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PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR:

Anxiety & Depresssion

Life Transitions & Stress

Self-esteem & Relationships

Trauma-based Issues

African American Mother with Daughter
Family Having Fun

December 2015 Updates



The World Health Organization says that your "health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being (emphasis mine) and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

As a health psychologist, I provide monthly updates of resources for individuals and families that support well-being.  
Cheers, Marilyn Wilts     Click on Read More below.

Note:  I am not responsible for the content, claims or representations of the listed sites and post these links for informational purposes only.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it.  That factor is attitude."
--William James (1842-1910), noted for founding the field of psychology in the United States



Regular Young Adults with Down Syndrome (DS)
David Wiegand,  Assistant Managing editor and the TV critic of The San Francisco Chronicle, wrote the article below about a six episode docu-series, that is airing in the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesdays, at 10 pm, starting December 8 on the A&E Network. 

Seven young adults with Down Syndrome (DS)  are the real people from Southern California who star in “Born This Way” as they pursue opportunities for work, romance, and friendships.
[begin excerpt]

“Born This Way” was in fact created by Bunim-Murray Productions, the people behind “The Real World.” An eye-opener that’s also funny, real and compelling, the series is a heartwarming reminder that no matter who we are, we’re all born this way.
[end excerpt]

Born This Way review by David Wiegand

Extraordinary Resilience
The following is courtesy of Ken Pope's list.  Dr. Pope is a psychologist who selects articles from journals, newspapers, etc. that be believes are worth knowing about and posts them on his list.

In November, the *New York Times*  published an article, "Tales of the Super Survivors," by David Brooks [begin excerpts]

Over the past few years the findings of academic research into the effects of these traumas have shifted in a more positive direction. Human beings are more resilient than we'd earlier thought. Many people bounce back from hard knocks and experience surges of post-traumatic growth….The best general rule for all of society seems to be that at least 75 percent of the people who experience a life-threatening or violent event emerge without a stress disorder.

Even many of those who are unlucky enough to fall victim to the horrific pain of PTSD are able to recover and rebuild better lives. These are people you sometimes meet who have experienced the worst in life but still radiate love and joy. They get to live a second life and correct the mistakes they made before the earthquake shook everything loose.

As Philip A. Fisher, a University of Oregon psychology professor, noted in an email, the big background factor that nurtures resilience is unconditional love. The people who survive and rebound from trauma frequently had an early caregiver who pumped unshakable love into them, and that built a rock of inner security they could stand on for the rest of their lives.

That is to say, they have positive illusions about their own talents, and an optimist's faith in their own abilities to control the future. But they have no illusions about the world around them. They accept what they have lost quickly. They see problems clearly. They work hard. Work is the reliable cure for sorrow.

Recovering from trauma is mainly an exercise in storytelling. As Richard Tedeschi, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has pointed out, trauma is a shock that ruptures the central story that you thought was your life. The recurring patterns that make up life are disrupted. The sense of safety is lost. Having faced death, people in these circumstances are forced to confront the elemental questions of life.

But some people are able to write a new story. As Tedeschi writes, post-traumatic growth comes not from the event but from the struggle afterward to write a new story that imagines a life better than before. Researchers have found that people who thrive after a shock are able to tell clear, forward-looking stories about themselves, while those who don't thrive get stuck ruminating darkly about the past.

Book 1 is life before the event. Book 2 is the event that shattered the old story. But Book 3 is reintegration, a reframing new story that incorporates what happened and then points to a more virtuous and meaningful life than the one before.

These are intensely moral narratives that describe a life of higher purpose. Viktor Frankl survived the Holocaust and concluded that those who could best survive the camps were those who could satisfy their hunger for lives of meaning. Even if they were suffering, they could direct their attention toward those they loved and those they would serve in their future lives.

Frankl, who went on to become a professor of neurology and psychiatry, cited Nietzsche's dictum that he who has a why to live for can endure almost any how. The stories super survivors tell have two big themes: optimism and altruism.
[end excerpts]

David Brooks' article is online at Ken Pope's site:  Extraordinary Resilience



Ode to Joy Flashmob
Banco Sabadel (banking group of Sabadell) created this flashmob, now viewed by more than 66 million people on Youtube,  to pay homage to the city of their name by means of the campaign "Som Sabadell" ("We are Sabadell").  On May 19, 2012, at six in the evening, one tuxedoed street performer starts playing a bass for people strolling around the plaza in Sabadell, Spain.  Eventually an ensemble of more than 100 musicians and singers gather to perform a movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony — Ode to Joy.  I feel that the people watching, playing, singing, and listening are expressing their experience of an event that promotes joyous well-being.  

Sam Sabadell flashmob