Meets Underground Comics

Sartre’s novel Nausea introduced his philosophical view as a form of illness to a WWII readership. “Nausea is existence revealing itself—and experience is not pleasant to see,” he wrote in his own summary of his first book, published in 1938. The novel’s dramatization of Historian Roquentin’ s crisis presents a case of existential sickness as mostly […]

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Bursts of In-Class Exercise Can Aid Fitness Without Disruption

As childhood obesity continues to rise and physical education classes are replaced by academics, elementary schools are searching for ways to incorporate the federally mandated half-hour of physical activity into the school day.

In-class exercise tends to put off many teachers who believe that the burst of activity in the classroom will disrupt learning. But new research suggests that mini exercise breaks during the school day may actually work quite well.

In a series of five studies, researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) confirmed that 2-minute bursts of in-class exercise not only increased the amount of daily exercise for students, but did so without hurting math performance. In fact, when the exercise breaks were incorporated into classrooms throughout southeast Michigan, teachers found the breaks quite doable, and in some cases, could even enhance learning.

“Teachers were worried it would make kids more rowdy, but 99 percent of kids were back on task within 30 seconds of doing activity breaks,” said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Hasson, U-M associate professor of kinesiology and nutritional sciences.

“We even had one teacher who did an activity break in the middle of a math exam — she realized the benefit of getting them up and moving.”

Hasson is the director of the Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory, which collaborated on the five studies with the U-M schools of public health, education, and architecture and urban planning, and Project Healthy Schools, a statewide community-Michigan Medicine collaborative.

“What we’re showing is that we can give kids an additional 16 minutes of health-enhancing physical activity,” Hasson said. And while 16 minutes doesn’t sound like much, it adds up, Hasson said. Children are supposed to get an hour of exercise a day — 30 minutes of that during school. Most don’t reach that number.

“Many kids don’t have PE every day but they might have recess, and if they get 10 more minutes of activity there, it would meet that school requirement,” Hasson said. “This doesn’t replace PE, it’s a supplement. We’re trying to create a culture of health throughout the entire school day, not just in the gym.”

The Active Class Space lab studies observed the effects of activity breaks on mood, cognition, appetite and overall physical activity of 39 children in Hasson’s lab. A study done in real classrooms tested the practicality of implementing inPACT (Interrupting Prolonged sitting with ACTivity), the exercise program developed by Hasson and her colleagues.

In the lab, child volunteers ages 7-11 participated in four experiments: eight hours of sitting, interrupted with two-minute low-, moderate- or high-intensity activity breaks, and eight hours of sitting interrupted with two minutes of sedentary screen time.

The researchers found that when the sitting was interrupted with high-intensity activity breaks, children maintained their usual activity levels away from the laboratory, thereby burning an additional 150 calories a day without overeating. Unlike adults, children in the study didn’t compensate for the increased exercise by sitting around after school or by eating more, Hasson said.

While mood was ranked higher immediately following the screen-time breaks compared to the activity breaks, children reported positive mood during both the sedentary and exercise conditions, and they subsequently rated the activity breaks as more fun.

Importantly, after high-intensity activity, overweight and obese children experienced improved moods all day, Hasson said. This suggests children reflected upon the exercise and took more satisfaction in it.

All of the activity breaks resulted in the same level of math performance, and when Hasson brought the exercise breaks to real classrooms, teachers found they were feasible.

“We got a lot of pushback at first. The fear was that teachers would be overloaded,” Hasson said. “Teachers get a lot of stuff thrown at them. Our experience was that teachers were all very positive about exercise. They know it’s good for the kids. They were open to the idea but they needed more information on how to do it safely.”

At first, the researchers suggested that teachers do 10 3-minute breaks, but most teachers averaged between five and six breaks — about 15-18 minutes of activity. Schools in disadvantaged districts didn’t complete as many activity breaks as schools in wealthier districts.

Hasson is currently working to eliminate this disparity by adding elements of game playing like point scoring, competition, or reward systems to increase physical activity enjoyment in the children.

Based on the findings thus far, Hasson wants to try five 4-minute activity breaks totaling 20 minutes and observe the impact on mood, activity levels, calorie intake and cognition.

Source: University of Michigan


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Big Data Study Challenges Thinking on Personality Types

New research using Big Data suggests established psychological paradigms on personality types may need to be revised.

In the study, Northwestern University researchers analyzed data from more than 1.5 million questionnaire respondents. The review discovered at least four distinct clusters of personality types exist: average, reserved, self-centered and role model.

The findings, which challenge existing paradigms in psychology, are published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. Study leader Dr. Luís Amaral of the McCormick School of Engineering, believes the new perspectives could be of interest to hiring managers and mental health care providers.

“People have tried to classify personality types since Hippocrates’ time, but previous scientific literature has found that to be nonsense,” said co-author Dr. William Revelle, professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

“Now, these data show there are higher densities of certain personality types,” said Revelle, who specializes in personality measurement, theory and research.

Initially, however, Revelle was skeptical of the study’s premise. The concept of personality types remains controversial in psychology, with hard scientific proof difficult to find. Previous attempts based on small research groups created results that often were not replicable.

“Personality types only existed in self-help literature and did not have a place in scientific journals,” said Amaral. “Now, we think this will change because of this study.”

The new research combined an alternative computational approach with data from four standardized questionnaires with more than 1.5 million respondents from around the world.

The data was obtained from John Johnson’s IPIP-NEO questionnaire with 120 and 300 items, respectively, the myPersonality project and the BBC Big Personality Test datasets.

The questionnaires, developed by the research community over the decades, have between 44 and 300 questions. People voluntarily take the online quizzes attracted by the opportunity to receive feedback about their own personality. These data are now being made available to other researchers for independent analyses.

“The thing that is really, really cool is that a study with a dataset this large would not have been possible before the web,” Amaral said.

“Previously, maybe researchers would recruit undergrads on campus, and maybe get a few hundred people. Now, we have all these online resources available, and now data is being shared.”

From those robust datasets, the team plotted the five widely accepted basic personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

After developing new algorithms, four clusters emerged:

Average people are high in neuroticism and extraversion, while low in openness. “I would expect that the typical person would be in this cluster,” said Martin Gerlach, a postdoctoral fellow in Amaral’s lab and the paper’s first author. Females are more likely than males to fall into the Average type.

The Reserved type is emotionally stable, but not open or neurotic. They are not particularly extraverted but are somewhat agreeable and conscientious.

Role Models
Role Models score low in neuroticism and high in all the other traits. The likelihood that someone is a role model increases dramatically with age. “These are people who are dependable and open to new ideas,” Amaral said. “These are good people to be in charge of things. In fact, life is easier if you have more dealings with role models.” More women than men are likely to be role models.

Self-Centered people score very high in extraversion and below average in openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. “These are people you don’t want to hang out with,” Revelle said. There is a very dramatic decrease in the number of self-centered types as people age, both with women and men.

The large dataset required refining as the group’s first attempt to sort the data using traditional clustering algorithms, yielded inaccurate results, Amaral said.

“At first, they came to me with 16 personality types, and there’s enough literature that I’m aware of that says that’s ridiculous,” Revelle said. “I believed there were no types at all.”

He challenged Amaral and Gerlach to refine their data.

Their algorithm first searched for many clusters using traditional clustering methods, but then winnowed them down by imposing additional constraints. This procedure revealed the four groups they reported.

“The data came back, and they kept coming up with the same four clusters of higher density and at higher densities than you’d expect by chance, and you can show by replication that this is statistically unlikely,” Revelle said.

“I like data, and I believe these results,” he added. “The methodology is the main part of the paper’s contribution to science.”

To be sure the new clusters of types were accurate, the researchers used a notoriously self-centered group — teenaged boys — to validate their information.

“We know teen boys behave in self-centered ways,” Amaral said. “If the data were correct and sifted for demographics, they would they turn out to be the biggest cluster of people.”

Indeed, young males are overrepresented in the Self-Centered group, while females over 15 years old are vastly underrepresented.

Along with serving as a tool that can help mental health service providers assess for personality types with extreme traits, Amaral said the study’s results could be helpful for hiring managers looking to insure a potential candidate is a good fit or for people who are dating and looking for an appropriate partner.

And good news for parents of teenagers everywhere: As people mature, their personality types often shift. For instance, older people tend to be less neurotic yet more conscientious and agreeable than those under 20 years old.

“When we look at large groups of people, it’s clear there are trends, that some people may be changing some of these characteristics over time,” Amaral said. “This could be a subject of future research.”

Source: Northwestern University

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