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Can Blogs Really Help?
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.: Mon, May 4th 2009
Recently I was contacted by a reader relaying her concern that people are in so much pain that how can a blog really help? This question is worth an exploration as if you're reading this blog; it is likely that you or someone you know has really been suffering. Do blogs really help?
Blogs are certainly not meant to be the sole source of healing in relation to suffering. If you or someone you love is suffering from severe anxiety, depression, addiction, or trauma it is important to either seek support from a community of understanding people (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous, trauma groups, Life Ring) and if possible, get the help of a skilled therapist and/or psychiatrist.
With that said, blogs and online communities can be a piece of a person's recovery plan. Blogs can provide that bit of insight or shift in mind frame to integrate into our work and general life. Blogs also provide a space for us to read one another's comments and get the idea that we are indeed not alone in our suffering and others are struggling too. These comments from peers at times give us ideas on how others have been dealing with these similar issues. More than anything it provides a place to connect, which in itself is a great source of healing.
Short pieces of writing have the ability to have a wonderful affect on us, even more so than a lengthy book or an extended lecture.
For example, the very true quote by Sonia Johnson:
"What we resist, persists"
These four words have enormous truth to them. When we feel anxious or sad and resist it, it just seems to grow and we become more tense and aggravated. This is a core principle in mindfulness as we're taught to notice the things that we react with aversion to and instead begin to approach this discomfort instead of avoiding it. By learning to relate differently to our stress and pain we can transform our experience from struggle to freedom. In order to support people in integrating mindfulness into daily live I have started a twitter feed to follow at http://twitter.com/Mindful_Living .
How have you been affected by blogs, what is helpful and not helpful? What are short pieces that you have found supportive in your own life? Please share, it is from this sense of community, sharing, and connection that healing can occur.
Keeping it in perspective - - May 6th 2009
This is a tough call...blogs can certainly be helpful for those who are unable to verbalize their feelings, who feel ashamed of verbalizing their feelings or needs, who have a difficult time seeking and receiving help, and for those who need to "vent" or get things off their chest so to speak. However, I do agree with Dr. Goldstein that someone who has a true and debilitating problem should seek profesional help and blogs should not be the only source of help. But it can certainly aid one in furthering their search for help. For example, if a man feels that seeking help for his depression would lesson his masculinity in some way, he could indeed find a blog for mental health or a blog solely for mens mental health. Discussing his needs with others and online therapists may encourage him to discuss his needs with a psychologist or another professional in person. Blogs, if regulated properly and screened appropriately, can provide much needed advice and comfort to those in need of emotional support. One can vent all their feelings in the privacy of their home, office, car, etc. and never have to feel subconscious after walking into a therapists office. It is quite obvious that the pros can outweigh the cons, but again blogs should continue to be kept in proper perspective, never should they take the place of true professional support, but rather be used as a foundation for further support. Dr.Thttp://kalkap.ning.com/
Any form of communication helps - Rebecca Faye - May 6th 2009
Ive read your blog and you've hit on a very great point. Since so many people rely on our technology today , almost every resource is important..ive found this website that lets you directly connect to a therapist over the internet and its very cheap and helped me so much...www.therapycounseling.com -Maybe it could help some people who are struggling..Thanks!