Resources | Psychotherapist SF | Dr. Laura Kasper
This is a space for me to share ideas, books, articles, apps, anything I'm reading or thinking about that is interesting to me and I believe is part of the conversation to help clients live authentically and have more satisfying connections with themselves and others.
This is a space for me to share ideas, books, articles, apps, anything I'm reading or thinking about that is interesting to me and I believe is part of the conversation to help clients have more satisfying connections with themselves and others.
One of the things I talk about most with my clients is cultivating self-compassion, because a great deal of what I see contributing to depression and anxiety is a negative, critical relationship with ourselves. Dr. Kristin Neff is the leading researcher in this area and offers some helpful meditations and exercises to begin cultivating a kinder, less critical relationship to yourself.
Food Is Medicine
Studies are showing that diets that emphasize whole real foods, with an emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruits and small amounts of meats can make a difference in people’s mood that’s greater than we previous understood. This field is sometimes called “functional medicine” and in this article in the Wall Street Journal is called “nutritional psychiatry”, helps remind us that we are putting chemicals into our bodies all the time with each different food choice we make, and paying attention to those choices can have an impact on not just our physical health, but our mental health as well.
I joined a friend Melanie Curtin on her podcast “Dear Men", to discuss fear of commitment and losing yourself in relationships. We focused specifically on the Avoidant Attachment style and elements of that style that relate to these fears. I share my own clinical experiences working with these issues and reference Attached by Amir Levine M.D. and Rachel Heller M.A., a book I often recommend to clients to help them better understand themselves and these dynamics in dating. If you’d like to check out more of Melanie’s podcast, you can find it here.
"Friends are people you take the time to understand and allow to understand you" is a great definition of friendship from this article in the New York Times. The authors talk about how developing the capacity for intimate relationships changes our biology in ways that improves our health and helps us regulate anxiety.
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it's fame and money, you're mistaken. According to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger - it's healthy relationships. In this TED talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.
This is a great piece in the Atlantic Monthly about some of the most important qualities in a healthy, long-term relationship, according to one of the leading researchers in the field, Dr. John Gottman. The article notes that kindness and generosity are key, differences in how calm or triggered you get with a partner says a lot about the trust and intimacy that exists in your connection, and how you respond to one another's 'bids' for closeness are important to building up or chipping away at your connection.
Here are some ideas and resources for those who wish to experiment with mindfulness:
Headspace - This is a great app for people completely new to mindfulness and who want a good introduction to the concepts and simple guided practices.
Simple Habit - This is a great app for people who are looking for quick and targeted meditations. The app gives you options based on what you're doing (commuting, prepping for a big event, you've had a tough day, etc.) and how much time you have (5, 10, 20 min).
Spirit Rock - This is a local meditation community in Marin and retreat center to get some practice meditating with others and to create community.
DharmaSeed - This is a great resource for anyone wanting to download talks on specific topics in mindfulness and buddhism for free.
This article offers an interesting take on addiction, framing it more of an issue of lack of connection, loneliness, and the ability to have and sustain healthy relationships.
BOOK: MATING IN CAPTIVITY BY ESTHER PEREL
This book is helpful to couples struggling with how to maintain passion in the context of long term monogamy. She offers some interesting perspectives on the interplay between our needs for autonomy and dependence, and how those interact with eroticism. It's not a "how to" book, but more helpful to stimulate conversation and exploration for yourself or with a partner.
I joined hosts Karen and Phillipa, broadcasting live at the Katzen Art Center on Valentines Day to discuss improving communication in common uncomfortable dating situations. I begin providing my perspective and advice around 8 minutes 30 seconds into the discussion. We touch on the importance of expressing your feelings while honoring the other person's positive qualities.