Category: In the Loop

IPG’s Alison Grant Featured in A Girl Raised by Wolves


(Trigger Warning: rape, abuse, violence) I am very excited to be associated with the new memoir A Girl Raised by Wolves. I was asked to write a brief introduction to explain the mechanics of repressed memories in trauma and I was happy and proud to be a part of this story.  The book’s synopsis describes it: “In the late 1970s, in a gritty N.J. town, an adolescent girl is unwittingly handed a one-way ticket by her mother to allegedly ‘visit’ her estranged father in Florida. Young and vulnerable, Lockey Maisonnueve has no idea she is being abandoned and sent to live with a vile and dangerous pedophile who would spend the next several years violently raping, abusing and mercilessly selling his daughter’s body into childhood prostitution to other adult men. After being rescued by her naive but well-intentioned grandparents, her troubled life is further devastated by cancer and ravaged by the subsequent brutal murder of her mother, in which Lockey is briefly considered a suspect. A Girl Raised by Wolves is the inspirational memoir of a survivor of the darkest circumstances one can endure in a single lifetime and still emerge with a sense of humor and to defiantly proclaim ‘they didn’t break me!’.”  … Read more »

How to Deal with Grief After the Loss of a Parent


The passing of a parent is an unfortunate reality that all of us have to experience at some point. But that does not make it any less painful. Some of the feelings people cycle through after the loss of a loved one are shock, denial, anger, numbness, despair and sadness. If these feelings are not dealt with in a helpful way, they could lead to increased risk of psychological difficulties, such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse, according to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. It has also been found that the loss of a parent can affect physical health, according to an article published in the Journal of Family Issues. So, here are some ways to deal with grief after the loss of a parent. Seek the Help of a Grief Counselor It is always helpful to share your feelings and seek the support of friends and family. But, in some cases, that might not be enough. It is always a good idea to seek professional help in such situations. A grief counselor can help you talk about and process your feelings, such as anger, frustration and sadness, according to experts at the Institute… Read more »

Why There is No “Right” Way to Grieve


Every loss is different. Whether it is a death of a loved one, losing a job or the end of a relationship, each loss is not the same. Loss is one of the most difficult emotions to cope with, and every individual has their own way of dealing with the grief. However, it is important to understand that grieving isn’t a single experience, it is an emotional process to make peace with the loss and might take a long time to recover from, says an article by the American Cancer Society. Every person goes through a period of grief at some point in their life but none of us experience it in quite the same way. 5 Stages of Grief Life transitions can often bring about symptoms which might look a lot like anxiety and depression, even in the healthiest person, say experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. This might just throw a person off balance, resulting stress and grief. In her book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler Ross proposed 5 stages of grief. 1.      Denial This is the first stage where the person does not want to believe that a loss has occurred. This begins right after… Read more »

10 Tips to Successfully Handle Major Life Changes


The most beautiful, yet challenging aspect of life is that it brings so many changes, big and small. While change can be overwhelming, it also teaches us the most important life lessons. It compels us to change the way we interact with our surroundings and with ourselves. What is common, however, is that major life changes can cause significant psychological stress. Under such circumstances, it is important to actively adopt coping mechanisms to deal with emotions like anxiety, anger, helplessness and depression.  Here are some tips to help cope with major life changes: #1 – Keep a Regular Schedule When circumstances change, we often feel things are going out of our control. This can be unnerving. By creating and adhering to a schedule, it’s possible to focus on what we can control. The schedule works as an anchor and reminds us that some things are still the same. It’s a good idea to write down your routine and keep checking tasks off as they are completed. #2 – Seek Support It is normal to be overwhelmed by change, but know that everyone goes through difficult phases, so don’t hesitate asking friends and family for help. Simply talking to someone who… Read more »

What You Can Do When a Loved One is Depressed


With over 300 million people suffering from depression across the globe, it is the leading cause of disability on the planet, according to the World Health Organization. Depression can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. The symptoms of depression can be so severe as to prevent the person from even being able to take care of their day to day activities. Unfortunately, despite depression being so common, people experiencing it often fail to get the support and treatment they need. If someone you care about seems to have been depressed for some time now, here are some ways in which you can support them on their journey to recovery. Listen with Empathy The first step is to understand what the person is experiencing. For this, you need to help them communicate, while you listen without judgement. Keeping things bottled up can actually make the person feel worse. You might not have the solution, but simply being there for them and listening empathetically can make them feel better. Identify Signs of Worsening Depression It is important that you observe the person to check whether the depression is worsening and learn what to do if it gets… Read more »

Getting Rid of the Stigma Surrounding Therapy

With one in five individuals in the United States suffering from mental illness, there are an estimated 46.1 million people living with AMI (Any Mental Illness) in the country, according to information on The National Institute of Mental Health. Despite so many people being affected by mental health issues, there is unfortunately still a stigma associated with seeking psychotherapy and counseling. A lot of this has to do with myths and misconceptions that have historically plagued mental health. If you or a loved one is finding life difficult to cope with, seeking professional help could be the best choice to improve quality of life. However, research also shows that people often wait for long periods before seeking therapy, with couples waiting for seven years on average before seeking help, according to experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. If the fear of stigma is a hurdle in doing so, here are some things you should keep in mind. You are NOT “Weak” Mental health issues need to be viewed in the same way as we do physical illness, such as a fever or even high blood pressure. When dealing with any illness, it is recommended to seek professional help, rather… Read more »

The Difference Between Couples Therapy and Sex Therapy

couples therapy

A survey conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists revealed that almost 98% of the respondents were extremely satisfied with the results of couples therapy, says an article on GuideDoc. Seeking the right help is crucial for both your mental as well as sexual health. And, those who have sought any form of counseling or therapy do report benefits in terms of their relationships, as well as better performance in the workplace! Couples Therapy and Sex Therapy can be perceived as similar, yet are different in several ways. Is Sex Therapy the Same as Couples Therapy? Not exactly. Couples therapists help you address various challenges and issues you might be facing in terms of your emotional relationship with your partner. It could touch upon the sexual aspect too. However, the subject of intimacy might not come up at all, if it isn’t one of the issues that are affecting the relationship. On the other hand, sex therapy is focused on issues specifically related to your sex life, regardless of whether the sexual contact is with a long-term partner, one-night stands or any other form of sexual interaction. Certified sex therapists are highly qualified and experienced psychotherapists, who… Read more »

What to Look for in a Substance & Alcohol Abuse Therapist

Around 19.7 million American adults battled substance abuse in 2017. In fact, 74% of them struggled with alcohol abuse, says a report by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). While it is true that the first step to helping yourself is to accept that you need help, it is also necessary to find the right therapist for your treatment. This can be a major challenge when you are already feeling stressed by your existing problems. However, it is something that will deeply impact your recovery. So, here’s a look at how to make a choice. How to Find a Suitable Substance and Alcohol Abuse Therapist When you are looking for an opportunity for growth and positive change, it is best to approach a potential mentor, coach, teacher or therapist slowly, and do so in an investigative manner, says an article by the Institute for Personal Growth. There are several things you should look for in a potential therapist before making the final decision, such as: License and Expertise Firstly, check the therapist’s credentials to see if they have the qualifications and the required licenses to practice. Ensure that they have the certifications associated with the form of… Read more »

What to Remember If You Are Questioning Your Gender

Our society considers gender as something that is assigned to us at birth. It considered to be determined by biology, without psychology or emotions having any role to play. The reality, however, is that gender identity isn’t as binary or fixed as we are told from day #1. While concepts like gender fluidity have received some recognition in recent years, the fight to establish someone’s choice in terms of the gender they are most comfortable identifying with still is a touchy subject in many parts of the world. A person who feels they do not relate to being either a man or woman at all times can often times face a hard time finding clarity in life. However, if you are going through a period of doubt regarding your gender, remember that you are not alone. The percentage of trans adults (people whose gender is not the same as their assigned gender from birth), has doubled in the past 10 years, from 0.3% to 0.6%, says an article on Houston Chronicle. This can be due to the rising awareness from the media and online communities. If you have been questioning your gender, you might be experiencing a plethora of emotions…. Read more »

6 Goals That Can Be Achieved Through Family Therapy

Our family plays a huge role in determining our identity and what we become, both for the better and for the worse. We learn how to interact with the world around us, while forming our beliefs, values and overall personality. If we are born into a family that struggles to emotionally connect with each other, it can lead to a lack of confidence in ourselves and various other issues. One way that families can work on providing a supportive environment for individual family members is through family therapy. Family therapy is an effective way to address various issues within a family and even heal emotional wounds. There is evidence to support the effectiveness of family problem solving and multisystemic family therapy, says an article by the PACFA Research Committee. Here are some goals that can be achieved with family therapy. 1.   Better Adjustment If one or more of the family members is suffering from a mental disorder, it can lead to a lot of added stress within the family. Some members might show very low levels of acceptance. Here, the goal of family therapy is assist the family to understand the nature of the disorder. 2.   Improved Understanding Effective family… Read more »