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Woman Standing on Dock
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Tough Conversations: Talking about suicide
Recent high profile suicides and the popularity of the show 13 Reasons Why have made it apparent that this is an issue that is increasingly commonplace and yet incredibly misunderstood. The CDC reports that in the United States, deaths by suicide have been increasing over the last decade.
Blue Summer: Summer-onset seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Most people have heard of seasonal affective disorder, commonly referred to as SAD. If you have never lived in a place where there is a distinct winter season, you may think of the disorder as something difficult to understand, but the truth is that about 4-6% of people suffer from wintertime depression. Still, after a quick bit of research, you'll realize that it makes perfect sense for people to feel blue as the sun disappears and days get shorter causing vitamin D deficiency and making it harder to get motivated for exercise and outdoor activities.
The Confidence Factor: Tips to boost self-efficacy and success
Defining Confidence
You know a confident person when you see one. They are cool and self-assured. Confidence is the belief that you can do what you set out to do. It is a trust in the self and certainty in one's abilities. It may seem like a skill that is arbitrarily handed out to some and not to others, but in truth, anyone can become more confident.
Labor of Love: Signs You are in a Great Relationship
In our culture, a lot of attention is focused on the negative aspects of romance, love, and marriage. But today, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to celebrate great relationships and look at what keeps them going and growing. This post is about all the things that make being a part of a committed romantic relationship so rewarding.
#METOO on Campus: The Danger of Sexual Assault
The #MeToo movement has captured national attention by making front page what has long been a dark secret. This movement has been a catalyst for many eye-opening and heartbreaking conversations. It has been sobering to read and hear the confessions of long-kept secrets from so many women in the public eye and our personal lives.
Dangerous Relationships: Why Ambivalent Friends are the Most Unhealthy
We all know toxic people and we all know that they are dangerous to our emotional well being. They are the naysayers or dream killers in our lives who always seem to make us feel like we are not good enough or smart enough.
Get Connected: Real-World Relationships in the Digital Age
For all of the convenience of the modern world, from GPS systems to smartphones, interpersonal relationships seem to be getting more difficult to negotiate in the digital age. It may seem counter intuitive that in a time where we are more connected to those in our social networks more often than at any other point in history, so many people feel lonely and detached from one another.
In a Funk: Why Depression Awareness Month Matters
October is Depression Awareness Month and as the month draws to a close, I think it is important to review the key indicators of depression. This is a great opportunity to help move toward greater understanding and improve education about depression, its symptoms, prevalence, and some of the courses of treatment available.
How Peer Support Can Increase Student Mental Health
A number of great interventions for improving student mental health have been gaining recognition lately. Among them, increased mental health services in schools and universities, links to off-campus therapists, anti-stigma campaigns, and numerous efforts at raising awareness of mental health issues.
Dial Direct: How to respond to passive-aggression in daily life
You’ve all heard the phrase passive-aggressive and chances are that you have also experienced the behavior in your daily lives. But do you really know what passive-aggressive means and why people exhibit this behavior? When you experience passive-aggression, do you know the best way to neutralize it?
FALL UPDATE: Mental Health on Campus
A recent report in the U.K. revealed that not only are universities unable to cope with the increasing numbers of students suffering from mental health conditions but also that students are killing themselves at an alarming (and increasing) rate.  Another report from UniHealth stated that 82% of university students in the UK experience anxiety and stress and 1 in 5 have suicidal thoughts. In Canada, the situation is much the same.
Millennials and the Potential for Self-Actualization
The idea that reaching one's fullest potential is something worth striving for doesn't get enough attention in our hyper-distracted modern landscape. Many of us are preoccupied with shorter-term, more easily gratified pursuits, but the long game of personal grown is definitely one worth striving for.
Soft Skills: Emotional intelligence and success
In 1990, scientists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey came up with the concept of emotional intelligence. The term described a form of social intelligence that included the ability to...
Embarking on Your Journey: tips for college freshmen
Starting college is one of the most exciting times in a young adult's life. It is a time of unprecedented freedom and excitement. It begins a new chapter of your life where you make your own choices and taking complete responsibility for yourself and your behavior. No one is there to remind you to eat and get enough sleep or wake up in time for class. You are in control.
Finding your brightest future!
Recently a friend asked me what it actually meant be a certified success coach. I figured that if one person was wondering, there were probably several others who also wanted to know. To that end, this month I am dedicating my post to explaining what a certified life and success coach does, and why working with one can be beneficial.
Making Their Way: Unique challenges of being a Millennial
When you see the numbers, you may wonder what is happening with Generation Y.
• Millennials make up about a quarter of the U.S. population
• 37% of millennials are unemployed • Approximately 1/3 of millennials still live with parents
• In 2013, only 30 % of young people (ages 20-34) were married, (compared to 77% in 1960)
Gratitude is Good For You!
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful for what is, some noteworthy aspects of gratitude are: 
Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness 
Gratitude recognizes that this goodness comes from outside of the self
Neverland: The alarming new trend with Millennial men
Recently there have been several articles in prominent publications and television news pieces about the alarming trend of young men failing to launch into adulthood. Many of the articles look at this disturbing trend from the angle that positions young women as more ambitious and better educated than their male counterparts making the story seem like a positive one. In reality, even though celebrating the achievements of young women is wonderful and vitally important to our society, the fact that it seems to be happening at the expense of young men, or in contrast to the dramatic decrease in motivation of males, is a very real problem with potentially far-reaching consequences. Women are not getting ahead strictly on the basis of increased effort, though they are definitely working hard. There is another factor at play that we could not have predicted.
Campus Concerns: Mental health impacts dropout rates
In recent headlines, there have been an increasing number of news stories and opinion pieces looking at what’s been called a college mental health crisis by some and an epidemic of mental illness on campus by others. Whatever you call it, there is certainly a problem with college students and young adults getting adequate access to appropriate mental health care resources. A study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine noted an increasing number (2.6%) of mental health-related ED visits made by young adults (19-25). This study suggests that a lack of proper mental health resources is to blame for this upswing. Not knowing where to go for mental health related concerns, young people are going to the emergency room with greater frequency. There are also more news and media sources paying attention and drawing important conclusions about the high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression facing young adults today. This increase in the prevalence of mental health conditions is impacting young people during college years and causing problems that have longer lasting effects, leading to an increasing number of dropouts among those suffering from untreated mental health issues.
Emerging adulthood: Time for decisions and revisions.
In past years, graduation has been a time of excitement and possibility. More often now, I listen to my patients express worry and fear as the big day draws closer.
Has a hookup left you feeling like an emotional zombie?
Match.com has cornered the market on creating happy marriages via the internet according to their commercials, and technology has certainly enabled people to connect with distant soul mates. However, the advent of social media, consisting of random bytes of information flung into the public sphere without thought to consequences, responsibility, or the emotional impact on others, has also led to more fragile relationships in many cases; students who rely heavily on virtual interactions to sustain them socially, often miss the more valuable aspects of real-world connections.
Alcohol and College Students: new consequences for old addictions
‘Drink! Drink! Drink!’ The refrain of a frat party on a modern campus? Certainly. But the same shouts rang out in the 20s and 30s when theater-going scholars embraced William Meyer-Fosters’s play Old Heidleberg, the story of a young German prince experiencing college’s trials and tribulations. When the play was adapted into a popular operetta called The Student Prince in 1954, young college students of the conservative post-World War II era could be heard singing the 'Drinking Song' with its rousing chorus of ‘Drink! Drink! Drink!’ in gatherings across college campuses.
Social media and loneliness in college
The emotional health of incoming college students has plummeted in recent years reaching its lowest level in a quarter of a century. Meanwhile, their stress levels have increased drastically due in part to greater financial strains and the foreknowledge of limited career options upon graduation. Technology, which on the one hand provides young people with wide open windows upon the world, has also narrowed students' real time social networks.
Freshman Year: the best of times and the worst of times
The transition from high school to college both invigorates and excites teenagers. Yet even happy transitions may cause stress and raise mixed feelings because of their potential to overturn a young person's sense of identity and disrupt the fragile balance of familiarity.
Wallflower Power: Why Understanding Introversion is Important
As noted in my previous article on the subject: “Introverts tend to be reserved and solitary, while extroverts are typically characterized as outgoing and social.” We have already discussed the fact that about 25% of the population is thought to be introverted. The primary differences between introverts and extroverts are neurological and biological. Introvert brains processes information differently, using many parts of the brain when making decisions and coming to conclusions, and therefore, they have slower processing speeds. The other key difference between introverts and extroverts is the way they feel about social situations. Extroverts tend to feel alive and energized in groups and social settings, while introverts can quickly become exhausted when they are required to interact with a group. Introverts need lots of quiet, alone time to replenish themselves.
Going Places: Finding Your Life's Work
Whether you are 23 or 43, figuring out what you want to do with your life can present a serious challenge. According to Abraham Maslow’s oft cited Hierarchy of Needs, self actualization rests at the top of the five stage pyramid and is the last of the humans needs to be achieved as one moves through life. It makes sense that more basic needs like psychological and safety requirements must be met before higher level needs like esteem and self actualization can be accomplished. Typically, a satisfying career fits into the higher stages of a system like this. It is not essential to survival, but it is key to high functioning and emotional growth that one finds work that is challenging and fulfilling.
Let it Go! Knowing When to End a Relationship
As you move through your lives, you will inevitably grow and change. Often, as you make big, positive changes, you begin to see that some of the ways that you have been doing things have not been serving you very well. When this type of shift occurs, you will find that some of the people in your world no longer share the same values as you do or support you in ways that are meaningful. Sometimes you just know that you need to break free from a relationship, be it a friendship or a romantic partnership, but feel reluctant to hurt the other person. This is a challenging situation for anyone, and one that deserves deep consideration.
Fighting for the Future: Students in Virginia Help Make Mental Health Resources Available to Everyone
As I noted in my previous blog on this subject, over the last decade, there has been a dramatic rise in mental health issues for students nationwide. With a quarter of 18-24 year olds estimated to have diagnosable mental illnesses, we really do appear to be having a mental health crisis. An increasing number of colleges and universities are taking positive and responsible action to ensure the safety and well-being of students by setting up mental health centers and providing students with information about additional mental health resources. Still, the relatively limited reach of a university mental health center may not be enough for some students, particularly if they don’t even know the center exists.
Speak My Language: Effectively Communicating Appreciation
With his own marriage still going strong after over 45 years, a successful career as a marriage counselor, and numerous marriage conferences under his belt, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise is pretty clearly demonstrated. He is passionate about helping people strengthen this key relationship in their lives by providing more effective tools for communication.
Resource Report: More Universities Provide Mental Health Services
After reading a recent article focusing on Tulane's concerns over the rise in mental health problems among students and other similar articles about the “mental health crisis” among university students and the staggering increase in anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions on campuses nationwide, I thought I would write about the resources that are available to students at more and more college and university campuses across the country. At an ever-increasing number of schools, mental health centers are popping up and providing students with important resources for coping with stress and anxiety, as well as dealing with larger issues. Universities administering psychological support to students is a big step forward, though still a relatively new practice.
Modern Love: Communication Styles of Men and Women
It is often noted that men and women communicate and process emotions differently. If we recognize, appreciate, and embrace differences, it can help us have more satisfying relationships. Let’s break down a few of the key differences in communication styles and look at how understanding them can improve our relationships. It is important to note that there are lots of exceptions to the generalizations below, I am simply attempting to shine a little light onto an issue that can cause conflict in many relationships.
Working World: Career Advice for Millennials
The job environment that Millennials find themselves in, is different than any that has come before. Fortunately for many of you reading this, a recent article posted by HowMoneyWalks.com suggests that New Orleans is the best city to be launching your careers in. This rating was determined by looking at four key factors:
Secrets of a Manufactured Romance
In 1997 psychologist Arthur Aron and a team of colleagues published the results of a study designed to look at interpersonal closeness. In the experiment, the team was successful at making two strangers fall in love. How did he do it you ask? The experiment was quite straightforward. Two heterosexual participants (who were also strangers) entered a lab. One was male, one was female. They were required to sit across from one another and answer a series of 36 personal questions, which started out almost playful, eventually becoming quite penetrating, among them were questions like:
At Odds: When Friends are Frenemies
Friendships fall into various categories. Each with its own level of significance and impact on your overall level of social and emotional satisfaction. There are close friends and casual acquaintances. But there is another type of friend that you’ve probably encountered, the frenemy. First appearing in print in 1953, this term has become commonplace terminology in popular culture. The word frenemy is a combination of friend and enemy that points to relationships that are affable yet antagonistic. From the pervasiveness of this concept, it seems nearly everyone has had an encounter with one of these chums.
Biology of Love: Brain Chemistry and Relationships
Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist who studies love, romance & personality and the chief scientific advisor at Match.com. She has written two books, books Anatomy of Love and Why We Love that look at the biology of who we choose to fall in love with. Recently, her Ted talk and NPR interview have given me some food for thought. I wanted to share some of what I have learned with you.
Labor of Love: Signs You are in a Great Relationship
In our culture, a lot of attention is focused on the negative aspects of romance, love, and marriage. But today, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to celebrate great relationships and look at what keeps them going and growing. This post is about all the things that make being a part of a committed romantic relationship so rewarding.
6 Ways to Care for the Introverts in Your Life
Carl Jung popularized the terms Introvert and Extrovert. Introverts tend to be reserved and solitary, while Extroverts are typically characterized as outgoing and social. These two human personality traits are thought to exist on a single continuum, each representing an opposite end. It is understood that an individual’s levels of introversion and extroversion can fluctuate throughout the span of a lifetime.
How to Cope with Ghosting
Ghosting has made headlines lately. It is a relatively new term for what some consider to be a 21st century dating problem. An informal survey of friends will generate myriad tales of being ghosted, and the ensuing confusion and emotional fallout.
How to Discuss Eating Disorders
In my last blog post, we looked at the signs of an eating disorder. This week I am going to discuss what you can do if you believe that a friend has an eating disorder.
Signs of an Eating Disorder
In the United States, it is estimated that between 24-30 million teens and adults have eating disorders. Women and girls tend to have eating disorders more frequently than men and boys, but in recent years, the number of males with eating disorders has increased to about 10-15% of the overall number of individuals with eating disorders. Living in a culture that is pretty much obsessed with image, in which magazines and online sources crop and airbrush models and celebrities to perfection, can have an impact on how people see themselves. This can be particularly damaging to emerging adults who are in the process of refining who they are as autonomous individuals. It is between the ages of 12-25 that eating disorders are most common. It can be difficult not to feel hyper-conscious of your body when society is telling you that to be happy and successful, you must look a certain way, it is almost impossible to escape the pressure to look perfect.
Sleep on It: Why adequate rest is essential for emerging adults
Throughout your life the amount of sleep you require changes, as do many other aspects of your physical and psychological landscape. One thing that remains constant is the fact that you need to get enough sleep. Enough sleep for college students and young adults is about 8 hours per night. The National Institute of Health notes that college students are one of the most sleep deprived segments of the population. This data matters because sleep deprivation has a negative effect on memory, concentration, and students’ ability to learn. This problem affects a major portion of the population, as 70% of Americans deal with the negative impacts of chronic sleep loss and other sleep disorders and most college students report sleep deprivation and insufficient and irregular sleep, both leading to daytime sleepiness. The results are lower GPAs, academic failures, increased auto accidents, and impaired mood.
Moving in Together: What to consider before living with with your sweetheart
You have been dating awhile, you have met one another’s friends and families. You are exclusive and spend a lot of time at one another’s places. You think you are ready to take the next big step: cohabitation. There are lots of considerations you’ll want to understand before taking the leap. The planning and coordination involved in this first stage of the cohabitation process can be stressful, but it can also be a lot of fun. How well you work together as you search for a place, decide what to keep in your place together, and how to discuss money matter, will be a great indicator of how well matched you are for one another.
Sail Away! How Vacations Keep You Healthy & Happy
In the U.S. we are given far less vacation time than in most other countries. It seems we don’t fully understand the importance of taking time to rest and renew ourselves. About 40% of Americans fail to use the vacation time allotted them. In fact, a 2014 study demonstrated that in the U.S., on average, employees only take about half of the vacation time they are given and many of the people who do take vacation, work while away. This is likely true because, in spite of the fact that employees who take vacation time are more productive, have better morale, and have higher rates of retention, a study conducted by Forbes found that 17% of managers felt that employees who took vacation were less dedicated than those who did not.
Get Happy! Simple Ways to Feel Happier This Summer
Though it is far more reasonable to aim for contentment, than for a constant state of happiness, we all want lots of joy in our lives. As summer approaches and many of us spend more time doing things we love, we have a great opportunity to establish habits that will bring more joy into our lives going forward. Below are several ways you can make the most of your happiness.
Life Happens, sure. Relationships fizzle out, people pass away, and everyone is eventually told they have to ‘grow up’ and stop believing in unicorns. Even for those who continue to believe, there comes a time when expectations are suddenly askew, and nothing about our lives seems to fit right. Every generation is blindsided by the process, whether or not they remember it. Luckily, the process has been documented, and the facts are out: emerging adulthood is full of snafus, sideswipes and speed bumps- all of which can be overcome with a little patience, practice, and the utilization of the following tips:
Crisis: Danger or Opportunity? You Decide!
Wëijï, is the Chinese word for crisis. The symbols that make the word translate to mean transition point. In reality, it is a compound word with one symbol representing opportunity and the other symbol representing danger. You see, the Chinese view crisis as a two-edged sword that presents opportunity as well as danger.
You don't have to be perfect to be successful!
"When are you planning to submit that novel to an agent?" I asked my friend Allie.

She shrugged noncommittally, "I'm still revising. I just want it to be perfect."
See yourself through someone else's eyes
Confiding her fears and doubts about her new internship wasn’t easy for my young friend Sarah. Because she feels like an impostor, she has a strong compulsion to hide her fears. After all, confident people who know what they’re doing aren’t afraid of anything, right? Admitting her insecurities would tip everyone off to her fraud.
The impostor's lament
“I don’t deserve to be here,” Sarah said, fidgeting with the corner of her blouse.
Am I grown up yet?
This may seem like a funny question to ask. Surely, you must know if you’re grown up, right? Yet I find that’s often the very question that has my patients stumped and stressed out.
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."
~ Victor Frankel

Living is a process of adapting to change. No one escapes this reality and everyone is vulnerable to the uncertainty change brings.
PRACTICAL DREAMS: Are you facing failure or rejection? Look again. Perhaps it's actually opportunity you see.
"If one dream should break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick up one of those pieces and start again".
~ Flavia

Sometimes, a dream as you first envision it doesn't work out for you. Don't give up. Re-evaluate that dream. Perhaps you can adapt pieces of it into something just as rewarding. Adaptation is a creative process, not a symbol of failure. I call adaptation practical dreaming. A dream that didn't work as you envisioned it may prove to be your greatest success. From one broken dream you may discover a thousand more to pursue.
LIFE AFTER OZ: The Wizard You Need
"I know I'm not the Wizard you expected -- but I just might be the Wizard you need."
-- The Wizard of Oz, 1939 (movie trailer)

Isn't synchronicity amazing?.
LIFE AFTER OZ: I was petrified (but I did it anyway.)
"Frightened? Child, you're talking to a man who's laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe ... I was petrified. "
-- The Wizard of Oz

None of us escape life's first- and last-time moments. In large ways and small we encounter them repeatedly. Births and deaths. Our very first day in the very first grade at school, our very last day in the familiar halls of college. Everyone takes those first steps into the adult world of work and relationships. Some of us have to move beyond loss or injustice to find ourselves again. Whatever challenges us, we can learn to appreciate the opportunities, that a new start provides, even if beginning something new is scary.
LESSONS FROM OZ: Feet are made for walking
"And remember, never let those ruby slippers off your feet for a moment or you will be at the mercy of the Wicked Witch of the West."
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North

Have you ever thought about the power you have in your feet?
Helping You Become All That You Can Be!
My name is Eileen Wynne and I'm a licensed psychotherapist (LA LCSW) and life coach and it is my pleasure to welcome you to my blog!

Let me tell you a little bit about what I do. I've been providing psychotherapy to clients in my private practice and in hospital and university settings for over two decades. I help individuals resolve crisis situations, develop more effective ways to cope and gain resilience and ultimately, help my clients to achieve their goals. I am passionate about this work and I have helped many people change their lives for the better.
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