Announcement: Mental Health Blog

I have decided to skip the usual list of links to major mental health websites. If you are looking for those, I highly recommend you start from the site of Michigan Mental Health Network . This site encompasses everything you may want to know about mental health in Michigan and beyond. It contains a directory of therapists, clinics and support groups in Michigan; an excellent list of links to mental health websites; and interesting articles for professionals and lay persons alike.

Another excellent resource is the website The guide to self help books. It contain a directory of books, arranged by different topics in self help, personal growth and self improvement areas.

I will dedicate this space to less known resources, that touched me deeply and influenced my life and my professional work.

This blog is not a substitute for professional advice on diagnosis or treatment of a mental health condition. Please consult with a professional before trying any of the ideas presented here.

If you have more recommendations along those lines, email me at mchll.samuel@gmail.com I’ll be more than happy to add them.

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journal as a self help tool

Many people use a  journal to enhance their well being and cope with variety of mental health challenges.  A journal can have a wide variety of uses. The Journal can enhance a persons creativity. The Journal may also be helpful in managing the writer’s emotions. The Journal may be a useful tool in delving into, and coming to terms with one’s past.

One technique is recommended in  The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity [10th Anniversary Edition].

The instruction provided in the “Artists Way”   is  to write what ever comes to mind. You should let the written words pour out in a stream of consciousness with no regard or concern for literary value. The method is based on the assumption that no one will ever see your journal so you are free to write whatever comes to mind. In fact you are advised not to look back and reread what you wrote. It is the act of uninhibited writing that is therapeutic. This technique was initially developed to enhance creativity. Clinical experience shows that it support mental health as well.

People that are depressed should be cautious using this method. For some, it can be beneficial. Others may find that this method exacerbates their depression . They may use the free flowing journal to dwell on minor faults  and sorrows. These people may benefit more from a more structured way of journaling.

One of the simplest structured forms of writing a journal to help alleviate depression is, at the end of the day, to write down three things that you are grateful for.  It is important to persevere and to write down three real things that are unique; not to repeat oneself day after day. As simple as this may sound, studies have shown a beneficial effect of this method. It gradually alters the way we perceive our world.

journal as self help tool for mental health

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Body Image

Recommended book:
The Body Image Workbook: An Eight-Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks
body image is a major concern and source of depression for women, and sometimes men. Women always seem to think that their body is not “right”. It is either too fat, too thin, not fit enough, or not according to barby model. Many women do not let themselves live until they get to their “ideal” weight, which means they let their life pass by. Well, life tend not to wait for them. This dissatisfaction with their body is a major cause for low sexual desire for women.

This workbook is designed to help people accept and love their own body, just as it is now.

Strangely enough, once people accept their own body, they tend to lose weight more easily often reaching their  optimal weight, according to their body type, which may be far from their original idealized image.

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