To those who feel afraid or hurt after the election

November 15, 2016

Jason Luoma, Ph.D.

For many of us, these are frightening and uncertain times. We at Portland Psychotherapy want to make a declaration of support to the millions of people around the nation and here in Portland that have been targeted, oppressed, attacked, or silenced and to those who feel fearful of what may come.  Portland Psychotherapy does not endorse discrimination in any form and is invested in ensuring the safety of all members of our community. If you feel marginalized, oppressed, angered, hurt, afraid, ashamed, or stigmatized, we want you to know you are welcome here.  You are all part of the community we love and serve. This is a safe place for you to speak and to be heard. We value you. The Staff of Portland Psychotherapy

Blue light at night is bad

November 14, 2016

Amy Dexter, Psy.D

We have known or suspected for quite some time that there are significant harmful health and environmental consequences associated with excessive light use at night, especially blue-rich light. Advances in technology and the widespread transition to light emitting diodes (LEDs), which emit substantial amounts of blue light, have made this especially important to understand and address. The American Medical Association (AMA) recently released an important and timely report, providing scientific evidence in support of these concerns. They affirm the potential health hazards of blue-rich light, including its links to increased risks for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and circadian rhythm disruption. They also find that blue-rich LED street lighting is five times more disruptive to our sleep than conventional street lighting Read more

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction are two very different challenges that are sometimes experienced at the same time. People are often curious about the ways that these two struggles overlap.  There are actually several ways that PTSD and substance use go together. Substances as a solution People who have PTSD struggle with anxiety and fear, isolation, and sleep difficulties.  Substance use can, understandably, seem like a solution. Using alcohol might help someone who feels on guard all the time to be able to relax.  Benzodiazepines or marijuana might be used to help individuals who suffer from trauma to fall asleep.  People with PTSD may use substances to avoid thoughts, feelings, or memories associated with the traumatic event. Research suggests Read more

How Self-Compassion Helps with Anxiety

November 2, 2016

Portland Psychotherapy Team

Anxiety can be a loud voice in your head telling you that something bad is going to happen.   Your heart rate starts to quicken, your thoughts speed up, and you feel a knot in your stomach. At times, you might feel disconnected from yourself or the world around you. Moments in which you are experiencing anxiety can be quite uncomfortable. They can also be an opportunity to practice relating to yourself with self-compassion. What is Self-Compassion? Self-compassion has three parts: Self-kindness (instead of self-judgment) Self-kindness involves opening up to your experience in the present moment, whether feelings of joy or sadness, and acknowledging your experience with warmth and love. Common humanity (instead of isolation) Self-compassion includes an acknowledgement that suffering is Read more

Self-Help for Anxiety in an International Sample

October 6, 2016

Brian Thompson Ph.D.

Since I saw him present on some preliminary results at a conference 6 years ago, I’ve been following with interest University of Albany – SUNY professor John Forsyth’s, PhD, research on his self-help book, The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety. (The Workbook was recently published in a 2nd edition but the research is on the 1st edition.) The Workbook is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) principles, and it is designed to treat a wide range of anxiety-related problems (it’s “transdiagnostic”). Self-help books have great potential to help people who don’t have access to or don’t want to pursue psychotherapy. Unfortunately, self-help books are rarely based on well-researched treatments, let alone studied themselves as standalone treatment. Dr. Forsyth Read more