25 Dec 2012

Give your mind a break

You may want to read an article by Matthew E. May in Harvard Business Review about the more recent discoveries neuro-science has made on the benefits of meditation.

It seems that meditation, pulsing and day dreaming are powerful tools to boost creativity. They also keep your brain younger helping prevent dementia and slowIng the aging process.




22 Dec 2012

Wishes for 2013


In the Lisbon Clinic we prize well-being and mental health. What's mental health?, you may ask.

Being mentally healthy doesn't mean never to be sad or even depressed. Or angry, or very upset. It means to acept your own emotions and deal with them without harming yourself (and preferably anyone else).

Freud used to say that it meant to be able to love and work. Being able to enjoy small pleasures in life and of course big ones. And deal with what comes in a minimally traumatic way. Being able to learn through life.

Another thinker, Hannah Arendt, wrote once: "This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes".

In a time of recession and rising economic difficulties, we're again put to the test. It takes flexibility, creativity and resilience to be able to go on fighting for quality of life. We have to count on our inner strenghts to cope with these hard times. We must teach our children how important emotional skills - not only academic - are for their future.

Have a better year.


8 Dec 2012

Our Self: how to connect with it

We are what we are and not what others think of us. The connection with our Self is the subject of this article by Peter Bregman, on the site of Harvard Business Review. Peter Bregman is a consultant to CEOs and companies and knows how important it is to have a strong and cohese self. In the absence of it, we go adrift as he so well describes.

The good news are that a you can learn how to build a strong self. In fact, that's a purpose of any well conducted psychoterapy: building and asserting your identity.



4 Dec 2012

PTSD: an anxiety disorder that needs to be dealt with

Natural disasters, traffic accidents or random acts of violence are present in the everyday lives of modern society and constitute potentially traumatic and stress-inducing events with deep physical and psychological consequences. Post traumatic stress-disorder (PTSD) is at the core of modern psychopathology and requires a focused, specialized intervention and treatment. Common symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of intense distress, physical reactions (pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea…), loss of memory, difficulty falling or staying asleep or even difficulty concentrating.

Sometimes the symptoms include different signs of avoidance: emotional numbing (feeling as though you don't care about anything), showing less of your moods, feeling detached, not able to remember important aspects of the traumatic event, lacking interest in normal activities, avoiding places, people, or thoughts that remind you of the event, feeling like you have no future.

All those are signs thay you need to consult with a psychotraumatologist, someone who specializes in this anxiety disorder.



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