Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, CBIT, ERP, CBT-I, Behavior Consultation, and Treatment for Anxiety and Insomnia

Laura Van Schaick-Harman, Psy.D., BC-TMH


Dr. Laura's Meaningful Psychological Services

Online and Office Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

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Meaningful Psychological Services: Really Useful Thoughts from a Psychologist (hopefully!)

Helpful interests, ideas, and resources about psychology, therapy, mindfulness, cognitive-behavior therapy, anxiety, living meaningfully and online therapy.

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Why I Love My Role

Posted on September 12, 2016 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (4)

I love my job. I love that I get to learn from others. I love that I get to share the happy moments and the sad moments. I love that I get to help someone work through a hurt or anger. I love seeing the world through multiple perspectives.

 

Being a psychologist is such an awesome job. It isn’t an easy one, of course.

 

I love that I can feel what others feel. I love that I can share knowledge imparted on to me to give to you. I love that you’...

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Focus On College

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (3)

Returning to college or starting college can be both an exciting and anxiety provoking experience. For some, this may be the first time you will be on your own, away from your parents and in a new area. For others, you may be returning to school for another semester of classes, friends, clubs, fun, and exams. For those of you commuting, you may be preparing for the best route to take to get to class, and balancing home life with work life with school life, etc. For parents of college students...

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Mindfulness Resources

Posted on July 11, 2016 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (10)

Here. Now.

 

Pay attention to the way these words appear on your screen. What emotions do they trigger? Are you experiencing any external or internal awareness of sensations? As you read this, our brain can practice mindfulness. That is, being fully aware of our current moment, the "now" without judgement. As leading mindfulness expert and founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn describes, there is always another now to be in. There are endless opp...

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How Are You Sleeping?

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (6)

How are you sleeping? This is a question that may not be often asked, yet the answer certainly weighs on our mind and affects our daily life. Sleep is an important component of wellness. When we feel that we don't get enough of good quality sleep, we may be tired, in a bad mood, lack energy, or make poor decisions.

 

Understanding the components of sleep is essential to getting adequate rest. Did you know that you may be spending too much time in bed? Did you know that you ...

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Free Behavior Change Class

Posted on May 16, 2016 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (4)

Welcome to May! The flowers are blooming and the weather is getting warmer. It is a great time to practice being mindful and enjoy our surroundings. Of course, the beauty of mindfulness is that it is always a good time to practice since the only thing you need is the present moment, which we always have. Take a mindful walk this month and notice all the details of the world around you. You might be surprised by what you see (I know I have been!).

 

 

For t...

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Dealing with Test Anxiety

Posted on April 11, 2016 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (7)

It's April, and for many of you college students you are preparing for finals in a few weeks. For those of you not in college, this post still applies for any type of test or work presentation. If you suffer from worry, anxiety, or panic symptoms before, during, or after an evaluation, continue reading for some helpful strategies to get you through.

 

 

Five Ways To Cope With Test Anxiety

 

 

Deep Abdominal Breathing ...

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Spring Cleaning

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (5)

t's time for spring and that means it's time to clean up and clean out! For this month, I am sharing a compilation of videos and interviews to learn about changing your behavior. Let's spring clean together and change our unhealthy habits.

 

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Play

Posted on February 15, 2016 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (3)

A few days ago, I found myself trying not to laugh out loud while hiding behind the door in my son's room. He had just learned to play Hide and Seek and couldn’t find me. My husband, who did not know we were playing this game, also began looking for me, genuinely not knowing where I had gone. This made the game even more funny. I could see and hear them, but neither knew where my excellent hiding space was. Once they found me, we all laughed together.

 

When was the la...

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Making Behavior Changes That Stick

Posted on January 19, 2016 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (4)

It's New Year's Resolution time. Did you make one?

 

 

Did you know that the calendar doesn't need to tell you when and when not to make a behavior change in your life? In fact, you can make a change when you decide you would like to.

 

 

However, it is helpful to join the momentum of support this time of year to help us stick to our resolutions. So, let's jump on, eh?

 

 

In order to make a change that la...

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Just Be

Posted on December 14, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (3)

 

When was the last time you were truly present? When were you just wherever you were?

 

 

It is so easy during this season to get wrapped up in the busyness of holiday events, family gatherings, work responsibilities, academic tasks, and traffic.

 

 

We can easily become a "do-er" and just do, do, do. Have you ever driven on the expressway and realized that you drove 5 exits, but don't recall passing by any o...

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Changing Leaves Changing You

Posted on November 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (4)

Have you ever noticed how beautiful the fall season can be? The air is a bit crisper. The leaves are changing all sorts of colors. There are acorns scattered around for gathering.

 

 

Have you ever noticed how ugly the fall season can be? The air is a bit crisper. The leaves are changing all sorts of colors. There are acorns scattered around for gathering.

 

 

Did you get what I mean? The way we see things makes a difference with how w...

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Climbing The Ladder

Posted on October 16, 2015 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (31)

 

 

 

 

Have you ever looked at a big project and felt like you would never get it done? Maybe you felt overwhelmed by the amount of work or defeated by the challenges that stood in your way. Maybe you want to quit smoking but the idea of a life without cigarettes is foreign to you. Perhaps you want to move out on your own but you are struggling to find a job that pays enough. Maybe you want to lose weight, but you haven't changed y...

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What Behavior or Habit Do You Want To Change?

Posted on September 11, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (6)

 

Have you ever seen the same thing many times and then one day it looked different to you? I recently decided to head the opposite direction (for example east instead of west) on the route I take for my daily (as long as the weather cooperates) mindful walk. Do you know what I saw? The whole route differently. New plants, backyards, trees, sides of houses, cars, potholes, and light posts. I walked on the very same roads I had walked on hundreds of times and a whole new panorama of...

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"Inside Out" Healthy Emotions

Posted on August 7, 2015 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (3)

 

Shortly after deciding the topic of this month's post, my plan was reinforced by watching Pixar's new movie Inside Out. What a great way to view and learn about our emotions! Once again, Pixar had me tearing up, laughing, and adoring this wonderful gem of a movie. Isn't it funny how some children's movies are so appealing to grown-ups too? I suppose this is a goal of Hollywood since children can't take themselves to the movies so parents should have some fun too!

 

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What's Your Movie Theater?

Posted on July 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (2)

Several years ago, I experienced a panic attack (yes, psychologists can get them too). I was sitting in the middle of a packed movie theater with friends when another movie goer had a medical emergency that was very scary and yucky (I'll spare you the details) and involved 911 and several medical professionals. The scene played out in the theater and blocked the only non-emergency exit. Faced with sights and sounds of the other person as well as being in the middle of a row with people on e...

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New Space and a New Place!

Posted on June 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (3)

 

New space and a new place! I've been a busy bee lately. It's that time of year to engage in some productive spring cleaning-physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually. See this post about spring cleaning our thoughts for more information about cognitive spring cleaning.

 

 

This month, I am going to focus on spring cleaning our physical space and embracing change. Making changes in our lives can be a difficult task, especially when the ...

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Focus on Mental Health

Posted on May 11, 2015 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)

 

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. It is my hope in this month's post to reduce stigma around mental health concerns and utilizing therapy. There is great need for psychological services in our communities. It is an area ever evolving, changing, and growing.

 

Notice May is Mental Health not Mental Illness Awareness Month. As mental health professionals, our commitment to our work involves not only reducing symptoms, but also identifying and building...

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"Hakuna Matata"

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (1)

"Hakuna Matata- it means no worries" (from The Lion King). This is a phrase I often sing to my baby. We even put a picture of the phrase on his nursery wall. As a Mommy, I never want my son to feel anything but happy and I don't want him to ever feel anxious. As a Psychologist, I actually do want him to experience worry and anxiety at certain points in his life, within reason. Why?


It is unrealistic and unhelpful to be happy and carefree all of the time. Negative emo...

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College, Work, and Fun, Oh My!

Posted on March 1, 2015 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

It is not uncommon for college students to experience a wide range of emotions during the course of their study. The transition from high school to college and then college to employment/career/graduate school can be difficult, exciting, anxiety provoking, smooth, or any other description of personal experience. Anxiety and stress are common culprits that affect today's college students.


College students receive syllabi that cover several (usually 14 or 15) weeks of ...

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Live Meaningfully With Anxiety

Posted on February 12, 2015 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Living with anxiety can be overwhelming, smothering, and in some cases, debilitating. Living with anxiety can also be meaningful, purposeful, and embraced. Yes, that is what you just read. For those of you reading this post who suffer from anxiety, you may think I am kidding. I'm not.


The truth is that we all experience anxiety in one form or another. There are many purposes for the experience of this uncomfortable, yucky, and scary feeling. Anxiety is necessary for ...

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