Articles

Dr. Raque regularly writes on topics related to psychology, psychotherapy, and related issues. Please visit regularly to read his shared insights.



  • The Role of Stress in Our Lives: Seek Control But Do Not Try to ControlI think most of us can look back at stressful times in our lives and see the silver lining in the dark cloud enveloping our lives at the time. Personally, there have been several stressful events in my life when this was the case. To name a few I would include my divorce, a not […] Read More

  • What Makes a Good MarriageMarriage has been around as long as human existence.  But like most cultural traditions, change is inevitable. For many centuries the primary reason for marriage was to produce offspring for help with the land. Today, there continues to be many differences between cultures as to how marriage is viewed.  In many Eastern cultures marriages continue […] Read More

  • OptimismI would rather see a glass as half-full rather than half-empty. There is a growing body of research that supports optimism as having medicinal value. Those who believe they are going to get better are more likely to get better quicker than those who are negative about their chances. I am not saying there is […] Read More

  • Unstick Your LifeWe are getting close to that time of year that everyone begins thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Probably like most of you I have made many, kept some but failed to keep others. I remember over thirty years ago after I had stopped playing basketball and realized I needed to begin exercising on my own, […] Read More

  • Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Your Health and Soothe PainIf you read my most recent article it was about slowing down, or more familiar phrase, to “stop and smell the roses”.  Exercise and nutrition can help and here is one more tool to have at your disposal that can help to improve your mental and physical health, meditation. There are many ways to meditate. […] Read More

  • Handling Bad MemoriesSeveral years ago around this time of year, one of my patients was talking about the upcoming holidays. We began talking about early memories. She recalled one of her early bad memories. When she was 6 years old, she had her heart set on Santa bringing her a special gift. While she said she appreciated […] Read More

  • Gut FeelingsA good sense of direction particularly when driving is a genetic weakness in my family.  So, when I am driving, instead of listening to my inner voice that tells me I should go one way, I rationalize and go the other way, which usually is the wrong way.  Then I get frustrated with myself and […] Read More

  • Ingredients for SuccessRecent research has suggested that while practice does not create talent, without practice no matter what talent a person has, the talent will not develop. There are many examples of this concept. Michael Jordan, whom many consider the greatest basketball player ever to play the game, was cut from his high school team.  Sports fans […] Read More

  • SiblingsBeing one of five children, and the youngest, I understand the positives of having siblings, as well as the difficulties.  In my practice, I listen to parents who are frustrated with sibling rivalries and how disruptive it is to the family harmony.  There are several ways to understand what being a sibling means. The traditional […] Read More

  • How To Keep Your Child Out of the BedAs a follow-up to last week’s column I wanted to provide some suggestions for parents on how to keep your child from sleeping in your bed.  To set the record straight, life’s issues are most often resolved by following the principle of moderation.  So, if your 5 year old child is afraid of thunder storms, […] Read More

  • Teaching Your Child IndependenceA normal part of growing up is learning to cope with anxiety. In fact, a very important stage of development children go through around the time they start kindergarten is called separation anxiety.  Often it starts then, but I have seen many children over the years for whom this anxiety can pop back up, even […] Read More

  • Who is your BFF?Have you been tweeted, linkedin, facebooked, emailed, or texted lately? If you haven’t, would you consider yourself backward or fortunate? What happened to phone calls, letter writing, making face-to-face contact with people, or even shaking hands without having to have an iphone, Blackberry or other kind technological gizmo.  47% of Americans now do some kind […] Read More

  • “Active Listening”It is often rare to experience a month of one’s life without being faced with conflict.  Definitions for conflict include disagreement, to be contradictory, fight, battle or have incompatibility with another’s idea.  In a previous article I had questioned how could it be that in school two of the most important activities we engage in […] Read More

  • Seniors on FacebookThe age of computer technology has sprouted the social media frenzy.  While for years the use of computers was mostly by Generation X’ers; now, the Baby Boomer generation is becoming more active. They have now made iPads so user-friendly, a grandchild can teach a grandparent how to email, save photos, get on Facebook, and yes, […] Read More

  • The HolidaysBy the time you read this essay Thanksgiving will be next week, followed by Christmas soon thereafter. The holidays are a mixed blessing for many of us. Thanksgiving is my favorite. Families gather and it is general consensus if someone is away from home, has no family left, homeless, they are thought of, and included […] Read More

  • My Depression is Not About YouI know I have previously written about depression but most recently a dear friend of mine shared with me a letter he wrote about his depression. He describes deep clinical depression as well as anyone I have ever heard or from any description I have read. He gave me permission to publish it without using […] Read More

  • “Versions” of the TruthA friend of mine once told me that her mother had always said: “little white lies are alright.”  The problem with that assumption is that it becomes learned behavior, often hurting other people, but it really ends up hurting the liar more in the long run.  Little lies can lead to gossiping, passing along rumors, […] Read More

  • Why is Memorizing Important For Children?Throughout my years in working with children about their learning capabilities, one piece of advice I have said to the parents has been to emphasize the importance of memorization.  Much of what I am about to state comes from the psycho-educational evaluations I have given during my 38 years of clinical practice. Many of you […] Read More

  • Talk Therapy Versus MedicationWhen I entered graduate school in 1968 to study psychology the growing debate was about whether talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, was effective. Of course, at that time the field of psychiatry was limited to only a few medications to treat depression, anxiety, and psychotic disorders, with many of these medications having uncomfortable side […] Read More

  • The Lucky OneNot long ago our family had to put our 18 year old dog Lucky to sleep.  Probably like many of you, my attachment to my dog was very special.  We actually purchased Lucky from a terrier rescue in Senoia, Georgia. I remember the day as though it was yesterday. My wife and I went looking […] Read More

  • Out Of My Comfort ZoneOne of the important reasons for vacationing is to relax and get away from the daily routine of our lives. An important piece of this experience is getting out of our “comfort zone”.  The paradox is we can’t wait to shuck that routine and then we can’t wait to have the routine back, hopefully with […] Read More

  • Growing OlderI have always believed in the saying, “you are as old as you feel”. As a man who is about to reach the ripe young age of 66, I still believe in that saying but with some qualifications. While I still think young, there are certain things about my body that don’t follow along. These […] Read More

  • Coping With LossGrief is an expected and natural response to a loss. There are very few individuals who have not experienced a loss. I think most would agree that the grief associated with the loss of parent if you are a child, the loss of a child if you are a parent, or the loss of your […] Read More

  • Choices We MakeThroughout our lives, even when we are quite young, we make choices.  The older we become, the more we realize the choices we made when we were young were not always as well thought-out as we would have liked them to be.  We may have dropped out of school, hung out with the wrong crowd, […] Read More

  • Children and DivorceThe most frequent loss children today have to cope with is their parents getting divorced.  Even when children realize their parents’ marriage are unhappy, divorce changes the child’s daily life. I remember seeing a child who brought me a picture he drew after learning of his parent’s divorce. This drawing always lingers in my memory […] Read More

  • Ages 3-5: Initiative vs. GuiltErickson’s third stage of development is referred to as the Initiative versus Guilt stage that normally begins around the age of 3 and runs thru the age of 5. Cognitively, children at this age continue to be in what Jean Piaget called “concrete operations stage”.  Simply put, children at this stage are unable to understand […] Read More

  • A Guide to Being Mentally HealthySydney Jourard, a published psychologist, wrote about how to identify a mentally healthy individual through a concept he called the Johari Window. I remember taking my first general psychology class in 1965 and studying the Johari Window (Luft and Ingham, 1955) and thinking this is a really good tool for assessing one’s mental health. The […] Read More