Month: June 2016

Botox In The Mind

What determines how old a person looks? Is it a person’s age or is it a person’s emotional well-being? A recent study, “Be Happy Not Sad for Your Youth: The Effect of Emotional Expression on Age Perception”, took a scientific stab at the answer. The study’s authors, Norah C. Hass, Trent D. Weston, and Seung-Lark Lim, propose that when you are complimenting someone on their looks, subconsciously you are complimenting his/her level of happiness or their level of acceptance with their lives.

Age is often used to compare how one is doing relative to others in one’s age group. This is somewhat puzzling, since one doesn’t truly know what the average person in one’s age group looks like. Still, it appears that most people have an unconscious picture of the average peer. The comparison, then, isn’t with physical age; people compare others emotional well-being to how well they look – “for their age”. A happy disposition—smiling and other means of giving an impression of a healthy emotional state—produces an appearance of youth and happiness that “subtracts” extra years off one’s age.

Nevertheless, not everyone has had the privilege of being taught emotional regulation or emotion identification; most of us glide through life dependent on the control our emotions have over us, rather than learning how to control or accept our emotions. The challenge emerges when we are being controlled by emotions that devastate our lives; emotions that keep us from being able to live the lives we were so eager to build.

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Park Ridge Psychological Services can help you regain—or establish—this control. One of our fundamental principles is that almost all social-emotional problems are essentially normal responses to abnormal situations.

For more information:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/face-value/201606/smile-baby-the-links-between-happiness-age-and-beauty

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0152093#authcontrib

Marijuana, Fatal Crashes, and Our Next Move!

“Marijuana use in driving is a growing, contributing factor to fatal crashes”, warns Jake Nelson, the Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research at the American Automobile Association (AAA). The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reviewed fatal crash data between 2010 and 2014. They found that prior to legalization of marijuana in 2012, 8.3% of drivers had THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in their blood; that number more than doubled after legalization of marijuana–17% of drivers were found with THC in their blood. The researchers, using drug-recognition experts, determined that 70 percent of drivers who failed sobriety tests were impairment by marijuana.

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There are quite a few concerns that follow this discovery. First, we need a better way to be able to assess drivers for THC impairment, as THC use and impairment is not assessed exactly like we assess alcohol use/impairment. There is no number that can be used to reliably predict impairment; we simply need a different system. Additionally, because marijuana has such a long history of illegality when compared to alcohol, there have not been many opportunities to study the effects of prohibition versus legalization, use versus abuse, and other comparisons. Essentially, THC outcome research data collection is in its infancy.

Ruben Baler, a health scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, focuses on concerns about marijuana and its deleterious effects on coordination and balance, increasing the risk of accidental self-harm and injury to others, particularly when driving. Furthermore, Baler brings attention to a specific concern: young marijuana users. Because marijuana interferes with the development of the brain while it is still maturing and because THC levels have skyrocketed over the past few decades, the risks to the developing brain are far more significant than in previous generations. Baler summarized the problem: “You’re cumulatively impairing your cognitive function. What’s going to be the ultimate result, nobody can say.”

What we can say as professionals is that adolescents should not be using marijuana and parents desperately need to be educated about what marijuana use truly does to the developing brain.

For more information:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/does-driving-high-marijuana-increase-fatal-crashes-153447355.html?nhp=1

http://www.livescience.com/42738-marijuana-vs-alcohol-health-effects.html#sthash.7Pm6lCiu.dpuf

What’s the Difference Between a Professional Counselor, a Social Worker, a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist? By Dyanne C. Bresler, LCPC, RN

I’d like to talk about the difference between a licensed counselor, a social worker, a psychologist and a psychiatrist.  There are similarities, because they are all trained to support mental health, and they all talk with the goal of addressing thoughts, feelings, and behavior, so it’s easy to see why people might be confused. Here is some help:

  1. What is the difference between a professional counselor, a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

The differences in these professions can be summarized by differences in education focus and degrees. Professional counselors have a graduate degree in counseling. A master’s degree is the entry level requirement. While counselors can diagnose and treat mental disorders, counselors focus on wellness, career development, client empowerment and client strengths as opposed to psychopathology. Counselors are also experts in addressing the needs of different cultures. Psychologists have a graduate degree in psychology, and licensed psychologists typically have a degree in clinical, counseling or school psychology. Of all the mental health professions, psychologists are the best trained in conducting research. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have usually completed a residency in psychiatry. Their niche is prescribing psychotropic drugs.

  1. What is the difference between a counselor and a social worker?

As mentioned above, counselors have a graduate degree in counseling, usually a master’s degree. Social workers have a degree in social work, and the entry level is a bachelor’s degree. For a social worker to provide the types of services professional counselors do, a master’s degree in social work is required, typically with a degree in clinical social work. Social workers are trained to assist individuals with more basic needs than counselors. Social workers are thoroughly trained in case management skills to assist families in meeting their food and shelter needs. If you are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy, social workers are trained to focus on the lower levels of the hierarchy, and counselors are trained to focus on the higher end of the hierarchy. However, in practice, many social workers do counseling and help individuals with personal issues even though counselors get much more training in this area.

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