Monthly Archives: December 2011

Artist finds an upside to his disorder

Heather Rudow December 30, 2011


Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be an ongoing challenge. Because there is no cure for the disorder, those with it must learn to cope however they can, whether it’s with therapy, drugs or other methods. But for one Oakland artist, living with OCD has actually helped him with his career.

“There’s a lot of satisfaction in the control,” Ed Loftus told The New York Times about successfully finishing an art piece. He said that for people with OCD, having control is something they struggle with.

Read the rest of The New York Times article here

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

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Arrogant people less likely to lend a hand

Heather Rudow

(Photo:Flickr/NZ Defence Force)

If you’re stuck in a bind and need someone’s help, you should cross your fingers that the first person you come across is a humble one. According to newly published research in the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who are humble are more likely to help others than those who have arrogant personalities.

“The findings are surprising because in nearly 30 years of research on helping behavior, very few studies have shown any effect of personality variables on helping,” said lead author Jordan LaBouff. “The only other personality trait that has shown any effect is agreeableness, but we found that humility predicted helping over and above that.”

Co-author Wade Rowatt said that in most cases, whether a person chooses to lend a hand to someone depends on temporary factors, such as how long it will take them to help, the number of people around them or any feelings of empathy they might have.

“The research indicates that humility is a positive quality with potential benefits,” Rowatt said. “While several factors influence whether people will volunteer to help a fellow human in need, it appears that humble people, on average, are more helpful than individuals who are egotistical or conceited.”

The research was comprised of three studies involving college students and touched on subjects such as what personality traits they would define themselves as (including humble) and hypothetical situations in which the students were asked to lend a hand, like helping an injured student to class.

“Our discovery here is that the understudied trait of humility predicts helpfulness,” Rowatt said. “Important next steps will be to figure out whether humility can be cultivated and if humility is beneficial in other contexts, such as scientific and medical advancements or leadership development.”

Source: PsychCentral

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

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Women with celiac disease more likely to be depressed, disordered eaters

Heather Rudow


Newly released results from a study by Penn State, Syracuse and Drexel University researchers revealed that women suffering from celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body reacts negatively to gluten products, are more likely to be depressed and more likely to be disordered eaters even if they keep the disease under control through diet.

The researchers surveyed 177 women with celiac disease for the study, including asking them about what it was like for them physically, emotionally and behaviorally to live with the disease, how well they stuck to a gluten-free diet, how they fared in stress management and questions regarding body image.

“We found that most participants frequently adhered to a gluten-free diet, and this greater compliance with diet was related to increased vitality, lower stress, decreased depressive symptoms and greater overall emotional health,” said researcher Josh Smyth. “However, even those people who were managing their illness very well reported higher rates of stress, depression and a range of issues clustered around body dissatisfaction, weight and shape when compared to the general population.”

When people with celiac disease eat gluten, some of the effects on the body include abdominal pain, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Smyth says the results of the study could have implications for people with similar types of food allergies, like Crohn’s disease.

“Going out to eat with friends or to a holiday potluck is a much different experience for these people because they have to be vigilant and monitor their diets,” Smyth said. “They may feel that they are a burden on a host or hostess. In many cases the only treatment option they are given is to manage their diets. I think we need to educate patients at diagnosis or post-diagnosis about some of the other associated difficulties they might experience and provide strategies for how to better manage those things. I am a proponent of elaborating our treatment models to not just address diseases, but also to address the psychological, social and behavioral aspects of disease as well, as they can influence disease outcomes and the well being of patients.”

Source: Penn State

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

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A poor emotional relationship with mom can turn toddlers into obese teens

Heather Rudow December 29, 2011


Recent studies have found that the mental health of a child’s mother can impact whether children become depressed or anxious or whether they develop childhood asthma. But a new study from Ohio State University reveals that the emotional quality of children’s relationships with their moms could also have an impact on whether they become obese teens.

For the study, the researchers analyzed national data detailing the relationship characteristics of mothers and their children during their toddler years:

“Among those toddlers who had the lowest-quality emotional relationships with their mothers, more than a quarter were obese as teens, compared to 13 percent of adolescents who had closer bonds with their mothers in their younger years. The findings mirror previous research by these scientists that showed toddlers who did not have a secure emotional relationship with their parents were at increased risk for obesity by age 4-and-a-half. This body of work suggests the areas of the brain that control emotions and stress responses, as well as appetite and energy balance, could be working together to influence the likelihood that a child will be obese. … A total of 241 children, or 24.7 percent, were classified as having a poor quality maternal-child relationship during early childhood based on a score of three or higher. The prevalence of obesity in adolescence was 26.1 percent among these children with the poorest early maternal-child relationships. The teen obesity prevalence was lower for children with better maternal relationships: 15.5 percent, 12.1 percent and 13 percent among those who had scores of two, one and zero, respectively.”

Says the study’s lead author Sarah Anderson: “The sensitivity a mother displays in interacting with her child may be influenced by factors she can’t necessarily control. Societally, we need to think about how we can support better quality maternal-child relationships because that could have an impact on child health. The evidence here is supportive of the association between a poor quality maternal-child relationship and an increased chance for adolescent obesity. Interventions are effective in increasing maternal sensitivity and enhancing young children’s ability to regulate their emotions, but the effect of these interventions on children’s obesity risk is not known, and we think it would be worth investigating.”

Source: Ohio State University

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

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New eligibility requirements for ACA president-elect announced

Heather Rudow

At the October 2011 meeting, the Governing Council adopted a motion changing the requirements and nomination process for candidates for ACA President-elect.

Eligibility requirements for those seeking the office of ACA President-elect for the term beginning July 1, 2013:

1. Be a member in good standing of the Association for a minimum of ten (10) years.

2. Have had no ethical violations for the past ten (10) consecutive years immediately prior to nomination.

3. Have served at least two of the following three roles: a) President of a national division, b) Region Chair, or c) Governing Council Representative

4. Must be a member of the branch located in the jurisdiction in which they reside or work, if such exists.

5. Cannot be a candidate for president-elect of a Division or Organizational Affiliate or chair-elect of a region at the same time they are a candidate for ACA President-elect.

There is also a new deadline date for submitting nominations.  Nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, February 24, 2012.

Detailed information regarding the new requirements and nomination process is attached.  If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact one of the following:

Dr. Marcheta Evans, Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee:

Ms. Holly Clubb, Director of Leadership Services:

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

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