Dr. David Steinbok, quoted in REDBOOK.
“When anxiety bumps up against insecurity, miscommunications can occur,” says David Steinbok, Psy.D., a relationship therapist in Boca Raton, FL. Sure, you’re worried about finances during tough times, but when you say something about money being tight, your guy hears that he’s not being a good provider. In this case, your budget concerns trigger your husband’s nagging self-doubt, making it impossible for him to focus on ways to fix the problem at hand.
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Since the horrific act of violence at Sandy Hook, Connecticut, I have been trying to help others including myself, understand why the incidence of shootings and other violent behaviors are on the rise. Unfortunately, there is no single theory that can encapsulate a clear understanding of these horrific acts. Although there is a myriad of ideas available to explain such inhumane behavior, some experts are seeing a correlation between increased aggression in our youth and violent video games.
Lt. Dave Grossman, who specializes in the study of the psychology of killing, reported that violent video games are responsible for the incidence of overt violent behavior we see in our children. He feels that violent video games are training our youth to become murderers. Furthermore, he feels that our youth is becoming more desensitized to killing.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I have observed the new phenomena of video game addiction. These addictive games allow the weak to feel strong, the insecure to feel competent, and the isolated to feel connected. Through interactive gaming, the individual has great power and a loud voice. More recently, I have begun to hear parents express concern about their children and their video game addiction. These young adults usually share similar characteristics. Typically, they are intelligent men between the ages of 12 to 28. They are usually shy and appear or perceive themselves to be physically weak or inferior. They are socially inept or isolated. Oftentimes, they have a dominating parent or parents. Gaming becomes a real concern when the game takes over and school, work, or socializing become less important, almost a hinderance.
Psychotherapeutic interventions focus mainly on empowering the young adult, increasing self-esteem and assurance, and learning other methods to cope in a world where one feels inferior.
Dr. Steinbok has expanded his practice to include psychological testing and evaluations. Services include, gifted testing, ADHD evaluations, intelligence testing, personality assessments, and forensic evaluations. Please call to inquire about other types of testing/evaluations.
For more information contact www.drsteinbok.com or call 561-864-1101
As we learn of the unfortunate suicide of NFL Pro Bowl linebacker, Junior Seau, we must question the use of mental health services in competitive sports. Much focus and attention is placed on the physical components of an athletes makeup that we often overlook or assume little in the way of psychological dysfunction.
It has been hypothesized, thus far, that Junior Seau’s suicide is linked to traumatic brain injury. Evidently, traumatic brain injury was found to be the cause of suicide in at least two formers NFL players. In November of 2006, Andre Waters age 44, a Philadelphia Eagles defensive back committed suicide which was ruled to be the result of a traumatic brain injury. Additionally, Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears, committed suicide in 2012. Upon autopsy, both athletes were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. More recently, former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, shot and killed himself last month. He was among many players suing the NFL for ignoring the consequences of head injuries.
Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith recently stated, “Depression and suicide are serious matters and we as current and former NFL players should demand better treatment.”
Despite our ignorant belief that athletes are impervious to mental health issues, drastic measures must be taken to prevent and/or treat mental illness. Psychological screening both pre and post athletic career, would further protect these individuals. The NFL needs to enforce psychological education, evaluation, and treatment to protect our athletes from future tragedies.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I am often asked numerous questions regarding human behavior. More recently, and with the start of its new series, I have been asked to explain the popularity of the M.T.V. reality T.V. show, “Jersey Shore.” As most of us in the human behavior business do, I needed to find an answer (or at least some feasible explanation).
In 1920, Sigmund Freud coined the concept of Eros (the life instinct) and Thanatos (the death instinct). Most of us psych 101 students, understand this concept as sex and aggression. Freud stated that humans are motivated by these two basic needs.
So what does Freud have to do with “Mike, The Situation” or Ronnie and Sammy’s recent love quarrel? Well according to Dr. Freud, we are naturally drawn to execute basic needs of sex and aggression. However, since we are living in a civilized society where we must repress or restrain our normal innate impulses, we can only rely on fantasy to express our repressed urges.
Ever notice why “The Jersey Shore” has gotten stale since Ron and Sam are at peace? Wondering why we secretly want them to get back to fighting? Were you on the edge of your seat when “Snookie” was about the get caught lying about her love affair with “The Situation”? We use reality T.V., which should be termed fantasy T.V., to allow us to express or act out our unconscious desires or needs in a healthy, controlled, socially acceptable manner. So, enjoy “The Shore”, “Housewives of Beverly Hills”, or whichever medium you choose to express and relieve, repressed and natural human impulses. The fantasized/imaginative effect these shows have on our psyche can be likened to meditation or any other relaxation method psychologists often prescribe. Thus allowing us time to recharge and continue with our hectic realities.
As a Weight-loss Psychologist I encounter many emotional difficulties related to weight-loss and eating disorders. One issue that I felt worth sharing is a cluster of symptoms which I have labeled, Weight-Dependant Mood Disorder. This is not an actual clinical DSM-IV diagnosis but nevertheless, a recurring issue which needs to be addressed.
Patients with this syndrome are characterized by:
Daily fluctuations in mood based on scale weight.
Obsessive thinking about food, diet and exercise.
Inability to make decisions related to eating.
A persistent fear of gaining weight due to feeling rejected, criticized, or judged by others.
Increases in body weight affects self-esteem and personal relationships (friends, partner/spouse, children.)
A marked decrease in attending social events or diminished desire to be around others due to their appearance.
Many patients are surprised to know that others share these symptoms and experience similar difficulties. As a Clinical Psychologist I have seen a decrease in patients with Anorexia and/or Bulimia. Unfortunately, I have noticed an overwhelming rise in patients with Weight-Dependant Mood Disorder. Although I do encourage proper nutrition and exercise, I equally espouse a healthy, balanced state of mind. In doing so, I help patients with this condition, find a healthy way to attain weight-loss goals while minimizing any collateral damage to their emotional well-being. The focus of treatment centers on how weight gain/loss during early childhood played a role in maintaining or losing self-esteem. I also help patients learn to understand how other weight-loss methods have failed and what self-destructive hurdles they often encounter. Finally, we focus on how our weight-loss success and failures affect those around us (spouse, children, etc…) The ultimate goal of therapy is a more satisfactory way of relating to the self and to others while reaching a state of emotional and physical balance.