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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Can Mindfulness Change the Anxious Brain?

What helps with anxiety? Anxiety disorders represent the most common mental disorders experienced by Americans. These can range from PTSD to common phobias, and they wreak havoc in a person’s day-to-day life. A team of researchers led by David Creswell, PhD at Carnegie Mellon University recently wanted to find out what impact mindfulness practice could have on the anxious brain. To design their study, Creswell and his team recruited participants from a population that’s under a lot of stress – job seekers. Now we know that when stress goes untreated, it can become chronic and contribute to anxiety and depression….

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How to Become Who You Want to Be – with Tara Brach, PhD

“I’m not as good as I should be.” It’s a common refrain from many of our patients. Helping them trade self-judgment for self-compassion is an essential first step in creating real change. Watch below as Tara Brach, PhD, talks about what needs to be in place before we can become truly free and open to changing ourselves. Breaking out of a long-held cycle of self-judgment can be difficult – but it isn’t impossible. How has compassion played a role either in your own life or in your work with patients? Please share a comment with us below.


Self-Compassion: The Secret to Reducing PTSD Symptoms?

One thing that can frequently increase the suffering of many patients with PTSD is shame. Even worse, shame can limit a patient’s treatment – even if they objectively know that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. But is there a way to trade self-judgment for self-compassion? And would that reduce a client’s symptoms? Asle Hoffart, PhD, adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Oslo, wanted to study how self-compassion impacted symptoms of PTSD. Hoffart measured self-compassion with his six-part Self-Compassion Scale. First, he designated three components that made up self compassion: self-kindness (being kind to oneself even during hard…

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Could Mindfulness Be Just as Effective as Medication in Treating Recurring Depression?

To test this theory, Willem Kuyken, PhD, and his team at Oxford University, first needed to come up with a safe and ethical protocol for working with participants having a history of depression. You see, it wouldn’t be either ethical or safe to randomly select some people and ask them not to take their medications if they weren’t ready. (And of course it’s crucial that no one alter their medications without first consulting their clinician.) So, to test the notion of replacing medication with meditation, Dr. Kuyken and his team conducted a randomized, single-blind study among subjects who had experienced…

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