Facing Those Gnarly Emotional Waves

I recently learned about urge surfing. This mindfulness practice offers an alternative to white-knuckling through an impulse or craving. Psychologist Alan Marlatt, PhD, used this concept when working with clients recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. But the technique seems useful for any addictive behavior or bad habit. Research suggests that suppression of urges... Read more »

Confronting Stigma: Borderline Personality Disorder

For many, getting the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) comes as a relief. Finally, something to explain the mood swings, constant fear of abandonment, and relationship challenges. For others, it becomes an obstacle to treatment. Understandably, working with someone with BPD can be quite challenging, and often therapists allow only a few in their... Read more »

Profiles in Beauty: Luz Jiménez

Having grown up in Chicago, a visit to the Art Institute triggers many memories. The first-grade field trip where we learned about Seurat’s Pointillism. Unfortunately, my attempts to re-create his work with crayons proved unsuccessful. I also can recall visits with my high school pals where much of our time was spent giggling and giving... Read more »

"Turkey Neck"--No, Not the One in Your Giblet Gravy

I should learn to avoid scanning the programming guide on our TV. We have a DVR with plenty of stuff recorded. (I’m so behind on “Downton Abbey”!) But sometimes I just want to find something unexpected to watch. Or, I want to see if any of the History Channels are showing—you know—history. OK, OK, I’m... Read more »

Drunkenness Isn't as Funny as It Used to Be (And That’s OK)

Foster Brooks. “Otis” the town drunk from “The Andy Griffith Show.” Dudley Moore in Arthur. These are examples of funny drunks. They made us laugh and we didn’t worry too much about their livers. A recent 10-year study found that 3 million Americans over the age of 55 struggle with alcohol abuse. Even more alarming... Read more »

Skinned Knees and Broken Hearts

I fell down the other day. Nothing particularly dramatic. I was trying to step over a parking lot divider. My coat was sort of long and I got one leg over but just couldn’t quite get that other one to cooperate. Down I went. Aside from being embarrassed, I was fine. Later, when I was... Read more »

Shameless social media plug

Hey–Wanted to let you know I have launched a Facebook page where I plan on sharing info, latest mental health news, and updates on my professional doings. You can also follow me on Twitter. End of shameless social media plug.

Meet “The Shredder"

We adopted our dog Owen in 2008 from a rescue organization. He is a West Highland white terrier, but when we met him, we could not find the “white.” Owen had never been bathed or groomed. Our new 11-month-old puppy was filthy and stinky but very sweet. Owen is fairly smart and remarkably not a... Read more »

Body Image Report Card: School of Rock

It was an exciting New Year’s Eve at my house. We stayed home, put on our jim-jams, ate snacks, and flipped through Netflix looking for something to watch. Of course I would have been satisfied watching “The Walking Dead” marathon on AMC—hour after hour of Darryl Dixon? Yes please! But, that didn’t seem appropriate for... Read more »

Confronting Stigma: Understanding Self-Injury

Happy Holidays! Let’s talk about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Yay, right? No, I’m not trying to be a downer, but for some, the holidays trigger high levels of stress and anxiety. And some turn to NSSI to relieve their intense feelings. Family visits, travel, shopping, disruptions to sleeping and eating patterns—all of these can up-end our... Read more »
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    Nancy Hall, MA, NCC, LPC I am a staff therapist at The Awakening Center, a private practice with offices in Lakeview, Des Plaines, and Millennium Park. In addition to seeing individual clients, I facilitate a weekly meditation group and co-lead a weekly trauma-healing group. I also lead a meditation group at 10Plus Wellness in Lake Forest. Follow me on Twitter @ngh65. Like/Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nancyhalltac

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