The recent Senate hearings that led to the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh were both riveting and painful for many viewers. It’s difficult to recall another time when sexual assault and its effects played such a prominent role in our national conversation.
The term “triggered” has gotten a mixed reputation in recent years as it has come to be associated with the efforts of many colleges and universities to protect students from upsetting content or ideas. This new meaning of the term started with the best of intentions. Professors covering material that could be upsetting for those with a history of trauma began to warn students beforehand; hence the term “trigger warning.” Gradually, the term’s use broadened as college communities increasingly used it to warn students about the use of anything that might conceivably be upsetting. (This was unfortunate, as ultimately it is impossible to protect all students from ever being upset by the material, perspectives, or ideas presented in class.) However, triggers are a serious [Read more…]
In recent years, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become a hot topic in the military and the media. For many, PTSD conjures up an image of a combat veteran who has returned home with troubles after being exposed to land mines and air raids. Indeed, statistics show that 11-20% of veterans coming back from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. But PTSD is not just a military problem. People who have experienced a life-threatening experience may have PTSD and not even know it. [Read more…]
Psychotherapy is more effective today than it was 50 or even 25 years ago. Why? Because of research. In the United States, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies fund clinical trials of specific types of psychotherapy for various problems. One example of such a clinical psychotherapy trial can be seen in the work I have been involved with at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. We conducted [Read more…]
For those who have been diagnosed with cancer, coping with illness can bring unexpected and difficult challenges. Both the treatment for cancer and its aftermath sometimes involve emotional difficulties that can take patients and families by surprise. Some of the therapists at the Manhattan Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy specialize in working with cancer survivors. Dr. Greene, in particular, was involved in a multi-hospital research study investigating how cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help survivors of leukemia and lymphoma. The study concluded that CBT reduced posttraumatic anxiety and depression for these survivors.
Dr. Greene does ongoing research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine on the psychological difficulties of cancer.