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Kathy Marshack News

The Best Therapy to Treat Procrastination

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Procrastination is the act of habitually putting things off to a later time or delaying taking action. Procrastination can have a serious impact on a person's life. Physical problems like stomach problems and insomnia are common. Procrastinators often times smoke and/or are heavy drinkers. There are also emotional side effects. Depression and procrastination can go hand in hand – they feed one another.

What are some of the reasons for procrastination?

  • Fear
  • Perfectionism
  • Desire for an adrenalin rush 
  • Lack of self-control
  • Skewed thinking that your performance will be better under pressure

The list could go on and on. If you are a procrastinator, no need to think that you are hopeless. By tackling your procrastination problems, you might just find that you will be a happier and less stressed individual. The best advice for a procrastinator would be to schedule therapy. That may sound extreme, but it works. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that would be highly beneficial. CBT addresses the way people think. Procrastination as mentioned earlier is stemming from some type of incorrect thinking and emotion. Reprogramming how you think and view tasks could change whether or not you will procrastinate. Addressing the core issue will help you and your therapist to identify what tools you need to change these unhealthy patterns.

To learn more about CBT or other therapy options, please visit Psychotherapy Options on my website. Stop your procrastination today!

A New Kind of Therapy - Tough Love

Friday, May 25, 2012


Have you ever been around a whiner? Do you like listening to the negative, persistent complaining? Probably not. This type of communication leaves both parties drained instead of refreshed. Whining has a tendency to be prevalent in therapy sessions. The client comes in week after week with the same old problems that they like to vent about. Because of this, many therapists are changing their approach from unconditional love to tough love.

What is the reason for this shift? Whining and complaining doesn't solve problems. Therapists see the need for their clients to be more solution-oriented. They are looking to answer the question: What is the root of the whining? What truly is the problem? If the client is not looking to problem solve, then some therapists may end therapy until the client is ready for change.

How to get a whiner to change? In the article How to Stop Whining: Therapists Try Tough Love by Elizabeth Bernstein there are some excellent suggestions. For example: Create a good rapport with the whiner. Use commendation before counseling. Set a specific limit on how long complaints are allowed. Ask questions to draw out the individual and look for a real problem. Help the individual look for a solution by asking what they plan to do about it.

There are many more ideas, so I highly recommend reading the article. Even if you are not a therapist, I am sure you know a whiner or two. This might give you some tips of how to handle them.

Are you looking for solution-oriented therapy? Contact my office to set up an appointment if you live in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area. Click here to learn about Psychotherapy Options.

A Link Between Depression and Dementia

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Depression can take a serious toll on a person's life. Not only will it impair daily living, but it can also put you at risk for long-term problems. The Archives of General Psychiatry published a study about how depression that strikes during middle age creates a greater risk for dementia in the future.

By studying 13,000 people during midlife (40's and 50's) to their 80's, those who did have symptoms of depression were 20% more likely to have dementia in old age. If they received a depression diagnosis later in life, they were at a 70% risk of dementia. Interestingly, timing played a role in the type of dementia. Depression diagnosed in midlife was linked to vascular dementia while later in life depression it’s linked to Alzheimer's. For more information on this fascinating study, read Depression in middle age linked to dementia.

It is still unknown if treatment for depression would change the likelihood of dementia. Regardless of the answer, depression should still be treated and the good news is that depression is treatable. To learn more about available treatment options, visit Overcoming Depression.

How to Decrease Memory Loss

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Would you like to decrease memory loss? No doubt you would. Losing memory is sadly a product of aging, but studies show that there are two simple things you can do to lessen your odds of memory loss.

The Mayo Clinic released a study about how combining computer use and moderate exercise can lessen memory loss in older individuals. The key is to combine these two activities because you’re exercising both the mind and the body. Focusing on the 70 to 93 age group, the study showed that those who were not physically active and not active on the computer, 21.1% were cognitively normal while 37.6% showed signs of mild cognitive impairment. On the other hand, those who are moderately active and used the computer, 36% were normal and 18.3% had signs of mild cognitive impairment.

So, if you are interested in keeping your brain healthy, get active mentally and physically. It is important to note that being mentally active is not limited to computer use. Any activity that is mentally stimulating is beneficial for the brain. Choose physical and mental activities that you enjoy.

Take care of your brain. It is a valuable asset! For more information on the mind and body connection, visit Holistic Health.

Genetics and Environment Play a Part in Adoptive Child's Future

Monday, April 30, 2012


As a parent of adopted children, I am keenly interested in all issues facing adopted children and their parents. One issue that has recently surfaced is about the risk of drug abuse for adopted children. The Archives of General Psychiatry published a Swedish study about how genetics and environment are risk factors when it comes to addiction and adopted kids.

The study showed that adopted children are twice as likely to abuse drugs if they had a biological parent who also abused drugs. This is due to a genetic predisposition. However, environment can also play a part. If the environment that an adoptive child is raised in is a negative one with criminal activities, drug or substance abuse, or divorce, this also puts the child at greater risk for substance abuse in the future.

If you are parents with adopted children or are interested in adopting, you should look into your child's biological history. If you find out that addiction is in your child's history, be alert to possible signs that this could be a problem for your child. Take preemptive steps to ensure a positive and nurturing environment. This can greatly affect the child's future.

Being an adoptive parent is hard work, but the reward is great. Do not take your role as a parent lightly. Educate yourself by reading books, attending seminars, or speak to an adoption specialist. Even speaking a mental health care professional can be a valuable tool. For more information, visit Adoptive Families.

Addiction Rising Among Older Community

Monday, April 23, 2012


There is a misconception that drug addiction affects mostly young people in our society, but that is not the case. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that drug addiction is escalating in the older community. The number of older people using illegal drugs in a year doubled between 2002 and 2007. (Read Depression, Anxiety Ups Addiction Among Older Americans)

What are the some of the common reasons why older people are turning to drugs and alcohol? For some, it may be due to depression or anxiety. Depression or anxiety could stem from the many changes that occur during this time period. Retirement, economic struggles, health problems or the realization that old age in setting in can impact your outlook. Whatever the reason may be, drugs and alcohol are not the answer.

Addiction leads to many negative consequences. First off, it will never solve the problem, it will only aggravate it. It will also affect your physical health and emotional health. Relationships with family and friends are often strained and sometimes ruined.

If you find yourself struggling with addiction, speak to a doctor immediately. You will also want to see a therapist who deals with substance abuse. Identifying the root cause of your addiction will help lead you to recovery.

For more information visit Alcohol Recovery or contact my office to set up an appointment.

The Power of Perception in Your Life

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Have you heard of the power of perception? The power of perception can shape the course of your life for the good or for the bad. A perception is formed when information enters the brain by means of the five senses. That information is then processed and put into action. Different people form different responses based on the same data due to interpretations. Interpretations are formed by previous experience. Our experiences then shape our perceptions.

Changing your perceptions can have a powerful effect on your life. One way to do this to imagine . . . Imagine the outcome that you want in every situation. This requires creativity which is not a gift that comes naturally to all, but it can be developed with practice. If the outcome is different then what you imagined, you have the power to adjust your response. Adjusting perceptions and the good results that can come about can be likened to the placebo effect.

Beau Lotto, artist and neuroscientist, says the first step to changing perceptions comes from awareness. He says, "You must see yourself see. It's about observation and curiosity, having a sense of wonder, becoming aware of the connection between the past and the present. Becoming an observer of yourself enables you to do amazing things." For more information on the power of perception, I recommend the article, The Power of Perceptions: Imagining the Reality You Want on CNN.com.

If you would like to learn how to change your perceptions, set up an appointment with a mental health care professional. Contact my office for an appointment if you live in the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area.

For more information, visit Holistic Health.

A Fight for the Right Kind of Healthcare

Monday, April 09, 2012


Healthcare is of major concern, not just to healthcare providers, but to all American citizens. While we are awaiting methods to extend health care to all Americans, perhaps there is something we can do. Instead of just waiting on insurance plans to pay doctors and hospitals, could we perhaps research healthcare that works? Many government agencies and health care organizations are willing to go to great lengths to get the right kind of care that patients need.

An example of this is a medical doctor and biochemist, Dr. Stanley Burzynski. In the 1970's, Dr. Buzynski developed gene-targeted cancer medicines called Antineoplastons. After enduring a 14 year legal battle, Dr. Buzynski finally obtained FDA clinically approved trials of Antineoplastons. It was a vicious and difficult road for Dr. Buzynski and his patients. To learn more about Dr. Buzynski and what he has accomplished, I highly recommend the documentary - Burzynski The Movie.

Understanding Eating Disorders

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating are all classified as eating disorders. Eating disorders affect men, women, boys, and girls. Having an eating disorder is serious. It can cause severe physical and psychological problems. These three types of eating disorders are different, but yet all of them have a common thread – being preoccupied with weight and food.

Anorexia nervosa is an obsession with being thin. This obsession will lead the individual to literally starve. It doesn't matter how thin a person with anorexia is, when they look in the mirror they see someone that is overweight. Because of this unhealthy body image, they refuse to eat much for fear it could make them fat. A person with anorexia is usually dangerously thin.

Bulimia is when an individual begins a pattern for eating large amounts of food (binging) and then purging after eating. Purging could be vomiting, taking laxatives, fasting, or exercise to an extreme degree to rid the extra calories.

Binge eating is eating excessive quantities of food on a regular basis without some sort of purging. A binge eater will eat even if they are not hungry. Binge eating is usually accompanied with guilt which usually spirals them into another session of eating. Many binge eaters are overweight or obese.

There are several reasons why someone may develop an eating disorder. For one thing, there is an incredible amount of pressure in our society to look a certain way. Many young girls are convinced that being thin equals true beauty. Many get entangled in this snare. Biological factors are another reason. Eating disorders sometimes run in families leading to the possibility that in some cases it could have to do with genes. The last reason is psychological. If someone is a perfectionist, has anxiety, or low self esteem, they could easily fall into an eating disorder. It becomes something that they feel they have control over. Eating disorders are accompanied with other issues such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders.

Overcoming an eating disorder is very difficult, but it can be done with the help of psychotherapy. In addition to intense therapy, nutritional education is also recommended. If not treated, eating disorders can lead to death. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, seek out help immediately. Contact my office if you live in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area.

Use Affirmations to Heal Within

Thursday, March 22, 2012



Your brain is a powerful organ. Since your brain and body are in constant communication, your brain has the power to influence your body in either a negative or positive way. Therefore, taking a holistic approach to health and wellness is necessary at times. You have the power within yourself to heal as well as reduce stress and other negative behaviors. One way you can do this is by using affirmations.

Simply put, affirmations are an assertion that a person makes about a state of being. Affirmations empower the subconscious to overtime believe the stated affirmation. Once the subconscious believes, a person is more willing to work and strive for what they want. Thoughts become actions.

Affirmations can be done verbally or visually. In order for an affirmation to be most effective, it should be in the present tense and be positive in nature. For example, "I am happy" versus "I am going to be happy." Keep them short and concise. It makes it easier to remember. You must also be prepared to repeat your affirmation regularly.

You can have a brilliant affirmation, but it will not do you any good unless you are prepared to put it into action. Only by being open-minded and allowing yourself to truly feel the affirmation will you truly begin to believe it.

If you have low self-esteem, are trying to lose weight, or battling depression or an addiction, I encourage you to give affirmations a try. If you interested in pursuing a holistic approach in your life, seek out a therapist who understands and practices these methods. If you live in Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington, feel free to contact my office to set up an appointment.


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