NAVIGATION- Dr. Charles R. Davenport; Licensed Psychologist

Tag : counseling

Can people change or is personality set?

personality change possible
A recent study found  that personality can change more than we once thought.  It was believed that  once personality  develops it is generally set and only able to change slightly over a significant period of time. A new study finds, that with therapy or counseling, with a professional,  personality  is able to change more rapidly and  significantly  than we once believed.

This study looked at over 200 published research papers. These papers all assessed personality traits as an outcome  of different kinds  of therapy or counseling. This review was published  in the Journal  psychological bulletin on January 5  and offers powerful suggestions that personality is not a static  as we once  expected.

This research does not  mean that we are rapidly able to change personality characteristics. In fact who we are does not tend to change in therapy  but we are able to influence  our reactions and awareness  to our own thoughts and feelings as well as input from others. When working with couples, Dr. Davenport has frequently seen a spouse wanting to change the other  tomorrow or in coming weeks. Unfortunately,  this is not likely realistic. However, focusing on  one aspect of who we are  and looking at it for many facets does have  opportunity change over time which this research supports. With many human behaviors slow and steady change is more easily  maintained than those shifts that come  rapidly.

There is evidence that people can change later in life  which suggests that enduring personality traits  may be able  to be changed deliberately.  This is in contrast  to previous research  on “big five” personality traits neuroticism, agreeableness, extroversion, and contentiousness which were indicated to be predictive of life success. Although these characteristics are likely adaptive  they may not illustrate  the entire picture. There is some research that indicates  an increase in emotional stability and  contentiousness during young adulthood and midlife.  In addition, openness to new experience tends to increase  during teenage years declining in old age.  This suggests that although some characteristics  may tend to pervade throughout life  there is also a continual shift  as we become more open  to new experience and potential change.

In summary, a new study supports that we’re able to make significant change  in aspects  of our personality  with continued therapy or counseling  with a trained professional.  Please contact  Charles R Davenport PsyD LLC  if you would like  to discuss the counseling or therapy services  this practice can offer you  or a loved one.

Neuroscience, compassion, and what helps change

What compassion means in the body and how we can work to find change, James Doty, a brain surgeon who studies neuroscience discusses these topics and more in his book The Magic Shop of the Brain. A recent episode of NPR’s On Being invites Dr. Doty to discuss his experiences in life, with compassion, and finding positive chance.

Can Compassion  Help us Change?

Some of Dr. Doty’s ideas seem overly simple for many people to be able to realistically implement to find lasting change. Just redirecting our mind to things that are more positive can be helpful in the short run, but in the long run, can leave us susceptible to the alerts from our bodies that were causing the unpleasant or negative thoughts or feelings in the first place. So using redirection in the short run so we don’t bogged down and can more aptly see the big picture can be a piece of the change.

However, there are many points in Dr. Doty’s presentation that might be helpful, at least ,and critical as most to find therapeutic change in life. We may not be able to change what we have lived through or done to ourselves or others but we can influence what we do when these memories, worries and feelings arise. If we can find compassion for all parts of us we and work toward integration and more peace. This does not mean we will not feel things that stink, but that over time we can work toward reacting differently.

There are so many questions out there but working toward understanding where we begin and others end is powerful as well as having an incorporative viewpoint that allows both vantage points to be considered and preserved.

Venice Florida Psychologist, Dr. Charles R Davenport, provides counseling and therapy services at Dr. Charles R Davenport PsyD LLC.

Dr. Charles R Davenport works with patients to help them find change and deal with career stress, anxiety, depression, and communication difficulties. Please feel free to contact Charles  R. Davenport, Psy.D. , LLC at 941-321-1971.

Psychologist Venice, FL- Dr. Charles R. Davenport

Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. Licensed Psychologist- Dr. Charles R. Davenport

 

Powerball lottery… are we Optimistic?

With all of the interest around Powerball lottery the American Psychological Association (APA) has chimed in.

A question many of us may find in our mind, should we by Powerball ticket or not? Is it a wise choice, worthwhile investment, evidence of being gullible, a sign of being hopeful, or proof of weakness? Well, in all honesty, there’s good likelihood the answer may be yes to all of the above. imagining winning the lottery is frequently accompanied by thoughts of having change in her life, quitting jobs, buying homes, or paying off debt. using imagination can be a wonderful thing frequently lost childhood. As adults it can be powerful to have imagination in our life which is tempered with our adult experiences. Imagining things being different is not a far leap from optimism which, I might suggest, is a critical component of us being able to imagine that things can be different and in turn grow or find change in our life.

So why do we buy lottery tickets?

It might be a built-in component of our survival, optimism, imagining that things can be better and working to make that happen.

If we stopped really didn’t think things were possible, as humans, we would be losing opportunities to grow and see what we might not be aware of. There is vulnerability in this however, we may hope for a particular kind of change that never happens. Does this mean that we failed or were wrong? It might not have to be the case… if we are able to glean something that we use in the future to accomplish a goal or avoid a pitfall to venture into hope or optimism might have been very helpful.

Venice Florida psychologist, Dr. Charles R Davenport, provides counseling and therapy services at Dr. Charles R Davenport PsyD LLC.

He works with patients to help them find change and deal with career stress, anxiety, depression, and communication difficulties. Please feel free to contact Charles  R. Davenport, Psy.D. , LLC at 941-321-1971.

Teacher Burnout: Depression too?

A new study suggests a significant connection between depression and burnout among primary school teachers. Many of the signs of burnout such as, being more cynical, lacking energy, lacking interest, needing to work harder to accomplish less, or changes in sleep or eating, are also seen in the early onset of depression. This study offers some evidence to support an implied, long standing, qualitative correlation.

Drs. Irvin S. Schonfeld of the City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership and Renzo Bianchi of the Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, discovered a significant overlap between burn out and depression.

Their findings looked at survey results from 1,386 pre-k to 12th grade US teachers that were assessing for burn out. they found that 86% of the burnout group met criteria for depression whereas less than 1% of the no burnout group met criteria for depression. Teachers in the burnout group are also found to be more than two times as likely to have history of anxiety. This supports another long-standing correlation between depression and anxiety. This article appears in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC provides counseling and therapy services to help teachers and other professionals be aware of burnout, worked to overcome it when it does interfere, and to strive toward avoiding burnout where possible.

Gender identity and sexual orientation related to eating disorder risk

A recent study released in the April 28 Journal of Adolescent Health looked at students from more than 200 US universities. this study explored potential connections between gender identity, sexual orientation, and risk for having an eating disorder. The study found that gay, bisexual, transgender, and non-transgender lesbian college students are at the highest risk for eating disorders.

 

gender identity and sexual orientation are both powerful aspects of who we see ourselves to be. Given that many of the labels of gender identity and sexual orientation discussed in this research have not always been widely accepted and popular culture individuals identifying themselves in this way are likely to find themselves, at worst living in the cross-hairs or at best with mild friction living in popular culture. when who we are is under attack we are likely to try to protect ourselves. One way we do this is by trying to have control over the parts of our selves which we are able. one of the ways human beings are powerfully able to affect their physical body, feelings, and thoughts is through regulation of food and body size. It is not a big surprise to this writer that people who have been “bruised” or even gently pushed on may be more susceptible to try to counter this force. Many times, as human beings, we reflexively will respond and as a result of having a sense of relief continue to do things in the same vein. This overtime can develop into an eating disorder or any number of problematic ways of regulating thoughts and feelings. Although Dr. Davenport does not particularly specialize in eating disorders he has had much success working with people who struggle as a result of the dynamics discussed above. Many times these same people also struggle with feelings related to their value, worth, and loveability.

Oxytocin: How “love hormone” helps moms care

New research by Indiana University, recently published in the Journal for Hormones and Behavior, suggests that the love hormone, oxytocin, eases mother’s ability to care for an upset newborn. Researchers in the study were trying to see how oxytocin may direct new mothers toward caregiving of infants and away from other concerns  such as physical intimacy. In particular, this research focuses on the impact on mothers in the six months following childbirth.

This study looked at mothers who had given birth in the past six months and women without children. Oxytocin as well as placebo was administered and participants were asked to look at pictures including sexual activity, smiling infant, and crying babies. Neutral images were also used. As the women viewed the images their brain activity was monitored. The findings suggest that all participants who were administered oxytocin experienced a significant increase in brain activity frequently associated with reward systems as they viewed the images of a crying infant.

interestingly, this research suggests that crying which is generally and emotion we find to not be favorable had a greater impact on women then cute or sweet things that we frequently identify as favorable. The importance of maternal orientation to a child who is in distress, early in their development, was suggested as an explanation for the connection between oxytocin, which is strongly connected with reproductive events for women, and the women’s motivation when seeing a crying baby.

Our early connections with caretakers many times can serve as the foundation for our sense of comfort and safety both in who we are and in relation to others. These are also areas which are frequently associated with oxytocin. and understanding our lives today can be helpful to be curious and aware of how our early interactions may shape us today. This is something that interests you are you would like to explore further please contact Dr. Charles R. Davenport Psy.D. who is a licensed psychologist in Venice Florida and Sarasota Florida

Acetaminophen: reduces pain but also pleasure…

many of us are familiar with acetaminophen and its powerful ability to reduce pain and fever. This over-the-counter medication has also been found to reduce painful emotions and more recently it has been suggested that it may reduce positive feeling as well.

Recent research published in Psychological Science in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

this research found that using Tylenol or similar products might have a further reach that had previously been understood. Geoffrey Durso, a doctoral student in social psychology at Ohio State University and the lead author of the study. “Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever.”

The study had control subjects which were given placebo and the remainder were given 1000 mg of acetaminophen. The subjects were then asked to rate photographs as pleasant or unpleasant. The researchers followed up to test a small group of 85 people to see whether the change in judgment from acetaminophen applied just to emotion or whether the drug blunted peoples of evaluation of magnitude in general. This finding suggested that acetaminophen did not alter individual’s sense of magnitude.

Although overwhelming emotion can be very troubling in our having happy fulfilling livesemotions are critical sources of information from our body. Just as physical pain tells us something is wrong so does emotional pain. Just as taking Tylenol to make a headache go away can be problematic if the headache is from a tumor or hypertension numbing emotion can be equally risky. Dr. Charles Davenport works with patients of all ages to provide counseling and therapy services to better understand their own personal difficulties and how they can thrive.

Narcissim: Am I a Narcissist?

A recent press release by the American Psychological Association (APA) discusses an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Narcissism and the Use of Personal Pronouns Revisited.

Common belief is that words such as “I” and “me” being overused is evidence of  narcissism. however, empirical research for this belief is at best sparse and at least inconsistent.

Generally narcissists are described his people  who have an unrealistically positive sense of their own goodness, superiority, and self-importance. Most people who are narcissists are not reading this article wondering if you may relate to them, as the nature of narcissists predispose them to be certain there is nothing wrong with anything related to them.

This most recent study found no association between pronoun use and narcissism. There are some limitations in the study given the relatively small sample size from the United States and Germany. Other limitations include the assessment tool used to detect narcissism. These limitations aside, it is probably safe to say that the use of personal pronouns does not mean someone is narcissistic.

Many times characteristics of narcissism stem from misguided attempts to protect ourselves from vulnerability that we may not be good enough in our own eyes or in the eyes of others. This set of defenses leaves the person certain that there are wonderful at times wondering why things are not more how they would like them in their lives. Frequently, it is in these situations folks may begin seeking treatment. In fact, there may be gradations of narcissism. those who are completely entrenched in their insistence that they are right frequently do not seek out counseling or therapy in less things are in particular crisis. It is also frequently the case once the acute crises resolved these individuals discontinue therapy and resume their certainty of their excellence. Sometimes living with her growing up with a narcissist results in individual realizing that the best way for them to be unscathed is to mirror the narcissistic values. When this happens these individuals may look like narcissists but they’re much more curious about themselves and their lives and tend to benefit significantly from individual therapy and counseling. Dr. Davenport does much work with these kinds of folks frequently looking at how they can live happier more fulfilling lives without having to rely exclusively on outdated and frequently misguided self protection techniques.

It is likely we all have aspects of narcissistic defense. Dr. Davenport recommends that we consider counseling or therapy if any of these characteristics interfere with someone’s life being how they would like it to be.

 

 

Wall Street Traders may need therapy.

A recent article discussed how therapy can be helpful in addressing career stress. High demand jobs, such as those in the financial sector, can be tremendously rewarding but also take a toll on well-being and our performance. Although stress can help us perform better, it does so only to a point than we see a sharp decline in performance. This decline can be self-perpetuating, as we see our effectiveness decline we are likely to try to work harder. This loop can lead to feeling out of control of our own destiny which frequently is seen with depression and can bring on anxiety.

Dr. Charles R. Davenport works as a Licensed Psychologist Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC with offices in Sarasota, Florida and Venice, Florida. If you or someone you care about is struggling with career related stress, anxiety, or depression please call Dr. Davenport’s office at 941-321-1971.

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Mindfulness, antiaging, fountain of youth?

In recent years mindfulness has become a hot topic in popular culture. Meditation, the book- The Power of Now, Marcia Linehan’s dialectical behavioral therapy for borderline personality disorder, yoga, and even martial arts all have common threads of hope for increased health and aim to focus on the present moment and our experiences in it. This is described by some as mindfulness.

In addition, recent research in neuroscience suggests that focusing our senses in the present moment while using frontal lobe function ( executive planning, impulse control, “playing the tape through” to see if the outcome is something we would like ) places us in the best position to be resilient in life. These functions also mitigate the impact of dopamine which research also suggests contributes to impulsive, compulsive, or abusive behaviors ( eating disorders, gambling, substance use problems, addiction to gaming, ect). While some dopamine can be a positive thing, we have found that it’s sustained-release augments  frontal lobe slowdown which can manifest as impulsivity, and activities and thoughts frequently seen with addiction, anxiety, depression, and adhd. 

Dr. Davenport works at Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC with offices in Venice in Sarasota Florida providing counseling and therapy services for adults and children struggling the situations similar to the ones discussed here.

Check out this recent article on how meditation may protect the brain from aging.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/06/meditation-brain-aging_n_6629858.html

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