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Showing posts from January, 2013

5 Things You Don't Know About Your Therapist

In the spirit of getting back into blogging, I am going to be using some prompts, as I have noticed one of my biggest barriers to sitting down to write, is feeling like I have nothing to write about. Today, I am choosing to disclose five things you don't know about me. As Tiffany as said in a past blog post, therapists and clients have a unique relationship, where professional boundaries are important, and much thought should be given before sharing. Typically the client does most of the sharing in the therapeutic relationship, although tonight its my turn.   So sit back, I have a lot of pent up sharing that I don't get to do :)

1) Back when I was a special education teacher, I was bit by one of my the stomach. He went in for a hug, knowing I would be so happy he was showing emotion for once, and then latched onto my midsection...with his teeth. His teeth weren't just any set of teeth, he was armed with a double row of baby teeth on the bottom. Why, you ask? …

Be inspired.

Hello online followers-

Its been a long time since I've posted, and I've been dealing with my own health issues. As a patient, I am continually reminded of what a journey of learning it is when dealing with chronic illness. As soon as you think you have learned a lesson or mastered a skill, you get another opportunity to learn it again in a new way. I am happy to say that I am out of the hospital and have a new appreciation for the little things, and the baby steps of progress I am making.

But enough about me...I wanted to pass along some inspiration that I ran across this week. The first is an inspiring local teen from Park Ridge, IL, who has chronic pain from a connective tissue disorder. She is 17 years old and started a non-profit that gives strangers a chance to make a card for a child who is in the hospital. Check out her website to see what all she has done so far and how to make a card for someone who needs one. Small ways to reach out really do make a big difference.…

Our First Tweetchat & Thoughts on Stigma

Tomorrow, January 15th at 8:00 EST we'll be co-hosting a Tweetchat with the folks at Treatment Diaries.  In case you haven't heard of them, Treatment Diaries is an online community where people can write and share about their life with a chronic illness in an anonymous way.  It's a great website, so check it out if you haven't already.

Our Tweetchat is on your emotional and social life when living with a chronic illness.  We've written several blog entries on this, which we summarized some in our Treatment Diaries guest blog entry. So many things go into this and we only have 1 hour, but we think it will be a fruitful discussion, and we will learn so much from those who join in.  We hope to teach a few things while we're at it, too.

One topic we'll also be addressing is stigma toward those with chronic medical illnesses.  My doctoral dissertation was on stigma perceptions in people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and I've done a few studies on…

Guest Blog: The Birth of a Warrior

Today's entry is by Amanda Kasper, who shares her story of how her life was impacted by chronic illness in 2011, and how she is using her experience to guide her graduate studies in Public Health so she can be an advocate for those with chronic medical illness.  Thank you, Amanda, for contributing this wonderful piece to our blog.


The best day of your life  is the one on which you decide your life is your own. 
No apologies or excuses. 
No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. 
The gift is yours.  It's an amazing journey. & you alone are responsible for the quality of it. 
This is the day your life really begins.  ..Bob Moawad..
Almost more months ago than I remember, every moment I wasn't at work looked like this. Camped out at my favorite Starbucks, merely two blocks from my vintage city apartment, I spent evening hours and weekend mornings consumed in the process of applying to graduate school. Writing and rewriting and crafting personal statements for each school, reques…

5 Things You Didn't Know About Sleep

We all know we should get enough sleep, but do we always take care to do so?  In this month's Monitor on Psychology the topic is sleep and how it impacts our health.  Some of these findings may surprise you.

1.  Sleep restrictions directly affect your weight.  Do you have "lose weight" as one of your New Year's resolutions?  Then you might want to evaluate your sleep habits.  A 2012 study in theAmerican Journal of Human Biology found that sleeping less than 6 hours per night was significantly related to increased body mass index and obesity, especially in children and adolescents.  Reduced sleep changes your metabolism, appetite regulation, hunger, and food intake patterns.

2.  The less you sleep, the more unhealthy you eat.  Related to #1, but important regardless of if you're trying to lose weight, is that the less you sleep the poorer dietary choices you make.  People who sleep 5.5 hours or less per night consume more calories, especially from fatty foods, and…