Why Is the “Rule of Law” Important to My Mental Health?

what is the rule of law and why does it matter?  The rule of law is: “a situation in which the laws of a country are obeyed by everyone The courts uphold the rule of law.” In a country that follows the rule of law, the laws and penalties are the same for everyone. Under that definition, there isn’t a country in the world that is entirely following the rule of law. A lot of countries, maybe even most, believe in it and work towards it, however, and that is important. When people are able to go around the law if they are rich …

What Happens When You’re Hotlined For Child Abuse?

What Happens When You’re Hotlined for Child Abuse? This article applies to the United States, as I don’t know the laws and procedures in other countries.  Hotlines for child abuse or neglect feel horrible and terrifying. I know this as a therapist and as a mother. My oldest son “failed to thrive” so his doctor hotlined a couple of times thinking I wasn’t feeding him. Further, his father thought it was great fun to hotline me every time we had a disagreement over parenting. Before long I knew the routine in my sleep. “Yes, come right in.” “Sure, look in …

Chain of Events: How DBT’s Behavioral Chain Analysis Can Help YOU

How to Do a Behavioral Chain Analysis (The Simple Version) Reminder: A Behavioral Chain Analysis should be done in between crises when you are relatively calm and relax. Each part should be completed in excruciating detail. Lots and lots and lots and lots of detail.

How To Apologize When It Matters: Own, Apologize, Repair

What Do You Mean, “How to Apologize”? A lot of folks are reading this thinking “don’t I just say ‘I’m sorry’”? Actually, it’s not that simple. We were often taught how to apologize as children by being forced to apologize when we weren’t really sorry. So a lot of us default to grudging words mumbled under our breaths. Some of us default to defensive, half-yelling sarcastic words tossed in anger. But neither of those ways of apologizing serves to preserve and improve relationships. And that’s the goal, right?  “Harm” vs “offend” Offend is a judgment word, and relates to feelings …

The Four “F”s of Fear: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn

What Are the Four “F”s of Fear? Those of us who live with PTSD and other anxiety disorders live with frequent, sometimes constant, fear. “The tiger in the tent” refers to the belief, deeply held in our basal ganglia, that we are in immediate danger. We use the four “f”s of fear to help us understand what our “lizard brain” is trying to do.  The “lizard brain” lives in the basal ganglia at the base of our skull.  It holds instinct, nightmare, habit, and fear, among other things. Mostly, it holds the things we do “without thinking”. The fearful lizard …

Parenting: The Case Of The Dirty Rotten Little Milk-Spiller

The Case of the Dirty Rotten Little Milk-Spiller Once upon a time, there were three parents. Or grandparents. Or other adults in charge of a child. You decide. Each of the parents was asked to deal with the (dirty rotten) little milk-spiller, Kiddo.  setting the scene for the Little MIlk-Spiller: Parent is talking on the phone. It’s an important call, and the person on the other end of the phone is important to them.  Relaxing in a chair in the carpeted living room, Parent isn’t paying close attention to Kiddo. Kiddo is suspiciously quiet. No one else is at home.

Executive Function Pt 1: What Is It?

Executive Function Pt 1: What Is It? As always, busy life and my own executive function issues prevent same-day article and video publication. First, watch the video. It comes complete with my standard fidgeting with my fingers and rambling as I wander off my outline and back on again. Let me know what you think in the comments here or on YouTube.  Executive Function: Definition and Explanation Executive function has a lot of definitions.  The best one I’ve found came from an article in Annual Review of Psychology written by Adele Diamond (click on the link to read the entire …

Do You Mind? (Tackling THE THING)

I mean, really. Do you spend your days spinning and your nights sleepless, realizing all of the things you could have done with your days? THE THING you could have been doing with your days? It could be you’re struggling with an executive function deficit. That means that because of injury or illness or exhaustion, the part of your brain that is supposed to help you make decisions isn’t doing its job properly. Tackling the thing feels extremely difficult or impossible.  THE THING is also commonly known as “the impossible task,” which is the task that your brain is telling you …