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New Harbinger Blog for Professionals

Dedicated to providing mental health professionals with the latest in evidence-based psychology research, theory, practical in-session tools, and everything in between.

fiona.hannigan

Mindfulness in the context of psychotherapy is more than just a technique or a theoretical perspective; it is a way of being with and relating to experience. Regardless of whether or not you choose to incorporate formal mindfulness practices in your sessions with clients, having your own mindfulness practice will positively inform your work.

fiona.hannigan

A Letter from Hugh G. Byrne, PhD

Our lives revolve around our habits; studies show that almost half of our behaviors are habitual rather than intentional. Some, like brushing our teeth or putting on a seat belt in the car, are obviously helpful. Others, like eating or drinking unconsciously, driving aggressively, procrastinating, or spending hours online, can be much more of a problem.

fiona.hannigan

Everybody worries, but some people have more than their share. Their peace of mind is often disrupted by “what if?” thoughts of bad possibilities. They recognize that worries are repetitive and unrealistic, but when they try to stop worrying, it gets worse rather than better!

jessica.dore

In general, praising talents can lead to two problems. First, it can make us cling to the idea of being talented. We want to be aware of how talented we are all the time, and we become afraid of doing anything that might make us think negatively about ourselves. We might even avoid challenging situations. But when we don’t challenge ourselves, we don’t grow.

jessica.dore

It isn’t surprising that we’re under the illusion that we own our time. People tend to talk about the future as if it’s a physical thing, something promised to us. Adults tell young people that what they’re doing in the present is simply preparation for an outstanding future career. Studying helps them get into the right university, volunteer work looks good on a résumé, and extracurricular activities will show a future employer that they’re well-rounded.

jessica.dore

Evolutionary theory is based on three principles: variation, selection by consequences, and retention. Practitioners can apply these principles to help young people develop their full potential.

jessica.dore

In their book, The Thriving Adolescent: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology to Help Teens Manage Emotions, Achieve Goals, and Build Connection, Louise Hayes, PhD, and Joseph Ciarrochi, PhD, provide many metaphors and different ways to help young people use their model, DNA-V (Discoverer Noticer Advisor – Values), to gain psychological flexibility in their lives.

jessica.dore

When severe violations of safety, trust, or vulnerability occur, including outright threats to survival, humans are wired to shut down higher-order neural functions and fight, flee, or freeze in order to survive the threat. Clients suffering from post-traumatic stress are faced with the dilemma of figuring out how to carry negative personal history in the present moment without letting it dictate or control their behav­ior. But when you have a nervous system that has evolved with self-protection as its number one mandate, this is hard to do.

karen.hathaway

A Letter from Amy Johnson, PhD

‘Tis the season…to swear that next year will be different.

Everywhere you look, people are reflecting on last year and resolving to break old habits this year. But for all the stocktaking and intention-setting that takes place in January, most people will have fallen far short of their goals by February.

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