5 Ways to Support the Family and Friends of a Loved One With Cancer: Keep Hope Alive When The Path Is Uncertain

5 Ways to Support the Family and Friends of a Loved One With Cancer: Keep Hope Alive When The Path Is Uncertain

By Carrie Miller, LCSW / Talkspace Therapist

Imagine someone you love dearly – your child, parent, sibling, or another relative – being diagnosed with cancer. It’s hard to place yourself in that position, and to think about what you would do if it were to happen. What support would we need in place? What would we do if that were our family member?

Childhood cancer is a topic that is close to my heart, as my now 6 year old nephew is a survivor of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. He was diagnosed at the age of 2. The moment that my sister and her husband got the news that “something isn’t right”, their hearts sank. They were terrified and had questions that the doctors could not yet answer for them; they were stuck in a hospital two hours away from home and had to leave another child with the grandparents to be there. The worst part was they were not sure about what came next. Calls went out to other family members, friends, and anyone else who could send support and offer a helping hand. Continue reading 5 Ways to Support the Family and Friends of a Loved One With Cancer: Keep Hope Alive When The Path Is Uncertain

What Should I Do? The Difference Between Advice And Therapy

What Should I Do? The Difference Between Advice And Therapy

“Words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man.” – Louis Nizer

– by Ken Fields, MA, LMHC / Talkspace Therapist

There is a big difference between advice and therapy, and this blog post will address that difference. As a therapist, I have received a fairly large amount of inquires from people asking what they should do in a particular situation. For example, “My spouse is having an affair, what should I do?” Or, “I don’t like my job, what advice can you give me?” Continue reading What Should I Do? The Difference Between Advice And Therapy

Dear Therapist: Have Any Good Reading Suggestions For My Bibliotherapy?

Dear Therapist: Have Any Good Reading Suggestions For My Bibliotherapy?

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”
– Rene Descartes

Like many others, I went through a turbulent time during my adolescence. Much of that had to do with standard growing pains, but there were also many external factors involved. This caused me to occasionally go into seclusion for days at a time in an attempt to get my bearings and come to grips with all of the diverse feelings, emotions, and thoughts that flooded my system. It was my way of recharging, regrouping, and preparing for reentry into the world. But I didn’t spend this time moping around. Instead I read, ferociously.
Continue reading Dear Therapist: Have Any Good Reading Suggestions For My Bibliotherapy?

Why Do People In Committed Relationships Cheat? (Part 2)

Why Do People In Committed Relationships Cheat? (Part 2)

An interview with Talkspace Therapist and Head of Clinical Development, Nicole Amesbury, MS, LMHC

When you talk about the excitement someone feels when he or she begin to cheat, what chemicals are at work?

You have adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine at work. Oxytocin comes in later – it helps create a stronger attachment, a long-term attachment. That is, “I can trust you to continually get my needs met.” Continue reading Why Do People In Committed Relationships Cheat? (Part 2)

Hallucinations, and the Passing of Oliver Sacks

Hallucinations, and the Passing of Oliver Sacks

When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.
– Oliver Sacks

It’s always hard when you realize that someone you respected and admired has passed away, and that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I read that Oliver Sacks died at his Greenwich Village home on Sunday morning (August 30th) at the age of 82. The cause of death was cancer. Continue reading Hallucinations, and the Passing of Oliver Sacks

Social Media For Good: 15 of the Best Tweets About Depression

Social Media For Good: 17 of the Best Tweets About Depression

Depression, one of the most common and most stigmatized mental disorders of them all, has had a rare moment in the spotlight this summer as Twitter users spoke out and banded together over the illness.
– by Molly Enking / Talkspace Social Media Manager

Their tweets offer a rare glimpse into the world of those who struggle with depression daily, but may not speak up – even to their loved ones.

Using the hashtags #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs (trending August 7th), #MHDignityMarch (trending August 18th) and #EndTheStigma (used by most mental health organizations), users are bravely opening their hearts and minds to the Twittersphere—and promoting a conversation that very much needs to happen in this country. Continue reading Social Media For Good: 15 of the Best Tweets About Depression

Understanding the Lingering Impact of Trauma on Relationships

Why do some people become addicted?

“Someone who has experienced trauma also has gifts to offer all of us – in their depth, their knowledge of our universal vulnerability, and their experience of the power of compassion.”
– Sharon Salzberg, author and teacher.

Understanding the Lingering Impact of Trauma on Relationships
It’s 7:10 PM and you’re anxiously waiting at the restaurant your partner has picked out for your weekly date night. You usually run a little late because you try on three different outfits before you leave, but tonight you arrived early for your 7 PM dinner reservation and have been waiting at the restaurant since 6:50 PM.
You want to show your partner that you’re committed to working on your punctuality. The server has stopped by several times to take your order, and you’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable as you wait for your partner.
Continue reading Understanding the Lingering Impact of Trauma on Relationships

Dear Therapist: Do You Believe In Free Will?

Dear Therapist: Do You Believe In Free Will?

“We must believe in free will, we have no choice.”
– Isaac Bashevis Singer

When I was a kid, I used to think that life was predominantly joyful, that people were for the most part self-less, and that age would make the majority of people a whole lot wiser – I was wrong. Life is beautiful, but it’s also heartbreaking, complicated, worrisome, and definitely not as uplifting as I once thought it was. People can be kind, but kindness is often conditional and in short supply. And becoming a grownup seems like nothing more than being a bigger kid with a bigger vocabulary, in a bigger playground facing bigger bullies. Continue reading Dear Therapist: Do You Believe In Free Will?

We Need to Get Better at Talking About Mental Illness

How to Shame the Stigma Around Mental Illness

Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all – Bill Clinton

We live in a busy and chaotic world where it can be difficult for us to find inspiration or direction.

Thanks to social media outlets and mainstream media, we are constantly bombarded and marginalized by messages touting perfection. It seems that our best is not “good enough.” And nowhere is this “imperfection shaming” phenomenon more visible than when discussing the topic of mental illness. Continue reading We Need to Get Better at Talking About Mental Illness