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Dr. Laura's Meaningful Psychological Services

Online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, CBIT, ERP, CBT-I, Behavior Consultation, and Treatment for Anxiety and Insomnia

Laura Van Schaick-Harman, Psy.D., BC-TMH

Blog

Blog

Meaningful Psychological Services: Really Useful Thoughts from a Psychologist 

Helpful interests, ideas, and resources about psychology, therapy, mindfulness, cognitive-behavior therapy, anxiety, living meaningfully and online therapy.

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Healthy Screen Time for Families

Posted on May 24, 2022 at 3:30 PM

Many families have been struggling with managing screen time in their homes. It is important to consider several factors regarding the use of technology in your home. I have shared some resources below to help make decisions.

 

 

 

Your Child’s First Phone: Are They Ready? (American Academy of Pediatrics)

 

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Cell-Phones-Whats-the-Right-Age-to-Start.asp...

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CODA

Posted on April 25, 2022 at 4:55 PM

One of the best movies I have seen was the deserving recipient of this year’s Best Picture award at the Oscars. CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) is a meaningful film that depicts themes of love, growing up, parenting, passion, family conflicts, strength, vulnerability, bravery, acceptance, fear of differences, unity, friendships, financial ability, and class differences. The music is beautiful. The language is visually beautiful. The pain is awe inspiring. CODA is inspiring. This film is wor...

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Turning Red

Posted on March 22, 2022 at 4:20 PM

I was totally in after the first trailer I viewed. Turning Red is a movie that highlights and depicts some relevant social and emotional connections in a parent-child-family relationship as well as among peers. This film also highlights cultural traditions and diversity in a beautiful way. I will try and avoid spoilers as usual. Here goes....

 

For the average teenager, what would be SUPER embarrassing? If you guessed a parent unexpectedly breaking school rules to show up un...

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Play

Posted on February 28, 2022 at 9:15 AM

What a joy it is to see children playing at a park, playground, in school, and at home. This unstructured time is important for cognitive, emotional, social and physical development. As adults, we sometimes forget the power of play in childhood (and in our own lives).

 

I love seeing the joy of exploring the world, nature, and new friends at the park or playground. It is fun to watch my boys and other kids learn to roll down big hills again and again. Simple, pure, childhoo...

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Digital Minimalism

Posted on January 26, 2022 at 9:45 AM

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a healthy start to 2022. Let’s look at one, probably large, aspect of your life together- the role of technology.

 

How much of a role does technology play in your life? Are you overwhelmed with social media comparisons, email checking, or continuous text conversations? Do you feel satisfied with how you spend your time? Are you having difficulty watching a full-length movie? Does your smartphone attend all of your meals with you? Do...

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Hope

Posted on December 15, 2021 at 5:35 PM

As we finish out 2021 and are reflecting on this very challenging year, I am hoping to share some caring thoughts. We have had a difficult year collectively and have grown weary, anxious, and depressed. Some have lost friends, family members, careers, relationships, and hope. We have adjusted our lives to evaluate risks and benefits for almost every aspect of our lives in order to make safe decisions.

 

I encourage you to lean into your faith, resilience, and support system...

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Ted Lasso: Part Two

Posted on November 29, 2021 at 4:20 PM

As promised, this is the next part of my review and recommendation of the series Ted Lasso. As usual, I will do my best to avoid spoilers. If you haven’t read the first part, you can access it here:  https://meaningfulpsychservices.blogspot.com/2021/10/ted-lasso.html

 

The show Ted Lasso depicts a realistic experience with mental health issues, including (but not limited to) attachment, depression, anxiety, marital conflicts, and panic. We see the development of sy...

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Ted Lasso

Posted on October 28, 2021 at 12:00 AM

I am inspired by the series Ted Lasso and I hope you will be inspired too. I am going to try and avoid spoilers, so if you haven’t watched, please do (for mature audiences- this is not a kid friendly show) and read on!

 

 

This series highlights the ups and downs of life in a spectacular and unique way. One of the best and consistent themes throughout is a sense of optimism and strength despite stressors. We often describe this as resilience, a skil...

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Nature

Posted on September 28, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Are you taking time to be outside? Do you spend moments noticing trees, grass, flowers, or clouds. Are you enjoying feeling fresh air or the warmth of the sun? Being in nature is beneficial for our mental and physical health. It is also very important that our children spend time outside as often as possible. You may notice a positive difference in your child or student’s behavior after some outside play time. Here is an interesting article about the importance of being in nature for ...

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Play and Connection

Posted on August 26, 2021 at 12:25 AM

This may be one of the most amazing videos I have ever seen. Play is so important for our children (and adults too!) and often overlooked. Play can be simple, real, unstructured, interactive, cooperative, and imaginative. Play is important for leaning, problem solving, and cognitive development. Have fun playing!


https://www.ted.com/talks/molly_wright_how_every_child_can_thrive_by_five/up-next#t-441795

Four Horsemen and Couples

Posted on July 19, 2021 at 3:05 PM

Couples can sometimes find themselves in an unhealthy cycle of communication issues, misunderstandings, intimacy discomforts, and conflict. You may have heard about the “Four Horsemen” related to couples, a series of unhelpful and hurtful behaviors that harm relationships. Here is an excellent description of these patterns as well as some strategies for couples to improve their relationship.     


https://ggia.berkeley.e...

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Parenting Self-Care

Posted on June 23, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Balancing parenthood with any other aspect of life is a challenge. Becoming a parent presents some amazing opportunities to face anxiety and stress. Through it all and during whatever stage of parenting you may be at now, taking care of yourself is essential. Here is an excellent article with some practical and realistic strategies for self-care as a parent.  

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Digital Wellness

Posted on May 27, 2021 at 5:20 PM

To avoid spoilers, read this post by Dr. Kanaris, sex therapist and psychologist, first. It’s not what you think! https://cyberinfidelityhelp.com/a-love-letter/

 

 

Then, read on...

 

  

Is technology serving you well or do you feel like you are being controlled by your phone, emails, social media, or other screens? There are excellent ways that technology can be a wonderful tool. We can connect with people in re...

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Languishing During a Pandemic

Posted on April 27, 2021 at 3:05 PM

Checking in on you this month. How are you doing? We have been in this collective trauma for over a year, and this is going to impact all of us. There was a recent article shared about the “blah” feeling many people have been experiencing during these later stages of the pandemic. I am sharing this with you https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html?smid=url-share" target="_blank">here.

 

I encourage you ...

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Embracing Spring With Mindfulness

Posted on March 30, 2021 at 12:00 AM

Happy Spring!

 

 

The days are longer and the weather is nicer. I want to encourage you to embrace the environment and enjoy outdoor activities as much as possible.


Here are some ways to be mindful and optimize your day:

 

 

Feel the warmth of the sun on your body- pay attention to the sensation on your skin.

 

Appreciate the weeds- they are a sign of life and warm weather.

...

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Exposure is Important

Posted on February 23, 2021 at 2:05 PM

There are many opportunities for challenging your anxiety in everyday life. Many of you who have suffered with anxiety or OCD already know this because you see how often you encounter a trigger either at work, at school, in the store, on your phone, or on your TV screen. When anxiety rises in response, your first reaction may be to avoid the trigger. You look away from a scene, change the channel, turn the other direction, leave a store, avoid going to school, or leave work early. When you av...

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Inspiration From Movies

Posted on January 19, 2021 at 12:05 AM

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

Do you feel in need of some inspiration? I have compiled some fun and inspiring ideas based on several family friendly movies. I hope that you may change your perspective, set a new goal, learn to appreciate your strengths and weaknesses, and enjoy a movie with someone you care about. I have tried to avoid any spoilers!

 

Jingle Jangle: Believe in yourself. Be patient. Embrace ...

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Meaningful Holidays During COVID

Posted on December 14, 2020 at 11:00 AM

It’s December- many months into the pandemic and in the middle of the holiday season. For some, the season is not very merry. You may be feeling depressed, discouraged, and defeated. My hope is to provide some encouragement, inspiration, and helpful information to navigate the difficulty during this challenging time.

 

Together, we can cope with and grow from our experiences during this very unusual holiday season. See these articles for recommendations, strategies, ...

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Breathing As a Skill

Posted on November 24, 2020 at 12:10 AM

Deep breathing is an essential skill for relaxation and calming down anxiety. While we are breathing all the time, we often take shallow breaths or hold our breath for brief periods of time. Breathing this way can lead to higher anxiety. We are living during a stressful time and many people are reporting increased levels of anxiety. Changing the way we breathe can make a big difference. Take a look at this article with some ideas to help breathe better:


https://greatergo...

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Election Related Stress

Posted on October 30, 2020 at 12:15 AM

Many people have expressed an increase in anxiety and stress related to the upcoming election.

 

 

This month, I am sharing some resources to help manage anxiety during this unique time.

 

 

Fear: A powerful motivator in elections

 

https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/10/fear-motivator-elections


 

 

Presidential Election Anxiety and the Role of Psychiatry

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