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The Psychology of Pranking

Psychologists have studied pranks for years. Humor, in general, is good for us. Neuropsychology research has shown that laughing improves well-being. Humor and laughter release endorphins and oxytocin, neurochemicals that are associated with happiness and social bonding. But why are practical jokes or pranks even funny in the first place? From clinical psychology, a summary…

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The power of friendship

Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe: two incredible and talented women who formed what was considered to be an unlikely friendship in the turbulent early 1950s. However, they had a lot in common. Both had experienced difficult childhoods punctuated by poverty, abuse, assault, neglect, and lack of stability, as well as a determination and courage to…

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The importance of Uncles and Aunts

My uncle taught me how to salsa and dance the Latin hustle, took me to my first rock concert, taught me how to drive stick though I turned his hair gray and ground his gears, provided a shoulder for heartbreak tears when my parents divorced, listened to to my romantic travails, watched my favorite television…

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Word Power: The Neuropsychology of Poetry

I read a poem every morning and frequently encourage clients to include poetry as part of their self-care/healing routines. Poetry has an emotional force that evokes basic human empathy. In a few essential words, it can express grief, longing, resolve, hope, and anger. Poetry can provide comfort and boost mood during periods of stress, trauma,…

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Ukraine, February 2022

People may feel numb, bewildered, or helpless. It’s a familiar and understandable human feeling in the face of terrible catastrophe or fear. Six things you can do to help: Educate: as a family or individual, learn the data about what’s happening. Empathize: as of January 2022, the world health organization (WHO) statistics on world depression…

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The Neuropsychology of Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude, the experience of pleasure at the misfortune of others, is a very common emotion. It may seem mean-spirited, vindictive even, but Schadenfreude is the result of several deeply-ingrained processes that the human brain spent millions of years evolving. Schadenfreude is a German term that translates to “damage” (schaden) “joy” (freude). Research in neural science…

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What Actually Makes Us Happy

Psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos teaches about happiness at Yale. Her research lab has summarized the voluminous data on what actually makes us happy. The main themes: developing a sense of meaning or purpose connection with other people meditation and reflection taking time off/resting if you are overwhelmed (avoiding burnout) sense of belonging overcoming impulses in…

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Embolden Psychology
Embolden

Embolden offers the ADOS-2, the gold standard assessment for kids on the spectrum.

Combined with psychoeducational testing, it helps provide comprehensive information and recommendations to help children and teens six and up.

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