depression

Go away, Depression!

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2. If you fake laugh long enough you’ll start to really laugh, really, really hard.

Life is beautiful

5. The chances of you (as opposed to someone else) being born is about 1 in 40 million.

6. Every year, millions of trees grow thanks to squirrels forgetting where they buried their nuts.

7. On the day of his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. had a pillow-fight in his motel room.

9. Cancer death rates are down 20% in past 20 years.

10. The miles travelled by the Apollo 11 crew to the moon were greater than every single exploration mission to the New World combined.

Penguins mate for life

11. Penguins only have one mate their entire life and “propose” by giving their mate a pebble.

12. There’s an animal called a Dik Dik. And it’s the cutest antelope you’ll ever see.

Cuddling releases oxytocin!

 

 
14. Cuddling releases Oxytocin which helps speed healing and recovery from physical wounds.

 

15. Otters hold hands when sleeping so they don’t drift away from each other.
 
16. Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, wrote his daughter initials there. They’ll last at least 50,000 years.

17. There’s a type of jellyfish that lives forever.

18. Wayne Allwine (the voice of Mickey Mouse) and Russi Taylor (the voice of Minnie Mouse) were married in real life.

Butterflies taste with their feet

19. We now have less crime, a lower death rate and longer life expectancy than at any other time in human history.

20. The clitoris has 8000 nerve fibres, double that of the penis, and is the only organ in the body, which has evolved purely for pleasure.

21. Butterflies can taste with their feet.

22. For someone, somewhere in the world, today is the most amazing day of their life.

23. When you die, your body decomposes, and the atoms that contained “you” are recycled into Earth to be used again.

24. Every year the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada to thank them for their aid in the Second World War.

25. Rats giggle when you tickle them. Their voices are so high-pitched you need special equipment to hear them, but when you do, their laughs are immediately evident.

26. Sea horses mate for life, are completely faithful and travel together by holding on to each others tails.

28. If you say “my cocaine” you sound like Michael Caine saying his own name.

29. Male puppies, when playing with female puppies, will intentionally let the female win.

easier to smile than frown

31. It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown.

32.The kingdom of Bhutan use ‘gross national happiness’ as a key national indicator.

33. The majority of European children born in 2013 will live to see the year 2100.

34. Cows have best friends.

35. Neurologically speaking, seeing somebody else smile actually makes you happier.

36. Every human being spent about half an hour as a single cell.

37. There are people, ombrophiles, who have a passionate love for rain.

38. Once your brain realizes that you’re dying, it releases DMT, one of the most powerful known psychedelics. This dilates your perception of time and allowing you to live inside your own mind for hours or even days.

39. No matter how long you live there will always be an amazing new food for you try.

Spinner dolphins swim in pairs for life

 

41. Aside from a sample in a lab, Smallpox is completely extinct. No one else will ever die from it again.
 

 

42. A pig’s orgasms last thirty minutes.

44. Sloths only leave their tree once a week, to pee and poo.

45. Spinner dolphins sleep in pairs, one with the left hemisphere asleep, the other with the right. They each keep watch with one eye and half a brain. They are known to sleep-mate for life.

46. At the time of your birth, you were, for a few seconds, the youngest person on the planet.

Cows produce more milk
when they listen to
“everybody hurts”

47. Cows produce the most milk when listening to the song Everybody Hurts by REM.

49. If you spell out numbers in order, the first time you get to the letter “a” is at one-thousand.

50. We’ve all been here forever. Every bit of matter we see has been here since the beginning of time and it always will be.

51. A monkey was once tried and convicted for smoking a cigarette in South Bend, Indiana.

56. Costa Rica is statistically the happiest nation on Earth.

57. Worms communicate by snuggling.

58. 2013 is the first year since 1987 that consists for four different digits.

59. With our horseless carriages, flying robots, space travel, long-distance communication at the speed of light, cloning, lasers, connection to people all over the world, we are living in the future people dreamed of.

60. If you blend a sea sponge, it will re-form back into a sea sponge.

 

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My work as a psychologist

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Freud with his couch

Therapy has for most people been associated with something mystical. Before I started with psychology myself, I also had my mental images of it, and knew about the standard Freudian couch where you simply said whatever you wanted. I`ve heard about Freud, and knew you probably had to talk about your childhood, but had no idea how a typical therapist or patient looked like.

For people who haven`t been in therapy, it is often still a mystery. A lot of my friend have asked me, isn`t it hard to hear about so many horrible things, every day? But it’s basically what we all do, every day, anyway. We see films, listen to our friends, read books and watch news about what`s going on. Of course, we don´t have the “obligation” to do something about that, so people might feel that it`s different, but I promise you, a therapist is not more than a personal trainer cheering the clients on. We always stand by our patients sides when something needs to be done or untangled.

Even if I am a therapist, I still love to go to therapy or supervision myself. I don`t respond to the words, but simply to the fact that I talk with a human being about myself. It’s good to have someone there, who just say “it truly sounds like you had a rough time”.

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What do you talk about in therapy?

This might still be a bit vague. You might think: Well, that`s fine: But what do you exactly DO in those 45 minutes? To make it more concrete, I will try to write a bit more of what therapists do in therapy. Since we can`t talk about patients, I must underline that I don`t describe any patients of mine.

Of course there will be variations in how we work and approach problems, but I always have some basics that underlie everything I do: Respect, curiosity and an attitude of “everything is possible”. I truly believe that, no matter how far someone has fallen, with motivation and hard work, nothing can´t be done.

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People come to therapy for all kinds of reasons

A typical morning for me is getting to work, looking through my calendar and appointments or maybe attending a meeting if its monday or Wednesday. Normally I have about four sessions every day, with people who have a variety of diagnosis. If we have our first meeting, I have to go through some standard questions, but mostly I try to get a description of the problem as they see it. Sometime I also give them some surveys that should be filled out before the next session, but personally I prefer to not use too much time on those, as I find talking to people and hearing their story more important.

people have a variety of problems
people have a variety of problems

In addition, people might get a bit annoyed if everything is about answering questions on papers. I also explain why they have to answer them: So that we can choose a treatment that fits people who generally score the same on those surveys. And of course, if they have a diagnosis where medications is necessary, I can`t ignore that. For very depressed, bipolar people, AD/HD or people with psychosis, conversations might not be what we focus on in the beginning. Sometimes I contact a doctor so that we can secure basics like sleep. For some people, collecting energy will be the first thing we do. It’s can be saying no to people who drain energy, working with attitudes about how perfect everything must be, or simply making a schedule where they put in healthy food, physical activities and “alone-time”. Some people worry a lot, and then the goal might be to set up experiments where those worries are put to the test. For example, people with panic attacks, might worry about fainting in public, and after a while they start to avoid situations that they feel are dangerous. An example that I actually saw on television, was a woman afraid of hurting kids if she had a knife in her hand.

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Using eye movements to reduce fear

After a while, she stopped using knives, and even made sure to lock them in. She also developed a fear where she worried she might accidentally kill someone while driving. After a while she simply stopped driving, because she didn`t want to take any risks. The therapy for her was rather concrete: She had to expose herself to what she feared, like being in the area where kids could be WHILE she carried a knife, and drive a car where people could potentially be hurt, without turning back to check if she had run over people.

I work mostly with traumatized people and people with personality disorders. I usually follow a model where I first focus on collecting energy, before we work with specific traumas that give them flashbacks, nightmares and disrupt them in their daily lives. I use EMDR for this work, which is basically using eye movements while thinking about traumatic memories. I ask them to bring forward a memory that scares them, and to think about the worst part of it. Then they keep that picture in their mind’s eye, while following specific movements I do with my fingers. I monitor their discomfort on a scale from 1-10, where 10 is the worst discomfort they have ever felt, and 0 is completely calm, and keep doing the finger movement until they feel calm. I will write more about EMDR later, but it the main point is that afterwards, it`s easier to live with what happened. People have described it as “earlier I felt the past was as real now as then and now it feels like it`s finally behind me”.

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How to say goodbye

The last “phase” is to talk about ending therapy. We go through the work we have done, and talk about how it will be to say goodbye. This is important, because separations is something a lot struggle with. I must make sure that people don’t feel abandoned, that they can take with them some part of what they learnt in their hearts. I have also talked to a therapist once, and when I feel especially low, I still hear her voice saying: “Take care of yourself, dear”. I say this to my clients: If you take some of what you have learnt here with you, I am happy. I also say that they can contact me later, if they need to. It’s just a way of saying that goodbye is just “Now you can continue on your own. I wish I could walk every step of the journey with you, and in my heart, I will”.

A lot of my jobs is actually just being there. Far too many think they aren`t good enough. It doesn`t matter how many times they have been told or have read that they have worth, it still FEELS like they haven`t. Sometimes its all about stating the obvious; I see how kind-hearted they are (most people are really wonderful), how hard they try, how much suffering they had to go through, and remind them off this, when they think they are terrible people. Therapy is about never leaving, and making sure that they never give up.

I truly care about my clients. When they manage to do something good for themselves, I cheer them on and feel real joy for them. When they change, it feels like magic. It gives me hope, because no matter how bad the past has been, there is nothing that can`t be achieved.

Memory-training as treatment for depression and PTSD

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Depression and PTSD: To feel overwhelmed by memories

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Protected: The sound of reconstruction

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