Author Archives: marcalterlcsw

Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. Tears of a clown and the silent killer

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Mindfulness and meditation can help stop or reduce drinking or using recreational drugs

Many people struggle with drinking. Even those that don’t meet criteria for Alcoholism know that they drink too much but feel powerless to reduce their alcohol intake. As with any self destructive, addictive behavior, there is seemingly an auto-pilot that … Continue reading

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Mini-panics

People with anxiety, whether in a high pressured job, relationship or even those who are troubled by day to day “life stuff”, encounter what I call mini-panics. This is a state where you do not recognize all the details of … Continue reading

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Coping Skill 9: The news may increase your anxiety: Turn off TV, computer screen or any electronic screen.

This is a similar concept to C.S. #1, but this skill starts with the ability to get up and turn the TV (or computer) off or reach for the remote and squeeze the off button. For many, these are troubling … Continue reading

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The Unreliable Narrator

Greetings and welcome back! It’s been a while. I have of late been very drawn to the area of Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy. One of the keystones of these concepts is the idea that your thoughts can be “extra” and … Continue reading

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Body Scan your way to reduced stress (8)

When we are utilizing mindful techniques, one thing we are to do is limit our prioritization of distress and instead put more of our attention onto neutral stimuli. One simple and effective way of doing this is through body scanning. No, … Continue reading

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Cleaning: Coping Skill 6/100

This is a terrific coping skill that I hear from many of my clients. If you are feeling stifled by life, maybe disordered, mentally and/emotionally cluttered if you will, try cleaning or organizing your living space. This can be pleasant … Continue reading

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Soft Technique: Moving Into The Pain: (C.S.#7)

During a recent MBCT training, I learned of a strange and erroneous sounding coping strategy: moving toward the pain. In past posts, I wrote about how in mindful techniques, we focus subtly and nonjudgmentally on neutral stimuli, such as a sound, or … Continue reading

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You make me feel

How often do you attribute your bad feeling to another? Have you ever uttered the phrase: You make me feel so (fill in the blank with “sad”, “mad”, “miserable” “irritated”, I think you get the idea). When we attribute our … Continue reading

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Coping Skill 5/100: Gardening (outdoor OR indoor)

One of the most tranquil and rewarding coping skills I have come across is gardening. What is more relaxing and pleasing to the mind and spirit than planting. Whether you’re planting new seeds inside or sustaining established plants and taking care … Continue reading

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Coping Skill 4/100: Keep a Journal

Recording your thoughts and feelings in a journal can be very calming. It is a great strategy for coping with stress, coping with fears, coping with sadness or depression.It is a good way to connect back with yourself when you … Continue reading

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Play a musical instrument (Skill 3/100)

Not everyone has had a history of playing musical instruments. However, music is a universal phenomenon that most (if not all) human beings have a connection with. Even those who have never tried to play an instrument could try it. … Continue reading

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Coping Skill 2/100: Music

Simple: Get your favorite music. Queue it up on your favored device, computer/laptop, smartphone, MP3 player, tablet or if you’re into the classic modes of music listening, fire up the old record player, Stereo system, CD player, etc. Music, as … Continue reading

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Coping skill 1/100: Do nothing

Yes, that’s right, do nothing other than sit or lay in a quiet space. While you’re sitting or laying sedentarily, you may find yourself settling your mind, your emotions. This is potentially a good space to practice mindfulness and observe sensations … Continue reading

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100 coping skills in 360 days

Coping skills or coping strategies can often be overlooked as quick treatment for the blues or anxiety. As a coping skill is a strategy, sometimes it takes some thought to plan or strategize what you’re going to do and how … Continue reading

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“Self serve” therapeutic intervention: Coping Skills

Coping skills (AKA coping strategies) are the most important as well as taken for granted tool you can use to treat your depression, anxiety and other psychological symptoms. It is an important supplement in your treatment. Coping skills are the “self-serve” therapeutic … Continue reading

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Mindfulness for Road Rage

Keeping cool in the car is not always easy. With other drivers speaking around you, trying to get ahead of you, cutting you off, tailgating, honking, etc. The list goes on and on. Every time you get on the road, … Continue reading

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Meditation (The New and Improved Post)

I felt that meditation is such an important part of maintaining psychological and emotional wellness, that it warrants further explanation. Forgive me if any of this is repeated from last years meditation post. I decided to keep a lot in … Continue reading

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Strengthen the Observer

A simplified way of understanding the mind in so far as it relates to our thoughts and feelings is a term called the observing self. This is the observance of the fact that you are observing. From a quote from The Happiness Trap by … Continue reading

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Crying in the Dark: Why and How Psychotherapy Helps

My office is in the 10001 zip code, right down the block from Macy’s department store, down the street from the garment district. It is one of the busiest, most trafficked areas of Manhattan. Walking down 8th avenue in NYC, … Continue reading

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Mindful Rushing

No matter how much we try to live a peaceful, serene existence where you can always be easy, slow and deliberate, there will likely be exceptions – times when it seems there’s no way to slow down enough to be … Continue reading

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Can you Walk While Meditating? Can you Meditate While Walking?

Let’s talk about the highly unlikely prospect of being able to meditate while walking. One might assume that walking is an activity that needs full attention, lest one trip or slam into something hurting more than just one’s self-esteem. Well, as it … Continue reading

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The importance of being ernest: Authenticity in therapy

There is a certain something that enhances therapeutic relationship. It lets you know that what you have with your therapist is real, truthful, trust worthy. This quality is authenticity.  The feeling of having a real connection with the therapist enhances rapport. … Continue reading

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Mindfulness in stress reduction

A good way of determining if you are engaging in healthy coping behavior (AKA coping skills or coping strategies) or if an unwanted defense mechanism, is regular introspective practice called mindfulness. Practice looking at yourself on a regular basis and being mindful … Continue reading

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Maladaptive coping mechanisms: externalizing and internalizing

Externalizing or internalizing are mechanisms that can add to stress and generally bring you down. Internalizing occurs when you view problems that have very little or nothing to do with you and attribute them to yourself. When the world’s problems are … Continue reading

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Defense mechanisms Vs Coping Strategies

 Defense mechanisms (or coping mechanisms are automatic ways in which we have learned to cope with the disturbing stimuli bombarding us throughout our days. We use these coping mechanisms automatically, without thought. They are often self-soothing, feeling good at the … Continue reading

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Does anxiety make you angry?

Are you “uptight” at times? Do you get irritable, irate, frustrated when the stuff hits the fan? You could be suffering from anxiety related anger. This is a common occurrence for anxious people in tough situations. It is part of … Continue reading

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Germanwings Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz gives people with mental Illness a bad rap

Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of the ill fated Germanwings flight was no doubt an extremely troubled person. He had suicidal thoughts and impulses, but what’s more, he was homicidal. Homicidal thoughts and impulses are one of many possible symptoms … Continue reading

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Advocating for yourself (vs advocating for yourself x 1000)

Advocating for yourself is a very valuable life skill. Using assertiveness to express what your needs are and you are not shy in anticipating that your needs should likely be met. This is great when it comes to striving to achieve things … Continue reading

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Meditation

Meditation can be an easy and effective way to reduce anxiety, calm your nerves and improve your mood. It can be achieved in the short term for quick stress reduction. It has been shown that on going, daily meditation can … Continue reading

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