Whether it’s joy or anger, we’re wired to catch and spread emotions. Here's how to inoculate ourselves against negative ones.
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Jonathan Foiles LCSW
The author of Guns, Germs, and Steel believes that short-term crisis therapy has lessons to offer countries navigating conflict. Does he succeed in his efforts?
We have tools for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in individuals, but what do we do when an entire community has been scarred?
The saying thoughts and prayers has become a commonplace refrain in the aftermath of a tragedy. Is that the best response to tragic violence?
Buddhism is a popular addition to psychological theory and practice, but David Loy suggests they be understood as different answers to the same questions.
Modern life has left us increasingly isolated from one another. What does this mean for our long-term mental health and our health as a society?
Many know of Chicago's staggering murder rate, but statistics are often hard to fully grasp. My patients remind me of the human cost of gun violence.
The award-winning journalist who has written about violence in Chicago for almost thirty years reflects upon the lingering impact of trauma in our American cities.
Yiyun Li's beautiful new novel confronts the pain of losing a child to suicide. The result is not just heartbreaking but beautiful.
A recent report gives America's most prestigious universities a failing grade when it comes to supporting students experiencing a mental illness.
This year has been exhausting for many. A recent collection of Thomas Merton's letters offers encouragement and perspective to the weary.
How much are our thoughts about schizophrenia based on stigma rather than science?
Mental health clinics and schools in Chicago have both suffered cutbacks and closures in recent years. What does this do to the mental health of the communities they serve?
Despite our best efforts stigma against those with mental illness persists. History reveals the roots of this and what we might do to address it.
An anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times last week reignited discussions about Pres. Trump's fitness for office. Is it time for mental health professionals to intervene?
Parents have had the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) called on them for outlandish reasons. Does that mean it's time to reform how they handle hotline calls?
We live in increasingly polarized times. The writings of Wendell Berry demonstrate ways to deepen our commitment to our world and to one another.
Chicago finds itself in the news again. My work in a community mental health center on the West Side has shown me the devastating impact of gun violence.
It's one thing to read their books, another to try to understand the person who wrote them. A new memoir offers a fascinating glimpse at Jacques Lacan.
The narrator of Ottessa Moshfegh's My Year of Rest and Relaxation wants to sleep her problems away. Does it work?
I grew accustomed to referring clients in a mental health crisis to 911 until an intern forced me to reconsider.
In the wake of terror, we use frames to help us make sense of tragedy. Those same frames dictate our response, and it's worth taking a closer look at them.
The recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have impacted many of us. How we talk about their deaths often perpetuates stigma about mental health rather than reduces it.
The Cabrini-Green towers were demolished in 2011, but their presence lingers in Chicago. Ben Austen's new book shares the stories of former residents.
The National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics states that social workers must work for social justice. What does that mean for the profession in the era of Trump?
Anxiety is usually thought of as the fear of loss. A case example from my practice illustrates that it can also be triggered by something that is all too near.
Mothers are often held up as either caring and selfless or selfish and irresponsible. Neither one is fair, and both make an already difficult job harder. But how can we do better?
Michael Bennett and Charles Thomas both almost lost their lives because the police saw them as a threat. Research helps explain why.
For millennia humans have told stories to explain ourselves and our world. Marilyn Charles' latest book examines contemporary fiction in light of psychodynamic concepts.
Mental health impacts all of us. Reducing stigma is important for ourselves and our relationships, and it is also the first step towards creating a more just society.
Leslie Jamison developed a drinking problem while attending Harvard and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her new addiction memoir adds a great deal to the literature on recovery.
Jonathan Foiles, LCSW, is a therapist who works at a community mental health clinic in Chicago.