Could Stronger Resilience Promote Better Health?

Could greater resilience reduce a person’s need for health care services? James E. Stahl, MD, MPH, and a team of researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Benson-Henry Institute (BHI), noted that poor psychological and physical resilience is often associated with an increased use of healthcare services. Since research consistently shows that mind-body interventions can be effective in reducing stress and increasing resilience, Stahl and his team wanted to see if a resilience training program could reduce the demand for health care services. To do this, they created a retrospective, controlled pre/post intervention database analysis of patients who received care at…

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5 Steps to Changing the World

How exactly does change come about? As health and mental health practitioners, our calling is to help people change. But I’m thinking about change on a number of different levels. There are the changes we help our clients make, as well as personal changes we might hope to see in our own lives. I’m also thinking about change on a broader scale – change in our communities, change in our profession and, if I may be so bold, change in the world. Stay with me, and I’ll get back to you on what I mean by that. Recently, I decided…

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Mindfulness and Relief from Chronic Pain?

Is medication the best way to relieve chronic pain? Most often, people who are suffering from chronic pain just want it to stop. But given the risks for drug dependency, abuse, and overdose from prescription medications, a number of doctors and researchers are refocusing their attention on alternative ways to help people experience relief. Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, and a team at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, wanted to know if mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could be as effective in relieving chronic back pain as traditional methods. They designed a randomized controlled study…

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Could Yoga Hold the Key to Healing a Patient’s Trauma?

Approximately 10 million women in America have been physically assaulted at some time in their life. Yes, that’s a sobering statistic. But the far-reaching effects of violence against women are even darker. Over a third of these survivors experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with increased rates of depression, obesity and heart disease. So how do we even begin to approach the healing of such an overwhelming phenomena? The answer is complicated. And I wish current treatment methods showed better results. In a recent large-scale clinical trial, 78% of patients who underwent prolonged exposure therapy failed to overcome their symptoms after 6…

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5 Ways to Create an Anti-Depressant Brain

Depression can rob people of their sense of aliveness and vitality, interfere with job performance, disrupt relationships, and increase the likelihood of self-harm. So are there tools we can use to help clients reduce and even prevent suffering from depression? My friend, Elisha Goldstein, PhD has identified 5 natural ways to create an anti-depressant brain. Elisha is a clinical psychologist in private practice, co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in LA, and author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion. ________________________________________________________ For years now, I’ve studied what helps create more resilience and happiness within us….

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A Better Night’s Sleep with Mindfulness?

One of the problems with antidepressants is their side effects, such as fatigue, anxiety, loss of libido, and sleep disturbance. Dr. Willoughby Britton and her research team at the University of Arizona wanted to find out whether mindfulness could help with sleep disturbance – one of the most common side effects of antidepressants. Researchers randomly assigned 23 participants, all of whom were taking antidepressant medications, to one of two interventions. Some received a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy course while others were placed on a waitlist to serve as a control. Throughout the 9-week study, subjects in both groups completed sleep diaries,…

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