Can’t Fight This Feeling: The Enduring Power of Nostalgia

The purveyors of pop culture, advertising, and politics know well the power of nostalgia, and as each generation gets a bit older, they leverage that power to sell products to those eager to recapture a bit of their glory days. But as research suggests, the power of nostalgia can have ramifications beyond ticket sales and television ratings.

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is domestic violence awareness month. Violence between partners and in families occurs nationwide, with far-reaching consequences. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey,

every year, millions of women, men, and children in the United States are victimized by sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence. These forms of violence are serious public health problems that can be harmful to one’s health, both physically and psychologically. Furthermore, evidence indicates that violence experienced early in life can put one at increased risk for subsequent victimization as an adult. (p. 9)

The survey indicates that intimate partner sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking has been experienced by 37.3% of women and 30.9% of men in the United States during their lifetimes (p. 2).

APA authors and editors have addressed the scope of this problem, underlying issues, interventions, and prevention in multiple books.

As the editors of Violence Against Women and Children note, “awareness of the problem is the first step toward prevention. People cannot stop something they cannot see or name” (Volume 2, p. 3). We hope these resources can be helpful to individuals or clinicians who might need them.

References

Smith, S. G., Chen, J., Basile, K. C., Gilbert, L. K., Merrick, M. T., Patel, N., Walling, M., & Jain, A. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Celebrating LGBTQ History Month

October is LGBT History Month and today, October 11, 2017, is the 29th annual National Coming Out Day; a day celebrating all those who have or will come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied. NCOD also serves to promote awareness of the LGBTQ community and civil rights issues.

While coming out is a form of public activism, it is also an extremely personal decision that comes with its own set of emotional and interpersonal challenges. APA Books has published a variety of resources for members of the LGBTQ community as well as clinicians looking to support them, including the series Perspectives on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. Books in this series provide comprehensive overviews of the current research while also highlighting challenges faced by members of LGBTQ community, their friends and families.

 

Other relevant resources published by APA Books include:

Handbook of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity in Counseling and Psychotherapy

Taking Control of Anxiety: Small Steps for Getting the Best of Worry, Stress, and Fear

Affirmative Counseling and Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients

Moving Beyond Prejudice Reduction: Pathways to Positive Intergroup Relations

The Lives of LGBT Older Adults: Understanding Challenges and Resilience

That’s So Gay!: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community

Handbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clients, Second Edition

Happy Together: Thriving as a Same-Sex Couple in Your Family, Workplace, and Community

 

Click here to read an interview with APA authors Annalise Singh and lore dickey, on trans-affirmative counseling.

Click here to read an interview with APA authors Sharon Rostosky and Ellen Riggle, on how same-sex couples can actively manage stress.

We hope that these resources can serve as some help to any who may need it this month, and throughout the year.

National Depression Screening Day

Today is National Depression Screening Day. Depression is a serious, often debilitating illness that affects millions of Americans. But it is treatable. Visibility and awareness is the first step; too often depression is invisible, hidden, or mistaken for something else. Public screenings can help to bring treatment to those who need it sooner, and get them on the path to health.

APA has published several books on depression and its treatment:

  • The Prevention of Anxiety and Depression: Theory, Research, and Practice
    Editors David J. A. Dozois, PhD, and Keith S. Dobson, PhD, demonstrate that prevention efforts are warranted in addressing the two most common mental health ailments.
  • Experiences of Depression: Theoretical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives
    Sidney J. Blatt, PhD, integrates nearly 30 years of clinical insight and research exploring the nature of depression and the life experiences that contribute to its emergence.
  • Treatment of Late-Life Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, and Substance Abuse
    A volume of best practices in treating mental disorders in late life, assembled by Patricia A. Areán, PhD. The book includes an overview of geropsychology and the training resources available to help clinicians develop the competencies they need to work with older adults.
  • Relapse Prevention for Depression
    Edited by C. Steven Richards, PhD, and Michael G. Perri, PhD, ABPP, this book summarizes the progress regarding the theory, research, and practice of relapse prevention for depression. With a heavy emphasis on implications for practice, Relapse Prevention for Depression will appeal to therapists and other health care workers, as well as depression researchers and graduate course instructors.

To complete the anonymous self-assessment of emotional health, please visit: http://helpyourselfhelpothers.org/.

Disaster Psychology

Weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and East Texas. Today, Hurricane Irma marches up the Florida coast after wreaking havoc in the Caribbean.  When the storm passes, media attention will soon shift to recovery efforts.  First responders will undertake search and rescue operations.  More slowly, infrastructure—including housing, transportation needs, and communications—will be rebuilt.  But for many people, recovery requires more than just material needs.  Rebuilding is not possible without attending to the psychosocial needs of disaster-affected individuals, families, and communities.

Hurricane Irma; NASA

Disasters have an enormous impact on mental health and psychosocial well-being. Velasquez et al, writing in the APA Handbook of Community Psychology, explain how the alteration of life plans, weakening of social networks, loss of social support, and fragmentation of relationships between individuals and larger institutions combine with the fear and anxiety produced by the disaster itself to cause significant strain on mental health.  The toll can be especially heavy for those already living in poverty.  Patricia Watson and Jessica Hamblen, in the APA Handbook of Trauma Psychology, emphasize that disasters and disaster recovery cannot be understood in isolation from preexisting living conditions such as absence of information, lack of adequate risk management, inequality, and weak institutions and social organization.  As a prominent NIH study showed, the impact and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused the incidence of serious mental illness to double, and nearly half of the subjects—all of whom were low-income parents of young children—exhibited symptoms of probable PTSD.

Although vulnerable people have a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and social capacities to cope with and recover from disaster, mental health remains a critically important but widely under-recognized aspect of disaster recovery. Fortunately, attention is increasing, thanks in part to the emergence of the field of disaster psychology.  According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, disaster psychology is a specialized domain of training, research, and service provision applied to individuals, communities, and nations exposed to a disaster. A key aim of practitioners in this area is to reduce initial distress, and foster short and long-term adaptive functioning following a disaster.  Public awareness is growing, too, thanks to the efforts of journalists, as well as organizations like Kaiser Permanente, which recently donated $500,000 to Mental Health America of Greater Houston, which helps provide mental health and emotional support to victims of Hurricane Harvey in east Texas.

Individuals can help as well. Mental health professionals can volunteer now with the Red Cross to help individuals in affected areas.  To donate to MHA of Greater Houston, click here.  Florida mental health organizations will be very active post-Irma; local MHA chapters and many other relief organizations will need resources in the weeks and months ahead, as the millions affected by these disasters begin the long road to recovery.

 

REFERENCES

Vandenbos, G. R. (Ed.). (2015). APA dictionary of psychology (2nd ed.).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Velasquez, T., Rivera-Holguin, M., and Morote, R. In M.A. Bond, I. Serrano-Garcia, & C.B. Keys (Eds-in-Chief), Shinn, M. (Assoc. Ed.). (2017). APA handbook of community psychology (Vol. 2). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Watson, P. & Hamblen, J. (2017). Assisting individuals and communities after natural disasters and community traumas. In S.N. Gold (Ed.-in-Chief). (2017). APA handbook of trauma psychology (Vol. 1).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.