Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Psychologist

Marian Kaplun Shapiro

Psychologist

17 Lantern Lane Lexington Massachusetts, 02421

About

Extensive Experience in the Field of Women's Psychological Trauma. She Entered the Field When it was Rarely Studied and Paved the Path for Today's Professional Women in the Field, and Those Seeking Help.

Secondarily, as a musician and well-published writer herself and as a former teacher of writing,!she works with people around developing her artistic process.

Education and Training

Harvard University

Board Certification

Group Therapy

Hypnosis

Forensic Psychology

Provider Details

Female French 42 years of experience
Marian Kaplun Shapiro
Marian Kaplun Shapiro's Expert Contributions
  • Hypnosis

    Do you have frequent nightmares? Panic attacks? Debilitating phobias? Have you been told that you suffer from PTSD? These are all conditions that can be treated successfully with clinical hypnosis, whether by a psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical social worker, or psychiatric nurse.  Hypnosis has...

  • What is Anxiety?

    Anxiety. Even the word makes you feel anxious. From the Latin anxietās, this word, and its many synonyms (worry, nervousness, upset, distress…), has described states of mind that appear to be universal. We cannot live without it – how would we cross a busy street if we were not to some degree...

  • Is anxiety all in your head?

    Well, it is generated by your brain, which is certainly in your head, but it is a real feeling that affects your body as a whole - stomach, heart, muscles, skin….So, when anxiety limits your enjoyment, get some help and some tools to reduce/eliminated it! Speak to your doctor and get a referral – psychologist, hypnotherapist, even a meditation teacher may help. Or more than one of these. Life with limited anxiety is so much better! Peace, Dr. Marian Kaplun Shapiro READ MORE

  • How serious is ADHD?

    It is necessary to know the diagnosis. But it is NOT a sentence of doom! Some of the most famous accomplished scientists - whom I know personally - have this learning issue. Adapting learning situations isn’t so hard. Schools have extensive experience in 2020 — this diagnosis will help your son get what he needs. Peace, and good luck, Dr. Marian K Shapiro READ MORE

  • Can a couple attend anger counseling together?

    Yes, if the therapist feels that it will be most effective that way. Also possible: each separately and then together. So great that you are both going to deal with it! Good luck! Peace, Dr. Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Are nightmares a sign of stress?

    Who created this dream/nightmare? YOU! So you are all the parts of this dream. You could say that some part of you that you are unaware of (‘do not know’) is chasing you. Translation: some part of you is making you run! Any thoughts about your ambitions pushing you? Peace, Marian Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • What can I do for my child with suicidal thoughts?

    Of course you are worried. You don’t say what medications she is supposed to be taking, and whether they were prescribed by a psychiatrist or a PC. In my opinion you should contact that physician and seek a good evaluation from a mental health specialist, perhaps at a hospital or affiliated with a hospital with a mental health unit that takes people of 16. Your instinct is to do something – that is good! The ‘something’ should be at a skilled professional level. Peace, Marian K. Shapiro READ MORE

  • What does it mean when my teeth fall out in my dreams?

    There’s no one answer for a symbol in a dream. It depends on what it means in your life. Sorry, the so-called "dream translators" are not useful. Imagine asking what the sun means - if you lived in the desert, it might be a sign of death, but if you lived in Seattle, a symbol of hope and joy. You get the point. Perhaps a therapist who knows YOU can help. Clearly, you want to know, and you just keep dreaming it in hopes of getting the message! Peace, Dr. Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Is my boyfriend a sociopath? What do I do?

    Sociopath or not, sounds like you don’t like him very much. Do you want a boyfriend you don’t like? The diagnosis of him isn’t the point - it is whether you want to be exclusively in relationship with him. Right? Peace, Dr. Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • How do I prepare to speak to a psychologist about my depression?

    Great that you are going for help! The psychologist will doubtless have forms for you to fill out in which you can state that you feel depressed. In addition, the therapist will probably start by asking you what leads you to be coming. If not, you start by saying you have come because you feel depressed. Straightforward is the rule of this road. Good luck! Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • What is generalized anxiety disorder?

    Hi, All that term means is that you feel anxious without any particular cause - nothing threatening you in your life. Perhaps you feel worried about your health, but the doctor finds nothing wrong. Or you worry about a lot of things without specific cause. Some people will prescribe medication, others exercise or meditation techniques, others some therapy or counseling individually or in group. A joke - just don’t worry about it! Peace, Dr. Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Should my child attend our divorce counseling sessions?

    Hard to answer this not knowing your child and not knowing how you and your husband are likely to behave in such a session. But kudos to you for thinking of this possibility! It leads me to think that you both will be able to manage the situation with respect and intelligent responses. So, if your child is on the mature end of his age group, why not? No harm done, and maybe some good. Dr. Marian K Shapiro READ MORE

  • Do you have to be married for couples therapy?

    Absolutely not! It’s called ‘couple therapy’ and no license is required for the couple. A great idea for people BEFORE they marry! Peace, Marian Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Why am I dreaming about teeth?

    Hi, dreamer, There is no ‘usually mean’ about dreams. Sorry. You have your own associations about teeth and what it means when teeth fall out - growing up? Disease? Etc. You might want to have a session or two with a person who is good at teaching you how to work with your own dreams. It would be fun! Peace, (Dr.) Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Does depression have an effect on sleep?

    Not that I know of, although meds may affect dreaming. And of course you are thinking about your situation intensely. Unless the dreams are nightmarish and interfering with sleep, just think of them as messages in code to discuss with your therapist. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • I think I need to talk to someone about my depression. Where should I go?

    It’s wonderful that you know instinctively that you need help. Of course, it is great that you have friends and that you feel comfortable talking with them. But professional help is also important - if you had a broken arm, wouldn’t you go to a professional to treat it, and also take comfort and assistance from friends? A good referral person (which might be a friend!) such as a medical person, referral agency, website, professional association can give you a head start. You are looking for a psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, or psychiatrist. Good luck! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Sudden fear of driving. What should I do?

    Most likely there is a less obvious trigger – an "anniversary" date, a memory, a movie, etc. I recommend you see a therapist who specializes in hypnosis, a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. Many of them (psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, social workers…) work regularly with phobias and may be able to help you quickly. Quickly is the point, before the symptom affects more and more of your life. Peace, Marian K. Shapiro, Ed.D. READ MORE

  • My son is having night terrors after a heart procedure he had. How can I help?

    Yes, please do! A good hypnosis specialist – who can be a psychologist, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, pediatrician….can really help with this horrible experience. Usually can resolve in just a few sessions. Quick – go to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and choose a specialist in pediatric hypnosis, especially one who works with night terrors and/or reactions after surgery. Your son will feel better so quickly and he will learn the value of getting the treatment he needs when he needs it. Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Why am I never in a mood for sex?

    First – good for you, having the courage to write about this very important, but sometimes embarrassing topic which, by the way, affects so many people of both genders! You don’t say how old you are, but at any age, a sensible first step would be to visit your primary care doc. The doctor may note some medication you are taking that has the side effect of reducing arousal. The doctor, in taking blood tests and other tests (hormones, etc.) may alight on some simply corrected deficiency. In addition, assuming you are a man, you may be referred to a urologist; if a woman, to a gynecologist. You will, by this important step, find a physical cause or, absent that, be assured that the cause lies elsewhere. If elsewhere, the next step would be to consult a specialist in mental health: psychologist, social worker, counselor, psychiatrist. Perhaps you have some underlying depression. Perhaps you have some issues with your wife that have not been resolved and are getting in your way. Perhaps there is some sexual conflict from your past. Perhaps your wife will go with you to some session(s) to help set you both on a better path. At any rate, I wish you success – sex is such a great, fun, even free pleasure in life, and wouldn’t it be great to have it part of yours again! Peace, Dr. Marian K. Shapiro READ MORE

  • My son has a hard time paying attention to instructions, and tells me he feels nervous all the time. Should he be in counseling?

    You are a concerned and alert mother – he would best be seen by a person specializing in testing, to evaluate if he has a form of Attention Deficit Disorder. If so, special approaches to learning will help him to succeed where, without such, he might flounder. If there is a guidance counselor at his school, she or he will be able to refer you to a qualified person, usually a psychologist or psychometrist. Peace, Marian K. Shapiro, Ed.D. READ MORE

  • How should I comfort my son after his divorce?

    What a kind parent you must be. Just be a listener. Nod a lot. If there are no children involved, comment only that the process of separating is always painful, pain lessens with time. Many, many people go through this period, and he will come out the other end. If he doesn’t seem to be moving through it, suggest a group for people going through similar situations. Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Why do I feel very depressed during the summer?

    Assuming you live in an area that is bright and sunny in summer, it’s not Seasonal Affective Disorder. Perhaps an "anniversary reaction" of remembrances of bad/sad times over summers long ago? Think about that possibility - therapy can really help with that. Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Can psychologists also help one deal with pain better?

    Likely yes. Hypnosis is a fine method for reducing and managing pain, whether physical or psychogenic. You can find a specialist in this sub-area in your part of the country at the website of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). Pain can ruin a life - so glad she has you to help her take care of it. READ MORE

  • Can a psychologist help with relaxation therapy?

    Absolutely! Therapists teach meditation, relaxation methods such as Jacobsonian relaxation, and hypnosis (my specialty). Many will make personalized recordings for you; like shoes, a good fit is important. READ MORE

  • My sister loses interest in things very fast, having a negative impact on her life.

    Yes - perhaps individual, perhaps group therapy. She may be depressed - is that possible? READ MORE

  • My son is a different child since the death of his father. What can I do to help him?

    You don’t say how old your son is. Perhaps he would benefit from a child therapist - social worker or psychologist. It is good that you are thinking of his needs when you surely are having your own! READ MORE

  • Can physical illness lead to depression?

    Good question, 2-part answer: 1. She should have her doctors or a psychiatrist review all her meds. Some have depression as a side effect. What is called poly pharmacy is the combination of drugs which, when added to each other, cause psychological side effects; 2. She should see a therapist for individual consultation. All long-term illnesses lead to depression - loss of enjoyment, socialization, movement, etc. Perhaps individual, perhaps group therapy might be recommended. She is lucky to have such a caring and intelligent daughter. READ MORE

  • How can I stop nightmares about an event from my childhood?

    Your nightmares are telling you that you have signs of PTSD; please do see a specialist in that aspect of mental health treatment. Once the traumas are worked through, the nightmares will diminish. READ MORE

  • What is the best way to handle sibling rivalry?

    Jealousy is normal up to a point, but this situation seems beyond that point (“violent”). Either the situation requires family counseling (you, a partner if you have one, and both girls, or one and/or the other daughter needs a therapist). Why not go to see a consultant in family therapy and get a recommendation? Meanwhile, do try to prevent violence. Violent behavior hurts the violent person as well as the victim. Peace, Marian Kaplun Shapiro READ MORE

  • How do I overcome negativity in my life?

    These feelings have been baked in for a long time. It would be good if you could trace their origins and be able to assign them to the people who likely taught them to you, in order not to hear them as your own opinions. Therapy - individual and/or group - would be the way to go. My choice would be for a psychodynamically-oriented professional - Psychologist, social worker, or counselor. Most psychiatrists tend to go the medication route. But some are also psychodynamic practitioners. Why lead your one life in negativity! Good for you for confronting this attitude and trying a new road. Peace, Marian Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • My wife is experiencing postpartum depression. How can I help her in the recovery process?

    What a kind man you are. Yes, indeed. Do remind her that this is an all-too-common but temporary condition caused by dramatic changes in her body as well as life changes a baby brings. Perhaps there is a group of new mothers in your area. She might ask her therapist. It is consoling to be with others who understand from their OWN experience, which you can’t share. Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Is constantly worrying about getting a sick a disease in itself?

    Yes, it used to be called hypochondria. It is sometimes called Illness Anxiety Disorder. You will find a helpful description and discussion on the Mayo Clinic website. This disorder is treatable, IF the person wants to be treated! Peace, Marian K. Shapiro READ MORE

  • I am always anxious and have been this way for the last 7 years. What can I do to get a break from this anxiety?

    Seven years! You must have gotten a lot of advice during that time (take this pill, see this guru, exercise, drink this, eat that….). There are so many solutions to anxiety and, like clothes, no one size fits all. I suggest you go to see a psychologist (or social worker) trained in clinical hypnosis with experience treating anxiety. So that you are assured of getting a reputable person (because hypnosis is an area in which non-clinical people practice without the need for licenses in most states), go to the website of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (of which I am a member) to find an appropriate practitioner in your geographic area. If you live in an area without any big cities, you may have to go a distance, but it is worth it! After you learn the skills, you practice it on your own, and can continue with some other therapist closer by if that is recommended. Good luck! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Is OCD a disease or a habit?

    OCD is an official diagnostic name – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder –listed in the DSM V. It is not just a "habit." There are many kinds of treatment and which would be most appropriate for your sister is not something as simple as we would hope. Perhaps there is a large university-affiliated hospital where she lives which has a department of psychology and/or psychiatry who could meet with her and recommend a therapist, or program that would be appropriate for her. It is a terrible limitation on life for the person and for those who live with her; I hope she gets the help she needs. If there is no fine hospital in your area, perhaps a referral service that lists specialists in this area could be another option. Peace, (Dr.) Marian K. Shapiro, Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Do bad dreams mean anything?

    Not everyone agrees on the "meaning" of dreams. I weigh in on the belief that dreams are the unconscious creation of the dreamer, and therefore reflect something about the dreamer’s feelings. The "passing stage" explanation does not address the feelings of anxiety and agitation. It would be great if your son could feel free to explore these dreams and to learn what they (he himself, of course) is trying to express. A counselor, mental health person, or a trained clergy person could be helpful. Peace, Marian Shapiro Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • What is the reason for panic attacks?

    Panic attacks are terrifying. They produce symptoms that FEEL like the person is being chased by a wild beast. But actually, of course, there is no wild beast, so the person feels at a total loss to understand or explain this reaction to themselves or others. So, there are many causes for panic attacks. There’s a good article on the subject on the Mayo Clinic website. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments, from medication to general psychotherapy, through specific psychological programs. My choice of these is biased by my training and experience: Hypnosis, applied by a mental health specialist who is properly trained by a professional organization such as ASCH (see American Society of Clinical Hypnosis website). Through their referral system, your sister can find a practitioner specializing in treating panic disorders. Your sister CAN be helped - she is lucky to have you advocate for her. Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Is forgetfulness a mental illness?

    That must be very scary! I would make an appointment with your primary care, who will probably refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist. I would not think about this as a "mental illness." Good luck! Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • I burst into frequent crying spells. Is it a sign of depression?

    Not necessarily. Many other symptoms would enter the picture. How you feel, for example. Are you a woman? If so, hormones of pregnancy and childbirth can cause such bouts of tears. If you are not feeling hopeless, listless, desperately unhappy, why not just make an appointment with your primary care and have the usual blood tests before deciding on whether any treatment (and if so, which) should be used. It’s good that you asked! Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • I feel hungry all the time. Is it a psychological problem?

    Hello! If you feel hungry all the time, the first thing to do is to visit your primary care and have whatever tests s/he suggests. Many physical illnesses present with that symptom. If all is clear, then do find a good therapist to find out if your "hunger" is emotionally based. Good luck! Peace, Marian K. Shapiro READ MORE

  • What could be the reason for my anxiety?

    Hello, There is no way for me to know what is causing this anxiety – It would be reasonable for you to consult a mental health and/or physical doctor to discuss it with him/her. As for interrupting that anxiety, there are many (non-drug) methods that are simple to learn and successful. One of them is hypnosis – my specialty – so I would suggest you find a member of the ASCH (American Society of Clinical Hypnosis) whose on-line directory can match you with an appropriate specialist in your geographical area. Good luck! Peace, Marian K. Shapiro READ MORE

  • How can I help my daughter recover from accident trauma?

    As a trauma specialist I can say that it is important for your daughter to see a therapist who specializes in trauma. Many different methods are available. So choose someone who can evaluate which is best for her. Medication usually isn’t required- but could be. Good luck! peace, Marian Marian K Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Should I take my son to a psychologist to remove the fear of exams from his mind?

    Yes! A few sessions with a well-trained hypnosis specialist (see ASCH.ORG) can be very effective! Peace Marian K Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Is my daughter dependent on paracetamols? Could it be a psychological problem?

    As far as I know, these analgesics, such as Tylenol, are not addictive. I would ask her why she takes them. Does she have headaches? Other chronic pain? The reason for taking these pills is worth addressing. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Can depression lead to dementia?

    Dementia can co-exist with depression - and, I have seen, sometimes seems to be triggered by depression. However, in cases I have seen, I believe there were signs of dementia earlier, and the full-blown crescendo of such symptoms takes off at full speed after a major loss. But the most important thing to attend to now is the symptoms you are seeing. Your mother needs a full evaluation from a team of physicians and psychologists. READ MORE

  • My husband gets very violent sometimes. What should I do?

    A simple answer - Yes! And you need to be ready to leave if necessary at a moment’s notice. Violence can escalate dangerously and quickly. READ MORE

  • Is coffee an addiction?

    Can be. If she stops, she may get headaches for a few days. So people are told to reduce slowly, using decaf to dilute the caffeine. But it isn’t a ‘serious’ addiction - not illegal, not a danger to others. So if she is an adult, she can decide for herself. READ MORE

  • How serious can anorexia be?

    Anorexia can be fatal! She should see a specialist in this condition, and may need to be hospitalized. READ MORE

  • How can I get my son to not be scared of the dark?

    How old is he? 20? 2? Makes a big difference! If he is little, don’t make a big deal over it. Play games, use puppets, dolls - play therapy methods. If he is older than 4 or 5, consult a child psychologist. READ MORE

  • Can counseling help my husband's behavior?

    First he should have a medical checkup to rule out physical causes. If none, yes, counseling is a good next step. READ MORE

  • How is the recovery from depression?

    It is complicated. May take trials of many medications before one or two are successful. Combined with therapy, depression may then remit. Group therapy may also be part of the process. It is tough, but you are not the first nor the last. READ MORE

  • My sister had a car accident last month. What can we do to help her?

    I would recommend she make an appointment with a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) who can treat symptoms of such trauma. She is likely to be better in about 6 weeks. Sooner is much better than later. READ MORE

  • How long will it take for my wife to recover from postpartum depression?

    Get a referral from the birthing department for your wife to see a psychologist or social worker. Postpartum depression is miserable! And is very treatable. READ MORE

  • I am suffering from low self esteem with negative feelings about myself. Could I be depressed?

    Is this a new way of feeling, or is it a worsening of the way you have felt for a long time? For all of your life? Were you ever confident? Happy? These are questions a psychologist or other mental health professional would want to address. Yes, low self-esteem is a component of depression, but there are many other factors to examine. Loss? Grief? Trauma? Physical illness? It would serve you well to have an evaluation by an experienced mental health professional before deciding on a plan going forward. Good for you - you were able to find enough self-esteem to consider yourself worth getting help! Peace, Marian K. Shapiro READ MORE

  • My wife is scared of having sex. How can I help her overcome this fear?

    Definitely a counselor (Marriage? Sex?) is appropriate. She might want to go alone – or not. Perhaps together, and then she might choose to go alone here and there. So many possible causes, ranging from the very simple to the very complex. I recall one "simple" one where the reluctant bride was overcome by teachings from her very conservative childhood church (sex is bad except for conceiving children), and hearing church bells from their window, she just froze! Who would have thought of such a cause – cured by installing a loud air conditioner in the window! Of course, there are many other possibilities. So, get ye to a counselor – preferably a woman, I would expect – and be as kind to yourself as you have been with your wife. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Could there be another reason for my breathlessness or is it anxiety?

    Hello, Breathless – you probably suspect the answer I will offer you (although you may wish it to be different): Yes, do go to your doctor to rule out sometimes serious causes of breathlessness. Simple tests can establish lung or heart issues. If none of these, get thee to a psychologist or other mental health person to deal with the anxiety: identify what it is about, and find ways to reestablish your previous equilibrium. And don’t procrastinate – get the physical issues off the table as soon as possible. Glad you asked! Peace, Marian Shapiro, Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • I am feeling very anxious and angry most of the time. What should I do?

    Because you say that these feelings and behaviors are "all of a sudden," you seem not to be able to correlate them with anything in your life. Perhaps there are correlations you haven’t made, or perhaps there is a physical issue that is the cause. Since I know nothing about you – age? gender? history? – I can’t offer any diagnostic conclusions, and therefore, no simple treatments. Why not pay a visit to your family doctor, someone preferably who knows you, and can make educated "guesses," perhaps suggest relevant tests, and perhaps refer you to the appropriate specialist. Good that you are concerned; good luck with the solution! Peace, Marian K. Shapiro, Clinical Psychologist READ MORE

  • I am unable to manage my stress. How can I help myself?

    If you are unable to manage your stress, why not consult a stress management professional? Such a person might be a meditation teacher, a yoga teacher, a personal trainer, a "coach" in work/life balance….Your p.c., your friends, your church if you have one – even your local librarian – may be able to suggest some good places to start. Good luck! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • I am scared of darkness. Is this normal?

    No, that isn’t "normal," but, fortunately, it is a phobia, and phobias are very treatable. It actually has a name – Achluophobia – but, to make a little joke, it may be easier to remedy than to pronounce. Yes, do make an appointment with a psychologist specializing in anxiety. Hypnosis treatment can be very effective – look on line at the ASCH website to find someone in your area who specializes in phobias. Some people take anti-anxiety medication (prescribed by a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse), but that does not cure the problem, only makes it possible to deal with a specific situation. Good luck – you can look forward to feeling comfortable in safe, dark places (which is normal!). Peace, Marian Kaplun Shapiro READ MORE

  • My son is 16 years old and afraid of his exams. Should I send him to a psychologist?

    I am not sure what you mean by paranoid – if you mean that he is very anxious and afraid of a negative result, that is certainly within normal; if he is imagining that people/spirits/voices are out to get him, that is an illness that certainly needs immediate treatment. I will assume you mean just anxious and pessimistic – if that is the case, you might want to find a psychologist/other mental health specialist who can teach him hypnosis for relieving the anxiety. People trained to use hypnosis for such purposes are certified by professional hypnosis organizations, such as ASCH, which has an online referral system filtered by specialty and geography. Test anxiety is a common issue, and hypnosis is very effective. I have used it with young people who are panicking during exam season, perhaps having even failed past exams because of panic attacks. Using hypnosis they have succeeded, to the extent of their ability and preparation (hypnosis doesn’t counteract not studying!). Good luck to you and to him! Peace, Marian Kaplun Shapiro READ MORE

  • I have OCD with an intense fear of sleep. How can I make peace with falling asleep?

    Different people, different reasons for the same behaviors or feelings! Question is, why do YOU have this fear and how can YOU master it? I would recommend consulting an experienced mental health person (psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker…) with training in hypnosis. To find an appropriately trained person, look at the website of ASCH, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. As a member of that society myself, I know that members have the appropriate training to deal with your very important problem. Good luck, and look forward to some good nights sleep. Peace, Marian K. Shapiro READ MORE

  • Are feelings like depression and jealousy normal or do they need to be treated?

    Hello - the words I notice are "undergoing" and "severe." These words infer that these feelings, in their intensity, are not normal for YOU. So, as doctors often say about pain symptoms, say a headache, if common for you, don’t worry. If rare for you, or more intense than is common for you, consult your doctor. So, consider the question, and if it is not common for you, consult your mental health person, or your PCP. Glad you asked! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • What causes negative thoughts in a person?

    You might find it useful to keep a little diary around the times your mood turns gloomy. Is there some repetitive trigger like physical pain? Like loneliness? Like anger or resentment? Is it a hormonally related mood swing? Connected with drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs? If these moods are mild and remit quickly, no, treatment isn’t necessary. If they worsen and edge towards depression, do seek some help. Life should have more sunny days than stormy ones! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • My brother's illness bothers me a lot. I am deprived of sleep. Please help.

    Reading between the lines, I think I am hearing that your brother’s behavior is feeling scary. Perhaps he is threatening verbally or physically towards you and/or himself or others? If so, you must get him to an eval or have the police or a medical person do so. Medication may be necessary to reverse such symptoms. Please don’t hesitate to do what is necessary. He would thank you later when he is back to normal. Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • Does the treatment for depression have to be continuous?

    I assume you are talking about therapy, not medication, since you could take your medication with you. Your therapist can advise you as to whether a break is advisable- how long of a break? How long have you been seeing the therapist? How are you feeling at this point? Certainly, the person to ask is the therapist. Perhaps you are afraid she or he will recommend not going away just now. But still, it is the best idea. Good luck! When you are stable and not depressed, then a vacation will be a real celebration. Peace, Marian Marian Kaplun Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Is biofeedback helpful?

    Yes, it can teach you how to modify your stress reactions. Nowadays there are many good portable, affordable, small devices (about the size of a mobile phone) which you can be trained to use on your own. Easiest is to go to a biofeedback specialist who can train you in a few sessions. They can tell you which device to purchase, or perhaps act as a reseller of one (without making a profit, just for your convenience). I have trained several people, including a temporarily stressed-out member of my family who was taking grad school exams. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • My brother's illness bothers me a lot. I am sleep deprived and I need some help.

    Hello – sleep is an absolute necessity for health, which you need to maintain. Many people use medication (over the counter or prescription) temporarily; I greatly prefer using hypnosis. I would recommend you find a qualified hypnotherapist, which can be located on the website of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. You can search by geographical convenience. Almost any trained hypnotherapist (psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist, counselor) can teach you a simple method to use, putting it on a recording on your phone, if you like. No side effects except feeling rested! Good luck! Peace, Marian Kaplun Shapiro READ MORE

  • How can I help my separation anxiety with my baby?

    The funny thing about mother-child relationships is that they often recapitulate the feeling you, as a child, had with your mother! Was that or is that true for you? If yes, talk to a professional about that. And as a practical strategy, try separating by degrees, as a child does when going to the first nursery school or kindergarten - mom or dad stay for a while, and then fade out for a few days. It’s hard at first, but all mom’s can do it. Find out why you have been so attached all these two years, and then practice letting go slowly. You won’t be the first or the last! Peace, Marian Kaplun Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • What causes my brain to think negatively most of the time?

    The question is whether this is a change in your usual attitude, or is a life-long condition. But either way, do see (1) your medical doctor, who can determine if there is a physical cause - hormonal imbalance? Dietary insufficiency? Etc. (2) If not, get a referral to an experienced psychologist who can do testing and/or through conversation with you develop a hypothesis about the cause and appropriate treatment. Life can be good - why live under a Charlie Brown black cloud? Peace, Marian Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Is being a bisexual a problem?

    Freud wrote - maybe 100 years ago - that all people have both sexual attractions inherent in them, but in different proportions. Perhaps these modify over a lifetime to some degree. Seems likely that a 50/50 percentage would be one of those! This is a ‘it is what it is’ situation. So why not accept it, act prudently, and find something more useful to worry about. Nothing you can do to change it, right? Perhaps a few sessions of counseling might help you relax on this subject. Good luck! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • My husband is recovering from a stroke but is getting depressed. How should I help him?

    Ask at the hospital or at his doctor’s if there is a group for people recovering from strokes. Also, if there is a program in which people who did recover can talk to current patients. It is inspiring to see someone who has recovered and to hear about their feelings and experiences. Moderated on line groups can also be effective if he can’t get out. You might consider a group for caregivers/partners of patients recovering from strokes. Good luck! Marian READ MORE

  • My child seems to be scared of going to school. How should I encourage him?

    Hello, concerned parent, The most important words are ‘all of a sudden.’ You can go to school with your child and watch what happens in the classroom and at recess. Six year olds aren’t old enough to act differently because you are there in the background. Is your son being bullied? Is his teacher scary? Before I was a psychologist, I was a teacher and then a supervisor of student teachers. Believe me, I could understand why little kids could show “school refusal.” So start there, and perhaps you will see clearly which way to go. If not, a child psychologist could meet with him. Good luck, Marian K Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Is anxiety disorder normal with aging?

    He is lucky to have such a concerned daughter! That is a good question, which I can answer: no, anxiety is not normal at any age. It is in fact a disorder. It is miserable to live with generalized anxiety, because, from your description, it isn’t the kind of anxiety that is helpful – being anxious about and exam, for example, might be helpful if it led the student to study longer and party less. Perhaps you could offer to go with him for a consultation. Preferably, consultant should be aware of the effects of medications on older people, as they are often different from the side effects for younger ones. And there are other treatments for anxiety - talk therapy of various kinds, meditation, group therapy, etc. So preferably the consultant should have a wide experience level. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • What causes post natal depression in women?

    Hormones are the most common cause; medication is usually prescribed. Of course, there are other issues with new motherhood which can exacerbate the depressive reaction - individual and couple, pain, sleeplessness, financial stress, moving, leaving outside work and contacts there, etc., etc. So it would be good to help her find a prescribing clinician and a therapist. How lucky for her to have someone like you in her life! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Is there a link between loss of appetite and depression?

    Yes, lack of appetite is a common result of clinical depression. It is actually called ‘anorexia,‘ but it is not the same as ‘anorexia nervosa’ that you probably have heard of, in which people, usually young women, believing that they are ‘fat,’ starve themselves. Of course, lack of appetite can stem from many physical causes, but often the psychological causes are ignored. Good for you for raising this possibility! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • For how long does a course of treatment for depression normally last?

    Depends - if medication, when one is found that works, patient takes it for at least a year. If ‘talk’ therapy, depends on the kind used. Sorry can’t be more specific - your son can ask. Peace, Marian Shapiro Clinical Psychologist READ MORE

  • What causes depression in some people?

    Your question has many, many answers. Some are physical, some are psychological, some are combinations of both. Do go to your Primary Care doctor and have a checkup. If no obvious cause is found, make an appointment with a mental health practitioner - psychologist or psychiatrist. Good luck, Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Autism and Gender

    I do agree with what you say about males and females, but lack any expertise in the autism spectrum. But for sure being mis-diagnosed or not diagnosed adds frustration and loneliness to the original problem. Hope you find a good person to talk to. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Nightmares stopped but have returned. What can I do?

    Hello - not to be discouraged! If something worked so well before, do it again! Probably some understandable reason the nightmares were re-triggered. Can you consult the same therapist? If not, you will at least know that some therapist will be right for you. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • I think I may be depressed. What do I do?

    It certainly feels rotten to feel depressed. Depression has so many causes – the first thing, after admitting it (good for you!) is to visit your primary care doc or nurse practitioner for a checkup, including blood work, to assure that there is no obvious physical cause that needs to be addressed. If there is not, ask for a referral to a mental health practitioner who can make a good evaluation. Perhaps you need to talk to someone about the stresses of retirement (social worker, psychologist, counselor). Or perhaps you would benefit from a group around the topic of retirement. Or a combination of both. Perhaps you would benefit from medication, although that might be your last consideration, unless you already have had previous depressions in which medication was the treatment of choice. Good luck! Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • What is neuropsychology?

    Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology allied with neurology. It is not my specialty. I encourage you to contact a neuropsychologist for a response. Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Do therapists lead therapy sessions or do I?

    Good question! There are many different styles of therapy - like shoes, or clothes! You probably are looking for a cognitive behavioral person. Among those, many personalities. So just ask on the phone or email for what you seek, and that will be the first step. Good luck! Peace, Marian Shapiro READ MORE

  • How can I get over a fear of going to a psychologist?

    The question is really what aspect of going to a psychologist causes you to be anxious. You do go to the dentist, do you not? And yet he or she might find a cavity, and even cause you a little pain in repairing it. And you probably consult people who might diagnose a problem with your air conditioner or your car that they can fix. Psychologists are no different, except that their specialty is to help with your thoughts and feelings. They don't judge you for having the problem any more than a plumber judges you for having a sticky faucet. So treat your upcoming visit as if you are consulting any professional you are familiar with - if you don't like the person, don't hire him or her - find another! Good luck! Peace, Marian Marian K. Shapiro Licensed Psychologist READ MORE

  • Can I go to a psychiatrist instead of a psychologist?

    Some psychiatrists do psychotherapy and don't only prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists only prescribe. Inquire before you make the appointment. Psychologists only do psychotherapy ( and testing). Peace, Marian READ MORE

  • Dealing with pain anxiety depression

    I would suggest you contact the Florida branch of theASCH (the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis), which is excellent in Florida. Perhaps the President of that local society can refer you to a specialist who can assess the situation and provide appropriate care. Peace, Marian READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization

PTSD; phobias; anxiety; pain

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychological Association; American Society of Clinical Hypnosis; American Group Psychotherapy Association  

Professional Society Memberships

  • American Society of Group Psychotherapy, The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, American Psychology Association, International Society for the Study of Trauma and Disassociation

Articles and Publications

  • "Hypno- Play Therapy with Age- Regressed Adults"- 1988

What do you attribute your success to?

  • Coming Into the Field as a Time When Women's Trauma was not Explored and Having the Opportunity to Make a Difference and Guide Other Women.

Hobbies / Sports

  • Writing Poetry

Favorite professional publications

  • The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Journal

Marian Kaplun Shapiro's Practice location

17 Lantern Lane -
Lexington, Massachusetts 02421
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New patients: 781-862-3728

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