Trending Topics in Psychotherapy: Getting Through Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York City, on the board of advisers of the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, and contributing editor to Psychology Today, Dr. Nando Pelusi visits weekly to talk therapy. This week: how to gracefully handle Thanksgiving stress.


Nando Pelusi

Comments [16]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, No one should have to spend Thanksgiving (or any other holiday) alone. No words can heal the emotional pain. Eugenia Renskoff

Nov. 25 2011 02:07 PM
jt from westcheste

I love your show and a healthy and happy Thanksgiving to you and all of the fabulous NPR staff.

I agree with other listeners - this "shrink" needs to be in therapy himself! How could he possibly have all of those "credentials"?! His empathy was non-existent and his advice? Give me a break! Next time do the show, yourself -- your comments were spot on.

Nov. 24 2011 03:24 PM
RJ from prospect hts

I agree with Dipti about this therapist. His responses have no depth; the woman without her child for the first time--she's mourning. There's ways of dealing with grief that he ignored: arranging to call the child (if the ex will agree that far--she can barter for the holidays she does have him/her), make cards/recordings/ online notes to give the child after the holiday. Give the caller a way to express and experience their grief so they can get past it.

This sort of approach I think would apply to several of the calls, most of whom hung up clearly feeling no more helped than when they called.

Nov. 23 2011 12:05 PM
rosalie from astoria

I hope the caller named Sandra who is elderly and will spend Thanksgiving alone will reach out to organizations like DOROT or others who serve the elderly to connect them with the community. For the holidays, they can arrange for visitors to come or for her to come to their events. No one should have to feel isolated and alone at the holidays because they feel they have no other options.

Nov. 23 2011 11:59 AM

I find the holidays stressful because of the travel. We spend every holiday trying to spend time at both mine and my spouse's parents houses. I also have 3 siblings doing the same so it is a nightmare trying to get the timing to work. As a Brooklynite I don't have a car either, so we rely on public transport and than borrow a car from one of our parents. I end up getting sick around the holidays every year!

Nov. 23 2011 11:59 AM

Brian, perhaps Sandra, the elderly lady who is alone for Thanksgiving, can reach out to a local community center or senior center to have a place to have company for the holiday.

Nov. 23 2011 11:58 AM
Robin from Brooklyn

To the lady who has no one to share thanksgiving with, Occupy Wall Street is hosting thanksgiving at Zuccotti park. And it's open to all. Even the NYPD is invited!

Nov. 23 2011 11:58 AM

Brian, I love your show! But, this therapist on your show is a joke. He is not interested in people's questions and has no empathy. I think you are being more responsive to your callers right now than him. Please select a better therapist next time. He was a joke even when I heard him talk a couple of days ago...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov. 23 2011 11:58 AM
Jeffrey from Maplewood, NJ

I suggest to the caller who will be alone that she volunteer to help in a food shelter or adult center or such so that she gets a sense of how fortunate she is, rather than how she is alone. She also might meet someone there whom she might spend next Thanksgiving with.

Nov. 23 2011 11:58 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Sandra can create her own rituals--make her favorite foods, pick her favorite music, her favorite alcoholic beverage to sip at if she drinks, pull out her favorite items--spend the day on the things that she has created for herself, whether physical or historical. Give thanks for herself.

Nov. 23 2011 11:57 AM
Alex from west village

This therapist is a joke! Is he high? He doesn't ever seem to answer questions and when he does he says, "use your judgement" or other vague things like, "conquer your anxiety". Really? Gold nuggets of wisdom here.

Nov. 23 2011 11:52 AM
Yvonne from New York

The key is to go with the flow, leaving the table to watch television is rude. It's a day to be generous, no?

Nov. 23 2011 11:45 AM
Dee from NYC

I'm sure this is pretty common. My anxiety is caused by the fact that I don't and never have felt totally comfortable with my mother in law. She's a nice person, but I don't connect with her. (I do connect with my father in law). She had a contentious relationship with her mother in law so maybe this is part of the problem. How can I connect to her or at least feel like I can be myself?

Nov. 23 2011 11:44 AM
manhattaenite from Manhattan

THANKS to OWS that all can share: making us aware and thanksgiving for the most us - the people who are working (99%) and carrying on with our lives & loves.

Nov. 23 2011 11:28 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

oh...sorry...wrong thread

Nov. 23 2011 11:26 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

"Hot streaks" can deliver better results because the now confident player will shoot more than she otherwise would have, and therefore score more.

Nov. 23 2011 11:25 AM

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