Monthly Archives: October 2006

recovering from anorexia: 10 activities

what do people do when they start on their recovery from anorexia? here is a list of ten things that those who deal with this eating disorder mention most frequently. these are activities that they themselves decide on. that’s important to keep in mind. if i were to say to one of my clients, “jo, why don’t you cook a nice meal for anne and bob? you could prepare something you like and then have some yourself!”, it would quite possibly backfire. however, i’m happy when a client comes in and tells the story of doing some of these things.

(if you’d like a bit of support with any of this, drop me a line).

1. positive eating, e.g.
meeting up with a friend for lunch, even though it’s scary to eat in public
eating a healthy breakfast (not just Continue reading

creative writing: waking up from our routines

“creative writing increases physician observation skills and connection to patients”

this is the heading of a study at the yale school of medicine, which showed that creative writing had a positive impact on how doctors saw themselves, their patients and their peers. resident physicians often deal with quite a bit of negativity Continue reading

children and poverty: talk about harm!

a comment to my blog entry on self harm says:

“From a professional point of view, the only time intervention is required is when a behaviour becomes pathological ie socially unacceptable and detrimental to your health or someone else’s.”

i am grateful to dawn for this comment because it brought up some important concepts.

an interesting question is, what does “detrimental” mean – is there a Continue reading

imagining the future

at yesterday’s fireside chat at sacred space, one of the topics that came up was the extent of our ability to imagine the future. it appears that we have many mental barriers to effectively doing that.

one person mentioned that she can somehow sense a future many years hence, but finds it very difficult to fill up this future with any content – perhaps one could say the future exists for her but in her mind it is empty.

in discussing how nanotechnology will change our future Continue reading


(this is another guest blog by my husband glenn, providing a bit of insight into the mind of a smoker)

My daughter’s class in school is going through a series of discussions/learning modules on the dangers of smoking, so she has been passing along some the things she’s learned to me, and has been asking some questions about my smoking habit.

I did some experimenting in high school with friends but didn’t start smoking regularly until I moved out of the house and went to college. Back then (1979) it was relaxing and a cool (not kewl) thing to do, especially as I was hanging around with wannabe musicians, and largely those of a jazz background.

Since then, I quit once for 3 weeks for allergy reasons, but otherwise have been pretty consistent with my 3-6 cigarettes a day habit. That’s somewhere between 45,000 to 50,000 cigarettes to date, I guess.

3-6 cigarettes a day is not a lot compared to most regular smokers, but I don’t know if that makes it any easier to quit.

There are various reasons why I would like to quit. Probably Continue reading

more on depression and self reflection

reading over the contents of my last blog entry on depression and self-reflection, a few thoughts came to mind.

the article was not written by someone who had done systematic research and observation of people dealing with depression. rather, the writer seems to have a certain view, and in order to support it, he cites a number of different researchers. of course, there is nothing wrong with that – people, including researchers, do it all the time. i’d just like to present a slightly different view here.

the first research cited is about mildly depressed college students who, after spending a few minutes thinking about mundane topics, report a better mood than their counterparts who spend a few minutes thinking about themselves.

i have no reason to doubt this research, and agree that there are times when distraction is the best thing to do in a depression. however, it would be unwise to conclude from this that depressed persons should not Continue reading

depression and self-reflection

(this is another reprint from my old blog, from the beginning of the year)

timothy wilson, an editor at the new york times, has this to say about self reflection and depression:

Research by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a clinical psychologist at Yale University, shows that when people are depressed, ruminating on their problems makes things worse.

In one study, mildly depressed college students were asked to spend eight minutes thinking about themselves or to spend the same amount of time thinking about mundane topics like “clouds forming in the sky.”

People in the first group focused on the negative things in their lives and sunk into a worse mood. People in the other group actually felt better afterward, possibly because Continue reading