Posts tagged with "psychiatry"

Co-Parenting Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Co-Parenting Tips For Divorcing Couples

Dads’ Resource Center offers tips for successfully co-parenting following divorce or separation.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Many of these marriages involve children, putting them at risk for a variety of emotional issues resulting from the separation. It is vital that the children continue to have the active involvement of both parents, and that the parents find a way to work together on their behalf.

“The impact on kids not having access to their fathers is heartbreaking,” says Dads’ Resource Center founder Dr. Joel N. Myers. “Most fathers know their children are missing out, but are unable to overcome the barriers to the system and fulfill the most fundamental role that men have – being a dad.”

How the two parents go about co-parenting makes a world of difference in the emotional health of their child. Successful co-parenting doesn’t happen by accident, but it is something that people can do with intention and effort.

The AACAP advises that children will do best when they know that both parents will remain actively engaged in their lives. They also report that the research shows children do better when parents can minimize conflict and cooperate on the child’s behalf. While many parents know that this is the healthiest route for their children, they may still find it difficult to figure out how to do it.

According to Dads’ Resource Center, there are three stages that co-parents go through following separation. The stages include family reorganization, co-parenting, and personal growth. In family reorganization, decisions are made about where the children will be and when and how they will be supported. The co-parenting stage is where decisions will be made about how to make it all work. Finally, the personal growth stage is where parents have finally established a working relationship without conflict, which brings relief to their children. The longer that parents remain stuck in the re-organization and co-parenting stages, the more the children are negatively impacted.

It’s important that parents make a concerted effort to learn how to co-parent while separated. Here are some tips for how parents can successfully co-parent, provided by Dads’ Resource Center:

  • Both parents need to commit to always doing what is best for their children, which includes making sure both parents have the access needed to maintain an active and meaningful relationship with them. This extends to family on both sides.
  • Communication is vital. Mom and dad should be able to work out the logistics in a patient and calm manner and make a habit of providing updates on how the children are doing – in school, about health-related matters, how they are doing developmentally, and what is going on generally in their lives.
  • Both parents need to practice forgiveness. For the sake of their children, mom and dad need to let the past be in the past and treat one another with acceptance and compassion.
  • Separated parents should educate themselves about the impact that divorce has on children, to help minimize the negative consequences. If they are having a difficult time collaboratively co-parenting parents should find support from family, friends, churches or seek professional help.
  • However, parents should not allow themselves to become overly reliant on family courts and child welfare services to manage their inability to work together. Doing so only enables them in not moving on, and if they don’t move on their children can’t either.

“Parenting is not a one-person job,” added Jeff Steiner, executive director of the Dads’ Resource Center. “Even in a separated family, both parents should view the other parent as an equal partner in the upbringing of their children. This means they must be adaptable and flexible and treat one another with grace and compassion.”

Dads’ Resource Center has been established to benefit children of separated or divorced parents by advocating the importance of fathers having adequate opportunities to fulfill their role of fatherhood. The group helps get information regarding the issues out to the public and work with fathers to help make improvements.

Pandemic Mental Health with Dr. Friedberg

On Saturday, September 25, Dr. Ahron Friedberg, distinguished Manhattan and Sag Harbor psychiatrist and resident, held a reading and discussion of his book, Through a Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During the Pandemic, in the home of renowned fellow psychiatrist and Hamptons resident, Dr. Mirjana Blokar. Attendees and discussion participants included prestigious neuroscientist, Dr. Heather Berlin, among numerous Mount Sinai colleagues and friends.

Dr. Friedberg explains, “The book shows that, of necessity, people can learn to adapt, even in the most difficult circumstances. Even though we can only see “darkly” we can call on resources we do have, in addition to those we can acquire to retain our sense of dignity and purpose. Through a Screen Darkly is a time capsule of how we struggled – and are continuing to navigate – a disease we do not fully understand.”

The book addresses the pandemic in phases, including I) Pandemic, II) Venturing Out, III) The New Normal, and IV) Life Simplified. The essays provide perspective on several subjects relating to mental health, including parenting, elder care, work life (losing jobs, finding jobs, choosing new work, commuting), loneliness, children, and dating. Through a Screen Darkly offers practical examples of how patients coped with these conditions and (in many cases) found the resilience to get past them.

“The ultimate goal is to bolster your resilience,” states Dr. Friedberg. “In my experience counseling patients through the pandemic, I found that they had greater capacity for resilience than they realized. Deploying this resilience was their pathway to successfully managing their mental health.”

In addition to Through a Screen Darkly, Dr. Friedberg has also written Flashing Seven: Seven Essential Skills for Living and Leading, co-authored with Dr. Jack Hischowitz, Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai, Between Us, A Father and Son Speak, co-authored with his father, Dr. Eugene Friedberg, and Psychotherapy and Personal Change; Two Minds in a Mirror, also written with Dr. Sandra Sherman.
Through a Screen Darkly is available for purchase at amazon.com.

About Dr. Ahron Friedberg
Dr. Ahron Friedberg, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Manhattan. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Friedberg served as Co-Chair of the Psychiatry Advisory Board and has helped develop and lead several academic and teaching initiatives including their Innovations in Psychiatry Symposium. Dr. Friedberg also directs the ‘Symposium’, a national meeting held annually at Mount Sinai. He has participated in clinical research as part of the Department’s Mood

and Anxiety Program, which focuses on translational neuroscience and understanding resilience.
Dr. Friedberg has served twice as national President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. He was named first Executive Editor of International Psychoanalysis.net, a highly regarded online psychoanalytic resource. In addition, he is an Acquisitions Editor of International Psychoanalytic Books, Book Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry, Editor of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis Academy Forum, elected chair of the International Council of Editors, Psychanalytic Journals, as well as a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including The Psychoanalytic Review, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Neuro-psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Dr. Friedberg’s writing focuses on the treatment of anxiety and trauma, clinical technique, and the concepts of resilience, consciousness, and desire in psychoanalysis. He has received awards for excellence in writing, in addition to originality and scholarship.

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Dr. Ahron Friedberg – Through a Screen Darkly

Through A Screen Darkly Details Pandemic Mental Health Struggles

Dr. Ahron Friedberg’s Book Offers Context on CDC & KFF Data 

In his latest book, Through a Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During the Pandemic, New York City psychiatrist Dr. Ahron Friedberg portrays a range of individuals dealing with mental health issues related to the pandemic, providing context for these harrowing recent statistics:

The average share of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depression almost quadrupled from January 2019 to June 2021

  • 36% of adults report difficulty sleeping, 32% cited eating problems, and 12% reported increase in alcohol and substance abuse
  • Communities of color and essential workers are suffering disproportionately
  • Young adults, more likely to lose jobs and / or be in lockdowns, are also suffering disproportionately
  • Suspected suicide attempts have increased in teenagers, especially girls

Commenting on the statistics, Dr. Friedberg stated: Stress has physical as well as mental consequences. It weakens the immune system and increases the incidence of major depression as well cardiac and pulmonary issues.

Friedberg continues: I coined the term Post-COVID Re-entry Syndrome to describe the stress that people suffer as they re-enter the workforce, reconnect with friends and family, and attempt to resume some semblance of a normal life.

To manage this anxiety, Dr. Friedberg recommends: 

  • Taking a walk outdoors
  • Connecting with friends and family – safely
  • Self- Reflection

If symptoms become severe, he recommends consulting a trained mental health professional. Primary care physicians and clergy can also provide resource and emotional support.

The ultimate goal is to bolster your resilience, states Dr. Friedberg. In my experience counseling patients through the pandemic, I found that they had greater capacity for resilience than they realized. Deploying this resilience was their pathway to successfully managing their mental health.

Through a Screen Darkly offers practical examples of how patients coped with these conditions and (in many cases) found the resilience to get past them.

In addition to Through a Screen Darkly, Dr. Friedberg wrote Psychotherapy and Personal Change: Two Minds in a Mirror with Dr. Sandra Sherman. With Dr. Jack Hirschowitz, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, he wrote Flashing Seven: Seven Essential Skills for Living and Leading. With his father, Dr. Eugene Friedberg, he wrote Between Us, A Father and Son Speak. 

Through a Screen Darkly is available for purchase at amazon.com.

ABOUT DR. AHRON FRIEDBERG: 

Dr. Ahron Friedberg, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Manhattan. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Friedberg served as Co-Chair of the Psychiatry Advisory Board and has helped develop and lead several academic and teaching initiatives including their Innovations in Psychiatry Symposium. Dr. Friedberg also directs the Symposium, a national meeting held annually at Mount Sinai. He has participated in clinical research as part of the Department’s Mood and Anxiety Program, which focuses on translational neuroscience and understanding resilience.

Dr. Friedberg has served twice as national President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. He was named first Executive Editor of International Psychoanalysis.net, a highly regarded online psychoanalytic resource. In addition, he is an Acquisitions Editor of International Psychoanalytic Books, Book Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry, Editor of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis Academy Forum, elected chair of the International Council of Editors, Psychoanalytic Journals, as well as a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including The Psychoanalytic Review, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Neuro-psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Dr. Friedberg’s writing focuses on the treatment of anxiety and trauma, clinical technique, and the concepts of resilience, consciousness, and desire in psychoanalysis. He has received awards for excellence in writing, in addition to originality and scholarship.

For more information on Dr. Ahron Friedberg, visit his site.

LGBT flag illustration by Symara Wilson for 360 Magazine

Netflix’s Pray Away Reveals Horrors of Conversion Therapy

By: Skyler Johnson

Edited By: Andrew Shibuya

Conversion therapy, or the pseudoscientific practice of changing someone’s sexual orientation, has been considered and practiced for over a century now. Dubious to many of its’ creators’ contemporaries, conversion therapy’s capacity for change has long been contested and considered futile. The practice itself is scientifically baseless and detrimental, and what is essentially man’s foolish and ineffectual attempt to change human nature. In recent Netflix documentary Pray Away, the effects and harms of this “therapy” are explored and uncovered throughout investigation of its century-long practice.

Pray Away follows ex-leaders and survivors of the “pray the gay away” movement, focusing on Exodus International, a conversion therapy organization that only ended eight years ago in 2013. The film follows several people as they detail their horrific experiences and the consequences of their both voluntary and involuntary participation in the practice.

Conversion therapy was publicly started in the 1890s, when Albert von Schrenck-Notzing stated in a conference that he was able to turn a gay man straight through hypnosis. Decades later, Eugen Steinach would later transplant the testicles of a straight man onto a gay man to “cure” homosexuality. Lobotomies, chemical castration, and aversion therapies became popular as “therapeutic” techniques. This lasted throughout the earlier half of the 20th century into the 1960s and 1970s, during the rise of the LGBT Rights Movement, when psychiatrists began to shy away from the practice. In 1973 the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM. Unfortunately, conversion therapy did not stop but was instead utilized by faith-based groups, including Exodus International.    

Talk therapy now makes up the bulk of all current conversion therapy procedures. While this may seem a lot less intimidating, the effects of this talk therapy can be powerful, especially when utilized by the wrong people. The film exposed how many ex-gay leaders weren’t licensed professionals, and how, if they believed someone were gay, it was because they had a poor relationship with their parents. And if not, they must have been sexually abused even if they were unable to recall any abuse. To a lot of young people, this thought process made sense, as many were too young to truly understand its flaws.

The film also displayed how the people involved in this movement were dishonest about the “progress” they were making. They included the story of John Paulk, once claiming to have become a straight man through the therapy. John later admits that the entire time he was consumed with gay thoughts and was mendacious about his reformation.

The documentary exhibited that there are a lot of people that still hold their beliefs. Organizations still exist that enforce conversion therapy. It’s not a thing of the past. This was highlighted by the film’s portrayal of the leader of the Freedom March, Jeffrey McCall, an ex-transgender woman living as a man with the belief that being trans is a sin. The organization’s Facebook page now has 10,000 followers and is still growing.

While the film primarily covers people that were able to escape the movement and live better lives, there remains great struggle that many people experience. The film’s director, Kristine Stolakis, decided to make Pray Away when her uncle, who had gone through conversion therapy, committed suicide. Julie Rodgers talked about self-harm, which is something that’s incredibly common, most notably in people who have undergone conversion therapy. Participants have been 8.4x more likely to commit suicide and 5.9x more likely to undergo severe depression. It’s also been connected deeply to an overall sense of hopelessness and an increase in self-hatred.

Conversion therapy is a practice that causes pain for the many people that were subjected to it. But the film did also evince that there is, at least somewhat, a way out. Many of the film’s subjects were able to enter into healthy homosexual relationships. On the film’s website, they list a variety of resources for those anguished by conversion therapy. These can be found HERE.

Childhood Mental Health illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Childhood Mental Health Webinar

SAMI-Aid Webinar: Childhood Mental Health 101

Featuring child psychiatrist Dr. Sara Heron, M.D.

Friday, August 7, at 11:00 a.m. PT

Free to join, Register Here 

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, disruptions to school schedules, and reduction of social interactions, experts say the mental health of children in the United States is at greater risk than ever before. SAMI-Aid, a patient-focused telemedicine platform and healthcare concierge company, is hosting a free webinar titled “Childhood Mental Health 101” to aid parents in knowing the signs of mental health issues and identifying resources to help children navigate mental health issues they are experiencing. This webinar is the first in a series to help patients be more informed about their health options.

The Childhood Mental Health 101 webinar will be held on Friday, August 7, at 11:00 a.m. PT and will feature Child Psychiatrist Dr. Sara Heron, M.D., who is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and General Psychiatry.

“As we’ve seen an increase in demand for behavioral and mental health services through our telemedicine platform, we identified a need to educate parents about caring for their children’s mental health during these challenging times,” said John Farhangui, CEO and Founder of SAMI-Aid. “We’re pleased to have Dr. Sara Heron, M.D., share her expertise so that families and children can learn to cope with common stressors.”

SAMI-Aid offers on-demand access to medical professionals of a variety of specialties, including pediatrics as well as mental and behavioral health. SAMI-Aid’s mental health professionals are highly vetted, licensed, and certified in various areas of mental health expertise.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that millions of children were already suffering from mental health disorders, such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety, before the coronavirus pandemic became prevalent in the U.S. A new Gallup Survey asked parents how long they could follow social distancing practices and COVID-19 closures before their child’s emotional or mental health would suffer. The survey found that 29% of parents say their children are already suffering. The survey also found that 37% of parents also say their children’s mental or emotional health would be at risk in the next few weeks or months.

“By offering an affordable option to easily access trained behavioral health professionals for children as well as adults, we hope to be a small part of the solution to address our country’s mental health crisis,” added Farhangui.

As an additional resource, SAMI-Aid created an infographic to help parents understand important information about childhood mental health including data on how prevalent the issue is in the United States, signs to watch for that may indicate a mental health disorder, and how parents can help their children. 

Founded in 2014, SAMI-Aid is an online healthcare concierge platform that features a searchable medical procedure pricing database, a dedicated call center for patient support, and 24/7 access to telemedicine doctors and nurses. Its platform is secure, HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly, offering members 24/7 access to doctors and nurses, and exclusive medical pricing information which helps them save money on care. Based in San Jose, California, SAMI-Aid serves the entire US. The acronym SAMI stands for Smart Affordable Medical Information. 

Follow SAMI-Aid: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Depressed Nation: The Generation of the Uneducated

There’s no doubt that depression is increasing throughout the world, particularly in the United States. There are a number of reasons behind this – however, focusing on the problem itself doesn’t really help us find a solution.

What’s important is to address the underlying causes behind the issue so that we can learn how we can work to help fix the problem. In this article, we’re going to be discussing some of the causes of the increased level of depression – particularly the lack of education that we receive regarding mental health – and help point out some potential solutions that we can use to help fix the issue.

Why Are We So Depressed?


Depression has been increasing in the United States for some time. Suicides are increasing at an alarming rate – particularly for men between the ages of 45 and 64. In the US alone, depression has increased in the overall population by almost 1% in the years between 2005 and 2015.

The increase in depression is undoubtedly linked to a society which does not provide its citizens with the proper knowledge, education, or lifestyle opportunities to live happily. Even those who live the “American Dream,” driving rich cars and living with financial wealth, are often depressed. Many of these people commit suicide, as well.

There are lots of reasons that the world is becoming a more depressing place. The most important thing to recognize, however, is that wherever there is a problem, there is a solution. On that note, we’re going to discuss some of the most common reasons that people are experiencing more depression these days.

• Lack of education regarding mental health. Unless you choose to major in psychology or attend a high school that offers psychology as an elective, you probably won’t receive much education regarding depression or mental health in general. It’s not hard to see how this could lead to problems later in life.

Mental health problems are extremely common. In fact, pretty much everyone will deal with a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, most of us have to figure out what these mental health issues are about by talking to friends or family members, or by doing our own research.

Because we’re not educated about these things, one of the most important things that we can do to improve the state of mental health is to educate ourselves and the people that we know. This way, we will at least be able to approach these problems properly when they arise.


• Extreme work hours. Many people are forced to work very long hours – in fact, the standard 40-hour work week is known to cause stress, depression, and anxiety in the majority of people. This often leads to the need to take pharmaceutical medication, which can compound the issue.

Many people find it difficult to avoid the 40-hour grind. One way to avoid this is to begin learning how to make money by practicing your creative talents and finding people interested in them. If you haven’t figured them out yet, don’t give up!


• Lack of purpose / motive. One of the more frightening and existential aspects of our existence is that we don’t really know why we’re here or what our grand purpose is. These spiritual and existential questions are not only dealt with during schooling, they are usually actively banned from the curriculum.

This results in children growing into adults with no idea about what we’re meant to do as human beings, aside from work until we can retire before dying – which is a rather dark perspective that can lead to stark depression. People with a sense of purpose, on the other hand, tend to fare a lot better in life.

One way to develop purpose is to take up some sort of spiritual or meditative practice to approach these questions.

In Conclusion


There are many reasons that people are experiencing more depression in the United States. Fortunately, there are just as many solutions as there are causes.