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 Table of Contents
 Emotional Problems
  Lack of Confidence
 Eating Disorders
  Binge Eating
  Eating and Weight
  Emotional Eating

  Excess Weight

  Weight Control

  Loved Ones
  Separation / Divorce
  Drug and Alcohol
  Sex / Pornography
  Spending / Shopping
Behavioral Problems
  Adjustment Disorder
  Conduct Disorders
  Explosive Disorder
  Multiple Personality
  Sleep Disorders
 Phobias and Fears
  Fears and Phobias
  Panic Attacks
  Social Phobia
  Performance Anxiety
  List Of Phobias
 Sexual Concerns
  Sexual Concerns (M)
  Sexual Concerns (F)
  Gay and Lesbian
  Gender Identity Issues
  Sexual Orientation
  List of Paraphilias
Helpful Information
  Communication Skills
  Non-Verbal Comm...
  Personal Growth
  Skill Enhancement
Adoption / Infertility
  For Adoptees
  For Adopting Persons
  For Birth Parents

Table of Contents


This Table of Contents provides a detailed description of the information that is available on this website.  The resources are broken down into subject areas for your convenience. The Home Page will give you a much more generalized, and briefer, breakdown of the information.

Emotional Problems

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you're at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.

Anxiety (GAD): Some people feel anxious most of the time without any reason. Others have occasional bouts of anxiety so intense they terrify and immobilize them. Anxiety disorders are the most common of all the mental problems. People often misunderstand these problems/disorders and think individuals should be able to overcome the symptoms by sheer willpower. This is often not possible, but there are a wide variety of treatments that can help.

Depression and depressive disorders come in different forms and there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence. Some types of depression run in families and often there appears to be a biological component to depression. Some people have a single episode of depression, but many people have episodes that recur.

Frustration accompanies all of us, from the minor irritations of losing something to the major problem of continued failure towards a desired goal.  Since many of the things we truly want require a degree of frustration, being able to manage frustration is required in order to allow us to remain happy and positive even in trying circumstances.

Grief: Our response to loss is varied and includes a wide variety of responses that are influenced by personality, family, culture, and spiritual and religious beliefs and practices. Grief may be experienced in the combination of mental/emotional, physical, or social reactions. Mental/emotional reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, depression and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems, or illness. Social reactions can include feelings about taking care of others in the family, role changes in the family, returning to work, or differences in social situations.

Guilt is that part of a person's conscience that brings us up short and convicts us for actions and thoughts. Guilt can motivate a person to attempt to make amends, to try to repair damage to relationships, to confess and seek forgiveness, and to change their behavior.  It can also turn a positive person into a person who sees nearly everything  as a problem.

Lack of confidence: People who are not self-confident depend excessively on the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves. They tend to avoid taking risks because they fear failure. They generally do not expect to be successful. They often put themselves down and tend to discount or ignore compliments paid to them. By contrast, self-confident people are willing to risk the disapproval of others because they generally trust their own abilities. They tend to accept themselves; they don't feel they have to conform in order to be accepted.

Self-esteem: Positive or high self-esteem consists of the positive thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. It affects how you think, act, and feel about others, as well as how successful you are in life. The acquisition of high self-esteem involves becoming the person you want to be, enjoying others more fully, and offering more of yourself to the world.

Stress: We all talk about stress, but we are not always clear about what it is. This is because stress comes from both good and the bad things that happen to us. Additionally, the things that cause stress for you may not be a problem for other people you know. It is how you think about and react to certain events that determine whether you find them stressful or not. Your reaction to stress can affect your mental and physical health, so it is important for you to learn how to deal effectively with stress as it occurs.

Eating Disorders

Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder involving psychological, neurobiological, and sociological components.  Anorexia is more than just a problem with food. It's a way of using food or starving oneself to feel more in control of life and to ease tension, depression, anger, and anxiety.  Anorexia nervosa is characterized by low body weight and body image distortion. For people with anorexia nervosa, eating and not eating becomes an obsession. Typically, unusual or particular eating habits and other weight control habits develop.

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by episodes of binge-eating, and feelings of guilt, humiliation, and self-deprecation, followed by inappropriate methods of weight control (purging). Purging typically takes the form of vomiting, inappropriate use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics or other medication; excessive physical exercise, or fasting.  People with bulimia nervosa typically feel a lack of control during their eating binges. Their food is usually eaten secretly and gobbled down rapidly with little chewing.

Binge eating is a condition that millions of Americans may have. Binge-eating typically involves recurrent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge-eating symptoms as those with bulimia. The main difference when compared to bulimia is that binge-eaters do not purge their bodies of excess calories. Therefore, many with the disorder tend to be overweight.

Eating and weight issues are problem areas for a great many men and women.  The main types of eating problems are obesity and excess weight, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating. Most often, eating problems develop during the childhood and teenage years, but many people do not experience these problems until adulthood. Eating disorders frequently show up along with other mental health issues, such as depression, alcohol or drug abuse, and anxiety disorders. People who suffer from eating disorders also risk serious, and sometimes fatal, health complications.

Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food -- usually "comfort" or junk foods -- in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions. Many of us learn that food can bring comfort, at least in the short-term. As a result, we often turn to food to heal emotional problems. Eating becomes a habit preventing us from learning skills that can effectively resolve our emotional distress. Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships and poor self-esteem can result in overeating and unwanted weight gain.

Excess weight and problems with food, eating, and weight control are endemic in the U.S.  Today, it is estimated that more than 65 % of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. An eating problem reflects itself as a preoccupation with, and/or a problem with self-esteem, body weight, shape and diet. Typically, if you have an eating disorder, you'll have unhealthy eating behavior. This may include overeating or an extreme and unhealthy reduction of the amount of food you eat. Either way, the person feels bad about their eating, body shape, weight, or all three.

Weight control: It is estimated that during any one year more than half of all Americans go on a diet to lose weight. For many people, it is difficult to lose more than a few pounds, and few succeed in remaining at the reduced weight. The difficulty in losing weight and keeping it off leads many people to turn to a professional therapist, nutritionist, or commercial weight loss program for help.


Codependency is a term that is commonly used today and the term is often overused and misused. The original concept of codependency was developed about ten years ago as the result of years of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics. However, over the years, codependency has expanded into a definition which describes a dysfunctional pattern of living and problem solving that developed during childhood. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior and learned from family rules and family routines.

Loneliness and the fear of being alone is more than just the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected, and/or alienated from other people, so that it feels difficult or even impossible to have any form of meaningful human contact. Lonely people often feel depressed, empty or hollow inside.

Loved ones: relationship and marriage problems recognizes that relating to, and/or being intimate with, another person can be difficult at times. Sometimes problems arise because we never learned what to do or not to do, or problems arise because we have lost touch with our instinctive good sense and have become over-anxious about the relationship. Maybe you have lost your own self-respect and sense of our personal worth, or have had unfortunate experiences in past relationships and have temporarily lost your ability to trust, or maybe you have unrealistic expectations about what you should be getting from, or giving to, a relationship.  If you are having ongoing problems in any of your relationships, there is help available. The earlier you seek help the better since an earlier, rather than later, intervention will prevent the problem(s) from getting worse.

Rejection is the feeling a person experiences when disappointed about not achieving something desired. It is commonly experienced in a quest of emotional relations, such as among romantic couples, in social and group settings, or in the professional world in relation to advancement.  Interpersonal rejection ranks among the most potent and distressing events that people experience.

Separation and divorce: No matter what the cause, if your marriage fails you are likely to feel a whole range of intense emotions: depression, sadness, anger, hurt, anxiety, fear of an uncertain future, loneliness, confusion over the many decisions you must make, and a sense of failure at your lost plans and dreams. How you choose to handle a separation or divorce is very important because of the effect it will have on the rest of your life, your spouse's life and on any children you have.


Drug and alcohol addiction includes addiction to a substance (for example alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine, opioids, sedatives, hallucinogens, inhalants, cannabis, phencyclidine, caffeine, and a wide variety of other substances), which, when ingested, cross the blood-brain barrier and alter the natural chemical behavior of the brain. 

Food addiction is characterized by compulsive eating and an obsession with weight and body image. Persons with a food addiction display an obsession with, and craving for, food and eating, a preoccupation with finding sources of food associated with pleasure and comfort, a compulsive cycle of eating, and the lack of an ability to stop abusing food.

Gambling addiction: Legalized gambling is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Billboards on major highways depict the action and excitement available at gambling facilities. For most of the industry's patrons, gambling is fun and a form of harmless entertainment. However, for the 4% to 6% of gamblers who become problem or pathological (compulsive) gamblers, it can be a devastating illness that negatively affects every aspect of their lives.

Internet addiction as a diagnosis, is still in its infancy.  However, professionals recognize that Internet abuse is a problem that affects many people. Use of the internet can definitely disrupt one's academic, social, financial and occupational life the same way other well-documented addictions like pathological gambling, sexual addiction, eating disorder, and alcoholism can. 

Sex and pornography addictions can take up tremendous amounts of a persons time and energy. As internal pressure builds within the addict, a pattern of behavior follows which usually leads to acting out. When the acting out happens, there is a denial of feelings which is then usually followed by despair, shame, depression, confusion, and/or a feeling of hopelessness. A key feature of sexually related addictions is its obsessive and unmanageable nature.

Spending and shopping can be addictive.  It is estimated that the U.S. credit card debt is greater than six hundred billion dollars. An individual who is suffering from a spending addiction pays whatever it takes to get whatever he/she wants. With the heavy use and ease of obtaining credit cards, an individual with this addiction believes that he/she can go on forever. This form of behavior can eventually lead to chronic depression, financial ruin and bankruptcy.

Work addiction affects both men and women.  A work addiction is not the same as working hard or putting in long hours. Working long and hard, and deriving satisfaction from the work and the result, does not make someone a work addict. Hard workers generally have some balance in their lives. They sit at their desks and may think about skiing or tennis. The workaholic is on the ski slopes or on the tennis court but is still thinking about work.

Behavioral Problems

ADD (attention deficit disorder) is characterized by distractibility, impulsivity, and is often accompanied by hyperactivity. It occurs in both children and adults and interferes with the person's ability to function normally in their day-to-day activities. Diagnosing this disorder can be difficult since it is common for many people to have some of the symptoms of this disorder to some degree, such as difficulty paying attention or being easily distracted. Also, some of the symptoms of ADD can manifest themselves as anxiety or depression.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) The principal characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is hard for a child or adult with ADHD to control their behavior and/or pay attention. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) usually becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. Those adults with ADHD were probably not recognized with the disorder as children and may have gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years.

Adjustment disorder: Most of the time, after a stressful event, coping techniques such as talking about your problems with loved ones, taking time off, or getting extra rest, may help you feel better within a few months. But if you've recently experienced a stressful event and your usual self-care steps aren't working, you may have an adjustment disorder. A person with adjustment disorder often experiences feelings of depression and/or anxiety.  Adjustment disorders can occur at any age. People are particularly vulnerable during normal transitional periods such as adolescence, mid-life, and late life.

Bipolar disorder: Sometimes individuals experience severe mood swings from periods of extreme depression to periods of exaggerated joy. This is known as bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness. The individual's mood usually swings from overly "high" and irritable (mania) to sad and hopeless (depression) and then back again, with periods of normal moods interspersed. When in the depressed stage, a person can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic stage, the individual may be overactive, overly talkative, and have a great deal of energy.

Borderline personality disorder  (BPD) is characterized primarily by emotional dysregulation, extreme "black and white" thinking (believing that something is one of only two possible things, and ignoring any possible "in-betweens"), and turbulent relationships. It is also characterized by pervasive instability in mood, interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior, and a disturbance in the individual's sense of self.  Borderline personality disorder is often a devastating mental health condition, both for the people who have it and for those around them.

Conduct disorders refers to a group of behavioral and emotional problems in which a person has great difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way, and where the rights of others or the social norms are violated.  Possible symptoms are over-aggressive behavior, bullying, physical aggression, cruel behavior toward people and pets, destructive behavior, lying, truancy, vandalism, and stealing. Conduct disorder is a disorder of childhood and adolescence; after the age of 18, a conduct disorder may develop into antisocial personality disorder.

Explosive disorder is an disorder characterized by explosive outbursts of behavior that are disproportional to the provocation. The condition is characterized by failure to resist aggressive impulses, resulting in serious assaults or property destruction. Examples of this behavior include threatening to or actually hurting another person and purposefully breaking or damaging an object of value. The individual may describe the episodes of explosiveness as "spells" or "attacks" in which the explosive behavior is preceded by a sense of tension or arousal and followed immediately by a sense of relief.  It is an impulse control disorder and it has been suggested as the underlying cause of road rage.

Hypochondria is often characterized by irrational fears of being diseased or of dying, obsessions over minor bodily symptoms or imperfections, doubt and disbelief in doctors' diagnosis, constant self-examination and self-diagnosis and preoccupation with one's body. People with hypochondria are obsessed with bodily functions and interpret normal sensations (such as heart beats, sweating, and bowel movements) or minor abnormalities (such as a runny nose, a small sore, or slightly swollen lymph nodes) as symptoms of serious medical conditions.

Kleptomania is an inability to resist impulses of stealing. A person with this disorder is compelled to steal things; many times the things they steal are of little or no value. Often a kleptomaniac steals things he/she could have bought easily or things that are not at all expensive. The objects they take are usually not needed for personal use or for their monetary value.

Mania is characterized by severely elevated mood.  People who experience a manic state often describe themselves as feeling high and superior. Generally, mania also provokes racing thoughts and creative ideas. However, it also pushes sufferers into agitation and poor decisions. Mania is most usually associated with bipolar disorder, where episodes of mania may alternate with episodes of depression. Not all mania can be classified as bipolar disorder, as mania may result from other diseases or causes. However, bipolar disorder is the classic manic disease.

Multiple personality disorder (MPD), or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is the existence in an individual of two or more distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment.  At least two of these personalities are considered to routinely take control of the individual's behavior, and there is also some associated memory loss which is beyond normal forgetfulness.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by repeated, intrusive and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that cause anxiety.  As a result of this anxiety the person engages in ritualized behaviors (compulsions) that are designed to try to relieve this anxiety.  The obsessions and/or compulsions are usually so strong that they cause significant distress in the person’s employment, schoolwork, and/or personal and social relationships.  As a response to the OCD behavior, a person may develop depression, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and feelings of worthlessness.

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers. It is occasionally called post-traumatic stress reaction to emphasize that it is a routine result of traumatic experience rather than a manifestation of a pre-existing psychological weakness on the part of the patient.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality and by significant social or occupational dysfunction. A person experiencing schizophrenia is typically characterized as demonstrating disorganized thinking (moving from one topic to another, in a nonsensical fashion, or making up new words and sounds), and as experiencing delusions (false ideas) or hallucinations ( a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel). Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary; may be unresponsive or withdrawn; and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations.

Sleep disorders include Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Restless Legs Syndrome, and Narcolepsy.  At least 40 million Americans each year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.  These disorders and the resulting sleep deprivation interfere with work, driving, and social activities. They also account for an estimated $16 billion in medical costs each year, while the indirect costs due to lost productivity and other factors are probably much greater. Doctors have described more than 70 sleep disorders, most of which can be managed effectively once they are correctly diagnosed.

Phobias and Fears

Fears and phobias will help you learn and understand about fear, the difference between fear and anxiety, what is a phobia, what causes phobias, the types of phobias, the most common symptoms of phobia, how a phobia is diagnosed, the names of all the different phobias, and information on phobia treatment.

Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. Known by a number of names (Acrophobia, Allodoxaphobia, and Fear of Heights) the problem often significantly impacts the quality of life. This surprisingly common phobia causes countless people needless distress.

Agoraphobia is the abnormal fear of expecting or experiencing a difficult or embarrassing situation from which the sufferer cannot find an escape. The word is an English adoption of the Greek words agora and phobos, literally translated in modern Greek as "a fear of the marketplace". This translation is the reason of the common misconception that agoraphobia is a fear of open spaces. This is most often not the case since people suffering from agoraphobia usually are not afraid of the open spaces themselves, but of public spaces or of situations where a person is afraid of having a panic attack and will not be able to receive help. Another misconception is that agoraphobia is a fear of "crowded spaces" (which would be a social phobia).

Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder that involves the fear of enclosed or confined spaces. A person with claustrophobia suffers from panic attacks, or fear of having a panic attack, in situations such as being in elevators, trains or aircraft. If a panic attack occurs while they are in a confined space, then the claustrophobic person fears not being able to escape the situation. Those suffering from claustrophobia might find it difficult to breathe in closed auditoriums, theatres, and elevators.

Monophobia is the fear of being alone.  Monophobia can make a person feel very insecure, anxious and depressed. If you fear being alone you may become over needy of other people and feel as if you must be around people at all times. While we all, to varying degrees, need people in our life, if you feel you must have people around all the time then this need is controlling you.

Panic attacks: People with panic disorder have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. They cannot predict when an attack will occur, and many develop intense anxiety between episodes, worrying when and where the next attack will strike.  Some people's lives become so restricted that they avoid normal everyday activities such as grocery shopping or driving. In some cases they become housebound.  When a person's life become restricted in this way, the condition is called agoraphobia. One-third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia. Early treatment of panic disorder can often prevent agoraphobia and depression.

Phobias are a fear which is caused by a specific object or situation. The fear may be caused by the actual presence of the feared object or situation, or it maybe caused by the anticipation of the presence of that object or situation. Anxiety, triggered by the fear, may approach the intensity of panic. There are phobias for so many things that there are whole websites listing all the phobias.

Social phobia is a persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others and fears that he or she may do something or act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing. Social phobia involves overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations.

Performance anxiety is a potentially very disruptive level of anxiety that can develop in any situation where you have to perform an activity. Performance anxiety occurs in both public and private contexts.

List of phobias provides a comprehensive listing of phobias.

Sexual Concerns

Sexual concerns (male) or Male Sexual Dysfunction is an umbrella term used to describe a number of sexual problems which inhibit normal sexual relations. The problem areas for men generally include erectile problems, premature ejaculation, gender identity problems, and hypoactive sexual desire.

Sexual concerns (female): There are wide variations in both male and female sexual functioning, and there is no standard that women must meet for their sexual functioning to be considered normal. If a woman experiences a sexual problem that troubles her, then it is a problem that needs to be addressed and she should be encouraged to see how it can be corrected.

Bisexuality: A bisexual is a person who has romantic and/or sexual relations with people of more than one sex. This could be anyone who has erotic, affectionate, or romantic feelings for, fantasies of, and/or experiences with both men and women. A bisexual may be more attracted to one sex than the other or attracted equally to both. The strength of their attractions to men and women may vary over time.

Exhibitionism is the psychological need and pattern of behavior to exhibit naked parts of the body to other people. In exhibitionism, the individual shows a tendency, to an extravagant degree, to captivate the attention of others in a display of a body part, or parts.

Fetishism: People who have a fetish are sexually aroused by sexual activity involving non-human objects. Generally, a person with fetishism must have the fetish item present in order to become sexually excited. Common fetish objects include underwear, specific materials such as satin, leather, fur, rubber, or plastic, specific articles of clothing such as shoes or boots, and bodily items such as hair, odors, urine, or feces.

Frotteurism is a sexual disorder in which a person derives sexual pleasure or gratification from rubbing, especially the genitals, against another non-consensual person, typically in a public place such as a crowded train, or in crowded places such as malls, elevators, on busy sidewalks, and on public transportation vehicles.

Gay and lesbian: The terms Gay, Lesbian, and Homosexuality refer to sexual and romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. The term gay is used predominantly to refer to self-identified homosexuals of either sex. Lesbian is a gender-specific term that is only used for self-identified homosexual females.  The sexual practices of gays and lesbians is as varied as that of heterosexuals.

Gender identity disorder is a condition in which a person has been assigned one gender (usually at birth), but identifies as belonging to another gender, or does not conform with the gender role their respective society prescribes to them. It is a psychiatric term for what is widely known by other terms such as transsexuality, transgender, transvestism or cross-dressing.

Sadomasochism: Sadism is the sexual pleasure or gratification in the infliction of pain and suffering upon another person. The counterpart of sadism is masochism, the sexual pleasure or gratification of having pain or suffering inflicted upon the self, often consisting of sexual fantasies or urges for being beaten, humiliated, bound, tortured, or otherwise made to suffer, either as an enhancement to or a substitute for sexual pleasure.

Sexual orientation describes the direction of an individual's sexuality, often in relation to their own sex or gender. Sexual orientation can be seen as existing along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality. Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept. Individuals may or may not express their sexual orientation in their behaviors.

Voyeurism is a practice in which an individual derives sexual pleasure from observing other people. Such people may be engaged in sexual acts, or be nude or in underwear, or dressed in whatever other way the "voyeur" finds appealing. Differentiating innocent enjoyment of nudity from behavior that is similar but deviant in other circumstances can sometimes be difficult.

List of paraphilias: A paraphilia is a sexual problems where the sexual arousal is in response to objects or stimuli not associated with normal sexual behavior patterns and that may interfere with the establishment of normal sexual relationships.

Helpful Information

Aging and mental health considers the biological, psychological and social aspects of aging as they relate to mental health. It also emphasizes the various strategies, therapies and services which may be directed at improving the mental health of the elderly.

Communication skills are needed in all social interactions. In a simplistic form, information is sent from a sender to a receiver. In a more complex form, feedback links a sender to a receiver. This requires a symbolic activity, sometimes via a language. There are many specialized fields of focus in communication, including nonverbal communication, verbal communication, and symbolic communication.

Non-Verbal communication accounts for a significant amount of the communication that goes on between people. Although most people do not realize it, and more cannot pick up on it, people are constantly using their bodies to send signs to each other. These signs can indicate what they are truly feeling at the time or they can be misinterpreted by the other person and misunderstanding can result. Thus, understanding your body language and correctly reading the body language of others can be critical in effective communication.

Personal growth and personal development involve the growth and enhancement of all aspects of the person, the feelings the person has about himself or herself, and the person's effectiveness in living.  It includes the development of positive life skills and the development of a realistic and healthy self-esteem.

Skill enhancement provides the opportunity and knowledge for a client to develop and strengthen the necessary skills to gain, maintain, and advance in a chosen area. Skill enhancement programs are focused around training that blends the best practices from education, psychology, social work, workforce development, career counseling, sports medicine, and technology training. Through skill training a person can improve their overall performance in any identified area and in so doing can improve the overall quality of life.

Adoption and Infertility

This section provides information to someone either thinking of placing a child for adoption, or for someone who is trying to expand their family through a pregnancy or through adoption.

Adoption: There are many different kinds of adoptions. The primary distinctions are between a private adoption or agency adoption, an open adoption or closed adoption, and domestic or international adoption. The most important factor in selecting an agency is that they have met the requirements of your state and are fully licensed to provide you with a full range of professional services.

For adoptees: Many adoptees are interested in understanding more about the adoption process and its potential impact on them and on other adopted persons. A second area of interest to many adoptees involves identifying and locating their birth mother and birth father.

For adopting persons provides information and resources for people who are interested in adopting a child through either a domestic adoption or an international adoption.

For birth parents provides information and resources for a birth mother and/or birth father who is thinking of placing a child for adoption or who needs help in raising their child.

Infertility is a growing problem in the U.S. The physical and psychological impact of infertility can be devastating to the infertile person and to their partner. It frequently results in anger, depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. Psychological counseling and adoption are two of the options open to those individuals and couples for whom infertility cannot be overcome.

Help is Available

Who can I help describes the typical client who contacts Dr. Berger for services.  Almost all of the men and women with whom Dr, Berger works share at least two goals: 1) they want the freedom and ability to fully enjoy the world in their own way; and 2) they seek to become more productive and satisfied in their personal and/or their professional lives.

How I can help explains that as a psychologist, therapist, counselor and life and executive coach, Dr. Berger provides concrete solutions, specific behaviors and techniques, and explicit guidance and support to help you in your quest to explore and change any aspect of your life.

What you can do suggests you first review any and all areas that interest you on this website. Then contact Dr. Berger by calling the phone number listed on the contact page, or using his contact form.

Fees discusses the fact that the cost of counseling and therapy depends on where and from whom you obtain it, the type of insurance you have, and whether you want to use your insurance for coverage.  This page also lists the fees that I charge.

About Dr. Berger presents both personal and professional information about the developer of this website, Dr. Vince Berger.

Contact will help you to contact Dr. Berger by phone, email, or the special contact form.

What Is A...

Psychologist: Psychologists are usually categorized into a number of different fields, the most well-recognized being clinical psychologists, who provide mental health care, and research psychologists, who collect, investigate and analyze aspects of human behavior. Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, Forensic psychology, and School Psychology are four of the main specialty areas and Board Certification areas in the general field of Psychology.

Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a licensed physician, usually a M.D. or D.O., who, after training as a physician, has specialized in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. Their medical and psychiatric training prepares them to treat adults and children either individually, as part of a family unit, and/or in a group setting. Psychiatrists can, and usually do, prescribe medication as part of the treatment they provide.

Clinical psychologist: A clinical psychologist is a licensed mental health professional, usually with a Ph.D. in the area of Psychology, who specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health related problems and mental disorders. Clinical training prepares a psychologist to treat adults and children either individually, as part of a family unit, and/or as part of a couple or other group.

Educational psychologist: Educational psychology is the study of how people learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools. Educational psychology is concerned with the processes of educational attainment among the general population and specific populations such as gifted children and those subject to specific problem and disabilities.

Forensic psychologist
: A forensic psychologist is specially trained Ph.D. psychologist who uses the knowledge of psychology and his/her experience to offer an expert psychological opinions in a way that it impacts on the legal arena, typically involving civil and criminal law and the courts. Many people think of forensic psychologists as focusing on criminal matters. While this is certainly an area of focus, a forensic psychologist frequently does much more.

School psychologist: A School Psychologist is a psychologist who applies principles of the specialties of psychology to the diagnosis and treatment of students' behavioral problems. School psychologists are educated in child and adolescent development, learning theories, psycho-educational assessment, personality theories, therapeutic interventions, identification of learning disability; and the ethical, legal and administrative codes of their profession.

Social worker: Social workers work in a variety of settings, including non profit or public social service agencies, grassroots advocacy organizations, community health agencies, schools, faith-based organizations, and even the military. Other social workers work as psychotherapists, counselors, or mental health practitioners, normally working in coordination with psychiatrists, psychologists, or other medical professionals.

Life coach: The goal of a coach is to help the client and/or organization develop more rapidly, be more efficient and effective, and experience more satisfaction in life. Coaches work with clients in almost any area including personal relationships and personal growth, business, career, finances, and health. A coach tries to help a client set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and make use of their natural strengths.

Personal coach: The terms Personal Coach and Life Coach are often used interchangeably. Life and personal coaching is based on the client's expressed interests, goals, and objectives. The initial task involves the coach and client working out a mutual understanding of the scope of work and documenting that understanding often in the form of a contract. Then the coach helps the client prioritize needs and look for ways to facilitate improvement.

Executive coach: The goal of an executive coach is very similar to that of a personal coach or life coach, i.e. to help the client and/or organization develop more rapidly, be more efficient and effective, and experience more satisfaction. Coaches work with clients in almost any area including personal relationships and personal growth, business, career, finances, and health.  A coach tries to help a client set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and make use of their natural strengths. 

Therapist: Therapy, or treatment, is the remediation of a health problem, after a diagnosis has been made. In the context of this website, the term 'therapy" is defined as an attempted remediation of a mental health related problem. A 'therapist' is the person providing the treatment, help or remediation. This page lists the many types of therapists.

Mental health professional: A mental health professional is a person who offers services for the purpose of improving an individual's mental health and/or researches in the field of mental health.  There are many types of mental health professionals varying in education, experience, certifications, and specialties. Some of the most widely known mental health professions are listed on this page.

Pastoral counselor: Pastoral counseling is a branch of counseling in which ordained ministers, rabbis, priests and others provide therapy services. Pastoral counseling is different from Christian counseling which is generally a more conservative, more Bible-centered, less clinical approach to therapy. Pastoral counseling is also distinct from pastoral care, a field in which military and hospital chaplains and other trained clergy provide emotional support and guidance to individuals in need. Pastoral counseling is distinct from mainstream psychotherapy because psychologists and psychiatrists are not typically trained to deal specifically with issues of spirituality and religion. However, some pastoral counselors say that they do not talk about religion at all with certain clients.

DSM-IV: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) is published by the American Psychiatric Association. It is the standard classification of mental problems/disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States. It is intended to be applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations. The DSM has gone though five revisions (II, III, III-R, IV, IV-TR) since it was first published in 1952. The next version will be the DSM V, due in approximately 2011.

Types of Treatment

Behavioral therapy, often referred to as behavior modification, is a therapeutic approach of altering a person's behaviors and reactions to stimuli through positive and negative reinforcement. A simple example of positive reinforcement in behavior modification is providing compliments, approval, encouragement, and affirmation.

Biofeedback is a treatment technique in which people are trained to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. Physical therapists use biofeedback to help stroke victims regain movement in paralyzed muscles. Psychologists use it to help tense and anxious clients learn to relax. Specialists in many different fields use biofeedback to help their patients cope with pain.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. Cognitive-behavioral therapist teach that when our brains are healthy, it is our thinking that causes us to feel and act the way we do. Therefore, if we are experiencing unwanted feelings and behaviors, it is important to identify the thinking that is causing the feelings and behaviors and to learn how to replace this thinking with thoughts that lead to more desirable reactions.

Desensitization, also called Systematic Desensitization (SD or Desensitization) is a type of behavioral therapy used in the field of psychology to help effectively overcome fears, phobias, and other anxiety disorders. To begin the process of systematic desensitization, one must first be taught relaxation skills in order to control fear and anxiety responses to specific phobias. Once the individual has been taught these skills, he or she must use them to react towards and overcome situations in an established hierarchy of fears. The goal of this process is that an individual will learn to cope and overcome the fear in each step of the hierarchy, which will lead to overcoming the last step of the fear in the hierarchy. Systematic desensitization is sometimes called graduated exposure therapy.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as Electroshock Therapy, is a controversial medical treatment involving the induction of a seizure in a patient by passing electricity through the brain. Patients with any of several conditions often show dramatic short-term improvement after the procedure. While the majority of psychiatrists believe that properly administered ECT is a safe and effective treatment for some conditions, primarily depression, a vocal minority of psychiatrists, former patients, anti-psychiatry activists, and others strongly criticize the procedure as extremely harmful to patients' subsequent mental state.

Hypnotherapy is therapy that uses hypnosis.  Hypnosis is a state of mind in which a person's conscious critical thinking mind is bypassed and communication with the subconscious mind is established. Although some individuals experience an increase in suggestibility and subjective feelings of an 'altered state of consciousness', this is not true for everyone.

Neuro-Linguistic programming is a therapeutic approach that helps in understanding how the human mind operates in order to best use it to either increase performance and achieve your goals or as a therapy to overcome fears, phobias, anxiety and many other personality disorders.

Psychoanalysis is a group of psychological theories and therapeutic methods based on the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud. psychoanalysis seeks to discover connections among the unconscious components of patients' mental processes. The analyst's goal is to help liberate the patient from unexamined or unconscious barriers of transference and resistance, that is, past patterns of relating that are no longer serviceable or that inhibit freedom.

Psychotherapy is a generic term that includes a variety of of techniques which typically use dialogue and communication and which are designed to improve the mental health of a client or to improve group relationships (such as in a family).  Psychotherapy may address specific forms of diagnosable mental illness (such as depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, and addictions) or everyday problems in relationships or meeting personal goals. Treatment of everyday problems is more often referred to as counseling but the term is sometimes used interchangeably with "psychotherapy".

Rational emotive therapy: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy's (REBT) central premise is that events alone do not cause a person to feel depressed, enraged, or highly anxious. Rather, it is one’s beliefs about the events which contributes to unhealthy feelings and self defeating behaviors.  Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy teaches the client to identify, evaluate, dispute, and act against his or her irrational self- defeating beliefs, thus helping the client to not only feel better but to get better.

Reality therapy: The Reality Therapy approach to counseling and problem-solving focuses on the here-and-now of the client and how to create a better future, instead of concentrating at length on the past. It emphasizes making decisions, and taking action and control of one's own life. Typically, clients seek to discover what they really want and whether what they are currently doing (how they are choosing to behave) is actually bringing them nearer to, or further away from, that goal.

Family therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples.  It tends to view the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health. As such, family problems have been seen to based on family interactions, rather than to be blamed on individual members.

Group therapy helps people who would like to improve their ability to cope with problems. In individual therapy the therapist meets with only the client, in group therapy the meeting is with a whole group and one or two therapists. Group therapy focuses on both individual problems and on interpersonal interactions.


Intelligence (IQ): IQ tests are designed to give an intelligence quotient or IQ is a score derived from a set of standardized tests of intelligence. Intelligence tests come in many forms, and some intelligence tests use a single type of item or question. Most tests yield both an overall score and individual subtest scores. Regardless of design, all IQ tests attempt to measure the same general intelligence.

Myers-Briggs: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test designed to assist a person in identifying some significant personal preferences. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) criteria follow from Carl Jung's theories. The Indicator is frequently used in the areas of pedagogy, group dynamics, employee training, leadership training, marriage counseling, and personal development.

MMPI: The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most widely and frequently used personality test in the mental health field. This assessment, or test, was designed to help identify personal, social, and behavioral problems in psychiatric patients. The test helps provide relevant information to aid in problem identification, diagnosis, and treatment planning for the patient.

Neuropsychological: Neuropsychological tests are specifically designed tasks used to measure a psychological function known to be linked to a particular brain structure or pathway. During the past decade neuropsychological testing has become very sophisticated.

Rorschach (inkblot): The Rorschach inkblot test is a psychological projective test of personality in which a subject's interpretations of ten standard abstract designs are analyzed as a measure of emotional and intellectual functioning and integration. The test is considered "projective" because the patient is supposed to project his or her real personality into the inkblot via the interpretation.  Psychologists use this test to try to examine the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of their clients. The Rorschach is currently one of the most most commonly used tests in forensic assessment, after the MMPI.

Famous Psychologists

Allport, Gordon: Gordon Allport's theory of personality development is one of the first humanistic theories.

Beck, Aaron: Aaron Beck is known as the father of cognitive therapy and inventor of the widely used Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Hopelessness Scale, and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI).

Binet, Alfred: Alfred Binet (July 8, 1857 - October 18, 1911) was a French psychologist and developer of the first usable intelligence test, the basis of today's IQ test.

Chomsky, Noam: Noam Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of theoretical linguistics made in the 20th century.

Ellis, Albert: Albert Ellis is an American cognitive behavioral therapist who developed Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT).

Erikson, Erik: Erik Homburger Erikson was a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings, and for coining the phrase identity crisis.

Erickson, Milton: Milton Erickson is considered the father of modern hypnotherapy. The therapy he engendered, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, is one of the fastest growing and influential branches of hypnotherapy today. His methods inspired NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming),

Freud, Sigmund: Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis, and is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the twentieth century.

Fromm, Erich: Erich Fromm was an internationally renowned social psychologist and humanistic philosopher.

Glasser, William: William Glasser is the developer of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory. He is notable for having developed a cause and effect theory that explains human behavior.

Harlow, Harry: Harry Harlow was a psychologist best known for his studies on affection and development using rhesus monkeys and surrogate wire or terrycloth mothers.

Jung, Carl: Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology.

Kinsey, Alfred: Alfred Kinsey's research on human sexuality profoundly influenced social and cultural values in the United States and many other countries.

Lang, R. D.: R. D. Lang, was a Psychoanalyst and Radical Psychiatrist, Social Phenomenologist, and Existential Philosopher. He wrote extensively on mental illness and particularly the experience of psychosis.

Leary, Timothy: Timothy Leary was a writer, psychologist, and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use. He coined and popularized the catch phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out."

Lewin, Kurt: Kurt Lewin became one of the pioneers of social psychology. Often called "the father of social psychology," and one of the first researchers to study group dynamics and organizational development.

Perls, Fritz: Fritz Perls is the founder of Gestalt therapy. Fritz Perls is also know for his work with dreams.

Maslow, Abraham: Abraham Masolw one of the founders of humanistic psychology and is often best recognized for developing the theory of human motivation now known as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

May, Rollo: Rollo May was an existential psychologist and has often been referred to as "the father of existential psychotherapy."

Piaget, Jean: Jean Piaget spent much of his professional life listening to children, watching children and in the area of developmental psychology.

Pavlov, Ivan: Ivan Pavlov is widely known for first describing the phenomenon now known as classical conditioning in his experiments with dogs.

Rogers, Carl: Carl Rogers was instrumental in the development of non-directive psychotherapy, which he initially termed Client-centered therapy and he is known as the father of client-centered therapy.

Satir, Virginia: Virginia Satir was a noted American author and psychotherapist, known especially for her approach to family therapy. Virginia Satir is referred to as "The Mother of Family System Therapy"

Skinner, B.F.: B. F. Skinner was one of the most influential of American psychologists. A behaviorist, he developed the theory of operant conditioning.

Wolpe, Joseph: Joseph Wolpe is best known for developing theories and experiments about what is now called systematic desensitization and assertiveness training.

Psychological Associations

You may want to contact some of the U.S. and international psychological associations. It is always a good idea to check the reputation of any therapist you are planning on consulting.


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This emphasizes that the information presented in this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not intended to be medical advice or to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any mental health problem. Concerned individuals should always personally consult a competent licensed professional when questions about your mental health condition or the condition of others close to you becomes of concern.

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