Independent psychotherapy practice with adults, adolescents, preteens, and couples in Marin County, California; Professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.
Education and Training
University of California
San Francisco State University Educated Psychology- MA
California School of Professional Psychology Clinica Psychologist - PhD
Dr. Mary C. Lamia PH.D.'s Expert Contributions
The designation of emotions as positive or negative has little to do with their value, but instead involves how they motivate us by the way they make us feel. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly times when normal anxiety has led you to feel a bit unhinged. At excessive levels, anxiety places you on...
Our emotions are wonderfully designed to provide us with information and motivation. They influence our lives by silently directing the decisions we make. Your emotions are informing you of a possible disruption in your connection with your baby. Your thought is that you have "separation anxiety," but the emotions behind it are likely distress, fear, sadness, guilt, and other feelings as well. If we step back and imagine living hundreds of years ago, it would seem rather strange for humans to leave their babies. You feel "separation anxiety" because you are attached as you should be. Children do adapt, given they are with good caregivers, but that does not remove the loss we may experience from separation, especially if we prefer to remain at home with the child. Understand that you feel as you do because that is what a mother who has closely bonded emotionally with her 2-year-old is supposed to feel under the circumstances. I do not believe it is something to "overcome." But, instead, these feelings are something to acknowledge and accept if you decide to go back to work at this time. READ MORE
Embarrassment, which is related to the core emotion of shame, is something all humans experience. Often we are relieved when we can admit our hesitation to say or do something because we are fearful about the possibility of experiencing shame. As well, when we can express what it is that creates shame in us to someone who is accepting and helps us understand why we feel the way we do, it can be a tremendous relief. So if an individual closes up when they meet a therapist, hopefully the therapist will be able to recognize the difficulty and help the patient learn from it. READ MORE
In the context you mention, psychotherapists are quite different depending on their theoretical orientation and their personal approach to treatment. Is therapy for many years better than a short-term fix? Impossible to say. Some therapists focus on the process of treatment, where there seems to be beginning, middle, and end phases. Others have a specific protocol depending upon the symptoms presented. Then there are those who are flexible in their approach and treat the presenting issues and are available if later issues arise and the patient wants to return. Your question is complex and the answer depends on many factors, including financial ones. Nevertheless, it is a very interesting question that I will present to my graduate students for discussion as I believe they should be aware of their own biases in this regard. READ MORE
Often it is best to talk to a child when he is not having a meltdown, rather than at the time. Bedtime can be a time to tuck him in and be curious about what he is feeling when he runs off in a meltdown. But tread lightly and make sure the question is phased in a way that doesn't shame the child. When we can't put feelings into words sometimes the only recourse is a meltdown. It's important to help children find words for what they feel at any given moment, but when they are in the middle of a meltdown, it's impossible. READ MORE
Rather than see a mental health professional, it is important for teens to remain connected to their parents. A psychiatrist or psychologist cannot "stop any issues before they start." However, a strong relationship between parent and child can be protective. READ MORE
Areas of expertise and specialization
Faculty Titles & Positions
- Local Public Speaking -
- 2012 Family Choice Book Award
- 2011 Italian American Psychological Society, Distinguished Italian American Psychologist Award: “Outstanding achievements and distinguished contributions to psychology”
- 2007 San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and Society (San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis), Distinguished Service Award
- 2004 The Northern California Psychiatric Society Media Award
- Member American Psychological Association
- Member APA Practice Organization
- Member National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
Dr. Mary C. Lamia PH.D.'s Practice location
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Dr. Mary C. Lamia PH.D.'s reviewsWrite Review
- Autism and 'The Good Doctor': Is it Accurate?
ABC's new hit show has taken television by storm with its dynamic character of Shaun Murphy, who is an autistic surgeon. However, many wonder: Does the show paint an accurate picture?Only one viewWhile it is great that there are more shows than ever before that have characters on the autism spectrum...
- Can Certain Lifestyle Choices Influence the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an illness that affects the body’s nervous system and whose cure has yet to be found. MS is characterized by varying signs and symptoms depending on which part of the nervous system is affected. The main and most common signs and symptoms observable in most patients...
- What Is Emotional Eating?
There may be times that an individual will turn to junk food to deal with emotional stress. This habit of eating comfort foods to satisfy a feeling or an emotion is referred to as emotional eating. When an individual turns to emotional eating, he or she may over eat to try to combat strained...
- What Is Disorganized Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder involving a breakdown that drastically affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The disorder has five subtypes, one of which is disorganized schizophrenia. Its very name implies the typical and predominant characteristics by which it is identified:...
- Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction Is Psychological
It has become a popular myth that watching too much of pornography can cause an erectile dysfunction in men. Many men, who are addicted to porn, are reported to have a porn-induced erectile dysfunction. There are many doctors and reports that explain that this disease is rather psychological in...
- Depression and Sex: How Depression Can Affect Your Sex Life
Maslow’s theory of needs describes sex as one of the basic requirements of human beings. The feelings of pleasure and contentment experienced during sex are rooted in the brain. Contrary to popular belief, our brain is the primary sex organ. When an individual indulges in sexual activity, our sex...
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