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Showing posts from February, 2015

Cognitive Distortion of the month: Negative Filter

In 2014, Dr. Taft and I took turns writing monthly entries on rare diseases, in order to bring more awareness to the psychosocial aspects of living with chronic illness. In 2015, we are going to do a monthly blog entry on various cognitive distortions (although we are off to a late start!). For February, I am writing about the distortion called "negative filter". But first, let's discuss what a cognitive distortion is. It is simply an unhelpful thought pattern that is very common but lead people to feeling stuck in depression or anxiety. Since we are big believers in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) here at Oak Park Behavioral Medicine, we wanted to spend some time looking into the various patterns that trip people up. CBT is a theory that looks at three aspects of a person: thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Photo Credit A negative filter is when a person views information through a negative lens. The positive aspects of life are disregarded, and the negative aspects a…

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

Continuing on the topic of relationships, I thought it would be great opportunity to review several journal articles and get the “expert opinions” on what healthy relationships look like. While many articles featured their own spin and interpretation of positive responses in relationships, many concepts remained the same. Let’s explore these traits!
According to many marriage and family therapists,emotional responsibilityis highly valued for a successful relationship. If someone is unable to take responsibility for their own feelings, pressure is placed on their partner to create personal happiness, wellness and security. The problem with making your partner responsible for your emotions is the likelihood you will experience disappointment. When your partner fails to meet your expectations emotionally, people feel “emotionally abandoned.” Take ownership and responsibility of your feelings and do not ignore your feelings. Another trait for healthy relationships involves empathy and comp…

Being fully present in a technological world

Welcome to the age of technology. Over half of the global adult population is set to own a smartphone by the end of 2015 and over 75% of Americans own them right now. We now can multi-task wherever we go- and are running into each other like crazy. Many of you have seen the video of the man who almost ran into a wild bear on the loose in Los Angeles because he was texting. There is even a city in China that is testing out a special lane on their sidewalks for people texting and walking so others won't bump into them. We have reached a new low, people.


Recently, the staff of "New Tech City", a podcast created by NPR, addressed the issue of how much time we spend on our phone all day. They presented a challenge, starting this first week of February,  called Bored and Brilliant: The Lost Art of Spacing Out. It asks people to think about the last time they were truly bored- and to figure out how much time they are spending on their phones using on the apps they suggest. I p…