PS 036: Bullying with Israel (Izzy) Kalman.

My guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Israel (Izzy) Kalman.  Izzy obtained his Master of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.  He is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist who has been working in schools and private practice since 1978. Izzy has developed methods that use role playing to teach basic psychological principles for solving bullying, aggression and relationship problems.

Bullying with words or actions is unacceptable, and we need to work together to make it stop. Bullying can take various forms including: teasing, gossiping, excluding, and hitting. Bullying can occur in person and online (cyber bullying). Bullying has changed over the years, and we need to understand how to deal with modern day bullies.  During the show, you’ll hear Izzy and me role-play an example of how to disempower a bully. You’ll also learn what to do if you know a child who is being bullied.

CLICK HERE to download your free guide on how to deal with bullying!

PS 035: Irrelationship: How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I speak with the authors of Irrelationship:  How We use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy. 

Irrelationship is a jointly created psychological defense system that two or more people maintain to avoid awareness of the anxiety that’s part of becoming intimate with others, especially feelings about letting people see and know us for who we really are.

Mark B. Borg, Jr., (PhD) is a community and clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. He is founding partner of The Community Consulting Group, a consulting firm that trains community stakeholders, local governments and other organizations to use psychoanalytic techniques in community rebuilding and revitalization.

Grant H. Brenner (MD) is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, specializing in treating mood & anxiety disorders & the complex problems arising from developmental childhood trauma. He works from a humanistic & integrative perspective, incorporating evidence-based approaches as well as innovative techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) & neurofeedback.

Daniel Berry (RN, MHA) has practiced as a Registered Nurse in New York City since 1987. Working in in-patient, home care and community settings, his work has taken him into some of the city’s most privileged households as well as some of its most underserved and dangerous public housing projects in Manhattan and the South Bronx.

During the podcast, we discuss how people in irrelationship can generally be described as falling into the category of either Performer or Audience. The Performer is driven to caretaking of the Audience while the Audience hangs back, allowing the Performer to continue and even escalate efforts to “rescue” or “fix” him or her. Paradoxically, by hanging back, the Audience is covertly taking care of the Performer allowing him to act out his need to be a rescuer. For both parties, this process fends off anxiety, but in so doing, they jointly eliminate the possibility—or risk—of developing a genuine, meaningful relationship.For most people, intimacy is likely to be both desired and feared. This conflict is at the heart of irrelationship, which develops as a result of a break in the development of a secure attachment as children.

Listen in and learn how to tell if you’re affected by irrelationship and what you can do about it.

PS 034: Sexual Anorexia with Candice Christiansen (M.Ed., CMHC)

My guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Candice Christiansen. Candice is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist-Supervisor, Certified EMDR Trauma Therapist, and Certified Abel Assessor. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2002 with a Master’s of Education-Counseling Speciality. Her clinical background includes: working with sexual offenders in a half-way house and outpatient setting, treating survivors of domestic abuse in transitional housing, starting and overseeing an intensive day treatment substance abuse program in Scottsdale, Arizona, and overseeing a Substance Abuse Residential Treatment Program in Sandy, Utah. Candice founded Namaste Center for Healing in 2014 with the intention of assisting individuals, couples and families with trauma, intimacy issues and other addictions/aversions in finding long-term recovery.

Sexual anorexia is an obsession with avoiding anything sexual, which can even include non-sexual behavior like hugging. It’s a coping skill that’s helps the individual feel safe by being in control of their body and deciding who does what to it.  Treating sexual anorexia can include looking at past trauma, neglect, and whether a person was teased about their body or sexual development.  Even having a parent treat their child like a surrogate partner can be a factor.  Both men and women can have sexual anorexia, and nurturing plays a big role.  Tune in to learn more about this fascinating topic.

PS 033: The Power of Play Therapy With Pam Dyson (MA, LPC-S, RPT-S)

My guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Pam Dyson. Pam is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, child development expert and parenting coach.  In addition to her private practice in Plano, Texas she provides consultation and supervision services and facilitates play therapy workshops at conferences throughout the US. She is the recipient of the Association for Play Therapy 2013 Key Award for Professional Education and Training and is currently serving a three year term on the APT Board of Directors. Pam is the founder and director of the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training. 

Play therapy is a theoretical model of therapy that helps children prevent problems, resolve behavioral difficulties, and achieve optimal growth and development.  During our discussion, we explain that play is an important means of communication for children.  While play therapy generally includes children ages 3-12, it’s not limited to this age group. In fact, therapies for teens and adults include art based play, sand tray and miniatures.  There’s also efficacy in using play therapy with family therapy and groups. Play therapy can even be an effective form of treatment for those with dementia as a way of helping the client reconnect with their inner child and play out their life experiences.

Play therapy is even helpful with working through trauma and the resistance that comes with it.  Talk therapy is more left brained while expressive therapy (like play) stimulates the right side of the brain, which can help children and adults bridge their trauma narrative.

Pam and I also cover how to structure play therapy sessions, including what types of toys and materials can be used in therapeutic play!


PS 032: Postpartum Depression with Jay Noricks (PhD)

In this episode, I discuss Postpartum Depression with Jay Noricks (PhD). Dr. Noricks received his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in Psychological Anthropology. He specializes in trauma therapy using an approach called Parts Psychology.

Dr. Noricks explains that everybody has Parts. It’s in normal language as in “A part of me wants to leave him, but another part of me can’t imagine life without him.” Or “My brain says one thing and my heart says another.” Heart and brain are two different kinds of parts. The Parts of a person are where memories are stored.

Postpartum depression is similar to major depression, but it follows right after birth or right after miscarriage or stillbirth. Symptoms are often specific to motherhood, but it’s different from the “baby blues.” Feelings of abandonment are frequently important in postpartum depression. But a history of chronic trauma or abuse in childhood can also bring feelings of helplessness or powerlessness that are activated by childbirth. This can be another source of postpartum depression.

During our discussion, we explore this trauma-based, self-state therapy for emotional healing. And we talk about the complexity of memories.  Implicit emotional memories are attached to factual memories of what happened where and when. Neutralizing painful memories connected to actual events involves working with parts of the self.  This can be an effective approach to facilitate emotional healing from various traumatic events, not just PTSD associated with childbirth. 

Thanks for listening! -Jimmie

PS 031: Borderline Personality Disorder With Daniel J. Fox (PhD)

During this session, I discuss BPD with Daniel J. Fox (PhD). Dr. Fox has been specializing in the treatment and assessment of individuals with personality disorders for over 15 years in the state and federal prison system, universities, and in private practice. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of Texas and has published several articles on personality, ethics, and neurofeedback.  His specialty areas include personality disorders, ethics, and emotional intelligence. Dr. Fox has been teaching and supervising students for over 15  years at various universities across the country, some of which include West Virginia University, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, and Florida State University.

People with Borderline Personality Disorder have a strong sense of abandonment, and they are at greater risk to have a psychotic episode, which can further complicate matters, even if it’s a brief psychotic break because of the increased risk of misdiagnosis.  During the session, you’ll learn about how important it is to make an accurate diagnosis and focus on things like: intensive efforts to avoid being alone, patterns of unstable, intense interpersonal relationships, patterns in poor self-identity, recurrent suicidal behavior in response to a stressor, and the paranoia or disassociation which tends to be short lived without hallucinations.  When it comes to differentiating BPD from bipolar, it’s important to look for triggers and behavioral responses. 

People with BPD experience changes in mood and behavior that can last anywhere from minutes to hours. It’s a very difficult disorder to live with and manage, so it’s critical that a diagnosis only be made by a licensed mental health professional. The good news is that BPD is treatable. And it’s important for clinicians to see BPD as a dual construct, that is there is core content and surface content. Surface content being things like depression and anxiety. And core content being what’ driving it, like fear of abandonment, empty self, variable self image and intense loneliness.  Check out the podcast to learn more about Bipolar Personality Disorder.

PS 030: Brain Trauma, Concussions, & Sports Psychiatry With Lawrence Tucker (M.D.)

My guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Lawrence Tucker (M.D.). Dr. Tucker is a Newport Beach Psychiatrist.  He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has been involved in research involving traumatic brain injuries and Sports Psychiatry, and he is a distinguished member of the International Society of Sports Psychiatry.  Dr. Tucker attended UCLA School of Medicine, for his Medical Degree, and stayed at UCLA for his internship and residency in Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Tucker’s training and research in traumatic brain injuries and Sports Psychiatry led him to develop an interest into Single Photon Computed Tomography (SPECT) imaging.  He trained under Dr. Amen and was the Medical Director of Mind Matters of Texas, which was an Amen-affiliated SPECT imaging center, before establishing his own private clinic in Plano, Texas.  He has contributed and co-authored a book titled, “Failure to launch”.  He’s the recipient of a long list of awards, including the 2013 Top Doctor in Texas Award, by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals.

During the session, we discuss the increased focus on Traumatic Brain Injury associated with veterans, brain trauma from home accidents and traffic wrecks, and the NFL’s growing concussion problem. This session is packed with practical information that will help you understand how a concussion affects the brain and body. You’ll also learn about some of the physical and cognitive challenges that may occur due to a brain injury. 

PS 029: Self-Injury With Lori Vann (MA, LPC-S)

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I discuss self-injury with Ms. Lori Vann, MA, LPC-S.  Lori is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor & media consultant.  Her area of expertise is self-injury, having worked with over 400 individuals and presented on the topic over 60 times.

Self-injury is not just a rebellious teen girl issue. During the session, we discuss some of the mistakes that well-meaning parents or even professionals can make when reacting to the news that their child/client might be harming them self. We also explore what role the media plays in promoting or perpetuating self-injury. You’ll even get some expert advice on what to do if you have a friend or loved one who is involved in self-injury.

PS 028: Bipolar Disorder in Young Adults with Melissa Deuter (MD)

In this episode of Psych Sessions, Melissa Deuter (MD) and I discuss Bipolar Disorder. Dr. Deuter is a board certified psychiatrist in San Antonio, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She completed psychiatry residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.   Dr. Deuter currently holds an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UTHSCSA and is the course director for the resident training seminar on Eating Disorders.   

Whether you’re a young adult struggling with some of the signs/symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, or you’re a friend or family member, or a professional working in the mental health field, we all play an important part in ensuring those with Bipolar Disorder get the help they need to enjoy happy and fulfilling lives.

PS 027: Emotional Development in Students with Elizabeth Carr (MA, LPC, NCC)

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I talk with Elizabeth Carr (MA, LPC, NCC). Elizabeth is a Licensed Professional Counselor, specializing in positive social and emotional development interventions for varying student populations.  She holds a BA in Psychology from Purdue University and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Argosy University in 2012. She is licensed in Texas, Michigan, and certified nationally.  Elizabeth began her career in student support services in Dallas, Texas, working for various public, charter, and private schools developing individualized and campus wide solution-focused, positive behavior intervention programs for students in special education.

Elementary and middle school are some of the most important years because this is a time where you learn some of the most essential skills that you need in life.  During this session, we discuss the signs to look for that will help you identify a student who might be struggling and need extra help. We also talk about why it’s important to include them in making decisions. Increasing communication is important, and it will help prevent misunderstandings. Clearly, balance is key and it’s hard work, but it’s certainly worth the effort.