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Saturday, November 5

How to Stop Escalation

People who operate from principles have an easier time of staying calm in the face of provocation than people who don't yet have clearly enunciated principles. 

Here's an example of a principle-based skript. The two principles at play here are: 

1. I don't argue electronically.

2. I won't be shouted at.

In this exchange, the other party might -- or might not -- stay angry, but the assurance that a conversation will happen at a named time goes a long way toward calming the storm. 

How would you respond? Comment on our Facebook page

Principle-based skripts create boundaries.

Les scripts basés sur des principes créent des limites.


Friday, November 4

How to Solve a Problem

This problem-solving strategy is named after the idea that, given enough time, a room full of monkeys with typewriters would write all the books in the British Museum. 

The monkeys-and-typewriters analogy gets a lot of play, doesn't it? Type your response on our Facebook page

British Museum Algorithm

When trying to solve a problem, this technique involves trying one solution after another, starting with solutions that have the fewest steps.

Algorithme du British Museum

Lorsque vous essayez de résoudre un problème, cette technique consiste à essayer une solution après l'autre, en commençant par les solutions qui comportent le moins d'étapes.


Thursday, November 3

How to Dance Your Way to Mental Health

I've not yet seen it in action, but I imagine Dance Therapy would also be helpful in addressing social anxiety. 

Does Dance Therapy seem to you like a useful path to mental health? Tell us why on our Facebook page! 

Dance Therapy

A therapeutic technique that uses rhythmic movement and music to help clients gain greater body awareness and improve social interactions.

(Introduced by U.S. dance professional Marian Chace in 1942)


Une technique thérapeutique qui utilise le mouvement rythmique et la musique pour aider les clients à acquérir une plus grande conscience de leur corps et à améliorer les interactions sociales.

(Introduit par la professionnelle de la danse américaine Marian Chace en 1942)


Wednesday, November 2

Why The Man Thought He Was a Hat

Appersonation is a disorder different from impersonation, because the sufferer truly believes the delusion. Delusions are sometimes caused by stress, though often by a medical, mental, or neurological condition. But they're deeply believed by the sufferer.

Has stress caused you to question reality? De-stress on our Facebook page


The delusional belief that one is another person (usually famous) or object, which leads to taking on their characteristics. 


La croyance délirante que l'on est une autre personne (généralement célèbre) ou un objet, ce qui conduit à adopter ses caractéristiques.


Tuesday, November 1

Why Aggression is Illegal

Scaring people is a crime -- at least, when you cause them to believe you'll hurt them. Assault is aggressive behavior, and a crime in its own right. 

The case of Vetter v. Morgan is an interesting read, and worth understanding if you yourself have ever been the victim of road rage or bullying. Should bullies go to jail for instilling fear in their victims? Thoughts? Debate it on our Facebook page

Assault and Battery

Not the same things. Battery involves actual physical harm to another person; Assault means causing a person to fear imminent harm. 

Citation: Vetter v. Morgan, 913 P.2d 1200 (1995)

Aggression et Batterie

Pas les mêmes choses. La batterie implique un préjudice physique réel à une autre personne ; Agression signifie faire craindre à une personne un préjudice imminent.

Référence : Vetter c. Morgan, 913 P.2d 1200 (1995)


Monday, October 31

Why Fear Wastes Time

 You are literally the scariest thing you can imagine. What else is there to fear? (FDR said it best: "There is nothing to fear but fear itself.")

Happy Halloween!

You're just a ghost, driving a skeleton draped in rotting meat to its death. Are other people's opinions really so scary?

Vous n'êtes qu'un fantôme, conduisant à sa mort un squelette drapé de viande pourrie. Les opinions des autres sont-elles vraiment si effrayantes ?


Sunday, October 30

Why You Laugh After Fear

Arousal jags: They may explain your love of scary movies, roller coasters, and comedy. Laughter is a common method of releasing internal tension. Have you found yourself laughing at the wrong time?

Amuse us on our Facebook page

Arousal Jag

When tension rises, followed by a sudden fall, often accompanied by laughter. The pleasurable response may come from the quick drop from high levels of arousal to lower, more acceptable levels. 

--One more way laughter is the best medicine

Jag d'excitation

Lorsque la tension monte, suivie d'une chute soudaine, souvent accompagnée de rires. La réponse agréable peut provenir de la chute rapide de niveaux élevés d'excitation à des niveaux plus bas et plus acceptables.

--Une autre façon dont le rire est le meilleur remède


How to Win at Failure

 I love the term "growth opportunity." It motivates me to find lessons in, to learn from, difficult circumstances. 

Was there a time an apparent setback led to a better outcome for you? Share it on our Facebook page

"There is no such thing as failure. What other people label...failure, I have learned is just God’s way of pointing you in a new direction."

--Oprah Winfrey, 2007 Howard University commencement address

"L'échec n'existe pas. Ce que les autres appellent... l'échec, j'ai appris qu'il s'agit simplement de la façon dont Dieu vous oriente dans une nouvelle direction."

--Oprah Winfrey, discours d'ouverture de l'Université Howard en 2007

Saturday, October 29

How to Slow Down Arguments

Disagreement erupts into wars when people get triggered. Slowing down, buying time, is key to maintaining peace. 

What do you say that calms triggered people?

We welcome your shares on our Facebook page

How to Pause

Someone says something outrageous? Slow it down with: 

"Hmmm. Interesting. So what you're saying is..."

Comment mettre en pause

Quelqu'un dit quelque chose de scandaleux ? Ralentissez avec :

"Hmmm. Intéressant. Donc ce que tu dis, c'est..."


Friday, October 28

Why Our Brains Lie to Us

Here's the truth: People who change their beliefs to match their behavior have lied to themselves until they found a sufficient excuse to do what they wanted. Nobody has to change their beliefs to match good behavior.

Does your brain ever lie to you? Confessions invited on our Facebook page

Cognitive Dissonance

When what you do doesn't match what you believe. It's unsustainable. To relieve internal tension, either the behavior will change, or the beliefs will. 

Dissonance cognitive

Quand ce que vous faites ne correspond pas à ce que vous croyez, c'est insoutenable. Pour soulager la tension interne, soit le comportement changera, soit les croyances le feront.


Thursday, October 27

How to Spot Relationship Triangulation

Triangulation happens in therapy, too, where people try to draw the therapist into taking sides. Therapeutic side-taking is sometimes helpful, so long as the counselor is intentional, skillful, and not subject to manipulation.

Ever seen kids try to get between their parents? How did you respond? Please share on our Facebook page


When two family or group members in conflict each attempt to draw another person to their side. Kids triangulate parents all the time, but it's especially destructive when parents in conflict catch a child in the middle. 


Lorsque deux membres de la famille ou du groupe en conflit tentent chacun d'attirer une autre personne à leurs côtés. Les enfants triangulent tout le temps leurs parents, mais c'est particulièrement destructeur lorsque des parents en conflit attrapent un enfant au milieu.


Wednesday, October 26

Why Senior Moments Are Not a Warning

"Senior moments" have an actual name: Benign Senescence. 

My theory: Your brain can only store so much information in RAM, but your ROM is ridiculously good at holding on to stored data like your childhood phone number. The good news, though, is that forgetting is normal, not a sign of looming Alzheimer's. 

Got a dumb senior moment you're itching to share?

Would love to read about it on our Facebook page

Alternate names for Benign Senescence: Age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) or benign senescent forgetfulness. 

And for non-techies, RAM is random-access, or short-term, memory; ROM is read-only, or long-term, memory.

Benign Senescence

Brief memory impairments related to aging. Happens when trying to remember or learn new information, rather than recalling long-standing memories. Not linked to dementia.

Sénescence bénigne

Brèves troubles de la mémoire liés au vieillissement. Se produit lorsque vous essayez de vous souvenir ou d'apprendre de nouvelles informations, plutôt que de rappeler des souvenirs de longue date. Non lié à la démence.


Tuesday, October 25

How Jury Nullification Works

 Jury nullification can also happen when juries dislike a prosecutor, or when the person filing a civil lawsuit is unlikeable.

Has there been a time you faced a tough decision as a juror?

Visit our Facebook page to share! 

Jury Nullification

When juries acquit people who definitely committed a crime. It happens if jury members think a conviction would be unfair or or would result in a harsh sentence they don'tt want to be connected with.

Citation: Crown v. John Peter Zenger, 1735  

Annulation par le jury

Quand les jurys acquittent des personnes qui ont définitivement commis un crime. Cela se produit si les membres du jury estiment qu'une condamnation serait injuste ou entraînerait une peine sévère à laquelle ils ne veulent pas être associés.


Monday, October 24

How Good People Go Bad

The Lucifer Effect is a weird one! One example of this corrupting effect: The 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, where participants randomly assigned to "guard" other participants became brutal. 

Have you witnessed people abusing small amounts of power? Comment on our Facebook page

Lucifer Effect

When unfair social conditions adversely alter human behavior. In this phenomenon, even moral people can be persuaded to act dishonorably and unethically by corrupting circumstances.

L'effet Lucifer

Lorsque des conditions sociales injustes modifient négativement le comportement humain. Dans ce phénomène, même les personnes éthiques peuvent être persuadées d'agir de manière déshonorante et contraire à l'éthique en corrompant les circonstances.


Sunday, October 23

How Happiness Arrives

We sometimes pursue momentary happiness at the expense of profound joy -- which comes not of consumption and chaos, but of relational connection, creative accomplishment, meaningful service, harmonious living, and earned wisdom.

"The purpose of life is not to be happy—but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all."

― Leo Rosten

"Le but de la vie n'est pas d'être heureux, mais d'avoir de l'importance, d'être productif, d'être utile, de faire en sorte que cela fasse une différence que vous ayez vécu."

- Léo Rosten

Saturday, October 1

How to Say 'No'

 No need to make excuses when you turn someone down. It's all about the gentle tone and regretful facial expression.

How to say 'no'

Need to decline an offer without feeling like a jerk? Try this: 'I wish I could, but I can't.' Smile regretfully, and change the topic.

Friday, September 30

Why Disciplined Homes Help Kids

 Children thrive in loving homes. It's science.

The Brooklands Experiment

A 1960s UK study that moved children with severe intellectual disabilities from institutions to homelike familial living situations. Those moved to Brooklands improved in many areas; those who stayed behind languished.

Nothing's better than a loving home


Thursday, September 29

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

 Looking for therapy that works for you? It's Therapy Thursday, where we introduce an interesting approach to psychotherapy, and invite your thoughts, experiences, and concerns. What approach to therapy has worked for you, a friend, or a family member? Tell us on our Facebook page.

Acceptance and Committment Therapy

ACT proposes that using ineffective tools to restrain your emotions and thoughts causes problems. ACT helps you accept your failings, and commit to your values and goals, to live a better life.

Find the therapeutic approach that fits your personality

Wednesday, September 28

On Secondary Gain

 If you battle mental illness, know the risk and push back. Don't allow secondary gain to prolong your pain. How do you stay centered and emotionally resilient when tough moments pull you down? Visit our Facebook page to share.

Advantage by Illness (aka Secondary Gain)

A benefit from mental illness. The APA lists 'extra attention, sympathy, avoidance of work, and domination of others,' all of which can prolong illness and create therapeutic resistance. (It's 'secondary' because it comes from others, not simply from relief of internal conflict.)

What makes us tick

Tuesday, September 27

Aging's not the end

 Over 40? The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 may impact you. If you've been, or known, somebody wrongly fired or laid off from a job, jump to our Facebook page to comment!

Know your rights

When a layoff hurts older workers, it's the employer, not the employee, who has to prove the action wasn't based on age discrimination. If you're a US employee older than 40, working for an interstate employer, the ADEA protects you.

Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab, 554 U.S. 84 (2008)

Monday, September 26

Sturm und Drang

 School's in session and teens are overwhelmed. How does your family soften the Sturm und Drang of adolescence? Jump to our Facebook page to comment!

Sturm und Drang
“Storm and stress”, a German term that describes the emotional turmoil of adolescence. One writer aptly called adolescence a "turbulent transition from savagery to civilization."
Parenting teenagers is hard work. Now you know why.

Sunday, September 25

Commune: It's Your Superpower

Have any tips for helping kids (or adults) manage anxiety? 
Jump to our Facebook page and comment!Commune. It's your superpower.Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, April 7

Go ahead and storm off

Walking calms several uncomfortable reactions, but stomping off your fury is one of the most efficient ways to get past anger.

And there's a specific technique for doing it without further provoking the person you're angry with. Watch this space. (Or book an appointment with us and learn the right scripts today.)

Wednesday, April 6

Venting: It's just not healthy

Just venting? Despite popular belief, turns out it's not healthy. At all. The research says it reinforces and exaggerates one's negative beliefs.

And worst of all? It disconnects you from the people you're trying to communicate with. They shut down their rational brain and go into fight or flight.

Better strategy? Breathing so deeply that it activates the vagus nerve -- the one that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system and impacts everything...including immune response. It'll calm you down, help you think calmly and rationally, and quiet the impulse to raise your voice.