PS 033: The Power of Play Therapy With Pam Dyson (MA, LPC-S, RPT-S)  

My guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Pam Dyson. Pam is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, child development expert and parenting coach.  In addition to her private practice in Plano, Texas she provides consultation and supervision services and facilitates play therapy workshops at conferences throughout the US. She is the recipient of the Association for Play Therapy 2013 Key Award for Professional Education and Training and is currently serving a three year term on the APT Board of Directors. Pam is the founder and director of the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training.  You can learn more about Pam and her professional services at www.pamdyson.com Play therapy is a theoretical model of therapy that helps children prevent problems, resolve behavioral difficulties, and achieve optimal growth and development.  During our discussion, we explain that play is an important means of communication for children.  While play therapy generally includes children ages 3-12, it's not limited to this age group. In fact, therapies for teens and adults include art based play, sand tray and miniatures.  There's also efficacy in using play therapy with family therapy and groups. Play therapy can even be an effective form of treatment for those with dementia as a way of helping the client reconnect with their inner child and play out their life experiences. Play therapy is even helpful with working through trauma and the resistance that comes with it.  Talk therapy is more left brained while expressive therapy (like play) stimulates the right side of the brain, which can help children and adults bridge their trauma narrative. Pam and I also cover how to structure play therapy sessions, including what types of toys and materials can be used in therapeutic play! Thanks for listening! Jimmie

PS 032: Postpartum Depression with Jay Noricks (PhD)  

In this episode, I discuss Postpartum Depression with Jay Noricks (PhD). Dr. Noricks received his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in Psychological Anthropology. He specializes in trauma therapy using an approach called Parts Psychology. Dr. Noricks explains that everybody has Parts. It’s in normal language as in “A part of me wants to leave him, but another part of me can’t imagine life without him.” Or “My brain says one thing and my heart says another.” Heart and brain are two different kinds of parts. The Parts of a person are where memories are stored. Postpartum depression is similar to major depression, but it follows right after birth or right after miscarriage or stillbirth. Symptoms are often specific to motherhood, but it's different from the "baby blues." Feelings of abandonment are frequently important in postpartum depression. But a history of chronic trauma or abuse in childhood can also bring feelings of helplessness or powerlessness that are activated by childbirth. This can be another source of postpartum depression. During our discussion, we explore this trauma-based, self-state therapy for emotional healing. And we talk about the complexity of memories.  Implicit emotional memories are attached to factual memories of what happened where and when. Neutralizing painful memories connected to actual events involves working with parts of the self.  This can be an effective approach to facilitate emotional healing from various traumatic events, not just PTSD associated with childbirth.  You can learn more about Dr. Noricks at http://counselinglasvegas.net/ Thanks for listening! -Jimmie

PS 031: Borderline Personality Disorder With Daniel J. Fox (PhD)  

My guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Daniel J. Fox (PhD). Dr. Fox has been specializing in the treatment and assessment of individuals with personality disorders for over 15 years in the state and federal prison system, universities, and in private practice. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of Texas and has published several articles on personality, ethics, and neurofeedback. He is the author of The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders and the Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic and Histrionic Workbook Treatment Strategies for Cluster B Personality Disorders. His specialty areas include personality disorders, ethics, and emotional intelligence. Dr. Fox has been teaching and supervising students for over 15  years at various universities across the country, some of which include West Virginia University, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, and Florida State University. He is currently a staff psychologist at the Federal Detention Center in Houston, Texas, Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Houston, as well as maintaining a private practice that specializes in working with difficult clients. You can learn more about Dr. Fox at http://www.drdfox.com/ People with Borderline Personality Disorder have a strong sense of abandonment, and they are at greater risk to have a psychotic episode, which can further complicate matters, even if it's a brief psychotic break because of the increased risk of misdiagnosis.  During the interview, we discuss how important it is to make an accurate diagnosis and focus on things like: intensive efforts to avoid being alone, pattern of unstable, intense interpersonal relationships, patterns in poor self-identity, recurrent suicidal behavior in response to a stressor, and the paranoia or disassociation which tends to be short lived without hallucinations.  Dr. Fox also explains that when it comes to differentiating BPD from bipolar, it's important to look for triggers and behavioral responses.  You typically see these triggers in BPD, not bipolar.  But, again, it's imperative for a clinician to treat the individual, not a diagnosis. Good intakes, further exploring reporting concerns, and probing deeper are all ways to ensure an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.  People with BPD experience changes in mood and behavior that can last anywhere from minutes to hours. It's a very difficult disorder to live with and manage, so it's critical that a diagnosis only be made by a licensed mental health professional. The good news is that BPD is treatable. And it's important for clinicians to see BPD as a dual construct, that is there is core content and surface content. Surface content being things like depression and anxiety. And core content being what' driving it, like fear of abandonment, empty self, variable self image and intense loneliness.  Check out the podcast to learn more about Bipolar Personality Disorder.

PS 030: Brain Trauma, Concussions, & Sports Psychiatry With Lawrence Tucker (M.D.)  

My guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Lawrence Tucker (M.D.). Dr. Tucker is a Newport Beach Psychiatrist.  He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has been involved in research involving traumatic brain injuries and Sports Psychiatry, and he is a distinguished member of the International Society of Sports Psychiatry.  Dr. Tucker attended UCLA School of Medicine, for his Medical Degree, and stayed at UCLA for his internship and residency in Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Tucker’s training and research in traumatic brain injuries and Sports Psychiatry led him to develop an interest into Single Photon Computed Tomography (SPECT) imaging.  He trained under Dr. Amen and was the Medical Director of Mind Matters of Texas, which was an Amen-affiliated SPECT imaging center, before establishing his own private clinic in Plano, Texas.  He has contributed and co-authored a book titled, “Failure to launch”.  He's the recipient of a long list of awards, including the 2013 Top Doctor in Texas Award, by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals. You can learn more about Dr. Tucker at http://drlawrencetucker.com/ During the interview, we discuss the increased focus on Traumatic Brain Injury associated with veterans, brain trauma from home accidents and traffic wrecks, and the NFL's growing concussion problem. This session is packed with practical information that will help you understand how a concussion affects the brain and body. You'll also learn about some of the physical and cognitive challenges that may occur due to a brain injury. 

PS 029: Self-Injury With Lori Vann (MA, LPC-S)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I discuss self-injury with Ms. Lori Vann, MA, LPC-S.  Lori is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor & media consultant.  Her area of expertise is self-injury, having worked with over 400 individuals and presented on the topic over 60 times.  She has been featured on ABC, NBC, CW33 and CBS evening news several times, and has consulted on numerous film, radio, and print media projects. Self-injury is not just a rebellious teen girl issue. During the show, we discuss some of the mistakes that well-meaning parents or even professionals can make when reacting to the news that their child/client might be harming them self. We also explore what role the media plays in promoting or perpetuating self-injury. You'll even get some expert advice on what to do if you have a friend or loved one who is involved in self-injury. You can learn more about Lori Vann at http://lorivanncounseling.com

PS 028: Bipolar Disorder in Young Adults with Melissa Deuter (MD)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Melissa Deuter (MD).  Dr. Deuter is a board certified psychiatrist in San Antonio, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She completed psychiatry residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.   Dr. Deuter currently holds an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UTHSCSA and is the course director for the resident training seminar on Eating Disorders.   Dr. Deuter specializes in the care of teens, young adults, and their families and has a special interest in the unique mental health needs of emerging adults. Whether you're a young adult struggling with some of the signs/symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, or you're a friend or family member, or a professional working in the mental health field, we all play an important part in ensuring those with Bipolar Disorder get the help they need to enjoy happy and fulfilling lives. You can learn more about Dr. Deuter's professional services by visiting www.sigmamhuc.com

PS 027: Emotional Development in Students with Elizabeth Carr (MA, LPC, NCC)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Ms. Elizabeth Carr (MA, LPC, NCC). Elizabeth is a Licensed Professional Counselor, specializing in positive social and emotional development interventions for varying student populations.  She holds a BA in Psychology from Purdue University and graduated with a Master's Degree in Community Counseling from Argosy University in 2012. She is licensed in Texas, Michigan, and certified nationally.  Elizabeth began her career in student support services in Dallas, Texas, working for various public, charter, and private schools developing individualized and campus wide solution-focused, positive behavior intervention programs for students in special education.  Elementary and middle school are some of the most important years because this is a time where you learn some of the most essential skills that you need in life.  During the interview, we discuss the signs to look for that will help you identify a student who might be struggling and need extra help. We also talk about why it's important to include them in making decisions. Increasing communication is important, and it will help prevent misunderstandings. Clearly, balance is key and it's hard work, but it's certainly worth the effort. You can learn more about Ms. Carr by visiting her website at: www.resourcedmichigan.com

PS 026: Organizational Psychology & Multicultural Leadership with Christie Melonson (PhD)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Christie Melonson (PhD). Dr. Melonson is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, Psychotherapist, Professor, Organizational Leader, and Consultant in San Antonio, Texas. Her research background is in multicultural issues, primarily in leadership in behavioral health organizations.   Dr. Melonson explains that therapists and leaders can increase their effectiveness in working with diverse populations when they support multiculturalism. During the interview, we also discuss how to overcome the challenges associated with multiculturalism and build stronger teams and communities. Cultural differences are often the root of miscommunication, so learning more about different cultures can also help enhance communication and reduce conflict. Culture is central to how we view the world, and it's important to broaden our awareness and understanding about how diversity can help us gain new insights and skills. You can learn more about Dr. Melonson by visiting her website at: www.christiemelonsonlpc.vpweb.com

PS 025:  Emotional Eating with Julie M. Simon (MA, MBA, LMFT)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I discuss emotional eating with Julie M. Simon (MA, MBA, LMFT). Julie is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach with more than 25 years of experience helping overeaters stop dieting, heal their relationships with themselves and their bodies, lose excess weight, and keep it off. A lifelong fitness enthusiast, she is also a certified personal trainer with over 25 years of experience designing exercise and nutrition programs for various populations.  She is the founder and director of the well known Los Angeles–based Twelve-Week Emotional Eating Recovery Program, which offers an alternative to dieting by addressing the mind, body, and spirit imbalances underlying overeating. Julie is also the author of The Emotional Eater's Repair Manual, A Practical Mind-Body-Spirit Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting. During our discussion, we explore some of the main causes of weight gain and explain how to know if you're an emotional eater. You'll also learn about the four habits that people with a healthy level of self-acceptance naturally engage in. It is possible to overcome emotional eating, and listening to this episode of Psych Sessions can be an important step!

PS 024: Holistic Psychotherapy with Cali Estes (PhD)  

In this episode, I interview Cali Estes (PhD).  Dr. Estes holds a PhD, Psychology and Life Coaching, International Certification as a Drug and Alcohol Therapist, as well as 24 additional certifications.  She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and West Chester University.  Dr. Estes explains that a holistic therapeutic approach address the spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of a person's life. Many types of therapy can be applied holistically, but there are certain types of therapy that may be better suited for an individual than another. We also discuss the benefits of holistic psychotherapy for clients struggling with addiction and depression. You can learn more about Dr. Cali Estes by visiting her website at: http://theaddictionscoach.com/

PS 023: Self Disclosure In The Therapeutic Relationship With Darius Campinha-Bacote (PsyD)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Darius Campinha-Bacote (PsyD). He is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who received his Master’s and Doctorate of Psychology at the School of Professional Psychology located in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Campinha-Bacote explains that self-disclosure can be a powerful tool when it's used appropriately. However, there are also times when self-disclosure should be avoided. There are different types of self-disclosure, and a therapist needs to understand when and how to use self-disclosure. We also discuss some examples of self-disclosure and provide insight on how to handle those difficult questions a client might ask. You can learn more about Dr. Campinha-Bacote by visiting his website at: http://www.agapepsychservices.com/about.html

PS 022:  Imago Therapy With Tony Victor (PhD)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Tony Victor (PhD).  Dr. Victor is recognized around the country for his amazing work with couples, and he's been in private practice for more than 3 decades. He currently is the owner of a very successful group practice, The Midwest Relationship Center, LLC. He is an Imago certified Advanced Clinician, Imago Certified Workshop Presenter, Certified Consultant to Therapists, and Clinical Instructor with Imago Relationships International.  You can learn more about Dr. Victor at www.DrTonyVictor.com.

PS 021: The Psychology Of Leadership: 5 Ways To Become A More Powerful Leader  

Leaders face many challenges in today's competitive environment, and it takes self awareness and acute interpersonal skills to inspire creativity and commitment from colleagues and employees. In this episode, I share five things that will help you succeed as a leader. It doesn't happen by accident, so listen to this episode and apply what you learn! Lead With Passion!  Jimmie

PS 020:  B.F. Skinner and Operant Conditioning  

B.F. Skinner is one of the most prominent psychologists of the 20th Century.  In this episode, you will learn about his background and contributions to the field of psychology as a Behaviorist. His focus on environmental events rather than internal states expanded previous ideas about human behavior that has advanced our understanding of how the human mind works.

PS 019:  Ivan Pavlov and Classical Conditioning  

Ivan Pavlov was a Nobel Prize winning Russian physiologist who's at the center of what's been called the most famous accident in psychology.  In this episode, you'll get a clear explanation of classical conditioning that will demystify this important tenet of behaviorism.

PS 018:  Rogerian Psychotherapy  

Dr. Carl Rogers is one of the giants in the field of psychology.  He is well known for creating Person-Centered Therapy (PCT), also known as Client-Centered Therapy, and Rogerian Psychotherapy.  He was one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, and he's recognized as one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. In this episode, you will learn about his personal background and some pivotal experiences that influenced his thoughts.  His theory was revolutionary and continues to enrich the world of counseling.

PS 017:  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) With Jennifer Alosso (PsyD)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Jennifer Alosso (PsyD).  Dr. Alosso is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of OCD.  She explains that OCD can range in severity from slightly annoying to completely debilitating. Obsessive thoughts and their associated compulsive behaviors create significant anxiety. They tend to be distracting, time-consuming and can interfere with work, school and relationships with loved ones. Behavior therapy in the form of exposure and response prevention (ERP) has proven to be the most effective treatment for OCD.  To learn more about Dr. Alosso and her professional services, visit her website at: www.drjenalosso.com

PS 016:  Erikson’s 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development  

Erik Erikson's psychodynamic theory on personality development is still widely taught and used today.  Erikson believed that social relationships were very important in determining personality. He focused on the traits that might be developed during a stage, and he named these stages according to the psychosocial challenge that must be resolved to move forward.  Mastering the challenge of the stage results in what Erikson refers to as a "virtue" that will help the person overcome future developmental challenges. Erikson says that we never fully resolve the psychosocial conflicts in each of the 8 stages, but we can still live a happy and meaningful life when we develop the virtues needed to overcome life's problems.

PS 015:  Loss and Grief With Laurie Beth Morales (MSW, LCSW)  

In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Ms. Laurie Beth Morales.  Laurie Beth obtained her Master's Degree in Social Work from Arizona State University.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who has worked in a variety of treatment settings.  She explains that grief is often characterized as an emotional roller coaster: On some days, those who have lost a loved one feel incredibly sad and full of pain, while on other days they feel a lightness, or even a strange euphoria that comes from appreciating the person who has passed and reflecting on their own growth in the wake of the loss. But some people feel consistently upset and preoccupied with the person who has passed away, to the point where their relationships and work suffer for months on end. Life has lost meaning, your purpose is gone. There is a way through, it’s a choice: either adapt to life without your loved one or suffer. Laurie Beth has “walked in one’s shoes” with the sudden death of her two children, Alec, 5 years old and Asher,15 months old. It IS possible to live after the loss of your loved one, and even find happiness. You can learn more about Laurie Beth Morales and her professional services at https://icangetunstuck.com/

PS 014:  ADHD:  A Psychiatric Perspective With Jacob Moussai (MD)  

 In this episode of Psych Sessions, I interview Jacob Moussai (MD).  Dr. Moussai is a board certified psychiatrist by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is also an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Mental Health.  Dr. Moussai completed his adult psychiatry residency training at Yale School of Medicine, with additional training in neuro-behavior and geriatric psychiatry.  During the interview, we discuss the causes, symptoms, and medications used to treat ADHD.  We also learn about alternatives to medication which can be helpful.

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