Good Reads

Brief descriptions of books on mental health topics. [continue]

Unique Features of Grief in Young Adults
By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

What is unique, and challenging, about the experience of grief for young adults? Research studies have identified certain characteristics that make the bereavement process particularly challenging for young adults, age 19 through 29, including college students.  Here are some of reasons why a young adult might find the bereavement process difficult.  [continue]

Pathways of Grief II: Complicated Grief
By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

With complicated grief, the griever either avoids or denies aspects of the loss, or remains preoccupied with the deceased, loss of the deceased and the feelings accompanying the loss. He or she tends to remain isolated from others, and does not re-engage with life. It is not the feelings themselves that define complicated grief. It is the inability to accept and work through the feelings and move beyond them. Rather, the griever often feels “frozen in time.”  [continue]

Pathways of Grief I: Frequently-Shared Aspects of Grief
By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

Each individual’s grief journey is unique. At the same time, there tend to be commonly-shared aspects of the grief process. Grieving might include feelings of shock, numbness, anger, sadness and guilt. The grieving person becomes preoccupied with the deceased (or other loss) and disconnected from others and the goings-on of the external world.  [continue]

Contemporary Ways of Thinking about Grief and Grieving
By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

Research, clinical evidence and evolving contemporary norms have all had a role in changing how mental health professionals, clergy and laypersons think about grief and grieving. Historically, people thought that grieving should be private and mostly something not talked about. Many people followed specific rituals established by their religion. Ultimately, grief was something the griever was expected to “get over.” [continue]  

Law Practice and its Relevance to Lawyers’ Mental Health: Damages and Remedies
By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

Do you have difficulty finding balance in your life? Do you neglect your own needs in the service of your work? Do your personal relationships take a backseat to obligations of the job? Do friends and family complain that conversations with you feel more like cross examination?

Lawyers, as a profession, are at a high risk for depression, suicide and substance abuse. The behaviors required for success in the law can be contrary to those that contribute to mental health, a sense of well-being and satisfying interpersonal relationships. In broad terms, legal work often calls for suppressing one’s emotions, involvement in relationships imbued with conflict; unrealistic self-expectations and a lack of balance between work and interpersonal relationships and leisure which are all behaviors that tend to contribute to depression, isolation, stress and anxiety. [continue]  

The Reflective Counselor 
By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

I’m reading The Reflective Counselor: Daily Meditations for Lawyers in preparation for a group and workshop I’m offering. The book has an entry for each day of the year. Each entry begins with an inspirational quote from a well-known person. Following the quote, the authors discuss the significance and applicability of the quote for lawyers seeking to imbue their work and lives with balance and meaning. [continue

Self-Care Tools for Transitions

By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

Transitions challenge us on all levels—physical, mental, emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual. You might feel physically fatigued, unusually energized, or alternating between the two. Your thoughts may be in overdrive, or you might feel mentally stalled. Many feelings are likely to surface, including depression, sadness, loss, disappointment, fear, anxiety, anger, excitement, joy and hope. Your relationships might feel “off.” On a spiritual level, you might find yourself questioning your spiritual beliefs. [continue]  

A Simple Approach to Working With Mindfulness

By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

Imagine mindfulness as a three-legged stool. The seat is mindfulness, the three legs are awareness, acceptance, and compassion (starting with self-compassion). Each leg is one part of a three-step process, to be used in conjunction with awareness of your breathing. [continue]  

Transitions at Midlife

By Maxine Sushelsky, LMHC

“In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in the dark wood where the straight road was lost.” –Dante Midlife can be a time of upheaval and uncertainty. At this time of life, people often find themselves re-evaluating everything--themselves, their relationships, their careers. This re-evaluation might lead to a sense of regret for paths not taken or parts of self never developed. Mid-lifers might feel a desire to pursue these discarded paths or explore undeveloped parts of themselves. Past trauma, losses or other memories might surface. [continue]

© Copyright 2016 Maxine Sushelsky