Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Present and Future of Treatment for Depression

Almost seven percent of the U.S. population, 16 million people, had at least one major depressive episode in the last year. Many more family members, friends, and coworkers are affected.

What’s best practice for treating depression? And what’s on the horizon?

For answers, I turned to Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the mental-health component of the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service. I interviewed him today for my PsychologyToday.com article. HERE is the link.

Monday, September 29, 2014

:How Tolerant Are You, Really?

Today, tolerance is among our most vaunted virtues and most people describe themselves as tolerant. But how tolerant are we really? And when would you like to be more tolerant? Less so?

In my PsychologyToday.com article, today, for 16 situations, I ask you to assess how tolerant you'd be and whether you'd like to change.

HERE is the link.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Getting Your Child Well Educated

Barbara Nemko
Even if your child or grandchild attends a "good" school, you may worry s/he's not getting as good an education as you’d like.

For ideas on what to do, in my PsychologyToday.com article, I interviewed Dr. Barbara Nemko, Napa County Superintendent of Schools, member of the State Superintendent’s cabinet, regional schools superintendent of the year and this year named one of America’s top 40 education innovators, my wife and co-author with me of How to Get Your Child a Private School Education in as Public School.

HERE is the link. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Top 16 Pieces of Career Advice

With petabytes of career advice out there, how do you find what's really crucial? My PsychologyToday.com article today offers my 16 favorite pieces of career advice.

HERE in the link.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Trial Lawyer Gerry Spence on Persuasiveness

The master trial lawyer has much to teach us about persuasion. And Gerry Spence certainly is a master. He has never lost a criminal case either as a prosecutor or defense attorney. He has not lost a civil case since 1969.  Spence has more multi-million dollar verdicts without an intervening loss than any lawyer in America, including $10.5 million in the Karen Silkwood case  He is in the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame, which includes John Adams and Clarence Darrow.  

I interviewed Gerry Spence today for my PsychologyToday.com article today. HERE is the link.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Molecules slowing,
summer's heat replaced by temperance,
portending winter's inertia,
reversible by raging against the stasis.
Or we can wait until spring, 
which may never come.

The Psychology of the Artistic Lessons on art, leadership, and rejection.

For my PsychologyToday.com article today, I interviewed symphony orchestra conductor, David Ramadanoff. He offers lessons on art, leadership, and rejection. HERE is the link.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

When You Don’t Fit In: Deciding what to accept and what to change about ourselves.

It’s tough when you feel don’t really fit in. My PsychologyToday.com article today, offers some help. HERE is the link.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Helping Careers: 13 Alternatives for Would-be Psychotherapists

Many people would like to be a psychotherapist but are daunted by the training’s length or therapists' ubiquity--It can feel like there’s a shrink under every rock.

My PsychologyToday.com article today offers 13 alternative careers for would-be therapists. HERE is the link.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Is That All There Is?: How much can we really expect from life?

Do we manufacture enthusiasm to hide our disappointment that there isn’t that more to life than our modest contributions at work, our on-again/off-again family relationships, that kitchen remodel, that upcoming vacation of beaches, monuments, and shopping, let alone the home team’s “big” win?

Is that all there is? Should we aspire to more? I explore that in my PsychologyToday.com article today. HERE is the link.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In Praise of the Privileged

Of course, many middle- and upper-incomers start out with advantages. For example, they are more likely to come from families that inculcate the value of hard work.

But could it be that the meritocracy/redistribution pendulum has swung too far, that middle- and upper-income people deserve more credit? I explore that in my PsychologyToday.com article today. HERE is the link.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Problem With Boys: An ignored crisis

We continue to ignore the devastating drop in boys' achievement relative to girls. I address the issue and make recommendations in my PsychologyToday.com article today. HERE is the link.

Friday, September 19, 2014

If You Could Forget About Your Responsibilities: A practical thought experiment

More and more people seem at the breaking point. That seems particularly prevalent among Boomers: Demands at work are ever ratcheted up and, outside of work, Boomers suffer the sandwiched stress of aging parents, their own aging, and, often, adult children that have failed to launch a decent career.

A fat book or three would be required to address all that, so in my PsychologyToday.com article today, I offer only a moment of respite, a hopefully pleasant little thought experiment that might point to a better, easier tomorrow or not-too-distant future. HERE is the link.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Managing Crisply: An interview with Bruce Tulgan

Bruce Tulgan was named by Management Today as one of the few “management gurus” and was named to the Thinkers 50 Rising Star list--the definitive global ranking of the world’s top 50 business thinkers. 

He is the author of 18 books, including, published just this week, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems

For my PsychologyToday.com article today, I interviewed him. HERE is the link.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Curing Procrastination at its Root

Procrastinators tend to have a dysfunctional life linchpin.  My PsychologyToday.com article today attempts to help readers find a more effective one. HERE is the link.

Curated Career Counsel: An interview with Tony Lee

Career advice is abundant, some would say too abundant. Few are as qualified to curate it as Tony Lee. He has developed and presided over award-winning career websites such as CareerCast.com, JobsRated.com, and a suite of career-related sites for the Wall Street Journal, attracting 20 million page views a month. He wrote the Wall Street Journal's Managing Your Career column and is co-author of The Jobs Rated Almanac. His frequent media appearances have included The Today Show and Good Morning America.  I interviewed him in my PsychologyToday.com article today. HERE is the link.

Monday, September 15, 2014

19 Important Questions to Ask Yourself

Most of us don’t take much time to reflect. My PsychologyToday.com article today offers 19 central questions about you and your life. HERE is the link.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Career Counseling ISIS’s Caliph

As someone who has spent his life helping people change, I can’t quite accept that it’s impossible to change someone, even ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliph: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

At the risk of unmatched naïveté, my PsychologyToday.com article today consists of a thought experiment: What might a successful few-minute first career counseling session with ISIS’s caliph look like. 

Of course, I’m not hubristic enough to think this would work but perhaps the thought experiment embeds useful principles for all of us, as I argue at the end of the article. 

HERE is the link. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Fight to be Right: When to insist and when and how to let it go.

In an argument, people love to get the other person to admit they're wrong. Alas, they may win the battle but lose the war.

My PsychologyToday.com article explores when to insist you're right and when and how to let it go. HERE is the link

Friday, September 12, 2014

Career Dialogues Between High School Students and Me

I was asked to come to a high school class to do what I do on the radio: Workovers: a few-minute exchange to help a person decide what career s/he might want to explore.

While simple and terse, I believe the exchanges embed career lessons useful whether you’re a teen, much older, or you want to provide career guidance for someone you care about.  The transcript of those Workovers is my PsychologyToday.com article today. HERE is the link.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What if Your Child is Gifted, High-Ability, an Advanced Learner?

Especially below the high school level, programs for high-ability children have been cut, often to non-existent. As I wrote in an earlier PsychologyToday.com article, advanced learners too often sit stultified in a class for hours each day, for a decade. They may be America’s most underserved kids. What’s a parent to do?

To address that question, I interviewed one of the nation’s leading experts on gifted students. That's my PsychologyToday.com article. HERE is the link.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Should I Eat That?: An internal debate on whether it’s worth the calories

Core to losing weight is how we resolve the internal debate: It is it worth the calories? 

My PsychologyToday.com article offers the internal dialogue I’d have with myself as I was deciding whether to go out for an Indian buffet or stay home and have a prudent dinner. HERE is the link.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

“I Don’t Care About Anything:' A dialogue between a hopeless person and a cheerleader.

At some point, most people ask themselves, “What’s it all mean?” And sometimes, their answer is, “Not much.”

My PsychologyToday.com article today is a dialogue between two hypothetical people. One believes that nearly anyone can have a meaningful life. I’ll call that person “Max.” The other believes life has minimal meaning. I’ll call that person “Minnie.”

Perhaps their exchange might help you in your search for meaning or accepting life’s limitations. 

HERE is the link. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Should Atheists Criticize Religious People?

It’s tempting to try to shake religious people’s faith. After all, religion is irrational--How could anyone find comfort in a God that would allow billions of people, including infants, to die in agony of diseases like cancer. And religion has caused so much prejudice and death--from the Crusades to Radical Islam. Plus, religion often urges disempowerment: Don’t act; wait for God. Trust God above reason. For example, consider these exhortations from the Bible: 
  • “Be not wise in your own eyes. God shall supply all your need.” Philippians 4:19. 
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:1.
  • "Ask and it will be given to you." Matthew 7:7  
  • If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20. 
But my PsychologyToday.com article argues that, in many cases, it's wrong, even malevolent to try to to disabuse religious people of their faith. 

HERE is the link.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Worklife

We’re often too busy to reflect, even on something as important as our worklife. My PsychologyToday.com article today asks questions to make it easier. HERE is the link.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

23 Under-the-Radar Careers

The 1353-page 2014-2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook profiles hundreds of careers. 

For my PsychologyToday.com article today, I picked out 23 under-the-radar ones that you might find appealing. For each, I offer a very quick hit plus a link for learning more about it.

If you or someone you care about is looking for a career, perhaps one or more of these might at least whet your appetite for looking at the many little-known options that can be found in the aforementioned Occupational Outlook Handbook or in the 500+ in my book, Cool Careers for Dummies. 

HERE is the link.

Friday, September 5, 2014

In Praise of the Out-of-Fashion Marigold

The marigold has been out of fashion for 150 years. In 1858, the New England Agricultural Warehouse and Seed Store Catalogue deemed marigolds “old-fashioned.”

Yet you’d be hard-pressed to find another annual that’s as covered with bloom for as long a season, let alone one that’s so trouble-free as modern hybrid marigolds. Plus, they're cheap. Any nursery will sell you a six-pack in colors ranging from yellow to maroon and all sorts of blends for under $5. And the supreme varieties are available by seed, which you can buy for roughly a dime a piece. 

Which varieties to plant? 
Garden marigolds are either French of African. French marigolds grow 8-12” tall with 1-2” flowers. Africans are 10”-20” tall with 2-4” flowers. I prefer Frenchies both because of their more exotic coloration and because their flowers are less likely to rot in the rain.
Here are highly-rated varieties: 

French marigolds 
Boy Spry


Credit: Ball Horticultural Co.


Credit: Park Seed Co.


Credit: National Garden Bureau

Credit: NetPS Plant Finder

Cresta Spry (a bit larger than Boy Spry)


Credit: Harris Seeds

African marigolds


Credit: PrairieStarFlowers.com

Credit: All-American Selections

Growing marigolds 
Easiest is to buy six-packs or 4" pots in any nursery or even supermarket. Just pop ‘em into average soil in a sunny location. Add fertilizer and regular water and, voila!

In relatively warm climates, you can plant them as late as early September and get a month or three of bloom before cold weather sets in.

You may be less likely to find the above varieties in pots or six-packs. You’ll more likely see unnamed varieties or, Bonanza Yellow, Gold, or Orange and the Durango series of Frenchies and Antigua or Inca II Yellow, Gold, and Orange Africans, which are all just fine although perhaps a notch below those above.

Fortunately, marigolds are among the easiest plants to grow from seed. Most experts advise you to simply sow them directly in their permanent sunny home as soon as frost has passed. Just cover them with ¼” of soil and keep them moist.
Especially if you live in a humid climate, to prevent or reduce fungal disease, water just the soil, not the leaves, for example, with drip irrigation or by watering the soil next to the plant, not the plant itself.

Not essential. But to maximize rebloom, pull off the dead flowers.

And that’s it!

Of the hundreds of plants I’ve grown, I find marigold to give the most pleasure for the least cost and effort. I think it’s time for them to come back into fashion.

Copiing With People Who Don't Respond to Your Emails and Phone Calls

I wrote today's PsychologyToday.com article for those who get frustrated with people who don't promptly respond to your emails and phone calls. HERE is the link.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Making This The Best School Year Yet

Every year, students—adult and child alike—hope this school year will be great: that our teachers will like us, inspire us, and that we really do learn and grow. 

My PsychologyToday.com article today offers nine tips to help this school year live up to the hope. While aimed primarily at college and graduate students, some of these ideas may apply to children. HERE is the link.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

If You Got a Second Chance

Everyone has regrets, and per a previous post, sometimes there are ways to put them behind you. But sometimes you can’t. 

What I offer today on PsychologyToday.com might wring a bit of good from your regrets. I ask you questions that inventory your life's major decisions and ask if you'd make them differently now. HERE is the link.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF INTERVIEWING: An interview with Michael Krasny

We’re all interviewers: whether asking your housemate about his or her day, querying a first date to see if there should be a second, vetting a prospective employer, or trying to understand a customer’s needs or ideological adversary’s position. 

To unearth some of the keys to interviewing, for my PsychologyToday.com article today, I interviewed a top interviewer, Michael Krasny. HERE is the link. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

An Authoritative Look at ADHD: An interview with Stephen Hinshaw

ADHD is among our most controversial disorders. Is it really a disorder or a function of schools' poor response to active kids’ needs? Is the increase in prescribing stimulant drugs for ADHD mainly because it’s helpful or because drug companies are pushing it?
Stephen Hinshaw is among the most respected voices on ADHD.  My interview of him is my PsychologyToday.com article today.HERE is the link.