Building Healthy Relationships: Trends in Couples Therapy

October 23, 2010

Today I attended a workshop on “Trends in Couples Therapy” presented by the internationally renowned psychologist, Dr.  F. W. Kaslow.  She remarked that “more remarried couples…bring residual backage from prior  marriages.”                      

In my practice, I try to cut this off at the pass, by working with divorcing individuals to encourage them to engage in building healthy relationships with their spouse.  they get divorced with less emotional turmoil – notably less anger and depression. 

In marriage counseling, I tell the couple that I will help them bring more stability and happiness to the marriage and less angst.  Then after a given period, perhaps six months, they can decide whether to remain together or get divorced.  If they choose divorce, they are less likely to bring the emotional baggage to the next relationship.

Irving M. Nadler, Ph.D., Boca Raton Psychologist, working at building healthy relationships.        Tel:  561-361-0711


Building Healthy Relationships: Economic Stress Causing You Relationship Woes

October 8, 2010

As I was cleaning my desk, I came across a reprint of a blog by Dr. Goodstone about my ideas of how to build healthy realtionships during stressful economic times.     This was in May 2009, but the suggestions are valid today.                                                                                                                                 1.   Accept your spouse or significant other “as is” “in their attitude toward financial matters and having a non-judgmental discussion about change”.                                                                                                                                                      2.  “Find “stuff” to do to enhance the relationship and reduce stress”. …”make dates to go to free concerts, walk along the beach, or spend time in a local park.”                                                                                                                                             3.  “Become more sensual and sexual…hold hands.”                                                                                                                                                          4.  “Try giving your spouse a movie star kiss unexpectedly”.

I did the last and my wife of 40 years said “What did you do?”  I told her I was only taking the advice of a famous psychologist and showed her the internet article.

Suggestion – use the above for building healthy relationships.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Boca Raton Psychologist: Drinking Water Proven to Help Weight Loss

October 4, 2010

Brenda Davy recently presented the first randomized controlled study about the effects of drinking water on weight loss to the American Chemical Society   Two groups of adults, ages 55-75, were put on a low-calorie diet.   One group drank two glasses of water prior to each meal and they lost 15.5 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. The other group,which did not drink water before meals lost 11 pounds.  The water drinkers consumed fewer calories.

The conclusion for those of us who wish to lose weight (myself included) is to consume water prior to meals.  The water gives the dieter a feeling of a full stomach and may also prevent consuming drinks with calories.

The Boca Raton Psychologist, Dr. Nadler,  will give this article to those of  his clients interested in the psychology of weight loss.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Boca Raton Psychologist: Can Money Buy Happiness?

September 28, 2010

Last month, “Can Money Buy Happiness?” by Sonja Lyubomirsky appeared in Scientific American.   Wealth can enable us to purchase many things, but at the same time, it may impair our ability to enjoy those things.  Wealth can undermine our ability to savor life’s small pleasures.  Although we may able to fly in a private jet, can we enjoy a sunny day after a week of rain or spend an enjoyable hour with a friend a Starbucks?

We have a choice – we can become janitors of the things that money can buy or we can use money to improve our emotional well-being.  Research shows that some of the things that can bring us happiness by spending money are as follows:  activities that help us grow as a person (taking guitar lessons);  strengthening relations with others (dinner with a friend);  contributing to the community (catering a fundraiser);  spending money on small pleasures (fresh flowers); splurging on something we work hard to get; etc.  In these challenging economic times, Doctor Nadler, Boca Raton Psychologist, helps his clients find more happiness without great wealth.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Boca Raton Psychologist: Can Exercise Moderate Anger?

August 26, 2010

The Boca Raton Psychologist blogs interesting and potentially useful information about psychology.  Gretchen Reynolds wrote an article in the NY Times magazine section – “Can Exercise Moderate Anger?”  Research has indicated that exercise, particularly aerobic exercise has a positive effect on both depression and anxiety.  In a study of college students with high trait anger, i.e., a tendency to experience anger more so than the average person, were presented with neutral slides and slides designed to evoke anger.   On alternate days, the subjects either sat quietly or rode a stationary bike.  The dependent variable measures were  electrical activity of the brain and self-report of anger on a 0 – 9 scale.  The results showed that on both measures, exercise can reduce anger.  Previously studies have indicated serotonin as the brain chemical involved in angry feelings.

Certainly, much more work is needed to demonstrate the effect.  However, routinely recommends exercise for all my clients (with their physician’s approval of course) who have either anxiety or depression.  Now, in addition, the Boca Raton Psychologist  will refer clients with anger management issues to this blog to help motivate them to include exercise in their life.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Dealing with Anxiety and Stress: Understanding Anxiety Disorders and Effective Treatment IV

August 20, 2010

From the Good Practice –  “Licensed psychologists are highly trained and qualified to diagnose and treat people with anxiety disorders.”  Dr. Nadler has been trained to use several forms of psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – his specialty.  His internship was psychoanalytic and on occasion he uses a dynamic approach interwoven with CBT.  He has also been trained in hypnotherapy. 

The treatment for anxiety is worked out in collaboration with the client and tailored to his/her individual needs.  As he has been named by his colleagues, Dr. Relax, because of his contagious tranquil demeanor and his use of relaxation techniques, Dr. Nadler has often been able to help people diminish some of  their anxiety in the first few sessions. 

According to the article, psychotherapy on a weekly basis generally takes several months to reduce symptoms of anxiety to an appreciable extent.  Dr. Nadler also was the leader of a stress management program for employees in a VA hospital for many years.  Dealing with anxiety and stress is one of the activities that he enjoys doing the most as the improvement in his clients is very rewarding.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Dealing with Anxiety and Stress: Understanding Anxiety Disorders and Effective Treatment III

August 17, 2010

In Good Practice the issue of importance of treating anxiety disorders is not just the alleviation of the symptoms, but if left untreated, there may be adverse consequences.  Family life and job performance may suffer; and there is a greater tendency to find solutions in drugs and alcohol.

Effective treatments are available for anxiety disorders.  Cognitive behavior therapy is an evidence based treatment.  That means research demonstrates that it is effective.  With cognitive therapy, the client learns that his /her thoughts lead to symptoms.  When these thoughts are identified, they can be changed by the client with practice so as to alleviate the frequency and intensity of  the anxiety symptoms.  When behavior therapy is combined with cognitive therapy, the undesirable behaviors can be reduced or stopped altogether.

Dr. Nadler has been using cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety for several decades to help people feel better and find more happiness.  His doctoral dissertation, way back in 1976, was about a paradigm using self-instructions (cognitions) to lessen test anxiety.  Dealing with anxiety and stress is one of his areas of expertise.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Dealing with Anxiety and Stress: Understanding Anxiety Disorders and Effective Treatment II

August 13, 2010

Continuing the educational article from Good Practice, the major types of anxiety disorders are delineated – generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. (These can be googled for comprehensive information).  The anxiety disorders not only have psychological components, but also have physical components, which may include  symptoms such as insomnia and racing heart beat.

When anxiety disorders go untreated, the suffering continues.  About 30 years ago Dr. Nadler’s colleagues named him “Dr. Relax” because his calm demeanor was contagious.  His clients were generally more at ease even in the very first session.  In addition, he teaches a variety of anxiety reduction techniques that are quite beneficial to his clients. 

Dr. Nadler has a passion for helping people to diminish their anxiety and thereby improve their relationships, work more effectively and find more happiness.  Dealing with anxiety and stress is one of his specialties.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Dealing with Anxiety and Stress: Understanding Anxiety Disorders and Effective Treatment I

August 10, 2010

The recent issue of  “Good Practice” by the APA Practice Organization has a handout for clients entitled “Understanding Anxiety Disorders and Effective Treatment”.  I will present the information  in several blogs. 

The article starts out “Everyone feels anxious from time to time”.  When I discuss anxiety with my clients I have given the following example for the past 30 years.  Anxiety is necessary for life.  When you cross the street, you must look  left and right before crossing.  Young children, who do not understand the concept of injury and death, do not experience anxiety.  Therefore they need to be watched so they won’t cross the street and be injured.  On the other hand, if someone repeatedly looks left and right and has too much anxietyto cross the street, they can only live on one block and their functioning is severely impaired by anxiety.  Those who suffer from frequent and intense anxiety may have difficulty in building healthy relationships and difficulty at work. 

 About 25 years ago, my colleagues named me Dr. Relax because of my contagious tranquil demeanor and my ability to teach people how to relax. Fortunately, psychologists have excellent methods of dealing with anxiety and stress.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

Dealing with Anxiety and Stress: Guiding Your Sleep While You’re Awake

August 1, 2010

To cope with nightmares, last week Sarah Kershaw wrote an article in the NY TImes – “Guiding Your Sleep While You’re awake.”  Dr. Barry Krakow helped to develop “imagery rehearsal therapy.”  The client selects a nightmare that he/she can learn how to transform into a dream of diminished intensity.  During the waking state, change the dream in your mind’s eye to have positive images.   Rehearse the new dream for 10-20 minutes each day and over time, the intensity of the nightmare will lessen and it may even become merely a dream. 

Ms. Kershaw presented several psychological methods to alter nightmares, but his seemed the best to me for dealing with anxiety and stress from nightmares.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711