Friday, October 24, 2008

Freedom To Act: Making Self Awareness Work For You

There are easily millions of important Life Skills that are not taught in school or by your parents. One of these is Emotional Self Control. You can run over to your favorite book store and and find hundred's of self help books on not letting others control your emotions (Co-Dependency) but my experience has been that this particular life skill can be reduced to three basic abilities in the form of questions;

1. Asking yourself at various times throughout the day, "How am I doing?" What this refers to is having some type of emotional gauge or reading as to your current emotional state; happy, sad, neutral, etc. Also known as one element of self awareness. People high in this ability are known as being skilled in self observation.

2. Asking yourself "Why is it this way?" In other words why am I feeling what I'm feeling at this particular moment in time? Or, how did I get here? This question becomes especially important if you're feeling good, strong or some other positive emotion. Knowing how you ended up feeling good can be very helpful in reproducing it later when you're not feeling so good. Feeling good is no accident! It results from both your actions and the responses of others.

3. If I'm not feeling so good emotionally, "what can I do to get back to at least neutral if not positive?" Seems basic to me that none of us has to remain in a negative emotional state unless we want to for some reason. How we feel is our choice. Sure, there are events or circumstances in life that are going to do a real number on us as far as emotional upset goes. No need to list here the multitude of things that are bad in life or that we will all face from time to time. The important thing though is that we can alter our emotional state of our own choice, making us free to act as opposed to simply react.

If you see that many of your actions in life are impulsive or simply reactions maybe you want to make a change? We can help. Email me and I can explain how.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Employment Law: When To See A Psychologist & Why

The situation you never expect has happened; your boss or supervisor, who is also your lover, decides it's time to remove you from the payroll or it's clear to you he/she will do so if you fail to continue to comply. So much for the great job that provided the necessary security for you and perhaps for your family.

Clients often wonder why they need to seek the help of a psychologist when what they really want at that point is legal help and advice. The answer is simple. No one is suggesting that you're crazy or need treatment for a mental health problem. You do however need support to deal with the fear and loss and you need to be able to show the negative effects that the situation had upon you should you have legal recourse. Now you find yourself a victim which can produce depression and severe anxiety.

On top of this your life begins to revolve around your legal status as you battle for justice and as anyone who's been involved in legal action can attest too, not many days go by where you are not thinking about or kicking yourself over the situation and how poorly and unfairly you were treated.

As a treater and expert witness in both State and Federal courts I've handled multiple sexual harassment and gender bias cases, both for plaintiff's and defendants. I know first hand the benefits of having trained help and support as you travel through the legal system. The goal in almost all cases is simple; find a way to go from victim to survivor as well as finding a way to go on with life as the case seemingly takes forever in the courts.

If you find yourself in one of these unexpected and tragic situations do not hesitate to seek professional help and support. Your Attorney may recommend you do this (good attorney's do) so follow his or her advice and make the call today. Sexual Harassment has been around since women entered the workplace and it is also an issue for men now. There is really no need to suffer in private.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dr. John M. Conlin, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. John Conlin & FAQ'S - What is a Clinical Psychologist?

A Clinical Psychologist is an individual who has earned a doctorate in psychology and whose training is in the assessment and treatment of psychological problems.

Clinical Psychologists have completed a 4 year graduate program specializing in Clinical Psychology. In addition they are required to complete a one year pre-doctoral residency (often in Hospitals or other health care settings) under the direct supervision of licensed psychologists as well as completing and successfully defending a dissertation (some type of scientific research complete with a scholarly written report of all findings).

Once completed they then have the additional requirement of completing a one year post-doctorate year of supervised work and upon successful completion of that year they then are required to pass a State Licensing examination in order to acquire the title of Licensed Clinical Psychologist and to be eligible for third party reimbursement from their patients health insurance carriers.

Clinical Psychologists receive more specialized training and are required to participate in more supervised clinical experiences then any other professional in the field of counseling and the treatment of psychological or psychiatric disorders. Clinical Psychologists are not only treatment providers but they are also recognized scientists in the study of human behavior.

-What Do Psychologists Do and Where They Do It (Adopted From APA.ORG and their position paper on careers in Psychology)?

Psychology is an extraordinarily diverse field with hundreds of career paths. Some specialties, like caring for people with mental and emotional disorders, are familiar to most of us. Others, like helping with the design of advanced computer systems or studying how we remember things, are less well known.

What all psychologists have in common is a shared interest in the minds and behaviors of both humans and animals. In their work, they draw on an ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge about how we think, act, and feel, and apply the information to their special areas of expertise.

In addition to their particular mix of science and practice, psychologists can be distinguished in terms of where they work. Many psychologists work in more than one setting. For instance, college professors often consult for industry or see clients on a part-time basis. Although it's possible to identify a host of different work settings, for the purpose of this booklet, we'll consider some of the most prominent examples.

Psychologists Conduct Research

Many psychologists conduct research that runs the gamut from studies of basic brain functions to individual behavior to the behavior of complex social organizations. Subjects of such scientific study include animals, human infants, well-functioning and emotionally disturbed people, elderly people, students, workers, and just about every other population one can imagine. Some research takes place in laboratories where the study conditions can be carefully controlled; some is carried out in the field, such as the workplace, the highway, schools, and hospitals, where behavior is studied as it occurs naturally.

Much of the laboratory research is conducted in universities, government agencies (such as the National Institutes of Health and the armed services), and private research organizations. Whereas most psychological scientists are engaged in the actual planning and conduct of research, some are employed in management or administration—usually after having served as active researchers.

Psychologists Study Social Development

Developmental psychologists study the many behavioral and psychological changes that occur throughout the life span.

Psychologists Help People Learn

Psychologists provide a number of services—both direct and indirect—to children, youth, and families in schools at all levels, from nursery school through college. Many focus on improving the effectiveness of teaching and student learning, frequently by studying motivation and cognitive processes in the classroom.

School psychologists also provide counseling and crisis intervention services. They help students with learning or behavior problems, learning disabilities, and cognitive deficits. They work with students in schools to prevent violence and other disruptive behaviors. They also serve on interdisciplinary teams that develop individual educational plans for students with special needs. Psychologists work within specialty areas of learning, too, such as the arts and sports.

Psychologists Promote Physical and Mental Health

Psychologists as health providers span a large and diverse spectrum of subfields. Some psychologists work alone, with patients and clients coming to the psychologist's office. Others are involved in health care teams and typically work in hospitals, medical schools, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, pain clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and community health and mental health centers.

Increasingly, psychologists in independent practice are contracting on either a part-time or a full-time basis with organizations to provide a wide range of services. For example, a psychologist can join a health practice and work with a team of other health care providers, such as physicians, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and social workers to prevent or treat illness. This team approach, which is likely to become more common in the future, frequently includes efforts to change unhealthy behaviors and ensure that patients follow the recommended treatment. The team also helps patients cope with stress.

Psychologists also instruct students who are training to become health care professionals, such as physicians and nurses, about the psychological factors involved in illness. And they advise health care providers already in practice about the psychological bases of some illness so that symptoms that are psychological in origin can be better diagnosed and treated.

Psychologists Study and Contribute to the Work Environment

Anywhere people work, and anything they do while at work, is of interest to psychologists. Psychologists study what makes people effective, satisfied, and motivated in their jobs; what distinguishes good workers or managers from poor ones; and what conditions of work promote high or low productivity, morale, and safety.

Some psychologists design programs for recruiting, selecting, placing, and training employees. They evaluate, monitor, and improve performance. They help make changes in the way the organization is set up.

Others help design the actual tasks, tools, and environments with which people must deal when doing their jobs. These specialists can also help design the products that organizations turn out and conduct research related to product design. For example, they play a big role in making computer hardware and software more user-friendly, which in turn contributes both to operator performance in the workplace and product acceptability in the marketplace.

Psychologists with training in mental health and health care also deal with the health and adjustment of individuals in the work setting. They work with employee assistance plans that provide help with drug or alcohol addiction problems, depression, and other disorders; they also foster healthy behavior.