CONTACT MY OFFICE:
(503) 222-6678 - Portland, Oregon
(360) 256-0448 Vancouver, Washington
   info@kmarshack.com

Therapy

ADD & ADHD
ADOPTIVE FAMILIES
ASPERGER & MARRIAGE
COUPLES IN BUSINESS
DEPRESSION & STRESS
ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFE
HIGH CONFLICT DIVORCE
MARRIAGE COUNSELING
MIND & BODY HEALTH
PARENTING
PERSONAL GROWTH
RECOMMENDED LINKS
NEWS CENTER
ONLINE STORE
Overview
ADD in Adults
Parenting a Child with ADD
Overview
Articles
Overview
Coping with Anxiety Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Overcoming Depression
Managing Stress
Conquering Fears & Phobias
Overcoming Social Phobia
Overview
Couples at Work & Home
Dual Career Couples
Families in Business
Business Communication
Overview
Recognizing High Conflict Divorce
Overview
Conflict & Communication
Infidelity
Couples at Work & Home
Love, Sex & Intimacy
Maintaining Strong Marriage
Dual Career Couples
Codependence
Advice for Singles Only
Overview
Alcoholism Recovery
Stop Smoking
Weight Control
Headache Relief
Holistic Health
Managing Blood Pressure
Releasing Unresolved Stress
Overview
Am I a Good Parent
Blended Families
Gifted Child
Coping with ADD/ADHD
Adoptive Families
Overview
Gifted Adults
When to Seek Help
Psychotherapy Options
Laid-Off from Work
What is Career Coach
Overview
Calendar of Events
Media Coverage
Newsletter
Press Center
Seminars
Related New Stories
Subscribe
Sample
Enriching Your Live Archive
Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Enriching Your Life!

Sign up for my FREE newsletter! Get practical tips for you and your family.

Kathy Marshack News

New Gene Research Reveals Possibly Eight Different Types of Schizophrenia

Thursday, October 02, 2014


genetic research uncoding link to schizophreniaSchizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that, according to the American Psychiatric Association, affects about 1% of the population. Thankfully ongoing genetic research is unlocking the mysteries of complex diseases like schizophrenia. According to new findings from researchers at Washington University in St. Louis there may be eight different classes of schizophrenia. Other doctors, like Dr. Charles Raison, professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, say this may only be the tip of the iceberg.

The breakthrough came when they began looking for gene clusters rather than at individual genes. Dr. C. Robert Cloninger, one of the study's senior authors, explained, “Genes don't operate by themselves. They function in concert much like an orchestra, and to understand how they're working, you have to know not just who the members of the orchestra are but how they interact." And co-author Dr. Dragan Svrakic stated, "What was missing was the idea that these genes don't act independently. They work in concert to disrupt the brain's structure and function, and that results in the illness." As the researchers analyzed the DNA, they matched any gene variations they found in the DNA with individual symptoms.

It’s been known that the risk for schizophrenia is inherited. Now they are beginning to identify the gene clusters that are responsible for specific symptoms. They found that “some gene clusters were responsible for hallucinations and delusions, other gene clusters disorganized speech and behavior, while still other gene clusters affect lack of initiative, problems organizing thoughts or making the connection between emotions and thoughts.”

Why is this gene research so exciting?

Previous studies have linked genetic mutations in older fathers with mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. The more they can identify the cause at the genetic level, the greater the chance of predicting who might get it and, more importantly, finding a highly targeted therapy and medication for treating each individual.

Today, psychotherapy is an effective means of treatment mental disorders. As a psychologist with 30 years of experience in counseling families, I also see how important it is for caretakers to get therapy when they have the ongoing stress of caring for someone who is seriously mentally ill. Please contact my Portland office and set up an appointment if you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA.

For more information: Read CNN writer Jacque Wilson’s article, Study: Schizophrenia is 8 diseases.

Workaholics - Do You Have to be Desperate before Seeking Help?

Monday, September 29, 2014


you don't have to be sick to get better“I don’t have time to be sick!” If you’re like many today, especially entrepreneurial couples who are running a demanding business, you’ve probably said this yourself. As a result, you may put off going to a doctor until the symptoms progress to an extreme point, maybe even to the point of irreparable damage. We’ve all heard stories of how people could be alive today if they had only visited a doctor at the beginning of the symptoms of heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

The same can be said about mental health. At times, in our busy lives, the symptoms gradually creep up until it’s impossible to ignore the feelings of overwhelming anxiety or depression. Then a person is forced into dealing with crises rather than having the choice to live purposefully.

What are some symptoms that a mental health crisis is looming on your horizon? Do you find yourself thinking thoughts like these?

  • I’m so tired.
  • I don’t care.
  • I don’t enjoy doing the things I once did.
  • I’m not happy.
  • Nothing I do turns out right.
  • Why should I even try.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • I’m bored.
  • I can’t focus or concentrate. I feel so disconnected.
  • I don’t want to think about it…I just want to stay busy.
  • My life isn’t as bad as that guy’s life, so I don’t deserve help.
  • Just suck it up and keep pushing through it.
  • It’s not my fault. You made me do it.

There are also physical symptoms that your mental health needs attention. While this list isn’t comprehensive, it illustrates the body’s reaction to mental distress:

  • Tight muscles - body pains
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • TMJ- Grinding your teeth
  • Clenched fists
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain/weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating palms
  • Self medicating with drugs or alcohol
  • Frequent anger and irritation
  • Throwing or breaking things
  • Road Rage
  • Mood swings

On the other hand, what can you gain by courageously committing to good mental health?

It improves your sense of personal well-being. When you catch problems early on, you recover more quickly, without lasting emotional and psychological scars. Utilizing the full range of your conscious and unconscious talents, unburdened by neurotic hang-ups, creates opportunities that you never knew were there before. A healthy mind also draws to you other healthy people. In a family business or any endeavor for that matter, having mentally healthy employees, coworkers and family members can only improve business functioning. It will keep your business competitive and successful.

People who regularly attend to their psychological health are not only stronger emotionally, but they require less physical health care, even reducing medical and surgical costs.

Don’t wait another day. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SICK TO GET BETTER. Just as many find that a physical fitness trainer is beneficial for keeping them on track; a mental health professional can provide the support and objective eye to help you achieve optimal mental health. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA and would like to increase your sense of well being, please contact my office and set up an appointment.

Muse Headband – New Technology Could Help Us Stay on Top of Mental Health

Friday, September 26, 2014


new technology - muse headband- could help us stay on top of mental healthFor a number of years, people have been able to travel to brain scanning facilities and find out how their brains respond to stimulation in a clinical setting. It hasn’t been possible for everyone to see how the brain is really responding to situations in every day life. 

Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could monitor your brain activity at home, at work, or at the shopping center? If you found that something was bothering you more than you really expected, then you could focus on changing your responses and gain greater control of your life immediately. The idea of everyone being able to do this isn’t as farfetched as it sounds. 

Ariel Garten CEO of interaXon, was interviewed by CNN about a computer headband they’ve developed that tracks the brain’s electro-signals. It’s called Muse. She said,We're very interested in creating solutions that help you calm yourself; that can help you stay grounded, choose what to focus your attention on, and understanding and managing your own mind and response to the world so that people can be more productive in life.” 

While Muse isn’t a medical device, it has fantastic possibilities for controlling stress, helping those with ADHD to increase their abilities to focus, and providing cognitive recognition of negative thinking patterns so you can turn them into positive ones. It tracks your brain activity and then sends that information to your computer, smart phone or tablet, giving you real time feedback. 

While I haven’t tried this product out myself, I’m interested in the possibilities that a product like this could have for helping people gain greater control of their emotions, thoughts, and activities. I’m happy to keep you current on the latest technological advances that could contribute to greater physical and mental health. 

Being able to identify your self-condemning internal dialogue and self-defeating attitudes and actions in the instance of them occurring doesn’t give you the skill to automatically overcome them. It’s helpful to seek the guidance of a psychotherapist who can help you learn the skills to deal with the frustration and anger from years of unresolved emotions and to feel better about yourself. A psychotherapist can also build on the strengths you have so you can cope with daily problems and learn alternative ways to handle your emotions.

Are you ready to gain control of your life with the help of a trained psychotherapist? If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA, contact my office to make an appointment. 

For more information read on my website: Psychotherapy Options.

How Having a Child Changes Dad’s Brain

Friday, September 12, 2014


dad bonding with his daughter

There are a growing number of stay-at-home dads – up to 2 million in 2012. According to Pew Research Center 8% of homes have single fathers. Can a father bond with his child as strongly as the maternal bond at birth? And does it matter if the child is his biological child?


These questions were asked and answered in CNN’s story, Dads' brains are ready to bond with kids. It discusses the finding from the largest parental brain study to date. The scientists wanted to determine how male and female brains function differently as parents, and more specifically, how men's brains are changed by fatherhood. What did they discover?

The amygdala, which regulates emotional response and allows the maternal bond to occur quickly, became highly active in mothers after giving birth. The months of pregnancy accelerate this connection.

Secondary caregiving fathers' brains showed a strong response in the neural network that regulates social cognitive processing.
Primary caregiving fathers activated both of the above-mentioned areas of the brain after a short time.

Being the primary caregiving parent activated the most response. Professor of psychology and lead researcher, Ruth Feldman concluded, "There's something really strong that makes mothers bond with the infant right when they're born. Fathers need a little more work for that to happen."

Across the board, they found that fathers, whether primary and secondary caregivers, increased amygdala activation when they increased their time taking caring of the child. It didn’t matter if the child was biological or adopted.

Ever one of the five key areas of being a good parent takes time – listening, consistency, teaching, modeling, and loving. Now we have scientific proof that it takes time to change the brain in order to form that close bond with your child. If you don’t feel close to your children today, perhaps it would be good to ask yourself, “How much time am I spending with each child?”

Read more on my website: Adoptive Families and Parenting.

Are Your Teens Getting Enough Sleep?

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


teenage boy going to school after getting too little sleepDo you have a hard time getting your teens out of bed? Especially with a new school year beginning, getting enough sleep can become an issue. A recent CNN article, “Doctors: Early school start times unhealthy for students”, suggests that schools shouldn’t start before 8:30am. They support this by a recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that adolescents get 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep per night.

They link sleep deprivation in adolescents to poor academic performance, traffic accidents, depression, and obesity because they tend to eat more carbohydrates and fats. Children have even been misdiagnosed with ADHD when it’s really a sleep disorder.

They’ve found that students who get to sleep before midnight and have a later start time at school tend to be more alert and emotionally and mentally stable. They also have better attendance and academic performance and fewer car crashes.

What can parents do to help their teens get enough rest?

  • Provide a nutritious diet, which supports your child’s mental and physical health.
  • Ensure they get enough exercise during the day.
  • Set a firm bedtime and enforce it.
  • Remove TV and computer screens from the bedroom.
  • Limit the use of electronic devices and phones in bed.
  • Set up a central charging station in another part of the house.
  • Encourage routines that encourage sleep right before bed, such as reading.
  • Schedule social activities to end well before bedtime.

If you feel your child has sleep problems, consult your physician or a mental health professional, because it could be a signal for other health problems. As a psychologist, one of my major concerns is the long-term effects that can escalate into psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Click here to download the NHLBI’s “Healthy Guide to Sleep” PDF.

Read more about relaxation techniques on my website – Psychotherapy Options.

How Do our Genes Affect our Choice of Friends and Spouse?

Thursday, August 21, 2014


genetic similarities cause attraction between the sexesWhy do we pick specific people to be our friends and spouse? New research shows that it’s because our nose can detect genetic similarities and differences in the people that you meet. Not only that, but your nose attracts you to the ones that are more genetically compatible with you.

A recent CNN article, We're genetically linked to our friends, discusses a study that suggests we are attracted to people who are more genetically like us. They quote James Fowler, coauthor of the study and professor of medical genetics and political science at UC San Diego, "Looking across the whole genome, we find that on average, we are genetically similar to our friends. We have more DNA in common with the people we pick as friends than we do with strangers in the same population."

He and his coauthor Nicholas Christakis, professor of sociology, evolutionary biology and medicine at Yale, have spent the last ten years searching for the biological explanation behind how we interact socially.

What have they learned?

They found that our DNA dictates the social activities we enjoy. Hence our friends, who enjoy the same things, do so because they are genetically like us. And the genes that most greatly impact our choices are the olfactory (sense of smell) genes and the genes controlling our immune system.

Another CNN article from 2011, The power of smell in picking sex partners, discussed two other studies that corroborate these findings. We all have a unique “odor print” like we have a unique fingerprint. That “odor print” is found in the part of the gene responsible for immune response known as the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC). Women prefer the scent of men whose MHCs are different from their own.

This contributes to people finding marriage mates that they are compatible with, who like to do the same things, while at the same time are able to avoid inbreeding and thereby can produce stronger immune systems in their children. What a unique way to keep the human race as healthy as possible! How interesting to learn that we use our nose to pick those we’re closest to.

Humans are so complex in the way everything must function harmoniously. When something gets out of balance our emotions, thinking and actions can become uncontrolled and erratic. That’s why it’s so important to approach mental health issues with a holistic approach – treating the whole person and including nutrition, exercise and proper sleep in that treatment. If you live in the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area and would like to consult with me about how a holistic approach can help you achieve optimum mental health, please contact my office and schedule an appointment.

Read more on my website – Holistic Health and Advice for Singles.

A New Tool Reveals How the Internet Defines Your Personality

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


technology for how internet defines our personalityThe internet is gathering data on you. It looks at the websites you visit and the items you purchase as its algorithms try to decipher which ads to put before you to entice you to buy. Now, according to a recent New York Times article, "Your Personality Type, Defined by the Internet" there’s a new parameter that they’re tracking…Your personality through the choice of words you use when posting to Social Media.

A Berkeley CA. company, Five Labs, has created a new tool that links to Facebook posts and analyzes the way we write in relation to five personality attributes: openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. The majority of people who have tried it think it’s fairly accurate.

This is interesting in more than one way. Psychological research has shown that the words we use reflect our personality and frame of mind, so this tool probably is pretty accurate. This little device could become very useful to us, especially when we have difficulty seeing ourselves as we really are. It could be used to help people see areas of their personality that they can change for the better. It also confirms that if we change our words, we can change our attitude and emotions toward life.

What if the results leave you feeling like you need to change? You may want to explore Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It’s a communication technology that has applications in any setting involving human interaction. NLP works because it eliminates the guesswork. Goal setting, negotiating, problem solving, creativity are more streamlined when you know the structure to follow. Consider working with a therapist trained in NLP to assist you in resolving a personal problem or developing your potential. Contact my office to set-up an appointment or to learn more.

Based on my Facebook posts, they classify me as inventive, efficient, sensitive, analytical, and outgoing. Join me on my Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/Kathy.Marshack.Ph.D) as we discuss the results you get, how accurate it is and how you feel about this.

A Bodybuilder Makes a Difference in the Lives of Senior Citizens

Monday, July 28, 2014


senior getting physically fitDo you sometimes wonder if you matter or can make a difference and a real contribution? Recently I read a heart-warming story about a champion body builder, Mr. Addo, who uses his physical fitness skills and the values from his youth to make a real difference in the lives of others.

You’d expect someone who has won Mr. Ghana bodybuilding championship twice to open up a gym for the elite. Instead, Mr. Addo has found his niche helping senior citizens regain their balance, mobility and strength. As the story explains, “He was raised with the values that improving the lives of one’s elders is of the highest virtue. He brings that to life among this group of retired adults. In his own words he says, ‘They remind me of my grandmothers and aunties back home.’”

This unlikely combination of bodybuilder and the frail elderly has changed many lives for the better. Together they have created a community of people who care about each other, and they work to make each other stronger physically and emotionally.

We can all make a difference in the world when we use our talents to improve the lives of those around us. This giving spirit nurtures both the giver and the receiver. What values and talents do you hold dear, and who can benefit from them? Even our weaknesses can be used to strengthen others. When you find the answer to those questions, you’ll find happiness and purpose. Join us on my Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/Kathy.Marshack.Ph.D) and let’s continue the discussion about people who inspire you to achieve your greatest potential.

Are You Happy with the Money You Earn?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


how much money do you need to earn to be happyWe all need money to live. But when is enough, enough? In a recent CNN article, "How much do you need to earn to be happy?", the results of the CNN Money's American Dream poll is very revealing. This poll, conducted by ORC International, asked these two questions:

How much do you need to make in order to be happy? They discovered that…

  • “23% said they'd need between $100,000 and $199,999.
  • Over half of people said it would take less than $100,000 to make them happy.
  • Almost a quarter of the people said between $50,000 and $74,999 would work.
  • 10% said $30,000 would be their minimum requirement.”

How much does it take to consider yourself rich? They discovered that…

  • “11% said they'd need to make $1 million or more.
  • The most typical answers fell between $100,000 and $199,999.
  • 60% thought incomes below $250,000 would be enough.”

The article refers to a Princeton study, which found that “high income buys life satisfaction but not happiness, and that low income is associated both with low life evaluation and low emotional well-being.”

Maybe some follow up questions should be – what do you do with your money? Do you spend it as fast as it comes in? Do you spend more than what’s coming in? Do you save? Are you using your money to achieve specific goals, or is it flying out the window with nothing to show for it?

As a psychologist in private practice I see clients who struggle to find happiness even when they’ve achieved their financial goals. Join us on my Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/Kathy.Marshack.Ph.D) and let’s talk about this question – Do you define your riches in terms of monetary wealth or life experiences?

How Does Meditation Affect the Brain?

Friday, July 04, 2014


meditations affect on the brainMeditation is a relaxation method that many use today for managing stress, however, new research is showing that there may be many more benefits of meditating. Recent studies are showing that it makes the brain stronger and allows a person to process thoughts and feelings. But what kind of meditation works best for this?

A recent study by a team of researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the University of Oslo and the University of Sydney learned that the brain works differently during various forms of meditation. They divided meditation techniques into two groups, Concentrative (focusing on breathing or on specific thoughts while suppressing other thoughts) and Nondirective (effortlessly focusing on breathing or meditative sound, and allowing the mind to wander).

The results were unexpected…

One of the researchers, physician Jian Xu said, “I was surprised that the activity of the brain was greatest when the person’s thoughts wandered freely on their own, rather than when the brain worked to be more strongly focused. When the subjects stopped doing a specific task and were not really doing anything special, there was an increase in activity in the area of the brain where we process thoughts and feelings. It is described as a kind of resting network. And it was this area that was most active during nondirective meditation.

Another researcher, Svend Davanger, a neuroscientist at the University of Oslo, commented, “The study indicates that nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation.”

Previous studies conducted by researchers at UCLA showed that years of meditating thickens the brain in a healthy way and strengthens the connections between brain cells. A more recent study found that the more years a person meditates the brain’s cortex "folds"(gyrification), which may allow the brain to process information faster.

There are so many forms of meditation practiced by millions of people. Would you like to explore the benefits? A mental health professional can assist you or see if you would also benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA, please contact my office to schedule an appointment.



Recent Posts RSS


Tags


Archive