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Mettā Practice

The meditation practice described below is called a mettā practice. Mettā translates roughly as “loving-kindness” from Pāli (a Sanskrit dialect). It’s one way to help yourself break out of the “autopilot” of self- (and other- ) criticism – the unconstructive kind. In this mettā practice, you’re going to be practicing the intention for well-being in yourself, then going through a list of …

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Brain Myths for $400, Alex

As a culture, we’re paying more and more attention to the brain, wanting to understand it, talking about it. This morning I overheard a goofy morning radio show ask their “Question of the Day,” and the DJ told listeners to get their frontal lobes fired up. Overall, that’s good news. In a similar way, it’s good news that we casually use words and …

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Basic Mindfulness Practice Intro – Audio Download

I’ve created a basic introduction to mindfulness practice that you can download for free. I hope you’ll take a little time to read why, as a neuropsychologist and a rabid fan of well-done scientific research, I’ve done this—even though some might initially consider it “fluff.” (If you’d rather skip this, you can go directly to the download link.) As recently …

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Optimizing Your Brain

The brain’s the thing. It’s a gloppy collection of staggering numbers of neurons and other stuff, made up mostly of water, that can’t support its own weight if you put it on a table (which I don’t recommend). The fluid that supports it in your skull is about the same density as the brain itself. In short: It’s delicate, unbelievably …

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Fair and Accurate Insurance Reimbursement for Psychotherapy

Getting the Information You Need To Receive Fair and Accurate Insurance Reimbursement for Psychotherapy I’ve written this guide to help you get the information you need from your insurance company to get the full benefit of your policy.  Make sure your insurance company is handling the reimbursement fairly and accurately, and that their formula for calculating your reimbursement is based …

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Sleep, light, your electronic devices, and melatonin

Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone related to sleep, needs to be released a few hours before bedtime. In a “natural” situation (one without artificial lights), daylight wanes, melatonin is secreted, and a couple of hours later, you’re drowsy and ready to sleep. Not only does bright light in the evening make it hard for melatonin release, light in the blue end of …

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Your Baby SHOULDN’T Read

Why early reading – let alone from a DVD – is a lousy deal for babies (Originally published May 27, 2010) Most often, the bottom-line reason people find their way to my psychotherapy practice is because of relationship issues — struggling marriages, unsuccessful dating, lousy relationships with family and/or coworkers — and of course, their relationships with themselves are also …

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Are You Wired for Romance?

Here’s an interview I did with HealYourLife.com, where we discuss mindfulness and how it helps rewire us for healthier and happier relationships. I love doing this work with people in my psychotherapy practice. Are You Wired for Romance? Marsha, what does mindfulness have to do with relationships?  Aren’t relationships about interaction and isn’t meditation something you do by yourself? You’ve …

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Rewiring Your Brain for Healthy Empathy: Acquiring a Voltmeter

In “rewiring your brain for love,” one of the benefits of mindfulness practice when it comes to relationships could be thought of as acquiring a voltmeter — that quality of empathy that allows you the ability to accurately read the voltage between you and your partner. Unfortunately, many people don’t “do” empathy in a way that supports a healthy relationship. I’ve posted below an …