Dr. Russ' Blog

Anxiety, CBT, and more!

Unintended Consequences

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  Sometimes solutions can create new problems. I recently read that, after the Titanic sank in 1912 and cost the lives of over 1500 people, steps were taken to increase the safety of ships. The number of lifeboats required was increased dramatically. But sadly, as Edward Tenner suggests, the increase in lifeboats on the S.S.Eastland in 1915 made that ship... View Article

going unnoticed girl looking out blinds

Going Unnoticed

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  When I was in seventh grade I thoroughly enjoyed Sherlock Holmes stories.  I remember how impressed I was with the brilliance of Sherlock Holmes in Silver Blaze. In that short story, a race horse disappears and some sheep are found injured. Only Sherlock Holmes notices that the dog, which would ordinarily bark if a stranger approached the sheep pen,... View Article

It’s OK to want to be alone sometimes, isn’t it?

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  Some people I’ve worked with have been sheepish while telling me that they get their “batteries recharged” by being alone. Most often I have thought of such comments as a useful tidbit of information that might help me to better understand the people I’m trying to help. People need to take the occasional breather, in whatever form that takes.... View Article

Celebrating Courage

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  If she were still alive today Rosa Parks would be celebrating her 100th birthday. She was, of course, the African-American woman who mustered the courage to say no to an Alabama bus driver who told her to move to the back of the bus and had her arrested. In doing so, she served as a spark for the civil... View Article

You Aren’t Alone

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  In my experience as a psychologist who treats anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias, I have seen people isolated and excluded by the disorders. My focus is, of course, on helping them conquer the problems. But during the process of learning the CBT tools to overcome the problem, how do they put one foot in front of another?   Consider... View Article

Valentine’s Day – A day to break the mold?

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  There are innumerable forces that can influence our actions…and our inaction. A recent CBS news video referenced how Japanese men (and women) have historically been discouraged by unseen cultural forces from publically expressing love.   We are told that most of the men in the video segment were uncomfortable even saying the L-word on Valentine’s Day. But each of... View Article

I’ll never do THAT again

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  Sometimes it makes sense to learn from our mistakes… maybe all the time. But sometimes bad things happen… and they aren’t mistakes, just bad outcomes. Anytime we take some measure of risk, however modest, and mix it with a quantity of real life, we may encounter bad outcomes. I loan my car to someone—he might not smash it up,... View Article

Social Anxiety and the Wizard of Oz

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  I really like old classic movies, but the Wizard of Oz has always troubled me. You know, flying monkeys and what not. And who wants to be surrounded by all those people telling you in song which road to take? But the part that really irks me comes at the end. Dorothy is stuck in Oz, maybe forever, when... View Article

2 for the price of 1

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I’m a bargain shopper. I like thrift stores and garage sales. I like getting stuff on sale, even 2 for the price of 1—or better yet, 3 for the price of 1. But when bad things come, I don’t want them to come in batches.   Coming in 1’s is bad enough. But often bad things often DO show up... View Article

Do Therapy

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I‘ve spent much of the last 14 years of my career providing talk therapy in my office for problems like anxiety and depression. Or at least that’s the term that has been informally used for everything from the active Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) I have been providing to the complex Freudian lie-down-on-couch-and-tell-me-about-your-dreams therapy still offered a few places. I never... View Article