Let's Talk About It

We are faced with all kinds of challenges in life. It is easy to get caught up in the daily ups and downs. That is why we prioritize self-care and self-actualization to stop, reflect, and reenergize yourself in the midst of difficult times. From writing poetry to meditating or sharing conversation with good friends, self-care should be personalized to what works best for you. Take the time to get to know yourself and be well.


Mar
14

The Selfie and the Self: Slaying the Lying Dragon

I have just climbed the 450 stone steps to the top of Lying Dragon Mountain in Ninh Binh Province, Viet Nam. Near the top of this exquisitely beautiful setting I encounter a group of young people talking selfies. And I wonder — why are they so focused on taking pictures of themselves? Can they not see how beautiful and special this place is? Why must they focus on themselves, on their own images?

As I try to place myself into their mindset the answer that comes to me is something like: Look at me in this beautiful place. I’m beautiful too. (For beautiful, you could substitute the words important, significant, happy, etc.) Also, I gather that by taking a picture on this happy occasion, later they can look at the photo and re-experience a similar happiness, the same thrill of being alive.

While all of this is well and good, part of me does worry that by focusing on oneself and the social network in such a singular place, one might miss...

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Feb
27

Who Listens to Listeners?

In my role as Staff Psychologist at the UO Counseling Center, one issue comes up consistently.  Students will appear in my office who have never sought counseling before, but who suddenly feel overwhelmed by a stress and anxiety the likes of which they’ve never seen. They cannot pinpoint the reason for their current distress, which of course leaves them very confused and helpless.  I have noticed a common thread among many of these students.  When I ask them if they have a support system (i.e., friends and/or family whom they love and trust), most will answer yes.  I then ask if they talk to their support persons about their own problems and worries.  Most answer no.  Indeed, most of these students tell me that they tend to “bottle things up.” They avoid or suppress their own emotions.  They have difficulty opening up to others, even their closest friends.

Ask yourself if you identify with any of the following:

  • All of your friends come to you with their...
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Feb
13

Support for International and Undocumented Students

Recent political decisions and rhetoric affecting international students and undocumented students and Dreamers have caused many of our students and other campus community members to feel unwelcome and unsafe. Mental health professional organizations have released and posted statements about these issues. These statements reflect the commitment embedded in our code of ethics to respect the rights and dignity of all people and promote social justice.

The American Psychological Association (APA) recently released a statement regarding the harm caused to refugees, immigrants, academic research and international exchange by the president’s recent executive orders. The statement begins:  “While safeguarding the nation from terrorist entry is of critical national importance, the...

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Jan
30

Spring Festival & Adjusting to a New Culture

January 28 is the Chinese New Year Day. Happy holiday to those who celebrate this holiday!

Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival”, is the first 15 days of traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Celebration of the Spring Festival traditionally runs from Chinese New Year Eve to the Lantern Festival which is the 15th day of the first month on lunar calendar.  Traditional celebration of the Spring Festival often involves thoroughly cleaning the house to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make room for good incoming luck, paying respect and honoring ancestors, getting together with extended family for the annual reunion dinner, and giving money in red paper envelopes as a sign of passing on good fortune.

For many international students from countries where the Spring Festival is an important festival, the actual celebration may be very different than the tradition. These students are forced to adjust because their families are thousand miles away, and they...

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