The Pleasure of Summer Reading: Jennifer Haigh

July 28, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

If you want to have a string of intensely enjoyable summer afternoons, I suggest you spend them in Bakerton, PA. A has-been coal town in western Pennsylvania, this place and its various residents is the subject of a series of novels by Jennifer Haigh. One of the most interesting things about Haigh’s writing is the way she shows how small twists and turns, minor mistakes, or missteps can make all the difference in what follows.

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Coping When the News Is All Bad

July 21, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Lately, we have not had time to process our feelings about the violent events of recent days and weeks because something else happens almost immediately. There is no way to completely insulate ourselves from these events but there are some techniques that can help.

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When People Carry Guns, How Much Danger Do They Pose?

July 14, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

What has caused this escalation of gun ownership and why are people allowed to carry firearms at all?

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Overcoming Prejudice: The Legacy of Elie Wiesel

July 7, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Elie Wiesel’s contribution was to use his survival and artistry to keep the memory of man’s inhumanity to other men vivid and fresh. It is as urgent as ever: we continue try to demonize one another and split hairs about who belongs to what group and who should live or die.

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Not From Thin Air: The Emergence of Eating Disorders

June 30, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Eating disorders, as seen from this perspective, represent an attempt to gain control over one’s sense of self. In anorexia in particular, a woman’s entire self-worth is boiled down to a number on a scale.

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Let LGBT Be the Issue to Unify Us

June 23, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Perhaps a dialectic is occurring that will eventually lead to truly widespread acceptance of LGBT individuals. This issue could be an important step on the road to easing tensions between groups, maybe even a cornerstone. Why? It is now recognized that sexual/gender orientation is an issue that any family can encounter and knows no racial, ethnic or political divisions.

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A Mother’s Worry About Assault Weapons

June 16, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Your question, why are such guns available, is the one on everyone’s mind this week. Advocating for better mental health care is one of the actions you can take to help protect your children and other people.

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On the Bright Side: Use Happy Words . . . Good Feelings from Many Cultures

June 14, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Positive words in other languages—consider, for instance, “Gigil” —Tagalog for “the irresistible urge to pinch/squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished.”

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On the Bright Side: Are Women Better at Having Fun?

June 6, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

How an all-female dinner party differed from the usual gatherings of couples—in a good way.

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A Brief Life in the Counterculture

June 3, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

What we gained in that uniquely utopian time far outweighed what was lost. An air of acceptance encouraged individuality, openness and creativity. Everyone deserved a chance to be brought into the fold of peace, love, and rock ’n’ roll. If you were against the Vietnam War, you were cool. If not, we welcomed the chance to change your mind.

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Dr. Ford: Staying Optimistic—Family, Friendship, and Fashion

May 26, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Optimism has declined—because it is out of fashion, Gregg Easterbrook argues. Why is this, when there are so many ways in which the global outlook is rosier than ever? And, surprisingly, the “decline of the middle class” is a myth.

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Schizophrenia: A Lifelong Mental Illness That Extends Beyond the Stereotypes

May 23, 2016 by Megan Riddle, M.D. Ph.D.

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By Megan Riddle, M.D. Ph.D.

There are stories of truly exceptional individuals with schizophrenia — the lawyer and mental health rights activist Elyn Saks and the Nobel Laureate John Nash.

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On the Bright Side: A Day at the Beach

May 23, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Researchers have found correlations between coastal living and better mental health, and have documented that the ocean has many positive effects on health and well-being.

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Sex Educator Emily Nagoski and the New Science of Sex (Part Two)

May 19, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Psychologists have long known that the mind is the single most important sexual “organ,” and sex educator Emily Nagoski’s book, “Come as You Are,” has very helpful suggestions on how to influence your mind in the direction of more satisfying sex.

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Bipolar Disorder: A Complex Illness That Is Much More Than Mood Swings

May 16, 2016 by Megan Riddle, M.D. Ph.D.

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By Megan Riddle, M.D. Ph.D.

Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness, is a serious mental illness that affects about 1 to 3 percent of the population.

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