As a Child Psychiatrist, I understand how tough it is to figure out who you are and what you stand for. It is easy to get caught up in a bullying incident as a victim or as a perpetrator when you are young. With maturity comes a more balanced mind, and some of the greatest learning a teen can have often happened from mistakes.

I talked about “cancel culture” in an article in The Purist recently, defining it as “group shaming to humiliate someone in person and on social media publicly. …


How to model good behavior and raise politically conscious citizens

The 24-hour news cycle has us addicted to refreshing our screens and grabbing our phones. I learned this recently at my daughter’s birthday dinner during the election week when everyone was reporting the news, rather than celebrating her special day. The short-term dopamine-driven feedback loops we are getting to our news cycle has gotten us addicted. Intense highs and lows have made people obsessive.

Source: Shutterstock (threerocksimages)

So, why are people so distracted by the news?

A theory about how we create repetitive behavior called reward prediction error may apply. This is the difference between the reward we predict and the reward we…


Advice for Singles Looking for LOVE during COVID

Shutterstock: Cameris

You may remember the scene in Sex and the City when Miranda explains to Charlotte that men hunt for their wife when they are ready, and until then they are just looking for female companionship. I owe a “thank you” to Candace Bushnell for widely publicizing this theory, as I actually find this to be true for so many of the people I work with, regardless of gender. …


Consider natural remedies for improving mental health

As a psychiatrist, I am often asked by my patients what they can do to promote better mental health without the use of prescribed medication. Natural remedies certainly can offer a very useful way to improve mood, but the effectiveness of many of these treatments has not been proven. I would like to discuss which natural remedies have been shown to be the most effective, in real medical studies. As always, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor before taking any supplements.

One remedy is a type of folate supplement…


As parents, we need to lead by example of showing love, respect and support for our children, while revisiting what we have learned.

Take PRIDE in Raising Children Shutterstock Image: Yuforia Studio

Raising children today presents more challenges than our parents previously experienced. Children have more freedom to explore sexuality, lifestyles and gender identity. I have worked with many non-traditional families, and helped both the parents and children, to navigate through the process of understanding.

As a parent, you hope to prepare your child to lead a successful, meaningful, and satisfied life, even though you may feel uncertainty about what the future holds for them. The hopes and fears…


How to notice the signals and how to get help.

Emotional Abuse: Recognizing the Signs Shutterstock Image: eldar nurkovic
Emotional Abuse: Recognizing the Signs Shutterstock Image: eldar nurkovic
Emotional Abuse: Recognizing the Signs Shutterstock Image: eldar nurkovic

So you are in a relationship… and it doesn’t make you feel good. You are sad all of the time. You feel like you are worthless. You feel crazy, not yourself, angry, and you cannot handle your emotions. Is it you? Or is your partner to blame?

Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is not physical. While that definition can take on many possible forms, it is best explained that emotional abuse can range from subtle things like criticism to more destructive abuse, such as intimidation, manipulation, or bribery.

The effects on a marriage or relationship can be…


Keeping Kids Safe with Technology

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As a child and family psychiatrist, I am often asked about technology and how it impacts families and children. Technology has totally changed the way families create and enforce rules in the home. Now that children and teens have instant access to an endless stream of information with their smartphones, they have become really difficult to monitor. Children often outfox their parents. Even with parental controls, some parents really don’t know how to set that up correctly. Families are spending way less “quality time” together. …


Stock up on pasta during the quarantine: your body, family and the planet will thank you!

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti,” actress Sophia Loren once was famously misquoted

It may not have been true for her, but it is true for me. I was raised by a family of pasta machine makers. My great grandfather started DEMACO (DeFrancisci Machine Company) in 1914.

Baby, you and I are going to get busy! — Dr. Lea Lis

My great grandfather Ignazio’s family owned a pasta factory in Palermo Sicily called Pastaficio Virga. Using his knowledge of pasta making and his ability to create machinery, he found a niche. As thousands of Italians came…


SHUTTERSTOCK (YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV)

I love rituals, birthdays, baptisms, weddings — really, any chance to celebrate life. It is a wonderful chance to get together and be present for a moment in time. These events create great memories. I have been writing about the importance of coming-of-age rituals. This includes rituals such as a Bar-Mitzvah celebrating the rites of passage from child to adult and what it means for children to understand adult responsibilities, and what it means to go from “being cared for” to nurturing and supporting themselves and others.

I think birthdays are a meaningful ritual. They celebrate another year in your…


Shutterstock: MBLifestyle

The science behind why women orgasm

Just last week, I had a 35 year-old married woman come to therapy, seeking treatment for a sexual problem. Let’s call her “Veronica.” She told me that despite many years of sex with her partner — who she met in high school — she has never had an an orgasm. You may be shocked and surprised to learn this, but I have researched this topic enough to know that 10% of females her age have not had an orgasm. That is: one-in-10 women have never had an orgasm at age 35!

For men, this…

The Shameless Psychiatrist

Child Psychiatrist | Expert in Child Psychology & Sexuality | Changing the way we talk to our children about sex | #theshamelesspsychiatrist

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