Recent Articles and Help Guides

Occasionally, I receive requests from professionals to share their resources on my page. The links below will bring you to official organization websites that offer the free resource. By clicking the link you will be leaving the James Fitzgerald Therapy PLLC website and portal.

Note: James Fitzgerald, MS, LCMHC, NCC is not responsible for nor endorses any of the the content, information, claims or representations of the sites listed on the linked pages.

The resource pages are always under construction and being updated regularly. Please check back here often. Many of the resources listed on the pages are sources of works cited in my health and wellness – life coaching program. The resources listed on each page also inform my philosophy and approach to the practice of therapy and coaching.

Women’s Guide to Cyber Safety 2023 (Posted July 20, 2023)

Women and girls are both the targets and scapegoats of online harassment; we’re singled out and then victim-blamed as though we asked to be persecuted. The cycle has been vicious and endless, but not anymore. It’s time for us to take control and put an end to the attacks on women online.

Online, women are subjected to harassment, violence, oppression, and just generally uncomfortable situations that few (if any) men have to deal with. The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a study reporting that 85% of women worldwide had witnessed online violence against other women. In the EU alone, 10% of women report having experienced cyber-harassment since age 15.

Continue to Read the Full Article

Why 25 could be the new 18

You don’t need a Ph.D. in psychology to see that adolescents are struggling. In fact, the people who see this most clearly are the parents and teachers of our foundering teens. Adolescence, as we’ve conceptualized it since Piaget, has needed a revision for some time, but it took the COVID pandemic to highlight this more clearly. It is now time for adolescence to enter a new age.

Emerging adulthood has been proposed as a new life stage between adolescence and young adulthood, lasting roughly from ages 18 to 25. Five features make emerging adulthood distinctive: identity explorations, instability, self-focus, feeling in-between adolescence and adulthood, and a sense of broad possibilities for the future. Emerging adulthood is found mainly in industrialized countries, where most young people obtain tertiary education and median ages of entering marriage and parenthood are around 30.

Read More on Psychology Today or in the OpenStax Book Lifespan Development

What Happens in Therapy?

Therapy can seem mysterious and daunting, but it involves a process of change and learning. Through therapy, a person can become more fluid and open to experience. People become more willing to be open about who they are. Psychotherapy can seem mysterious and unknown, daunting to people who think about it for the first time. What actually happens? How can sitting down with a therapist and talking about yourself make a difference? It was the psychologist Carl Rogers, whose pioneering research involved listening to recordings of therapy sessions, who first helped us understand what happens during psychotherapy. He observed a general tendency for clients to change in 10 directions.

Read the rest of this article on Psychology Today

Seven Qualities of a Great Therapist

Done right, therapy is tough work. Clients confront their deepest feelings, face what in their life and in their self isn’t working, and adopt a plan for and endure the discomfort of change. They probe the past, dismantle often long-standing defenses, and discard decades of habits so entrenched they may have become part of personal identity, clearing the path to change. The process requires tremendous courage.

What exactly are the talents and skills needed to help others transform pain into possibility? Appropriate training and licensure are givens. So is a code of ethics. Trustworthiness, the ability to communicate, and holding the client’s needs foremost represent the baseline for therapists. At its best, therapy leads to freedom. By releasing themselves from the accommodations they have made to survive the past, people can reach for a satisfying future. They progress, achieve, connect, love, and transform.

Read More: Psychology Today Blog

How to Choose an Autism Charity

If you have a child, family member, or friend with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you may want to donate to a charity that supports autism research or people living with autism. There are many to choose from, so start by considering details such as how you want your donation spent and then learning as much as you can about the organizations you’re most interested in.

Read more on the Very Well Health Blog

New Research in Suicide Prevention

The suicide rate in America remains stubbornly high. Approximately 44,800 Americans died by suicide in 2020, and if previous research holds true, most of them never saw a mental health professional leading up to their deaths. Researchers are increasingly looking for more nuanced ways to understand suicide. Emerging research drills into the details around who is at risk, the different pathways suicidal ideation can take, and the common features of treatments that seem to work. Recognizing that suicidal behavior ebbs and flows, this approach aims to meet people at highest risk, wherever they are.

Read the full Article at the American Psychological Association’s publication Monitor on Psychology

Anxiety and Substance Use Disorders

Decades of research in psychiatry have shown that anxiety disorders and substance use disorders co-occur at greater rates than would be expected by chance alone. This co-occurrence, or comorbidity, between anxiety and substance use disorders has generated considerable interest among researchers and clinicians, due to its relatively high prevalence, developmental and maintenance characteristics, clinical impact, and unique treatment factors. It is also notable that while these disorders are commonly found in a comorbid state and have generated a great deal of focused research attention, further studies are necessary before critical questions about how to best treat comorbid anxiety and substance use disorders are resolved through empirical inquiry rather than expert opinion.

Smith JP, Book SW. Anxiety and Substance Use Disorders: A Review. Psychiatr Times. 2008 Oct;25(10):19-23. PMID: 20640182; PMCID: PMC2904966.

Personality Subtypes in Adolescent and Adult Children of Alcoholics

The authors conducted two studies to identify and validate potential personality subtypes in adolescent and adult children of alcoholics. As part of a broader NIMH-funded study, randomly selected psychologists and psychiatrists provided personality data on 229 adolescents or 359 adult children of alcoholics using a Q-sort procedure (SWAP-II-A for adolescents and SWAP-II for adults), which were subjected to a cluster-analytic procedure, Q-factor analysis. Q-factor analysis yielded five personality subtypes in both groups. Despite the different samples and age groups, four of the personality subtypes were highly similar, including externalizing, inhibited, emotionally dysregulated, and high-functioning. Providing initial data on their validity, the subtypes differed on Axis I and II pathology, adaptive functioning, and developmental and family history variables. These findings show heterogeneity among children of alcoholics and suggest the importance of addressing personality subtypes for research and practice in treating adolescent and adult children of alcoholics.

Hinrichs J, Defife J, Westen D. Personality subtypes in adolescent and adult children of alcoholics: a two-part study. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Jul;199(7):487-98. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182214268. PMID: 21716063; PMCID: PMC3143015.

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