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Kathy Marshack News

Short-term Therapy with Lasting Results

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a short-term therapy that has proven to be highly effective. It is helpful for a variety of different problems such as depression, low self-esteem, phobias, anxiety, and relationship dysfunction. What’s really impressive is that the results are long lasting! Cognitive Behavior Therapy addresses the way that people think. The cognitive component works to change thinking patterns that keep a person from overcoming their fears. The behavior component seeks to change their pattern of reaction. The goal is to achieve a more constructive, solution-oriented thinking process. If you are interesting in looking into Cognitive Behavior Therapy, please click on the link to view more information You can contact my office in Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington to learn how to locate a therapist that utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Depression – How To Recognize The Symptoms

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Depression is becoming more and more common place in American society. Instead of a normal case of "the blues", a new CDC report finds 5.4 percent of Americans 12 years of age and older have dealt with depression. 80 percent of those who report that they are depressed state that it is affecting their daily functional level. Sadly, only 29 percent have said they’ve contacted a health care professional.

How do you know if you are suffering from depression? Most often you would be experiencing a combination of these symptoms for a period of at least two weeks:

1. Depressed mood on most days for most of each day. (Irritability may be prominent in children and adolescents)
2. Total or very noticeable loss of pleasure most of the time.
3. Significant increase or decrease in appetite, weight, or both.
4. Sleep disorders either insomnia or excessive sleepiness nearly every day.
5. Feelings of agitation or a sense of intense slowness.
6. Loss of energy and a daily sense of tiredness.
7. Sense of guilt and worthlessness nearly all the time.
8. Inability to concentrate occurring nearly every day.
9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

It is important to remember that depression can be treated! If you would like more information on depression, I highly encourage you to click on the link to read more and get the help you are looking for. You are not alone!

Six Different Types of ADHD

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Did you know that there are different kinds of ADHD? I recently wrote a blog post about SPECT, a brain scan which can be used to diagnosis these different types of ADHD. Most psychologists and psychiatrists diagnosis ADHD disorders based on a series of inattention and hyperactivity behaviors. However, Dr. Amen uses the SPECT brain scan in addition to behavioral observations to diagnosis patients.

The scan focuses on the areas of the brain that relate to attention, short-term memory, and forethought. Six different types of ADHD have been classified as a result of this new medical procedure:

* Type 1 -- Classic ADHD. Symptoms such as short attention span, distractibility, disorganization, procrastination, poor internal supervision plus hyperactivity and impulsivity.
* Type 2 -- Inattentive ADHD. Classic ADHD symptoms, but instead of hyperactivity, there is low energy.
* Type 3 -- Overfocused ADHD. Classic ADHD symptoms as well as negative thoughts and behaviors, such as opposition and arguing.
* Type 4 -- Temporal Lobe ADHD. Classic ADHD symptoms plus irritability, aggressiveness, and memory and learning problems.
* Type 5 -- Limbic ADHD. Combines ADHD with depression and low energy and decreased motivation.
* Type 6 -- The Ring of Fire. Cross between ADHD and bipolar disorder. Characterized by moodiness, aggressiveness, and anger.

Are you wondering if you have an accurate diagnosis? Would you like to learn more about ADHD? Read additional articles on ADHD on this website or contact my office.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dr. John Gottman, professor of psychology, has written a truly informative book entitled, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” After years of research and scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples, Dr. Gottman has created a practical guide for couples who want to achieve the greatest potential in their marriage. He uncovers the truth about the many myths of divorce and sheds light on the actual reasons why marriages are falling apart in today’s society. The book includes quizzes, questionnaires, checklists, and exercises to help couples cope with their differences and reenergize their relationship.

I highly recommend this book. I have attended Dr. Gottman’s seminars in Seattle, Washington and was impressed with his work. For more information on “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, click on the link:

Examining the Brain - What You Should Know About SPECT

Friday, September 05, 2008

Dr. Daniel Amen, a nationally-renowned psychiatrist, has developed a revolutionary procedure of evaluating mental disorders using a method called SPECT. What is SPECT?

SPECT is a brain imaging scan that measures the cerebral blood flow and metabolic activity pattern in the brain. By looking the brain function, it will give a more accurate cause for mental disorders—conditions such as ADHD, anxiety and depression—without having to guess or assume what is actually happening. The scan shows specific areas were the brain is implicated with specific problems, reasons why it may be functioning in a certain way due to toxicity or past trauma, as well as specific target area for treatment and medication. It is beneficial for both the clinician and patient because of its accuracy and reliability of the results.

I am very familiar with the work of Dr. Amen and he has referred clients to me here in the Pacific Northwest. If you are interested in learning more about brain SPECT imaging, visit Dr. Amen’s website at

ADHD Support Group in Portland and Across the U.S.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I wanted to share an important resource for individuals with ADHD and their families. CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is the nation's leading non-profit organization serving this community. They have over 200 local chapters throughout the U.S. that offer support for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals, and others. Visit their website for the chapter nearest you: For those of you that live in the Portland, Oregon metro area here’s some information on the local chapter. Please note that meetings are free and open to the public. You do not have to be a CHADD member to attend. PORTLAND METRO CHADD PORTLAND ADULT GROUP - Meets the 3rd Tues of each month. Please visit their website for exact time and location. This is a professionally facilitated meeting where general discussion sessions alternate with speakers. Topics cover a wide variety of subjects of interest to adults with ADHD. Spouses and Significant Others are invited to attend. A WORK IN PROGRESS – Meets the first Wednesday of the month. Please visit their website for exact time and location. This meeting will focus on sharing our challenges, and our solutions to those challenges. Parent to Parent provides educational information and support for individuals and families dealing with ADHD and learning to navigate the challenges of AD/HD across the lifespan. Courses are offered in local communities across the country.

Research Shows Therapy Should Be the First Option When Treating ADHD

Saturday, August 23, 2008

When parents learn that their child has ADHD medication is often the first treatment they consider. According to new findings that could be a mistake. That is according to researchers, presenting at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, based on the largest-ever study on the best treatments for ADHD.

Research shows that when children are initially treated with behavioral interventions — and their parents get training on how to manage their behavior — medication is used less often and in smaller doses. While medications address ADHD symptoms like restlessness and fidgeting, they don’t address other problems like difficult relations with peers, parents and family members.

In counseling, a therapist can help the child with ADHD learn to feel better about themselves. Over time the therapist can help identify and build on their strengths, cope with daily problems, and learn to control their attention and aggression. The parents may need special help to develop techniques for managing the patterns of behavior.

In many cases the entire family may need help. Mental health professionals can counsel the child and the family, helping them to develop healthy new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other. Read more of my advice on parenting a child with ADHD -

Money Triggers a Survival Instinct

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I was recently interviewed by about how entrepreneurial couples should handle money conflicts.

Here's a small excerpt of the article:

"Money is one of those things we can get really bent out of shape about," says Kathy Marshack, a psychologist in Portland, Ore., and author of "Entrepreneurial Couples: Making It Work at Work and at Home." In general, money triggers a survival instinct, so worries about it can cause people to react "in more primitive ways," she says. That's especially true for couples in business together, whose livelihoods both depend on the success of the company. "If one partner makes a decision that the other feels is going to cost them, or force them to lose a contract, they can get extremely upset," Marshack says.

Some couples may want to think twice about setting up anything but an equal relationship at work, especially when it comes to titles and salaries, suggests Marshack, the Portland psychologist. Some husband-and-wife teams, to avoid being hit by self-employment taxes, make one spouse the owner and the other an employee. "Sure, it probably cuts your taxes down," she says. But it may not make sense when it comes to the "health of your relationship and even the culture of your business," she says.

To read the entire article click here -

Checkout the Autism Quotient Quiz

Friday, August 08, 2008

I just took the Autism Quotient Quiz as posted on MSNBC - While nothing is disguised—so the quiz is easy to fake—the simple questions asked do address the basics of Autism Spectrum Disorders such as Asperger’s Syndrome. Take the quiz for yourself or a loved one and see how you measure up. Many of the questions in the quiz are addressed in my book “Sliver in My Mind.” The book is due out in January 2009. Oh and by the way, I scored 13 on the quiz, which is about average for NT women.

Entrepreneurs - Take a Real Vacation this Year

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I’ve just returned from my annual extended summer vacation. As a long-time resident of the Northwest—with an office in Vancouver, Washington and the other in Portland, Oregon—I’ve learned to take advantage of our short but beautiful summers for some rest and relaxation. As a therapist with a very full caseload, I always make sure that I have colleagues that can take care of any unseen emergencies that may arise with my clients. My goal is to—as much as possible—leave work behind me so I come back to it truly refreshed.

Working as a coach with family businesses, I’ve noticed how difficult it can be for entrepreneurs to let go of work when they’re on vacation. Entrepreneurial workaholics often never learn how to leave work and you’ll see them toting their laptops, Blackberries and I Phones at Disneyland and the beach. There are times when combining work and play is the best alternative. However, you also need to plan vacations without work in mind at all.

Oh, I know, pure vacations aren’t “write-offs”, but they may do more good than reduced taxes. So take my advice and plan at least one two week vacation a year that has nothing to do with work. Throw in two to three long weekends that are purely family fun too. Trust me you, your family and your business will benefit.

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