Archive for August, 2010

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

Building Healthy Relationships: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk

August 1, 2010

Dr. Ken Pope notified me of an article “Social Relationships and Mortality Risk”  that recently appeared in PLOS Medicine.  In a meta-analysis, 300,000+ individuals studied for an average of 7.5 years had a 50% greater likelihood of survival if they had adequate social relationships as opposed to insufficient social relationships.  This effect on mortality was comparable to quitting smoking and better than weight loss.  Despite living in the communication era, people are far less likely to have a confidant and more likely to feel socially isolated.

What does this mean for psychotherapy?  Building healthy relationships can be a goal of treatment that will improve health risk.  Of course, building healthy relationships is a challenge for those who had them historically, but extraordinarily difficult for those who never had them.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711