Marriage Therapy for the Price of a Movie Ticket

By Susan Hagen, University of Rochester A new study finds that watching and discussing movies about relationships is as effective in lowering divorce rates as other, more intensive early marriage counseling programs. Discussing five movies about relationships over a month could cut the three-year divorce rate for newlyweds in half, researchers report. The study, involving 174 couples, is the first long-term investigation to compare different types of early marriage intervention programs. The findings show that an inexpensive, fun, and relatively …

Stuffed Animals as Therapy for the Elderly?

Walking by the gift shop at my mother-in-law’s nursing home, I did a double take. The shelves were lined with stuffed animals. My first thought was, why are they here? This is not a place with kids. Then I realized, it’s for the 80- and 90-year-old residents. I didn’t have to ask the clerk how they were selling. She was in the middle of ringing up a charming bear in a ruby satin dress donning an oversized floppy hat. During my …

Depressed? Help Could Be A Phone Call Away

Talking with a therapist on the phone may be more helpful for depressed patients than coming to a therapist’s office. That’s the finding of a new Northwestern University medical school study that found that patients with depression who got therapy over the phone were more likely to complete 18 weeks of treatment than those who had face-to-face sessions. “Now therapists can make house calls,” said study author David Mohr, M.D., professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. …

Have Sex, Find God

You probably remember the scene. Alvy Singer, played by Woody Allen, is obsessing about the fact that his new girlfriend, Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), doesn’t like to have sex without smoking a joint first. So he goes for a walk and interrogates strangers about their sex lives, including a nebbishy-looking old man. Alvy: With your wife in bed, does she need some kind of artificial stimulation, like, like marijuana? Old man: We use a large vibrating egg. It’s a funny …